[Athen] Advice for colleague in Ireland

Enda P Guinan enda.guinan at nuim.ie
Thu May 24 03:08:00 PDT 2007

Hello ATHENians,

Some of you may be in a position to help me with some hard evidence!

I'm the Assistive Technology Advisor in National University of
Ireland, Maynooth (I met some of you at the conference in Boulder, CO
last year). I and my colleagues in the Disability Office have been
invited to meet our college president and computer services to
discuss our needs.

Naturally I have a nice long list of things to discuss (better
integration of alt format production with the library, computer
services to accept a greater role in the provision of assistive
technology on campus, documented policy on the college production of
digital documents etc etc).

However, Computer Services have told me that they are happy to listen
to my big dreams, but unless I can demonstrate that other "similar
sized institutions" have these in place, it won't be easy to make
these things realities.

A little about us; NUI Maynooth has 6,000 full time students and
maybe 2,000 part time students. It has three faculties: Arts, Social
Sciences and Science and Engineering. We have an Assistive Technology
Centre with 15 networked PCs open 9-6 Mon-Fri, fill-time AT advisor
(me) and some part time student trainers. We have two PCs in an
Assistive Technology Room in the library. Supports for students with
disabilities comes largely from funding from the European Union
rather than the university's core budget. All software on campus is
installed locally. There is goodwill towards our work, but anything
to do with disability is (wrongly) seen as solely our responsibility.
Our equivalent to 508 is not yet robust enough to use as leverage.

So, any similar-sized institutions out there willing to give me
advice on the following?:
1. Are there similar colleges with site licences for Kurzweil,
Inspiration, Dragon etc installed on a central server?
2. Do Computer services in such colleges take a more active role in
the installation and troubleshooting on such packages?
3. Do such colleges have an alt format production system that is not
solely the responsibility of disability services?

Sorry if this is a tad longwinded, but I hope someone out there can help!

Thanks in advance,


Enda P Guinan
Assistive Technology Advisor
Access Office
NUI Maynooth

P: +353 1 708 4654
F: +353 1 708 3838
E: enda.guinan at nuim.ie
W: http://access.nuim.ie
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