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Media Services (MS)
Student Guidelines

The Office of Student Disability Services (SDS) will provide to qualified students required texts in alternative formats as needed for UI courses.

Requesting Reformatting

Eligible students must submit a separate request for each book or course pack. This form is located online under the Media Services Course on ICON. We recommend that you contact your instructor as well as the bookstore to acquire accurate information for your request.  Some of the information that is required includes the following: title, author, ISBN, publisher, edition, copyright year and other applicable information. Completed forms should be submitted to MS no later than the first week of a semester in order to ensure the timely processing of requests. With each form submitted, a student must also provide proof of payment of a text (i.e., image of the text or a receipt), in accordance with copyright law. Students will be allowed access to reformatted materials on ICON only after satisfying this condition.

Reformatting Materials

The process of acquiring reformatted materials may take up to six weeks. If the material is already available, MS will contact the publisher and request a release to use this material in accordance with copyright law. For materials not available at the time of request, MS will attempt to obtain an electronic copy of the material from the publisher. In some cases, MS may need to scan a print copy of the text in order to reformat the material into an electronic format. If MS must scan the text, MS recommends a copy of the text that is free from highlighting, underlining, and written notes in order for the text to be properly read by optical character recognition software. If there are certain sections that are unable to be recognized, the student may provide alternative copies of the material or else it will be reformatted in that condition. MS will convert only non-graphical text unless approved by the MS professional staff. The reformatted materials provided will be Adobe PDF text-searchable files that are compatible with Read&Write GOLD. Any other formats must be approved by MS professional staff.

Conditions and Copyright Law

Materials distributed in alternative formats are intended solely for purposes of auxiliary aids to students with disabilities accessing University of Iowa courses. Physical media (e.g., PDF or Doc file) is the property of the distributor, and text content is property of the copyright holder. Therefore, reformatted material must not be copied or shared with others as a matter of copyright law. In compliance with copyright law, SDS seeks permission of the copyright holder to convert copyrighted materials to alternative formats on a case-by-case basis.

How to Access the Reformatted Materials

When reformatted materials become available, they can be accessed by logging onto ICON and clicking on the Main Site – Media Services Course. Updates on the status of a specific request will be emailed to the students that requested them detailing that the request was received, the material is being ordered, the material is in the process of being reformatted, if the material is completed but requires proof of purchase, and finally that the material has been reformatted and is uploaded to ICON. To check the status of the materials requested, students should first check ICON to see if the materials have been uploaded, then refer to their University email, and then contact MS at or 319-335-1462. MS staff can assist (by appointment) in facilitating training on using assistive technology. If a student is unable to obtain materials via ICON, students should contact MS at or 319-335-1462.

For more information, please contact