Information Services

Introduction to alternative formats

General information on alternative formats and the alternative format tagline.

The University has a legal and moral responsibility under the Equality Act 2010 to provide any of its documents, leaflets, electronic resources etc in an alternative format if requested by a disabled user. Examples of alternative formats are providing a document in large print, Braille, printed on coloured paper, a paper copy of an electronic resource or vice versa or an electronic resource in an alternative way eg: Word document instead of a PDF. The following information explains how to offer this service and what it involves, points to keep in mind are:

  • Documents do not need to be produced in alternative formats until a request has been received.
  • However, all documents must carry a tagline informing readers of how they can request another format.
  • You will save time when producing alternate formats if you create documents with accessibility in mind.
  • It is the University who bears the cost of the providing an alternative format. The person requesting the information in an alternative format should not be asked to pay for it, as this is illegal.

Document tagline

As it is the responsibility of the person who produces a document to provide alternative formats upon request, each document must include this statement:

'if you require this document in an alternative format, such as large print or a coloured background, please contact [insert: name and contact details]'

The contact details provided should be the name of the individual responsible for the creation and maintenance of that document.

Two methods of contacting that individual should be given, such as phone and email or postal address and email.

This tagline should go on all documents, including minutes, agendas, student leaflets and so on, as a matter of routine. It should be in bold Arial font 14.

As long as it can be clearly spotted, this tagline can be placed at the beginning or end of the document.

Highly specific needs

It is impossible to make anything 100% accessible to everyone, as making alterations in one way may make materials accessible for one disabled person but inaccessible for another.

In addition, the requirements of disabled people, including those with similar disabilities may be significantly different.

The document tagline will take account of those with highly specific needs that are not met by general accessibility good practice.

Producing alternative formats

For information on the production of specific alternative formats such as large print etc. please select from the links on the right hand side of this page.

Publishers and alternative formats

If you are involved in obtaining recommended course reading texts in alternative formats and having to contact publishers, the Publisher Lookup UK website provides useful guidance.

How to find electronic versions of published texts

British Sign Language Relay Service

A video relay service is available, enabling British Sign Language users to contact public bodies and vice-versa. This service operates from 8am to 12 midnight, 7 days a week. Please visit the Contact Scotland BSL website for full details.” It is good practice to advertise this beside contact details such as on email signatures. It does not require the Public Body to have any specialist equipment.

Further guidance

AbilityNet has published guidance on accessible documents. 

AbilityNet accessible document guidance

If you require further advice, please contact Viki Galt, the Head of Disability Information.

Viki Galt

Head of Disability Information

  • Information Services

Contact details



Argyle House
Floor F West
3 Lady Lawson Street

Post Code

BSL users can contact me via Contact Scotland BSL, the on-line British Sign Language interpreting service. Find out more on the Contact Scotland BSL website.

Contact Scotland BSL website

Request an alternative format

To request this document in an alternative format, such as large print or on coloured paper, please contact Viki Galt, the Head of Disability Information.