EA Draffan Interview continued
Q7. When and where will the survey results be released?
A7. I am not sure where the final report will be published but I promise I will make sure we disseminate the results across the usual mailing lists and you will receive a copy!
Q8. EA, I know you are a big fan of DAISY. Perhaps you can explain what it is and why you think it is special?
A8. Yes I am a fan of Daisy as I feel there is a need to organise digitised texts into a format that can be recognised everywhere. So much of our printed material can be digitised, to allow synchronised speech and text. This makes it much easier, to listen to a CD in the car, but also for those who have visual difficulties and specific learning difficulties such as dyslexia to follow the printed word on a computer screen. The ability to navigate sections of text, start, pause, resume when using a portable player or to be able to highlight text and choose only the bits you want read aloud when using a computer is very empowering, if I can use that term!
Q9. Are you surprised how slow the take up has been in the UK, especially compared to say the US and Scandinavia, where implementation is much more widespread?
A9. I feel the late take up in the UK compared to other countries may be related to the way our students are supported by individual allowances. But there still remains a lack of awareness about the Daisy system and how audio/digitised text can be easily achieved. It is thought by some to be a complex, time consuming process and depending on the tools that are being used this may still be the case. Certainly with the introduction of your Dolphin Publisher, even for large books with lots of graphics, tables etc.; creating a DAISY book now a much simpler task. The big change however has been brought about by Dolphin Producer for converting those instant notes, lectures and articles in Microsoft Word into digital talking books. Once people realise how much easier it has become to convert this kind of content, the tide will turn!
Q10. Finally, where should an interested teacher or a parent of a child with a print impairment look to get a better insight into what’s available or perhaps to find out what funding exists?
A10. Besides the technology solutions already mentioned there are now many guides on-line as well as videos for not only those who have difficulties with print but also for professionals. The British Dyslexia Association offers guidance on their website. The Adult Dyslexia Association and LearnDirect have a guide for tutors working with Adults who have dyslexia and these are available as downloads on their websites too. The RNIB's See it Right pack has advice about clear print. Most university and college learning resource centres or disability offices have guidance for prospective students and can offer advice on day to day study skill concerns, such as working in the library or extra support during lectures or seminars and extra time during examinations. There are a number of interesting national sites such as the Department for Education and Skills SEN website, the National Association for Special Educational Needs and the National Parent partnership Network.