Alternate Media Production

Alternate Media

Textbooks, instructional materials, and other printed information being converted to another format such as Braille, large print, or electronic text. The United States Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has held that the three basic components of effective communication include: "timeliness of delivery, accuracy of the translation, and provision in a manner and medium appropriate to the significance of the message and the abilities of the individual with the disability.

Alternate Media Production Policies

Saddleback College will make available, upon request, in alternate media, any publication it offers to the general public such as the college catalog, announcements about cultural or recreational events sponsored by the college, job announcements, etc.  Nevertheless, since most requests are likely to come from students, the primary focus in these guidelines will be to provide instructional materials in accessible formats.

Request an Appointment with the Alternate Media Specialist

Appointments will take place over Zoom. Special consideration for in-person appointments for students requesting will be given. Please email Mike Sauter to request an appointment. During the appointment we will discuss your specific accommodation request(s) as they relate to Kurzweil Audiobooks, Notetaking/Recording Apps, Braille production, and other Assistive Technologies.

Request a textbook or instructional material in Alternate Format

Students may request the following materials in alternate formats:

  • Required and recommended textbooks which you have purchased or rented. 
    • You can purchase/rent the book(s), new or used, in hard copy or electronic (online) format.
    • Proof of purchase is required and may include:
      • Your receipt or rental agreement (it does not matter where you purchased or rented the book)
  • Instructional Material for a class in the form of ZTC (Zero Textbook Cost), Handouts and other class materials.

To request your textbook and other materials in alternate formats, please use the following form and have this information ready:

Online Classes using Canvas

First, we recommend that you use the Google Chrome web browser to access your online class. If you don’t have it, use to download the browser and install it on your computer.

With your classes moving online, you will be using Canvas (most likely) to access the class. The website for Canvas is Your instructor will also send you information pertaining to the online class and how to access it. Once you are connected to your class you should familiarize yourself with how the class is laid out and all the of the areas of the class to find the assignments, readings, tests and quizzes. If there are any areas or documents that you can’t access or don’t understand please email your instructor immediately and CC Mike Sauter

Kurzweil Reading Program

We use the Kurzweil Reading Program for textbooks and class materials. To have your textbooks converted for your class please follow the procedure listed below.

  1. Request textbook or instructional material using the Alternate Media Request Form.
  2. Purchase your textbooks.
  3. Receive a Kurzweil Account and training during your appointment.
  4. Access your textbook using the Kurzweil Reading Program.

The timeframe depends on many factors, however, we strive to provide you with the material you need in a very timely manner. 

Kurzweil Reading tool for Canvas Classes

If you would to have your canvas class read out loud to help with understanding the material you can use a free tool called “Kurzweil Read the Web Chrome Extension.” It will read out loud any webpage, online textbook or web resource that your class is using. Please follow the directions below to install and activate the free tool. 

Install Kurzweil Read the Web Chrome Extension

  1. Open a Chrome browser window. 
  2. Click on this link “Kurzweil Read the Web”
  3. “Add to Chrome” then click “Add extension” to install it.
  4. The extension will install, and a small Kurzweil Icon will appear in the upper right corner of the browser window. 
  5. To activate the “Read the Web” Extension, click on the icon in the upper right corner and a sign in for Kurzweil will drop down. Use your existing Kurzweil Username and Password to sign in and the extension will open up. 
  6. You can adjust the settings to choose your desired voice, and speed.
  7. Finally, click anywhere on the webpage to place the green cursor on the page and click the PLAY button to activate the reading. You can read just about everything on the page. If you experience a document, or area that cannot be read out loud please email Mike Sauter.
  8. You can also watch this helpful How to video on Kurzweil Read the Web tool.

If you do not have a Kurzweil account and would like to use this tool, please email Mike Sauter to request a login. If you experience problems with this tool please email Mike Sauter.


Tools, Techniques and Training and Resources

Kurzweil 3000 Textbook Audio Reader

Tools, Techniques and Training

All learners deserve tools that help them unlock their potential. We provide tools and resources that allow all learners to actively engage in learning experiences in the ways that work best for them. This, in turn, enables real learning to happen and helps unlock each person's unique potential.

How Does It Works?

Students can access content and common literacy supports from any device or computer with internet access, then dive deeper with comprehensive literacy support installed directly to Mac and Windows computers.

  • Access content on the web, your computer, or in print
  • Differentiate instruction with digital tools
  • Save content to class or student folders (no file storage limit)
  • Guide learners throughout the full learning process
  • Inform instructional decisions with centralized reporting

Kuruzweil 3000


    Glean by Sonocent to Record Class Lectures

    How does Glean work?

    Glean in 1 Minute from Glean on Vimeo.

    • Take live recordings online or in class or import audio from lectures, meetings, classroom activities, and brainstorming sessions. 
    • Add layers of meaning to your project with color, text, images, presentation slides, and PDF documents. You can do this while you record.
    • Transcribe or summarize your recording.Edit your project to ensure you have all the content you'll need for your final piece of work.


    Discontinued - Livesceibe Smartpens

    The Livescribe Echo SmartPen is now discontinued. We are actively looking for a suitable replacement, in the meantime we recommend using the online recording tool Glean. See information below. 

    Web Evaluation Tools


    LIFT works with Dreamweaver and is a great tool for seamlessly integrating accessibility features into pages. This program is not free. There are also many other tools available.

    If you use an automated tool to evaluate your web pages, you should also manually check your pages. Automated tools are not capable of verifying all aspects of compliance. This checklist identifies items in order of Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) Checklist (scroll down to view list)

    The Disability and Educational Support Program Computer Lab has screen reading software installed. Faculty and staff who are interested in a demonstration of this software or who would like to listen to their pages using should contact the Disability and Educational Support Program.

    A demo version of JAWS screen reader software is available for download. Download and install this demo to listen to your pages.

    The final test in determining if a page is truly accessible is to access it using assistive technology.



    Saddleback College has purchased the CPC 700 system for the captioning of videos. For more information please contact Saddleback College's Alternate Media Specialist.

    MAGpie is a free tool that can be downloaded and used to caption digital files.



    PDF's that do not have tags are not accessible. To make a PDF more accessible it needs to be converted into a tagged PDF. Document creator should also manually check the tagged part of the file to make sure that it accurately reflects the text of the main document.

    There are two Adobe products Acrobat and Acrobat Reader. Acrobat Reader is only for reading files and will not create them. To create your own PDF's you will need to use Acrobat.

    Make Accessible plug-in - This free download is for use with Adobe Acrobat 5.0 and will convert an untagged document to a tagged one. Double check the accuracy of the conversion especially in cases where you have complex page layouts and graphics. This product will only work with Adobe Acrobat. It will not work with Acrobat Reader.

    Adobe's Online Tools for converting PDF's to text.

    Adobe's Accessibility Site


    Accessible Topics and Resources

    Laws and Guidelines

    According to the Chancellor's Office, web pages must satisfy Priority One checkpoints of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines and conform to the standards for accessibility under Section 508 of the Rehabilitative Act of 1973.

    Both state and federal law require community colleges to operate all programs and activities in a manner which is accessible to students with disabilities. Accordingly, as the system develops its capacity for creation of technology based instructional resources and the delivery of distance learning; it must proceed with the needs of all students in mind, including the unique needs of students with disabilities.

    Distance Education: Access Guidelines for Students with Disabilities, August 1999 Chancellor's Office California Community Colleges


    From the Chancellor's Office