The articles published in the ALERT represent the opinions of the authors and are not an endorsement by the Association or necessarily representative of the views of the Association.
International News and Opportunities
— International Study & Exchange Opportunities
— Disability Networking Across Borders
— Exchange Pioneers Fellowships
— Strengthening Ties
— Australian Report on Students with Disabilities
— International Conferences
— Doug Martin Obituary
— Bartlett Case Update
— Academic Performance of DSS Students
— Questions to Ponder About Universal Design
— E-Books: Ideas on How to Find Them
— NFB Newsline
— ELA Scholarship Announcement
— Charlotte's Web
From the President
AHEAD President Goes to Japan
As promised in my short article for the November issue, introducing my long speech, I'd like to share with you some highlights of my trip to Japan to speak at an annual conference of the Tsukuba College of Technology (TCT).
Tsukuba is a city of some 175 thousand residents, located within about a 90-minute drive-by automobile from Tokyo. The city houses some 40 national research centers, Tsukuba University, and TCT, a technical College for the blind and deaf. Students there study under high standards of achievement and go on to considerable career success.
Programs available to deaf and hearing-impaired students since 1990 are: design, mechanical engineering, architectural engineering, information science, and Electronics. Programs available to the blind and visually impaired are: acupuncture and moxibustion, physical therapy, and computer science (with both business and programming concentrations).
TCT has formal relationships in the United States with NTID in Rochester, New York, and with the University at Buffalo, and in the Republic of Austria with Johannes Kepler University of Linz.
TCT sends students to NTID and UB campuses for an educational experience American-style. I happen to know more about the relationship with UB, since I am director of disability services there, than of that with NTID. At UB, for a few years now, we have had the privilege of hosting a few students each summer at our English Language Institute, a summer ESL program. In 2001, one student from TCT remained at UB for the fall semester to take courses in computer science.
Starting in 2000, TCT began hosting annual national satellite teleconferences, inviting representatives from the above three sister institutions to present. The 2002 Conference Committee invited me to come and speak about postsecondary education and disability in the United States. The conference was beamed to 13 postsecondary institutions in Japan as well as to NTID and to UB.
It was all very exciting and all very complicated. Ordinarily, my public speaking is more informal and impromptu, but for this occasion I had to script every word and submit it in advance to an English-Japanese translator. Meeting with the translator the day before the conference, I found myself craving one more opportunity for a final revision and editing, but it was pretty much too late for that. At the conference I spoke in English, the English-Japanese translator spoke in Japanese, and a JSL interpreter signed while a CART transcriptionist provided open captioning in Japanese for the overhead projector and the satellite transmission. After conference presentations, a Q&A session took place, involving participants at other teleconference sites. Presentations were also made by speakers from NTID and Kepler.
Plenty of social life took place, though an after-conference cocktail party had to be moved onto campus and then canceled a little early, because of the worst typhoon to hit Japan since before World War II. My host was Martin Pauly, an ESL teacher from the United States, who has lived and taught in Japan for some 20 years. He has brought several students to UB to visit, some of whom have returned for ESL classes. While in Japan I visited one of Martin's classes, and several of his students and my translator took my wife, Linda, and me out for a formal Japanese dinner at an eel restaurant. I also got to meet the president of TCT, Dr. Nishijo Kazushi, who is visually impaired and conducts scientific research in the fields of acupuncture and moxibustion. I even had lunch with an AHEAD member, one of three in Japan. Unfortunately I never caught and retained his name and, worse, lost his business card. So I can't acknowledge him here, for which I apologize.
Something anyone with an Internet browser can enjoy is the page of beautiful flower photography available as a link on TCT's homepage at www.tsukuba-tech.ac.jp/docs/photos-e.htm. Featured are scores of flowers which can be seen throughout the four seasons in Tsukuba. They make great desktop items for one's computer.
I thoroughly enjoyed my visit and I would hope to return someday to visit such kind and wonderful folk.
From the Editor
I hope everyone had a chance to take a break over the winter holiday to re-charge their batteries. I always feel like the bulk of the tough work gets done in the winter, when we're not distracted by the rush of new students and allure of spring breezes. This issue of the ALERT certainly demonstrates that our colleagues are working on some great things this winter. It is wonderful that so many people have contributed such a variety of articles for this issue. There is a definite international flavor this time, with lots of information about international professional development and exchange opportunities, not to mention more details about Randy's adventures in Japan. There are also some very informative pieces on issues from student success rates to universal design issues. I hope you enjoy this issue of the ALERT, and that you will consider contributing an article in the future. If you have any suggestions or comments, please be sure to contact me at mailto:email@example.com.
Don't miss these upcoming events, conferences, and opportunities to share your knowledge.
ALERT submission and publication dates:
Submissions Due: Publication Date:
May 2, 2003 May 30, 2003
August 1, 2003 August 29, 2003
October 24, 2003 November 21, 2003
Please keep those articles coming!
Calls for Proposals:
The University of Arizona Strategic Alternative Learning Techniques (SALT) Center Call for Papers and Presentations for their 2nd annual conference, October 17 and 18: Beyond Accommodations: Promoting Success for Postsecondary Students with LD/ADHD
Submission Deadline: March 31, 2003
Details can be found at: http://www.salt.arizona.edu/saltconference.htm.
"Accessing Higher Ground" Assistive Technology & Accessible Media In Higher Education, November 12-14, 2003 at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Keynote Speaker: Beth Finke, NPR Commentator & Author.
The University of Colorado at Boulder invites speaker proposals for its 6th annual Accessing Higher Ground Conference. The conference will take place on the Boulder campus. The conference focuses on the implementation and benefits of Assistive Technology in the university and college setting. Other topic areas cover legal and policy issues, including ADA and 508 compliance, and making campus media and information resources, including Web pages and library resources, accessible. Out-of-town speakers will receive a 50% discount off conference registration fees. Local speakers will receive a 25% discount.
To see a list of past workshops or obtain a presenter application form, visit our conference page at the URL below. Please mail, fax or e-mail the completed application to Disability Services at CU-Boulder by March 28 if you are interested in presenting.
Howard Kramer at 303-492-8672 or via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Conference URL: www.colorado.edu/sacs/ATconference
Speaker proposal form: spot.colorado.edu/~hkramer/ahg2003.
Check out these offerings from our colleagues in the fields of disability and higher education:
The Center on Disabilities at California State University, Northridge Presents its 18th Annual International Conference "Technology and Persons with Disabilities" March 17-22, 2003, in Los Angeles, CA. For more information, check out www.csun.edu/cod/conf/2003/genconfinfo03.htm#schedule.
Excellence through Equity conference, March 21-23, 2003, at the University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada. Go to www.utoronto.ca/equity.htm for details.
ACPA 2003 Convention: Educating Students: One Purpose - 10,000 Approaches, March 29-April 2, 2003, in Minneapolis. See www.acpa.nche.edu/Convention/Convention2003/homepage.cfm for details.
