Alternate Format Production Policy

Photo shows a pair of hands reading braille format material.

PRCVI produces primary learning materials in alternate formats for qualifying students with visual impairments who are registered with PRCVI and enrolled in a public school district or Group I or II independent schools in British Columbia.

Alternate format production is enabled by Section 32 of the Copyright Act, which permits the production of alternate formats of copyright material providing there is no commercially available format that meets the access requirements of the reader with a perceptual disability. For more on the Copyright Act, see the ARC-BC training materials. Material loans and production requests are made by a qualified Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments (TSVI, i.e., the registered PRCVI user) on behalf of the learner. Production requests for hard-copy alternate format materials (i.e., large/enlarged print and braille) are handled by PRCVI. Requests for digital alternate format materials are made through the Accessible Resource Centre - British Columbia.   

Primary Learning Materials

The BC curriculum emphasizes an eclectic approach to educational materials, which may include an array of learning materials across a number of different formats. PRCVI is responsible for providing primary learning materials in braille or large print formats. A primary learning material is a text that is referred to and relevant across the course or academic year and is central to the program of instruction as delivered by the classroom teacher. Primary learning materials are commercially available and are assigned an International Standard Book Number (ISBN)

Braille Production

Where resources and timeline allow, PRCVI transcribes entire books published within ten years of the date on which material is requested in English and French (upon request). For materials that are older than ten years from the request date, PRCVI will transcribe the sections/chapters that are required by the classroom teacher, including glossaries and other general reference sections.

  • For students who read braille, please request all primary learning materials that are required. There may be some content where hard copy braille and/or tactile graphics are the only effective means of representation for the learner. 

Other learning materials such as consumable worksheets, handouts, or portions of workbooks are produced locally, by in-school or in-district braille transcribers or braillists. In contrast to primary learning materials such as textbooks and novels, these consumable materials may be created by the classroom teacher, are specific to the individual student's program, and are typically required on shorter timelines than primary learning materials. 

  • In some circumstances, a commercially available student workbook may be used as the primary learning material. Please check with PRCVI before undertaking local transcription of a large workbook.

Large Print Production

PRCVI produces materials in large print. Materials are enlarged in full colour to approximately 130-150%, depending on the dimensions of the original book. Enlarged print materials cannot be customized in terms of size or colour/contrast features. For more customizable options, consider the use of digital alternate formats available from ARC-BC

  • Note on terminology: The term "Large Print" is typically used to refer to all print materials for users with low vision. Large Print format materials have been reformatted from the original book to accommodate the use of a larger typeface. As a result, these materials may not have page numbers that match those of the original book and some visual formatting and text features may be removed or simplified. "Enlarged Print" refers to materials that have been enlarged from the size of the original book and retain all of the same visual features, including formatting. Pagination and appearance are identical to the original book.

Print Originals for Large Print Production

Upon receipt of a large print production request from a registered user, PRCVI will make reasonable effort to purchase a print original (i.e., commercially available print version). If a print original in good condition cannot be located and/or obtained on a suitable timeline, the school district or education authority has the option to donate a copy for production. This donated copy will not be returned to the school district/education authority and the large print version will become part of the PRCVI library collection. 

Consumable Workbooks for Large Print Production

If a student requires a workbook that is being used as a consumable material (i.e., the student will be writing directly in the material), PRCVI will produce a consumable large print version of the workbook that will not need to be returned to PRCVI. In the case of a request for a consumable workbook in large print format, the requesting school district/education authority will be asked to provide a commercially available print version that will not be returned, in accordance with the Copyright Act of Canada. 

For more information on the PRCVI Alternate Format Production Policy, please contact


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