From the CTO
Welcome to the Winter Issue of the ITS Update! After the cloudiest January on record, ITS decided it was good timing to take a creative spin on Carleton’s technology news. I have the pleasure of welcoming you to “the chalet”, i.e. to the hub of activity that gets organized out of the CMC. So imagine yourself by a fireplace and enjoy the storytelling organized by our editor, Doug Foxgrover.
Getting organized at the Chalet
This Winter Season is a busy one for ITS, as we are continuing the work of moving from Reason to WordPress for our websites — and have added Reclaim Hosting as another lodge for academic web activity. Very soon the college will roll out a new home page design, being built on WordPress. We are also preparing to move from analog phones to digital phones which will be done building-by-building over the next 6 months. Every village needs a way for workers to stay in touch, and our new Helpdesk system offers a lot of power. If you haven’t checked out the portal, please do! Issues reported through the portal get assigned more quickly with less back and forth. Emailing Helpdesk@carleton.edu or calling x5999 are still fine ways to reach us.
Supporting all abilities at the Village
The first LTC Lunch of winter term was hosted by the Helpdesk’s Assistive Technologists, or AzTechs for short. The AzTechs are a small group of student staff (and one professional staff member) whose role grew out of a desire to support students who identify as having some form of learning disability. In this context, learning disabilities may range from a diagnosed health condition to a temporary injury. Our focus is to consult on technology tools that could help manage an identified need, train on the use of the most appropriate tool(s), and then support their use. Students are most commonly referred to the AzTechs by disability services, though we also see referrals from the Writing Center, and even a few self-referrals.
Assistive technologies supported at Carleton include text-to-speech and speech-to-text software, transcription services for videos, and accessibility capabilities built right into Windows and MacOS. It’s also true that many of the tools that we support, such as our Smart Pens, may be advantageous to people without learning disabilities. Additionally, there is good information about the extensive accessibility features of all Google apps (Docs, Sheets, Slides, Sites, etc.). To learn more, please visit Carleton’s Assistive Technology site, or contact us at email@example.com.