Bookshare, AccessText and Alternate Media Centers: Sources to Obtain Alternative Formats

Handouts Media

Presented at 10:30am in Meadowbrook I on Friday, November 22, 2019.



  • Dawn Evans, AccessText Network Coordinator, AccessText Network
  • Charles LaPierre, Technical Lead, DIAGRAM and Born Accessible, Benetech

Session Details

  • Length of Session: 1-hr
  • Format: Lecture
  • Expertise Level: Beginner
  • Type of session: General Conference


The AccessText Network (ATN), Bookshare, and Alternate Media Centers are additional sources for Disability Service Providers and/or individuals with disabilities to obtain alternative formats. We will explain the similarities and differences between Bookshare, ATN, and Alternate Media Centers.


Where do you go for alternative formats when there is not an accessible version for purchase in the marketplace? We will present three possible sources including Bookshare, the AccessText Network (ATN), and Alternate Media Centers such as the Center for Inclusive Design & Innovation (formerly AMAC) as an example. This presentation will provide a detailed comparison of these three organizations including but not limited to available formats, membership eligibility, cost, pros & cons, media conversion details, and current trends.


  1. Where to obtain alternative media when an accessible version is not available for purchase?
  2. What are the differences between Bookshare, AccessText, and an Alternate Media Center?
  3. What are the pros & cons of each of these 3 organizations?

Disability Areas

All Areas

Topic Areas

Accessible Educational Materials, Alternate Format, EPUB Track, Uncategorized, Web/Media Access

Speaker Bio(s)

Dawn Evans

Dawn Evans has been with the Center for Inclusive Design & Innovation (formerly AMAC Accessibility) since 2008. She has been the AccessText Network (ATN) Coordinator since 2016 where she supports publishers and Disability Services Offices in colleges across the country to ensure the seamless request and delivery of publisher files on behalf of college students with disabilities. Prior to her position at ATN, she managed CIDI's E-Text Unit and is well-versed in creating accessible alternative formats. Dawn earned her bachelor's degree in Psychology and master's degree in Social Work from the University of Georgia.

Charles LaPierre

Charles LaPierre, Benetech: Technical Lead, DIAGRAM and Born Accessible. Charles has over 25 years’ accessibility development experience and has been a pioneer in accessible product development since 1993. Charles currently co-facilitates the Personalization Task Force for the W3C’s Accessible Platforms Architectures (APA) Working group, and is a member of the Publishing Working Group. Charles contributed to the BISG’s “Guide to Accessible Publishing” published in January of 2019. Charles is the technical architect of the new Global Certified Accessible initiative at Benetech to certify publisher content as conforming to the new EPUB 1.0 Accessibility Specification. Charles has a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada.