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VISUAL IMPAIRMENTS

For those who are blind or partially sighted the most used communication methods are:

  • Braille
  • Moon
  • Large Print
  • Audio Transcription

Braille is a writing system that is used by visually impaired people or the blind. It allows them to understand information, and communicate through touch. Braille is a system of raised dots which are arranged to represent different words, letters and numbers. Braille is not understood by those who have not studied or learnt to communicate through it.

If your patient does require a document to be made available to them via Braille you can contact us and we can arrange this to be made for you. You should consider the cost implications of this method and the type of distribution you would use it for. If it is a document for a lot of patients you should consider using an alternative cheaper method, however for one off documents or patients who would prefer to communicate through Braille this can be arranged.

Moon is a similar system to Braille, where it uses raised symbols based on lines and curves which represents different words, letters, numbers and punctuation which come from the old Latin script. Moon is easier to learn than Braille as letters are easier to distinguish through touch.

Moon is mainly accessible to older adults as it is easier to learn in older age when sight impairments occur, the way in which the shapes are formed and constructed allow easier access due to the larger size of characters for those who have a lesser sense of touch. However it is not restricted to any one group of users. Moon is also used by people with learning difficulties, again as it is easier to learn than Braille.

Not all documents are accessible for people with visual impairments as no single size print is suitable for everyone. If the size of the print is an issue for your patient you can request us to reprint a document using a larger text format. We consider a large print text to be in a font size higher than 14 point. Most of these requests can be done in-house, where some documents may take a little longer as we would have to ensure picture and print quality are consistent at larger sizes. We proofread all large print versions to make sure the formatting of the document matches up to the original copy.

 

Requests for texts to be enlarged above the size 28 point should be carefully considered for cost-effectiveness. Very large type sizes can be counter-productive as they may cause publications to become bulky and difficult to navigate.

We can provide advice as to whether it is better to offer alternative formats and which formats we believe would benefit your patient the most, for example, providing an audio version of the information or emailing someone a text document so that they can access the information using a screen reader on their computer.[1]

[1] Department for Work and Pensions: Office for Disability Issues, (2010), Large Print, Publishing in Large Font Sizes, [Online], [Accessed], 31st March 2014.

We can provide different audio formats for people with visual impairments for example:

  • Audiotape
  • Mp3 Audio File
  • Audio CD

(Audio versions of documents are generally provided via a CD or as an Mp3 file).

When producing audio material we will take into consideration the below points:

  • The arrangement of information to ensure it is in a logical order.
  • Minimalizing any background noise and music.
  • The use of voices, for example, ensuring the voice used is appropriate to the subject matter and the audience.

This method allows you to communicate effectively with your patient when they have visual impairments. By creating an audio format for your patient, you can convey messages either discussing treatments plans or results of tests, etc. Your patient will then have this information stored and can go back to this whenever they may need clarification. This method of communication is a good aid to use for patients with learning disabilities, an option to use this alongside any text format will allow them to follow the text of a document whilst listening to the audio, for example speaking difficult words slowly and instructing when to turn the page.

Click on the links below to jump to specific parts of the guide

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ALTERNATIVE FORMATS
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DEAF/HEARING IMPAIRMENT
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LEARNING DISABILITIES