If you learn perfect touch typing, always starting on HOME ROW, using a s d f j k l ; your fingers will learn to fly across the keyboard, easily typing over 100 wpm. JAWS talking software is talking in the background. Watch Video on YouTube- Perfect touch typing to type FAST!
. The focus will be on the pointer fingers to read, but all fingers will do something…those other fingers will be giving information back about the braille coming up, lines ending, holding the page in place and so on.. Correct fingering will enable a faster reader.
To start with young children, I straddle their chair (they sitting in a small chair, mine larger so I can sit behind them and reach around them more easily) I hold their hands in the correct position, placing my middle finger in their palm and lightly touching their hands to help them move it across the page and split when they need. This helps them understand the movement and positioning of their hands.
Using 11 x11 paper, as you want them to create flow, both hands start out the line and about 2-4 words in, the hands split and the right hand finishes the line as the left hand goes down to begin reading the next line. I anchor my left finger on the beginning of the line, so it is easy to go back and down to find the next line. Smaller fingers may anchor with their pinky finger, longer fingers anchor with their ring or middle finger, it is up to the child. The right hand joins the left about 2-4 words in (at first this will be VERY slow, that is ok, just keep practicing). When I am guiding their hands, I will actually hold the right hand to stay while the left gets going so the child sees how to finish reading with the right, begin reading with the left, THEN they join and the right hand finishes the line again.
The reason I say read 2-4 words is you will have left dominate hand readers, I allow them to read in further, maybe even half way across the page or more. The left hand will move across faster and get down to the next line more quickly than if you made the less dominate right hand do most of the reading. Be flexible, go with the child's strength so find out which hand is the dominate hand.
To get good reading speed, have them type 3-4 words about themselves over and over.(I like cats.) Half way down the page, have them type another simple sentence (I like dogs.) …using contractions and similar words. Then have them practice reading it using the above method. You will not have to hold their hands long as they will learn the words quickly and be able to read on their own, practicing the flow of words and movement of their hands.
The repetition of reading the same words over and over at first is needed. You can create different sentences and homework every day and they learn fast. Make it about them and it will keep their interest. Then send it home for homework. They will not do what they cannot read easily, so do not send something they cannot read well yet. This method takes care of that issue for beginners. Back this up with a computer lesson and braille display and you will have an awesome mixture of instruction that will move this child along fast.
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.
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
A blind person can scan any printed information, open it as a text copy on the computer, so their talking software can speak it and the student can read the text with a braille display. WatchStudent Scanning
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 theseColor 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.
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.
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.
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!