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Making textbooks accessible to all
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Making textbooks accessible to all


Issues around ebook accessibility and portable devices with apps. Students with literacy difficulties or print impairments being able to access text in a way that suits their needs.

Issues around ebook accessibility and portable devices with apps. Students with literacy difficulties or print impairments being able to access text in a way that suits their needs.

Published in Education , Technology
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  • Assistive Technology for literacy skills
  • More teacher training - The Rose Review, Identifying and Teaching Children and Young People with Dyslexia and Literacy Difficulties (2009)[1] Assessment and Parental control - Support and Aspiration: A new approach to special educational needs and disability - a consultation (2011)[2]
  • This assistive technologies tend to be just used by those with disabilities and many teachers are not aware of how useful they may be for everyone. Many special needs tutors do not realise how useful alternative formats can be for dyslexic students.
  • Pictures taken from Microsoft clipart. 1 in 8 by RNIB figures Government statistics for 2008 showed that 16% of children failed to achieve expected levels of reading by the ages of 7, 13% by age 11 and 31% by age 14.1
  • LexDis students 76% change their settings – these are university students but even the younger ones were changing the look and feel of their desktop settings.


  • 1. Making Textbooks Accessible to All
  • 2. Overview
  • 3. Dyslexia
    • ‘ Specific Learning Difficulty’
    • Not always recognised
    • Hard to get a ‘statement of special educational needs’ (SEN)
    • Can inclusion and personalisation work?
  • 4. Technology Currently Used
    • School Networks – TTS and spell checkers
    • 85% share computers at home
    • Rarely offered alternative formats or the supporting technologies
    • Students have gone mobile
    Accessible Resources Project
  • 5. Some Issues of the Day
    • Lack of access and the appreciation of the need to have learning materials in alternative formats at the same time as other students
    • Lack of support for personalised technologies that may provide access to e-text in schools and a lack of e-texts.
    • Lack of time and training for this type of support
    • Most teachers make print based
    • worksheets rather use e-texts
  • 6. Student’s attitudes
    • Happy to use technology when given the equipment, time and skills
    • Best when able to take it home – take ownership and control desktop settings
    • See improvements and gain confidence.
    Over 50% make changes to their settings
  • 7.
    • 2 / 3 children and young people reading websites every week
    • ½ children and young people reading emails and blogs/ networking websites (such as Bebo, MySpace) every week. (National Literacy Trust, 2009)
    Children reading online
  • 8. Dyslexic Learners’ Needs
    • Easy access to text that can be adapted to allow for:
    • Font and colour changes
    • Text to Speech
    • Text Highlighting
    • Line spacing
    • When young - look and feel of the books their peers are accessing if possible – PDF an option
    • Study skill support and right Assistive Technology
  • 9. Desktop Text to Speech
  • 10.
    • So where are we going?
  • 11. The i- and The e-
  • 12. Student’s Leading the Way
    • Stanza, Blio, Calibre, EasyReader, Adobe PDF, Google Books
    • Image to Text, iBooks -ePub and PDF reader -Supports VoiceOver interactions - iPhone
    • Moon+ Reader -Supports txt, html, epub, zip, opds - control of colour, line spacing, font size, orientation etc - Android
    iCloud Chrome OS
  • 13. Pros and cons of the e-text and the i-world
    • Audio poor in classroom
    • No multitasking
    • Desktop software tends to do more within one program
    • May not be able to combine such things as TTS, text highlighting, font and line changes as well as annotations.
    • Have to remember to synch with one computer and not all apps accept accessible formats
    • Light and fast boot up
    • Can offer font changes and text to speech
    • Build a personalised toolkit
    • Often not so expensive that you cannot try another app
    • Many options for similar strategies
    • Long lasting battery for reading at will.
  • 14. Who am I?
    • I have Cerebral Palsy and Dyslexia
    • Have worked with computers and Assistive Technology professionally for more then 20 years
    • Have worked at a National Upper secondary school for people with physical disabilities
    • work at the Community council of Helsingborg as a computer technician with special responsibility for Assistive Technology
    • I am collaborating with developers to get better Assistive Technology (e.g Daisy)
    • Local Vice President of a Dyslexia organisation
  • 15. How do we support students
    • Assistive Technology on every student´s and teacher´s computer in schools ( primary to adult) e.g. Easy Reader, TTS engines, OCR engines, JDVoicemail etc, 12 programs in all, to date on 7000+ computers
    • All schools & public librarys will have Easy Converter A centre to support adult students with Dyslexia and /or Dyscalculia
    • Register students to have personal access to the Swedish Library of Talking Books and Braille catalogue of over 90,000 Daisy Books
    • Register school libraries to the Swedish Library of Talking Books and Braille.
  • 16. Demonstration Inaccessible Navigation, text to speech or real audio plus the ability to annotate.
  • 17. Thank You
    • Mrs E.A. Draffan,
    • WAIS, ECS,
    • University of Southampton.
    • [email_address]
    • Joakim Uppsäll-Sjögren,
    • IT-technician for Assistive Technology
    • Community Council of Helsingborg, Sweden
    • [email_address]
    The following slides are for your information Do explore the web sites and these slides are available on Slideshare
  • 18.
  • 19.  
  • 20.  
  • 21. Some of the Companies supporting e-texts
  • 22.  
  • 23.  
  • 24. References
    • The Rose Review (2009)
    • Support and Aspiration: A new approach to special educational needs and disability - a consultation (2011)
    • JISC TechDis Guidance and Publisher LookUp
    • Load2Learn – Department of Education Project
    • Books for All – Scotland
    • Access My Studies –
    • METALL -
    • MyDocStore -