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DART2.1 – Disseminating
Assistive Roles and
Technology - a JISC FE &
Skills Project
Assessment for Assistive
DART Project Workshop Day 1
Welcome to Day1:
Assessment for Assistive
College Development
Network, Stirling
11th Dec 2014
DART Project Workshop Day 1
Running Order
09:30 Arrival / refreshments
10:00 Welcome and Introductions (Sandy MacLean and
Rohan Slaughter)
10:05 What do we mean by Assessment for Assistive
Technology (Trevor Mobbs)
10:30 Intro to AT hardware (Rohan Slaughter)
11:15 Break
11:30 Intro to AT software (Trevor Mobbs)
12:15 Case Study 1: Beaumont College, an Independent
Specialist College – (Trevor Mobbs)
12:45 Lunch
Running Order
13:30 Case Study 2: City of Glasgow College, (Claire
Guthrie, Senior Lecturer, Learning Support)
14:15 Case Study 3: University of Dundee, (Andy
McMahon, IT Disability Support Specialist)
15:00 Coffee
15:15 Priorities for sector development: An opportunity to
feedback and shape policy (Margaret McKay, Advisor:
Inclusion, Jisc RSC Scotland and Rohan Slaughter)
15:45 Workshop: review of the day / things to take back
to colleges (Rohan Slaughter)
16:00 Close and depart
Very brief backstory
 2010/12 DART1, an LSIS funded project
Beaumont College and National Star College worked with 8
colleges, in a ‘deep support’ capacity
Beaumont and Star are ISC’s : Independent Specialist Colleges
One of those DART1 colleges was Henshaws
 DART2, a JISC funded project:
Beaumont College, National Star College, Henshaws College,
Colleges Scotland, NATSPEC, JISC all working together
10 deep support colleges, 2 in Scotland
3 workshops, delivered twice, once in Birmingham, once in
Research project
 DART 2.1, current project
Same delivery partners
10 further deep support colleges
Workshop series
Additional research
Questions to think about
For last session of the day:
 1. What was new to you from today?
 2. What will you do with that new info when you get
back to College?
 3. Who do you want to talk to when you get back? And
about what?
 4. Can you think of a learner that will benefit from any
of this?
Assessment for
Assistive Technology
DART Project Workshop Day 1
”finding the person environment performance fit”
Christiansen C and
Baum C
"asking not what is
wrong with the
student but what is
needs to be changed
within the
Tilston et al
"avoid locating
the difficulty with
student but focus on
the capacity of
educational institution to
respond to the student's
”achieve to find the
best fit
or match between
the learner and the
Beattie R
 Slide credit – Margaret McKay from Jisc RSC Scotland
Why do an assessment?
 To identify needs / barriers
 To be inclusive
 To establish how needs can be met
 To discover areas of motivation
 To set appropriate goals / programme
 To discover whether existing information is reliable
Who to assess?
 In a Specialist College – everyone!
 In other contexts:
 Learners with disclosed disabilities
 Referrals where there is an area of concern
What is an assessment?
 The aim is to implement a bespoke solution to enable the
learner to access IT
 More of a process than an event
 Individual
 Multi disciplinary where appropriate
What skills and knowledge are
 Awareness of others therapies (OT, SaLT)
 Overview of AT Hardware and Software
 People skills
 Observation
 Record keeping / Report writing
 Dissemination (plain english)
Areas To Consider
 Visual / Auditory
 Physical Access
 Cognitive Understanding
 Literacy / Numeracy
 Positioning
 Motivators
Any questions?
Introduction to AT
DART Project Workshop Day 1
Mainstream Hardware
 Accessibility ‘baked in’
 Cost effective
 Some adaptations needed
 Motivational
 Simple
 Tablets
 Touch Screens
 Cameras
 Digital Voice Recorders
 CD Players
Alternative Keyboards
 Are many and varied, here are some examples:
Alternative Keyboards
 Where to buy:
 Or try mainstream suppliers like: http://cpc.farnell.com/ Order
Code: CS20650 @ £23.39 for example:
Alternative Mice
 Also many and varied
Alternative Mice
 Again, Inclusive Technology has a great range:
 Again try mainstream suppliers, even PC world:
 Lots of options (once more)
 Quite expensive
 Specialist suppliers only:
 Require a switch interface
box for a computer:
 http://www.inclusive.co.uk/ha
 I like the joycable:
 http://www.inclusive.co.uk/jo
Head Mouse / Eye Gaze
 Head mouse uses a reflective dot, light emitter and a
Head Mouse / Eye Gaze
 Eye-Gaze has been very expensive, but the price is dropping
 Market leader is http://www.tobii.com/en/footerpusher/business-area-footer/augmentative-and-alternativecommunication/
 PCEye Go now (only!) £1,735
 myGaze £875
Head Mouse / Eye Gaze
 Eye-gaze has enormous potential for many users
 Cost is coming down
 Will be in consumer laptops and other devices shortly
 It will appear in cars to ensure you keep your eyes on the road
 It is even coming to Pizza Hut!
