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Factors to consider when purchasing/evaluating technology for use with students who have visual impairments

  1. COST-Fundability (What is your budget?)
  2. Weight/portability
  3. Utility (see WHY below)
  4. Intended use vs. need
  5. Adaptability/flexibility/expandability
  6. Compatibility with other systems
  7. Learnability-Learning curve of device
  8. Supportability-(installation, training, maintenance) (from vendor, customers)
  9. Other devices needed; i.e. cables, adapters, software, etc., etc.
  10. Reliability
  11. Student/School Factors
    1. current placement
    2. computer availability
    3. keyboarding skills
    4. student ability (learning modes-auditory, LP, Braille, etc.)
    5. student needs
    6. motivation
    7. responsibility
    8. future placement
    9. school environment

Finally there are some overriding consideration for the purchase of technology.

WHY?

  • Is the requested assistive technology based on an appropriate learning media assessment and an assistive technology evaluation? (see VH Technology Evaluation Checklist)
  • What job will the technology perform?
  • Is it at the appropriate age level for the user?
  • Are there specific IEP goals for the use of the technology?
  • Is there something cheaper/less technical that will perform the job?
  • What will be the next placement of the user? and Will the technology be useful there?
  • Who will do the training of the student? Of the teacher?

Keyboard input, speech output:

  • touch typing skills, (possibly using the system to teach the skills)
  • ability to move from home row to cursor movement keys (possibly using this system to teach the skill)
  • fair to good hearing ability (if poor hearing do headphones help?)
  • ability to understand synthesized speech in word and character mode
  • ability to sequence at least four steps independently (this means using notes)
  • memorize at least ten commands

Braille input, speech output:

  • ability to write at least grade one braille, grade two braille preferred
  • fair to good hearing ability (if poor hearing do headphones help?)
  • ability to understand synthesized speech in word and character mode
  • ability to sequence at least four steps independently (this means using notes)
  • memorize at least ten commands

Braille input, speech and braille output:

  • all of the "braille input, speech output" plus:
  • ability to read at least grade one, grade two preferred
  • ability to recognize and read computer braille code

by Jim Allan and Jay Stiteley

 

Developed by Harris Rosensweig and Kenneth Frasse 14/07/01

Objective of the Assessment Tool

The goal of this assessment is to appraise the skills of the 8 adaptive technology trainers employed by the Royal New Zealand Foundation for the Blind (RNZFB) against recognized best practices in the field. In essence, when properly interpreted, this tool will serve to provide the Foundation with a snapshot of the trainers' skills and areas in which additional training may boost the competency and quality of the training provided its broad base of clients. Finally, the tool can serve as a point of discussion for the future of adaptive technology services and how they are implemented thru the RNZFB.

The tool was primarily developed from the model of training employed at SAF, a non-profit in Sunnyvale, California, and the competencies its trainers require to provide training to its clients with low vision and the blind. SAF has been providing adaptive technology services to persons with low vision and the blind since the early 1970s. The tool was also partially derived from the conclusions of the Focus on Access Technology Conference sponsored by the Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Blindness and Low Vision at Mississippi State University in March, 2000. The specific competencies assessed in order of importance are: instructional technique, writing ability, and computer acumen.

Approximate Time to Complete Each Appraisal: 3 - 3.5 hours or 2 per day

Special Instructions and Equipment Needed for Appraisals: Notification of each trainer of need to present in lecture style for 5 minutes on any piece of adaptive hardware or software to someone who has never used this hardware or software before (see Instructional Technique Lecturing Skills). Also, the assessor will need access to a computer with the following specifications: Pentium II or better, Windows 98 or ME, Microsoft Office 97 or 2000, JAWS for Windows and/or Window Eyes speech synthesis software, ZoomText and/or SuperNova display magnification software, and Kurzweil 1000 and/or OpenBook Ruby OCR software as part of the assessment.

Credentials of the Assessor

  • 11+ years experience working with persons with low vision and the blind around issues of technology and employment
  • Masters of Science in Rehabilitation Engineering Technology (San Francisco State University)
  • Management experience over past 5 years in department of 4 Access Technology Specialist staff
  • Managed and maintained $150,000+ (USD) access technology lab
  • Extensive public speaking experience on wide array of topics concerning service delivery with persons with low vision and the blind

Introduction (approximately 5-10 minutes)

Assessor's Notes

The introductory questions below are primarily intended for the assessor that may serve as the trainer's future manager. These questions are not needed as part of the overall appraisal.

