Author: Melissa Green

Texthelp expert-led EquatIO and Read&Write training for UA users—you’re invited!

The Faculty Resource Center’s Emerging Technology and Accessibility team invites you to participate in upcoming opportunities to learn more about Texthelp tools for reading, writing, language learning and STEM subjects. These tools are free to all UA students, faculty, and staff. They are particularly beneficial for English language learners, students with learning disabilities, and students who can benefit from writing supports, but are useful to all. Please consider joining us for these events and sharing this post with others who may wish to attend.

Mid- 2018 Accessibility Initiative Update

The Emerging Technology and Accessibility team, now part of UA’s Faculty Resource Center (FRC), housed in the Office of Information Technology (OIT), continues to lead the initiative to provide our technology users, including those with disabilities, a functional and accessible technology experience with our web presence and our instructional and emerging technologies. An annual audit of campus college and division web sites reflects that many campus areas continue to improve in their accessibility status.

2017-2018 efforts include:

  • Working with campus stakeholders to develop a Web Resources Accessibility Policy that would adopt WCAG 2.0 AA to address the accessibility of public-facing web resources, campus-wide web resources, and web resources needed to conduct core University administrative and academic functions, including third-party tools and equal access and non-compliance plans.
  • Establishing technology accessibility liaisons for each college, school, and division. Appointed by campus deans and vice presidents, these liaisons serve as the area contact to address technology needs related to accessibility.
  • Compiling and distributing to liaisons the most complete and accurate list of UA web sites to date.
  • Acquiring and rolling out campus wide the Texthelp suite of literacy support tools. Texthelp tools freely available to all UA students, faculty and staff on campus and personal machines include Read&Write, a literacy support solution with tools for reading, writing, research and studying; EquatIO, an application you can use to type, handwrite or speak to create equations, formulas, and other math and chemistry expressions; and Snapverter, an easy to use add-on for Read&Write for Google Chrome and iOS app that transforms papers and files into readable PDF documents.
  • Assuming management of campus licensing for ZoomText, a screen magnification and reading program that enables users with low vision to see, hear, and use everything on the computer screen
  • Captioning and/or transcribing over 4000 minutes of media through UA captioning grants. Captioning grants may be used to caption and/or transcribe UA-owned video and audio that will be shared on public or campus-wide websites.
  • Offering new workshops covering accessibility best practices for various media as well as diversity in learners and learning style and how accessibility barriers affect users with diversity of ability.
  • Adding staff member Melissa Green. Melissa is a Technology Accessibility Specialist dedicated to technology accessibility training needs.
  • Resolving 255 tickets in the Helpspot customer service/support ticket system.
  • Running 3246 Accessibility Management Platform reports. Accessibility Management Platform (AMP) is a comprehensive accessibility and reporting tool freely available to members of the UA community.

Fall 2018 Technology Accessibility Workshops

Emerging Technology and Accessibility invites you to enhance your technology accessibility skills by participating in these workshops during the Fall 2018 term:

