alternative formats

We’ve tried to answer some of the more frequently asked questions here. Please just get in touch if you have any more questions or want to chat about your requirements.

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What are alternative formats?

  • Alternative formats means different methods of presenting text to make it accessible for disabled people
  • Alternative formats for blind people includes Braille, Audio, Large Print and Electronic formats or E-text
  • An alternative format for people with learning disabilities is called Easy Read
  • Alternative formats for deaf people includes sign language videos
Read more about all our formats

What is Braille transcription?

  • Braille transcription means translating printed text into Braille
  • Braille is a tactile code made of raised dots
  • Braille is read by many blind people and people with sight loss
  • Braille transcription involves specialist knowledge, software and an embossing machine
Our Braille transcription service

How does Braille printing work?

  • Braille is embossed rather than printed but is still often called printing
  • A specialist printer is used called a Braille embosser which punches paper to form raised dots
  • Text is translated and prepared in specialist Braille translation software and then sent to the embosser
  • Double-sided Braille can be produced by embossing the dots on one side so they are between the dots on the reverse
  • Braille documents need to be checked for legibility based on the height of the raised dots, and the distance between dots
  • Braille should be bound to form a book that is easy to handle and can also be opened flat
  • A printed title is usually added to make sure a sighted person can identify the document when necessary
How to translate print documents into Braille

What is E-text?

  • E-text means electronic text. We use it to mean electronic formats that are accessible for people with disabilities.
  • E-text includes accessible word documents, accessible PDFs and accessible ePubs
  • When electronic documents are made fully accessible, they can be accessed with screen readers or screen enlarging software
Our E-text transcription service

What is Audio transcription?

  • Audio transcription can mean the process of converting text to audio, or audio to text
  • Transcription services that translate audio to text use professional speed typists
  • Transcription services that translate text to audio use recording studios
  • Text to audio is important to make documents accessible to people with sight loss
More about our text to audio service

How to create an audio version

  • Record a voice artist reading a document in a recording studio
  • Describe any non-text items such as diagrams and graphs
  • Create separate audio tracks for each chapter or section
  • Add the title and a contents list at the very start of the first track
Our Audio transcription service

How to get documents translated into audio

  • Use a voice artist and a recording studio, or find a transcription company
  • Make sure the transcription company transcribes text to audio (not audio to text)
  • Make sure the transcription company knows how to produce audio versions of documents for blind people
  • A good transcription company will know how to describe content for people with no sight
  • Decide whether you want your audio on CD, USB stick, or online for streaming or downloading
How to get documents translated into audio

Why use a real voice for audio documents?

  • Most people find real voice audio much easier to listen to
  • Human voice will include the correct tone of voice for the context
  • Electronic voice is useful for some situations for example bank statements to ensure accuracy
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How to make a document into a sign language video

  • Adapt the document so that it would work as a script
  • Use a professional BSL signer who can adapt the script for a deaf audience and sign the text to a camera
  • A deaf signer is recommended when possible for accuracy and experience
  • A sign language interpreter may be required to assist with communication with the deaf signer
  • Add titles and subtitles if required
  • Produce on DVD or upload for online streaming
More about our BSL Videos

How to add sign language to a video

  • Produce a script from the video
  • Use a professional BSL signer who can adapt the script for a deaf audience and sign the text to a camera
  • Shrink the main video to a smaller size and add the signer as an inset video so that this does not overlap with any essential viewing
  • Adjust the timing of the signer so that the text is in sync with the main video, use fade out for long periods if necessary
  • Produce on DVD or upload for online streaming
Get a Quote
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