Printed text can be enlarged with the use of a photocopier or scanner. The Copyright (Visually Impaired Persons) Act 2002 introduced exceptions to copyright law, which remove the need for anyone to obtain permission from the rights holder to produce an accessible copy. This does not, however, cover everyone with a disability. For further information see: RNIB document: Copyright (Visually Impaired Persons) Act 2002.
The University has purchased a Braille printer, located in the Access Unit, 4th Floor, Students Union. This comprises a printer, linked to a computer in the same way as a text printer, using specialist embosser software to convert text into Braille for printing out.
This equipment can be used by staff and visually impaired students within the University to print out small documents, such as exam papers, forms etc. Large documents requiring conversion into Braille should be sent to an external agency. A local agency who provide Braille transcription services are A2i Transcription Services, Tel: 01179 440044, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you require access to this equipment, please contact the Access Unit on 0117 954 5726 or email email@example.com. Training can be provided to enable staff to utilise the equipment. A small supply of Braille paper is available within the Access Unit, the cost of which will be charged to individual departments.
There are a number of companies who can be commissioned to provide information in Braille. (See Transcription services below).
Please note: Always check turn-around times and timescales well in advance.
There are 2 types of Braille to consider:
Grade 2 tends to be the option that is mostly used as it takes up less space and is quicker to read, but always ask the individual for their preference.
A document should be clear and simple. Where possible, a text only option should be made available. Most blind users will use a screen reader such as JAWS to access their electronic information. The screen reader will ignore any diagrams or graphics and continue to read the text only. Try not to include tables as these can cause difficulties for the screen reader and someone who is visually impaired using a screen magnifier such as Zoomtext. Note: Screen readers read in a linear fashion from left to right and will not pickup on highlighted or underlined text.
The University provides access to information using JAWS screen reader and Zoomtext magnification software in the Assistive Technology Room situated in the Arts and Social Sciences Library.
Although not the most practical solution for every type of information, audio tape can benefit a number of people who have difficulty with printed materials or who prefer to listen to, rather than read, material. For example:
The RNIB have a library of over 16,000 titles in their Talking Book service. For further information see the Talking Books and Daisy Players page on the RNIB website.
Tactile graphics are raised lines and shapes of a visual image that can be felt with the fingers. The graphic image is not an identical replica of the original image and therefore the original requires re-designing for tactile conversion. Maps of the University precinct can be replicated in tactile format and are extremely helpful for some blind and partially sighted users, although orientation visits are still essential in advance of attendance.
The National Centre for Tactile Diagrams can provide further information and can be commissioned to produce graphics. For further information see the National Centre for Tactile Diagrams website.
The University provides guidelines for writing usable and accessible web content. For further information, see:
Deafblindness is a very individual disability and each individual will have different needs. It is always best to check with them for the best way to provide information. There are several ways of communicating via telephone:
Some deafblind people have a certain amount of hearing and can therefore communicate via standard telephone either with or without hearing aids.
If you and the person you are trying to contact both have a Textphone, you should be able to phone them direct. Some deafblind people may have access to the telephone through their computer and with the use of a Braille display or large character software.
Text Relay (known as Typetalk prior to March 2009) uses operators to communicate with the deafblind person for you. Provided the person you are trying to contact has a text telephone then you can use this service. For further information see the Text Relay website.
There are number of transcription companies that will provide services such as Large Print, Braille and audio: