Positive about Dyslexia

This week is Dyslexia Awareness Week 2017, and this year’s theme is ‘Positive about Dyslexia’. The Library has a wide range of support available for students with dyslexia to help you succeed at University.

If you think you might have dyslexia but you have not yet been diagnosed, you can complete QuickScan – an online questionnaire which identifies whether you have any indicators of dyslexia and provides advice on the next steps to take. This is accessed via the Support tab in MyBeckett (under Disability Support).

Students who have dyslexia can register with our University’s Disability Advice service who arrange tailored support on an individual basis. When you have registered with Disability Advice, you can use the Disability Resource Areas in the Libraries. These are comfortable silent study spaces for students with disabilities or dyslexia which contain a range of equipment, including larger desks and PCs with dual monitors.

IMG_20170925_132111595The Library has a wide range of books and eBooks about study skills and disability in higher education, including dyslexia. Look out for some of these on our Dyslexia Awareness Week book displays. There is also a collection of reference books on these topics in each Disability Resource Area.

Students registered with Disability Advice can borrow books for longer and place 10 items on hold at once instead of the usual 5, so you can use the Holds system to have books retrieved for you if you have difficulty locating them on the shelves.

We have an ever increasing collection of eBooks. If you find eBooks difficult to use due to dyslexia, we have information on how you can customise the settings to make them more accessible. This includes changing the text size and colour, changing the background colour, and listening to eBooks in audio format. Eligible students can also have their reading list titles obtained in accessible format through the Library’s Alternative Formats service.

A variety of assistive software is available, most of which is installed on all PCs in the Library. This includes Read & Write, which has tools for reading on-screen text aloud (text-to-speech), advanced spelling and grammar support and applying a digital coloured overlay to your computer screen. You can access a web-based version of Read & Write for Google Chrome off campus. There is also software for mind mapping to help you organise your ideas visually, and we have recently subscribed to Pro-Study software which helps you to collect, categorise and organise research from various different sources. We particularly recommend this for students with dyslexia. You can also use SensusAccess to convert documents into more accessible formats, including audio, so you can listen to them rather than reading. If you’d like to know more about the assistive software available in the Library you can come to a workshop – see our Software page for further details, and if you are looking for free software and apps we have several recommendations.

If you prefer to read printed text on a coloured background, coloured paper for printing is available on request free of charge at the Advice Point on the ground floor of each Library. You can choose from six different colours.

For help with study skills including academic writing, Skills for Learning offer online resources, workshops and tutorials.

Photo of SueStudents with disabilities or dyslexia can book a one-to-one appointment with the Library’s Learning Support Officer (Disability and Dyslexia) for help with a wide range of disability related issues in the Library, including using Library resources, assistive software, equipment and more. You can also contact Library staff for advice by phone, email and online chat.

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Making eBooks more accessible – latest news

We told you in a previous post about a project to audit and improve the accessibility of eBooks, which has now been completed. Sue Smith and Vicky Dobson from Library Disability Support worked on the eBook Accessibility Audit project as part of a team from across the UK. This also included Jamie Phillips from Leeds Beckett University, and colleagues from the University of Kent, the University of Liverpool, Manchester Metropolitan University and York St John University.

NAG ebook awardWe’re thrilled to tell you that the project has won the 2017 National Acquisitions Group award for Excellence sponsored by Nielsen Book. The project was also shortlisted in the Project Initiative Category for the 2017 ABC International Excellence Award for Accessible Publishing.

eBooks are digital versions of printed books and the Library has lots of them available. There are many advantages to eBooks. For example they are available both on and off-campus and most titles can be accessed by multiple users at the same time.

The eBook Accessibility Audit looked at how accessible eBooks are for students with print impairments – difficulties accessing printed text, usually due to a visual or physical impairment or a Specific Learning Difficulty such as dyslexia.