Missouri Ahead hosts Great Plains Regional Spring Conference with Jane Jarrow as featured speaker April 9 - 11 in Linwood, Kansas. Registration deadline March 7, contact email@example.com for more information.
The Dean College Institute for Students with Disabilities presents Bridges to College Success Conference -- Addressing Access and Transitions for Students with Disabilities, May 28-29, 2003, in Franklin, Massachusetts. For more information, go to www.dean.edu/specialinterest/institute.html.
15th Annual Postsecondary Disability Training Institute, June 3-7 in Mystic, Connecticut. The objective of this Training Institute is to help concerned professionals meet the unique needs of college students with disabilities. Participants can select from a variety of Strands and Single Sessions taught by experts in the field that provide participants with in-depth information and adequate time for questions and follow-up activities. Participants also have opportunities to share information and network with each other at various activities throughout the week. See www.cped.uconn.edu for more information.
Canadian University and Student Services conference (CACUSS) - Imagine the Learning, June 15-18, in Vancouver, British Columbia. For more information on this event go to the website of www.cacuss.ca.
RESNA 26th International Conference on Technology & Disability: Research, Design, Practice, & Policy, June 19-23, 2003, in Atlanta, GA. Check www.resna.org/conferences/ for details.
AHEAD TRIO Training Program
Rhonda H. Rapp, Ph.D. AHEAD's TRIO Training Director, describes AHEAD's new and improved training program for TRIO personnel.
AHEAD has been the premiere provider of disability training for TRIO personnel for nearly twenty years. AHEAD is pleased to announce that as a result of the re-funding of its TRIO Training Grant, this tradition of offering comprehensive and interactive training exclusively for TRIO personnel will continue.
Based on participant and trainer feedback, this year's training curriculum has been significantly re-vamped. AHEAD's focus of this TRIO training cycle is on strategies that TRIO personnel (including tutors, counselors and mentors) can utilize as they work with their TRIO students with disabilities. There are numerous plenary and concurrent sessions available for training participants. The training includes sessions on:
- TRIO Students with Disabilities
- TRIO Regulations and Students with Disabilities
- Overview of Specific Disabilities
- Confidentiality and TRIO Students with Disabilities
- Working with TRIO Students with Learning Disabilities
- Transition Issues and TRIO Students with Disabilities
- Disabilities and TRIO Students of Color
- ADA & 504
- The Impact of Documentation Guidelines on Low-Income and Minority Students
- Adaptive Technology and TRIO Students with Disabilities
- TRIO Students with Psychological Disabilities
- Using Documentation to Aid TRIO Students with Disabilities
- TRIO Students with ADHD
- TRIO Students with Sensory Impairments or Speech Disorders
- Working with TRIO Students with Mobility Impairments
- Working with TRIO Students with Acquired Brain Impairments
- Working with TRIO Students with Chronic Health/Systemic Impairments
The AHEAD TRIO Training program will be utilizing ten trainers for this year's training workshops. Current program trainers include, Rhonda H. Rapp, Ph.D. from the University of the Incarnate Word, who is the program's training director. She has over twenty years experience as an educational diagnostician, eleven years experience as a disability service provider for a community college and has been the Director of a TRIO/SSS program for the past year and a half. Connie Chiba, Ph.D. is the Disability Services Coordinator and TRIO/SSS Project Director for the University of California-Berkeley. She is also a seasoned AHEAD trainer. Rick Jeffries, M.Ed. is from Polk Community College in Florida where he is the Counselor for the TRIO/SSS program. He is also and adjunct professor in psychology. Terry MacDonald M.S. is the Learning Specialist for the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics and an adjunct instructor for the School of Education at Syracuse University. She to is a seasoned AHEAD trainer. Eve Nichols, at Metropolitan State University in St. Paul Minnesota, has worked with students with disabilities and TRIO students since 1987. She is a previous member of the AHEAD TRIO Training Corp. Tim King, Ph.D. is the Director of the Center for Students with Disabilities at the University of Arkansas. He also has experience as a Counselor in the TRIO/SSS program at the University of Alabama. William Pollard, M.S. is a first-generation college graduate and a TRIO alumnus. He has 18 years experience working with TRIO eligible students and has been an assistant disability support services director. William is a long time AHEAD TRIO trainer. Bruce Pomeroy, M.A. is the Director of the TRIO/SSS program at Broome Community College in Binghamton, New York. He has over twenty-five years of TRIO experience and has been a trainer for the AHEAD TRIO Training Corp. for several years. Tim Rasch, M.S. has been the manager of Academic Support at St. Philip's College in San Antonio, Texas for the past five years. He is also a program instructor for the TRIO/SSS program at the University of the Incarnate Word.
If you would like more information about AHEAD's TRIO Training Program, simply go to the AHEAD web site and click on: TRIO Training Opportunities.
AHEAD 2003 Conference News
The latest information about the upcoming conference from Tom L. Thompson, the Program Chair.
Hope you are planning on joining us in Dallas, Texas this coming July! This will be a 'hot' conference that you won't want to miss. Our conference theme is "Advancing our Profession: Refining our Vision" and many sessions and topics will focus on moving ahead for the next 25 years - what are our key hopes and strategies. Some of the features of this conference include:
- A new location (and dates July 8 - 12th), the Hyatt Regency at Reunion, that offers more accessibility and better hotel features.
- Plenary sessions on:
- "Strategic Alliances" looking at how DSS and Student Affairs can effectively collaborate locally and nationally.
- "Advocacy and Leadership" by World Institute of Disability speaker Kathy Martinez.
- "Federal Courts in Review" looking at key cases/decisions which have occurred in the past year.
- "Universal Speaking" looking at principles and practices of Universal Design (culmination of a strand on this topic).
- Opportunities to learn and network through over 70 Concurrent sessions, over 20 Poster sessions and a variety of Pre-Conference seminars.
- Separate scheduling of the AHEAD Business meeting followed by an open Town Hall meeting.
Bring your ideas and an eagerness to learn and share with your colleagues. Be a part of shaping the future of our profession and our association! Look to the AHEAD 2003 Conference pages after March 15, 2003.
Tom L. Thompson
Program Chair 2003 AHEAD Conference
"In The Trenches: What Works In Higher
National Telecast/Faculty Development Opportunity
Virginia Commonwealth University's Professional Development Academy is sponsoring a live telecast on March 26, 2003, entitled "In The Trenches: What Works In Higher Education Instruction." This telecast will feature faculty from various colleges and universities nationwide who will discuss effective strategies for teaching students with disabilities.
The U.S. Department of Education's Office of Post Secondary Education (OPE) funded 21 faculty development demonstration projects from 1999 until 2002. Designed to ensure students with disabilities receive a quality higher education, these projects have developed training resources, instructional materials, and products to enhance the instructional skills of faculty. This telecast will highlight best practices in instructional strategies and course development, address accessible technology applications, and disseminate a resource book that summarizes outcomes and training products from each of the 21 projects.