Date:
Name of Trainer being assessed:
Appraisal location:
Location trainer currently works at:
How long a trainer?
Primary mainstream and access technology applications taught by the trainer:
Braille Skills: Grade I, II?
Training experience: 1:1, classroom, or both:
How did they acquire their training to become a trainer?
What skills do they believe they are lacking?
Do they understand the objective of this appraisal?
Explain assessor's role and credentials.

Competency I: Instructional Technique

(maximum score: 40 points)

(approximate assessment time: 1.5 hours)

Assessor's Notes

The key competency that any trainer should possess is sound instructional technique. They must be able to demonstrate keen analytical abilities to design curriculum, lesson plans, and related instructional materials. Trainers must also be able to understand how to relate their instructional materials into coherent lectures that emphasize techniques persons with low vision and the blind need to become effective users of mainstream and adaptive technology. Trainers also need to be flexible and adapt to the different types of clients they train. 

Analytical Skills (12 points)

Question 1 (4 points)

You are given a brand new notetaking device and asked to teach it in an upcoming class in one week. How would you prepare? How much time would you allot in your preparation?

Assessor's Notes

The assessor should be looking for the following from the trainer: how they would determine what features are important about the notetaker for teaching purposes, how they would learn these features and if they allot a realistic amount of time to the task.

Rating: _____

Question 2 (4 points)

You are a part of a team of adaptive technology specialists and act as the on-site trainer. The technology specialist has just finished an extensive scripting (configuring) job in JAWS for Windows with two of the mainstream applications at the job site. The client is now ready to be trained on the applications. What process do you go through to come up with a training plan?

Assessor's Notes

The assessor is looking at the trainer's thought process. If they ask to interview the technology specialist and to ask what was configured, what screens, what functions, what are the client's abilities with access technology, etc.

Rating: _____

Question 3 (4 points)

If someone called you and said that they were working in customer service, had just lost a lot of vision, and wanted to get training on some access technology what questions would you want to ask?

Assessor's Notes

Emphasis is on analytical ability and understanding of functional vision assessment e.g. the types of questions the trainer asks about the client's vision, what tasks need to be performed, applications and operating environment, etc.

Rating: _____

Total Score Analytical Skills: ______

Diplomacy Skills (maximum score: 8 points)

Question 1 (4 points)

After seven months of individualized training, a client complains to the Divisional Manager of the RNZFB that his training has not been focused or effective. The Divisional Manager is confused and wants a meeting with all parties. How would you proceed and what are the missing elements.

Assessor's Notes

This question should have the trainer reflecting on the notetaking they would've done over the course of the client's training, lesson plans taught, etc. How would they prepare for the meeting with the Manager?

Rating: _____

Question 2 (4 points)

Suppose you were in week 2 of training someone with low vision who aspires to work in customer service and whose primary means of accessing a computer has been display magnification software e.g. ZoomText Xtra. You notice that they are leaning in to within one inch of the monitor and have the magnification software set to 6x. Despite their obvious difficulties navigating the screen the person insists on using their vision. How would you approach the situation?

Assessor's Notes

Show's how the trainer may address the sensitive issue of vision loss. How do they speak with the client. What approach would they take to improve the client's access to a computer?

Rating: _____

Total Score Diplomacy Skills: _____

Lecturing Skills (maximum score: 20 points)

Task 1 (5 points)

The trainer is given advance notice that they will need to present in lecture style on any technology topic either software or hardware for 5 minutes to someone whose never seen or used this software or hardware before. The topic should have a beginning and an end.

Assessor's Notes

The topic should be clearly and concisely presented with a beginning and an ending.

Rating: _____

Task 2 (Windows Explorer)

Assessor's Notes

No advance notice is to be given to the trainer for this task!

Question 1 (5 points)

Teaching in lecture style, when would you tell a blind person to use Windows Explorer versus the Save As or Open menu items in an application? Note: Teach the assessor as though he is a beginning computer user

Assessor's Notes:

Answer is that you use Windows Explorer when you need to move or copy many files or create new folders. Time is important here, the trainer should take no more than 2-3 minutes to answer this question in lecture format. Presentation should be in lecture style and not conversational.

Rating: _____

Question 2 (5 points)

In lecture style, please explain the tree view and list view in Windows Explorer, the relationship between these two views, and how to navigate between them. Again, assume that the student is a beginning computer user.

