Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Livescribe Pen Introduction: Long Overdue

Here at SOU, we've been using the Livescribe pens extensively for the past couple of years. It's astonishing to see the difference they can make for students. You can check out details on our program, or even see a local news article, if you're so inclined. This blog post will explain a few of the basics of using the pen for taking lecture notes, so continue reading!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Creating Accessible eReader Formats: A How-To Story

A growing number of students are finding that the scalability of text size, integrated dictionary, and text-to-speech options of the Amazon Kindle and Apple's iPad are fantastic features. They also enjoy the speed of purchase, lighter physical load, and (often) lower purchase price, as do their peers. A growing number of textbooks are available in this way.

But what happens when a student with a print disability depends on those formats in order to have access to the text...and it's not available for purchase in that format? Enter Disability Resources! I'm going to focus in this post on how we create those formats in response to some colleague questions. Info on the legalities and suchlike for our students is available elsewhere.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Downloading Google Spreadsheets with a Screenreader

I got an email from someone not too long ago asking for more details on how to download a spreadsheet from Google Docs using a screenreader. (Not going to tell you who it is, since I don't have their permission, but it was someone I really rather admire in the accessibility field. Got all giddy about it and everything, 'cuz I'm just like that.) Thought I'd post it here in case anyone else needs it.

Keep in mind that Google is saying they will have Docs (and the other Edu apps) accessible by Fall 2011, so this may not necessarily be a necessary procedure for long. Also, the nature of webapps being what it is, Google may change everything around in the next 10 minutes and this technique may no longer work. Your mileage may vary, yada yada yada.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Google Docs and Accessibility, Part 4: The Other Stuff

Other Stuff? What Other Stuff?
In the Google Docs app grouping at the time of this writing there are a few other capabilities: Drawings, Collections, and Forms. We're going to tackle all three today.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Google Docs and Accessibility, Part 3: Presentations

Here we are again, looking at the accessibility of Google Apps (the Presentations section, this time) and how it can both be a benefit and a barrier for students with disabilities. This has become quite a hot topic since my last post, as the National Federation of the Blind has filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice regarding the inaccessibility of Google Apps for users with vision impairments. I will leave you (and the DOJ) to make your own judgements about what should happen in this case, but thought I'd mention it as we move along. After all, looking for information on this complaint is how some of you landed here to read this post. Quite a few of you, actually, according to Google Analytics.

Meanwhile, back at the farm...