Improving my teaching approach and/or sensitivity


 

Hello All,

          I have recently been e-mailing back and forth with several members here off-forum about topics and issues that go beyond the scope of discussion here.  In the course of a specific exchange, and from the previous occurrence here of someone telling me, "that's a sighted answer," I composed the following in an e-mail, which I'll share here verbatim:

--------------------------------

            I actually try to avoid purely visual descriptions to the extent I can.  You may find the following amusing, and it took me a long time to get comfortable asking it, but the first question I ask any of my clients when we start tutoring is, "How blind are you?"  I often have very sketchy information about what residual vision, if any, they have and it's critical to know that (and whether it will remain) as far as how to approach certain things.  I then follow up with, "Has your vision always been this way or could you see previously?"  Both of these answers factor in to whether I ever mention specific colors, for instance, because the actuality, as opposed to the abstract concept, of color is meaningless to those who've never had the sensory experience of color.  Everyone, though, has to have the concepts of left, right, up, down in both the vertical and horizontal planes, so I don't hesitate to say something like "at the lower right" because I know that that translates in a very specific way once you have any orientation at all to "how you get where" in relation to your own computer screen.  If this is a bad idea, for reasons I can't fathom as a sighted person, I welcome suggestions as to what is more appropriate and efficient for communicating location information for access.  Mind you, I do use specifics like "in the main menu bar," "in the insert ribbon," "4th button over by tabbing," etc..

            I've never understood "the furor" that some people get into over the use of common computer actions like click, right click, triple-finger double-tap, etc.  I mean, I realize that a screen reader user does not literally click or right click, but they had ought to know that click translates to select (most of the time), double click translates to activate, there exists a "right click" function to allow you to bring up context menus (which are often a godsend), etc.  This is a situation where I actually feel it's incumbent on the student to ask if they do not understand what a specific "sighted" reference which is what they'll always be hearing from someone other than a fellow screen reader user translates to in "screen-readerese."  You're never going to get a sighted assistant telling you to "press spacebar to select/activate" something, they'll tell you either to select it or to click on it.  If you go to training classes for non-screen reader software you absolutely have to know and understand how common computing control jargon "translates" for you.  Mind you, if I've got an absolute beginner I teach the translation at the outset but what I don't do is use screen readerese unless it's essential.  I think that limits independence rather than building it.

--------------------------------

Just as I said yesterday that it is members of the cohort here, not I, who are best able to determine if a given document is accessible via JAWS.  The cohort here is also better able to instruct me in where my assumptions, presumptions, techniques may either be completely wrong or in need of some improvement.

The only thing I will ask is that if something in the above is considered really offensive, please don't excoriate me about that, but make me aware that it is offensive and why.  I am honestly trying to get better at what I do both as a tutor and as a sighted person working with people with visual impairments.  I know that my frame of reference is different than yours, or at least could be, and that it may be in need of adjustment.  The only way I can make that adjustment is to put my thoughts out there and ask for help.

I'll close with a quotation from Carlin Romano that I think has direct parallels here, "When intellectuals take their ideas to the mass market, they are not just doing a good deed for the mass market.  They are doing a good thing for themselves.  The mass marketplace of ideas proves to be a better critic of big assumptions in any field than is the specialized discipline, or one's peers."

Brian


Nicole Massey <nyyki@...>
 

For the congenitally blind you may have problems with directions like "the lower right hand corner" as they tend not to have the relational perspective for such things. The use of accelerators is of great importance, along with things like link lists and the like. Referring to specific controls without a positional reference will work better for blind users.
Think of it this way -- by using a physical layout as a reference instead of these screen reader specific methods, you are doing the same thing as if you were using OS/X terms for a Windows user. The user doesn't function in that environment, he or she functions in one where the screen reader is the interface. Also note that unless the user is working at a higher level in the knowledge worker field of his or her choice, one that deals with high-power cohorts, he or she may never have much reason to even know the sighted methods of accessing information. For most computer users their interest is in getting something done, not knowing how it works, in my experience.
I suggest to any person who works with the blind/VI community to turn the monitor off and the screen reader on from time to time to get a feel for just what the user is experiencing.

-----Original Message-----
From: Brian Vogel [mailto:britechguy@gmail.com]
Sent: Thursday, February 04, 2016 9:35 AM
To: jfw@groups.io
Subject: Improving my teaching approach and/or sensitivity

Hello All,

I have recently been e-mailing back and forth with several members here off-forum about topics and issues that go beyond the scope of discussion here. In the course of a specific exchange, and from the previous occurrence here of someone telling me, "that's a sighted answer," I composed the following in an e-mail, which I'll share here verbatim:

--------------------------------

I actually try to avoid purely visual descriptions to the extent I can. You may find the following amusing, and it took me a long time to get comfortable asking it, but the first question I ask any of my clients when we start tutoring is, "How blind are you?" I often have very sketchy information about what residual vision, if any, they have and it's critical to know that (and whether it will remain) as far as how to approach certain things. I then follow up with, "Has your vision always been this way or could you see previously?" Both of these answers factor in to whether I ever mention specific colors, for instance, because the actuality, as opposed to the abstract concept, of color is meaningless to those who've never had the sensory experience of color. Everyone, though, has to have the concepts of left, right, up, down in both the vertical and horizontal planes, so I don't hesitate to say something like "at the lower right" because I know that that translates in a very specific way once you have any orientation at all to "how you get where" in relation to your own computer screen. If this is a bad idea, for reasons I can't fathom as a sighted person, I welcome suggestions as to what is more appropriate and efficient for communicating location information for access. Mind you, I do use specifics like "in the main menu bar," "in the insert ribbon," "4th button over by tabbing," etc..

I've never understood "the furor" that some people get into over the use of common computer actions like click, right click, triple-finger double-tap, etc. I mean, I realize that a screen reader user does not literally click or right click, but they had ought to know that click translates to select (most of the time), double click translates to activate, there exists a "right click" function to allow you to bring up context menus (which are often a godsend), etc. This is a situation where I actually feel it's incumbent on the student to ask if they do not understand what a specific "sighted" reference which is what they'll always be hearing from someone other than a fellow screen reader user translates to in "screen-readerese." You're never going to get a sighted assistant telling you to "press spacebar to select/activate" something, they'll tell you either to select it or to click on it. If you go to training classes for non-screen reader software you absolutely have to know and understand how common computing control jargon "translates" for you. Mind you, if I've got an absolute beginner I teach the translation at the outset but what I don't do is use screen readerese unless it's essential. I think that limits independence rather than building it.

--------------------------------

Just as I said yesterday that it is members of the cohort here, not I, who are best able to determine if a given document is accessible via JAWS. The cohort here is also better able to instruct me in where my assumptions, presumptions, techniques may either be completely wrong or in need of some improvement.

The only thing I will ask is that if something in the above is considered really offensive, please don't excoriate me about that, but make me aware that it is offensive and why. I am honestly trying to get better at what I do both as a tutor and as a sighted person working with people with visual impairments. I know that my frame of reference is different than yours, or at least could be, and that it may be in need of adjustment. The only way I can make that adjustment is to put my thoughts out there and ask for help.

I'll close with a quotation from Carlin Romano that I think has direct parallels here, "When intellectuals take their ideas to the mass market, they are not just doing a good deed for the mass market. They are doing a good thing for themselves. The mass marketplace of ideas proves to be a better critic of big assumptions in any field than is the specialized discipline, or one's peers."

Brian


Jean Menzies <jemenzies@...>
 

Hi Brian,
 
First, perhaps a better way than asking “How blind are you”, might be to simply ask straight up if the person has any useful residual vision that would be helpful when learning the computer. They will know the answer. lol.
 
As for directional elements, I am congenitally blind and have no problem with that so far as it goes. However, because JAWS works in a linear fashion, the visual layout doesn’t always match up. For example, when people tell me to click on a link on the left of the page, that has no meaning so far as JAWS is concerned. So, that kind of direction is pointless. Yes, thee are arrows to move left, right, up and down, but that is about as far as is important for me in terms of directional visual concept of layout.
 
And, you said:
I mean, I realize that a screen reader user does not literally click or right click, but they had ought to know that click translates to select (most of the time), double click translates to activate ...
 
Gee, huh? I’ve been using JAWS since 2001 and am a fairly decent user. I didn’t know that. I thought click was like pressing enter or spacebar to activate something. I thought double click was like right clicking. And speaking of “clicking”, I still don’t get left and right clicks per se. I know that right click is like bringing up the context menu, but I’m not sure what a left click really is.
 
