[Athen] Software licensing for student use on laptops

E.A. Draffan ea at emptech.info
Wed Oct 10 13:29:06 PDT 2012

This is a really interesting topic for us here in the UK with international
students who have disabilities not receiving an allowance for specialist
technologies and support. Many of our universities have networked AT and at
the University of Southampton we have a special room in the main library
with AT and support on hand. We have a similar situation as described by
Dan with an increased number of students bringing their own devices.

We have on our site downloads for free software that can go on a pen drive
http://access.ecs.soton.ac.uk/projects/access-tools (go for the beta
version) This can never replace dedicated software but can help as an
interim. We found the portable apps menu was not very accessible but there
are more of these technologies catalogued by Craig Mill at
http://eduapps.org/ and the QIAT list had a US link to similar apps for a
USB pen drive http://mits.cenmi.org/Resources/MITSFreedomStick.aspx

We also give advice about built in access OS technologies and browser based
ones such as ATbar (www.atbar.org) which is on the university website. I
have lists of add-ons for each browser and we persuade students to share
their technology strategies on LexDis - www.lexdis.org.uk - we have noticed
this is becoming more mobile and tablet slanted compared to our first
incarnation of the site in 2007.

I think you could say we are trying to mix and match to suit students'
preferences! Not easy during times of economic restraint!

Best wishes E.A.

Mrs E.A. Draffan
ECS, University of Southampton,
Tel +44 (0)23 8059 7246
Mobile +44 (0)7976 289103

From: athen-list-bounces at mailman1.u.washington.edu
[mailto:athen-list-bounces at mailman1.u.washington.edu] On Behalf Of Dan
Sent: 10 October 2012 20:08
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> 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
kcahill at mit.edu

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-*- Dan Comden                       danc at uw.edu
    Access Technology Center   www.uw.edu/itconnect/accessibility/atl/
    University of Washington      UW Information Technology

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