  • AMP Office Hours
    Get assistance with your Accessibility Management Platform (AMP) questions in this open help session.
    Monday, Oct. 1, 10:30-11:30 a.m.
  • Creating Accessible Content with Microsoft Office
    Learn how to create Word documents, PowerPoint presentations, Excel spreadsheets, and Outlook emails accessible to users with disabilities.
    Friday, Sept. 21, 10:00-11:00 a.m.
  • Creating Accessible Content with Microsoft Office (webinar)
    Learn how to create Word documents, PowerPoint presentations, Excel spreadsheets, and Outlook emails accessible to users with disabilities.
    Thursday, Sept. 27, 2:00-3:00 p.m.
  • Creating Accessible PDFs with Adobe Acrobat DC
    Learn how to use Adobe Acrobat DC to create PDFs accessible to users with disabilities.
    Friday, Oct. 12, 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
  • Creating Accessible Social Media Content
    Learn how to create social media content accessible to users with disabilities.
    Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2:00-3:00 p.m.
  • Creating Accessible Social Media Content (webinar)
    Learn how to create social media content accessible to users with disabilities.
    Tuesday, Nov. 6, 10:00-11:00 a.m.
  • How People with Disabilities Access Digital Content
    Gain a fuller appreciation of technology accessibility by exploring technologies and methods people with disabilities use to access websites, documents, audio, video, and other digital content.
    Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2:00-3:00 p.m.
  • Introduction to AMP
    Learn about UA’s Accessibility Management Platform (AMP), a comprehensive accessibility testing and reporting tool freely available to members of the UA community.
    Friday, Sept. 14, 9:30-10:30 a.m.
  • Introduction to EquatIO (onsite webinar)
    A comprehensive introduction to EquatIO and EquatIO mathspace, applications that let everyone create mathematical equations, formulas, graphs, and more on their computer or Chromebook.
    Monday, Sept. 10, 1:00-4:00 p.m.
  • Introduction to Read&Write for Google Chrome
    A comprehensive introduction to Read&Write for Google Chrome, a literacy support solution with tools for reading, writing, research and studying.
    Wednesday, Oct. 17, 8:30-11:30 a.m.
  • Introduction to Read&Write for Windows
    A comprehensive introduction to Read&Write for Windows, a literacy support solution with tools for reading, writing, research and studying.
    Wednesday, Oct. 17, 1:00-4:00 p.m.
  • Introduction to Web Accessibility
    Learn about laws and standards regarding accessibility in higher education, the University’s web accessibility guidelines, common accessibility challenges and solutions, and resources and strategies for creating accessible documents, images, audio, video, and web content.
    Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2:00-3:00 p.m.
  • Introduction to Web Accessibility (webinar)
    Learn about laws and standards regarding accessibility in higher education, the University’s web accessibility guidelines, common accessibility challenges and solutions, and resources and strategies for creating accessible documents, images, audio, video, and web content.
    Friday, Sept. 28, 10:00-11:00 a.m.
  • Testing Web Content for Accessibility
    Learn basic web accessibility evaluation techniques: using the WAVE accessibility evaluation tool; testing keyboard accessibility and content scaling; and manual checks for other common accessibility issues.
    Wednesday, Oct. 10, 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
  • Testing Web Content for Accessibility (webinar)
    Learn basic web accessibility evaluation techniques: using the WAVE accessibility evaluation tool; testing keyboard accessibility and content scaling; and manual checks for other common accessibility issues.
    Thursday, Nov. 1, 1:00-2:00 p.m.
  • Universal Design for Learning and Accessibility
    Learn how to create inclusive, accessible learning opportunities by utilizing Universal Design for Learning (UDL), a set of curriculum development principles that give all individuals equal opportunities to learn.
    Friday, Nov. 9, 10:00-11:00 a.m.
  • Universal Design for Learning and Accessibility (webinar)
    Learn how to create inclusive, accessible learning opportunities by utilizing Universal Design for Learning (UDL), a set of curriculum development principles that give all individuals equal opportunities to learn.
    Wednesday, Oct. 30, 3:00-4:00 p.m.
  • WCAG in a Nutshell
    Learn about Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 requirements (success criteria) and techniques, along with resources UA web professionals can use to meet these guidelines.
    Friday, Oct. 26, 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

All classroom workshops are held in A232 Gordon Palmer. Registration is requested but not required.

We are also happy to offer private training sessions on these and other accessibility-related topics to members of the University community. Please contact us if we can help with your technology accessibility needs.

AHEAD 2018 Virtual Conference—you’re invited!

The Faculty Resource Center’s Emerging Technology and Accessibility team is happy to host the Association on Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD) 2018 Virtual Conference, and you’re invited! The conference’s Opening Plenary address and 20 concurrent sessions will be streamed live in A232 and A236 Gordon Palmer Hall, Wednesday, July 18–Friday, July 20. Drop by for a session or stay for the entire event, and feel free to bring your lunch (and your friends!). Registration is not required.

