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.

Spring 2018 Technology Accessibility Workshops

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

  • Texthelp Tools for Reading, Writing, Language Learning, and STEM
    This hands-on workshop offers an introduction to the Texthelp 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 that lets everyone create mathematical equations, formulas, Desmos graphs, and more on their computer or Chromebook; and Snapverter, a Google Chrome app that converts printed documents and inaccessible digital files into readable PDF files for easy sharing and reading aloud.
    Wednesday, March 28, 2:00-3:00 p.m. in Gordon Palmer Room A232
  • Introduction to Accessibility Management Platform (AMP)
    For all UA users, learn about UA’s Accessibility Management Platform and how it can help evaluate web sites for accessibility.
    Friday, March 30, 2:00-3:00 p.m. in Gordon Palmer Room A232
  • Accessible Content and Inclusive Learning with Microsoft Office
    This demonstration session introduces general principles for creating accessible content with Microsoft Office products and free Microsoft Learning Tools that provide support for reading and writing Office documents.
    Tuesday, April 3, 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. in Gordon Palmer Room A232
  • Accessibility Management Platform (AMP) Office Hours
    This open help session is an opportunity to get assistance with your Accessibility Management Platform (AMP) questions.
    Friday, April 6, 10:00-11 a.m. in Gordon Palmer Room A232
  • Creating Accessible Emails
    Whether you’re sending a note to just a few contacts or crafting a campaign for broad distribution, it’s important to make sure your email messages are accessible to people with disabilities. This hands-on workshop will cover how to create accessible emails: composing messages, improving image accessibility, and adding accessible tables and lists. Participants will use Microsoft Outlook to create accessible messages, learning practices they can also apply to other email programs and marketing tools such as MailChimp.
    Tuesday, April 10, 2:00-3:00 p.m. in Gordon Palmer Room A232
  • How People with Disabilities Access Digital Content
    Participants in this session will gain a fuller appreciation of technology accessibility by exploring the user perspective: technologies and methods people with disabilities use to access websites, documents, audio, video, and other digital content, and barriers created by inaccessible design. This session includes demonstrations of assistive technology such as screen readers and magnifiers, alternate input devices, and the accessibility features built into the Mac and Windows operating systems.
    Friday, April 13, 10:00-11:00 a.m. in Gordon Palmer Room A232
  • Introduction to Web Accessibility
    The University of Alabama is committed to providing our technology users, including those with disabilities, a functional and accessible technology experience with our web presence and our instructional and emerging technologies. This session will provide an introduction to web accessibility: 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, April 18, 2:00-3:00 p.m. in Gordon Palmer Room A232
  • Accessibility Management Platform (AMP) Office Hours
    This open help session is an opportunity to get assistance with your Accessibility Management Platform (AMP) questions.
    Friday, April 20, 2:00-3:00 p.m. in Gordon Palmer Room A232
  • Creating Accessible Digital Stories with Microsoft Sway
    Microsoft Sway is a digital storytelling app that helps you quickly create professional, interactive designs for your images, text, videos and other media; it is also a more accessible alternative than Adobe Spark. This hands-on workshop offers an introduction to Sway with a focus on accessibility. Participants will learn best practices to make their Sways accessible; use the Accessibility Checker to identify and fix potential accessibility issues; and play their finished creations in Accessibility view.
    Tuesday, April 24, 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. in Gordon Palmer Room A232

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.

EquatIO Mobile is here

Last month, we introduced the Texthelp tools now freely available to UA students, faculty, staff, and departments, including EquatIO, which helps users create equations, formulas, and other math and chemistry expressions on a computer or Chromebook. Here’s a look at EquatIO Mobile, released last week, just in time for Pi Day!

Video: How to Use EquatIO® Mobile

A mobile companion to EquatIO for Google Chrome and EquatIO mathspace on the computer or Chromebook, EquatIO Mobile lets you add handwritten math, images, and more to digital documents. Currently available for use on Android devices using Google Chrome or iOS devices using Safari, EquatIO Mobile automatically finds and lets you add digital math to the active documents you have open with EquatIO on your computer or Chromebook.

