Category Archives: Study Bar

Fix The Web launched to focus on e-accessibility with ATBar reaching 2m users!

Citizens Online has launched an innovative project called Fix the Web with the rather ambitious aim of (at least partially) addressing e-accessibility issues from a grass roots perspective, making use of social media for network effects.

The idea is that disabled people can report faulty websites and requirements for pieces of software which people with technical skills can address. Web fixing tools may be the solution along with emails to web developers. If this can be achieved on a large scale then change is possible!

At this stage input is required from both disabled people and techies on the scope of the project and on developing the website.

Further information can be found at fixtheweb.wordpress.com

The ATBar has recently reached over 2 million users. 2m users stats

Accessiblog

Accessiblog has been started as we have several accessible technology projects on the go including LexDis, Web2Access and Synote and we wanted to have a space to track other projects as they progressed.  These all have working titles and  include:

StudyBar

StudyBar will build on existing tools such as those provided by Google, Firefox Accessibar and the JISC TechDis Preferences Toolbar, to develop an independent toolbar that works alongside the most widely used web browsers.  The aim is to help all staff and students (irrespective of their skills and abilities) save time when interacting with on-line environments.  Currently staff and students are switching between complex toolsets, especially when undertaking e-learning activities in Web 2.0 environments, such as using blogs, wikis and discussion forums, where time is of the essence.  They also have difficulties summarising and referencing works and require user-friendly tools to support and complete these tasks.

StudyBar will provide easy access to study support services to augment technology enhanced learning strategies.  Time spent working with a series of different or complex tools can be avoided by having a ‘one stop shop’ of easy to use services, appropriate for studying.  Time constraints are an issue for all students but in particular for those with disabilities especially when learning to use new technologies.

Current development is for use with Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari and Opera.

The work is being undertaken with close collaboration with JISC OSS Watch, JISC TechDis and JISC RSC Scotland N&E

This project has been funded by JISC TechDis and will run from July 09 to November 09

The Pen Drive

This pen drive is designed for both staff and students working in a teaching and learning environment. The accessible menu system will allow users to launch a range of assistive technologies from text to speech to magnification.   There will also be a portable browser with additional toolbars to provide staff with a means to evaluate online technologies before using them in a teaching and learning situation.

The entire menu system can be customised and all developments will be available via Google Code with the ability to download the source code and make changes.

Current development is for the Window platform but much discussion has taken place around the use of HTML and the Mac operating system.

The work is being undertaken with close collaboration with JISC OSS Watch, JISC TechDis and JISC RSC Scotland N&E

This project has been funded by the Learning and Teaching  Enhancement Unit of the University of Southampton and will be trialed in the Autumn 2009 – February 2010  with a full set of guides on making choices about the accessibility of Web 2.0 applications such as podcasts, blogs, wikis, social networking RSS feeds, bookmarking and microblogs.

Web2 Access Validation toolkit.

This online toolkit will be developed so that all users of the Web2Access.org.uk website can evaluate the accessibitity of any chosen Web 2.0 application at the outset and eventually software applications.  The fourteen tried and tested checks based on WCAG 2.0 guidelines will be developed into an online wizard with accompanying narrated screencasts to aid both developers and those new to accessibility issues.

The 14 tests with levels of accessibility in different contexts provide a framework that is capable of validating accessibility in a way that is useful to potential users  for example supports those with visual impairments or has poor text size and contrast levels.  The service provides a ranking that is potentially valuable to providers as an indicator of accessibility although it is always advisable to check sites with disabled users.

Current development is for use with Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari and Opera.

The work is being undertaken with close collaboration with JISC TechDis

This project has been funded by JISC TechDis and will run from July 2009 – Jan 2010

Accessibility Cloud

The Accessibility Cloud project will be harvesting the existing accessibility content from previous JISC funded projects, making the data commonly available and searchable and making sure that the engine and data are secure, portable and able to be mirrored.  The initial projects providing the linked data are LexDis, Web2Access, Phoebe, Gateway to Excellence and JISC RSC Yorkshire and Humberside ‘Excellence in Inclusivity’.  Each site offers a different approach to the subject of teaching and learning with the use of technology.  This will mean that users of the accessibility cloud will have the chance to see for example the use of portable devices in colleges, their impact on various disabilities, the strategies developed by students and the way they can be used by staff in their day to day teaching.

It is hoped that it will be possible to browse by a series of categories and search the active data from all the websites but in a way that allows for different perspectives such as a pedagogical approach, disability viewpoint and technology choices.

Current development is for use with Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari and Opera.

The work is being undertaken with close collaboration with JISC TechDis

This project has been funded by JISC TechDis and will run from Oct 09 to Sept 2010.