Jaws offers a great spell check option that WORD cannot.  Word offers you the applications key any time you misspell a word.  Those of you who do not know what the applications key is, on a desktop keyboard, it is the 3rd key to the right of the space bar. It is the key you most likely have never used because you have no idea what it does. It is a very powerful key. Any time you do not know how to spell a word, spell it out the best you can, then hit that applications key and it will give you the correct spelling…that is as long as you have not misspelled it so badly WORD really has no idea what you want.

The next spell check in WORD is F7. I will provide a lesson on that later on, as it is very involved.

But the power spell check for JAWS is ALT+SHIFT+L. Try it out. Open word, misspell several words, then hit the command ALT+SHIFT+L and it will bring up your misspelled words and tell you how many you have in the document. Hit enter on the word and you will pop back exactly to the word, hit your applications key and enter on the correct spelling. Repeat the command ALT+SHIFT+L and continue until all words are correctly spelled.

Today, as I showed one of my students this power command, I could hear her smile across the miles of our virtual screen. She lit up the room and once again, she is shown how technology is making her life so much easier.

More lessons to help teach

Spell check as you type—finding the secrets to spelling

Spell Check after you finish typing a document

WORD-JAWS-Finding Spelling mistakes within a completed document

WORD – rechecking a document after you used spell check

Word- advanced spell checking

First of all, there is no such thing as unteachable. The only people who are unteachable are those who decide NOT to learn any more.

In regard to people, we all have the tremendous ability to learn, no matter where we start out. Children who are assumed to be unteachable were labeled that way and people started teaching DOWN to that label. We need to teach UP to the child.

We read in the book, The Brain that changes Itself," by Norman Doidge, "The Structure of the Brain changes with ACTIVITY!!!!"

I have proven, many times over, the brain changes itself through activity:  I've taken children who had been written off or inundated with the "unteachable" label. I ignoring the label and taught the child about a world they could access. Computers and different types of technology have enabled the deaf/blind to "talk" with their friends through texting. With my method, the blind can be independent and keep up with their peers. The low cognitive children can "speak" and interact with their surroundings.

Emailing opens up everyone's world and if you have a reluctant child to learn, tell them you will start with making friends on email. Add a braille display and they start reading. Everyone wants friends and it gets any child engaged.

One of my children who was put in the lowest class in the district, was thought to be unteachable. It appeared he had no skills. Slowly but surely through many activities of teaching color, moving and stacking objects and yes, teaching conversation skills, this child began to open up. After a year, I added a talking computer. As soon as I placed it in front of him, he placed his hands on it and said, "My computer." He got it. He knew this would help him even more. When we opened it I helped him to learn how to type words, so even when he did not want to speak, he could through his computer.

Everyone can be TEACHABLE!

Counting starts with the simple things.

Inexpensive counting starts with a long sting and a set of beads…or even lots of buttons lying around. Help the child string the beads or buttons on the string and count as they string it. Then tie knots at each end and have the child count moving the beads from left to right and back again. Make strings of ten, so counting to higher numbers is easy.

Make different lengths and tie around their neck for a necklace. Make a small strand on elastic and tie around wrist for bracelets. Keep their minds active and busy so they won't be thinking about poking their eyes or rocking for entertainment. They can wear their entertainment.

Cupboards are also a great way to learn math, spatial concepts and stacking. Have your child sit on the counter after you go grocery shopping and have them place the cans of food in the cupboard. I can already tell you, they will want to do this over and over again. That is fine. It is worth the mess at first and the inconvenience for you, as this teaches so many concepts.

I used to have several drawers and the bottom cupboards of my kitchen just for small children who would enter our house. I had a large can of beans with a bowl and stacking cups. The child will get these out, open and start scooping from the can of beans and measuring into the bowl and vice versa. I did this with rice also. They have that lower cupboard full of canned goods and the child will pull them all out (you will have to help them at first to know what to do) then 1 by 1, place them back on the shelf, counting each can they place back in the cupboard. Depending on the size of your cupboard, the child should be able to stack 2 or 3 cans on top of each other. For beginners, the sides of the shelf are great to help support an off centered can, but they get good at this. Then they count the cans as they stack. They also eventually learn how many cans will fit in a certain space.

While the tiny child would be playing in the cupboards, I would be making dinner. Of course, if the child were 3 or more, the child would get up and help me. As you know their attention wane's quickly, so then they would go back down to the cupboards and continue to "play".

By building in things to do at the child's level and around what you already do, they quickly gain concepts about the world around them.

Self-consciousness blows up in the face of some teenagers an they feel as though everyone is staring at them and judging them for every little thing. They worry about facial acne or their clothes, and blind students have the additional worries of being seen with a cane, or reading braille in front of their peers.

This fear of a superficial judgement also grabs us as adults. We judge ourselves and other on everything from what we wear to the job we have or the house we live in.

