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Publications > Dateline Houston > October 2002 > Society & Industry News

Volume 42, Issue 3

November 2002

Society & Industry News

STC News

Join New STC Special Needs SIG

by Lori Gillen, Membership Co-Manager, STC Special Needs SIG

Dear fellow communicator: You are invited to join the new STC Special Needs SIG.

SNSIG Mission

Here is our mission statement:

(1) Provide resources, information, and support to technical communicators with special needs;

(2) Provide resources that will help technical communicators make the products they create accessible to end users with special needs;

(3) Provide strategic leadership in both areas through positive initiatives and open communication, both inside and outside of the Society. Those are lofty goals, but we have already made significant progress: a comprehensive Web site, a soon-to-be-released dynamic new online newsletter (Achieve!), the publication of Guidelines for Persons with Special Needs at the STC 49th Annual Conference, a highly successful progression at the same conference, and the publication of several articles.

How You Can Contribute

But we have much yet to do, and we need more members. If you have a disability, if you prepare communication products for users who do, or if you meet neither of those parameters but are committed to the concept of helping people take the “dis” out of disability, we urge you to join us.

By joining you will be added to the SNSIG immediately, meaning you can (with your permission, of course) be added to our robust and spirited mailing list, receive our online newsletter, and join our efforts to fulfill our mission. Even if you cannot contribute time as an active participant—at least, not immediately—we still ask for your support in joining us now as a Patron, thereby committing to include your SNSIG affiliation when you submit your STC membership renewal.

As a brand new SIG we not only face a daunting list of tasks, we also must overcome a significant budget challenge to fund those tasks. So if you want to support us but cannot commit volunteer hours, please consider joining us as a Patron. If you have a disability and are willing to share that information with us when you sign up, that would help us gather the data we need to focus our research and publishing initiatives in the areas that will benefit the most people. We urge you to join us and benefit from the information and resources we have already gathered, whether or not you are in a position to participate actively in our undertakings.

How to Join

You can join by sending an e-mail to either of us:

Lori Gillen, Membership Co-Manager STC Special Needs SIG 

Dan Voss, SIG Manager and Membership Co-Manager STC Special Needs SIG

STC Mission Statement

The mission of the Society for Technical Communication is to improve the quality and effectiveness of technical communication for audiences worldwide.

Educational Opportunities

STC Telephone Seminars

Telephone seminars have been very successful in bringing cost-effective training to STC members and others seeking to improve their skills and knowledge. STC is offering 10 telephone seminars during 2002–2003. Two seminars will be offered each month through March 2003. This year, STC is offering online registration at

In the first seminar, Constance Billé will discuss “Getting Into Instructional Design.” The seminar will be held on November 7 from noon to 1:30 p.m.

The second November seminar is scheduled for November 19 from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Entitled “Looking, Finding, Searching ... How Users Do It,” it will be led by Whitney Quesenbery.

Other seminars scheduled for 2002–2003 are as follows:

  • December 13, 2002, “Finding Work in Troubled Times.” Douglas Florzak will lead the presentation.
  • December 17, 2002, “A Brief, Comprehensive Indexing Primer.” The seminar leader is Seth Maislin.
  • January 8, 2003, “Organizing and Leading a Software User Interface Design Team.” Diane Feldman and Carla Merrill will conduct this seminar.
  • January 15, 2003, “Using Personas to Bring Your Users Into the Development Process.” Whitney Quesenbery will lead the presentation.
  • February 5, 2003, “Creating Persuasive Executive Summaries.” The seminar leader will be Stacia D. Kelly.
  • February 13, 2003, “Fast and Easy Time Management.” John Hedtke will conduct this seminar.
  • March 12, 2003, “Making the Complex Clear and Pretty.” Phylise Banner will lead the presentation.
  • March 19, 2003, “Evaluating an Index (Even If You Have Only Five Minutes).” The seminar leader is Seth Maislin.

The cost for each seminar is $145. An additional $10.00 will be charged for registration received less than five days before the seminar.

A cost-effective and time-efficient way of improving your skills and knowledge, telephone seminars are much like a large conference call, but have a more controlled environment. Simply dial the 800 number from your telephone, enter the provided personal identification number, and you’re connected. Then sit back and listen to the presentation and join in the discussions.

For one registration, several employees at a company can benefit from the seminar presentation and develop their own interactive discussions. You can get more information, including an explanation of how telephone seminars work, and you can register online at As an alternative, you can complete the registration form in the October 2002 Intercom.

Networking Opportunities

If you have a networking opportunity to share, please tell us! Go to

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