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H810: Week 8: Activity 17.2

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H810: Week 8: Activity 17.2

  • Who in your organisation is responsible for providing alternative formats and any descriptions required?
    The lecturer with support of disability support workers where necessary
  • Is anyone responsible for checking the quality of alternative format materials?
    Not as far as I know
  • Are there any copyright issues?
    The University holds a licence from the Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA) to make digital copies of extracts of printed material for students enrolled on a course of study. This allows lecturers to publish their illustrated lecture slides on the KLE and accessible copies of part or whole works can be made available for material owned by individual students or held in the University library.

Lecture slides with text, images, audio and video - supplied on VLE at least 3 days in advance by the majority of lecturers. Dyslexic students and others with short term memory impairments are well catered for with the lecture slides being available for replay on the VLE; Hearing impaired students require captions on the video and transcripts for the audio but these can be time consuming to produce and many lecturers rely on the student's notetaker to take down the required information. This can be adequate if the notetaker is trained but many notetakers are other students attending the class and may not understand the material themselves or be able to write at speed. Images and video require an alternative text or embossed slides. It can be difficult for even a trained notetaker to convert images to text at the same time as recording what the lecturer is saying so it is possible for the notetaker to request access to the VLE and the images so that they can provide alt text at a later date.

Diagrams on whiteboard with text and images. Ideally these would be supplied on handout for students with visual impairment, dyslexia, hearing impairment or writing impairments. Some lecturers do this for pre-planned material but this is used mostly for off-the-cuff explanations and so a qualified notetaker is a practical alternative. Often the student will dictate what material is essential. I worked with a student with a hearing impairment and he instructed me to write down the explanation the lecturer gave whilst he drew the diagrams from the board.

Laboratory work handling animals, chemicals, microscopes, dissection equipment, radioactive materials etc. The biology department at Keele University have invested in magnification equipment for use with microscopes; models and tactile images to assist visually impaired students. They also trained and paid a PhD student to assist in laboratory work and insisted on a notetaker that had qualifications in a related field and was safe in the lab.

Field work involves notetaking in adverse conditions and walking and scrambling over uneven and steep terrain both in the UK and in other parts of Europe. The University offer alternative forms of assessment and the student is also welcome to take support workers with them on field trips. Assessed notebooks are an important part of most courses and discussion on how to complete these is generally held between student, support worker and lecturer.



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