Staff at Stagecoach North East in Sunderland helped to drive forward the environmental agenda as part of the company’s annual Green Week campaign, visiting a local primary school with a gas bus.The young eco warriors learned about the green energy that modern gas buses use, with the latest in ‘eco’ technology and were then treated to a trip around the town on the gas bus.The pupils were able to explore the bus, and took turns to be bus drivers.
Last month I wrote about how I thought that accessibility would be a big topic in AV during 2020. A big reason we will hear more about this is a lawsuit that Harvard recently settled with the National Association of the Deaf. In the settlement, Harvard agreed to provide captioning for all new content placed in online resources. Additionally, the university agreed to within two years, also provide captions for all older video content. The signal this sends through higher education is that everyone is going to have to follow this lead. It stands to reason that in addition to being the law, this is undoubtedly the right thing to do. Beyond providing equal access to this content to those who are deaf, it also offers services to many other people: viewers who don’t speak English, those who may want to better understand what is being said, and those with disabilities of which we are unaware.Over the next few blogs, I will write about more than just accessibility, and write instead about a concept called Universal Design. Universal Design was developed over 20 years ago at North Carolina State University. Wikipedia defines Universal Design as “the design of buildings, products or environments to make them accessible to all people, regardless of age, disability or other factors.” According to the National Disability Authority, the concept of Universal Design has seven principles. Each of these principles can have effects on the audiovisual systems on college campuses. They are:Principle One: Equitable Use Principle Two: Flexibility in Use Principle Three: Simple and Intuitive Use Principle Four: Perceptible Information Principle Five: Tolerance for Error Principle Six: Low Physical Effort Principle Seven: Size and Space for Approach and UseLet’s take a look at the first few principles and how we can begin to think differently about AV and classroom design.Equitable Use — The design is useful and marketable to people with diverse abilities.In AV systems, this is likely the closest principle to what we would call accessible design. However, the “Equitable Use” principle takes design a step beyond the clear definitions of the Americans with Disabilities Act and opens design concepts to people of all abilities. This would include a typical accessible design. In higher education, one of the first places we would need to consider would be the podium. Is the podium accessible to people of different heights, whether they are in a wheelchair and whether they have visual or auditory impairments? How about any equipment in the podium, such as computers, playback devices, auxiliary inputs and document cameras? Are the devices located in a place that makes them useful to everyone? Is there a suitable light source around the podium? Does the control panel use font sizes and colors that are accessible? Are all of the features listed above a standard part of the space? One of the guidelines of this principle is to avoid stigmatizing or segregating users. If we don’t make these features a standard part of the room, then users of the room need to ask for special accommodations. These accommodations make it clear that they have a “disability,” and therefore, the space is stigmatizing. In a classroom, this could include all environmental controls, lighting, screens and blinds. Screens are an example of how a seemingly minor decision can have an impact on equitable use. Pull-down screens with a single rope often have the rope tangled and high-up. For people who are shorter, in a wheelchair, have challenges reaching high or standing on their tiptoes, this becomes a stigmatizing fact. Rather than being able to use the room like everyone else, they always have to ask for assistance.Flexibility in Use — The design accommodates a wide range of individual preferences and abilities.An example of this would be to include voice control in all spaces, along with a tactile control system. Making people aware of both systems allows a person to choose what system to use and keeps them from having to explain why they use it. Additionally, people without any difference can use the same systems, and therefore all systems become normalized. Perhaps providing remote control devices (iPad, phone, remote) would allow a person who cannot easily move to be where they are most comfortable and still control the room. In classroom design, when we think about flexibility, we also think about distance learning and blended learning. We need to consider people who may occasionally, or regularly, need to be absent from the room. Whether this is the primary instructor or a student, our spaces should be equipped with these capabilities.Simple and Intuitive Use — Use of the design is easy to understand, regardless of the user’s experience, knowledge, language skills or current concentration level.This is perhaps the principle to which AV designers are most accustomed. We spend a lot of time thinking about how people interact with our systems. I have always said that if users need to be trained on how to use a room, then the room was designed poorly. When you design a room, do you consider the wording you use to describe devices? Do you use words like devices, inputs, projectors, aux, HDMI? All of these words are technical words, and may not translate well to languages other than English. Beyond controlling specific devices, we also need to think about turning on accessible features. How difficult is it for a user to turn on captioning in a classroom? How clear, intuitive and straightforward is it for a person in a room to use a microphone? There are not a lot of canned answers to these questions. As designers, we need to be creative and thoughtful. We need to watch how people use spaces and learn how to make it easier. This principle would be served well by following the concepts of human-centered design.Perceptible Information — The design communicates necessary information effectively to the user, regardless of ambient conditions or the user’s sensory abilities.This design principle accounts more for the room environment than the AV equipment. It is critical to the usability of the room, like any technology. The best room will make people feel comfortable, and the more comfortable they feel, the better experience they (and their students) will have. One of the things I often see in higher education rooms is lighting controls that make absolutely no sense. In the worst case, the multiple switches are unlabeled, and a user needs to guess what they do. In better circumstances, they have labels, but clearly, there was a wording limit, as the descriptions make no sense. So, are your lighting controls clearly labeled, perhaps with pictures of what they do, and with Braille? When designing spaces, we need to keep our minds on the variety of people who use the room, not just the usual users, who may get accustomed to idiosyncrasies. Is it clear to users where equipment they need access to (computers, laptop inputs, microphones) is located?I don’t propose to be an expert on Universal Design or accessibility. Additionally, I think we are often too afraid to take on this subject because we are scared of making mistakes. Yet, probably the biggest mistake we can make is not doing anything. Some progress towards Universal Design is better than ignoring it. Next time, I will cover the remaining principles and share my thoughts about how they relate to AV. In the meantime, let’s have a conversation about what you have done with AV and Universal Design.
