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E-Text

Messiah College students with low-vision or text-related reading impairments benefit by using electronic text (e-text).  When electronic text is not available through other resources, Disability Services can scan the student's textbook and convert to computer-readable text. We currently are able to offer about 200 required texts each semester to our students in this alternate format.  Specific details about the text conversion process are found at the link on the left.

E-text allows students to use the search function to locate keywords or a specific chapter or page number. It allows students to view an exact image (although in black & white) of all the pages in a book while also listening to the text being read by the computer. Text is read by a simple screen-reader, some of which are available for free download over the Internet.

Specific Procedures for Using E-Text


Getting your text in e-text format:

  1. Meet with the Office of Disability Services staff to determine eligibility.  Approved students can provide a list of classes or the books they would like to have in an alternate format.  Eligible students must sign and return the Alternate Text Agreement  (see links at left) before e-text can be provided.
  2. Students are required to show evidence of purchase of a textbook. Copyright laws allow production of alternate formats for individuals with disabilities, but those making copies must be sure students "own" their copy purchased legitimately. Making additional copies is prohibited. See the Alternate Text Agreement.
  3. Pick up completed CDs from the Disability Services office. Note that CDs remain the property of Messiah College and are to be returned to Disability Services at the end of the semester.

Installing the software:                                                              

  1. Download and "install" your choice of screen reader on your computer:   For PC users, Natural Reader (free) is a good choice. Purchased screen readers will have more features and capabilities and may be worth the investment for students.  MAC users should have VoiceOver already installed.
  2. After you have installed the screen reader, double-click on the icon to run it.

Reading the text:

  1. Place the CD provided in the CD drive. Open the file and select the section of text you want to copy.
  2. Following the directions for the screen reader you have chosen to download or paste the text into the screen reader.

Students who have trouble with this process, should contact Disability Services for assistance.