[Athen] Advice for colleague in Ireland

Wink Harner wink.harner at mcmail.maricopa.edu
Thu May 24 07:06:54 PDT 2007

Hi Enda,

A partial reply to some of your questions. And I am speaking about my previous
college post, not the current one.

While Disability Resource Coordinator at South Mountain Community College
in Phoenix, AZ, I was able to establish a 3-way partnership. To establish
an assistive technology center for the campus, I wrote a 3-year plan for
the college capital budget. We secured a total of $70,000 in technology,
and my goal was to use ANYTHING that could go through open-portal access,
or at the very least, be open site license. The college district provided
the seed money in three layers --groundwork, build-up, and final phase. The
open portal design was not possible at this site because the college's server
software and multiple sites did not allow for it. We went for open site licenses
wherever possible. JAWS and WYNN WIZARD were installed with open site licenses
(really $$ but totally worth it!). Dragon Dictate, by the way, must reside
on individual computers, not on a server, although we managed to convince
the IT dept. to dedicate server space to store student voice files so those
students who did not have access to a computer off campus would have a place
to store their files. Part of the partnership included technology services
rolling our new equipment (hardware) and software into their 2-4-6 replacement
plan so DRS would not have to continually write budget proposals to replace
equipment & purchase license upgrades. New technology, however, was a different
critter! That we were to write into our budget ourselves! A third partner
in the mix turned out to come from the community --the City of Phoenix put
through a bond proposal which included a public library on the college campus.
My intention was to establish an assistive technology center housed in the
new library that the community residents would be able to take advantage
of. The City was to house the equipment and share the cost of training, maintenance
and upgrades.

That project got off the ground successfully. I will follow up with the new
DRS coordinator and see how he is working with it.

In my "new" position at Mesa College, we (DRS) are primarily responsible
for alt.text production, but are partnering with Media Services and our Center
for Teaching & Learning to do captioning of all kinds. We also have partnered
with various departments to showcase, use and maintain the licensing costs
of a variety of assistive technology, including an open site license for

Hope this helps you with "ammunition" for your discussion with your upcoming

Blessings in abundance

Ms. Wink Harner
Disability Resources & Services
Mesa Community College
Mesa, AZ

>-- Original Message --

>Date: Thu, 24 May 2007 11:08:00 +0100

>From: Enda P Guinan <enda.guinan at nuim.ie>

>To: Access Technologists in Higher Education Network <athen at athenpro.org>

>Subject: [Athen] Advice for colleague in Ireland

>Reply-To: Access Technologists in Higher Education Network <athen at athenpro.org>



>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


>Athen mailing list

>Athen at athenpro.org


Ms. Wink Harner
Disability Resources & Services
Mesa Community College
Mesa AZ


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