Skip to main content

Information for Students with Additional Needs: Information for Students with Additional Needs

Library services and facilities for students with SENs.

Accessibility and the Library

It is essential that all students with additional needs are able to make full use of our Library facilities and, to this end, we liaise closely with BGU's Student Advice department to assist and support such students.  All students who disclose additional needs are strongly encouraged to arrange a meeting with Janice Morris - the Librarian responsible for coordinating the Library’s accessibility services - to discuss their individual requirements. 

Using the building

Library Services is located in the Cornerstone Building.  The building is on two floors and is fully accessible. A lift is provided and both floors have accessible toilet facilities.

There is a rest room in the building foyer, which is available for private use, as appropriate. 

In the event of an emergency evacuation there are wheelchair refuge points at the top of both stairwells and at the first floor fire escape at the north end of the building.  Fire alarms flash red when activated.  

All shelving units are six shelves high.  Higher shelves are therefore likely to be out of reach for wheelchair users, however a phone call to us in advance of your visit will ensure that there is help available should you need it.  

Facilities are provided for individual, group, computer-based and silent study.  Lunchtime is the busiest part of the day.  It is usually quieter in the evenings and at weekends.

Resources in alternate formats

Self-service reformatting

If you wish to reformat a file yourself, for example to use with a screen-reader, there are free online tools. For example, RoboBraille helps you to convert your document into an alternative, accessible format in four easy steps and sends the result to your e-mail inbox.

Scanning Service

The University is permitted to make and supply to students who have difficulty using printed texts, including those with visual impairments and dyslexia, part or the whole of a book in an alternative format if we own a copy of the original and if an existing version of an alternative format is not already commercially available.  However, it can be a lengthy process, so the sooner we can start the better!  If you think this service would be of use to you speak to staff in the Reprographics Department on the ground floor of the Skinner Building (close to The Snug).

Coloured paper for printing and photocopying can be purchased from the Reprographics Department.

Audio Books

Librivox : free public domain audiobooks

RNIB audiobooks : Talking Books service is free. Access to over 23,000 fiction and non-fiction books.

Project Gutenberg :Collection of multilanguage ebooks. Many classic titles and other formats such as audio books.

 

 

 

Emergency / crisis information

The University has a bank of staff who are qualified to deliver first aid.  If you, or someone else needs first aid please alert a member of the University staff.  If an ambulance is needed they can make the call.  If you can't find a member of staff, or find yourself in an emergency situation off campus, or you are in crisis and need urgent assistance, the following services can provide support and advice.

  • If you, or someone you know, needs emergency medical attention call 999 for the Police and/or and Ambulance or go to your nearest A&E (in Lincoln this is Lincoln County Hospital).
  • For urgent but non-emergency health concerns visit the NHS Walk-In Centre, on Monks Road opposite Lincoln College (01522 528153), make a same-day appointment at your GP, or phone the NHS for advice on 111.
  • If you'd just like to talk to someone there are lots of avenues of support available at the University, including your personal tutor, the Chaplaincy team (01522 583604, chaplaincy@bishopg.ac.uk) and the Student Advice team (see the 'help & support' box for contact details). If however you'd prefer to speak to someone anonymously, we recommend the Samaritans (freephone 116123, jo@samaritans.org).

Help and support

Library Services

If you have a question or query about library services for students with additional needs please contact Janice Morris (01522 583759, janice.morris@bishopg.ac.uk).

Student Advice

BGU's Student Advice department is located just inside the entrance to the Cornerstone Building.  They are open Monday to Thursday from 8.30am-5.00pm, on Fridays from 8.30am to 4.30pm, and can be contacted at:

E-mail: studentadvice@bishopg.ac.uk
Tel: 01522 583600
Website: www.bishopg.ac.uk/studentadvice
Twitter: @BGstudentadvice

24-hour collection service

The Library's 24-hour Collection Service is available, on a permanent or temporary basis, to students who may find the service beneficial, as recommended to the Library team by the Student Advice department.

Ebook accessibility

The Library subscribes to several ebook collections and some of the providers have produced guidelines for the visually impaired:

EBSCO ebooks: Ebooks and Accessibility FAQs
Ebook Central ebooks: Accessibility Guide

Borrowing

Colleagues in the Student Advice department routinely advise us of anyone they believe would benefit from being able to borrow one week loan materials for an extended period (a maximum of 3 weeks). In such instances we will amend your library account accordingly. All other loan periods remain the same. Please be aware that items you borrow may occasionally be reserved by other readers; in such instances you will be unable to renew them.

If you have difficulty getting to the Library your Personal Assistant can borrow books on your behalf.  To do so they will need your library card and a letter from the Head of Student Advice, Phil Davis.

If you have difficulty returning library loans please let us know.  If you return items by post we recommend that you ask for a postage receipt.  Although we provide some concessions to students with additional needs, there are no concessions associated with the accruing of library fines, unless by agreement with the Head of Student Advice.  Fines accrued as a result of an authorised absence (e.g. an illness or bereavement) will be waived provided the absence can be confirmed by a tutor.

Image attribution

Braille: Braille by Ralph Aichinger on Flickr under a CC-BY-2.0 Creative Commons Licence.
Paint chart: Pseudo-Diversity by Bruce Denis on Flickr under a CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0 Creative Commons Licence.
Wheelchair: Free freshly painted wheelchair parking sign by Pink Sherbert Photography on Flickr under a CC-BY-2.0 Creative Commons Licence.

Assistive equipment & materials

Height adjustable computer workstations are located in the 24/7 IT Suite, Social Study Suite and Silent Study Suite. There is also a desk in the ground floor study area kept permanently at standing height. The desk handles are kept at the building Reception Desk and Service Desk.

A hearing loop is fitted at the Service Desk.

A lap-top computer stand is located in the Social Study Suite.

A hand-held magnifier, a selection of coloured overlays and a variety of paper colours for printing & photocopying are kept at the Service Desk. The printer/copiers are fitted with adjustable keypads.

A small number of trolley baskets are available to help move books around the Library.

See below for information about assistive software.

texthelp Read&Write Gold (assistive software)

What is it?:  texthelp Read&Write GOLD is an easy to use toolbar designed to assist students with their reading and writing. Features include:

  • Text-to-Speech: this screen reader reads all digitized text aloud from Word and PDF documents, emails, websites in a choice of different voices which can be altered by pitch, speed and volume.
  • Text-to-Audio File: Turns text into an audio file, such as an MP3.
  • Spell Checking: Easily check your document for spelling errors.
  • Dictionary: Provides definitions and alternative words. Basic, Advanced and Online Dictionaries
  • Screen Masking: Masks out all or part of the screen with a colour of your choice.

Who is it for?: It is available to be used by all students and staff.

Where can I find it?: It is available on BGU computers. Go to Start -> All Programs -> Software -> Read and Write 11

How do I get started and find out more?: Check out IT Services' Quick Start Guide (link at the bottom of the box) or the official support page.  There are also some really helpful video guides on YouTube produced by the Georgian College in Canada about all aspects of setting up and using Read&Write.

Inspiration (assistive software)

What is it?:  Inspiration allows you to create a picture of your ideas and concepts in the form of a diagram or mind map. These can then be converted, at the click of a button, to an outline view for developing your ideas into word documents, presentation slides or handouts.

Who is it for?: It is available for all BGU staff and students to use.

Where can I find it?: It is installed on the BGU Desktop.

How do I get started and find out more?: Within Inspiration you will find lots of support and advice on getting started by clicking on the "LEARN TO USE" icon.

Inspiration provide a Quick Start Guide and there is also a useful introductory video from Freedom of Speech Ltd called Inspiration 9 Mind Mapping Software Overview.