Transforming the Alternative Format Process

Handouts Media

Presented at 4:00pm in Virtual C on Thursday, November 19, 2020.



  • Kristen Dabney, Assistive Technology Administrator, Harvard Extension School

Session Details

  • Length of Session: 45 minutes
  • Format: Lecture
  • Expertise Level: Beginner
  • Type of session: Pre-conference


Streamlining the alternative format process can make time for better student support and more collaboration with campus partners. This talk will include different prioritization and organization methods used to make the alternative format conversion process more consistent and faster over the course of the semester.


As students move online, there are considerations to be made regarding the availability and accessibility of online materials, especially for students requiring in-depth alternative format conversions (such as digital or Braille). Given the other daily demands of working in DS, streamlining this process means freeing up time to work with students and to collaborate with campus partners. Through partnership with different departments, there are also opportunities to increase the accessibility for all students rather than just those who require the support of alternative text formats. This talk will focus in depth on the processes I have utilized over the years, as well as the hurdles faced, and lessons learned in the process.


  1. Explain several approaches to streamline and organize alternative text processes
  2. Collaborating with Campus partners to increase general accessibility
  3. Share examples of how one person prioritizes working through a semester of Alternative text conversions.

Disability Areas

All Areas

Topic Areas

Alternate Format, Assistive Technology, Uncategorized

Speaker Bio(s)

Kristen Dabney

Kristen Dabney (they/them) graduated from Grinnell College with a degree in Physics, and later from University of Connecticut with a Postsecondary Disability Services Certification since the Physics degree wasn't saying "I'm interested in accessibility" loud enough. They currently works as an Assistive Technology Administrator at Harvard Extension School after working at several smaller Colleges.