Re: Improving my teaching approach and/or sensitivity

Lisle, Ted (CHFS DMS)

What is so arduous about using a common vocabulary.  A mouse click is a mouse click, whether you’re doing it with the JAWS keys or with a physical mouse.  Even the JAWS training material uses this common language, so I see nothing unusual about asking a blind person to learn it.  If you ever have to explain a problem to an IT person, it’ll come in mighty handy.  In fact, I learned again last week that knowing how a program is supposed to work could even help me resolve a problem I was having.


I admit sharing what must have been a common apprehension when Windows began to come on—a fear of being left behind, of seeing hard-won gains eroding, but, like so many of the things about which we worry, it didn’t happen.  Remember trying to access a PDF file in 1995?  Now most of us use them daily. Some things actually get better over time.




From: Angel [mailto:angel238@...]
Sent: Friday, February 05, 2016 6:29 AM
Subject: Re: Improving my teaching approach and/or sensitivity


I appreciate you.  Because you share my views.  As you come from a different perspective than those exhibiting arrogance regarding some things.  The reason sighted people use computers is because they appear easy for them to use.  If they were made to appear as difficult for sighted people to use, as they have been made to appear from reading some of these posts, and it seems, Bryans posts reflect his style of teaching, I doubt many would have the courage it takes to bother to learn to use one.  Computers and smart phones are made easier for all sighted people to learn and to use with each upgrade.  Why shouldn't we blind computer and smart device users share in that fun and excitement.  Rather than causing their use to seem such an arduous task.  Having to learn how sighted people accomplish tasks for those who aren't intending to make computing their career defeats the idea computing ought first to be a pleasurable experience.  The thing which appealed to me first, when I got my Arkenstone product along with open Book one was the simple joy of being able to read the printed page for the first time in my life.  As you all know, the original arkenstone product was simply a Windows 3.1 machine with the Open Book program installed.  Jaws for dos wasn't even installed on the product.  There wasn't even a monitor sold with the machine.  The machine was designed to fit a particular market.  There were those who used Jaws for dos quite successfully.  But, there was a market for those of us who never wanted to do so.  For me, and I am sure, for many of us, there was the mere exhilaration of being able, for the first time in our lives, to go to the local library, as I did, and take print books home to scan for our own private reading.  Such memories won't be easily forgotten.  We didn't have to learn things for which we had no immediate use.  The computing experience should be just as fun for the blind end user as it seemed to me to be then.  No one should cause the learning curve to appear so steep the fun is removed from the experience.  Again, I ask:  If sighted people had to go through learning things, just because they are easier for the instructor to teach, or having to learn so much the fun is removed from the learning experience, how many computers would mister Gates sell?  Even as a child, there were sighted teachers who didn't teach us blind students things.  Because they were too difficult for our sighted teachers to bother to learn, or the sighted teachers didn't want to take the time to learn them.  The Cramner Abacus was one such example.  Which I could well have learned to use as a child.  But, had to wait till a blind instructor instructing for our local agency for the blind introduced me to       as an adult.    ----- Original Message -----

Sent: Thursday, February 04, 2016 5:04 PM

Subject: Re: Improving my teaching approach and/or sensitivity


We haven't missed out on the use of the context menus at all, at least not me.
We are told to press the applications key or the f10 key, which is the same as the right mouse click.
I don't mind hearing sighted jargon as long as it is translated into something I can understand on the keyboard.

Maria Campbell
When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.
--Attributed to Jimi Hendrix

On 2/4/2016 3:53 PM, Brian Vogel wrote:

On Thu, Feb 4, 2016 at 01:34 pm, Jean Menzies <jemenzies@...> wrote:

I agree with the poster that a more appropriate use of language here would be to “select” something, etc. In other words, name the action/result, rather than referencing it through sighted jargon.


          At this point I'm convinced that, on both sides [so to speak - this isn't a battle, it's an exchange of ideas] there is some talking past each other going on.

          I will say this, then I am going to let it go.  I often, probably more often than not, say "select" something when that's what I want someone to do.  I do, occasionally, slip and say "click on" something when I would generally say "select" in the context of tutoring.  It simply happens.  I've been a classroom instructor, too, and you just find yourself occasionally (and, in that situation, almost exclusively) using the jargon of the majority, and when it comes to graphical user interfaces that majority is the sighted and the jargon relates to what they (I/we) do.  I am, however, acutely aware of the context shift when I'm doing private tutoring and adjust accordingly.

          All I'm saying is that I think it's essential to teach my students that should I, or anyone else assisting them, for that matter, say "click on" something that this means "select" something.  I'm not doing anyone any favors by assiduously avoiding any incursion of the most common computer use terminology because my student so happens to be using a screen reader.  I'm doing them a disservice if I don't make the connection clear between what they will hear far more commonly and what that means practically.

          Now, from just what I've learned here, I'm actually shocked at how few people have ever been formally taught about context menus and their invocation via the right mouse click, whether one is using an actual mouse or alternate input device to generate it.  These menus are things of beauty, and high efficiency, because they generally are:  

  1. presented as true menus, which virtually every screen-reader user on this forum has claimed they like best.
  2. present only the things that are possible for the object type you have focus on (though there can be stippled out items if their actual use is not possible given the confluence of circumstances at that moment).

          And, finally, so that I can have people storming all over me and decrying my breathing their air, it's about my making my students maximally functional in the computer world, not the JAWS world, as far as I'm concerned.  That means making sure that they understand concepts that others do one way that they will do another, but so that when that concept is named that other way they absolutely know what that means functionally to them.  You can't, and shouldn't, expect to operate in an assistive technology bubble.



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