If you are interested in down linking this informative telecast, and learning how faculty are using innovative instructional strategies, creative teaching methods, and educational technology to address the unique learning needs of students with disabilities, see the Professional Development Academy website at:
For questions about registration, contact Roberta Martin at (804) 827-0737 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Disability Services Masters Program: The
First 10 Years
Prof. W. E. Hitchings, Professor of Special Education and Co-ordinator for Graduate Program in Postsecondary Disability Services, reflects on the development and impact of St. Ambrose University's Masters in Disability Services program.
In January 1993, the first graduate student of the St. Ambrose University (Davenport, IA) Masters' in Disability Services was preparing to complete the second phase of her internship and begin her job search for a position in disability services. Furthermore, the faculty was preparing to admit new students to the Class of 1996.
The idea to provide specific training for individuals to work with college students who had disabilities grew out of discussions between Scott Howland, the first director of St. Ambrose University's disability service office, and Darrell Anthony Luzzo, a faculty member in the Psychology Department along with two members of the graduate special education program, Robert Ristow and W. E. Hitchings in the spring of 1991. The discussions centered on how staffs for disability service programs were trained. For example, Mr. Howland received a master's degree in counseling from the University of Iowa. His preparation included an internship in Iowa's disability service office, but his real knowledge of how to 'run' an office came through the on-the-job experiences of dealing with students, faculty, parents and administrators, planning a budget and evaluating the program.
In a survey of disability professionals in the upper Midwest, specifically Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Illinois, it was discovered that many individuals came to disability services by way of rehabilitation counseling, secondary special education, educational psychology and related fields. Prior to coming to higher education, individuals had worked in a variety of human service related occupations such as secondary special education teachers, clinical psychologists, speech therapist, and state or private rehabilitation counselors. Still, others had been English teachers, recreation specialists, and reading teachers. They acquired the skills of interpreting documentation, providing accommodations, assisting faculty, and applying the legal mandates from working with other disability service professionals in the office in addition to networking with colleagues at other institutions.
The SAU 'team' decided to develop a graduate program to provide specific skills to individuals who wanted to work at any level higher education- community colleges, four-year colleges and universities, professional schools, or proprietary schools. Since the largest number of programs served students with learning disabilities (LD), the new degree would emphasize the preparation of an LD generalist who could review documentation, develop accommodations for students, support faculty and administrators, and ultimately, direct disability service offices. To this end, SAU created a three-year, 48-credit-hour master's program with courses in disability law, program administration, assessment, counseling, and an orientation to adults with disabilities. All students were to complete a yearlong, six-credit internship working in a disability service office. The internship experience was to total a minimum of 800 hours, or at least 20 hours per week for 40 weeks.
The initial pool of graduate students was recruited from students hired by the athletic department as graduate assistant coaches in football, basketball and volleyball. The graduate assistants had to work toward a graduate degree through one of graduate programs available at SAU - business, education, physical therapy, or occupational therapy. The next largest group came from SAU's undergraduate programs in education and psychology. The University's administration provided two assistantships specifically for graduate students to work in the SAU disability service office.
In 2000, the program was revised based on a survey of and discussions with the graduates of the program, internship supervisors, and professionals in the field. The focus would shift to the preparation of generalists with skills for entry employment and ultimately, a leadership position. The revision included a greater emphasis on policy development, review of documentation, administrative skills, and the use of assistive technology. While the program was reduced from 48 credits to 39 graduate credits, the internship was to remain at a minimum of 800 hours or 40 hours a week for 20 weeks. The program was changed from 36 months to five semesters over 18 months (web.sau.edu/mds/)
Over the 10 years, our students have interned at four-year institutions in Iowa, Missouri, Illinois and Minnesota, plus Notre Dame, Xavier (OH), Rutgers, and community colleges in Iowa and Illinois. Three others had semester-long internships at EdgeHill University College (UK). After graduation, over 90% of the students have gone onto full-time positions in community colleges and four-year colleges or universities in Missouri, North Carolina, Georgia, Kansas, Ohio, New Jersey, Arizona as well as Iowa.
Professional Development: Certificate of
In addition to preparation of graduate students, the faculty offered workshops from one to five days to professionals working in the upper Midwest. The topics ranged from legal issues and policy, assessment, program evaluation to psychological and learning disabilities. Many participants wanted more professional development opportunities, but were unable to leave their full time positions and families for graduate study.
To help working professionals, the SAU faculty created a certificate program using three existing courses from the graduate disability service program and combined it with a selected course from the university's graduate special education program. The 12-hour certificate program will include two on-line graduate courses in administration (4 credits) and legal issues and policy (3 credits) followed by a weeklong summer courses in assessment (3 credits) and assistive technology (2 credits). If a student desires, he or she can apply the credits to the Master's degree in disability services. Students not interested in graduate credit can take the courses under the SAU continuing education offerings.
For more information, go the SAU website at: web.sau.edu/mds/
or contact: W. E. Hitchings, Professor of Special Education/Co-ordinator
for Graduate Program in Postsecondary Disability Services
208 Ambrose Hall
St. Ambrose University
518 W. Locust St.
Davenport, IA 52803
563-333-6113 Fax 563-333-6297 E-mail email@example.com
Meet the Staff - Tri Do
A continuing series of articles to familiarize AHEAD members with the staff who maintain AHEAD's daily operations.
Name, title, and duties:
Tri Do (tree - doe), Member Services Assistant
I serve as the front-line contact for members of AHEAD at the AHEAD office. Much of my work involves managing AHEAD's publications program, membership records and files, doing layout and preparation of materials AHEAD distributes, referrals for members to resources and assisting in the implementation of AHEAD's annual conference.
How long have you worked with AHEAD?
About 2 years.
What do you like best about your job?
I enjoy the opportunity I have to interact with the members of AHEAD regularly through e-mail and the telephone, the layout and design of graphics and publications, and managing the exhibit hall for the conference.
What are your goals or special projects
for the year at AHEAD?
My goals for this year are to implement an outstanding exhibit hall for the conference, continue to improve and develop new publications for the association, and to continue to provide great customer service to the members of AHEAD.
What should AHEAD members know about you?
I enjoy art (digital and analog), skiing, working on cars, traveling, great food, and spending time playing with remote controlled cars.
Legislative Action ALERT
AHEAD President Randy Borst encourages members to provide input on upcoming federal legislation.
Two very important matters affecting postsecondary students with disabilities are before the United States Congress. First, The FY 2003 spending bill introduced by Rep. Regula (R-OH) eliminates funding for the "Demonstration Projects to Ensure Students with Disabilities Receive a Quality Higher Education" as does President Bush's FY 2003 budget. Over the past 25 years or so that these demonstration projects have been around, scores of thousands of students with disabilities have benefited from then, and the need and worthiness of these students continues.
How can you help? Write to your Congressional representatives and urge them to restore funding to the pending legislation. AHEAD Director of Communication Joanie Friend has prepared text for a sample letter you can use to model your own letter. You can copy and use the text from the AHEAD website by clicking on the following link Sample Letter.
