Staff Awareness and Assistive Technology in UCD

Holleran, Pauric and Padden, Lisa (2014) Staff Awareness and Assistive Technology in UCD. In: The 15th Educational Technology Conference of the Irish Learning Technology Association (ILTA). May 29th and 30th, UCD, Dublin, Ireland.


It is vital that all university staff have awareness of the difficulties which may be experienced by students with disabilities. Staff must be given the knowledge and resources to support these students effectively. UCD Access Centre has developed a communication and training strategy to improve disability awareness among staff in UCD. The key elements to be considered when developing this strategy were: • Message Identifying the areas of concern for staff and students. • Audience Identifying the audience for this message and ways of reaching them effectively. • Time Identifying a way of providing knowledge and resources without placing a significant time burden on staff. There is a range of Assistive Technology (AT) resources available for students with a disability in UCD. These consist of software and devices that enable students with a disability to learn independently and perform at their highest academic level. Some ATs are available to all students in UCD (such as Texthelp Read & Write Gold), whereas others are available to specific students registered with the Access Centre. It is useful for academic, technical or administrative staff to be aware of these tools should they come into contact with students who use them or may benefit from them. Opportunities to access some of the most commonly used ATs are missed by users who do not know of the benefits and productivity that these tools can bring. This Gasta will give a demonstration of some of the most commonly used provided to students with a disability by the Access Centre. These include: • Literacy Tool - Texthelp Read & Write Gold • Recording Tool - Livescribe Smartpen

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