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United States Department of Agriculture

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Alternative Formatting

The USDA TARGET Center provides alternative (alt) formats by request of USDA publications and documents in Braille, large print, accessible PDF, and digital audio. Requests may be submitted to any TARGET Center staff member in person, by phone, or by email. Please note that there are separate procedures for internal and external requests, as defined below:

Internal Alt Format Requests:

Internal requests for alt formats originate from USDA employees or agencies and involve a document created by the requestor.

Internal Alt Format Request Example:
The Forest Service in USDA Headquarters holds an event for 200 people in the Jefferson Auditorium and wants to ensure that they have Braille and Large Print copies of the program available to employees who are blind or have low-vision. A Forest Service employee emails TARGET with a PDF version of the four-page program and requests five Braille and ten large print copies. External Alt Format Requests:

External requests for alt formats originate from USDA employees or members of the general public and involve documents created by USDA but not by the requestor. In order to process the alt format request, TARGET needs to know as much of the following details about the document as possible:

  • The title of the document
  • The type of document: single-sheet, brochure, booklet, book, etc.
  • The number of pages of the document
  • The agency and/or office responsible for the creation of the document
  • The year of the document, if possible

In addition, TARGET will need:

  • The name, phone number, email, and mailing address of the requestor
  • Notification of any specific due date for the request

Almost all external requests are provided to TARGET as information only and require a waiting period while staff members attempt to obtain a digital file.  If this is not possible, the requestor may be asked to send the printed version to the TARGET Center. Please see our contact information for a mailing address. The TARGET Center will contact the customer immediately upon obtaining either a print or digital version of the requested file.

External Alt Format Request Example:
A customer in Lake Tahoe, Nevada contacts a TARGET staff member by phone and requests a large print copy of the USDA Food Guide Pyramid. The customer informs TARGET that the publication is produced by the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS). The staff member contacts FNS and obtains a PDF copy of the guide.. The staff member calls the customer back and offers a choice between accessible PDF and large print and the customer chooses large print. TARGET arranges for the production of the alt format and sends via Fed Ex.

For faster turnaround times

  • Be able to provide a text-only file
  • Be sure to have access to the original document
  • Keep page numbers and copies requested to a minimum