Virtual Cafe Scientifique, University of Southampton

Virtual Cafe Scientifique

Our Projects

Archived site - this website is out of date and kept online for reference only.

An updated ECS Virtual Café Scientifique is currently under development, as part of the EPSRC POLMAT project.

The following information about our projects is also available from our website 


The Portable Accessibility Toolkit

The Access Tools USB Flash drive contains accessibility tools that can run directly from a USB flash drive, making it easier to test software and websites on different platforms.

Open Source

It features a fully-accessible a customisable menu system and tools that are free for anyone to download and use.

More Information  News


Aggregating Knowledge

The Accessibility Cloud aims to aggregate all the knowledge about accessibility into a commonly available, linked and searchable resource.

Keeping it in Context

Accessibility issues will be categorised into perspectives to keep them in context with their intended use, e.g. pedagogy, technology and disability.

More Information Accessibility Cloud Website


Learn about Accessibility

A series of online materials are provided to teach users about issues surrounding accessibility of websites and software and the importance of considering them when developing online content.

Tailored Learning & Assessment

Try the 2 part online course that enables you to see how much you currently know by completing the quiz, so you can then read the learning materials that are relevant to you and attempt the assessment again.

More Information Accessibility Training Website


4.  ATbar

Surf the Web Your Way

Effortlessly change the appearance of webpages, or have pages read aloud to you. Built-in referencing, dictionary and spelling tools make online reading and writing a snap.

For Web Developers

It's quick and easy to embed ATbar on your site. Tick the boxes for accessibility faster than ever before.

More Information News ATbar Website


Digital Pen Research

This research aims to analyse university students’ handwriting skills using digital pens. The research will build on present day paper and pen evaluations that occur with the use of a stop watch and simple speed of writing tests. By using digital pens it is hoped that it will be possible to analyse the results of individual handwriting skills to not only discover issues that may arise when copying or free writing, but to also provide an insight into specific types of difficulties.

More Information 


6.  GO! Platform

GO! Platform

GO! Platform is an interactive communication system in the school, which can take advantage of new web 2.0 technologies like, social-networking sites, blogs, wikis, and other web-based applications.

Broader Horizons

This school community platform will allow the share and exchange creative teaching ideas and will give schools an opportunity to promote these ideas and facilities to a much wider community.

More Information GO  Platform Website


7.  InStep

Video Monitoring Repository

InStep is a video based evidence creation application that allows you to make a repository of videos that are used for activity-based assessment. Videos of differing times can be looked at to identify the learner's progress.

InStep as an Assessment Alternative

InStep may be an ideal alternative, as disabilities or special requirements may render standard assessment criteria inappropriate or impractical.

More Information


8.  LexDis

Re-enabling the Disabled

LexDis has explored the experiences of disabled students when working in e-learning situations. Helpful guides have been created, providing hints, tips and strategies on how to make the most of e-learning technology.

Making the most of Assistive Technologies

Strategies have been provided (generated by learners) to help other learner's make the most of various applications and assistive technologies.

More Information News LexDis Website


9.  Magnifier

The Magnified Screen Reader

Magnifier is an open-source screen magnifier to accompany the NVDA screen-reader, which has been designed for visually-impaired users.

Portable and Multi-Functional

Unlike similar tools found in Windows Operating Systems, this multiple functionality on a portable and interchangeable format, making it practical and easy to use.

More Information



Metadata-enabled Tools for Assistive Living and Learning

The project will explore the use of metadata to drive the creation, accessibility and commercial availability of digital content to dyslexic school pupils and elderly visually impaired.

More Information 


11. PicBoard

PicBoard Communication Charts

PicBoard is an innovative symbol based communication software that act as a “low-tech” Alternative and Augmentative Communication (AAC) solution.

Helping Communication

PicBoard has also been installed in several hospitals in Ukraine and has been used to help children with cerebral palsy and adults who have had a stroke to communicate effectively.

More Information PicBoard Website



REALISE your potential

REALISE is a community of people working to develop new technologies that make using the Internet, computers and mobile devices easier for people who have been disabled by society.

Open Innovation

REALISE is ideal for the application of open innovation principle, enabling potential to develop ground breaking and life changing technology solutions.

More Information News REALISE Website


Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI)-Plain Sailing

Easy, navigable and personalisable access to digital information


Enabling users to produce and navigate digital information independently, anytime, anywhere and in a user-friendly way.

More Information


Student Centredness Projects

Evaluating existing inclusive technologies across the University of Southampton's student computers, looking at their availability and accessibility.

Bringing Inclusive Learning up to Date

Developing further guidance and strategies regarding the use of technologies by students with the need for assistive technologies.

More Information News Student Centredness Website


15. Synote

Synchronise your Notes

Synote is a free web-based application that allows you to synchronise your notes with audio and/or video and also transcribe your audio recordings for you.

Index Notes with 'Synmarks'

Notes can be tagged with 'Synmarks' which enable you to find, associate and link notes to a part of your audio or video, whereas other software will only let you do this to the entire resource.

More Information News Synote Website


Go mobile with your synchronised annotated notes

Synote Mobile will meet the important user need to make web-based Open Educational Resources recordings easier to access, search, manage, and exploit for learners, teachers and others.

More Information News


ALUIAR Project later named Synote Researcher

ALUIAR (Adaptable and Learnable User Interface for Analysing Recordings) looks at Synote, a tool that is very useful for researchers, in order to improve its usability.

Improving the Usability of Synote

The usability of Synote will be improved by making it more adaptable and learnable, which could potentially increase its target audience.

More Information News


18. Web2Access

Accessible Web Resources

Web2Access provides a tool that can be used as reference for creating accessible Web 2.0 resources. The guides and walkthroughs available will enable you to develop accessible Web resources, expanding your potential website audience.

Not just for Websites

The Web2Access website provides testing criteria, methods and results to help you accessibility test computer software as well as Web content.