High Tech Center Training Unit Advisory Committee Meeting

High Tech Center Training Unit Ė De Anza Community College

Friday, May 18, 2001






Carl Brown††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† HTCTU Director††††††††††††††††††††† present

Myra Lerch††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Region 1†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† present

Karen Andersen†††††††††††††††††††††† Region 2†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† not present

Carolyn Fiori††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Region 3†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† present

Kathleen Allen††††††††††††† Region 4†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† present

Janice Emerzian††††††††††††††††††††††† Region 5†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† not present

Laurie Vasquez†††††††††††† Region 6†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† present

Ray Lovel†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Region 7†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† not present

Mikel Bistany†††††††††††††††††††††††††† Region 8†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† present

Susan Tillman†††††††††††††††††††††††††† Region 9†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† not present

Frank Post†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Region 10†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† not present




Peggy Tate†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Chancellorís Office†††††††††††††††††† present





††††††††††† After applications were received and reviewed by the Chancellorís Office, the grant was awarded to Diablo Valley College making it the central point of contact for Alternate Media.Ventura College filed a protest. The outcome of a second reading of the proposals at the High Tech Center Training Unit resulted in a recommendation that the grant be awarded to Ventura College.By way of compromise, the Chancellor's office proposed dividing the grant between the two competing colleges with Diablo Valley college focusing primarily on electronic text and Ventura college focusing primarily on the production of hardcopy Braille.The compromise proposal will be sent to both colleges which will decide if such an arrangement is acceptable.Grant funding must be encumbered before June 30th of the coming fiscal year or it will revert to the state of California.


Diablo Valley College (DVC)is presently engaged in an innovative and creative Braille production project with Folsom State Prison consisting of 12 inmates with Ann Kelt as the professional guidance consultant.†† .The High Tech Center Training Unit will support this project by using carryover funds to purchase needed equipment.


††††††††††† Carl Brown shared with the committee his interesting meeting with Chris Warnock, president of Ebrary. Ebrary, together with several major publishers in the United States, is currently working with tagged PDFs using the Adobe 5 formats. Chris is interested in the possibility of making college-level textbooks available to students in a tagged PDF format which would be accessible to a new generation of assistive computer technologies capable of reading tagged PDF.Chris also expressed an interest in creating and maintaining an electronic database of such texts which would be available to the California community colleges.


††††††††††† HTCTU will be sending out staffing updates for DSP&S director/staff to all California Community Colleges for changes. This will provide program directors with an opportunity to confirm the accuracy of their current listing on the HTCTU website and make any necessary including the Alternate Media Specialist for the college.




††††††††††† Specialized groupings of core curriculum for Assistive Computer Technology,Alternate Media and Web accessibility were reviewed.Many of the courses identified as core curriculum for assistive computer technology also overlapped into the areas of alternate media and Web accessibility.We anticipate a strong working relationship with the statewide alternate text production center concerning the development of any trainings which might be needed to support this resource.


††††††††††† The issue of reimbursement was again brought up.The director clarified that the HTCTU will only pay for travel and accommodation expenses for DSP&S faculty or staff. Meals are no longer included. One college DSP&S staff/member is allowed for reimbursement per training.




††††††††††† A recent phone conference with HTCTU Director Carl Brown and Ralph Black raised issues of how to determine if the software marketed by the foundation is accessible or 508 compliant.This was in reference to the HTCTU providing opportunities for representatives from companies to take a 3 day training giving them a basic knowledge of assistive computer technology for their own product evaluation. The HTCTU does not have the resources to evaluate the accessibility of whatever hardware or software the foundation might wish to market. Thus vendors are going to be asked to certify that their product is 508 compliant and meets necessary requirements from the community colleges system.


††††††††††† Technical Compliant versus Practical Usability. Although some software applications are technically compliant, the level of assistive computer technology skills required to access the program makes its use a practical impossibility.As a case in point, the community college online application form, a project from Zap Technologies, was found to be technically accessible but functionally impossible to use without an extremely advanced knowledge of the screen reader JAWS. High Tech Center staff are presently working with Zap Technologies to make internal design changes to the HTML code which will make the program friendly to screen reading programs. Any new applications or programs from any public agency should be re-assessed and re-evaluated not only for design accessibility but also for usability.





