Audio Books and Accessible Text
Students with an accommodation for print materials in audio or other accessible formats have a number of options within the Accessible Media and Technology Program.
The Accessible Media and Technology program can help you procure books from several sources:
Learning Ally – Audio books recorded by human readers. JMU students who have an accommodation for alternative formats through ODS are eligible for a free Learning Ally account. Learning Ally books are easy to navigate Daisy books. They are audio only. Listen on a PC or Mac computer, an iOS or Android tablet, or smart phone.
Bookshare – Audio books recorded with high-quality computerized voices. The text of the book displays on screen, and words are highlighted as they are read. JMU students who have an accommodation for alternative formats through ODS are eligible for a free Bookshare account. Bookshare books are easy to navigate Daisy books. Listen on a PC or Mac computer, an iOS or Android tablet, or smart phone.
Other possible sources include:
- YouTube: some audio books, particularly those in the public domain, are free.
- Online textbook rentals: many come with an audio option included.
When audio books are not available from these sources, the Accessible Media and Technology program produces them in-house. You will need to supply your class reading list, proof of purchase, and sometimes your book.
We request your class reading list and confirm proof of purchase of the book. Copyright laws require that students purchase or rent the book before we can provide alternate formats.
We obtain PDFs of the book from an outside source or we "chop and scan" the book. The spine is removed so we can scan the book, and then it is re-bound with a spiral binding. NOTE: AMT has agreements with the JMU bookstore to accept these books, whether rented or purchased, without penalty.
We convert the book into whatever format you require: MP3s, accessible PDFs, Kurzweil files, Microsoft Word, RTF, large print, Daisy, and Braille.
- Please search the Learning Ally and Bookshare sites to see if your book is available. Active JMU students with an accommodation for alternate formats are eligible for free Learning Ally and Bookshare accounts. Contact Accessible Media and Technology staff to set up an account and then download books for free, on your own time.
- When books are not available through Learning Ally or Bookshare, use the Accessible Media Request Form to request school books in alternate formats.
- Before filling out the form, choose a voice and speed to listen to your books.
- After submitting the form, check your Dukes account regularly for emails from Alt-Media@jmu.edu about your requests.
If you need other print materials converted to audio, such as articles (print or online), library books, PowerPoints, etc. please contact the Accessible Media and Technology program directly. (Do not use the online request form.