Here is what we must realize.
Everyone has something they are dealing with.
It's okay to be different, because generally it is seen as "cool." Not everyone can use a cane or read braille.

People in general who are beating themselves up about every little detail because they THINK someone perceives them in a certain way, are getting a mixed-up view of reality.

In general, everyone is so involved with their own lives that after the 3 initial seconds of talking with you or seeing you, you are pretty much out of their mind.
In general, your perception of yourself is not reality for the way others are thinking about you. Everyone is too caught up in his or her own lives.

Even if you trip and fall (OK, the exception is a President, where the media decides to play the same video over and over for the world) so even if you trip and fall and we all do it, after 3 seconds, you are pretty much out of everyone's mind.

We need to get over ourselves, so we can go on uninhibited and do greater things. As long as you are trapped in a self-absorbed reality, you cannot see the bigger picture of what can be accomplished. You are wrapped up in the fears in your world that are not true reality and then you cannot improve yourself, because all you see are your faults. Figure out your faults and correct them.

You will make your fears and faults your REALITY if you don't change.

All you who are using talking software and are trying to use FACEBOOK.com, it is time to switch to m.facebook.com

m.facebook.com is an HTML version of Facebook. All the information is lined up vertically so you can easily move through the text. You will save tons of time reading the Wall and responding to people

So save time and frustration…go to m.facebook.com and TAB through the pages. You will start smiling about your Facebook experience.

You can download lesson about facebook from the Jaws/Internet Tab above

If you are looking for a few IPAD apps for kids check out the link.

Baby Finger is an IPAD app that has been touted as a great tool for children with cortical visual impairment or low vision children learning their colors and shapes.

With large bright objects and verbal feedback giving directions on objects to touch, children are absorb in this interaction. It is also free, which makes it something great to try out to see if this would be right for your child.

Interesting article to read about how to use the IPAD with low vision children

Another free app iFarkle which is a dice game for iphone or the IPAD–and a completely blind person can utilize this game..fun for adults too.

A whole list of apps at

Apple Applications for Students and IPAD- ITOUCH- or IPHONE

I always think about the tricks I use for teaching the blind and realize almost all the same techniques work great for sighted too. How many sighted people have placed their hand on a burning stove? Yep, me too! LOL! We are a funny bunch of human beings.

As I take my students into the kitchen, the first thing we do is feel EVERYTHING with it off. They feel every burner, or flat cooking surface, all dials, open oven and pretty much almost climb inside. They need to feel every corner, racks, pull out and in, feel what they will need to clean on the bottom when something spills over. I relieve their fear on this immediately. Yes, food will spill over and YOU will have to clean it. They practice using oven-mitts while pulling the racks in and out of the oven. Then they practice with heavier dishes so they can get the idea of how much harder the rack is to pull out with weight on it. All with the stove off! Same thing for the burners, lifting different sizes and pans of water off and on the burners.

They turn on the burners one at a time, so they can see which dial goes with which burner. They hover their hand above the burner. If I have a scared and reluctant child, I have them put that oven-mitt on their least dominant hand, touch the burner and hover with non-mittted hand to get the idea of distance between the heat and their hand. We do this with each burner and this takes some practice. Once again, I relieve their fear of being burned and tell them, "You most likely will get burned if you are cooking."

What does not kill us does make us stronger. How can we pass knowledge along, good and bad, without experience? If you are going to experience life, you will be injured along the way. Oh yes, I teach first aide too–smile

After they make their meal, and need to place it in the hot oven, I have them place their least dominant hand on the side of the opening into the oven, then slide it down onto the rack, so they know where the food is going to be placed. Then their dominant hand places the food on the rack and slides it in. When done, using the same method of placing their hand on the side of the opening of the oven, down by the rack so they can get their bearing and support themselves, then with the dominant hand joining the least dominant hand, they slide the rack out with the dish of food. The other hand reaches for the dish and they easily left the dish of food out and place on the stove. Bend over, push rack in, lift door up and they have just baked their first food item in an oven. The oven-mitt is essential at first because they will touch hot surfaces and if the mitt covers their whole hand, then they will not be burned and the fear level goes down tremendously. If the child is afraid, they will tentatively do something and are more likely to make errors, such as dropping the dish because they fear getting burned or other silly things we humans do when afraid.

By using the method of them touching everything when it is cold and getting the idea of place, position and heat, the fear starts to wane and cooking begins to be more of a part of their life.

I even had one student who became a great cookie baker. When her sisters would come over, they always would ask, "How did you get these cookies so perfectly round and baked?" She told me this story and of course, after mixing the batter, she used her hands to form the perfect round ball, flattened it with her hands and placed it on the baking sheet. She knew her oven (oh yes, side note, 350 degrees is not the same on every oven, so get to know yours) and knew the exact time to cook them, because of experience and lots of practice.

