CUNY IT Conference 2014 December 5th

Posted on November 24, 2014
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If you are planning on attending the CUNY IT Conference here is an interesting seminar you may want to attend presented by our colleagues from CUNY School of Professional Studies.

Friday, Dec 5th at 1pm

Teaching Faculty to Fish: Course Accessibility in the Online Classroom

As CUNY colleges push further into the realm of online education by offering increasing numbers of courses in hybrid or fully online sections, there is growing need for a university-wide approach to making these courses accessible to all students, including students with disabilities. In recent years, individual accommodations implemented by each campus have made it possible for increasing numbers of students with disabilities to access higher education. Currently the university is undergoing a shift toward the principles of universal design, striving to build in accessibility for people with a wide a range of differences, from students with mobility and sensory impairments to those with intellectual and psychological disabilities. In the online learning environment, while supported by campus and university resources, the instructor ultimately mediates the implementation of universal design principles. In this presentation, we will showcase some of these principles in an online course environment and discuss, from the viewpoint of both student disability services and faculty development/instructional design, how administrative professionals can best collaborate with each other and with faculty to raise awareness about accessibility/universal design, establish best practices for online courses, and support faculty as well as students.

Speakers:
Antonia Levy
, Faculty Development & Instructional Design, CUNY School of Professional Studies
Christopher Leydon, Student Services, CUNY School of Professional Studies

 

Register Now

Read2Go – Making Reading More Accessible

Posted on November 21, 2014
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Being in school and completing a professor’s assignments can be stressful, especially if you don’t have the right tools to help you complete the task(s) you’re working on. If you have dyslexia or it’s hard for you to read certain things for long periods of time, you’ve come to the right place!

Read2Go is an application for iOS and it has been recognized as one of the most accessible apps out for smart phones today. Read2Go accomplishes it’s goal by being a simple yet intuitive e-Book reader that highlights words as it continues to read to you and by including many other features. Those features are:

  • the ability to increase font size up to 70pt.
  • the ability to adjust the speed of narration
  • the ability to bookmark pages
  • the ability to continue reading from where you previously left off
  • the ability to convert text to braille
  • the ability to turn off Read2Go’s voice reader and use Apple’s VoiceOver instead
  • the ability to browse, search and download books quickly and easily
  • the ability to choose “natural Acapela voices” amongst other choices
  • and many more features

Read2Go is only available on iOS at this time and it has a one time fee of $19.99. You can download Read2Go herehttps://itunes.apple.com/us/app/read2go/id425585903?mt=8

Free EASI Webinars in November

Posted on November 03, 2014
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For anyone interested in Web Conferencing EASI will be hosting 2 free Webinars in the month of november that you may want to check out.

Introduction to Web Conferencing

Presenter: Norm Coombs
Date: Tuesday Nov. 4 at 2 pm Eastern

Web conferencing systems are complex and powerful. This introduction will outline these features and discuss the issues each creates for accessibility. A significant aspect of accessibility frequently depends on the presenter. The particular features the presenter selects and the way the presenter makes use of them all become part of their accessibility or inaccessibility. This introduction Webinar is intended as background for the Webinar on Nov. 11. That Webinar will actually be using Blackboard Collaborate, and this Webinar will help you be sure your computer is configured for that experience.

The accessibility of Blackboard Collaborate

Presenters: David Hastie, Director Product Management, Blackboard Collaborate and Connect and Hadi Rangin from the University of Washington

Date: Tuesday Nov. 11 at 2pm Eastern

This Webinar will explain and Demonstrate the Accessibility of Blackboard Collaborate. Participants will hear about its features and be able to actually experience them as the Webinar is being held there.

Register for the Webinars on Nov. 4 and 11

VoxDox: Your Friendly Text-To-Speech and Screen Reader Application

Posted on October 15, 2014
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VoxDox Logo headphones connected to face and a piece of paper

If you’re looking for a screen reader or a text-to-speech application for your smart device, VoxDox is the right choice for you! With a natural-sounding voice, the ability to read in over ten different languages and read at different speeds, you really can’t go wrong. The special thing about VoxDox is that it gives you access to thousands of audio books that are read by actual narrators.

VoxDox is a great tool for anyone and especially for those who are visually impaired. Here’s what VoxDox can do and some of its features:

  • Read full-length books
  • Read any text, document or PDF file
  • Choose from many different voices and ten different languages
  • Take pictures of a page in a book, have VoxDox convert and read it for you
  • Text-To-Speech tool
  • Read text from your web browser by choosing “Share link” and sharing it with VoxDox

 Video

 

Click the link below to visit the VoxDox website

http://www.voxdox.com/

Leap Motion: Computing with Hand Gestures

Posted on October 06, 2014
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leap-motion device held in a hand click image to go to Leap Motion Official homepage

A few weeks ago we talked about “tobii EyeMobile” a device which allowed a user to control a windows 8 tablet using their eyes today we will be talking about a device similar in nature. The Leap Motion is a device which gives users the ability to control a computer using just their hands. Leap Motion was originally created when a group of 3D model designers found using a mouse and keyboard was really inefficient when working with 3D models, what they created was a revolutionary Assistive Technology Device which can give some students an alternative method to control a computer.Lets face it the keyboard and mouse set up is not the most accessible or flexible tool out there and it takes learning a whole new set of skills(which may be difficult or nearly impossible for some) but with Leap Motion the controls can be changed and adjusted based on the users individual needs or preferences just by using different apps that are available for Mac & PC Users. The leap Motion cost $79.99 and the apps for computer controls range from free to $4.99. For more information check out the links and Videos below.

