Students Staff
University of Essex

November 6, 2017

Access for All!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — Hannah Groom @ 9:00 am

SensusAccess and what it can do for you.

The library is currently trialling SensusAccess; accessibility software that can be used on any device that converts a file into a more accessible file type. Anyone can access the software via the library website on the Accessibility Page, all it requires is a valid University of Essex e-mail address and the file you wish to convert.


The software tries to be as flexible as possible to meet as many different needs as possible. The main focus of files being uploaded are text based, such as .doc and .pdf, but the software also allows image formats such as .jpeg and .png. You can then choose how you want the document to be converted. This can be to other text files, such as .mobi or .epub, into e-brail, and even into speech in .mp3 or DAISY format. This conversion can allow students to access course material they may have originally struggled with, and can be used in conjunction with other software such as screen readers.

How do I use SensusAccess?

Using SensusAccess is a 4 step process:




1. Choose/enter the information you would like to have converted, and upload it.

  • You can choose files, urls, or just input text directly.




2. Choose what type of file you would like the information to be converted to.

  • This can be to text, sound, or images files.





3. Choose some of the finer details

  • This helps the software convert the file and allows you to choose how you want your file to look/sound.






4. Enter your university address and click submit.

  •  You’re done!!





Once you’ve submitted the information, the server will whir and spin, and you should receive an e-mail with the new file or  a link to your new file (This is dependent on file size, but shouldn’t take longer than 10 minutes.) If sent via a link, the file will be available for the next 10 minutes, so be sure to download it! That file is now yours to keep!


(We also recommend that you take a look at the Best Practices Guide to ensure that the information conversion goes as smoothly as possible.)

Why use SensusAccess?

Firstly, the software itself is highly versatile; it aims to meet the needs of many people who need to access resources in alternate ways. Secondly, this allows them to get more involved with their resources and more involved with their course. Thirdly, the software can be used by anyone at the University of Essex; it allows the user to get exactly what they want, when they want it.

Get your students involved!

If you think it would help any of your students engage with their course materials, let them know about the service.

We’d love to hear your experiences or tips you have when it comes to accessibility, so let us know in the comments below.

SensusAccess Tips:

–       Mark-up your file so that it is easier to read by the software.

–       SensusAccess has the ability to turn images based text into editable text.

–       Make sure that the item being uploaded is as straight as possible.

–       Try out the different ‘specify’ options. You may find different speeds/font sizes work for you.

If you’d like help or a demonstration on how to use SensusAccess, please get in contact with use via