High Tech Center Training Unit
Advisory Committee Meeting Minutes
Friday, November 15, 1996, 10:00 AM


Laurie Vasquez, Carolyn Fiori, Tina Andersen-Wahlberg, Rebecca Stone, Bill Ponder, Carol Toppel, Carl Brown


Kaylene Hallberg, Ellen Cutler, Judith Schwartz, Steve Sellitti


10:00 AM Meeting Opened

Approve minutes from previous meeting:

A copy of the last Advisory Committee minutes for the August 1, 1996 meeting was given to each member for approval. No adjustments were made.


OCR Survey and Review:

Sarah's presentation at CAPED sparked a lot of discussion. Many specialists were concerned with the vast amount of time and money required to meet the needs of all VI students. There is no resistance from the specialists to provide accommodations, but there is much concern with what is considered minimum reasonable expectations and accommodations given the technology that the Centers have Tina emphasized the need for protocols on the turnaround time for the materials students might use. To even begin the process of establishing minimum reasonable accommodations is a major statewide task.

Laurie recommended that Kaylene put together an advisory board or task force addressing the specific issue of what is reasonable. In what format will the High Tech Centers commit to providing accessible documents? And what is the responsibility of the person who is blind? The High Tech Centers can provide needed materials, but students need to take responsibility for learning how to use the technology that's available to them. There needs to be a minimum degree of responsibility on both ends. Becky suggested finding what accommodations students need before they begin their courses.

Laurie would like to show OCR some guidelines on the policies used by the High Tech Centers that indicate minimum reasonable accommodations for creating alternative formats. Carol is cautious of written guidelines and feels it is more beneficial to have someone who has worked with large numbers of VI students as a resource. Colleges should not be committed to producing materials that may not be useful for their student population.

Carol would like to know what support the Chancellor's Office is prepared to extend to the 12 centers that will be visited by OCR relative to accessibility and technology on campuses and the ability to produce documents in alternative formats. Carl suggested asking the Chancellor's Office if the campuses can regionalize their ability to produce certain kinds of alternative documents. The High Tech Centers need to find if there is any substance to OCR's discussion about a centralized resource in Northern and Southern California for the production of materials.

There is a recommendation that the HTCTU do a training built off of the OCR survey, focusing on providing alternative formats, using equipment, how to mainstream these technologies on the rest of campus, knowing what equipment is best for the individual student, and accommodations instructors can provide regarding good instructional design. This would give the Sites support from the HTCTU should there be any repercussions from the OCR survey. The training would also be a good way to get resources of people who work with the blind and who can share their ideas for guidelines. Carl can probably do a one-day training in the spring. Becky would like a reference handout on working with students with VH.

The technology available can work for more than one student population. For example, EOPS students have as much use for screen readers as do VI students. Carl suggested that a portion of the EOPS money contribute to providing services that both EOPS and DSPS use. Laurie will ask Kaylene if we can de compartmentalize some of these categorically funded programs. She will email Sarah for copies of the OCR survey, and email the folks in Fullerton to ask what their turnaround time is for various materials.


Status of HTCTU Performance Review:

The Chancellor's Office is still having problems with their contracts in Sacramento so the entire HTCTU performance review process is on hold. The HTCTU grant has been extended for another year with the same budget. The Chancellor's Office is still collecting survey data. Carl is unclear whether the evaluation team will be disbanded and reorganized later.

The AC recommends that any moneys returned in the 96-97 budget for HTC start-up or augmentation be redirected to the HTCTU budget in order to fund additional trainings and equipment. This is the last year in which the HTC 1.2 million is available as a discrete block of money. After this year it will be rolled into the DSPS base.

The AC would also like to know when the evaluation will resume, who will be on the committee, and what the projected timeline is.


Libraries of the Future-Guidelines for Implementation:

Library accessibility is a problem for a lot of campuses. There are many considerations to think about so get involved in the process when the discussion about buying a library management system arises. Find out whether the equipment will be accessible. Ask the vendor what platform(s) the software runs on. Is it graphical and are there text references that can be used with a screen reader? How is it laid out/designed? Will your screen reader/large print display/keyboard control program work with it? Get a copy of the client software from the vendor with a sample database and try it with the access tools. Or, go to the vendor with your software and install it. Try to network access tools when possible.

There is a recommendation that the HTCTU develop a web page listing basic library card/file catalog considerations with pointers to other resources on the web.

Carolyn will scan and post Norm Coombs' article on building accessible libraries.

Laurie suggested asking CSUN vendors to tell where/how their product is being used in libraries and the internet.


What's New on the HTCTU Web Page:

The Creating Attractive and Accessible Web Pages training is a new addition and the future VH training will also be added along with the considerations for library access. The Chancellor's Office will have many documents posted to the web site, including the resource manual for Title 5.

The LD group's listserve is now up and running.

The HTCTU is looking at new technology on the internet used in gaming environments. These environments are real-time, multi-user, with high resolution graphics. They allow large groups of people to participate in virtual spaces. This format may be useful for educational environments.


New Training-Distance Education and Assistive Technology:

Smaller steps are needed before launching a Teaching with Technology training. The first two installments are the CD-ROM and Web Pages trainings. The third training installment due for spring is How to Use Presentation Tools. This training will cover basic design issues and how to organize information into usable small units. These combined trainings will lay the foundation for a Teaching with Technology training early next year.

The HTCTU put together a bundled list of equipment for Windows 95 and Mac platforms. The list was sent to the Chancellor's Office and to every new HTC site this year. Kaylene couldn't figure how to get funding transferred to the HTCTU to buy the equipment.

Laurie asked if the HTCTU is going to expand Assistive Technology to include ADD and Psych D populations, since these people don't have the same technology accommodations in software. Carl was uncertain whether the retraining that is possible for someone with a head injury would work for someone with ADD. Becky has a journal article indicating attention training software that has yielded good results for people with ADD. She will give Carl a copy.

Many feel Psych D people demonstrate the same types of issues as ABI students such as time management, difficulty attending a task, reading on their own, and can use some of the same software.


Mentoring for New People:

Mentoring was suggested for those people who need basic help and who cannot easily get away from their classrooms to attend HTCTU trainings. The HTCTU can put together a resource of mentors around the state and distribute those names to new sites. Carol suggested contacting the ACT Division at CAPED and using them as an alternative organization for mentors. Laurie will put as an agenda item for discussion at CSUN the issue of finding mentors.

Kaylene will be sending a fairly strong letter to the new start-up sites, indicating that core training by the HTCTU is a requirement for new sites.

Carl will share the addresses of the new sites and the new people at the old sites so the AC can introduce themselves.


Future Advisory Board Meetings:

· All Friday's between 10 AM and 2 PM on:

February 7
May 2
September 5
November 7

Between May 2 and September 5, the HTCTU AC should decide whether they want to continue serving on the Board.

Meeting Adjourned at 2:00 PM