ARC-BC News - Fall 2019
Dear ARC-BC Users,
We hope this message finds you all well after a relaxing and fun summer! We are delighted to report that there are a number of new ARC-BC features and services launched and ready for the start of the 2019-2020 academic year!
Housekeeping for the new year:
ARC-BC’s New Look
ARC-BC has a fresh new look! As a result of the redesign process presented in May, ARC-BC is now easier to use on small screens such as phones and tablets. This ensures that users won’t have to ‘pinch and zoom’ around the page just to be able to read text or click a button!
New Resource for Users – Reading App Profiles
In response to requests from users, the ARC-BC team has created a series of profiles of recommended reading apps for use with ARC-BC files. ARC-BC users often have questions regarding the best technology-format combination for their students and these app profiles are intended to help users inform that decision. These reading apps have been tested by our team and are recommended by file format (e.g., EPUB, Kurzweil, DOCX) and organized based on the operating system used by the student (e.g., Windows, macOS, iOS, Android). These profiles are currently written in text-only – instructional videos will be added to the profiles throughout Fall 2019, so check back!
New Training Options – Workshops on ARC Fundamentals, Inclusive Design, and Web Accessibility
In addition to the online, self-paced training option introduced last year, ARC-BC has three workshops that users can request. More workshops will come online throughout the year. Starting in September, three workshops are available on demand – we’re happy to come to you if there is a district professional development day or community of practice who would be interested in the topics listed on our Workshops page.
Updated New Title/Format Request Form and Procedure
The Request a New Title/Format page is updated. The user’s name and email address are automatically populated in the form. We have also added some new mandatory fields to ensure that we collect enough information at the outset to facilitate a quick start to the production process.
Please help us spread the word – Schools are no longer required to donate a print copy of the requested title. We only require a copy to be donated for production if a new copy is not commercially available. Titles for collection building (i.e., not tied to a specific student request) will still need to be donated.
Adding multiple files to the cart with one click
Many titles in the repository are made up of several files (typically by chapter). We have simplified the process of downloading these titles by adding a button that allows users to add all files of the same format to the cart with one click.
User Profile & Student Information Update
Again this school year, you will be asked to update your profile. The ARC-BC Content Management Strategy requires updated student information to ensure compliance with relevant copyright legislation. 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. Users will be prompted to update this information when they first log into ARC-BC this year.
Please feel free to be in touch with any questions or for more information - email@example.com.
Best wishes for 2019-2020! Stay tuned for more new upgrades to ARC-BC we’ve made in response to your feedback. Thank you for everything you do to promote digital accessibility and inclusive design for learners.
The ARC-BC Provincial Team
ARC-BC News – June 2019
Requesting new titles or alternate formats for September 2019?
Reminder: ARC-BC’s Alternate Format Production Policy has changed.
When requesting a new title be added to the ARC-BC repository on behalf of a student with a perceptual, disability, schools or school districts will no longer be asked to donate a copy of the book if that title is currently in print. The ARC-BC team will attempt to purchase a copy of the book. If the book is older or difficult to find, we may still ask the school or school district to donate a copy.
ARC-BC will, on request, produce digital alternate format files for reading series or titles that correspond to literacy kits and resources. For these new title requests that are not in fulfilment of a specific student requirement, the ARC-BC team will continue to ask the school or school district to donate copies for production in digital alternate format(s).
Once the title is posted on the ARC-BC repository, we will notify the requesting user by email that files are available to download.
Thinking of retiring or moving on?
If you are retiring at the end of June, please inform your ARC-BC District Contact. Your District Contact's email information can be found on the Contact page.
ARC-BC Year-End Survey 2018-2019
Thank you to all ARC-BC users who completed the 2018-2019 Year-End User Survey. The winners of the ARC-BC prize kits will be notified, and prizes shipped to winners shortly. Your feedback is incredibly valuable as the ARC-BC team examines program effectiveness and works improve service delivery to our provincial community. Please do not hesitate to direct comments or questions at any time to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have questions/suggestions regarding ARC-BC, please complete our feedback form.
Thank you for your continued support of ARC-BC. Wishing you a wonderful summer!
The ARC-BC Provincial Team
ARC-BC News - March-April 2019
Welcome to the March/April issue of the ARC-BC News. In this issue, we look at upcoming professional learning opportunities in inclusive design as well as some new features on ARC-BC!
In this issue:
- Early Bird rate for Designing for Inclusion - May 10-11, 2019 in Richmond, BCextended to Friday, April 12!
- Upcoming Webinar on Getting Started with EPUB - April 25, 2019
- **New Feature** Confirmation Email for New Title/Format Requests
- Please Submit Material Requests for September 2019 ASAP!
Designing for Inclusion 2019 - Early Bird Extended to Friday, April 12
Special registration rate of $150 available until Friday for the first-ever ARC-BC Conference! Designing for Inclusion - May 10-11, 2019 in Richmond, BC.
Register now for Designing for Inclusion: Creating Accessible Educational Materials for All Learners, presented by PRCVI, ARC-BC, and the BC Vision Teachers' Association. This two-day conference will feature a hands-on workshop by Dr. Luis Pérez from the National Center on Accessible Educational Materials at CAST. Dr. Pérez will be presenting on the principles of Universal Design and how these can be used by content creators to ensure that digital educational materials are accessible to all learners. While the focus of Dr. Pérez's presentation will be on educational materials in the K-12 sector, this is important content for anyone seeking to create and share accessible digital information with learners, clients, and users with diverse access requirements.
Getting Started with EPUB
On Thursday, April 25, Dr. Luis Pérez (our presenter for Designing for Inclusion) will join the DAISY Consortium in sharing a rationale for providing digital accessible content in EPUB format to students. Using free or low-cost tools, Dr. Pérez and colleagues will outline how content creators can produce digital learning materials in EPUB that are accessible to all learners! Register today for this free webinar! The webinar will be live on Thursday, April 25, 2019 from 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM PDT, 12:00 - 1:00 PM MDT.
Confirmation Email for New Title/Format Requests
Some users may have already noticed that when submitting requests for new titles or new formats on ARC-BC that an email is automatically generated that confirms the request. We have added this feature in response to user feedback asking for a record of new titles that had been requested from ARC-BC. Just as a reminder, after submitting a request for a new title or for an existing title in a different alternate format the ARC-BC team will follow up with the user.
Please Submit Material Requests for September 2019 ASAP!
We continue to add new titles 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 2019 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] or [Under Consideration] please contact email@example.com 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.
- ARC-BC will attempt to purchase an original print copy of the material. If we are not able to obtain the material in a timely manner, we will notify the user that we will need the school/district to donate the original material 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:
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.
ARC-BC News - January-February 2019
Register now for the first-ever ARC-BC Conference!
Designing for Inclusion - May 10-11, 2019 in Richmond, BC.
Registration is now open for Designing for Inclusion: Creating Accessible Educational Materials for All Learners, presented by PRCVI, ARC-BC, and the BC Vision Teachers' Association. This two-day conference will feature a hands-on workshop by Dr. Luis Pérez from the National Center on Accessible Educational Materials at CAST. Dr. Pérez will be presenting on the principles of Universal Design and how these can be used by content creators to ensure that digital educational materials are accessible to all learners. While the focus of Dr. Pérez's presentation will be on educational materials in the K-12 sector, this is important content for anyone seeking to create and share accessible digital information with learners, clients, and users with diverse access requirements. Be sure to take advantage of the Early Bird rate of $150!
We're off to a busy start in 2019 with our ARC-BC team collaborating with educational teams across the province around access to learning materials and inclusive design. In this issue of the ARC-BC news, we outline some of this work as well as provide the answer to one of ARC-BC users' most frequently asked questions.
Students with Learning Disabilities - Where do they fit?
Our team has received several questions related to the eligibility of students with learning disabilities to receive digital alternate format materials from ARC-BC. Section 32 of the Copyright Act permits the creation and use of these materials by students with print (or perceptual) disabilities. This includes students with learning disabilities requiring the use of digital alternate format materials to support comprehension.
The ARC-BC Community Agreement requires that school districts and independent schools maintain documentation for students with perceptual disabilities that is consistent with the district or school's policy to qualify students as having a learning disability. If a student's need for learning materials in digital alternate format is documented and meets the district or school's identification requirement for learning disability - they are eligible for digital alternate format materials from ARC-BC. Please contact your ARC-BC District Contact with questions regarding student eligibility.
Upcoming Webinar - AEM in the IEP: Where Do Accessible Materials and Technologies Fit?
The National Center on Accessible Educational Materials at CAST is hosting a one-hour webinar on integrating accessible educational materials (including digital alternate format materials like those available through ARC-BC) into individualized programming planning. The webinar is on Tuesday, March 12, 2019 and runs from 11:00 - 12:00 PM PDT/12:00 - 1:00 PM MDT. Registration is required in advance at the AEM Center website.
Creating accessible Microsoft Word documents - videos now online!
Our team has been working on a series of instructional videos around the creation of accessible educational materials. The latest installment in this series is on creating accessible Microsoft Word documents. There are two YouTube playlists: One for users who are creating these materials using a mouse; and one for users creating educational materials using only the keyboard. Videos on creating accessible PowerPoint files are already posted. Coming soon - creating accessible documents using Google Docs!