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By Dr. Elizabeth Hinkle-Turner, Student Computing Services Manager
During the summer of 2002, the adaptive lab facilities were moved from Chilton Hall, Room 116 to the Academic Computing Services General Access Lab in ISB 110. So far the move has been a successful one and adaptive patrons now have access to a variety of new technologies and equipment in addition to the considerable materials they had available in the Chilton Lab.
Missing, however, was a comprehensive Website detailing all adaptive technologies available and providing online instruction as to their use. This Website is now complete and University community members are strongly encouraged to visit the site located at http://www.unt.edu/ACSGAL/ to get an idea about what services are available for students, faculty, and staff with adaptive needs. Additionally, university community members should be directed to this site if they have questions about adaptive technologies on campus.
Since the ACS General Access Lab also has a "general use" component, some of the site is devoted to general information such as hours of availability and an inventory of non-adaptive hardware and software. These sections are made easily accessible via the homepage of the site which contains an extensive descriptive table of contents. People interested in the lab's adaptive features also use this table of contents.
Besides providing an inventory of the adaptive lab features, the site also contains extensive tutorials for their use. All of these tutorials are ADA-compliant and can be read by the standard screen readers, JAWS and ZoomText. Tutorials cover use of the Index 4x4 Brailler/Embosser, the Duxbury Braille Translator, the Kurzweil 1000 Scanning System, JAWS for Windows, Dragon Naturally Speaking, MathTalk, and ZoomText. Included in these tutorials are step-by-step instructions on getting started and a listing of the many "quick-key" commands that make this hardware and software much easier to use by the blind.
All interested adaptive lab patrons should keep in mind that the tutorials are only a beginning. Trained lab consultants are on hand 60 hours a week to help with additional setup and training as needed. Additionally, the ACS lab manager is happy to provide training sessions and overviews to interested classes and departments.
Finally, the lab Website contains links and listings for a variety of adaptive associations and foundations and a listing of vendors for adaptive products. These may come in use for advocacy work and also for specific departmental purchases. All visitors to the Website are welcome to E-mail the ACS lab manager with questions and suggestions for the site.