Supporting diversity and equality through improved access

http://www.jisc.ac.uk/news/stories/2008/06/techdis.aspx

JISC reports on groundbreaking work that will provide support for delivery of resources to disabled students and staff.

The JISC TechDis Service has joined forces with the Publishers Association to provide resources which have the potential to transform the delivery of learning materials to disabled students and staff.

These two resources, developed in collaboration with the RNIB (Royal National Institute of Blind People) and several major publishers, will support the delivery of materials in alternative formats to meet the needs of people with a range of disabilities, a crucial requirement for equality of access for all students and staff in education and research One of the resources – Publisher Lookup UK – will enable education providers and publishers to source electronic formats of textbooks for students with disabilities more quickly and efficiently than existing processes allow.

Good news for people needing to circumvent the barrier of print. And good news too, ultimately, for learners in countries whose libraries and schools are shockingly short of resources because of poverty and/or conflict. How terrific it must be to be a teacher in an African classroom to come across text books online. It will revolutionise children’s learning world wide. (And yes of course there are issues about connectivity and access to computers but that is being addressesd too, not least by the World Bank.)