Promoting the Integration of Universal Design into University Curricula

Information TechnologyThe following appeal comes from Howard Kramer of the University of Colorado Boulder ( and is addressed to university faculty and staff in the areas of computer science, digital media, environmental design or other technical or design-related programs…

Dear Colleague:

We are contacting you because of your interest in web accessibility and Universal Design or because of your interest in teaching about these topics. As part of a grant project for Promoting the Integration of Universal Design into University Curricula (UDUC), we are conducting a survey to gauge the benefits to students of taking college level courses that include accessibility and Universal Design topics.

Our goal is to have the survey sent out to current or recently graduated students by departments or colleges that have a focus on Computer Science, Digital Media, Environmental Design, or other technical or design-related programs. If possible, please ask your department or school to send out the student survey invite (see below) to current students and recent graduates (up to 3 years since graduation) from the program.

If this is not possible, please consider sending out the student invite to students who have taken and completed your courses; and passing along this email to fellow faculty (this can be any faculty within our outside of your university) who teach courses in the areas described above.

More information on the study can be found in the student invite below. If you have any questions please feel free to contact me at or 303-492-8672.


Howard Kramer, PI, UDUC

[Student survey invite:]

Dear Student:

The URL below points to a survey for students who have taken Computer Science, Digital Media, Environmental Design, or other technical or design-related courses.

The purpose of this survey is to gauge the usefulness of accessibility and Universal Design topics in college curricula. (Note: these terms are explained below and within the survey). All responses are anonymous.

If you are a student who has taken a technology or design course, please consider taking the survey at this URL.

Note your responses from the survey will not be shared with your school or with any other institution.

This survey is part of a project for Promoting the Integration of Universal Design into University Curricula (UDUC). It is partly funded by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).

If you have any questions, please contact Howard Kramer at 303-492-8672 or hkramer@colorado.

[/Student survey invite:]



Accessibility refers to the design of products, devices, services, or environments for people with disabilities. The concept of accessible design ensures both “direct access” (i.e. unassisted) and “indirect access” meaning compatibility with a person’s Assistive Technology (for example, a wheelchair or computer screen readers). [Footnote 1]

Universal Design

Universal design is the design of products and environments to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design. The intent of universal design is to simplify life for everyone by making products, communications, and the built environment more usable by as many people as possible at little or no extra cost. Universal design benefits people of all ages and abilities. [Footnote 2]



Healthy Living with Technology Webinar

The following announcement comes from the Tri-State Learning Collaborative…

Healthy Living with Technology

Date: January 30, 2019
Time: 12:00 – 1:30 PM EST

Helping Hands - public domainLearn more about innovative technologies that are making it easier and safer to age in our own homes. For those of us who want to age in our own homes as safely and comfortably as possible, today’s technology is more than just convenient—it can be a huge boost to both our health and our quality of life.

We will also hear about virtual reality that is helping medical professionals understand what it is like to experience illness and death.  If you have ever gone to a medical appointment and wished the professional could experience your symptoms, this tech has made it possible.

Come to learn what your community can do to raise awareness about the Smart-technology that can make it easier to age in place.


  • Sajay Arthanat, Associate Professor, Dept. of Occupational Therapy, College of Health and Human Services, University of New Hampshire
  • Elizabeth Harper, Resident Services Coordinator, ARCH Beta
  • Tom George, Client Program Manager, Senscio Systems
  • Marilyn R. Gugliucci, Professor and Director Geriatrics Education and Research, Division of Geriatrics, College of Osteopathic Medicine, University of New England.

Use this link for more information and to register…


The ADA, Businesses and Barrier Removal

The Great Lakes ADA Center in collaboration with the ADA National Network invites you to attend the February ADA Audio Conference Series session titled

The ADA, Businesses and Barrier Removal: What are the Requirements?

Date:   February 19, 2019
Time:  2-3:30 pm Eastern Time 

Cost:   Free

Tablet showing the definition of the word "access"The session will feature Nancy Horton, Information Specialist, Mid-Atlantic ADA Center and Jennifer Lin Perry, Access Specialist,  Northeast ADA Center.

