March Madness – Reading Edition!
March is National Reading Month, so the Bridges Technical Assistance Center’s Helpdesk is celebrating March Madness – Reading Edition! This month, we will be sharing reading-related resources all month long.
- March 7: Free and Low-cost Braille Books
- March 14: Bookshare’s New App: Bookshare Reader
- March 21: Voice Dream Reader and More!
- Accessible College Textbook Program
In this fourth and last installment of our “March Madness – Reading Edition!” series, we learn about a program that can provide accessible versions of college textbooks.
Can’t I Get My College Textbooks from My School’s Disability Services Office?
Yes, you certainly can. The Maryland Accessible Textbook Program (MATP), discussed below, provides you with an additional option to order textbooks. Also, note that some colleges work with the MATP to provide the books you need.
What Is the Maryland Accessible Textbook Program (MATP)?
The Maryland Accessible Textbook Program (MATP), which is run by the Maryland State Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (LBPD), provides accessible college textbooks for eligible Maryland residents. There is no charge for this service (but the student must purchase the non-adapted materials, just as nondisabled students must do.)
The MATP takes student-purchased college textbooks and provides the material in your choice of the following formats:
- Large Print
- Audio (MP3)
- Microsoft Word
How do I sign up for MATP?
In order to sign up with the MATP program, you must complete two documents, the MATP Student Agreement and the MATP Verification Letter & Form. Please contact us at the Free Bridges Helpdesk with any questions or concerns you may have.
What if I want a different format than MATP offers?
If you want your textbook in a different format, such as hard copy braille or BRF (Braille Ready File), you will want to make that request of your college’s Disability Services Office. Additionally, if you want tactile graphics, audio-described videos, etc., contact your college’s Disability Services Office and make a formal request for these as soon as possible. Also, please consider reaching out to us at the Free Bridges Helpdesk for support/guidance in making these requests. We are happy to help you from start to finish, including attending meetings with your college’s Disability Services Office. We are here to support you; just reach out.
What If I Need a Device to Access the Accessible Textbook Files?
The LPBD has a program where you may borrow a Victor Reader Stream from the Library. There is no charge for borrowing the Victor Reader Stream, but you must complete a “Maryland Accessible Textbook Program Victor Stream Loaner Agreement” and take responsibility for any loss or damage to the device while you are using it.
I am a high school student taking college classes. Can I use MATP?
Yes, so long as you are enrolled in a college or university and need these textbooks for your classes. Please note that, if you are participating in the college class through a program in your high school, such as dual enrollment, your school district may also provide the materials you need. Please reach out to us at the Free Bridges Helpdesk if you want ideas or help in requesting accessible materials.
Follow the Bridges Helpdesk Facebook page for more transition tips, and please contact the Bridges Technical Assistance Center’s Free Helpdesk for Maryland Blind/Low Vision Transition Students, Families, and Educators anytime using:
- Our Accessible web form
- Email: Helpdesk@IMAGEmd.org
- Text or Leave a Voice mail message: (410) 357-1546
- Bridges Helpdesk Facebook page or Facebook Messenger
This unique project is being coordinated through The IMAGE Center of Maryland, a center for independent living in Towson, and it is funded by a grant from the Maryland Department of Education Division of Special Education/Early Intervention Services.