October 2011

I have spent the last few days with my mother in law—an incredible woman. She has a bit of age on herself and as many older people she is having difficulties SEEING the computer screen.

So, with indelible ink , using large black letters, I wrote on the hard space of her laptop to help her remember the important keystrokes., pub-3447701155434117, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0

To enlarge the Internet, use CTRL+

To reduce the size, CTRL-

When you are in WORD and having difficulty seeing the words, keep the same font size so you don’t print out large letters, but use a ZOOM effect

ALT+V then hit Z, then hit 2 and enter and you will have 200%. No matter what Office you are using, just keep hitting those keystrokes and ZOOM effects will open

Just little fast keystrokes can make all the difference in your life. For more ways to make your life easier in using your computer,

Lessons to help you

Low Vision Skills-Windows 7 Office 2010

Low Vision-XP-Office 2003

There are a couple great advantages in using Firefox over Internet Explorer (IE).

The biggest one is the advantage of automatic spell check on any and every word you write. It will be underlined in red for you sighted people, and for JAWS users, it will say the word oddly. You can arrow back and hit your applications key (3rd key to the right of the space bar on a desktop keyboard), which is just like using the right click on your mouse. The keystroke is faster—try it out.

The next and most important for any JAWS user is the great accessibility and interaction with websites. Where they are problematic in IE, they are not in Firefox. Even if you do not know the h for headings, or ; for landmarks, you can easily TAB through content, slowly, but TAB through content to move through a page.
For more quick keystroke lessons go to the TAB on JAWS/Internet

TAB through your lessons or Insert+F7 for your links and just down arrow through all the possibilities of keystroke lessons of JAWS with the Internet.


When a blind child first starts school, the child needs to learn everything about the print world AND the blind world. You will need to find the balance between cutting down lessons and still getting the point of the lesson; allowing more time to finish an assignment because the child may be using technology that he is just learning to output work and reading Braille books where he is just learning the Braille code and if he has some sight, may be using a CCTV that enlarges pictures and graphs for math class.

The biggest goal to aim for as a teacher every year is to diminish how many accommodations the child needs. The child needs to get to the point where he can finish the same amount of work everyone else is doing in the same amount of time given. That means the child needs to be gaining enough skills each year to reduce the accommodations.  By high school these accommodations should be very minimal and by graduation, the child can do what he needs to do to go onto college, self-advocate and find the answers he needs to be independent. That independence may be in hiring a “reader” where the reader comes in and helps the student pay bills or shows him the campus so he can travel independently with his cane; the student needs to know all types of technology to scan the printed work the professor just handed out, or the ability to go to the Internet and find anything he needs to complete his work or use an adaptive Braille note taker.

This independence goes after graduation from college to the job when the young person is confident in his/her abilities to travel anywhere, asks assistance for the tasks that are completely visual, but for the most part knows how to take the visual world and put it into a tactile or verbal feedback so he/she can access what is needed.

If you are asking for accommodations by the time you want a job and you are competing with others that are NOT asking for accommodations…who do you think is going to get the job? Go back and get the training you need to gain the skills necessary so you can go in with skills and confidence to do the same job within the same general time period as your potential colleagues. That is the way to compete in a global market that is looking for people with talent and skills to ADD to their business.

Register, Login, Lessons, Contact, About and Your Lessons, etc., are at the top right hand corner of site-If using JAWS, access with insert+F7

Register first–Then Login

Then choose lessons from main menu of Microsoft Excel, Microsoft PowerPoint, Microsoft Word, JAWS/internet, Teacher and other—If using JAWS, access with insert+F7

TAB will always move you through all options

When paying, TAB through options, when you arrive at a combo box, keep hitting U until you arrive at United States, or hit the letter of your country, then continue to TAB through all other options

TAB will always move you through your options

After you pay for you lessons, you will be sent an email with directions

Come back to site and login, YOUR LESSONS will contain the lessons you just purchased. You will have 2 weeks to download your lessons.


I have had many students who fight the chance to become independent because they would rather be needy…worse I have parents who back that neediness up and insist that a para educator be glued by the child's side all day long, walking them everywhere and doing everything for them.

Where this backfires is WHEN the child finally wants to do something, or go somewhere, or apply for a scholarship or an award, they cannot prove to anyone that they can do anything by themselves because they never have. They have never gained any independent skills to even walk from point A to point B in the easiest of locations, let allow to a bus stop or in an airport. They cannot hang up their own backpack or type on a computer nor do their work by themselves. Moreover, the family refuses to let them try because they know they have no skills.

As we encourage children to reach their potential and have them do things for themselves, it will not backfire.

Teaching the children to be assests, instead of deficits, opens up the opportunities.

It takes years to gain those independent skills and the earlier you get started the more opportunity and doors will be opened for you.

Be aware as changes in technology occur. I have been working with several school districts that have been having a terrible time installing JAWS correctly. If your JAWS is not working well, it could be a video intercept problem. This is a major issue –are you getting a video intercept error message? or maybe no message at all and your Jaws just does not work well, which means it very well may be a video card problem..if so–click below and download this lesson to fix the problem

It is an easy fix but JAWS and the hardware of the computer want to use the same video drivers if you only have 1. You can either force the issue to make JAWS work OR sometimes you cannot.

