Assistive Technology Officer
I’m the Assistive Technology (AT) Officer at the University of Sheffield. As part of my role I train disabled and dyslexic students on how to use the different assistive technology packages that are available within The University Library. I also run a session on ‘free apps to develop academic skills’ as part of the ‘Have I got dyslexia?’ workshops. These are a series of workshops that The University Library and Disability and Dyslexia Support Service run to support students who think they might have dyslexia but do not have a formal diagnosis yet. Further details about these workshops are on the following webpage – http://www.sheffield.ac.uk/library/additionalsupport/workshops.
I became interested in assistive technology in 2010, when I was diagnosed with dyslexia whilst studying for a Postgraduate Certificate in Lifelong Learning Through the Disabled Students’ Allowances I was awarded a number of assistive technology packages to support me with my course work. This included audio note taking software, a mind mapping package, plus a tool that enabled me to put a coloured tint over my computer screen. These packages transformed the way I studied and helped to increase my grades dramatically. This is why I now spend my days teaching other students how they can use technology to study more efficiently and effectively.
One of my favourite tools is Sensus Access, as it enables students with a print based disability, such as dyslexia, to convert text based materials into formats that are easier for them to work with. For example, Sensus Access can turn journal articles into MP3 files so that they can be listened to as well as read. It can also turn text based files into e-books, which enables them to be viewed and saved on an e-book reader, such as Kindle or iBooks.
Some of my blog posts include: