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Daniel Berkowitz Digilife Media, LLC Boston University School of Education Accessing Higher Ground November 14, 2008 Boulder, CO Digital Accessible.

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Presentation on theme: "Daniel Berkowitz Digilife Media, LLC Boston University School of Education Accessing Higher Ground November 14, 2008 Boulder, CO Digital Accessible."— Presentation transcript:

1 Daniel Berkowitz Digilife Media, LLC Boston University School of Education Accessing Higher Ground November 14, 2008 Boulder, CO Digital Accessible

2 Digitally Accessible? Enlargement/Enhancement Screen Reading Text to Speech Image PDF Download Ubiquity? Daniel Berkowitz – Accessing Higher Ground 2008 – 2 of 24

3 Defining the Issue Being Digital - Negroponte Accessible defined as  ‘easy to use’ or ‘easy to reach’ for individuals whose disadvantages (disabilities?) would otherwise preclude them from using a computer or digital device. Universal Access or Applicability Daniel Berkowitz – Accessing Higher Ground 2008 – 3 of 24

4 Defining a Print Disability DAISY Consortium (2006)  Inability to access print due to a visual, perceptual, or physical disability.  Examples may include blindness, learning disabilities, or the inability to [physically] hold a book. a person without sight; or a person whose sight is severely impaired; or a person unable to hold or manipulate books or to focus or move his or her eyes; or a person with a perceptual disability Daniel Berkowitz – Accessing Higher Ground 2008 – 4 of 24

5 Digitizing Text Merely because a piece of printed text can be converted to a digital format and thus accessed in the general sense of the term, does not make the same piece of text accessible to someone for whom ‘the general sense of the term’ does not apply. The same is true for digital content  PDF  iTunes U  Google Print Project Daniel Berkowitz – Accessing Higher Ground 2008 – 5 of 24

6 Digital > Definition Basest form: “method of sending data which uses 1’s and 0’s to carry the information” (adj.) “a device or system which converts digital signals to analogue ones, and the process of such conversion” Involves or relates to: “the use of computer technology or digital communications; computer-literate, making use of digital technology” “Designating a digitally generated or computer-mediated counterpart of a previously existing object or action” Daniel Berkowitz – Accessing Higher Ground 2008 – 6 of 24

7 Access > Definition (n.) “The action of going or coming to or into; coming into the presence of, or into contact with; approach, entrance” (n.) “The habit or power of getting near or into contact with (the time taken to reach ‘information’ stored in a computer” (n.) “The state or faculty of being approached; accessibility” (v.) “To gain access to (data, etc., held in a computer or computer-based system, or the system itself)” Daniel Berkowitz – Accessing Higher Ground 2008 – 7 of 24

8 Access > Synonyms (n.) admittance, approach, avenue, connection, contact, entrance, entry, ingress, introduction, key, passage (v.) achieve, attain, collect, earn, gain, gather, get, obtain, procure, secure. Each has to do with the ability of an individual to connect, to take hold of, to make use of, whatever article, thought, or objective they have set upon. Daniel Berkowitz – Accessing Higher Ground 2008 – 8 of 24

9 Access > Antonyms Consider ‘closed’ and ‘excluded’ as what most people think is the opposite of access. In reality –  (n.) ‘egress’ and ‘outlet’  (v.) ‘forfeit’, ‘give away’, ‘lose’, ‘relinquish’, ‘sell’, ‘surrender’.  The purpose of this exercise is to demonstrate how antonyms for access fail to support the perception that access is the opposite of exclusion and thus lend credence to the concern that the word is not being thoroughly defined within the context of its use. Daniel Berkowitz – Accessing Higher Ground 2008 – 9 of 24

10 E-text vs. eBook Differences are more than semantic but have to do with the misperceptions of our society as to how individuals with disabilities can (and do) connect with the world most often taken for granted by those without disabilities. Academic BasedCommercial Based Designated for Print Impaired Not designed for Print Impaired One-OffMass Produced MalleableStatic (untouchable) KurzweilKindle Daniel Berkowitz – Accessing Higher Ground 2008 – 10 of 24

11 Context of Access Individually connect with an object or idea Group ability to connect with culture or values Contextualized in terms of disability  Concrete manner in which individual with a disability can or cannot reach, open, read…  No absolute definition…  Access is couched within the context of the individuals disability and how it impacts them on a very personal level. Daniel Berkowitz – Accessing Higher Ground 2008 – 11 of 24

12 Digital Literacy Represents the ability to perform tasks effectively in a digital environment.  Digital access is more than the format.  There are skills the SWD needs in order to access the digital content.  “a set of learned practices through which end users employ computer technology”  Effectively using E-Text involves knowing how to use the technology necessary to make use of the accessible digital content. Daniel Berkowitz – Accessing Higher Ground 2008 – 12 of 24

13 Usability Measures accessibility as related to the quality of the user’s experience. Every end user is potentially ‘disabled’ in the sense of technology and interface. “the extent to which a product can be used by specified users, to achieve specified goals, with effectiveness, efficiency and satisfaction, in a specified context of use.”  International Organization for Standards,  Think stick-shift vs. automatic Daniel Berkowitz – Accessing Higher Ground 2008 – 13 of 24

