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Accessible Format Production

Who Can Use the Service

For obtaining textbooks and course readings in electronic format, this service is intended for students with a perceptual disability as defined below.

“perceptual disability” means a disability that prevents or inhibits a person from reading or hearing a literary, musical, dramatic or artistic work in its original format, and includes such a disability resulting from (a) severe or total impairment of sight or hearing or the inability to focus or move one’s eyes, (b) the inability to hold or manipulate a book or (c) an impairment relating to comprehension (8) (Copyright Act C-42, 2017)

You must be registered with Academic Accommodation Support.

For those wishing to make a text document more accessible

If you would like to perform OCR (optical character recognition) on a “flat” text document (such as a PDF or scanned image file where the text is not selectable) please use our Online OCR Tool.

Types of Accessible Formats Available

  • Readable PDF
  • Word (For screen readers)
  • Large Print, Mp3 and Braille can be produced, please contact us for more information
  • for closed captioning of videos, please see below

We provide the following in accessible format:

  • Textbook and class readings
  • Library books and articles upon request.
  • Classroom handouts
  • Other course reading materials in accessible format (reading materials include: on-line readings in D2L Brightspace and web-pages that are inaccessible with screen readers etc).

Accessible Content E-Portal (ACE)

Do you require alternate format materials? The Accessible Content E-Portal (ACE) provides alternative formats for print material held in our Library collection, including colour and black and white PDFs, DAISY, ePub and plain text. ACE is a service provided by Scholars Portal.

Library users registered with Academic Accommodation Services or users with documented print disabilities should contact to receive an ACE token.

Once you have received an ACE token:

Login to ACE to access the portal
Watch the getting started and searching the portal tutorials.
Visit the ACE Portal Guide.

If the book you need is not available in ACE, contact to request digitization.

NOTE that digitization service is suspended during the COVID-19 campus closure.

Accessible Format Requests

To request an accessible format, please fill out the Accessible Formats Request Form or contact Sonya Panangaden (


Students will be contacted when their textbooks/readings are ready. Most Textbooks will be emailed to students but students are welcome to bring in their own USB key and can have their files transferred. Please contact Sonya Panangaden ( in advance if you would like to use your USB key.

Please drop off books that need scanning at the Library’s circulation desk on the main floor. Students who are not attending classes on campus can contact us for more information.

Video closed captioning (for course content)

We can assist faculty with the following:

  • Adding closed captions to videos (this service can takes up to 8 weeks to complete, please plan ahead)

Please Contact Sonya Panangaden with your request (

Location and Contact

For other questions and concerns, you can contact us at the following:

Sonya Panangaden
Accessible Formats Technician

Reece Steinberg
Head, Library Learning Services

More Information on Accessible Formats

Purchase of Course Textbooks and Course Readers

All students are required by copyright law to purchase the textbook or course reader before they can receive their accessible formats. Students are asked to bring with them their receipt or the physical book when they pick up their CD. Students who are not attending classes on campus can contact us for more information.

How are Textbooks/Readings Produced?

We work with various partners such as faculty, the bookstore and with the students themselves to locate the textbook and reading information for each course the student is enrolled in. Once we have this information we have 3 options to locate the textbook/readings in the accessible format the student requires.

Step 1: We search our own large in-house collection of accessible formats from previous semesters
Step 2: We search the Government of Ontario’s on-line repository of accessible formats (AERO)
Step 3: We can order the textbook from the publisher in either PDF or Word.

In-House Scanning

When we cannot locate the textbook/readings through the 3 options above, we offer students the choice to have their readings scanned in-house. Students are requested to drop off their textbook/readings and we will scan them in either PDF or Word. Students are informed of the turn around time when they drop their books off.


The Accessible Format Production Centre asks our students and University partners to assist us with ensuring timely access to accessible formats by providing us with textbook/reading information as soon as possible. 

Timely access to accessible formats can be affected by the following:

  • Ordering textbooks from publishers in PDF and Word can take up to 4 weeks
  • Scanning textbooks/readings in-house can take up to 1 week.
  • If textbook/readings need to be converted from PDF into Word, Braille or Mp3 – it takes:
    ° 1-3 weeks to transcribe a PDF file into Word or Mp3 and
    ° up to two months for  Braille
  • Course Readers (package of photocopied articles and book chapters) can take 2-3 weeks to scan and create accessible PDF or Word due to the quality of the photocopies.