Choose your preferred document format using SensusAccess

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SensusAccess is a self-service, web-based tool that automatically converts documents into a range of alternative formats including MP3 audio, searchable PDF, DOCX, EPUB, HTML, RTF and digital Braille. Anyone with a email address can use SensusAccess to convert documents into these alternative, accessible formats.

SensusAccess was implemented at Colgate in the summer of 2021. Since then, use has increased steadily; the most frequent being requests to convert PDF or Word documents to MP3 (audio). So what are the benefits to students, faculty or staff of converting a document to another format?

Convert a PDF, DOCX or image file to MP3 to listen to the document read aloud:

  • while commuting or riding the bus
  • when you have eye fatigue or a visual impairment
  • if you are easily distracted when reading
  • if you find reading challenging
  • if you want to save time by listening at a fast reading rate

Convert an image-based PDF to a searchable (tagged) PDF:

  • to make a course document more accessible to students who use assistive technology
  • to be able to search the document for key words or copy/paste from the document

Convert a PDF to DOCX (Microsoft Word):

  • to easily add notes or comments

Visit the SensusAccess Document Conversion page on the Colgate website to read more about SensusAccess and submit files for conversion to a format that works best for you. SensusAccess is also available from within Moodle courses, providing easy access to assigned readings in alternative formats.

Sharon Trerise