Assessor's Notes

The trainer should be given access to a computer which has a speech synthesis program and Windows Explorer already running. The key to this question is how well the trainer explains these views. The tree view is often compared to a filing cabinet. SAF has found that it is best to not expand the tree view, but to TAB to the list view and to use the Enter and Backspace keys to move through folders. The primary areas of the tree view to cursor between are the 3 ½ floppy drive, C drive, and CD-ROM.

Rating: _____

Question 3 (5 points)

In lecture style, present how to select individual, contiguous, non-contiguous, and an entire folder's files in list view. Once the files have been selected what are the hotkeys to copy and paste these files. Again, assume a beginning computer user.

Assessor's Notes

The trainer should be given access to a computer which has a speech synthesis program and Windows Explorer already running. To select first file hit spacebar, alternatively move cursor to file or use first letter convention, contiguous file selection (shift and up and down arrows), non-contiguous file selection, hold down Control key as spacebar over each file to be selected, select all files in a folder (Control + A). Copy (Control + C), Paste (Control + V)

Rating: _____

Total Score Instructional Technique: _____

Competency II: Writing Ability

(maximum score: 30 points)

(approximate assessment time: 30 minutes)

Assessor's Notes

A trainer should be able to clearly document their interactions with clients and to write coherent letters to referral sources. Furthermore, they need to write lesson plans, class exercises, and instructional materials as part of their training activities. Specific attention should be paid to the coherence, structure, and content of their writing samples.

Task 1 (10 points)

The trainer is advised prior to the appraisal to bring in a recent writing sample (1-2 pages), preferably a business letter, research paper, or technical writing example.

Assessor's Notes

Fewer points are given to this writing task because the trainer has had time to prepare. Also, this writing sample can be scored during one of the breaks or at the completion of the appraisal. The following breakdown of points is suggested for this task:

  • Coherence: 5 points
  • Grammar: 3 points
  • Spelling and formatting: 2 points

Rating: _____

Task 2 (20 points)

The trainer is asked to write a business letter to the Disability Coordinator of a college that his client will be attending. The client has been assessed by the RNZFB and will need a computer, speech synthesis and OCR software, and a scanner to successfully perform their duties as a student. The trainer has access to a computer with any access technology they need to complete this task.

Assessor's Notes

More points are given to this writing task because the trainer must write a letter during the appraisal. The following breakdown of points is suggested for this task:

  • Coherence: 10 points
  • Grammar: 5 points
  • Spelling and formatting: 5 points

Rating: _____

Total Writing Ability Score: _____

***5-10 minute break***

Competency III: Computer Acumen

(maximum score: 30 points)

(approximate assessment time: 1.5 hours)

Assessor's Notes

A core knowledge of mainstream and adaptive technology is critical for the successful trainer. This knowledge should include basic skills in troubleshooting and configuring these technologies. The assessor should examine the trainer's technique and how clearly they describe to the assessor what they are doing. Teaching ability and computer acumen are examined in these questions.

A. Access Technology

Speech Synthesis (10 points)

Question 1 (1 point)

What are the two components that comprise speech synthesis?

Assessor's Notes

The correct answer is: a synthesizer and speech synthesis software

Rating: _____

Question 2 (1 point)

Can you adjust the speech rate for a particular speech synthesis program? If so, describe how you would do it.

Assessor's Notes

The assessor should look for the keystrokes the trainer uses to adjust the speech rate and if they ask for the specific speech rate to be adjusted e.g. global, keyboard, etc.

Rating: _____

Question 3 (1 point)

Have you installed a speech synthesis program before? If so, describe three key areas of the installation process.

Assessor's Notes

Some acceptable areas are as follows: choosing speech synthesizer, choosing Braille display and the port the display is connected to, selecting pre-configured application files to load, authorization key (if JAWS)

Rating: _____

Question 4 (3 points)

Can you create a frame/monitored area around a specific section e.g. clock in the system tray of a Windows 9x window using a speech synthesis program? If so, describe how you would go about creating this area.

Assessor's Notes

The assessor should examine the trainer's technique and how clearly they describe to the assessor what they are doing. Teaching ability and computer acumen are examined in these questions.

Rating: _____

Question 5 (4 points)

Have you performed any configuration with a speech synthesis program to customize how it responds with a specific mainstream application? If so, describe the problem you were faced with and the process you used to configure the speech program. Be as specific as possible.

Assessor's Notes

Again, the assessor is looking for the trainer's presentation style and their knowledge of how to configure a speech program.

Rating: _____

Display Magnification Software (6 points)

Question

What are the 4 primary features of a display magnification program that someone with low vision may find useful?