I just was wondering why you thought this concept of “clicking” should be obvious to anyone who has never used a mouse.
 
Jean
 
 
 
 

Sent: Thursday, February 4, 2016 7:35 AM
Subject: Improving my teaching approach and/or sensitivity
 

Hello All,

          I have recently been e-mailing back and forth with several members here off-forum about topics and issues that go beyond the scope of discussion here.  In the course of a specific exchange, and from the previous occurrence here of someone telling me, "that's a sighted answer," I composed the following in an e-mail, which I'll share here verbatim:

--------------------------------

            I actually try to avoid purely visual descriptions to the extent I can.  You may find the following amusing, and it took me a long time to get comfortable asking it, but the first question I ask any of my clients when we start tutoring is, "How blind are you?"  I often have very sketchy information about what residual vision, if any, they have and it's critical to know that (and whether it will remain) as far as how to approach certain things.  I then follow up with, "Has your vision always been this way or could you see previously?"  Both of these answers factor in to whether I ever mention specific colors, for instance, because the actuality, as opposed to the abstract concept, of color is meaningless to those who've never had the sensory experience of color.  Everyone, though, has to have the concepts of left, right, up, down in both the vertical and horizontal planes, so I don't hesitate to say something like "at the lower right" because I know that that translates in a very specific way once you have any orientation at all to "how you get where" in relation to your own computer screen.  If this is a bad idea, for reasons I can't fathom as a sighted person, I welcome suggestions as to what is more appropriate and efficient for communicating location information for access.  Mind you, I do use specifics like "in the main menu bar," "in the insert ribbon," "4th button over by tabbing," etc..
 
            I've never understood "the furor" that some people get into over the use of common computer actions like click, right click, triple-finger double-tap, etc.  I mean, I realize that a screen reader user does not literally click or right click, but they had ought to know that click translates to select (most of the time), double click translates to activate, there exists a "right click" function to allow you to bring up context menus (which are often a godsend), etc.  This is a situation where I actually feel it's incumbent on the student to ask if they do not understand what a specific "sighted" reference which is what they'll always be hearing from someone other than a fellow screen reader user translates to in "screen-readerese."  You're never going to get a sighted assistant telling you to "press spacebar to select/activate" something, they'll tell you either to select it or to click on it.  If you go to training classes for non-screen reader software you absolutely have to know and understand how common computing control jargon "translates" for you.  Mind you, if I've got an absolute beginner I teach the translation at the outset but what I don't do is use screen readerese unless it's essential.  I think that limits independence rather than building it.

--------------------------------

Just as I said yesterday that it is members of the cohort here, not I, who are best able to determine if a given document is accessible via JAWS.  The cohort here is also better able to instruct me in where my assumptions, presumptions, techniques may either be completely wrong or in need of some improvement.

The only thing I will ask is that if something in the above is considered really offensive, please don't excoriate me about that, but make me aware that it is offensive and why.  I am honestly trying to get better at what I do both as a tutor and as a sighted person working with people with visual impairments.  I know that my frame of reference is different than yours, or at least could be, and that it may be in need of adjustment.  The only way I can make that adjustment is to put my thoughts out there and ask for help.

I'll close with a quotation from Carlin Romano that I think has direct parallels here, "When intellectuals take their ideas to the mass market, they are not just doing a good deed for the mass market. They are doing a good thing for themselves.  The mass marketplace of ideas proves to be a better critic of big assumptions in any field than is the specialized discipline, or one's peers."

Brian


Cindy Ray <cindyray@...>
 

I don’t think he said that the clicking should be obvious if you hadn’t used a mouse. I think he said we needed to know it and maybe understand it. Can’t remember for sure. I know what click and double click are, but I don’t know what it means to right click or left click either. Course I may not be a great user either. LOL.

Cindy

 

 

From: Jean Menzies [mailto:jemenzies@...]
Sent: Thursday, February 4, 2016 11:14 AM
To: jfw@groups.io
Subject: Re: Improving my teaching approach and/or sensitivity

 

Hi Brian,

 

First, perhaps a better way than asking “How blind are you”, might be to simply ask straight up if the person has any useful residual vision that would be helpful when learning the computer. They will know the answer. lol.

 

As for directional elements, I am congenitally blind and have no problem with that so far as it goes. However, because JAWS works in a linear fashion, the visual layout doesn’t always match up. For example, when people tell me to click on a link on the left of the page, that has no meaning so far as JAWS is concerned. So, that kind of direction is pointless. Yes, thee are arrows to move left, right, up and down, but that is about as far as is important for me in terms of directional visual concept of layout.

 

And, you said:

I mean, I realize that a screen reader user does not literally click or right click, but they had ought to know that click translates to select (most of the time), double click translates to activate ...

 

Gee, huh? I’ve been using JAWS since 2001 and am a fairly decent user. I didn’t know that. I thought click was like pressing enter or spacebar to activate something. I thought double click was like right clicking. And speaking of “clicking”, I still don’t get left and right clicks per se. I know that right click is like bringing up the context menu, but I’m not sure what a left click really is.

 

I just was wondering why you thought this concept of “clicking” should be obvious to anyone who has never used a mouse.

 

Jean

 

 

 

 

Sent: Thursday, February 4, 2016 7:35 AM

Subject: Improving my teaching approach and/or sensitivity

 

Hello All,

          I have recently been e-mailing back and forth with several members here off-forum about topics and issues that go beyond the scope of discussion here.  In the course of a specific exchange, and from the previous occurrence here of someone telling me, "that's a sighted answer," I composed the following in an e-mail, which I'll share here verbatim:

--------------------------------

            I actually try to avoid purely visual descriptions to the extent I can.  You may find the following amusing, and it took me a long time to get comfortable asking it, but the first question I ask any of my clients when we start tutoring is, "How blind are you?"  I often have very sketchy information about what residual vision, if any, they have and it's critical to know that (and whether it will remain) as far as how to approach certain things.  I then follow up with, "Has your vision always been this way or could you see previously?"  Both of these answers factor in to whether I ever mention specific colors, for instance, because the actuality, as opposed to the abstract concept, of color is meaningless to those who've never had the sensory experience of color.  Everyone, though, has to have the concepts of left, right, up, down in both the vertical and horizontal planes, so I don't hesitate to say something like "at the lower right" because I know that that translates in a very specific way once you have any orientation at all to "how you get where" in relation to your own computer screen.  If this is a bad idea, for reasons I can't fathom as a sighted person, I welcome suggestions as to what is more appropriate and efficient for communicating location information for access.  Mind you, I do use specifics like "in the main menu bar," "in the insert ribbon," "4th button over by tabbing," etc..

 

            I've never understood "the furor" that some people get into over the use of common computer actions like click, right click, triple-finger double-tap, etc.  I mean, I realize that a screen reader user does not literally click or right click, but they had ought to know that click translates to select (most of the time), double click translates to activate, there exists a "right click" function to allow you to bring up context menus (which are often a godsend), etc.  This is a situation where I actually feel it's incumbent on the student to ask if they do not understand what a specific "sighted" reference which is what they'll always be hearing from someone other than a fellow screen reader user translates to in "screen-readerese."  You're never going to get a sighted assistant telling you to "press spacebar to select/activate" something, they'll tell you either to select it or to click on it.  If you go to training classes for non-screen reader software you absolutely have to know and understand how common computing control jargon "translates" for you.  Mind you, if I've got an absolute beginner I teach the translation at the outset but what I don't do is use screen readerese unless it's essential.  I think that limits independence rather than building it.

--------------------------------

Just as I said yesterday that it is members of the cohort here, not I, who are best able to determine if a given document is accessible via JAWS.  The cohort here is also better able to instruct me in where my assumptions, presumptions, techniques may either be completely wrong or in need of some improvement.

The only thing I will ask is that if something in the above is considered really offensive, please don't excoriate me about that, but make me aware that it is offensive and why.  I am honestly trying to get better at what I do both as a tutor and as a sighted person working with people with visual impairments.  I know that my frame of reference is different than yours, or at least could be, and that it may be in need of adjustment.  The only way I can make that adjustment is to put my thoughts out there and ask for help.

