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Access to materials on line and in advance



Make materials for lectures and seminars available to a student in advance of, and after, the session.

Provide materials in a readable electronic format.

Scanned or photocopies of material online are not suitable for assistive software so where possible all files should be machine readable (in a Word or readable PDF format, for example). Any handouts that are pictures or diagrams should also be supplied in advance and ideally accompanied by some written text describing them.

Many lecturers do this as a matter of course through platforms such as Moodle but some lecturers and/or departments do not.



Students benefit from being able to review material both before and after attending a lecture and for some students it is particularly important (see Examples below). Readable electronic versions are essential for students who rely on assistive software to read to them.

  • A visually impaired student may use assistive software to read materials to them - they may not be able to see presentation slides in class.
  • A visually impaired student will need electronic copies of handouts in advance so that they can engage with a seminar or lecture having reviewed the material beforehand.
  • A student with dyslexia may may read too slowly to be able to read PowerPoint slides in a lecture if they have not had chance to look at them before hand. This puts them at a disadvantage as they are unable to get full benefit form the session.
  • A student with diabetes may not have their sugar levels under control one day and be unable to attend a lecture. The ability to look at any lecture materials online will be helpful and enable them to catch up.
  • A student with a physical disability or with a specific learning difference may not be able to make adequate or any notes in class so being able to access presentation slides and material afterwards is essential. A student can then use the material at their own pace.