Assistive technologies are tools to bridge this mismatch. Users unable to view information on a computer screen can use a screen reader to hear the content. Users with hearing impairment can read subtitles instead of relying on audio content in a video.
Assistive technologies like these have been made possible by significant advances in technology over the last century and have been instrumental in increasing equitability of inclusion, independence and access to information for people with disability. Consider that 70 years ago, the only way to access news was in a newspaper. A person unable to read the paper because of a vision impairment would be reliant on other people for this information.
Today, news can be accessed via a multitude of platforms using different tools to convey the information audibly, visually or even through touch, using assistive technology. Furthermore, these technological advances to support individuals with disability also improve accessibility across the board – offering more flexibility for everyone to access information and perform tasks in a variety of ways that suit their needs, abilities and preferences.
Have a lot to write? Try dictation
You can use dictation to write without a keyboard – particularly useful for people with a motor impairment or injury who find it hard to use a keyboard. Just say out loud what you need written down and your computer or phone can transcribe it for you. Learn more about dictation on Microsoft Word
Tired of looking at screens? Try a screen reader
You can use a screen reader to listen to written digital content – it’s like an audiobook for your phone or computer. Screen readers are developed for people with a vision impairment or blindness to navigate and access digital information. They can also be really useful if you’ve got a lot to read or you’re just tired of looking at a screen (especially now we’re all spending a lot more time online). Learn more about VoiceOver on Mac Learn more about Narrator on Windows
Anything that can be done on your computer with a mouse can also be done with a keyboard. This isn’t just useful for people with a motor impairment who are unable to use a mouse; keyboard shortcuts can help everyone use a computer more efficiently. For example, tapping Ctrl/Cmd+C is much quicker than moving your mouse to the Edit menu, clicking Edit and then Copy. Copy and paste is just the beginning of the keyboard shortcuts that can save you time! Learn more about keyboard shortcuts on Google Chrome Learn more about keyboard shortcuts on Microsoft Office
Sun glare on your screen? Try high contrast mode or larger text
Fletcher, J., & Tobias, S. (2005). The Multimedia Principle. In R. Mayer (Ed.), The Cambridge Handbook of Multimedia Learning (Cambridge Handbooks in Psychology, pp. 117-134). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511816819.008
We’re excited to welcome you back to the Rare Books & Special Collections (RBSC) reading room in Fisher Library. After being closed earlier this year, the reading room has reopened for you to view the fascinating and priceless items held in these collections.
The reading room is open from 11am to 3pm, Monday to Friday by appointment only. Bookings are currently only available to University staff and students and need to be made at least two days in advance via Library Search. Walk-in access to RBSC without a booking is currently not available.
Self-service scanning and printing are available in the RBSC reading room. However, due to COVID-19 restrictions, we are currently unable to provide stationery (e.g. pencils, notepad) or other materials, so we ask you to bring your own.
Join the Library on Friday 28th August to celebrate Wear It Purple Day! Wear It Purple Day is about showing LGBTQIA+ young people that they are accepted and have the right to be proud of who they are. This day is about creating safe spaces in schools, universities, workplaces and public spaces to show LGBTQIA+ young people that they are seen and supported.
Wear it Purple Day was founded in 2010 in response to global stories of rainbow young people who took their own lives following bullying and harassment resulting from the lack of acceptance of their sexuality or gender identity.
If you’d like to get involved, the University’s Pride Network will host a discussion via Zoom on the topic of “Growing through Discrimination”. The panel will share personal stories and empower you with practical tools and support to traverse bullying, which is experienced by 3 in 4 young LGBTQIA+ Australians. Whether you are a part of the LGBTQIA+ community or an ally, we encourage you to join this event that celebrates difference. RSVP to the Wear it Purple Day event.
ThinkSpace, your very own tech haven, will be accessible by appointment. Book in a workshop or tech-time via our website.
SciTech, The Conservatorium, and Health Sciences libraries will be open weekends.
Requests and recalls will return to normal from 24 August (this includes overdue fines and fees). Use My account to see the items you have on loan, when they’re due or to renew.
Only current University staff and students have access to library buildings. You’ll need valid ID to swipe in, or register your attendance. We have Conditions of Entry to keep you and everyone else safe. These include practicing physical distancing and using hand sanitiser and disinfectant wipes.
LIBR1000 is an online course available through Canvas aimed to equip first year students with the essential information literacy skills needed to excel during their time at uni. The course has been developed specifically for Arts and Social Sciences students however, it will benefit all first year students, specially those with information & digital literacy course requirements.
83% of students responding to the semester 1 course survey, said LIBR1000 would be useful for their future studies. Here are some of the specific things students appreciated about the course:
“Its structured nature, and the ability to complete it online in my own time.”
“Learning about the Library Search tools and system”
“I found the module on breaking down the assignment question helpful and search criteria”
“Understanding the distinctions of each skill (eg. primary and secondary sources). Very good to refresh the memory.”
“The information regarding referencing and clearing the blurred lines of paraphrasing and summarising.”
Library staff working with Rare Books & Special Collections are invited to blog about significant items and interesting discoveries. Here, Rare Books & Special Collections cataloguing assistant Simon Cooper writes about the Graham Science Fiction Collection.
During the Covid-19 period the Rare Books & Special Collections cataloguing team has been tackling, from home and using photos, the books in the Graham science fiction (SF) collection. The books number around 30,000. In addition, the collection includes large holdings of comics and magazines, serials or journals, all still to be catalogued online.