I'll close with a quotation from Carlin Romano that I think has direct parallels here, "When intellectuals take their ideas to the mass market, they are not just doing a good deed for the mass market. They are doing a good thing for themselves.  The mass marketplace of ideas proves to be a better critic of big assumptions in any field than is the specialized discipline, or one's peers."

Brian


 

On Thu, Feb 4, 2016 at 09:25 am, Cindy Ray <cindyray@...> wrote:
I don’t think he said that the clicking should be obvious if you hadn’t used a mouse. I think he said we needed to know it and maybe understand it. Can’t remember for sure. I know what click and double click are, but I don’t know what it means to right click or left click either. Course I may not be a great user either. LOL.

Cindy,

          Thanks for your input.  Since yours is the easiest response to respond to, I'll do it first.

          Your interpretation of what I'm saying with regard to something like double click meaning activate, single click meaning select, etc., is the correct one.  As old school as I am, I often use "Return" for "Enter" and I warn people about that, too.  For those on here who are really old school and of a programmer bent, there are times when CR/LF (carriage return, line feed), the two separate actions that make up an Enter when dealing with text, still occasionally pass my mind.

          Just FYI, any time you hear "click" without a modifier that would equate to a left click on the mouse.  It just became custom to say click "naked" instead of "left click" because right click is used relatively infrequently, as opposed to left click, click, and double click.

          I also should have noted that the majority, though not all, of my clients were formerly sighted and virtually all have some pretty extensive computer experience during that period.  I actually don't think I've had anyone, even who's always been blind, who has had no computer experience at all prior to my services being requested.

Brian


Mario
 

clicking translates to left clicking. I'm not sure about double clicking, maybe it's the left mouse button twice? I know that there's a right click which is not the same as double clicking.

On 2/4/2016 12:25 PM, Cindy Ray wrote:
I don’t think he said that the clicking should be obvious if you hadn’t
used a mouse. I think he said we needed to know it and maybe understand
it. Can’t remember for sure. I know what click and double click are, but
I don’t know what it means to right click or left click either. Course I
may not be a great user either. LOL.

Cindy

*From:*Jean Menzies [mailto:jemenzies@shaw.ca]
*Sent:* Thursday, February 4, 2016 11:14 AM
*To:* jfw@groups.io
*Subject:* Re: Improving my teaching approach and/or sensitivity

Hi Brian,

First, perhaps a better way than asking “How blind are you”, might be to
simply ask straight up if the person has any useful residual vision that
would be helpful when learning the computer. They will know the answer.
lol.

As for directional elements, I am congenitally blind and have no problem
with that so far as it goes. However, because JAWS works in a linear
fashion, the visual layout doesn’t always match up. For example, when
people tell me to click on a link on the left of the page, that has no
meaning so far as JAWS is concerned. So, that kind of direction is
pointless. Yes, thee are arrows to move left, right, up and down, but
that is about as far as is important for me in terms of directional
visual concept of layout.

And, you said:

I mean, I realize that a screen reader user does not literally click or
right click, but they had ought to know that click translates to select
(most of the time), double click translates to activate ...

Gee, huh? I’ve been using JAWS since 2001 and am a fairly decent user. I
didn’t know that. I thought click was like pressing enter or spacebar to
activate something. I thought double click was like right clicking. And
speaking of “clicking”, I still don’t get left and right clicks per se.
I know that right click is like bringing up the context menu, but I’m
not sure what a left click really is.

I just was wondering why you thought this concept of “clicking” should
be obvious to anyone who has never used a mouse.

Jean

*From:*Brian Vogel <mailto:britechguy@gmail.com>

*Sent:*Thursday, February 4, 2016 7:35 AM

*To:*jfw@groups.io <mailto:jfw@groups.io>

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

Hello All,

I have recently been e-mailing back and forth with several
members here off-forum about topics and issues that go beyond the scope
of discussion here. In the course of a specific exchange, and from the
previous occurrence here of someone telling me, "that's a sighted
answer," I composed the following in an e-mail, which I'll share here
verbatim:

--------------------------------

I actually try to avoid purely visual descriptions to the
extent I can. You may find the following amusing, and it took me a long
time to get comfortable asking it, but the first question I ask any of
my clients when we start tutoring is, "How blind are you?" I often have
very sketchy information about what residual vision, if any, they have
and it's critical to know that (and whether it will remain) as far as
how to approach certain things. I then follow up with, "Has your vision
always been this way or could you see previously?" Both of these
answers factor in to whether I ever mention specific colors, for
instance, because the actuality, as opposed to the abstract concept, of
color is meaningless to those who've never had the sensory experience of
color. Everyone, though, has to have the concepts of left, right, up,
down in both the vertical and horizontal planes, so I don't hesitate to
say something like "at the lower right" because I know that that
translates in a very specific way once you have any orientation at all
to "how you get where" in relation to your own computer screen. If this
is a bad idea, for reasons I can't fathom as a sighted person, I welcome
suggestions as to what is more appropriate and efficient for
communicating location information for access. Mind you, I do use
specifics like "in the main menu bar," "in the insert ribbon," "4th
button over by tabbing," etc..

I've never understood "the furor" that some people get into
over the use of common computer actions like click, right click,
triple-finger double-tap, etc. I mean, I realize that a screen reader
user does not literally click or right click, but they had ought to know
that click translates to select (most of the time), double click
translates to activate, there exists a "right click" function to allow
you to bring up context menus (which are often a godsend), etc. This is
a situation where I actually feel it's incumbent on the student to ask
if they do not understand what a specific "sighted" reference which is
what they'll always be hearing from someone other than a fellow screen
reader user translates to in "screen-readerese." You're never going to
get a sighted assistant telling you to "press spacebar to
select/activate" something, they'll tell you either to select it or to
click on it. If you go to training classes for non-screen reader
software you absolutely have to know and understand how common computing
control jargon "translates" for you. Mind you, if I've got an absolute
beginner I teach the translation at the outset but what I don't do is
use screen readerese unless it's essential. I think that limits
independence rather than building it.

--------------------------------

Just as I said yesterday that it is members of the cohort here, not I,
who are best able to determine if a given document is accessible via
JAWS. The cohort here is also better able to instruct me in where my
assumptions, presumptions, techniques may either be completely wrong or
in need of some improvement.

The only thing I will ask is that if something in the above is
considered really offensive, please don't excoriate me about that, but
make me aware that it is offensive and why. I am honestly trying to get
better at what I do both as a tutor and as a sighted person working with
people with visual impairments. I know that my frame of reference is
different than yours, or at least could be, and that it may be in need
of adjustment. The only way I can make that adjustment is to put my
thoughts out there and ask for help.

I'll close with a quotation from Carlin Romano that I think has direct
parallels here, "When intellectuals take their ideas to the mass market,
they are not just doing a good deed for the mass market. They are doing
a good thing for themselves. The mass marketplace of ideas proves to be
a better critic of big assumptions in any field than is the specialized
discipline, or one's peers."

Brian


 

Nicole,

         Thanks.  This may sound like backpedaling but it really isn't, but I seldom do something like that with someone who is congenitally blind, except to tell them how they'd get someone who's sighted and assisting them to know where to look.  I tend to, with all my clients, actually, start out with an instruction like, "Use INS+F7 to list the links on the page," or, "Use INS+F6 to list the headings on the page," prior to giving any other instruction or feedback, if I give any at all.  Since I'm teaching JAWS in the moment the JAWS terminology definitely comes absolutely to the fore because it must.

          I teach, for instance, that when using Windows Explorer or File Explorer that JAWS routinely opens a folder and places you on the first item in the folder, but for some reason it does not (and never has, in my experience) select that first item, so if that's the one you want to operate on you must hit the spacebar to select it first but that if you arrow up or down the thing that you've landed on is actually already selected.  I then make the point that if someone ever says "click on" file X they're telling you to select it or to "double click" they mean to open it/activate it, as the case may be.  As I think about it, I probably use screen layout information very seldom as a part of teaching how to do something, but fairly frequently in just mentioning where the thing that is being worked on is located.  I guess that's because I literally work with the latter method of orientation and know that others will, when trying to help, too.  I never use "mouse references" like, "hover over object X," but will use right and left click references because they're sometimes precisely what one must do, using either the mouse pad left/right click buttons on a laptop if one prefers, or the JAWS equivalent, NumPad slash for left click, and NumPad Star (or asterisk or multiply) for right click.

