[Athen] Software licensing for student use on laptops

Julie Balassa jbalassa at valenciacollege.edu
Wed Oct 10 12:49:50 PDT 2012

+1 for what Dan said. Our major software apps are networked and are on the images of most of our labs (exceptions are labs where they test viruses, for obvious reasons). We do have the License to Go option in K3000 ( we still have v.11) but we have so few licenses that it's hard to make decisions to reduce them, even for a term. We also extended our site license of Dolphin Easy Reader to student home use, which has been very successful. Other than that, sadly students are on their own except for those supported by an agency like DBS or those who can benefit sufficiently from the free software. Some folks here too feel that home use technologies are "personal" and we don't provide them. My feeling is that especially for using alt format files we provide, some AT software for home use not only cuts down on our production time but also makes life much easier for students. I've been trying for some time to get R&W Gold adopted here with the unlimited home use license, no go yet. I really believe that type of infrastructure level provision has great benefit.


Julie K. Balassa
Assistant Director, Office for Students with Disabilities
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From: athen-list-bounces at mailman1.u.washington.edu [mailto:athen-list-bounces at mailman1.u.washington.edu] On Behalf Of Dan Comden
Sent: Wednesday, October 10, 2012 3:08 PM
To: Access Technology Higher Education Network
Subject: Re: [Athen] Software licensing for student use on laptops

Hi Kathy
I agree that the times are changing and we need to think of new approaches.

At the University of Washington, we have pushed AT out to most of the primary desktop locations on campus that are shared use workstations. This means that SWDs don't have to come to a specific location or workstation in order to have access to AT. This is the case for IT-supported workstations, and we are making progress with facilities at the departmental level.

(By the way, demand for desktop computing does not seem to be diminishing from where I sit). If anything, mobile devices may have increase demand, because it is difficult to print, run relevant apps, and get the CPU cycles needed for some tasks)

Part of our challenge here is that the policy has been that we do not provide applications to students to run on their own computers. Or, at least that used to be the case.

Now students do have access to free software (WIndows operating system, MS Office for Mac and Windows) as a result of their technology fee. It could be argued that if the campus is making these applications available to all students, then students who have AT requirements in order to get to those "free" things should get AT provided as well. However the view has been that the institution does not provide software that is installed on privately owned equipment.

I know this approach is handled differently at other institutions and has been the case for quite a while.

-*- Dan
On Wed, Oct 10, 2012 at 8:24 AM, Kathleen Cahill <kcahill at mit.edu<mailto:kcahill at mit.edu>> wrote:
Hi Colleagues,

More and more, as our students use laptops in ever greater numbers, we find our current model of assistive technology software purchasing and distribution is becoming irrelevant. Right now we have a lab with desktop computers and AT software installed on them which are not getting the use they once did. What kinds of models do some of you have at your universities to loan software to students? Do you loan software for a specific period of time? Do you buy copies of software for students? How do you budget for and fund this?

We know that the AT lab model is becoming a thing of the past but I sure would love to know what you are doing as our AT models evolve.

Thank you,


Kathleen Cahill
Assistive Technology Specialist
MIT ATIC (Assistive Tech. Info. Center)
77 Mass. Ave. 7-143
Cambridge MA 02139
(617) 253-5111<tel:%28617%29%20253-5111>
kcahill at mit.edu<mailto:kcahill at mit.edu>

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-*- Dan Comden danc at uw.edu<mailto:danc at washington.edu>
Access Technology Center www.uw.edu/itconnect/accessibility/atl/<http://www.uw.edu/itconnect/accessibility/atl/>
University of Washington UW Information Technology

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