Accessible Digital Resources
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Accessible etexts from curriculum materials for those with print impairments - strategies for conversion and reading using assistive technologies.

Accessible etexts from curriculum materials for those with print impairments - strategies for conversion and reading using assistive technologies.

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  • The DfE Accessible Resources Pilot Project - independent use of technology and accessible e-texts.   "This project was conceived to assess whether the provision of textbooks and teaching materials as electronic files, along with technologies to convert and ‘read’ them, to visually and print impaired pupils and staff in schools and local authorities that support them (‘Specialist Producers’) could provide a new and sustainable model.   The project confirms that making teaching materials available to print and visually impaired pupils in an appropriate electronic form along with access technologies to read them can make a difference to their reading, writing, confidence, development and inclusion. The same electronic materials can also provide productivity savings for staff in schools and local authorities.   Pupils, with support from staff and trainers, quickly chose the technology and settings that worked best for them and had no problems in accessing a variety of documents including textbooks and school worksheets.   Dyslexic pupils benefited most from using text to speech software, both for reading and writing. The software was able to read MS Word documents and accessible web pages directly. 74% changed the settings on their computers, most changing the font size, the colour background or using highlighting of text as it is read out loud.   On a scale of 1 to 6 (low to high), 90% of all pupils interviewed rated the value of using a computer for their schoolwork as a 4-6, 48% rated it as 6. 40% of pupils commented that they felt they had improved in their schoolwork.   It usually takes between 0.5 and 10 days effort to reproduce a book depending on its complexity and whether scanning is required, but this can increase to around 30 days for the most complex books. This can take anywhere between 3 days and 5 months in elapsed time. Even where PDF files are provided by publishers, significant editing of layout is usually required to produce an accessible version. The provision of the project’s electronic files to specialist producers reduced the time taken to prepare alternative format textbooks by in excess of 90%. In most cases, preparation time was reduced to less than 1 hour."
  • Trial an approach to providing direct access to textbooks and curriculum materials in the format they need – electronic media, pupil centric Trial an approach to assisting ‘ Specialist Producers ’ to do even more to help meet the needs of the pupils they support Report of evaluation and recommendations for sustainable model and best practices
  • 1 in 8 people have print impairments. (Right to Read Alliance /RNIB 2010 )
  • Fundamental to effective education for those unable to access the print on paper. It is pan disability, offering as much benefit to visually impaired users as to people with dyslexia and benefiting those with learning difficulties as much as those with mobility and dexterity difficulties; It has significant mainstream potential (e.g. for navigating audio books, podcasts, reports without needing to look at a screen); There are now internationally agreed standards e.g. the widely adopted EPUB standard for commercial publishers is compatible with the DAISY standard for digital talking books. Masao Sekido (president of Kenkyusha), Chairman, Japan Electronic Publishing Association “The Japan Electronic Publishing Association (JEPA) welcomes the release of DAISY Translator and this initiative. JEPA is currently working with the USA’s International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF) to formulate requirements for Japanese text layout on EPUB, which is steadily becoming the world standard. EPUB and DAISY are very closely related, and we will be working with other Asian countries on standardization, also with a view to packaging vertical text, ruby annotation and other features into DAISY.”
  • Current lack of textbooks and supporting materials in accessible formats Utilising technology Harnessing the natural desire of children to learn Recognising individual needs ‘ Pupil centric ’ approach Key life skills for a lifelong learning experience "Personal choice when interacting with supportive resources can be highly motivating in itself, resulting in increased engagement with the text and the potential for increased comprehension. Even in the absence of improved comprehension, increased engagement is seen as a desirable outcome because it increases self-confidence and leads to improved attitudes toward reading (Strangman & Dalton, 2005.) And, most important, eliminating student control removes the possibility that students will develop an approach to reading in electronic environments that is personally effective and transferable to new contexts." 
  • Flow diagram - Publisher files and OCR files converted to MS Word – go to students direct or need to be adapted by Specialist Producers – Convert to chosen format and read.
  • 1. Do you need to use Optical Character Recognition to provide accessible PDFs, HTML, Daisy or Braille No 6. Do you need accessible PDF reading? Yes 5. Do you want a reading program that works as tool bar above other applications to read and highlight text and multiple format reading Yes EasyTutor Plus ClaroRead Plus Texthelp Read and Write Gold No 7. Do you need multiple format reading Yes Kurzweil 3000 Read: Outloud No 8. Do just need easy to read navigable Daisy Yes Easy Reader No Word Talk No Adobe Reader for any PDF reading Yes 2. Do you need automated Daisy format No MS Word macro to Daisy Yes 3. Do you need navigable Daisy conversion and reading with chapters and headings Yes 4. Do you need to convert a book - read with braille Yes Easy Converter with Easy Reader Kurzweil 1000 No Easy Producer with EasyReader No Start here
  • Microsoft Word documents Tagged for accessibility Access software Providing direct access to MS Word files and PDF documents SuperNova, JAWs (Visually impaired students) EasyTutor, TextHelp (Dyslexic students) Alternative format software Creating alternative format versions of MS Word files EasyConverter Students, teachers and specialist producers can create: Large Print DAISY talking books MP3 audio Braille Playback software Providing access to DAISY and MP3 content EasyReader Portable MP3 player

