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RNIB College Loughborough compiled a series of unique learning resources to support their visually impaired students studying CLAIT and ECDL qualifications.  The training guides were produced as DAISY Digital Talking Books and made available to their students. Each students receives all of the course materials, exercises and examples, as well as revision details for each subject, including Microsoft Word, Excel, Powerpoint and Access.

Each student was also given a copy of EasyReader, 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 completely synchronised together. This synchronisation allows the students to freely navigate and search within the training guides for the information that they require, happy in the knowledge that it will be presented and played correctly. The students are able to customise the training materials to suit your individual needs; altering the text size and colours or the playback speed.  Students are also able to insert their own text notes or record their own audio notes anywhere within the guides, so that they can review their own interpretations of the information.

Designed specifically for people with sight loss and dyslexia, EasyReader offers schools and colleges a high quality and easy to use, method for delivering education materials in a totally accessible way. Designed to be simple and intuitive to use, students gain the independence to access the information in a way that suits them best, and schools are given the peace of mind that they can 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 have kept asking the trainers for a previous tape if they thought they had forgotten things; they probably wouldn't have bothered asking because they would have forgotten which tape they needed and in fact they would not have realised what they had forgotten!  Now EasyReader gives them an index list which makes it obvious, and they are able to jump straight to the correct section immediately.”

Students from RNIB College Loughborough can use control book playback with EasyReader using their mouse, keyboard hotkeys or even a footpedal!  Using any of these methods, students can quickly switch between the training guides and the applications they are working on. Thinking about one particular student, Mike explains;

“She is handling EasyReader really well - going back to previous lessons using the index page - reminding herself of what she has forgotten during half term - then moving forwards again. She is using EasyReader to navigate the audio book in exactly the same way that a sighted person would navigate a print book, which is very good.”