A successful one-day workshop on ‘audio versions of learning materials for print-disabled students’ was held on the 28th January. It was attended by people with responsibilities for supporting disabled students in higher education institutions in the UK. This workshop provided an opportunity to disseminate the outcomes of the METG DREAM (Digitally Recorded Educational Audio Media) project which is funded (102k UKP) by HEFCE.

The workshop included ‘hands on’ experience of how to record learning materials, interfaces for studying with alternative media to print, and the transformation of images and diagrams into audio descriptions . It included methods of digital audio recording, interfaces for accessing audio in a learning context, and the relationship to enabling technologies.

Highlights of the day included: a presentation by Paul Barefoot, CJ Smith Recording Centre) on current OU provision of audio tape services; the ReadOut interface developed and presented by Mary Taylor; an introduction to the new DREAM recording sofware (being developed in conjunction with Academic Computing Services) by Chris Valentine; and, a discussion about the experiences of blind students using alternative media by Terry Brady. A demonstration of the Rio provided an opportunity to look into the future for new devices that will provide enhanced access to audio versions of learning materials.