March 30, 2011

Accessible Technology Initiative (ATI) Committee Minutes

March 30, 2011

Members Present: Reza Boroon, Linda Goldman-Levine, Brian Lacey, Deborah Parham, Marion Smith, Mark Smith, Patricia Ann Wells, Jeremiah Woolsey

Chair Jeremiah opened the meeting by announcing the pending retirement of committee scribe Marion. He suggests that the committee will miss her, and he required that this be included in the minutes. Done.

AY 09/10 ATI Report to the Chancellor's Office

Marion submitted the CSUDH report to the Chancellor's Office (CO) after compiling input from various committee members. Though the CO required that reports be submitted online via the ATI Moodle website, she has MS Word documents from which she extracted the data, and she will forward those documents to the committee. Our report was submitted on December 1, 2010, comfortably ahead of the December 10, 2010, deadline.

CSUDH Academic Senate Resolution EPC 06-06 - Timely Adoption of Texts, MSP 2/14/07

EPC 06-06 stresses the timely adoption of texts to primarily benefit students with disabilities. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) indicates that students with disabilities must have equal access to all materials needed for a class. In some cases, textbooks have to be taken apart and scanned in order to be read by text to speech machines, and in other cases, special large print editions of texts need to be ordered. These are just two reasons timely adoption is important for ADA purposes.

More recently, the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) of 2008 requires that texts be listed in the online class schedule, and this is another, more recent, reason for timely adoption. Affordability is a primary aspect of HEOA's requirements. For example, if one section of a class will be using a much cheaper text that another section, the student has to be given the opportunity to select her/his section on this basis.

Jeremiah believes that a lack of institutional knowledge about these issues explains why the number of early adoptions is pretty low. He distributed a list of department chairs, suggesting that the chairs be asked to preselect texts for their courses. Preselection could accommodate an instructor who is hired at the last minute. Perhaps chairs could be asked to preselect for the first four weeks of classes. Brian points out that the returnability of texts would be impacted here, reminding us that affordability and accessibility do not always overlap.

Another possibility Jeremiah and Reza have discussed is the creation of Blackboard master courses owned by the colleges.

Brian indicates that April 29 is the deadline for text selections for the Fall 2011 semester. He also indicates that a much shorter text selection lead time is required between fall and winter and winter and spring session classes. The long lead time for the fall semester helps with text buy backs. At the time 06-06 was adopted, the affordability issues listed in the HEOA had not come up. But Brian says affordability is a primary concern for the bookstore.

An e-mail about text selection which was sent to faculty in December resulted in an immediate jump in preselection from 40% to 80%. Linda suggests that future e-mails stress the ADA and HEOA benefits achieved by preselection. She believes such language will provide an important incentive to faculty.

Brian checked yesterday and notes that 27% of F11 courses have selected texts, while 30% of summer courses have selected texts. An e-mail from Richard Chester and Mary Ann Rodriguez about text selection will be sent to faculty soon.

Brian is hosting a breakfast for academic coordinators on April 26, and he invites Jeremiah to pitch early adoption and its benefit to accessibility at the event. Jeremiah accepts. Brian hopes to have a meeting with deans and the provost before April 26. A note from Linda: Each school has its own definition of "program coordinator," that is, whether the person is an administrative assistant or a member of the faculty or ...

Brian indicates that Follett's Cafe Scribe 2.0 will be launched in the fall. The new version provides greater accessibility, while being user friendlier and offering iPad and Android apps.

The CSU's Digital Marketplace

The Digital Marketplace was initiated by the CO to help educational institutions provide more choice, greater affordability, and increased access to educational materials. The marketplace is working with publishers to reduce costs, and these are reasons that Jeremiah pushes faculty use of smart classrooms.

ASI Laptop Loan Program

Brian would like to see ASI increase its marketing of its laptop loan program. [The scribe's CSUDH website search for "laptop loan" did not produce the ASI program until page 2.] The program is a great benefit for students who do not own computers. Cafe Scribe works like iTunes, allowing a student to store a book on a thumb drive.

Next meeting: April 28, 2011