           I have, but very rarely, done a "turn off the monitor" exercise because I find it so frustrating.  I realize that if I did this more frequently I would develop at least some further proficiency with actual functional use of screen readers.  Like most people, though, I fall back on what's easiest for me and that's frequently because time is of the essence.

           I really appreciate the feedback and insight.

Brian


 

Jean,

         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.

Brian


 

Hi,

 

On many GUI (graphical user interfaces), people would use a mouse pointer (or a touchscreen) to interact with visual elements. By convention, left mouse button performs primary action such as selecting and activating elements (single-click and double-click, respectively on Windows), and the right mouse button performs secondary action such as opening context menus. On touchscreens, a tap performs primary action and usually tap and hold performs secondary action.

Now some of you may ask, “how could two input devices perform same action?” The best way to describe this is that operating systems don’t care what the input devices are as long as they support same set of behavior (called abstraction; I’ll talk about what really goes on behind the scenes later).

 

As for Brian’s question: Empathy is what I think Nicole is trying to say. However, we cannot forget that we the screen reader users also contribute to some difficulties experienced by tutors:

·         Information blackout and missing puzzle pieces: We the blind people are one of the most affected by information blackout (not getting crucial information in time, getting incomplete information, having a skewed set of data to work with and so on). Often, we say we have complete knowledge of screen reading technology when in fact we don’t, often resulting from not getting crucial information about software we’re working with or approaching a concept with missing pieces.

·         Insistence on using alternatives: For certain tasks, it is crucial to use alternatives such as mouse commands provided by JAWS (JAWS cursor) and other features. However, we cannot say a screen reader specific feature is the only way to cross the desert (for this reason, I’m a strong opponent of Research It; although it is useful for many, we can find information via other ways such as Google, news websites and visiting sources Research It uses; for resident NVDA users who are asking for Research It like feature, I’ll not accept such an add-on into our community add-ons site).

·         Being teachable: An indirect learning outcome of tutoring is for students to teach concepts and applications. Some are good at this, while others may need more time to become proficient at it. One thing I’m worried about is our tendency to “just eat whatever is given” without cooking something new. I believe that, as a clean dish is a dish that is willing to let go of what is contained within, we the screen reader users (and students who are tutored by seasoned screen reader users) should be prepared to teach at any moment’s notice (this involves continuous refinement, practice, good understanding of concepts taught by tutors and so on; there is a specific concern I’d like to bring up below).

I think the ultimate question we ought to ask ourselves is, “what can we do to help tutors beyond showing knowledge acquisition?” I think what will bring a smile to faces of tutors is the fact that students are good at teaching others about what they’ve learned, more so now that we are more interconnected and blindness-related topics such as screen readers are receiving more mainstream coverage.

 

Footnotes:

1.       Input abstraction (for resident programmers): Many operating systems can perform same tasks from different devices thanks to a concept called abstraction (technically, this is called “hardware abstraction”). An operating system (in this case, operating system kernel) exposes a set of API’s that device drivers are expected to implement. For example, an operating system may let a user perform primary action from a number of input devices, including mouse clicks, tapping the touchscreen, pressing ENTER from a keyboard and so on. Although different drivers work with different hardware, all of them (mouse pointer driver, touchscreen processor, keyboard driver and so on) will let the operating system see that the user wishes to perform primary action (to a user, it doesn’t matter which input device is used as long as the primary action is performed).

2.       In regards to teaching and sharing content and showing expertise: Teaching isn’t an easy job; it requires patience, practice and building expertise. Even producing tutorials require significant investment. When it comes to sharing content, I believe that people won’t send feedback unless it is widely circulated (hence, I tend to disagree with those who say certain tutorials must be accessible to members of certain lists only).

Hope this helps.

Cheers,

Joseph

 

 

From: Cindy Ray [mailto:cindyray@...]
Sent: Thursday, February 4, 2016 9:25 AM
To: jfw@groups.io
Subject: Re: Improving my teaching approach and/or sensitivity

 

I don’t think he said that the clicking should be obvious if you hadn’t used a mouse. I think he said we needed to know it and maybe understand it. Can’t remember for sure. I know what click and double click are, but I don’t know what it means to right click or left click either. Course I may not be a great user either. LOL.

Cindy

 

 

From: Jean Menzies [mailto:jemenzies@...]
Sent: Thursday, February 4, 2016 11:14 AM
To: jfw@groups.io
Subject: Re: Improving my teaching approach and/or sensitivity

 

Hi Brian,

 

First, perhaps a better way than asking “How blind are you”, might be to simply ask straight up if the person has any useful residual vision that would be helpful when learning the computer. They will know the answer. lol.

 

As for directional elements, I am congenitally blind and have no problem with that so far as it goes. However, because JAWS works in a linear fashion, the visual layout doesn’t always match up. For example, when people tell me to click on a link on the left of the page, that has no meaning so far as JAWS is concerned. So, that kind of direction is pointless. Yes, thee are arrows to move left, right, up and down, but that is about as far as is important for me in terms of directional visual concept of layout.

 

And, you said:

I mean, I realize that a screen reader user does not literally click or right click, but they had ought to know that click translates to select (most of the time), double click translates to activate ...

 

Gee, huh? I’ve been using JAWS since 2001 and am a fairly decent user. I didn’t know that. I thought click was like pressing enter or spacebar to activate something. I thought double click was like right clicking. And speaking of “clicking”, I still don’t get left and right clicks per se. I know that right click is like bringing up the context menu, but I’m not sure what a left click really is.

 

I just was wondering why you thought this concept of “clicking” should be obvious to anyone who has never used a mouse.

 

Jean

 

 

 

 

Sent: Thursday, February 4, 2016 7:35 AM

Subject: Improving my teaching approach and/or sensitivity

 

Hello All,

          I have recently been e-mailing back and forth with several members here off-forum about topics and issues that go beyond the scope of discussion here.  In the course of a specific exchange, and from the previous occurrence here of someone telling me, "that's a sighted answer," I composed the following in an e-mail, which I'll share here verbatim:

--------------------------------

            I actually try to avoid purely visual descriptions to the extent I can.  You may find the following amusing, and it took me a long time to get comfortable asking it, but the first question I ask any of my clients when we start tutoring is, "How blind are you?"  I often have very sketchy information about what residual vision, if any, they have and it's critical to know that (and whether it will remain) as far as how to approach certain things.  I then follow up with, "Has your vision always been this way or could you see previously?"  Both of these answers factor in to whether I ever mention specific colors, for instance, because the actuality, as opposed to the abstract concept, of color is meaningless to those who've never had the sensory experience of color.  Everyone, though, has to have the concepts of left, right, up, down in both the vertical and horizontal planes, so I don't hesitate to say something like "at the lower right" because I know that that translates in a very specific way once you have any orientation at all to "how you get where" in relation to your own computer screen.  If this is a bad idea, for reasons I can't fathom as a sighted person, I welcome suggestions as to what is more appropriate and efficient for communicating location information for access.  Mind you, I do use specifics like "in the main menu bar," "in the insert ribbon," "4th button over by tabbing," etc..

 

            I've never understood "the furor" that some people get into over the use of common computer actions like click, right click, triple-finger double-tap, etc.  I mean, I realize that a screen reader user does not literally click or right click, but they had ought to know that click translates to select (most of the time), double click translates to activate, there exists a "right click" function to allow you to bring up context menus (which are often a godsend), etc.  This is a situation where I actually feel it's incumbent on the student to ask if they do not understand what a specific "sighted" reference which is what they'll always be hearing from someone other than a fellow screen reader user translates to in "screen-readerese."  You're never going to get a sighted assistant telling you to "press spacebar to select/activate" something, they'll tell you either to select it or to click on it.  If you go to training classes for non-screen reader software you absolutely have to know and understand how common computing control jargon "translates" for you.  Mind you, if I've got an absolute beginner I teach the translation at the outset but what I don't do is use screen readerese unless it's essential.  I think that limits independence rather than building it.

--------------------------------

Just as I said yesterday that it is members of the cohort here, not I, who are best able to determine if a given document is accessible via JAWS.  The cohort here is also better able to instruct me in where my assumptions, presumptions, techniques may either be completely wrong or in need of some improvement.

The only thing I will ask is that if something in the above is considered really offensive, please don't excoriate me about that, but make me aware that it is offensive and why.  I am honestly trying to get better at what I do both as a tutor and as a sighted person working with people with visual impairments.  I know that my frame of reference is different than yours, or at least could be, and that it may be in need of adjustment.  The only way I can make that adjustment is to put my thoughts out there and ask for help.

