José Lopez Blanco writes:

On the 12th of May 2021, librarians from academic institutions across Wales gathered for the latest WHELF teachmeet to share good practice on improving inclusivity in learning and teaching.

The event took place online. There were three presentations on the day -click on the presentation titles to view the slides:

A Holistic Approach: Universal Design for Learning

Joe Nicholls, Education Consultant, Cardiff University

Joe reminded us that we should value difference in our student body and the learning opportunities it creates. Joe posed an interesting question: “what is normal anyway?”

One difficulty is that a lot of accessibility work is done retrospectively, while it should be done from the outset.

There was a call for reflection and recognising our bias: in Joe’s adapted quote, “teacher, heal thyself.”

Finally, Joe gave us a short demonstration of how to apply the principles of the Universal Design for Learning model: https://udlguidelines.cast.org/.

Supporting Print Disabled Students with Accessible Formats at Swansea University

Martina Webber, manager of the Swansea University Transcription Centre

Martina firstly introduced us to the legal framework around accessibility in universities:

  • The Equality Act 2010 asks universities to provide accessible learning.
  • The Public Sector Bodies Accessibility Regulations 2018 regulates the accessibility of all digital resources.

Martina then gave us an overview of what the law says about the characteristics of accessible digital environments and highlighted the social model of disability, whereby the onus is on society to become inclusive, rather than on individuals to request alternative formats in learning.

Finally, we were given a summary of the work from Swansea University Transcription Centre, in operation since 1995 and a free service since 2014. There are only seven such centres in the whole of the UK.

Some the work they do includes transcribing all course materials, sourcing alternative formats, transcribing of audio recordings and converting textbooks to DAISY (Digital Accessible Information System) audiobooks.

How Can I Make my Learning Material More Inclusive? Using Features in PowerPoint and Word to Make Information More Accessible and Easier to Use

Philippa Price, Subject Librarian, Swansea University

Philippa shared some practical tips on how to make learning materials more accessible by paying attention to the following features in PowerPoint and Word documents: font, size, colour contrast, avoiding italic text and block capitals, not relying on one single feature for emphasis, avoiding big chunks of text, clear and concise language, and adding alt text to as many images as possible.

Philippa then offered a practical demonstration of how to use the Check Accessibility feature in PowerPoint, Styles in Word and Font sizes in Outlook. Philippa also showed how an accessible template for PowerPoint can be built. During Questions and Answers participants were invited to share what tips they were going to take away and share. There were quite a few questions about sourcing ebooks in accessible format and the rise in demand for audiobooks.

A recording of the event is available here

WHELF and Jisc are pleased to announce that our Excluded Voices conference is now open for booking:

WHELF Excluded Voices Conference

Register here

Outline Programme 24th May

10.00 – 10.05 – welcome and introduction from Alison Harding as WHELF Chair

10.05 – 11.05: Keynote Session 1:

· Many Hands Make Light Work: A Collaborative Approach to Diversifying Collections (Royal College of Nursing Library and Archive Service- Diane McCourt)

· Walking the Tightrope: Sharing Histories of Slavery and Colonialism at Sites with Person-led Interpretation (National Trust – Eleanor Harding)

11.05 – 11.20: Break

11.20 – 12.00: Breakout Discussion 1: Sharing experiences of amplifying excluded voices

12.00 – 13.00: Lunch break and optional informal chat.

13.00 – 14.15: Lightning Talks:

· To What Extent Can Qualitative Research About the Digital Practices of Doctoral Students Inform Research Library Services? (City University – Diane Bell)

· See Yourself on the Shelf: Raising the Visibility of Excluded Voices in Our Collections (University of Kent – Emma Mires-Richards and Sarah Field )

· Sex Work and the State: The Personal and Political in a Government Archive (National Archives/Wellcome Collection – Vicky Iglikowski-Broad)

· Evaluating Diversity in a Student Reading List (University of Leicester – Keith Nockels and Heena Karavadra)

14.15 – 14.30: Break

14.30 – 15.00: Breakout Discussion 2: Towards a Cross-Sectoral ‘manifesto’ for change – how can we work better together to move the agenda forward

15.00 – 16.00: Keynote Session 2:

· Now You’re Out, You’re In (National Library of Ireland – Elizabeth Kirwan)

· WHELF Equality and Diversity – the next steps (WHELF – Tracey Stanley)

The WHELF Colloquium will be held online on Wednesday 9th June 2021. 

