Jamil Jabr, manager of Office of Information Technology (OIT) computing facilities, was presented with an award at this year's Access Achievement Awards celebration, held on October 10. University of Minnesota Disability Services holds this event annually. The awards recognize University faculty and staff who support and advance accessibility at the University. The recipients go above and beyond the expected to bring the University closer to being fully accessible for everyone.
Jamil and his team were recognized for their work with Disabilities Services to ensure that OIT computing facilities provide access for students with disabilities. Thanks to Jamil and his team, as well as a strong partnership with Disabilities Services, students with disabilities have access to the JAWS screen reader, ZoomText screen magnifier, and Kurzweil scan and read systems on all computers designated for general student use in OIT computing facilities. These applications enable students with disabilities to do their course work and collaborate with their peers.
The software provided in computer labs can be expensive, so it is necessary to make the OIT budget go further. Jamil and his team accomplish this by leveraging software licensing management (SLM) technology. OIT strives to provide software to all students in the same way, whenever possible. With SLM technology, OIT can install software to all of our computers, but by managing the number of concurrent users at any given time, we can legally reduce the number of licenses we need to purchase. For example, if we own 20 licenses for the JAWS screen reader, we can install it to 100's of machines, but only 20 people can use it concurrently. The 21st person will wait in a queue and get access to the software as soon as one of the 20 people using it log off. The number of licenses purchased is based on average use that is monitored by the SLM system.
Our thanks to Jamil and his staff for their creative solutions, integrity, and hard work!