Disability Services for Students

302 Memorial Union Univeristy of Rhode Island Kingston, RI 02881


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302 Memorial Union
50 Lower College Road
Kingston, RI 02881
T: 401-874-2098
F: 401-874-5694
TT via RI Relay: 711
E: dss@etal.uri.edu

Textbook Accommodations: A Step by Step Guide

Follow this procedure for each and every semester

The University of Rhode Island provides accommodations to ensure accessibility of textbooks required by courses and programs for eligible students with qualifying disabilities. All students at the University of Rhode Island obtain their textbooks from a variety of sources, including alternate-format textbooks.The office of Disability Services for Students provides the following steps for eligible students to obtain alternative forms of textbooks, and will assist students with qualifying disabilities who are unable to obtain textbooks from adapted-text-share sites.  These directions will help you with the correct procedures.  Currently, we are providing students with a Kurzweil Firefly login, enabling them to access the web-based screen reading software as well as download one copy of the most recent version of Kurzweil.

  1. Verify that you have been approved for adapted-book accommodations through URI Disability Services for Students. See Documentation Guidelines. Accommodations are determined on a case-by-case basis and are based on current documentation of need. Documentation must substantiate the need for adapted books.
    • The accommodation process begins as soon as you schedule a meeting with a DSS counselor by calling the office at 401-874-2098. (FYI: we are available for appointments before each semester – even when classes are not in session!)
    • As soon as you are registered for your courses please contact your professors and/or the bookstore to obtain the list of books needed for your courses.  We will work with the URI Bookstore to have the list of required books released to students with qualifying disabilities.
    • Students may request books at any time, but please note that it can take up to 8 weeks from the time of the request to receive adapted books – make sure to start the process as soon as you register for classes.
  2. The purpose of granting priority registration to all students approved for alternate formats is to give them additional time to contact their professors and gather the book information. You can find the instructor’s name in ecampus and use the directory at http://directory.uri.edu/directory.php to obtain the instructor’s email address. Below is a sample email to an instructor that you can use for a guide.
    • Dear Professor ______________________, I will be a student in your ____________ class in (enter semester here). I am working with the Office of Disability Services for Students to obtain my textbooks in an alternative format. I was wondering if it would be possible to get a list of the books that you plan to use for this course, so that I may have my textbooks by the beginning of the semester. I would greatly appreciate it if you could provide me the following information for each book that we will be using in your course: Book title, Author(s), Publisher, Edition, ISBN#. Thank you in advance for your time and assistance. I look forward to taking your class next semester.
  3. Please notify Disability Services for Students of your need for adapted texts:
    • Requests must be in writing, either by completing the adapted books request form in the right hand column of DSS website, or by completing the google form that we send prior to the start of the semester to facilitate book requests.
    • If you have questions, please contact us for appointment (in person or by phone) at 401-874-2098 or dss@etal.uri.edu).
  4. Disability Services for Students will assist students who are approved for alternate-text accommodations to utilize alternate text resources to locate their textbooks.  These include:
    1. Bookshare – http://www.bookshare.org/
    2. Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic – http://www.rfbd.org
    3. National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS) –http://www.loc.gov/nls/
    4.  Project Gutenberg –http://www.gutenberg.org
    5. URI Bookstore: 401-874-2722 – Many of the required textbooks at URI may be purchased through the bookstore in an electronic format. Students should call the bookstore directly to determine if their specific textbooks are available for purchase in an electronic format.
    6. Amazon: Amazon carries a wide selection of electronic and audio-books in various formats available for purchase.
    7. CourseSmart: http://www.coursesmart.com/ – Online retailer that carries electronic textbooks as well as electronic resources, such as study guides, for certain textbooks.
  5. When textbooks are not available from the above resources, students must notify DSS Staff immediately so that we may work with publishers directly to acquire the necessary publication, or so that we may scan and adapt the book directly. Please note, in order to scan books the binding of the books must be taken apart and then put back together, often resulting in the book not being in its original condition when returned to the student. Therefore, scanning of a book is only done when all other options have been exhausted. Additionally, in order for DSS Staff to acquire an alternate form of a textbook, the student must provide documentation verifying that they have purchased the hardcopy of the textbook.
  6. Once alternate form textbooks are obtained by DSS, the student will be contacted by telephone or email and asked to come into the DSS Office to retrieve the book. All students will also be required to sign a copyright agreement stating that this book will be used for academic purposes only and that they will not reproduce the book without permission. Alternate texts provided by DSS are to be treated the same as any other copyrighted material.


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