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									                                    Derwen College Case Study

                                                 ACCESS APPS

Derwen College: Trialing Access Apps software for teaching,
learning and student support, for students with Severe Learning
The Case Study

N is a 20 year old female student of Afro-Caribbean background.
She has Severe Learning Difficulties and Visual Problems, is
considered vulnerable and continues to require supervision for road
safety awareness.
Her history reveals that she demonstrates aggressive behaviour
towards her parents and siblings.
N also has Nystagmus and Parallax Vision. This effectively means
that one of her eyes is permanently out of alignment with the
other, giving her a squinting appearance.

The Outcomes
Following the session on Access Apps at RSC West Midlands, I have
found that the Portable VuBar 4.0 has had a significant
effect on N’s ability to read text on a PC or Laptop screen. The
reading bar has given her an area to focus in, and by the simple
strategy of working through color, size and shape of the VuBar box,
and the colors of the background and text, we have found a range
of formulas to suit N’s needs.
She has expressed a preference for the colors of the VuBar to be
blue or green, with a font size 16 - 20 in Comic Sans MS. During
Personal Tutorials, using VuBar, N is now able to complete
                                    Derwen College Case Study

documents such as, SPOC, Options and Choices on screen. She can
also fill in on-line questionnaires, such as the LSC Learner Survey,
with minimal help.
During Food Hygiene sessions, she can follow text on a large screen
and can with prompts, answer questions related to the subject. N
now as a personal copy of VuBar, on a memory stick, which she takes
to other sessions, including literacy and numeracy, tutors there say
that it is helping her in making progress. N is also using the
application for reading purposes, when accessing Social Networking
sites, such as You Tube and My Space, searching the internet, or
working on her personal learning diary and the contents of her
personal e-portfolio.
The next steps….
N was also enthusiastic about taking the application home over the
Easter Holiday, so that she could demonstrate it to her mother,
who has also found it useful. On her return, she informed me that
mother and father had both assisted her with VuBar with great
success. N has informed me that she is definitely keeping the copy
of VuBar provided for her.

Having had success with the VuBar on screen, we are developing a
similar effect on colored card that can be placed over invoices or
delivery notes to enable N to focus on specific areas of text, when
in these sessions, where a PC is not currently available, with a view
to providing a laptop in this area in future.

VuBar itself has been simplicity itself to use on a Desktop PC or
Laptop, once it is accessed it can be bought into use quickly and
easily, it can be changed in size across the screen, colour, width,
and height to suit the font size selected or the word, phrase,
sentence or paragraph of text selected.
Since her return from her Easter break, she has been
demonstrating her new found abilities to both staff and peers, so a
resounding success in this case for Vu Bar.

Philip Duddell, HoD Catering Department, Derwen College, Oswestry, Shropshire,
                                    Derwen College Case Study

SY11 3JA

Phone 01691 661234                e-mail; philip.duddell@derwen.ac.uk


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