EASI: Equal Access to Software and Information



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EASI is a non-profit organization, committed to the belief that students and professionals with disabilities have the same right to access information technology as everyone else.

Note to EASI Annual Webinar members: we have changed how you register for Webinars. You will read about Webinars and register from a Member-only Webinar page.

EASI Annual Webinar Members take this link for the Passworded Member Webinar Page


Webinars listed by month

Webinars in November and December

Webinars in January and February 2015

Webinars in March 2015

Future Webinars being planned

What Are EASI Webinars and How Do They Work?

EASI is producing 2 series of Interactive Webinars on specific accessibility-related topics. One consists of single, free Webinars which are open to the public. While the fee-based Webinars consist of 3-4 Webinars providing more in-depth information.

Registration for the fee-based Webinar series is currently $225.00. EASI is pleased to host Webinar presenters from across the US as well as several other countries. As usual, some presenters are, themselves, adaptive technology users, and others are professionals supporting adaptive technology. Webinars use conference systems that facilitate hosting an accessible event.

Join the EASI E-mail Announcement Listserv to Keep UP on What's Webinars are Next!


What equipment do I need to participate?

You will need working speakers so you can hear the presenter. The room has both text and voice chat. (A microphone is optional). A PC running Windows is the best operating system, but a Mac can access the system. Internet Explorer is the best browser, but others should also work.

We strongly urge you, if this is your first EASI Webinar, to come early to the presentation to iron out unforeseen problems. (The conference room is normally locked, and it is usually opened 45-60 minutes before the event.


Dick Banks Memorial Scholarship for EASI Webinars and Courses

This scholarship provides people who are unable to procure other financing, with registrations to either the fee-based Webinar series or to EASI online courses. While EASI relies on fees to support our work, nevertheless, we want to share these resources as broadly as possible.

Read about and apply for the Dick Banks Memorial Scholarship


EASI Annual Webinar Membership Program

EASI has 2 membership programs: one for individuals and another for institutions. These annual memberships provide free access to all the fee-based Webinars for a full year, free access to an archive of selected Webinar recordings from 3 previous years and a discount to all the EASI courses At a time when budgets are being cut for training and for travel to conferences, these memberships can fill the void.

Read about and register online for the annual membership program


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Webinars in November and December

Note all times will now be given in US standard time untill the spring

Multi-part Series on Accessibility of Commercial Web Conferencing Systems

This series will include discussing the accessibility of major commercial Web conferencing systems including Adobe Connect, Blackboard Collaborate, Talking Communities, and others. It will provide background on the accessibility of each system and then provide a Webinar about that specific system which will be actually held in that system. These Webinars will explain and demonstrate how each system works without the presenter making value judgments. The participant will be left to reach conclusions on each system for themselves.

The member registration link for this series is after the last Webinar in this series.

Week 1 Introduction to Web Conferencing

Presenter: Norm Coombs

Tuesday Nov. 4 at 11 Pacific, noon Mountain, 1 Central and 2 PM Eastern (all standard times)

Web conferencing systems are complex and powerful. This introduction will outline these features and discuss the issues each creates for accessibility. A significant aspect of accessibility frequently depends on the presenter. The particular features the presenter selects and the way the presenter makes use of them all become part of their accessibility or inaccessibility. This introduction Webinar is intended as background for the Webinar on Nov. 11. That Webinar will actually be using Blackboard Collaborate, and this Webinar will help you be sure your computer is configured for that experience.

Week 2 The accessibility of Blackboard Collaborate

Presenters: David Hastie, Director Product Management, Blackboard Collaborate and Connect and Hadi Rangin from the University of Washington

Tuesday Nov. 11 at 11 Pacific, Noon Mountain, 1 Central and 2 Eastern STANDARD TIMES

This Webinar will explaine and Demonstrate the Accessibility of Blackboard Collaborate. Participants will hear about its features and be able to actually experience them as the Webinar is being held there.

(The time gap in the Webinar schedule is because EASI is at a conference in Colorado and because many of you will be away celebrating Thanksgiving.)

Week 3: Webinar Explaining and Demonstrating the Accessibility of Talking Communities Conferencing

Presenters: Norm Coombs and Friends

Tuesday December 2 at 11 Pacific, Noon Mountain, 1 Central and 2 Eastern

While the system is less complex than many, it has the basic features and its simplicity contributes to its accessibility.

Week 2: Webinar Explaining and Demonstrating the Accessibility of Adobe Connect

Presenters: TBA

Tuesday Dec. 9 at 11 Pacific, Noon Mountain, 1 Central and 2 Eastern STANDARD TIMES

This Webinar will combine EASI and the TLTGroup members and use the TLTGroup Adobe Connect Web conference room.

Be sure to read the documents linked below and especially read the link giving a preview of how to configure your computer for Adobe Connect .

Note that the week 1 introductory Webinar will provide information about these 3 systems for you to read in advance especially any items that will make it easier for your preparing your computer to join each Web conferencing system.

EASI members register free for this series from the member page using the member username and password

Non-members who cannot obtain funding for this series can apply here for the Dick Banks scholarship for the Webinar series starting Nov. 4

The registration fee for this series is $225 When you use the link below, select EASI Web Conferencing and the date of November 4.

Register by credit card, check or PO for the EASI Web conferencing series starting on Tuesday Nov. 4


is ever Expanding and Improving

Thur. Dec. 11 at 11 Pacific, noon Mountain, 1 Central and 2 PM Eastern

Presenters TBA

Details well be here before Thanksgiving

Register here for the Dec. 11 Bookshare Webinar

Webinars in January and February 2015

Webinar Fee-based Series: Implementing PDF/UA

Presenter: Karen McCall

Dates: Jan 13, 20, 27 and Feb 3

times: 11 Pacific, noon Mountain, 1 Central and 2 PM Eastern (all standard)

In the fall of 2014, EASI hosted a one-hour Webinar providing an over of PDFUA. If you want a quick overview before starting the series, use the link below:

View the September Webinar on PDFUA to help you understand this coming fee-based series

This four part series will guide you through the impact of PDF/UA on the accessibility of PDF documents. There are three parts to the technical specifications: the accessibility of the document itself, the ability of the PDF viewer/reader to provide the accessibility to the end-user and the ability of the adaptive technology to support the PDF/UA features in the PDF/UA compliant document.

Week One: Overview of PDF/UA and how it will affect the ability of those accessing PDF content

It is an ISO standard that builds on ISO 3200 which is document accessibility.

There are three parts to the specifications:

PDF and HTML – the relationship.

PDF and ePub – the relationship.

Benefits of PDF/UA:

Week Two What tools are available to work with PDF/UA compliant documents and what adaptive technology is currently supporting PDF/UA content?

Deal with the JAWS 16 OCR tool for untagged PDF. It doesn’t add the correct structure, navigational capabilities and language tagging. It is a Band-Aid for untagged PDF documents much like the Adobe Reader/Acrobat “do you want me to add tags to the document by guessing what the content is?”

Adobe OCR and add virtual Tags to document.

Matterhorn Protocol – what is it and how does it relate to PDF/UA?

Implementation Guide? What is it and how does it relate to PDF/UA?

Go through a simple report of the PAC checker.

Week ThreeGo through a more complex report of the PAC checker.

This week moves into making simple repairs in Acrobat.

Hierarchy of Tasks:

Then Tag the document.