The Academic and Research Libraries Group had their annual conference on the 27th-29th June. Ben Watson and I presented on mainstreaming access to information, with a focus on universal design, copyright, RNIB BookShare, assistive technologies, and making ebooks accessible at source.
Ben is the Accessible Information Project Adviser at the University of Kent. He is a real force of nature, personable and persuasive. In short, a great co-presenter! He has been working closely with Alistair McNaught at Jisc in order to embed accessible practices at Kent, in particular with regards to learning and teaching, information sources and software.
It was a really fun session and we had a full room of people who had lots of questions and comments. The closing activity was particualrly effective, in which we asked participants to take a photograph of a page of text and uplaod it to the RoboBraille service for conversion to an MP3. The referendum has just taken place, so the page of text was a list of facts and figures on the EU! The winner was the first person to have the text being read aloud from their mobile device, and within a couple of minutes we had a room of people with a newly-minted alternative format – impressive or what?
A summary of our talk is available on the conference webpage and a link to our slides is embedded below.