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Graduation caps being held up by students

​​Maryland Accessible Textbook Program

​​​The Maryland Accessible Textbook Program (MAT) was created by the Maryland General Assembly to offer additional choices to all Maryland college students who are blind or visually impaired or who have other disabilities that make it difficult to read print. It is a program housed in the Maryland Library for the Blind and Print Disabled (LBPD) in Baltimore. Colleges, universities, and community colleges, whether they are public or private, generally have a person or office to aid individuals with disabilities to address a variety of disability-related issues. Services available from Disability Student Services (DSS) staff include test accommodations and locating accessible books among many others. 

The MAT program offers you an additional choice for getting accessible textbooks for your own use if you want to have another entity aid inaccessible book procurement. The DSS office in the school you attend may also choose MAT as the means of procuring electronic texts for you. MAT is committed to providing a seamless book acquisition process for everyone who chooses its services. 

Eligibility for MAT 

MAT can serve students attending any Maryland 2 or 4-year public or private college who have a print disability making the reading of printed material difficult. Before each semester for which you need books and prior to service from the MAT program, you need to sign and return a copy of the student agreement, which MAT will provide on request. Publishers who provide MAT electronic files for your use in school have several expectations regarding the way you will use those files, and the agreement binds you to accept those restrictions and expectations in order to participate. The MAT also requires proof of your disability that we keep confidential. This proof can be any one of the following: 

    • LBPD patrons automatically qualify for service. 
    • A statement from your doctor indicating your disability; 
    • A statement from your DORS counselor confirming you are eligible for the MAT program and that supporting medical documentation is available; 
    • A statement of eligibility from the DSS office of the school you attend or from another expert at the school who can make such a statement on the school's behalf
By law, preference in receiving services is given to veterans who have been honorably discharged from the armed forces of the United States. 

Important Facts

Apply Early 
As early as possible before each semester, you or your DSS office must provide MAT the names of the textbooks that are required. You also need to purchase the book, something required by the agreement you will sign. This is because publishers will not provide MAT or DSS offices books for anyone without proof of purchase. 
Required Information 

MAT needs a significant amount of information that identifies the books you need. This includes the title, author, copyright, edition number, and the International Standard Book Number, commonly abbreviated as the ISBN number; there are 10 digit and 13 digits ISBN numbers and we prefer the latter. The greater the amount of this information we receive from you and the more accurate it is, the faster we can locate and get you your books. 

Locating/Providing Electronic Books 

MAT will search a number of different sources and make every effort to locate an electronic copy of the books you need. If an existing electronic copy cannot be located, and as a last resort, MAT will scan the material and provide you a digital file. The files you receive using these methods may not be the type of electronic file you prefer and the file may be less than perfect quality, but it should arrive much quicker than has generally been the case. This will reduce the chance you will fall behind your peers because you don't have the materials they have. 

Accessing Electronic Textbook Files 
MAT staff can provide technical assistance to help you access the files we provide. At MAT, we are aware of the latest and greatest devices to access electronic books and of file types that work best. We cannot provide most of the devices that exist, but we certainly can help you learn of them so you can decide which if any would meet your unique disability and other requirements. In addition, we can often suggest sources to demonstrate the devices as well as possible sources to support their purchase. Access to books is also often possible for little or no cost. We look forward to helping you acquire the electronic book files you need to excel in your pursuit of higher education. 

Connect with Us:

Joseph Beckett, Education Coordinator,  MAT Program
410-230-2453  office | 410-333-2095 fax