Next, Dr. Friend has reserved time on March 7 to testify in a Congressional Hearing on reauthorization of the Higher Education Act. She plans to address an old financial-aid problem affecting those students whose disabilities prevent them from taking 12 course hours per semester but who are truly involved in their studies full-time. The expenses these students must bear are just as great, or can be even greater than those of other students, and Dr. Friend will be urging the Congressional committee to recommend full Pell grants for these students.
Please contact Joanie and let her know what you think. Are there other matters effecting students with disabilities that could be addressed in the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act? If so, please e-mail her at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here we GROW Again!
AHEAD experiences significant new member growth.
Jim Kessler, Director of Membership, and the staff at the AHEAD Office have been hard at work this winter on new member recruitment and retention of AHEAD's most valuable asset, our current members. The efforts are definitely paying off!
Since December of 2002, AHEAD has gained 109 new members for 2003. Additionally, the rate at which previous year's members are renewing is up 37% over 2002.
The strength of a membership association like AHEAD is the members who make up the Association. AHEAD is growing stronger and getting better, day by day.
Please take a moment to review the list of institutions that have brand new members of AHEAD since December. And remember, if you'd like to reach out and welcome them - you can easily get their names and contact information by using the "institution" search in your Membership Directory online.
The momentum has started, and now it is up to all of us to keep it going strong. If you know someone who might benefit from membership in AHEAD, please refer them to our membership pages.
We're looking forward, not only to growing as a Association, but also to continuing to improve and expand the services you get as a member of AHEAD.
If you have any questions, ideas, or concerns related to your membership in AHEAD; please feel most welcome to contact Jim Kessler directly at:
Director, Department of Disability Services
University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
CB 5100 Steele Building
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-5100 USA
Best wishes to you for a wonderful, productive and peaceful 2003!
AHEAD Awards Student Scholarships
AHEAD is pleased to announce the outstanding students who have been selected to receive its Leadership Scholarship for 2002-2003:
- Kristen Jones from the University of St. Thomas
- Yangling Li from the University of Illinois at Chicago
- Ricky Scott from North Carolina State University
- Nathan Spencer from Rice University
- Jennifer Wagner from the University of Wisconsin, Stout
These students were selected out of a pool of over 75 applicants, the largest in AHEAD's history. All the applicants were excellent, making the selection process difficult. However, these students rose to the top based on their scholarship, leadership and contributions to the disability community. Our thanks go to all the AHEAD members who nominated students from their campuses. A review of the applications makes it clear there are remarkable students studying in colleges and universities throughout the broad geographic areas represented within AHEAD.
AHEAD funds its student scholarship with dollars raised through the Silent Auction, held during the annual conference. While last year's Silent Auction raised over $3000, the caliber and number of applicants made it clear to the Board of Directors that AHEAD members consider having the opportunity to recognize their students to be a valuable membership benefit. As such, Board "initiative funds" were added to the scholarship account to make it possible to award five $1,000 awards. Further, the Board has committed to investigating future funding opportunities for scholarships with the goal of awarding $5,000 each year. The Silent Auction will continue to be a funding source (so, please keep those contributions and bids coming!), but endowments and donors are also being researched. If you have suggestions for fund development to support scholarships, please contact Carol Funckes, Treasurer at email@example.com
AHEAD Presidents Pay a Call on Indiana-AHEAD
AHEAD President Randy Borst reports on a visit to the Indiana-AHEAD semiannual meeting.
Each year, the Immediate past President, President, and President-elect meet to discuss shared responsibilities of their positions and firm up their working relationship for the coming year and to facilitate the rapid transition that comes from the fact that AHEAD has a new President every year. At this year's presidential retreat, we also worked on the proposed changes to the association bylaws.
We decided to meet in October at the Indiana Memorial Union on the campus of Indiana University Bloomington. Immediate Past-president Sam Gooden and I had been invited to return home to present at the semiannual meeting of Indiana-AHEAD, the professional association that Sam and I belonged to when we lived in Indiana, and for a time, even after Sam had moved on to the University of Michigan. So, since he was in town anyway, Grady Landrum, AHEAD's President-elect went to the conference with us and added a helping hand.
IN-AHEAD's conferences typically take place at Bradford Woods, a 40-acre camp owned by Indiana University which hosts children with disabilities as well as the National Center on Accessibility, a research institute of the university. The group stays and has its meetings at the Manor House, a large, rustic, beautiful old mansion, complete with giant fireplace, hardwood floors, slate roof, and formal dining room. In the mid-1990s, the mansion was fully remodeled for general maintenance and for upgrading it to becoming fully accessible to people with disabilities. The University did a gorgeous job of restoring the original beauty of the mansion while adding accessibility features, including an elevator.
A steak dinner is always featured at IN-AHEAD (New York strip steak, if I may say so), and a traditional Indiana farm breakfast fit for Dr. Atkins. It was great to see old friends and make new ones; there is nothing like an Indiana AHEAD-conference to make one feel at home.
Sam, the federal-court and OCR-case packrat, brought along a collection of some of the most significant cases to discuss in an afternoon session, followed by my presentation on disability documentation. The weather was cool, but clear, and after dinner several folks went down to the lake for a bonfire, while others stayed back at the mansion and just hung out.
For the next morning after breakfast, the conference committee had organized a rotation of three sessions, staffed by Sam, Grady and me, which they called "Ask the Experts," but I called "Stump the Chumps." And given some of the high-quality, difficult questions raised to us, I found my name for the session more apt than the official one.
After the morning presentations, the group had its business meeting, in which it voted to apply to international AHEAD as a regional affiliate.
Last but not least, Indiana being the state that Ball State University calls home, twice Past-president of AHEAD Richard Harris found his way to the conference, as he always does. As far as anyone could remember, this was the first time four AHEAD presidents had been present at one regional conference. It was a great time for all, especially for me, I felt. It was as though I had never been away for these past six years. I hope we don't have to wait so long before next time.
New International SIG Chair
Catherine O'Rourke is the new Chair of the International SIG for AHEAD. Catherine is the Coordinator of Disability Services, Loyalist College and has 25 years experience working in the field of special education. She is an advocate of life-long learning and holds a M. Ed. from Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario. Catherine has been an enthusiastic member of AHEAD for over 10 years. She has published a number of resources for professionals working in the field including Special Connections and the Technology and Communication SIG Publication for the College Committee on Disabilities Issues: Ontario. Her area of expertise includes support delivery to students who are either, Deaf or hard of hearing, learning disabled, or traumatic brain injured.
