Improved alternatives provide a vision of tertiary equality

Improved alternatives provide a vision of tertiary equality

10 Jan 2008

University studies can be a strain at the best of times. The amount of reading required can see a student deskbound for more hours than any high-school leaver would care to spend. Consider, though, if the student is dyslexic, or blind, or quadriplegic: impairments that fall into the category of print disability.

Sometimes, policies and action plans alone are not enough when the issue is as important as providing equity and diversity for tertiary students with a print disability. It helps to benchmark solutions to learn from what other institutions are doing.

La Trobe University will host the inaugural Alternate Format Conference 2008 from January 21-23 at its Bundoora campus. The conference will bring together tertiary-sector practitioners of alternate formatting from across Australia and New Zealand.

The conference differs from other events that broadly cover policy and practice, aiming to generate knowledge sharing among the people who actually provide alternate formats to students with a print disability. Policy-makers, managers and advocates are welcome, but the focus of the conference will be on identifying effective practices and techniques, enabling each institution to enhance the service it provides.

Vision Australia, the country's leading organisation in provision of services to people who are blind or have low vision, will be represented by General Manager Business Development, Tim Evans, who will present on the future of accessibility and education.

Alternate formats are documents that have been made accessible to people with a print disability, such as vision impairment, dyslexia or physical conditions that prevent a reader from holding books or papers. Also known as accessible formats, these documents are reading materials that have been converted from traditional paper-based media to other formats such as Braille, large print, audio, electronic and digital talking books.

Further details

Registrations to the Alternate Format Conference 2008 are currently open, with details available at www.latrobe.edu.au/afc2008.

For further information, please contact Anthony Earl, La Trobe University's Accessibility Resource Officer, on T: 61 3 9479 5160 or via E: a.earl@latrobe.edu.au.

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