Everyone can benefit from content that is accessible and inclusive, from being able to read captions in a video to understand the presenter's accent, to converting a file into a more suitable format. The tools and ideas below can help you become a more effective learner now and in the future. If you are a student with a disability or long-term medical condition, you may be eligible for funding for equipment or software to support your learning. Find out more from the disability service.Disability services
Accessibility & inclusion
1. Make the most of your Moodle content
You can create alternative formats for files in Moodle so you can access the information you need in the way you need it or want it, e.g. convert your reading to an MP3 to listen to. There's also an accessibility toolbar in Moodle (access from the top of the Moodle page) that allows you to change the colour scheme or font to suit you. If you need help adjusting materials on Moodle so they are more accessible, please contact your department.
2. Use live captions in meetings
Live captions are available in Microsoft Teams meetings to aid inclusivity for participants with hearing impairments. You can turn them on from the more options (...) button. They can also be useful for those with different levels of language proficiency, those who are working in a noisy environment, or are struggling to understand the presenter's accent.
3. Make the files you share with others accessible
Being able to make documents, videos and other content accessible to others is an essential skill. Future employers will certainly be looking for this, but raising your own awareness will also help when working with others. For example, when doing group work a member of your team may need captions on a video to understand what's happening, or an accessible document so a screen reader can help them navigate it. Learn more in the creating accessible resources online course.
4. Be considerate
Not everyone is based in the same location with same level of access to technology. Some might be in a different country with a different time zone and digital culture. All this can impact on how and when you communicate with your peers. For example, the tone, length and detail level of an email can be percieved differently in different countries and some countries block certain websites. You can learn more in the intercultural competencies online course.
5. Have information read aloud
The immersive reader tool built into Microsoft Office, as well as specialist software like Read and Write, can read your documents aloud providing an alternative way of working that can give you a break from looking at the screen and can help improve comprehension.
6. Dictate information to your computer using speech recognition software
If you have difficulty typing, then try using speech recognition to write information rather than needing to use the keyboard. It can help students with specific learning differences, such as dyslexia, to become better writers. By saying the words aloud,you may be able to improve the fluidity of your writing and reduce concerns regarding spelling, punctuation, and other mechanics of writing. Speech recognition can also be useful for learning a second language by teaching correct pronunciation as well as helping develop fluency with speaking skills. Find out more about access to speech recognition software.
7. Improve your connectivity
Not everyone has a super-fast internet connection or access to devices all the time. If you are experiencing problems with a low bandwidth, intermittent or poor internet connection take a look at the advice on using IT services on low-bandwidth connections. If you're struggling accessing software, try accessing it via the MyLab service. Students based in China may benefit from using the Alibaba Cloud Accelerator for quicker access to some services such as Moodle and eStream.