2010 Conference: Presentations on Day 3: Tuesday 25 May
David Vosnacos, Program Manager: Information Systems, Association for the Blind of Western Australia (Inc.)
The Association for the Blind of WA, through its Braille and Talking Book Library, has been providing Braille and talking books to blind and vision impaired Western Australians for over 30 years. The service involves the transcription to Braille and audio of not only books, but special requests including technical manuals, reference materials and study related literature.
In 2007 the Association developed the tools to continue recording audio materials, but changing to a digital format. This has involved the introduction of digital recording hardware and software and the retrospective conversion of existing analogue recordings. Beyond Books: Beyond Barriers is the name of the Association’s exciting new forward-looking project. Its aim is to deliver audio books in a range of downloadable file formats, for playback on different media devices, to the broadest possible group of people throughout Western Australia.
This presentation will provide a general overview of the Beyond Books: Beyond Barriers project and how the Association adopted the DAISY standard. An outline will also be provided of the current phase of the Beyond Books: Beyond Barriers in terms of creating a “self-serve” library model.
Tony Iezzi, Library Manager, Vision Australia
It is the lack of information that is cited as the biggest barrier for the print disability community to participate more fully in life, in the wider community and in having more options and excising a greater range of choices.
The breadth of news coverage and the depth of analysis available makes this service a key contributor to making current information immediately available and in an accessible form.
The presentation provides a practical demonstration of the value of the service, of how easy it is to use, the range of other library content included on the site, and future implications for partnerships and service delivery at a local community level.
Elisabeth Wegener, St Edmund’s School & member of Round Table Executive
The Clear Print guidelines outline a general approach to print design that produces a legible, uncluttered format which all readers will find easier to read. The guidelines also cover large print production, and will replace the Round Table’s Guidelines for the Production of Large Print, published in 1996.
The Clear Print guidelines are expected to be available shortly. This workshops will provide an overview of the document and an opportunity to ask questions and learn how you can apply them to your work.
Moira Clunie, Insights, Policy & Advocacy Manager, Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind & member of Round Table Executive
E-text is structured electronic text which is accessible to people with a print disability, that is, to people who can’t access information from regular print. The trend towards mainstream electronic communication provides an opportunity for equity of information access for print-disabled people, but many electronic documents are not designed to be fully accessible.
This workshop provides an overview of the recently published Round Table Guidelines for Accessible E-text and an opportunity to ask questions and learn how you can apply them to your work. The guidelines were produced to provide electronic document creators with an understanding of accessibility principles, and some best practice accessibility methods across a variety of electronic formats in common use. The new guidelines update the Round Table’s 1995 publication Guidelines for preparation of text materials on computer disk for people with print disabilities.
The guidelines are available on the Round Table website for members to download, and will be available for purchase in print, braille and large print at the conference.
An brief update on recent guidelines development projects:
- UEB Rulebook
- Guidelines for Accessible E-text
- Clear print guidelines
- Assessment Guidelines
- DBT Reference Manual
Dr Mike Steer, Senior Lecturer, Vision Impairment, RIDBC Renwick Centre
History teaches us that Parthia was an ancient country in southwest Asia. The Parthians were expert archers whose specialty was winning battles by shooting arrows while pretending to be in retreat. With regard to the battle to obtain better services for those with a print disability, Australians and their Kiwi cousins can proudly claim to be at the forefront, internationally, in developing and implementing disability policy. The 1994 Commonwealth Disability Strategy, designed to promote access for people with disabilities to mainstream services, is but one recent example of our nation’s innovative policy approach. Much, however, must still be done to achieve ‘state of the art’ policy and service development. In the face of global financial constraint and a rapidly ageing population, the lessons of history offer much of importance to future disability policy development, since as the philosopher Santayana pointed out “those who know not their history are destined to repeat it”. This presentation is a retrospective on the gradual development of service systems for people with disabilities in our nation; services that have rapidly grown over the past 30 years as a result of community groups that have planned globally, but acted locally. With a Parthian glance, we shall together trace and celebrate our field’s progress from IYDP in 1981 through a number of major milestones; for example, the establishment of ACROD, later NDS, the formation of the Australian Chapter of Disabled Peoples’ International (DPI), the Disability Advisory Council of Australia (DACA), the Handicapped Programs Review and the Disability Services Act (DSA) The retrospective will culminate with examples of such spectacular recent innovations as Person Centred Planning and Inter-agency Coordination, as well as some brilliant examples of current technological innovation.