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ATHEN 2022 Annual Meeting Minutes

Wednesday, November 9, 2022 
Virtual Meeting 
Minutes by Michele Bromley, ATHEN Secretary 

Brought to order at 2 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST) by Dawn Hunziker, ATHEN President 

Executive Council Members Attending

  1. Dawn Hunziker, President
  2. Krista Greear, Vice–President
  3. Michele Bromley, Secretary
  4. David Schwarte, Treasurer
  5. Wink Harner, Member at Large
  6. RaLynn McGuire, Member at Large
  7. Luz Espanola, Membership Coordinator

CHECK: Ascertained a quorum of members in attendance.

  • Confirmed a quorum of members in attendance: 15+. 

Membership Update

Prepared by Luz Espanola, shared by Dawn Hunziker

  • 33 Professional Members 
  • 23 Institutional Voting Members 
  • 40 Institutions with a total of 188 Institutional Members 
  • ATHEN does not currently have a limit to the number of members who may join a single institutional membership. 
  • 3 Associates/Partners Members 
  • 1 Student Member 
  • 2 Honorary Members  
  • Approximately 43 members signed up or renewed recently as part of the Accessing Higher Ground (AHG) and/or STEM Virtual Conference. 

Treasurer Report — David Schwarte 

  • Previous Two Years’ Balances 
    • $30,896.73 as of October 31, 2021 
    • $26,054.28 as of October 31, 2022 
  • Yearly Expenses 
    • Teresa Haven Scholarship for Students with Disabilities: $1000.00 
    • ATHEN Virtual STEM Conference Expenses: $3,079.43 
    • Annual and Quarterly ATHEN Meeting Expenses: $142.50 
    • Miscellaneous Infrastructure Expenses: $1,142.19 
  • Full financial report available upon request. 


Approval of 2021 Minutes — Michele Bromley 

  • Motion to approve 2021 ATHEN Annual Meeting Minutes
  • Motion to approve: Dawn Hunziker 
  • Motion seconded: David Schwarte 
  • Calls for discussion: N/A 
  • Final vote: Approved


Election Results — Krista (Greear) Wright

  • President — Dawn Hunziker 
  • Secretary — RaLynn McGuire 
  • Member at Large — Tisha Marzewski 

Each ran unopposed with 23 “yes” votes and no abstentions.  


Proceeding Year Activities 

Teresa Haven Scholarship Award — Wink Harner 

  • The Teresa Haven Scholarship Award is an academic scholarship for a student with a disability. 
  • We will ask for volunteers for the 2023 selection committee via the listserv sometime around January 2023. 
  • We will begin accepting nominations sometime around February 2023. 


Ron Stewart Professional Development — Krista (Greear) Wright

  • A professional development award to cover a 1-yr membership to ATHEN, hotel and conference costs for AHG, free of charge, to someone who has never attended AHG and who is working in higher education in accessibility.  
  • Award postponed for 2022. Nominations for 2023 will open around August 2023. 
  • Executive Council to discuss the eligibility of applicants who have attended AHG virtually but not in-person. All interested applicants are encouraged to apply, as there are some years with very few applicants. 


ATHEN Virtual STEM Conference — Krista Greear 

We are hosting our second annual Science, Technology, Engineering, Math (STEM) Accessibility Conference on February 9 and 10 of 2023! Based upon last year's successful event, we strive for a diverse conference where experts can share their best practices, solutions, techniques, etc. for accessing and creating accessible STEM content in higher education. This will exciting, novel, resourceful, and enlightening to all who care about accessible content in STEM fields in higher education. 


Website Review and Redesign – Dawn Hunziker

  • We are still planning to migrate and update our website. 
  • We searched for a web developer and it was a failed search so we are going to re-post this developer opportunity again in 2023. 


2023 Quarterly ATHEN Meetings – Dawn Hunziker 

  • STEM Conference February 9-10, 2023 
  • April 19, 2023, 2 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST) 
  • July 26, 2023, 2 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST) 


New Business / Other Topics

There were no specific questions or items brought up by the membership. The Executive Council wanted to check-in about the current challenges ATHEN members face. The following discussion ensued. 

  • What are folks’ biggest pain points in terms of accessibility work on campuses right now? 
    • Administrator buy-in and support 
    • Funding, not enough staff with expertise in accessibility 
    • Folks are struggling to figure out how to work on software procurement requests, RFPs, and internal IT projects. 
    • Trying to find microphones / technology for remote cart in a face to face class.  where to find audio described chemistry images 
    • The double-edged sword of cloud apps for accessibility is a systemic issue. Ease of deployment and cross platform usability is huge but one is at the mercy of feature and price hike. 
      • The Assistive and OER Coordinator at College of Marin had one vendor application that tripled in price this year. Had to cancel our contract and quickly make my own cobbled together solution. 
    • Another interesting topic is Disability Cultural Centers. It may not be directly related, but a DCC could help us grow our accessibility and access technology knowledge at our campuses. 
      • Cassandra Tex: We would love to open a Disability Cultural Center at Cal Poly Humboldt. 
    • Does anyone have a resource for described chemistry? 
      • chem4word 
      • WIRIS (chemistry addition) 
      • Krista Wright: Volker Sorge is my go-to person about accessible Chemistry. He’s a professor and super intense computer scientist so sometimes you gotta hold your breath to swim down to where he likes to swim. But check out his website: 
      • Alice Wershing: Cary Suppala at Independence Science  
        • Cary is blind and they also do the ISLAND conference annually 
      • Does anyone know of a vendor who produces chemistry sets with braille labels? 
  • What do folks think of Equidox? 
    • Michele Bromley reported that it’s prohibitively expensive for large-scale deployment...more practical for small scale, accessible formats production 
      • Korey Singleton seconded that comment and recommended PREP by Continual Engine, as another possible solution. 
      • Krista Wright has used it and haa a lot of good things to say about it. She was pretty pleased with the quality of the alt text it produces for math content via automatic OCR. She worked closest with Rajiv (Raj) 
    • Darren Gabbert really liked Yuja features...but they totally dodge math content. They also like Mathpix (around $5/month) 
    • Alice Wershing asked if anyone had used AxesPDF for remediation 
    • Folks are still using InftyReader to some degree. 

Meeting adjourned at 3:12 p.m. Mountain Time (ET).