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2009 Accessible Technology Webinar Series

The DBTAC- Great Lakes ADA Center is pleased to announce that we are sponsoring a 2009 Accessible Technology Webinar series The goal of the series is to increase awareness about the importance of technology accessibility for people with disabilities. Each session is 90 minutes in length. They will be held from 1:00-2:30 p.m. Central Standard Time (CST) on dates specified.  The entire program is delivered via an on-line conferencing tool (high speed internet connection desired).  There is a fee for participation ($50.00 Non-Profit Entities and $100.00 For Profit Entities).  

Registration is available on-line at: http://www.ada-audio.org/Webinar/AccessibleTechnology/

Questions regarding the program should be directed to Janet Peters, Coordinator for Accessible Technologies via e-mail at jpete@uic.edu or via telephone at 877-232-1990 (V/TTY)

Adobe Flash is a multimedia technology used to add animation and interactivity to web pages. Flash Movies are used for everything from simple animations to complete interactive applications, and Flash Video has become the leading video format on the web. Adobe has been working hard to make sure Flash is accessible to people with disabilities, but the techniques are still new (and sometimes painful). This session will discuss what Flash technology is, how it can and should be used, and what you need to know to ensure that is accessible to everyone.

Presenter: Mike Scott

Mike Scott is an assistive technology and accessibility specialist, currently focusing his efforts on improving the accessibility of information systems for people with disabilities. Mike works with a wide range of public- and private-sector clients to help assess the accessibility of existing systems, design and develop new accessible systems, and train staff on how to successfully implement accessibility in system design and development. Mike has spearheaded many accessibility initiatives, including development of the Illinois Web Accessibility Standards and the Illinois Information Technology Accessibility Act.

CAPTIONING VIDEO FOR THE INTERNET - Monday March 9, 2009 1 - 2:30 pm CST
Captions are text that is equivalent and synchronized to the content of video. While captioning is vital for access to audio by individuals who are deaf and hard of hearing, captions also benefit anyone in a noisy environment, those learning a language, and anyone searching for video content on the web.  This session will identify common captioning terms and guidelines, overview conventions for transcripts and captions, and feature practical solutions that will help you provide accessible video for your online customers.

Presenter: Marsha Schwanke

Marsha S. Schwanke, Web Developer, CTRS, has eight years experience designing, programming, testing and managing content-rich, database-driven web applications that maximize accessibility and usability based on "best practices" research and established guidelines, such as the W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) and Section 508. She is currently responsible for the development, content management, and support of five webcourses and the web projects of the DBTAC: Southeast ADA Center - A Project of the Burton Blatt Institute at Syracuse University. Marsha has a Bachelors Degree in Therapeutic Recreation from Ohio University and a Masters Degree in Information Technology from American Intercontinental University. She is a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS) with over twenty years experience as a manager and practitioner working with children and adults with disabilities in hospital and community settings. Since 1995, she has authored and facilitated numerous trainings on disability awareness, web accessibility, and assistive technology.

AN UPDATE OF THE 508 ACCESSIBILITY STANDARDS - Monday May 11, 2009 1 - 2:30 pm CST
This presentation will discuss the ongoing update or "refresh" of the  Accessibility standards for electronic and information technology of Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, and the telecommunications accessibility guidelines of Section 255 of the Telecommunications Act.  The Access Board convened an advisory committee, the "TEITAC" which prepared and submitted a report of recommendations to the Access Board in April 2008.  Since then, staff of the Access Board has been working on draft text for revised regulations.  Come and listen to this webinar about the process and the expected results of this refresh, which will have impact worldwide on the rights of people with disabilities and the design of information and communications technology.

Speaker: Timothy Creagan

Mr. Creagan is the Senior Accessibility Specialist with the U.S. Access Board.  He recently served as the Designated Federal Officer for the Telecommunications and Electronic and Information Technology Advisory Committee (TEITAC) which prepared and submitted a report of recommendations to the Access Board concerning the refresh of the Section 508 standards and the Section 255 guidelines.  He was formerly the Director of Consumer Training for ITTATC, and before that he was the Director of Public Policy for Hearing Loss Association of America (formerly SHHH).  Mr. Creagan is a nationally recognized expert on accessible electronic and information technology and telecommunications. He has spoken and written extensively on disability rights, digital wireless telephones, Internet relay services, and IVR systems.  Mr. Creagan has testified before state legislatures and multiple federal agencies on the importance of assistive technology to people with disabilities.  Mr. Creagan received his J.D. from the Catholic University of America.

THE WHY AND HOW TO CREATE ACCESSIBLE PDFs - Monday July 13, 2009 1 - 2:30 pm CST
The PDF file format is no longer inaccessible to people with disabilities. If PDF files are developed with accessibility in mind, people with disabilities can use their assistive technology to access needed information from PDF files.  This presentation will be an overview on the variety of methods and tools to ensure that the PDF files are accessible. Simple instructions will be shared along with advanced techniques, tools, and tips that can be used in the process of creating accessible PDF files.

Presenter: Kevin Price

Kevin Price, MSW ATP is the Assistive Technology Specialist and Chair of the Web Accessibility Committee at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). He has 18 years of experience in working with assistive and accessible information technology.  At UIC, He completes frequent trainings on making PDF files and other file formats accessible for people with disabilities.

An increasing number of countries around the world have adopted accessible web design laws and policies.  Because of the historic number of signatories to the United Nations treaty or Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities, it is expected that more attention will be paid to this issue in the future. This session will discuss the international movement towards web accessibility.

Speaker: Cynthia D. Waddell

Cynthia Waddell is the Executive Director and Law, Policy and Technology Subject Matter Expert for the International Center for Disability Resources on the Internet. She is the author of the first accessible web design standard for local government that let to recognition as a best practice by the federal government and contributed to the eventual passage of legislation for strengthening Section 508. She also was the built environment and accessible technology expert for the United Nations Ad Hoc Committee that drafted the treaty on rights of persons with disabilities. She is a frequent writer and speaker and assists countries in the implementation plans for ratification of the treaty. She is co-author of two books on web accessibility and in 2006 published the first survey of countries around the world that had adopted accessible web laws or policies. Cynthia Waddell is co-creator of CynthiaSays(tm) a web accessibility checker at cynthiasays.com. Cynthia Waddell holds a Juris Doctorate from Santa Clara University School of Law where she graduated with Honors as a Public Interest Disability Rights Scholar. She received her BA cum laude from University of Southern California. Her global speaking schedule is online at http://www.icdri.org/.