I'll close with a quotation from Carlin Romano that I think has direct parallels here, "When intellectuals take their ideas to the mass market, they are not just doing a good deed for the mass market. They are doing a good thing for themselves.  The mass marketplace of ideas proves to be a better critic of big assumptions in any field than is the specialized discipline, or one's peers."

Brian


 

On Thu, Feb 4, 2016 at 09:42 am, Mario <mrb620@...> wrote:
clicking translates to left clicking. I'm not sure about double clicking, maybe it's the left mouse button twice? I know that there's a right click which is not the same as double clicking.

 This whole "not knowing what the various click terminology means" is a bit of a revelation to me, and I'm thrilled to have it.  It simply reinforces, for me, anyway, my practice of teaching "the translations" for these actions.  It bridges a chasm that need not exist, and that's always a good thing.

Brian 


Gudrun Brunot
 

Hey, Brian: Personally, I am absolutely for including colors in descriptions. Often, the blind user must interact with a sighted family member or tech support person to explain or receive info about what's going on. The more, the merrier--colors, location, shapes, anything that we can be aware of helps. There's nothing "insensitive" in referring to colors.

Gudrun

-----Original Message-----
From: Brian Vogel [mailto:britechguy@gmail.com]
Sent: Thursday, February 04, 2016 7:35 AM
To: jfw@groups.io
Subject: Improving my teaching approach and/or sensitivity

Hello All,

I have recently been e-mailing back and forth with several members here off-forum about topics and issues that go beyond the scope of discussion here. In the course of a specific exchange, and from the previous occurrence here of someone telling me, "that's a sighted answer," I composed the following in an e-mail, which I'll share here verbatim:

--------------------------------

I actually try to avoid purely visual descriptions to the extent I can. You may find the following amusing, and it took me a long time to get comfortable asking it, but the first question I ask any of my clients when we start tutoring is, "How blind are you?" I often have very sketchy information about what residual vision, if any, they have and it's critical to know that (and whether it will remain) as far as how to approach certain things. I then follow up with, "Has your vision always been this way or could you see previously?" Both of these answers factor in to whether I ever mention specific colors, for instance, because the actuality, as opposed to the abstract concept, of color is meaningless to those who've never had the sensory experience of color. Everyone, though, has to have the concepts of left, right, up, down in both the vertical and horizontal planes, so I don't hesitate to say something like "at the lower right" because I know that that translates in a very specific way once you have any orientation at all to "how you get where" in relation to your own computer screen. If this is a bad idea, for reasons I can't fathom as a sighted person, I welcome suggestions as to what is more appropriate and efficient for communicating location information for access. Mind you, I do use specifics like "in the main menu bar," "in the insert ribbon," "4th button over by tabbing," etc..

I've never understood "the furor" that some people get into over the use of common computer actions like click, right click, triple-finger double-tap, etc. I mean, I realize that a screen reader user does not literally click or right click, but they had ought to know that click translates to select (most of the time), double click translates to activate, there exists a "right click" function to allow you to bring up context menus (which are often a godsend), etc. This is a situation where I actually feel it's incumbent on the student to ask if they do not understand what a specific "sighted" reference which is what they'll always be hearing from someone other than a fellow screen reader user translates to in "screen-readerese." You're never going to get a sighted assistant telling you to "press spacebar to select/activate" something, they'll tell you either to select it or to click on it. If you go to training classes for non-screen reader software you absolutely have to know and understand how common computing control jargon "translates" for you. Mind you, if I've got an absolute beginner I teach the translation at the outset but what I don't do is use screen readerese unless it's essential. I think that limits independence rather than building it.

--------------------------------

Just as I said yesterday that it is members of the cohort here, not I, who are best able to determine if a given document is accessible via JAWS. The cohort here is also better able to instruct me in where my assumptions, presumptions, techniques may either be completely wrong or in need of some improvement.

The only thing I will ask is that if something in the above is considered really offensive, please don't excoriate me about that, but make me aware that it is offensive and why. I am honestly trying to get better at what I do both as a tutor and as a sighted person working with people with visual impairments. I know that my frame of reference is different than yours, or at least could be, and that it may be in need of adjustment. The only way I can make that adjustment is to put my thoughts out there and ask for help.

I'll close with a quotation from Carlin Romano that I think has direct parallels here, "When intellectuals take their ideas to the mass market, they are not just doing a good deed for the mass market. They are doing a good thing for themselves. The mass marketplace of ideas proves to be a better critic of big assumptions in any field than is the specialized discipline, or one's peers."

Brian


Gudrun Brunot
 

Turning the monitor off is an excellent idea. I had a trainer in the Washington area who is especially good because he is sighted and use JAWS, just so he'd understand the interface. The sighted trainer has often an extra edge in that he knows what's supposed to work, whereas the blind trainer can get stuck in "there's just no feedback" in a specific tricky situation or a poorly laid-out website. Please, no offense to blind trainers. I've had several who've saved my sanity many times and to whom I am eternally grateful.



Gudrun

-----Original Message-----
From: Nicole Massey [mailto:nyyki@gypsyheir.com]
Sent: Thursday, February 04, 2016 8:56 AM
To: jfw@groups.io
Subject: Re: Improving my teaching approach and/or sensitivity

For the congenitally blind you may have problems with directions like "the lower right hand corner" as they tend not to have the relational perspective for such things. The use of accelerators is of great importance, along with things like link lists and the like. Referring to specific controls without a positional reference will work better for blind users.
Think of it this way -- by using a physical layout as a reference instead of these screen reader specific methods, you are doing the same thing as if you were using OS/X terms for a Windows user. The user doesn't function in that environment, he or she functions in one where the screen reader is the interface. Also note that unless the user is working at a higher level in the knowledge worker field of his or her choice, one that deals with high-power cohorts, he or she may never have much reason to even know the sighted methods of accessing information. For most computer users their interest is in getting something done, not knowing how it works, in my experience.
I suggest to any person who works with the blind/VI community to turn the monitor off and the screen reader on from time to time to get a feel for just what the user is experiencing.

-----Original Message-----
From: Brian Vogel [mailto:britechguy@gmail.com]
Sent: Thursday, February 04, 2016 9:35 AM
To: jfw@groups.io
Subject: Improving my teaching approach and/or sensitivity

Hello All,

I have recently been e-mailing back and forth with several members here off-forum about topics and issues that go beyond the scope of discussion here. In the course of a specific exchange, and from the previous occurrence here of someone telling me, "that's a sighted answer," I composed the following in an e-mail, which I'll share here verbatim:

--------------------------------

I actually try to avoid purely visual descriptions to the extent I can. You may find the following amusing, and it took me a long time to get comfortable asking it, but the first question I ask any of my clients when we start tutoring is, "How blind are you?" I often have very sketchy information about what residual vision, if any, they have and it's critical to know that (and whether it will remain) as far as how to approach certain things. I then follow up with, "Has your vision always been this way or could you see previously?" Both of these answers factor in to whether I ever mention specific colors, for instance, because the actuality, as opposed to the abstract concept, of color is meaningless to those who've never had the sensory experience of color. Everyone, though, has to have the concepts of left, right, up, down in both the vertical and horizontal planes, so I don't hesitate to say something like "at the lower right" because I know that that translates in a very specific way once you have any orientation at all to "how you get where" in relation to your own computer screen. If this is a bad idea, for reasons I can't fathom as a sighted person, I welcome suggestions as to what is more appropriate and efficient for communicating location information for access. Mind you, I do use specifics like "in the main menu bar," "in the insert ribbon," "4th button over by tabbing," etc..

I've never understood "the furor" that some people get into over the use of common computer actions like click, right click, triple-finger double-tap, etc. I mean, I realize that a screen reader user does not literally click or right click, but they had ought to know that click translates to select (most of the time), double click translates to activate, there exists a "right click" function to allow you to bring up context menus (which are often a godsend), etc. This is a situation where I actually feel it's incumbent on the student to ask if they do not understand what a specific "sighted" reference which is what they'll always be hearing from someone other than a fellow screen reader user translates to in "screen-readerese." You're never going to get a sighted assistant telling you to "press spacebar to select/activate" something, they'll tell you either to select it or to click on it. If you go to training classes for non-screen reader software you absolutely have to know and understand how common computing control jargon "translates" for you. Mind you, if I've got an absolute beginner I teach the translation at the outset but what I don't do is use screen readerese unless it's essential. I think that limits independence rather than building it.

