If you qualify for books in an alternate format, the first thing you will want to do is think about your learning style and decide what book format is best for you. If you are unsure, ask an LSS staff member about taking the learning style inventory. Books come in many formats:
This is the most popular and readily available form of textbook. The Villanova Bookstore sells all required texts in this format.
This is a text that is read aloud. In the past, these types of books were referred to as books on tape. Usually, these texts are recorded by a human voice and are available as CDs or as downloadable files via Learning Ally, iTunes, or other vendors.
These “E-Books” are available in several formats, but you are probably most familiar with PDF files. E-books or E-texts are basically electronic versions of the text and are available from a variety of sources. If you want to listen to the text as you read along on the screen, you may use a screen reader such as Read & Write Gold.
Electronic books allow the text to be read aloud to you in a computerized voice. This voice takes a little getting used to, so you may want to practice using the software if you are unfamiliar with it.
Make an appointment to speak with an LSS staff member about how to locate audio books. Also, check out the Learning Ally website for more information about membership and software for qualified users.
When books are not available through the publisher, Learning Ally, or other sources, LSS will arrange to have your textbook scanned to a CD with the use of high speed scanning in the Graphic Services Department. This CD can then be heard on your computer with the use of the same software offered for E-Text.
In ALL alternate text arrangements:
Students who are not eligible for alternate text formats based on their documentation are still welcome to utilize Read & Write Gold.
The Livescribe Smartpen records audio and links it to what you write. It automatically captures everything as you write and draw. The Smartpen works only with Livescribe dot paper. Both can be purchased at Amazon, Target, Staples, and other retail stores.
Computing by voice dictation is more familiar to mainstream computer users because of the appeal of the basic idea. For some, it is a successful keyboard alternative, but for people with mobility limitations; it may be the only way that they can use the computer.
Read & Write Gold for Windows (available for installation) has a speech to text function. After training the program to recognize your voice, you cannot only type by speaking, but also control the entire computer with your voice
Dragon Naturally Speaking is the most popular and advanced of the speech to text programs.
This is not something that we have available for loan. This is an individual program that requires that the student train the system to their own voice for ease of use.
If your text is not available through Learning Ally or other sources, LSS can request an E-Text file of your textbook direct from the publisher. E-Text can be viewed and read aloud on your computer. Not all publishers provide this feature. Response time varies with time of order, but most publishers request 4 to 6 weeks notice.