Inclusive Teaching Spaces, Communication Support
The University of Strathclyde is committed to equality of opportunity. To support students to achieve their potential and provide an inclusive learning environment for students with disabilities.
Students who are D/deaf or hard of hearing require cannot access the audio content of lecture or tutorial sessions. They require communication support. The communication support can be:
- a British Sign Language (BSL) Interpreter where the student is deaf whereby the student accesses the audio via sign language
- an Electronic Notetaker (ENT) where ENT typically provides a system of two laptops where the ENT types on one and the student follows the typed text on the other in real-time
- Live Remote Captioning (LRC) is where the student access captions on their own device via a web interface. The live captions are typed by palantypists who access the audio remotely
Issue & solution
There is a lack of BSL Interpreters and ENTs. The University is unable to secure any despite reaching out to all providers. All universities and colleges are competing for the same scarce resource. That means there is limited availability.
LRC is easier to resource as the Captioners/palantypists are not required to be on site. They are based remotely and can be located anywhere. This reduces reliance on a limited local resources. There is availability.
LRC relies on a strong Wi-Fi signal and high-quality audio. In previous years this has rendered LRC unreliable. Given the recent infrastructure upgrades to teaching spaces, LRC is now a viable option. LRC has enabled the University to make reasonable adjustments through the provision of communication support.
How will it be arranged?
The Disability and Wellbeing Service will contact departments, via Reasonable Adjustment reports on PEGASUS and by email, to notify them of the LRC requirement.
The department should:
- identify the student’s classes and timetables, noting the tutors and room locations
- create the Zoom Sessions for the classes and invite the lecturer
- inform Disability & Wellbeing of the Zoom link, password, and room; room information is useful for students and the Disability & Wellbeing Service where other supports are being provided
The Disability & Wellbeing Service will invite the LRC notetaker to the Zoom call.
Action required by the lecturer
The steps involved in making LRC work will be familiar. The lecturer will:
- wear the lapel microphone if they are likely to walk away from the lectern microphone
- join the Zoom call using the lectern computer (the LRC palantypist and the student will also join the call)
- press record. The recording may be required to support the captions
Tutorial & group sessions
Clear audio will be provided by ensuring that the handheld mics are used. This also ensures that participants are taking turns to speak and are not speaking over one another.
Student access to LRC
The student will be provided with a web link from the LRC provider to access their web portal and view the live captions. These appear like subtitles on a live television broadcast, with a short delay after the audio.
Getting assistance with the equipment
Should you find that the microphone does not work, call +44 (0)141 548 5999. A member of Learning Space Support will respond to rectify any issue within 10 minutes.
Student feedback on LRC
Students provided very positive feedback on the accuracy, reliability, and flexibility of the LRC service. General comments indicate a feeling of increased independence and freedom of choice regarding where to sit in lectures. One student reported being more at ease attending classes when using LRC, as it was not obvious that a support service was being provided.
I was more independent and I felt like I was in control of what was going on rather than relying on an electronic notetaker or a manual notetaker.
It’s amazing how much more information I actually get by having the lectures captioned.
Information on Reasonable Adjustments
The student will often have (or will be in the process of) having a Reasonable Adjustment Report uploaded onto PEGASUS. Some of these will capture guidance on best practice for supporting hearing-impaired students in classroom settings. It may include some or all of the following adjustments:
- student will be using Live Remote Captioning (LRC) support during lectures; please ensure you wear the available radio microphone
- any questions/answers from students during the lecture should be repeated by the lecturer in order that they can be captioned for the student
- please alert the student as soon as possible to any timetable changes so that the LRC sessions can be rearranged
- always use a microphone/PA facility in large lecture theatres
- student will be working with an electronic notetaker: Please liaise with Disability & Wellbeing Service to allow the Electronic NoteTaker to access live online classes, and review guidance for assigning the Electronic NoteTaker to the live session
- student will be working with a BSL Interpreter: please liaise with Disability & Wellbeing Service to allow BSL Interpreter to access live online classes, and review guidance for assigning the BSL Interpreter to the session
- allow audio or video recording of teaching through your cooperation with Learning Space Support staff, who will arrange to record as required