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  • 1. Accessible Course Materialsfor Students With Dyslexia atK.U.Leuven Nadia Diraä, Bert Frees, Jan Engelen, Christophe Strobbe K.U.Leuven, BelgiumAEGIS Conference, Brussels, Belgium, 29-30 November 2011
  • 2. Katholieke Universiteit Leuven● Founded in 1425● 38.568 students (2010-2011)● Since 1973: support of students with disabilities by multidisciplinary working group● Research ● ICT accessibility (DocArch) ● Learning disabilities (Fac Psych & Edu) ● Accessibility of built environment AEGIS Conference, Brussels, Belgium, 29-30 November 2011
  • 3. Accessibility Working Groups● Physical accessibility working group● Digital accessibility working group ● representatives from – ICTS Board – ICTS services (e.g. e-learning, SAP) – library services – student support services – student representative – accessibility experts AEGIS Conference, Brussels, Belgium, 29-30 November 2011
  • 4. Students with DisabilitiesDisability Type 2006-2007 2007-2008 2008-2009Motor/mobility disability 44 51 37Hearing impairment 16 22 27Visual impairment 24 31 37Chronic illness 91 112 164Psychiatric (incl. ADHD,…) 97 209 334Multiple 10 16 27Other 5 6 10Learning disability (dyslexia, 201 187 254…)Total 488 634 890 AEGIS Conference, Brussels, Belgium, 29-30 November 2011
  • 5. Students with Dyslexia● Dyslexia: disorder characterised by persistent problem with acquiring and applying reading and/or spelling at word level. Typical problems: ● slow and inaccurate reading ● poor spelling ● difficulty with note taking during lectures ● more time required for written tasks AEGIS Conference, Brussels, Belgium, 29-30 November 2011
  • 6. Students with Dyslexia● Students with dyslexia = 40% of students with a disability● Compare Netherlands: ● 14.000 out of 500.000 students (3%)● The use of a text reader has a statistically significant impact on text comprehension by students (Dimmitt et al, 2006; Draffan et al 2006) AEGIS Conference, Brussels, Belgium, 29-30 November 2011
  • 7. Project – support for dyslexia● Project to evaluate the impact of the use of assistive technology (AT) for dyslexia● Impact of two types of software ● a comprehensive reading, writing and learning software solution for students with special needs ● software that adds speech and language technology to a desktop apps so students can listen to documents, Web pages, email,… AEGIS Conference, Brussels, Belgium, 29-30 November 2011
  • 8. Survey 2008-2009● 21 students, interviewed 3 times: 1.start: focus on their experience with ICT and their diagnosis of dyslexia 2.after first exams: focus on possibilities of the AT, the problems and needs the students have faced, usability, and possible improvements 3.before exams in June: evaluation of the project by the students AEGIS Conference, Brussels, Belgium, 29-30 November 2011
  • 9. Survey Findings● Students need certain basic IT skills● Both ATs require training for optimal use● Important preconditions ● availability of digital course materials ● authorisation to use ICT during courses and assessments ● computer skills AEGIS Conference, Brussels, Belgium, 29-30 November 2011
  • 10. Survey Findings● Some students dropped out from the survey ● due to lack of digital course materials ● scanning readers and handbooks is too time-consuming ● advantage of the AT did not outweigh the time they expected to need for scanning books and other materials AEGIS Conference, Brussels, Belgium, 29-30 November 2011
  • 11. Additional Support for Students● Online form with which students can request digital version of courses and books● 2009-2010: # of requests rose to 60 ● workflow needed to be improved ● agreements with publishers ● alternate format only available to the student who requested it AEGIS Conference, Brussels, Belgium, 29-30 November 2011
  • 12. Digital Course Materials 2010-’11● 199 requests by 44 students ● alternative versions provided for 158 requests (79%) ● 121 alternative versions (77%) were downloaded by the students ● => 39% of requests either not granted by publishers or not downloaded by students ● Average time: 23 days AEGIS Conference, Brussels, Belgium, 29-30 November 2011
  • 13. Digital Course Materials 2010-’11● Publishers: ● 66 different publishers were contacted ● 78 requests went to 1 single publisher, who granted all these request ● 38 requests went to a publisher who granted 82% of these requests AEGIS Conference, Brussels, Belgium, 29-30 November 2011
  • 14. Conclusions● Average waiting time (23 days) makes it difficult for students to plan properly● But students should also request books sooner● Distribution of digital format through e- learning system is not efficient ● Working with University Library Services to find a more efficient solution AEGIS Conference, Brussels, Belgium, 29-30 November 2011
  • 15. K.U.L. Digital Accessibility Website● www.kuleuven.be/digitaletoeganke lijkheid/ ● Guidelines on web accessibility & document accessibility (MS Word) ● 5 videos on dyslexia ● link collection ● archives of past conferences ● ... AEGIS Conference, Brussels, Belgium, 29-30 November 2011