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Assistive Technology Chris McKenzie Crystal Drury Assistive Technology Advisers.

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Presentation on theme: "Assistive Technology Chris McKenzie Crystal Drury Assistive Technology Advisers."— Presentation transcript:

1 Assistive Technology Chris McKenzie Crystal Drury Assistive Technology Advisers

2 The CORRECT Assistive Technology be involved learning activities which would otherwise be inaccessible, demonstrate competence and achieve results based on ability not limited by disability. can enable students to : Students use of assistive technology should be reviewed to ensure that the provisions effectively meet the changing demands of their course.

3 DO-IT Technology Video Hardware Braille display alternative keyboards, keyguards magnification units: CCTVs Software Screenreader: JAWS Magnification: ZoomText Scan reader: Kurzweil3000 Prediction software Voice recognition Onscreen keyboard Video available online at:

4 Role of Technology Team –needs assessment –application for Disabled Students Allowance (DSA) –purchasing, setup and installation –training in assistive software –research and development laptop and equipment loan pool on-campus Assistive Technology (AT) advice to departments - Disability Resource Development Fund (DRDF)

5 Development of AT Service Assistive Technology Adviser Appointed Initial funding for AT Loan Pool Assistant AT Adviser Appointed SSIS notification system introduced (PEGASUS) Assistive Technology Resource Room Purchasing database introduced Site Licensed software in labs ATANET founded AT Manager, 1 AT Adviser Second AT Adviser Appointed Central Scanning Service introduced AT Support Assistant Appointed

6 Assistive Software Available for all On Campus at Strathclyde University

7 MindGenius Organisation and planning tool based on the concept of Mind-mapping TextHelp Read & Write GOLD Text-to-speech software to assist with reading text on a computer also with proofreading own work

8 Assistive Software Available for User Groups

9 Kurzweil 3000 Scan and Read tool Kurzweil 1000 Scan and Read tool for visually impaired users ZoomText Magnification and screen reading tool for VI users JAWS Dedicated screen reader for blind users

10 Assistive Hardware Available for all On Campus at Strathclyde University

11 Braille Emboser The Braille Embosser can be used to create Braille copies of your work, handouts or research.

12 CCTV CCTVs allow you to magnify the object or book you wish to look at on a larger screen.

13 Scanners A scanner will allow you to convert printed text into images that can be edited and/or read aloud.

14 Assistive Technology in use A student with the use of one-hand only for typing uses a compact keyboard and voice recognition software when completing written assignments. A social work student with dyslexia uses a scanner and text-to-speech software to accurately read his course notes. The visually and auditory feedback aids his comprehension of the content and reduces the need to re-read several times. A student with Aspergers syndrome describes hyper-sensitivity to noise. They use noise-cancelling headphones within noisy environments to allow them to dull the background noise and focus on a speaker.

15 Assistive Technology in use A pharmacy student with a visual impairment has a microscope fitted with a magnification camera which is in turn connected to a TV screen on which it displays the magnified view of the slide. An architecture student with a visual impairment uses a desktop magnification system when drawing and accessing images or text.

16 Current Research & Developments Live Remote Captioning Teaching Room Technologies Visual Display Equipment Audio Equipment Automated Video Capture (web lectures) Video Streaming & Captioning

17 LRC What is LRC Service for deaf and hard of hearing students Live speech converted into text How it works Audio transmitted to captioning studio via mobile Captioner uses voice recognition software to re-speak Text returns to students laptop within seconds

18 Technology

19 Why was it introduced To explore an alternative to the current services i.e. electronic notetaking, speedtext and manual notetakers Aim is to improve reliability, flexibility and scalability of services for students - Mobile technology - Accessible for numerous students simultaneously - No travel required - Remote institutions

20 LRC video clips

21 Trial Still ongoing - Rolled out September students, 2 departments, 2 campuses - Accuracy of transcription excellent - Positive student feedback - Initial technical issues overcome - Ongoing improvements

22 Teaching Room Technologies Visual Display Equipment Audio Equipment Automated Video Capture (web lectures) Video Streaming & Captioning

