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accessibility regulations compliance Alternative formats Student support

How to maintain Accessibility and Wellbeing practices when staff are stretched

With the expectation that staff absence and self-isolation will continue for the next few weeks, it can be challenging to sustain the momentum of accessibility projects and training. With staff stretched to capacity covering shortages and supporting their students, how can we ensure the work on accessibility and digital inclusion doesn’t get relegated to the […]

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Alistair McNaught Alternative formats e-books Library Policy & strategy

Praise a publisher – critique a publisher: Autumn 2017

Universities and colleges have a legal obligation to provide resources in accessible formats to print disabled students. However, many of the e-book platforms they subscribe to have limited accessibility or are tied-in to scarcely accessible third-party tools like Adobe Digital Editions. So it is not unusual to need to get the raw file from the publisher […]

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Alistair McNaught Alternative formats e-books Library

Accessible library practice – the Bradford example

Sarah George is a Subject Librarian at the University of Bradford. She was made a National Teaching Fellow in 2017 – and her accessibility remit contributed significantly to that recognition. Here she gives a personal take on e-book accessibility and accessibility activism via research and evidence. I am an academic librarian at the University of Bradford, covering the subjects […]

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Alistair McNaught Alternative formats e-books Library Reading effectively Researching effectively Resources Student support

Open access resources (OERs) and accessibility

It seems tautological to write a blog post on open access and accessibility. Surely if something is open access then it is open to anyone and therefore accessible to anyone? Alistair McNaught argues that the link between open access and accessibility is more nuanced than you might expect. Authors and institutions need simple guidelines to […]

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Alternative formats Equality Policy & strategy Quality improvement Teaching

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 […]

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Alternative formats Productivity/assistive technology Reading effectively

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 […]

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Alternative formats e-books Reading effectively Resources

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 […]

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Alternative formats Legal Quality improvement Resources

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 […]

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Alternative formats Margaret McKay Mobile Policy & strategy Reading effectively Writing effectively

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 […]

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Alternative formats e-books Library Reading effectively Resources

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 […]