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Service Coordination

Give Students a Choice

An attitude of "I know what's best for you" does not serve students with disabilities, nor is it sustainable within the financial constraints and legal obligations of an educational institution.

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Panic Monday: What's Your Backup Plan?

When major websites go down and servers “crash,” the effects of these outages can be felt worldwide. The prime targets for hackers are usually the major networks like Facebook or Skype, which can affect thousands or millions of Internet users at once.

Last month, TypeWell users were affected by two server outages: The first happened on a Monday, when a large portion of Skype’s servers became unresponsive and left millions of people unable to make Internet calls. The next day, one of TypeWell’s Web Linking servers went down unexpectedly for a few hours. 

What contingency plans do you and your organization have in place when a Web service that you rely on suddenly becomes unavailable?

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Coordinator Spotlight: Tina Cowsert at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

I interviewed Tina Cowsert recently about her process of acclimation to her new position as Access Specialist for Deaf/HOH and Blind/Low Vision students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. 

Disability Resources and Educational Services (DRES) is a bustling and extensive department, and I was aware that TypeWell was likely only a small portion of Tina's position, particularly in the first few weeks, so I checked in with her about two months after her start date for this interview.

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The Instructor's Perspective: a transcriber takes her place at the front of the classroom

Rachel Ballard — I spent two quarters at the front of the room, teaching a core English class, before returning to the chair marked "reserved for DSS" in the back of the classroom and resuming my work as a TypeWell transcriber. This brief experience of working as an instructor was a fascinating glimpse into what instructors and professors face on a day-to-day basis...

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Tammy Richards: Full-Time En"type"preneur

"What was interesting to me was that not only was I providing services to people that didn't sign, which allowed me to serve a wider customer base, but it was also helpful to people with other issues like auditory processing disorders or people who wanted note taking. Oh, and for veterans who had brain injuries."

That was seven years ago and Tammy has not looked back.

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How will the Affordable Care Act impact university employees?

"I have a team of around 15 service providers here, most of whom are student employees, covering 405 hours of classes and media per week," says Valerie Sturm. "The university wants me to cut everyone's hours so that we have no full-time service providers, to avoid paying benefits...

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