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Accessibility/Supporting Students with Disabilities (SSwD)

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The Network continues to work to support students with disabilities. Within MSOR Connections, the Network runs a regular feature to update the community on the latest disability issues. A mini-project commissioned in 2004/2005 at Loughborough University to trial and evaluate a screener tool to identify students who may be dyscalculic, has recently completed. The Network also continues to support the activities of the Dyslexia and Dyscalculia Interest Group (DDIG) at Loughborough University.


In April 2008, the Maths,Stats & OR Network published a report on accessibility issues: "Accessibility Issues - Working Towards Improving Accessibility Of Activities (Events, Print And Electronic Publications Etc). . This report is not intended to be prescriptive and will evolve over time. It provides an overview and links to resources that will provide a useful starting point for anyone would like to improve accessibility of events, print and electronic publications. We welcome ongoing input from the mathematics, statistics and operational research (MSOR) community to help improve and develop accessibility in the MSOR disciplines. If you have experience of accessibility issues and would like to help contribute to the development of this report, please email info[at]mathstore.ac.uk. To download the report go to:


[Word .doc Version: Accessibility Issues - Working Towards Improving Accessibility Of Activities (Events, Print And Electronic Publications Etc)]


[PDF Version: Accessibility Issues - Working Towards Improving Accessibility Of Activities (Events, Print And Electronic Publications Etc)]


Accessing MSOR working group (AccessMSORWG)


The MSOR Network also supports the "Accessing MSOR" working group (AccessMSOR WG). This group (chaired by Emma Cliffe), aims to bring together expertise and interest in issues surrounding supporting students with disabilities in maths, stats and OR.


AccessMSOREG jiscmail list - Join here


JISC TechDis


The JISC TechDis service aims to be the leading educational advisory service, working across the UK, in the fields of accessibility and inclusion.


The increasing diversity of the higher education student body means that staff involved in teaching and supporting learning are having to develop a growing repertoire of techniques to ensure their practice is as inclusive as possible. JISC TechDis provides advice and guidance for teaching practitioners, library staff, staff developers and more, to raise the level of inclusivity in mainstream practice, as well as working with senior managers and policy makers to ensure that national and institutional systems support inclusive approaches. This leaflet introduces some of the resources currently provided by JISC TechDis in pursuit of these aims.


Related TechDis links:


JISC TechDis - More info


JISC TechDis: Informing Policy, Improving Practice leaflet (2009) [HTML version]
JISC TechDis: Informing Policy, Improving Practice leaflet (2009) [PDF version]


JISC Techdis Toolbar (beta) - this free toolbar can be downloaded onto individual PCs to help users select online viewing styles that best suite their individual needs.


Articles on disability related issues from the MSOR Connections newsletter


Accessibility of mathematical resources: the technology gap - by Emma Cliffe (MSOR Connections Nov 2009 Vol 9 No 4)


Visual impairment in MSOR - by Emma Jane Rowlett and Peter James Rowlett (MSOR Connections Nov 2009 Vol 9 No 4)


AccessMSOR: report on inaugural meeting - by Emma Rowlett, Peter James Rowlett and Robert Surowiec (MSOR Connections Nov 2008 Vol 8 No 4)


Overview of the provision of mathematics support to students in a University College - by Sarah Parsons (MSOR Connections May 2008 Vol 8 No 2)


No cost technologies to support teaching and learning in the MSOR disciplines - by Simon Ball (MSOR Connections May 2008 Vol 8 No 2)


Accessibility in MSOR: one student’s personal experience - by Emma Jane Rowlett (MSOR Connections Feb 2008 Vol 8 No 1)


Emma Rowlett’s “Accessing Mathematics” blog - by Peter James Rowlett and Emma Rowlett (MSOR Connections Nov 2007 Vol 7 No 4)


Dyscalculia and dyslexia in higher education – “Pathways to Progress”: Report on DDIG event held 27 March 2007 at Loughborough University - by Clare Trott (MSOR Connections Nov 2007 Vol 7 No 4)


The Heat is on! - by Anne Dickinson and Sidney Tyrrell (MSOR Connections Aug 2007 Vol 7 No 3)


Obtaining Braille mathematical documents - by Michael Whapples (MSOR Connections Aug 2007 Vol 7 No 3)


Mathematical equations in Braille - by Steve Maddox (MSOR Connections May 2007 Vol 7 No 2)


Making Mathematics Teaching Inclusive – Access for Disabled Students to Symbolic Languages in Electronic Media - by Martyn Cooper (MSOR Connections Nov 2006 Vol 6 No 4)


Introducing the Supporting Students with Disabilities Series: Disability Legislation Update - by Emma Jane Wright and Peter James Rowlett (MSOR Connections Nov 2006 Vol 6 No 4)


“Forging The Future”. Dyscalculia and Dyslexia in Higher Education - by Clare Trott (MSOR Connections Aug 2006 Vol 6 No 3)


