Staff, Faculty, and Student Volunteers Needed! Help students with assistive technology and testing accommodations.

Staff member is reading a document to a studentDisability Services is looking for staff and faculty volunteers at various campuses who are interested in helping students with assistive technology and testing accommodations. Here is the list of the open volunteer positions:

  • Reader/Scribes for Testing: Read questions out loud and/or write down the answers for students
  • Textbook-to-Audio Readers: Record your voice as you read textbook chapters and submit audio files
  • Tactile Graphics: Bring pictures to life by raising them off the page using everyday art supplies.

We are also accepting student volunteers! Here are the open volunteer positions for students:

  • Textbook-to-Audio Readers: Record your voice as you read textbook chapters and submit audio files
  • Tactile Graphics: Bring pictures to life by raising them off the page using everyday art supplies.

Benefits of being a volunteer:

  • For faculty and staff, the opportunity to gain perspective of the student experience at CPCC
  • Volunteer on your own schedule and as needed
  • Provide a platform for student success
  • Conceptualize class materials to get a greater learning experience
  • Learn a new skill

Interested? Please use this link to complete the Volunteer Form:
https://goo.gl/forms/xTfireHFZaxX2mWC3

Staff Spotlight: Mina Gerges, Lab Facilitator in the Disability Services Testing Center

Mina Gerges, Lab Facilitator

Mina is one of our newer team members in Disability Services. His background in technology is an asset to our department. Here is some Q&A to help you get to know Mina better!

Q: Who are you?
A: My name is Mina Gerges. I was born in Canterbury England, where I lived for four years. Then I went to Egypt and I spent about thirteen years there until I finished my high school diploma with a major in mathematics. I studied at Hudson County and then I studied electrical engineering technology at UNCC. Now I’m an Instructional Lab Facilitator at CPCC

Q: How long have you worked at CPCC?
A: This is my first time working at CPCC and I started one month ago.

Q: What other professional jobs have you held in the past?
A: I worked as a Process Engineer at Electronics Manufacturing. I provided quality support for production assembly and testing, documented assembly process for the manufacturing floor, and documented test procedures for test engineering. I also tested assemblies using manual, semi-automatic, and automatic test equipment. I enforced strong adherence to documented processes and lead problem resolution. I also worked as a math teacher at CMS where I taught mathematics for grades 9-12. I did my internship with CMC where I repaired desktops and laptops. Finally, I worked as a IT Assistant and I maintained and repaired PCs and Mac Computer hardware/ software.

Q: What is your area of expertise?
A: I have Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering Technology from UNCC

Q: What do you enjoy most about your job at CPCC?
A: I enjoy working with people. I’m gaining new experience and knowledge about working with disabled students and how to be more social with people.

Q: What are some of your favorite things to do outside of work?
A: I play basketball, tennis and bowling. I enjoy writing Christian stories and reading poems. I also have a talent in teaching mathematics.

Q: What do you want others to know about you?
A: I want others to know who I am and how I achieved my goal to become a team member of Disability Services at CPCC.

Technology Spotlight: Free and Cheap Assistive Technology!

Laptop, books, and phone

Laptop, books, and phone

Here are some suggestions from Disability Services for free and cheap assistive technology!

Notes Plus (App)
By: Viet Tran

  • Most Noteworthy Function: Note taking services
  • Estimated Value: $10.00
  • Available from ITunes
  • Compatibility: Requires iOS 7.0 or later. Compatible with iPad.
  • Selected as Top 100 World’s Greatest Apps 2014 – Business Insider’s App 100 (http://bit.ly/np1001)
  • Watch the demonstration
  • View the app

Notability (App)
By: Ginger Labs

  • Most Noteworthy Function: Note taking services
  • Estimated Value: $5.99
  • Available from ITunes
  • Compatibility: Requires iOS 7.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. This app is optimized for iPhone 5, iPhone 6, and iPhone 6 Plus.
  • Apple Editors’ Choice on iPad, iPhone, and Mac! Apple’s Mac App of The Year!
  • See the demonstration of 4.1
  • View the app

Splashtop 2 Remote Desktop – Personal
By: Splashtop Inc.