Some of the newer computers have integrated video cards that refuse to move and JAWS will jump in and out of laptop layout and desktop layout if you are using a laptop. The .msi driver, just know it is important, will not load correctly and when you try and use JAWS with a laptop, that the laptop hardware wants to use too, you will have a fight and your talking software will not work well. I have asked leading people in the industry about this who use JAWS all the time. I have asked JAWS people, thus far, no solution.

So, BEFORE you buy a computer, especially a laptop, get the following: A dedicated video card–geforce video card pererrably (this is the one I use with GREAT success) but there are many good ones out there….be careful, there are also many that do NOT work. If you get a dedecated video card, then JAWS takes that one and the hardware of the computer takes the other. Everyone is happy and you have a machine that works well. Get enough RAM also!!! Yes, lots of numbers to look at on those purchase slips, but look for this. Now, I would want 4 GB, but 2GB is ok.

Lesson to help you

JAWS 12-fixing mirror display or video intercept problems

It will take just 37 seconds to read this and change your thinking..

     Two men, both seriously ill, occupied the same hospital room. One man was allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour each afternoon to help drain the fluid from his lungs. His bed was next to the room's only window. The other man had to spend all his time flat on his back. The men talked for hours on end. They spoke of their wives and families, their homes, their jobs, their involvement in the military service, where they had been on vacation.. Every afternoon, when the man in the bed by the window could sit up, he would pass the time by describing to his roommate all the things he could see outside the window. The man in the other bed began to live for those one hour periods where his world would be broadened and enlivened by all the activity and colour of the world outside.
     The window overlooked a park with a lovely lake.  Ducks and swans played on the water while children sailed their model boats. Young lovers walked arm in arm amidst flowers of every colour and a fine view of the city skyline could be seen in the distance. As the man by the window described all this in exquisite details, the man on the other side of the room would close his eyes and imagine this picturesque scene.
One warm afternoon, the man by the window described a parade passing by. Although the other man could not hear the band – he could see it in his mind's eye as the gentleman by the window portrayed it with descriptive words. Days, weeks and months passed.
     One morning, the day nurse arrived to bring water for their baths only to find the lifeless body of the man by the window, who had died peacefully in his sleep. She was saddened and called the hospital attendants to take the body away. As soon as it seemed appropriate, the other man asked if he could be moved next to the window. The nurse was happy to make the switch, and after making sure he was comfortable, she left him alone.
Slowly, painfully, he propped himself up on one elbow to take his first look at the real world outside. He strained to slowly turn to look out the window besides the bed.

It faced a blank wall.

The man asked the nurse what could have compelled his deceased roommate who had described such wonderful things outside this window. The nurse responded that the man was blind and could not even see the wall. She said, 'Perhaps he just wanted to encourage you.'

There is tremendous happiness in making others happy, despite our own situations. Shared grief is half the sorrow, but happiness when shared, is doubled. If you want to feel rich, just count all the things you have that money can't buy. 'Today is a gift, that is why it is called The Present .'

Are you blind and want a way to know what money you are holding? The IPhone 4 offers you an app to do that.

How about going to a restaurant and they have no braille menus. This app also offers you the ability to take a picture and have the iphone read it back to you.

If you would like to know the objects in any cupboard, this app will do that for you too.

An incredible new app that gives so much. Go to this site and watch the demo and read all about it LookTel Money Reader

It is more than a money reader…it does a little of everything.

This is a WOW moment.
SIRI is a new app on the iPhone 4S that lets you listen and respond to voice messages automatically. Send and receive texts all with verbal commands.
Ask for weather in different parts of the world, ask any question and your app will find the answer and tell you verbally the answer.
Listen to how incredible this new piece of technology is:

Apple – Introducing Siri on iPhone 4S

I get many requests from people on how to navigate the Internet more quickly. Many hotkeys can be used without JAWS also.

Here are a few hotkeys to get you going
Hit your windows key+R for your run menu and type in: and ENTER and your Google page will open (you can use your run menu to get wherever you need to go VERY quickly) Your windows key is at the bottom of the keyboard to the far left. It goes CTRL, the Windows Key, also called Start–it is on the right hand side of your keyboard also.

After you enter your Google page, if you are using JAWS and you do not hear him say edit: type a text, then hit the letter E until you hear this, then hit ENTER for forms mode on, and type in a search word, for example type: yourtechvision and hit ENTER and all searches for that word will come up.

Now hit the letter H for headings until you get to the link that says: Blind/Visually Impaired Education: YourTechVision and hit ENTER to open (you will hit H several times to get through your headings)
You will come to my blog with that heading on it, so hit the letter H again until you jump to the heading of YourTechVision and down arrow to listen to the content

When you are done, in Internet Explorer you will hit CTRL+O and in Firefox you will hit CTRL+L to jump to your URL address edit bar. This time you will type in: This is a site where you will type in a question you want to know the answer to. Type: How many blind people are there in the world and ENTER

When the page opens hit the letter H for headings until you jump to: How many blind people are there in the world and then down arrow to listen to the answer
Hit SHIFT+H to go back up to the link and hit ENTER to open the link. When the page loads, jit the letter H again to jump to the heading and down arrow to listen to the content

ALT+F4 to close the page–More quick keys to come–practice and have fun

Lessons to help teach

 Eight lessons on and JAWS  
 Everything you need to use GMAIL in basic HTML or standard view  
 SKYPE—for Regular Vision, Low Vision, and Blind  
 JAWS and Internet—how to get Going and Moving


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