RNIB College Use EasyReader
RNIB College Loughborough compiled a series of unique learning resources to support their visually impaired students who study CLAIT and ECDL qualifications. The training guides were produced as DAISY Digital Talking Books and made available to their students. Each student receives all of the course materials, exercises and examples, plus revision details for each subject, including Microsoft Word, Excel, Powerpoint and Access.
Students were also given a copy of EasyReader - a DAISY talking book software player - which can be used on the students PCs for playing the training materials. The training guides contain three essential elements: text, images and audio, which are all synchronised together. This synchronisation allows the students to freely navigate and search within the training guides for the information they require. Happy in the knowledge that it will be presented and played correctly. Students are able to customise the training materials to suit their individual needs and can alter the text size, colours or the playback speed of audio. In addition, students can insert their own text notes or record their own audio notes anywhere within the guides, so they can review their own interpretation of the information.
Designed specifically for people with visual impairments, or neurodiverse conditions such as dyslexia, EasyReader offers schools and colleges a high-quality, easy method of delivering education materials in a totally accessible way. EasyReader is simple and intuitive to use, so students gain independence to access information in a way that suits them best. While schools are given peace of mind that they support a policy of inclusion and integration in the classroom.
Mike Hefferan from the RNIB College Loughborough comments:
“We have been very pleased with the way that our students are using the training guides, we have never had anything like this for students before. Now students have all of the course materials on a single searchable CD, in an audio and text format. In the past, students would keep asking the trainers for a previous tape if they thought they had forgotten things; or they probably wouldn't have asked because they would have forgotten which tape they needed. In fact they wouldn't have realised what they had forgotten! Now EasyReader gives them an index list which makes it obvious, so they are able to jump straight to the correct section immediately.”
Students from RNIB College Loughborough use the command 'book playback' with EasyReader, with their mouse, keyboard hotkeys or even a footpedal. When they use any of these methods, students can quickly switch between the training guides and the applications they are working on. Mike describes how one of his students uses EasyReader:
“She is handling EasyReader really well. She goes back to previous lessons using the index page to remind herself what she may have forgotten during half term. Then, moving forwards again, she uses EasyReader to navigate the audio book electronically, in the same way a sighted person would navigate a printed book's pages.”