FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 2/4/2006
L. Scott Lissner
Office of Academic Affairs
From paperless payroll to grade reports, grant applications to budget reconciliations, and e-mail to Carmen; as the university continues to weave technology into fabric of campus life efficient access is increasingly crucial to effective work, scholarship and study. Ilee Rhimes, Chief Information Officer (CIO) and L. Scott Lissner, Americans With Disabilities Act ( ADA) Coordinator began this collaborative effort to ensure that this technology is a bridge and not a barrier for students, faculty, and staff with disabilities.
Working with the university’s Disabilities Services and the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) Coordinator, the Office of Information Technology’s (OIT) Classroom Services and Technology Support Center are undertaking a number of actions—involving both assistive technology devices and user support—to better accommodate the needs of persons with disabilities.
Lissner emphasized that the initiatives not only addresses putting assistive technology in place, but also establishes the service, training and support mechanisms needed for its effective use. Lissner describes assistive technology as, “hardware or software used to maintain or increase the effectiveness of individuals with disabilities as employees or students. The increasing connectivity in the university’s technology-rich environment is seen as an opportunity to provide coordinated support and seamless interfaces for assistive technologies.”
Brian Newcomb, Manager, Computing Services for OIT, says, “Classroom Services has placed a number of assistive technologies in classrooms, including JAWS (voice output and auditory navigation software on the classroom pool server), alternative computer input devices, and printed text to speech technology.” He says that last summer staff from OIT’s Technology Support Center, The Web Accessibility Center, The Office For Disability Services and several college and departmental technology offices participated in a 3 day technical training session and establishes an assistive technology users group to share expertise and enhance support.
Currently two OIT staff members are enrolled in the Assistive Technologies Application Certificate Program, 100 hours training hosted by the Center On Disabilities at the California State University, Northridge. Later this year an assistive technology user’s group will be started. The user’s group is seen as another way to share expertise and receive feedback from users.
Assistive technology users who want OIT to enter the assistive technology they use in their data base should contact the ADA Coordinator’s Office (ADA-OSU@osu.edu). Being in the data base will allow better service and help to target training for the OIT Technology Support Center staff.