Office For Students report: “Beyond the bare minimum: Are universities and colleges doing enough for disabled students?”

I just received an email from Policy Connect about a recently published report by the Office for Students who reviewed Disability Support in UK HEIs. Here’s what they said.

The review has produced valuable evidence on the state of digital accessibility in HE – from accessibility statements, to documents on VLEs, to lecture capture captioning. It also recommends that digital accessibility be adopted a key indicator against which the sector will be judged.

The report is over 150 pages and digital accessibility is raised in several sections. Policy Connect will produce a digest of the key parts of the report but for now I’d recommend ctrl + F-ing for ‘digital’ ‘web’ and ‘caption’ to see some highlights.

That report again:

Keen-eyed readers may remember Policy Connect published a report by the “All-Party Parliamentary Group for Assistive Technology” about accessibility and VLEs (such as WebLearn and Canvas)

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Exporting Web Links from WebLearn (Resources)

Web Links, which are items in Resources which, when clicked, redirect the user to a specific web page. In general, these are external web sites but could also be links to pages or documents stored in WebLearn.

Web Links are not included when exporting the whole site (Site Info > Export Site), however, you can use the following Unix command line script to automatically generate a web page containing all Web Links in a particular site. (You must make sure all folders containing WebLinks (in Resources) are available to the Public. To do this, select Edit Details alongside the desired folders and set to public visibility.)


That script again

#!/bin/sh
if [ "$#" -ne 1 ] ; then
  echo "Usage: weblinks2html WebLearn-URL, for example, weblinks2html https://weblearn.ox.ac.uk/direct/content/site/[[siteid]].json" >&2
else 
  # assumes the web file has public access
  curl $1 > json
  cat json | grep -e \\.URL\" -e entityTitle  |\
  sed -e 's/"entityTitle": "/echo \\\"">/g' -e 's/"$/<\/a><\/li>";/g'  |\
  sed -e 's/URL"/URL/g' |\
  sed 's|^  "url": |echo "<li><a target=\\\"_blank\\\" href\=\\\"" \| tr -d "\\r\\n"; curl -s -D - -o /dev/null |g' |\
  sed 's+,$+ | sed -n ZzZzZzZzZzZzs\/^Location: \/\/pZzZzZzZzZzZz | tr -d '\'\\\\r\\\\n\'';+g' |  \
  sed "s/ZzZzZzZzZzZz/'/g" |\
  sed 's/"https/https/g' | \
  sed 's|\\/|/|g' > curls;
  . curls | sed '/^">/d' > weblinks;
  (echo "<ul>"; cat weblinks; echo "</ul>")

This generates a page containing an HTML list which can be pasted into a WYSIWYG editor on a web page. Here’s an example

Windows 10 users can open a Unix (Linux) window via the  Windows Subsystem for Linux facility see: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/wsl/install-win10 or use linux.ox.ac.uk which can be accessed using Putty (see: https://www.putty.org/).

Alternatively, send a message to weblearn@it.ox.ac.uk making sure to include the address  (URL) of the WebLearn site containing the Web Links and we’ll do it for you.

There is one caveat: only the first 5 levels of nested folders in Resources are exported.

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Adobe Products and accessibility

Here’s a great resource from Adobe about creating accessible media

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Did you know that Sakai has a racing car?

Sakaiger

As I’m sure most readers know, WebLearn is built upon the open source Sakai platform.

One of the software’s founders, Dr Charles Severance has decided to initiate a guerrilla marketing campaign and have some fun, by buying a cheap old car (a ‘lemon’), calling it the ‘Sakaicar‘, sticking a pair of “Sakaiger” ears on it and running it into the ground on the racing circuit!

 

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WebLearn and Turnitin courses: Trinity term 2019

IT Services offers a variety of taught courses to support the use of WebLearn and the plagiarism awareness software Turnitin. Course books for the WebLearn Fundamentals course (3 hours) can be downloaded for self study. Places are limited and bookings are required. All courses are free of charge and are presented at IT Services, 13 Banbury Road.

Click on the links provided for further information and to book a place.

WebLearn 3-hour course:

WebLearn Bytes sessions:

Plagiarism awareness courses (Turnitin):

User Group meetings will run again in Michaelmas term

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WebLearn User Group: Tues 12 March 14:00-16:00

Please join us at the next meeting of the WebLearn User Group:

Date: Tuesday 12 March 2019

Time: 2:00 – 4:00 pm, followed by refreshments

Venue: IT Services, 13 Banbury Rd

Come and meet with fellow WebLearn users and members of the Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) team to give feedback and share ideas and practices.

