Skip to content Skip to navigation

ATHEN 2019 Annual Meeting Minutes

November 20, 2019 (Wednesday)
Accessing Higher Ground Conference
Westminster Colorado
Minutes by Dalton McCall

Brought to order 6:11 p.m. by Dawn Hunziker, Executive Board President.

Executive Council Members Attending

  1. Dawn Hunziker, President
  2. Krista Greear, Vice-President
  3. Shannon Lavey, Membership Coordinator
  4. Wink Harner, Member at Large
  5. Dalton McCall, Secretary
  6. Robert Beach, Member at Large

Ascertained a quorum of members in attendance.

Treasurer Report

Dawn reported information provided by Treasurer, Joe Humbert, submitted November 18, 2019


 $26,906.64 as of October 31, 2019

Expenses include

  • Captioning for Virtual Conference
  • Scholarship and Professional Development Awards
  • Webhosting and Zoom client
  • Full financial report available for those who want it 

Approval of 2018 minutes

Heidi motion to approve minutes of 2018.

Krista seconded.

Vote: Aye - Unanimous. Nay 0.

Membership Update

  • 72 professional
  • 76 Institutions
  • 4 Associate/Partner
  • 0 student


Teresa Haven Scholarship Award

  • It’s an academic scholarship for student with disability.
  • Awarded $1k to a student from Troy University.
  • All electronic participation.
  • Thank you to Kathy Cahill, Wink Harner, Marla Roll, Terrill Thompson, and Robert Beach for helping us select the winner.
  • Will ask for volunteers via listserv in 2020.
  • Nominations open around February 2020.

Ron Stewart Professional Development

  • A professional development award to cover a 1-yr membership to ATHEN, hotel and conference costs for AHG, free of charge, to someone whom has never attended AHG and who is working in higher education in accessibility.
  • Had 3 applicants; recipient was announced.
  • Nominations open around August 2020.

ATHEN Virtual Conference – Share. Learn. Engage.

  • Occurred in June 2019.
  • Was free for ATHEN members, did garner some new memberships
  • Used ATHEN Zoom account.
  • Had a captioner available for live captioning.
  • Kept it low cost to average.
  • Averaged about 20 participants per session. 3 sessions. 45 mins presentation plus 15-min questions.
  • Special thanks to:
    1. Gaby de Jongh and Ana Thompson from University of Washington
    2. Michael Harris, Michelle Morgan, and Mike Vaughn (honorable mention) from Yale University
    3. Dawn Hunziker and Barbara Lopez from University of Arizona
  • Please share recommended/favorite sessions from AHG 2019 with

Election Results

  • Election results
    • Vice-President – Krista Greear
    • Treasurer – David Schwarte
    • Member at Large – Michele Bromley

New Business

Sharing Expertise

  • Idea: help connect people to subject matter experts
  • Why?: help our accessibility community and disability services offices, build more collaboration, share knowledge
  • Totally opt-in. No requirement for anyone.
  • Questions
    • Does this idea have merit?
    • Who can put their name on this list of subject matter experts?
      • ATHEN Members only?
      • Anyone?
      • ATHEN Listerv?
    • Can vendors participate? How?
      • Can vendors see the list?
      • Can vendors submit themselves as a SME?
    • What to use to collect and share out this information?
    • How would someone access this information?
      • Public list?
      • Private list?
      • Perk of being an ATHEN member?
      • On ATHEN website?
      • Emailed to specific individuals?

Moving ATHEN Forward

Institutional numbers might not represent all numbers in the Listerv.

Some members are on there multiple times (i.e. transitioned and added new email address without removing old). *rebuttal, if the email bounces back as bad, it is removed

AHEAD Tech SIG will sometimes point people to ATHEN

Some competing resources with Educause and ITACCESS

Value ATHEN Offers:

  • Listserv for new and older members of the a11y community
  • Source of research
    • Using like database
  • Assistive Technology - more in-depth understanding and resources, troubleshooting.
  • Can help create a passion for the a11y field.
    • In 2014 attendance at AHG provided a member with ideas for change. Which was followed up on the listserv in order to confirm how to execute the new ideas.
  • Unique compared to other resources
    • Provides practical experiences revolving around Higher Ed. learners that helps teach others how to work with other learners experience the same or similar issues.
    • Serves as professional identity -- what given and give back, it's a community!
    • “Boots on the ground”

Vision for ATHEN:

  • Regional groups – provide closer peers.
  • Repository options for sharing notes? (Box)
  • Train the future
    • Gap in knowledge example: Newer members might not know Adobe for OCR – provide up to date information on tools and options available.
  • Mentor Program
    • Potentially connect with members in area/Virtual meetings – Regional groups? ^^^
  • Providing information on which tools are effective – measuring and ranking different tools.
    • What are the tools being used – are they best? Is it being used properly?
    • WebAIM has screen reader survey which offers: what are people using and assessment of what works best (i.e. JAWS + Chrome, NVDA + FireFox, etc) *examples for understanding assessment, not checked examples.
      • “Don’t reinvent the wheel”
  • Repository of presentations
    • Potentially highlight recommendations, point to good resources for particular issues.
  • Collect data from institutions, what are commonalities across the board?
    • How? If we do this, make sure that the job isn’t expected of one person.
      • Example – Wiki type peer review.
  • Potential fundraisers
    • Training programs
    • Certificates

Future Collaborations/Events:

  • ATHEN/AHEAD Collaboration
  • ATHEN’s 2020 Annual Meeting

Other New Business?

Krista Motion to have more regular meetings in between annual meetings.

Heidi Second

Vote: Aye- Super Majority Nay – One

                Discussion point on Robert’s Rules of Order

Dan motion to have Exec meet and determine regular meeting times.

Dalton Second

Vote: Aye – Unanimous Nay - 0

Meeting adjourned @ 7:32 p.m. Heidi motioned to adjourn. Cathy seconded. Motion carried unanimously.