All sessions are 90 minutes in length and real-time captioned
Smartphones and tables have become an essential piece of everyday life for some many of us from waking up in the morning, sending emails and text messages, browsing the web, listening to music and much more. Today’s technology has built-in accessibility features that enable people with disabilities to also utilize these devices. Smartphone and tablet technology is increasingly being used to deliver digital interpretive program in parks, museums, zoos and other similar venues. Join us in exploring the implementation of digital media from the user’s point of view. Topics will include an introduction to the built-in accessibility features of smartphones and tablets, user perspectives on the use of smart devices in interpretive programming in recreation and cultural venues, and advice to content developers and interpretive media specialists for utilizing smart devices in programming.
Below are the previous Sessions. Click on the topic of the session to access the Archives.
Arts and recreation venues provide auxiliary aids such as assistive listening and audio description devices, as well as other equipment like wheelchairs, tablets, or iPads to provide access to their programs and activities for people with disabilities. Development of good policies and procedures for the maintenance, distribution, and training in use of these devices is critical in order to provide safe and seamless access. Topics will include maintenance requirements of sanitizing, and storage; and distribution procedures of testing, delivery of devices, instructions on use, troubleshooting, collection, and follow-up on any malfunction. While entities cannot charge for the use of an auxiliary aid, they can collect some form of collateral in an effort to ensure the equipment is returned. What is allowable and how to determine the type of collateral to request so as not to be onerous to the patrons who have the loan of the equipment will be presented.
Dr. Sherril York is the Executive Director of the National Center on Accessibility. Committed to the full inclusion of people with disabilities in parks, recreation and tourism, Sherril oversees NCA operations, the cooperative agreement between Indiana University and the National Park Service, collaborative partnerships and national initiatives. Sherril has over 30 years of experience in accessibility and disability in physical activity development, recreation activities, and adapted sports. She can often be found talking directly to practitioners in the field on methods to successfully include people with disabilities. Sherril has provided consultation to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Stature of Liberty and Ellis Island, Central Park Conservancy, Grand Canyon National Park and a number of exhibit design companies on accessible exhibits. Currently, she serves on the program planning committee for the National Recreation and Park Association Congress.
Prior to joining NCA, Sherril
was the Training/Outreach
Coordinator at Oklahoma ABLE Tech,
the state's assistive technology
program located at Oklahoma State
University. In addition, she has
served as Associate Director for
the American Humanics Program, and
Visiting Associate Professor in the
School of Applied Health and
Educational Psychology at Oklahoma
State University, Associate
Professor in the School of HPER at
the University of Northern Iowa,
and Associate Professor in the
Department of Kinesiology at Iowa
State University. She has a Ph.D.
from Texas Woman's University with
an emphasis in biomechanics and
adapted physical education.
Alice Voigt joined NCA in 2006 as an Accessibility Specialist. Since then, she has conducted accessibility assessments from Denali (Alaska) to Everglades (Florida) National Parks and has become one of the most knowledgeable assessors of recreation facilities in the country. Alice coordinates the NCA park assessment process, provides technical assistance, and serves as an instructor for NCA training courses. In addition, she assists with NCA research and consultation as needed. Alice is fluent on the relationship between program access and the assessment of support facilities, especially with outdoor developed areas. She has completed assessments of municipal park agencies such as the Crystal Lake (Illinois) Park District and the Forest Preserve District of Will County (Illinois), along with National Parks such as the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site, Grant-Kohrs Ranch, and Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Alice has presented on accessibility issues at national conferences, including those hosted by the National Recreation and Park Association and the Leadership Exchange in Arts and Disability. On the Indiana University-Bloomington campus, Alice is the co-chairperson of the Disability Roundtable, a collective group of individuals that meet to promote access and inclusion on campus. Alice also serves as a guest lecturer to IU classes on topics such as the ADA standards and employment provisions.
Prior to joining NCA, Alice was the Accessibility Coordinator at the Southwest Center for Independent Living in Springfield, Missouri. There she assisted consumers with advocacy efforts, coordinated a home modification program and conducted assessments throughout an eight county area. Alice also has eight years of experience working in Student Affairs at several colleges and universities. She received her undergraduate degree in Communication Arts from Allegheny College and her graduate degree in Counseling from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania.
