8.0003 Making Computers Accessible (1/144)

Fri, 13 May 1994 21:45:23 EDT

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 8, No. 0003. Friday, 13 May 1994.

Date: Sun, 08 May 1994 20:42:04 -0400 (EDT)
From: Prof Norm Coombs <NRCGSH@RITVAX.BITNET>
Subject: Email workshop on making computers accessible to disabled persons

Has The Americans With Disabilities Act left you confused?
Does it require your institution to make accomodations to its
computing facilities?
Does it require your library to adapt its information technology?
Does it impact how a teacher conducts his or her classroom?
How reasonable are "reasonable accommodations"?

June 8-29 1994
Online Workshop sponsored by:
Rochester Institute of Technology and
EASI (Equal Access to Software & Information)

***** Totally delivered via email over the internet ****
Rochester Institute of Technology has developed a three-week, online
workshop, in conjunction with EASI, to provide answers to these and
other questions about adapting information technology and computing.
The course relies on the distance learning technology of RIT and the
adaptive technology resources of EAS. EASI gratefully acknowledges the
development assistance of EDUCOM and the Nec Foundation.

1) Introduction and Background
2) Reasons to Adapt
3) Americans With Disabilities Act
4) Lab Environment
5) Alternate Output Systems
6) Alternate Input Systems
7) Computing as Compensatory Devices
8) Putting It All Together
9)Planning and Funding

At the successful conclusion of the workshop, and upon completing at
least three specified assignments, Rochester Institute of Technology
will issue a Certificate of Completion. The workshop may also be
taken to obtain K-12 In-service Credit.

orkshop registration fee is $99 and includes all resource materials.
Registration will begin immediately and will be limited to the first
100 confirmed registrants. Payment instructions will be mailed upon
acceptance to the workshop and reservations will be held for one week
until payment is received. Those who do not make the 100 cut-off will
be placed on a waiting list for the next workshop in late summer or
early fall.

You may register for this workshop by subscribing yourself to the
listserv which will run it. To do this send email to:
listserv@listserver.isc.rit.edu and leave the subject line of the email blank.
Put one line of text into the body of the message:
sub workshop "Firstname Lastname"
(Obviously that is your first name and your last name.)

If you would like to review a syllabus from a previous workshop,
(and it will undergo modification this time)

send e-mail to listservlistserver.isc.rit.edu with no subject line but
this one line of text
info adapt-it

Below is an article about the workshop..


Adapt-it Workshop
Reproduced with permission from
Rochester Institute of Technology

Current attendees of an on-line workshop are "surfing the Internet" to
participate in "Adapt-it: Adapting Information Technology & Computing,"
targeting access to information for the disabled or challenged. Spurred on by
the American Disabilities Act, access for the disabled has become a sizzling
issue among academic, government, and business facilities around the world.
Attended by academic administrators and disabilities advocates in industry and
business, the current session began April 4 and includes 75 participants
hailing from Germany, Spain, Thailand, Australia, Canada, and more than 25
states in the U.S.

The workshop is being presented as a collaborative effort between Norman
Coombs, an RIT history professor who is visually impaired and Chairman of Equal
Access to Software & Information (EASI); Richard Banks, a visually impaired
adaptive technologist with the University of Wisconsin-Stout's library who
serves as moderator for EASI's AXSLIB1 (the leading Internet discussion list
on library and adaptive technology for persons with disabilities); and RIT's
Educational Technology Center. It is supported by net work resources provided
by Information Systems and Computing.

Run on a quarterly basis, the first workshop was offered January 31 through
February 12, at a cost of $99 per person. With an enrollment of 75 members from
Canada, Great Britain, Puerto Rico, and the U.S., the initial workshop ran two
weeks. The content included:

o Reasons to Adapt

o Legislative History

o Americans with Disabilities Act

o Lab Environment

o Alternate Output Systems

o Alternate Input Systems

o Computing as Compensatory Devices

o Planning and Funding

o Review and Other Resources

Designed to be accessible at the lowest connecting common denominator, Dr.
Coombs chose e-mail to deliver the workshop. "I had always thought that a
single stream discussion wouldn't work." Delighted to be proven wrong, e-mail
allowed attendees from K-12, businesses, libraries, and Fidonet (a bulletin
board that shakes hands in the middle of the night and trades messages) to
connect. For the majority of participants it was their first on-line course.

Heralded as "extremely successful," by Dr. Coombs, the producers of the
workshop were stunned by the glowing comments they received in their
post-workshop evaluations. "Well worth both the time and money spent." "This
course was a great opportunity." "This has been a great workshop. I have gotten
so many new resources to tap ..." "I thoroughly enjoyed the content, format,
and instructors. I learned a great deal more than I expected to." "The format
was a little fast-paced. I... really had to scramble to kee p up."

Sensitive to the pleas of too heavy a schedule, the time frame has been
extended to three weeks and the review lesson has been dropped. Subsequent
workshops will be offered in June and September at a cost of $99. Information
is available electronically by sending a message to
listserv@listserver.isc.rit.edu with one line of text saying: info workshop.
For additional information or registration contact Susan Warner, Educational
Technology Center, 716-475-7186 or SMWETC@RIT.EDU

-Jackie Paterson

Educational Technology Center

(ALL-IN-1, or JKPETC in VMS Mail)

(Internet: JKPETC@RIT.EDU)