The SENnet wiki

This wiki was used during the project but is now closed. This page is 'frozen' as it was at the end of the project (November 2014).


Existing Standards etc.

This work should provide us with a good start for the technical features, Please take a look

  • DAISY and EPUB
This aims at harmonising and facilitating ‘the public procurement of accessible information and communication technologies (ICT) products and services within Europe’ ().

Key points: Access For All accessibility promotes an inclusive user experience by enabling the matching of the characteristics of resources to the needs and preferences of individual users. In circumstances where resources might not be suitable for all users, it enables the discovery of other appropriate resources.

Access For All is an approach to accessibility that emphasizes personalization by providing support for systems of transformable, flexible resources that each meet different needs.

Access For All accessibility is often just-in-time accessibility and, significantly, supports cumulative accessibility of resources as third parties create and associate alternatives to original resources.

Together, the many resources in a system contain the features or educational materials that every student needs, but no single resource has to be 100% accessible to all learners. Most resources will likely be accessible to most students, but by creating Access For All metadata about each resource, it is easier to determine which resources might need to be adapted to meet particular students' needs.

Access For All includes a standard way to describe a user's needs and preferences. These preferences are not meant to convey information such as medical history. Instead, they include information about how the user can interact best with a computer. The user's need for specific kinds of content, display features, or control mechanisms are recorded. This information can then be used to select or request appropriate adapted content, configure a visual display for easy reading, or locate resources that match the user's control requirements.

Categories, tagging, descriptors


  • Exclude assistive technology that you can use outside school and that in their case isn't the subject of research because it is not specific enough for learning (e.g. .AAC on p.42).

Avoid 'medical tags

  • Tagging using ‘medical labels’ is something that would go against much research in the area, the developing policy at national, European and international levels for inclusive education as well as a UD approach. Perhaps the focus of a ‘tag’ should be on the type of support it provides e.g – text to speech devices; visual enhancing equipment etc.
  • The three classes of Abbott (in on assistive technology (p 13): 1) technology used to train or rehearse; 2) technology used to assist learning; 3) technology used to enable learning.
  • Focus on giving help to those who seem to need it instead of looking at clinical diagnosis, it is a more helpful strategy in planning interventions (p 15: last paragraph). So think rather in terms of functional ability (e.g. reading difficulties) rather than disability status. On the other hand you then have the problem of an enormous variation of problems in one category (p21 the limitations of different categories).

List suggested by UNI-C (April 2012)

• Visual impairment • Speech and Language impairment • Auditory impairment • Deaf/Blind • Autism • Developmental disabilities (mental retardation) • Multiple disabilities • Orthopedic impairment • Specific learning disabilities • Emotional/behavior disorder • Traumatic brain injury • Multi-sensory impairment • Serious health impairments

Descriptors used by Ida Brandao website that gathers free software for special needs

  • Symbol writing
  • Speech synthesizer and voice recognition
  • Braille
  • Sign language (namely video material)
  • Visual discrimination – visual memory – visual space relations
  • Screen readers
  • Access to computer

American guide on assistive technology for education

Thematic key words (European Agency)

The University of Leuven guidelines Covers accessibility of documents like Word, powerpoint, PDF and multimedia (in Dutch):

Two approaches to consider

  1. Identifying resources that are known to have been developed using a Universal Design (UD) approach;
  2. Identifying resources that have not been developed using a Universal Design approach but that have application and use in supporting learners with different special needs
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I am finding a lot of contradictory suggestions here in relation to avoiding medical tags

The list suggested by UNI-C, has medical tags as I understand them: i.e. 'autism'

Similarly, the thematic keyword from the European agency is full of medical tags as well, like 'autism' and 'cerebral palsy', etc.

Posted on 25/02/13 15:01.

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The problem is that the scope of this project is SEN, we are not dealing with general ICT for regular pupils.

A regular student with no special needs or mild/moderate ones doesn't require any special configurations or devices, i.e. magnifyer, screenreader, sign language, symbol language, etc.

UDL is the right approach, but there are severe conditions, that need special support and we can't neglect that fact.

In Portugal, the target pupils eligible for special needs are the ones with severe disabilities, those with autism, multiple disabilities, blind, deaf, that require specific support.

In Portugal

Posted on 15/03/13 13:35 in reply to Elena Shulman.

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I also agree that we must address UDL, accessible formats and web accessibilities and all the approaches of inclusiveness. In spite of some steps to raise awareness for these issues we are far from reaching an acceptable situation.

There are many different stages in the process of inclusion, and differences among countries.

I was quite surprised to know by official staff in Copenhagen, that they had only 6 blind pupils and no deaf because they all had cochlear implants.

The deaf association in Portugal is not receptive to cochlear implants, they consider themselves a community with a specific language and the curriculum for deaf considers sign language as a first language.

One of the colleagues from Turkey said that sign language was not accepted in her country. Probably a category of resources related to sign language may not be relevant for Turkey, but it is for Portugal.

Posted on 15/03/13 13:53 in reply to Ida Brandão.

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