Listserv Service for Special Interest Groups
AHEAD is please to announce the availability of listserv software for our special interest groups. Some of you may already be familiar with the DSSHE-L listserv. Ours works the same way. After joining (subscribing) you're given an e-mail address that you can send to. Your e-mail then gets broadcasted to all of the subscribers. Any responses, in turn, also get sent to the group. Before I explain how to set up a listserv for your SIG, let me introduce our first brave soul:
Career SIG List
The Career Planning and Placement SIG includes individuals from all areas of support services and programs for people with disabilities. This group offers AHEAD members practical strategies on how to empower students and human resource managers to recruit, hire, train, and promote qualified postsecondary students with disabilities in today's diversified work force. This listserv will be the mode of communication between SIG members to share experiences, questions, and concerns. Information will also be disseminated regarding conferences, resources, articles, and anything else we want to share. This SIG will also have an active role in submitting articles to the ALERT and proposals to the International AHEAD conference and will use this listserv to promote this involvement.
International SIG List
If you are the chair of a SIG, please contact Charlotte.Corbett@umb.edu for information for setting up your own listserv.
International News and Opportunities
International Study and Exchange Opportunities
Pamela Houston from Mobility International describes three programs that provide study abroad and professional exchange opportunities for individuals with disabilities. The National Clearinghouse on Disability and Exchange operates Disability Networking Across Borders (see below for more information), which provides international exchange opportunities for professionals working in the disability community. Exchange Pioneers Fellowships (see below) fellowships are awarded to people with disabilities for internships with US-based international exchange offices or organizations. Strengthening Ties on Campus and Abroad (see below) is an initiative that will offer two mini-grants to support cooperative ventures between campus-based disability service providers and education abroad staff in the United States and overseas.
Disability Networking Across Borders
Have you ever wanted to expand your international networking potential? International exchange isn't just for students. Today more and more professionals working in the disability community want to know how they can go about setting up their own exchange. If you are one of a growing number of such individuals, the National Clearinghouse on Disability and Exchange (NCDE) has ideas for you.
The NCDE recently started Disability Networking Across Borders, an initiative for professionals working in disability organizations who want to further their cross-cultural knowledge and resources. This project provides guidelines on how to arrange international exchange opportunities with colleagues in other countries. The tools used in accomplishing this goal include an online bulletin board and a resource publication. The bulletin board will serve as an outlet for people with disabilities and disability professionals to communicate information about their organizations and the types of international exchanges they want to create. Fill out our online form to post messages requesting partners to conduct exchange programs with. A compilation of organizations requesting exchange partners will be posted.
The resource guide, Disability Networking Across Borders: Tips and Resources for Creating Short-Term International Exchange Programs, includes referrals to exchange organizations that could provide assistance in arranging programs. This step-by-step publication lays out ideas for funding, finding partners and handling logistical concerns as well as several other topics. To view the guide or to request exchange partners, go to www.miusa.org, click on "Disability and International Exchange Professionals" and scroll down the page to "Disability Networking Across Borders."
NCDE is managed by Mobility International USA and sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the United States Department of State. For further information, contact NCDE, PO Box 10767, Eugene, OR 97440, (541) 343-1284 (V/TTY), (541) 343-6812 (fax), firstname.lastname@example.org.
Exchange Pioneers Fellowships for Internships
in the International Exchange Field
The National Clearinghouse on Disability and Exchange (NCDE) and the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) are proud to announce the Exchange Pioneers Fellowships. These fellowships will be awarded to people with disabilities in order to obtain internships with US-based international exchange offices or organizations. The incentives will provide opportunities for people with disabilities to gain experience in the international exchange field, and for exchange organizations to become familiar with disability perspectives. These internships can be valuable steppingstones toward employment in an international profession.
Five $2000 fellowships will be awarded to people with disabilities to offset costs associated with completing an internship during spring or summer 2003. Internships must be between 25-40 hours per week for a minimum of three months in length. Interns should plan to support the organization's goals to increase their office and program accessibility. Each recipient will be required to write a publishable article about his/her experience and agree to be a peer mentor to others with disabilities seeking similar experiences.
The fellowship application deadline is March 1, 2003 for spring internships and May 1, 2003 for summer internships. Winners must have applied for internships prior to submitting an application. Fellowships will be granted pending confirmation of internship acceptance. Those searching for potential internship sites can explore the following web page for a list of some international exchange organizations that offer internships: www.miusa.org/participant/interntips.html
For information or an application, contact Mary Ann Higgins, (email@example.com, Tel: 330-854-9048), or Pam Houston at NCDE (firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel/TTY: 541-343-1284). NCDE is sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the US Department of State and managed by Mobility International USA. Visit the websites for more information on NCDE (www.miusa.org) or AAPD (www.aapd-dc.org).
Mini-Grants for Disability & Study Abroad Projects
The National Clearinghouse on Disability and Exchange (NCDE) has extended the deadline for Strengthening Ties on Campus and Abroad, an initiative that will offer two mini-grants to support cooperative ventures between campus-based disability service providers and education abroad staff in the United States and overseas. NCDE is sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the US Department of State and managed by Mobility International USA.
Cooperative proposals should demonstrate how the project would result in the increased participation of students with disabilities in international exchange programs. Proposals should also seek to broaden and internationalize the perspectives of disability service providers and heighten the knowledge of exchange and overseas staff about disability access issues. Examples might include joint overseas site visits or participation by disability service providers in study abroad faculty/staff seminars.
The mini-grant application deadline has been extended to March 3, 2003. Award amounts are $2000 (additional funds may be granted as needed for reasonable accommodation requests). Two awards will be offered to those institutions determined to have the greatest potential for increasing the participation of students with disabilities in international exchange programs. Projects should be implemented in spring or summer 2003.
Preferred qualifications include:
- At least 5% of the campus student population consists of disabled students
- At least one of the applicants involved in
the project has a disability
Recipients have been in their field at least five years
- The college or university offers a variety of study abroad program options for students (preferably programs open to students nationwide)
Recipients will be required to share their observations in online discussions during the course of the collaborative activity, complete a written evaluation and compile a list of project resources for inclusion in the A World Awaits You journal and the NCDE booklet, Opening Doors Overseas to Students with Disabilities. Upon completion of the project, NCDE will provide recipients an additional $1000 award to offset costs of attending a national conference to present lessons learned and recommendations from the project to colleagues in disability services and education abroad.
For information or an application, contact Mary Ann Higgins, (email@example.com, Tel: 330-854-9048), or Kevin Henry at NCDE (firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel/TTY: 541-343-1284) or see the website: www.miusa.org/exchdisorg/index.html
Australian Senate Report on Students with
This Australian Senate press release describes what our colleagues "down under" are doing for students with disabilities.
The Australian Democrats-initiated Senate inquiry into the education of students with disabilities has delivered a unanimous report calling for immediate and significant Commonwealth attention.
Democrats' representative on the Education Committee for the inquiry, Senator Lyn Allison, said, "This inquiry confirmed that disabled students are not getting the support they need, despite Federal anti-discrimination laws and despite the rhetoric about equal opportunity.
"In particular, the Democrats are concerned that learning disabilities such as dyslexia are often undiagnosed and the educational success of students with these disabilities depends largely on the skill of their teachers, most of whom will not have been trained in the area."
