Registration For 6th Annual CUNY Accessibility Conference

6th Annual CUNY Accessibility Conference

Student Success in the Digital Age

Friday, May 1st, 2015 at 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM

John Jay College of Criminal Justice 524 W 59th St. between 10th and 11th Ave New York, NY, 10019

The CUNY Accessibility Conference Committee in conjunction with the Council on Student Disability Issues (COSDI) is pleased to invite you to the 6th Annual CUNY Accessibility Conference. The conference will bring together CUNY professionals along with others in the fields of higher education disability services to share information, network, and receive training that will enhance their knowledge and skills. This year’s conference theme will be “Student Success in the Digital Age”.

Presentation topics will range from best practices for developing accessible online courses in Blackboard to the latest mobile apps that support the academic success of student with disabilities. Our keynote speaker, Andrew Cioffi, is a leading authority on accessibility of online and hybrid learning, integration of technology into all aspects of a disability services operation, as well as training faculty, staff, and students on the usage of academic and assistive technology.

Registration is required. Admission to the conference is free. Click here to register. Registration will close on April 10, 2015.


For more information and for further updates, please visit the 6th Annual Accessibility Conference page by clicking here.

IRISPen Express 7 : Digital OCR Highlighter That Displays Your Scanned Contents On Your Computer While Speaking it

For people with disabilities, it may be difficult for some of them to accomplish simple tasks like writing at an appropriate pace. It’s often where even typing can get to be a hassle with writing notes from a textbook. It happens to the best of us too, sometimes. Wouldn’t an alternative to suffice this commonality be worth it? I think so. Let’s check it out!

Your needs have been met! IRISPen Express 7 is your OCR device to help you write down your notes without actually writing down notes. It’s a digital highlighter pen where you simply scan over any text, such as in textbooks, newspapers — (you name it!) and the pen will place a display of the content on your screen whether they’re words, numbers or images — while speaking the highlighted text at the same time. This resourceful pen allows you to not only display text into applications, but also allows you to write in web editors or even text editing applications. So, you can definitely Tweet with this bad boy!

IrisPen 7

It’s value in convenience surely matches the price-range and starting at $99, who can get upset? The IRISPen Express 7 hits your pocket at $100 with many of the functions that I mentioned above. But, if you want all that the IRISPen has to offer, then their next plan IRISPen Executive 7 is only $129 and is probably what you’re looking for. Here’s what it provides:



*Note: This software is only applicable for Windows, sorry Mac users!

  1. Translates scanned text in 55 different language
  2. Speech synthesis – reads scanned text out loud in 55 languages
  3. Reads and encodes bar codes
  4. Recognition languages (OCR) of more than 130

To learn more and visit the IRISPen’s website, click here:—USB-Pen-Scanner.aspx

AXS Map — Your Go-To Map For Location Accessibility!

Interactivity. Accessibility. These two go hand in hand when talking about sharing information. When we think about what “sharing” really means, a lot of us think it means posting updates on Facebook, tagging someone in a funny or interesting post — but none of ever stop to think “What if sharing meant participating in creating opportunities for others to succeed?” We’re always talking about wanting to see change in our world. What if we could actually help by being the change? This is where AXS Map comes into play.

AXS Map is a relatively new accessibility website that allows you to search for accessible places near you. So, if you’re going to the movies, going on a date or trying to find an accessible place to get your haircut, AXS Map is the right tool for you! With a few simple steps and the entry of your zip code, you’ll find lots of information about accessible and in-accessible places near you, so that you don’t waste time by going to a place without knowing whether it’s accessible first.

Know about accessible places that aren’t listed? Perfect! AXS Map allows users to submit and review places that they know about which may not have been previously listed on AXS Map. So, whether you’re reviewing places to help others or in need of information about accessible locations, AXS Map has you covered.

Here’s a simple video on how AXS Map can work for you!

AXS Map Introductory Video

For more information or to go to go to the AXS Map website, please click here:

TapToTalk – Your Go-To Communications App That Turns Your Phone Into An AAC Device

For people with Autism, Down Syndrome, Apraxia, Cerebral Palsy or or those who are unable to speak, day-to-day communication can be extremely difficult to accomplish and sometimes even nearly impossible. How do these people express themselves? How do they tell loved ones what they’re thinking, how they’re feeling or what they want? That’s the million dollar question I’m answering today, with an app review!

TapToTalk is the holy grail of AAC applications that transforms your iOS or Android device into your very own AAC device! Again, for those who are unable to speak or have difficulty doing so, this is the right app for you!

What is AAC? AAC stands for Augmentative and Alternative Communication. When speaking about AAC tools, it is is often associated with image and text boards which help the user express whether he’s hungry, angry, sad, happy, etc. – whatever it may be!


