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Re: text to speech software

From: Paul Booth <paul@disinhe.ac.uk>
Date: Tue, 9 Nov 1999 16:45:41 -0000
Message-ID: <017b01bf2ad1$dc0c7a80$f2222486@dyn.computing.dundee.ac.uk>
To: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Jonathan,

If you are in a higher education institution in the UK then students with
disabilities may be entitled to Disabled Students Allowance (DSA):
http://www.dfee.gov.uk/bridging/

"What are the Disabled Students' Allowances for?
The DSAs help pay for extra costs you may incur in attending your full-time
course, as a direct result of your disability. The allowances can help with
the cost of a non-medical personal helper, major items of specialist
equipment and other costs. "

In other words, it could be used to provide a student with a suitable PC
with any necessary equipment.  In addition, many Universities and colleges
actually
provide specialised equipment for students with disabilities and specialised
areas and rooms so that they can use it without distraction on campus.  For
example, here at the University of Dundee we have a lab for Visually
Impaired
Students, and a lab for students with dyslexia:

http://www.dundee.ac.uk/disabilitysupport/visual.htm
http://www.dundee.ac.uk/disabilitysupport/dyslexia.htm
http://www.dundee.ac.uk/disabilitysupport/

To bring this back to a web context (which is what this group is
specifically for!).  DISinHE believe that it is of vital importance to
persuade UK HE to adopt policies to create accessible and usable web sites.
This should enable all students to get the best experience of the
information contained within a University's web site, no matter what
equipment and software the student uses.  I believe your point about "clear
and simple sentences" is currently part of the Web Content Accessibility
Guidelines under guideline 14: Ensure that documents are clear and simple.

To Summarise, Universities or Colleges don't have to provide specific
equipment for disabled students as this can be obtained from the DSA.
However
Universities should (but have no legal obligation to) make sure that its
electronic information is accessible to students with disabilities. The
situation in Further Education is not exactly the same.

Hope this clarifies things.

- Paul
--
Paul Booth, Project Officer, DISinHE Office.
The national centre for Disability and Information Systems in Higher
Education,
Department of Applied Computing, University of Dundee, Scotland
w:  http://www.disinhe.ac.uk/     t: 01382 345050      f: 01382 345509
Received on Tuesday, 9 November 1999 11:44:21 GMT

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