Assessor's Notes

The following will suffice: enlargement of text, enhancement of contrast, enlarge and enhance mouse cursor, alternative views, monitored areas

Rating: _____

Optical Character Recognition Software (2 points)

Question 1 (1 point)

Name two OCR programs

Assessor's Notes

Kurzweil 1000 and OpenBook Ruby

Rating: _____

Question 2 (1 point)

Define the term decolumnization.

Assessor's Notes

Decolumnization is the process by which an OCR program converts a document with a columnar structure e.g. newspaper article into a single column of text with all columns in the proper reading order.

Rating: _____

Windows Accessibility (2 points)

Name at least 4 accessibility features built-in to Windows 9x for persons with low vision.

Assessor's Notes

The following responses are acceptable: e.g. display schemes, small fonts/large fonts in: control panel, display, settings tab, advanced button, general tab, font size; mouse trails, mouse settings, changing screen resolution

Rating: _____

***10 minute break***

B. Mainstream Technology

Basic Computer Knowledge (2 points)

Name 5 ports on the back of a modern computer and peripherals that may be connected to these ports.

Assessor's Notes
  1. Serial or COM port: external synthesizer, Braille display
  2. USB port: scanner or mouse
  3. Display adapter: monitor
  4. Mini-DIN or keyboard port: keyboard or mouse
  5. Parallel or printer port: printer

Rating: _____

Troubleshooting Software (2 points)

You are working on a computer with speech synthesis in Windows 98. You notice that instead of speaking the labels associated with icons and graphics, your speech synthesis only says "graphic" where it once spoke text labels. What would you do to remedy this problem?

Assessor's Notes

Lower the number of colors in display properties

Rating: _____

Troubleshooting Hardware/Software (2 points)

You're working on a system that has an HP 6250C scanner with Automatic Document Feeder and OpenBook Unbound OCR software. When you load OpenBook you find that the software no longer recognizes the scanner. What process do you go through to troubleshoot?

Assessor's Notes

Look for the trainer's process. Is the scanner on, cabling, testing for scanner's presence via control panel, reinstalling the scanner driver to name a few

Rating: _____

Troubleshooting Hardware/Software (2 points)

You turn on a computer that has Windows 9x and speech synthesis on it. Once Windows has fully booted you notice that you don't hear any sound from the computer either from Windows or the speech synthesis software. How do you troubleshoot the problem?

Assessor's Notes:

The trainer will be let off easy on this question since the problem is that the speakers were not turned on or the stereo jack has slipped out of the sound card connector.

Rating: _____

Analytical (2 points)

You are given a Windows application you have never seen before e.g. Joe's database. How would you assess the accessibility of Joe's database for someone whose primary method of accessing a computer was speech synthesis? State the process by which you would determine if that application is accessible. What other technologies might you introduce to aid in the determination of accessibility?

Assessor's Notes:

The assessor should be looking for the trainer's ability to demonstrate their knowledge of how to analyze unknown applications. The trainer should mention some of the following: logical TAB order, tracking of the focus, hotkeys and accelerator keys to facilitate movement to specific Windows objects, mimicking of field information on a status line, Windows objects have unique Control Ids, field name and field data spoken as user TABs through fields. The last question invites the trainer to indicate if they have experience working with refreshable Braille displays.

Rating: _____

Trainer Appraisal Rating Sheet

Date and Location of Appraisal: ____________________

Name of Trainer: ____________________

Name of Assessor: ____________________

Instructional Technique Score: _____ _____ (max)

Writing Ability Score: _____ _____ (max)

Computer Acumen Score: _____ _____ (max)

Total Score: _____ _____ (max)

Comments:

Harris Rosensweig
Manager Adaptive Technology
Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind
Private Bag 99941, Newmarket, Auckland, 1031, New Zealand
Phone +64 9 355-6904
Fax +64 9 355-6919
Cell +64 21 545-001
Web site http://www.rnzfb.org.nz

GOAL

To assess the client's typing speed, familiarity with the keyboard, and reading comprehension for admission to the Basic Computing Course.

