Disability & Wellbeing ServiceDigitisation service

The Digitisation Service has two distinct workflows:

  • scanning under the CLA licence as requested by departments for inclusion in Myplace
  • scanning under the exceptions in copyright law for people with disabilities. This is to support students with a visual impairment; who are blind; who have a mobility impairment that makes carrying books or page-turning difficult. And other students with specific requirements as referred by the Disability & Wellbeing Service

The Digitisation Service (alt-format) involves a partnership between:

  • the Library
  • the Disability & Wellbeing Service
  • academic departments
  • and the student

Further information

Disability & Wellbeing Service

  • invite students to meet with an adviser for an assessment of their requirements
  • notify the Library (digitisation@strath.ac.uk), Departmental Disability Contacts (DDCs), and adviser of studies of the student referral via an 'alert' email
  • inform academic departments of student requirements via the Disabled Students system
  • support students in developing the skills to make use of technology to access their course materials
  • train and manage the proofreading and adaptation team

Academic departments

Teaching staff are requested to identify their required reading as far in advance of the start of the semester as possible. This is to ensure that reading lists can be made available to the Digitisation Service.

The reading lists should:

  • include all required reading. That can include full textbooks or pages/chapters, journal articles, and any other published reading materials
  • include required reading that is available online. This includes Myplace, as these texts may need work to make them accessible 
  • be provided in advance, ideally 6 weeks before the start of the semester. Or as soon as possible on receiving digitisation alert
  • detail 'required by' dates/weeks to enable prioritisation of workflow and delivery
  • if applicable, specify which are core texts, required reading, etc

The reasonable adjustment advises that reading lists are submitted 10 weeks in advance. We know this is not always possible, particularly in semester one. This is because the student may have only just registered with the service. Or, they may have only just chosen their classes. In such cases, reading lists should be submitted as soon as possible. Having reading lists available in advance as standard would minimise delays.

Sourcing or reformatting material in an accessible format is time-consuming and resource-heavy. For example, the library may need to go to publishers for an accessible digital copy. They can take time to respond. Some texts need scanning page-by-page. Or proofreading line-by-line, which can be a time-consuming process. Some materials, for example, Maths, can also take extra time. Extra time is also required with languages. Reformatting may be required to enable these to be read aloud in the correct language.

Electronic materials available on Myplace class should also be on the Reading List. This is to ensure that these are included in the reformatting process.

The reading lists (digitisation requests) should specify 'required by' dates. Such dates should be chapter-specific where a large volume of material is requested.

Reading Lists can be uploaded to the class Myplace page. This can be done using the new Reading List software embedded in the page. Email the Digitisation Service to let them know the Reading List has been submitted. This reduces the need for us to continually check the system. Reading Lists can also be sent directly to the Digitisation Service: digitisation@strath.ac.uk


The Library receives the alert email simultaneously with the academic department. They are primed for the new referral. They can expect the provision of reading lists for the student's classes from the academic department.

  • reading list requests are prioritised in relation to the 'required by' dates
  • requested texts are sought from RNIB BookShare, the library e-catalog, or re-use of previous requests
  • where an e-copy is available it may need adaptation to make it accessible for the student
  • where an e-copy is not available, scanning is required
  • textbooks can be scanned under the exceptions in copyright law for people with disabilities. Before, they were scanned under the Copyright for Visually Impaired Persons Act (CVIP) licence
  • the scanned chapters are made available to the Disability & Wellbeing Service. This is for proofreading and adaptation

Proofreading & adaptation team

  • proofreading and adaptation of a chapter can take 4 times longer than scanning the same chapter. It can take even longer depending on the content and students' requirements.
  • accurate "required by" dates are essential for the team to schedule the workload. It also ensures the student has their reading material at the start of the academic week in which they need it
  • texts are pre-released to students following automated batch processing
  • pre-released texts undergo light-touch proofreading. They are released as readable texts that support REFLOW and text-to-speech
  • accessible texts need a higher degree of proofreading and can need adaptation
  • delivery to students via Digitisation StrathCloud Reading folder. Departments can request a StrathCloud folder for delivery of their in-house course materials, contact disability-wellbeing@strath.ac.uk 

Related Recommended Reasonable Adjustments

Disabled student adjustment reports are on the Disabled Students Requirements system. This is hosted on Pegasus. They are searchable by class code or student registration number. Below is a list of all current reasonable adjustments related to reading requirements.

The adjustments listed below are made following a discussion between a Disability Adviser and the student. Departments considering alternative reasonable adjustments can discuss these with the student. They can also speak with the Disability & Wellbeing Service.

  • academics for each class should liaise with the library: digitisation@strath.ac.uk This is to ensure that all required reading from their reading list can be digitised on time. This involves making requests 10 weeks in advance for a full reading list. Shorter periods may be acceptable for extra reading that is not part of the main reading list
  • provide reading lists before the start of each semester or module. These should define core and additional texts, and state the most relevant chapters
  • assist students to get digitised versions of reading materials. This is in liaison with the library
  • provide all textual materials. This includes copies of overheads (with regard to student's print requirements)
  • provide, in advance, for all forms of the teaching session. This includes an outline of content, any written instructions, and copies of OHPs and handout materials
  • provide ad hoc handwritten materials in printed or digital format
  • all written materials should be provided on disk or in digital format
  • all online and electronic materials should be accessible
  • provide full verbal commentary of visual demonstrations. This may need a separate 1:1 session
  • ensure that all teaching staff are aware of the student's needs
  • provide following year's options in advance/at end of the current year
  • provide assignment titles at the start of each semester/module