--------------------------------

Just as I said yesterday that it is members of the cohort here, not I, who are best able to determine if a given document is accessible via JAWS. The cohort here is also better able to instruct me in where my assumptions, presumptions, techniques may either be completely wrong or in need of some improvement.

The only thing I will ask is that if something in the above is considered really offensive, please don't excoriate me about that, but make me aware that it is offensive and why. I am honestly trying to get better at what I do both as a tutor and as a sighted person working with people with visual impairments. I know that my frame of reference is different than yours, or at least could be, and that it may be in need of adjustment. The only way I can make that adjustment is to put my thoughts out there and ask for help.

I'll close with a quotation from Carlin Romano that I think has direct parallels here, "When intellectuals take their ideas to the mass market, they are not just doing a good deed for the mass market. They are doing a good thing for themselves. The mass marketplace of ideas proves to be a better critic of big assumptions in any field than is the specialized discipline, or one's peers."

Brian


Marianne Denning
 

I won't let a sighted person train me on the computer unless they can
do everything by using the computer like I do. That means, they are
listening to it rather than looking at the screen and clicking the
mouse. I have found 1 sighted trainer who is absolutely the best and
she is my trainer. I am also a trainer who keeps up with private
lessons.

I work, mostly, with students in k-12 and my goal is to make it
possible for them to use all of the programs their sighted peers use.
I have them use background colors, change the color of print, put
pictures in Powerpoint... I have been teaching Google classroom and
Drive recently too.

I do need to ask questions of sighted people at times.

On 2/4/16, Gudrun Brunot <gbrunot@centurylink.net> wrote:
Turning the monitor off is an excellent idea. I had a trainer in the
Washington area who is especially good because he is sighted and use JAWS,
just so he'd understand the interface. The sighted trainer has often an
extra edge in that he knows what's supposed to work, whereas the blind
trainer can get stuck in "there's just no feedback" in a specific tricky
situation or a poorly laid-out website. Please, no offense to blind
trainers. I've had several who've saved my sanity many times and to whom I
am eternally grateful.



Gudrun


-----Original Message-----
From: Nicole Massey [mailto:nyyki@gypsyheir.com]
Sent: Thursday, February 04, 2016 8:56 AM
To: jfw@groups.io
Subject: Re: Improving my teaching approach and/or sensitivity

For the congenitally blind you may have problems with directions like "the
lower right hand corner" as they tend not to have the relational perspective
for such things. The use of accelerators is of great importance, along with
things like link lists and the like. Referring to specific controls without
a positional reference will work better for blind users.
Think of it this way -- by using a physical layout as a reference instead
of these screen reader specific methods, you are doing the same thing as if
you were using OS/X terms for a Windows user. The user doesn't function in
that environment, he or she functions in one where the screen reader is the
interface. Also note that unless the user is working at a higher level in
the knowledge worker field of his or her choice, one that deals with
high-power cohorts, he or she may never have much reason to even know the
sighted methods of accessing information. For most computer users their
interest is in getting something done, not knowing how it works, in my
experience.
I suggest to any person who works with the blind/VI community to turn the
monitor off and the screen reader on from time to time to get a feel for
just what the user is experiencing.

-----Original Message-----
From: Brian Vogel [mailto:britechguy@gmail.com]
Sent: Thursday, February 04, 2016 9:35 AM
To: jfw@groups.io
Subject: Improving my teaching approach and/or sensitivity

Hello All,

I have recently been e-mailing back and forth with several members
here off-forum about topics and issues that go beyond the scope of
discussion here. In the course of a specific exchange, and from the
previous occurrence here of someone telling me, "that's a sighted answer," I
composed the following in an e-mail, which I'll share here verbatim:

--------------------------------

I actually try to avoid purely visual descriptions to the extent
I can. You may find the following amusing, and it took me a long time to
get comfortable asking it, but the first question I ask any of my clients
when we start tutoring is, "How blind are you?" I often have very sketchy
information about what residual vision, if any, they have and it's critical
to know that (and whether it will remain) as far as how to approach certain
things. I then follow up with, "Has your vision always been this way or
could you see previously?" Both of these answers factor in to whether I
ever mention specific colors, for instance, because the actuality, as
opposed to the abstract concept, of color is meaningless to those who've
never had the sensory experience of color. Everyone, though, has to have
the concepts of left, right, up, down in both the vertical and horizontal
planes, so I don't hesitate to say something like "at the lower right"
because I know that that translates in a very specific way once you have any
orientation at all to "how you get where" in relation to your own computer
screen. If this is a bad idea, for reasons I can't fathom as a sighted
person, I welcome suggestions as to what is more appropriate and efficient
for communicating location information for access. Mind you, I do use
specifics like "in the main menu bar," "in the insert ribbon," "4th button
over by tabbing," etc..

I've never understood "the furor" that some people get into over
the use of common computer actions like click, right click, triple-finger
double-tap, etc. I mean, I realize that a screen reader user does not
literally click or right click, but they had ought to know that click
translates to select (most of the time), double click translates to
activate, there exists a "right click" function to allow you to bring up
context menus (which are often a godsend), etc. This is a situation where I
actually feel it's incumbent on the student to ask if they do not understand
what a specific "sighted" reference which is what they'll always be hearing
from someone other than a fellow screen reader user translates to in
"screen-readerese." You're never going to get a sighted assistant telling
you to "press spacebar to select/activate" something, they'll tell you
either to select it or to click on it. If you go to training classes for
non-screen reader software you absolutely have to know and understand how
common computing control jargon "translates" for you. Mind you, if I've got
an absolute beginner I teach the translation at the outset but what I don't
do is use screen readerese unless it's essential. I think that limits
independence rather than building it.

--------------------------------

Just as I said yesterday that it is members of the cohort here, not I, who
are best able to determine if a given document is accessible via JAWS. The
cohort here is also better able to instruct me in where my assumptions,
presumptions, techniques may either be completely wrong or in need of some
improvement.

The only thing I will ask is that if something in the above is considered
really offensive, please don't excoriate me about that, but make me aware
that it is offensive and why. I am honestly trying to get better at what I
do both as a tutor and as a sighted person working with people with visual
impairments. I know that my frame of reference is different than yours, or
at least could be, and that it may be in need of adjustment. The only way I
can make that adjustment is to put my thoughts out there and ask for help.

I'll close with a quotation from Carlin Romano that I think has direct
parallels here, "When intellectuals take their ideas to the mass market,
they are not just doing a good deed for the mass market. They are doing a
good thing for themselves. The mass marketplace of ideas proves to be a
better critic of big assumptions in any field than is the specialized
discipline, or one's peers."

Brian









--
Marianne Denning, TVI, MA
Teacher of students who are blind or visually impaired
(513) 607-6053


 

On Thu, Feb 4, 2016 at 10:49 am, Marianne Denning <marianne@...> wrote:
I won't let a sighted person train me on the computer unless they can do everything by using the computer like I do.

Marianne,

        That is, of course, entirely our prerogative, but I'd sincerely ask you to reconsider it.  Part of what I consider my "value added" is that I can actually construct, for instance, keystroke sequences for unknown/obscure functions in MS-Office programs because I can see feedback that JAWS and NVDA do not (I don't know whether they could not, but it wouldn't be particularly practical) provide "on the fly."  Tutoring is, ideally, a collaboration where each party actually has something that they can teach the other, at least from my perspective.

        It also really narrows your options, too, but that also is your call.

Brian


 

On Thu, Feb 4, 2016 at 10:36 am, Gudrun Brunot <gbrunot@...> wrote:
whereas the blind trainer can get stuck in "there's just no feedback" in a specific tricky situation or a poorly laid-out website.

 Gudrun,

            You've given the perfect real world example of the information blackout that Joseph Lee described and gave the perfect term for earlier.  I cannot say how many times the client I've been tutoring has hit that brick wall through no fault of their own, and it's insanity making.  I absolutely hate to have to tell a client, "I can walk you through this, and you should be able to do it yourself, but JAWS is no longer giving you the feedback you must have to do it."  I realize that this isn't always a JAWS fault, either, and try to report issues to whoever I think might fix them if I think I know who that is and time allows.

