Open Eye: Classic Teamwork

Unsung heros who raise funds to aid disabled students
Visiting dangerous and inaccessible volcanoes is a piece of cake for OU students, thanks to the Virtual Field Trip, a new piece of educational software which allows earth sciences students to 'visit' geological sites and collect samples while sitting in front of their computers.

It's one of the examples of 'enabling technology' that are opening up opportunities with particular suitability for students with disabilities. Also being developed at the OU are ways of transferring print-based material to alternative media, such as CD-ROM that are more accessible to students with a range of disabilities.

These and other initiatives were funded by OU graduates who have pledgedmore than half-a-million pounds during recent telephone fundraising campaigns - and a very much smaller group of graduates who give their time and energy to telephone fundraising. This band of 'unsung heros' stepped into the limelight for the first time when they received a Team of the Week award from Classic FM . Teams consist of up to 34 grads, many coming straight from a full-time job to do a three-hour calling shift from 6pm.

Pictured, from the left: Judi Leighton, Maryvonne Lumley, Jan Benniston, Alison Binns and Fiona Alderton.