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April 2013 DIAGRAM Training & Outreach Update

2013 April 30
by jnoblitt

100+ Registrants for “Integrating Accessible Images into Ebooks and DTBs”
On April 25th Geoff Freed and Bryan Gould of the National Center for Accessible Media (NCAM) at WGBH teamed up to present another outstanding DIAGRAM webinar. The topic this time was practical tips for publishers on how to integrate accessible images into ebooks and digital talking books (DTBs). Demonstrations of several authoring tools were covered, including TOBI, Dolphin EasyProducer, OpenOffice Writer, Word, Adobe Acrobat, Adobe InDesign, and iBooks Author.

If you missed this webinar, not to worry! The slides have already been posted our Training Resources page and a captioned recording will soon be available there, as well as on DIAGRAM’s YouTube channel.  Thank you to Geoff and Bryan for creating this wonderful resource.

Findings from Poet Teacher Training Pilot
by Ting Siu
As of April 2013, DIAGRAM concluded its first teacher training pilot using Poet to meet the needs of students with visual impairments. Three teachers of students with visual impairments (TVIs) and the assistive technology (AT) coordinator at Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) were trained via live, virtual one-to-one sessions, and supported by follow up phone calls and emails. The AT coordinator later served as onsite support who turn keyed supplementary training to two of the teachers. These TVIs represented a traditional range of level of adoption, and implementation of new technology for use with students. These factors were identified to impact the extent of each TVI’s final use of Poet:

  • Teacher buy-in regarding how beneficial image descriptions would be to students (all teachers thought image descriptions were useful)
  • Use of Poet for different types of books outside of the one used for training
  • Perceived effort and amount of time it took to learn Poet compared to the amount of time the TVI currently spent adapting materials using familiar, nondigital methods

All of the teachers thought Poet would be best suited for editing existing descriptions (rather than creating them from scratch), expressed needs for live, ongoing support to adopt the tool, and expressed desires for the increased availability of image descriptions in textbooks to work from, as well as improved compatibility between students’ devices and math/science notations used in descriptions.

Outreach Working Group Update
The next quarterly meeting of the Outreach Working Group will be held May 13, 2013. Topping the agenda will be continued discussion of the best way to create and disseminate information about DIAGRAM initiatives to our many target audiences. New this month: We are delighted that Natalie Shaheen of the NFB has agreed to join us as the newest member of this group. Welcome Natalie!

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