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Do you want to make your digital content accessible to all?

Attend the virtual accessible media, web, and technology conference that is being live-streamed starting today. This conference will give you a basic understanding of accessibility and offer specific strategies and information to help you do your part to implement accessible technology throughout the university.

Accessible media, web, and technology conference

Checkout the conference agenda. Only sessions from Track A will be streamed. Attend as many sessions as you like (come and go); no registration required. Note the conference agenda is in Mountain Time, which is one hour behind Central Time (8 a.m. session MT = 9 a.m. CT).  The sessions below are listed in Central Time.

Today’s room locations are:

  • 9 a.m.-4 p.m. sessions are in 401B Hale Library
  • 4-5:30 p.m. sessions are in 301A Hale Library

The Nov. 19-20 sessions will be in 301A Hale Library.

Adaptive-technology resources available on campus

Adaptive Technology resources are available in various venues throughout the campus computing environment.  Windows computers in the university computing labs and K-State InfoCommons have this accessibility software:

  • Magnifier — Screen-display utility for people who are visually impaired
  • On-Screen Keyboard — Virtual keyboard for people who are mobility-impaired
  • ZoomText — Screen magnifier for people who are visually impaired

Continue reading “Adaptive-technology resources available on campus”

Dragon speech-to-text software now available for K-Staters with disabilities

logo of the Dragon speech-recognition softwareiTAC is now offering Dragon NaturallySpeaking, a speech-to-text software, on one computer for use by K-State students and employees with disabilities.

According to the Dragon software page, this speech-recognition tool “allows busy professionals to dictate documents, send email, search the Web, and command and control their PCs — entirely by voice — for new levels of personal productivity and corporate cost savings.”

The Dragon software is on a computer adjacent to the IT Help Desk, 214 Hale Library. Users can check out the headset and microphone for the program from the iTAC receptionist 8 a.m.-5 p.m. in Hale 214 (or after hours, from the IT Help Desk). Check-out time is limited to five hours. Additional time can be requested if needed.

For information on how to use Dragon NaturallySpeaking, contact Felisa Osburn (785-532-3247, felisa@k-state.edu) in K-State Libraries.

AccessTech: Speech-recognition software diversifies the PC experience

K-Access Logo

This week is “K-State For ALL!” here at K-State. I encourage you to check out our list of events on the 2011 K-State For All webpage. Join us as we celebrate DiversAbility!

This month I would like to introduce a technology that is actually very commonplace in our society, although we do not always realize it. If you have ever spoken with a computerized operator on the phone with a large corporation, told your phone who to call with voice commands, used Google Voice, or played with voice recognition on your computer, you were using speech recognition (SR).

This technology has been around for many decades, though it has only become common in the last two. Many people with disabilities use this software to alter the computer environment to their needs.

  • People who have limited use of their hands use SR to control the computer with their voice.
  • People with learning disabilities often use SR to dictate a paper because speaking on a topic and voicing out a paper does not rely on their ability to spell.
  • Many others simply find that speaking a paper is better for them than typing and allows for a better environment for processing and composing their thoughts.

Continue reading “AccessTech: Speech-recognition software diversifies the PC experience”

AccessTech: Text-To-Speech bringing text to the ears


K-Access logo.
k-state.edu/dss/k-access


As I mentioned last month, one of the most basic needs for accessibility is readable text. For many students with disabilities, accessible text allows the computer to read documents out loud.  This is extremely helpful for students with learning disabilities, visual impairments, and also for students who speak English as a second language.

All students benefit from being able to search for terms, highlight text, and annotate readings; searchable PDF files make this possible.  Audible text can be a lifesaver for many people.

Many of us have scanned articles to PDF files. Did you know that there are two kinds of scans?

Continue reading “AccessTech: Text-To-Speech bringing text to the ears”

AccessTech: K-Access taking content to the next level of useability

You can compose a document for a class you are teaching on your phone, iPad, netbook, tablet PC, iPod, or on the desktop computer in your office.  You can even edit files online or on one of your devices.  But have you ever thought about the structure of your documents?  Did you know that many people depend not on the format of the document, but on the code that builds your document’s structure?  Content for your course only begins with aesthetics.  Underneath the Word document, PowerPoint, or PDF lies amazing amounts of code.  Depending on the software and tools you use to create your document, you can choose whether a graphic is only read by human eyes or you can create content with usable text that can be read by a computer for someone with a disability.  (Read more about screen readers next month!)

Continue reading “AccessTech: K-Access taking content to the next level of useability”

Spotlight: New 46-inch monitors in Media Development Center

New to the Media Development Center (MDC) are two 46-inch Panasonic screens added to the video-editing area. One is connected to a PC, and one to a Mac.

4 students using a new 46-inch screen in the MDC
Student group using a new 46-inch computer screen in the MDC

This large-format screen will greatly benefit:

  • Groups working on multimedia projects
  • Users with vision challenges
  • Projects that require working across multiple computer windows

Continue reading “Spotlight: New 46-inch monitors in Media Development Center”

AccessTech: Captioning online video

(Editor’s note: This is the first article in an ongoing monthly series about technology tools that improve access for all.)

Online videos are used in many college courses across the country. They bring in dialogue from people in different walks of life and with varied levels of mastery to enhance what is taught in the classroom. On the other hand, many videos are also composed with audio and video, leaving students with hearing and visual impairments without access to much content. There are now a number of great ways to find and create video’s with captions. Here are a couple methods to explore: Google, and dotSUB.

Continue reading “AccessTech: Captioning online video”

CHECK conference presentations available online

If you didn’t get a chance to attend the 2010 CHECK conference at Fort Hays State University, some of the presentations are available online, via “Download” links under presentations listed on the conference agenda webpage. Downloadable files may be PowerPoint presentations, PDFs, and zipped files.

Downloadable presentations include:

  • Beyond Wifi: Securing Your Mobile Devices
  • Online Content Accessibility : It’s not what you know, it’s who you know
  • Workforce Changes in the Maturing IT Industry
  • Organizing and Uniting Web Developer Communication on a Decentralized Campus