Figure with three paths ahead to choose from
Director's Update
A World of Knowledge, Open to All 
In This Issue
GA AHEAD & AMAC
Student Advisory Committee
2009 4th Quarter Stats
AccessText Network
AMAC Congratulation's
AMAC Is Moving
AMAC's New Website
The L.E.S.S. Iniative
Membership & Outreach

Georgia AHEAD and AMAC 2010 Conference

 

Over the last three years, Georgia AHEAD and AMAC has offered a joint conference. AHEAD president Carol Pope and AMAC Director Christopher Lee are working on a plan to keep the tradition going. In the next few weeks, Carol will be drawing upon the expertise of the AHEAD board to finalize a plan. Due to the time frame, we are considering a summer 2010 joint conference. Additional information is to be sent out in February.

AMAC Student Advisory Committee (SAC)
 
I would like to welcome three new members to the AMAC SAC. Please  welcome Erin Breedlove from Georgia College & State University, Ashley Clotet from Georgia Perimeter College, and Andrea Jenkins from Valdosta State University
 
In 2010, our SAC will be working on issues surrounding file format expansion, transition and participating with the UGA RCLD on Nokia 3650 accessible phone research. The next meeting is set for February 5th and 6th in Athens.

AMAC's 2009 4th Quarter Stats

Orders Placed: 1,754
Student AT Downloads: 586
Student textbook Downloads: 698
States Served: Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Massachusetts

Cost Savings: In FY08-FY09, AMAC has saved over $1.3 million in accessible electronic textbooks though our textbook re-use service.

AccessText Network

The AccessText Network member publishers have processed over 7,800 requests using the application.  Of this total, AMAC has used the service to make over 750 requests for publisher files.  The system has streamlined the AMAC publisher file request process, and this has enabled our production team to more quickly receive publisher files.  This has enabled our production team to shorten the time needed to request and receive publisher files.  The publisher files must still be processed to become accessible, but the total process (request to final product) now takes less time enabling the files to be made available to our member institutions quicker.
AMAC Team Congratulations

Angela Brewer was elected to the National Braille Association Board of Directors.

Melinda Pethel received her Assistive Computer Technology Specialist Certification. Melinda is currently in Haiti supporting recovery efforts.

Jessica McClellan received her Braille Literary Certification in addition to having an adorable baby boy named Koah.

Aileen Hodes completed her administrative professional certification training.

Marti Slaughter left AMAC to work at the University of Iowa. She will be missed! Good luck, Marti.

Congratulations to Sara Rogers, AMAC's first intern. Sara got engaged to Vincent Bricka and will be moving to Paris in the summer.
"I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble."
Helen Keller
 
Director's Update
 
I am excited to announce a number of major developments taking place in 2010, as well as to update everyone on new developments with AMAC.  These changes involve relocating our office to a new location, a sporting new look to our website, and a possible FY11 cost saving ventures with GDOL/VR. Please take a few moments to review details about these developments below.  AMAC's Membership & Outreach Unit will follow with additional information in March.

In 2010 the AMAC team will continue to be committed to solving social and academic barriers on behalf of individuals with print-related disabilities.  We look forward to continuing to support positive system change.

Yours truly,
Christopher Lee, Ph.D., Director

AMAC & AccessText Relocation

 

As of July 1, 2010, the AMAC and AccessText initiatives will be transferred from the University of Georgia Franklin College of Arts and Sciences to the Georgia Institute of Technology Enterprise Innovation Institute (EI2). EI2 is Georgia Tech's university-based program that assists business and industry in non-profit and research endeavors.  EI2 will assist AMAC and ATN reach their social entrepreneurial mission and goals.   I will be working with Dr. Flemings, Vice Provost of Georgia Tech's Enterprise Innovation Institute. 

I want to thank formally Dr. Noel Gregg with UGA RCLD and Dr. Garnett Stokes, Dean of UGA Franklin College of Arts and Sciences for their support and direction over the last three years. UGA has offered a foundation for AMAC and ATN to reach our goal of  enhancing services to students in post-secondary settings with print-related disabilities.

Additional information on the move will follow in our March Membership and Outreach Newsletter.

AMAC's New Website

 
Discover AMAC's revised website, which went live, Tuesday, January 19th.  The site has a completely new style and sporting new social network features, informational videos and a robust interactive training event calendar.  The site is not only dynamic on the back-end with the integration of several applications (including our Wiki), but it also offers straightforward navigable front-end pages to help locate information. Our goal was to make the site more informative and easier to navigate. As with all changes, it might take a little getting used to, so don't hesitate contacting us if you have any difficulty navigating the site or locating information.

GBOR & GDOL/VR L.E.S.S. Initiative

 

The Leveraging to Expand Support Services (L.E.S.S.) initiative supplements the high cost of college accommodation and services by providing USG campuses access to federal dollars for students with disabilities enrolled at our institutions. A team of USG administrators and Disability Directors participated in a series of collaborative meetings with Georgia Department of Labor/Vocational Rehabilitation Services (GDOL/VR), and identified a plan to leverage state dollars on a $1.00 to $3.69 federal match for serving students with disabilities who are jointly being served by GDOL/VR and USG.  This plan can be achieved through a strategic partnership with (GDOL/VR).

With an urgency of identifying external financial resources to provide these federally mandated services, institutions are under pressure to locate funds to accommodate the increased number of students enrolling at their campuses.  Based on this need, a formal request to the BOR System Office was submitted in December 2009 to implement a system-wide initiative through which BOR would provide state funds annually to enhance Vocational Rehabilitation support services to USG post-secondary institutions.

In February, we will be reaching out to USG Disability Directors and Vice Presidents of Academic and Student Affairs for their support. The system office supports the proposal.  It is now our job to receive institutional support for the project.  AMAC will be hosting a strategy Webinar on February 10, 2010 from 10:30 am to 12:00 pm. If you are interested in participating please email Joe Davis (davisj@uga.edu).

Membership & Outreach Unit: Training & Support

 

AMAC is excited to bring new training and support materials to our members over the next few weeks! 

 
First, be on the lookout for an e-mail on Tuesday, January 26th inviting you to take a brief Training Survey.  Your AMAC membership includes access to training and support, and we want to make sure we are the premier resource for your alternative media needs.  The survey is intended to let us know how we can improve our current offerings, as well as what types of training and topics you like to see from us in the future.  Your feedback will directly influence our training program, so when you receive the link, please take a few minutes to let us know your thoughts.
 
More opportunities in February (exact dates TBD)
 

AMAC File Format Training - Join us for this webinar to learn which file formats are available to request through AMAC and how to choose which ones may be most appropriate for your students. 

 

AMAC File Format Screening Tool - Use this information gathering tool when choosing which AMAC file format(s) may be best for your students.

 

AMAC New File Format Focus Group - Join us for a members' discussion on which file format AMAC should offer next - mp3, DAISY text, or html.  We value your input and want to hear yours and your students' preferences!

 

Watch your e-mail and the AMAC website for training announcements with dates.

 

Training questions or comments?  Contact Joe Tedesco at jtedesco@uga.edu or 706.369.5737.