GENERAL INFORMATION

Client Name:

Phone Number

Mailing Address:

E-mail Address:

Contact Name:

Phone Number:

Screening and Assessment Date:

Client's Training Goal:

Preferred Format:

Administered by:

INTRODUCTORY INTERVIEW

  1. What do you know about your eye condition (name etc)?
  2. How best would you describe your sight loss, 1 being totally blind, and 10 being fully sighted?
    NOTE: if student is totally blind do not ask questions that require 'Not Applicable' answers.
  3. If you have some vision, can you explain what your vision is like (no central vision or no peripheral vision)?
  4. Have you had a recent low vision examination?
  5. Have you noticed any changes in your vision in the last few months? If so, please could you explain?
  6. Have you had any eye surgery in the last few months? If so, what type of surgery?
  7. How is your vision today? Explain if sight is different.
  8. How do you find the lighting in the training room? Is it too bright, or not bright enough?
  9. Are you taking any medication or have any medical condition that you feel we need to be aware of e.g. heart or diabetes?

MOBILITY

  1. Do you use a guide dog, cane or other mobility device to assist you?
  2. Do you travel independently?
  3. If you need assistance, what type of assistance would you require?
  4. Are you able to travel independently to the course each day?

KEYBOARDING ASSESSMENT

NOTE: Prior to commencing this task, discuss with the student their seating position and posture. Ensure the student is seated square on to the keyboard and that there are no obstructions between their hands and the keyboard, or their feet with the floor.

  1. Keyboard Navigation: Locate the following keys:
    1. Spacebar
    2. Home row keys
    3. Shift key
    4. Enter key
    5. Escape key.
  2. Proficiency - moving around the keyboard after initial orientation: Ask student to locate the following keys:
    1. Numeric keypad
    2. Cursor/arrow keys
    3. Tab key
    4. Control Windows and Alt keys
    5. Insert Key
    6. Delete Key
    7. Home key
    8. End Key
    9. Page up and Page down keys
  3. Ability to use and find multiple key combinations: Ask student to locate the following keys:
    1. Control + ALT + Delete
    2. Shift + Tab
    3. Control + Escape
    4. Control + Right Arrow
    5. Insert + t
    6. Alt + t
  4. Typing Speed
    NOTE:
    a) Minimum of 15 words per minute for clients involved in job placement.
    b) Minimum of 10 words per minute for homemakers and students

Client Typing Test:

  1. Explain purpose of typing test and how the test will be carried out.
  2. If student hasn't used Talking Typer before, then, explain how the program works and let them practice using the home key exercises.
  3. Ensure that they have used the Tab key to hear the exercise again and the Tab key twice to spell out a word.
  4. Alter speed and pitch of voice, volume and/or point size as required.
  5. Test student's typing using exercise (to be advised) and (to be advised).

Reading Comprehension Assessment

NOTE: For this task ensure that you have a copy of the text below or similar material, in a range of formats. If the student uses a print copy, check to see if they will require the use of a CCTV.

"Communication involves both mind and body. Most people think of communication as words and language. But language is only a small part of total communication. Several other factors affect the meaning of your message. Gestures, facial expressions, and voice tone and inflection can change the intended meaning of the message. As a result, customers may not always hear and understand what you intend for them to hear and understand. By paying attention to both verbal and nonverbal messages, you can positively shape communication with your customers.

Oral communication is more than just spoken words. Most important it is not so much what you say as how you say it. Only 20% of your message is communicated face-to-face through words; 45% is communicated by the quality of your voice tone and inflection. The rest of your message is transmitted through body language or nonverbal communication."

NOTE: If above text is used, then ask the following questions. If one of the tutorials was used, you will need to ask the student to complete the number of tasks, as outlined in the actual tutorial.

  1. What is the main topic?
  2. What are the three factors that affect the meaning of a message?
    1.  
    2.  
    3.  
  3. What percent of the message is communicated by the quality of your voice tone and inflection?
  4. Complete the sentence: Communication involves both
    1.  
    2.  

SPELLING AND WORD IDENTIFICATION

Part A - Spelling

Please spell the following words:

  1. believe
  2. government
  3. changeable
  4. attention
  5. budget

Part B - Word Identification

NOTE: Read the word in question, then read the entire sentence, followed by the re-reading of the word in question. Students are then required to provide the correct spelling of the word in question.

  1. It's your job to see that (there, their, they're) reports are turned in on time.
  2. I have shown him how to order (stationary, stationery) and other supplies.
  3. I will be going (to, too, two) the store in (to, too, two) hours, would you like to go (to, too, two)?
  4. The (breaks, brakes) on my car are shot.
  5. The (principal, principle) behind his investment policy is "Buy low and sell high."

