Blind people that are technology literate do not ask this question. Unfortunately, there are a great deal of blind people (sighted too) that are NOT techie and have a difficult time understanding how to use something like an iPad.

All their lives, they have touched something tactile to give them feedback and now they are trying to wrap their mind around using something with a flat surface.

Enter the solution. By hooking a braille display or external keyboard and teaching them the keystrokes, the light bulb of understanding goes on quickly. They begin to see where icons are and how to activate what they want. Then you move them to the Voice Over finger movements and they truly start to understand how to move around this tool and other flat surface tools like it.

Though I have seen this more in adults than children, some children have the same difficultly and once you connect the braille display or external keyboard, (I always teach both), they catch on VERY quickly.

To help your students or if you are blind and are having a difficult time grasping what to do with this flat surface, you can download lessons at: Mac/iTools

The iPad can store textbooks, books, music, and thousands of types of apps for our students for school and pleasure. For low vision students, you can attach an external monitor to the iPad to enlarge everything so viewing is incredibly easy. Those inaccessible sites are no longer visually taxing as the child can see everything they need too depending on the size of the monitor the iPad is connected to.

For blind students, hook a braille display so they can read any accessible text available. No, they still cannot see the images that will be in the textbooks or web, but they will be able to hear what is going on.

For lesson on how to attach a monitor to the iPad, go to: How to project to an external monitor from your iPad

For lessons on how to use the iPad with braille display or external keyboard, go to: Mac/iTools

If you have struggled in any way while using Office 2010 it is because you are not using compatibility mode. If your talking software is refusing to do what you want him to do, this lesson will help you take control.  Using this mode permanently will enable you to do what you could not before with ease. 

This audio/visual lesson will get you going. This FREE download will get you on your way to understanding more clearly how to control your talking software.

Take Control of Jaws in Word-Learn the secrets to enable JAWS to speak everything-audio/visual lesson

  • This is an audio/visual lesson for those who want to see and hear what to do

Learn how to take Control of JAWS and make him do what you want him to do.

Do you get lost? Learn the tricks to find out where you are at in general and specifically and get him moving in the direction you desire.

Make him repeat information to you with a keystroke

Learn how to move around and find everything you need on your desktop.

Learn how to make shortcut keys to open programs quickly

Learn the quick commands already built into your Windows 7 system to open programs quickly.

Learn where to position JAWS to access him easily and tell him the configs you need for the type of computer you are using.

You will have peace and ease of mind after you finish this lesson, knowing you CAN control him whenever you want.

After you learn the basics, move into more sophisticated commands in Word to control him

Then go on to learn how to control him in the Internet and move around saving pictures to use in any document or presentation


  Take Control of JAWS-Lesson 1 the critical commands

Take control of Jaws in IE9- save pictures from Internet-audio/visual lesson


Take Control of Jaws in Word-Learn the secrets to enable JAWS to speak everything-audio/visual lesson


This picture of a 21-week fetus hand reaching up through an incision in its mother's uterus to grab the finger of the surgeon who had just performed a life-saving procedure appeared in the November 16 edition of The National Enquirer.

It should be "The Picture of the Year," or perhaps, "The Picture of the Decade."

The 21-week-old unborn baby is named Samuel Alexander Armas, and is being operated on by a surgeon named Joseph Bruner. The baby was diagnosed with spina bifida and would not survive if removed from the mother's womb.

Little Samuel's mother, Julie Armas, is an obstetrics nurse in Atlanta. She knew of Dr. Bruner's remarkable surgical procedure. Practicing at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, he performs these special operations while the baby is still in the womb. In the procedure, a C-section removes the uterus and the doctor makes a small incision to operate on the baby.

During the surgery on little Samuel, the little guy reached his tiny, but fully developed, hand through the incision and firmly grasped the surgeon's finger. The photograph captures this amazing event with perfect clarity.

The editors titled the picture, "Hand of Hope."

The text explaining the picture begins, "The tiny hand of 21-week-old foetus Samuel Alexander Armas emerges from the mother's uterus to grasp the finger of Dr. Joseph Bruner as if thanking the doctor for the gift of life."

