High Tech Center Training Unit Advisory Committee Meeting

High Tech Center Training Unit – De Anza Community College

Friday, September 21, 2001






Carl Brown                  HTCTU, De Anza                  HTCTU Director            present


Myra Lerch                  Butte College                         Region 1                      not present

Karen Anderson            San Joaquin Delta College Region 2/5                   present

Carolyn Fiori                College of San Mateo               Region 3                      present

Kathleen Allen            Chabot College             Region 4                      present

Vacant                                                                         Region 5                     

Laurie Vasquez            Santa Barbara City College Region 6                      present

Ray Lovel                     El Camino College             Region 7                      present

Mikel Bistany               Irvine Valley College              Region 8                      not present

Susan Tillman             Victor Valley College              Region 9                      not present

Frank Post                   Southwestern College               Region 10                    not present




Peggy Tate                                                                   Chancellor’s Office            present





Status of the Alternate Text Production Center (ATPC)


Peggy Tate, Chancellor’s Office, reported that a planning meeting for the ATPC was held on August 13, 2001 at the High Tech Center Training Unit (HTCTU).  The purpose of the meeting was to begin statewide coordination of Disabled Students Programs and Services (DSP&S) grant activities between the HTCTU and the ATPC.  The individuals in attendance for the meeting included: Chancellor’s Office (Ralph Black, Lindy Williams, and Scott Hamilton), HTCTU (Carl Brown, Gaeir Dietrich, and Michael Callahan), and ATPC (Sharon Dwyer, Dee Konczal, Wendy Olson, and Lorraine Villarreal).


The four major outcomes of the meeting, included:

(1)   The Ventura College Educational Transcription Center (ETC) Funds for Student Success (FSS) Grant will finish the jobs that they committed to before July 1, 2001; and charge fees for them according to the fee structure identified in the FSS grant.

(2)   Ventura College, ATPC, has accepted new projects after July 1 and will complete these projects at no cost.

(3)   Ventura College, ATPC will develop and submit to the Chancellor’s Office, a set of criteria determining which books and/or other requests they will honor for Fall 2001.  The Chancellor’s Office recognizes that the demand would undoubtedly outstrip capacity, and some criteria will need to be developed to identify projects that would be completed by the ATPC.

(4)   The Chancellor’s Office will approve the Ventura College-ATPC criteria, but recognizes that day-to-day management requires some flexibility; and colleges will be informed that the “rules” are subject to change based on operational requirements.


Laurie Vasquez raised some issues brought to her attention by the ATPC related to the composition of the ATPC Advisory Committee.  Carl Brown indicated that this item was discussed at the August 13, 2001 meeting; and was resolved.  Essentially, the ATPC will contain Alternate Media Specialists (AMS) from each of the Regions.  The DSP&S Regional Coordinator representing the particular region must approve the selection of the AMS.  The HTCTU provided the ATPC with suggested names of individuals who may be interested in serving on the ATPC Advisory Committee.  However, the appointment of the AMS to the ATPC must be reviewed and approved by the DSP&S Regional Coordinators.  Peggy Tate added that all DSP&S workgroups, advisory committees, or special task forces report to the DSP&S Regional Coordinators’, including the HTCTU Advisory Committee and the Learning Specialists Advisory Committee.  The Chancellor’s Office requires that each Region be represented on specialized committees to ensure adequate statewide representation, and consistent transmission of the information to all of the colleges.  The first ATPC Advisory Committee meeting is scheduled for October 26, 2001 at Ventura College.


Ray Lovell asked if there were specific timelines given to Ventura College ATPC for the completion of the criteria for determining which books and/or requests they would honor this Fall?  Carl Brown indicated that there was not a specific deadline given, but a criteria should be developed by the end of September 2001.  Discussion continued regarding the acquisition of electronic text, and whether individual colleges would still be required to request books from publishers once the ATPC was established.  Peggy Tate and Carl Brown agreed that there would be a phase-in of the activities that the ATPC would be performing, and it was likely that the ATPC would not be fully operational for at least one year. 


Peggy Tate indicated that the Chancellor’s Office has received some concern from colleges being charged for materials after July 1, 2001; and some issues raised on the expediency and quality of the materials.  These issues will need to be explored further, and information can be disseminated once the criteria have been established.  Carl Brown added that the criteria could be “beta-tested” by a few colleges before full implementation was deployed.



Carl Brown indicated that the ATPC usage survey revealed that 65-70% of the colleges indicated that they did not want hard-copy Braille.  In fact, most colleges indicated that they wanted formatted electronic information with an expected turnaround time of 2 weeks to 30 days.


Peggy Tate indicated that the first year of funding for the ATPC was through December 31, 2001.  The second year of funding is $620, 104 (including a 3.87% Cost of Living Adjustment).  The term of the second year of funding has not been determined, but the funding is contingent upon the satisfactory completion of the first year funding objectives.



