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Using Assistive Technologies to Access Instructional Materials DET/CHE Conference 2008 Presented by Melissa Repa, M.A. Co-Director, Services to Students.

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Presentation on theme: "Using Assistive Technologies to Access Instructional Materials DET/CHE Conference 2008 Presented by Melissa Repa, M.A. Co-Director, Services to Students."— Presentation transcript:

1 Using Assistive Technologies to Access Instructional Materials DET/CHE Conference 2008 Presented by Melissa Repa, M.A. Co-Director, Services to Students with Disabilities/ Interim Project Coordinator, Accessible Technology Initiative California State University, Sacramento

2 Accessible Technology Initiative2 Presentation Learning Objectives Participants will be able to: Identify some of the assistive technologies used by students with disabilities to access instructional materials in alternative formats Explore how assistive technologies and instructional materials accessibility can benefit learners and improve learning Learn about the collaboration and use of resources involved in providing access to instructional materials

3 Accessible Technology Initiative3 Background: CSU Accessible Technology Initiative To assist CSU campuses with the implementation of Executive Order 926, Disability Support and Accommodations It is the policy of the CSU to make information technology resources and services accessible to all CSU students, faculty, staff and the general public regardless of disability.

4 Accessible Technology Initiative4 Assistive Technology & Accessibility Assistive Technology : products, devices or equipment… that are used to maintain, increase or improve the functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities... (Assistive Technology Act) Accessibility: enabling IT hardware, software and services to be used effectively by people with disabilities. (Mary Cheng, former Director of CSU ATI) Complementary but different – both are necessary

5 Accessible Technology Initiative5 Assistive Technology Demonstrations Screen readers are software programs that present the screen and text as speech. Screen magnifiers are programs that allow the user to enlarge everything on the screen Scan/read software scans information to the screen and reads" it aloud with text-to-speech Alternative input devices allow individuals to control computers through means other than a standard keyboard or mouse. Alternative formats include Braille, large print, digital text file, MP3, or audio recording.

6 Accessible Technology Initiative6 JAWS Screen Reader JAWS Screen reader -

7 Accessible Technology Initiative7 ZoomText Screen Magnifier Zoomtext Screen magnifier -

8 Accessible Technology Initiative8 Kurzweil Scan/Read Kurzweil Scan/Read software -

9 Accessible Technology Initiative9 Alternative Input Devices On Screen Keyboard, Microsoft Accessibility –

10 Accessible Technology Initiative10 Limitations of Assistive Technology Web sites, online instruction are unusable with assistive technologies if not developed with accessibility in mind –What if the web page content is only accessible by using a mouse? What would students do if they use assistive technologies or can't use a mouse? –What if the software uses all graphics instead of text? If screen readers can only read text, how would students using screen readers read the graphics? –What if an online quiz is timed? What would students do if they needed extra time to use assistive devices?

11 Accessible Technology Initiative11 Accessibility Benefits Many 60% of working-age adults (18 to 64 years old) are likely to benefit from the use of accessible technology (http://www.microsoft.com/enable/research/workingage.aspx)http://www.microsoft.com/enable/research/workingage.aspx Technologies such as voice recognition, wireless communications and speech output improve the ability to access IT for those who have disabilities and are also increasingly in demand by today's society seeking convenience and ease of use. (http://www-306.ibm.com/able/access_ibm/qa.html)

12 Accessible Technology Initiative12 Leveraging Accessibility to Improve Learning Multiple means of representation Multiple means of expression Multiple means of assessment Universal Design pedagogical concepts

13 Accessible Technology Initiative13 Leveraging Accessibility to Improve Performance Accessible technology can increase usability and effectiveness of the tools and thereby can improve performance of students Example: accessible electronic text increases ability to search text

14 Accessible Media Production Accessible Technology Initiative14 1. Student Applies to Office of Services to Students with Disabilities 2. SSWD Staff Determine Appropriate Alternative Media (e.g. E-Text, Braille) 3. Student Obtains List of Materials from Bookstore and Faculty 4. Staff Request Electronic Files from Publisher, Faculty, or Repositories 5. If Files Are Not Available, Staff Scan Pages One by One 6. Staff Edit & Reformat Each Page 7. Staff Convert Files to Other Formats Time Intensive Process

15 Accessible Technology Initiative15 Accessible Technology: A Team Approach Bookstore Students Publishers Services to Students with Disabilities Library Information Technology Academic Technology TEAM Approach: Various units working together - no one team member can act as the single agent for providing accessible instructional materials

16 Accessible Technology Initiative16 Resources Accessibility at Sacramento State - High Tech Center at Sacramento State - CSU Accessible Technology Initiative - National Center on Accessible Information Technology in Education (Access IT) -

17 Accessible Technology Initiative17 Recap & Questions We Aimed To: Identify some of the assistive technologies used by students with disabilities to access instructional materials in alternative formats Explore how assistive technologies and instructional materials accessibility can benefit learners and improve learning Learn about the collaboration and use of resources involved in providing access to instructional materials Questions and Comments?

18 Accessible Technology Initiative18 Contact Information Melissa Repa, M.A. Services to Students with Disabilities California State University, Sacramento 6000 J Street, Sacramento, CA Voice: Fax:


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