The Accessible Information Services Team provide transcription services, practical information and consultancy to ensure materials are able to be easily understood or accessed by anyone living with low or no vision or a print disability. For example:
- Printed materials (eg. books, documents)
- Digital/online information (eg. websites, apps, videos and podcasts)
- Physical spaces (eg. workplaces, public areas).
We assist individuals with low vision, businesses or schools/university with staff or students who are vision impaired, care facilities and more. Our services include:
Print Disability Services Program
VisAbility is one of only two service providers included in the Federal Government’s Print Disability Services Program for 2021-2024 (link opens in new window).
The program provides funding to produce alternative formats of printed and digital material, to meet the needs of people living with a print disability and improve access to printed products for all Australians.
As part of this program, we provide transcription of printed materials into different formats upon request. This includes:
- Large print
- Easy English
- Tactile graphics
- e-text eg. Word, PDF (Portable Document Format) or EPUB (Electronic Publication)
- DAISY audio format (Digital Accessible Information System).
Eligible people living with a print disability can access fiction and non-fiction audio books in DAISY format or Braille books. Books are available free of charge by download or postal service from the VisAbility Library service.
The VisAbility Library is one of the largest digital libraries in the Southern hemisphere, with more than 70,000 titles available. Specific books can be requested for transcription on demand through the Library website (link opens in new window).
This includes: Fiction and non-fiction storybooks can be transcribed into large print, Braille, audio or dedicated audio book format, known as DAISY (Digital Accessible Information System) which is playable through special DAISY audio book players.
We can assist organisations to review, audit, convert and produce various types of documents in Word, PDF and EPUB that is accessible to all.
Types of documents include:
- Marketing materials created in InDesign and Adobe Acrobat DC Pro
- Disability Access Inclusion Plans (DAIPs)
- Student study resources eg. exam papers
- Menus or recipes
Document accessibility training workshops
We offer a number of accessibility training workshops aimed at businesses across software such as Adobe InDesign, Microsoft Word and more.
Braille allows people who are blind, especially those who are deaf and blind, to access information. Braille is an important means to learn literacy skills so they can read and write independently.
Evidence shows that Braille readers have better educational and employment opportunities.
Braille is made up of different mixes of up to 6 dots in a cell:
When the dots are embossed onto paper, they can be felt with a single touch of a finger. We use special thicker-grade paper, in A4 booklet format, or with larger pages (27.5 x 29cm).
When we produce a Braille document, we carefully consider the purpose of the document and the Braille reader’s needs. We use Australian standards for the production and formatting of Unified English Braille (in line with the Australian Braille Authority).
We produce Braille as Grade 1 (uncontracted or letter-for-letter) Braille and Grade 2 (contracted) Braille (using shortened forms of words, similar to how “road” is often represented as “rd” in print).
We can also provide print formats that show the Braille and print words together.
Our Braille production team can transcribe a wide variety of documents and books including:
- University level mathematics and music
- Business cards
- Maps: maps or other types of image/visual material can be produced in a tactile (touchable) format.
- Sheet music, student study resources, exam papers, recipes and menus.
Other files, such as Word documents, PDFs and spreadsheets can be made accessible and transcribed into Braille or other formats.
Video and audio accessibility
We offer services to review and assist companies and organisations to produce videos and audio content that is accessible and inclusive to all. This includes the creation of:
- Captions (Closed and open captions): An on-screen, description in visible print of any audio in a video (eg: dialogue, speaker, sound effect, music) and is beneficial for people with hearing impairment or who are hard of hearing.
- Audio Description (AD): AD is the auditory narration of visual representations such as television programs, exhibitions, films and live performances. It describes visual elements such as scenes, settings, actions and costumes and is beneficial to people with low or no vision, and/or people with print, learning and physical disabilities.
- Transcription: A transcript captures all the spoken audio, plus on-screen text and description of key visual information. This is a combination of captions and audio description.
Watch our most recent video and learn how to make your online meetings accessible.
App and Website Accessibility Standards
World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)
The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is an international community of member organisations that work together to create a “web for all”. To share knowledge, regardless of disability, native language, hardware or software.
Website accessibility evaluation
We can work with organisations at all parts of their design and implementation stages of a website. For existing websites, we can conduct a thorough assessment, to ensure it is WCAG 2.1 compliant and can be accessed by anyone living with vision impairment.
An accessibility report with detailed recommendations for revisions will follow and we will work with your development team to help implement the necessary updates. We can provide videos highlighting issues from the perspective of someone using assistive technologies to provide greater insight.
Easy English is writing so that people who have a low level of English literacy (functionally illiterate) can understand the information contained in a document. It is estimated that around 44% of Australians aged 15 – 74 are functionally illiterate*.
Low level English literacy can be due to:
- Intellectual or cognitive disability
- People with a culturally and linguistically diverse background
- Age – a greater proportion of people aged over 60 have lower levels of literacy.
It is important that companies and organisations provide information that customers or users can easily understand. Not only does this reduce frustration for the user, but it can build trust and increase confidence in the organisation.
The key features of Easy English include:
- Short sentences
- Simple, everyday words
- Large text size
- Blank space between sentences
- Images to support the meaning of the text
View an example of our Easy English documents (PDF, 739kb) for the Print Disability Services Program.
Our service can prepare Easy English versions of documents or brochures for your organisation. Alternatively, we have a range of one day training courses including How to write Easy English.
Our highly qualified Disability Access Consultants can assess workplaces, schools, care facilities and open spaces and provide recommendations to plan and create safe and engaging environments and facilities for people with vision impairment or disability.
Accessible Information Team
The Accessible Information Team includes:
- Accessible document specialists
- Braille specialists
- Web accessibility specialists
- Audio and video accessible production specialist
- Social media accessibility specialist
- Easy English specialist
- Disability access consultants
Ready to use our Accessibility services
How to get support
Please complete the form below to make an initial enquiry about the low vision services and support we can provide. Our Client Experience Team will contact you to discuss your individual needs both now and into the future.
If you are a provider and wish to refer a client, please use our low vision medical certificate (online referral form) to make your referral.