Academic Policy Manual - Section 237

Policy On The Ordering of Accessible Instructional Materials (as of April 2008)

Faculty members have great latitude and freedom in determining the instructional materials that they assign as part of their course requirements. This policy establishes policies and procedures to provide commercially available instructional materials in an equitable and timely manner to all students at Fresno State University without limiting an instructor’s academic freedom in the selection of course materials. The timely and thoughtful ordering of instructional materials enhances the learning environment for all students and is especially significant for students with disabilities.

Fresno State University has been proactive in eliminating physical and programmatic barriers to educational access by students with disabilities, including instructional materials. The preparation of commercially available instructional materials (e.g., textbooks, novels) in alternate formats may require a significant amount of time and effort by the university. At Fresno State University, we are dedicated to the success of all of our students. We must ensure that information and data are accessible, in comparable forms, for persons with disabilities as well as those without disabilities. The California State University (CSU) is subject to the requirements of Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and has issued a coded memorandum describing the Accessible Technology Initiative (ATI). This plan outlines how the CSU will achieve compliance with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and is available online at

Selection Guidelines

Instructors select instructional materials for their courses based on pedagogical considerations such as, but not limited to, instructional objectives, course content, teaching style, and the characteristics of the students in enrolled in the course. The following guidelines should also be considered:

  1. Instructional materials should be available in multiple formats (e.g. print, electronic, audio) if possible. Give two (2) or more equivalent instructional materials, the instructor should select the version with the highest levels of accessibility.
  2. Given two (2) or more equivalent instructional materials, the instruction should select the more cost effective choice.
  3. The instructor should avoid assigning or ordering ancillary materials (workbooks, CDs, etc.) that are not actively used in the course.
  4. Ancillary materials ordered for a course should meet all current requirements for accessibility.

Procedures for Ordering Instructional Materials

The following procedures are designed to ensure that instructional materials will be available to all students in a timely manner:

  • Departments are encouraged to monitor or coordinate ordering of instructional materials to ensure timely ordering of materials.
  • Instructional materials are to be ordered by the instructor of record for a course, their designee, or the department by the following dates:
    1. March 15th of the year for the Summer semester.
    2. April 15th of the year for the Fall semester.
    3. October 31st of the year for the Spring semester.
  • Standing orders for instructional materials may be placed for future sections of a course taught by the same instructor(s)
  • If an instructor is assigned to a course after the deadline for ordering materials, the instructor should order instructional materials as soon as possible. 
  • If a courses does not have an instructor of record by the above due dates, instructional materials will be ordered by the department chairperson (or designee) no later than nine (9) weeks prior to the start of a semester.
  • Exceptions to the instructional materials deadlines must be made in writing to the department chair. These exceptions include, but are not limited to:
    1. Course reassignments
    2. Addition of new sections to a course
    3. New or late course assignments
    4. The replacement of flawed materials
  • Department chairs will be kept apprised of the status of textbook orders.