Senator Allison said, "Programs targeted at students with disabilities are mostly under-funded, particularly those attempting to bring disabled students into the mainstream of learning and learning disabilities are not included in the Commonwealth's definition of disability for the purposes of funding. Furthermore, special education programs are suffering as a result of attitudes towards allocating time and human resources to them."
Key recommendations include:
- The Commonwealth to commission a study to develop a best practice funding model to support the needs of students with disabilities in schools
- All university teacher-training courses should include a mandatory unit on the education of atypical students
- Teachers' professional development programs should be extended
- Teacher aides working with students with disabilities should be qualified in special education
- The Disability Standards for Education 2002 be put beyond legal challenge and that the cost of implementing the standards be shared between the Commonwealth and the States & Territories
- MCEETYA to develop national definitions of
Commonwealth funding to improve the physical environment of universities to improve access
- "As a priority, a nationally determined definition of learning disability is required and a national strategy to address the needs of students with less traditional disabilities," Senator Allison concluded.
Report link: www.aph.gov.au/senate/committee/eet_ctte/reports/index.htm
International Professional Development Opportunities
Ruth Warwick, AHEAD's Director of Constituent Relations - International, provides information on opportunities to advance our knowledge at international conferences.
Through sharing information and ideas and discussing issues we learn together, AHEAD's annual conference has been a long-standing professional development event for many of us in the field. The next one in Dallas at the Hyatt Regency, July 8-12, promises to live up to past standards of invigorating presentations and discussions on a range of topics. Check out the conference on AHEAD's website of www.ahead.org and click onto conferences.
Just a month prior to the AHEAD conference, Canadians annually have a professional development opportunity at the Canadian University and Student Services conference (CACUSS). The event is being held in Vancouver, British Columbia this year from June 15-18 and one of our very own, Janet Mee, Director of UBC's Disability Resource Centre, is co-convener of the conference with Brian Sullivan, Vice-President of Students, UBC. The conference theme is Imagine the Learning. For more information on this event go to the website of www.cacuss.ca
Just last December, disability service providers in Australia held their biennual Pathways Conference in Sydney on the theme of Inclusive Education Through Universal Access. The focus was on advancing inclusive practices in post-secondary education for students with disabilities and building frameworks for implementing these practices in a range of environments. Three main conference topics were:
- Inclusive Practices - rights, roles and responsibilities
- E Learning/technology
The NSW Governor, Her Excellency Professor Marie Bashir, opened the Conference. Mr. Matt Laffan, a lawyer with the NSW Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, gave the opening address. In an electric wheelchair since the age of ten, Matt is a member of the NSW Rugby Judiciary and was awarded in 2001 the Commonwealth Australian Sports Medal for his contribution to rugby. He is also a current member of the City of Sydney Council's Access Committee and is a vocal proponent of access rights for people with disabilities.
Other key speakers at the conference were Dr Jerome Bickenbach, a professor in the Department of Philosophy and Faculties of Law and Medicine at Queen's University, Canada; Simon Darcy, a Senior Lecturer in the School of Leisure, Sport and Tourism at the University of Technology, Sydney, and William Jolley, the Secretary General of the DAISY Consortium, the worldwide organization which created and whose members implement the international standard for digital accessible documents.
Pathways 7 will be held in December 2004 at a location yet to be determined. The Pathways conferences are auspiced by the Tertiary Education Disability Council of Australia Inc. (TEDCA).
Dr. Douglas A. Martin, Disability Rights
The disability community suffered a great loss in January when activist Doug Martin passed away. Ward Newmeyer, 504 Compliance Officer at UC Berkeley, honors his friend and colleague in this obituary.
Longtime AHEAD member Doug Martin, 55, died on January 3, 2003. Martin is perhaps best known for his pioneering work to remove barriers in federal entitlement programs, barriers that prevented eager, qualified Americans with disabilities from working. Throughout his work, he helped steer the conscience of the disability rights movement, striving to ensure that potential actions focused on long-term strategy with an ethical base. He did so primarily by example and gracious encouragement, but was also ready with constructive and insightful criticism when needed.
Among the higher education community, he was familiar as the ADA and 504 Compliance Officer at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Appointed in 1989, Martin is believed to have been the first full-time disability compliance officer in higher education.
Catherine Campisi, Director of the California Department of Rehabilitation and former AHEAD President, was a longstanding friend of Doug Martin's. Dr. Campisi commented:
Doug Martin was a brilliant, dedicated, effective leader and advocate. He was one of the people I called upon for advice and counsel about the most complex policy issues related to services for students with disabilities in higher education or work incentives. He will be missed, both personally and professionally.
Dr. Martin became ill with polio at age five and could not return home until after three years in a hospital. A keen observer of life's ironies, Martin later attributed the quality of his early education to the delay in his schooling, the inaccessibility of his town's school, and the passion of the school's principals, who took it upon themselves to tutor him. They provided a classical, Socratic education unavailable to the school's other students. He then earned a B.A. (summa cum laude), M.A., and Ph.D. in Urban Geography and Planning from UCLA, earning many academic honors. He became a sort of modern renaissance man, equally facile discussing Gauguin or the genetics of maize. He delighted in opera and was an avid fan of the Grateful Dead. He would quote Keats from memory, then discuss the latest exploits of UCLA's basketball team.
Dr. Martin soon emerged as a tireless and politically astute leader in the disability rights movement. Among his many accomplishments, he co-founded the Westside Center for Independent Living in Los Angeles, was a Fellow of the World Institute on Disability, a founding member of the Society for Disability Studies, and a member of the National Academy of Social Insurance. He is credited with having led the efforts for many Social Security reforms, including the 1986 law making Section 1619 work incentives permanent. These reforms have allowed hundreds of thousands of Americans with disabilities to work, pay taxes, and save taxpayers over $125 million.
Among his many honors, Martin received AHEAD's 1989 Professional Recognition Award. A member since that time, he occasionally advised AHEAD's leadership and has presented at various AHEAD conferences. A memorial will be held at UCLA on May 8, 2003.
Bartlett Case Finally Resolved
AHEAD member and respected attorney Jo Anne Simon reports on the resolution of this complicated ADA case.
After nearly a decade of legal efforts to secure accommodations for her learning disability on the New York bar examination, plaintiff Marilyn Bartlett has reached a final resolution of the matter. (See press release at www.ahead.org, under "Legal.") She will be given the accommodations awarded by the court and the State will pay her attorneys, led by former AHEAD board member Jo Anne Simon, nearly $1 million in attorneys' fees and expenses.
The decision by the Board of Law Examiners to withdraw its appeal is significant in its recognition that the decision by Judge Sotomayor or in August of 2001 was consistent with the Second Circuit's precedent in 2000 and fulfilled the Circuit Court's request for additional findings in a manner that would pass Supreme Court muster under its Spring 2002 decision in Toyota v. Williams.
