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Assistive Technology to Support Learners with Physical Difficulties

Learners with physical support needs arising from, for example, low muslce tone, dyspraxia, Cerebral Palsy or Muscular Dystrophy can benefit enormously from using Assistive Technology to access learning materials, to write and record, and in assessments and examinations.

But what is best - Windows laptop/tablet? iPad? Chromebook?

And which access method and technology is most suitable for the learner? Which keyboard? Which mouse, trackball or joystick? Is eye-gaze control appropriate? What about switch access? Should you evaluate speech recognition?

This seminar will help you answer these questions in your professional context.



1st February 2018
University of Edinburgh

Morning Seminar £40
(9:30am - 12:30pm)

with Workshop £80
(1:30pm - 3:30pm)

What you will learn

Morning seminar

  • Built-in Accessibility adaptations in Windows machines.
  • Built-in Accessibility adaptations on iPads.
  • Evidence-based approaches to assessment and evaluation.
  • Comprehensive review of available access technologies including:
  • Alternative keyboards and mice;
  • Eye-gaze access;
  • Switch access.
  • Speech recognition.

Who is the seminar and workshop aimed at?

  • Subject teachers, Support for Learning Teachers.
  • Anyone working with a student with an Physical Support Need
  • Occupational Therapists.

Afternoon workshop (optional)

The afternoon session will be capped at a maximum of 16 participants. No prior knowledge or expertise is required. You will experience in-depth hands-on practice with Windows and iPads, using the hardware, software and apps that have been discussed during the morning session.

You will have time to explore, ask questions, share and take home ideas that can be immediately embedded into your practice and support of a candidates with Physical Support Needs.

Meet your presenter(s)

Paul Nisbet
Engineer and Educational Technologist

Paul is a Senior Research Fellow and has an engineering background. He's involved in CALL's assessment and support service for pupils, with a particular responsibility for access technology for pupils with physical disabilities; and for technology to enable students with dyslexia or literacy difficulties access the curriculum.

Craig Mill
Assistive Technology Advisor

Probably better known for developing the AccessApps, a suite of portable open source and free learning support tools that can be run from a USB drive.

Craig is also the developer of the awards winning MyStudyBar - a handy tool to support learners with literacy difficulties. Craig is keeping abreast of new developments in technology, particularly technology to help overcome barriers to learning.

What the research says

To come.


About the day

Morning Seminar

  • Duration: 9:30am - 12:30pm
  • Class size: No more than 50
  • Refreshments: Tea, coffee and water will be available throughout.

Afternoon Workshop (optional)

  • Duration: 1:30pm - 3:30pm
  • Class size: No more than 16
  • Refreshments: Tea, coffee and water will be available throughout.


  • Room: , University of Edinburgh, Holyrood Road, Edinburgh EH8 8AQ