Alternative Textbooks

Students who have print disabilities (visual impairments, learning disabilities) affecting their ability to read text may be qualified for alternative forms of textbooks.

First Accessible Textbook Option: Digital eBooks

Varney's Bookstore offers many books for rent in an eBook format called Jumpbooks. Jumpbooks are the preferred delivery method for CouseSmart digital content.  This format is accessible with a variety of adaptive technologies and eliminates the need to request an accessible copy.

K-State Campus Bookstore also offers books for rent in an eBook format called BryteWave.  At this time, BryteWave is not accessible to adaptive technology.

Second Accessible Textbook Option: Request an Accessible File

Students are required to purchase a textbook; however, our office may be able to find an accessible version to supplement your physical copy. If you receive the accommodation of alternative textbooks, fill out an alternative textbook request or e-mail the office.  Request only those books that you need. The necessary information for your request is:

  • Class number
  • Class title
  • Book title and author(s)
  • Publication year
  • Edition
  • 13 digit ISBN #  

Once we have an accessible copy of your book, we will notify you by campus e-mail that your CD is ready to be picked up from the office.  You can then use software on your computer (see below) to read your books. If, for some reason, we do not find an alternative copy of your book, we will inform you through campus e-mail.  We may be able to scan your book for you and make an accessible PDF file. We can also show you how to scan handouts at the Media Development Center located in Hale Library so that you have easy access to accessible documents.

What kinds of technology are available on my computer to help me read books?

The office has had good luck with a text-to-speech program called NaturalReader. Natural Reader is the program that is used in the Testing Center.  There is a free download available.


If you use a Mac computer, iPad, or iPhone, a text-to-speech program is built in. This feature is in General Settings under Accessibility. 

What about other organizations who distribute accessible textbooks?

Commercial Audio Books

Many books can be purchased in audio format instead of the paper version. K-State’s bookstore does not stock many of these but students can order an audio version directly from a publisher or other companies such as Amazon.

Learning Ally

Learning Ally is a non-profit organization that has many textbooks available in audio format. Students can enroll at a cost of $119 per year. Learning Ally is an online library with a wide range of books available for school or for pleasure reading. Applications are available from Learning Ally by calling 1-800-221-4792 or by visiting the Learning Ally website.

National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped

The National Library Service administers a free library program of braille and audio materials circulated to eligible borrowers in the United States by postage-free mail or through the BARD download website. Applications are available from NLS by calling 1-888-657-7323, or by visiting the NLS website.

If you are interested in looking at other options for text-to-speech software you can always stop in and visit with staff.