Get live, expert, assistive technology news and advice without leaving your desk!

Want to update your assistive technology knowledge and speak to experienced trainers, but finding that getting time away from work is an issue?

Catch up with the latest assistive technology news and pose questions to the BRITE team at our monthly online drop-in sessions.

These informal sessions take place at lunchtime on the last Friday of the month during term time.

Everyone with an interest is welcome, from beginners to more experienced practitioners. Attendance is free and, as it is online, numbers are unlimited.

For a flavour of what to expect, check out this recording of a previous AT drop-in which looked at phone accessibility, mobile Braille solutions, and news from the world’s largest assistive technology event, CSUN. Other sessions have covered topics as diverse as JAWS screenreading software and tips for getting the most from iPads in an educational setting.

Join us at the next session on Friday 27th April by visiting from 12.15 on the day. During this month’s webinar, we will be discussing:

  • Digital recording
  • Methods of recording
  • Considerations
  • Tips and tricks
  • Latest assistive technology news

Please ensure that you have an internet connection, headset, and a recent version of Flash installed.

This webpage will enable you to check that your computer is ready to access the learning environment.

Drop-in sessions are facilitated by Adobe Connect Pro, the same high-quality platform that we use to deliver the virtual versions of our accredited courses on facilitating inclusive learning strategies, needs assessment practice, and skills for educational support workers. Find out more about our courses on our website.

Seminar review: Make It Accessible

BRITE recently joined JISC to facilitate two seminars which  focussed on creating accessible formats.

A number of further and higher education institutions were represented, with staff from both marketing and learning support backgrounds in attendance. Employees from schools and City of Edinburgh Libraries also featured in the groups, demonstrating how vital it is to be able to provide accessible information in a range of environments.

Make It Accessible introduced essential tips to make printed information accessible to readers with visual impairments or dyslexia.

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Free VI Technology Events in April

HumanWare VictorReader Stream Sight Village Scotland presents an opportunity to learn about the latest technology for people who are blind, or who have low vision.

Key suppliers will be demonstrating a range of technology suited to different tasks and needs.

Typically, the technology featured includes screen reading software, digital talking book players, screen magnification, digital magnifiers, and tools to produce Braille.

Suitable both for people who are completely new to this technology, and those who have some background wishing to update their knowledge, these events are FREE to attend and will be held at the following venues:

  • Edinburgh – Hilton Hotel, Grosvenor Street, Edinburgh, EH12 5EF between 10 am and 3:30 pm on Tuesday 5th April.
  • Glasgow – Hampden Park Stadium, Glasgow, G42 9BA between 10 am and 3:30 pm on Wednesday 6th April.

Image above is of a VictorReader Stream Digital Talking Book device, taken from the Humanware UK site. This item may be borrowed for evaluation purposes by members of the BRITE Equipment Loan Bank.

Print Disability Copyright Licence

Image of random textIt used to be that in copyright terms you were on shaky ground if adapting text for individuals who were not Visually Impaired, but who may struggle with print.  Earlier this year the Copyright Licensing Agency announced a new Print Disability Licence.  This will ensure that educational institutions are covered when adapting text to alternative formats whether print or digital.

The licence describes a print-disabled person as “…anyone for whom a visual, cognitive or physical disability hinders the ability to read print. This includes all visual impairments, dyslexia, and any physical disabilities that prevent the handling of a physical copy of a print publication.”

If adapting resources for students or staff within your college you are covered by an extension to the standard CLA licence.  You would only need to apply for the full PDL if you circulate adapted resources outwith your organisation.  The full guidelines can be found on the CLA website.

Sight Village visits Scotland March 2010

Sight Village is a FREE exhibition featuring a wide range of technology for people who are blind or who have low vision. Suitable for those new to this area of technology, as well as more experienced practitioners seeking an update, the latest in Braille, screenreading, magnification and alternative format technology will be available. Key suppliers will be on hand to provide demonstrations and answer questions.

Exhibition times

  • 2nd March 2010 – 10.30am – 4.30pm
  • 3rd March 2010 – 10.30am – 3.30pm


The Assembly Rooms 54 George Street Edinburgh EH2 2LR

Humanware BrailleNote Training

On a monthly basis, Humanware offers training on how to make the most of Humanware BrailleNote note takers available to educators. In early December 2009 two training sessions were delivered in Glasgow. (BrailleNote for beginners and BrailleNote for intermediate)

The sessions examine the BrailleNote in detail and go over various aspects of functionality. Users learn how to navigate around the Keysoft operating/system and interact with applications. In addition, transferring files to/from the BrailleNote is demonstrated.

If you are in a position where you need to learn more about the BrailleNote and how to best be able to support its use with your students, this one-day course may be for you.

For more information on the BrailleNote note taking device or training, please visit:

Sight and Sound Technologies Demonstration

Sight & Sound Technology recently demonstrated some of their latest products at the RNIB Employment and Learning Centre in Edinburgh.

The Freedom Scientific Focus40 Blue Braille display is a light-weight portable Braille display solution that can connect to a pC/laptop/netbook via USB or wireless Bluetooth. Once connected, a screen reader such as JAWS for Windows can communicate the screen’s contents to the Braille display. This technology solution is suitable for someone who is deaf-blind or someone who would benefit from having information physically presented which can be very helpful for maths and sciences. In addition, the Focus40 Blue has a Braille keyboard that can be used to input information into the user’s computer.

The EuroBraille/ESYS line of Braille displays also connect to a computer running a screen reader via USB and Bluetooth. In addition to the very similar functionality to the Focus40 Blue (mentioned above), these units also contain rudimentary note taker applications.

For more information please visit:

HumanWare ‘BrailleNote in Education’ Training Day in Glasgow

BrailleNote Image from HumanwareHumanWare, manufacturers of the well-established BrailleNote will be holding a ‘BrailleNote in Education’ Training Day in Glasgow, on Wednesday 2nd December 2009.

Martin Griffiths, HumanWare’s Training and Customer Support Manager, and his team are running this free training day designed specifically to meet the needs of teachers and support staff of students with BrailleNotes. Training will be offered at both Beginner and Intermediate level.

This training day presents an excellent opportunity for delegates to discuss ideas with other people involved in the education of blind students using HumanWare’s Braille Technology. If you would like further information or to book a place on this training day, please contact Rachel Thorpe on 01933 415800 or via email on

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