The theme of this year’s conference is: 

There and back again: using lessons learned from the pandemic to shape the library services of the future. 

We would welcome presentations on how services have adapted and what we will continue to do differently in the years ahead. Examples might include (but are not restricted to): 

  • Delivery of teaching and support in the virtual environment 
  • Capturing student feedback about their experiences 
  • Review of collection management and acquisitions workflows 
  • Re-thinking the use of space 

Presentations can be around 20 minutes in length, although we aim to be flexible. There will also be time for questions and discussion.  

You are welcome to livestream or pre-record your delivery. WHELF Groups are also invited to submit presentations on recent developments.  

Guidance for presenters, including technical advice, will be provided soon.  

If you would like to submit a proposal, please include the following information: 

  • List of names of presenters and their institutional affiliation. 
  • Title and a brief description of your paper. 
  • Length of presentation. 

Deadline for submissions: 5pm Wednesday 12 May 

Please e-mail submissions to: Claire.Wotherspoon@open.ac.uk or Jennifer.Markey@open.ac.uk 

This WHELF event is being organised by the University of South Wales, the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama and the Open University. 

With thanks to Jenny McNally

WHELF-LMS-Benefits-2019-20

The WHELF Learning and Teaching Sub-Group invites you to join us for this FREE teachmeet on inclusive learning, which will focus on how we can design learning experiences which minimise barriers for disabled students and improve the learning experience for everyone. 

The Teachmeet will take place on 12 May from 10-12 via Zoom.  The programme includes the following:

Welcome

Sarah Jones, Chair of WHELF Learning and Teaching Sub-Group

A holistic approach: universal design for learning

Joe Nicholls, Education Consultant, University Library Service, Cardiff University

Supporting print disabled students with accessible formats at Swansea University

Martina (Tina) Webber, Manager, Swansea University Transcription Centre

How can I make my learning material more inclusive? Using features in PowerPoint and Word to make information more accessible and easier to use.

Philippa Price, Subject Librarian, Swansea University

Q&A and summary

Sarah Jones

If you would like to attend, please book your place here.  A link to the Zoom meeting will be emailed to all registered participants on 11th May.

We look forward to seeing you at the event.

Philippa Price and Rebecca Mogg

On behalf of WHELF Learning and Teaching Sub-Group

WHELF and Jisc are pleased to announce that our Excluded Voices conference is now open for booking:

WHELF Excluded Voices Conference 

Outline Programme 24th May

10.00 – 10.05 – welcome and introduction from Alison Harding as WHELF Chair

10.05 – 11.05: Keynote Session 1:

· Many Hands Make Light Work: A Collaborative Approach to Diversifying Collections (Royal College of Nursing Library and Archive Service- Diane McCourt)

· Walking the Tightrope: Sharing Histories of Slavery and Colonialism at Sites with Person-led Interpretation (National Trust – Eleanor Harding)

11.05 – 11.20: Break

11.20 – 12.00: Breakout Discussion 1: Sharing experiences of amplifying excluded voices

12.00 – 13.00: Lunch break and optional informal chat.

13.00 – 14.15: Lightning Talks:

· To What Extent Can Qualitative Research About the Digital Practices of Doctoral Students Inform Research Library Services? (City University – Diane Bell)

· Working with Academics to Diversify Material for Illustration Students (Manchester Metropolitan University – Sarah Shenton)

· See Yourself on the Shelf: Raising the Visibility of Excluded Voices in Our Collections (University of Kent)

· Sex Work and the State: The Personal and Political in a Government Archive (National Archives/Wellcome Collection)

· Evaluating Diversity in a Student Reading List (University of Leicester – Keith Nockels and Heena Karavadra)

14.15 – 14.30: Break

14.30 – 15.00: Breakout Discussion 2: Towards a Cross-Sectoral ‘manifesto’ for change – how can we work better together to move the agenda forward

15.00 – 16.00: Keynote Session 2:

· Now You’re Out, You’re In (National Library of Ireland – Elizabeth Kirwan)

· WHELF Equality and Diversity – the next steps (WHELF – Tracey Stanley)

