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Types of alternate formats

Alternate formats are different ways to present information. Alternative formats are created to ensure that information can be accessed by a range of audience who have varying needs and disabilities.    

Creating and providing alternate formats gives everyone equal access to information. This usually includes disabled people but can also include people with learning disabilities, people with temporary disabilities, and people who speak English as a second language. Providing alternate formats ensures all individuals can easily access information and make well informed decisions for living the lives they choose in their community. 

Types of alternate formats

Easy Read 

Easy Read formats are useful for people with learning disabilities, low literacy skills or English as a second language. Easy Read uses clear, concise, jargon free language with complimenting illustrations to help explain the meaning of the text. 

Large print 

Large print contains the original text content, but it is presented in an accessible font (Arial for example) in size 16+. 

Audio recordings 

Audio recordings are recordings of the original content being read out loud, including describing any illustrations or graphs. The audio file is then available to be downloaded by anyone. 


Braille is a reading and writing system for people who are blind or have low vision. It is a tactile code of raised dots that are read by touch. Braille as an accessible format is usually a hard copy but can also be provided electronically.  

New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) video 

NZSL is its own language, different than English. NZSL video is a recording or live stream of a sign language interpreter signing the spoken or written content in NZSL. 

A person in an orange hoodie is reading a book written in braille, which is a common Alternate Format.

How do I find alternate formats? 

Sometimes organisations or services will have alternate formats attached to the original information or on their website. However, sometimes services and organisations may not have provided alternate formats which can be a barrier to information for disabled people. A good first step is contacting the provider of the information you are trying to access and requesting an alternate format. 

Contact Us 

If you experience barriers to accessing information and services, please feel free to Contact Us for support. 

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