23 Visual Display Equipment Initial Position No clear consensus among teaching staff Need to develop an agreed standard: Enhance Teaching & Learning experience Improved Technical Support Efficiency gains Disabled Students and Staff

24 Visual Display Equipment No clear consensus among teaching staff...

25 Visual Display Equipment Room Control Systems Touch Screen Wall Mounted Buttons Need for support in infrastructure essential

26 Visual Display Equipment Conclusions Flexibility is important High quality electronic visual display is most accessible Data projector Plasma/LCD screen Availability of electronic copy crucial

27 Audio Equipment Room Specification Based on room size Installed microphones Radio microphones Sound Reinforcement Loop systems Teaching Room Audio Survey Intended to compliment Visual Display Equipment Assessment

28 Audio Equipment Student Survey Delivered online to all current students Option to remain anonymous User-centric focus on user experience

29 Audio Equipment Strong agreement that speakers could be heard during class However, results showed that almost 1/3 of student had to sit in specific areas to hear clearly Over 70% felt that the teaching experience could be improved by better use of audio technology 87.5% reported that speakers did not always use the available systems

30 Automated Video Capture (web lectures) Introduction Introduced in 2005/06 Initially a pilot project within Faculty of Education Background Managed by Learning Services Around 140 recordings per annum Fixed installations 2007 Installed systems less obtrusive Faster turnaround of video onto server

31 Automated Video Capture (web lectures) Technical specifications Installed system Portable systems Windows Media Format Process Integrated with Virtual Learning Environment Transcriptions & Captions

32 Automated Video Capture (web lectures) Feedback Initial concern about attendance No significant drop in attendance demonstrated Could students film classes themselves? Fixed systems only work perfectly if they are installed everywhere. Only as good as infrastructure that supports it.

33 Video Streaming & Captioning 24/7 access to video resources Access on and off campus Flexible approach to learning Searchable Database (eStream) Large volume of data, with user control meta data (including deletion date) Intellectual Property/Ownership/Copyright Transcriptions & Captions Outsourced Expensive! On Demand/Track Disabled students? Moving past technology?

34 Conclusions Accessible Teaching Room Technologies

35 Low Cost No Cost Accessibility of a standard PC - Windows Ease of Access Centre MS Office Freeware Stylesheets

36 Windows Ease of Access Centre Built-in features: Display settings i.e. high contrast Keyboard & mouse settings Textual & Visual Alternatives Narrator Magnifier Voice-recognition On-Screen keyboard

37 Display Options The Display option within Windows Accessibility allows you to switch to a high contrast scheme directly by using a keyboard shortcut. high contrast black and high contrast white are amongst the available schemes. This facility allows standard computers in open access labs to be readily switched to high contrast scheme by users who need or prefer such a display.

38 WORD There are lots of ways that you can make MS Word easier to use. You can: change the background colours and font to suit your own preferences make the spell check tool work harder for you.

39 Stylesheet A style sheet will allow you to view most web pages in the most accessible background colour and text size for you. To create a style sheet: Go to Select your preferred background colour and text size Download your style sheet Save to your computer then install

40 Freeware EduApps scotland.ac.uk/eduapps/ Over 60 pieces of open source software available to support reading, writing, planning as well as sensory, cognitive and physical difficulties

41 Importance of liaising with Academic Departments Student Records System SSIS PEGASUS Impact of Disability, Reasonable Adjustments & Exam Arrangements Awareness Training Sessions Assistive Technology MS Office Accessible Teaching materials

42 Assistive Technology Accessible Resources Academic Support Reasonable Adjustments The Use of Assistive Technology in promoting accessibility The availability of accessible course materials is key to most disabled students success. Students use of assistive technology can make accessing accessible materials possible – but often the process continues to demand more time than the same activities for their non- disabled peers. Non-Medical Personal Helpers and Reasonable Adjustments are also required.

43 Importance of liaising with other departments IT Training Team Systems Developers Teaching Room Support Library Services IT Helpdesk Learning Technology Enhancement Team

44 Any Questions?


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