Although eBooks have the potential to be very accessible and if they are compatible with assistive software they can be adapted to the needs of individual students, unfortunately, due to the design of some eBooks, this is not always the case and they are not all fully accessible.

The eBook audit set out to identify how accessible 44 of the most widely used eBook platforms in UK Higher Education are, including 15 of the platforms we subscribe to at Leeds Beckett University.

The results are now available on the eBook Accessibility Audit website. If you would like to know how accessible a particular eBook collection is, the Individual Platform Feedback Reports section of the website has a report for each platform detailing how well it met each of the accessibility criteria. The table on page 6 of each report gives a useful overview of this.

If you’re wondering what makes an eBook accessible, you can find out here: Key elements of eBook accessibility

The next steps in the project are to work with providers to achieve improvements in accessibility and increase awareness of the accessibility features of different eBook platforms amongst Library staff to help them support students using eBooks.

 

Improve your study skills – free software workshops in the Library

We have lots of software on the PCs and laptops in the Library to support your studies. This includes software for making mind maps to represent your ideas visually, having text read aloud, managing your research sources and more.

Workshops on using the assistive software available in the Library are running throughout November. Why not come along and find out how it can help you? All workshops are suitable for beginners. Session details are below. Please click the links below the workshop titles to book.

 

Texthelp Read and write software: Reading, writing and scanning tools 

Tuesday 1 November 2016, 11:00 – 12:00, LS202, City Campus

Thursday 3 November 2016, 15:00 – 16:00, JG229, Headingley Campus

Outcomes: After this workshop you should be able to use some of the features of Texthelp Read & Write software, which is available on all Library PCs. This includes using the text to speech functions, converting text into sound files, spellchecking and dictionary functions. Texthelp Read & Write contains features beneficial to a wide range of students and staff. As the software is available on all University PCs why not see how you could benefit!

 

Mind mapping using Inspiration software – this is available on all Library PCs

Tuesday 8 November 2016, 12:00 – 13:00, LS107, City Campus

Thursday 10 November 2016, 12:00 – 13:00, JG219, Headingley Campus

Outcomes: This workshop will provide an introduction to the mind mapping package Inspiration,which is available on all Library PCs. Mind mapping is useful for visually representing different elements of a problem or idea and is an effective study technique which you can use to plan essays and reports as well as a memory aid for revision. The workshop shows you how to create a basic mind map and apply your own customisations such as design colours, images and notes. The software is currently available on every PC in the Library.

 

Mind mapping using MindView software – this is available on all Library PCs

Tuesday 15 November 2016, 12:00 – 13:00, LS107, City Campus

Thursday 17 November 2016, 12:00 – 13:00, JG229, Headingley Campus

Outcomes: This workshop will provide an introduction to the mind mapping package MindView, which is available on all Library PCs. Mind mapping is useful for visually representing different elements of a problem or idea and is an effective study technique which you can use to plan essays and reports as well as a memory aid for revision. The workshop shows you how to create a basic mind map and apply your own customisations such as design colours, images and notes. The software is currently available on every PC in the Library.

 

Texthelp Read and Write software: Research tools – this is available on all Library PCs

Tuesday 22nd November 2016, 12:00 – 13:00, LS107, City Campus

Thursday 24th November 2016, 15:00 – 16:00, JG229, Headingley Campus

Bookings for these sessions available soon via the Workshop timetable.

Outcomes: This workshop will cover the Research features of Texthelp Read & Write software, which is available on all Library PCs. Use the Fact Folder to collect all of your research sources into one place and create a bibliography of all your sources which can easily be exported into a Word document. The Study Skills tool allows you to add coloured highlights to sections of text in Word documents and web pages. These could be useful information for assignments, quotes or things you need to research further. Extract these highlights into a new document, including the bibliography of where you found the highlighted text, which is useful when researching for assignments. You can also create your own vocabulary lists.

 

The Library website gives details of the full range of software available on Library PCs and laptops and specific information on assistive software.

If you have any queries about software in the Library please contact us.