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Accessibility and alternate formats – all-of-government process

The Ministry of Social Development (MSD) is responsible for coordinating all-of-government’s management of alternate formats – Easy Read, New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL), braille, audio, and large print. It is also responsible for coordinating advice on creating accessible information.

We partner with the three Disabled People's Organisations (DPOs), who provide the government with independent and consistent advice about alternate formats. The DPOs are Deaf Aotearoa, Association of Blind Citizens, and People First.

The Accessibility team at MSD provides a centralised service for translating your agency’s content into alternate formats – supporting you to provide the right information, at the right time, in the right way to the disability community.

Alternate formats should be provided when information:

  • is for disabled people
  • affects access to rights or responsibilities
  • affects decisions, payments
  • is confidential, personal, or legal
  • is consultation or surveys
  • has been requested in an alternate format.

Alternate Format Service - Christmas 2023 shutdown period

To ensure that existing work is able to be prioritised and completed, and to manage reduced capacity during the Christmas period, we will be closing down the Alternate Format Service to any new work from 17 November 2023. We anticipate that all our providers will be returning to work by the 15 January 2024.

Please continue to send through new or current work requiring advice or assessment, however, where we receive a final document after 17 November 2023, we cannot guarantee that it will be translated prior to Christmas 2023.

Any requests for alternative formats will need to keep in mind these dates.

Translations needed in January / mid-February: If you have translations that you would like completed in January or mid-February, please get in contact as early as possible in December so we can ensure the providers have the work in the pipeline when they return to work in January.

Urgent or Emergency translations: If you have an urgent or emergency translation over this period, please still contact us and we will consider these on a case-by-case basis. We would expect these to largely be Priority 1 Translations (i.e. where there is a direct and immediate public health risk).