Student Support

Alternate Media


In keeping with the policy that all persons shall have equal access to educational materials, programs, facilities, admissions, and activities, Santa Monica College makes every effort to provide material in alternate formats for students with disabilities.

What does the Alternate Media Specialist do?

The Alternate Media Specialist provides materials (e.g. handouts, exams, textbooks) provided for people with disabilities in their preferred format. (e.g. braille, electronic text, large print)

Major Types of Alternate Media

  • Electronic Text (E-Text) such as Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF files, which can be accessed on a computer with screen reading or screen magnification software. E-text can be easily stored, can be searched and indexed, and can be converted to large print or braille.
    E-texts are either created on campus by scanning the material or are acquired from the publishers, under the provisions of AB 422, which requires publishers to provide E-text to students with disabilities.

  • Large Print documents for those with sufficient vision, large print is often desirable. Although they are somewhat bulky, materials in large print have the advantage of being relatively portable and requiring no special equipment while conveying all the graphic and spatial information contained in the original material.

  • Braille is a system of reading and writing which is used by approximately 10 percent of blind and visually impaired individuals. Braille can be quickly referenced without any equipment and can include charts, tables, simple diagrams, and a reasonable approximation of the format of a printed document.

    Santa Monica College is equipped to provide braille material for students through the use of braille translation software and a specialized braille printer. Requests should be made far in advance of need, because it takes a considerable amount of time to produce lengthy, complex documents such as textbooks in braille.

  • Tactile Diagrams are printed on special heat-sensitive paper to produce raised lines and images accessible to people who are blind.

  • Videos and DVD's can be closed captioned. Santa Monica College is equipped to create captions in-house for videotapes and digital videos.

Upon request, Santa Monica College can provide alternate-format versions of the college catalogue, announcements about cultural or recreational events sponsored by the college or other information produced by the college.

To request college publications in an alternate format send an e-mail to our Alternate Media Specialist.

Where does our Alternate Media Specialist get your books in an Electronic format?

Alternate Media Exchange Database (AMX)

  • The Alternate Media Exchange Database is a cooperative venture among colleges to share their Alternate Media.

Alternate Text Production Center (ATPC)

  • The Alternate Text Production Center works primarily with the publishers to obtain electronic texts of textbooks when requested by students with print-related disabilities. Additionally, the ATPC also can produce textbooks and other materials in braille.

Resources for the Blind & Dyslexic (RFB&D)

  • Recorded audio format is one method of making information accessible to persons who are blind or visually impaired. Many individuals with learning disabilities also use materials in audio format because they find it difficult to process printed information. Audio material is commonly recorded on CD's or other storage media. SMC acquires many literary works and standard college textbooks in audio format from organizations such as Learning Ally.


  • Santa Monica College has the appropriate hardware and software in order to make Alternate Media.

Request Alternate Media

Alternate Media Service Feedback

The California Community Colleges Guidelines for Producing Instructional and Other Printed Materials in Alternate Media for Persons with Disabilities contains more details about the provision of alternate media by the California Community colleges.

For additional information contact the college's Alternate Media Specialist at 310-434-8934.