Chapter 4 Printed Information






Virtually all departments and agencies of the State of Hawaii prepare materials in printed format.  The printed information may describe the type of programs and services offered, eligibility benefits, general promotional information, data and statistics, location of programs and services, phone numbers, and other information.


The printed information may include brochures, fact sheets, newsletters, press releases, annual reports, master plans, or other similar documents.



EXAMPLE:  The Department of Taxation prepares brochures for taxpayers to understand the requirements on filing state income taxes.


EXAMPLE:  The Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism prepares an Annual Statistical Report accumulating data profiling Hawaii’s population.


EXAMPLE:  The Department of Health develops literature on HIV prevention and aggressively distributes the brochures to health centers, clients, and the general public.


EXAMPLE:  The Office of Information Practices, Office of the Lieutenant Governor, issues public opinions regarding the state disclosure law.  The opinions are open to the public, upon request.



When departments and agencies offer printed information to the public, the information must be made available in an alternate format (e.g., Braille, large print, audiocassette tape or electronic), if requested, for use by a person who is not able to read the printed format.


Remember that simply reading some information aloud to a person may be enough to communicate the information written on a paper.  If this is satisfactory to a person with a visual impairment, then producing the document in alternate format may not be necessary.  However, if the document is provided in writing to the public and if the person wishes it in alternate format, then the department or agency is obligated to provide it.


All materials do not have to automatically be made available in an alternate format, if no request is made.  However, you must know how to obtain the alternate format and be willing to do so for a person when requested.  You should not convey an attitude


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that the request is either unwarranted or an imposition.  Also, it is not appropriate to question the legitimacy of a request for alternate format, nor to ask the user to provide proof of documentation of his or her inability to read standard print prior to fulfilling the request for alternate format.


If your department or agency is sponsoring an event (e.g., a workshop, conference, training session, tour, open house) you should determine several weeks ahead of time what printed materials will be used as part of the event.  Arrangements should be made to provide those materials in an alternate format, if requested, as the time period may be limited.


Finally, remember that you may not charge a person who has a disability the cost of producing the material in an alternate format.  That is considered a surcharge which is not permissible (see Chapter 2.3).  You may charge the same cost for the alternate format material that you charge anyone else for the equivalent amount of printed information.

Alternate format may take several forms.  The most common are large print, Braille, audiocassette tape, and computer diskette/electronic.  Each alternate format is different and described below.

4.1  Large print


Large print is an appropriate format for many people with low vision who still have some residual vision.  It is also a relatively easy format to produce by altering the computer font size and format, if the original document was generated on the computer.



    • Refer to ATTACHMENT F for guidelines for producing materials in print format.


4.2  Braille


Braille is also an appropriate format for some people who are blind.  Although only a small percentage of people who are blind are Braille readers, for those who have learned to read Braille, it is highly efficient and desirable.  Many people who are born blind have learned Braille since their youth and are as adept and fast at reading Braille as a person who is sighted reading printed materials.  Braille readers can also skim material similar to a sighted person skimming printed material.  Material in Braille format is also desirable when a reader who is blind would like to have the document for later reference.


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Producing materials in Braille usually requires special equipment, training, and additional preparation time.



    • Refer to ATTACHMENT G for guidelines for producing materials in Braille.



4.3  Audiocassette tape



Audiocassette tape is often the most efficient alternate format to produce by a department or agency.  It is also useful for individuals who have little residual vision and for whom large print is still difficult or who have never learned to read Braille.  Producing materials on audiocassette tape can usually be done in-house, with a modest amount of preparation and common sense, by an individual with an easy-to-hear, non-monotone voice and sufficient time to tape in a quiet location.  Audiocassette tape format has the advantage of being easy to listen to by the user, much as a person would listen to information via a radio.  However, audiocassette tape may not be as easily skimmed by the listener, who may have to listen to an entire tape before finding the most useful sections to him or her.



    • Refer to ATTACHMENT H for guidelines for producing materials on audiocassette tape.



If you make an audiocassette tape for use onsite, make sure that you provide a portable cassette machine with earphones available on loan so that the person is able to listen to the tape thoroughly without disturbing other attendees.



4.4  Computer diskette/electronic



If materials used are computer-generated, there is also the option of emailing it ahead of time.  The option should be offered to the person who is blind or visually impaired.  This enables the person to review materials ahead of time in a format that is his or her preference.



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Arrangements have been made to translate printed materials into large print format, if requested.


    •  Refer to ATTACHMENT F for guidelines for producing materials in print format.


Arrangements have been made to translate printed materials into Braille, if requested.


    •  Refer to ATTACHMENT G or guidelines on producing materials in Braille.


Arrangements have been made to translate printed materials onto audiocassette, if requested.


    •  Refer to ATTACHMENT H or guidelines on producing materials on audiocassette tape.

If YES, arrangements have been made to have cassette player with an earphone available, on loan, to listen to the tape.
Arrangements have been made to provide materials to the participant on a computer diskette or via email, depending on the person’s preference.




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