[Athen] Advice for colleague in Ireland

E.A. Draffan ea at emptech.info
Thu May 24 12:47:05 PDT 2007

Hello Enda - I am very happy to have a chat as there are many universities
who have a system such as you describe. It may be worth also ringing Lesley
Morrice at Nottingham University as she has experience in all aspects of
this type of service.

Swansea has a centre in the library http://www.swan.ac.uk/lis/library/ for
transcriptions and Cardiff have assistive technologies under information
services heading

But if you are looking for universities with numbers of around 10,000 the
HESA stats show that contact with Aston, Bolton, Essex, Gloucester, Imperial
College, Lincoln, Liverpool Hope, Roehampton, Southampton Solent, Sussex,
St. Andrews, Bangor or Herriot Watt would probably provide you with
information similar to your situation.

As an aside Paresh Raval has a specialist service at St Andrews
http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/itsold/special-needs/afs.shtml for alternative

Here at Southampton the main Information Service has put AT across the
networks and there is a specialist centre in the Library.

I do hope this helps a bit.

Best Wishes E.A.

Mrs E.A. Draffan (07976 289103)
Learning Societies Lab
ECS, University of Southampton


From: athen-bounces at athenpro.org [mailto:athen-bounces at athenpro.org] On
Behalf Of Enda P Guinan
Sent: Thursday, May 24, 2007 1:57 PM
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 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

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

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/>
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