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As awareness of government regulations around digital accessibility continues to grow and evolve, it’s important for education leaders and learning providers to understand how best to use assistive technology (AT).
While AT is an essential tool in creating an inclusive experience, opportunities for awareness-raising and on-going peer support can be scarce. To support the sector, Jisc is running a series of short courses to provide advice and guidance around AT decision making. Participants with all levels of experience will work together to reflect on themes including:
- Needs assessment essentials
- Assistive technology for students who are deaf or hard of hearing
- Assistive technology for students with a vision impairment
- Strategic approaches to implementing assistive technology
Kellie Mote, accessibility specialist at Jisc, said:
“Interest in digital accessibility in education since the introduction of public sector accessibility regulations has led many in the sector to question whether they are making the most of AT.
“AT supports independence and achievement for disabled students and those with diverse needs. A proactive, strategic approach to deploying AT has benefits for many students, as not all who benefit from these tools may have, or have disclosed, an additional support need. Many students use features of AT to boost their productivity or language understanding.
“Findings of the 2022 Jisc digital experience insights HE student survey found 47% of respondents used at least one of the most popular assistive learning technologies. However, of those, only 30% had received support to use the tools. This highlights a need for greater knowledge around AT, not only to provide equal opportunities for all, but to improve students’ overall digital experience.”
Delivered online via Zoom, the workshops will provide an overview of available technology, but more importantly, highlight how it can be best used for and by students.
The first of these two-hour sessions takes place on Thursday 9 February 2023, and Jisc is offering one free place per member institution (until courses are full).
To access a free place, use code “ONEFREE” when booking.
To join the conversation around AT, sign up to the Jisc Assistive Technology network, or register to attend Digifest 2023, where Jisc accessibility specialists will be providing an AT update in collaboration with Techability.