Click here to register

WHELF and Jisc are pleased to announce that our Excluded Voices conference is now open for booking:

WHELF Excluded Voices Conference 

Outline Programme 22nd April 

10.00 – 10.05 – welcome and introduction from Alison Harding as WHELF Chair 

10.05 – 11.05: Keynote Session 1: 

  • Let the East Speak: Regional Cataloguing at SOAS (SOAS – Erich Kesse, Jotika Khur-Yearn, Carlos Leo-Roca, Burzine Waghmar) 
  • Systematic Exclusion of Area Studies Services and its Consequences (Waseem Farooq, Aga Khan Library) 

11.05 – 11.20: Break 

11.20 – 12.00: Breakout Discussion 1: Sharing experiences of amplifying excluded voices 

12.00 – 13.00: Lunch break 

13.00 – 14.00: Lightning Talks: 

  • Decolonising the British Library for Development Studies Legacy Collections (University of Sussex – Daniel Millum and Caroline Marchant-Wallis ) 
  • Involving Students in the Conversation on Decolonisation (University of West England – Jane Ojiako and Ludo Sebire) 
  • Towards Respectful and Inclusive Description for Indigenous People (Natalie Ansell – OCLC) 
  • Co-designing Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging Resources (University of Southampton – Nicki Clarkson) 
  • The Student Curator Project: curating connections through collections (University of Surrey – Catherine Batson) 

14.00 – 14.15: Break 

14.15 – 15.00: Breakout Discussion 2: Towards a Cross-Sectoral ‘manifesto’ for change – how can we work better together to move the agenda forward 

15.00 – 16.00: Keynote Session 2:

  • Reading Lists and the Awarding Gap (University of Derby – Caroline Ball) 
  • The First Welsh-born Black Children’s Author: Creating Books I Wish I Had Grown Up with in Wales (Cardiff University – Jessica Dunrod) 

Click here to register

WHELF and Jisc are pleased to announce that our Excluded Voices conference is now open for booking.

The conference will focus on recognising the structural inequalities which are often present in our collections and services, and on showcasing initiatives and developments which seek to tackle these. The dominant voices in our collections are often those of privilege, but there are many other stories and multiple perspectives, sometimes hidden or excluded from view. Relevant topics for submission could include the development of inclusive collection policies, diversifying reading lists and curricula, showcasing diverse collections and practices, and critical assessment of bias in our structures and policies.

Given the strength of the response to our call for papers, we have two dates available. Both are free and open to anyone who would like to attend, with a particular focus on libraries, museums and heritage sector organisations.

Please sign up here:

22nd April 2021- https://www.eventsforce.net/jiscevents/1074/home

24th May 2021 – https://www.eventsforce.net/jiscevents/1075/home

With thanks to Jisc for technical and booking support.

The WHELF Colloquium will be held online on Wednesday 9th June 2021. 

The theme of this year’s conference is: 

There and back again: using lessons learned from the pandemic to shape the library services of the future. 

We would welcome presentations on how services have adapted and what we will continue to do differently in the years ahead. Examples might include (but are not restricted to): 

  • Delivery of teaching and support in the virtual environment 
  • Capturing student feedback about their experiences 
  • Review of collection management and acquisitions workflows 
  • Re-thinking the use of space 

Presentations can be around 20 minutes in length, although we aim to be flexible. There will also be time for questions and discussion.  

You are welcome to livestream or pre-record your delivery. WHELF Groups are also invited to submit presentations on recent developments.  

Guidance for presenters, including technical advice, will be provided soon.  

If you would like to submit a proposal, please include the following information: 

  • List of names of presenters and their institutional affiliation. 
  • Title and a brief description of your paper. 
  • Length of presentation. 

Deadline for submissions: 23rd April 2021 

Please e-mail submissions to: Claire.Wotherspoon@open.ac.uk or Jennifer.Markey@open.ac.uk 

This WHELF event is being organised by the University of South Wales, the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama and the Open University. 

The Welsh Government has published its Digital Strategy for Wales “Digital in Wales: improving the lives of everyone through collaboration, innovation and better public services.”

WHELF is pleased to have been involved in the draft consultation process and to see its voice reflected in the strategy, along with that of CILIP Cymru Wales, NHS Libraries Wales, Welsh Government Libraries and public libraries.

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