Frequently Asked Questions

Listed below are our most frequently asked questions; click on the question to reveal the answer. For questions around a specific topic you will find more FAQ’s in the individual modules on our Training page. If you cannot find the question you have in mind listed here or on the training page, please contact the ARC-BC team at arc@prcvi.org.

What is ARC-BC?

ARC-BC (Accessible Resource Centre – British Columbia) is a Ministry of Education funded provincial response to the increasing demand for digital or alternate format alternatives to print for students with perceptual disability in BC classrooms. Educators in all school districts are able to search this online repository or “digital library” to find and download alternate format resources related to the BC curriculum. Production and distribution of the alternate format materials is centrally coordinated and duplication of effort in resource creation can hopefully be eliminated. The goal of ARC-BC is to provide BC educators with access to high-quality digital and alternate format materials for their students in a timely manner.

Can anyone register for ARC-BC?

Registration for ARC-BC is limited to only those working on behalf of individuals who have perceptual disabilities and individuals who are members of a school district or organization that is currently part of the ARC-BC Community. Perceptual disabilities include physical restrictions, visual impairments and comprehension disabilities.

Why can't students and/or parents register for ARC-BC?

In joining the ARC-BC community, districts sign an Agreement on Alternate Format Use the terms of which outline the district's responsibility in overseeing implementation of ARC-BC in the district and adherence to the Canadian Copyright limitations on the use of the alternate format materials. This agreement extends to the employees of the school district and, as such, does not include students or parents. Therefore, parents are not able to register for ARC-BC.

How can I tell if my school district or organization is part of the ARC-BC Community?

All British Columbia Public School Districts are members of the ARC-BC community. A list of the current members of the ARC-BC Community can be found on the ARC-BC website on the Contact page. That list also contains an email link to the ARC-BC Contacts if you have any questions about your eligibility.

I work with a student in a BC independent school, so can I join ARC-BC?

BC Independent Schools interested in joining the ARC-BC Community are asked to review the ARC-BC Process and follow the links within this document to fill out an ARC-BC Community Application to join ARC-BC. The district contact for all BC Independent Schools is Tony Arthurs, Coordinator, Communications & Special Education with the Office of the Inspector of Independent Schools. Tony.Arthurs@gov.bc.ca

How are school districts or independent schools determining which students have a "perceptual disability"?

Each school district is responsible for determining which students would be identified as having a perceptual disability. The ARC-BC District Contact is responsible for informing their users as to how that determination is made. Many school districts choose to use the existing IEP process – identifying the need for alternate format materials in the student's IEP and listing materials from ARC-BC as an accommodation. Some districts also require additional test results or documentation. Whatever the district process, users should be very versed on how to determine what students qualify to use the ARC-BC materials and how to document the use of ARC-BC materials with those students.

What is the Agreement on Alternate Format Use?

When a school district applies to join the ARC-BC community, someone in district administration is required to sign an Agreement on Alternate Format Use between PRCVI and the district. In that agreement, the district agrees to oversee the implementation of ARC-BC so that the users understand the Canadian Copyright Act as it pertains to alternate formats and that the district takes responsibility for ensuring that the copyright legislation is observed. The ARC-BC District Contact should ensure that the agreement is up-to-date – if there is a change in the district administrator that signed the original agreement, a new one must be signed and returned to the ARC-BC provincial team.

What training on ARC-BC is available?

ARC-BC conducts regular on line training sessions and they can be booked through our Calendar. We also offer face to face training sessions sometimes upon special request. There are a variety of support materials available through the Training page on the ARC-BC website including print instructions, video demonstrations, and workshop packages. These support materials do not replace more formal online or face to face training that all users should complete.

What technologies do I need to access the ARC-BC resources?

There are a number of ways to access the ARC-BC materials, depending on the file format you are using, all ARC-BC files can be opened on a computer, but may require specific software or apps. You will need Kurzweil 3000 to view .kes files, an media player to listen to mp3 files, Adobe Reader to view .pdf files, Microsoft Office Word to view .rtf, .doc and .txt files (.txt files also open in Microsoft Notepad), and Microsoft Office PowerPoint to view .pps files. You can also access a lot of the ARC-BC materials on other devices such as an iPad, or iPhone, a Braille notetaker, or an MP3 player. For information on using ARC-BC resources on iPad, please go to the Training page on the ARC-BC website.

What types of alternate format materials are available through ARC-BC?

There are a variety of alternate formats available based on the BC K-12 curriculum. Electronic versions of textbooks and novels in simple e-text, (.doc, .rtf and .txt), scanned formats (.bmf, .clkx, .kes, .pdf, .pps and.pictello), as well as Braille, Corel, and MP3 formats. For more detailed information on each format click here.

Am I allowed to convert ARC-BC files to other formats?

You must check either the publisher’s, Chapters’, or Amazon’s websites to see if the format you want is available commercially. If it is not available, then you are allowed to convert it. If it is, you are violating the Canadian Copyright Law by converting it.

Do I need to have a physical copy of the textbook or novel from which the alternate format was produced?

Yes - since alternate formats are created for the purpose of supporting student access to the same curricular materials as their non-disabled peers, it is assumed a standard print copy for each alternate format version has been purchased. The availability of alternate format versions does not preclude the need to purchase enough standard print copies of curricular materials for all students who require them to complete their educational programs.

What do I do if I can't find the book and/or file format my student needs?

We are committed to improving ARC-BC's service and alternate format collection and welcome any feedback or suggestions!
If you are a registered ARC-BC user who is supporting a student with perceptual disabilities and you can't find a title or the format your student needs, then submit a Request a Title or New Format Form.

Who can I contact if I have forgotten my username or password or if I have a general inquiry?

We are committed to improving our collection and providing high quality alternate format materials to BC students with perceptual disabilities. If you have forgotten your username or password or have suggestions as to how we can improve this website or our service in general, please give us Feedback.

How do I open the tactile files on ARC-BC?

Tactile files (.cdr) open in CorelDraw X5 and newer version of CorelDraw. Ensure that you have Swell Braille font loaded on to your computer. Obtain the Swell Braille font from Duxbury and follow the instructions.

http://www.duxburysystems.com/product2.asp?product=The%20Braille%20TrueType%20Fonts&level=free&action=pur

The files can be modified and saved if necessary. These files are designed to be printed onto a special SwellTouch paper and put through a Fuser (PIAF machine or Image Enhancer) which raises the black lines for the visually impaired students.

Should I delete ARC-BC files after use?

ARC-BC does not allow school districts to harvest ARC-BC and create their own repository. We are continually improving and updating the files and it violates copyright to collect files, so we ask that only the files required by the ARC-BC students are downloaded. All ARC-BC files are to be deleted when no longer required by the student or at the end of the school year and then re-downloaded as needed.

Related Programs

PRCVI

PRCVI assists school districts in educating students whose access to the curriculum is restricted due to a visual impairment.  Our mission is to provide leadership, information, training and consultation to support school districts’ goals of equitable access and enhanced learning opportunities for students with visual impairments.  Our services to school districts include provision of alternate formats of provincially recommended learning resources in Braille and Large Print.

SET-BC

SET-BC assists school districts in educating students whose access to the curriculum is restricted primarily due to physical disabilities, visual impairments, autism and/or cognitive disabilities.  Our services to school districts include consultation, technology loans, training and resource support.

Archived News

News stories, information on software updates and milestones in the ARC-BC history - click on the title to see full story.

2016Archived News - 2016

ARC-BC News November-December News

.DOC to .DOCX

Beginning in January, all ARC-BC eText requests will be uploaded in .DOCX format. It has been several years since .DOCX became the standard for word processing and eText files in Microsoft Word. Existing .DOC files on ARC-BC will be converted to .DOCX in the coming months.

ARC-BC Materials and the New BC Curriculum

The ARC-BC team presented at the #IT4K12 Conference in Richmond this November 17-18. The presentation focused on how ARC-BC materials can be used to support the development of core competencies in BC’s new curriculum for students with perceptual disabilities, and how some of the tools and resources used by the ARC team can support the inclusive design of learning materials in schools. Below are some of the resources that were shared in that presentation:

  • Born Accessible. This is an initiative by Benetech, the company that operates Bookshare – the largest library of accessible books in the world. The Born Accessible page features several resources on creating accessible books and learning materials, accessible images, and accessible math.
  • g(Math). A free Google Docs add-on that creates accessible mathematical formulas, equations, graphs, and statistical displays. Students can input mathematical content and have their work read back to them using a stand-alone text-to-speech program or Read&Write for Chrome. Here is a quick intro video from TextHelp on creating math expressions in g(Math).

We are very pleased to welcome a number of new district contacts joining ARC-BC.

If you are retiring, going on leave or moving from your school district or independent school before the end of the school year, please inform your ARC-BC District Contact and their email information can be found on the Contact page.

If you are new to ARC-BC or have not accessed it recently and would like a refresher, please note there are numerous online training sessions offered! For online training dates you can go to the Training tab and click on the View Calendar link and then send us an email to reserve your spot.

It is never too late to think long term, so if you know about particular titles(s) that your student(s) require for the January-June 2017 session please follow these steps:

  • Log into ARC-BC and search the repository for the title in the format you require
  • If the required title is in the ARC-BC repository but the notation indicates that it is [In Production] please contact arc@prcvi.org to have the format your student needs added to the high priority production list
  • If the title is available in the repository, but NOT in the format you require, or is not currently available in any formats, then submit a Request a Title or New Format Form
  • We will notify you if we do not have a copy and you will then need to donate the book in order to initiate the scanning and production process
  • The book(s) can be shipped to:
    ARC-BC
    Attn: Susan Hannigan
    106-1750 West 75th Avenue
    Vancouver, BC V6P 6G2
  • We will notify you by email when files are available to download from the repository

Thank you & have a joyful and warm winter!

The ARC-BC Provincial Team

ARC-BC October 2016 News Update


The Marrakesh Treaty and Canada

Working to End the “Book Famine” for Individuals with Print Disabilities.

