This week is Deaf Awareness Week 2016. The theme is about challenging assumptions and focusing on the things that people with hearing loss can do.
In the Library we offer many services to support students with hearing loss and other disabilities, removing barriers to their learning and achievement. The Library Disability Support team have recently launched an online chat service, making it easier to communicate without having to use the phone but getting a more immediate reply than emailing.
Our Learning Support Officer, Susan Smith, helps students with a range of disability related issues in the Libraries. These include assistive software, using Library services and equipment, information searching, obtaining information in accessible formats and other Library queries. Students can book one-to-one appointments or attend regular drop-in sessions with Susan. We were very proud when in 2014 Susan won the Hidden Hero category in the Students’ Union’s Golden Robes awards, which give students the chance to nominate staff who have made an impact on their student experience.
We offer a variety of study environments to suit different preferences. There is a Disability Resource Area (DRA) at each campus, open 24/7, offering a quiet and comfortable study space with PCs with assistive software, low level printers, adjustable height desks and ergonomic chairs, all of which are also available throughout the Library. The assistive software includes Texthelp Read & Write and ClaroRead, which have spelling, homophone and verb checking tools that can help with written work. The DRAs also have equipment and books relating to study skills and disability in higher education.
We subscribe to QuickScan (dyslexia screening tool), supporting students who don’t yet know they have a Specific Learning Difficulty (SpLD).
There are also various systems in place to ensure students with disabilities are not disadvantaged when borrowing Library resources, including longer loan periods and the ability to place an increased number of holds on resources.
You can find out more about the Library support available for students with disabilities on our Disabled and Dyslexic Users web pages.
You can also contact Disability Advice for advice and guidance on any disability-related matter within our University. They encourage all applicants and current students who have a disability to contact them to discuss support and facilities available.