Good articles to read on this subject:
Cooking Without Looking"….for Kids
A huge list of other cooking ideas

Be that person who stands up and takes responsibility for your actions. If you do not have knowledge you need, you go out and find it and learn. If you fail at something, you look inside yourself and ask the question, "What more do I need to know to achieve this goal?"

Don't point your fingers at others and say, "You are not doing enough for me?" "You are the reason I am failing!"

Look at others and see how you can help. What can you do to improve someone's life? In turn, you make yours better. If you are always looking for ways to add, you will not subtract.

The only way to grow is to continually add. Life is math!! If you are always taking, little by little, you become less. You are subtracting from life itself.

The opposite is true too: If everyone keeps adding to the good and to knowledge, then everything grows.

AND, if you feel offend by this, maybe you are taking too much away from life….Something to think about!

One-step further than just digital handwriting into text: The Digital Ink Pad with Voice Recording. Compare this to the previous Digimemo on the site, which did not allow voice recording, or to be used as a functional PC Tablet when hooked to a computer.

This notebook sized pad allows you to hand write information (or a sighted person to do take notes in class, then hand back to someone who cannot see the board) But also add verbal notes, that when you upload it to your computer, the voice recording will be linked to the page. The product comes with Handwriting Recognition Software; Using MyScript Notes, OCR handwriting recognition software & you can transfer your handwriting to text.

In addition, In PC Tablet Mode; once connected to computer through USB port, Digital Ink Pad + could be used as fully functional PC tablet. If you already have a computer, this is a great addition to computing capabilities. The handwriting recognition software is also already included in the package when you buy it. After you upload your work, you can edit it on the computer.

The feedback on this product has been very positive: "What makes it better than the DigiMemo (my second option) tablet is that it has voice recording capabilities, a headphone slot for playing music (via a SD card), and if you connect it to your computer via USB, it becomes a fully functional tablet with the pen as a mouse"

Some tricks you will need to keep in mind if you buy this. Have several sheets of paper on the pad, use your best penmanship or tell the person who is taking notes for you to use good penmanship. Hold the tip of the pen up and don't rub your hand on the pad as you write. This is true for the digimemo also.

Are you wasting a lot of time ironing…or worse walking around with wrinkled clothes? Here are some great tricks to keep you looking good.

You can buy a board that helps you fold those clothes perfectly, with the perfect creases and lines, so it looks like you just picked them up from the dry cleaners without the dry cleaning bill attached.

For about $10-$20 you can buy many types of folding boards. Here are a couple links for you to choose from and you can explorer wider for more of a selection.

Bed, Bath and Beyond
Flip Fold I prefer this, due to the holes in the board that allow air to pass through for an easier fold.

You lay your article of clothing down on the folding board — just flip, flip, flip and fold. It's that simple. A bit of practice and you will be a pro. The flipfold board even has a video you can watch or listen to to understand the perfect folding method. Some come with magnets, so you can just stick it to the dryer to keep it out of the way. It is light and easy to use. You will get to the point where you may not need the board any more, but just may keep using it because it gives you such perfect looking clothes

Today, with permanent press clothes or just cotton and other blends, the first trick is to get your clothes out of the dryer IMMEDIATELY, so you have less wrinkles. I use this trick and rarely have to iron anything. However, collars on shirts are usually wrinkled so I re-wet them in the sink, press the collar the way it needs to look and hang up…When dry, it looks like someone ironed it. I have my stack of hangers and hang all our good shirts and pants up in the closet for the perfect crease in the slacks and shirts. Match the sewed seams first and feel for the crease that was ironed in on those slacks when you bought them, Then use hangers with 2 clips, one clip goes at each corner of your pants. If I try to fold dress pants, many times I cannot match the crease of the pants all the way down the leg, then you have 2 tiny ugly creases that run the length of the pant. By hanging them up on pant hangers click on link to see the type, you will have the perfect pant.

To match the colors of your clothes, you can use braille clothing labels and if you are a seamstress, you can easily braille in dots for the colors, but that takes a lot of time.

When you are done wearing socks, pin them together to drop in the dirty clothes, so when you are done washing and drying, you have the matched set of socks right there. No hunting for them. You can do this with anything that has a pair. Before placing anything in the dryer, shake your clothes out so you are not throwing a tight ball of waded up clothes in. You will just press wrinkles in that way. Then when the dryer cycle is done, you take them out immediately, hang up the good stuff, fold the daily wear stuff and you will always look pressed and put together.

Here are a few great articles on clothes preparation and grooming.
This is the Way We Wash Our Clothes
Ironing Things Out
Clothing, Grooming, and Social Acceptability: Part 1
Clothing, Grooming, and Social Acceptability: Part 2

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