            Appropos of information blackout, has anyone else been having the JAWS 17 installation fall silent after the pre-install (clicking wood blocks status sound) phase?  On two separate Win7 64-bit machines, with fresh downloads of the JAWS 17 installer, I've had this happen within the last four weeks.  No problem for me, but talk about maddening for the target users!!

Brian


Walker, Michael E
 

Hi Brian, I appreciate the political incorrectness of using, "How blind are you?" My answer would be, "Plenty blind." I am not sure that you should use this approach with all blind or visually impaired students though. Some might take offense to it. It might be better to rephrase the question to, "How much can you see? Can you see colors?" Etc. I agree with your approach on using mouse terminology that translates to keyboard commands. I am not a blind AT instructor, but as a learner, I wish my instructors would have used those terms more often. I interact with sighted people on a daily basis, and had to get used to how to translate their mouse terms to keyboard shortcuts. When interacting with my manager, I cue him in aloud how I am translating his mouse instructions to keyboard shortcuts, so he knows either how he can rephrase his instructions, or he knows how I am interpreting them. My suggestion would be to use mouse and screen reader terms at the same time, depending on the application and students. I would not totally do away with screen reader speak. Having a moderate view, and open mind, seems most appropriate, allowing for questions, as you suggested. So, use the terms interchangeably. Mike


Robin Frost
 

Hi,
Brian said:
Tutoring is, ideally, a collaboration where each party
actually has something that they can teach the other, at least from my perspective.”
And there my friends is one fine turn of phrase and an indication of the heart of a true teacher in my humble view.
It’s always been my experience that those teachers whether officially certified to be so or just those sages who pass in and out of our lives for a time or forever from whom we gain have two things in common. firstly they are willing to engage in the give and take of learning one from another. Secondly that which differentiates the great from the mediocre is the ability not just to pass along factual information about something but also an enthusiasm both for the matter at hand and the one with whom they're engaged along with the process itself.
I laud you for your willingness not only to do the work you do, for participating in this list and engaging with and helping others you aren’t getting paid to work with but also for being willing to learn from us as well as your students.  Bravo and cheers to you, well-done!
One more point, while it’s true that in many situations in a windows type environment the spatial location of something on the screen doesn’t often come into play and therefore might not be considered as useful or dismissed as something blind people can’t learn or shouldn’t be concerned about I have to say that embracing the iOS platform and its touch screen has taught me that like practicing skills of orientation and mobility in learning the layout of a room I can also learn the layout of elements on a screen if I have to do so. And discovering that I can learn something of such a seemingly visual nature should I need to do so makes me glad to know I can if I must.
Here’s to learning and dialoging (smile).
Robin
 
 
 
 

Sent: Thursday, February 4, 2016 1:56 PM
Subject: Re: Improving my teaching approach and/or sensitivity
 
On Thu, Feb 4, 2016 at 10:49 am, Marianne Denning <marianne@...> wrote:
I won't let a sighted person train me on the computer unless they can do everything by using the computer like I do.

Marianne,

        That is, of course, entirely our prerogative, but I'd sincerely ask you to reconsider it.  Part of what I consider my "value added" is that I can actually construct, for instance, keystroke sequences for unknown/obscure functions in MS-Office programs because I can see feedback that JAWS and NVDA do not (I don't know whether they could not, but it wouldn't be particularly practical) provide "on the fly."  Tutoring is, ideally, a collaboration where each party actually has something that they can teach the other, at least from my perspective.

        It also really narrows your options, too, but that also is your call.

Brian


Angel
 


This is why a sighted computer instructor should either learn to use the keyboard exclusively before attempting to instruct a totally blind individual.  Who will never at all use a mouse to traverse his screen.  Or, he should shadow a totally blind access technology  instructor.  Or seek out Kathy Anne Murtha's demonstration courses.  Which were featured on ACB Radios Main Minue some years ago.  Though They are outdated now.  Hearing them would give the sighted computer accessibility computer instructor an idea of how to properly explain to a totally blind person computer concepts.  To ask a blind person if he is "very blind" is similar to asking a person if he is "very black", in my opinion.  This sort of language gives the idea you, as a sighted person, are focusing more than is necessary on the difference between you, as a sighted person, and the blind person.  When all that should matter is whether or not the blind person will be using the keyboard exclusively or whether he does have residual vision.  I and my totally blind friends also have no trouble with the understanding of directions.  Few people, in my estimation do.     

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Thursday, February 04, 2016 12:13 PM
Subject: Re: Improving my teaching approach and/or sensitivity

Hi Brian,
 
First, perhaps a better way than asking “How blind are you”, might be to simply ask straight up if the person has any useful residual vision that would be helpful when learning the computer. They will know the answer. lol.
 
As for directional elements, I am congenitally blind and have no problem with that so far as it goes. However, because JAWS works in a linear fashion, the visual layout doesn’t always match up. For example, when people tell me to click on a link on the left of the page, that has no meaning so far as JAWS is concerned. So, that kind of direction is pointless. Yes, thee are arrows to move left, right, up and down, but that is about as far as is important for me in terms of directional visual concept of layout.
 
And, you said:
I mean, I realize that a screen reader user does not literally click or right click, but they had ought to know that click translates to select (most of the time), double click translates to activate ...
 
Gee, huh? I’ve been using JAWS since 2001 and am a fairly decent user. I didn’t know that. I thought click was like pressing enter or spacebar to activate something. I thought double click was like right clicking. And speaking of “clicking”, I still don’t get left and right clicks per se. I know that right click is like bringing up the context menu, but I’m not sure what a left click really is.
 
I just was wondering why you thought this concept of “clicking” should be obvious to anyone who has never used a mouse.
 
Jean
 
 
 
 
Sent: Thursday, February 4, 2016 7:35 AM
Subject: Improving my teaching approach and/or sensitivity
 

Hello All,

          I have recently been e-mailing back and forth with several members here off-forum about topics and issues that go beyond the scope of discussion here.  In the course of a specific exchange, and from the previous occurrence here of someone telling me, "that's a sighted answer," I composed the following in an e-mail, which I'll share here verbatim:

--------------------------------

            I actually try to avoid purely visual descriptions to the extent I can.  You may find the following amusing, and it took me a long time to get comfortable asking it, but the first question I ask any of my clients when we start tutoring is, "How blind are you?"  I often have very sketchy information about what residual vision, if any, they have and it's critical to know that (and whether it will remain) as far as how to approach certain things.  I then follow up with, "Has your vision always been this way or could you see previously?"  Both of these answers factor in to whether I ever mention specific colors, for instance, because the actuality, as opposed to the abstract concept, of color is meaningless to those who've never had the sensory experience of color.  Everyone, though, has to have the concepts of left, right, up, down in both the vertical and horizontal planes, so I don't hesitate to say something like "at the lower right" because I know that that translates in a very specific way once you have any orientation at all to "how you get where" in relation to your own computer screen.  If this is a bad idea, for reasons I can't fathom as a sighted person, I welcome suggestions as to what is more appropriate and efficient for communicating location information for access.  Mind you, I do use specifics like "in the main menu bar," "in the insert ribbon," "4th button over by tabbing," etc..
 
            I've never understood "the furor" that some people get into over the use of common computer actions like click, right click, triple-finger double-tap, etc.  I mean, I realize that a screen reader user does not literally click or right click, but they had ought to know that click translates to select (most of the time), double click translates to activate, there exists a "right click" function to allow you to bring up context menus (which are often a godsend), etc.  This is a situation where I actually feel it's incumbent on the student to ask if they do not understand what a specific "sighted" reference which is what they'll always be hearing from someone other than a fellow screen reader user translates to in "screen-readerese."  You're never going to get a sighted assistant telling you to "press spacebar to select/activate" something, they'll tell you either to select it or to click on it.  If you go to training classes for non-screen reader software you absolutely have to know and understand how common computing control jargon "translates" for you.  Mind you, if I've got an absolute beginner I teach the translation at the outset but what I don't do is use screen readerese unless it's essential.  I think that limits independence rather than building it.

--------------------------------

Just as I said yesterday that it is members of the cohort here, not I, who are best able to determine if a given document is accessible via JAWS.  The cohort here is also better able to instruct me in where my assumptions, presumptions, techniques may either be completely wrong or in need of some improvement.

The only thing I will ask is that if something in the above is considered really offensive, please don't excoriate me about that, but make me aware that it is offensive and why.  I am honestly trying to get better at what I do both as a tutor and as a sighted person working with people with visual impairments.  I know that my frame of reference is different than yours, or at least could be, and that it may be in need of adjustment.  The only way I can make that adjustment is to put my thoughts out there and ask for help.

