Category Archives: Resources

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 … Read more

Accessible learning platforms

Many things influence the accessibility of a learning platform. Here, Alistair McNaught gives some pointers to the main issues. And – as we see below – it is not just about technology; the way you use it matters too. This overview looks at four key areas; users, resources, activities and browser choices. Users  Usability of … Read more

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

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

Involving Staff in Inclusive Learning at Anglia Ruskin

  With cuts to disabled student allowance (DSA) it is imperative that organisations become more inclusive, learning how to reduce barriers at source.  Dr. Jennifer George, Academic Lead for Learning Technologies and Digital Media at Anglia Ruskin University, explains their approach to ensuring some of the key content students encounter has good accessibility credentials… Introduction Staff … Read more

Rich media on your VLE – an accessible policy?

On the face of it, it would seem a simple elegant accessibility solution to require transcripts for all audio resources on your virtual learning environment and transcript/subtitles for all video resources. However, this is an area where “unintended consequences” can lurk around every corner. For many learners, video IS the accessible alternative format – an … Read more

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

Six tips for teaching staff

Top tips for inclusive practice Technology gives a wide range of opportunities to teach more inclusively: digital content can be accessed and personalised in ways that suit learning needs and preferences. It also allows new pedagogical opportunities for working creatively and collaboratively with richer assessment and feedback opportunities. A few key tips can help maximise the … Read more

Inclusive content creation

I’ve been asked to speak at the 2016 Xerte Conference at the University of Nottingham. As you would expect, my theme will be on inclusive teaching and learning. This has got me thinking; in these days of FELTAG agendas for FE and the Teaching Excellence Framework for HE how can organisations ensure that any investments in … Read more

Adding variety without adding barriers

It’s great to use a variety of resources and media types with learners, adding value to the learning experience. However sometimes value added to one user is subtracted from another. Here’s how to minimise barriers when working with a range of media. Documents Structuring a document appropriately is one of the most fundamental accessibility practices. By using … Read more