HTCTU Update


HTCTU’s newly hired alternate media specialist, Gaeir Dietrich stresses her main focus in assisting all new alternate media people across the state by creating new classes, eg. three day Braille training which basically teaches people to read Grade One Braille (alphabet, numbers and punctuation) and Grade Two Braille, a form of “shorthand” where signs stands for words or portions of words. This includes 189 short-form words and contractions. Other new trainings to be added are Creating E-text, Transcribing with Duxbury, Software Curriculum Development to LD, and reinstating Dragon NaturallySpeaking. For the first time, Jawbone will also be offered to specialists, a program that interfaces between Dragon NaturallySpeaking and JAWS.


High Tech Center’s newly acquired Omnipage 11 and Canon Scanner 5080c were introduced to the advisory. The Canon 5080c is a high speed scanner that runs approximately 80 pages per minute to tiff and can also scan directly into Omnipage in PDF at about 20-30 pages a minute while automatically running the OCR program. 


Closed Captioning. High Tech Center will soon be getting captioning equipments both from CPC and RapidText. The station set-up will be a desk with two adjoining racks, one with CPC and the other side for RapidText. Trainings and demonstrations will eventually be offered sometime in the next quarter by both CPC and RapidText themselves.


Web Accessibility Specialist, Sean Keegan, briefly reported on the CAPED conference he recently attended basically focusing on accessibility in the use of courseware management system such as WebCT and Blackboard. He had been in contact with E-college and Prometheus and will develop a fuller understanding of what they’re doing with their products and exactly how they’re making them accessible. He will be presenting at the Tech Ed Conference this February 2002 in Long Beach and might be one of the panelists on Assistive Technology at the same conference.


Sean also pointed out that the High Tech Center Training Unit and the Distance Education Guidelines have been featured in the website as a model for accessibility in the California Education System. (check website for details: www.raggedmedia.com)


WebCT training will soon be offered at the HTCTU by the staff of WebCT. The training will deal with designing accessible WebCT courses and will be offered in both northern and southern California. HTCTU will assess these trainings and make suggestions or changes specific to the CVC system needs before any of these trainings are presented live. The HTCTU is also exploring the possibility of producing a training with Macromedia. Macromedia produces DreamWeaver and Flash Technology. Their emphasis is basically on multi-media web development. DreamWeaver is a web page development tool and is currently the only product that allows the user to run an accessibility checker from within its interface. Macromedia Flash is the key to designing and delivering low-bandwidth animations, presentations, and Web sites. It offers scripting capabilities and server-side connectivity for creating engaging applications, Web interfaces and training courses. Macromedia is actively involved in attempting to develop an accessible version of Flash .  Another web production package that Sean Keegan is exploring is Adobe Go Live in which is suited more to large scale websites business and campus wide assessment. Carl Brown indicated MacroMedia may be interested in developing a nondisclosure agreement with the HTCTU in order to support a closer working relationship with their product development process.


The High Tech Center Training Unit will be sending out guidelines and pamphlets on web accessibility to CVCs which can distribute to faculty and staff engaged in the development of web based course materials.





The assistive computer technology specialist/trainer position has been opened for 6 weeks and has now been reopened. Unfortunately, none of the many applicants is appropriate and has the right technical skill, experience or background.  A job description for this position is posted on the FHDA website (www.deanza.fhda.edu).


BrailleNote Loan Status. Initially, HTCTU had 6 BrailleNotes on loan.  These have been returned and have undergone a firmware upgrade.  The high Tech Center training unit purchased an additional six BraileNote systems for which colleges can now apply to receive on a loan basis.  Gaeir Dietrich of the High Tech Center Training Unit is coordinating loan program.


Several months ago, Ralph Black, General Counsel for the California community colleges just as office asked if the High Tech Center Training Unit could solicit a legal opinion from a reputable law firm dealing with issues of copyright and intellectual property as it applied to books and alternate format and the production of captioning video.  The High Tech Center Training Unit has made contact with a reputable firm and is presently negotiating a contractual agreement.


Book Exchange. The High Tech Center Training Unit is in the process of restructuring the Book Exchange server in order to accommodate information about captioning video, tactile graphics and books and alternate format which colleges are willing to share with one another.  The server and database software have been ordered.  Sean Keegan will be heading up the database conversion project.


Carl Brown additionally mentioned about the upcoming XML and how complex this issue might become. XML does not use ASCII and will eventually replace HTML and JAVA in most websites. He also stresses that none of the access tools currently read XML and would have to be completely rewritten to work with it.


Lastly Carl Brown talked about the 7 videos that the HTCTU is producing and which the DSPS Directors of all California Community Colleges have periodically been receiving. Two more are still in process. Eventually, the entire set will be bundled into two presentation boxes and copy sent to all California community college librarians. A complete set of videos will include:

·        Introduction to the Index Basic-D Embosser

·        Introduction to Duxbury Braille Embossing Software

·        Introduction to ZoomText Level 1 & 2

·        Introduction to Screen Reading with JAWS

·        Introduction to Dragon NaturallySpeaking

·        Introduction to Kurzweil 1000 & 3000

·        Producing Effective Closed Captioning



Handouts Provided During Meeting

DSP&S Program Review Checklist



2002 HTCTU Advisory Meeting Date

February 1, 2002