Academic Performance of DSS Students
Comparison of Academic Performance of Students with Disabilities who Participated and those who did not Participate in a College DSS Program
Victor H. Margolis, Ed.D., Professor Emeritus, Nassau Community College, reports on a study of the academic success of students with disabilities who used TRIO-funded services and those who did not.
In the Summer of 1996 all Student Support Service projects in the Department of Education's TRIO program were asked to compare the academic performance of students participating in their program with students who were eligible to participate, but who elected not to. The purpose of the study was to assess the impact of the TRIO funded programs on students' academic performance. Our study at Nassau Community College covered a period of three years, beginning in September 1993 and continuing to the end of the Spring Semester of 1996. All of the students eligible to participate in our program have some kind of disability and have demonstrated a need for academic support services. The Nassau Community College TRIO program is voluntary. We provide an array of academic support services. Similar support services for students not participating in our program are available on campus.
All of the new students entering the College in September 1993 who identified themselves as having a disability were asked to provide documentation verifying their need for accommodations as a result of their disability. These students were then invited by letter to participate in our program of academic support services. The students in group one (n=86) accepted our invitation to participate. Those in group two (n=112) declined our offer. We compared academic performance data for the two groups of students over a period of three years beginning in September 1993. Comparisons were made at the middle (January 1994) and then at the end of their first year on campus (May 1994), then again at the end of the third year (end of Spring 1996 semester). The data for the comparison of the two groups over the three year period was provided to our office by the students at the time of admissions as well as from College records.
Students provided Information about their disability along with necessary documentation at the time of admission to the College. The student's need for remediation in English, Reading and/or Mathematics at the time of admission to the College as determined by basic skills achievement tests taken by all new students. The comparison data for both groups included grade point average, number of credits earned, retention status and the number of required remedial placements as determined by mandatory college wide placement test given to all new students.
1. The non-participant group had a larger percentage of students with a learning disability (90% as compared to 70% for the participant group). Other disabilities among the non-participant group included orthopedic and visual impairments which were also found among the participant group.
2. Fewer of the non-participant group were required to take basic skills remedial courses. This difference is significant. In this respect they were, as a group, academically better pre-pared for college than the participant group.**
3. The participant group achieved statistically significantly higher grade point averages at the end of their first semester at the College and at the end of six semesters in Spring 1996. A higher percentage of students in the participant group were in good academic standing (had grade point averages above 2.0) at the end of the first year(1993) and at the end of the third year after the Spring 1996 semester. The difference was not significant.**
4. The participant group earned significantly more credits by the end of the sixth (Spring 1996) semester.**
5. The overall retention rate for the participant group at the end of the third year on campus was greater, (76% as compared to 56%) and statistically significant at the p=.004 level. This includes Students who were continuing and those who graduated.**
**Detailed statistical tables are not included here, but can be obtained from the author (email@example.com).
The achievement levels of the two groups of students, those participating in our DSS program of academic support services and those who elected not to participate, over the three year period were clearly quite different. The students participating in our DSS program's support services entered the College with weaker academic backgrounds, yet achieved significantly higher scores on 4 of 6 academic performance variables than did students who did not participate in our DSS program. Some of the non-participants, however, were also able to achieve academic success relying, evidently, on their own resources without the support of the DSS office.
The participating students had at their disposal all of the standard DSS support services available through our office. These included counseling, tutoring, and classroom accommodations coordinated by our office. While general support counseling and tutoring services are available throughout the college, they do not always include the specific disability related services available from the DSS office.
We have no direct information concerning the academic support resources the non-participant student group were able to draw on other than their own academic skills and the support of knowledgeable faculty. Since most of our faculty have been exposed to a variety of in-service programs through our office on how to provide accommodations for students with disabilities, it is likely that many are able to provide the non-participant group with the classroom help they needed.
The DSS program of support services did make a difference in the academic performance of students with disabilities participating in our program, despite their weaker academic skills at the outset. It would be helpful to know what techniques or personal characteristics the successful non-participants brought with them to the college enabling them to succeed where the other non-participants could not. Further study of how to improve the resources available to students who choose not to participate in the DSS program will extend the benefits of our support services to any student with a disability on our campus. Such a study could include ways of helping all faculty develop accommodation techniques for their classrooms as well as in understanding the learning needs of students with disabilities.
Clearly the results such as we found for both the successful participants and the successful non-participants are a credit to all the parties concerned and most of all to the determination of students with disabilities to succeed in getting an education.
The above data was submitted by Nassau Community College to the Department of Education in connection with an application for a grant under the TRIO program. (grant # P042A70563) Dr. Margolis wrote the application and was the Project Director at the time the grant was submitted. We would like to express our thanks to Professors Thomas Fernandez and Robert Rosenfeld for their help in collecting and analyzing the data.
Questions to Ponder About Universal Design
Gladys Loewen, reports on the UD Think Tank and AHEAD's UD focus group.
Have you ever wondered why some people are so excited about Universal Design? The term Universal Design (UD) is becoming more widely used by some AHEAD members, various community agencies, and design faculties. As the term gains popularity, one can feel excitement when talking to those who are interested in infusing the concepts of Universal Design to the greatest extent possible into our physical, curricular, and information environments. I had the opportunity to be immersed in discussions and readings about Universal Design through the UD Think Tank, July 2002, in DC and a UD focus group, November 2002, in Boston, both hosted by AHEAD.
At these events, there was excitement about and commitment to exploring the potential of UD as a philosophical paradigm, its potential role in higher education and the role AHEAD could play in furthering its development within our profession. Experts believe that using a UD approach may change the way students with disabilities access information and instruction due to several factors: UD is based on a user-centered approach, it strives to design environments so that limited retrofitting is required, and it strives for maximum independence of those in the environment. There was also significant recognition that caution is required in order to permit the knowledge base of our members to build and questions need to be answered in order to guide the implementation of UD in higher education.
Out of these discussions, several critical questions emerged that offer direction for further exploration, research, and consideration:
- Does implementing UD strategies foster increased independence for students and lessen dependence on others?
- Does the use of UD principles result in more self-confidence in seeking employment opportunities for persons with disabilities?
- Does UD provide new and creative strategies for expanding access in higher education, thus widening the bell curve?
- Can UD be viewed as a value or an ideal to be embraced in the same way as people value sustainable development or the green movement?
- Does a UD educational environment change the nature of disability identity? And if so, how?
- How does this user-centered paradigm change the way we approach the provision of accommodations on campus?
- Does UD make a difference for students with disabilities? And if so, how should this be measured?
- Does UD affect workflow and demands in the Disability Services Office?
As institutions, individuals, and organizations committed to Universal Design concepts continue their research and exploration and answers to these critical questions emerge, we anticipate the development of exciting, new approaches for providing accessible environments for all people in higher education.
E-Books: Ideas on How to Find Them
Scott Laurent, Coordinator of Services for Students with Disabilities at the University Of Missouri Kansas City, provides tips on getting publishers to provide e-books to your students.
The Age of Aquarius, or something like it!
