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Transcription and alternative format guidelines

Materials available electronically in Word

If you receive a request for materials to be provided in an alternative format, members of staff should adapt their own course materials held electronically in Word e.g. lecture notes and course handbooks.  In most cases this is quite straight forward, for example changing the font size.  DASS can provide guidance about this if required.

UML Digitisation Support

This  sets out the support UML can offer to help facilitate access to recommended reading for visually impaired students registered with DASS.  It describes the process for requesting and supplying core reading in an accessible format and also sets out the expectations of academic partners in the support process.

  • DASS will identify students who may require alternative format course materials.  If Schools/Library staff become aware of a student who may require this support, they should refer them to DASS
  • DASS will send a notification to the School Disability Coordinator as soon as the format and need has been determined.  They will copy the Library Disability Team in to this request for awareness and follow up if needed.  The request will include instructions for progressing this support, and a link to the Alternative Format Request Sheet.
  • Schools will then send requests via the Alternative Format Request sheet to
  • All School requests for digitisation should be made in advance of the point the student is required to read the item.  Due to the complexities involved,   Alternative Format requests should be received by the Library no later than  1st August for Semester 1 and no later than 1st December for Semester 2.  The request must be thoroughly prioritised to show each week of the course for which the reading is required to provide a logical prioritisation of workflow.
  • Any essential pictures or diagrams in the text will need to be transcribed by the School, to give an explanation of their content.
  • The School should adopt a managed approach to non-essential reading.  Requests for digital versions of printed texts will be received by the Library’s Disability Team via the “alternative format request sheet.” They will then check for existing accessible digital copies that may be suitable. A list of these accessible texts containing URL links will then be sent to the student’s University email address and copied to the School Disability Coordinator.
  •  The UML Disability Team will then determine the appropriate source for digitisation, sending requests for documents that should be available from HESS to the Digitisation Team using the request form in the staff portal
  1. HESS requests to be processed by the Digitisation team
  2. Non HESS eligible requests to be dealt with by UML Disability Team.
  3. Library DS Team will contact publishers to request digital copies as a first priority.
  4. Remaining items will be scanned and processed by the Library DS team with assistance from CS staff as necessary.  They will consult DASSs technical Support Assistant for advice if needed.
  • Completed requests will be sent to the individual student’s University email address and copied to the School Disability Coordinator.

Other student correspondence

It is also important to note the student’s required format for all other written correspondence e.g. routine letters, registration forms etc.  School administrative staff will need notifying of this.