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How to Meet the NHS Accessible Information Standard

A woman at a busy hospital reception desk working on a laptop.

A woman at a busy hospital reception desk working on a laptop.

Why it is important to improve now

Blind and partially sighted people have a legal right to receive accessible information about their health and care, including alternative formats like large print, email, braille and audio.

Accessible health and care information enables blind and partially sighted people to manage their own health with the same level of independence and privacy as everyone else.

Inaccessible health and care information:

  • is a patient safety issue and can cause harm.
  • results in a poor patient experience.
  • can lead to unnecessary costs for the NHS and social care services.

RNIB recognises the challenges you face and can provide you with the support and solutions which are quick, easy, and cost effective.

How RNIB can support you to improve

All organisations should have improvement plans in place that have been created in consultation with people with lived experience of sight loss.

RNIB can connect you with people with lived experience and support your improvement journey.

All organisations should have an accessible information policy and ensure complaints / PALS process are fully accessible.

RNIB can support you with developing and / or reviewing these.

All organisations must have IT systems and processes that record and flag a patient’s required communication format.

RNIB can help you test electronic patient record systems, patient portals and other IT systems.

RNIB training courses

RNIB can equip you to better understand the needs of blind and partially sighted patients. We have a range of training courses from sight loss awareness, guiding, how to ask people about their required communication formats to navigating life with sight loss.

We will work with you and your front-line teams to ensure everyone has a positive patient experience. All RNIB trainers have sight loss.

RNIB Business Services

RNIB provides a range of Business Services and can provide you with solutions through a range of free and paid services.

Accessible communications

We take your original documents from appointment letters, test results, medication instructions, bespoke reports or information leaflets and transcribe into your patients required accessible format including Large Print, Easy Read, Braille, and Audio.

We also review all literature to ensure it is accessible to as many patients as possible.

Accessible formats provided

Large print

Our standard is 20 font Arial. We can produce up to 32 font and on different coloured paper.

Braille

We support both Grade 2 (contracted) and Grade 1 (uncontracted), Unified English Braille, double sided.

Audio

We provide information in audio, either in synthetic or real voice. Formats include CD, DAISY, and MP3 formats. All personal information is synthetic voice only.

Accessible PDF

Accessible PDF documents are fully tagged, meaning the information can be read by the text-to-speech software.

RNIB Easy Read service offered

We provide RNIB Easy Read and have expanded the reach of Easy Read to include people with sight loss who also have a learning disability. Easy Read also helps when English is not your first language.

Our accessible communication services

RNIB can receive your documents electronically or as hard copy. We process all patient information accurately and if you require, we can send the information direct to your patients in the most demanding of timeframes ranging from 2 business working days or longer depending on the length, complexity and required accessible format.

All customer data is processed in our PCS-DSS / Cyber Essentials Plus environment which provides the highest level of security and compliance.

Our core strengths are

  • Cost effective on-time delivery with high levels of accuracy without compromising standards.
  • Detailed quality checking throughout the process.
  • Adaptability and agility to meet your needs and those of your patients’/clients.
  • Staff experienced in all types of accessible information.
  • Staff with lived experience providing valuable first-hand expertise.

Our mission is to provide a seamless service for you and your patients. Any income generated is re-invested into improving services for blind and partially sighted peop

Inclusive design

We have a team of RNIB Accessibility and Usability Consultants that help make:

  • Websites and apps accessible.
  • Wayfinding and signage fully accessible.
  • Accessible information easy to put into practice through our training sessions.

Web Content Accessibility

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) are an international, recognised standard for improving web accessibility. All public websites must achieve the standard as a minimum.

We provide expert accessibility and usability assessments

To identify the barriers that prevent disabled people from using your website or app.

We have expert digital audit and user experience consultants

The first line of defence against inaccessible web and app design.

We undertake WCAG AA website and app audits

We audit against the latest industry standard WCAG 2.2 Web Content Accessibility Guidelines and RNIB’s internal app guidelines to test coding, responsiveness, and user experience.

We offer observed user testing with people with communication needs

We test your website or app with end users through RNIB’s observed user testing service. This involves blind and partially sighted people and / or other groups of people with other communication needs, as required.

Why not adopt RNIB’s Tried and Tested accreditation mark?

This lets your patients/clients know that you have undertaken a rigorous assessment which ensures your website / app is accessible and usable.

We offer digital accessibility and usability courses for website, apps, and products

These include:

  • Accessibility and usability for websites on desktop and mobile
  • Accessibility and usability of apps
  • Accessible and usable visual design
  • Accessible and usable product design
  • JAWS or NVDA bespoke training
  • Accessibility social media training.

Technical web development courses including:

  • Introduction to digital accessibility
  • Website accessibility for developers
  • Web accessibility for designers
  • Web accessibility for content authors.

Inclusive environments

RNIB can support you to improve your wayfinding and navigation – this starts from your patient’s home.

Inclusive design is better for everyone.

Vispero / RNIB JAWS for Kiosks

JAWS for Kiosk software is a screen reader that provides a text-to-speech audio output on self-service kiosks.

It can be used with both Microsoft Windows and Android operating systems. JAWS for Kiosk provides customisable, context-specific instructional messaging to assist users with disabilities and is available in more than 40 languages with a variety of voice options.

JAWS for kiosk software ensures that many blind and partially sighted people can independently check in without support.

NaviLens technology overcomes the challenges of traditional signage through using the camera on the person’s smart phone.

Designed to enable many blind and partially sighted people, with the ability to access and locate information and interact with their environment, particularly in busy areas.

All information is relayed in the patient’s required format including Easy Read, and over 30 different languages.

Find out more about NaviLens on the RNIB website.

Signage

For people who have no sight at all, or whose vision is sufficient to locate a sign but not to distinguish the individual letters, tactile elements and symbols will help patients find their way around the environment.

RNIB can provide guidance, test accessibility, and provide signage design.

Key contact

Email the team at [email protected] or telephone 01733 375370 to discuss all your requirements. Alternatively, view our range of services online at RNIB Business Services