Texthelp tool access for personal Google accounts

UA users of Texthelp tools are able to access Read&Write, EquatIO, and Snapverter by signing in with a Crimson Mail account (“Sign in with Google”) or a @ua.edu Office 365 account (“Sign in with Microsoft”). Some users previously granted authorization for an email address connected to a different Google or Microsoft account may have lost this access in a recent update. If you are unable to log into the Texthelp tools with a non-UA email address for which you had previously received authorization, please contact us.

Accessing Higher Ground Accessible Media, Web & Technology Conference Presented by AHEAD in collaboration with ATHEN

Accessing Higher Ground Virtual Conference 2019—you’re invited!

The Center for Instructional Technology is happy to host the Accessing Higher Ground Virtual Conference, and you’re invited! Sessions from all five days of the conference will be streamed live in A232 and A342 Gordon Palmer Hall, Monday, November 18–Friday, November 22. 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.

Accessing Higher Ground focuses on the implementation and benefits of:

  • Accessible media, Universal Design and Assistive Technology in the university, business and public setting;
  • Legal and policy issues, including ADA and 508 compliance;
  • The creation of accessible media and information resources, including Web pages and library resources.

There is a strong focus on campus accommodation, universal design, and curriculum accessibility as well as best practices for web design, reaching untapped audiences through accessible design, and compliance with existing and anticipated Section 508 and ADA stipulations.

A complete agenda is available on the conference website. As the schedule is subject to change, please check for updates before making the trip to Gordon Palmer. Times on the conference site are in Mountain Time; Central Time is one hour ahead.

Upcoming accessibility-related learning opportunities

We’re compiling our team’s favorite sources for accessibility news and professional development opportunities to add to the collection of Accessibility Resources on our website. Let us know if there are organizations, listservs, social media accounts, etc. you find particularly useful, and we’ll add them to the list.

Here are some upcoming accessibility-related learning opportunities:

Fall 2019 Technology Accessibility Workshops

The Technology Accessibility team invites you to enhance your technology accessibility skills by participating in these workshops and webinars. Starting this semester, we are proud to partner with HR Learning and Development to offer workshop/webinar registration via UA LMS, the new online learning system for faculty and staff. Register for workshops/webinars via the links here, or view the entire Accessibility instructor-led training catalog in UA LMS: UA LMS Instructor-Led Training: Accessibility

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.

Updated Texthelp tools

Updated versions of two Texthelp tools, Read&Write and EquatIO, are now available on the OIT website, along with updated installation instructions: Texthelp in the OIT software catalog

Texthelp offers a collection of Mac and PC desktop software, Google Chrome apps and extensions, and iOS and Android apps that support reading, writing, language learning and STEM subjects. Texthelp tools freely available to all UA students, faculty and staff include: Read&Write, a literacy support toolbar with supports 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.

Video: Introduction to using Read&Write at University

Video: Introducing EquatIO® – Make Math Digital. Make Math Together

Video: Introduction to Snapverter – An Add-On for Read&Write

AHEAD Equity & Excellence: Access in Higher Education

AHEAD 2019 Virtual Conference—you’re invited!

The Office of Disability Services and the Center for Instructional Technology’s Technology Accessibility team are happy to host the Association on Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD) 2019 Virtual Conference, and you’re invited! The conference’s Opening Plenary address and a dozen concurrent sessions and featured presentations will be streamed live in A232 and A342 Gordon Palmer Hall, Thursday, July 11–Friday, July 12. 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.

Mid- 2019 Accessibility Initiative Update

The Faculty Resource Center’s Technology Accessibility team, 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. A major accomplishment this year was the approval of The University of Alabama Web Resources Accessibility Policy (PDF), which adopts 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 function, including equally effective alternate access and non-compliance plans.

Additional efforts since our last update include:

  • Resolving 825 tickets in the HelpSpot customer service/support ticket system.
  • Offering 56 workshops and webinars, including offerings on web accessibility; best practices for creating accessible documents, presentations, spreadsheets, emails, social media, and other digital content; Universal Design for Learning; and other accessibility-related topics.
  • Captioning and/or transcribing over 7000 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.
  • Running 2000+ Accessibility Management Platform reports. Accessibility Management Platform (AMP) is a comprehensive accessibility and reporting tool freely available to members of the UA community.
  • Hosting Texthelp experts who offered intensive training on literacy support tools freely available to all UA students, faculty and staff: 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.
  • Partnering with the College of Continuing Studies to plan and present a cross-campus Invisible Disabilities workshop.
  • Hosting the Accessing Higher Ground Virtual Conference.

