[athen] FW: [adtech-ps] Access to E-Text Dilemma

Stewart, Ron ron.stewart at oregonstate.edu
Wed Feb 23 09:16:04 PST 2005

From: Prof Norm Coombs [mailto:nrcgsh at rit.edu]
Sent: Wed 2/23/2005 6:40 AM
To: Stewart, Ron
Subject: Re: [adtech-ps] Access to E-Text Dilemma


Obviously I cannot speak for DSS offices, but I do have some thoughts.

First, I don't know where to locate it, but I recall a court document
specifically stating that electronic texts was by far the best, most
effective and least costly, way to provide alternative texts for those
needing it.

Second, I had a lot of experience at the Rochester Institute of Technology
and its National Technical Institute for the Deaf with the attitudes of
deaf students and what help systems they wanted.

Information technology and computer communications provided opportunities
for these students to increase their independence. For myself, as a blind
person, there is little else that I value more than increasing my personal
independence. I'd just about kill for more of it! I continually found
deaf students resisting tools that would enhance their independence and
falling back on human support, interpreters and special tutors. I'd offer
to provide special tutoring for students who were deaf in my classes. We'd
share a keyboard for discussions. Few came. They preferred their special
tutor. Now, the tutor was never in my classroom nor talked personally with
me. Still they took course content and tried to tutor the student. I'd
have thought everyone would want to hear how the professor understood the
content rather than having an outside person explaining their
understanding. Frankly, I felt these students were embedded in a womb of
special support protecting them from the rest of the world and resisted
independence and resisted changing any of their coping mechanisms. They
preferred the old tried ways, like a farmer refusing to learn from new
ways, and sticking with doing things the way they were always done.

Fear of change and fear of independence which, essentially means, being
alone rather than having hand-holding.

I think that, either the DSS office needs to get out of the nurturing,
helping mode and push students into independence like a mother bird pushing
the chicks out of the nest, or, maybe, in another 5-10 years, a new batch
of students coming to college may have learned independence in K-12.

Frankly, when I advise any young person with a disability, I urge them to
run as far away from rehab as they can as it too frequently fosters
dependency and cripples them. I fear that DSS offices sometimes also
foster dependency.

Now there's my prejudiced view!

At 06:24 PM 2/22/2005, you wrote:

>I would like your feedback, comments and direction to any relevant

>research that address this question:


>Why is it so difficult to move disability services offices from a

>blindness centric model of e-text and alt format provision, to a more

>holistic model that is really willing to consider all individuals with

>print disabilities?


>In our heart of hearts, or at least mine, I think we all know that

>access to good quality electronic resources helps to level the playing

>field but why are our peers in the DS offices so unwilling to embrace

>this progressive strategy. Money is the obvious answer, and the one

>that I keep hearing from campuses, but I do not find that to be a viable

>response given what I see is the increasing student effectiveness that

>is provided by e-text and e-book access.


>Can you point me to any research that support my conclusion, and any

>that argues against it. Have any of you had to formulate a similar

>argument for an e-text production program, what do you think?


>Given that there are over 300 people subscribed to these two lists I

>hope to hear from more than the usual active participants.





>Ron Stewart, Director

>Technology Access Program

>Information Services

>Oregon State University

>109 Kidder Hall

>Corvallis, Oregon 97331

>Phone: 1.541.737.7307

>Fax: 1.541.737.2159

>E-mail: Ron.Stewart at oregonstate.edu

>WWW: http://tap.oregonstate.edu



>adtech-ps mailing list

>adtech-ps at lists.oregonstate.edu



>To unsubscribe, send a message to:

>adtech-ps-request at lists.oregonstate.edu

>with the word "unsubscribe" in the body.

EASI Online Courses Starting March 7 2005:
Barrier-free Information Technology
Learning Disabilities and Accessible IT
Register for the all-day Webcast from the 2005 CSUN conference March 17
(Five EASI courses earn the Certificate in Accessible Information Technology

Norman Coombs, Ph.D.
EASI (Equal Access to Software and Information)
Cell 949 922-5992
Home 949 855-4852

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://mailman12.u.washington.edu/pipermail/athen-list/attachments/20050223/701a67a5/attachment.html>

More information about the athen-list mailing list