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Want to know a secret? Vision Australia clients are eligible to have 360 pages of their chosen personal materials converted into an accessible alternate format.

While not exactly a clandestine operation, Vision Australia audio production coordinator, David Tredinnick, said people may not be fully aware of the range of formatting options available.

Or, what type of print material can be converted.

‘‘It’s really available for any sort of print material,” David said.

“From those all-important instruction manuals so you can figure out how to use the vacuum cleaner or oven, to a favourite cook book you can no longer read.

“Or something more deeply personal, like great grandmother’s treasured old diaries.”

 While audio is readily available for many novels and non-fiction work, it can be difficult to find audio in out-of-print works that people might long to read again.

"We recently narrated the Scarlet Pimpernel series (by Baroness Orczy) first published in 1905,” David said.

“We’ve also narrated someone’s beloved copy of Railways of the World, first printed in 1938.”

Accessible formats available

The service offers the following formats to convert your printed material into:

  • Audio
  • Large print
  • Unified English Braille (UEB)
  • Tactile diagrams and bold print graphics
  • Electronic text.

The 360 pages people are eligible for each year doesn’t have to be accessed in one book. People are welcome to use the service over a financial year with different materials.

You can access more pages for a small fee if you require more.

High standard of service

The range of alternate format materials are also produced in accordance with national and international standards and guidelines.

The personal support audio team, that David oversees, consists of 20 volunteer narrators, editors and proof-readers with a broad range of language skills and knowledge. This ensures a high standard of service in the conversion. 

“The narration is first class but on top of this, all the work is edited and proofed,” he said.

“We also know it’s a high standard because of the positive feedback we receive from clients and the repeat work.

“We would love to see more people take advantage of this fantastic service.”

More information and contact details are available via the Print Access webpage.

You can also hear David chatting with Vision Australia Radio's Peter Greco on Omny about the service or on the player below.