Additionally, as of May 2019, both our Technology Accessibility Specialists have now earned IAAP Certified Professional in Accessibility Core Competencies (CPACC) certification. The CPACC credential represents broad, cross-disciplinary conceptual knowledge about 1) disabilities, 2) accessibility and universal design, and 3) accessibility-related standards, laws, and management strategies.

We continue to:

  • Maintain a campus technology and web site inventory, including technology accessibility status.
  • Conduct site audits, sharing evaluation reports with area liaisons who will handle remediation with our assistance.
  • Provide technology accessibility policy guidance to stakeholders who select, create, or share digital content.
  • Facilitate accurate captioning and or transcription of all public-facing and campus wide media, including the administration of captioning grants and training.
  • Work with campus stakeholders and accessibility liaisons to ensure the accessibility of instructional content housed in Blackboard Learn or other enterprise instructional technology tools.
  • Manage licensing and support of enterprise assistive technology tools (currently Texthelp and ZoomText).
  • Consult with and assist campus liaisons and other stakeholders with all technology accessibility concerns and questions.

Plans for this coming year include the continued implementation of The University of Alabama Web Resources Accessibility Policy, including initial compliance reviews, as well as partnering with the University’s Department of Human Resources to add accessibility-related content to the new UA LMS comprehensive professional development library.

Summer 2019 Technology Accessibility Workshops

The Technology Accessibility team invites you to enhance your technology accessibility skills by participating in these workshops this summer:

  • Accessibility Office Hours and Work Session
    Bring your accessibility questions or work to improve the accessibility of your digital content. We’re here to help!

    • Thursday, June 27, 2:00 p.m.
    • Thursday, July 25, 2:00 p.m.
  • Advanced PDF Accessibility: Forms
    Participants in this hands-on workshop will learn techniques for creating accessible PDF forms with Adobe Acrobat Pro DC.
    Tuesday, August 6, 2:00 p.m.
  • Advanced PDF Accessibility: Lists
    Participants in this hands-on workshop will learn how to correctly tag PDF lists using Adobe Acrobat Pro DC.
    Thursday, August 1, 2:00 p.m.
  • Advanced PDF Accessibility: Scanned Documents
    Participants in this hands-on workshop will learn how to use Adobe Acrobat Pro DC to correct accessibility issues in a PDF created by scanning a document.
    Thursday, July 18, 2:00 p.m.
  • Advanced PDF Accessibility: Tables
    Participants in this hands-on workshop will learn how to correctly tag PDF tables using Adobe Acrobat Pro DC.
    Tuesday, July 30, 2:00 p.m.
  • Creating Accessible PDFs with Adobe Acrobat Pro DC
    Participants in this introductory hands-on workshop will learn how to use Adobe Acrobat Pro DC to create accessible PDFs from Microsoft Office content.
    Tuesday, June 18, 2:00 p.m.
  • Creating Accessible PDFs with Adobe InDesign CC
    Participants in this hands-on workshop will learn how to export an InDesign file as a tagged PDF and other accessibility considerations for InDesign.
    Thursday, August 8, 2:00 p.m.
  • Creating Accessible Social Media Content
    Learn how to create Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other social media content accessible to users with disabilities.
    Monday, July 22, 9:00 a.m.
  • Creating Accessible Social Media Content (webinar)
    Learn how to create Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other social media content accessible to users with disabilities.
    Monday, June 10, 9:00 a.m.
  • Designing for Accessibility
    Learn the importance of designing for accessibility and impactful practices you can apply to create accessible documents, images, audio, video, and web content.
    Thursday, June 6, 2:00 p.m.
  • Designing for Accessibility (webinar)
    Learn the importance of designing for accessibility and impactful practices you can apply to create accessible documents, images, audio, video, and web content.
    Monday, June 24, 9:00 a.m.
  • Interpreting AMP Tests and Reports
    Learn how to navigate and understand accessibility testing results documented in an AMP Report.
    Thursday, July 11, 2:00 p.m.
  • Introduction to AMP
    Learn about UA’s Accessibility Management Platform (AMP), a comprehensive accessibility and reporting tool freely available to members of the UA community.
    Tuesday, June 4, 2:00 p.m.
  • Manual Testing in AMP
    Learn how to use Access Assistant, a browser toolbar integrated with AMP, to perform guided manual accessibility testing.
    Tuesday, July 9, 2:00 p.m.
  • PDF Remediation Basics
    Participants in this hands-on workshop will learn how to use Adobe Acrobat Pro DC to correct basic tagging issues in a PDF.
    Tuesday, July 2, 2:00 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.

