Last Updated: 07/31/2018


SensusAccess is a web-based, self-service application that allows users to automatically convert documents into a range of alternate and accessible formats.

The SensusAccess Service was established as a part of the campuswide Accessibility Initiative aimed at fostering an accessible campus environment.

SensusAccess offers four different categories of services: 

  • Accessibility services: Otherwise inaccessible documents such as image files in GIF, TIFF, JPG, BMP, PCX, DCX, J2K, JP2, JPX, DJV and image-only PDF, as well as all types of PDF files can be converted to more accessible formats including tagged PDF, DOC, DOCX, Word XML, XLS, XLSX, CVS, text, RTF and HTML. The service also supports conversion of Microsoft Office documents into tagged pdf and Microsoft PowerPoint presentations into RTF files and web-projects.
  • Braille services: Transcription of documents to and from contracted and uncontracted Braille in accordance with Braille codes. The documents can be formatted and paginated, and delivered as ready-to-emboss files in a variety of digital Braille formats.
  • Audio services: Conversion into plain MP3 files and well as DAISY Talking Books, including Daisy books with spoken math. 
  • E-book services: Documents can be converted into EPUB, EPUB3, EPUB3 with media overlays and Mobi Pocket (Amazon Kindle) e-book formats. Furthermore, EPUB may be converted into Mobi Pocket and vice versa. To accommodate users with low vision, the baseline of the body text in an e-book may be raised to allow for more appropriate text scaling in mainstream e-book readers.

For more information about the available output formats, review the conversion matrix


  • Allows students to convert documents on their own, any time of day, without assistance from the Disability Services lab.
  • When used in addition to properly formatted and well scanned documents, improves the accessibility of materials.

Related Policies

Copyright: The University is legally required to establish policy stating that faculty, staff, students, and community members must obey all state and federal laws respecting the copyrights and trademarks of others.

The University of Colorado Boulder encourages the Fair Use of copyrighted materials in support of its academic and research mission, and strives to provide clear guidance to faculty, students, and staff who wish to use copyrighted materials in their teaching and research.


This service is provided at no cost.

Who can get it

SensusAccess is available for all faculty, staff and students.

How to use it

Files can be submitted for processing to SensusAccess in two ways.

Submission via the SensusAccess Form

SensusAccess allows you to upload a file, provide a link to a file on the web, or copy and paste plain text. To get started, go to the convert a file page, and follow the steps on the form.

When asked to provide your email address, use your email.

Once your file has been processed, you will receive an email with your converted file attached or a link to your converted file. SensusAccess deletes files saved on their servers after 7 calendar days. To avoid having to upload the file again, download your document as soon as it is received.

The quality of the file you receive depends on the quality of the original file. For example, if you are converting a well-formatted Word document, the resulting file will be properly rendered into the desired output. On the contrary, scanned documents with smudges, tears in the paper, underlined or skewed text may result in a poor output file. Further, while SensusAccess does a good job converting a variety of input and output types, it should not be used to convert files with tables or complex formulas. Visit CU Boulder’s templates for universally designed syllabus materials page for assistance with creating accessible content.

Submission via Email 

SensusAccess allows you to submit files via email. The email address that you send the file to will vary based on your preferred output type. Information related to the email addresses, as well as instructions for sending the files are available on the SensusAccess website


Faculty who are looking for assistance with creating accessible content for their courses are encouraged to utilize CU Boulder’s templates for universally designed syllabus materials and other templates and materials on the campus Accessibility Resources page.

If you have questions about SensusAccess or about making course content accessible, please contact the IT Service Center at or call 303-735-4357 (5-HELP from a campus phone).

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