2020 Member Directory

Directory last updated December 1, 2020

2020-12-01 Member Directory



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CDC Updates Covid-19 Considerations for Institutes of Higher Education

The CDC has updated the considerations for Institutes of Higher Education (IHEs)to help institutions make decisions that protect students, faculty, staff, and volunteers and slow the spread of COVID-19.

This updated resource includes expanded considerations on care for students and staff when ill in an IHE setting and updates on considerations for ventilation, food services, contact tracing, coping and support, and Direct Service Providers (DSPs).

Additionally, this resource provides more information on recognizing signs and symptoms of COVID-19, screening, and testing. The information provided in this resource is based on what is currently known about SARS-CoV-2. As we continue to learn more and additional evidence becomes available, we will continue to update these considerations

Resource updated October 5, 2020.


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Equally Effective Alternative Access Plan for Zoom Videoconferencing

No matter which direction your institution goes for Fall 2020 — online, hybrid, or face-to-face, Zoom is likely to be part of  your experience  – and that of students and faculty.

Although Zoom is the most advanced videoconference system available as regards accessibility, some users may still need alternatives to fully participate in Zoom activities. The information below addresses how an effective access plan can be developed for using Zoom for videoconferencing.

Who is responsible for providing accommodations?

Each meeting organizer or their designee is responsible for providing accommodations for Zoom users with disabilities.

How does the meeting organizer provide accommodations?

  1. Place a standard statement in every meeting invite, such as: “Although Zoom is the most advanced videoconference system available as regards accessibility, some users may still need alternatives to fully participate in Zoom activities.  If you need an accommodation, please inform your meeting organizer as soon as possible.”  Include the meeting organizer’s contact information.
  2. Place the Zoom accessibility features statement https://zoom.us/accessibility in every meeting invite.
  3. Place a standard statement in every meeting invite that includes a registration request, such as: “Zoom Webinars registration has known accessibility issues including the captcha feature for registration submission.  Please email the sessions you would like to attend to xxx@.edu, and we will process the registration.”
  4. If users need accommodations, consider the steps in Table 1 below.

Table 1.  Zoom features and actions to enhance meeting accessibility


Description/Resources/What to do

Keyboard shortcuts ·  Share link to Zoom keyboard shortcuts and Help Center when sending Zoom meeting invite or upon request
Sharing screen content ·  Incorporate description of shared content into spoken presentation

·  Provide another means to access content and URLs shared on screen, such as posting accessible presentation after session

Annotation ·  Verbally describe the drawing or other visuals shown
Dialog/audio/video during session Add live closed captions through Zoom or 3rd party.   See the Zoom captioning guide.
Record meeting for distribution; create video Upload recorded meeting into YouTube.  Captions are required if video will be publicly available, used in multiple terms, used for multiple audiences, or if meeting participants need this accommodation.  Include captions only after review and editing.

Note that when video recording, setting the meeting to “speaker view” records only the person speaking, while setting the meeting to “gallery view” will record video of all participants

Conducting a poll Offer multiple response methods –  participate in poll, type response in chat room, or speak over audio/telephone
Chat room content Include chat room discussion in verbal meeting discussion. This benefits participants using telephone connections, who have no access to chat rooms, or participants using captions or who have difficulty attending to presenter and chat simultaneously.

Save and share chat transcript:  At the bottom of the chat window, click on “save chat.”  Chat saves as transcript in notepad under Zoom folder.  As host, distribute transcript to participants.

Stay on chat for a few minutes after session ends for those who may want to save the chat

Breakout Room Accessibility actions apply to breakout rooms.  To use breakout rooms, enable the setting in advanced features.

Information on Zoom accessibility features may be found at https://zoom.us/accessibility. Note that captions and automatic transcripts should be checked  and edited for accuracy. For more information on how to edit automatic transcripts, see the help document, “Using Audio Transcription for Cloud Recording.”  Information on how to enable captions and how to create them may be found at “Using Closed Captioning.”

The information about creating an action plan was shared by Catherine Schmitt-Whitaker, Ed. D.  Schmitt-Whitaker is the Executive Director Accessible Technology, in the Information Technology Division at CalPoly-Pomona.

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How can I communicate with a deaf person through a cloth mask?

As more and more institutions take cautious steps towards some level of being open, wearing a mask is part of many, if not most protocols being implemented. Questions and concerns have been raised in many venues about the impact masks will have on individuals who are D/HOH and who speech read.

The National Deaf Center (NDC) offers these suggestions in a Q&A format.

How can I communicate with a deaf person through a cloth mask?

Ask the deaf person how they prefer to communicate.  If cloth masks interfere with communication, these sample interview questions can help you talk about alternative accommodations.  Let the deaf person lead the discussion and ensure they are comfortable with any decisions.

  • In the classroom, tutoring, one-on-one/small group meetings or discussions involving in-depth and/or complex topics, consider the following:
    • Remote services: e.g., interpreters and speech-to-text professionals.
    • Assistive Listening Devices (ALDs): Experiment with the best place to wear the microphone so sound is not muffled through the mask.
  • In informal settings or situations involving impromptu conversations, consider the following:
    • Using text, such as a pen and paper or messaging on a cellphone, tablet, or computer.
    • Speech-to-text apps or automatic speech recognition (ASR) software, though not 100% accurate, can be helpful in brief conversations for real-time translation.  Examples include AVA, Live Captioning, Live Transcribe, Microsoft Azure, and Otter.ai.
    • Devices such as the UbiDuo, Pocketalker, and Counter Loop can also be used in some informal situations.

Note that as a federally funded program, we do not endorse or recommend specific products, agencies, vendors, or other services.

How can I keep a clear face mask or shield from fogging up?

One of the challenges of clear face masks is that they tend to fog up.  The Hearing Spot and Knowledge Base provide several tips for care and use of clear masks that could help.  Reach out to the NDC listserv for additional tips and recommendations.

How can I make my own clear facemask or shield?

Finding and buying clear facemasks and shields can be a challenge, and people are making their own.  Check with your employer or school on whether homemade masks meet their health and safety rules (review the CDC standards on cloth face coverings).

Check out this comprehensive list of tutorials and DIY instructions for creating clear face masks.  Some institutions are also using 3D printers to make face shields.  Consider providing face masks or shields for service providers for use when working face to face with students.

Where can I find vendors that make clear face masks and face shields?

Knowledge Base, a volunteer effort by Catharine McNally & Tina Childress, provides an extensive list of clear mask and face shield vendors.  Due to high demand, please contact the vendors directly for more information.

This post and more Q&A topics can be found at nationaldeafcenter.org/covid19.


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7 Steps to Make Your Virtual Presentations Accessible

With the rapid rise of telework and post secondary institutions moving to online instruction, it’s more important than ever to make sure virtual presentations are accessible. Accessible presentations allow all participants, particularly people with disabilities, to effectively engage with presented content. If you are getting questions from faculty, staff or administrators who need make presentations,\ PEAT can help.

The Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology (PEAT) offers  a seven-step approach and resources to help presenters develop more accessible presentations.

7 Steps to Make Your Virtual Presentations Accessible



The Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology (PEAT) is funded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP).

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