I'll close with a quotation from Carlin Romano that I think has direct parallels here, "When intellectuals take their ideas to the mass market, they are not just doing a good deed for the mass market. They are doing a good thing for themselves.  The mass marketplace of ideas proves to be a better critic of big assumptions in any field than is the specialized discipline, or one's peers."

Brian


Angel
 


Aren't those concepts dealt with by the individuals screen reader of choice?  I use Jaws, and one can single click and double click by using the insert key, plus the Num pad plus or minus keys, and the enter keys when using the virtual Jaws curser.  When introducing the use of those keys, it could be explained the concepts of the single and the double click.  Also, the computer exhibits sounds suggesting the single and the double clicks.  Thus cementing the concepts in the mind of the student.   

----- Original Message -----
From: Cindy Ray
Sent: Thursday, February 04, 2016 12:25 PM
Subject: Re: Improving my teaching approach and/or sensitivity

I don’t think he said that the clicking should be obvious if you hadn’t used a mouse. I think he said we needed to know it and maybe understand it. Can’t remember for sure. I know what click and double click are, but I don’t know what it means to right click or left click either. Course I may not be a great user either. LOL.

Cindy

 

 

From: Jean Menzies [mailto:jemenzies@...]
Sent: Thursday, February 4, 2016 11:14 AM
To: jfw@groups.io
Subject: Re: Improving my teaching approach and/or sensitivity

 

Hi Brian,

 

First, perhaps a better way than asking “How blind are you”, might be to simply ask straight up if the person has any useful residual vision that would be helpful when learning the computer. They will know the answer. lol.

 

As for directional elements, I am congenitally blind and have no problem with that so far as it goes. However, because JAWS works in a linear fashion, the visual layout doesn’t always match up. For example, when people tell me to click on a link on the left of the page, that has no meaning so far as JAWS is concerned. So, that kind of direction is pointless. Yes, thee are arrows to move left, right, up and down, but that is about as far as is important for me in terms of directional visual concept of layout.

 

And, you said:

I mean, I realize that a screen reader user does not literally click or right click, but they had ought to know that click translates to select (most of the time), double click translates to activate ...

 

Gee, huh? I’ve been using JAWS since 2001 and am a fairly decent user. I didn’t know that. I thought click was like pressing enter or spacebar to activate something. I thought double click was like right clicking. And speaking of “clicking”, I still don’t get left and right clicks per se. I know that right click is like bringing up the context menu, but I’m not sure what a left click really is.

 

I just was wondering why you thought this concept of “clicking” should be obvious to anyone who has never used a mouse.

 

Jean

 

 

 

 

From: Brian Vogel

Sent: Thursday, February 4, 2016 7:35 AM

Subject: Improving my teaching approach and/or sensitivity

 

Hello All,

          I have recently been e-mailing back and forth with several members here off-forum about topics and issues that go beyond the scope of discussion here.  In the course of a specific exchange, and from the previous occurrence here of someone telling me, "that's a sighted answer," I composed the following in an e-mail, which I'll share here verbatim:

--------------------------------

            I actually try to avoid purely visual descriptions to the extent I can.  You may find the following amusing, and it took me a long time to get comfortable asking it, but the first question I ask any of my clients when we start tutoring is, "How blind are you?"  I often have very sketchy information about what residual vision, if any, they have and it's critical to know that (and whether it will remain) as far as how to approach certain things.  I then follow up with, "Has your vision always been this way or could you see previously?"  Both of these answers factor in to whether I ever mention specific colors, for instance, because the actuality, as opposed to the abstract concept, of color is meaningless to those who've never had the sensory experience of color.  Everyone, though, has to have the concepts of left, right, up, down in both the vertical and horizontal planes, so I don't hesitate to say something like "at the lower right" because I know that that translates in a very specific way once you have any orientation at all to "how you get where" in relation to your own computer screen.  If this is a bad idea, for reasons I can't fathom as a sighted person, I welcome suggestions as to what is more appropriate and efficient for communicating location information for access.  Mind you, I do use specifics like "in the main menu bar," "in the insert ribbon," "4th button over by tabbing," etc..

 

            I've never understood "the furor" that some people get into over the use of common computer actions like click, right click, triple-finger double-tap, etc.  I mean, I realize that a screen reader user does not literally click or right click, but they had ought to know that click translates to select (most of the time), double click translates to activate, there exists a "right click" function to allow you to bring up context menus (which are often a godsend), etc.  This is a situation where I actually feel it's incumbent on the student to ask if they do not understand what a specific "sighted" reference which is what they'll always be hearing from someone other than a fellow screen reader user translates to in "screen-readerese."  You're never going to get a sighted assistant telling you to "press spacebar to select/activate" something, they'll tell you either to select it or to click on it.  If you go to training classes for non-screen reader software you absolutely have to know and understand how common computing control jargon "translates" for you.  Mind you, if I've got an absolute beginner I teach the translation at the outset but what I don't do is use screen readerese unless it's essential.  I think that limits independence rather than building it.

--------------------------------

Just as I said yesterday that it is members of the cohort here, not I, who are best able to determine if a given document is accessible via JAWS.  The cohort here is also better able to instruct me in where my assumptions, presumptions, techniques may either be completely wrong or in need of some improvement.

The only thing I will ask is that if something in the above is considered really offensive, please don't excoriate me about that, but make me aware that it is offensive and why.  I am honestly trying to get better at what I do both as a tutor and as a sighted person working with people with visual impairments.  I know that my frame of reference is different than yours, or at least could be, and that it may be in need of adjustment.  The only way I can make that adjustment is to put my thoughts out there and ask for help.

I'll close with a quotation from Carlin Romano that I think has direct parallels here, "When intellectuals take their ideas to the mass market, they are not just doing a good deed for the mass market. They are doing a good thing for themselves.  The mass marketplace of ideas proves to be a better critic of big assumptions in any field than is the specialized discipline, or one's peers."

Brian


 

My, but this thread is heating up in a way I'd never expected nor had any reason to hope for.  I want to make sure that I thank everyone offering their input, as it is probably going to become impossible to keep doing individual responses and thanks.  Now I'll do a quick collective response based on backtracking through the thread.

Gudrun:  Oh, I don't ever avoid using color terminology, but I do try to determine whether it has any utility as a cueing strategy or a literal "envisioning" strategy.  I have noticed a distinct difference, and it's unsurprising, between how my clients who have or had functional vision as far as color detection and differentiation go use this sort of information and relate to it versus those who have not.  It's more a function of customizing how I'm approaching things to the client based on my own past experiences with other clients with similar profiles.

Michael:  Thanks.  I hasten to add that the, "How blind are you?," isn't the first thing out of my mouth when I walk through the door.  I do take a bit of time to feel out the person and then determine how to mesh my direct, sometimes smart-ass-y, approach to what I think are their own sensitivities.  There are times where it has been omitted, and it's usually prefaced with, "I never seem to get good information regarding visual status prior to seeing someone, so please don't be offended by my asking  . . ."  I do think, now that I've thought more about it, that I probably do use terminology with a great deal of interchangeability once I know that won't cause confusion.

Robin:  Thanks for the kind words.  It's also interesting to hear about one person's experience with "going touchscreen."  Not a mechanism of input that would likely be the first that springs to mind for someone who's blind, but just based upon what I've already seen with users of smartphones and tablets, it's not the, "How could they/I possibly do that?!!" barrier that many have that initial reaction toward.  It's sort of O&M is O&M, but in a different arena.

Angel:  I value your input, but you are, in all honesty, expecting too much.  I have never expected my instructors in anything to be able to do things in only the way I do them, and that's what you're asking.  And I never asked anyone if they're "very blind," that was a response someone else made to my actual question, "How blind are you?"  If you believe that it is not imperative for an instructor to have a very good idea of a client's visual status, in as much detail as possible, before trying to tutor them that is your opinion, but it does not match mine.  It has nothing to do with the difference between my being sighted and someone being visually impaired, as that fact is established and entirely out of my control.  What I can control is my instruction style based on what I actually know about my client.  I have clients who have reasonable residual vision, and who might elect to use a mouse with magnification, but who elect to use the keyboard exclusively, and that's their call to make, not mine.  Your reading of my language is just that, yours.  I thank God that I haven't yet had a client react as negatively in person as you are here.