Book now to secure your place.

Programme:

  • Canvas@Oxford project team: Update on the Canvas rollout to Year 1 programmes of study
  • James Shaw, Bodleian Libraries: Copyright and the CLA: Preparing digital material for presentation in a VLE
  • Jon Mason, Medical Sciences: Interactive copyright picker (based on source and intended use)
  • TEL team: Design and content for WebLearn pages
  • Adam Marshall: WebLearn updates

Join the WebLearn User Group site: https://weblearn.ox.ac.uk/info/wlug for regular updates and access to audio recordings of previous presentations.

Dr Jill Fresen, Senior Learning Technologist, Technology-Enhanced Learning, IT Services, University of Oxford

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Copyright and Audio-Visual Material

I thought this copyright guidance from LearningOnScreen (The British Universities and Colleges Film and Video Council) may be of interest to some.

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Free Accessibility Tool

 

I thought I’d pass along the following message from JISC.

It is important to ensure that the visual content of your website and learning resources has alternative text for those who either cannot see the visual content or struggle to make sense of its interpretation.

However, how do you know what is an appropriate description? And some visual content is merely eye candy and is best hidden entirely from screenreader users rather than wasting their time announcing something that is meaningless to the learning experience.

Making this different choices requires a certain degree of understanding but the good news is that there are some excellent free training resources out there. A recent quote from a Vision Australia newsletter reminded me of the Poet training Tool (which I’ve used  – and it has nothing to do with poetry!).

Vision Australia’s partner, Benetech has provided an initiative called Poet Training Tool which provides best practice guidelines and exercises that will help you grow your skills in writing effective image descriptions benefiting everyone who needs to access your digital documents, web pages and mobile apps.

This free resource is broken up into 3 helpful sections:

  1. Helps you determine when a description is actually needed.
  2. Provides guidelines on how to write an effective description (with examples).
  3. Upload content and practice writing your own descriptions.

If you or your colleagues are going to be involved in revisiting digital images on your website or learning platform then I highly recommend using these resources.

Alistair McNaught
Subject specialist – accessibility

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WebLearn and Turnitin Courses and User Group meetings: Hilary Term 2019

IT Services offers a variety of taught courses to support the use of WebLearn and the plagiarism awareness software Turnitin. Course books for the WebLearn Fundamentals course (3 hours) can be downloaded for self study. Places are limited and bookings are required. All courses are free of charge and are presented at IT Services, 13 Banbury Road.

Click on the links provided for further information and to book a place.

WebLearn 3-hour course:

Plagiarism awareness courses (Turnitin):

User Group meetings:

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Free interactive webinar series on Web Accessibility

IT Services is offering a number of free webinars about different aspects of web accessibility so I thought it may be useful to forward the details. You may also be interested in a previous blog post about WebLearn and Accessibility.

We are pleased to announce a FREE interactive webinar series on Web Accessibility available to all members of the University.

Accessibility is about enabling any user to access content, however they choose, and it is vital that the University of Oxford continues to work to ensure equal access and opportunities.

The series will include seven webinars, aimed at website owners, managers, content editors, designers, web developers and testers. Delegates will be free to watch as many sessions as they feel are relevant to them.  The webinars will be available at your own desk through a standard internet browser. Anyone with a keen interest in accessibility is encouraged to participate.

All webinars will be held from 15:00-17:00 on the dates shown below. To book and find further information, please visit the online booking system and search for ‘Web Accessibility’, or follow the below links:

The webinars will be provided by the charity AbilityNet who have experience providing accessibility consultancy services to Barclays, Microsoft and many other blue-chip companies. They are experts in providing information relating to assistive technology and digital accessibility whilst striving to promote digital inclusion, and are also involved in a number of research projects.

For any further queries relating to the content of the webinars please contact the IT Services Testing Team (testingteam@it.ox.ac.uk) and for booking enquiries please contact the IT Learning Centre (courses@it.ox.ac.uk).

Please review the IT Learning Centre’s privacy policy which can be found on the Help website https://help.it.ox.ac.uk/courses/booking/privacy.

 

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