Over 24 dealerships from around the world met at the Wisconsin, USA-based manufacturer for a two-day event. Dealers attending the event were trained on market applications, product developments, features and options. The state-of-the-art double-beam mobile gantry crane was demonstrated.Visitors traveled from Canada, South America, the United States, Europe, India, Asia, Japan, the Middle East and Australia to focus on marketing specifics for the four lines of Shuttlelift mobile gantry cranes.The event allowed dealers to communicate with Shuttlelift engineers,sales representatives and to network with each other to exchange ideas and discuss various topics affecting their business. Presentations and trainingwere also given from the parts, service and engineering departments to further the skills, knowledge and support of the dealerships.Stephan Chayer, managing director of international sales at Shuttlelift believes the meeting was successful. “We had great attendance numbers from dealers all over the world. Their participation was not only valuable to Shuttlelift, but also to the other dealers when they shared their comments, opinions and suggestions.”
PH among economies most vulnerable to virus Reyes said Hailie Ripley and Kierra Holst can’t carry the locals by themselves and so they’re working up a plan to make it the other way around.“Other teams have imports who are overwhelming, but skills-wise maybe some of my locals are better,” said Reyes.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra teammates show love for SlaughterSPORTSWe are youngSPORTSFreddie Roach: Manny Pacquiao is my Muhammad AliReyes was referring to “super imports” like Lindsay Stalzer and Ariel Usher of league leader Foton and Stephanie Niemer of No. 2 Petron.RC Cola-Army hopes to work that one out when it takes on Generika at 5 p.m. in the Philippine Superliga Grand Prix today at Philsports Arena. Where did they go? Millions left Wuhan before quarantine 30 Filipinos from Wuhan quarantined in Capas Smart’s Siklab Saya: A multi-city approach to esports Iglupas survives pesky Japanese, keeps title hopes alive As fate of VFA hangs, PH and US forces take to the skies for exercise Chinese-manned vessel unsettles Bohol town We are young Smart hosts first 5G-powered esports exhibition match in PH F2 Logistics and Cignal slug it out at 7 p.m.The winners will join Petron and Foton in the semifinals. —MARC ANTHONY REYESSports Related Videospowered by AdSparc Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View comments MOST READ Taiwan minister boards cruise ship turned away by Japan PLAY LIST 01:31Taiwan minister boards cruise ship turned away by Japan01:33WHO: ‘Global stocks of masks and respirators are now insufficient’01:01WHO: now 31,211 virus cases in China 102:02Vitamin C prevents but doesn’t cure diseases like coronavirus—medic03:07’HINDI PANG-SPORTS LANG!’03:03SILIP SA INTEL FUND Mainland China virus cases exceed 40,000; deaths rise to 908 Unlike other teams with “overwhelming imports,” RC Cola-Army’s coach Kungfu Reyes rued that it’s their locals who have been carrying their imports so far.ADVERTISEMENT Read Next Shanghai officials reveal novel coronavirus transmission modes EDITORS’ PICK
The swiss-army knife that is Dillon Stoner is finally on campus, and is already turning heads in training camp. The former Jenks star did everything for the Trojans and helped lead them to four straight state titles. As a senior, he was the star of the powerhouse Trojans, doing everything from punt and kick return, playing receiver, corner, safety, and even holding the kick on the extra point after he scored his own touchdown.As a coach, it’s a pretty simple formula to follow: Best players+playing time=wins. Or something like that. [I wasn’t a math major].And Jenks did it well in a one-loss 2015 season that ended in another state title with Stoner as the feature man in nearly every facet of the game.So will Mike Gundy take a page out of Alan Trimble’s playbook and use Stoner in the same capacities?That may be too early in his career to ask. But we do know that Gundy is preparing to use him this season.“Stoner continues to get quality reps,” Mike Gundy said after Thursday’s practice. “We’re anticipating him playing as a freshman.”“He’s getting quality reps not only on special teams but at the wide receiver position. He was an exceptional player in the summer. We’ve had just a couple of guys in my 12 years here that have been as far along as he has in the summer.” Gundy told the Tulsa World about Stoner.Stoner was used not only at receiver at Jenks on offense, but also in special packages with the main goal being to get him involved in any way imaginable. Get the man the ball in the open field, and he’ll run more wild than Bear Grylls. See the first play here and you’ll see the potential threat he could become — a play that looks familiar to what OSU has used in the past with Jalen McCleskey.OSU has shown their willingness to spice up the playbook to get their play-makers involved. Even Mason Rudolph acknowledged he could be a factor early on at B12 media days. “He has some David Glidden to him,” Rudolph said July 18 at the Big 12 Football Media Days in Dallas. “So that has me excited. … I see him playing inside this year because I think he’s ready and would really fit in our offense.”And with Stoner’s versatility as an athlete and his combination of track speed, I’d be surprised if the concept of a special ‘Stoner Package’ isn’t rolled in at some point this season. And even for a true freshman, Mike Gundy knows he has to get his talent in the right spots. Running a small package (or at least preparing one for a special situation) for a player Gundy says is farther along than most at this point in his career just makes sense. So heck, why not give it a shot Mike? While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.