This session will take a look at the obligations businesses have to remove barriers when operating from existing buildings. People forget that the ADA is a civil rights law and not a building code. Numerous lawsuits and complaints have arisen due to the lack of barrier removal by retail and business establishments on main streets across the country. Tune into this session to learn from presenters about the ADA requirements for “readily achievable barrier removal” and how it applies to a place of public accommodation. Participants will have an opportunity to ask questions of our presenters following the presentation.

This session is offered via the telephone and/or via a web based webinar platform.   The session will be captioned via the web based webinar platform.

Registration is available at  (you will need to set up an account on our website if you do not have one already)

Questions regarding the session should be directed to or at 877-232-1990 (V/TTY) or 312-767-0377 (video phone).

Getting Started with Accessible Math

The following webinar announcement comes from the National Center on Accessible Educational Materials…

Free Webinar: Getting Started with Accessible Math

Tuesday, January 22, 2019
2:00 – 3:00 pm ET

Presenters: Luis Pérez & Lynn McCormack, AEM Center, Paul Brown, Texthelp, and Steve Clower, Desmos

Math ML 2.0 logo from W3CMathML is a markup language used to display equations and other mathematical expressions on the web and in other formats such as ePub and NIMAS. MathML is important for accessibility because it allows equations to be stored as structured text rather than images. Unlike images, structured text can be enlarged with good resolution for low-vision users who need magnification. Blind learners can use screen readers that support MathML to navigate and review the parts of mathematical expressions in the correct order, which is important for understanding complex mathematical expressions. But writing MathML code is not for the faint of heart! In this webinar, we’ll show you some ways you can write and use MathML code with little to no coding. We will then also demonstrate a number of other math accessibility tools from Texthelp, Desmos and more!

Unable to attend the webinar? A recording will be available on the webinar’s Event Page approximately one week after the webinar.

Use this link for more information and to register for this event…

Webinar Rescheduled

Red exclamation markThe January 9th webinar “Maine’s Adaptive Equipment Financing Program” has been rescheduled to February 6, 2019, 2:00 – 3:00 pm ET. 

We have re-opened the registration portal to anyone who has not already registered and wants to attend.

If you have previously registered, you will be sent a reminder 24 hours before the event with specific directions for logging in.

We again apologize for the the inconvenience and thank for for your patience.

Here is the link to the event page for folks who have not yet registered…

Accessibility and Inclusion in K-12 Computer Science (CS) Education:

The following event is being sponsored by Great Lakes ADA Center:

Accessibility and Inclusion in K-12 Computer Science (CS) Education: Meeting the Needs of Students with Disabilities in the CS for All Movement

High School student working in laboratoryJoin us for the kick off webinar in the 2019 Accessible Technology Webinar Series.

The session is on Thursday, January 17, 2019 at 2:00 pm ET.

Computer science (CS) is increasingly becoming part of the mainstream K-12 instructional experience. As more students are exposed to CS instruction, it is imperative that school districts, curriculum developers, and instructional designers consider the needs of all students, including those with disabilities. In this webinar, we will share national initiatives focused on inclusion and accessibility, including:

  • The CS for All Accessibility Pledge
  • Research and development efforts focused on accessibility in K-12 CS tools and curricula
  • Pedagogical approaches that schools are taking toward ensuring that all students can engage in CS education that is accessible, and meaningfully engaging.

We will also share accessibility and inclusion challenges faced by the CS education community and necessary steps that we must take to continue moving in a positive direction towards more inclusive, accessible CS education experiences.

Our Speakers:

Maya Israel – Associate Professor of Educational Technology, University of Florida
Todd Lash – PhD Student, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Register at the Accessible Technology Series website. This webinar will be live captioned and archived.

AgrAbility offers 3-day web conference

AgrAbility logoThe AgrAbility Virtual National Training Workshop (VNTW) is offering a series of six, one-hour webinars conducted over three days.

