Ncti Funding For Accessibility At Games For Health 2009

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NCTI participated in Accessibilty Day at Games for Health 2009. This presentation offers suggestions on agencies, organizations, and funding streams that are in the accessibility space. See also grantwriting tips and hints.

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  • The Wii has certainly brought my family back to the living room – friends, uncles, cousins…
  • But when left to my own devices or while waiting on hold I am more likely to be playing word games like Free Rice which donates rice to Hunger Relief. They have a variety of games including vocabulary, math, chemistry…
  • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation @ rwjf.org -- look at the X-over design of this image, using modern game-like interfaces for mainstream solutions MacArthur Foundation Digital Media -- note buzz word of participatory. FOUNDATIONS: You need to know how foundations work. They have missions. The mission is not to simply give away $. The mission is a larger statement of how they want to be seen in society. Learn that mission, understand how previous awards have advanced that mission, and position your pitch to them as a way for them to advance their mission. Not to fund your project. Your project is to help THEM. They are investing $ to further their own goals. U.S. Federal agencies @ grants.gov andState agencies Mandated to fund accessible projects -- this is a boon to those who focus on accessibility. Unlike foundations which may or may not “get it” about accessibility and why spend the additional development time to make an interface accessible, federal agencies understand that. State agencies may or may not, but they SHOULD and they know they should, so if you are pitching to your own state agency, you have to show them the legislation and appeal to their sense of duty to make their investments work for all state citizens.
  • Note this device on the Pioneer Portfolio page – this is the kind of accessible interface you see in augmentative communication devices stroke victims and children with speech disorders use…a nice cross-over application.
  • MacArthur has invested heavily in digital media and continues to lead the field in research and development, especially for educational applications.
  • Unexpected connections abound, too, like AARP Foundation for games and interactive teaching tools for the issues that aging boomers care about. Accessibility is an aging issue, too, so don’t overlook such natural connections as foundations that serve the aging population and/or their caregivers. Years ago AARP added simple word and card games when they first opened their online community section, and they have been wowed by how active this component of their site is and how many users it attracts. Seniors DO like to play games w their friends, too!
  • Switching to federal agencies…new administration, new priorities, new economic crises, new buzz words. These all impact how federal contracts and proposals are going to be read and awarded by agencies.
  • Included in Homeland Security is immigration, English language learning and citizenship, FEMA, customs and border control, terrorism, and flu pandemic….
  • The Dept of Labor is interested in worker retraining, new green and energy jobs, worker safety, and the flu pandemic….. Workplaces, too, are a place to think about the X-over application of accessibility to workplace solutions. For example, large key keyboards can be used by workers using gloves and hazmat suits. Noisy environments require text-based communications, not audio.
  • The Dept of Education is getting much more interested in gaming for learning -- they do get it – but their budgets are tight. Watch for the Innovation and Race to the Top initiatives in the recovery (ARRA) funding. They are also, of course, interested in serving all students. Know the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services (OSERS), their focus is on disability and independence across the lifespan.
  • Veterans Affairs is a hub for many many ongoing projects to address returning veteran’s health care and re-integration to work and independent life. They, too, “get it” and are looking at many ways to use virtual reality and gaming to retrain wounded warriors. And of course deal w the flu pandemic…
  • HHS is a behemoth. So many programs are run through HHS including public health, food and drug safety, grants and other funding, health insurance… Note again the flu pandemic information. Hot topics, buzz words.
  • In international development in developing countries, accessibility and universal design for learning can address all these listed fundamental concerns, but you will have to explicitly state HOW your work applies and is a solution to these pressing concerns. They are for the most part less focused on a language of integrating the severely disabled…they are more likely to respond to this language of managing the daily pressures.
  • Awards are worth the effort. That’s my message. Some awards carry $ rewards, but all can leverage visibility and credibility. Review panels are esteemed members of the field. Getting your work in front of them can be a boost and a critical critique. Here are a handful of award programs that specifically look for and value accessibility.
  • The Tech Museum awards, which NCTI co-sponsors, are given annually in five categories: Education Environment Equality Health And Economic Development
  • Afforda Speech won the da Vinci in 2008, a vendor we know at NCTI – in fact there is a new Innovator Profile up on NCTI about the developer, Ron Hu. You can see here the leveraging of the da Vinci credibility.
  • Nimble Tools is another stakeholder of NCTI focusing on UDL assessment design. They also won the 2008 da Vinci award and are leveraging that visibility and credibility to make new funding happen for them.
  • The Software and Information Industry Association is a quite active group in DC policy circles and sponsors an annual competition.
  • The Game Developers awards brings visibility within the gaming world.
  • This is our fourth year of offering awards that recognize and promote accessibility in learning technologies. Like the other awards, we involve an esteemed panel of reviewers and we work hard to promote our winners’ work and build mutual visibility and credibility.
  • The 2009 winners
  • Know your funder -- know the mission – USE THOSE WORDS in your proposal! REMEMBER they are funding THEIR idea, not yours, make your project speak to their priorities Do your homework: look at who/what they funded last year Consider the reviewers -- find out who/the type of person reviews…are they tech savvy or implementation savvy?? Write with the reviewers in mind Consider how the reviews are done and BE CONSIDERATE…they are reading 5 – 8 proposals…they’re busy people…they need to understand the premise, the design, the outcomes from the first two sentences; put technical descriptions in the appendix BUT REMEMBER, usually reviewers are NOT mandated to read appendices Stick to the published requirements, yes, the rules apply to you, THERE ARE NO CHEATS in grantwriting Work with the evaluation criteria – consider where the weight of the review will fall -- if you are being scored heavily for an evaluation plan, best to include a robust plan; if technical design is not given a lot of weight, you don’t want to use up a lot of your time or page limit to describing your technological innovation in great detail. Put it in an appendix for reviewers who are really interested. Propose a feasible project -- do not over promise or under bid, you will live to regret it – be realistic, funders want to see their investments succeed so that they can tout your success; be timely and articulate your learning outcomes -- what does this project mean for the advancement of their mission, your product, or of the field of gaming?
  • Pay attention to buzz words and tie your writing into what funders and reviewers are looking for. Watch the NCTI and others in your niche area for buzz words to stay in tune.
  • Save the date and join us in Washington, DC in November for the NCTI Technology Innovators Conference where we will continue to discuss these exciting ideas. Our theme this year is Educational Futures – Powered by Technology , which will keep the conversation going with a list of “must hear” speakers and topics. Registration is now open on the NCTI site, note that we have a great student rate. Last year we were SOLD OUT, so make your plans and join us!
  • Ncti Funding For Accessibility At Games For Health 2009