  • Most Noteworthy Function: Access your laptop from anywhere. (Great for online students).
  • Estimated Value: $4.99
  • Available from ITunes and GooglePlay
  • Compatibility: Requires iOS 5.0 or later. Compatible with iPad.
  • See the demonstration
  • View the app

Read&Write for iPad
By Texthelp Ltd.

  • Most Noteworthy Function: Read Aloud software
  • *Note: Also available in different versions for non-apple users. See the seller’s channel below.
  • Estimated Value: Free
  • Available from ITunes
  • Compatibility: Requires iOS 8.0 or later. Compatible with iPad.
  • Boost confidence and attainment for students with dyslexia or English language learners who struggle with reading and writing.
  • Seller’s channel on YouTube
  • View the app

 

 

Technology Spotlight: Affordable GPS device for your shoes!

Written by Kayla Earley

Have you ever wanted to use the GPS on your phone for walking directions but were afraid that you could not read the street signs and know where to turn? Lucky for you, someone else already has a design for that.

Lechal (Lechal.com) is getting ready to put their haptic technology shoes on the market. Lechal footwear comes in shoes and insoles that connect to the walking directions on your phone. When it’s time for you to take a right turn, your right foot will vibrate. No need to read street signs or ask for directions! You can preorder your pair today (http://lechal.com/preorder.html). And the great thing is, the company is trying to keep this footwear as affordable as possible, ranging from $60-$90!

Technology Spotlight: New designs for mobility devices

Written and researched by Judy Hill

Here’s a unique and interesting mobility aide for disabled individuals. A self-sufficient measure to move from bed to wheelchair without the assistance of another individual. Designed by Panasonic it’s called a Robobed. Check out the link below:

Video Link

This site offers a wheelchair with an exceptional design that allows its user to move sideways! This is accomplished by placing many smaller rubber wheels along the larger rim so they each turn individually creating greater flexibility of movement. Its name, “Permoveh”, is short for Personal mobile vehicle.

Video Link

 

Staff Spotlight: Kayla Earley, Lab Facilitator


Kayla with poster presentation

Introduction written by Laurie Jachym

Kayla Earley is another new addition to the Disability Services team. She joins the Disability Services Testing Center staff at Central campus as an Instructional Lab Facilitator. She works with students who attend classes at Central, Levine, and Harris campuses to provide testing accommodations and assistive technology services.

Here is a little Q & A with Kayla to help you get to know her better.

 

Q: How long have you worked at Central Piedmont Community College?
A: A very short time, only since March 2015!

Q: What other professional jobs have you held in the past?
A: I worked for 2 years with Lenoir-Rhyne University’s Support Services for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Students, 1 year as Bindery Supervisor at Carl A. Rudisill Library, and 1 year interning as an HIV Tester/Counselor with the ALFA.

Q: What is your area/what are your areas of expertise?
A: My Bachelors of Science is in Community Health from Lenoir-Rhyne University, and I am enrolled to begin my Master of Arts in Anthropology at UNCC this year. I have experience in research, program planning, and captioning.

Q: Can you tell us more about your picture?
A: Sure, that poster is from my Senior Honors Thesis. I was presenting an evaluation of the Council on Adolescent’s Lunch Buddy Program, which is a mentoring program for middle school students in Catawba County.

Q: What do you enjoy most about your job at Central Piedmont Community College?
A: I enjoy meeting new students and observing how they learn and recall test material.

Q: What are some of your favorite things to do outside of work?
A: Outside of work I enjoy reading historical fiction, visiting museums, and going to the zoo with my mom.

Q: What do you want others to know about you?
A: If I wrote an autobiography, the title would be, “I can’t help it; I’m a nerd.”

Please help us welcome Kayla to the college and to Disability Services. She is a wonderful new addition to our team.

eTextbooks from Barnes and Noble Bookstore. Yuzu makes it happen!

