[Athen] Advice for colleague in Ireland

Terry Thompson tft at u.washington.edu
Thu May 24 07:58:41 PDT 2007

Hi Edna,

We at ATHEN are currently developing a series of surveys that will help to
answer your questions. Our goal is to identify the state of AT and IT
accessibility in higher education, including where the responsibilities tend
to lie within institutions. In fact, your email may provide the survey team
with just the motivation needed to finalize the survey instrument! Right,
team? Thanks, Edna, for the nudge.

Meanwhile, we conducted a similar survey in 2004. The tabulated data is
available here:

And a summary article was published in the EDUCAUSE Center for Applied
Research (ECAR) Research Bulletin in 2005, and is available here:

With one exception all of the responses in the 2004 survey were from the
U.S. With the upcoming survey we'll be more actively pursuing international
participation, particularly from Canada and the UK.



From: athen-bounces at athenpro.org [mailto:athen-bounces at athenpro.org] On
Behalf Of Enda P Guinan
Sent: Thursday, May 24, 2007 5:57 AM
To: Access Technologists in Higher Education Network
Subject: Re: [Athen] Advice for colleague in Ireland

Thanks Daniel,

I might not have expressed myself clearly enough, I think.

We have an established AT service so we're OK on the software etc needed,
but we need to make a case for institution-wide changes in the way our
service is delivered. UCD is one of the largest colleges in Ireland (30,000
students), so would not be suitable as a comparison.

I'm looking for advice from a small institute (fewer than 10,000 students),
probably in the US or UK, who may already have the kinds of facilities I
described in the first email, namely,

a) AT software installed centrally rather than locally.
b) AT software installation and maintenance mainstreamed as part of Computer
Services rather than by the Disability Service and
c) An alt format system in place perhaps in conjunction with the library.



12:44 24/05/2007, you wrote:

Content-type: multipart/alternative;
Content-class: urn:content-classes:message

Good Morning Enda,

One of your best resources in the UK is fellow ATHEN member E.A Draffan (who
will also be the keynote speaker at AHG this year).

In Ireland proper I recommend contact Ted Harvey at UC-Dublin:
Ted is well versed in many areas of AT and runs a proper lab that may
fulfill your demonstration needs.

Cheers --- Dann
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 (eMail)


From: athen-bounces at athenpro.org [ mailto:athen-bounces at athenpro.org
<mailto:athen-bounces at athenpro.org> ] On Behalf Of Enda P Guinan
Sent: Thursday, May 24, 2007 6:08 AM
To: Access Technologists in Higher Education Network
Subject: [Athen] Advice for colleague in Ireland

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

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

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 <http://access.nuim.ie/>
Athen mailing list
Athen at athenpro.org

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