Dyscalculia Screener at Learning Works Conference

Yesterday, iansyst exhibited at the 8th National Dyscalculia and Maths Learning Difficulties Conference hosted by Learning Works in London. The programme concentrated on reducing maths anxiety for pupils, along with a wide range of breakout sessions to explore dyscalculia and maths difficulties in detail. Clare Trott, Maths Support Tutor at Loughborough University, held a number of breakout sessions and gave an interesting talk on dyslexia and dyscalculia. Overall, the conference was a really great day and gave us a chance to demonstrate our new Dyscalculia Screener for delegates.

Dyscalculia Screener Logo

The Dyscalculia Screener seemed to be a very exciting development to delegates; with many signing up to be the first to access once it has been launched. The new web-based screening tool is due to launch in summer 2016 so teachers will be able to start screening pupils in September.

What is the Dyscalculia Screener?

The Dyscalculia Screener was originally launched in the early 2000’s and was built in partnership with Loughborough University. It is designed to screen both large groups and individuals who are struggling with maths in education and at work. All of the mathematical questions have been developed through extensive research and trials which indicate factors that suggest the user is ‘at risk’ of dyscalculia. The screener will generally take less than an hour to complete, depending on the severity of the student’s difficulties. At the end of the Dyscalculia Screener test, tutors are able to view a report showing factors which suggest the user is ‘at risk’ of dyscalculia. To find out more, please follow this link to view Dyscalculia Screener on Dyslexic.com.

In 2016, iansyst partnered with Loughborough University to launch a new and refreshed version to make the screening process even easier. The Dyscalculia Screener will be launching in summer 2016. To be the first to hear when it is launched, please follow this link to sign up to the Dyslexic.com newsletter.

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Global Accessibility Awareness Day: 5 tips for an accessible website

19th May 2016 marks the 2nd Global Accessibility Awareness Day and there are lots of events taking place all over the world to promote accessibility and inclusion. You can find out more about Global Accessibility Awareness Day by following this link >> http://ian.lt/1TlvV7f

To show our support for Global Accessibility Awareness Day, we have put together 5 tips for creating an accessible website. Web accessibility means that people with disabilities can access and interact with your website. However, it is important to remember that web accessibility can also benefit others such as elderly people.

Web accessibility means that people with disabilities can access and interact with your website.

Top 5 tips for creating an accessible website

  • Use an accessible font

Many disabled people, especially those with dyslexia, are very sensitive to particular typefaces. On www.iansyst.co.uk we have opted to using the FS Me font. This was commissioned by Mencap and has been designed to aid legibility for those with learning disabilities. However, there are lots more fonts that can work for people with disabilities.

A general rule to support those with dyslexia is to use sans-serif fonts rather than serif fonts. This is because serif fonts, such as Times New Roman or Georgia, tend to obscure the shapes of letters. Popular fonts to use include Read Regular, Calibri, and Myriad Pro. You can find out more about fonts to support those with dyslexia by following this link >> http://ian.lt/1gZ3BLv

  • Use alternative text for images and animations

Alternative text is highly important for those who use assistive technology such as screen readers that they can identify content including images or other non-text web content. Screen readers, such as JAWS or Windows Eyes, will read the alternative text of images if this is present. If the alternative text is not present, screen readers will ignore the image and say anything. This means that your users will be missing out on additional content.

  • Provide captions for videos

Captions allow the content of your video and audio files to be accessible to those who do not have access to audio. This includes people who are hard of hearing or those who speak a different language. Captions can be closed (turned on or off) or open (always visible) and display a text version of the audio synchronised with the video.

There are many free tools which allow you to add open or closed captions to your video. Examples include Windows Movie Maker, amara.org and Camtasia. At iansyst, we have used tools to help create captions for our online assistive technology training videos to ensure they are accessible for our customers.

  • Provide accessibility options for text

Both on www.iansyst.co.uk and www.dyslexic.com, we have used our own accessibility options to allow users to change the text size, colour and background colour. This is particularly useful for those with dyslexia or visual impairment as it allows the user to adjust the colour contrast and make the text larger. There are also more advanced tools that you can install on your website. Recite Me is a cloud based web accessibility solution and includes text-to-speech technology, an interactive dictionary, a translation tool and much more.

  • Avoid using ‘click here’

Using ambiguous words such as ‘click here’ can be difficult for screen readers to understand. This is because screen readers can navigate through the page moving from link to link.  Links need to make sense out of context. Instead of using ‘click here’ on your website, try using ‘for information about [product], click here’. The term ‘click here’ is also irrelevant to so many types of assistive technology. It assumes that all users are using a standard mouse to access your website. However this is probably not the case, for example, those with physical disabilities may be using voice recognition software to navigate your website.

 

There is much more that you can apply to your website to make it more accessible. Tweet us at @iansyst to let us know your tip for making websites accessible! Make sure you use the hash tag #GAAD as part of Global Accessibility Awareness Day.

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Introducing the Aluforce Pro range of height adjustable desks

Having the appropriate ergonomic equipment, such as height adjustable desks or ergonomic chairs, is so important for students and employees who spend long periods of time working at a desk.

