News release: Universities prepare for new legislation

Media and Promotion Office (2002) News release: Universities prepare for new legislation. Other. University of Central Lancashire (UCLan), Preston.

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Universities need to prepare now for the impact of the new Special Educational Needs and
Disability Act, which from September 2002 will demand far greater accessibility to all
aspects of educational provision.
That's the message from a national conference to be held on Wednesday 13 February which
has attracted delegates from over sixty FE/HE institutions across the UK and Ireland,
including 30 universities.
The conference, "Access for All", has been organised by the University of Central
Lancashire (UCLAN) in Preston. Focusing on web-based services including promotional
websites and e-learning, it will demonstrate clearly how the new Act will impact on many
university activities.
Specialist presentations from the RNIB, the JISC-funded Technology for Disabilities
Information Service and from Higher Education will cover a range of topics including how
to build a truly accessible website; the use of assistive technology; inclusive practices in
learning, teaching and assessment; and the implications of the Act for e-learning.
Conference organiser Michael Wood, from the University of Central Lancashire, is a
specialist designer of accessible websites. He says: ''There is clearly concern over the impact
of the new Act and rightly so - it is essential that people know exactly how they and their
working practices are going to be affected.
"As we rely more and more heavily on web-based technologies, not only to promote and sell
our institutions but also to teach our students we must make sure we do not compromise
accessibility in any way."
1. The conference will be held at the Harris Park Conference Centre, Garstang Road, Preston
on Wednesday 13111 February 2002, from 09:30 to 16:30.
2. Speakers include: Professor Alan Hurst, University of Central Lancashire, trustee and
former Chair of Skill: National Bureau for Students with Disabilities; Julie Howell,
Campaigns Officer (Internet), RNIB; Lawrie Phipps, Manager ofTechDis, the JISC-funded
Technology for Disabilities Information Service.
3. For further details or to arrange interviews with speakers, please contact Liz Kelly (01772
892256) or Emma Woodward (01772 892250), in Business Services at the University of
Central Lancashire

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