Simon Ball - Using technology in teaching to aid accessibility and inclusion


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Dr Simon Ball is a Senior Advisor for the JISC TechDis service, working across the whole of higher and further education to increase the accessibility of practice in teaching, support, libraries, HR etc through the use of technology. This includes providing advice and guidance on the use of everyday and mainstream technologies to aid inclusion, as well as how technology can best be utilised to provide a more inclusive experience for disabled students and staff (and therefore all students and staff).

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  • 06/07/09 Using technology in teaching to aid accessibility and inclusion Dr Simon Ball [email_address] 22 nd January 2009 course/view.php?id=93
  • Simon Ball - Using technology in teaching to aid accessibility and inclusion

    1. 1. JISC TechDis workshop 22 nd January 2009 Using technology in teaching to aid accessibility and inclusion Dr Simon Ball [email_address] course/view.php?id=93
    2. 2. Holistic Approach to Accessibility <ul><li>We believe it is best practice to take a holistic approach to accessibility. </li></ul><ul><li>Do not be afraid to add value in different ways for different learners – everybody doesn’t have to access the same information in the same way, as long as the learning outcomes are met and the experience is broadly equivalent. </li></ul><ul><li>Broadening the range of what is offered will increase accessibility overall, despite specific barriers that may arise. </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
    3. 3. Staff Development & Support <ul><li>TechDis Online services </li></ul><ul><li>Community site </li></ul><ul><li>Accessibility Essentials </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1. Making your computer work better for you </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2. Producing Word documents that are more inclusive </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>3. Producing inclusive PowerPoints and presentations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>4. Making PDFs as accessible as possible </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Staff packs </li></ul><ul><li>Free Software </li></ul><ul><li>Assistive Technologies </li></ul><ul><li>Case Studies (HEAT scheme) </li></ul><ul><li>Online Accessibility Self Evaluation programme – next slide…. </li></ul>
    4. 4. Online Accessibility Self Evaluations <ul><li>The self evaluation exercise should best be conducted during specially run online sessions to enable simultaneous evaluation by several (anonymous) institutions. You can therefore benchmark your responses against the others, without knowing who they are  </li></ul>
    5. 5. Online Accessibility Self Evaluations
    6. 6. Instant Presenter (also Elluminate, Wimba etc)
    7. 7. Audacity – free sound recorder/editor <ul><li>Simple route into making podcasts </li></ul><ul><li>Good introductory tutorial at </li></ul><ul><li>Can add introductory music etc simply to make a professional sounding podcast. </li></ul><ul><li>Have been used as ‘backup’ for lectures, for additional material for listening in ‘dead time’ e.g. on buses, and for adding supporting material e.g. describing current news items of relevance to the curriculum </li></ul>
    8. 8. Camstudio (with subtitles via MovieMaker) <ul><li>Choose media to be shown. </li></ul><ul><li>Open Camstudio, define ‘recordable’ area, move cursor, add commentary. </li></ul><ul><li>Volunteer required to demonstrate! </li></ul><ul><li>Save avi file. </li></ul><ul><li>Open file in Windows MovieMaker </li></ul><ul><li>Add subtitles. </li></ul><ul><li>Et voila! </li></ul>
    9. 9. DSpeech <ul><li>Allows electronic text to be converted into ‘automatic’ podcasts using a computerised voice. </li></ul><ul><li>Computerised voices aren’t for everyone! </li></ul><ul><li>But they do add a degree of flexibility for those who do not like or have difficulty with reading, or who want to listen whilst doing other things. </li></ul><ul><li>Another Demo is available at </li></ul><ul><li>DSpeech Demo </li></ul>
    10. 10. Robobraille / ReadTheWords <ul><li>Send Word file attachment (blank email and subject line) to [email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>Within a few minutes you get back an audio version of your file. </li></ul><ul><li> – set up a free profile and get a choice of 15 voices </li></ul><ul><li>Paste in text or convert a whole Word, PDF, web page or RSS </li></ul><ul><li>Here are a couple of examples: Charles , Nina </li></ul>
    11. 11. LetMeType <ul><li>Word prediction and spell checking facility. </li></ul><ul><li>You can import glossaries of technical terms, and it will learn words as you type. </li></ul><ul><li>More at </li></ul><ul><li>LetMeType Demo </li></ul>
    12. 12. Dasher <ul><li>A demonstration of Dasher, software that enabled a newly paraplegic staff member to return to work – superb demonstration of the power of assistive technologies </li></ul>
    13. 13. WINK <ul><li>Produces more flexible presentations, with image selection, flexible audio and captioning, subtitling and so on. </li></ul><ul><li>Demo on under Visualisation Tools </li></ul><ul><li>Demo file </li></ul>
    14. 14. Xerte <ul><li>Xerte is a generator of Accessible Learning Objects. </li></ul><ul><li>Similar concept to CourseGenie but simpler and produces Accessible Learning Objects. </li></ul><ul><li>Full instructions from </li></ul><ul><li>Ensure you download the Xerte engine AND the TechDis template, the engine alone is complex to use </li></ul><ul><li>Simple template brings in images, audio files, video and flash animations. ‘Advanced’ template has quiz facilities, ‘nesting’ of pages etc </li></ul><ul><li>Example object 1 , Example object 2 </li></ul>
    15. 15. Collaboration <ul><li>Wikis </li></ul><ul><li>Blogs </li></ul><ul><li>GoogleDocs </li></ul><ul><li>Gabbly </li></ul><ul><li>Vyew </li></ul><ul><li>Mindmeister </li></ul><ul><li>EtherPad </li></ul>
    16. 16. Web Accessibility <ul><li>WCAG Guidelines (version 2.0 due December, allegedly) </li></ul><ul><li>A useful tool, but difficult to understand, difficult to interpret, and they are only GUIDELINES - they are not the law and you have to apply a sense of reason! </li></ul><ul><li>Think about it – if a website designed for a class of blind students has white text on a white background – it’s inaccessible to anyone else – does it matter? </li></ul>
    17. 17. Think about context <ul><li>Research by City University for the DRC a couple of years ago found that half of websites claiming to meet WCAG AA did not meet it, and of those that did, half were still inaccessible to users, whereas half of those that did not meet the guidelines were perfectly accessible to users. </li></ul><ul><li>Accessibility has to be contextual </li></ul>
    18. 18. Mobile learning <ul><li>Superb projects going on in HEAT scheme and MoleNet (England) </li></ul><ul><li>Upwardly Mobile: Getting started with mobile learning - resource now available: </li></ul>
    19. 19. course/view.php?id=93 <ul><li>JISC TechDis Service </li></ul><ul><li>Higher Education Academy Building </li></ul><ul><li>Innovation Way </li></ul><ul><li>York Science Park </li></ul><ul><li>York </li></ul><ul><li>YO10 5BR </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>