Alternate Format Hands-On Intensive – How To Create Alternate Format for Students with Print Disabilities


Presented at 10:30am in Denver 4-6 on Monday, November 6, 2023.



  • Susan Kelmer, Alternate Format Production Program Manager, University of Colorado Boulder

Session Details

  • Length of Session: 2-day
  • Format: Lab
  • Expertise Level: Beginner
  • Type of session: Pre-conference


Alternate Format Production is a requirement for Disability Services offices on almost every university and college campus. This hands-on workshop will walk you through from student request, through production of appropriate materials in multiple formats, to final delivery of alternate format materials to students with print disabilities.


There are always new tools and methods for producing alternate format, but all of them rest on a good base of tried-and-true tools, efficient processes, and best practice methods. If you don't have that base, it's going to be hard to produce and track quality alternate format materials for your student.

This two-day, hands-on session will walk you through alternate format production from the student's request and moving through how to acquire, store, track, and deliver files. From there we'll demonstrate how to process files into the format the student needs (e-text, Braille, accessible STEM content, and tactile graphics). There will be extensive time for dedicated practice during both days. Along the way, we'll use tried and true tools that can help streamline the process.

Day One will focus on the student request process, administrative tasks, legalities, and how to process publisher or other PDFs. We will also explore converting PDF to Word format, using a variety of tools, and focusing on what a fully accessible Word document looks like.

Day Two will wrap up Word accessibility and cover producing math content in Word and HTML format. We will then provide an overview of how to produce electronic and hard copy Braille, plus tactile graphics. This will include information about production standards, transcription methods, and Nemeth Braille considerations.

In addition to the learning and practice provided in the session, you will receive an electronic copy of Susan's 2023 alternate format production manual, as well as sample forms and other materials that can be adapted for your own use.

This course is intended for beginner and intermediate alternate format producers.


  1. Knowing what tools to use for each step of the alternate format process increases production efficiency.
  2. Consistent, quality production of alternate format is critical for your students' success.
  3. Understanding and meeting students' alternate format needs is required by law.

Disability Areas

Cognitive/Learning, Vision

Topic Areas

Accessible Educational Materials, Alternate Format, Assistive Technology, Uncategorized

Speaker Bio(s)

Susan Kelmer

Ms. Kelmer has been working with alternate format and accessible technology for more than 20 years in a higher education environment. Currently she works at the University of Colorado Boulder in the Alternate Format Production and Access Center, where alternate format materials for students with print disabilities are produced. She also consults with other departments on campus and other campuses about alternate format and how to produce materials effectively. She has presented at multiple AHG conferences in the last 20 years.