Re: Learning Jaws and the Keyboard

Lisle, Ted (CHFS DMS)

I never knew any way to learn touch typing except through orderly
repetition. Our typing teacher taught us the home keys, the home row,
and we gradually expanded from there until we could access the entire
keyboard--rather like learning Morse one character group at a time.

Of course, these were the old black and gray Royals--and I mean old! If
we could do that in 1963, I'm sure she'll do fine.


-----Original Message-----
From: jfw-bounces@...
[mailto:jfw-bounces@...] On Behalf Of Matt Dierckens
Sent: Tuesday, March 06, 2012 1:13 PM
To: The Jaws for Windows support list.
Subject: Re: Learning Jaws and the Keyboard

There is a great program by American Printing House for the Blind caled
Talking Typer. THis is a great resource for teaching children how to
type. I'm not sure how much it is as an old teacher of mine had it
installed on my computer for me at the time.
Hope this helps a little,

Sent from my macbook pro

On 2012-03-06, at 1:02 PM, Richard Holloway wrote:

I am a typically sighted parent of a blind child (age 9). I interact
with many other parents of blind children and could use some advice for
my child and to share with other parents.

My daughter was effectively born blind having lost all usable vision
by a few months of age. She learned braille from the start and learned
to type on a perkins brailler first, then started to learn qwerty. She
much prefers to use a braille keyboard on her computer and notetaker
(Apex) as well, keeping a qwerety keyboard plugged in on her computer
for occasional use for certain keys and functions.

My question is this: What is the best way for a blind typist to learn
to use a qwerty keyboard; to do this most efficiently? Is it using JAWS
feedback with the repeating of characters verbally as typed? What about
the braille key caps, or at least braille stickers for keys? (I have
never yet found a USB braille key capped keyboard, only an old PS-2
style unit) I get that touch typing and just pressing down on braille
key caps would be of little use braille-wise, but is is like for sighted
typists, in that it helps get reoriented when your fingers move or you
get distracted, etc., and just to learn qwerty in the beginning? It
would be easy enough to remove the braille and go with a standard
keyboard later on-- conventional keyboards are cheap.

What we end up with as parents is an argument between (mostly
typically-sighted) parents that braille caps are a great idea vs. how
bad of an idea they are to use. I'm not trying to sit in either camp--
I'm wondering which seems to help (and curious about any suggestions of
the best ways to learn qwerty typing without vision).

I don't want to clog up the list too much with this, though it is
JAWS-related, obviously. Please do feel free to reply directly if you
prefer. Your response may be valuable to quite a few parents of younger,
keyboard-learning braille computer users, so thanks for any experience
you may be able to share.

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