Document Conversion Information for Students

Registration with the Disability Resource Center

To request document conversion, students must be registered with the Disability Resource Center. To register, students should e-mail drc@umn.edu or call the front desk at 612-626-1333 to make an appointment with an access consultant. Students must provide the consultant with recent documentation demonstrating a print disability from a qualified professional. This may include individuals who have visual disabilities (blind or low vision), learning disabilities, Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), visual perceptual disabilities, head trauma, and/or specific physical disabilities that restrict hand use to turn pages or manipulate print material.

 

Tech Assessment and Training

We can conduct a tech assessment for people have uncertain technology needs or who would like a survey of available accessible technologies. The purpose of this assessment is to identify useful technologies and determine what file format(s), hardware, software, and workflow may work best for you and your situation. 

 

For print access we have text-to-speech software/training available. Examples include Kurzweil 3000, web-based options, and screen-readers for blind and low-vision users. Conversion of texts to audio files, Braille technologies, and other digital solutions are also available.

 

Enrollment in Courses

If you are a student receiving document conversion services, you must be enrolled in the courses for which you are requesting accessible media/alternate format. As a student receiving document conversion services, you are eligible to register for courses beginning the first day registration is open. Your access consultant or academic adviser can help you enroll in courses. We will confirm your enrollment before initiating work.

 

You may request conversion of non-course related materials such as test prep, or personal readings. We assign a lower priority to these materials compared to materials required for current courses. 

 

Requesting Document Conversion 

To request document conversion, students must email doccon@umn.edu and provide the following information:

 

  • List of reading materials they wish to have converted such as textbooks, course packets, and/or Canvas readings.
  • Syllabus / reading schedule for each course: Most syllabi will include a reading schedule. Please check to make sure it is included, and if not, please contact your instructor for a schedule of assigned readings. (It is University policy that instructors provide complete syllabi on the first day of class.)
  • Proof of ownership such as a copy of receipt(s) for textbook purchases. If you purchased materials via the University Bookstore Duplicate Text Program, the program will send, on your behalf, receipts and the duplicate copies of the materials, to Document Conversion.

 

Textbooks

Duplicate Text Program (University Bookstores):

Since books must often times be unbound and scanned for conversion, the Duplicate Text Program allows students who purchase their textbooks at University Bookstores to retain your purchased copy and have a duplicate copy sent directly to us. You can have this duplicate copy sent by going to the Scholarship Desk at the University Bookstore in Coffman Memorial Union at the point of purchase and indicating which books you would like sent to us. This eliminates the need for you to drop off your personal copies for unbinding / conversion / rebinding.

 

Textbooks not Purchased at University Bookstores:

You will need to provide proof of ownership to us for textbooks not purchased at a University Bookstore location. If we do not have the requested book already converted and archived and/or we are unable to procure an electronic copy from the publisher, you will need to provide your copy of the text to be unbound, scanned and rebound with plastic coil binding. We can typically have the rebound book ready for you to pickup in a day or two. 

 

Canvas Materials

More and more course materials are being provided digitally. Most University courses use the Canvas LMS to disseminate course materials, readings, assignments, and even textbooks. However, Canvas does not work for everyone and is often inaccessible for users of various text-to-speech and screen reader software. 

 

If you are concerned about accessing Canvas materials or the interface in general, please contact doccon@umn.edu. We will work with you to explore Canvas access barriers, provide training, and determine what conversion may be needed. If you use Kurzweil software, recommend that you install the Google Chrome plug-in called Kurzweil Read the Web. However, this is not always a complete solution, especially when working with poor scan quality/ resolution, STEM content, and complex layouts among other things. Consult with us if you have questions.

 

Prioritization of Conversion Requests

In order to serve students equitably, we must prioritize conversion requests based on when students submit requests, when we receive all materials, and/or the reading schedule your syllabus. We prioritize required course readings and complete optional readings as time and resources allow. It is the instructor’s responsibility to work with you and us to clarify priorities. 

 

We deliver converted files approximately two weeks prior to the due date listed in the course syllabus/reading schedule. When requests are submitted for conversion less than two weeks in advance of the due date, we may not complete them before their due date.

 

For assignments due during the first two weeks of class, we need the syllabus and materials before classes start. If you are unable to submit texts and/or reading schedules within this time frame, we will do our best to convert the documents by a reasonable date. You may also submit best estimates for the first few reading assignments until a reading schedule becomes available. 

 

There are factors which may delay this process such as poor original copy quality, lack of clarity in the syllabus, or failure to submit a due date with a conversion request. In this event, we will contact you and/or instructor.

 

Receipt of Converted Materials

We use Google Drive as our file delivery tool. If you have concerns about using Google Drive, contact us by email at doccon@umn.edu. We will provide additional Google Drive training and look into other file-sharing options on a case-by-case basis. 

 

We will notify you via email when the first file of a new book or material has been added to your Google Drive shared folder. Following the initial email notification, it is your responsibility to consistently check Google Drive for converted materials and follow up if files appear to be missing.

 

Changes to Syllabus and Dropped Courses

You must email doccon@umn.edu and copy your instructor with any changes made to the syllabus or reading assignments. 

 

If you drop a course, you should notify us right away.

 

Checking on the Status of Materials

If you’d like a status update on your materials, email us anytime at doccon@umn.edu.

 

Copyright

Under U.S. Copyright law, accessible files (e-text) provided to the student can be used solely for eligible student’s own educational purposes and cannot be copied, shared, or distributed for use by others.