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Archive for the 'Accessibility' Category

Educause – Key issues in T&L in 2019

20 February 2019

A US focus to the infographic of course, but an interesting insight nonetheless.

Follow-up notes and “7 things” briefing papers at https://www.educause.edu/eli/initiatives/key-issues-in-teaching-and-learning

Windows 7 Colour and Font Modifications Missing from Windows 10

MicheleFarmer7 January 2019

The issue is that in previous versions of Windows, you were able to get into the settings to change the colour of the window background, so that when you opened a Microsoft Word or Excel file, the background colour on your screen was your chosen shade.

The window option allowed a colour chart to open up, where you could move the cursor around to find the exact shade you were looking for (alla Win 98, 2000, XP, 2007, etc.). In Microsoft 10, there is no simple option.

The current accessibility options provided by MS for Win 10 are pretty awful.

I have been in touch with Microsoft and they say that due to complaints that they will be bringing this facility back, but we do not know when.

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Screenshot of Windows 7 colour and appearance options

In the meantime UCL users can access a ‘Screenmasking’ option from a networked piece of software called TextHelp Read and Write. This software is either found on the Desktop@UCL, or from the Software Centre or Database.

Screen-masking Option Menu in TextHelp Read and Write

Zoomtext and Dragon for Mac – Discontinued

MicheleFarmer6 November 2018

Zoomtext has been discontinued for the Mac. At present I do not know what they have planned, if at all, for a replacement.

The individual Dragon for Mac has also been discontinued, however, users will be able to access Dragon for their Macs via a subscription service for Dragon Anywhere. Information on the Dragon changes can be found here.

 

 

Converting a PDF into a Word Document

MicheleFarmer5 September 2018

As PDF Converter will no longer be available via the software database, the option for converting PDF into Word can now be accessed via Word itself.

Just go to the ‘Open’ file option and in the drop down menu in the bottom right of the window select ‘PDF’ and browse to and open your file.

Word will then convert it to a copy you can then edit.

Image of PDF Word open menu

BLE/UoL User Experience Conference 2018

JessicaGramp12 May 2018

Thurs 28th – Fri 29th June

Hosted by Birkbeck, University of London

Following the University of London’s successful conference Demystifying User Experience Design & Testing last year, the Bloomsbury Learning Environment (BLE) in partnership with the University of London (UoL) is holding a free, two-day event for staff based at UoL member institutions on Thursday 28th and Friday 29th June.

On these two days, we are offering three distinct workshops, which are each focused on different applications of UX. Come along to all three or select those that interest you. Places are limited, so don’t delay registering your place!

Day 1: Thursday 28th June

am: User Research: focus groups, user testing and user feedback
pm: User Centred Content

 

Thursday 28th June: Morning workshop

User Research: focus groups, user testing, surveys and user feedback

A practical session with guest speakers sharing their insights into user research and associated applications.
Led by Naomi Bain, Web Officer (Training and User Experience) – Birkbeck, University of London

0930 Coffee & Registration
• Introduction (Naomi Bain)
• Keynote: conducting f2f user testing (Jane Lessiter, Goldsmiths)
• Case studies: sharing experiences of user research
• Practical session: how to conduct a web user testing session. This session will include tips, discussion, sharing experiences, questions and trying out the roles of tester and testee (Naomi)
End by 1300

Thursday 28th June: Afternoon workshop

User Centred Content

An overview of the online tools available to help you to plan and review your own content. Mapping users against online content – bring along a piece of your own content to review! Finishing with a panel Q&A discussion around content strategy and governance.
Led by Melanie Read, Head of Digital – University of London

1345 Registration, with a prompt start at 1400
• Welcome, Introductions and icebreaker
• Content planning – what tools do you use for planning content.
• Content mapping – against the difference users types and then creating content suitable to that user.
• Content strategy and governance
• Panel discussion: how to manage governance
End by 1630

Day 2: Friday 29th June

am: Moodle and Accessibility

 

Friday 29th June: Morning workshop

Moodle and Accessibility

This workshop will focus specifically on Moodle and the considerations and requirements to ensure courses are accessible to all users.
Led by Sarah Sherman, Service Manager – Bloomsbury Learning Environment

0930 Coffee and registration
• Welcome & Introductions (Sarah Sherman, BLE)
• Presentation 1: Birkbeck For All (Leo Havemann, Birkbeck)
• Presentation 2: Policy for Accessibility (Nic Charlton, University of London)
• Presentation 3: Working with Moodle (Nic Christodoulou, SOAS)
• Presentation 4: Accessibility initiatives at UCL (Jess Gramp & Paul Thompson, UCL)
• Presentation 5: Checking for accessibility in Moodle (Herve Didiot-Cook, Blackboard)
• Panel discussion
• Workshop activity: developing Moodle accessibility guidelines for practitioners
End by 1300

Book your place now.

 

For further details about the event, please contact Sarah Sherman or Melanie Read

Sneak a peak at the new (more accessible) UCL Moodle theme

JessicaGramp9 October 2017

As part of a wider Accessible Moodle project, a new UCL Moodle theme is being designed to make it more accessible for those with disabilities. The theme is like a skin (or a wallpaper) that changes the way the text and colours are displayed, without changing any of the content that exists on each Moodle page. As well as changing the look and feel of all Moodle pages, it will provide additional navigation aids in the form of menus, blocks that can be hidden and potentially also docked blocks, which sit to the left of the page for easy access.

The new theme will be rolled out to all staff and students in the next major upgrade of UCL Moodle in summer 2018. The Moodle theme is applied to a user account and in Summer 2018 everyone will be switched to the new theme automatically as part of the UCL Moodle Summer Upgrade. The theme is not to be confused with Moodle course formats, which allow you to change the way a Moodle course is laid out.

I wrote earlier on how the new theme will address accessibility issues. A number of staff across UCL provided feedback on the proposed theme and after a number if iterations, we have now agreed on a design that foremost meets the needs of staff with particular disabilities, as well as being more usable for everyone. As well as working with individuals who participated in the project’s initial focus groups, the E-Learning Champions were also given the opportunity to feed in their comments on the proposed theme and forward this to interested colleagues.

The proposed new UCL Moodle theme showing collapsed topics format

The proposed new UCL Moodle theme showing collapsed topics format. Click to enlarge.

We had contemplated a pink theme, however, blue proved to be a better option for a number of staff with particular disabilities. The blue version was also more popular with those staff without disabilities. The below design shows how the tabbed course format will look, but with blue, instead of pink tabs, menus and links.

Tabbed course format but the pink tabs, text and menus will be blue

Tabbed course format but the pink tabs, menus and links will be blue. Click to enlarge.

The UCL Moodle homepage will be simplified and will provide more space for news relating to teaching and learning at UCL. The menus will be blue instead of the pink shown in the design below.

New more accessible UCL Moodle homepage, but with blue instead of pink menus

UCL Moodle homepage, but with blue instead of pink menus. Click to enlarge.

The Accessible Moodle project team at UCL worked closely with designer Ralph Bartholomew from St Albans Web Design and developer Pat Lockley from Pgogy Webstuff to implement the new theme.

If you have any questions or comments about the new theme, or would like to be involved in the pilot, please contact Jessica Gramp.

[Edited to remove reference to the theme pilot, which was not able to go ahead as planned].