Navigation

Visual Impairment Access Leaflet

A guide from the Disability Resource Team

What do we mean by "accessible information?"
Why make information accessible?
What information should be made accessible?
How do I know which format to provide the information in?
How many copies of a document should I request?
What do I have to send DRT in order to get my documents transcribed?

What do we mean by "accessible information?"

This means providing written text in a variety of formats other than standard print.
The usual formats used by visually impaired people are:

back to top

Why make information accessible?

There is a positive case for all documents to be transcribed into accessible formats, thus making all information accessible to visually impaired people. The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 states that employers and service providers have to take reasonable measures to ensure that they are not discriminating against disabled people by treating them less favourably. Therefore, for example, companies and local authorities will need to look at making their documents available in accessible formats. Many visually impaired people are excluded if, for example, Recruitment/Job details or a Council Tax information leaflet is not provided in an accessible format.
back to top

What information should be made accessible?

In theory, all company and local authority information that is provided to the general public should be made accessible, if requested. However, due to the quantity of information that is produced on a daily basis, it is accepted that this is not altogether possible. It is recommended therefore, that all relevant information - i.e. that which impacts on a persons day-to-day activities - should be offered in formats other than print.
These should include:

back to top

How do I know which format to provide the information in?

First and foremost, ask the visually impaired person(s) which format they would prefer. If the document is to be distributed generally, it is best to have the information readily available in all formats so that it can be provided on request.
It is worth remembering that less than 4% of visually impaired people are Braille readers whereas the majority find it more useful to have information either on Tape or in Large Print.

From a purely practical point of view, Braille (and large print) is considered to be quite a bulky media working on the basis of 2 - 3 pages of Braille to one full A4 page and Large print up to 3 pages to one full A4 page. However, it should be noted that Large Print can be photocopied double sided so as to reduce weight/volume. As a rule, unless a specific request is made, you can assume that tape should be used for documents which have a short shelf life e.g. Letters, Committee Agendas, reports/circulars, information leaflets; whereas Braille/Large print should be used for more long-term documents which may need to be referred to during meetings or in the work or study place. I would emphasise that this is a guide, not a firm ruling.

back to top

How many copies of a document should I request?

As with the previous section the first rule is to ask either the person requesting the material or the actual visually impaired person. Do not assume that, for example, because a council leaflet has a print run of two thousand, you will need two thousand tapes/Braille/Large-print copies.
If in doubt, first discuss this with the relevant department and if still in doubt the Transcription Services of the Disability Resource Team whose telephone number you will find at the end of this page.

back to top

What do I have to send DRT in order to get my documents transcribed?

Once you have the information mentioned above, it is an easy process to get the documents transcribed. All you have to do is send a print copy of the document(s) together with an order detailing the following information
- Your name, address, telephone number and department;
- Title of document(s);
- Format required i.e. Tape, Braille, Large-print;
- Number of copies required in each format;
- Date by which the transcription is required.
Please note that it is important to take into account the time delay caused when sending and receiving documents by post. The earlier you send a document the more notice we have and the more time the recipient has to read the materials. It is recommended that wherever possible, the recipient(s) should receive the documents at least 5 days before they are needed e.g. for a meeting or training course.
If you are requesting a document to be translated into Braille/Large Print the following points should be taken into consideration where practicable:

  1. It is faster and more economical for the document(s) to be either sent on computer disk or for the files to be sent via E-mail. If a print copy is sent without a computer disk the document has to be either re-keyed or scanned on to a PC and this can sometimes be very time consuming depending on size and complexity of the material- I.E. Graphs/pie Charts/Tables.
  2. Wherever possible, you should avoid sending information in Mac format as this can be very difficult and time consuming to convert into a format which is compatible for Braille/large print. If you have any queries regarding this telephone us at DRT and we will advise you accordingly.
  3. If a document is needed immediately or you are working to a very tight deadline, it can be sent by fax but please advise us of this first. It is also recommended that you use a clear copy/photocopy for this purpose.
    This makes it easier to read at our end and can save a lot of unnecessary time having to telephone the sender in order to check for print accuracy.

Please Note:
whenever you are sending or faxing documents to us, or for any queries regarding our transcription services, it is always best to telephone us in advance in order for us to be ready to attend to your request as soon as it arrives at the office.

back to top