Jisc TechDis and BETT 2013

  • Posted: 28-January-2013

Jisc TechDis will be at BETT 2013 promoting and supporting a number of activities and exhibitors including the launch of two new assistive technology products from our SBRI competition.

On Wednesday, 30 January, we will be celebrating the launch of azzapt and NaviText, two new assistive technologies. TechDis managed these BIS/TSB funded Small Business Research Initiatives and also introduced the companies to independent specialist colleges, work-based training providers and learners ensuring that end users have been engaged in the product development from the outset.

Azzapt – iansyst – Stand B130
azzapt makes it quick and easy to transfer documents between devices whilst personalising them into the user's preferred format, e.g. audio, large fonts, different colours etc. azzapt benefits those who find reading difficult due to a physical disability, dyslexia or visual impairment; or anyone who wants to access documents on the move.

Navitext – System Associates – Stand G325
This project improves navigation of and accessibility to books and documents for people who are print impaired. Until now, it has been almost impossible to scan or speed read reference books and scholarly texts if you are reliant on magnifiers or screen readers.

Then, at 14:00 there is a seminar in the SEN Theatre, entitled "How inclusive technologies can increase learning and engagement for print disabled learners".

Jisc TechDis are pleased to support and promote this seminar which will present findings on research and case studies from Load2Learn, a service delivered by Dyslexia Action and RNIB.

It will demonstrate the benefits to learners from accessing documents in a format that can be adapted to suit their needs, using assistive technology solutions as well as highlighting the training required to support the learners. This session will include examples of work in practice in schools that have been using Load2Learn, an online resource of downloadable digital curriculum materials. It will also cover the use of technology, including free accessible documents and text to speech software that can be used to support and benefit learners.

On Thursday, 31 January, TechDis are delivering "TechDis Transformers: tools for changing lives", a Learn Live workshop at 16:15 in the SEN Theatre.

Sal Cooke (Director) and Shirley Evans (Special Projects Officer) of Jisc TechDis will be demonstrating a number of free tools and resources including the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills funded projects outlined below.

  • TechDis Jess and TechDis Jack, two new high-quality, youthful and modern voices for use with text-to-speech tools. Free to staff and learners in higher education, further education, skills and lifelong learning in England.
  • TechDis Toolbox, a collection of resources which give useful hints and tips on technologies that can help individuals work quicker, slicker and smarter.

And finally on Friday, 1 February, at 10:15 we will be participating in the Learn Live Higher Education session in Theatre E.

The FE and Skills Development and Resources programme managed by JISC Advance was launched in 2012. Thirty two bids received funding for new learning resources, methods and expanding opportunities in post-16 learning. Nigel Ecclesfield (Jisc Advance) will introduce this session where you can hear from four of the successful bidders inlcuding Jisc TechDis:

  • South Tyneside College
  • Kendal College
  • Discover Jisc (the Jisc TechDis managed project), Shirley Evans
  • Abingdon and Witney College.

We are looking forward to it and hope to see some of you there!

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