There are three ways to add math:

  • Draw Math, which lets you use the touchscreen of your phone or tablet to handwrite math (handy for users who prefer to handwrite math but don’t have access to a touchscreen computer or Chromebook)
  • Record, which lets you dictate your math into your microphone
  • Math Image, which lets you take a photo with your camera (great for adding handwritten math on a scratch piece of paper, a worksheet, and whiteboard content)

After writing, speaking, or taking a picture of your math, you can add it to a document open on your computer or Chromebook. There are two upload options:

  • Save as Math, which converts spoken or handwritten work into typed math
  • Save as Image, which takes a screenshot of your math and uploads it to your document

To learn more about EquatIO Mobile, check out this Texthelp blog post: EquatIO Mobile: Digital Math in the Palm of your Hand.

Note: The first time you use EquatIO Mobile, you will be prompted to sign in using Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. Students should select Google and sign in using a Crimson Mail account. Faculty/staff may select Microsoft and sign in using a @ua.edu Office 365 account, or, to request authorization for an email address connected to a Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn account, please contact accessibility@ua.edu.

Introducing Texthelp

The FRC Faculty Technology Showcase is a great place to learn how faculty are using technology to enhance learning, conduct research, and increase professional productivity. Today’s Showcase also marked the launch of the Texthelp tools now freely available to UA students, faculty, staff, and departments.

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. The tools are available for use on both personal and University-owned devices and can be accessed via the software catalog on the OIT website.

Read&Write

Read&Write supports reading, writing, researching, and studying. It offers a simple toolbar at the top of the screen that you can customize to meet your specific needs. It offers support with tasks like reading text out loud, understanding unfamiliar words, researching assignments, and proofing written work. It’s particularly beneficial for English language learners and users with learning disabilities, but it’s useful for all learners.

Video: Introduction to using Read&Write at University

The Read&Write toolbar is available as a Google Chrome extension and as desktop software for Windows and Mac. There are also iPad and Android tablet apps that offer many of the features of the Chrome and desktop tools.

Snapverter

Snapverter is an easy to use add-on for Read&Write for Google Chrome that transforms papers and files into readable PDF documents.

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

After installing the Snapverter Chrome app, you can use your smartphone to snap a picture of text in a book, handout, or other paper-based item or select a saved inaccessible digital file from your phone or computer and upload it to the Snapverter folder in your Google Drive. Files are converted to readable text using optical character recognition (OCR) and stored as PDFs in your Google Drive. If you’d like, you can then use Read&Write to hear text read aloud, see words explained, access translation features, and more.

EquatIO

EquatIO supports math and STEM subjects. It lets you type, handwrite, or speak to create equations, formulas, and other math and chemistry expressions on a computer or Chromebook; there’s also a library of ready-made expressions you can use to add STEM content to a document. EquatIO also supports LaTex, a typesetting and mark-up language that’s widely used for mathematical and scientific documents.

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

EquatIO is available as a Google Chrome extension and as desktop software for Windows and Mac. EquatIO users can also use the EquatIO mathspace collaborative workspace and, coming soon, the EquatIO mathspace mobile app.

Ready to give Texthelp a try? Contact Emerging Technology and Accessibility to request access or to talk about how these and other technologies can support inclusive and accessible learning opportunities.

Level Access AMP training August 8th and 9th

Level Access (formerly SSB Bart Group) will be on campus for onsite AMP training on Tuesday, August 8th and Wednesday, August 9th from 9:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m. AMP recently updated the tool’s interface and relaunched its browser extension as ACCESS Assistant. This training will provide hands-on sessions with the AMP trainers as well as allow the opportunity for questions regarding your use and workflows with AMP. Space for this training will be limited to 30 participants and you must register to attend. We ask that you send only one or two representatives from your area. The training sessions will be recorded for access at a later date. Lunch will be provided courtesy of Strategic Communications. Please email accessibility.ua.edu if you have any questions.