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

Sean Keegan skeegan at htctu.net
Fri Sep 21 11:41:41 PDT 2007

Hi NJ,

> 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.

Is the intent to use BootCamp for OS X or is the intent to use something
like Parallels? Important distinction as with BootCamp (as it presently
exists) you boot into *either* the Windows OS or the Mac OS. Parallels, on
the other hand, runs as a virtual machine from within the Mac OS

The reason I raise this distinction is that it has profound affect upon how
an individual would even log in to the system. My question would be if a
student can independently login to the machine if using the Parallels
environment. Sure, we have had success getting AT to run under the
Parallels environment, but you need to be able to navigate the Mac OS first
in order to get Parallels running.

(Note - With Parallels, we have been able to get both JAWS 7.x, Window-Eyes,
and Dragon Naturally Speaking to work. We were not able to get ZoomText 8.x
to work).

If this is a serious consideration by your IT department, then they are
really bleeding edge. BootCamp is not even released yet, other then the
public beta versions, and if they are making such a decision based on public
betas for campus labs, they have a lot of guts.

> This morning he said he would keep a PC in each classroom and lab for


> who need accommodations if that was acceptable.

I think this needs to really be thought through - particularly for the
classroom environments. The Mac OS and the Windows OS are really different.
What happens when an instructor is teaching from the Mac platform and the
student is on the Windows platform? Not all Windows/Mac applications have
the same features for both platforms. I suspect it could be a *very*
different experience for a student as compared to the rest of the class.

As Pratik mentioned, there are some legitimate uses for each platform and,
provided that the various issues are considered and addressed, then it may
be an option.

Take care,
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