Scott Underwood, CUNY Assistive Technology Services (CATS)
Scott Underwood is an Assistive Technology Specialist and has been working with CATS since 2006. He researches trends in assistive technology and helps keep CUNY campuses at the forefront of practices by recommending solutions for services to students with disabilities as well as panning and delivering on site training to the AT staff of the various SSD offices. He is also webmaster of the CATS website, CATSweb, located http://catsweb.cuny.edu/. Scott has been working in the information and assistive technology fields since 1999.
Session 1B: Free and Open College Textbooks: Increasing Access and Opportunity
Eric Frank, Co-founder and President; Flat World Knowledge
Robin Seaman, Director of Content Acquisition; Bookshare/Benetech
Betsy Burgess, Director of Marketing; Bookshare/Benetech
Emerging as a growing alternative to high-priced, static traditional textbooks, free and open textbooks are moving to the mainstream in higher education, dramatically reducing costs while also increasing format flexibility and access, including access for students with disabilities. This session overviews the basics of open licensing, new publishing models based on open content, and the flexibility/accessibility of open texts with a specific discussion of the needs of students with disabilities.
10:35 AM: Break
10:45 AM – 11:45 AM
Session 2A: Math Instruction for Blind and Low Vision Students
Stanley Hirschberg, Lighthouse International
Stanley Hirschberg is currently the Manager of Academic Services at Lighthouse International, a vocational rehabilitation agency for the blind. He has been a teacher of people who are visually impaired for almost 35 years. His focus is the evaluation and training of people, who are visually impaired/blind designed to help his students achieve their GED, prepare themselves to meet the academic and social demands of college, or improve specific academic skills to achieve their vocational goal. His academic credentials are: BS in Elementary Education City College 1971
MS in Education/Learning Disabilities Fordham University 1973; MS in Special Education Rehabilitation Teaching for Visually Impaired Hunter College 1996.
Other responsibilities include a consultant role with the American Council of Education. In 2001, prior to the introduction of the GED 2002, he reviewed the GED for test bias against visually impaired GED candidates, and recommended and revised the test to eliminate any bias.
Mr. Hirschberg’s presentation on teaching math to low vision/blind students is based on concepts of rehabilitation teaching as well as math instruction. He will present his recommendations for a teaching platform that will both accommodate the needs of the visually impaired and respect the integrity of the subject being taught.
Session 2B: Provision and Procurement of ASL Interpreting Services
Jane Rizzuto, Coordinator, LaGuardia Community College; Program for Deaf Adults, Interpreter Services
Jane Rizzuto has been involved in placing interpreters for almost 20 years, in both a post-secondary education setting and in a referral agency. Previously, she worked for New York Society for the Deaf (now a division of FEGS) for eight years as Director of the Long Island Service Center and then as Director of the Interpreting Referral Service, which placed interpreters throughout metro New York City and Long Island before assuming her current position in 2001.
This presentation will give an overview of assessing interpreting needs; considerations for hiring interpreters directly or placing through an agency; optimizing the services while minding your budget; rights and responsibilities of all those involved (customer, consumer, agency and interpreters); and resources to support providing these services.
11:45 AM: Break
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
Session 3A: CUNY Library Access
Dr. Sara Rofofsky Marcus, Electronic Resources and Web Librarian, Queensborough Community College
Prof. Scott Sheidlower, Head of Information Literacy, York College
Prof. Susan Voge, Head of Reference Dept, Disability Services Liaison, Lehman College
Presentation topics will include:
Working with book and journal database vendors for product accessibility on various devices; New features of library article databases that help with hidden and other disabilities; Low and high tech resources of the NY Public Library Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library; How campus libraries and Disability Services Offices coordinate for student services
Session 3B: Accessible Information Technology: You Can Do It!
Norm Coombs, Ph.D., CEO of EASI (Equal Access to Software and Information)
Norman Coombs, Ph.D. is the CEO of EASI (Equal Access to Software and Information) as well as professor emeritus from the Rochester Institute of Technology where he taught history for 36 years. Since retiring, he has moved to California and is the CEO for EASI.
Coombs pioneered RIT’s distance learning program and was chosen as New York State CASE, (Council for the Advancement and Support of Education), “Teacher of the Year” award in 1990 for using computers in teaching. In 1998, he was selected Man of the Year Award by AHEAD, in 2000, he was the recipient of the Francis Joseph Campbell Award of the American Library Association for work in helping libraries to meet the needs of customers with disabilities and in 2007 received the Richard Johnson Pioneers in Educational Technology Award from the Western Cooperative on Educational Technology.
This presentation will remove the jargon out of making information technology content accessible. Much of what is available on the topic is written by technology experts for technology people. Unless you are designing advanced Web content, you can create accessible content using authoring applications you already know such as Microsoft Office and only need to learn a couple accessibility features. The main skill is to learn to use the professional document markup aspects of Office.