My high school students are required to make Bar Graphs and XY Line Plot Graphs; others also, but these 2 are the most common.

I always start them out doing it the long way. For example, on the bar graph, they learn how to make the title on the left hand side read top to bottom, so the words are flipped. They learn how to merge cells and color them in with their favorite color (Yep, even completely blind students have favorite colors), change font, and anything else the other students are doing.

When they completely learn how to do the graphs the long way, I then show them the shorter way, where they only have to type in the numbers that are going to be plotted. They then only have to select the numbers and insert any type of graph they need. They then can color, change the font, title, lines, and anything else to make it represent exactly as the teacher has requested, but it is a computer generated graph that would be used for business. So they are learning future skills for employment too.

One of my student's paras had posed the question of how her student was going to do a bar graph the other day. When I showed them, the long and short way, she and the student were completely amazed. Even doing it the long way, which took about 4 minutes, and of course you can make the graphs look so beautiful and so readable for the blind student. When the student emailed off the assignment to the teacher, she was amazed too.

Watch video to help you get going: Dr Robinson teaches you how to merge and color cells, and center text

Lessons to help you:

Twelve main Excel Office 2003 Lessons

Twelve main Excel Office 2010 Lessons

Excel Office 2003-Creating a bar graph

Excel Office 2010-Creating a bar graph

Excel Office 2003-Creating a line plot graph

Excel Office 2010-Creating a line plot scatter graph

Excel-Office 2003- Shading an XY Line Plot Graph

Excel-Office 2010- Shading an XY Line Plot Graph

Excel Office 2003-Shading a graph – reselecting the graph

Excel Office 2010-Shading a graph – reselecting the graph

One big advantage of grouping students in one school is the increase of social skills. These 2 became a couple because of all they had in common. Yes, they could get around school by themselves, but it is so much more fun when you are in a group of 2. This is in a high school of more than 2000. You need good cane skills. Click on and Watch O&M made Fun

Articles to help you:

Orientation & Mobility Made Fun

Basic Orientation & Mobility for Elementary School

There are many methods to labeling your clothes with braille so you can easily know what you are wearing, but here are a few techniques that have worked well.

If you are handy with a needle, you can sew dots right on the labels of the clothes to distinguish color.

If you would like tools that have already been created, here are a few:

Safety pin socks together using Brass safety pins. You will always have a matched pair and before throwing them in the wash,make sure you safety pin them and they will return to you in 2s.

Next, get your closet organized with closet organizer labels. Don't forget the braille label tape so you can put braille labels on the closet organizer tabs that will divide your colors and everyday wear from your dress-up clothes.

Before hanging up your clothes you can add these Color Clothes markers so you can easily tell the color each article of clothing.The advantage of these aluminum markers is when you take off your clothing, clip the marker back on before throwing it in the wash. When washed, it is easy to put back in your closet, especially when you use the organizer labels too.

So there are a few tricks to get you going.

Kaleigh reads with special hands, but nothing stops her. Watch all 3 videos of her progress over a year's time: Kaleigh at month 1, reading her alphabet and numbers, then month 3 follows reading actual stories, then month 13 reading at 115 wpm. Notice in the first 2 videos, she can only use 1 finger to read, then by the 13th month, her other finger on her left hand gained enough sensitivity that she could use it to read with also. All things are possible with instruction and practice.

Lessons and articles to teach skills

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

Whether you are blind or sighted, having an easy way to write, keep and print out address labels in a simple way is a blessing and saves hours of work.

With this label template, you can type in all your addresses easily, and print them out whenever needed. The template helps you line up all the information as you type. You just TAB to the next label and continue typing in information. As addresses change, you can easily edit the information because it all runs on a WORD template that is accessible with talking software also.

Avery has many types of templates right at your finger tips; fancy designs to plain. I use the template with 14 place holders for addresses. I have all my addresses typed out on several sheets, so any holiday or party that comes along, I can easily and quickly print out all the labels and stick to the envelopes. You will need to buy the labels from Avery or any Office supply store, then you can use these templates for easy label making.

While you are on the site, you will notice there are templates for many other types of labels too: return and shipping labels,business cards and so much more.

Links to get to Avery
Avery Labels

Many of my blind students have never written a letter and sent it in the mail. Many had never received a letter from a friend that they could read for themselves.

How much do we all love getting personal letters? I certainly do. Yes, I love a good email note, which all my students do with ease, but a note in the mail makes me smile. I use this idea for my students to get them motivated to braille on a brailler and use a slate n stylus.

They first take the braille paper and put it in the printer, and learn the format on the computer to print out all their information. When they print it out, they then learn where to begin brailling their letter.

The next part is the actual mailing of the letters. Most have never touched a mailbox or gone to a post office nor know where to even mail a letter. That becomes an orientation and mobility lesson. We plot the course, and then head to the mailbox or post office. They feel the mailbox all around and see how a driver can pull up and mail a letter also, and then they find the slot for the person who walks up to the box and pop in the letter.

The true joy comes when they get the mail, walk into school and announce this. It makes them want to sit down and braille out another letter, just so they can get more mail. A great motivator and a great way to make friends!

Lessons to help you

Writing Braille Letters with computer and Brailler

Beginner Drawing of Pictures on a Brailler

and article Beginner Drawing of Pictures on a Brailler

Watch this video of a student uses her Braille Note to calculate math problems and insert answers into her processor, checks problems on abacus, then emails lesson to teacher.
There are quick methods to hop around your Braille Note to complete math problems and insert the whole problem into a Word Processor.

Abacus is used due to state testing and the state not allowing calculators on portions of tests. The abacus is like doing the problem out on paper with pencil.

Lessons and articles to help you

Braille Note Lessons to take you through the Basics to more advanced skills

Braille Note Made Easy

Braille Note-APEX BT-Braille keyboard layout-Getting to know the Braille Note

Jaws-connecting the Braille Note to the computer for a Braille Display

Starting in high school, students are required to create their first professional letter to introduce themselves to potential employers and a resume to be attached to the professional letter. More and more, potential employers are asking for these documents to be sent to them through their websites or to be emailed to them. After graduation, people need to be able to update the resume and professional letter as they acquire skills.

Your Cover Letter or Letter of Inquiry needs to be concise containing your information, including correct spelling, grammar and format.

Depending on how your resume LOOKS will determine whether that potential employer will even LOOK at the documents. Your experience and education will determine whether the employer will even give you an interview. Both are important.

Lessons and article to help you:

Professional Letter of Inquiry and Writing a Resume-Office 2003

Professional Letter of Inquiry and Writing a Resume-Office 2010

Office 2003-Word- Writing a Professional letter of inquiry or for a job

Office 2010-Word- Writing a Professional letter of inquiry or for a job

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