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Cambridge LibGuides

Accessibility and inclusivity: Cambridge libraries toolkit

Accessibility and inclusivity: Cambridge libraries toolkit

Introduction

There are a range of existing software options that can support a wide range of people.

Most commonly used software such as office products and web browsers have in-built accessibility functionality, or available extensions and plug-ins. There are also a wide variety of productivity tools available free of charge, which, as well as supporting people with disabilities, can improve the digital experience for all.

This page introduces some of these options, as well as guidance on how to make best use of them.

Logo for DnA matters, featuring the letters D N A and three fingerprints in red, green and blueDnA (Diversity and Ability) maintain a usefully structured database of productivity tools, many of which are available free of charge. The website includes reviews, as well as links to the products themselves. You can search the database, or filter by tags, for example, 'referencing', 'text-to-speech', 'screen tinting', 'working memory'.

This free resource from DnA is recommended by the University of Cambridge Disability Resource Centre, who often suggest it to students at Cambridge.

Click here to access the Diversity and Ability list of productivity tools.

Why not try adding a screen tinting option to your desktop or web browser and save your eyes some stress? Or add a text-to-speech plug-in to check your web content for accessibility? 

MyStudyBar

MyStudyBar
‚ÄčMyStudyBar can be downloaded through the EduApps website. EduApps is maintained and trustworthy, and recommended by Jisc. The MyStudyBar tool combines existing open source and freeware tools. According to the EduApps website, "Although MyStudyBar is designed to support learners with literacy-related difficulties such as dyslexia, the toolbar can offer potential benefits to all learners."
MyStudyBar is designed to work on Windows PC and there is no Apple Mac version.

MyStudyBar and all other software available through the EduApps website are free of charge to download and use.

Click here to learn more about MyStudyBar.

Click here to explore the range of options available through the EduApps website.

Advice from Jisc on accessible and inclusive service provision, including useful productivity tools

Jisc logo, with Jisc appearing in white text on an orange backgroundJisc provide some great guidelines for key accessibility issues, within the context of UK Higher Education. There is a focus on working within digital, but the information will be useful to anyone focusing on ensuring that their services and the content they provide for library users are accessible and inclusive in their design. 

Key areas covered in the Jisc accessibility guidance include:

  • Digital content
  • Teaching and learning activities
  • Assessments
  • Assistive technology
  • Guidance for institutions

The Jisc documentation and guidance can be explored at various levels of depth, from a brief introduction to in-depth explanations of policies, along with advice as to how to best support learners with specific learning disabilities and difficulties.

This guidance from Jisc is highly recommended by the University of Cambridge Disability Resource Centre. 

Click here to access the Jisc 'Getting Started with Accessibility and Inclusion' pages.

Guidance and training from the University Information Services (UIS) and Disability Resource Centre (DRC)

The University of Cambridge Information Services website has a section dedicated to accessibility. This provides details of assistive hardware and software technologies available to members of the University, as well as key building accessibility information for computer rooms across the University Estate. 

Click here to access the University Information Services accessibility webpages.

Click here to access the Disability Resource Centre webpages focused on assistive technology, including a frequently asked questions section for the Dragon Naturally Speaking software.

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