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lunchBOX interview 003

Martina Webber

Manager | Swansea University Transcription Centre

The Swansea University logo celebrates their centenary of 1920 to 2020.

20 November, 2020

lunchBOX: Hello, good day, and welcome to lunchBOX. On the menu today, we're delighted to welcome Tina Webber from the Swansea University Transcription Centre for a suitably socially distanced lunch. Tina and her team have created one of the most revered transcription centres in the UK and do wonderful work in promoting accessible practices and supporting their students. The burning question is, of course, what does Tina like for lunch? Let's find out. Bon appetit everyone...or should that be, mwynhewch eich bwyd?

1. Who are you and what do you do?

TW: I am Tina (Martina) Webber and I am the manager of the Swansea University Transcription Centre where we (the incredible team and myself) provide accessible resources for print disabled students.


2. How did you come to be involved in the world of accessibility?

TW: I started working as a Transcription Co-Coordinator for Swansea University in 2005 and was employed to support print disabled language students. Developments in technology meant that my work has changed considerably over the last 15 years and it has opened up a completely new world of possibilities (and obstacles at the same time).

3. What does accessibility mean to you?


TW: Equality of access and use for all, built in to everything in our physical and digital environment.

A commitment to removing barriers with the agenda of changing attitudes and practice.

4. What has been your biggest challenge in promoting accessibility?

TW: People who regard accessibility as an ‘add-on’, as ‘not important’ or think they have ‘not got time for it’.

5. What’s been your biggest success in relation to accessibility?

TW: Each student who has been supported by us and who has successfully graduated.


6. What is the most enjoyable part of your job?

TW: Seeing students ‘grow’ (academically and personally), helping them to maximize their potential and supporting them throughout their academic journey at Swansea University.

An icon of 3 students throwing their graduation hats in the air.

7. How have you or your organization made a difference?

TW: Yes, because apart from supporting students throughout their learning journey, I advocate best practice through workshops and talks within the wider university community. Whether people want to listen or not! 


 8. If you could click your heels and make one thing easier for yourself at work, what would it be?


TW: Not have to juggle multiple timetables to chase teaching staff for lecture materials. Explain/ask once and receive everything in advance.


9. What is the most exciting development you’ve seen this year in the accessibility sector?​


TW: Where to start? The UK Public Sector Accessibility Regulations. The accessibility functions, which come in-built with Windows 10/Microsoft/Apple products.


10. Where do you see accessibility in 10 years? Any new developments you are keeping a close eye on?

TW: I see accessibility being at the forefront of the design process of every product in-line with the principles of universal design!

An icon represents the design process and features a technical pen and blueprints.
A icon representing a tapas selection.

11. How and where do you learn about new accessibility initiatives in the sector?


TW: Twitter, National Association of Disability Practitioners (NADP) forum, UK Association for Accessible Formats (UKAAF), LIS-accessibility forum, AbilityNet webinars.


12. What or who is your accessibility inspiration?

TW: Every company, organization, developer and content creator who builds accessibility into their design process.


13. Which single accessibility tool do you use the most?


TW: OCR (Optical Character Recognition) software.


14. Tell us your favourite accessibility story.

TW: Convincing the relevant departments at Swansea University that WCAG is really happening :) and the subsequent implementation of accessibility features in our web environment.

15. Which lunch would describe your organization and why?

TW: Tapas – a pick and mix of different things (just like the different alternative formats we provide for each individual student).

16. What would be your favourite setting for that lunch?


TW: A shack on a beach somewhere in South East Asia with chilled music.

17. Which 10 people from any time or place would you invite to your lunch?


TW: This list is a team effort, which beautifully reflects the diverse interests and backgrounds:

  1. Barack Obama.

  2. Dave Grohl.

  3. Hywel Dda

  4. Jane Austen.

  5. John Donne.

  6. David Lloyd George.

  7. Ian Curtis.

  8. Richard Burton.

  9. Ovid.

  10. Dolly Parton.


18. What are you reading at the moment?


TW: Transcription by Kate Atkinson (I really like her style), The Obesity Code by Jason Fung (I am a nutrition geek) and Unterleuten by Juli Zeh (a big, meaty tome of a book in my mother tongue).


19. What are the applications/services that you couldn’t live without at work or personally?


  • Adobe Acrobat Pro – to add accessibility features to publishers’ PDFs.

  • Nuance Omnipage – to run OCR on images of text and give them screen reader functionality.

  • Shazam – to find that name of the song you are ‘vibeing’ to right now.

  • YouTube – to just look at ‘stuff’.

  • MetOffice weather app – one or two jumpers?

  • Amazon – all the things you may or may not need at the touch of a button!

  • BBC Sounds/Spotify – a million podcasts at your fingertips to keep you entertained.

20. Anything totally secret to tell us? We’re amongst friends…


TW: I used to be a sponsored snowboarder … long, long time ago :)

lunchBOX: Ah, you have many talents! Naturally, your secrets are completely safe between us. Thanks so much for joining us for lunch today. You and the team have always been an inspiration to us and you've all made such a difference to so many students. We appreciate your time in sharing your insights and tips and lunch preferences. We particularly like the idea of getting Richard Burton in the same room as Ovid. 


Thank you for your patronage. We know that you could choose other luncheon establishments. We'll take care of the bill...Diolch!

If you'd like to learn more about the fantastic work that Tina and the team are doing at the Swansea University Transcription Centre or if you'd just to chat about podcasts or German literature, then please feel free to contact her:

Tina Webber:

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