Category Archives: Alternative formats

Global Accessibility Awareness Day – Why it matters to everyone

Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) GAAD on May 18 is a day designed to remind those who shape our digital world that they have a critical role in making our future world accessible to everyone. Most designers work to accessibility standards and guidelines that consider the diversity of ways that people access webpages, software and mobile … 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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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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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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Checking the accessibility of your e-resources

When you are procuring new institutional platforms (such as eBook, VLE, content creation platforms) or licences have come up for renewal again, check which of the following features are available. If a significant number of these features are missing you might renegotiate costs based on the extra costs you might incur in supporting print impaired … Read more

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Accessibility buddies – a copyright checklist from John Kelly, subject specialist in technology and the law.

Where’s my help gone? Changes to the Disabled Student Allowance – DSA – mean that the non medical help support (for example library assistance) previously paid for by the DSA will no longer be available unless the university supplies the service. For some disabled learners this could represent a significant extra difficulty so universities have been considering … Read more

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Using your phone for alternative formats

Copyright law entitles disabled persons to make copies of works for personal use without getting the permission of the rights holder. This includes scanning a textbook and converting it into an electronic format. But how do you go about it? Use a smart phone or tablet then do one of the following: Take a photograph … Read more

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Workflows for obtaining alternative formats

There is no single ‘ideal’ way of sourcing your alternative formats because so much depends on the nature of learner, the nature of the resource and the amount of information required. However, just because there is no unique ‘magical workflow’ doesn’t mean it’s not worth looking at what’s available and putting together a starting point … Read more

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