network for excellence in
    mathematics and statistics support

Accessibility SIG

Motivation and coverage

Accessibility covers a potentially wide remit of issues which could:

  • Impact access to mathematics and/or statistics within a course and/or
  • Impact access to mathematics and statistics support itself.

This might include:

  • students with maths anxiety, Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLD), Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD), sensory impairment, restricted mobility/motor control, mental health, fatigue or pain conditions;
  • widening participation considerations or
  • language barriers.

Establishing priorities

The SIG is currently establishing what current maths and statistics support practitioners would most like to know about accessibility issues.

  • We have completed a survey with a focus on barriers arising for students with disabilities or who experience mathematics anxiety. We will analyse the responses, feed back on these and decide on next actions as a result.
  • If you have ideas regarding priorities in the wider remit of widening participation and language barriers please get in touch.

Plan

In response to these findings the SIG intends to coordinate the provision of maths support specific advice and resources in areas which might include:

  • Physical or virtual maths support environments
  • Making resources more accessible
  • Training tutors
  • Collaboration with other student support

Some relevant resources and case studies are already available. The SIG plans to pull good examples together and make them available (or signposted) through the sigma Network website or the mathcentre website, as appropriate. Gaps will be identified, and calls made to help fill them.

The SIG will also advise on feasible incremental improvements which might be made to mathcentre and statstutor. For instance, new community templates that incorporate accessibility features will be developed.

Get involved

We have a sigma Accessibility SIG mailing list for interested parties, this subsumed the former access working group of the HEA MSOR Network (AccessMSORWG). This purpose of the list is to facilitate sharing of information on access to mathematics and statistics in the British Isles. Membership is not confined to sigma Network members.

In the coming months the Accessibility SIG will:

  • invite contributions from those with relevant areas of interest and expertise.

To express interest please contact Emma Cliffe or Clare Trott.

Direction and organisation

Below is a list of members currently involved in the direction and organisation of the SIG. If you would like to join this group get in touch!

Emma Cliffe (University of Bath, SIG Co-chair, e.h.cliffe@bath.ac.uk)
Clare Trott (Loughborough University, SIG Co-chair, c.trott@lboro.ac.uk)
Ciaran Mac an Bhaird (Maynooth University)
Eabhnat Ni Fhloinn (Dublin City University)