Re: Improving my teaching approach and/or sensitivity

judith bron

I call people who become handicapped due to accident or illness the newly handicapped. I was one of them and, like many people in that boat, my first months and years were spent in denial. Dealing with a new disability is often compared to someone going through the mourning process. If someone becomes blind for whatever reason after being sighted the adjustment isn't as easy as asking someone to help them readapt to equipment designed for the visually impaired. First they have to admit to themselves they have a problem. JB

-----Original Message-----
From: Carolyn Arnold []
Sent: Thursday, February 04, 2016 6:42 PM
Subject: Re: Improving my teaching approach and/or sensitivity

If you have a student who has been able to see, it is innate for us to use vision to receive information. So, it seems good that you have been able to guide that student to the benefits of JAWS, but it is understandable why one might resist it. Unfortunately, there are many people who resist aids, until finally, the benefit soaks in, then, how glad one is to have that benefit. That might be a challenge to you, Brian, sometimes in your teaching.

Bye for now,


-----Original Message-----
From: Brian Vogel []
Sent: Thursday, February 4, 2016 1:19 PM
Subject: Re: Improving my teaching approach and/or sensitivity


Thanks also for your input. The whole, "How blind are you?," question has now become a sort of ice-breaker of sorts. It originated when I didn't know even how to ask the question, and every single client has given a hearty, and sincere, laugh after the question and then gone on to describe what their vision is like now. I then follow up with additional questions regarding residual vision specifics to determine what visual cues, if any, could be used in a meaningful way. One of my most interesting clients has had very variable vision secondary to glaucoma that they "get a handle on" for a while and then "zigs when everyone thought it would zag." He still goes between using portable magnifiers, ZoomText, and JAWS depending on the specific need and his visual status at the moment. It took me forever to get him to focus more on JAWS, and I understood why he resisted when his vision was good enough to access information via magnification alone. Speed was of the essence to him (he's a grad student) and JAWS, even for the proficient, is far from the speediest way to access information if other viable options exist.

I think I may have already given all the "click stuff" in my reply to Cindy. However, I'll do it again here. Click, single click, and left click are synonymous and both can most generally be equated to select (if one is single clicking in the quick launch bar or start menu it equates to activate/start program, but those are specific exceptions). In web browsing a single click does activate a link, but that's context specific, too. Double click, which is a double left click but never said as double left click, is activate or start program (in the vast majority of cases - I can't think of an exception at the moment, but I'm sure there is one). Right click generally brings up the context menu for the item upon which you have PC cursor/mouse focus - what that is when using JAWS can get thorny, but I generally teach people to route PC cursor to JAWS cursor to assure PC focus is where you want it then use the NumPad Star (or right mouse pad button, if on a laptop) to get the context menu to pop-up.

I can see how your question, "I just was wondering why you thought this concept of “clicking” should be obvious to anyone who has never used a mouse?" makes complete sense. At the same time, I stand by my earlier assertion that I think it's imperative to teach what "the common mouse jargon" actually means when people use it, because they will. It's the way that the vast majority of computer users will describe/discuss actions with a general audience, and I want my clients to know precisely what is meant when that happens. You're simply never going to get away from that jargon in the world at large.


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