Books in Alternative Formats

CFCC Disability Support Services (DSS) provides alternative format materials to ensure equal access to course materials for qualified students.  These materials include, but are not limited to, Braille, E-Text, Audio Book/MP3, and Print Enlarging.   Alternative format, when possible, is provided only for courses for which the eligible student is currently enrolled.  All materials will be provided in accordance with all copyright laws and exceptions.

DSS will make every attempt to provide the desired format the student requests.  However, this is not always possible due to the subject matter of the material, the volume, and the required date. Converting textbooks/print is a very time-consuming process.  Some requests may take up to six weeks.  It is imperative that all alternative textbook requests be turned into DSS as soon as course registration is complete.


  • Student must be registered with CFCC Disability Support Services.
  • Student must be enrolled in the course for which the materials are being requested.
  • Student must complete an ALTERNATIVE TEXTBOOK ORDER FORM  (available from DSS) and turn it into DSS as soon as possible.
  • Student (with DSS help, when necessary) needs to determine which format to request.  Some types available are:

o   E-Books – The student should first determine if the textbook requested is already available in a digital format.  Textbooks in electronic format will also facilitate access to large print.  More and more textbooks are being offered as E-books from the publisher.

    • When available, E-books can be purchased through the CFCC bookstore in lieu of/or in addition to, the hard copy.
    • can also be used to determine where to purchase available E-books.
    • STEPP (STudent E-rent Pilot Project) – – This is a program where the student can rent E-books for the semester rather than purchasing.
    • If an E-book is not available from any other source, DSS can convert a hard-copy textbook into a digital copy.  Student will produce the textbook, along with proof of purchase, to DSS.  DSS will have the binding broken in order to scan.  Pages will be returned to the student in a spiral binder.  The binding will not be able to be put back on.

o   Audio Book/MP3 – For a student needing an audio version of their textbook, the following can be used (some technical and math books may not be able to be converted to audio due to the nature of their content):

    • Learning Ally  – Learning Ally is the leading provider of audio books.  They also produce books in DAISY* (Digital Accessible Information System) format.  CFCC has an organizational membership for the student to use, free of charge, to access their course textbook.  Learning Ally does NOT require the hard copy of the textbook to be purchased in order to use their books. DSS will order the Learning Ally audio book for the student and send login information in an email.  Student can download Learning Ally’s free app on their tablet or smart phone.  Or, for a small fee, the student can purchase their own membership to gain access to all books, not just textbooks, offered by Learning Ally.  Classmate Readers* are available for check-out from DSS if a personal computer is not available.
    • –   Bookshare provides books in DAISY* or digital Braille format, free of charge.  DSS will determine qualification.  Hard copy purchase is not required.
    • MP3 Files  –DSS can provide a MP3 (audio version) of the textbook, when available, on a CD or flash drive to use.  All materials and equipment provided by DSS are to be returned at the end of each academic session.

o   Print Enlarging – A student who needs enlarged print is typically encouraged to purchase the E-book version of their text book, which can then be enlarged on the computer/tablet screen.  Materials from instructors can be enlarged to 11×17 paper size.

Contact Information

The main office of Disability Support Services is located in Room U-218 in the Union Station Building at the downtown campus. The mailing address is 411 N. Front Street, Wilmington, NC 28401. Contact information is as follows:

Aimee Helmus, Director
Phone: 910-362-7012

Gwen Morris, Assistant Director
 Phone: 910-362-7158

Fax: 910-362-7745

Disability Support Services is also located in Room 100H in the McKeithan Center at the north campus. To ensure availability, please call the downtown office to make an appointment if you must be seen at the north campus location.