The preliminary schedule is:

  • Tuesday, January 29
    • 12:00 p.m. EST: Identifying Fatality and Injury Risks for Senior Farmers
      • Sean Tormoehlen, National AgrAbility Project
    • 3:00 p.m. EST: “Virtual” Assistive Technology Show & Tell
      • Paul Jones & Steve Swain, National AgrAbility Project
  • Wednesday, January 30
    • 12:00 p.m. EST: Working with Shoulder Injuries in Agriculture
      • Ned Stoller, Michigan AgrAbility & Curt Bishop, Hulst Jepsen Physical Therapy
    • 3:00 p.m. EST: Updates from USDA/NIFA on AgrAbility and Related Programs*
      • Aida Balsano, USDA/NIFA
  • Thursday, January 31
    • 12:00 p.m. EST: The Accessible Farm Shop: Considerations for Design and Safety
      • Shawn Ehlers, National AgrAbility Project
    • 3:00 p.m. EST: Beginning Farmer Basics
      • Tamara Benjamin, Purdue University

Please visit the VNTW website for session descriptions and more information.

A question & answer period is scheduled for each presentation.

Registration Information

To participate in any of these free webinars, use this link to access the online registration form by Friday, January 25. Instructions for accessing the sessions will be sent to registrants by Monday, January 28.

Contact AgrAbility at 800-825-4264, or email if you have questions.

*Presentation of the USDA/NIFA webinar is contingent on the resolution of the federal government shutdown.

Webinars – January 2019

Maine CITE is hosting three webinars this month. Please use the links below for more information:

Accessible Information TechnologyMaine’s Adaptive Equipment Financing Program
January 9, 2019, 2:00 – 3:00 pm ET

Family Guide to Assistive Technology and Accessible Education Materials
January 15, 2019, 6:00 to 6:30 pm ET

Assistive Technology for Living Independently
January 16, 2019, 1:00 – 2:15 pm ET


And the following list of free webinars comes from the ATC News, funded by the Center for Accessible Technology.  Please visit their website to sign up for the ATC News.

Apps to Track Habits, Get Reminders, and Stay Healthy from PACER
January 8, 2019 at 3:00 pm ET

Technology Supporting Job Success Using Assistive technology for Independence and Self-sufficiency in the Workplace from Employment for Maine
January 10, 2019 at 10:00 am ET

Accommodating Students with Disabilities Enrolled in Medical and Health Science Programs from Great Lakes ADA Center
January 15, 2019 at 2:00 pm ET

AT in Adult Settings: Postsecondary, Employment, Community from PACER
January 15, 2019 at 3:00 pm ET

Tips for management: how accessibility testing actually impacts your development process from Deque
January 17th at 1:00 pm ET

LAMP App (AAC language system) from SETC
January 17, 2019 at 6:30 pm ET

6 Tips for Accessibility in Microsoft Word from OKable
January 24, at 1:00 pm ET (45 min.)

Early Learning with Chooseit! Maker 3 from SETC
January 24, 2019 at 6:30 pm ET

AT Chatter: AAC Evaluation Resources from SETC
January 29, 2019 at 2:30 pm ET

Open Question and Answer Session on the Revised 508 Standards from the US Access Board
Tuesday, January 29, 2019 at 1:00 pm ET.


UMF Educator Preparation Program receives national and state accreditation

Loraine Spenciner
The late Lorraine Spenciner for whom the AT Library is named, shown her holding a modified keyboard.

FARMINGTON, ME —The University of Maine at Farmington (UMF) educator preparation program is proud to announce that it has received national accreditation from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). UMF is the first institution in the state of Maine to meet the new, rigorous national accreditation standards. UMF has also received full approval for state accreditation, including several commendations, from the Maine State Board of Education.

A longtime leader in Maine and one of the premier teacher education programs in New England, the UMF program has been noted for providing pre-service teachers with a unique educational experience that maximizes career preparation and post-graduation success.

The CAEP review recognized the UMF program for providing students with effective learning opportunities in and out of the classroom that help prepare them for a career in teaching. The UMF program passed the rigorous peer review on all five CAEP standards, which are based on the principles that its graduates are competent, caring educators and its faculty have the capacity to maintain and enhance the quality of the professional programs.

CAEP is the sole nationally recognized accrediting body for educator preparation. UMF’s accreditation runs from 2018 to 2025.

Notably, CAEP recognized UMF for its strong relationship with the community and how this mutual commitment enriches the student experience through activities, resources and support for educational improvement. In addition, the review applauded the UMF teacher preparation program for the quality of its candidates from recruitment through certification.

UMF’s teacher preparation program provides students with field experience, early and often, with student teaching, practicum and internships boasting an average of 329 students in formal placements in schools around the state annually.

