Inside Scoop – April 2010

Welcome Students

The Disability Resource Center (DRC) staff at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock hopes that everyone had an enjoyable spring break. We look forward to continuing to work with you. Please email Sharon Downs at if you would like to reply to this message.

Getting Your Digital Books on Time

Requesting books in alternate formats is an integral part to student success each semester. Although the DRC has good working relationships with textbook publishers and organizations, we at times do not receive responses to our requests for extended periods of time. Therefore, to ensure students are prepared for class at the beginning of each semester, the DRC staff asks students to submit their requests for books in alternate format ten (10) weeks prior to the start of each semester.

If you request your books in late April, the DRC staff will have ample time to acquire and convert them. This will help you be fully prepared by the start of the summer term.

However, if you submit your request for books in alternate format in May, we cannot ensure the acquisition and conversion of your texts by the start of the summer semester.

With this in mind, please be timely in your requests for books in alternate format.

Request Books in Alternate Format:

  • Go to:
  • Select Request Books in Alternate Format link
  • Fill out the form completely and select SUBMIT at the bottom

Requests will be sent to a DRC staff member via email who will begin processing them right away.

REMINDER: Please request your books at least ten (10) weeks prior to the start of each semester.

Request Faculty Notification Letters:

  • Go to:
  • Select the Faculty Notification Letters link
  • Fill out the form completely, and select REQUEST LETTERS at the bottom

Requests will be printed by a DRC staff member right away.

REMINDER: Requests received from online students will be sent directly to faculty, via campus mail. All other requests should be picked up at the DRC by the student.

Free Cell Phones and Service*

In our digitally-driven society where cell phones and laptops are as common as carrying a credit card, REACHOUT WIRELESS™ exists to ensure that quality telecommunications services are available to customers on limited budgets. To obtain assistance from REACHOUT WIRELESS™, potential customers must meet certain eligibility requirements such as receiving governmental assistance or have a total household income that is at or below the federal poverty level. The specifics of what determines a potential customer’s eligibility are specific to each state. REACHOUT WIRELESS™ service is limited to one per household, and cannot be combined with any other Lifeline and Link-Up offering. Learn more about REACHOUT WIRELESS.*

* Please note, the above-mentioned resource is provided for informational purposes only. Its inclusion in this edition of the Inside Scoop does not constitute an endorsement by UALR or the DRC.

DRC and Social Networking

Social networking sites have offered society many avenues to simultaneously access and share information. Therefore, to ensure the UALR campus and local community are up-to-date on the happenings of the DRC, we are now on MySpace and Facebook. If you have not already, please visit our pages and join our Facebook group and our MySpace group.


Learning styles are very diverse and individualistic. Regardless of learning style, technology has empowered us all to learn more efficiently. Therefore, to ensure that all learners are aware of free open source tools to enhance access and learning, the DRC wants you to know about MyStudyBar*. This tool is essentially a floating toolbar which is similar to some of the popular commercial products, particularly the literacy support programs. To a great extent MyStudyBar also offers a similar range of tools, including basic screen reading, screen masking, talking dictionary, mind mapping, text-to-speech and the ability to save text to MP3.

Please note, the screen reading software within MyStudyBar is NOT as sophisticated as JAWS and users should not expect to use MyStudyBar and JAWS interchangeably. Learn more about MyStudyBar.

*Retrieved from:

Interested in a Career with the I.R.S.?

The Internal Revenue Service (I.R.S.) has an array of exceptional employment opportunities. The I.R.S. prides itself on recruiting diverse employees with unique abilities. Moreover, the I.R.S. has a strong commitment to recruit and hire employees who live with disabilities. Learn more about the culture of the I.R.S., their perspective of disability in the workplace and their recruitment and employment processes.

Disability Interest Group (D.I.G.)

The purpose of the group is to give students, staff and faculty a chance to come together in an informal manner and openly discuss dynamics of disability and campus life. D.I.G. will meet on the third Tuesday of every month during the spring semester. All are welcome to attend. We hope to see you at the next meeting on April 20th at 1:00 in DSC 201T, during which a recruiter from the Internal Revenue Service will be on campus to discuss employment opportunities for students and graduates with disabilities.

From the Desk of Melanie Thornton

Disabling Environments

In the last issue of The Inside Scoop, I shared a brief perspective on disability and design. For this issue, I’d like to share another video that brings home the point that the problem of disability does not reside in the individual, but in the design of everyday things… such as textbooks.

Svetlana and the Inaccessible Textbook

Svetlana and the Inaccessible Textbook (audio described)

Posted in: Inside Scoop, News

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