Assistive Listening Systems are an essential tool for providing effective communication.
Choosing a system that will work in your space, and properly installing and maintaining
that system are key to providing the highest quality experience for patrons and visitors.
In this webinar, presenters will review the requirements for assistive listening systems
and the basic features of infrared, radio frequency and induction loop assistive listening
systems. Participants will learn the pros and cons of each system, their legal obligations,
and how to properly maintain the system.
Mark Annunziato is Vice President of Engineering and Operations at Sound Associates, Inc. in New York. He has over
20 years’ experience in the field of Assistive Technology and has dedicated his career to making Theatre accessible
to everyone. During his career at Sound Associates, Mark has played a pivotal role in developing a number of different
products aimed at helping people with special needs. These products include a line of Infrared Assistive Listing Systems
designed to aid those with hearing loss; I-Caption®, a wireless visual aid that provides automated closed captioning for
live theatre; and D-Scriptive™, an automated audio description system designed for the visually impaired. The implementation
of these products in Broadway Theatres has garnered Sound Associates, Inc. a Tony Award from the American Theatre Wing and the
Secretary’s Highest Recognition Award from Secretary Michael Leavitt of the United States Department of Health and Human Services.
Mark received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and his
Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Manhattan College.
Sound Associates, Inc.
Sound Associates, Inc. was founded in 1946. Its primary business is the rental and sale of large scale audio and video systems
to Broadway productions, outdoor festivals, and touring musicals. Sound Associates has installed hundreds of sound systems in
small arenas, theaters, and houses of worship.
Our latest Theatrical installations include the: XL Center, Hartford, CT; Providence Performing Arts Center, Providence RI;
Coral Springs Performing Arts Center, Coral Springs, FL; Benedum Center for the Performing Arts, Pittsburgh PA; Brooklyn Academy of Music; Brooklyn NY.
Theatrical productions designed and supplied by Sound Associates include: Matilda, Lion King, American in Paris, On the Town,
Finding Neverland, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, A Gentleman`s Guide to Love and Murder.
Houses of Worship installations include: Congregation Emanuel, New York, NY; Congregation Rodeph Sholom, New York, NY;
Cathedral of St. John the Divine, New York, NY; Korean Presbyterian Church of New Jersey, Oakland, NJ.
Join us for this engaging webinar to learn about best practices for accommodating patrons and visitors with hearing loss!
Topics include an introduction to hearing loss; the rights and responsibilities on the part of the patron and the performing arts venue;
challenging listening situations and communication strategies; and assistive devices, services and technology. The session will wrap up with a
facilitated question and answer session.
Valerie Stafford-Mallis is the Business Development Manager for Alternative Communication Services (ACS) LLC.
ACS is a full-service captioning and sign language interpreting company. Prior to joining ACS, she served as the Florida Department of Health’s (DOH)
Health Educator Consultant for the Florida Coordinating Council for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (FCCDHH).
Hearing loss is an invisible disability and affects approximately one in six Americans. Valerie is an oral,
late-deafened adult who earned her Master’s in Business Administration degree from Webster University, after
losing most of her hearing. In 2009 she underwent bi-lateral cochlear implantation, and utilizes many types of
assistive technology in her activities of daily living. As a person who lost her hearing over thirty-five years,
Valerie has experienced first-hand the struggles faced by all persons with disabilities to maintain employment,
independence and full-participation in public-life. Valerie provided subject matter expertise as a member of the
Department of Emergency Management’s Functional Needs Support Services workgroups, the Florida Rehabilitation Council
for Vocational Rehabilitation, the Department of Health’s Disability Task Force, the Florida Comprehensive Assessment
Test Sensitivity and Bias Committees, and the Inclusion Council of the Governor’s Commission on Volunteerism and Community
Service. She also served on the Department of Children and Families-Health and Human Services Advisory Committee, and the Disaster
Response Interpreter Training Project for the State of Florida. Valerie provided technical assistance to the Governor’s
Commission on Disabilities during the writing of its 2008, 2009, and 2010 Reports to the Governor.
