TAESE takes the hassle out of conference planning

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Technical assistance is a broad term, covering a vast array of services. But what does it mean, exactly?

For TAESE (Technical Assistance for Excellence in Special Education), a division of the Center for Persons with Disabilities at Utah State University, it might mean handling the logistics of a national or international conference for several hundred people from start to finish.

Agendas and other conference materials are available online for attendees.

Cindy Budge, conference and event coordinator at TAESE, said planning started in January for a recent event in Sun Valley, Idaho.

“Every year, the Idaho Department of Education does a CEC (Council for Exceptional Children) conference,” Budge said. “This year, it was combined with the Division of Learning Disabilities, a national entity, so they brought in some really good presenters.”

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CPD by the numbers

The online version of WebAIM's WAVE tool evaluated more than one million web pages for accessibility issues last year.

WAVE tool continues to lead in web accessibility

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The WAVE sidebar tells developers where to find problems in a page's code.

To help web developers and designers create content that’s available to everyone, Web Accessibility In Mind,  a program of Utah State University’s Center for Persons with Disabilities, offers a free web site evaluation tool called WAVE5.  Users simply type in a URL, upload a file or paste in a piece of HTML code, and WAVE processes the code and looks for access or compliance issues. Users can also download a free toolbar within the Firefox web browser.

“WAVE provides an easy-to-use presentation that is great for facilitating human accessibility evaluation,” said WebAIM associate director Jared Smith. “It can teach you about web accessibility as you use it. We’ve developed WAVE to focus on true end user accessibility, not merely compliance with a set of guidelines, although WAVE can help you make your site compliant.”

WAVE can only check one page at a time, Smith said, and some people would like to use it to check an entire web site automatically. A stand-alone API platform was recently released that allows large entities to install the WAVE analysis engine on their own systems for wide-scale evaluation and data collection.

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Technical Assistance for Excellence in Special Education provides assistance and support to state education agencies, school districts and others.

Utah State University Emma Eccles Jones College of Education and Human Services
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