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Low Vision Awareness and Accessible Documents
Creating Accessible Documents is Easy!
Employees with visual disabilities use different types of alternative formats that may include large print, electronic/diskette, Braille, or audiotape. The DOT Disability Resource Center (DRC) urges employees and supervisors to begin creating accessible documents and to learn about the benefits of DRC services.
Whether you're a supervisor, co-worker of an employee with a visual disability, or if you're sponsoring a meeting or event, information must be provided in alternative formats to ensure that employees with disabilities have equal opportunities in the DOT workplace.
Providing information electronically (via email) or on CD/diskette
Most employees with visual disabilities use computers that are modified to meet their individual needs. Sending documents via email is an option that allows the individual to use his or her own assistive technology such as a screen reader or magnifying system to access the information. A second option that works well at events is to save the information on a diskette or CD and distribute it alongside the printed information that is disseminated. Please note that the data should be saved in ASCII text format because the Portable Document Format (PDF) is generally not accessible to people with visual disabilities.
Large Print Documents
Large Print Documents are some of the most highly used alternative formats. As our working population ages, low vision becomes more prevalent. Although standard font size is 12 point, this is too small for a large number of employees with visual disabilities. When creating large print documents, people with low vision generally require 18-24 point. If possible, ask each individual for his or her personal preference.
Braille and Audio Tapes
DRC maintains a list of organizations with fee for service Brailling and audiotaping to make documents accessible to people who are blind. For more information, contact the DRC. Examples of documents that may be brailled are memorandums, meeting schedules, instructions, and handouts.
Special Events and Trainings
It is recommended to have several copies of alternative formats at seminars, workshops, and training sessions. Be sure to include a question on registration forms that allow individuals to request specific accommodations. Although it is the responsibility of the agency that is conducting the event to convert documents into alternative formats, DRC staff members are available for support and guidance.
The Disability Resource Center is scheduling a free workshop on understanding visual disabilities that can help people acquire a better understanding about vision impairment and workplace accommodations. If you are interested in attending, contact Alison Levy at: Voice: (202) 366-5305, TTY: (202) 366-5273, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.