A Personal Perspective...Technology for Teaching and Learning Mathematics - by Emma L. Whittick (MSOR Connections Aug 2006 Vol 6 No 3)


DDA Update: Two useful spreadsheets to help a blind student access statistics tables - by Sidney Tyrrell (MSOR Connections Aug 2006 Vol 6 No 3)


DDA Update...ALERT - by Barbara Newland (MSOR Connections Feb 2006 Vol 6 No 1)


New Year ‘resolutions’ - is your font size too small? A report on the first TechDis HE Conference, Leeds, October 2005 - by Sidney Tyrrell (MSOR Connections Feb 2006 Vol 6 No 1)


Project Update - Widening the Use of DyscalculiUM: A First-line Screening Test for Dyscalculia in Higher Education - by Nigel Beacham and Clare Trott (MSOR Connections Feb 2006 Vol 6 No 1)


Creating Accessible Web Forms - by Peter James Rowlett and Emma Jane Wright (MSOR Connections Nov 2005 Vol 5 No 4)


Accessible Learning Objects, an update - by Sidney Tyrrell (MSOR Connections Aug 2005 Vol 5 No 3)


DDA update...ALERT case study - by Victoria Boyd, Juliette Pavey and Barbara Newland (MSOR Connections May 2005 Vol 5 No 2)


DDA Update - Sector Checklist from the National Disability Team (NDT) - (MSOR Connections Feb 2005 Vol 5 No 1)


DDA update...ALERT: Accessibility in Learning Environments and Related Technologies - by Barbara Newland (MSOR Connections Aug 2004 Vol 4 No 3)


Have you seen this…? Mathplayer and the Design Science Accessibility Project - by Peter James Rowlett (MSOR Connections May 2004 Vol 4 No 2)


Accessible Learning Objects...or what does a National Teaching Fellow hope to do? - by Sidney Tyrrell (MSOR Connections Feb 2004 Vol 4 No 1)


Mathematics Support for Dyslexic Students - by Clare Trott (MSOR Connections Nov 2003 Vol 3 No 4)


DDA update - Tactile Graphics for Blind Students - by Sarah Morley Wilkins (MSOR Connections Nov 2003 Vol 3 No 4)


DDA update: Bringing together Mathematics support and dyslexia support tutors...and Techshare 2003: 20-21 Nov 2003 - (MSOR Connections Aug 2003 Vol 3 No 3)


Maths Support for an Engineering with Dyslexia - by Clare Trott (MSOR Connections May 2003 Vol 3 No 2)


Have you seen this? SENDA 2001 and DDA 1995 Legislation Checklist - by Robert Surowiec (MSOR Connections Nov 2002 Vol 2 No 4)


Overcoming the Barriers - by Karen Ford (MSOR Connections Nov 2002 Vol 2 No 4)


Accessing Maths and Stats By Other Means - by E.A. Draffan (MSOR Connections Aug 2001 Vol 1 No 3)


MSOR Network funded projects on disability related issues


Accessibility in MSOR: LaTeX and Braille
(Started: May 2007)
Project Leader: Peter Rowlett (Nottingham Trent University)


Other disability related resources of interest to MSOR


MathSpeak is now available in MathEQ 4.0


The MathSpeak mechanism creates the necessary HTML/XML tags for visually-impaired and blind users to use their current screen-reading tools (e.g. JAWS and Window-Eyes for Windows) to read HTML and MathML/XML pages that contain math expressions, to read them in a spoken language. More info at:


http://www.mathspeak.org/


COMETS - Resources for Enhancing Science and Mathematics Education of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students


A project providing a wide range of resources for professionals and parents responsible for the education of deaf students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).


This website was developed with funding support received from the National Science Foundation. It features basic info on: teaching, signing and student information. More info at:


http://www.rit.edu/~comets/welcomepage.htm


SPACE project publishes report: "Inclusive Assessment in Higher Education: A Resource for Change 


SPACE (Staff-Student Partnership for Assessment Change and Evaluation) was a three-year HEFCE funded Project, based at the University of Plymouth, developing and promoting alternative forms of assessment as a way of facilitating a more inclusive approach to assessment. This non subject specific report investigates assessment issues with a focus on students with disabilities; some of the key findings may be of interest to the mathematics, statistics and operational research academic community. It has recently been published and the chapters can be viewed and downloaded as .pdf files from:


http://www.plymouth.ac.uk/pages/view.asp?page=1049


"How is technology impacting on the accessibility of mathematics and science for the visually impaired?"


(Useful resources listed are based on a presentation by Michael Whapples on 6 February 2007.)


The following is a list of useful links related to a talk given on 6 February 2007. These range from useful software links for making maths accessible, to discussion lists on a topic of maths and accessibility, to general accessibility related websites and articles.



BrlTex is an open source LaTex to braille converter. The home page also contains links to a discussion forum and contact details for Michael Whapples. Watch out for this list of links and more via the BrlTex web pages.