 Head mouse type are cheaper than eye-gaze £250 / £300
 If you want to know more see:
 http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v
AAC Devices
 Low tech:
Stored message devices
Some have layers
Overlays with symbols
AAC Devices
 High tech:
 Often computer based
 Sophisticated
 Multiple page sets
 Incredibly expensive
 Require specialist
training to implement
 On-going support is
very important
AAC Devices
 High tech mainstream:
 Enter the iPad
Not the first, or most accessible tablet
Literally hundreds of apps
See: http://www.spectronicsinoz.com/iphoneipad-apps-for-aac
And: http://www.appsforaac.net/
 Also can use Windows 7/8 tablets and Android tablets for AAC
 We use a lot of Windows 7/8 tablets for AAC at Beaumont College
(more in Day 2 workshop and in software element today)
Built into the Operating System
 Windows 7/8 and Mac OS X have a lot of built in accessibility
Windows Ease of Access Centre
Mac – Accessibility settings
Changing things visually
Changing access (mouse and keyboard settings)
Audio output – e.g. narrator text to speech
Great place to start:
 Note that in order for networked windows machines to retain
such changes to user settings ROAMING PROFILES ARE
Built into the Operating System
 Windows 7:
 Windows 8:
 Mac OS X: https://www.apple.com/uk/accessibility/osx/
 iOS: https://www.apple.com/uk/accessibility/ios/
 Android (link to Google Accessibility home):
Introduction to AT
DART Project Workshop Day 1
JISC Access Apps / Edu Apps / My
Study Bar
 Still available via: http://eduapps.org/
 My Study Bar – reading and writing
 My Vis Bar – addresses visual difficulties
 Access Apps – 60 open source / freeware Windows Apps
The Grid 2
 Highly Flexible
 Communication aid
 Operating System
 Supports all methods of access
 Excellent customer support
 ‘mobile’ sites (e.g. m.facebook.com)
 Bespoke sites (e.g. accessyoutube.org.uk)
 Mouseless Browsing (Firefox add-on)
 Chrome extensions eg Chrome Speak
Clicker 6
 See:
 Literacy tool
 Some free stuff too:
 http://www.cricksoft.com/uk/
Read & Write Gold
 See: http://www.texthelp.com/UK/ourproducts/readwrite
 Toolbar:
 Reading
 Text-to-Speech
 Screenshot Reader
 DAISY Reader
 Screen Masking
 PDF Aloud
 Reading Support
 Dictionary
 Picture Dictionary
 Speech Maker
 Pronunciation Tutor
 Translator
 Writing and Self-Editing
 Spell Checker
 Word Prediction
 Word Wizard
 Sounds Like and Confusable Words
 Verb Checker
 Speech Input
 Speak While Typing
 Study Skills and Research
 Calculator
 Fact Finder
 Fact Folder
 Fact Mapper
 Study Skills Highlighters
 Vocabulary List Builder
 Already mentioned AAC.
 Great for all sorts of Education apps.
 Not the only option, but best education app support?
 Hard to manage (your IT team may not like to deploy Apple
kit, and not without good reason:
 Licencing Apps is not easy
 Apple VL (Volume Licencing) does exist now, but it’s fairly
complex to do (legally)
 Meraki
 Apple Configurator
 Grid Player – iOS, FREE
 http://sensorysoftware.com/grid-software-for-aac/grid-player/
 Clicker Docs – iOS, £17.99 / Clicker Sentences – iOS,
 http://www.cricksoft.com/uk/products/apps/clicker-apps.aspx
 2 apps to support learners with literacy.
 Dragon Dictation – iOS, FREE
 http://www.nuancemobilelife.com/apps/dragon-dictation
 Pictello – iOS, £13.99
 http://www.assistiveware.com/product/pictello
 Bloom – iOS, £2.49
 http://www.generativemusic.com/bloom.html
 MorphWiz – iOS, £6.99
 http://www.wizdommusic.com/MorphWiz/
 Beatwave – iOS, FREE
 http://www2.collect3.com.au/beatwave
 Koi Pond – iOS, Android. FREE
 http://www.theblimppilots.com/home/?page_id=9
 Fluid – iOS, FREE
 https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/fluid/id312575632?mt=8
 Guided Access:
 Guided Access is not an app, but a feature from iOS 6 onwards
which enables the device to be locked in to one app by disabling
the home button. Here is a useful guide about how to use it :
 Assistive Touch:
 AssistiveTouch lets you enter Multi-Touch gestures using one
finger or a stylus
 http://www.apple.com/accessibility/iphone/physical.html
 Switch Access:
 http://support.apple.com/en-is/HT201370
 Big Launcher:
 http://biglauncher.com/
 Synapptic:
 http://www.synapptic.com/default.aspx
 Tecla Switch Access:
 http://gettecla.com/
 Switch Access In Android 5.0:
 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9xqpkNudt58
Case Study 1: Beaumont
College, an Independent
Specialist College
DART Project Workshop Day 1
Assessment at Beaumont College
 A student focussed Case Study
DART Project Workshop Day 1
Case Study 2: City of
Glasgow College
Claire Guthrie, Senior
Lecturer, Learning Support
DART Project Workshop Day 1
Case Study 3: University
of Dundee
Andy McMahon, IT
Disability Support Specialist
DART Project Workshop Day 1
DART Project Workshop Day 1
Priorities for sector
development: An
opportunity to feedback
and shape policy
Margaret McKay, Advisor: Inclusion, Jisc
RSC Scotland and Rohan Slaughter
DART Project Workshop Day 1
Natspec Research Project
• The Natspec sponsored research project ‘Assistive Technology in
Further Education Organisations’ (now published on Jorum:
http://find.jorum.ac.uk/resources/18808) was conducted via online
questionnaire / telephone follow up, and sought to:
• Inform the content of the workshops (give the sector what it required
in terms of AT related CPD)
• Define key themes around what is working well (or what is not
working well) with respect to Assistive Technology in all types of FE
• A summative DART2 project presentation took place at the JISC
RSC NW annual conference on 26th June 2013:
• For more information please see http://dart.beaumontcollege.ac.uk
Natspec Research Project
– Key Themes
• Over half of the providers who responded to the questionnaire had a
person (either full or part time) in a designated ‘assistive technology’
• This was positive, although there were also indications that the level
of awareness about assistive technology was very mixed with some
college’s way ahead of others.
• Very often positive developments had occurred as a result of one
particularly committed individual.
Natspec Research Project
– Key Themes
• Respondents felt overwhelmingly that a co-ordinated approach
which brought together different college departments was a key to
successful assistive technology support.
• Most providers felt there were good relationships between those
providing assistive technology and learning support departments,
but worryingly many felt that their relationships with IT departments
were less good.
Natspec Research Project
– Key Themes
• Assistive technology was funded in different ways in different
• Some students were funded through an individual allocation of
• While this was positive in that it allowed for an individual to receive
the hardware and software he or she required, respondents were
concerned that this restriction to a specific individual made it difficult
for them to try out possible creative solutions for their full range of
disabled students. It also could prevent them from ensuring that
assistive technology is available across the college for all students
Natspec Research Project
– Key Themes
• There were very mixed responses to the question about whether
students owned and could retain their specialist equipment when
they left college which indicated that this is a complex issue which
deserves further exploration both at local and national level.
Natspec Research Project
– Key Themes
• On the whole providers felt most confident about the assistive
technology support they were giving to students with dyslexia and to
students with a visual impairment.
• They were less confident that they were providing the most
appropriate assistive technology support to other groups of students,
particularly those with more complex learning difficulties.
Natspec Research Project
– Key Themes
• Respondents recognised the need for on-going training and support
and for easier ways to keep abreast of new developments in the
area of assistive technology.
College structure and relationships
between teams
 The technology strategy in a College stands or falls
based on:
 Relationships between teams
 The College Structure
 Relationship of the IT/Technology team with:
 Teachers
Therapists (where present)
Supporting staff
People in the AT role
 Overview of the Jisc / Natspec Dart 2 Research Project
 Did you see the original report and if so how does it compare
with your own experience?
 Has anything changed in the intervening eighteen months?
Your provision
 What in your experience has been most useful in setting up
assistive provision for students?
 What is working well and where are the gaps?
Have you created an assistive technology role, if so
How was the post holder appointed?
How was the post funded?
Which section of the college is it based in?
What training did the post holder receive?
 What have you done to try and ensure that assistive technology
becomes embedded across the organisation, e.g. training other
staff, teaching and support staff?
 How do you fund assistive technology equipment?
 What software do you find most useful?
Training needs
 How did you find out about this day and what do you hope to
get out of it?
 What kind of training and support in this area of work do you
think is most effective?
Advice for others wanting to improve their use of assistive
technology to support students in GFE and ISC.
 What would be the advice for other colleges in terms of:
Creating and funding an assistive technology role
Assessment of students
Effective training and support for other staff, teaching and support
Most useful equipment
Most useful apps, especially free apps
We hope that this phase of research will result in a
handbook/toolkit for colleges
 What sort of handbook/toolkit might be most useful for those
seeking to improve their assistive technology support?
 Have you got specific examples of practice you feel works
well and would you be happy to be contacted in a telephone
interview with the researcher to talk about these in more
Workshop: review of the
day / things to take back
to colleges
DART Project Workshop Day 1
Questions to finish
 1. What was new to you from today?
 2. What will you do with that new info when you get
back to College?
 3. Who do you want to talk to when you get back? And
about what?
 4. Can you think of a learner that will benefit from any
of this?
 Email us:
[email protected]
[email protected]
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