On September 30, 2016 the Marrakesh Treaty came into force. Marrakesh is a major international treaty sponsored by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) that requires ratifying countries to adopt legislation that permits the reproduction, distribution, and making available of materials in accessible formats through limitations and exceptions to the rights of copyright holders. The Marrakesh Treaty establishes international standards for these exceptions within national copyright laws. The Treaty is very exciting news for individuals with print disabilities from across the globe – the Treaty provides specifically for the exchange of these accessible formats across international borders.

For more information on the Marrakesh Treaty, visit the WIPO website, or check out the Government of Canada’s amendments to the Canadian Copyright Act.


What’s New in ARC-BC?

New “Other Source” Options

At the bottom of the search results page, you may have noticed that there is a new listing of alternate sources from outside of the ARC-BC community. Highlighted below are three sources that are newly listed. These are popular sources for materials in digital and alternate formats, available to different user groups:


Frequently Asked Question of the Month

We have received many requests regarding how to check off existing and add new eligible students in their profiles. First, log into ARC-BC, go to "My Account" at the top, then go to "Edit Profile".

If you are supporting the same students as last year you will need to follow steps 1-4 and if you need to add new students then follow steps 5-10:

  1. Please read through your previous student list and verify the first and last name and the 9 digit student PEN have been correctly entered
  2. If this student will again be utilizing ARC-BC resources please click on the “Edit” icon on the far right next to the PEN number
  3. Check their check box under the Current Caseload column (those students that you are no longer supporting can’t be deleted – they will remain on the bottom of your list unchecked for archival purposes)
  4. Remember to hit the “Save” box on the far right to save each student before moving on to the next student
  5. Click on the + Add student box in the top left hand corner
  6. The Current Caseload check box will now automatically be checked off for all new students, so fill in the fields: Last Name, First Name and PEN (the 9 digit Ministry number, not the school ID number)
  7. Save each new student by clicking on the "Save" box on the far right side or to remove click on the "Cancel"
  8. To add another student repeat steps 5 to 7
  9. Once all students have been entered, you must click on the “Student Use Agreement” box below the list to confirm that you have reviewed and updated your caseload for this school year
  10. To save all students or edits on your profile, you must click the Update button at the top or bottom of the page or your revisions will be lost

Please contact us at arc@prcvi.org should you experience any difficulties or if you have any questions.

Thank you & have a hearty October!

The ARC-BC Provincial Team

September, 2016 - Welcome Back!

The start of the school year is always an exciting time for teachers, students and district personnel. We at ARC-BC are just as excited as our ninth year of providing digital alternate formats for BC students with perceptual disabilities has begun.

Welcome to NEW District Contacts

We would like to thank all the District Contacts for the great work they do, training, promoting and supporting ARC-BC. Every year some move on or retire and we welcome new individuals to the role. The ARC-BC District contact information can be found on the ARC-BC website Contact page.

Student Information Update

Again this school year, you will be asked to update your profile. Failure to provide ARC-BC with an updated profile and student information will result in the loss of user privileges. At any time this caseload information may be requested by the Ministry of Education; therefore, accuracy is of vital importance.

If you are supporting the same students as last year you will need to indicate this by following these steps:

  1. Please read through your previous student list and verify the first and last name and the student PEN have been correctly entered
  2. If this student will again be utilizing ARC-BC resources please click on the "Edit" box on the far right next to the PEN number
  3. Check their box under the Current Caseload column (those students that you are no longer supporting can't be deleted – they will remain on the bottom of your list unchecked for archival purposes)
  4. Click on the "Save" box on the far right to save each student before moving on to the next student or "Cancel" if you have no changes

If you have no new students to add, then after you check their box under the “current caseload” column, you MUST click the UPDATE button at the top or bottom of your profile.

Adding New Students

To start entering NEW student(s) information you need to follow these steps:

  1. Click on the + Add student box in the top left hand corner
  2. The Current Caseload check box will now automatically be checked off for all new students, so fill in the fields: Last Name, First Name and their 9 digit PEN
  3. Save each new student by clicking on the "Save" box on the far right side or, to remove: click on the "Cancel" box
  4. To add another student repeat steps 1 to 3
  5. Once all students have been entered, you must click on the box below the list to confirm that you have reviewed and updated your caseload
  6. You must also click on the Agreement on Appropriate Use of ARC-BC Materials box at the bottom

Finally, to save all students or edits on your profile, you MUST click the UPDATE button at the top of the page or your revisions will be lost.

ARC-BC Training

Please note there are numerous online training sessions offered to new and returning ARC-BC users! New users to ARC-BC must participate in training. You can go to the Training tab and click on the View Calendar link.

Feel free contact us at arc@prcvi.org should you experience any difficulties.

May we also take this opportunity to wish you a successful school year and hope that you continue to enjoy the benefits of the ARC-BC digital file repository!

The ARC-BC Provincial Team

June 2016

Thank you to the users who completed the ARC-BC survey. Your feedback is extremely important to us. The survey results provide us with data required by the Ministry of Education and the feedback is also very important to the ARC-BC provincial team, as we strive to continually improve the service we provide to you and your students. Congratulations to 25 winners of the ARC-BC Annual survey prize draw.

A couple reminders to all ARC-BC users:

If you are retiring or leaving your school district at the end of June, please inform your ARC District Contact. Your District Contact's email information can be found on the ARC Contact page.

We continue to add new books to the repository and new file formats. It is always important to plan ahead, so if you know about particular titles(s) that your student(s) require for September 2016 please follow these steps:

  • Search the ARC-BC repository for the title in the format you require
  • If the required title is in the ARC-BC repository but the notation indicates that it is [In Production] please contact arc@prcvi.org to have it added to the high priority production list
  • If the title is available in the repository, but NOT in the format you require, or is not currently available in any formats, then submit a Request a Title or New Format Form. (Please note that high school science and math texts are only produced in kes level 1 format due to time and production software constraints)
  • We will notify you if we do not have a copy and you will then need to donate the book in order to initiate the scanning and production process. The book must be relatively new with crisp, clean pages and no markings, folds or tears. Your donated book will be catalogued, have the spine cut off and sent through a high speed scanner to capture the images necessary to produce the requested alternate format(s). The book(s) will not be returned to you and they can be shipped to:

    ARC-BC
    Attn: Susan Hannigan
    106-1750 West 75th Avenue
    Vancouver, BC V6P 6G2

  • Once the title is posted on the ARC-BC repository, we will notify you by email that files are available to download

Thank you for taking the time to support ARC-BC. Wishing you a wonderful summer!

The ARC-BC Provincial Team

April 2016 – What’s New on ARC-BC and ARC-BC User Survey

ARC-BC Outreach Presentations in Dawson Creek and Smithers: We are very pleased to have presented on ARC-BC to teachers and administrators in Dawson Creek and Smithers this year. It is always an informative day not only for new ARC-BC users to learn about ARC-BC but also for the ARC-BC team to receive valuable feedback directly from our ARC-BC users. ARC-BC provides weekly online informational training sessions . Please check our training page for more information. Also, if your district team is interested in having an ARC-BC training session on a Professional Development day, please contact our ARC-BC team leader, Ellen Hsieh.

Survey: In order to improve the alternate format collection and our service delivery to students and their educational teams , ARC-BC is collecting feedback and information from all registered users. Data from the year-end survey is essential to demonstrate program effectiveness and to ensure continued funding from the Ministry of Education. We recognize it is a very busy time of year, but ask that you complete the short online survey that will provide us with valuable information. Please log into ARC-BC in order to be directed to the 3-5 minute survey. Full access to our resources will once again be available upon your completion of the survey.

The survey will be open from April 25 to May 27, 2016.

By completing the survey and by providing his or her contact information, the user is entered into a draw for an ARC-BC gift box, for up to 25 ARC-BC eligible users. If you would like a chance to win, be sure to include your name & contact information in the comments section at the end of the survey.

Thinking of retiring or moving on? If you are retiring at the end of June, please inform your ARC-BC District Contact in the coming weeks. Your District Contact's email information can be found on the Contact page.

Library2go: Do you know about Library2go?

BC students can also use their public library cards to borrow ebooks online. Go to Library2go for more information.

Thank you for your continued support of ARC-BC.

Best regards,
The ARC-BC Provincial Team

2015Archived News - 2015

December 2015 - Hello from the ARC-BC Team!

We are very pleased to welcome a number of new district contacts joining the ARC-BC. Their contact information can be found on the ARC Contact page. If you are retiring, going on leave or moving from your school district or independent school before the end of the school year, please inform your ARC District Contact.

New Instruction Document Added in Module 8

The ARC-BC team has developed a new document teaching users how to convert a word document into different formats, such as .rtf, .txt, and .doc/docx. The instruction document can be found in the module 8 section on the ARC-BC Training page.

New ARC-BC Project: Adding .Kes files in the Entire Book section

ARC-BC has started adding more Kurzweil files in the Entire Book section. For some titles ARC-BC users can now find the entire book .Kes file at the bottom of the search results. This will save users from downloading each individual chapter. Note that it is a new and ongoing project, so more titles will be added in the future.

Reading Power – Orca Books

More than 100 titles of Orca books are now on ARC-BC. These books are written by Canadian authors, and these high interest and low reading level books are good for struggling readers.

**Chrome Book Users & Google Read and Write**

ARC-BC team has conducted an intensive testing over the summer on a fairly new software, Google Read and Write. Overall, it is a great and useful tool for students with perceptual disabilities; however, ARC-BC users must understand that NOT ALL ARC-BC files can be opened on this program, and some of the editing of the file, including correct pronunciation and reading order may not work properly. When sharing the ARC-BC files via Google Doc, ARC-BC users are only allowed to share with their current registered ARC-BC students. At the end of the school year, they must log in to their Google Doc account and delete the ARC-BC files that are no longer used by their current registered ARC-BC students. ARC-BC team will assist all ARC-BC users if you have any questions.

Requesting a New Title on ARC-BC

It is never too late to think long term, so if you know about particular titles(s) that your student(s) require for the January-June 2016 session please follow these steps:

  • Log into ARC-BC and search the repository for the title in the format you require
  • If the required title is in the ARC-BC repository but the notation indicates that it is [In Production] please contact arc@prcvi.org to have the format your student needs added to the high priority production list
  • If the title is available in the repository, but NOT in the format you require, or is not currently available in any formats, then submit a Request a Title or New Format Form
  • We will notify you if we do not have a copy and you will then need to donate the book in order to initiate the scanning and production process
  • The book(s) can be shipped to:

    ARC-BC
    Attn: Susan Hannigan
    106-1750 West 75th Avenue
    Vancouver, BC V6P 6G2
  • We will notify you by email when files are available to download from the repository

If you have any questions or comments on ways we can possibly improve the website, feel free to send us a feedback note.