Written by Kayla Earley, Lab Facilitator

If you prefer eTextbooks, you may know that your Barnes & Noble campus bookstore has access to many of your required books in alternative format. The code you purchase from the bookstore is usually used with Yuzu, an online partner with Barnes & Noble. You can use Yuzu online or download the app onto your personal computer or tablet! Yuzu also has special features so you can highlight and take notes right on the page!

Be proactive and ask the bookstore about eTextbooks for the upcoming semester. For more information about Books in Alternative Format and Assistive Technology at CPCC please visit the Disability Services website.

Staff Spotlight: Jermaine Milledge Disability Counselor

Jermaine Milledge, Disability Counselor

Written by Laurie Jachym

Jermaine Milledge is the newest Disability Counselor to join the team in Disability Services. Starting only one and a half months ago, Jermaine comes to Central Piedmont Community College with an abundance of experience and expertise in the field of vision disabilities, assistive technology, and computers. His previous job experience includes Vision Rehabilitation Therapist, Adjunct Computer Information Systems Instructor, and Assistive Technology Instructor/Technician.

Jermaine works in the Disability Services Central Campus office. When asked what he likes most about his job as a Disability Counselor, he answered with,

“What I like most about my job is working with students and staff. The ultimate reward is seeing a student be successful. I measure my success by the success of my students.”

On a more personal note, Jermaine is not only new to Central Piedmont Community College, but he is also new to Charlotte. He recently moved to Charlotte with his wife from Michigan. Some of his favorite activities outside of work include playing chess, sports, getting together with friends, and exploring Charlotte. His favorite sports are basketball, football, boxing, track, hockey, and baseball. He enjoys watching the Detroit Tigers, Detroit Pistons, and University of Michigan football.

What he wants others to know about him is,

“I have a vision impairment and I really enjoy motivating and empowering others with disabilities to reach their potential.”

Disability Services is thrilled to have Jermaine on the team. We hope you enjoy working with him as much as we do in Disability Services.

Scholarships for Students with Disabilities (Summer & Fall deadlines)

Written by Kayla Earley, Lab Facilitator

Need help paying for school? Think it would be nice to pay half-price for assistive technology? Some organizations award scholarships and assistive technology grants specifically to students with disabilities! Check out these examples.

For more information about scholarships offered specifically to students with disabilities, visit https://www.disability.gov/scholarships-specifically-students-disabilities/.

 

Get financial help for assistive technology!

Hand on mouse

Hand on mouse

Written by Kayla Earley, Lab Facilitator Disability Services

Disability Services at CPCC is happy to provide students with assistive technology on all of CPCC’S campuses. However, we recognize that sometimes students need access to assistive technology outside of school, especially after students have completed their education at CPCC. The good news is, students do not have to fund assistive technology on their own. There is financial help available!

Visit the North Carolina Assistive Technology Program website to find information about funding scholarships, purchase of technology/devices for students with hearing and visual difficulties, and more.

In addition, you can purchase used assistive technology devices through the North Carolina Assistive Technology Exchange Post.

Interested in learning about FREE assistive technology? Here are some helpful resources for free software.

Please keep in mind that CPCC Disability Services is not responsible for mishaps that may occur when downloading free software.

NaturalReader

NaturalReader is a Text to Speech software with natural sounding voices. This easy to use software can convert any written text such as MS Word, Webpage, PDF files, and Emails into spoken words. NaturalReader can also convert any written text into audio files such as MP3 or WAV for your CD player or iPod.

Windows Eyes

Windows Eyes is free read aloud software for individuals who are blind, visually impaired, or print disabled. Available in multiple languages.

SpeakIt

SpeakIt is free downloadable software used with Google Chrome. SpeakIt uses text-to-speech technology to read selected text in over 50 languages.

NVDA

NonVisual Desktop Access, or NVDA, is a free, downloadable screen reader that converts text to speech. NVDA is available in our Disability Services Testing Center, but students may also wish to download this free software onto their personal computers or onto a USB drive, which allows students to use NVDA with virtually any computer.

Have questions about assistive technology at CPCC? Visit our website for more information!