Books for All

The Books for All project has been focusing on supporting local authorities and practitioners to address the barriers faced by children and young people with print disabilities. The project supports provision of adapted learning materials in accessible, alternative formats for pupils who have difficulties reading ordinary printed books. This can be because they are blind or vision impaired; have physical disabilities which limit their ability to hold or manipulate information in a printed form; have perceptual or other disabilities such as dyslexia or have insufficient literacy or language skills.

 Guides which have been published on the Education Scotland website contain advice and information for practitioners, pupils and parents who are interested in finding, using and making accessible resources. The information is presented as short video clips, taking the viewer step by step through each process.  Have a look here

Sharing news and ideas

Happy New Year to all!

Another year starts and information overload will continue.  We need to find a way to access the valuable stuff and share it with all interested parties.  Is it going to be this blog or on Glow?  Or both? 

Subscribe to this blog by adding your email address to the box on the right hand side of page.  You will receive an email alert when a new post is added, saving you time and reminding you that the Support for All blog exists and that you too can share news here.  

Obviously you can’t subscribe to the email feed if you don’t get this far and are reading this post so please pass on the information to anyone who is involved with pupils with additional needs. Thanks!

The CALL Centre on voice recognition software

Speech recognition software has been presented as a panacea for pupils with writing difficulties, but the reality can be very different! While there are a few schools where speech recognition has been used with pupils with great success, there are many more where it has been tried and quickly abandoned.

The CALL Introducing Speech Recognition in Schools project aimed to investigate best practice in schools where speech recognition was being used successfully, and develop and evaluate training materials to help other schools get going with speech recognition. It was funded by the Scottish Executive Education Department.

The main outcome of the project was a Training Pack (comprising a book and a CD) for schools to use when introducing speech recognition in schools. Copies of the books and CD were sent, free of charge, to all secondary schools in Scotland in March 2003. The pack includes:

  • Guidance on identifying pupils who might benefit from speech recognition;
  • Technical hints and tips on installing and operating the systems;
  • 10 Lesson Plans, with exercises, for introducing speech recognition to pupils;
  • Advice on management of speech recognition systems in schools.

The Pack was evaluated by 40 secondary schools in Scotland from November 2000 to March 2002, and modified in response to comments from staff and students. We chose to focus on Support for Learning Departments in secondary schools, rather than special schools or units, because the largest potential group of students are those with specific learning difficulties in secondary education.

Training Packs

Below are links to these training packs:

Thanks to S O’Neill through the ASN Glow Group for this link.

Making Websites Talk

Browsealoud is easy to download and could be a great boon for learners with difficulties reading online.

LTS is currently looking at how the accessibility of Glow can be improved, and a text-to-speech facility could be extremely useful. They are asking us to help to trial Browsealoud 6 within Glow. It will be ‘speech- enabled’ until the end of January 2010. Trial it for yourselves and let them know what you think here.

I downloaded it easily on my work PC and will try it at home on my Mac. So far I find it very user friendly – though perhaps it delays access for a second or 2.
Have a shot!

Scottish Poet Elspeth Murray returns to Glow

Get your Glow log-ins ready because on Friday 22nd January, Scottish Poet Elspeth Murray will take part in her second live Glow Meet with budding young Poets across Scotland.

The event is on at 10am, Fri 22 January and is aimed at S2 pupils and suitable for teachers interested in getting some help and ideas with teaching poetry from a poet in real time. Teachers can take part even if they don’t have a class at this time.