Minnesota Assistive Technology Summit

Minneapolis, Minnesota
Thursday, June 14, 2018

Minnesota Assistive Technology Summit

Minnesota Department of Education Logo

June 14 and 15, 2018, 7:30 Registration - 8:00 am - 4:00 pm

Location: Augsburg University; 2211 Riverside Ave.; Minneapolis, MN 55454

Cost: $75 for one day or $100 for both days (lunch provided)

Registration: Open

ACVREP Credit Approved

Lodging: Lodging available at the UofM (Indicate your lodging needs in the registration process)

Providing Accessible Materials to Students and Stakeholders

Day 1 – Audio Supported Reading

Audio Supported Reading (ASR) is a technology-based approach to teaching reading that enhances a student’s access to text, whether reading in print or in braille. During this training, participants will explore how Audio Supported Reading can meet the challenges of students with print-related disabilities when used as an instructional strategy.

Learning Goals:

  1. Explain the reading challenges experienced by students with print-related disabilities.Define listening in a literacy education context.
  2. Describe the Listening strand of Common Core State Standards.
  3. Define ASR and describe how it can be used as an instructional strategy.
  4. Explain how educators can connect listening comprehension to reading comprehension.
  5. Describe the features of technologies that support ASR.
  6. Describe strategies and techniques to teach students to effectively use ASR.
Participants are encouraged to bring technology to the training, such as laptops (Windows and Mac), Chromebooks, iPads, iPhones, Android tablets, and Android phones. Attendees will use their technology to explore text-to-speech reading tools.

Photo of Karen Narvol
Karen Narvol

Speaker Bio 
Karen Narvol has 42 years of experience as an elementary school teacher, instructional technology specialist, and assistive technology consultant with school districts and intermediate units in Pennsylvania. She is presently working as an independent assistive technology consultant with contracts with Bookshare, Kurzweil Education, Perkins School for the Blind, and the Pennsylvania Department of Education.


Bookshare offers the world’s largest collection of accessible titles. Memberships are available at no cost to individuals who struggle with reading traditional print books because of a visual impairment, physical disability or severe learning disability.  Books are “accessible,” which means individuals can read Bookshare books many different ways:
  • Listen to books with high quality text-to-speech voices
  • Hear and see highlighted words on screen
  • Read with digital braille or enlarged font
  • Create physical braille or large print
  • Read directly from your Internet browser
  • And more!
Attend this session to building your knowledge and skills around the use of Bookshare, including creating accounts, downloading books, and managing accounts.  

Christine Jones
Christine Jones

Speaker Bio
As a Senior Education Program Manager at Benetech/Bookshare Christine Jones conducts outreach and delivers training nationwide. In her current role, she interacts extensively with people with disabilities and learning differences as well as the educators and other professionals who support them.

Day 2 – Creating Accessible Materials

Day two will provide information why accessibility matters and how to design for accessibility. Breakout session will provide participants with information about creating accessible materials using specific programs and/or tools. Breakout sessions anticipated include:

  • Welcome Speaker - Jay Wyant
    • Jay Wyant is Minnesota's first Chief Information Accessibility Officer, or CIAO! He leads the Office of Accessibility which works with Minnesota state agencies to develop policies and implement processes and best practices that helps ensure agencies buy, build, and create accessible products and services.  Prior to becoming CIAO, Wyant worked in a wide range of industries, including marketing director of one of the nation’s largest captioning services providers, CEO of a webcast services provider, and teacher of U.S., Modern European, Japanese, and Chinese history to high school students. 
  • Bundy’s Hierarchy of Digital Accessibility Needs - Kevin Rydberg & Keith Bundy
    • Bundy’s Hierarchy of Digital Accessibility Needs Website accessibility and usability go hand-in-hand. Your website may be accessible to the letter of the law, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s usable, especially by users of assistive technology. Keith Bundy has been using a screen reader for over 20 years. In this presentation, we will introduce Keith Bundy’s Hierarchy of Digital Accessibility Needs concept. Next, we will provide examples of different web pages and where they fall onto Keith’s scale. Finally, we will show the importance of engaging a “seasoned” assistive technology user for your accessibility and usability testing. Main Point: Assistive Technology users have specific usability needs and it’s important that you engage them while testing.
  • Heuristic Approach to Accessibility Design - David Miller, Kris Schulze,  and Kim Wee
    • Heuristic Approach to Accessibility Design Description: How can we take a heuristic approach to Accessibility Design and why it matters. Panel will share why accessible design is important and what you can do to make your information useable by all , to the greatest extent possible.
  • Creating Documents Accessible to Everyone - Rachel Kruzel
    • Creating Documents Accessible to Everyone Session Description: With so much of our day-to-day work materials being made in a digital way, it is essential that the documents we create are accessible. In this session, participants will be trained on how to create accessible Word Documents and Google Documents. Pages on a Mac computer will be briefly addressed. Time will be allocated at the end to attendees to practice making a document accessible using the tools learned. Attendees will leave having a list of accessibility features to build into each document as they move forward creating content for both students and colleagues.
  • 5-Minute Website A11y Testing - David Miller
    • If you use a web page or website to communicate with your students, deliver them materials, ask for feedback, or give them a place to contact you, how do you ensure that it's usable by everyone?  "5-Minute Website A11y Testing" will provide you with some basic tools and information for checking your site and correcting common accessibility issues.  This will also touch on suggestions for designing your site with accessibility in mind in order to avoid having to make corrections later.  (“a11y” is an abbreviation for “accessibility”). 
  • Bookshare - Christine Jones
    • To succeed and become lifelong learners, students with dyslexia, visual impairments, and other reading barriers need materials in formats other than print. Come and learn about Bookshare (bookshare.org), the world’s largest ebook library for people who need to read differently. Brought to you by the nonprofit Benetech (benetech.org), Bookshare is free for all qualified U.S. students of any age, thanks to funding from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP). More than 500,000 members enjoy access to Bookshare’s extensive collection of 615,000 titles and read in ways that work for them. They can listen to books in audio, following along with audio and highlighted text, or read in large type or braille, on Chromebooks, iPads/iPhones, MP3 players, assistive devices, and computers. See Bookshare books being read on several platforms and learn about the many recent improvements to Bookshare that make it easier than ever to use. You’ll leave with the tools you need to help your qualified students become successful readers!
  • Procurement of Accessible Materials - Justin Kaufman
  • Slides, Powerpoints, and Keynote Accessibility - Kursten Dubbles
    • Slides, PowerPoint, and KeyNote Accessibility
      Slideshows have become the norm for visuals in education environments and business presentations. Slideshows are quick to produce, easy to update and effective to inject visual interest into the presentation. This session will provide information about creating an accessible slideshow. Basic principles will be provided with specific information about using Google slides, Keynote, and PowerPoint.
  • Using and Creating Accessible Videos in Your School - Janet Peters
    • Using and Creating Accessible Videos in Your School There are many research based reasons to use video in education for engagement and learning. But when educators use such video considerations need to be made to ensure the video is available and accessible to all students. For video to be fully accessible, its audio content must be accessible to students who are unable to hear, a video’s visual content must be accessible to students who are unable to see, and the video player must be accessible to students who cannot operate a mouse. This session will explore each of these issues and the solutions and strategies for addressing video accessibility needs.
  • Accessible Classrooms, Flip Classrooms, and Accessible Meetings - Kris Schulze
    • Accessibility in Action: Flipped Learning, Classrooms, and Meetings at the State of MN
    • From educational classrooms to workplace training, how can we meet the demands for accessible, specialized instruction, busy schedules, various learning styles, expensive travel costs, and changing technologies? How do we design learning opportunities to build in inclusion and accessibility from the start? The Experience IT Program for Minnesota IT Services is exploring how to provide accessible, effective learning opportunities for 35,000 state employees to increase the effective use of the technology tools at their fingertips. Learn about how Experience IT is:
      · Using collaborative meeting technologies such as Skype to provide flipped learning opportunities
      · Developing accessible Technology Quick Guides and an online Tech Training Toolkit for state employees
      · Focusing on accessibility and user experience in designing technology user adoption strategies
  • Learning Management Systems, Digital Curriculum and the Digital Divide - Jon Fila
    • Learning Management Systems, Digital Curriculum and the Digital Divide
      This session will highlight important features of an accessible Leaning Management System (LMS) and some things you can do right away to make them more accessible. Much of what you need to get most of the way there is simple and supports all learners regardless of ability.
  • The Art of Making Graphics Accessible - Jessica Cavazos

    • How do you make sure the images and graphics you are using in your documents are accessible? During this session, participants will learn strategies to make graphics in their documents accessible. Discover tools and learn tips to provide you success in making graphics accessible in your classroom.
  • PDF Accessibility 101 - Tamara Sawyer
    • Many schools and government entities risk being sued for having content that is not accessible. How can you help mitigate risk? By providing digital materials in a format that everyone can use and understand. In today’s digital age, many people rely on assistive technology. Giving them accessible and usable information is essential. This session will cover the basics of creating accessible PDFs, from creation to remediation, to using and understanding the accessibility checker. Protect yourself, protect your employer, and enhance your user’s experience through this session, PDF Accessibility 101.
  • Including Everyone in Your Digital Community: Social Media Accessibility - Jennie Delisi
    • Including Everyone in Your Digital Community: Social Media Accessibility
      Social media is now a regular part of government communications, a method for informing families about school events, and something Americans of all ages regularly use. How do we ensure everyone can access our tweets, Facebook posts, and other social media shares? This session will teach you simple steps for posting that follow social media accessibility best practices, discuss the current limits of the different platforms, and show you examples of engaging accessible content shared by schools, school districts, and state agencies. Bring your smart phone if you would like to practice during the session!

Contact Information

Payment Instructions

    • Cost: $75.00 per day or $100 for both days

      Checks made out and sent to:  
      Zumbro Education District  
      801 Frontage Rd NW  
      Byron MN 55920  

      PO's need to be sent prior to the event:  

      Zumbro Education District  
      801 Frontage Rd NW  
      Byron MN 55920  
      Fax: 507-775-2040  
      Email: cwernau@zumbroed.org
    Image: MNCEC Logo
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