CWUDisability Services NewsDisability Services News Cane Safety Day, 15 Oct 2014 11:13:21<p>October 15 is International Blindness Awareness Day as well as White Cane Safety Day. The white cane is a symbol of independence for people with visual impairments as well as a signal to others to exercise courtesy and special consideration. &nbsp;On campus ABLE members celebrated White Cane Day with an information table in the SURC. ABLE is the organiation for students with disabilities (and their allies) on campus. &nbsp;For more information visit Central Washington University ABLE on FB.</p><p>Read the&nbsp;<a href="" style="line-height: 1.4;">NFB<span style="line-height: 1.4;"> article</span></a>.&nbsp;</p>Whitehouse spotlights disability employment, 15 Oct 2014 10:30:07<p>This month the Obama administration is recognizing "Champions of Change" by honoring ten individuals who have worked toward expanding employment opportunities for people with disabilities. This is part of an ongoing program that spotlights community leaders from across the country. &nbsp; October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month. &nbsp;<a href="">Read the full article.</a></p>CWU Student Creates Revolutionary Text-to-Speech Reader, 11 Dec 2013 11:46:22<p><img alt="" src="/disability-support/sites/" style="width: 128px; height: 128px;"></p><p>Spencer Graffe, a senior in Central Washington University’s Computer Science Program, has helped develop&nbsp;Central Access Reader (CAR), a free computerized text-to-speech reader program that has attracted attention of institutions across the nation.</p><p>Marshall Sunnes, Central Access program coordinator and Wendy Holden, Disability and Accessibility Consultant, collaborated to determine what the program should be, how it should look, and what features were most important to include. Graffe had the skills to make it happen.</p><p>The program, developed as a tool to assist students with print-related disabilities—those with visual impairments, dyslexia, attention-deficit disorder, or other conditions—reads documents that other text-readers can’t handle, especially those with equations or symbols.</p><p>The program started as a computer science class capstone project. Central Access, CWU’s department that makes educational materials accessible to people with disabilities, hired Graffe to continue to work on the program after the project ended. The Central Access Reader has attracted the attention of schools across the country. In recent weeks,Sunnes&nbsp;has received inquiries about the program from numerous institutions, including MIT and Harvard.&nbsp;<br><br>In addition to an intuitive user interface and simple customizations, the program is able to read documents that contain symbols from geometry and trigonometry, linear algebra, calculus, math, logic, or statistics. Sophomore Justin Wilson, another computer science major, refined its math-reading abilities. The powerful, yet simple, interface allows the user to customize how the text looks and sounds.<br><br>The program is being installed on both Macs and PCs at CWU and is currently being used by both students and faculty. The program can be downloaded free at</p><p>Central Access serves not only the university community, but also provides materials to institutions and schools across the country. Central Access leads the industry in offering accessible products, including electronic text, Braille, and tactile graphics.</p><p><br>Media Contact: Valerie Chapman-Stockwell, Public Affairs, 509-963-1518,</p>The Best and Worst Learning Techniques, 12 Sep 2013 16:12:50<p>The Best and Worst Learning Techniques: &nbsp;Highlighting Is a Waste of Time:</p><p>Some of the most common strategies for retaining knowledge are the least effective, according to a new report.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.4;">Highlighting and underlining led the authors’ list of ineffective learning strategies. Although they are common practices, studies show they offer no benefit beyond simply reading the text.</span></p><p>The most effective study practices are&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.4;">spreading out your study sessions, rather than engaging in one marathon, and practice testing. &nbsp;There are many great online resources to help students test themselves on what they have learned. &nbsp;<a href="">StudyBlue</a> and <a href="">StudyStack</a> are two free websites that help students quiz themselves using digital flashcards.</span></p><p><a href="">Read the article</a></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p>Video highlights the impact of the Americans with Disabilities Act, 15 Aug 2013 14:51:58<p><span style="line-height: 1.4;">2013 American Association of People with Disabilities interns share their experiences of the ADA, as persons with a disability.</span></p><p><a href="" style="line-height: 1.4;"></a></p>Smart Pens ~ A New Approach to Notetaking, 20 Jun 2013 10:48:26<p>Have you thought about how the academic accommodations available in college will translate to reasonable accommodations in the workplace?