The Danish social enterprise RoboBraille, has developed a simple web-based service that allows anyone to submit any digital document, select a preferred output format and have that accessible format emailed back within minutes.  Try the service for yourself by clicking the link above.

The system is offered as a free service for individuals worldwide and has also been adapted for institutional settings in higher education (eg at Harvard and Stanford Universities).

RoboNHS is a modification of the Robobraille system designed specifically for compatibility with NHS data systems to enable compliance with NHS England’s Accessible Information Standard.  It offers a simple "one click" option for the automatic generation of alternative format documents for the increasing proportion of the patient population who need them (estimated as high as 30%) at a fraction of the cost of existing specialist translation services.

The AIS applies to every provider of publicly funded health and social care, including GP practices, hospitals, high street pharmacies, care homes, dentists and so on.   In practice most of these providers have IT systems already in place and so we are also working with directly with IT systems suppliers – eg EMIS – to make RoboNHS available as an add-on to their normal packages.

Beyond healthcare, the product is in principle universally adaptable to meet the accessibility requirements of any public or private body.  Under the Equality Act 2010 any provider of a service, public or private, is legally obliged to make it accessible.  In practice this requirement is rarely met.  We hope that the demonstration of RoboNHS’s effectiveness at low cost in implementing the AIS and the improvement in patient-centred care that will result will in turn encourage others to fulfil their accessibility obligations in other sectors.