Critical Friends provide helpful comments.

Over the last week Deb Viney, Ginny Stacey and Mary Eld have been kind enough to give up time to visit us and work with us on our projects as critical friends. We really are very grateful for this help.

The pen drive /memory stick / USB flash drive, (debate as to the best name!) with its accessible menu – is this for staff or students?  If both. what does each group  need in terms of applications and guides and how do we divide up the folders?  Should we be able to access the applications immediately without having to go through a series of folders or categories or does there need to be a tree structure?

When it comes to overall design – do we need logos for the applications and icons for some menu items as well as text which can be enlarged?   A decision was made to use a colour contrast calculator to stop bad colour combinations when users change text and background colours to suit their preferences.

The Study Bar update on the previous blog has covered many of the aspects discussed in our meetings.  It was felt that it was important to improve aspects of the text to speech, as decisions about the items to be added to the tool bar had largely been dealt with by comparing the bar to the JISC TechDis User Preferences toolbar.

Web2Access walk-through to check the criteria has been completed, but it was clear that when discussing aspects of the evaluation for Web 2.0 services, there needs to be a considerable amount of support for some people.  The issue of who was going to use the site arose and what were the criteria for our choice of Web 2.0 applications – this needs to be added to the site!  Perhaps we could say services chosen should:

  • allow for interactions.
  • have no download requirements
  • offer free access not just a free trial.

A visit to Jane Hart’s Social Media toolkit provide more ideas for which Web 2.0 applications are used in elearning situations as well as other tools for learning.

The search facility has been added to each page on the Web2Access website and the anomalies that have arisen with the scoring are under discussion with the realisation that listing all those that have identical results is not very helpful.

A question was raised as to how the percentages were worked out.  It was noted that the criteria for the tests provide the results not how accessible the site is for a particular disability against another disability or application.  A phrase to explain this issue and the ongoing debate about the scoring and how it is illustrated is on the list of tasks to be completed!

Our explanation of Web 2.0 needs to be expanded and for whom the site has been designed as this came up whilst going through the test criteria.  It was felt the site is helpful for developers in its present mode but if we could add more supporting materials it would be useful for a wider audience.    We may also need to change some of the technical language used!

The Accessibility Cloud project was mentioned in passing and meetings with experts in the field of linking data are being set up in the coming weeks.