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3 posts for March 2012
By Paul Nisbet on Thursday 22nd March, 2012 at 10:00am
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By Sally Millar on Tuesday 13th March, 2012 at 5:26pm
There are just a few days left before the Consultation of the Doran Review closes (Friday 16th March). Please - Scotland only - all parents of children with complex additional support needs, and all professionals who work with such children - send in a response to have your say!
Your input could have a huge effect on the kind of changes to be made to educational provision for children with complex additional support needs in Scotland, for the future.
There is a form to fill in here or you can send in your own letter or email, with your answers and comments on the 4 key questions:
* How satisfied you are with the processes to identify your childs care, health and learning needs.* How well informed you feel about schools and services that could help their child.* How well nurseries or schools and other services such as Health and Social Work are meeting your child's needs.* How well supported you and your child feel when he or she is preparing to leave and settling into a new school, or leaving school to go on to adult services.
Children and young people with complex additional support needs face multiple barriers to their learning and development. These factors may relate to the learning environment, family circumstances, disability or health needs or a combination of these. To make progress and achieve their potential, the children and young people with complex additional support needs require assistance from specialist professionals in addition to parents/carers and staff in schools and education authorities.
The Doran Review is currently looking at how best to provide for the needs of Scottish children and young people with the most complex learning needs. Children and young people with additional support needs may attend a mainstream nursery or school in their local education authority or a specialist nursery, day or residential school, within or outside their home area. Children and young people with complex additional support needs require individualised programmes of support from educational services and other services such as health, social work and voluntary organisations. The Review will consider how well the assessment, support, funding and decision making processes that already exist locally and nationally are working. The Review Group will use their findings to make recommendations to the Scottish Government by Summer 2012 as to how these aspects could be improved or changed.
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By Paul Nisbet on Friday 9th March, 2012 at 5:19pm
The eBook revolution continues apace in all sorts of ways, and more Scottish public libraries are joining in by lending eBooks and downloadable audiobooks, for us to borrow and read or listen to on our computers, iPhone or iPad, and Android devices. So far, five local authorities offer eBooks and downloadable audiobooks:
- You can't borrow Kindle books (yet - this may happen, but so far Kindle books are only available to US libraries).
- The OverDrive app on the iPad has some features to improve accessibility, although it's quite limited - the maximum font size is not huge (I'd say about 24 point), colour options are only black text on white or sepia, and the font is serifed. However, you can use the iPad built-in white-on-black colour scheme, and have the text read out using VoiceOver.
- On a Windows PC or Mac, you read the eBook with Adobe Digital Editions (ADE). There are two versions - ADE 1.72 and ADE 1.8 Preview. The latter has accessibility features: on a Windows PC, you can have the book read out with Jaws or NVDA screen reader software, while Mac users can have the text read out using the built-in VoiceOver. You can't read the book with other text-to-speech programs such as WordTalk, Read and Write Gold, ClaroRead etc, and you can't copy or save the text into other programs to have it read out. The font is serifed and you can't change it. You can't change the colours within the program (you can with the computer's own display settings).