Other accessible formats
In addition to Easy Read, CDS is also able to provide a complete range of accessible formats, designed to allow you to meet individual needs. These include:
- audio description - narration to a video
- audio transcription on CD
- British Sign Language
- foreign language translations
- large print
- MP3 for website
- subtitles to a video
- tagged PDF for screen readers
- website accessibility
British sign Language
British Sign Language (BSL) is a language in its own right. Figures vary enormously but it is estimated that between 70,000 and 150,000 people in the UK use BSL as their first language. It has its own structure, grammar, idioms and what are known as ‘Multichannel signs’ – these are when a whole sentence is summed up in one sign!
Providing a plain English version of a document to a BSL user is simply not an acceptable way of giving them access to information. A person who uses BSL has the right to access information in BSL. Many deaf people have low levels of literacy and written English is incomprehensible to them.
All of our BSL presenters are trained to the most recent standard in BS and are members of the Register of Sign Language Translators (MRSLT). We only ever use native BSL users and they are fully supported by both BSL Monitors and BSL Interpreters during filming. Our Monitors check for accuracy and clarity of the BSL, our Interpreters check for accuracy of English translation, it is a partnership between all three parties which ensures our BSL translation is the best it can be. We hold regular focus groups to quality check the work we are doing and we also use these groups as a way to test new ideas in accessibility, for example the placement on screen of BSL In-Vision, the background colours we use, and even the content for translation.
In some cases an audio version of a document is required in addition to printed copies. We use professional voiceover artists in our sound studio who will read your document for output on audio CD or, if required, electronic sound files. During transcription, particular attention is given to how the narrator conveys the visual aspects of a text document, for example charts which give detailed financial information. Other considerations include the length of the document, chapter breaks and the use of multiple voices for longer documents.
Audio Description (AD) is the addition of narration to a video. A narrator voices details that are usually visual aspects of a film, for example facial expressions, body language and/or positions of characters.
There are almost two million people in the UK living with sight loss (RNIB), many of whom will benefit from Audio Description. AD, allows equal access to your information videos and/or programmes.
We provide a complete Braille service including both Grade 1 and 2 with the capacity to handle any size document. We also offer Moon which is an alternative system to Braille. Moon consists of simplified ordinary letters as well as lines and curves. It is especially used by people who have lost their sight later in life and find Braille difficult to master.
For many organisations it has become increasingly important to provide large print versions of documents for partially sighted readers.
Typically large print requires the use of a clearly legible font, with a size of 16 or more points. We also ensure paper stock is appropriate. Show through, ink density, contrast and the reflective qualities of the paper are also taken into consideration.
Subtitles are an ever increasingly popular way of making videos accessible to a wider audience. There are many factors to consider; style, placement, colour, speed, omission rate (subtitles reflect about 80% of narration in faster passages of speech) and grammatical rules.
By creating a tagged PDF version you will be able to include an important group of people who rely on the use of screen readers. The most obvious group is people who are blind or have severe visual impairments, but other groups include people with dyslexia or people where English is not the first language and consequently find the spoken word easier to comprehend
The accessible version is supplied as an electronic tagged PDF that may be uploaded to your website for easy download. An electronic voice would then read the publication out load through a PC following the same sequence as the printed document.
We also specialise in website accessibility and offer a range of services from consultancy through to programming and testing to ensure your website design and production complies with the standards set out by the W3C, the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) and industry best practices.