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Minutes for ATHEN Annual Meeting 2016

November 17, 2016 (Thursday)

Accessing Higher Ground Conference
Westminster Colorado

Minutes by Wink Harner

Brought to order 5:40 p.m. By Sean Keegan, Executive Board President

Executive Council Members Attending

  • Joe Humbert, Finance
  • Robert Beach, Member at Large
  • Wink Harner, Secretary
  • Dawn Hunziker, Vice-President

Ascertained a quorum of members in attendance.

Treasurer Report

  • Joe Humbert presented financial report
  • Dues (institutional) for 2016 = $700
  • Dues – Paypal Individual dues = $2497.53
  • Bank Acct #2 = $3400.73 (under AHEAD)
  • Total = $16,150.60

Approval of 2015 minutes

  • Dan Comden motion to approve minutes of 2016
  • Heidi Scher seconded.
  • Vote: Unanimous. Opposed None.


  • Business information in re moving non-profit status set up in Indiana 
  • Will soon be able to accept Credit Card online
  • Updates to member database

Request for focus in 2017 

  • IT accessibility: develop curriculum and training on accessibility in IT based on recent OCR complaints.
  • Develop content to teach upper level admin at colleges importance of IT accessibility standards
  • Develop standards
  • Develop training strategies

Sent a list around for working team volunteers. 

Collaboration Groups

  • Rachel Thompson – Collaboration with Blackboard with  Laurie Lane from Univ. of Illinois. Set up test server with BB. Hadi Rangin provided info on Canvas.  Ally tool created to work with Canvas to automatically update uploaded material expected to be adapted to use with Blackboard
  • Terrill Thompson & Hadi Rangin – Canvas Collaboration. Ally started as campus based project at UW. Created a CANVAS course to log bugs, test, report, and Canvas rep. shares with tech team. Hadi reported that CANVAS has a good platform. Collaboration group’s goal was to teach the accessibility piece so the company can move forward on their own.
  • Question - What can we ATHEN can we be doing to improve value or provide support to collaboration groups?
    • Terrill Thompson – with Canvas, Instructure provides meeting space. Question: we refer to it as an ATHEN collaboration, Instructure considers it as an ATHEN group, but it is sponsored and hosted by a vendor. What does it mean to have a collaboration group under the ATHEN umbrella, should the collaborators all be ATHEN members.
    • Hadi Rangin: the collaboration is based on human factor. Encouraged all of us to participate actively and pro-actively. 
    • Krista Grear – Heard collaboration with undefined amount of work with no defined end time. Requested parameters around what the focus is and what the start & end dates are.
    • Hadi Rangin – reported that there are many collaborative groups that take years to resolve. Recommended OK for people to come and go within the group
    • Rachel Thompson  - worried about what progress might be lost when one or more members leave. Suggested sending a monthly update to the list (?)
    • Josh Hori – sharing with other faculty (about LTI apps) how collaboration with Canvas has evolved  & matured to show
    • Terrill Thompson – want proof that LTI apps are accessible, secure
    • Dawn Hunziker – suggested ATHEN members join together and provide information on testing accessibility of LTI especially Voice Thread
    • Rob Fentress (?) suggested LMS vendors 
    • Joe Humbert – LTI from LMS Global has accessibility standards. See Brian Richwine at IU Indianapolis.
    • Josh Hori – suggested LMS vendors should be vetting for both accessibility & tools
    • Sean Keagan – suggested new collaboration groups around LTI’s and other LMS as well as Voice Thread.
    • Chris Wideman – question:  LTI Learning Tool Interoperability standards (extra tools imbedded in LMS).
    • Brad Held – collaborative group around other topics? Workgroup collaborating with Access Text Network
    • Krista Grear – suggested putting together a list of what we want publishers to know or do

Election Results

  • 87 invitations to vote sent. 47 returned
  • President – Sean Keegan 45 votes & two abstentions
  • Vice-President – Dawn Hunziker 45 votes & two abstentions (Special Election was held to replace Teresa Haven after she passed away)
  • Secretary – Krista Grear 46 & 1 abstention
  • Member at Large – Wink Harner 24; Rachel Thompson 23
  • 2nd Member at large continues: Robert Beach

New Business

  • Nomination to move a member to honorary status: Norm Combs from EASI
  • Executive council voted unanimously to approve
  • Vote: Unanimously carried 
  • Honorary Status: no dues + member for life; distinguished service, contributions to the field of disability access
  • Exec Council decided to honor Teresa Haven with an ATHEN scholarship for a student. Teresa dedicated to student access, support & opportunity. 
    • vi. Intent to award Teresa Haven Scholarship for 2017.
    • v. Student can apply on their own, but must be sponsored by an ATHEN member.
    • iv. Timeline: Accept nominations in the spring; Scholarship committee to review nominations; S.C. to pass recommendation to Exec. Council; Executive Council to notify student & said award in August
    • iii. $1000 to the student to use as they see best
    • ii. Background: Exec. Council recommended students be in charge of deciding how best they could use the scholarship monies
    • i. Request a group of people to step forward & nominate a student to receive a scholarship. Joe Humbert passed a sign up sheet around
  • Hadi Rangin – proposed mentorship program around assistive technology, devices, & training for students/people overseas with no or limited access to technology. Proposal to establish international organization to help those who have been “left behind” with donated technology, remote or virtual training. Wink to ask international micro-grant organizations to see if there are any groups doing it. Cat (?) did this with a group in Azerbaijan. Dan Comden worked with Rotary Club international. Keith Bundy has worked with folks in Nicaragua. All offered to check if there were possible resources or mechanism by which we could set up a program as Hadi suggested.

Meeting adjourned @ 6:50 p.m. Heidi Scher motioned to adjourn. Dan Comden seconded. Motion carried unanimously.