That picture should be shown on every television newscast and run in every newspaper in America. It is a graphic reminder that growing in the womb of his or her mother is a baby. It is not a "glob of tissue," or "product of conception." That pre-born baby is a human being with all the emotions, will and personality of any human being. That picture says it in a way that a thousand words cannot.

Little Samuel's mother said they "wept for days" when they saw the picture. She said, "The photo reminds us my pregnancy isn't about disability or illness, it's about a little person." That's what it's always been about. That's what the liberal elite have tried to get us to forget. May this image jog our memories so that we will never forget.

Picure of doctor holding Baby Samuel's hand

Photo by Michael Clancy

   How To Get Through Life 

Sleep as much as you can  …. 

Read books that you enjoy… 

Play with simple things… 

Do whatever you want — 
Whenever you want… 

Look for affection when you need it… 

Get serious once in a while… 

Forget about diets… 

Show some affection…   

Get angry once in a while….  

Change your looks… 

Above all, be happy, 
 Regardless of what  

Your challenges may be… 


Have a great life! 

May your troubles be less, 
 Your blessings more, 
 And may
 nothing but happiness 
 Come through your door.  






There is a very sophisticated calculator already built in to every PC. Start your students with learning the basics of adding, subtracting, dividing, multiplying, % and square root calculations on a PC. Both desktop and laptop commands are used in this audio/visual lesson for those who want to see and hear the example of all keystrokes.


Standard Calculator on a PC with talking software-audio/visual lesson

As sighted students go about making fancy graphics for their Food Chain, Food Pyramid, Family Tree, or other diagrams, clicking away with their mouse, adding graphics and colors, our blind students can join in using their talking software. They just need to learn a few tricks.

No longer do our blind students have to sit aside and have a sighted person doing most of the work on a graphic or worse, the student doing something entirely different and then their lack of understanding deepens. If our students do not learn how to do the same things, gain the same skills, whether they can see it or not, how are they going to compete for jobs and the highest honors? Our students can do the same–their knowledge base just needs to grow.

The reminder came up as a distressed student asked me, "How am I going to do this?" Within minutes the student was enjoying the same features to create an elaborate diagram, using the talking software to guide her. She could use shortcut keys to immediately implement a design or change a configuration to finish the assignment on time. As soon as she was done, she emailed it off to her teacher. The teacher used track changes to correct the work and email it back, in which her talking software read all the remarks. A beautiful A to go with the beautiful diagram.

Audio/Visual lessons are now available to help teach your students:

Food Chain-make a creative graphic using talking software and word-audio/visual

Family Tree using talking software, graphics in Word-audio/visual lesson

Create a Food Pyramid with talking software and Word-audio/visual lesson

When I was young, my dad would always point out the sunsets every night with such joy. Every morning I would watch the sunrise as I drove the tractor around the fields and would think “How beautiful” but not fully realizing the meaning of it all. As a typical teen, I was caught up in what I THOUGHT was important—how I looked and what I had.

For the last decade I know what my father was trying to show us—it IS the simple things in life that make the difference. The simple incredible beauty of each morning as I hike with my dog and watch the sunrise; during the summer, the stars are so close and large, gazing down at us, almost as if I could reach out and grab one; or during the harvest moon, so voluminous and glowing that it swallows up the dark. It startles me and brings me to tears many times, as I see the wonder of God. During the day, I get to hear the simple laughter of a child, a friendly hello, receive and give a warm hug. The time I sit out on my porch with my husband and we watch the animals play in the grass, leaping at bugs and floating dust and twirling in circles to see how many things they can attack; The loving wet kiss of our dog over the cat’s head, then the cat coming up for more kisses from us—slobber and all. Children playing water games, spraying each other in the heat of the summer as the animals chase them.

It is the simple things that make us so happy. You buy an expensive item and it makes you happy for the time of the purchase then miserable as you make the payments on it; it is temporary.

It is not the stuff that makes us happy…it is the simple things: the sunrises and sunsets, the smiles, the warm hug from a child or from an animal- wets kisses and all, good friends, being thankful and grateful. Put energy into the things that will have a lasting effect and make a difference!

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