14 Digital Access Digital = technologically concrete Access = humanistically and contextually unstable Digital = usability of products and devices Access = human factor of abilities and disabilities. Daniel Berkowitz – Accessing Higher Ground 2008 – 14 of 24

15 Research Definitions: Access Technology Access Technology = “equipment and software that are used to maintain or improve the functional capabilities of a person with a disability.” (Phipps, Sutherland, & Seale, 2002) Access Technology = “enable[s] people to have instantaneous access to information and allow individuals to read for themselves.” (Gerber, 2003) Access “implies the ability to find, manipulate and use information in an efficient and comprehensive manner.” (National Science Foundation, 2002) Daniel Berkowitz – Accessing Higher Ground 2008 – 15 of 24

16 Flexible Nature of Access Corn & Wall (2002)  “accessing the internet” (p. 197)  “access to developmental and educational services” (p. 198)  “independent in their access of information” (p. 207)  ‘access technology’ = “any device that allows students with visual impairments to understand the same information presented to sighted students” (p. 198)  ‘digital access’ versus ‘physical access’ Daniel Berkowitz – Accessing Higher Ground 2008 – 16 of 24

17 Legal Definitions: Specialized Formats An Act to Provide Books got the Adult Blind [Pratt-Smoot Act] (1931)  Chap. 400, Sec. 1, 46 Stat  Established Division for the Blind of the LOC  a.k.a. National Library Service for the Blind Chaffee Amendment (Public Law )  “reproduce or distribute copies or phonorecords of previously published nondramatic literary works in specialized formats exclusively for the use by blind or other persons with disabilities” Daniel Berkowitz – Accessing Higher Ground 2008 – 17 of 24

18 ADA & 504 Neither specifically defines ‘access’ Both speak to “auxiliary aids and services” ADA operational definition of “accessible”  “a site, facility, work environment, service, or program that is easy to approach, enter, operate, participate in, and/or use safely and with dignity by a person with a disability.” Daniel Berkowitz – Accessing Higher Ground 2008 – 18 of 24

19 Section 508 Mission is to eliminate barriers to the usage of electronic and information technology:  Subpart B - Technical Standards: (§ ) Software applications and operating systems: (l) When electronic forms are used, the form shall allow people using assistive technology to access the information, field elements, and functionality required for completion and submission of the form, including all directions and cues. Digg into the individual elements of this passage:  electronic forms refers to text in digital formats;  assistive technology refers to hardware and software that provides access to the text in digital formats;  and the overall passage refers to the usability of electronic based textual elements. Daniel Berkowitz – Accessing Higher Ground 2008 – 19 of 24

20 National Education Technology Plan of 2004 Action Steps include:  “Support E-Learning and Virtual Schools”; from which stems the need to provide every student access to the digital environment;  “Moving Towards Digital Content”; which seeks to encourage efforts so that every student has ubiquitous access to computers and connectivity. No specific definition of digital or access provided Rather it is assumed that as society integrates computers and related technologies into our daily lives, generally understood definitions will emerge. Daniel Berkowitz – Accessing Higher Ground 2008 – 20 of 24

21 IDEA + NCLB = NIMAS National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard (34 CFR § ) which precisely stated is  “the standard established by the Secretary [of Education] to be used in the preparation of electronic files suitable and used solely for efficient conversion into specialized formats” (NIMAS 674[e][3][b]). The terms “electronic files” in “specialized formats” refer to digital text that is accessible to the widest extent possible by the largest numbers of individuals with print impairments. The wording moves closer to solidifying definitions of the terms digital and access. Daniel Berkowitz – Accessing Higher Ground 2008 – 21 of 24

22 Universal Design Would it be beneficial if the terminologies relating to digital and access were substituted by richer and more meaningful vocabulary? Such efforts are underway in the research and application of universal design principles and practices as they relate to modified text in the academic environment. Strives for modifications and tools that are applicable to and useable within the widest possible variation of environments. Incorporates modified text, which takes into account content that has been changed from its original print format, as well as materials with altered content or physical characteristics, including printed texts presented in different modalities. Daniel Berkowitz – Accessing Higher Ground 2008 – 22 of 24

23 Dann Definitions Digital means a hardware device or software application that converts digital signals to analogue ones, and the process of such conversion. Specifically, digital refers to the hardware and software students employ to make use of Digital Talking Books and other digital text formats within the parameters of their specific educational environment. Access is the capacity of individuals with print based disabilities to utilize digital based print versions of their academic materials. Specifically, access refers to the variable methods and manners with which students will make use of Digital Talking Books and other digital text formats within their specific educational environment. Daniel Berkowitz – Accessing Higher Ground 2008 – 23 of 24

24 Contact Presenter Daniel Berkowitz   (978)  Digilife Media creates accessible digital versions of text based materials from hardcopy and inaccessible formats for educational institutions, government organizations, and corporations. Digilife partners have extensive experience and knowledge working with digital texts and have developed the most advanced processes available to provide our clients the highest quality results quickly and efficiently. Daniel Berkowitz – Accessing Higher Ground 2008 – 24 of 24


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