I'm finally getting recovered enough to blog about the general sessions and experiences from CSUN. On Wednesday morning, at 9:20, we attended a session called "Planting Textbooks and Harvesting DAISY", which was presented by Daniel Berkowitz from Boston University. He also blogs at
the blog for the Access Technologists Higher Education Network
this was definitely worth getting up for. Access to textbooks is obviously important to me as a student, and I'm always looking for stuff to suggest to our office for students with disabilities. I tend to be the student who goes to these things and says "sweet! We should try..." Luckily, suggestions like this are readily received.
What Daisy, as you'd expect was one of the topics discussed, the advantages to both the student and the staff producing the accessible text. An example was given of a class where the same text was needed for three different students. With the flexibility of daisy, it's much easier to provide for the varied needs of students (full daisy, mp3 and html for example). That's obviously good for us because effort isn't duplicated and we get access to our texts the way we need them and more quickly.
Another area that was discussed was responsibilities of both the DSS office and the students. I think it's very easy to swing heavily toward putting the responsibility on one or the other, but it definitely has to be a partnership. That was definitely evident in the presentation, which I applaud. The dss office has to actually produce the files for the student, and keep track of documentation. As students, we need to buy the books and deliver them, keep the files safe/not sell them, and be timely in our requests. I've found that the last one is more difficult, especially if professors don't get the information to the bookstore on time. But there are options in that area.
I was really happy to see that my college is doing a lot of what is suggested. And that they are open to other suggestions. I was amazed at the amount of information covered in this presentation. It would take way more time than I have to cover it all. Like I said, definitely worth getting up for.