AHEAD is the leading professional membership association for individuals committed to equity for persons with disabilities in higher education. AHEAD’s annual international conference is the organization’s hallmark event and draws attendees from around the world. Participants and presenters come from diverse fields, including education, technology, law, scholarship, and government, but share a common interest in fostering equitable higher education experiences for individuals with disabilities.

Introducing EquatIO’s Screenshot Reader

There’s a new addition to the Texthelp tools freely available to UA students, faculty, staff, and departments! With Screenshot Reader, the latest premium feature of EquatIO for Google, you can now turn any equation on the web into readable, editable math.

To learn more, check out How to Make Math Accessible on the Web on the Texthelp blog or watch the demo video to see Screenshot Reader in action.

Video: EquatIO® for Google: How to use Screenshot Reader

Summer 2018 Technology Accessibility Workshops

Emerging Technology and Accessibility invites you to enhance your technology accessibility skills by participating in these workshops during the Summer 2018 term:

  • Creating Accessible Documents with Adobe InDesign CC
    Learn how to generate an accessible PDF from InDesign and use Adobe Acrobat to touch up the exported file.
    Thursday, July 26, 2:00-3:00 p.m.
  • Creating Accessible Documents with Adobe InDesign CC (webinar)
    Learn how to generate an accessible PDF from InDesign and use Adobe Acrobat to touch up the exported file.
    Tuesday, July 31, 2:00-3:00 p.m.
  • Creating Accessible Emails (webinar)
    Learn how to create accessible emails with Microsoft Outlook, learning practices you can also apply to other email programs and marketing tools such as MailChimp.
    Tuesday, June 12, 2:00-3:00 p.m.
  • Creating Accessible Excel Spreadsheets (webinar)
    Learn how to create Microsoft Excel spreadsheets that are accessible to people with disabilities.
    Wednesday, June 20, 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
  • Creating Accessible PDFs with Adobe Acrobat DC
    Learn how to use Adobe Acrobat DC to create PDFs that are accessible to people with disabilities.
    Wednesday, July 25, 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
  • Creating Accessible PDFs with Adobe Acrobat DC (webinar)
    Learn how to use Adobe Acrobat DC to create PDFs that are accessible to people with disabilities.
    Monday, July 30, 2:00-3:00 p.m.
  • Creating Accessible PowerPoint Presentations (webinar)
    Learn how to create Microsoft PowerPoint presentations that are accessible to people with disabilities.
    Thursday, July 12, 2:00-3:00 p.m.
  • Creating Accessible Word Documents (webinar)
    Learn how to create Microsoft Word documents that are accessible to people with disabilities.
    Wednesday, June 13, 10:00-11:00 a.m.
  • How People with Disabilities Access Digital Content
    Gain a fuller appreciation of technology accessibility by exploring technologies and methods people with disabilities use to access websites, documents, audio, video, and other digital content.
    Monday, July 2, 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
  • How People with Disabilities Access Digital Content (webinar)
    Gain a fuller appreciation of technology accessibility by exploring technologies and methods people with disabilities use to access websites, documents, audio, video, and other digital content.
    Wednesday, June 27, 2:00-3:00 p.m.
  • Introduction to Web Accessibility
    Learn about laws and standards regarding accessibility in higher education, the University’s web accessibility guidelines, common accessibility challenges and solutions, and resources and strategies for creating accessible documents, images, audio, video, and web content.
    Wednesday, July 11, 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
  • Introduction to Web Accessibility (webinar)
    Learn about laws and standards regarding accessibility in higher education, the University’s web accessibility guidelines, common accessibility challenges and solutions, and resources and strategies for creating accessible documents, images, audio, video, and web content.
    Tuesday, July 24, 2:00-3:00 p.m.
  • Understanding the New AMP Interface
    Accessibility Management Platform (AMP) is a comprehensive accessibility testing and reporting tool freely available to all members of the UA community.
    Tuesday, June 26, 10:00-11:00 a.m.

