Disability & Accessibility Resources

Division of Student Life

SensusAccess Accessible Document Converter

SensusAccess converts documents into a range of alternate and accessible formats including digital Braille, MP3, DAISY and e-books. The service can also be used to convert inaccessible documents such as image-only PDF files, images, and PowerPoint presentations into more accessible formats.

Open the Converter

Frequently Asked Questions

What is SensusAccess?

SensusAccess is an online conversion tool that converts documents from one file type to another. The most common example is uploading an image PDF and outputting a Word document. SensusAccess can also convert text files into audio files.

Here are a few examples of how SensusAccess can be used:

  • Students with alternative format accommodations can convert documents on their own, at any time of day.
  • Faculty can create accessible versions of course readings, converting scanned texts and PDFs into more accessible Word documents.
  • Struggling to get through readings? Convert documents to audio files and listen as you read along.

How do I convert a document?

Click on "Open the Converter" (above). Upload the file or files you wish to convert. Select the file type you would like to receive. To convert an image PDF to a text PDF, select “Accessibility conversion.” The reformatted document will be delivered to your email inbox!

When will I receive my converted document?

It depends on the file size and the conversion type. Turn-around time varies from a few minutes to a few hours, depending on the file size and conversion type. Most conversions take less than 10 minutes.

How good will the conversion be?

It depends on the quality of the original document. If you start with a scanned PDF, you’ll get better results if the text is straight, and free of markings or underlining. Scanned documents that are blurry or very grainy, or that have underlined or skewed text, may result in a poor quality output file. 

Can I convert several documents at once?

Yes. You can submit several files for conversion with a single request, as long as they are all the same type of file. To upload multiple documents, after clicking “Choose Files”, select all of the documents you want to convert and then click “Upload.”

Is there a limit to the size of the files you can upload to SensusAccess?

Yes. The file size is limited to approximately 50 MB. For files larger than 50 MB, if possible, reduce the file size (e.g., divide it into smaller sections).

Does SensusAccess convert from language to language?

No. SensusAccess does not currently support language-to-language translation, although this option may become available in the future.

My question wasn’t answered here. Where can I find more information?

Check out this longer list of SensusAccess FAQs!

Are there any other accessible text resources at Reed?

SensusAccess is intended as a self-service solution that complements other accessibility resources at Reed. Students may contact Disability & Accessibility Resources to request alternative format materials as an accommodation. Faculty and staff who would like help with creating accessible course materials may contact Instructional Technology Services.

Confidentiality & Privacy

Please note there is inherent risk that user provided information could be inadvertently disclosed to others and therefore this service is not recommended for materials containing confidential or private information.

Learn more about SensusAccess.

Copyright

All copyright provisions apply to the use of the SensusAccess service (i.e., you own the copyright or you are using the material under fair use or the disabilities provisions of copyright law). Note that the resulting file likely has the same copyright restrictions as the original.

If you are a Reed student or faculty member and are using the service for converting course materials for accessibility purposes, then you may use the service under fair use.

Questions about copyright? Please contact the Library.