"When the moon is in the seventh house
And Jupiter aligns with Mars
Then peace will guide the planets
And love will steer the stars..."
Well, maybe things are not that great yet but I have what will be good news for some and, for a few, maybe old news. It seems that more and more textbook publishers have finally "come to Jesus" and now have a formalized process for making their textbooks available in electronic format. That means our battle with taping textbooks may be coming to an end.
In the days before this time of peace and love, I wrestled with one publisher, being transferred from person to person, and after 8 hours of this game of pass the buck was finally told to call RFB&D to get the book on tape. I actually started with RFB&D, but the book was so new it wasn't yet available on tape. We ended up taping it ourselves...we tape a lot of books ourselves.
Today it seems as though publishers are coming around to meeting the need for textbooks in alternate formats. This is great news since putting books on tape is one of my office's single greatest expenses and, I suspect, yours too. The information that I have found below may save countless hours of work and significant portions of an all too meager budget.
In general, there is an online form or contact person for every major publisher. What you need is the textbook's title, author, year or edition, ISBN#, and publisher. Mention that it is for a student with a print disability. Usually the student must buy a hardcopy of the textbook and cannot give the electronic format to anyone. Oh, and don't send a request for a book to the wrong publisher...they don't like that. I know from experience!
A colleague from the University of Georgia, Leslie Mason, shared with me a website of publisher contacts put together by Laura G. Ingram that goes into great detail about who and how to request electronic texts. That website is at www.geocities.com/lingram15/. It contains a lot of detailed information.
Below are a half-dozen of the most popular publishers and their contact information. Follow the instructions carefully and you should have the textbook in an electronic format (usually Word or PDF) in about 2-3 weeks. I haven't worked with all the publishers yet, so your mileage may vary. Here is the list:
Random House: Call Caryn Burtt (212) 572-2784
Pearson Education: Go online to www.pearsoneducation.com/permission
Thomson Learning: Go online to www.thomsonrights.com
Houghton-Mifflin: Go online to college.hmco.com/how/how_reqperm_electronic_text_req.html
Bedford/St. Martins: Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
McGraw-Hill: Call or fax Bonnie Beacher at (212) 904-6939 or fax (212) 904-2346
Note: Many textbook publishers are subsidiaries of those listed above. Look up a publisher online to see if they are affiliated with one of those listed above.
Marc Maurer, President of the National Federation of the Blind, describes the NFB's electronic audio newspaper system.
NFB-NEWSLINE® is an electronic system that allows its subscribers to read newspapers through synthetic voice via any touch-tone telephone. Many major newspapers participate in NFB-NEWSLINE® by providing content for conversion into a spoken-word, voice-output format created by the NFB. Such papers include USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, and The Toronto Globe and Mail. In addition, many local newspapers participate in the service. Today, NFB-NEWSLINE® has eighty-eight papers and expects to have an additional twenty by the years end. The participating newspapers provide the NFB with digital transmission of their periodicals each day. This information is sent to a centralized facility located at the NFB's national headquarters in Baltimore, Maryland. The electronic system uses high-speed computers and specially designed telecommunications equipment to reformat the data from each newspaper for conversion to synthetic speech, which is made accessible through a toll-free number to all eligible readers throughout the United States and Puerto Rico. NFB-NEWSLINE® includes all news content, but does not include advertisements or classifieds. The system stores only the current day's newspaper, the previous day's newspaper and, if available, the prior Sunday's newspaper.
The service is available to readers twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Eligible applicants receive an individualized identification number and matching security code. To access the service, readers call a toll-free number from any touch-tone phone, then enter their identification numbers. Once in the system, readers navigate through the NFB-NEWSLINE® system by using the touch-tone keys on the telephone keypad in response to voice prompts. Readers use the NFB-NEWSLINE® service as they would any print newspaper. Instead of physically turning the page, however, they use the telephone keypad to move between articles in a section, skip ahead in an article, or return to a previous article.
Access to NFB-NEWSLINE® is restricted and registration to determine each person's eligibility to use this service is required. Eligibility requirements are identical to the criteria used to determine eligibility for specialized Braille and audio library services for the blind and physically handicapped as defined by Library of Congress regulations. In essence, to qualify under this standard, a reader must be blind or physically disabled in a way that prevents one from reading ordinary print.
To request an application or to find the sponsor of NFB-NEWSLINE® in your state, contact the National Federation of the Blind at (410) 659-9314. Applications and other information are also available at www.nfb.org.
2003 ELA Scholarship
The Ethel Louise Armstrong Foundation offers a scholarship for women with physical disabilities.
The Ethel Louise Armstrong Foundation, Inc. (ELA) is pleased to announce that the 2003 ELA Scholarship application is now available in the scholarship section of the ELA website at www.ela.org.
The ELA Scholarship provides financial assistance to women with physical disabilities who are enrolled in a college or university graduate program in the United States. ELA Scholarship awards are based on merit and are given in an objective and nondiscriminatory basis. Each applicant is required to submit an application packet including an application form, a college transcript, two letters of academic recommendation, a medical verification form and an essay outlining how they will "Change the Face of Disability on the Planet." Scholarships range from $1,000 to $2,000 per year. The application deadline is June 1st, 2003.
The vision of the Ethel Louise Armstrong (ELA) Foundation, Inc. is to "Change the Face of Disability on the Planet." Its mission is to promote, through grants and scholarships, the inclusion of people with disabilities in the areas of arts, advocacy and education. The ELA Scholarship is designed for women with physical disabilities who join with us to pursue this vision.
Deborah B. Lewis
Ethel Louise Armstrong Foundation
2460 North Lake Ave.
Altadena, CA 91001
Recent conversation and writings regarding e-books and universal design got me thinking about one of my favorite web sites, Center for Applied Special Technology at www.cast.org. As a leader in universal design for learning, the CAST web site not only informs people about universal design but it also incorporates aspects of universal design into their site and materials. The web site demonstrates a commitment to their premise of "if we're going to talk the talk, then our web site and materials should walk the walk."
For the overall site, they provide four types of "tools:" search & navigate, interface, comprehension, and use. Some of these tools were developed by CAST while others were found online, using the interconnectivity of the Internet, i.e., Spanish-language translation performed by another web site. Visitors need to sign up to fully use and explore these tools, but it doesn't cost anything, so give it a shot.
I teach "Computers in Special Education" at UMass Boston with another AHEAD member, Mary Brady. We use the book, Teaching Every Student in the Digital Age: Universal Design for Learning, available in print and online at CAST. The web version of the book can be found here. Providing the book in an electronic format addresses the most obvious barrier to learning. However, the folks at CAST took accessibility a few steps further by providing multiple summary views, guided questions to engage active learning, glossary, dictionary, note pad, and more. Pick a chapter from the above link and select "Universal Design Edition" from the pull down menu and you'll see what I mean.
It's an exciting time we're living in. With technology we can now facilitate the flexibility needed to provide access both to the materials and the curriculum for students with a broad variety of learning styles, preferences and needs.