Tania asks:

I have an enquiry from a couple, one party is Visually Impaired. They would have the some of my ‘Welcome Kit’ translated to Braille, including the NOIM, DONLIM, OCM and Form 15. Therefore, I am comfortable that the party would be aware of what they will sign. But … How would the signing and witnessing actually work? Would having a Braille interpreter at the Signing who could tell the party where to sign be a legal solution?

I totally understand why, but Tania was overthinking this one!

I encouraged Tania to think about this party as if they were one who didn’t read English (either because they were illiterate or because they speak a different language). If I had a party who could only read Turkish, for example, I wouldn’t be getting the legal documents translated into Turkish so they could read them. I would have the Turkish interpreter read the documents to them, interpreting the information into Turkish as they went.

We can use the same principle for a party who can’t read the documents because they have a vision impairment or because they’re illiterate: simply have someone read the documents aloud to them!

The party with vision impairment will have some way of making their mark on documents; it may not be a written signature the same as seeing people use, it could be a thumbprint or an X or somethign else altogether. The Guidelines tells us that:

If either of the parties or the witnesses is unable to write, a mark may be made by the person as follows:

[Name – e.g. John X Brown] [His mark] [Name of witness to the mark]

Any of the persons present (over the age of 18) may witness the mark. The person witnessing the signature or mark must actually be present and witness the signature or mark.

You can use the same principles for someone with a vision impairment who cannot sign their name.

Thanks Tania for the great question; it’s one that doesn’t come up very often and it’s good for all of us to think about different scenarios!