New Staff/Open Positions

††††††††††† The HTCTU recently hired a Web Accessibility Specialist/Instructor from Ball State University, Sean Keegan. He has background and experience with screen readers and will be learning more this summer. Gaeir Dietrich was also newly hired as the HTCTU Alternate Media Specialist. Gaeir has been doing alternate media and Braille for 20 years and taught grade two Braille on a graduate level. Sheís published a number of books, written software and will be doing the HTCTU Braille trainings for the summer. ACT Specialist, Marcia Norris, whoís been with the HTCTU for many years will be retiring on August 14, 2001. The ACT position is now open and has been advertised electronically through Monster.com.


Distributed Training Model

††††††††††† Carl Brown presented a training proposal form together with a general cover letter which will be sent out to the DSP&S Directors and High Tech Center Staff of the community colleges. The distributed training model will allow High Tech Center specialists around the state who have developed highly specialized skills in specific areas to provide narrowly focused trainings to colleagues in their local areas or regions.It is hoped that this model will create a diversity of training opportunities both by content and location.


Trainings for Summer 2001

††††††††††† A list of the summer trainings was shown to the committee. The new Braille training has received much positive attention and is already filled for the summer.


More Updates

††††††††††† HTCTU has 6 Braille Notes out for firmware upgrades and just purchased 6 more Braille Notes.A total of 12 Braille Notes are now available for loan to the colleges.




††††††††††† An outline workplan was presented which includes the objective and description containing four parts: Procedures/Activities, Data Collection/Program Evaluation/ Performance Outcomes, Timelines, Responsible Person(s).







††††††††††† A list of responsibilities from the Chancellorís Office was provided to the committee for review.


Laurie Vasquez of Santa Barbara City College gave a presentation on Mentoring. Its goal is to show campus based solutions for individual colleges. Vasquez is working on this project with Tina Anderson Wahlberg. The site address is www.accessresource.org. After viewing the website, suggestions from the committee were taken into consideration such as;

  • Provide a search engine
  • Chancellorís Office approved form
  • Graphic links donít change
  • Get rid of the animated gif
  • Simplify forms e.g. 1 topic with multiple samples
  • All colors should be web safe color (not enough color contrast)
  • Consistency of spacing on main topics and subtopics
  • Main header should be larger and should stand-out than sub-categories
  • Access resource change to project description
  • Page doesnít re-scale. Change graphic box to table box
  • Provide a home page link
  • Site map is not auditory hierarchal




††††††††††† The High Tech Center Training Unit presently does not do captioning training. RapidText and Computer Prompting & Captioning Co. (CPC) are among the companies who provide support and give introductory orientation or trainings on captioning. This is in reference to the many inquiries the HTCTU Director has been getting about what products to purchase (RapidText or CPC), where they should send their videos to be captioned and how to do closed captioning.Peggy Tate of the Chancellorís Office said that theyíre looking at these captioning issues since there are 2 grants that are not on the student services division that funded the DSP&S project a year before they receive the CVC funding.


††††††††††† Realtime captioning is a more technically complex and expensive form of captioning especially in the areas of web casting. Web Casting is currently an item of interest among faculty. They can broadcast classroom lectures using Windows Media Player. Windows Media Player will let you do captioning or descriptive narration but not both at the same time. On the other hand, Real Networks will let you do both. Issues of who should do Realtime Web Casting and the specific responsibilities of alternate media people regarding captioning were discussed. A suggestion was proposed to allow one college to receive the $800,000.00 available for real-time captioning or to fund captioning training as a part of the alternate media project.




Minutes, DSP&S Regional Coordinator Meeting April 3, 2001

Minutes, HTCTU Advisory Committee Meeting March 2, 2001

HTCTU Summer Trainings 2001

Training Proposal Form Sample

HTCTU Grant Renewal and Workplan

Web Accessibility Trainer/Instructor Areas of Knowledge/Responsibility

Responsibilities of HTCTU Advisory Committee Members



2001 HTCTU Advisory Meeting Date

Friday, September 21, 2001