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Minutes for Accessing Higher Ground Conference Meeting 2005

ATHEN Meeting - November 10, 2005

Accessing Higher Ground, Boulder CO. Approximately 15 attending - most ATHEN members.

Ron provides overview of ATHEN for attendees.

  • Currently ATHEN has 72 members - not all have paid their dues
  • Balance is +/- $1,800
  • Sean Thank for website
  • Dann B. thanked for blog

Ron discussed eJournal

  • Desire for quarterly publication
  • Guest editors will round up 7-10 articles to be pared down to 4-5 for publication
  • eJournal will provide an opportunity/venue for research in our profession
  • this will lead to credibility in the eyes of other entities
  • The first three quarters are set up (4th is tentative) with the following guest editors (themes):
    1. Robert Todd (best practices)
    2. Sydney Rollin (professional development)
    3. E.A. (best practices in the European community)
    4. Daniel Berkowitz (blind/low vision technology + practices)

AHEAD updates

For various reasons the ATHEN training component was rejected by the AHEAD Board of Directors. AHEAD in process of creating/developing DSS certification program - likely have their hands full with that. Ron/ATHEN views AT practitioners as separate + equal to DSS. However, this training still needs to be done and made available.

Competency based training. A 100 hour CEU program? In order for this to happen we need ATHEN members to stand up and serve as trainers (Sweat Equity!). ATHEN needs to create 10-12 core competency areas. This could be modeled upon the CSUN k-12 curriculum. But with a postsecondary adult curriculum ATHEN could provide basis for regional trainings. It becomes the responsibility of members to get the ball rolling in their region.

AHEAD has also approached EDUCAUSE about a relationship

Ron & Terry Thompson discussed EduCause issue. Apparently EduCause does not view accessibility of technology as a priority.


According to Ron – if ATHEN wants to subsume ourselves to AHEAD we could do it tomorrow. Marla Roll posed question about the need to be separate from AHEAD? Is it too soon?. According to Ron – AHEAD does not want to recreate something that already exists (CSUN training) and needs to understand the difference between what CSUN offers and what our profession needs.

Interest Groups

Sean Keegan discussed his idea for three (3) sub-interest groups. AT (Assistive Technology), Alternate-Media, Web Accessibility. These three sub-groups would also provide a rotation for the eJournal. Gaeir supported Sean proposal for 3 threads. The group discussed concern of fragmenting ATHEN in our infancy – alienating new members. Concern that we do not yet have enough members (critical mass) to get some of this stuff going. Dan C. proposed that ATHEN formally create 3 sub-interest groups. Motion was seconded and passed by the attendees in favor. Sean & Dan C. will work together to better define these 3 groups and what it is we are asking the membership to do

AHEAD Presentation for 2006

AHEAD is willing to turn over the technology track to ATHEN. We need to develop 7-8 concurrent sessions for 2006 conference. Ron spoke of three (3) subspecialities (also ties in with the eJournal discussion).

  • Access Technology for DSS
  • Access Technology for Adaptive Technology
  • Access Technology for IT

It is not too late to give Ron proposals directly NO LATER THAN December 15, 2005. Dan C. proposed ATHEN take on the tech-thread at AHEAD 2006. Seconded by Gaeir. Voted upon and motion passed. Ron will get the work out to the ATHEN/AHEAD membership

New Business

Dan C. spoke on behalf of Howard Kramer and asked that ATHEN members be officially involved in promoting and procuring speakers for Accessing Higher Ground 2006. Ron had previously proposed that AHG become the main ATHEN conference each year. With this proposal – ATHEN would become a major sponsor of AHG annually.

Marketing ideas: ATHEN members get AHG discounts, ATHEN seen as conference sponsor, Gaeir motioned that ATHEN partner with AHG for procurement of presenters for AHG 2006. Seconded and motion passed with membership vote.

Sean asked for members to contribute content to the website. Dialogue from focus groups. Research/surveys done of individual campuses. Case studies. eText survey. Terry Thompson was asked about doing this again for 2006/2007. Conference presentations – especially those done at AHG – will be posted on the website.