How to Find your Textbook in Electronic Formats
“The AccessText Network (ATN) helps college students with print disabilities by connecting their disability service offices directly with leading textbook publishers to obtain electronic files. These files are used to create accessible versions of the textbooks.” Please note that you must meet the qualification of having a print-related (i.e. mobility, visual and/or reading) disability in order to receive AccessText services and textbooks."
Penn State has a membership to obtain books found through Access Text Network because students cannot order books themselves.
How to Find Your Book on the ATN web site:
Search ATN's Accessible Textbook Finder by typing in the ISBN number or making the selection to enter the Title of your book.
- Check all of the boxes for multiple sources to find your book to include: Access Text Network, Alternative Media Access Center, Bookshare, CourseSmart, Learning Ally, National Library Service, Project Gutenberg or Vital Source.
Books Available from Access Text Network, Learning Ally, or Alternative Media Access Center:
ODS will order the book for you after you complete and submit the ODS Alternative Textbook Request Form. ODS will process the ordered textbook into the format requested on the form (e.g. a word document for JAWS users or a kesi file for Kurzweil 3000 users).
Books Available from Bookshare; CourseSmart; the National Library Service; Project Gutenberg or Vital Source:
Students can order their books directly from the source listed and do not need to submit the Alternate Textbook Request Form for that book. To order accessible electronic books directly from Bookshare, CourseSmart, the National Library Service, Project Gutenberg or Vital Source, go to the link below and order your book:
- Bookshare: "is an accessible online library for people with print disabilities. Free memberships for qualified U.S. students and schools." To sign up for bookshare and obtain your electronic book, go to the Bookshare sign up page.
- CourseSmart: "is a digital rental service which lets students rent eTextbooks and online course materials at savings of up to 60% compared to buying new print textbooks. Read eTextbooks online or offline; use on multiple devices; highlight, take notes, search topics, and print pages; eTexts support assistive technologies for accessibility by users with vision, hearing, or mobility impairments. CourseSmart's standard reader supports many text-to-speech products. CourseSmart's standard reader is not screen reader compatible, however the accessible reader is available by request to Customer Support at email@example.com, or 866-588-3197." For more information on accessibility and CourseSmart eTextbooks, go to: Using Kurzweil 3000 with CourseSmart; Using VoiceOver with CourseSmart; CourseSmart's Read Write Gold Instructions; and CourseSmart's Accessibility FAQs for Screen Readers.
- National Library Service: "is a network of regional and subregional libraries provides a free library service to persons who are unable to use standard printed material because of visual or physical disabilities. Library patrons can expect to borrow audio or braille books such as they might find in print at a local public library. Books and magazines in audio form (talking books) and braille are delivered to eligible readers by postage-free mail and are returned in the same manner. Specially designed phonographs and cassette players are also loaned free to persons who borrow talking books from their library."
- Project Gutenberg: "offers over 40,000 free ebooks: choose among free epub books, free kindle books, download them or read them online. We carry high quality ebooks: All our ebooks were previously published by bona fide publishers. We digitized and diligently proofread them with the help of thousands of volunteers."
- VitalSource: "is an e-textbook platform that uses VitalSource Bookshelf which can be accessed online or via download, and is not tied to any one type of device. Bookshelf apps are available for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android. These applications are also industry leaders in accessibility for disabled students. Information about accessibility and VitalSource can be found at the VitalSource Accessibility Support page."