Lexdis Tour

This tour is formed of screen shots taken in a journey through the LexDis website, with commentary. Select Play when you are ready to begin

Lexdis Tour

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The LexDis project explores the experiences of disabled students when working in e-learning situations, coping with a wide range of teaching and learning materials. The resulting resources are being developed on a database driven website that can be viewed in any browser, including a text based one. It is hoped that the Learner Voice is seen as central to the project to provide an insight into how students are managing their online learning experiences.

This may include the use of alternative formats where documents are hard to access or technologies which are difficult use and simpler ones maybe on offer. Finally it may be to do with the difficulties we have with learning about where students' skills come in, in their use of technologies online and we have seen plenty of those with the strategies that the students have provided us with.

We are also going to look at some guides for instance ones where we might be able to make an application more accessible or where we have looked at the applications in more depth and found that actually we can offer alternative formats, by perhaps, in the case of Microsoft Word, making better use of style sheets. Finally how the students have introduce technologies, in this case showing us strategies using Google Books or perhaps specific technologies that might be used by a student with a visual impairment such as a screen reader.

The participating students range in age from 20 - 71 and are studying a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses, as will be seen from their individual case studies.

The project is designed to provide relevant information for students, managers, teachers, learning technologists, and support staff, so delving into the resources lets take a look at dexterity and mobility as a difficulty, perhaps with handling paper-based materials and then go on to look at Adobe Acrobat PDFs. Here we find we have two strategies, one about Adobe Reader Snapshot tool and the other about scanning restrictive PDFs where the security measures have prevented the student from being able to use a screen reader or even being able to access them with a keyboard.

In this case Nick is discussing the issues for Parliamentary Affairs papers and has used the HTML version in Google, but he also has to scan in some of the documents and in this case again he is having to use another technology, Omnipage scanning and OCR [Optical Character Recognition]. Here we have given not only some Adobe accessibility training hints but also some tips about scanning.

Each strategy has a student's case study as mentioned, and in this case Nick has given us a summary of the course taken followed by a series of strategies he has used like Web of Knowledge, Dragon NaturallySpeaking and the use of dual monitors.

We have provided a tip that [in this case] links to a free accessible PDF reader which allows you to change the font and the size of the text but only if the accessibility is there in the first place!

Finally we have the application Adobe Acrobat, and as has been mentioned, here we have a guide to making these documents more accessible and in this case a student guide for easier reading.

When the students describe their difficulties it is very often linked to a particular task that they are undertaking and in each case we have given a description.

We have tried to provide resources for those working online and for students who have to access e-learning materials on a daily basis and we hope this has given you an insight into the skills and strategies used by students when working with e-learning materials.

The LexDis Impact is about -

    • Access: Helps widen participation
    • Affordability: Freely available online
    • Quality: Strategies enhance effectiveness
    • Adoption: Increasing since launch
    • Accountability: Offers support for compliance
    • Organisational Learning: Best practice sharing
    • Innovation: Considering a much wider use of online services as assistive technologies.

Thank you