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Demo #5 - 14.00 - 14.30 - Online content can be highly accessible, is yours? - JISC Techdis

Demonstration of how JISC Techdis has supported projects using online tools

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28 July 2010

Equality and Diversity are not specialist subjects - they affect us all, whether we’re visually impaired, suffer slow internet connection, have English as our second language or simply struggle with technology. We are all ‘unequal and diverse’ and JISC TechDis can demonstrate strategic solutions which support inclusion and are value for money.
The session will highlight how JISC TechDis has supported projects such as Curriculum Design and Delivery and OER  by using tools like Xerte,, the Accessibility Passport Generator, and the Online Evaluation Service

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Sal Cooke from JISC TechDis will lead this next project showcase.

Sal starts with an apology - "I'm not my team, I'm me, so you won't get as much interactivity."

Then she asks how many people know about Jisc TechDis. About a quarter of the room raises their hands.

Most academics don't know fundamentals of formatting word processing documents to institutional standards.

We can't influence individual practitioners as we're only a small team covering a huge variety of bases, so we use intermediaries.

They had 1.3million downloads last year.

"Partnership work is critical," says Sal.

We're doing a huge amount of work with accessible publishing.

She also gives us the latest news that Simon from TechDis is working on an open source project covering almost half the world... (and that's why he can't be here today) Sal has pulled upa  slide of Russia, Mongolia, China, and the Stans and promising that there will be fascinating link ups there.

Sal has moved on to tools now. She's talking about AcessApps and the resources that provides and how it opens up systems to visually impared users.

We're going to talk about Xerte and In Folio soon --- There's a reason we're rushing through these things, promises Sal.

The coalition government have a passion about special needs and access, says Sal. You can not ignore it.

Looking at free at point of delivery tools is really important - thanks to the costs they save.

Sal has now opened it up to the audience, asking why they are interested in accessibility.

We're pulling up ideas about making websites in instiutions acessible to all, how many international students are keen to be able to listen to content as well as read it... both services that access apps can help provide.

Sal is now talking about the demand for In Folio and the visual aids it gives to students with severe needs. So for instance, users can have a picture as a log on if they can't use a keyboard easily.

"And because they're open source, your developers can take these things and use them," says Sal. "And it will run on a memory stick."

Sal also points out the fascinating things they're learning from tests with real life users. Like the amount of clicks some users have to go through to read a page of an e-book at the moment...

Sal now talks about xerte, which has recently won a prestigious accessibility award, running a quick demo of how to create a hotspot to show us where Simon's office is going to be... somewhere near Mongolia by the looks of things.

And the bell has gone for the next session!


Sam Jordison
12:54 on 28 July 2010 (Edited 13:23 on 28 July 2010)

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