[Athen] Assistive/adaptive software & hardware & iMac... oh my

Pratik Patel pratikp1 at gmail.com
Fri Sep 21 09:04:03 PDT 2007


I'd slightly disagree with Phillip's point here. More and more software is
being made available for the OSX platform that AT users with disabilities
can use. While it may be true that the platform doesn't have as much choice
when it comes to AT software and the machines are a little more expensive
than your typical PC's, the platform has traction and is not going away any
time soon. In fact, there's evidence that OSX is growing in popularity. TO
answer your original question, you can run screen readers by
installing/dualbooting the MAC machine into Windows. Many users (including
myself) have done just that. Apple's Voiceover screen reader is not yet as
powerful as screen readers designed for Windows, but it's getting there.
Looking at the projected features slated to appear in OSX Leopard, I'll be
impressed at the progress in the past few years. I would suggest that you
look at www.atmac.org for some other AT choices. Follow the links.

As AT professionals, we cannot afford to ignore any potential platforms
including OSX and Linux whether we like a particular platform or not. And,
there are some legitimate uses for each platform.


From: athen-bounces at athenpro.org [mailto:athen-bounces at athenpro.org] On
Behalf Of normajean.brand
Sent: Friday, September 21, 2007 11:38 AM
To: Access Technologists in Higher Education Network
Subject: Re: [Athen] Assistive/adaptive software & hardware & iMac... oh my


All of the concerns you have listed I have brought to the table, however you
are correct when you 'smelled' a Mac fanatic - the dept head. The IT folks
are made up of 3/4 PC and 1/4 dual users but they of course will do whatever
is handed down. I use both however it is a matter of using the right tool
for the job, and a Mac of any breed is not the right tool for assistive
technology IMHO. Right now I am the lone voice for assistive software and
hardware. I think that part of the reasoning, from his perspective, is that
Macs are easier to maintain, less problematic than PCs and the other part is
'they just look cooler, more hip and inline with today's generation of
users.' This morning he said he would keep a PC in each classroom and lab
for those who need accommodations if that was acceptable.

I guess my fear is that is like putting a label on the student and saying
"look at me" instead of blending with the rest of the students. The other
fear is having to go to the purchasing dept and begging them to fund
assistive software and hardware that **will** work with Macs.

Thank you for your input!



From: athen-bounces at athenpro.org [mailto:athen-bounces at athenpro.org] On
Behalf Of Phillip Goodman
Sent: Thursday, September 20, 2007 8:38 PM
To: 'Access Technologists in Higher Education Network'
Subject: Re: [Athen] Assistive/adaptive software & hardware & iMac... oh my

Not to bash Macs, nothing wrong with them for those who prefer to limit the
applications they can run, the bottom line is that Macs only account for a
small percentage of the computers being used worldwide.

It sounds like a huge waste of money in both equipment and IT staff time to
me. What is the point? If they want both Mac and IBM compatible machines
why don't they have some of each? Macs have always been more expensive that
PC's (apples to apples) and now they want to make sure they are paying more
for ALL the workstations as opposed to half (or less)!. There are known
issues with running some of the accommodations software using the Boot Camp
and or Parallels boot systems, but I doubt they have investigated these
issues. Have they given a reasonable explanation for why they want to do

I smell an equipment deal or a Mac fanatic somewhere here!

Phillip A. Goodman B.S. OTR/L

Assistive Technology Consultant

From: athen-bounces at athenpro.org [mailto:athen-bounces at athenpro.org] On
Behalf Of normajean.brand
Sent: September 20, 2007 8:01 PM
To: Access Technologists in Higher Education Network
Subject: [Athen] Assistive/adaptive software & hardware & iMac... oh my

Fellow ATHENians,

Is anyone on the list using assistive/adaptive software (ZoomText, JAWS,
Kurzweil, WYNN, etc.) installed on an iMac? And, if so, how successfully?

The Academic IT Support team, where I am employed, is considering pulling
all PCs from the classrooms and labs and installing iMacs, with Windows OS
running in the background or foreground depending on the boot sequence. I
have used Macs off and on since 1984 and they have some very good qualities
about them, however I am concerned that ZoomText and other assistive
software and possibly hardware will not run effectively, or at all, on the
iMac environment. Not to mention segregating and calling attention to those
users who may need the PC environment to access learning materials with
assistive/adaptive software and hardware, I have major concerns regarding
this plan of action.

Any thoughts? Constructive suggestions/criticisms welcome. Dodging bullets
here as they try to shoot the messenger...

Thank you for sharing...


Personal Mission Statement
Integrity, trust, commitment and talent is the foundation of my existence.
My dedication to providing the highest level of technical expertise to help
solve client's problems is why I'm here. I strive to create, innovate, and
research solutions to meet and exceed expectations.
-- NJ Brand
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: <mailto:normajean.brand at hccs.edu> normajean.brand at hccs.edu
<http://nwc.hccs.edu/> http://nwc.hccs.edu

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://mailman12.u.washington.edu/pipermail/athen-list/attachments/20070921/7263e433/attachment.html>

More information about the athen-list mailing list