Good practice for providing accessible communications
November 06, 2018
If the document is
for a specific individual, feel free to check if they have specific
requirements or requests. For example, Pia's large print is 18pt as standard,
but if you ask, you might find the individual prefers 22pt. Even where you have
several customers, it's good practice to try and meet individual requirements.
A good accessible format provider should be able to help organisations manage
their specific requirement data so that you don't have to keep repeating the
same questions to your customers.
Be format flexible
There's a range of
accessible formats and some individuals with print impairment may vary requests
depending on the type of document being transcribed. Both braille and large
print users may choose to have a certain type of document in audio instead of
the 'print' format.
Once you have a record
of a customer's requirements, keep it safe and accessible, either internally or
with your accessible format supplier, so that future information is supplied
the same way. Ensure that all your departments, branches or offices offer the
same service and are made aware of specific requests, and that all printed
literature state that it can be produced in accessible formats.
Be open to feedback
It's good practice
to encourage individuals with print impairment to give you feedback on your
service, just as it is with all your other customers. You may not have the
skills to check the quality of your accessible formats yourself, so get some
feedback from the ones who do have the skills. Your accessible format supplier
will also be delighted to receive the feedback so make sure you pass it on.
Be prepared for change
Just like the rest
of the population, people with print impairment change over time. A print
impairment can deteriorate or improve, so an individual may need to change the
format they receive from you. Being open to feedback is a really good way to
make sure you're still getting your message across effectively.
Be proud and clear
If you offer a
great service that includes accessible formats, make it clear. It's a selling
point for organisations and services that they are available to individuals
with a range of needs. Make it clear that you offer accessible formats and how
individuals should go about getting hold of them. Take pride in your great
There are a number
of organisations that provide accessible formats. You should make sure you have
the right provider for the right job. Any provider worth their salt will be
more than happy to provide you with samples of their work, so make sure you are
going to get what you expect. Along with price, the quality of accessible
formats can vary. UKAAF has information on the minimum standards that
accessible formats you provide should be meeting.
customer service to people with a print impairment is a great way to market to those
individuals, their friends and family, and to the wider public. If you'd like to
know more about providing accessible formats, the team at Pia are always ready
to provide you with some sound, ethical and pragmatic solutions for your
accessible format headaches.
By Sharon Williams