Accessible information

Accessible information for you

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

Listening to books and magazines can be wonderful – especially when they are read by a human voice. The passion and inflection of a real voice can bring a book alive.

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

Woman sitting at a table on the phone using TISThe 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 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.

Location Phone number
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

If you need personal materials such as unpublished documents, personal correspondence or small extracts from published works, we can help.

To request any document in braille, etext or any other format, get in touch with the Accessible Formats Coordinator on or 0800 24 33 33.