Thank you for taking the time to use and support ARC-BC and we wish you a pleasant winter holiday break!

The ARC-BC Provincial Team

September, 2015 - Welcome Back!

The start of the school year is always an exciting time for teachers, students and district personnel. We at ARC-BC are just as excited as our eighth year of providing digital alternate formats for BC students with perceptual disabilities has begun.

Welcome to NEW District Contacts

We would like to thank all the District Contacts for the great work they do, training, promoting and supporting ARC-BC. Every year some move on or retire and we welcome new individuals to the role.

  • SD 10 Keith Greenhalf
  • SD 63 Doug Agar
  • SD 71 Jane Rondow
  • SD 74 Nicky Minnabarriet
  • SD 81 Lynne MacNeil
  • SD 82 Karen Scales

Their contact information can be found on the ARC-BC website Contact page.

Student Information Update

Again this school year, you will be asked to update your profile. Failure to provide ARC-BC with an updated profile and student information will result in the loss of user privileges. At any time this caseload information may be requested by the Ministry of Education; therefore, accuracy is of vital importance.

If you are supporting the same students as last year you will need to indicate this by following these steps:

  1. Please read through your previous student list and verify the first and last name and the student PEN have been correctly entered
  2. If this student will again be utilizing ARC-BC resources please click on the "Edit" box on the far right next to the PEN number
  3. Check their box under the Current Caseload column (those students that you are no longer supporting can't be deleted – they will remain on the bottom of your list unchecked for archival purposes)
  4. Click on the "Save" box on the far right to save each student before moving on to the next student or "Cancel" if you have no changes

If you have no new students to add, then after you check their box under the “current caseload” column, you MUST click the UPDATE button at the top or bottom of your profile.

Adding New Students

To start entering NEW student(s) information you need to follow these steps:

  1. Click on the + Add student box in the top left hand corner
  2. The Current Caseload check box will now automatically be checked off for all new students, so fill in the fields: Last Name, First Name and their 9 digit PEN
  3. Save each new student by clicking on the "Save" box on the far right side or, to remove: click on the "Cancel" box
  4. To add another student repeat steps 1 to 3
  5. Once all students have been entered, you must click on the box below the list to confirm that you have reviewed and updated your caseload
  6. You must also click on the Agreement on Appropriate Use of ARC-BC Materials box at the bottom

Finally, to save all students or edits on your profile, you MUST click the UPDATE button at the top of the page or your revisions will be lost.

ARC-BC Training

Please note there are numerous online training sessions offered to new and returning ARC-BC users! New users to ARC-BC must participate in training. You can go to the Training tab and click on the View Calendar link.

Feel free contact us at arc@prcvi.org should you experience any difficulties.

May we also take this opportunity to wish you a successful school year and hope that you continue to enjoy the benefits of the ARC-BC digital file repository!

The ARC-BC Provincial Team

June 2015 News

Thank you to the users who completed the ARC-BC survey. Your feedback is extremely important to us. The survey results provide us with data required by the Ministry of Education and the feedback is also very useful for the ARC-BC provincial team, as we strive to continually improve the service we provide to you and your students.

Congratulations to the winners of the ARC-BC Annual survey prize draw:

  • Leanne Miller - SD74
  • Angela Cumming - SD83
  • Jessica Creasy - SD63
  • Steve Balaniuk - SD36
  • Linda Murdoch - SD38
  • Val Bancroft - SD39
  • Karla Boucher - Independent School

A couple of reminders to all ARC-BC users:

If you are retiring or leaving your school district at the end of June, please inform your ARC-BC District Contact. Your District Contact's email information can be found on the ARC-BC Contact page.

We continue to add new books to the repository and new file formats. It is always important to plan ahead, so if you know about particular titles(s) that your student(s) require for September 2014 please follow these steps:

  • Log into ARC-BC and search the repository for the title in the format you require
  • If the required title is in the ARC-BC repository but the notation indicates that it is [In Production] please contact arc@prcvi.org to have the format your student needs added to the high priority production list
  • If the title is available in the repository, but NOT in the format you require, or is not currently available in any formats, then submit a Request a Title or New Format Form
  • We will notify you if we do not have a copy and you will then need to donate the book in order to initiate the scanning and production process
  • The book(s) can be shipped to:
    ARC-BC
    Attn: Susan Hannigan
    106-1750 West 75th Avenue
    Vancouver, BC V6P 6G2
  • We will notify you by email when files are available to download from the repository

Thank you for taking the time to support ARC-BC. Wishing you a wonderful summer!

The ARC-BC Provincial Team

April 2015 – What’s New on ARC-BC and ARC-BC User Survey

Reading Power Project: We are very pleased to have worked with SET-BC on this Project. Reading Power provides students with the tools to become more thoughtful and meaningful readers as well as how to become “meta-cognitive” or aware of their thinking while they read. Developing a “common language of thinking” across grades is a key aspect to this approach, while teachers learn the importance of using this language in all aspects of their teaching. There are 96 new reading power titles now on ARC-BC. Users can type “Reading Power” under quick search to find the new titles.

Clicker: We are thrilled to add a new file format, Clicker Books (.clkb) with some new files on ARC-BC. Students can use the files and create their own stories on an iPad (the user would have to purchase the App from iTunes).

Training: We also updated our document on Using ARC Pictello Files in our training module (see ARC-BC Alternate Devices and ARC-BC Files).

Survey: In order to improve the alternate format collection and our service to users ARC-BC is collecting feedback and information from all registered users. We recognize it is a very busy time of year, but ask that you complete the short on-line survey that will provide us with valuable information. Please log into ARC-BC in order to be directed to the 3 minute survey. Full access to our resources will once again be available upon your completion of the survey.

The survey will officially start from April 24 to May 22, 2015.

Upon completion of the survey, we will be giving away three iPod shuffles and USB memory sticks. If you would like a chance to win, be sure to include your name & contact information in the comments section at the end of the survey for your chance to win.

Thinking of retiring or moving on: If you are retiring at the end of June, please inform your ARC-BC District Contact in the coming weeks. Your District Contact's email information can be found on the Contact page.

Library2go: Do you know about Library2go?

BC students can also use their public library cards to borrow ebooks online. Go to Library2go for more information.

The ARC-BC Provincial Team

2014Archived News - 2014

December 2014 - Hello from the ARC-BC Team!

We are very pleased to welcome a number of new district contacts joining the ARC-BC.

If you are retiring, going on leave or moving from your school district or independent school before the end of the school year, please inform your ARC District Contact. Your District Contact's email information can be found on the ARC Contact page.

If you are new to ARC-BC or have not accessed it recently and would like a refresher, please note there are numerous online training sessions offered! For online training dates you can go to the Training tab and click on the View Calendar link and then send us an email to reserve your spot.

It is never too late to think long term, so if you know about particular titles(s) that your student(s) require for the January-June 2015 session please follow these steps:

  • Log into ARC-BC and search the repository for the title in the format you require
  • If the required title is in the ARC-BC repository but the notation indicates that it is [In Production] please contact arc@prcvi.org to have the format your student needs added to the high priority production list
  • If the title is available in the repository, but NOT in the format you require, or is not currently available in any formats, then submit a Request a Title or New Format Form
  • We will notify you if we do not have a copy and you will then need to donate the book in order to initiate the scanning and production process
  • The book(s) can be shipped to:
    ARC-BC
    Attn: Susan Hannigan
    106-1750 West 75th Avenue
    Vancouver, BC V6P 6G2
  • We will notify you by email when files are available to download from the repository

If you have any questions or comments on ways we can possibly improve the website, feel free to send us a feedback note.

Thank you for taking the time to use and support ARC-BC and we wish you a pleasant winter holiday break!

The ARC-BC Provincial Team

September, 2014 - Welcome Back!

The start of the school year is always an exciting time for teachers, students and district personnel. We at ARC-BC are just as excited as our seventh year of providing digital alternate formats for BC students with perceptual disabilities has begun.

Due to the strike in June, many of you might not have been able to send in your book requests for this new school year. Now, it is the time to do them starting this week. Therefore, we anticipate that there will be a lot of requests coming in the next few weeks. Please follow these steps in order to allow us to assist you and your student(s) in a timely manner:

  • Log into ARC-BC and search the repository for the title in the format you require
  • If the required title is in the ARC-BC repository but the notation indicates that it is [In Production] please contact arc@prcvi.org to have the format your student needs added to the high priority production list
  • If the title is available in the repository, but NOT in the format you require, or is not currently available in any formats, then submit a Request a Title or New Format Form
  • We will notify you if we do not have a copy and you will then need to donate the book in order to initiate the scanning and production process
  • The book(s) can be shipped to:
    ARC-BC
    Attn: Susan Hannigan
    106-1750 West 75th Avenue
    Vancouver, BC V6P 6G2
  • We will notify you by email when files are available to download from the repository

Please note there are numerous online training sessions offered to new and returning ARC-BC users! New users to ARC-BC must participate in training. Please go to the Training tab and click on the View Calendar link.

Again this school year, you will be asked to update your profile in September and also February. Failure to provide ARC-BC with an updated profile and student information will result in the loss of user privileges. At any time this caseload information may be requested by the Ministry of Education; therefore, accuracy is of vital importance.

If you are supporting the same students as last year you will need to indicate this by following these steps:

  1. Please read through your previous student list and verify the first and last name and the student PEN have been correctly entered
  2. If this student will again be utilizing ARC-BC resources please click on the "Edit" box on the far right next to the PEN number
  3. Check their box under the Current Caseload column (those students that you are no longer supporting can't be deleted – they will remain on the bottom of your list unchecked for archival purposes)
  4. Click on the "Save" box on the far right to save each student before moving on to the next student or "Cancel" if you have no changes

If you have no new students to add, then click the UPDATE button at the top or bottom of your profile or these changes will be lost.

To start entering NEW student(s) information you need to follow these steps:

  1. Click on the + Add student box in the top left hand corner
  2. The Current Caseload check box will now automatically be checked off for all new students, so fill in the fields: Last Name, First Name and their 9 digit PEN
  3. Save each new student by clicking on the "Save" box on the far right side or, to remove: click on the "Cancel" box
  4. To add another student repeat steps 5 to 7
  5. Once all students have been entered, you must click on the box below the list to confirm that you have reviewed and updated your caseload
  6. You must also click on the Agreement on Appropriate Use of ARC-BC Materials box at the bottom

Finally, to save all students or edits on your profile, you must click the Update button at the top of the page or your revisions will be lost.

Please contact us at arc@prcvi.org should you experience any difficulties.

May we also take this opportunity to wish you a successful school year and hope that you continue to enjoy the benefits of the ARC-BC digital file repository!

The ARC-BC Provincial Team

June 2014 News

Thank you to the users who completed the ARC-BC survey. Your feedback is extremely important to us. The survey results provide us with data required by the Ministry of Education and the feedback is also very useful for the ARC-BC provincial team, as we strive to continually improve the service we provide to you and your students.

Congratulations to the winners of the ARC-BC Annual survey prize draw:

  • Winnie Lee - SD44
  • Laura Bednarz - SD36
  • Chris Sihota - SD35
  • Cynthia Ngo - SD68
  • Lori Davies - SD39
  • Reina Anema - Independent School

A couple of reminders to all ARC-BC users:

If you are retiring or leaving your school district at the end of June, please inform your ARC-BC District Contact. Your District Contact's email information can be found on the ARC-BC Contact page.

We continue to add new books to the repository and new file formats. It is always important to plan ahead, so if you know about particular titles(s) that your student(s) require for September 2014 please follow these steps:

  • Log into ARC-BC and search the repository for the title in the format you require
  • If the required title is in the ARC-BC repository but the notation indicates that it is [In Production] please contact arc@prcvi.org to have the format your student needs added to the high priority production list
  • If the title is available in the repository, but NOT in the format you require, or is not currently available in any formats, then submit a Request a Title or New Format Form
  • We will notify you if we do not have a copy and you will then need to donate the book in order to initiate the scanning and production process
  • The book(s) can be shipped to:
    ARC-BC
    Attn: Susan Hannigan
    106-1750 West 75th Avenue
    Vancouver, BC V6P 6G2
  • We will notify you by email when files are available to download from the repository

Thank you for taking the time to support ARC-BC. Wishing you a wonderful summer!

The ARC-BC Provincial Team

April 2014 – ARC-BC User Survey

In order to improve the alternate format collection and our service to users ARC-BC is collecting feedback and information from all registered users. We recognize it is a very busy time of year, but ask that you complete the short on-line survey that will provide us with valuable information. Please log into ARC-BC in order to be directed to the 3 minute survey. Full access to our resources will once again be available upon your completion of the survey.

The survey will officially start from April 28 to May 31, 2014.

Upon completion of the survey, we will be giving away three iPod shuffles and USB memory sticks. If you would like a chance to win, be sure to include your name & contact information in the comments section at the end of the survey for your chance to win.

If you are retiring at the end of June, please inform your ARC-BC District Contact in the coming weeks. Your District Contact's email information can be found on the Contact page.

2013Archived News - 2013

December 2013 - Hello from the ARC-BC Team!

We are very pleased to announce that ARC-BC has a new Team Leader, Ellen Hsieh. Ellen will be conducting the ARC-BC online trainings and support for Users and District Contacts.

At ARC-BC we appreciate feedback from Users – we are working hard to make more file formats available as students use a variety of devices to access ARC-BC files. We are adding more PDF files to ARC-BC. Check out some of the new tutorials on the Training page, module 8, on opening and viewing ARC-BC files on an iPad.

If you are retiring, going on leave or moving from your school district or independent school before the end of the school year, please inform your ARC District Contact. Your District Contact's email information can be found on the ARC Contact page.

If you are new to ARC-BC or have not accessed it recently and would like a refresher, please note there are numerous online training sessions offered! For online training dates you can go to the Training tab and click on the View Calendar link and then send us an email to reserve your spot.

It is never too late to think long term, so if you know about particular titles(s) that your student(s) require for the January-June 2014 session please follow these steps:

  • Search the ARC-BC repository for the title in the format you require
  • If the required title is in the ARC-BC repository but the notation indicates that it is [In Production] please contact arc@prcvi.org to have it added to the high priority production list
  • If the title is available in the repository, but NOT in the format you require, or is not currently available in any formats, then submit a Request a Title or New Format Form. (Please note that high school science and math texts are only produced in pdf or kes level 1 format due to time and production software constraints)
  • We will notify you if we do not have a copy and you will then need to donate the book in order to initiate the production process. The book must be relatively new with crisp, clean pages and no markings, folds or tears. Your donated book will be catalogued, have the spine cut off and sent through a high speed scanner to capture the images necessary to produce the requested alternate format(s). The book(s) will not be returned to you and they can be shipped to:

    ARC-BC
    Attn: Susan Hannigan
    106-1750 West 75th Avenue
    Vancouver, BC V6P 6G2

  • Once the title is posted on the ARC-BC repository, we will notify you by email that files are available to download.

If you have any questions or comments on ways we can possibly improve the website, feel free to send us a feedback note.

Thank you for taking the time to use and support ARC-BC and we wish you a pleasant winter holiday break!

The ARC-BC Provincial Team

August 2013 – Welcome Back

The start of the school year is always an exciting time for teachers, students and district personnel. We at ARC-BC are just as excited as our sixth year of providing alternate formats for BC students with perceptual disabilities has begun.

Some of you may be aware we have had some staffing changes at ARC-BC since June – Lynn Kent has now moved on from ARC-BC and we wish her all the best. Lynn has done a great job as the ARC-BC team leader. If you are interested in working in this role and you are a BC teacher of the visually impaired, please get in touch with the Manager of ARC-BC.

The ARC-BC production team has been hard at work this summer, working on a number of projects. We are pleased to be able to offer an increasing number (15 and growing fast) of adapted PDF files which open well using the Solo suite and also on iPads. We received 40 requests for new titles which are now available on ARC-BC. We are also making the PRCVI collection of tactile images available for download on ARC-BC; so far we have over 50 up on the repository. In order to open these files you will need Corel Draw version X5 or higher. They are intended to be used by school district transcribers as a supplement to digital files and can be saved, modified and raised into a two dimensional tactile using a PIAF, Swell form or Tactile Image Enhancer machine.

Please note there are numerous online training sessions offered to new and returning ARC-BC users! New users to ARC-BC must participate in training. Please go to the Training tab and click on the View Calendar link.

As usual you will be asked to update your profile in September and also February. Failure to provide ARC-BC with an updated profile and student information will result in the loss of user privileges. At any time this caseload information may be requested by the Ministry, therefore accuracy is of vital importance.

Please note that security is of the utmost concern to the ARC-BC provincial team. As you know, we are very committed to protecting the student, teacher and staff information at all times and all the data is stored on a secure server.

When you next log into ARC, you will be re-directed to your user profile page. You will be asked to verify current work location & work phone number, email address, district role and the students you are supporting. Please remember to include the students’ 9 digit Personal Education Number (PEN). If you are supporting the same students as last year you will need to indicate this by following these steps:

  1. Please read through your previous student list and verify the first and last name and the student PEN have been correctly entered
  2. If this student will again be utilizing ARC-BC resources please click on the "Edit" box on the far right next to the PEN number
  3. Check their box under the Current Caseload column (those students that you are no longer supporting can't be deleted – they will remain on the bottom of your list unchecked for archival purposes)
  4. Click on the "Save" box on the far right to save each student before moving on to the next student or "Cancel" if you have no changes

To start entering NEW student(s) information you need to follow these steps:

  1. Click on the + Add student box in the top left hand corner
  2. The Current Caseload check box will now automatically be checked off for all new students, so fill in the fields: Last Name, First Name and their 9 digit PEN
  3. Save each new student by clicking on the "Save" box on the far right side or, to remove: click on the "Cancel" box
  4. To add another student repeat steps 5 to 7
  5. Once all students have been entered, you must click on the box below the list to confirm that you have reviewed and updated your caseload
  6. You must also click on the Agreement on Appropriate Use of ARC-BC Materials box at the bottom

Finally, to save all students or edits on your profile, you must click the Update button at the top of the page or your revisions will be lost.

Please contact us at arc@prcvi.org should you experience any difficulties.

We have a Request Title form so if you can't find a title or format needed on ARC-BC, please complete this form and one of our staff will let you know if you will need to donate a book.

May we also take this opportunity to wish you a successful school year and hope that you continue to enjoy the benefits of the ARC-BC digital file repository!

The ARC-BC Provincial Team

June 2013 – Hello from the ARC-BC Team!

A big thank you to the users who completed the ARC-BC survey. Your feedback is extremely important to us. The survey results provide us with data required by the Ministry of Education and the feedback is also very important to the ARC-BC provincial team, as we strive to continually improve the service we provide to you and your students. Congratulations to the winners of the ARC-BC Annual survey prize draw:

Karen West SD71
Monica Hoffort SD83
Bonnie Short SD62
Natalie Speccogna SD36
Donna Schiller SD74
Don Smith SD40

We are also very pleased to say that Version 3.0 software updates have now been completed. We appreciate your patience and support throughout this process and as always, we welcome your feedback on ways we can possibly improve the website.

If you are retiring or leaving your school district at the end of June, please inform your ARC District Contact. Your District Contact's email information can be found on the ARC Contact page.

We continue to add new books to the repository and new file formats such as Clicker 6 files and soon Board Maker files. It is never too late to think long term, so if you know about particular titles(s) that your student(s) require for September please follow these steps:

  • Search the ARC-BC repository for the title in the format you require
  • If the required title is in the ARC-BC repository but the notation indicates that it is [In Production] please contact arc@prcvi.org to have it added to the high priority production list
  • If the title is available in the repository, but NOT in the format you require, or is not currently available in any formats, then submit a Request a Title or New Format Form. (Please note that high school science and math texts are only produced in kes level 1 format due to time and production software constraints)
  • We will notify you if we do not have a copy and you will then need to donate the book in order to initiate the production process. The book must be relatively new with crisp, clean pages and no markings, folds or tears. Your donated book will be catalogued, have the spine cut off and sent through a high speed scanner to capture the images necessary to produce the requested alternate format(s). The book(s) will not be returned to you and they can be shipped to:

    ARC-BC
    Attn: Susan Hannigan
    106-1750 West 75th Avenue
    Vancouver, BC V6P 6G2

  • Once the title is posted on the ARC-BC repository, we will notify you by email that files are available to download

Thank you for taking the time to support ARC-BC. Wishing you a pleasant summer!

The ARC-BC Provincial Team

April 2013 – ARC-BC User Survey

  1. In order to improve the alternate format collection and to fulfill our copyright maintenance responsibilities, ARC-BC is collecting access information from all registered users at this time. We recognize it is a very busy time of year, but ask that you complete the short on line survey that will provide us with valuable information. Please log into ARC-BC in order to be directed to the 3 minute survey. Full access to our resources will once again be available upon your completion of the survey.
  2. The survey will run from April 25 to May 31, 2013.
  3. Upon completion of the survey, we will be giving away three Ipod Shuffles and 8GB USB Drives! If you would like a chance to win, be sure to include your name & contact information in the comments section at the end of the survey for your chance to win.
  4. If you are retiring at the end of June, please inform your ARC-BC District Contact in the coming weeks. Your District Contact's email information can be found on the Contact page.

Have a wonderful spring!

March 2013

It has been a year of change and growth at ARC-BC and we can see the finish line with our Version 3.0 software upgrades. We believe these upgrades have made ARC-BC more streamlined and user friendly. To let us know if you agree, we will be asking all users to help us fill out our annual survey soon. The feedback you provide us with is extremely valuable as we are committed to providing a secure, easily searchable repository of curricular materials.

We continue to add new books to the repository and new file formats such as Clicker 6 files and soon Boardmaker files. It is never too late to think long term. If you know about a particular book that you require in the coming weeks or even for September please follow these steps:

  • Search the ARC-BC repository for the title in the format you require
  • If the required title is in the ARC-BC repository but the notation indicates that it is [In Production] please contact arc@prcvi.org to have it added to the high priority production list
  • If the title is available in the repository, but NOT in the format you require, or is not currently available then submit a Request a Title or New Format Form. (Please note that high school science and math texts are only produced in kes level 1 format due to time and production software constraints)
  • We will notify you if we do not have a copy of the book. You will then need to donate the book in order to initiate the production process. The book must be relatively new with crisp, clean pages and no markings, folds or tears. Your donated book will be catalogued, have the spine cut off and sent through a high speed scanner to capture the images necessary to produce the alternate format(s). The book(s) will not be returned to you and they can be sent to:

    ARC-BC
    Attn: Susan Hannigan
    106-1750 West 75th Avenue
    Vancouver, BC V6P 6G2

  • Once the title is posted on the ARC-BC repository, we will notify you by email that files are available to download

2012Archived News - 2012

August 30, 2012 - Welcome Back!

The start of the school year is always an exciting time for teachers, students and district personnel. We at ARC-BC are just as excited as our fifth year of providing alternate formats for BC students with perceptual disabilities has begun.

The ARC-BC production staff has been hard at work this summer. After receiving over 100 new title requests, 75 have been completed for a total of 1000 individual files uploaded to the repository so far!

Please note there are numerous online training sessions offered to new and returning ARC-BC users! New users to ARC-BC must participate in training. Please go to the Training tab and click on the View Calendar link.

The roll-out of ARC-BC Version 3.0 is in the final stages of completion. We appreciate everyone’s patience during this project. Last year ARC-BC began requiring student information to provide the Ministry of Education with a current list of the student(s) you support with ARC-BC resources. This information is very valuable to the ARC-BC team. Again this school year, you will be asked to update your profile in September and also February. Failure to provide ARC-BC with an updated profile and student information will result in the loss of user privileges. At any time this caseload information may be requested by the Ministry, therefore accuracy is of vital importance.

Please note that security is of the utmost concern to the ARC-BC provincial team. As you know, we are very committed to protecting the student, teacher and staff information at all times and all the data is stored on a secure server.

When you next log into ARC, you will be re-directed to your user profile page. You will be asked to verify current work location, email address, district role and the students you are supporting. The next significant change will be how students are registered. Instead of entering just the names of the students, we are asking you to register students by their last, then first name and their Personal Education Number (PEN).

If you are supporting the same students as last year you will need to indicate this by following these steps:

  1. Please read through your previous student list and verify the first and last name and the student PEN have been correctly entered.
  2. If this student will again be utilizing ARC-BC resources please click on the pencil icon on the far right next to the PEN number.
  3. Check their box under the Current Caseload column (those students that you are no longer supporting can't be deleted – they will remain on the bottom of your list unchecked for archival purposes).
  4. Hit the check mark on the far right to save each student before moving on to the next student.

To start entering NEW student(s) information you need to follow these steps:

  1. Click on the + Add student box in the top left hand corner
  2. The Current Caseload check box will now automatically be checked off for all new students, so fill in the fields: Last Name, First Name and PEN.
  3. Save each new student by clicking on the "Insert" check mark box on the far right side or to remove click on the "Cancel" or X box.
  4. To add another student repeat steps 5 to 7.
  5. Once all students have been entered, you must click on the box below the list to confirm that you have reviewed and updated your caseload.
  6. Finally, to save all students or edits on your profile, you must click the Update button at the top of the page or your revisions will be lost.

Please contact us at should you experience any difficulties with this new addition.

We have a new Request Title form so if you can't find a title on ARC-BC, please complete this form and one of our staff will let you know if you will need to donate a book.

May we also take this opportunity to wish you a successful school year and hope that you continue to enjoy the benefits of the ARC-BC digital file repository!

The ARC-BC Provincial Team

June 25, 2012 - Hello Everyone!

A big thank you to the users who completed the ARC-BC survey, your feedback is extremely important to us. The survey results provide us with data required by the Ministry of Education. The information is also very important to the ARC-BC provincial team in order to help us to continually improve the service we provide to you and your students.

We are also very pleased to say that Version 3.0 updates are nearly complete. We appreciate your patience and support throughout the year. As always, we welcome your feedback.

If you haven’t done so already, please submit any new book requests for the 2012/13 school year as soon as possible. Please follow the steps below:

  • Search the ARC-BC repository for the title in the format you require
  • If the title is available but NOT in the format you require send an email request to arc@prcvi.org with the book title, ISBN, and format. (Please note that high school science and math texts are only produced in kes level 1 format due to time and production software constraints)
  • If the required title is in the ARC-BC repository but the notation indicates that it is [In Production] please contact arc@prcvi.org to have it added to the high priority production list.
  • If the title is not currently available in the repository send an email request to arc@prcvi.org with the book title, ISBN, and format. If ARC-BC has an available print copy we will initiate the production process.
  • We will notify you if we do not have a copy of the book. You will need to donate the book in order to initiate the production process. The book must be relatively new with crisp, clean pages and no markings, folds or tears. Your donated book will be catalogued, have the spine cut off and sent through a high speed scanner to capture the images necessary to produce the alternate format(s). The book will not be returned to you.
    • Send the book(s) to:
      ARC-BC
      Attn: Susan Hannigan
      106-1750 West 75th Avenue
      Vancouver, BC V6P 6G2
  • Once the book is posted on the ARC-BC repository and ready for download, we will notify you by email that files are available to download.

Finally, if you are retiring or leaving your school district at the end of June, please inform your ARC District Contact. Your District Contact's email information can be found on the ARC Contact page http://www.arc-bc.org/help/contact.aspx

Thank you for taking the time to support ARC-BC.

The ARC-BC Provincial Team

April 27, 2012 - Hello from the ARC-BC Team!

It is hard to believe it is May already! We have three news items to share with you.

  1. In order to improve the alternate format collection and to fulfill our copyright maintenance responsibilities, ARC-BC is collecting access information from all registered users at this time. We recognize it is a very busy time of year, but ask that you complete the short on line survey that will provide us with valuable information. Please log into ARC-BC in order to be directed to the 3 minute survey. Full access to our resources will once again be available upon your completion of the survey. The survey will run from May 3rd until June 1st 2012. We really appreciate your feedback.
  2. New Requests for the 2012/13 School Year: We encourage you to verify the titles your students will require from ARC-BC as soon as possible. Follow the steps below:
    • Search the ARC-BC repository for the title in the format you require
    • If the title is available but NOT in the format you require send an email request to arc@prcvi.org with the book title, ISBN, and format. (Please note that high school science and math texts are only produced in kes level 1 format due to time and production software constraints)
    • If the required title is in the ARC-BC repository but the notation indicates that it is [In Production] please contact arc@prcvi.org to have it added to the high priority production list.
    • If the title is not currently available in the repository send an email request to arc@prcvi.org with the book title, ISBN, and format. If ARC-BC has an available print copy we will initiate the production process.
    • We will notify you if we do not have a copy of the book. You will need to donate the book in order to initiate the production process. The book must be relatively new with crisp, clean pages and no markings, folds or tears. Your donated book will be catalogued, have the spine cut off and sent through a high speed scanner to capture the images necessary to produce the alternate format(s). The book will not be returned to you.
      • Send the book(s) to: ARC-BC
        Attn: Susan Hannigan
        106-1750 West 75th Avenue
        Vancouver, BC V6P 6G2
    • Once the book is posted on the ARC-BC repository and ready for download, we will notify you by email that files are available to download.
  3. Finally, if you are retiring at the end of June, please inform your ARC District Contact in the coming weeks. Your District Contact's email information can be found on the ARC Contact page http://www.arc-bc.org/help/contact.aspx

Have a wonderful spring!

March 20, 2012 - What’s new at ARC-BC

Users love the new updated version of the ARC-BC website; we really appreciate the positive feedback we have received. We hope that you have had the chance to explore the new look and features, if not spend some time looking through our new tabs and discovering where things are – the calendar for all your online training sessions is now prominently displayed under the training tab where you will also find all the support materials and training modules. We are continuously enhancing our collection and adding new titles, and remember if you cannot find what you are looking for send in a suggestion through the feedback feature found at the bottom of each page.

We are thrilled to offer Pictello by AssistiveWare on ARC-BC! The files look great and kids love them, they can be read on an iPad (the user would have to purchase the App to view them). Currently, ARC-BC offers 62 Pictello files to download! If you require assistance in using Pictello files, please visit the tutorial under Alternate Devices and ARC-BC Files on the training tab.

Another exciting initiative that ARC-BC would like to share is that we have coupled with SET-BC on the Bella Colla Project. This project will focus on the conversion of 260 books featuring First Nations heritage and culture. As the books are uploaded into the repository they will be accessible to all school districts around the province. ARC-BC production staff will spend time producing the files in Kurzweil 3000 that offer text to speech to support student reading. ARC-BC is very pleased to be part of this project.

Remember we always welcome your comments – click on feedback at the bottom of each page

The ARC-BC Provincial Team

March 15, 2012 - Spring Break 2012

Hello,

We trust spring is going well for ARC-BC users! We have been busy scanning in new books and continue to enhance our site through our Version 3 upgrade. We appreciate your support and patience. 

As mentioned in the previous news, we are thrilled to offer Pictello by AssistiveWare on ARC-BC! The files can be read on an iPad (the user would have to purchase the App to view them).  Currently, ARC-BC offers 62 Pictello files to download!  If you require assistance in using Pictello files, please visit the tutorial under Alternate Devices and ARC-BC Files on the training tab.  

Another exciting initiative that ARC-BC would like to share is that we have coupled with SET-BC on the Bella Coola Project. This project will focus on the conversion of 260 books featuring First Nations heritage and culture. As the books are uploaded into the repository they will be accessible to all school districts around the province. ARC-BC production staff will spend time producing the files in Kurzweil 3000 that offer text to speech to support student reading.  ARC-BC is very pleased to be part of this project.

The ARC-BC Provincial Team.

January 15, 2012 - Exciting Changes at ARC-BC!

We are pleased to announce that the updates to ARC-BC are almost complete, we are still ironing out a few bugs, but we are very happy with what has been achieved in Version 3.  The ARC-BC team would like to send a big thank you to all our users for their patience during this roll out, we understand that having to get used to a slightly different look can take a while. For instance, our frequently asked questions and our new training modules are now located within the ARC-BC website. We have also moved the ARC district contacts info to a new contact page. Should you need additional support or have questions, please look to the new information and training tabs.

We are also very pleased with the overwhelming support from users providing students PEN numbers.  This information is vital for us to report back to the Ministry of Education on the number of students with perceptual disabilities who are benefiting from ARC-BC resources.

In order to serve you better we have been working with SET-BC to provide accessible books using the Pictello file format from AssistiveWare on ARC-BC, they look great and can be viewed on an iPad (the user would have to purchase the App to view them).  Look out for Pictello files in the not too distant future. If you are interested learning more, check out the tutorial under Alternate Devices and ARC-BC Files on the training tab.  

Have you sent in your book requests? If not, we encourage you to verify the titles your students will require from ARC-BC for the second semester as soon as possible. Follow the steps below:

  1. Search the ARC-BC repository for the title in the format you require
  2. If the title is available but NOT in the format you require (kes, rtf, mp3) send an email request to arc@set-bc.org with the book title, ISBN, and format. (Please note that high school science and math texts are only produced in kes level 1 format due to time and production software constraints)
  3. If the required title is in the ARC-BC repository but the notation indicates that it is [In Production] please contact arc@set-bc.org to have it added to the high priority production list.
  4. If the title is not currently available in the repository send an email request to arc@set-bc.org with the book title, ISBN, and format. If ARC-BC has an available print copy we will initiate the production process.
  5. We will notify you if we do not have a copy of the book. You will need to donate the book in order to initiate the production process. The book must be relatively new with crisp, clean pages and no markings, folds or tears. Your donated book will be catalogued, have the spine cut off and sent through a high speed scanner to capture the images necessary to produce the alternate format(s). The book will not be returned to you.
    Send the book(s) to:
    Attn: Susan Hannigan
    ARC-BC
    106-1750 West 75th Avenue
    Vancouver, BC V6P 6G2
  6. Once the book is posted on the ARC-BC repository and ready for download, we will notify you by email that files are available to download

Finally, we are thrilled to have over 4000 registered users as part of the ARC-BC community with new members joining every week. As more educators join, more students with perceptual disabilities are being supported with alternate formats across the province and we couldn’t be more delighted!

The ARC-BC Provincial Team.

2011Archived News - 2011

September 2, 2011 - ARC-BC Start of 2011-2012 School Year Notice

Welcome back!

Please note the 2010-2011 ARC-BC annual report is available under the News and Events tab.

Thank you so much to those who completed the 2010-2011 year-end ARC-BC survey. Six names have been drawn and prizes will be sent out shortly! We have had a wonderful year and are pleased to announce a commitment of funding from the BC Ministry of Education for the 2011-2012 school year!

In keeping with our continued commitment to our 3,700 registered users we would like to inform you of some changes we are implementing on the ARC-BC website. ARC-BC works hard to meet the ever changing needs of the School Districts, the Ministry of Education and most importantly the students. That being said, we have been busy upgrading ARC-BC over the summer. We are very pleased with ARC-BC version 3.0 and we hope that the users will be as well.

It is important to note that the "Student Use" field has changed. You are now required by the Ministry of Education to provide a current list of the student(s) you support with ARC-BC resources. You will be asked to update your profile in September and February of each school year. Failure to provide ARC-BC with an updated profile and student information will result in the loss of user privileges.

The additional information is required by the Ministry and has necessitated this change. The Ministry fully endorses these changes that will enable the ARC-BC provincial team to collect accurate data on the number of students with perceptual disabilities supported by ARC-BC resources. At any time this caseload information may be requested by the Ministry, therefore accuracy is of vital importance.

Please note that security is of the utmost concern to the ARC-BC provincial team. As you know, we are very committed to protecting student, teacher and staff information at all times and all the data is stored on a secure server.

When you first log on, you will be re-directed to your user profile page. You will be asked to verify current work location, district role and the students you are supporting. The next significant change will be how students are registered. Instead of entering just the names of the students, we are asking you to register students by their last, then first name and their Personal Education Number (PEN).

To start entering student information you need to follow these 6 steps:

    1. Click on the + Add student box in the top left hand corner
    2. Click the Current Caseload check box, and fill in the fields: Last Name, First Name and PEN
    3. Save each new student by clicking on the "Insert" check mark box on the far left side or to remove click on the "Cancel" or X box
    4. To add another student repeat steps 1 to 3
    5. Once all students have been entered, you must click on the box below the list to confirm that you have reviewed and updated your caseload
    6. Finally, to save all students or edits on your profile, you must click the Update button at the top of the page or your revisions will be lost

Please contact us at arc@prcvi.org should you experience any difficulties with this new addition. May we also take this opportunity to wish you a successful school year and hope that you continue to enjoy the benefits of the ARC-BC digital file repository.

The ARC-BC Provincial Team.

July 22, 2011 - ARC-BC Annual Report 2010-2011

Download the ARC-BC Annual Report as a MS Word document.

June 24, 2011 - ARC-BC News bulletin

  1. We are delighted to announce that Chris Marshall is now the new manager of PRCVI and ARC-BC. Also, Lynn Kent has joined the ARC-BC team permanently as the Project Leader.
  2. ARC-BC Pilot Project Funding: We are very pleased to announce that the Ministry of Education has committed to funding the ARC-BC initiative for the 2011-2012 school year. The ARC-BC team is very appreciative of this financial support. We haven’t wasted a minute moving forward and are excited to inform you of new changes to be implemented over the summer. For instance, ARC-BC will allow users to more accurately search for what they need in combination with greater streamlining of the web site. The upgrade will also enhance the ability for the administration to keep up to date with our growing ARC-BC community. We will be positing more information near the end of the summer along with new training modules, so stay tuned!
  3. New Requests for the 2011/12 School Year: We encourage you to verify the titles your students will require from ARC-BC as soon as possible. Follow the steps below:
    1. Search the ARC-BC repository for the title in the format you require
    2. If the title is available but NOT in the format you require (kes, rtf, mp3) send an email request to arc@set-bc.org with the book title, ISBN, and format. (Please note that high school science and math texts are only produced in kes level 1 format due to time and production software constraints)
    3. If the required title is in the ARC-BC repository but the notation indicates that it is [In Production] please contact arc@set-bc.org to have it added to the high priority production list.
    4. If the title is not currently available in the repository send an email request to arc@set-bc.org with the book title, ISBN, and format. If ARC-BC has an available print copy we will initiate the production process.
    5. We will notify you if we do not have a copy of the book. You will need to donate the book in order to initiate the production process. The book must be relatively new with crisp, clean pages and no markings, folds or tears. Your donated book will be catalogued, have the spine cut off and sent through a high speed scanner to capture the images necessary to produce the alternate format(s). The book will not be returned to you.
      Send the book(s) to:
      Attn: Susan Hannigan
      ARC-BC
      106-1750 West 75th Avenue
      Vancouver, BC V6P 6G2
    6. Once the book is posted on the ARC-BC repository and ready for download, we will notify you by email that files are available to download

We wish you a restful and wonderful summer!

Chris Marshall & Lynn Kent

cmarshall@prcvi.org
lkent@prcvi.org

May 31, 2011 - ARC-BC News bulletin

Greetings! It is hard to believe it is June already! We have three news items to share with you regarding current and upcoming initiatives.

