Digitisations for students and staff with disabilities

The Digitisation Service will obtain alternative format versions of content held by the Library on behalf of students or staff members with a Reasonable Adjustment Plan (RAP), or similar, in place.  (If you don’t have an RAP in place, please contact Student Services in the first instance.)

Student Support Services usually inform the Digitisation Service  of a student's needs during the RAP process.  The Library will then contact the student directly to begin discussions of their needs and start working to obtain texts for them.

All texts provided to staff and students are for their personal use only and cannot be given to any other persons.

Course materials created and provided by Schools will continue to be managed at School level in conjunction with the local Reasonable Adjustment Co-ordinators. 

Assistive software is available IT Services cluster PC. This can be found on the Start Menu and is available to all students who have registered with the Disability, Mental health and Learning Support service.  Specific details of the software available can be found on the Assistive Software webpage.

Requesting accessible text or alternative format texts

The Digitisation Service will use module information and ResourceLists to identify the texts needed by students.  We will confirm the module details with the student and then work through the ResourceLists prioritising those items marked as 'Essential' and 'Recommended'.

The Service obtain texts by firstly checking existing e-resource provision. If there existing electronic copies available, the student will be directed to these as these resources are readily available and should need users' needs. 

Where an e-resource is not already available, or it is inaccessible, an alternative version will be sourced from the publisher or via RNIB Bookshare.  This approach ensures our students will benefit from access to publisher digital files where they are available. They should be fully accessible and compatible with assistive technologies from the start, improving functionality. 

(It should be noted that it can take up to 8 weeks for replies to be received from publishers, so it is imperative that all items are listed within the ResourceLists, and changes are communicated to the Digitisation Service as soon as possible.)

If publishers are unable to supply a suitable copy, the Digitisation Service will scan the edition held by the Library using dedicated hardware and software to create an accessible version.

When texts are available they are added to a Canvas course that is created specifically for the student.  The Canvas course will have pages for each module and the title of the texts and the authors will be clearly displayed.  


If you have any queries, or haven't been contacted by the Digitisation Services please contact digitisation@contacts.bham.ac.uk

If there are texts you need that haven't been provided, please let us know. 

If you have complex needs and are unable to access content in a particular way, please let us know and we will work with you to ensure you have everything you need in the format you need it.

The supply of these texts is for your personal use in connection with your course of study only and you are not permitted to give the files to any other person.  You should also delete copies of texts saved when you finish your studies at Birmingham.

Teaching Staff/ Welfare Tutors 

If you have concerns regarding a student and their access to content please contact the Digitisation Service team with details of the needs of the student concerned, and their specific needs.

When requesting texts, please include links to the ResourceList for the module(s) of study ensuring that the reading importances are set, as this will help identify the priority of these requests.

Where a ResourceList is not available, please provide the following for each and every item: 

  • Full title
  • Author
  • ISBN
  • year
  • edition
  • publisher
  • a link to FindIt@Bham
  • Title and page range of the section required, if not the whole text

Service Standards

The Digitisation Service teams aims to process or query these requests within 5 working days of receipt. However, this will be impacted during busy periods such as the start of term. 

All files provided by the Digitisation Service will be quality checked in line with the requirements outlined by the RAP. This includes a thorough text recognition function ensuring text is readable by assistive technologies, titles/ section headings and similar navigational aids will be marked as such.  Confirmation from the user will be sought.

Please note the Digitisation Service team are not experts in the subjects within the texts requested and therefore any descriptions/ alt texts added to images should not be considered accurate representations of the content.  

Where items requested are in languages other than English, the accuracy of the text recognition element may be reduced. Further discipline-specific support may be required from tutors or support workers.


Please contact digitisation@contacts.bham.ac.uk for assistance. 


Professional Services