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Global Accessibility Awareness Day 2019

Thursday, May 16 is the eighth 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 technology accessibility liaisons will share their success stories, Campus Communicators will learn about Designing for Accessibility, and the Faculty Resource Center’s Technology Accessibility team will host several webinars in A232 Gordon Palmer Hall (see Technology Accessibility events on the UA Events Calendar).

PDF Accessibility Sessions Added

We’ve added several opportunities to learn about PDF accessibility in April and May. Enhance your ability to create accessible PDFs by participating in these workshops and webinars:

  • Creating Accessible PDFs with Adobe Acrobat Pro DC (webinar)
    This session covers how to use Adobe Acrobat Pro DC to create PDFs that are accessible to people with disabilities: what it means for a PDF to be accessible; generating accessible PDFs from Microsoft Office and other applications; and using Acrobat’s Accessibility Checker and Make Accessible Action Wizard to evaluate the accessibility of a PDF and make basic accessibility fixes.
    Thursday, Apr. 11, 2019, 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
  • Creating Accessible PDFs with Adobe Acrobat Pro DC
    This session covers how to use Adobe Acrobat Pro DC to create PDFs that are accessible to people with disabilities: what it means for a PDF to be accessible; generating accessible PDFs from Microsoft Office and other applications; and using Acrobat’s Accessibility Checker and Make Accessible Action Wizard to evaluate the accessibility of a PDF and make basic accessibility fixes.
    Tuesday, April 16, 2019, 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
  • Advanced PDF Accessibility with Adobe Acrobat Pro DC: Scanned Documents, Tables, and Lists (webinar)
    You’ve mastered the basics of creating accessible PDFs, but what about more complex documents? This session covers advanced techniques such as working with scanned documents, complex tables, and complex lists. You are welcome to submit challenging PDF content in advance so we can address it during the session.
    Monday, April 22, 2019, 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
  • Advanced PDF Accessibility with Adobe Acrobat Pro DC: Scanned Documents, Tables, and Lists
    You’ve mastered the basics of creating accessible PDFs, but what about more complex documents? This session covers advanced techniques such as working with scanned documents, complex tables, and complex lists. You are welcome to submit challenging PDF content in advance so we can address it during the session.
    Tuesday, April 23, 2019, 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
  • Advanced PDF Accessibility with Adobe Acrobat Pro DC: Forms (webinar)
    This session covers how to use Adobe Acrobat Pro DC to create accessible PDF forms: adding fillable form fields and field descriptions, tagging, setting the set tab order, and other PDF form accessibility tasks.
    Monday, April 29, 2019, 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
  • Advanced PDF Accessibility with Adobe Acrobat Pro DC: Forms
    This session covers how to use Adobe Acrobat Pro DC to create accessible PDF forms: adding fillable form fields and field descriptions, tagging, setting the set tab order, and other PDF form accessibility tasks.
    Tuesday, April 30, 2019, 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
  • Creating Accessible PDFs with Adobe InDesign CC (webinar)
    Be it a handout, flyer, poster, article, or other digital content, it’s important to ensure your InDesign document is accessible to people with disabilities. This session covers using InDesign and Acrobat to create an accessible PDF: tagging and ordering content, identifying and describing images and other non-text content, selecting the most accessible export options, and using Adobe Acrobat Pro DC to touch up the exported file.
    Monday, May 6, 2019, 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
  • Creating Accessible PDFs with Adobe InDesign CC 
    You’ve mastered the basics of creating accessible PDFs, but what about more complex documents? This session covers advanced techniques such as working with scanned documents, complex tables, and complex lists. You are welcome to submit challenging PDF content in advance so we can address it during the session.
    Tuesday, May 7, 2019, 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

All classroom workshops are held in A232 Gordon Palmer. Registration is requested.

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.