Reducing Outsourcing by Utilizing Existing Campus Resources

Scheduled at 11:45am in Colorado I-J on Friday, November 18.

#36484

Speaker(s)

  • Jennifer McDowell, Assistant Director, Alternative Formats, Salem State University
  • Lisa Bibeau, Assistant Dean for Access, Salem State University

Session Details

  • Length of Session: 1-hr
  • Format: Lecture
  • Expertise Level: Beginner
  • Type of session: General Conference

Summary

We will be sharing lessons learned from the journey our office has taken when 3 blind students enrolled at our university. Hear how we transitioned from outsourcing textbooks and complex materials to outside vendors, to producing all Braille, tactile graphics, and alternative format course materials ourselves, in-house, at a significant cost-savings to the institution. We used this same model during the pandemic to assist faculty in captioning recorded lectures for online courses.

Abstract

In the summer of 2016, 3 blind students enrolled at Salem State University in 3 very different programs. It had been years since we had worked with a blind student, and it was a trial by fire and a lot of learning as we went. Initially we depended a lot on outsourcing textbooks and complex materials to outside vendors, but over time we slowly transitioned to producing all Braille, tactile graphics, and alternative format course materials ourselves, in-house, as a significant cost-savings to the institution. Student workers and investing in a few updated products helped make this happen. When the pandemic came along, we were able to use some of the same work flows and existing students workers to assist faculty in captioning recorded lectures for their online courses. Join us as we share our trials, victories, and practical strategies that worked, and continues to work, for the now 6 blind students we have had (and have) the pleasure of working with, as well as the ways it has helped our university culture overall.

Keypoints

  1. It takes a lot of administrative work to manage course materials for blind students
  2. You can create systems and work flows that utilize avaiable resources to eliminate vendor costs
  3. Those same systems and workflows can translate to other areas as well

Disability Areas

All Areas, Deaf/Hard of Hearing, Vision

Topic Areas

Accessible Educational Materials, Alternate Format, Captioning/Transcription, Uncategorized

Speaker Bio(s)

Jennifer McDowell

Jenny has been at Salem State University since 2007, first working with an alternative admission program and with Disability Services since 2011. She started as an office manager and has worked her way up as an Alternative Text Specialist and now as Assistant Director overseeing Alternative Format Production. She has a B.S. in Business Administration from Central Washington University and an M.Ed. in Library Media Studies from Salem State University. She loves her job, especially researching and thinking through solutions for inaccessible courses and course materials. When she isn't working, she is doing her best to keep up with her husband and four (!) kids while doing her best to stay on top of the ever growing list of audiobooks or podcasts she wants to get through.

Lisa Bibeau

Lisa Bibeau is the Assistant Dean for Access at Salem State University. Lisa began her career at the University of Massachusetts in their Learning Disabilities Center before moving to the Office of Disability Services at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Lisa has been leading the Disability Services Office at Salem State University since 2002. Currently, she oversees the support of students and the public who may need accommodations while visiting the university. Lisa has taught graduate and undergraduate courses at multiple universities. She is currently an adjunct professor in the Health Care Studies department teaching Health and Disability Across the Lifespan, which she designed at SSU.