Height adjustable desks can help tackle the common issue of sitting in the same position all day and allow you to go from sitting to standing in a matter of seconds. This helps prevent issues such as repetitive strain injury (RSI) or awkward postures from occurring. Desks that can be adjusted are also a vital piece of equipment for those with disabilities as sometimes the user will require to sit or stand from a different height.

 

What is the Aluforce Pro height adjustable desk?

The Aluforce Pro range of ergonomic desks from Actiforce is available for both DSA students and employees in the workplace who need an alternative way of accessing their computer. The desks are high-quality aluminium systems which allow the user to go from sitting to standing at the press of a button.

Aluforce Pro Height Adjustable Desks

The Aluforce Pro 140 desk has an adjustable height of 700mm to 1170mm and an adjustable width of 1100mm to 1700mm. Having both an adjustable height and width is incredibly useful for those who use specialist equipment and need a little more space.

The Aluforce Pro 251 desk has an additional leg for increased room and comfort. It has an adjustable height of 630mm to 1280mm, a main width adjustment of 1180mm to 1700mm and an extension width adjustment of 1200mm to 1400mm.

 

What other ergonomic equipment and services can iansyst provide?

iansyst provide a whole service dedicated to ergonomics for both students and employees. From ergonomic assessments to providing ergonomic equipment and support, we can work with organisations of all sizes to provide an inclusive environment. To find out more about iansyst’s ergonomic service, please follow this link >> http://ian.lt/1TDNW5y

 

We are currently offering a free of charge seating assessment. To book your ergonomic assessment, please follow this link and fill in the online form >> http://ian.lt/1TPdRV7

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Access to Work Scheme Official Statistics from DWP

The Department for Work and Pensions have released official statistics relating to the Access to Work scheme and how many individuals have been supported in 2015. The full report can be found by following this link to DWP’s website >> http://ian.lt/1NjJqr1

The report was a real eye-opener to see just how many disabled people in the UK benefit from the Access to Work scheme. From April 2015 to December 2015, 32,150 individuals were helped and, of this figure, 8,490 were new cases.

In recent months, the government has made a real push on supporting disabled employees at work with their Disability Confident campaign. Justin Tomlinson MP, Minister for Disabled People, wanted to halve the gap between the employment rates of disabled and non-disabled people. This means that they needed to get around 1 million more disabled people into work. At the Business Disability Forum’s conference in April, Justin Tomlinson said, “Now we are making progress. In the last 12 months, we have another 152,000 disabled people into work. An extra 292,000 in the last two years. To halve the disability employment gap is about 1 million more jobs for people with disabilities. With a strong economy, we are close to full structural employment.” Although the government still have a long way to go, these figures certainly look promising and show that more and more companies are recruiting disabled talent.

What is the Access to Work Scheme?

Access to Work is a government scheme run by Job Centre Plus to support people with a disability in their work. How much support each person gets depends on their individual circumstances.

To qualify for support, your condition must affect your ability to do your job or man that you have to pay work-related costs, for example assistive technology to help you use a computer. The money that you receive can pay for fares to work if you are unable to use public transport, a job coach to help you cope in your workplace, or special equipment.

If you believe you can get help from Access to Work, please follow this link >> http://ian.lt/24zKOKk

iansyst provide a range of services as part of the Access to Work scheme including workplace assessments, assistive technology software, hardware and ergonomic solutions, workplace consultancy services and much more. To find out how iansyst can support you or your disabled employees in the workplace, please email workplace@iansyst.co.uk

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Introducing the new DSA Quoting System from iansyst

This is an image of the new www.itspc.co.uk DSA quoting system logo

This week, iansyst have launched the new www.itspc.co.uk – the online quoting system for Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA) Assessors. The quoting system allows DSA Assessors to complete quotes at all times and makes quoting an easy, simple process.

Follow the link below to see a brief overview of what you can expect from the new www.itspc.co.uk quoting system >> http://ian.lt/1NZjKdL

Follow this link to see a brief overview of what you can expect from the new www.itspc.co.uk quoting system.

What’s new?

  • Intuitive design for easier navigation and quicker quote creation.
  • Accessibility bar to adjust font size, font colour and background colour. This is extremely useful for assessors who need to access the website in a different way.
  • Informative product descriptions clarifying details such as operating system, laptop weight or memory size. All of the information assessors will need to choose the relevant machine for a student can now be easily identified.
  • Search bar to quickly select relevant products for your DSA quote. To save assessors scrolling through hundreds of disabled equipment and software, we’ve created a handy search bar which finds the products you were looking for.
  • Simple buttons to display only Apple or Windows software and hardware.
  • And much more!

 

If you’re not registered already, register for your free account by visiting www.itspc.co.uk. Simply fill in your name, email, assessment centre and you’re good to go!

As part of the new www.itspc.co.uk launch, iansyst will be able to visit your assessment centre to give a demonstration. If you would like to arrange a visit, please contact our DSA team at info@iansyst.co.uk or by calling 01223 420101.

 

 

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