Alternate Text Resources for WWU Students: Alternate Text @ Western Libraries

This guide is designed for students who require alternate text for their classes, and to demonstrate where students can retrieve these texts.

Need Alternate Text? Check Your Libraries!

This guide is designed to highlight alternative text resources at Western Libraries, and beyond, for Western students. Alternative texts are increasingly needed throughout higher education settings because students have a range of unique learning styles and educational needs.  These same needs can call for a departure from "traditional texts" -- meaning, the bound paper copies of a text, usually with small font -- and an expansion into audio-based text, Large Print, e-Text, and more.

For WWU students, there are several ways to access alternative text:

  1. Borrow an item in an alternate text through Western Libraries, Summit or Inter-Library Loan.
  2. Purchase the alternate text through a vendor, such as
  3. If you are a student with a disability and would like to discuss alternate text accommodations, please contact the disAbility Resources for Students in Old Main 110 to begin this discussion. 

Alternate Text Formats

If traditional textbooks don't suit your learning style, consider selecting a different text format for your classes. There are several to choose from:

Large Print: The phrase 'Large Print' describes a publication in which the font is enlarged for individuals who typically experience reduced vision. In addition to large font, the typeface is often a sans serif font accompanied by clear puncutation and even spacing between letters.

Audio Book: An audio book is a recording a text; an audible representation of content. Audio books are a great choice for students with a learning disability, vision impairment, or even simply a different learning style.

e-Text: An e-Text, also known as electronic text, is text-based information that is readable by electronic means (i.e., text-to-speech). 

Braille: Texts that are written in Braille, which is a language represented by patterns of raised dots and used by low vision and blind individuals.

Free or Low Cost Alternate Text Resources

Here are a list of free or low cost alternate text options. Please be aware that these options are not strictly associated with Western Washington, and may require registering for a membership.  Please go here to learn how Bookshare operates, and how you may qualify for free alternate text.

Audible:  Audible provides texts in a variety of formats; learn more here.

Project Gutenberg: One of the earliest e-book providers, Project Gutenberg may have what you're searching for.  Though LearningAlly requires a paid membership, they have a large library of audiobooks. If you cannot afford a membership and suspect you may need disability accommodations for alternate text, please contact the disAbility Resources for Students Office in Old Main 110.

Discovery Services Librarian

Rebecca Marrall's picture
Rebecca Marrall
Technology & Discovery Services Division
(360) 650-4493