Link

Purchase link for the Leap Motion Device

App store for computer control apps

 

Video
Pointable OS (Windows 7 & 8) Demonstration Video (no vocal audio)

iOS 8: Improved Accessibility

Posted on September 29, 2014
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iOS 8 logo

 

 

 

 

Today, we will be discussing iOS 8’s new and improved Accessibility Features. Before we continue, though, let’s remind ourselves of what Accessibility Features are. Accessibility features are tools that make using your computer or any other electronic device easier, quicker and more interactive, especially for those with disabilities.

Here’s What’s New:

  • Alex – A new life-like voice for your iOS device that will work with VoiceOver and interact with other aspects of your phone. In a sense, it is a replacement for the older, more robotic voice that iOS used to utilize.
  • Speak Screen - A new feature that allows you to make simple gestures to activate Alex so that he can read anything on your screen. This will be especially useful for those that are visually impaired and cannot read what’s on their screen. Unlike iOS’s previous readers, Speak Screen will read labels, buttons, and other types of text.
  • Improved Braille Keyboard – Apple has improved their braille keyboard to the point where now, 6-dot Braille is supported with its own dedicated keyboard, will translate 6-dot chords into text!
  • Zoom – iOS has made some major improvements when talking about zoom. Now, users will be able to specify exactly which spot on the screen they’d like to zoom into and how small or big they want to zoom to be. In addition, it’s able to have a regular-sized keyboard underneath the zoomed-in part of the screen. This will make it easy to type but even easier to see in large, what you’re typing.
  • Assistive Touch Improvements – Users will now easily be able to access their Notifications and Control Center from within Assistive Touch.
  • Third-Party Keyboards – With iOS, you can now download other keyboards that fits your needs directly. For example, if you’d like to swype instead of typing each letter out, you can use QuickType.

With all of these features kept in mind, iOS has made some great changes in iOS 8 to better help those in need or for those who want to use their device quicker, more easily, more interactively and efficiently. For the official Apple Accessibility Page Click The link below.

Apple Accessibility Page

Tobii EyeMobile: Tablet Access using the eyes

Posted on September 22, 2014
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Image of the Tobii EyeMobile Front and sideviews

The Tobii EyeMobile gives users the ability to access a Windows 8 pro tablets with just the use of their eyes. This gives students with mobility issues such as Lou Gehrig’s disease ALS  a new sense of independence allowing them to surf the web,write papers and write emails using just the eyes and all while on the go. I would also like to mention that this is a great alternative for student who have difficulty with speech recognition software such as Dragon Naturally Speaking. For a more in-depth look at the Tobii EyeMobile you can watch the youtube video at the end of this post or visit their website link directly below.

Tobii EyeMobile Website Link

Orion TI-84 Plus Talking Graphing Calculator

Posted on September 15, 2014
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Image of the TI-84 Plus talking graphing calculator The Orion TI-84 Plus Talking Graphing Calculator is a by-product of the American Printing House (APH) partnering up with Orbit Research and Texas Instruments. This calculator is a modified TI-84 Plus with an extension at the top with gives it additional accessible features. The attachment gives the calculator six extra function keys and five cursor keys in addition to stereo speakers. The user are able to access graphs using either spoken announcements or sonograph audio and vibrating feedback.Users are also able to use a built in usb port to connect their calculator to a computer to have their work embossed giving them option for a physical (accessible) copy. For more in depth info about this product please follow the link below.

Orion TI-84 Plus Talking Graphing Calculator

 

WorkFlowy: Organize Your Brain

Posted on August 13, 2014
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WorkFlowy can help you organize personal to-dos, collaborate on large team projects, take notes, write research papers, keep a journal, and much more.

Sign-up for free

https://workflowy.com/

InstaGrok:Expanding Your Research

Posted on July 31, 2014
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InstaGrock logo

instaGrok is an innovative educational search engine that combines sophisticated semantic technology with an interactive user interface to make learning more engaging, personalized and fun for everyone. instaGrok is used by hundreds of thousands of students, teachers and everyday people every month.

We are a young startup that is quickly growing in traction and revenue. We are passionate about our mission of making learning more accessible and engaging, and are striving to create a very conscious organizational culture.

Link:

http://www.instagrok.com/index.html