[Athen] Budget cuts and Assistive Technology in campus computer labs, & Disability Service technology campus availability (Paul E. Paire)

Martha Velasquez mvelasquez at berkeley.edu
Thu Jul 2 11:59:49 PDT 2015

Hello Aura,

I'm sorry to hear about the budget cuts on your campus.

The UCB settlement agreement with DRA does require that we have AT software
installed on computers. We did come up with a "Basic AT package" that needs
to be installed on at least 1 workstation in each of our general access
computer labs.

The "Basic AT package" consists of free open source software but we also
hold a campus license to Kurzweil which is now being installed on all
computers as part of the campus computer image.

Here is the link to our settlement agreement:

You can find the part about AT software on page 8.

Let me know if I can answer any questions. I hope this helps! Good luck!



On Thu, Jul 2, 2015 at 10:57 AM, Aura Mollick Hirschman <hirschma at uwm.edu>


> Hi All. In addition to Bryon's timely question, I would like to add:



> My campus (and our system) is facing severe cuts, as you may have

> already heard. We have General Access Computer Labs/Lounges around campus

> that have AT software, (e.g. JAWS, ZoomText, Kurzweil, R&WG). The question

> came up today in a meeting with IT as to whether we need all of these in

> the labs. This question is being asked in light of the budget cuts, but

> also given all of the new accessibility features in Windows 8 and the

> accessibility features in the Mac. I do not equate the Windows updates or

> Mac updates with providing the AT (referred to in our meeting as

> accessibility software) that students need, but this seems to be the way

> that the IT folks are thinking. We discussed individualized accommodations,

> ADA, and accessibility. I explained how students use AT according to their

> disability, skills and abilities, environment, and tasks, and how their

> preferences are important in determining what is reasonable for the

> individual.



> At the meeting we agreed that we would look into student use statistics

> for our AT installed in the labs. This will include the last two years. We

> also agreed that I would gather info from other campuses on how, where and

> what AT is needed to insure we are meeting the needs of all of our

> students, considering retention, but also recruitment.



> Here are some questions. How do you make AT available in your campus

> computer labs? If a student transitions to college after using one type of

> AT, like Kurzweil, through K-12, is it reasonable to expect them to change

> to another type of AT, such as RWG, if that is all that is available

> through the school? Is there any guidance out there as to what a campus

> should minimally offer in AT? Has this been tested in the courts? How many

> students do you think look at AT offerings when making their decisions to

> come to a campus? (none, some, many?) Any data? Feel free to respond here

> or get in touch by phone.



> I'm also watching the responses to Bryon's recent inquiry. Thanks for

> reading through my wordy questions.



> Aura



> Aura M. Hirschman, M.S., C.R.C.

> Senior Counselor/Alternative Text Program Coordinator

> University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Accessibility Resource Center

> Mitchell Hall, Room 103

> 3203 North Downer Avenue

> Milwaukee, WI 53211-3153


> phone (414) 229-5660

> fax (414) 229-2237


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Alternative Media Supervisor
Disabled Students' Program
University of California, Berkeley
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