NSW Department of Education makes learning more accessible with Office 365

Being a high school student with a disability
makes things a little bit harder. The issue is, how do I participate
on the same basis as everybody else? It is about equality of access. WOMAN: At Ulladulla High School, we have a diversity of learners
and around 250 have adjusted curriculum, so therefore we have to differentiate
what we do to meet their learning needs. GREG: The Department of Education has
realised that we need to make our system for more inclusive
and far more accessible for everybody. We developed an accessibility
training package so that we could actually teach everybody
how to create and curate accessible content. DENISE: We have a BYD program and 95%
of our students bring their devices every day. Office 365 has really allowed us to enhance
the individual programs that we are running. My vision impairment is called
oculocutaneous albinism A lot of the teachers that I have make sure
that they optimise the classroom to help me. Every staff member and every student
has access to Office 365. It has the only set of tools inbuilt that enables a teacher or a student to be able to check
the accessibility of My Document. WOMAN: If we were not able to make accessible documents for the students,
they wouldn’t be able to read them, understand them
and have access to the same materials at an equal level to their peers. GREG: Learning Tools is inbuilt
within OneNote. It is also in Office 365. One of my favourite features on there
is the immersive reader. There are a range of students with
what we would call print disabilities, where print is a barrier. I would change the font size
and the font itself. I usually keep it black with white text. You can add or remove spacing. It is a great way of being able to view content. GREG: Microsoft Edge
uses the same technology so that you can personalise
your reading experience. If I was to be reading a web page
that supports it, it would just take everything else away
except images and text. GREG: We will come across printed
technologies and printed paper everywhere. How do I make that inclusive? That is what Office Lens allows me to do. JACOB: Office Lens is a great application
for scanning your documents. You can then add it to PowerPoint,
OneDrive, Word or OneNote. What happens for those students that are
hit with the horror of the blank page? Write Ideas,
which comes from Microsoft Garage, is a tool that allows us to brainstorm
and seamlessly move ideas into Office 365. Presentation Translator
improves language acquisition where we’ve got students who have
a hearing deficit. If you are presenting, what it will enable you
to do is have closed captions and it also connects in with
a whole range of other different languages. Microsoft’s accessibility tools
have enhanced the learning of our students and it has done it for our teachers as well. GREG: Learning is not a barrier. It is up to me now, because I’ve got
those accessible and inclusive opportunities which the Department provides,
and that’s really exciting because then we are changing perceptions
and we are changing futures.

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