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Alternative Media

The Alternate Media office provides support for students who need instructional materials such as textbooks made available in alternative formats.  Upon DSPS Counselor approval, we can provide students with digital copies and in some circumstances, audio (through LearningAlly), braille, or enlargement of their required textbooks.  Click here for a helpful checklist to guide you through the request process.

Students must submit Proof of Purchase to Assistive Technology Lab staff for requested texts in order to receive alternate media.

Prior to requesting Alternate Media, a DSP&S Counselor needs to approve alternate media as an accommodation; once approved for the accommodation, the next step is to complete a Student Request for Alternate Media form and submit it to the Front Counter in DSPS.  Once your request for Alternate Media is received, we check to see if we already have the media in your preferred format.  If we do not have the media, we request it from the publisher.  If we have the media, but need to convert it to your preferred format, we add the conversion to our workflow.  If we are unable to obtain the text from the publisher, we scan each page of the text, convert the scanned images to text and our staff proofread both the layout and each character of the text before formatting the text to your preferred format. 

Once we have received counselor approval, your proof of purchase for the requested media, and the media in your preferred format, we contact you to arrange delivery of media in the order requests were received.

Processing time on media will vary by type, availability, and by the order in which your request was received.  For Alternate Media inquiries contact dspsmedia@arc.losrios.edu.

Supported eBook and Document Readers:

Kurzweil 3000

Supported Formats: KES, PDF, DOC, DOCX, RTF, EPUB, TXT, SEK, HTM, HTML, XML, BMP, JPG, TIF, OPF, BKS, K3C

Platform:  Windows & Mac

Price:  FREE for approved ARC students; $1,395 for individual license

Features:  Text to Speech using high quality Acapella voices; Students can embed audio, notes, highlighting and other notation into the text; Integrated dictionary, thesaurus and translator; Access to Firefly Cloud-Based Library; Scan directly into Kurzweil 3000 and use Text to Speech; Create audio books using Text to Speech; utilize numerous learning tools

Download:  Click here to go to the download page for Kurzweil 3000.  Note: You must have an account created by Alternative Media to use this software.

Kurzweil Firefly

Supported Formats: KES, PDF, DOC, DOCX, RTF, EPUB, TXT, SEK, HTM, HTML, XML, BMP, TIF, OPF, BKS, K3C

Platform:  Web Based & iPad

Price:  Free for approved ARC students

Features:  Web Based reader with Cloud Based library; Content can be uploaded by the user and by American River College; Aside from Adobe Flash, no software is needed in order to utilize the reader on any computer; Text to Speech using high quality Acapella voices; View notation added in Kurzweil 3000; import documents from Google Drive, Bookshare and your computer; Highlight text; integrated dictionary, thesaurus and translator

Firefly Login:  Click here to access the Firefly login page.  Note:  You must have an account created by Alternative Media to access Kurzweil Firefly.

Kindle Reader

Supported Formats: AZW, KF8, KFX, TXT, PDF, AA, AAX, MP3, MOBI, PRC

Platform: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Kindle

Price:  Free

Features:  Make notes and highlight text; Text to Speech; Access to any text in the Amazon.com Kindle Store (for students purchasing textbooks through the Kindle Store)

Download:  Click here to download the Kindle Reader for Windows; to download the Kindle reader on other platforms, please visit the App Store (iOS/Mac) or Play Store (Android).

Adobe Acrobat Reader

Supported Formats:  PDF

Platform:  Windows & Mac

Price:  Free

Features:  Reads PDF documents; capable of magnifying documents; Text to Speech capabilities

Download:  Click here to go to the download page for Adobe Acrobat Reader.  Click here to see instructions on enabling text to speech in Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Microsoft Word

Supported Formats:  DOC, DOCX, RTF, TXT, and more

Platform: Windows & Mac (also available for iOS and Android without built-in accessibility features)

Price:  Varies

Features:  Rich text editor; ability to magnify text; ability to enable text to speech

Click here to read instructions to enable Text to Speech in Microsoft Word for Windows

Click here to read instructions to enable Text to Speech in Microsoft Word for Mac

Voice Dream

Supported Formats:  DOC, TXT, XLS, PPT, MP3, PAGES, ZIP, MP4, WAV, DAISY 2, PDF, EPUB, KEYNOTE, M4A, HTML, RTF

Platform: iOS & Android

Price: ~$10

Features:  Text to Speech with a variety of high quality voices; capable of magnifying documents; includes the ability to draft documents within the app

Product Page:  Click here to go to the Voice Dream product page.

Online Text to Speech Engines:

iSpeech:

Convert Text to Speech without Software

Listen to your homework, proofread your latest work in the car or on your MP3 player, listen the latest news or blog, turn any text into human sounding speech. You can try our text to speech (TTS) free for as long as you want. If you love iSpeech text to speech quality, then upgrade and listen to more. We let you convert an unlimited amount of text into voice. iSpeech converts digital documents and text to voice enabled audio files. You can download all of your documents as audio. Listen virtually any type of digital media as if it were being read by a person.

SpeakIt!:

SpeakIt! - Google Chrome Extension

Tired of reading? Select text you want to read and listen to it. SpeakIt converts text into speech so you no longer need to read. SpeakIt reads selected text using Text-to-Speech technology with language auto-detection. It can read text in more than 50 languages.

Usage: -