Following a referral from Student Support Services, the University offers an in-house IT Assessment Service for students who may benefit from the use of assistive technologies. The IT assessment takes account of the individual student’s needs, academic study programme and other factors. IT training is offered as required. The University’s policy is to ensure that, as far as possible, all IT facilities are accessible to all. Most of the facilities are described below:
- All central computer labs are fitted out with networked computers with full multimedia functionality, some on adjustable tables. As well as the mainstream everyday software, about 400 machines have been configured (using JAWS and screen magnification) to be fully interactive for partially sighted/blind users including students of modern languages. Moreover students with dyslexia, or mobility difficulties, are able to create personalised working environment profiles (which follow the user from machine to machine), and have access to the Kurzweil 3000 read-back/proofing software. The Oxford English Dictionary and Thesaurus v3.0 is also available and linked directly to Microsoft Word.
- A number of text scanners are offered (using Kurzweil 1000 or 3000 Scan/Read software) that convert good quality photocopies and books from text to speech which can then be downloaded/imported onto almost any word processor or converted into Braille.
- All lecture theatres are fitted with ‘large area infra red’ systems. Some portable systems can be loaned to students in the interim period of them obtaining personal equipment. Portability is an important feature as the equipment can be operated in any room.
- The Matthew Nelson Laboratory remains a dedicated computing facility located in the Murray Hall residence. It houses, on height adjustable tables, a full range of IT equipment and emulates all central computer labs.
- There are four CCTVs with 37x magnification. Two are housed in the main Library, the others in the Matthew Nelson Lab.
- While the University can provide an extensive range of enabling technology, it must be noted that lab provision (apart from the Matthew Nelson Lab) is for structured classes, and therefore may not be available on a regular basis.
Our specialist advisers can be found in the Library (room 2:9) and can provide advice and training to students on University equipment and give one-to-one assistance to students wishing to purchase their own.