NVDA is a great free talking software program to get you going and moving. Do not expect it to do what JAWS talking software can do, but you can get a beginner or intermediate person going on learning the computer. In the meantime, stow away funds for an upgrade to JAWS when you become more advanced and want to do more on a computer.

NV Access is pleased to announce the release of NVDA 2012.2. This
release has been declared stable, which means it is suitable for
production use and is recommended for most users.
Highlights of this release include an in-built installer and portable
creation feature, automatic updates, easy management of new NVDA
add-ons, announcement of graphics in Microsoft Word, support for Windows
8 Metro style apps, and several important bug fixes.

To read more and to find links to download, please visit:
http://www.nvda-project.org/blog/NVDA2012.2Released

We would like to thank all who have contributed to this release,
including all those who have donated to ensure continued development.

Please consider donating to NV Access to support NVDA's continued
development:
http://www.nvaccess.org/wiki/Donate

How many times have you tried to reinstall or install a new program and you get an error. Example: I have a friend who had skype on his machine but he deleted several components of it, so it was not working. I tried a new install with the newest APP out there, without success as it kept giving me a error code about missing install parts of the old program and it would not reinstall over it.

I had tried all the typical fixes, one being the Microsoft Fix page-so try that too as it will fix some issues, but if that does not do it and it did not for this problem, go back and find the old application for it. Install the older version of what was on your machine before, THEN do the update. Find your old applications at: Old APPS

It could save you a lot of time and headache…

Start with a simple lessons on the tricks to internet searching with JAWS on Youtube: Tricks to doing research in the Internet with JAWS-audio/visual

Then move to a more extensive lesson including

 

If you have difficulties finding the information you need on the Internet, this lesson will show you the tricks you need to navigate well.
Researching information will no longer be a problem
You will also learn how to save pictures from the Internet and use within a document

Most kids want the summer off from any work. This was no exception for one of my students I will call Sunshine. Sunshine, mom and I had worked incredibly hard together for the past years to get her caught up to grade level, with no time off.

Sunshine did not begin her blind instruction until the middle of third grade. At that point, she was reading print on a CCTV (closed circuit TV which enlarges print) at 12 wpm. You can't even say she was at the bottom of the class. She was about k-1st grade academic level. She could not see anything on the board and she had to hunch over her work at 2 inches to see what she was doing and every year she got further and further behind her peers because she could not access her education.

To say the least, her mom was getting very stressed about the lack of support for her daughter. Let's just say MOM learned the ropes and is a great advocate now. In 2 years her daughter completely caught up to grade level. She can read braille up to 100-115 wpm, but that varies depending on her reading consistently. Yes, kids forget fast! Those fingers have to be on the braille dots to remember. She also went from not being able to use a computer to really getting to the point where she could teach most aspects of it. She only has 3 fingers but that child can type up around 70wpm and can whip in and out of programs incredibly fast using her JAWS talking software.She does all her work on the computer and emails all assignments to her teacher. Teacher makes comments and emails back grade. Very fast, very efficient.

So now to tell the story. Sunshine REALLY wanted to take the summer off with NO braille reading. When I tested her last week, she was reading around 48wpm, yes her speed had decreased significantly. She was a bit shocked at the decrease. I had her reread the selection and she was up to 100 wpm within 4 minutes. So that is how fast it can come back.

As we talked about her "no reading policy for the summer," I showed her the iPhone and braille display and told her she could text her friends using these tools, but she had to have those good braille skills. Sunshine's eyes lit up 10 fold, and an "Oh yeah" immediately came back. Just finding another way to keep kids moving on the skills they really need.

Lessons and articles to help you:

First Steps in Great Braille Readers

Beginner Braille Reading

Braille Instruction begins at 3 years old

Braille Cheat Sheets

How to STOP scrubbing While reading Braille

Fast Braille Reading

Tricks to Learning Braille in your Teen Years or Later

Free Braille Books-Where to go to get Books

The Synchronicity of Braille & Technology

Braille Rap Song Lyrics

Rap Song to Learn Braille

Children have little fingers that need to be strengthened to press the keys on a regular brailler. Therefore, I want to tell you about the Mountbatten brailler.

I have started students as young as 3 years old on the Mountbatten brailler, and find they can braille with perfect finger positioning.

Click here for the Mountbatten brialler website

Click here to watch the Mountbatten brailler in action

We want to be careful when letting young children use the regular brailler so they don't start poor brailling habits, such as using 2 fingers to press one key. This is not only time consuming, but also very slow because it takes so much effort to press the keys. The Mountbatten brailler, however allows for good habits to form while fingers are growing and getting stronger. Starting out correctly, our children will then be successful braillers with an ability to increase their output as they get older, creating a joy in reading what they wrote

Lessons that will help teach

First Steps in Great Braille Readers

Beginner Braille Reading

Braille Instruction begins at 3 years old

Braille Cheat Sheets

How to STOP scrubbing While reading Braille

Fast Braille Reading

Tricks to Learning Braille in your Teen Years or Later

Free Braille Books-Where to go to get Books

The Synchronicity of Braille & Technology

Braille Rap Song Lyrics

Rap Song to Learn Braille

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