April 29, 2010

Accessible Technology Initiative (ATI) Committee Minutes

[Download PowerPoint Viewer here]

April 29, 2010

Members Present: Doug Borcoman, Reza Boroon, Mohammad Eyadat, Farah Fisher, Wei Ma, Marion Smith, Mark Smith (for Patricia Wells), Jeremiah Woolsey

Guests: Deborah Parham, Associate Director, Disabled Student Services (DSS)

Minutes of the March 25, 2010, meeting

Minutes of the March 25 meeting were approved (moved by Farah, seconded by Doug) with the addition of the title "Associate Director, Disabled Student Services (DSS)" to Deborah's listing as a guest.

Campus Protocol for Front-Line Staff - Jeremiah

The protocol was approved as distributed (moved by Doug, seconded by Farah).


YouTube research: Doug has experimented with YouTube's free captioning service. He indicates that very clean audio files produce quite good results. Clear articulation needs to be emphasized with our video producers.

Blackboard research: Doug has experimented with using Kurzweil and JAWS with Bb material, and he thinks the results would be very frustrating to low-vision students. This is a problem for our online students in particular, since they don't come to campus where DSS could provide an assistant to read the coursework aloud. (Doug tested Bb following a complaint by an online student.) When it comes to taking a test, JAWS does not handle radio buttons and check boxes well. In fact, Doug believes Bb may be just minimally ADA-compliant.

Jeremiah convened an ATI subcommittee to study the problem of online test taking and accessibility. Doug, Farah, Mohammad, and Wei will serve. Once Doug has written a problem statement, Wei will perform research, looking for studies that already exist. Perhaps the subcommittee could seek grant money to solve the problem.

TechEd: Ron Bergmann, Wei Ma, and Jeremiah Woolsey conducted a print-to-audio/ATI workshop at TechEd. Here is the slide presentation: CSU Dominguez Hills Text to Speech Service [PowerPoint] (3 MB).

ATI door hangers: Jeremiah had IMS students post about 75 ATI door hangers to classrooms, so faculty will be see the top 10 actions that can be taken to improve accessibility in the learning process. You'll see them by the classroom telephones.

Zoomtext: Wei says the campus bought a license for 10 copies in 2006. The library has four of the copies. One or more are in the Welch Hall open lab. The DSS testing lab has one but is unable to fetch the license in order to use it. I.e., DSS needs a new copy of Zoomtext.

DSS Student Video: Doug has produced a video demonstrating challenges presented to Andre Green, a disabled student. Doug plans to show the video to faculty, and the video will be posted on this ATI Web site. Mark can offer the names of up to four more students and suggests that Doug consider creating more videos when the students are on summer break from school work.

Update on ATI Training Activities

Doug provided accessibility training to Africana Studies employees.

Clarification of ATI Committee meeting schedule: The ATI Committee meets on the last Thursday of the month, 10-11 a.m., in LIB C510. Note: The next meeting date, May 27, is a furlough day. Hence, the May meeting is canceled, and we meet next in June.

Next meeting: Thursday, June 24, 2010, 10 a.m.