FW: [athen] Access to E-Text Dilemma

Stewart, Ron ron.stewart at oregonstate.edu
Wed Feb 23 09:17:04 PST 2005

From: Teresa Wells [mailto:tlwells at uark.edu]
Sent: Wed 2/23/2005 6:15 AM
To: Stewart, Ron
Subject: RE: [athen] Access to E-Text Dilemma

Hi, Ron. I guess I've been "progressive" from the time I got into this
business, but I've always provided alternative format for all students with
print disabilities, and always attempted to provide the format(s) which
worked best for each individual student. This includes not only Braille
(hardcopy and electronic, including tactile graphics) but also many
different versions of e-text (Word, RTF, txt, and DAISY files) and audio
(tape [2- and 4-track], MP3, CDA, and DAISY, including both human and
synthesized speech). I've even provided debind and spiral bind service for
students with mobility disabilities who only needed to be able to more
easily hold and turn pages on books. My universities have, on rare
occasions, considered cutting my budgets and each time I or my superiors
have simply said "No. We have a commitment and a responsibility as an
institution to provide effective access, and we are going to do so." And
although we may have to scrimp someplace else in the budget, like travel, we
always get enough funding to provide text access. Last year my Vice
Chancellor funded my one professional development trip out of her own office
budget so that my budget could continue to serve students. Bottom line: for
me it's been a matter of standing up to the administrations and refusing to
take "no" for an answer. It never hurts to show them the results of other
schools' OCR cases and how much cheaper/easier it is to do a job right in
the first place... <grin> I also campaign on the Universal Design platform
all the time, both with the administration and with individual faculty;
progress is slow, but perceptible. More of my students each year are making
it through some of their classes with absolutely no conversion necessary on
my end because their faculty have planned ahead and made their courses and
materials accessible from the start. There's still work to be done, but
we're making progress...

Hope this helps,

-----Original Message-----
From: athen-bounces at lists.oregonstate.edu
[mailto:athen-bounces at lists.oregonstate.edu]On Behalf Of Stewart, Ron
Sent: Tuesday, February 22, 2005 8:24 PM
To: adtech-ps at lists.oregonstate.edu; athen at lists.oregonstate.edu
Subject: [athen] Access to E-Text Dilemma

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

athen mailing list
athen at lists.oregonstate.edu

To unsubscribe, send a message to:
athen-request at lists.oregonstate.edu
with the word "unsubscribe" in the body.

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://mailman12.u.washington.edu/pipermail/athen-list/attachments/20050223/0f1ccd43/attachment.html>

More information about the athen-list mailing list