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Information Regarding Alternate Format Materials

We have created this page to serve as a forum to communicate the availability of alternate format materials (i.e. billing statements) now available from companies that have responded positively to our requests. We will also use this page to advise visitors of other initiatives or general items of interest with respect to the availibility of, or sources for, the production of alternate format materials.

Alternate Format – Other Sources Of Reading Material

To discover several sources of alternate format reading material, we invite you to visit our Resources link dedicated to alternate format books, magazines and newsletters.

Alternate Format – Billing Statements

While many others have successfully lobbied for alternate format statements from credit card companies, chartered banks and utility companies, Access for Sight-Impaired Consumers is pleased to have successfully lobbied BC Hydro & Power Authority, Terasen Gas Inc. and Shaw Communications to ensure their billing statements are available to their customers with print disabilities in various formats.

In June 2009, BC Hydro introduced the option of Braille billing statements to compliment their existing large-print offering. This introduction rounded out a suite of alternate format options thereby giving BC Hydro customers the option of reviewing their statement on-line or receiving either large-print or Braille formats through the mail.

Shaw Cable was the first service provider to respond promptly and positively to ASIC’s request to provide billing statements in alternate formats. In a Shaw Cable press release dated March 15 2005, they announced that they were the first cable company in Canada to make its monthly bills user-friendly for sight-impaired customers by offering large-print, Braille and on-line formats.

On June 16 2008, Terasen Gas Inc. introduced the availability of billing statements in a Braille format. Fifteen months later, in September 2009, Terasen Gas announced a large-print statement option for residents of BC, thereby joining other utility providers by offering their statements in three, common, alternate formats.

Alternate Format – Transcription Sources

There are many sources for arranging to have print material transcribed into Braille format or to have Braille directly embossed onto the printed item (i.e. business cards, restaurant tent cards, etc.). We invite you to visit our list of various transcription services.

After several years of providing an “auto-bill” transcription service for a variety of service providers and utility companies, the CNIB Library for the Blind elected to dedicate its limited resources and donor dollars toward the production, cataloguing, storage and distribution of library materials for clients with print disabilities. As a result, the well-established T-Base Communications acquired CNIB’s auto-bill transcription service​.