A Decade of Assisting Those with Disabilities
Through grassroots advocacy and the support of the disability community, the Governors Council on Developmental Disabilities, and the University System of Georgia, Noel Gregg, Ph.D., and Christopher Lee, Ph.D., co-founded the Alternative Media Access Center.
What began as an idea grew into fruition when the University System of Georgia approved the conception of AMAC in 2005. The idea was to help post-secondary service offices provide complete, timely, and efficient accommodations to print-disabled students so they could be more independent and productive in their academic environments. To answer this call, AMAC offered its first service, E-Text Production, when it opened its doors at the University of Georgia in Athens to serve students under the 35 Georgia Board of Regents institutions in 2006.
In addition to providing accessible E-Text, AMAC began offering braille conversion as a service in 2006. Braille conversion can be time consuming and expensive. In order to prioritize the student, AMAC’s reuse model and access to braille prison programs allows them to offer timely, cost-effective, high-quality braille.
As AMAC services expanded, they began offering captioning and audio description, student accommodation software for Disability Service Offices, and assistive technology evaluations to help match the right technology for every person. Adding a human-touch to AMAC services led to an increase in customer service. In 2009, AMAC was honored by, then-Governor, Sonny Purdue with the excellence award in customer service (seen above).
As a result of the expansion of services and a rebranding effort, the Alternative Media Access Center discontinued using the name and began using just the acronym AMAC. It is now known as AMAC Accessibility Solutions & Research Center.
AMAC grew into an umbrella, one-stop shop for accessibility services. Students, regardless of ability, are able to access the materials they need to succeed by requesting them through AMAC. This results in colleges and universities around the nation saving money and time. For Disability Service Offices (DSOs) that might not have the resources to accommodate such a workload, AMAC is here to offer relief.
In 2010, AMAC transitioned to the Georgia Institute of Technology. As a research center within the Georgia Tech College of Design, AMAC is a leader in content engineering in the post-secondary arena and conducts research and development on a variety of electronic information and assistive technologies in an effort to increase accessibility globally. AMAC’s research-driven services will continue to innovate and give students the best opportunity possible for graduation.