High Tech Center Training Unit

Advisory Committee Meeting Minutes

Friday, April 17, 1998


Darren Luvaas, Carol Toppel, Laurie Vasquez, Ray Lovell, Susan Tillman, Frank Post, Sherrean Carr, Catherine Campisi, Carl Brown, Steve Sellitti


Myra Lerch, Carolyn Fiori, Janice Emerzian, Sherry Goldsmith


Rose Asera

10:00 AM Meeting Opened

Review/approve minutes from pervious meeting

The minutes from the December 12, 1997 meeting were approved with no adjustments made.

Developing a research model for student outcomes

Carl introduced Dr. Rose Asera, a specialist in research design, who will work with the HTCTU Advisory Committee in developing a research model for a student outcomes study. Dr. Asera gave a slide presentation based on the operational steps that will be used to develop this research model. The steps are as follows:

  1. Motivation for evaluation
  2. Describe the program
  3. Shaping the evaluation question
  4. Planning the evaluation process
  5. Conduct the evaluation
  6. Analyze data and draw conclusions
  7. Utilize results

The first three steps are the focus of today’s conversation. Advisory members were given copies of the slides.

Motivation for evaluation

The High Tech Center programs exist to give students with disabilities equal access opportunities. The Chancellor’s Office wants to know that the money going into these programs is being well spent. There are many benefits to an evaluation, but it needs to be done well with a lot of planning and interaction in the beginning. The AC needs to be certain that the right questions are being asked and that the data is going to be useful. Assistive technology specialists along with the regional coordinators should also be engaged in this process.

It’s important that people understand what the evaluation is trying to assess. Are they going to have the chance to improve on some of the things that are pointed out, or is there going to be punitive consequences? It is also important that the evaluating team stick to base standards as opposed to their individual perceptions of what they think a good program is.

Description of the program

Details of the range of variability in the High Tech Center programs

Outcomes (that seem to be global and campus related)

Outcomes for students

Shaping the Evaluation Question

The next step involves gathering the program characteristics from the "brainstorming" and designing a survey that can be sent out to all the programs. The idea is to get the range of activities across the programs and how they do different things. The AC will try as a group, through an electronic process of editing, to come up with a draft that should be ready for the DSP&S Regional Coordinator’s meeting this fall.

Carl will add Rose to the AC listserve so members can provide feedback during the planning process. By the next advisory meeting, the AC should have some design possibilities that can be submitted to the Chancellor’s Office. The discussion about appropriate outcomes will probably continue through the summer.

Survey findings concerning off-site trainings

The HTCTU put together a survey instrument to discover what kinds of, how many, and the recommended locations for off-site trainings. The HTCTU received 105 responses with good distribution across all 10 regions. Nearly seventy percent (70%) of the respondents found each of the six trainings available for off-site presentation "Very Important" to "Important." Participants indicated that the HTCTU should offer about three off-site trainings each quarter. Trainings, resources, or services participants would like the HTCTU to provide include additional trouble-shooting trainings, particularly around issues of more advanced networking usage, and specifically with complex applications using JAWS. There were requests for new trainings in the areas of NT and a general overview of assistive technology for DSP&S administrators. The field would also like additional trainings concerning Internet usage in a variety of different directions. Other suggestions included programmatic issues that addressed the HTCTU’s role in terms of policy development relative to ADA and campus technology access issues, and information dissemination, which addressed a request for a newsletter and/or electronic access to HTCTU information.

The HTCTU has upgraded its laptop computer technology and will probably start the off-site trainings in the summer. Two additional advanced JAWS trainings are planned for the fall. The HTCTU will continue to send a similar survey each year to determine what direction the various sites are heading in terms of training.

With the next funding cycle, the HTCTU may have more latitude to offer assistive technology trainings specifically designed for faculty and staff in the MIS, Learning Center, Library, and other campus departments. The HTCTU is also planning for a southern California site, with a permanent employee to cover trouble-shooting, training, and support for the southern California regions.

Another project the HTCTU has considered for early next year is putting together a group of HTC specialists from around the state that have an interest in curriculum development with respect to the access tools and basic applications technologies. The group could discuss the curriculum approval process and academic senate issues along with building into the curriculum self-advocacy issues for students. Advisory members suggested that the HTCTU create a web page—similar in depth as the library access page—which deals specifically with curriculum development.


Feedback regarding HTCTU direction: Continue Mac trainings/campus computing directions (Win 95/NT/Mac/mixed?)

A summary of the regional responses to the proposed changes to HTCTU operations follows:

Region 1: 4 of 6 colleges responded to the survey. All support the discontinuation of Mac trainings, but would like assistance on an individual basis. Most campuses use a combination of platforms. One campus has already implemented Windows NT. There is no policy for the creation of web based classes accessible to students with disabilities.

Region 2: most campuses are using a Win 95/ 3.1 combination. Almost no one has any plans for NT in the near future, with the exception of Sacramento City College. No one seemed to mind the phase-out of Mac trainings. There is no regional policy for web accessibility, nor does any campus have such a policy.

Region 3: no one is too concerned about phasing out Mac trainings because few assistive programs are being developed for the Mac. However, there is disappointment that Macs are going away and there is concern for students going into the graphics field who still use the Mac.

Region 4: 5 of 13 colleges responded to the survey. All are using a combination of Win 95/Mac and none are using NT as far as the labs are concerned, although some campuses are starting to move in that direction. Three campuses would like the HTCTU to continue the Mac trainings. There are no established policies regarding web accessibility.

