[Athen] Position: Adaptive TechnologySpecialistatUniversityof Wisconsin-Madison

Berkowitz, Daniel J djbrky at bu.edu
Thu Apr 5 04:55:59 PDT 2007

That does it --- we may as well stop hemming around the subject and officially adopt Ralphie as the ATHEN mascot. Or at least put this on the agenda for the AHG business meeting.

I feel everyone's pain as my title is Assistant Director and both technically and logistically the work I do under the ATHEN umbrella is only (supposed to be) about 25% of my responsibilities. I was hired in part because of my background and experience with technology but assumed (and the time and foolishly) that after seven years there would be a full-time Coordinator position of some sort under me.

We have recently undertaken the task of rewriting (and in many cases recreating) our job descriptions after the new President called down to HR and discovered that most administrative position descriptions were either woefully out of date or non-existent. It was an eye-opener to me and my boss as to what it is I am actually expected to do in my job. Thank G*d for my student employees and their skill sets. I'd be drowning without them!

Which is a nice segue into reminding folks ATHEN does have a "student" membership category:

Daniel Berkowitz - Assistant Director
Boston University Office of Disability Services
19 Deerfield Street, 2nd floor
Boston, MA 02215

(617) 353-3658 (office)
(617) 353-9646 (fax)
djbrky at bu.edu <mailto:djbrky at bu.edu> (eMail)


From: athen-bounces at athenpro.org on behalf of E.A. Draffan
Sent: Thu 4/5/2007 3:36 AM
To: 'Access Technologists in Higher Education Network'
Subject: Re: [Athen] Position: Adaptive TechnologySpecialistatUniversityof Wisconsin-Madison

What a lovely analogy - I can visualise it so clearly - although I hate to
admit feeling more like a Ralphie (bull) in a china shop at times!
However, according to Wikipedia "Female bison are used because they are
smaller and less aggressive, as well as for insurance reasons..."

I have been fascinated by the various job descriptions coming through from
both sides of the Atlantic. If we are trying to encourage evidence based
practices, show cost benefits whilst gaining better salaries with clear
career pathways we have a long way to go! The fact that we all seem to do
so many different tasks makes it easier for the various departments to
maintain woolly pay and career structures, with staff being unable to make
clear comparisons with their colleagues in the field, to gain increases and
better positions. Lets hope the survey can show how much this is affecting
us all and act as a lever to improve things...ever hopeful! :>))

Have a lovely Easter break - sun may come out here in southern England -
even more hopeful :>))
Best Wishes E.A.

Mrs E.A. Draffan
Assistive Technologist
Mobile: 07976 289103

-----Original Message-----
From: athen-bounces at athenpro.org [mailto:athen-bounces at athenpro.org] On
Behalf Of Stacy L. Smith
Sent: Wednesday, April 04, 2007 10:15 PM
To: Access Technologists in Higher Education Network
Subject: Re: [Athen] Position: Adaptive Technology SpecialistatUniversityof

Kevin -

Thanks so much for the response. Since I took this job (new to the field),
I've felt a bit like a polka-dotted fish swimming in a bowl of striped fish.

It's nice to have your perspective.


Quoting Kevin Price <pricek at uic.edu>:


> Stacy,

> Let me try that again with additions. I am sorry for the repeat

> email.


> I think your responsibilities more closely align with the job title of

> "Alternative Media Specialist". I believe many Adaptive Technology

> Specialists take on the responsibilities you described.

> Universities

> interpret the role of the "Adaptive or Assistive Technology

> Specialist"

> differently. I am very active on my campus in promoting accessible

> information technology/web accessibility. It is hard to separate the

> roles because they are so intertwined. Many students with

> disabilities are coming into the university setting already with the

> necessary AT. They just need added support for their current AT and

> help in making the instructional content accessible. With more

> Universal Design integrated into available technology, I think the job

> responsibilities of the AT Specialist are changing to what your job

> responsibilities are now.

> Kevin


> Kevin Price MSW, ATP

> Assistive Technology Specialist

> Disability Resource Center (MC 321)

> University of Illinois at Chicago

> Suite 1190, Student Services Building

> 1200 West Harrison Street

> Chicago, Illinois 60607-7163

> (312) 413-0886 Fax (312) 413-7781

> Email: pricek at uic.edu



> -----Original Message-----

> Subject: Re: [Athen] Position: Adaptive Technology Specialistat

> Universit y of Wisconsin-Madison


> Here's a question I'd love to have your input on:


> My title is Adaptive Technology Specialist. However, I don't seem to

> do what most people with that title do.


> My primary role is to ensure that students enrolled in online courses

> are accommodated, which may require getting transcripts, providing

> alternate formats, etc. I also work on the back end of courses, with

> faculty, staff, and administrators, trying to get them to produce

> content that is friendly to students with disabilities and assistive

> software and devices. Therefore, I work with the production of

> accessible course content, not the interpretation or access to course

> content.


> Rarely do I work with a student on trying to find technology to access

> courses. Most of our students come already understanding what they

> need and how to use it, or they work through their VR counsellors.


> So what the heck would you call me?


> BTW, my salary is at the lower end of the mid-range, based on what

> Terry published, and it's only that high because they had a terrible

> time filling the position. I'm based in DSS and am considered

> "tecchie"

> by

> them but not really a tech person (sort of a hybrid, really).


> Thoughts?


> Thanks,

> Stacy



> _______________________________________________

> Athen mailing list

> Athen at athenpro.org

> http://athenpro.org/mailman/listinfo/athen_athenpro.org



Stacy Smith
Adaptive Technology Specialist, Disability Support Services
stacylee at ksu.edu


One does not need buildings, money, power, or status to practice the Art of
Peace. Heaven is right where you are standing, and that is the place to

--Morehei Ueshiba

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