All classroom workshops are held in A232 Gordon Palmer. Registration is requested but not required.

We are also happy to offer private training sessions on these and other accessibility-related topics to members of the University community. Please contact us if we can help with your technology accessibility needs.

Global Accessibility Awareness Day 2018

Thursday, May 17 is the seventh Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD). GAAD’s purpose is “to get everyone talking, thinking and learning about digital (web, software, mobile, etc.) access/inclusion and people with different disabilities.” As part of the global GAAD celebration, UA web professionals will discuss web accessibility at the WebTide monthly meetup and Emerging Technology will host the Using WordPress for Accessible Web Development webinar in A204 Gordon Palmer Hall.

Here are some ways you might participate in this year’s Global Accessibility Awareness Day activities. 

10 Ways We Can Make The University of Alabama More Accessible

  1. Convey content in multiple ways; don’t just use images, color, video, or audio.
  2. Foster awareness of accessibility and accommodations. If a student needs accommodations, refer them to the Office of Disability Services. Faculty and staff can contact the Department of Human Resources. If you notice an opportunity to address accessibility, please bring it up!
  3. Keep lines of communication with your users open and available.
  4. Tell vendors/publishers/third parties that accessibility is important and ask how they are planning for accessibility. You can find suggested questions to ask vendors on the Technology Accessibility website.
  5. Ask for or create a captioned or transcribed version of any media you use. Captioning grants are available to caption and/or transcribe UA-owned video and audio that will be shared on public or campus-wide web sites.
  6. Avoid “click here”, “read more”, or other generic link/menu text.
  7. Communicate clearly and concisely.
  8. Build accessibility into your work practices for any content you create or share. Acrobat, Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and Outlook on the web have built-in accessibility checkers, as do many other authoring tools.
  9. Check out the assistive technology on your computer or mobile device and think about why someone would use it. Mac users can access accessibility options via Apple menu > System Preferences > Accessibility. Windows users can access accessibility options via Start > Settings > Ease of Access or Control Panel > Ease of Access Center.
  10. Learn more on the Technology Accessibility website.

Questions? Comments? Need access help? Contact accessibility@ua.edu.

Technology Accessibility Training Interest Survey: What would you like to learn?

The Emerging Technology and Accessibility team is making plans for Summer 2018 training offerings and would like to know: what would you like to learn next? Please let us know by completing this brief, anonymous Technology Accessibility Training Interest Survey or sending us an email at accessibility@ua.edu.

The Emerging Technology and Accessibility team regularly hosts workshops and webinars on web accessibility guidelines; best practices for creating accessible documents, presentations, and spreadsheets; Universal Design for Learning; and other accessibility-related topics. University community members can also request individual or group accessibility training for University employees and campus areas. Please email accessibility@ua.edu

Digital documents in a Snap(verter)

There’s a new addition to the Texthelp tools freely available to UA students, faculty, staff, and departments: Snapverter for iOS brings the OCR capabilities of Snapverter to iPhones and iPads, allowing you to create readable PDFs, hear them read aloud on demand, and export them to access on your other devices.

Snap a photo of a paper worksheet or document
Snapverter for iOS in action

To use Snapverter for iOS:

  1. Install the app from the App Store.
  2. Sign in to the app with your Crimson Mail account (students) or authorized personal Google account (faculty/staff). Faculty/staff can request authorization for a personal Google account by contacting accessibility@ua.edu.
  3. Snap a photo of a paper document or choose an existing image or file saved on your device.
  4. Once you’ve taken or selected a photo, Snapverter converts it to readable text. You can then tap your text to listen to it read aloud with dual-color highlighting, adjusting the voice, reading speed and other speech settings to your liking.
  5. You can save and manage your scans in the Snapverter app and export them to Google Drive, email, and more to access them on other devices—for example, opening your new readable PDF in the Texthelp PDF Reader on your computer or Chromebook.

To learn more about Snapverter for iOS, check out this Texthelp blog post: Make documents accessible while on-the-go with the Snapverter app for iOS.