Tap To Talk Logo TapToTalk is a free application to download and use, but be cautious. The application isn’t “free” in reality. You can upgrade the app at three different prices. Here’s a breakdown:

  • Designer Home: This plan is for guardians who want to organize and create pictures and sounds for one child. One-time payment of $149.95.
  • Designer Pro: For speech therapists or special needs specialists who work with several children. One-time payment of $229.95. Each additional child after the given two children license are $100 per child.
  • Designer Agency: For schools that have numerous professionals working with several children. One-time payment of $299.95 — 3 licenses given, each additional child is $100.

Screenshots of TapToTalk

 To view the TapToTalk website, please click here:





CamScanner: Converting Scanned Documents Into OCR’ed PDF Files

When one thinks about accessibility, they usually think about apps, software and websites that make it comfortable for people to access content across all devices with ease. With thousands upon thousands of apps out there, though, how do you know what apps to choose and which apps are trustworthy? This is where this article comes in. Today, we’re going to review CamScanner — a phone PDF creator that OCR’s any document you scan using the app.

CamScanner LogoHaving the ability to scan documents and convert them into PDFs is useful, especially when you have the power to do so at the palm of your hand.  You can scan business cards, legal documents, pages in a book, pretty much anything! All with a simple tap of  the camera icon button.

If you really want to get into it in detail, CamScanner has features like enabling a security password or scanning a batch pages in one taking, so that you can later merge the documents and its pages in a corresponding order and continue with the OCR process. In fact, CamScanner allows you to edit your OCR’ed document in its “Pro” version, allowing you to view them only in the free version of CamScanner.

The pricing gets a little confusing with CamScanner, though, so I’ll simplify it for you. You have two options, here. You can upgrade CamScanner at $4.99 a month or $49.99 per year. With this upgrade, you’ll get:

  1. the ability to edit OCR’ed documents
  2. the ability to create document collages for multiple pages you scanned
  3. the ability to enable automatic upload of your documents to Dropbox, Google Drive, Box and Evernote so that you never worry about losing content
  4. the ability to share documents (in the paid version, you can set an expiration date to the links of items you share
  5. the ability to have up to 50 document collaborators
  6. the ability password-protect your documents and those you share

CamScanner Introductory Video

To download CamScanner for iOS or Android, please visit the CamScanner website by clicking here

SayText: Making The World Speak

For those who are visually impaired or blind, daily tasks can be difficult to complete. With technology progressing so quickly, though, there’s always something new to try that can make everyone’s life a little easier in most any situation. For those looking to make their lives just a little bit easier, you’ve come to the right place. Today, we’ll be reviewing SayText – an app that OCRs images you capture and reads them aloud.


SayText LogoFor those who are blind, SayText makes it easy to read just about anything in any situation. Say, for instance, that you’re in a restaurant and you’d like to know what the special for the day is. You’d take your iPhone and place it on top of the restaurant’s menu, tapping “Take picture.” Slowly elevating it, SayText will let you know that it has detected the menu/document by playing a short beep. Once SayText has captured the image, it will begin the OCR process. To hear OCR progress, simply tap the screen and listen. Want to hear the menu? Simply swipe right to have the menu speak!

SayText is free and requires iOS version 5.0 or higher.

SayText Introductory Video 

As you can see, SayText is an accessible app and caters to those who are either blind or visually impaired.

To get SayText from the App Store, click here


CUNY IT Conference 2014 December 5th

If you are planning on attending the CUNY IT Conference here is an interesting seminar you may want to attend presented by our colleagues from CUNY School of Professional Studies.

Friday, Dec 5th at 1pm

Teaching Faculty to Fish: Course Accessibility in the Online Classroom

As CUNY colleges push further into the realm of online education by offering increasing numbers of courses in hybrid or fully online sections, there is growing need for a university-wide approach to making these courses accessible to all students, including students with disabilities. In recent years, individual accommodations implemented by each campus have made it possible for increasing numbers of students with disabilities to access higher education. Currently the university is undergoing a shift toward the principles of universal design, striving to build in accessibility for people with a wide a range of differences, from students with mobility and sensory impairments to those with intellectual and psychological disabilities. In the online learning environment, while supported by campus and university resources, the instructor ultimately mediates the implementation of universal design principles. In this presentation, we will showcase some of these principles in an online course environment and discuss, from the viewpoint of both student disability services and faculty development/instructional design, how administrative professionals can best collaborate with each other and with faculty to raise awareness about accessibility/universal design, establish best practices for online courses, and support faculty as well as students.

Antonia Levy
, Faculty Development & Instructional Design, CUNY School of Professional Studies
Christopher Leydon, Student Services, CUNY School of Professional Studies


Register Now