Authorized User FAQ

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General Questions

How much does it cost?
Basic service is free. Authorized Users have the option to participate in the Exchange which can be done either with a small annual fee or with contribution of files instead of a fee.
If my request is denied in AccessText or if the title record indicates that a publisher file is not available, should I go make a request to the publisher directly outside of ATN?
No. The end result will not change. When you make a request in ATN, you ARE making the request directly to the publisher.
What publishers are involved?
  • Eight publishers provided initial support:
  1. Pearson
  2. Cengage
  3. McGraw-Hill
  4. Wiley
  5. Elsevier
  6. WW Norton
  7. Macmillan Learning
  8. Sage
  • These publishers account for 9 out of 10 textbooks used in Higher Education.
  • A full list of our member publishers can be seen on our website or by logging into ATN and clicking on Publishers in the left pane.
Who provided the initial funding for this system?
The eight charter publisher members provided the initial funding for the project in cooperation with the Association of American Publishers (AAP).
When will more publishers be added?
We will be bringing more publishers online over time. If you are a publisher interested in joining AccessText please go to our website for more information and contact Dawn Evans, ATN Coordinator at 866-271-4968 or
Is the system accessible?
The AccessText system is required to be accessible as part of the agreement between the AAP and AMAC. AccessText wishes to be notified immediately of any accessibility issues encountered by one of its members. 866-271-4968
Who is AMAC Accessibility?
AMAC Accessibility ( is an initiative of the University System of Georgia’s Board of Regents. AMAC provides alternative media services to public and private schools throughout the U.S.


  • AccessText will not share any identifiable information you enter into the system such as student's name and disability.


Who can sign up?
Any public or private institution of higher education in the United States or its territories and Canada. Also, Alternate Media Centers operated by state educational agencies.
How does ATN verify the Disability Student Services (DSS) office is valid?
ATN staff will verify the integrity of the data submitted on the application form by checking the supplied URL, using web search to confirm the validity of the email domain, and looking for any discrepancies between publicly available information about the institution and the data on the application form. Each User on an Authorized User (AU) profile must have a valid institutional email address and have been verified by ATN staff either via the school's website or by calling the school's main line to make certain the user is appropriate staff at that school.
Do I have to sign up for AccessText to request a file?
Yes, only AccessText members will have access to the making requests, viewing the request tracking data and using the file exchange system. Non-members may still request files from publishers outside of the AccessText Network.
What happens when a staff person leaves?
You should notify the ATN staff as soon as possible so their login information can be removed. Next, you should notify us of their replacement and we will assist them in getting access to the application.
Can I use a generic email address for requests?
As long it is an institutional email address, yes.
What happens to our data when a staff person leaves?
Request data is associated with an institution, not an individual. As long as the institution remains a member in good standing, their request data will be maintained.


Which students are eligible for alternative text?
Students must have a documented print-related disability that prevents them from accessing standard print. They must be enrolled at the school and in the course for which material is being requested, and the material must be required or recommended for the student's success in that class.
How long can a student keep files?
As long as it is consistent with the publishers terms of use, this is a policy decision to be made by the DSS office.
Does the student have to buy the book?
The requirement is that at the time the alternate text is provided to the student, the student must have purchased a copy of the book or a copy must have been purchased on their behalf.
Can I request a file before the student has bought the book?
As long as the student is enrolled in a class and has received their reading list, the DSS member can make requests for those titles. However, the DSS office must verify that the student owns the book or has lawful access before providing an alternative text file to the student.
What records do I have to keep?
Documentation usually kept by a DSS office, such as that listed by the AHEAD best practices guide.
Can students request files themselves?
No. The AccessText Network is designed to assist DSS offices and Alternate Media Centers directly, and is not suitable for use by students.
Will I be required to enter confidential data about my students?
No. The AccessText application does allow DSS members to link student information to requests in order to make their own systems easier, but the information is not required.

Requesting Files and Permissions

What books can I request?
Members can request books that their qualified students have been assigned that are published by AccessText member publishers. If a publisher does not have an electronic file available for a title, they will notify the requesting member.
What if a book I need isn’t in the system?
If a book is not listed in the database but is published by a member publisher, you will be given the option to add the title to the database and then request it.
Can I provide a file I received for one student to another student?
To do this, place a new request for 'permission to redistribute alternative text'.
What formats are available?
Publishers are generally providing files that were used in the production process, which means the PDF format. But other formats such as DOC or EPUB may be available depending upon the publisher.
Will I be able to request textbook bundles?
Publishers may process requests for bundles of materials in different ways. AccessText will allow publishers to list the books that are in a bundle if they prefer members to request titles individually.
Can I request custom editions?
Yes, you can request any title that is published by an AccessText member-publisher. Sometimes custom titles will not already be in the ATN database, in which case you will add it and then request it.


How long will it take to get a file?
Publishers have committed to responding to all requests as quickly as possible. Response times may increase during peak periods such as Fall and Spring rush. Many files will be sent within one to three days, while other files may take longer. If a publisher is having difficulty providing a file the DSS office may click on the "Message the Publisher" button on the request and ask for a projected fulfillment date.
What if the file I get has problems?
If the problem is something the publisher can fix, like the file being corrupt, then click on the button to "Message the Publisher" on the request in question. If the problem has to do with accessibility, the DSS office will need to remediate the file in-house or outsource it to an Alternate Media Center.
How will I receive files I have requested?
Publishers are encouraged to send files via the AccessText file transfer system. In this case, the DSS office will receive an email notifying them that a file is ready for download. They then use the AccessText application to download the file. Publishers may also use their own systems which could include email attachments or FTP. The publisher will document the method of fulfillment in the request record.
How long do I have to download my files?
Expiration periods vary between 14 - 45 days. It is up to each publisher.
My file is listed as ‘expired’. What does this mean?
This means the time allotted to retrieve the file has passed, and the member should create a Message on the Request to ask for the expiration to be extended. Expiration Dates can not be extended beyond 45 days from the date the request was fulfilled.

File Exchange, Support, and Other Issues

How to fix a PDF that just says "Blank page" instead of reading the content. Download this doc file
How can I share my files with other schools?
The AccessText Network includes an Exchange for members to share files they have created for use by students with disabilities.
How long can I keep files?
A DSS office can store files securely for as long as they need them. The only requirement is that files be deleted if the DSS office no longer functions in that capacity.
Can I contact the publisher directly if I have a question?
AccessText provides a Message system to track issues with publishers. If the issue is not resolved in a timely or satisfactory manner, the member should contact the AccessText staff for assistance. 866-271-4968 or
Can I request multiple formats of the same book?
Generally, most publishers will only provide a file in one format. However, if the publisher is willing to accommodate a request for an additional format, the request can go through the AccessText system.