Who is Round Table?
Round Table on Information Access for People with Print Disabilities Inc (Round Table) has a broad membership of education, government, business, alternate format producers, community and disability organisations throughout Australia and New Zealand with the following mission:
"To facilitate and influence the production and use of quality alternative formats for people with print disabilities by optimising the evolving Round Table body of knowledge."
What is a print disability?
People with a print disability are those who cannot obtain access to information in a print format because they:
- are blind or vision impaired
- have physical disabilities which limit their ability to hold or manipulate information in a printed form
- have perceptual or other disabilities which limit their ability to follow a line of print or which affect their concentration
- cannot comprehend information in a print format due to insufficient literacy or language skills
Why is information access so important?
Access to information for people with a print disability, be it in traditional formats such as large print, braille and audio, or in newer and emerging electronic technologies such as the world wide web, structured e-text, e-commerce and interactive voice response, ensures that all people have access to the thoughts and ideas which make a society.
This means people with a print disability have access to the same educational, recreational, social and business opportunities as the rest of the community. Without accessible information active and full participation in society is denied to those with a print disability.
The principal role of the Round Table is to produce standards and guidelines on the production of material in alterate formats including braille, large print, e-text and audio.
Round Table objectives
The Round Table has set as its objectives:
- Fostering a spirit of cooperation and resource sharing among members
- Setting standards and improving the range and accessibility of materials produced
- Providing for consultation and/or action on matters of common concern
- Representing the collective views of members to appropriate bodies
- Fostering consumer consultation
Round Table's strength is the diversity of knowledge and experience in the production and use of alternate format materials embodied by its members. This in-depth experience is drawn on by the Round Table to prepare its standards and guidelines on the production of alternate formats, as well as to represent perspectives on the accessibility of material.
The Round Table Executive Committee is composed of members elected to Committee positions at the Round Table Annual General Meeting in accordance with the Rules of Association. All positions are voluntary and include:
- Vice President
- Consumer Representative
A part time Administrative Officer supports the Committee in its work and receives a small remuneration determined by the Committee.
Round Table conference
A national Conference is organised each year to provide members with updates on areas of interest. The aims are:
- To share information about the latest developments in the provision of accessible information
- To enhance dialogue between users and providers of accessible information
- To showcase examples of best practice in the provision of accessible information to peopled with a print Disability in the work place and the community sector, which includes businesses, agencies, tertiary institutions, libraries, Commonwealth, State and Local government, etc
- To exchange ideas and enhance peer support networks
Member organisations range from state government departments, direct service providers, production organisations, tertiary institutions, libraries, through to volunteer based community groups.
Australian Braille Authority
The Australian Braille Authority (ABA), a sub committee of Round Table, has the specific focus of promoting the use and production of Braille including the accreditation of Braille transcribers and monitoring overseas developments.