News & Events- 12/14/04

This is the December edition of the quarterly newsletter from WROCC at Western Oregon University. We hope you find this issue useful and look forward to getting your feedback, suggestions, and listings for future newsletters. Please pass this email along to others who might be interested.

Topics covered in this issue:
1.) New WROCC at WOU Website!
2.) PEPNet - What have we done for you lately?
3.) Western Symposium on Deafness, April 2005
4.) English Language Development: The Next PEPNet Satellite Telecast 2/17/05
5.) IDEA Reauthorized
6.) WROCC Staff Update
7.) WNCAP Spring Conference, April 2005
8.) Convert Television Captions to Web-Streaming Formats
9.) Have you seen...

New WROCC at WOU Website!

Thanks to our talented Graduate Assistant, Michelle G. Smith, we have a new and improved WROCC at WOU website. We have made some dramatic changes and to the site and its organization. We hope you find the site easy to navigate and full of the useful information you've come to expect. Let us know if you have suggestions, comments or feedback.

If you have links to our site, trainings, materials, conference proceedings, etc. please check your links and make sure they still work. Many of the links will remain the same but some may have changed. If you are unable to find a particular link or have questions about where to find a particular item please email us at

The new site should be loaded by the time you receive this newsletter and ready for visitors. Come check it out!

PEPNet - What have we done for you lately?

As a federally funded initiative, PEPNet (Postsecondary Education Programs Network), is required to provide evidence of the outcomes of our work. In an effort to gather information about the impact of PEPNet publications and activities on enhancing the access and quality of services provided to Deaf or Hard of Hearing individuals, we are conducting an assessment. Over the course of the next several months, we will be convening focus groups made up of individuals who have made use of our materials or technical assistance. We are hoping to document ways that PEPNet materials and trainings have influenced the policies, practices and/or programs of institutions and organizations.

Conducting a nation-wide assessment takes a lot of coordination and, in order for it to be successful, requires the participation of individuals and programs that have benefited from PEPNet's services. If you are invited to attend one of our focus groups, please make every effort to do so. Focus groups will largely be held in conjunction with already established meetings, workshops and conferences. If you are interested in participating in a focus group, contact your PEPNet regional coordinator. Focus groups will last between an hour and an hour and a half.

In addition to focus groups, you may participate in our assessment by visiting
After you complete the demographic information, you will be asked to respond to a series of targeted questions. You may want to make some brief notes about influential PEPNet products or programs and/or pay a visit to our website ( before responding. On behalf of PEPNet and our four regional centers around the nation, we greatly appreciate your feedback and participation!

Western Symposium on Deafness, April 2005

The bi-annual WSD Conference (formerly the Western Symposium on Rehabilitation and Deafness) will be held April 20-23, 2005 at the Wyndham Emerald Plaza Hotel, San Diego, California. This year's theme is Partners United for Empowerment, Education and Employment of People who are Deaf, Hard of Hearing, Late Deafened, and Deaf-Blind. The WSD conference brings together professionals working with Deaf and Hard of Hearing individuals in a variety of settings. Session strands will be focused on Postsecondary Education, Rehabilitation, Technology, and Community Services.

Check the website,, and click on the "WSD Conference" link for information on registration, stipends and the call for papers. Abstracts for workshops are due December 17!

This conference is a collaborative effort with WROCC, RSA, WOU's Regional Resource Center on Deafness, Gallaudet University Regional Center at Ohlone College, Western Washington University's Center for Continuing Education in Rehabilitation, and State Vocational Rehabilitation Agencies in the Western Region.

English Language Development: The Next PEPNet Satellite Telecast 2/17/05

The next PEPNet satellite telecast will be held on Thursday, February 17, 2005 (11:00 - 1:00 Pacific Time). The topic will be "Defining English Language Development and Deafness: Language and Literacy Programs for Students who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing in Educational Settings." Information can be found on the "Teleconferences" tab at the PEPNet website ( The broadcast will include discussion on:

  • Language development and hearing loss
  • Student assessment and class placement
  • Educational interpreter's role in developmental classes

    On-line registration is now available. You can also check and see if any programs in your area are hosting it. Go to

If you are in the mid Willamette Valley, Western Oregon University will be a downlink site. Attendance is free and open to the public. If you are not within an hours drive of WOU and your program or institution is interested in hosting the downlink, WROCC Outreach Site at WOU has a limited number of stipends available to cover the downlink fee for programs in the Western region. Contact for more information.

Videotapes of previous teleclasses, such as "Americans With Disabilities Act - Responsibilities For Postsecondary Education Programs Serving Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students" and "Services for the Hard of Hearing Student in Postsecondary Education" are available from the PEPNet Resource Center at

IDEA Reauthorized

As most of you know IDEA, or the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, is our nation's special education law. Last month, Congress passed the Unified IDEA Bill and the President signed it into law on December 3, 2004. Now that the reauthorization of IDEA is official, we are working to learn about the changes, updates, and differences between IDEA '97 and IDEA '04.
Here are some resources to further your understanding and keep you posted on the changes you can expect to see with the new legislation:
The National Center on Secondary Education and Transition has prepared a
side-by-side comparison of the major changes between IDEA 1997 and H.R.
1350 (IDEA 2004) concerning transition services. The document is
available on the Web at

Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) The CEC web site provides a summary of selected issues in the new IDEA bill as well as a link to the text of the law.
To view the summary, go to

National Association of State Directors of Special Education (NASDSE) NASDSE will soon have a side-by-side comparison of IDEA 97 and the new law available for purchase via their Web site.

