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JISC Techdis and HumanITy work together on guidance for visually impaired learners

The JISC Techdis service has worked with Kevin Carey (HumanITy) to create this guidance on reasonable adjustments for visually impaired learners. This particular cohort was chosen because (i) they often represent the most challenges in terms of providing adapted resources and (ii) there can be a mismatch between what is possible to provide and what is most desirable from the learner’s viewpoint. Kevin Carey is uniquely placed to provide these guidelines because of his long involvement in education, his expertise in accessibility and his standing as a blind author and speaker.

Among the most important outcomes of this work is the recognition that:

  • There is no single solution for accessibility
  • The optimum "reasonable adjustment" may depend on the nature of the learner, the nature of the impairment, the nature of the resource, the learning objectives and the context of use
  • The most time-consuming and expensive adjustments are not always the most effective
  • Staff supporting learners often have a range of alternative adjustments they can make in discussion with the learner.

The work has been divided into several sections (as listed below), in each case moving from general points to more specific examples. Examples have been drawn from the Leisure and Tourism curriculum because this offered a wide range of media and therefore raised a range of potential problems; the discussion surrounding reasonable adjustments for each artefact is applicable to any subject area. In most examples there were a range of potential "reasonable adjustments" and the optimum adjustment would depend on contextual circumstances.

This information has been divided into several sections (as listed below), in each case moving from general points to more specific examples: