ATI Office Uses Technology to Improve Mason Experience
Posted: March 15, 2010 at 1:02 am, Last Updated: March 15, 2010 at 8:05 am
By Rashad Mulla
It is not uncommon for college students with disabilities to encounter technological obstacles. That’s where the Assistive Technology Initiative (ATI) comes in. ATI, a division of the Office of Equity and Diversity Services, seeks to solve technological hurdles for students with disabilities, says ATI manager Korey Singleton. The staff performs various tasks – such as creating easily readable electronic versions of purchased textbooks – for students with disabilities. The office processes between 300 and 400 jobs per year.
“One of our underlying goals is that all individuals with disabilities have the ability to access any workstation at Mason,” Singleton says.
“We are also working toward providing equivalent access to the wealth of web resources here at Mason. Right now, there are many individuals who are still not able to take advantage of these types of campus services.”
Singleton and his staff are pushing to increase awareness of the office on and off campus. In addition to serving on committees with other departments within the university, ATI staff members have visited with some local high schools to talk about assistive technology and the transition from high school to college. More people have taken advantage of the office’s services this year than in years past, Singleton says.
“People who need us know exactly where we are,” Singleton says. “However, some of the technology that our office supports is technology that anyone can benefit from, not just individuals with disabilities.”
The office started as a one-person subdivision of a department 11 years ago, funded by a grant, with the staff member devoting only limited time to the office. Now, the university directly funds the office with two full-time and two part-time staff members.
While the Office of Disability Services makes arrangements to link students to the ATI office, anyone can come in and ask questions, Singleton says. Contact the office by phone (703-993-4329) or e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org), go online (ati.gmu.edu) or visit the office, located in Thompson Hall, Room 114.
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