Re: Focus 40 Blue for JAWS

Steve Matzura

I taught myself to type in the fifth grade because I had to submit
three pages of double-spaced stuff for a book report or some other
nonsense, and my family said they weren't going to do it for me any
more, it was time I learned to type. So I did. Accuracy came later
with proper typing courses in school, but every since then, I never
again handed in a brailled assignment unless it was to a blind
teacher. We did what we had to do, and still do.
Communication was always stressed as of the utmost importance to a
blind person. If you can't make your wants and needs understood either
verbally or in writing, you're in trouble deep. Even handwriting, even
if it's just printing capital letters, should be well known and
practiced. You never know when you might need it, either to
communicate with a deaf person, or if you lose the power of speech or
the ability to speak, as I did for six weeks in 1977 after some
serious surgery. Without a pencil and notepad, I couldn't even tell a
nurse I had to go to the bathroom! Pointing and gesturing did not do
me any good at all. I guess I never learned how to gesture (LOL).
Finally somebody brought me a pencil and paper, thinking I could just
write script like any other sighted person. boy were they surprised
when I started block-printing lines and lines of stuff! If only the
Type-n-Speak existed back then, or some other type of communication
device like that.

On Thu, 18 Jul 2013 09:39:51 -0400, you wrote:

As I recall, life in the "technological dark ages", while much less of a hassle for the sighted, caused a good deal of hassle for everyone. We endured what now seems intolerable hassle to prepare even a term paper or the like. Most of us would "hunt-and-peck" (type) our way through preparing any formal assignment and produce a marginally acceptable piece, generally with half a bottle or so of liquid paper "white out" smeared all over the thing to fix "typos", but it was either that, or pay someone to type for us.

This is huge example where students today have a potential for much more of a level playing field. Kids in grade school today do their own web research and word process their own papers, sighted or blind, so long as they have the right skills and equipment.

I don't claim to fully grasp the magnitude of change which technology has brought to the blind, but I figure if I take the changes for the sighted in a similar area and multiply by say, 50 or 100, I might be on the right track. And while we face absurd prejudice and misassumptions daily where our daughter is concerned, no longer is it assumed (by most at least) that blind people need to be shipped off to a special school to live, or that blind people are helpless idiots. It is not impressive that my daughter gets up and goes to school with typical kids. It is not impressive that she swims or dances will be a school patrol or plays in the chess club, etc. That's what kids are SUPPOSED to do. What is impressive is being on the honor roll, as she is, or winning a national competition, as she has done a couple of times.

And mind you, i expect there are still situations where a school for the blind is an appropriate choice, but simply being blind certainly doesn't make that an automatic decision. I suggest it never should have in the past either.

I'm not trying to over-brag. Only to make the point that my greatest wish for my daughter is that she impress others, just like I want my typically-sighted children to do-- through hard work and accomplishment and ultimately through achievement. That, or that she do whatever it is she needs to make her be happy and feel fulfilled in life.

With various e-books and Bookshare, my daughter can access tens, if. of hundreds of thousands of books. With the combination of her Braille display and JAWS, she can access a huge number of web sites, and tossing an iPod and iPad into the mix with VoiceOver, even more sites can be accessed.

I cannot imagine my daughter's life without the equalization of technology, and I look anxiously forward to new conveniences which seem sure to abound in the years to come. All we have to do is figure out how to pay for them! LOL...

Great discussion everyone.

Thanks, Richard.

Sent from my iPhone

On Jul 18, 2013, at 7:47 AM, "Lisle, Ted (CHFS DMS)" <Ted.Lisle@...> wrote:

Yep, that's how we did it. IBM brought forth its first PC, with its glorious 16k of memory, just about the time I was wrapping up my dissertation, so I guess timing is everything. I started using an XT for daily work while I was teaching at University of Louisville, producing all my own exams, and other related material, without relying on my department. I just printed out the number of copies I knew I'd need. I learned my first spreadsheet so I could use it to keep grades. Of course, I had to have sighted help grading tests and papers.

Having lived, and worked, both before and after makes me appreciate what we have now.


-----Original Message-----
From: Jfw [mailto:jfw-bounces@...] On Behalf Of Angel
Sent: Wednesday, July 17, 2013 5:18 PM
To: The Jaws for Windows support list.
Subject: Re: Focus 40 Blue for JAWS

When we typed on manual typewriters, with and without the language accent marks, in whichever languages we wrote, we kept in memory what we wrote, and accuracy was held high as a premium. We were quite aware we would have no spoken or written feedback as we typed. When we wrote papers we Brailed rough drafts, and, if we were particular, we Brailed final drafts as well, and we copied from those drafts on the typewriter. So, we would be aware of what we were writing. I would mark a stopping place with tape on the draft.
That I might return to it when I resumed typing.
We engaged readers, paid for by the state. Which taught us the skills we would need as adults when we hired others to do work for us. Such as reading or driving, or assisting us with other tasks requiring sight. They read to us the comments left on our [papers by the teachers. I hope this assists you in determining the answer to your question. This method worked for those like Robert Erwin, who, in 1904 created the first resource room for the blind in a sighted educational setting. In my own city, I might add. I was taught by his apprentice teacher. As you all know, he was also totally blind, and was a Harvard graduate. Long before all these affirmative action programs, and these student service centers, and the ADA program extant today. Doctor Jacobus Tenbroek, 1916-1968
who, as you know was a renown blind constitutional lawyer. Who founded in
1940 the National Federation of the Blind. Regardless what one might think of the organization itself, how many blind people who are 24 years old today can boast they founded a nation wide organization of the blind. The first
of its kind in history. and the grand and marvelous Doctor Abraham Nemith. like we will rarely see again I fear. Not to mention the fine modern Blind African Ph.D holders who were taught using the technology I listed in my previous posts.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Richard Holloway" <rholloway@...>
To: "The Jaws for Windows support list." <jfw@...>
Sent: Wednesday, July 17, 2013 2:53 PM
Subject: Re: Focus 40 Blue for JAWS

I don't think I follow you-- if you type a paper conventionally, how do
you review / edit it?

My daughter types in qwerty quite well, but if you're typing, unless
you have a braille display and you're typing electronically, how would
you know what you've typed? Screen reader? If so, that's not the same thing.
Screen readers are great, but that's the SCREEN reading, not the student.

Sighted kids can look at what they have written or typed and correct
it before it is turned in. Braille literacy for kids is all about
blind / VI kids reading and writing in braille. For us, the screen
reader is mostly a convenience or things like Web Surfing, where
sometimes there's no practical way to work with a braille display
alone. That, or a convenience that supplements her braille work now and then.
Jfw mailing list

Join { to automatically receive all group messages.