Valerie is active in the deaf and hard of hearing community. She serves on the Board of Trustees for the Hearing
Loss Association of America and the Hearing Loss Association of Sarasota, her local chapter. She is a member of the
Association of Late-Deafened Adults and serves on the Convention Program Committee. She was voted Communication Access
Inc.’s 2013 Hearing Loss Advocate of the Year.
Planning for accessibility at the beginning of any project is critical. This same principle holds true for mobile applications. During the development of their "Places" app, the National Park Service knew from the beginning that the app would need to be accessible in its operation. They also planned for the delivery of automatically triggered audio description at outdoor exhibit panels and significant places on the landscape. What couldn't be planned was how the accessibility features and operation would change the app itself in addition to the perspectives of the programmers and designers working on the project. Our presenters will use the "Places" app to discuss what everyone should think about during the planning and execution of making mobile apps accessible.
Michele began working for the Harpers Ferry Center, National Park Service in 2000. During the first 10 years, she focused on multimedia and video production and became the Acting Deputy Associate Manager of HFC's Audiovisual Group in January, 2009. In the fall of 2010, she accepted the newly created Media Accessibility Coordinator position at HFC and now provides technical assistance, outreach, training, and resources to staff and parks.
Her accessibility projects include written service-wide recommendations for open captions, revisions to sections of the Programmatic Accessibility Guidelines for National Park Service Interpretive Media, consultation and supervision during the service-wide captioning, audio description and assistive listening initiative, and coordination and development of audio description training. She has served on HFC's Accessibility Committee since 2003 and the NPS Service-Wide Accessibility Coordinating Committee since 2010. She holds a BA in English Literature from the University of Wisconsin and an MA in Folk Studies with a focus on working in the public sector from Western Kentucky University.
Don't buy into the idea that accessibility is too expensive! Join us for this webinar to find out about inexpensive, quick fixes that can make a venue more welcoming to people with disabilities. In the second part of the webinar, we'll take time to brainstorm creative solutions.
This session will describe recent research on a new theory of the types of experiences that people prefer. The theory is called IPOP after the four key dimensions it addresses: Idea (conceptual), People (emotional), Object (visual/aesthetic), and Physical (somatic sensation). Data collected from thousands of Smithsonian museum visitors shows how these preferences influence behavior and responses in museums. A museum that wishes to serve all its visitors, including those with disabilities, needs to be aware of these preferences among its visitors, to realize how the experience preferences of staff affect what is made available, and to find ways to use this new understanding to serve visitors better.
By examining several case studies, presenters will explore the ‘decision points’ one hits along the way in planning a sensory-friendly experience in a museum, theater, and outdoor setting. Presenters will review the different approaches and the pros and cons for each giving participants the tools they need to develop a program within their own community.
This webinar will provide an overview and introduction to autism; general strategies for making public spaces more accessible to people with autism or other sensory sensitivities; and examine the need for specific programming or outreach efforts.
Both Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act require state, local and federal entities to develop Transition Plans for the removal of architectural and communication barriers to participation by people with disabilities. But what does a Transition Plan look like? More importantly, what should be the process for developing and administering a successful Transition Plan? Join John Wodatch, former Disability Section Chief at the Department of Justice, and a guest panel of Accessibility Coordinators from park and recreation entities. Learn how each Transition Plan is as unique as the entity developing it, what they used as guiding principles for prioritizing barrier removal, and other secrets to successful implementation.
Practitioners often mistake the “program access” standard for only activities requiring advance registration, structured schedules and staffed by personnel or volunteers. However, “program access” really extends to the entire realm of opportunities, experiences and benefits. How does the program access standard in Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act apply to parks, recreation and places of tourism? In addition what does the provision for readily accessible and usable goods and services mean for places of public accommodation (Title III)? This session brings together two of the foremost national experts on program access, John Wodatch, former Disability Section Chief at the Department of Justice, and Ray Bloomer, Accessibility Specialist with the National Park Service, and Director of Education at the National Center on Accessibility. From national parks to river boat cruises, museums to fitness centers, wildlife refuges to performing arts theaters what should every service provider in recreation and tourism know about program access for inclusion of people with disabilities? Join John and Ray for a candid discussion of the program access standard.