  1. ARC-BC Pilot Project Funding: We are very pleased to announce that the Ministry of Education has committed to funding the ARC-BC initiative for the 2011-2012 school year. The ARC-BC team is very appreciative of this financial support and we look forward to continuing to support BC students with perceptual disabilities with the digital, alternate format resources they require over the next school year.
  2. ARC-BC’s Year End Survey deadline is Friday June 10, 2011. If you are a user of ARC-BC and haven’t done so already, please log into ARC-BC and take a few brief minutes to complete the year end survey. The survey results are essential in order to improve the ARC-BC alternate format collection and to fulfill copyright maintenance responsibilities. We look forward to receiving your feedback on how access to ARC-BC resources impacted your students’ access to learning materials and their achievements this year.
  3. New Requests for the 2011/12 School Year: We encourage you to verify the titles your students will require from ARC-BC as soon as possible. Follow the steps below:
    • Search the ARC-BC repository for the title in the format you require
    • If the title is available but NOT in the format you require (kes, rtf, mp3) send an email request to arc@set-bc.org with the book title, ISBN, and format. (Please note that high school science and math texts are only produced in kes level 1 format due to time and production software constraints)
    • If the required title is in the ARC-BC repository but the notation indicates that it is [In Production] please contact arc@set-bc.org to have it added to the high priority production list.
    • If the title is not currently available in the repository send an email request to arc@set-bc.org with the book title, ISBN, and format. If ARC-BC has an available print copy we will initiate the production process.
    • We will notify you if we do not have a copy of the book. You will need to donate the book in order to initiate the production process. The book must be relatively new with crisp, clean pages and no markings, folds or tears. Your donated book will be catalogued, have the spine cut off and sent through a high speed scanner to capture the images necessary to produce the alternate format(s). The book will not be returned to you.
      Send the book(s) to:
      Attn: Susan Hannigan
      ARC-BC
      106-1750 West 75th Avenue
      Vancouver, BC V6P 6G2
    • Once the book is posted on the ARC-BC repository and ready for download, we will notify you by email that files are available to download.

May 20, 2011 - ARC-BC's new email system!

Currently there are almost 4000 ARC-BC registered users who support students with perceptual disabilities. This has necessitated a move to a secure, automated, email system to keep ARC-BC registered users well informed with periodic updates and user information. We trust you will find this new service useful in effectively and efficiently accessing ARC-BC resources on behalf of your students who have perceptual disabilities.

While this new automated system does not accept direct replies to email, we still welcome your feedback. Please continue to write us at arc@prcvi.org

February 9, 2011 - Winter 2011 update!

The 2010/11 school year has passed the half way point and the ARC-BC staff has been working hard these past months, with very limited resources, to meet your requests for alternate formats.

A Word of Thanks: We are very grateful for the many responses we received to our request for feedback on how access to ARC-BC resources impacted individual student’s learning and achievement.

Staffing: We have had some changes in the past two months! As you may know Flo Wong, who has worked hard as the ARC-BC team leader for the past year, is currently on maternity leave. (Oh, and yes, Flo and her husband Scott have recently become the very proud parents of a beautiful little girl, Olivia!) We are very pleased that Lynn Kent, a teacher of students with visual impairments previously with the Calgary Board of Education, will be taking on ARC-BC responsibilities as of February 15th. Another valued member of the ARC-BC production staff, Victoria Baker, recently joined the SET-BC staff. We are delighted that Shannon Stuart, who previously provided library support to PRCVI, has joined the ARC-BC production team.

Funding: We have continued to actively pursue options for gaining short and long term funding to enable ARC-BC to continue to meet the alternate format needs of BC students with perceptual disabilities. I am pleased that ARC-BC recently received some additional funding support from the Ministry of Education for the 2010/11 school year that will assist in meeting our most critical needs. However we continue to strongly advocate for long term sustained funding. We anticipate receiving some indications of longer term funding support in the next few weeks and will keep you informed of developments.

New Requests: We encourage you to verify the books your students will require for the 2011/12 school year as soon as possible in order to determine their availability in the ARC-BC repository. Please follow the steps below:

  1. Search the ARC-BC repository for the book in the format you require
  2. If the book is available but NOT in the format you require (kes,rtf, mp3) send an email request to Susan Hannigan with the book title, ISBN, and format. Susan will notify you if the book is available in the required format for purchase from the publisher. (Please note that high school science and math texts are only produced in kes format)
  3. If the required book is in the ARC-BC repository but the notation indicates that it is [In Production] please contact Susan to have the book added to the high priority production list.
  4. If the book is not currently available in the repository send an email request to Susan with the book title, ISBN, and format. If ARC-BC has an available print copy we will initiate the production process.
  5. We will notify you if we do not have a copy of the book. You will need to donate the book in order to initiate the production process. The book must be relatively new with crisp, clean pages and no markings, folds or tears. Your donated book will be catalogued, have the spine cut off and sent through a high speed scanner to capture the images necessary to produce the alternate format(s). The book will not be returned to you.
    • Send the book to:
      Attn: Susan Hannigan
      ARC-BC
      106-1750 West 75th Avenue
      Vancouver, BC V6P 6G2
  6. Once the book is posted on the ARC-BC repository and ready for download, we will notify you by email.

Training: By early March we expect to have the staffing to resume regular ARC-BC online information meetings and training activities. Scheduling will soon be posted on the calendar.

We invite and encourage ARC-BC users to visit the ARC-BC resource centre page located in the SET-BC Learning Centre. There you will find ARC-BC Support Resources organized into 10 modules that include:

  • general presentations and FAQs on ARC-BC, alternate formats and copyright
  • information for school districts interested in joining ARC-BC
  • tutorials and demonstrations on how to register for, search and contribute to the ARC-BC collection
  • information on ARC-BC policies, alternate format production, and technical requirements
  • downloadable materials suitable for workshop planning and presentations
  • print-based documentation containing general information on ARC-BC

Your continued support of ARC-BC is truly appreciated. Please feel free to contact me for any additional information.

Anne Wadsworth

2010 Archived News - 2010

September, 2010 - Welcome back!

After a lovely long summer, fall has returned and ARC-BC is preparing for its third year of providing alternate formats for BC students with perceptual disabilities.

Over the summer months, the top 20 downloaded novels were upgraded them from the initial stage of production to high quality proofread files ready for download.  If you’ve downloaded novels previously, it’ll be worth revisiting these titles to see whether those books have been improved.

As was outlined in our June announcement, ARC-BC will continue to operate as best as we can in light of the current fiscal challenges. The digital books already in our online repository will continue to be available for download. Our ability to respond to new requests for alternate format materials in a timely fashion is however severely hampered. Nevertheless we will continue to do what we can to meet the most critical needs of the community during this time.

Whether you are a new or returning user, please make sure you are aware of how the Canadian Copyright Act 32(1) applies to any materials you download from the collection (view presentation). If you require training on this or on how to use ARC-BC effectively contact your ARC-BC District Contact (view district list), consider attending one of our online training sessions (view Upcoming Events calendar), or visit our ARC-BC Support Resources for tutorials and demonstrations.

If you need help accessing your ARC-BC account, please do not hesitate to reach me at arc@prcvi.org.

Regards,
Flo Wong
Accessible Resource Centre – British Columbia – Project Leader

May 31, 2010 - ARC-BC – Planning for 2010-2011

As you know, ARC-BC has over the past two years become a primary production and online distribution service for digital alternate format learning resources for BC students with perceptual disabilities. School districts throughout British Columbia have reported that access to ARC-BC resources has resulted in significant increases in student motivation, achievement and self-efficacy.

While the Ministry of Education recognizes the positive impact ARC-BC has had on meeting the diverse learning needs of our students, funding for ARC-BC’s alternate format production has not been continued for the 2010-11 school year.

At this time we are uncertain of the resulting impact to ARC-BC service. The Provincial Resource Centre for the Visually Impaired (PRCVI) is committed to maintaining the ARC-BC online collection at the current level but we anticipate that we may not be able to produce any new titles in alternate format other than those required by BC students with visual impairment/blindness. While we expect that educators will still be able to access the current collection and download resources, user support and training will only be available through the existing web-based resources.

We greatly appreciate your advocacy and support of ARC-BC over the past two years and ask for your patience and continued support as we seek ways to maintain the existing collection and work to secure ongoing funding for ARC-BC.

We welcome your questions or requests for additional information.

Anne Wadsworth & Flo Wong
awadsworth@prcvi.org
fwong@prcvi.org

May 1, 2010 - Accessible Resource Center - BC now accepting book requests

stack of books

Do you have books that you need in an alternate format for the Fall term of 2010 that aren’t already in the ARC-BC repository? Send your requests in NOW to ensure it gets added to our production queue.

Information we need to process your request:

  • Title of the book
  • Author
  • 13-digit ISBN (if 13-digits not available, then 10)
  • What format does your student require? (.pdf, .kes, .mp3, .doc, etc.)
  • Your email address

In order to ensure that the book is produced, you will need to donate a copy of the book to the ARC collection. When you donate a book, we catalogue it, cut the spine off, and send it through a high speed scanner to capture the images we need to produce the alternate formats requested. The book will not be returned to you.

The book must be relatively new with crisp pages and no markings, folds or tears.

Please send your book donations to:
Attn: Susan Hannigan
ARC-BC
106-1750 West 75th Avenue
Vancouver, BC V6P 6G2

Once the book is available and ready for download, we will notify you by email.

Thank you for your continued support of ARC-BC.

February 23, 2010 - ARC-BC Provincial Team Has a New Member

We’d like to welcome Flo Wong to the ARC-BC provincial team. Flo, a Teacher of the Visually Impaired and recent SET-BC regional consultant, has joined PRCVI and is now an ARC-BC team leader. She is really looking forward to supporting ARC-BC community members – if you have any questions about any aspect of the project, she can be reached at arc@prcvi.org.

February 23, 2010 - Contribute to Collection Project Participants

Thanks to all the teams who submitted an application to join the 2010/2011 Contribute to Collection project. We are very excited to announce the following districts who will be participating this coming year…

  • SD#19 (Revelstoke), SD#23 (Central Okanagan), SD#43 (Coquitlam), SD#61 (Greater Victoria), SD#69 (Parksville-Qualicum), SD#73 (Kamloops-Thompson), SD#82 (Coast Mountains), SD#83 (North Okanagan-Shuswap)

Teams in these districts will be receiving mobile alternate format stations and two days of training in March and April. We know everyone in the ARC-BC community will benefit from their efforts in the coming year!