    1. 1. Accessibility for Ed Tech: Funding, Strategies, Opportunities Games for Health 2009 Accessibility Day Heidi Silver-Pacuilla NCTI Deputy Director [email_address]
    2. 4. Funding Opportunities <ul><li>Robert Wood Johnson Foundation @ rwjf.org </li></ul><ul><li>MacArthur Foundation @ digitallearning.macfound.org </li></ul><ul><li>Foundations that serve aging or disadvantaged </li></ul><ul><li>U.S. Federal agencies @ grants.gov </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Mandated to fund accessible projects </li></ul></ul><ul><li>State agencies </li></ul>
    3. 15. Accessibility in Int’l Development <ul><li>Rising populations of aging citizens; </li></ul><ul><li>Increasing emphasis on improved community and educational integration of citizens with disabilities; </li></ul><ul><li>Existing challenges to provide efficient services to users in densely populated areas with a broad range of literacy and technology abilities; </li></ul><ul><li>Multi-lingual/ -cultural societies; and </li></ul><ul><li>Growing populations of English language learners. </li></ul>
    4. 17. Award Opportunities <ul><li>Tech Museum , Tech Museum of Innovation </li></ul><ul><li>da Vinci Awards , MS Society </li></ul><ul><li>CODIE Awards , Software and Information Industry Association (SIIA) </li></ul><ul><li>BESSIE Awards , ComputEd Gazette </li></ul><ul><li>Game Developers Choice </li></ul>
    5. 24. NCTI Tech in the Works Competition <ul><li>Quick turn-around submission and research </li></ul><ul><li>Collaborative researcher-vendor team </li></ul><ul><li>Matching funds required </li></ul><ul><li>Focused on accessibility and feasibility </li></ul><ul><li>April 2010 will be next opportunity </li></ul>
    6. 26. Grantwriting:Tips and Hints <ul><li>Know your funder </li></ul><ul><li>Consider the reviewers </li></ul><ul><li>Stick to the published requirements </li></ul><ul><li>Work with the evaluation criteria </li></ul><ul><li>Propose a feasible project for the budget and timeline </li></ul>
    7. 29. Questions? Follow NCTI on www.NationalTechCenter.org on Twitter at http://twitter.com/NCTI2 on the NCTI  Facebook page and on Classroom 2.0 or email us at [email_address]

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