Accessible Digital Resources Accessible Digital Resources Presentation Transcript

  • The Accessible Resources Pilot Project Independent use of technology and accessible e-texts. E.A. Draffan University of Southampton Funding DCSF 2009/2010
  • Project Objectives
    • To make a real difference to the learning and lives of students with print impairment by providing direct access to curriculum materials
  • Some Issues of the Day
    • Lack of access to learning materials same time as other students
    • Lack of support for e-text in schools, colleges and universities
    • Technology helpful but not always available.
    • Lack of independence for print impaired students
    1 in 8
  • Accessible Digital Information     Priority Comments 1 Paper – typed notes 2   Scribble around them 2 Paper – PowerPoint slides 5 Scribble around them 3 Electronic notes (MS word)   Word docs because I can change them 4 Electronic notes (pdf file)   4 PDF are difficult to change – can’t alter the style 5 Electronic PowerPoint slides   3 Clear points – not too cluttered 6 Electronic PowerPoint slides with embedded video   2 I like videos 7 Electronic PowerPoint slides with narration, embedded questions and explanations 1 Impatica is brilliant. 8 Podcasts – audio only 1   Keep them short and clear with text   9 Podcasts – audio and video 1 Videos are best 10 On line ‘static’ sites e.g. image banks, journal articles 4 These are OK 11 On line ‘collaborative’ sites e.g. Wikipedia 3 I love Wikipedia
  • Access to Curriculum Materials – e-texts? e-Book platform accessibility: JISC TechDis bridge model.
  • Making the Difference …
    • Overcoming some of the barriers to learning
    • Independence through “Personal choice when interacting with supportive resources”
    Lack of Accessible textbooks Access to appropriate technology Pupil centric Access to individualised support Staff time and training
  • Supporting Team
    • Experts in software for accessibility, support and training, Specialist Producers, Study Skills and Support Tutors
      • Liaison with external organisations and Local Authorities
  • Project Framework Publisher PDF files MS Word (intermediate format) Students via VLE Convert to preferred format Large print, Talking Book, MP3 or Braille Pupil reads curriculum materials in preferred format Curriculum materials Students Specialist Producers convert complex files only OCR files (if publisher files not available)
  • Decisions Not mutually exclusive!
  • Tools used by students
    • Microsoft Word documents
    • Access software
    • Alternative format software
    • Playback hardware / software
  • Tools
    • Create&Convert – JISC RSC Scotland SE
    • TAMC from Techadapt – http://accessiblemediacenter.techadapt.com/download/index.html
    • Save as Daisy and Pipeline – Office 2010 – Daisy Consortium
    • iPhone and iPad options – apps for playing Daisy files e.g. InDaisy (£11.49) and Vod Lite (free and £15.49)
  • Teacher and Teaching Assistants’ Comments
    • Thank you
    • E.A. Draffan
    • ECS, University of Southampton.
    • E-mail: ead@ecs.soton.ac.uk
    • www.access.ecs.soton.ac.uk
    • Slides available at: http://www.edshare.soton.ac.uk/7250/
    • More information available at www.mytextbook.org