January 14, 2010 - Contribute to Collection Project 2010-2011

The ARC-BC collection is growing daily as our production team creates alternate formats for requested and new titles. We need your help! As the number of requests increase, we need community members to join us in producing and improving alternate formats. We are inviting teams to apply to be one of ten groups around the province who will take part in the “Contribute to Collection” project. Teams who participate in this project will receive an alternate format station with computer hardware and software, at least two days of training, and ongoing support to help team members create and improve ARC-BC materials. If you are interested in participating in this project, please see the Contribute to Collection information and application (doc) or contact us at arc@prcvi.org for more information.

January 14, 2010 - Having Trouble Logging into ARC-BC?

Your account may need updating! If you can’t log into our site, please contact arc@prcvi.org for instructions. Updating is fast and easy!

2009 Archived News - 2009

September 21, 2009 - Reminder for Kurzweil 3000 v.4 Mac users!

If you are experiencing error messages when trying to open .kes files from ARC-BC it is likely because you have not patched your version to 4.02.  This patch or update will be available through the Kurzweil website eventually. If you would like to download the standalone version now, it is available by going to this online room, signing in as a Guest (no password required), and following the instructions in that room.  If you are looking for the network version, or have any questions about this, please contact us at arc@prcvi.org.

October 2009 - Last Week to Update Your User Profile!

This is an important reminder for all users who registered for ARC-BC prior to September 25th, 2009. Due to a change in the registration process, your user profile is no longer complete. Please go to the "My Account" area (link at top of the site) to edit user profile and add the necessary training, student, material use and agreement on alternate format use areas. This must be done before October 31st or we will assume you no longer require access to ARC-BC! If you have any questions about this or need any help, contact us at arc@prcvi.org.

October 2009 - Information on Technical Requirements for Alternate Formats Now Available

For those not familiar with the various file formats that are available through ARC-BC, there is a new document describing the technical requirements (software and operating systems) required to use them. It is a great resource to have on hand when searching and downloading materials and is available in Module One on the ARC-BC Support Resources page.

September 2009 - ARC-BC Will Be Down Friday, September 25th for Updating

This Friday, September 25th, ARC-BC will be taken off line for several hours while we roll out the new update. We will start the process in the morning but are not sure how long the updating process will take – if everything goes smoothly (and it so rarely does with technology!) then the repository should be up and running within a few hours. If there are problems, it may take longer. If you anticipate needing alternate formats for your students next week, you should try and download them before Friday morning to ensure you have what you need.

September 2009 - Welcome Back!

After a lovely long summer, fall has returned and ARC-BC is preparing for its second year of providing alternate formats for BC students with perceptual disabilities. Not only has our production staff added hundreds of new titles and thousands of files, we have been working hard to update the repository with improvements and new features. We are almost ready to unveil ARC-BC v.2.0 - very soon you will see an exciting change to our site!

In the meantime, whether you are a new or returning user, please make sure you are aware of how the Canadian Copyright Act 32(1) applies to any materials you download from the collection (view presentation). If you require training on this or on how to use ARC-BC effectively contact your ARC-BC District Contact (view district list), consider attending one of our online training sessions (view Upcoming Events calendar), or visit our ARC-BC Support Resources for tutorials and demonstrations.

June 2009 - Summer at ARC-BC, 2009

Summer has arrived and we would like to thank everyone for your kind words of support as we come to the end of our first year of operation. Thanks to all ARC-BC users who completed the Year End User Survey that was emailed to you recently – your feedback and suggestions will help us improve the repository over the coming year.

During the summer months, many people involved with ARC-BC take a well deserved holiday break. The repository will remain active, but any registration or title requests may take longer than usual. ARC-BC District Contacts may or may not be checking email over the summer – if you do submit a registration request during July and August, you may not be approved until school begins in September.

We hope everyone has a terrific summer vacation – look for many more titles and some new “surprises” on the ARC-BC site in the fall!

March 2009 - Kurzweil 3000 (Mac) version 4.03 Available for Download

As announced earlier, there is now a patch or update available for Kurzweil 3000 Macintosh v.4 users which will ensure you can open the .kes files available through ARC-BC. This patch or update will be available through the Kurzweil website eventually. If you would like to download the standalone version now, it is available by going to this online room: http://breeze.setbc.org/k3000macupdate, signing in as a Guest (no password required), and following the instructions in that room.  If you are looking for the network version, or have any questions about this, please contact us at arc@prcvi.org.

March 28, 2009 - ARC-BC Offline This Saturday, March 28th

This Saturday the power will be interrupted to the entire SET-BC Provincial Centre from at least 3:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. This is a scheduled power interruption to allow critical building maintenance and will affect all SET-BC services including ARC-BC. Hopefully, once power is returned, the site will be available, however there may be a continued period of interruption should there be problems restarting our systems. If you are attempting to access ARC-BC during the weekend, please be patient – we will have things restarted as soon as possible. This is a highly unusual event and we do not anticipate this type of interruption in the future!

March 2009 - Mac Users Rejoice! A Solution to the Kurzweil 3000 Issue is Now Available!

For those Macintosh Kurzweil 3000 v.4 users who were having difficulty opening opening our .kes files, you will be pleased to hear that the supportive team at Cambium (Kurzweil 3000) has developed an update or patch which, once installed, will allow you to open all our .kes files. Kurzweil 3000 v.4.02 will be available for download from the www.kurzweiledu.com site soon. If you would like a copy of the patch sent to you after spring break, please contact your ARC-BC District Contact or the ARC-BC Provincial Team.

February 2009 - Alert! Macintosh Users May Experience Difficulty with Kurzweil (.kes) Files

We have recently discovered a problem with our Kurzweil (.kes) files and the Macintosh version of Kurzweil 3000.  Some Macintosh users are reporting that, while they can download the files successfully, they are not able to open them using Kurzweil 3000 v.4 (Mac).  We are currently investigating a solution to the problem.  In the meantime, we would appreciate hearing from any Mac users who are either having problems or who are able to open their downloaded files successfully.  Please note: This problem does NOT occur with the Windows version of the program.  Thanks to those affected for your patience!

February 2009 - ARC-BC Welcomes the Next Ten School Districts

The roll out of ARC-BC across the province continued on March 2nd as ten new BC school districts began registering users interested in accessing alternate format materials for their students with perceptual disabilities.  SD#6 (Rocky Mountain), SD#10  (Arrow Lakes), SD#20 (Kootenay-Columbia), SD#38  (Richmond), SD#40 (New Westminster), SD#45 (West Vancouver), SD#48 (Sea to Sky Howe Sound), SD#61 (Greater Victoria), SD#64 (Gulf Islands) and SD#78 (Fraser-Cascade) have put their ARC-BC plans into action as their district contacts oversee the training and registration of various user groups.  Some districts are hosting face-to-face informational meetings and training sessions while others are using the availability of online informational sessions to educate their users on not only how to use the repository effectively but which students, according to copyright, can use the materials in the classroom.

As of the end of February, ARC-BC has over 700 users with the numbers of daily downloads increasing exponentially as each group of school districts begins accessing the collection. 

December 2009 - Ten More School Districts Joining the ARC-BC Community in Early February 2009

With the January 2009 launch of ARC-BC just three weeks away, we are delighted to announce the second group of ten school districts who have joined the ARC-BC Community. Their users will begin accessing the repository no later than early February 2009. The next group of school districts include…

SD#22 (Vernon), SD#33 (Chilliwack), SD#34 (Abbotsford), SD#37 (Delta), SD#42 (Maple Ridge – Pitt Meadows), SD#44 (North Vancouver), SD#46 (Sunshine Coast), SD#57 (Prince George), SD#68 (Nanaimo – Ladysmith) and SD#73 (Kamloops – Thompson).

As we welcome this next group to the ARC-BC Community, we also wish to extend our sincere thanks to the eight original school districts who participated in the ARC-BC Pilot Project. These districts will be finishing the trial phase by December 19th. These districts have provided invaluable assistance and support in the early planning and design phase, have contributed many of their own alternate format materials, and have helped test the use of the repository over the past three months. The ARC-BC Provincial Team sends its sincere appreciation to these districts for their hard work and support throughout the past year – we couldn’t have done it without you!

2008 Archived News - 2008

October 26, 2008 - Ten BC School Districts Set to Begin Accessing ARC-BC in January 2009

Applications for joining the ARC-BC Community have been submitted since they became available at the beginning of October.  Many BC school districts are also participating in the online informational meetings in preparation for applying in the next few weeks.  We are adding the following ten school districts in January 2009…

SD#8 (Kootenay Lake), SD#19 (Revelstoke), SD#23 (Central Okanagan), SD#43 (Coquitlam), SD#47 (Powell River), SD#62 (Sooke), SD#63 (Saanich), SD#72 (Campbell River), SD#85 (Vancouver Island North) and SD#100 (Independent Schools).

We would like to welcome these districts to the ARC-BC Community!

September 2008 - ARC-BC Community Application Now Available!

BC school districts interested in accessing the alternate format materials available in ARC-BC beginning in January are now invited to submit an ARC-BC Community Application (doc). Completed submissions will be taken on a “first come, first served” basis with school districts being phased in beginning January 2009. For more information on applying to join the ARC-BC Community, please view the presentations and materials available on the ARC-BC Support Resources page.

September 8, 2008 - BC School Districts Invited to Join ARC-BC for January 2009

With the anticipated success of the ARC-BC Pilot Project by the end of December 2008, BC school districts will soon have the opportunity to join ARC-BC.  Beginning September 30th, those school districts who are interested in accessing the ARC-BC collection can submit an “ARC-BC Community Application”.  That application will contain information about the technical requirements and support needed to effectively use ARC-BC.  Information and applications will be available here after September 30th, 2008.

August 15, 2008 - Eight BC School Districts Set to Trial ARC-BC Beginning in September 2008

With ARC-BC entering its final pilot phase, eight school districts from around the province will be testing the repository beginning in September 2008. The SE Kootenay, Quesnel, Langley, Surrey, Boundary, Okanagan-Skaha, Parksville-Qualicum, and Comox Valley districts will be meeting online to finalize plans early in September with their educators expected to begin accessing the collection throughout October, November and December. Once the trial phase is complete, ARC-BC will become available to other districts across the province beginning in January 2009.