This project has been very dynamic and our team has been active on many fronts. We have obtained additional research funding for related studies, presented and published aspects of our research, and forged new partnerships and alliances. Our new research grant is funded by the Office of Learning Technologies (OLT) and is titled "Learning Technologies and Students with Disabilities in Postsecondary Education". The goals of this investigation are:
The target audience is primarily post-secondary students with disabilities. Also targeted are service providers, planners, policy markers, as well as developers and suppliers of mainstream and adaptive technologies. Other individuals with disabilities will also benefit frmo the results of the project.
From the current projects,
we are in the process of planning a Computer and Information Technologies Fair
(in collaboration with Fay Schipper, M. Ed. of the Mackay Centre). The philosophy
of the Fair is to make software and hardware accessible to people with disabilities.
This fair will exhibit both popular mainstream and adapted products. If successful,
this could lead to a permanent exhibit.
In collaboration with Vincent Maggiore, B. Sc. of Dawson College and Logipac Technologies Inc. on Alternative means of communication via the Internet, he has been using "free software", Microsoft's NetMeeting, to teach business administration to some of his students at Dawson College to increase the accessibility of educational materials to all students. We have combined forces to explore the use of NetMeeting and other Internet collaborative communication tools to better meet the needs of post-secondary students, both with and without disabilities.
On another aspect of using mainstream technologies to improve the delivery of post-secondary education to students with visual impairments and learning disabilities, I found a cheap, easy, and fast solutions to a problem which I and many other professors repeatedly experience. Without any specialized hardware or software, my SoundBlaster card's "line out" jack and the "Text Assistant" screen reader that came on the CD accompanying the card, produced a perfect copy of what the screen reader outputs - not a sophisticated solution, admittedly.
This leads us to a current project that will explore the advantages and limitations of using such cheap, readily available mainstream technologies to improve the delivery of post-secondary education to students with disabilities.
We are also currently in
the process of setting up a Listserv, which is based at Concordia University,
to be moderated by team member Jennison Asuncion, graduate student in Educational
Technology at Concordia University. It will focus communication about our research
project. We are also in the process of setting up a Home Page to supplement
existing home pages of team members.
For more details, please contact:
or Vincent Maggiore