&nbsp; Unfortunately, many students with disabilities don’t fully prepare for transition to work and find their compensatory skills lacking in that arena.&nbsp; Disability Services at CWU has been experimenting with technologies that could help bridge the school-to-work gap.&nbsp; In addition to text-to-speech software that supports reading tasks and speech-to-text software that supports writing tasks, DS has identified a device which may allow you&nbsp;to abandon the old system of receiving notes from a “notetaker” in favor of a technological solution for note taking.&nbsp;&nbsp; The device – generically called a “smart pen” – allows individuals with disabilities an opportunity to capture important information in classes or business meetings independently.&nbsp;&nbsp;DS encourages you&nbsp;to click on the link below to see how the pen works.&nbsp; If you choose to use a smart pen to take notes in class, DS can include “Use of a Smart Pen for Notetaking” in your accommodation plan.</p><p><br></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p>Technology For Life: How Students With Disabilities Are Attending College At Record Rates, 09 May 2013 10:42:35<p><span style="line-height: 1.4;">Technology and proper support from the Disability Services department can make or break a student's experience. &nbsp;</span></p><p>"Just because it's different doesn't mean it can't be done.” Esha Mehta and Bill Casson discuss their challenges attending college while being blind, and how the University of Colorado is helping them achieve their goals.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><a href="">Read the full article</a></p>A new type of diversity: Neurodiversity, 09 May 2013 10:36:20<p>When people think of diversity, they generally think of racial and cultural differences. &nbsp;One school is working to raise awareness a different <span style="line-height: 1.4;">type of diversity -Neurodiversity</span><span style="line-height: 1.4;">; the practice of acknowledging differences in learning.&nbsp;</span></p><p>The College of William and Mary has established the Neurodiversity Initiative, which will allow for a more hospitable environment for students with cognitive differences.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.4;">Lydia Brown, a recent guest speaker on campus gave a presentation titled “Politicized Disability and the Crisis of Disabled Oppression. Brown stated, “We</span><span style="line-height: 1.4;"> should build communities that actually uplift people not in spite of their afflictions but because of them,”</span><span style="line-height: 1.4;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span></p><p><a href="">Read the full article</a></p>Balabolka: 5 star CNET rating, 20 Sep 2012 14:40:14<p><a href="">CNET Editors' review</a> of <a href="">Balalolka</a></p><p>by: CNET staff on October 15, 2010</p><p>In Russian, "Balabolka" means "chatterer." In software, it means a free text-to-speech (TTS) utility based on the Microsoft Speech API (SAPI) but with changes designed to improve speech articulation and clarity. Balabolka can save onscreen text in a variety of sound files as well as read text from the clipboard, Word documents, PDFs, HTML files, and more. Users can apply a special substitution list that can make changes to pronunciation, spelling, and other parameters. It can alter the rate, pitch, and accent of the speaking voice. It uses VBScript syntax for pronunciation correction, and it's compatible with a wide range of spell-checkers, such as Microsoft Office; Hunspell, the default tool of OpenOffice and Firefox; the Unix-based Ispell; and GNU Aspell, the intended Ispell replacement. It's also compatible with a wide range of high-quality aftermarket TTS voices.</p><p>TTS programs have a variety of uses, including studying, programming, multimedia, answering machines, accessibility aids, and just plain silly fun. Balabolka is an excellent TTS tool, one of the best we've seen. You can expand it, add to it, even customize it--plus it's free.</p><p>Read more: Balabolka - CNET</p>MyStudy Bar: a tool to help with reading, writing and studying, 20 Sep 2012 14:35:48<p>MyStudyBar is a tool which helps overcome problems that students commonly experience with studying, reading and writing. The tool consists of a set of portable open source and freeware applications, assembled into one convenient package. Easy to install, simple to use, handy and effective,</p><p>MyStudyBar provides comprehensive learning support at the desktop, where it is needed. And if this is not already attractive enough, a further eye-catching feature of MyStudyBar is that it is completely FREE to download and free to use: <strong><a href=""></a></strong></p><p>Although MyStudyBar is designed to support learners with literacy-related difficulties such as dyslexia, the toolbar can offer potential benefits to all learners.</p>