The Cal Poly Alternative Media Center offers a wide range of servies to our students.

Textbook Scanning the alt media textbook scanner

Our high-speed digital textbook scanning system is capable of converting an entire textbook to compressed image files in a matter of hours. Depending on the request of the student, these digital images can then be converted to text, cleaned, and converted to an audio CD, or organized into easy to read PDF files.

Unlike other colleges, the Cal Poly Alternative Media Center does not shift the tedious burden of textbook scanning onto its students. All scanning is done by our staff.

Electronic Text

an alt media employee hard at work

Once a textbook or document is scanned into our system, our highly trained Alternative Media specialists use the latest in Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software to accurately and quickly convert any digital page into modifiable electronic text (e-text).

These text documents can be used with screen readers, converted to audio, or used to create Accessible PDF documents.



Audio Conversion

a book pointing to a CD

By far the most popular service of the Cal Poly Alternative Media Center, audio conversion allows our students to listen to any textbook or class material. The Cal Poly Alternative Media Center uses the latest AT&T text-to-speech voices to convert any e-text document to audio. Our students have a wide range of options as to how to use these audio files:

Audio CDs

Audio files can be burned to an Audio CD that can be played on most home and car steroes, as well as your laptop or PC.


The Alternative Media Center can compress audio files into an MP3 format, allowing students to easily store files on a disc, hard drive, or MP3 player.

iPod / USB Flash Drive

To simplify the MP3 process, students have the option of simply dropping off their iPods or USB Flash Drives and allowing the Alternative Media Center to transfer the neccesary files to your library.

Cassette Tapes

If a CD player is not readily available to our students, the Alternative Media Center can also convert and transfer audio files to Cassette Tapes.

We are here to help our students. If there is any other method not listed here that would be benetificial, please don't hesitate to ask.

Volunteer Reading

the cassette tape archive

The Cal Poly Alternative Media Center has one of the largest pools of Volunteer Readers in California. Each quarter, we typically have on average 64 active volunteers reading books for our students.

The Alternative Media archive currently has 345 volunteer-read books and approximately 2,750 cassette tapes.

Students will be able to request to receive volunteer-read cassette tapes on Audio CDs or as MP3s.



Our goal is your success!