[Athen] Working with ICL staff

normajean.brand normajean.brand at hccs.edu
Tue Sep 18 15:11:46 PDT 2007

I am working with a similar situation here, and see a continuing trend
with our academic IT with regards to installation, maintenance and
timeliness, so I'm also open to suggestions and insights.

<going back to lurking and learning from you all>


NJ Brand
Houston Community College-NW
Technical Support and Innovation Center
Assistive Technology Specialist/Sr. Lab Assistant
Town and Country Square Campus
MC 1379 Room RC13
1010 W. Sam Houston Pkwy N.
Houston TX 77043
VM/Office: 713.718.5604
FAX: 713.718.5430
Email: normajean.brand at hccs.edu
http://nwc.hccs.edu <http://nwc.hccs.edu/>


From: athen-bounces at athenpro.org [mailto:athen-bounces at athenpro.org] On
Behalf Of Larry Kiser
Sent: Tuesday, September 18, 2007 2:43 PM
To: athen at athenpro.org
Subject: [Athen] Working with ICL staff


Due to losing an AT person over a year ago, budget cuts and a freeze on
hiring at our institution I took on the responsibility of overseeing our
Adaptive Technologies Lab and institution-wide adaptive workstations
just before the start of the Fall Semester 2007. Besides our main
campus we have four other centers. When our AT staff member left the
lab and other workstations were somewhat neglected but continued to
operate. For example the Instructional Computer Lab techs held our
copies of Kurzweil version 10 for almost a year and only since I took
over has it been installed. The problems are numerous and I seek some

The last AT staff member had administrative rights to install software
and updates at all locations and conduct operational checks. According
to the ICL techs in order to maintain "security and stability of
computers" no one except ICL techs will have administrative rights. Our
administration supports this restriction. That would not be a problem
but for the fact when ICL techs install software they do not conduct
operational checks. If I am informed that computers with adaptive
technologies are back in the labs etc I find that most of the software
is not useable. In August I informed ICL and network staff that
Kurzweil 3000 had a 10.04 update. They continue to install version
10.00 only and consequently the audio output does not function
correctly. We have ZoomText version 8.0. the most recent update for
that version corrects "crashes" when the reading features are activated
with Word 2007. ICL continues to install ZT without the proper update.

ICL staff members I need to deal with insist they cannot install even
JAWS or ZoomText icons on the desktop or start menu due to security
protocols. This hinders our low vision students' access. I have
expressed concerns about ensuring accessibility, as well as enhancing
retention and academic progress of students with disabilities. I have
been told ICL will not install software updates unless a computer quits
working and needs to be ghosted. An ICL staff member expressed the
feeling that adaptive software was only meant for home computers and not
a secure network environment. It has been suggested to me that students
should bring their own computers to school rather than expect that
adaptive software will work on institutional computers or that AT
computer workstations should be off the network with the expectation
they will not be well maintained.

Over the years our institution has moved heavily toward the use of
information and communication technology. Our department matched that
trend in the purchase of a wide array of adaptive software and hardware.
Now due to security measures students with disabilities are in danger of
being relegated to the technological backwaters. The administration
supports the security protocols because a rash of viruses two years ago
shut down the network at a critical time. The ICL department wants our
department to be responsible for the licenses but not the installs. Do
you have any suggestions?

Larry Kiser, Counselor

Disabilities Resource Center

Santa Fe Community College

Gainesville, FL

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