The short answer is, “yes.” Textbook publishers are often not able to provide books in digital formats that are usable or acquired in time for a course. Publishers do grant authorization to create digital copies of traditional texts for eligible students with disabilities. However, textbook conversion is a time-consuming, labor-intensive task. Every semester the DSS office Alternate Media staff creates screen-readable text (e-text), Braille, or other formats for students.
Students need to be able to access their textbooks at the same time as others in the class. By delaying the selection of textbooks, the DSS office may not be able to get material converted to an appropriate format in a timely fashion. This means students may have to start the semester without access to their textbooks.