Being able to get the information you need when you need it is what accessible information is all about.
The Blind Foundation Accessible Formats Service helps by providing information in a range of formats. For example, you can receive news via the Telephone Information Service (TIS), read a braille or large print book, or listen to a human-narrated audio book.
The Blind Foundation team can also help you produce accessible documents.
All about braille
The Blind Foundation is New Zealand’s biggest producer of braille books as well as information in braille form. Our Library has a range of books available – this includes Twin Vision children’s books and we produce personal documents on request too.
Check out the Braille section to find out more about braille and how you can learn it.
While the Blind Foundation produces all sorts of documents in braille, we would like to see braille more available in New Zealand.
Audio books with a human touch
To give people access to quality, human-narrated audio books, the Blind Foundation regularly records many books and magazines in its recording studio, to add to the library collection.
These audio recordings are available in a number of ways. The most common outputs are Daisy 2.02 audio files, the Telephone Information Service or MP3 recordings. When listening to a DAISY 2.02 audio recording it is done on either a DAISY player, computer or mobile device.
Other written material can also be recorded for those who prefer to get their information this way. Any Blind Foundation client can make a request.
Big books – large print reading
Sometimes a book with large, clear print is all you need to make the difference between reading and not reading. The Blind Foundation produces large print books and other materials in 18, 24 and 36-point size type. Adjustments are made to the print to make reading even easier, such as Arial font being used and extra spacing.
Telephone Information Service
The Blind Foundation’s Telephone Information Service, called TIS, is an easy way to get information at your fingertips. You can find out what’s happening in your local area, hear Blind Foundation news, and get information on special areas of interest.
TIS bulletins include: articles from over 70 newspapers, radio and TV schedules, finance information, public and government notices, Blind Foundation updates and consumer feedback lines.
To access TIS, use a touch-tone telephone to choose whether, for example, you want to listen to the day’s news.
You can go further than this and create a favourites list using a special TIS functions menu. And there are some popular quick cheats – like the Blind Sport feedback line (menu 5 then 2). Here is the full cheat sheet list including tips on how to set up a favourites list.
Synthetic voices are used for some content on TIS, and they come in different accents, so you can hear an Aussie twang, a British voice or the sound of the veldt from South Africa. Big thanks to Nuance for the great deal on 4 new synthetic voices: British Daniel, Australian Karen, Australian Lee and South African Tessa.
To find out about how to use TIS read the information below and the TIS help page, call the Blind Foundation on 0800 24 33 33, option 1 or email firstname.lastname@example.org You can also call or email to report any problems.
TIS phone numbers
TIS is free to all those registered with the Blind Foundation. Check out the list below of the toll-free calling numbers covering nearly all New Zealand.
|Whangarei||09 929 9099|
|Auckland||09 302 3344|
|Hamilton||07 834 2288|
|Tauranga||07 929 6199|
|Napier-Hastings||06 835 9136|
|Gisborne||06 929 1033|
|Palmerston North||06 354 8316|
|Wanganui||06 348 4403|
|New Plymouth||06 929 3088|
|Nelson||03 929 5033|
|Christchurch||03 355 8381|
|Timaru||03 688 6921|
|Oamaru||03 433 1026|
|Dunedin||03 455 8833|
|Balclutha||03 418 3332|
|Gore||03 203 3001|
|Invercargill||03 218 6470|
|Wellington||04 389 3858|
All other areas: 0800 36 33 44
Request information in your preferred format
To request any document in braille, etext or any other format, get in touch with the Accessible Formats Coordinator on email@example.com or 0800 24 33 33.