Conversion ready information means that educational information and communications are readily available to be converted into alternative formats such as Braille, accessible e-text, large print, or audio. In contrast, information is unconvertible if there is no available technology on site to covert information to an alternative format, or if there are technical difficulties in converting the data. Examples include using fonts on standard print text that the scanning and reading software cannot recognize and process into an e-format, or simply the absence of the scanning and reading software in school.
Each academic organization will need to assess how information and communication are being distributed and review how they could present solutions to these barriers to the students, educators, and staff. This may mean revising fonts on printed material to be recognizable through technology or creating accessible PDF documents and websites. Others may value the importance in training educators and staff on how alternative formats can benefit individuals in an academic setting to obtain the appropriate and compatible technologies. The next step is obtaining or creating conversion ready documents to provide accessible educational materials that meet individual needs.
In addition to meeting technical requirements of conversion-ready documents, information must be accessible and effectively communicated to the individual the material is provided to. The goal of conversion ready is not only having alternative formats to everyone to ensure access but also to ensure that communication is clear and as effective as that provided to others.
How It Relates to the AODA legislation
Conversion ready relates to the following sections of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) Integrated Accessibility Standards, specifically some of the following sections in the Information and Communication Standards:
- Accessible Formats and Communication Supports
- Producers of Educational Training Material
- Training to Educators
In the Ontario public education system, the Alternate Education Resources of Ontario service of the Provincial Schools Branch provides alternate formats like DAISY files to help schools support their students.
Additional resources for training educators can be found on AccessForward’s website under Training Modules and Additional Training Resources, for example Training on Accessible Course Delivery and Instruction.
- Conversion Ready refers to digital information that can be easily converted into an accessible format which would provide individuals with an alternative means to access information and educational resources
- People interact, learn, and communicate in diverse ways. Learning opportunities are increased when flexible ways of engaging with learning materials are provided. Considering how people communicate is important for knowledge to be exchanged. Alternative formats take into account diverse ways of exchanging information.
- The AODA legislates that educational institutions and their employees know how to produce accessible or conversion ready versions of textbooks and printed material. Educators, teachers, staff are to learn about accessible course delivery and instruction and be knowledgeable at interacting and communicating with people with disabilities who may use alternate formats.
To learn how this section relates to the core principles of the AODA Customer Service regulation, visit the AODA page on SNOW.
To learn of ways to innovate, develop, and design for accessibility, visit OCAD University’s Inclusive Design Research Centre (IDRC) website and the IDRC’s floe project website.