Category Archives: Library

Supporting access to textbooks and alternative formats

The e-book accessibility audit – use and abuse.

The good – it works The e-book accessibility audit (August 2016 to November 2016) was a joint project between several UK Higher Education Institution disability and library services, Jisc and representatives from the book supply industry. More information on the partners is available. The audit had three main purposes: To create a sort of “accessibility Esperanto” … Read more

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Delivering words to eyes

Text to speech is great but not everyone gets on with it. What other ways can we deliver words to eyes more efficiently?  What about people who want to read with their eyes but have visual or other difficulties that make scanning normal pages tiring or inefficient? What about those who need bigger fonts but … Read more

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Access and Inclusion Strategy: are you digitally inclusive?

Funding changes in Scottish FE sector prompt Margaret McKay to reflect on the wider opportunities for colleges to embrace digital inclusion in widenening participation… A review of funding to support disabled students in FE colleges in Scotland was undertaken last academic year (2015-2016).  Engaging with a wide range of stakeholder groups, the Scottish Funding Council … Read more

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Supporting personalisation with roaming profiles

We’ve talked before about the inclusivity benefits that are hidden in the tools and technologies that we use every day and are often overlooked.  This blog by Margaret McKay and Rohan Slaughter describe ways of (i) taking advantage of the Ease of Access features in Windows (ii) how Roaming Profiles set up by the IT … Read more

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Word or PDF? What’s the learner experience likely to be?

A recent question on the Assistive-technology Jisc mail list (https://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/cgi-bin/webadmin?A0=ASSISTIVE-TECHNOLOGY) sparked some interesting debate. Alistair McNaught thought the debate was worthwhile enough to summarise as a blog post. In the process he discovered some weird and wonderful things about redeeming inaccessible PDFs… How are PDFs good for accessibility? If a PDF document has been created … Read more

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Accessibility in the real world – compromises that count

People are different. Personally, I loathe icons. I am a words person. I hate working with wordless IKEA self-assembly booklets or icon driven tablet and phone screens. Even after 3 months daily use I stare at my Mac screen trying to differentiate between email and word processing symbols because icons are just a jumble of … Read more

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The cost of non-compliance

Most of the postings we make on accessibility and inclusion are upbeat and positive: we are firm believers that accessible practice is good practice. There are plenty of good positive reasons for engaging an inclusive teaching and learning. However, now and again it is worth considering the role of sticks as well as carrots in … Read more

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Talking technology

We’ve already blogged on supporting reading and using built in browser tools but a question we often get is “What’s the difference between screen reading and text readers (or ‘text to speech’ technology)? Often the terms are used interchangeably but, in reality, they are two different kinds of technologies used in different ways. Margaret McKay helps … Read more

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eBooks: An Accessibility Disconnect?

It’s easy to think that new publishing formats like EPUB3 have made accessibility issues a thing of the past. James Scholes – an expert screen reader user and ebook tester – suggests there’s still a long way to go… It’s no surprise that the eBook revolution has been a boon to many visually impaired people. For … Read more

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Jisc support for accessible library services

If you’re currently working in a library service and preparing for the impact of changes to the disabled student allowance this blog post is designed to give you a helpful overview of how Jisc can support you. Our three main areas of focus for inclusive libraries has been advocacy, guidance, and case studies. Advocacy: We … Read more

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