These experiences prepare educators for the real classroom and create a statewide demand for UMF graduates while helping to support educational partnerships at more than 130 Maine schools annually, not including early childhood and infant centers.

According to UMF’s 2018 teacher education unit alumni survey, 84 percent of respondents indicate being employed as a teacher in the field and a majority being hired within one year of graduation. In addition, 98.9 percent of graduates responding to the survey said they were very satisfied or satisfied with the UMF program.

In its overall approval of the UMF program, the Maine State Board of Education also commended UMF for its commitment to staff its educator preparation program with full time faculty. It observed that UMF is unique in the fact that all field supervisors who mentor and oversee pre-service teachers in schools around the state are full time faculty that can model the best in professional practices.

The Maine review also commended UMF for its dedication to assistive technology within the Spenciner Curriculum Materials Center. The center, connected to the Maine Department of Education’s Maine CITE Program, houses an extensive collection of assistive technology devices such as adaptive gaming controllers and 3-D printers that are available to loan to students, educators and the general public.

These resources can help all children, including those with disabilities, succeed in the classroom. The report noted the facility is “a remarkable resource for the students, faculty, and the larger community encouraging inclusive practice with state of the art materials and equipment.”

More on University of Maine at Farmington

A nationally recognized public liberal arts college, UMF enjoys a 150-year tradition of providing a quality academic experience combined with the personal attention and close student / faculty collaboration that help prepare all students to be successful. Rooted in a tradition of teacher preparation, UMF offers top quality programs in the arts and sciences, teacher preparation, and business and pre-professional studies. UMF is located in the heart of Maine’s four-season outdoor recreational region and is a welcoming, close-knit academic community that prepares students for engaged citizenship, enriching professional careers and an enduring love of learning.

Technology Supporting Job Success Using Assistive technology

This announcement for this webinar is from Employment for ME Employment Services Workforce Development System...

Technology Supporting Job Success Using Assistive technology for Independence and Self-sufficiency in the Workplace

January 10, 2019

10:00 – 11:00 a.m.


Employment for ME - Workforce Development System logoIndividuals experiencing disability are using low and high tech assistive technology and smart home devices to support their own needs as well the ability to control and access the work environment. Employment Specialists are interfacing with technology to assist someone to be as centered, independent, communicative, and productive as possible while at work, or getting to and from work as well as market potential employees to businesses. Join us to learn ways to: Operate the work environment using smart home technology and easy switch interfaces with smartphones and tablets. Use handheld technology, apps, and features to cue and support someone to move through their work routine, assist someone to be on time, provide a method for employees to self monitor and access methods to stay at their best while at work. Adopt goals, track their progress, and communicate and see their coach or team remotely. Use video career portfolios and other techniques to show potential employers who job seekers are and what they can do.

Participants will earn 1 hour of continuing education after completing an online evaluation following the webinar. After completing the webinar you will receive a link to the session evaluation. Once you complete the evaluation, a certification of participation will be emailed to you.


Marsha Threlkeld  is a consultant and trainer working in School-to-Work, Employment First, person Centered Career Planning, and Assistive Technology to include handheld devices and Smart Environments. Marsha has worked on behalf of School-to-Work for the last 25 years and designed and implemented School-to-Work Projects in several states. She facilitates Technology Learning Cohorts for employment and residential providers, educators, and government. Marsha has worked to develop Person Centered Career planning facilitator training materials and run facilitator training boot camps. She has created materials for teachers and others to include: Every Person and Everyday Technology, Person Centered Career Planning, Student Driven Career Planning, Envision Your Future, and See Yourself Working. Marsha worked with the Washington Initiative for Supported Employment (WISE) for 18 years before moving to her own consulting business: Pivotal Consulting & Training LLC. She is a Subject Matter Expert for Employment First Projects through US Department of Labor, Office of Disability Employment Policy, focusing on School-to-Work and Assistive Technology.


Individual registrations for the webinar are $5.00 per person. There is no fee if you have purchased an agency subscription.

Important: Your confirmation email will contain call in and log in information so make sure you have received a confirmation email. If you do not receive your confirmation email shortly after completing your online registration form please contact

Use this link to register…