QNS and Print Disability

Queensland Narrating Service (QNS) is an institution assisting people with a print disability as defined in Part VB Division 3 of the Copyright Act 1968 and operates under the provisions of Part VB of the Act.

According to the Copyright Act 1968 (Interpretation part 2. section 10, page 13) a “person with a print disability” means:

  • a person without sight; or
  • a person whose sight is severely impaired; or
  • a person unable to hold or manipulate books or to focus or move his or her eyes; or
  • a person with a perceptual disability

In practice, this includes examples such as:

  • people who are blind or vision impaired
  • people with severe arthritis who may have difficulty holding a book or turning pages
  • people suffering from MS who may have functional eyesight but be unable to read due to severe shaking of their head or hands
  • people with other types of physical disability or injuries that inhibit the easy use of reading materials such as books, magazines or newspapers
  • people with a perceptual disability, such as dyslexia

There are many causes of print disability. One common cause is ageing. Temporary print disability is often seen in hospitals where people may not be able to use their eyes or hands due to an illness, making reading difficult or impossible. An example of this is people suffering renal failure who use dialysis machines for hours per day find listening to audio books is one of the few activities they can do.

QNS requests permission from publishers to produce audio books for people with print disabilities. These books can be borrowed from public libraries and closed libraries such as Vision Australia Information and Library Service and VisAbility.

QNS is a member of Round Table On Information Access for People With Print Disabilities.