May 26, 2009

Accessible Technology Initiative (ATI) Committee Minutes

May 26, 2009

Members Present: Doug Borcoman, Reza Boroon, Mohammad Eyedat, Farah Fisher, Wei Ma, Denice Roberts, Marion Smith, Jeremiah Woolsey

Minutes of the April 28, 2009 meeting were approved (Farah Fisher moved, Reza Boroon seconded).

Today's agenda was approved without change (Farah Fisher moved, Mohammad Eyedat seconded).

News/Announcements - Jeremiah Woolsey

  • The Chancellor's Office (CO) ATI hosts monthly professional development "Meet the Experts" webinars on accessibility. The next one takes place on Thursday: "Designed-In Accessibility" with Tom Jewett. Shon Lee recommends the speaker highly.
  • Best Practices Workshops: Twelve people, including three or four faculty members, attended the last workshop. ATI training for staff--making accessible MS Word and Adobe Acrobat documents--will be held in the WH 142 training lab tomorrow morning. Tomorrow's workshop will be captured with Elluminate and Camtasia.
  • Bill Kirchinger, CSUDH Bookstore: Bill indicates that a 6-week wait should be planned between a textbook order and its delivery. This is a problem for part-time instructors who are not officially assigned to classes until the first day of instruction. Is this a business process that should be examined? In some academic departments, a course coordinator selects textbooks. In others, the instructor picks the textbook. SDSU lost a lawsuit because a disabled student did not get an accessible textbook until a month after classes started. Bill will come to the next ATI meeting and will tell us how many anomalous requests he gets in a semester. Committee members noted that the bookstore has frequently not ordered enough copies of a textbook. Farah adds that if textbook publishers can provide a simple text file along with the book, the problem could be alleviated. Bill is hosting a conference of textbook publishers on campus in October.
  • Jeremiah distributed a reprint of an L.A. Times editorial called "New chapter in textbooks," in which Gov. Schwarzenegger is complimented on pursuing the availability on online textbooks. Farah notes that the focus is primary on K-12 textbooks.
  • Jeremiah notes that Wai Pong, Mathematics, and Jim Hill, Physics, have been investigating the problem of rendering equations in an accessible format. (The left-to-right reading order by JAWS or other text reader will probably not render an accurate equation. The Greek alphabet might present other problems.) The most commonly used equation software is LaTex. Pong and Hill are investigating software that will make LaTex equations accessible. Can we provide training on the topic for math/science faculty? Doug notes that Blackboard has an equation editor. Jeremiah added Jim Hill and Wai Pong to the ATI Instructional Materials Subcommittee.

Update from Subcommittees - Jeremiah Woolsey

  • Marketing & Communication: Marion reported that the committee met on May 14 and laid out next steps, including a logo contest for students, a table at Welcome Week (featuring a bookmark designed by Doug), and appearances at new faculty orientations (Doug), new employee orientations (Emmit), and the September Academic Senate meeting (Jeremiah). Ron Bergmann has requested that a short survey be e-mailed to faculty to determine their level of awareness of ATI issues.
  • Instructional Materials: Doug was appointed in absentia at the last ATI meeting. He's accepting the appointment as well as appointment to be chair.
  • Doug and Reza have produced a Media Flow, which will be an iterative, living document. Wei Ma recalled that an earlier ATI committee, chaired by Roberta Ambrosino, discussed policies and material purchased for the library and Disabled Student Services. The committee planned to create handouts.

New Business - Jeremiah Woolsey

  • Anh Lam of Instructional Technology reports that the computer labs have 10 licenses for Kurzweil text-to-speech software. Wei Ma notes that the library has four licenses but only two scanners to accompany them. Perhaps this committee can develop a reasonable process for deploying the software--with accompanying hardware.
  • Wei Ma has developed a form that faculty must sign in order to put material on reserve. On the form, faculty agree to having accessible versions of the material also available.
  • Someone suggested that we create a video of a disabled CSUDH student using accessible technology--a highly instructive way of showing the importance of accessible technology. This suggestion was warmly received by the committee.
  • Reza is presenting the accessible MS Word and Adobe Acrobat workshop tomorrow morning. It is Jeremiah's intention that all staff who have contact with students be trained to use accessible products.
  • Jeremiah requests that Wei Ma demonstrate Kurzweil and a scanner this summer.

Next meeting: Tuesday, June 23, 2009, 10:30 a.m.