The Leeds Beckett Story
Sue Smith, Learning Support Officer at Leeds Beckett University tells us about her experiences and how the ASPIRE project helps her decision-making.
My role is to support disabled students in fully utilising library resources for the benefit of their academic studies. Part of this role is to help them overcome the considerably barriers they can face, ideally removing those barrier.
Ebooks play an ever increasing and important role in supporting students studies but accessibility barriers mean disabled students are not always able to fully exploit these resources. Providing accessible platforms must be our ultimate aim so that disabled students do not face barriers in comparison to their peers. Accessibility statements which truly reflect the accessibility of a platform promotes the independence of learners by giving them the information they need to use the platform and its content in a way that meets their needs. In addition, giving clear information on features that are not fully accessible can save the students valuable time they may otherwise spend on trial and error. In these cases directing them to where to get help with these features or finding alternative accessible sources of the content circumvents the barriers.
The ASPIRE scores and breakdown enables me to dig deeper into the accessibility of ebook platforms to identify where if particularly feature will be available to meet the needs of our disabled students.
Statements + Platforms
Accessibility statements are invaluable to my role in assessing whether our ebook platforms (of which we have over 20) will be accessible to particular students in a timely manner so not delaying the support I offer to students. This aids me in providing training to the students or identifying where I may need to source alternative formats of the books on behalf of the student.
The ASPIRE scores and breakdown enables me to dig deeper into the accessibility of ebook platforms to identify where if particularly feature, such as the ability to magnify the content or compatibility with speech software, will be available to meet the needs of our disabled students.