BlindMath is a mailing list for discussion of visual impairment and maths. NB. There is also a science list at the NFB website: http://www.nfbnet.org/mailman/listinfo/nfb-science



This is the home page of the Science Access Project group at Oregon State University. The purpose of this group is to develop methods for making science, math, and engineering information accessible to people with print disabilities. This has lead to some commercial products from viewplus: http://www.ViewPlus.com/



An article on technology and how it is impacting on disabled people and trends which are helping and not helping accessibility. Not specifically maths orientated, but some of it could be useful.



Fire Vox is an open source, cross-platform, freely available talking browser extension for the Firefox web browser. Think of it as a screen reader that is designed especially for Firefox. It is able to read MathML as well as provide speech output for normal web browsing.



MathPlayer is an Internet Explorer plugin for MathML, which can speak equations and also contains other accessibility features.



A windows based maths editor which can provide speech output. This program allows blind or visually impaired users to read and write complex mathematics -- it serves the role of pen and paper for a blind mathematician or physicist.



The W3C page for MathML; it includes links to software to work with it.



TtM translates from Plain TeX and LaTeX into HTML including the equations in the form of embedded MathML. Both Windows and Linux versions availabl


e is a


Leonardo da Vinci funded project that aims to help remove barriers to participation for disabled people in mainstream Vocational Education and Training (VET). This transnational project, with partners in the UK, Bulgaria, France, Greece, and Poland, aims to assist the VET providers in developing a more inclusive approach to the design of teaching, learning and assessment strategies that will ultimately enable disabled students to participate more fully in Vocational Education and Training. The website is currently under construction but you can access the U.K SCIPS web pages. (A web based resource that provides Strategies for Creating Inclusive Programmes of Study.)


SCIPS


SCIPS (A web based resource that provides Strategies for Creating Inclusive Programmes of Study.) is an outcome of a HEFCE funded project entitled 'Academic Standards and Benchmark Descriptors: Developing Strategies for Inclusivity'. The project ran from January 2003 to December 2004 at University College Worcester (UCW), and was a collaboration between UCW, the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) and representatives of academic subject benchmarking groups. The project was an outcome of a successful bid to the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) under its 'Improving Provision for Disabled Students' funding programme for 2003 - 2005. SCIPS will be further developed over the next two years via the Leonardo DA Vinci project Qatrain (Quality Assurance and Assessment Training). Our European partners will also produce their own versions of SCIPS.


This project has several resources which provide some maths, stats and operational research subject specific advice and related case-studies in the area of::



  • Mathematics, Statistics and Operational Research and Language / Comprehension Difficulties [ advice | case study ]

  • Mathematics, Statistics and Operational Research and Speech Difficulties [ advice ]

  • Mathematics, Statistics and Operational Research and Information Processing [ advice ]

  • Mathematics, Statistics and Operational Research and Auditory Difficulties [ advice ]

  • Mathematics, Statistics and Operational Research and Stamina [ advice ]

  • Mathematics, Statistics and Operational Research and Motor / Manual Dexterity Difficulties [ advice | case study ]

  • Mathematics, Statistics and Operational Research and Motivation [ advice | case study ]

  • Mathematics, Statistics and Operational Research and Visual Difficulties [ advice | case study ]

  • Mathematics, Statistics and Operational Research and Dyslexia [ advice ]

  • Mathematics, Statistics and Operational Research and Memory / Recall Difficulties [ advice | case study article ]

  • Mathematics, Statistics and Operational Research and Hearing Impairments [ advice ]

  • Mathematics, Statistics and Operational Research and Mental Health Difficulties [ advice ]

  • Mathematics, Statistics and Operational Research and Anxiety / Stress [ advice ]

  • Mathematics, Statistics and Operational Research and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) [ advice ]

  • Mathematics, Statistics and Operational Research and Autistic Spectrum Disorders [ advice ]

  • Mathematics, Statistics and Operational Research and Dyspraxia [ advice ]

  • Mathematics, Statistics and Operational Research and Medical Conditions [ advice ]

  • MSOR and Students with Physical Disabilities including Neurological Disabilities [ advice ]

  • Mathematics, Statistics and Operational Research and Mobility Difficulties

  • Mathematics, Statistics and Operational Research and Organisational Difficulties [ advice ]

  • Mathematics, Statistics and Operational Research : Other links/resources

MathML


MatML is an extensible markup language (XML) developed especially for the interchange of materials information. Perhaps the best way to describe MatML is by example and in contrast to HTML. Materials property data distributed on the World Wide Web in documents using hypertext markup language (HTML) present two problems for computer applications intending to use the data: interpretation and interoperability.


Practical resources developed by the maths, stats and operational research community


Excel spreadsheet tools developed for blind students with access to JAWS screen readers and a visual helper:


Chi squared, normal table and t table


The Normal Distribution


The Maths, Stats & OR Network would like to thank Sidney Tyrrell from Coventry University for contributing and developing this resource


 


Further information and details of resources to support students with disabilities will be added to these pages. If you are aware of any resources that should be added to these pages, please email info[at]mathstore.ac.uk.: