Registration For 6th Annual CUNY Accessibility Conference

Posted on February 27, 2015
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6th Annual CUNY Accessibility Conference

Student Success in the Digital Age

Friday, May 1st, 2015 at 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM

John Jay College of Criminal Justice 524 W 59th St. between 10th and 11th Ave New York, NY, 10019

The CUNY Accessibility Conference Coordinating Committee and the Council on Student Disability Issues (COSDI) is pleased to invite you to the 6th Annual CUNY Accessibility Conference. The conference will bring together CUNY professionals along with others in the fields of higher education disability services to share information, network and receive training that will enhance their knowledge and skills. The theme of the Conference will be “Students Success in a Digital Age”. The Conference will be held on May 1st, 2015 at John Jay College of Criminal Justice 524 West 59th Street, New York City, NY 10019.

You can register for the 6th Annual Accessibility Conference by clicking here.


For more information and for further updates, please visit the 6th Annual Accessibility Conference page by clicking here.

TapToTalk – Your Go-To Communications App That Turns Your Phone Into An AAC Device

Posted on February 02, 2015
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For people with Autism, Down Syndrome, Apraxia, Cerebral Palsy or or those who are unable to speak, day-to-day communication can be extremely difficult to accomplish and sometimes even nearly impossible. How do these people express themselves? How do they tell loved ones what they’re thinking, how they’re feeling or what they want? That’s the million dollar question I’m answering today, with an app review!

TapToTalk is the holy grail of AAC applications that transforms your iOS or Android device into your very own AAC device! Again, for those who are unable to speak or have difficulty doing so, this is the right app for you!

What is AAC? AAC stands for Augmentative and Alternative Communication. When speaking about AAC tools, it is is often associated with image and text boards which help the user express whether he’s hungry, angry, sad, happy, etc. – whatever it may be!


Tap To Talk Logo TapToTalk is a free application to download and use, but be cautious. The application isn’t “free” in reality. You can upgrade the app at three different prices. Here’s a breakdown:

  • Designer Home: This plan is for guardians who want to organize and create pictures and sounds for one child. One-time payment of $149.95.
  • Designer Pro: For speech therapists or special needs specialists who work with several children. One-time payment of $229.95. Each additional child after the given two children license are $100 per child.
  • Designer Agency: For schools that have numerous professionals working with several children. One-time payment of $299.95 — 3 licenses given, each additional child is $100.

Screenshots of TapToTalk

 To view the TapToTalk website, please click here:





CamScanner: Converting Scanned Documents Into OCR’ed PDF Files

Posted on January 04, 2015
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When one thinks about accessibility, they usually think about apps, software and websites that make it comfortable for people to access content across all devices with ease. With thousands upon thousands of apps out there, though, how do you know what apps to choose and which apps are trustworthy? This is where this article comes in. Today, we’re going to review CamScanner — a phone PDF creator that OCR’s any document you scan using the app.

CamScanner LogoHaving the ability to scan documents and convert them into PDFs is useful, especially when you have the power to do so at the palm of your hand.  You can scan business cards, legal documents, pages in a book, pretty much anything! All with a simple tap of  the camera icon button.

If you really want to get into it in detail, CamScanner has features like enabling a security password or scanning a batch pages in one taking, so that you can later merge the documents and its pages in a corresponding order and continue with the OCR process. In fact, CamScanner allows you to edit your OCR’ed document in its “Pro” version, allowing you to view them only in the free version of CamScanner.

The pricing gets a little confusing with CamScanner, though, so I’ll simplify it for you. You have two options, here. You can upgrade CamScanner at $4.99 a month or $49.99 per year. With this upgrade, you’ll get:

  1. the ability to edit OCR’ed documents
  2. the ability to create document collages for multiple pages you scanned
  3. the ability to enable automatic upload of your documents to Dropbox, Google Drive, Box and Evernote so that you never worry about losing content
  4. the ability to share documents (in the paid version, you can set an expiration date to the links of items you share
  5. the ability to have up to 50 document collaborators
  6. the ability password-protect your documents and those you share

CamScanner Introductory Video

To download CamScanner for iOS or Android, please visit the CamScanner website by clicking here

Holiday Greeting

Posted on December 22, 2014
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Wishing you Happy Holidays and a Prosperous New Year from CATS

Wishing you Happy Holidays and a Prosperous New Year from CATS

SayText: Making The World Speak

Posted on December 12, 2014
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For those who are visually impaired or blind, daily tasks can be difficult to complete. With technology progressing so quickly, though, there’s always something new to try that can make everyone’s life a little easier in most any situation. For those looking to make their lives just a little bit easier, you’ve come to the right place. Today, we’ll be reviewing SayText – an app that OCRs images you capture and reads them aloud.


SayText LogoFor those who are blind, SayText makes it easy to read just about anything in any situation. Say, for instance, that you’re in a restaurant and you’d like to know what the special for the day is. You’d take your iPhone and place it on top of the restaurant’s menu, tapping “Take picture.” Slowly elevating it, SayText will let you know that it has detected the menu/document by playing a short beep. Once SayText has captured the image, it will begin the OCR process. To hear OCR progress, simply tap the screen and listen. Want to hear the menu? Simply swipe right to have the menu speak!

SayText is free and requires iOS version 5.0 or higher.

SayText Introductory Video 

As you can see, SayText is an accessible app and caters to those who are either blind or visually impaired.

To get SayText from the App Store, click here


Happy Thanksgiving

Posted on November 26, 2014
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CATS wishes everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. We are thankful to work with such a vast group of passionate and dedicated people. Hope you have a long and wonderful weekend.
A Greeting Card that says HAPPY THANKSGIVING

Introducing the latest version of the Reasonable Accommodations Guide for Faculty

Posted on November 25, 2014
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Reasonable Accommodations- A Guide for Faculty PDF  is now available on catsweb.
Click here or click the image below to view and/or download the PDF.
*Note* The new guide is also located on the sidebar of CATSWeb Hompage.

Reasonable Accommodations image

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.

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 here

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