Introducing Load2LearnProject to create an online catalogue of adapted secondarycurriculum books and images for learners with print disabilities.
What do we know about readingdifficulties? Many children are able and understand but they just cannot read This leads to learnt helplessness Inability to access text effects behaviour and attendance There is a need to develop independence from both the learner and the school
What is the answer?Research has demonstrated that the useof accessible formats can supportpupils with a print disability in becomingindependent learners, reducing theirreliance on adult support.
Key new terms to remember Print disability: New term covering existing disabilities and reflected in copyright regulation. Accessible documents: Can be modified to suit learners’ needs and can be converted into alternative formats.
Definition and legal provisionsfor print disabilities“A print-disabled person is anyone for whoma visual, cognitive or physical disabilityhinders the ability to read print. Thisincludes all visual impairments, dyslexia, andany physical disabilities that prevent thehandling of a physical copy of a printpublication.” -- CLA License(CLA License, http://www.cla.co.uk/data/pdfs/print_disability/cla_guidelines_for_the_pdl_aug10.pdf)
Key legal provisions Make an accessible copy of a document for a print disabled person under the CLA PD Licence Accessible document: large print, electronic copy, audio version (MP3), Braille Unless a suitable commercial alternative exists
Solution: Making text accessible 1. Structured documents with easy navigation (Word, PDF) 2. Modification of font colour, font type, font size, background colour (PDF, Word) 3. Audio books 4. Text-to-speech (PDF, Wordtalk, Balbolka, voices, screen reader) 5. Audio and text linked (DAISY, WordTalk)
Solution 1: Structureddocuments All sections have titles marked with Heading styles Word documents, PDFs, Web Pages
Solution 2: Text and documentmodification Change font size proportionally Change font colours and background colours
Solution 3: Audio books andother audio
Evidence for Audio Books Boys found audio-reading enjoyable and their self-confidence as readers improved. ‘a marked reduction in the quantity of errors … when reading independently’ The boys found audio reading was relatively effortless yet they perceived that they were reading books appropriate to their age and could read ‘hard words’ like their peers (Byrom, 1998, p.5)
Audio as spectacles‘By the same token that some children requirespectacles to enable them to read a book, othersmay require an audio tape to enable them to readthe same book in order that they might all contributeto a stimulating discussion about the content’(Byrom, 1998, p. 6)‘Today some of these people with dyslexia evenregard the computer as their equivalent to theglasses of the weak-sighted’. (Tank & Frederikson,2007, p.947)
Audio books at home parents reported that audio-books appeared to have ‘a positive influence in reducing emotional– behavioural problems’ and that the use of audio-books within the home environment appeared to reduce their child’s sense of frustration and distractibility attributed to greater ease in studying. (Milani et al, 2003, p.93)
Solution 4: Text to speech Synthetic voice (Anna, Brian, Jess, Jack, …) Reader software (Balabolka, WordTalk)
Evidence for text to speechStudents took their SQA standard gradeexaminations in ‘Accessible PDF’ format. Staff praised “independence offered by the electronic format.” Students “all found them easier to use than a scribe.” “mean score was 8.93 compared with 8.00 for scribes.” (Nisbet et al, 2005, p.1)
More evidence for text to speech Text to speech can ‘relieve the burden of decoding for struggling readers, allowing them to focus on comprehension.’ (Wise, Ring, and Olson, 2000). students ‘could double or triple the time that they could sustain reading’ (Elkind et al, 1996, p.160).
Solution 5: Text and audio linkedby DAISY Structured document linking audio and text Text is highlighted in sync with audio
Next steps What are the easy things you can do first? What do you need to do to personally to get comfortable with accessible documents? Are there barriers to having accessible documents implemented at your school? Would you be interested in Load2Learn?