October 2011

Here is a video of a 4 year old and a 2nd grader racing each other on their Braille Computerized Technology. Learning is fast and fun when you have the right tools and friendships to learn together.

Watch video at: Blind Technology Helps Students

Lessons to help

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

I want my students to be able to quickly know the date and time at any point during the day. I do not want them to have to ask those around them to keep track of their schedule. One of the first JAWS commands I teach is the INSERT+F12, which will tell them the time, then INSERT+F12 twice quickly tells them the date.

My students have become so astute with what time it is that they don't start checking the time until about 10 minutes before our class ends. I love hearing that time announcement as they are working along. They have taken charge of their schedules and know how quickly to finish work and get it emailed off before the end of the period. With them taking their own time and schedules on, they have become more competitive with completing work at the same time as their peers.

Being aware is the first place to start with making change in how we do things.

Have you ever sat with a child and thought, "OH, I WISH I had a lesson on this to teach!" Immediate download of Microsoft Lessons, and other blind tools is now available at your fingertips. In addition, there are hundreds of articles on how to teach lessons or what types of lessons to teach for a particular situation. There are also articles on the above products, daily living skills, how to teach math, a foreign language and so much more. All on one site

As a teacher, you can download lessons the day before, the morning of or as you sit with a student who just came to you with a question on, "How do you do a PowerPoint Lessons?" or any other type of lesson. You go to PowerPoint lessons on www.yourtechvision.com and download it digitally within a couple minutes (all depending on the speed at which you use a computer). Lesson planning is now made incredibly easy and simple. You also discover that if a lesson in not on the site, a request on the contact page for a particular lesson will be added to the site within a week for your use.

Parents who are homeschooling also have the same ability. With the ever changing technology and questions on how to use talking software, adapted braille computers, the Internet and the software that goes with it, the answers are in articles and in easy lesson download format with just a click away. Articles to read on how to go about teaching your blind child and which lessons to download with the article are just a click away.

For the Blind user, who wants to learn skills themselves, everything above applies too and a click away is just an INSERT+F7 using JAWS. Everything on the site is link based, using INSERT+F7 you can access lessons and articles. Edit boxes can be accessed using the letter e, and hitting ENTER will turn on the ability to write. If you hit a combo box, ENTER activates that too. TAB always moves you easily through the whole site, every link, heading, and form box. If you want to read the articles on the site, H will jump you to the headings and down arrow enables you to read it. If you bring up your links, just go to the next article with 2, 3, etc, as their are hundreds of articles to peruse.

Education, Instruction and Lessons are now in quick text download format and close to as instantaneous as you can work a computer. Help is always at the contact page if you need any help.

To get a job, you need more expertise in the area you are applying for than anyone else does. You need to be dressed appropriately for the job you are applying for, also. You are going to need the confidence to show others, you can do this job and great skills will give you this confidence!

Once you get the job, you need to keep up with your skills, especially technology. Make yourself invaluable. Technology is crucial. If you are a K-12 educator or parent, then make sure your children are getting technology training at the youngest grade possibly….preschool is ideal, after that time, just begin …IMMEDIATELY!

If blind, this training is even more crucial. You need to start young to learn what it is like to keep up with your peers and compete with the rest of your class, so when you get to college and the workforce, you have gained the experience you need to prove yourself to the potential employer.

Without technology skills, it is very hard to compete in the world. If you are blind and lack technology skills, it will be harder. Computers and talking software will give you the advantage of getting a job. Once you get the job, continue to gain training to keep up with your skills.

There are many places to gain education: Your local college, online classes and a myriad of information right on the Internet.

If you are blind, be upfront about the issue of your blindness. It is on everyone's mind whether you want to admit it or not. Tell them to ask you any question they have, let them know how you would tackle certain job aspects. If you are not comfortable with your blindness, they will not be either and that will hinder potential employment.

If you want a job and you want to keep your job, then get those technology skills to compete. Word skills enable you to write any type of document to any specification. Excel will help you auto-calculate math and get you organized for all projects and so much more. PowerPoint will enable you to walk into an interview and demonstrate a rundown of you skills on a PP and in the process show the potential employer your skills. PowerPoint will also enable you to give any type of presentation to impress any group of people. Internet skills will enable you to do the research on any project the boss may give you. If you are blind, learning those talking software skills combined with the above will enable you to go anywhere and compete with anyone.

One thing is for sure….if you want to keep your computer running well you MUST have antivirus protection on your computer. There are many types available and many do not cost anything, but do compare the ones that cost to the ones that do not as you may need to pay for that extra protection.

Here is a list of antivirus programs that you can look over to see what fits you best. Antivirus List

For good free Antivirus software, see the following
Microsoft Security Essentials

Many people do not know that there are differences between WORD commands and JAWS talking software commands. Microsoft Word has thousands of it own built in keystroke commands that have nothing to do with JAWS. If you just want to become a faster computer user with keystrokes and never use JAWS, you can.

This wonderful keystroke feature in WORD, Excel, PowerPoint or any Microsoft product, also gives blind students the ability to go to any computer with memorized steps and no talking software, open WORD (or another program) and do what ever they need, according to their memory of steps, because the keystrokes are already built into the program. It allows sighted people to move just as quickly instead of taking their mouse and trying to figure out where a certain option is in a particular menu.

However, JAWS and WORD together are incredibly powerful. When you are in WORD doing those commands and you want to have JAWS read both characters and words, you hit INSERT+2 and cycle through all the options. If you want JAWS to read the whole page to you, you hit CTRL+HOME and then hit INSERT+DOWN ARROW and JAWS reads the whole page.

These lessons all based on keystrokes, can be found here at www.Yourtechvision.com

Freedom Scientific just released JAWS 13 today

One of the biggest items is Convenient OCR–for all those nasty PDF files that are inaccessible and refuse to be read…AH HAH…there is a solution now

Frequently, you will encounter images that contain textual information. These can include a PDF file, the setup screen of an application, or the menu of selections for a DVD movie. While these images contain text that is readable by a sighted person, JAWS is unable to read the text as it is part of the image.

The new Convenient OCR (Optical Character Recognition) feature enables you to access any image on the screen that includes text. With just a few simple keystrokes, JAWS will recognize the image in a matter of seconds and activate the JAWS cursor so you can navigate the resulting text. The recognized text will be in the same location as the actual image on the screen. In order to differentiate the recognized text from other text that may be in the window, JAWS will use a different voice when it encounters the recognized text. When you activate the PC cursor, or switch to another application or dialog box, the text is removed, and you will need to perform the OCR again.

To use Convenient OCR, the following layered keystrokes have been added:

INSERT+SPACEBAR, O, W. Recognizes the current application window that has focus.
INSERT+SPACEBAR, O, S. Recognizes the entire screen.
INSERT+SPACEBAR, O, C. Recognizes the currently selected control, such as a graphical button.
INSERT+SPACEBAR, O, Q. Cancels recognition while it is in progress.
INSERT+SPACEBAR, O, H. Speaks a brief help message describing the commands in the OCR layer.

Read about all the new features at JAWS 13


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