Accessible Resources Unit (ARACU)

ARACU provides alternative formats to printed material, as well as some advice on assistive software. We work closely with the Disability Advisory Service.

We provide material in:

  • electronic text (fully marked Word documents and PDF text)
  • Braille
  • DAISY audio (human voice with structure)
  • tactile diagrams

We support readers with a print impairment such as a visual impairment, dyslexia or other impairments that prevent the person from using print books.

The unit is based in Osney One Building in Osney Mead.

Using this service

If you are a student, you must be referred to ARACU by the Disability Advisory Service (DAS) to use this service.

Once you have been referred, we will meet with you to discuss your needs, your reading lists and take it from there.

If you are not an Oxford University student, ARACU may be able to support you, subject to capacity. We may charge for the service on a cost-recovery basis.

You can read our terms of service below or download the terms of service in PDF format.


We can only process requests for alternative formats if the material is held in the University's libraries or you have lawful access by other means, e.g. a personal copy or a copy provided via inter-library request.

If you request material that is available through the Bodleian Libraries’ collections as an accessible electronic resource, we will supply the hyperlink or a downloaded section.

Find out more about conversions to Braille.

Delivery times

For material in alternative formats, delivery times depend on:

  • the material you need
  • the quantity of material
  • what format you would like it in
  • where the material is in libraries
  • how quickly you send reading lists to us

We will need to carry out the work before your course begins. We provide work for several people and we need to order books from various libraries and coordinate reading lists. If you provide us with the dates of your tutorials, we usually send material to you at least one week before the week you need it.

The average turnaround times for alternative format material are:

  • audio recordings: 6–8 weeks
  • Word files: 3–4 weeks
  • PDF scans: 1–2 weeks
  • Braille: 1–2 weeks
  • Files provided by publishers: 1–3 weeks


If you are an Oxford University student, you will not be charged for using this service.

We do charge for work on behalf of departments, colleges and external users, at cost-recovery rates. We never make a profit.

Access to libraries

If you are having difficulties with access to one of the Bodleian Libraries, please contact the Disability Librarian.

The Access Guide provides more information about access to buildings across the University, including libraries.

The Bodleian Libraries is committed to providing inclusive access to its collections, services and facilities. These terms of service outline the remit of ARACU, the Bodleian Libraries Accessible Resources Acquisition and Creation Unit, which provides materials in alternative formats for disabled students at the University of Oxford who are unable to use print resources.

  1. ARACU supports students upon referral from Oxford University’s Disability Advisory Service. No charges are made to students for the services of ARACU.
  2. ARACU supports other members of the University and external readers only as and when capacity allows. Work undertaken on behalf of departments, colleges and external users is charged at cost-recovery rates.
  3. If a title requested by the user is available through the Bodleian Libraries’ collections as an accessible electronic resource, ARACU will supply the hyperlink or a downloaded section.
  4. ARACU is only able to process requests for alternative formats when the material is held in the collegiate university libraries or to which the user has otherwise lawful access e.g. through a personal copy or a copy provided via inter-library loan. In these cases, ARACU will contact publishers to identify whether an accessible copy exists and ask if they are able to provide a copy. Copies provided by publishers are subject to specific licence agreements limiting their use. Such agreements are binding and will be provided to the user with the files.
  5. If an accessible copy is available commercially, ARACU will contact the relevant librarian so they can consider purchasing a copy for the collections and will inform the user of the outcome. If commercial copies are available for private use only, ARACU will notify the user of the situation.
  6. When an accessible copy is not commercially available, ARACU will endeavour to create an accessible copy in-house either under the Copyright Licensing Agency HE Licence Scheme or under the Copyright and Rights in Performances (Disability) Regulations 2014.
  7. In the event the Bodleian Libraries have an accessible copy available in its collections, ARACU will not contact publishers to obtain additional copies. If publishers contact ARACU directly to receive and process a digital copy on behalf of a user, ARACU will process this in accordance with its standard processes.
  8. ARACU does not hold a budget for the purchase of print or accessible copies.
  9. Feedback on the services of ARACU is welcomed:


Monday - Friday: 9am–12pm and 2pm–5pm
Saturday - Sunday: Closed

Osney One Building
Osney Mead

Find us on Google Maps 

ARACU is in the Osney One Building on the Osney Mead Industrial Estate off the Botley Road. We are 10 minutes’ walk from Oxford train station. A minibus runs during the day from St. John's Street (outside the Art, Archaeology and Ancient World Library). Contact us for more information.

The manager of ARACU is the Bodleian Libraries' Disability Librarian, Teresa Pedroso.

Telephone: +44 (0)1865 (2)83862