Presented at 11:45am in Waverly on Friday, November 18, 2016.#5823
- Michele Bromley, IT Accessibility Coordinator, Portland State University
- William Wiles-Skeels, Business Manager, Kurzweil Education, Inc.
- Length of Session: 1-hr
- Expertise Level: Intermediate
- Type of session: General Conference
Kurzweil Education and Portland State University detail the successes and struggles involved in implementing a new adaptive technology (AT) like Kurzweil 3000 on campus. Presenters will focus on effective best practices and strategies for preparing the institution and students with disabilities for the ways in which new AT can affect learning.
The right AT can allow students with cognitive, intellectual, or visual disabilities to develop independent reading, writing, and studying skills that celebrate their learning strengths and differences. Disability services professionals can nonetheless feel unprepared to successfully implement new AT on their campuses. When a text-to-speech tool like Kurzweil 3000 is introduced without necessary consideration and support, it is often underutilized and therefore ineffective in providing increased access for students with disabilities. This presentation will demonstrate how practical collaboration and communication between vendor and institution can allow for a wholly successful and enriching accessibility experience. Presenters will first explain the vendor’s part in accessing disability services staff and providing them with the tools and information they need. Presenters will then detail the institution’s role in developing implementation protocols and providing student support.
- Establishing administrative protocols and processes for creating and distributing accessible content
- Developing and executing an effective implementation plan for introducing Kurzweil 3000 to students
- Providing ongoing training and support (by the vendor for the institution and by the institution for students)
Alternate Format, Assistive Technology, Web/Media Access
Michele Bromley, M.A., is the IT Accessibility Coordinator for the Office of Information Technology at Portland State University (PSU). In this capacity, she serves as a digital accessibility resource for the University—providing support, technical direction, and assessment related to the accessibility of new and existing information and communication technologies. Michele also currently serves on the Executive Council for the Access Technology Higher Education Network (ATHEN). Her primary areas of expertise are accessible digital design, digital accessibility validation, and adaptive technology.
Will Wiles-Skeels is Business Manager at Kurzweil Education, Inc, and an Account Manager for IL, IN, MI, NY, OH, and PA. He has worked at Kurzweil since July, 2007. In 2011, Will changed his role so that he could work directly with the individuals and institutions using Kurzweil. In this capacity he has worked with K12 schools and districts, colleges and universities, schools for the blind, schools for those with learning disabilities, vocational rehabilitation agencies, and many others. Working with hundreds of schools has proven to Will that a successful adaptive technology implementation is a function of planning, goal setting, and open communication. Adaptive technology has the potential to be life-changing for users. Will is very grateful to be part of a team that impacts students and readers of all ages.