Thomas: Legislative Information on the Internet For the full text of the law (H.R. 1350), go to this Library of Congress website and search for H.R.1350. Choose option 7 (H.R. 1350.ENR), which is the final version.
Wrightslaw -- Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 2004 This Web site provides information on changes in the law, as well as some brief explanatory comments.

SOURCE: National Center on Secondary Education and Transition

WROCC Staff Update

We are delighted to have hired two new Outreach Coordinators at WROCC, Mary Morrison and Mancy McCurry. Mary is working out of the University of Montana to provide outreach to Montana, Wyoming, Arizona and Nevada. Located at CSUN's National Center on Deafness, Mandy, is providing outreach to California, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah.

Mary Morrison has a B.S. in Elementary Education, M.A. in Deaf Education, and is an RID Certified Interpreter. She has taught at residential schools for the deaf and in mainstream programs. In addition to having served on the WROCC advisory board, she worked for thirteen years as the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Specialist at The University of Montana. She enjoys gardening, sculptural welding, and playing with her grandson. You can email her or give her a call 406-243-4145.

A native of San Diego, CA, Mandy McCurry has a B.S. in Deaf Education. Prior to working for WROCC, she was a Career Advisor at the National Center on Deafness, Cal State Northridge. She has also taught deaf and hard of hearing students in a mainstream program. In her free time Mandy enjoys taking dance classes and scrapbooking. Contact her by email or phone 818-677-5467.

Welcome aboard, we are so glad to have you!

WNCAP Spring Conference, April 2005

Mark the dates and plan to attend the First Annual WNCAP Spring Conference on Friday and Saturday, April 1 & 2, 2005, at Portland Community College in Portland, Oregon.

WNCAP is a new organization for everyone in Western North America who is involved in Speech to Text services, including service providers, supervisors and school administrators. WNCAP includes and embraces all types of Speech to Text service types: C-Print, TypeWell, CART, and Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR).
The theme of the Spring Conference will be "Building Skills, Building Networks." The Friday session begins at 6 PM and will begin with a keynote address and a networking social hour. The Saturday sessions will run from 8:30 AM to 4 PM. Saturday session topics will include: The When and How of Teaming, Information Processing Skill Improvement, Recruiting and Retaining Good Service Providers, Free-lance Services from the Perspective of the School and the Independent Contractor, Dealing with Ethical Issues, Ins and Outs of Remote Service Systems, and much more. There will also be a raffle of fun gifts, including transcribing software and ergonomic equipment.

Early registration: $15 Postmarked by February 28, 205
Regular registration: $30 Postmarked between Feb 28 and March 18.
Registration after March 18: $45

For registration details, go to

Convert Television Captions to Web-Streaming Formats

Boston, MA. WGBH's National Center for Accessible Media (NCAM) announces the availability of software which enables closed captions created for broadcast and video to migrate to the Web.

CaptionKeeper (TM) software automatically converts line-21 captions created for television or video into Web-streaming formats. The software, now available for purchase, uses existing closed-caption data to create caption text suitable for live and/or archived multimedia presentations via RealPlayer, Windows Media Player and QuickTime Player formats.

The development of CaptionKeeper follows WGBH's release of its award-winning Media Access Generator, or MAGpie software. MAGpie is a free tool that enables do-it-yourself captioning and audio description (for users who are blind or have low vision) of digitized media, and is used by people around the world to make Web-based multimedia accessible. CaptionKeeper joins MAGpie as an easy-to-use tool for creating a more accessible Web.

For additional information on CaptionKeeper, including technical specifications and cost, please visit ( or contact the NCAM via e-mail at

Have you seen...

MySignLink is a free online tool that allows users to select any word on a web page or type a word in a prompt box and see a sign, signed definition and/or picture representing the word. This tool has been awarded the American Library Association-Grolier Foundation award for making the greatest contribution to children's literacy in 2003. Go to the Atlanta Area School for the Deaf /Center for Accessible Technology in Sign's website for this and several other innovative sign programs

The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) launched its new website (, made possible by the generous support of Sprint. The new National Association of the Deaf (NAD) website is divided into five important parts, "Take Action," "Legal Rights," "Advocacy Issues," "Inside NAD," and "Info and FAQs." The NAD will continue to refine the content and features of the new website post-launch and some areas are still under construction.

Have you ever been confused about the variety of available of speech to text accommodations? Do you know the difference between CART, TypeWell and C-Print? The website for the Speech-to-Text Services Network (STSN) contains a wealth of information and resource for consumers, service providers, and administrators. STSN seeks to promote quality services through support of provider credentialing, continuing education and professional guidelines. Check back often, their website is still undergoing improvements

Wondering what open captioned films are showing in your area? Check out to find out what open captioned movies are coming to a theater near you!

Created by Gallaudet University's Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center, Transition Skills Guidelines identifies key knowledge and skills that deaf and hard of hearing students need to transition successfully from kindergarten through Grade 12 and beyond. Focusing on five content areas, these guidelines can be downloaded from in PDF or Word format.

The 28th Annual Sign Language and Interpreter Workshop and Faire will take place in Torrance, California, April 30, 2005. This year's event will feature workshops, vendors, exhibitors, and job recruiters. Go to their website to register or get more information

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