Region 6: most campuses are using Win 95. There were no strong feelings about phasing out Mac trainings, but most would like the HTCTU to continue support for this platform. With the exception of the AutoCAD and computer science labs, NT is not being used. Laurie is working on a campus policy regarding web accessibility.

Region 7: 13 campuses were surveyed via phone contact. Most campuses are using Win 95, very few are moving in the direction of NT. Few campuses are using Macs in their High Tech Centers, although some would like the HTCTU to keep options open for a possible future Mac training. There are currently no established policies regarding accessible web based classes.

Region 8: the majority of the 12 campuses are using Win 95. A few are using Win NT in their labs. The campuses with Macs are using them with their LD students and would still like training and/or at least support. High Tech Center Specialists are sharing information regarding accessible web design, but are unaware of any established policies.

Region 9: Win 95 is by far the standardized computer platform. Two campuses are using Win 98 and are having all sorts of problems. Most campuses plan to stay with Win 95 until NT is improved upon, maybe by 2000. Although there are a couple of labs still using Macs, most campuses don’t mind that the HTCTU phase out formal Mac trainings, so long as trouble-shooting and support is still available. There are no established policies regarding web accessibility.

Region 10: campuses are using a combination of Mac/Win 95, with two using NT. Most campuses aren’t concerned with eliminating the Mac training, but some would like the HTCTU to offer it at least once a year. The only campus that indicated it was developing any kind of policy concerning web access is Palomar, and it’s in progress.

Other comments/suggestions:

HTCTU progress regarding recommendations in performance review

The HTCTU is actively involved in the regional facilitator meetings and expects to attend all of them within the next couple of months.

The HTCTU has completed a survey of the field to determine which off-site trainings are required. The HTCTU is restructuring its training delivery method to include three off-site trainings.

The HTCTU is developing ways of letting people know what resources are available on the web and is planning to produce a hardcopy newsletter twice a year. The first newsletter will be coming out in the summer. Catherine suggested that the newsletter include a summary of points that may be accessed via the HTCTU web site in order to bridge the print media and the online resources. Carol suggested, as a feature to the HTCTU web site, an archive of former trainings that could possibly be activated in the future.

AC members discussed using the Megaconference as a possible venue for introducing campus Deans of Instruction, Technology, Business/CIS, etc. to current ADA guidelines. A possible suggestion for the Megaconference is to concentrate on strands that incorporate this area of information, so workshops concentrate not only on legislation, but also on the access technologies and the partnerships that colleges have developed. Darren suggested an ADA training as an optional first day to one of the ACT trainings.

Additional topics for discussion

  1. CAPED ’98 –panel publishers of college textbooks

    Laurie suggested that the CAPED 98 conference invite a panel of publishers to find out what they’re doing in terms of developing materials in accessible formats. She would like the AC members to ask their regions who they would like to see on this panel and come up with a representative.

    The HTCTU is currently evaluating the Xerox Document Centre copier. The copier uses high end scanning technology, hooks into a network, and has a web interface. It may be possible to send copies to a server that will batch process them to a Braille printer. The HTCTU will continue to evaluate the copier when it receives the rest of the hardware from Xerox.

    The next RFA will probably include a repository of existing documents in alternative formats that the HTCTU will keep a database of. With the investment of a fairly substantial server, it’s conceivable that the HTCTU could keep electronic documents on file. This would allow people to go to the HTCTU database, look up what book is needed, and upload it. The HTCTU will be looking at this within the next 3 months.

  2. Web accessibility standards, CVU, DETAC, 4c@one project

    These are examples of projects going on across the state and why web accessibility standards are needed. Campuses need a clearly defined path for accomplishing accessibility in understandable, manageable ways that don’t cost a lot of money or take a lot of time. This is something the Chancellor’s Office will be working on with Christina Mora-Lopez and LeBaron Woodyard who oversee distance education. HTC Specialists can help by being the representative for a small group that’s put together to make recommendations to DETAC, so the Chancellor’s Office can leverage the resources. The concept of universal design is a philosophy that campuses should buy into when purchasing hardware, software, and textbooks, or when a developer or publisher partnerships with a campus.

  3. Advanced accessible web page training

    Larry Toy is going to be establishing four centers around California that teach faculty how to create web pages. It would be worthwhile if these centers had some basic access technologies and offered courses to faculty in creating accessible web pages.

    When assessing distance learning proposals, the curriculum committee should examine each modality that is going to be used and incorporate into the language what is needed for students with disabilities. For example, email and chat (screen readers), video (close captioning), audio, Internet (universal design), phone (TTY access), CD (keyboard equivalent), etc.

  4. Proposal for HTCTU to have a van that travels the state

    It was suggested that the HTCTU have a van that travels the state so campuses with limited lab space may have local trainings. Several months ago, the HTCTU approached the Foundation with the possibility of placing some access technology on the Foundation’s multimedia van. However, the Foundation explained that there wasn’t room to spare and that they’re booked up, etc. It would make more sense for the HTCTU to do presentations from a van that already exists.

  5. Proposal to host a one-day in-service held in Sacramento

It was also suggested that the HTCTU host an in-service day in Sacramento for district technology managers, VP’s of Academic Affairs, Instructional Technologies people, or anyone who makes major decisions around technology to attend a training on the law, funding, and implementation. Catherine said this is a possibility, but more resources need to be developed because, right now, this would raise more issues than could be solved.

Items from Catherine—issues brought up at the regional coordinators meeting:

The next Advisory meeting will be held at the HTCTU conference room in late August or early September.

3:00 PM Meeting Adjourned