Planning improvements for disabled pupils' access to education: guidance for education authorities, independent and grant-aided schools

Guidance to support responsible bodies in the development and maintenance of accessibility strategies.

Appendix D - Checklist for use in planning ICT

1. Tools in this Appendix are not intended to be comprehensive but to provide a sample of practical functions which disabled pupils may require in order to access the curriculum. ICT managers, commissioning staff involved in procurement functions and schools can use the first tool to review whether certain reasonable adjustments are in place.

ICT Accessibility Checklist

Access to ICT and Assistive Technology ( AT)


The school or local authority's stock of shared netbooks, laptops or tablets can be booked out by pupils with disabilities for specific learning tasks. Some or all of the stock includes the requisite accessibility improvements described in Appendix E.

The school or local authority has a pathway or procedure and staff with expertise to:

Identify pupils who require ICT and/or AT to access the curriculum.

Assess and provide appropriate ICT and/or AT.

Accessibility of school computers and ICT

All school computers have text-to-speech ( TTS) software installed for reading documents and web pages [1].

All school computers accessed by pupils have the free Heather and Stuart voices installed [2].

Headphones are available for use with TTS where required.

Control Panel settings can be easily and quickly changed to enable access for each disabled pupil, including where needed facility for Right click functionality. Such adjustments can be saved with the user's profile. [3]

Specialist software required by learners with disabilities can be easily and quickly installed and used on school computers. [4]

Specialist hardware required by learners with disabilities can be easily and quickly installed and used on school computers. [5]

Computer refreshes or re-imaging are planned to accommodate existing assistive software and hardware used by disabled pupils.

Where computer refresh or re-imaging will result in current assistive technology not being usable, replacement or upgrade takes place so that the disabled pupil is not disadvantaged.

Access to Learning Resources

Learning resources ( e.g. textbooks, reading books, teacher-generated materials, assessments, homework) can be provided in a format that learners can access, such as Digital, Audio, Large Print, on Coloured paper, Braille, etc. [6]

Online learning resources and online assessments used can be adapted so that they do not disadvantage disabled pupils.

Learners can transfer work to and from school and home using e.g. file sharing on the intranet or Internet, or on a memory stick.

Learners who use ICT for writing and recording can print their work.

Staff and pupil awareness and expertise

Staff (teaching, support, librarian and technical) are made aware of legal obligations to provide access to the curriculum and to curriculum resources under Equality Duties, with particular reference to Guidance on Auxiliary Aids and Services

Procurement decisions for hardware and software have due regard to accessibility and reasonable adjustment duties under the Equality Act. In particular, no extra cost should be charged for changes made to systems as part of reasonable adjustments made.

Staff and pupils are aware of specialist hardware and software installed and Control Panel options on schools computer, to enable access.


1. Where required, learners should have text-to-speech software to read word processed files, SQA Digital Question Papers, PDF textbooks, eBooks and from the internet.

2. The Scottish Voices are free for Scottish schools and learners: http://

3. For example, to adjust the mouse speed or pointer size; to slow down the key repeat; to increase font sizes in menus; to apply high contrast colours; to change the default voice for text-to-speech; to access speech recognition.

4. For example, specialist software to magnify or read text on screen; to aid literacy ( e.g. word prediction, spellchecking, word banks, picture or symbol support); to access online resources.

5. For example, alternative keyboards or mice, switch interfaces.

6. See and


1. Reasonable adjustments for disabled pupils (Scotland).

2. Disability Strategies and Pupils' Educational Records (Scotland) (Act) 2002

3. Additional Support for Learning - Legislation and Guidance

4. Addressing dyslexia toolkit,


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