Helping Liverpool Hope University make Maths accessible

By Susie Fisher|March 20, 2018||

Customer: Liverpool Hope University

A2i services: E-text versions of degree level Maths with tactile diagrams

Summary: A2i provides Braille, tactile and E-text versions of course materials so a visually impaired student studying BA Mathematics has equal access to a university education.

About Liverpool Hope University

Liverpool Hope University brings together research excellence with top-quality teaching. Care, concern and support for students have always been a priority for Liverpool Hope University: ensuring their students get full access to curriculum materials and in their preferred accessible format is just one example of this individual approach.

The challenge

A2i’s phone rings: “Hello! We have a visually impaired student at Liverpool Hope University who has enrolled on the BA Mathematics course. She’ll need course documents transcribed every week into Braille and e-text. With touchable diagrams. Can you help?”

A2i’s solution

This task was assigned to Susie and Rosie in A2i’s Maths transcription team. While Susie has a degree in Maths, Rosie has an engineering background, together with their Braille and E-text expertise forming a highly capable and unique team to accurately produce degree-level Maths transcriptions.

The A2i Maths team worked closely with staff at Liverpool Hope University to meet this student’s needs, transcribing her course documents in good time, allowing her equal access to the same teaching and education as the sighted students on the course. The course includes calculus, geometry and set theory, so Rosie and Susie’s high-level expertise was crucial.


After staff at Liverpool Hope University email A2i the course documents in pdf format, the A2i Maths team set to work transcribing the documents into E-text. Although the student reads and uses Braille, she prefers her course documents in E-text, meaning she can access her documents on her computer using specialist read-aloud software. With this particular student, the team adapted the standard A2i transcription style to suit her needs by developing a specialist glossary.

To complement the maths E-text, Liam – A2i’s skilled tactile diagram lead – produces tactile diagrams to transcribe graphs, 3D representations, geometry and other diagrams in the course materials. Most recently producing a tactile guide for completing a Rubik’s cube (see image above). Tactile diagrams translate a visual image into a tactile one; they use raised surfaces so blind and visually impaired people can feel them. Labels and text around the diagrams are transcribed using the latest industry-standard Braille maths code (UEB).

In order for the student to have equal access to her course, A2i keeps to a strict weekly timetable, live-transcribing documents as the course progresses. Once the E-text transcription is completed, it’s emailed to the University to be sent to the student in advance. This gives the student time to read it through, and helps her to fully participate during the class. The tactile diagrams are sent in the post.

Photo of tactile diagram with Braille for Maths course    Photo of tactile diagram with Braille in texts for Maths course    Photo of tactile diagram with Braille for Maths course

Outcomes and benefits

  • Visually impaired and other print-disabled students at Liverpool Hope University can engage with the Maths degree on an equal footing with sighted students, accessing alternative formats of the course materials on time, on a weekly basis.
  • Liverpool Hope University is experienced and confident in its ability to offer its courses in accessible formats for future print-disabled students.
  • Liverpool Hope University meets its legal obligations under the Equality Act 2010.

Let us help you

A2i have been producing Braille and E-text maths – including exam papers – for many other university and academic customers. If you want further information, or have any queries about our transcription services, please get in touch.

Judith Fiddy at Liverpool Hope University said: “We are delighted with the work carried out by A2i on behalf of our student. It’s highly specialised work, requiring knowledge of both alternative formats and mathematics to a high level. We work with them to provide a timetable for materials to be produced across the year, and they tailor the documents to meet the individual needs of the student. The service they provide is fantastic.”

About A2i

A2i helps organisations reach a wider audience by making information accessible to people who are blind, visually-impaired or cannot otherwise read printed text.

We provide ‘Access 2 information’. We transcribe text to alternative accessible formats, so visually-impaired and other print-disabled people have equal access to information. We produce information in Braille, Audio, Large Print, E-text and Easy Read.

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