COMPUTER SKILLS ASSESSMENT

  1. What is your experience and knowledge in the following?
    1. What access technology are you familiar with and/or do you currently use? Please describe in detail including size of monitor.
    2. What operating system do you have experience using?
    3. What Windows applications have you used?
    4. When opening, closing applications or, accessing icons or menus, do you use the Keyboard or the Mouse?
  2. Low Vision Computer Assessment
    NOTE: If the student is totally blind or uses a screen reader and doesn't require or use visual prompts DO NOT assess the following.
    1. What monitor size gives the best viewable area with Window default settings?
    2. What monitor size gives the best viewable area using Windows enhanced features?
    3. What monitor size gives the best viewable area with Windows default settings and Magnification software set at 2 times magnification?
    4. What monitor size gives the best viewable area with Windows default settings and Magnification software set at 4 times magnification?
    5. Which of the above options enabled the student to read information comfortably while retaining good posture?
  3. Windows and Program Actions
    NOTE: The following tasks can be performed by the student using either the Keyboard or the Mouse. DO NOT ask these questions if the Student has not used Windows or Windows Applications.
    Using the Start menu and submenus open/start the following applications.
    1. Start or load, Jaws or other Adaptive software such as Zoomtext or Magic
    2. Open and exit Microsoft Word.
    3. Open and exit Notepad.
    4. Open Windows Explorer.
    5. Move between Windows explorer panes.
    6. Switch between open applications.
    7. Activate/leave menu bar/accelerator keys.
    8. Minimize/maximize windows.
    9. Locate the My Document folder and select a file.
    10. Delete file.
    11. Select sequential/non sequential files.
    12. Use 'Find' from Start menu.
    13. Minimize all open applications and move focus to Desktop.
    14. Move focus to Toolbar.
    15. Activate Recycle bin.
    16. Restore deleted file.
  4. Word
    1. Have you used Microsoft Word?
    2. Open Word.
    3. Open file from drive A:
    4. Move cursor by character/word/paragraph/page.
    5. Move cursor to top/bottom, start/end of line.
    6. Delete character/word (using Delete and Backspace).
    7. Jaws users, read current line/whole document.
    8. Jaws users, read current word/spell word/character.
    9. Select word/paragraph/all.
    10. Copy/cut/paste.
    11. Change font/size/appearance.
    12. Paragraph alignment left/center/right.
    13. Create/delete page break.
    14. Add/delete blank lines.
    15. Change line spacing.
    16. Change top/bottom/left/right margin settings.
    17. Change page orientation portrait/landscape.
    18. Activate spell check change/ignore/undo edit (Insert F7, Insert C).
    19. Jaws users, read status line.
    20. Jaws users to read toolbars.
    21. Jaws users, cursor to move to status line.
    22. Jaws users, change voice rate/save settings in Word.
    23. Save document and close file.
    24. Make changes, save and ignore changes.
    25. Open files from My Document.
    26. Change folders in Open dialogue box.
    27. Move between open files.
    28. Add/remove ruler/formatting/standard toolbars.
    29. Change units of measure/file location.
    30. Print selectively odd page/selected text/envelopes.
  5. Microsoft Outlook
    1. Open Outlook.
    2. Open E-mail .
    3. Move from list view to tree view.
    4. Create a new message.
    5. Print a message.
    6. Close an open message.
    7. Add contacts to address book.
    8. Create a group mailing list and add to the contacts address book.
    9. Send a message to a group mailing list.
    10. Forward message.
    11. Reply to message.
    12. Send and receive mail.
    13. Move messages to another folder.
    14. Create a note.
    15. Create a journal entry.
    16. Make an appointment in your calendar.
    17. Review appointments.
    18. Modify appointments.
    19. Exit Outlook.
  6. Internet Explorer
    1. Have you used Microsoft Internet Explorer?
    2. Can you navigate between links?
    3. Can you type in a web page address and go to the page?
    4. Do you know what a search engine is?
    5. Can you use a search engine?
    6. Do you know how to download a file?
    7. Jaws users - can you bring up a list of links?
    8. Jaws users - can you move from one frame to another?
    9. Jaws users - what is forms mode?
  7. Microsoft Excel
    1. Have you used Microsoft Excel?
    2. Can you Navigate cells?
    3. Can you edit cells?
    4. Can you enter data?
    5. Can you alter formatting to include headers/footers?
    6. Can you use basic Formulas to sort or add columns?
    7. Can you use the graphs option?
  8. Microsoft Access
    1. Have you used Microsoft Access?
    2. Can you Navigate, and edit data tables?
    3. Can you Design/modify tables?
    4. Can you Design/modify queries?

WRITING SAMPLE

Time allocation - 20 minutes

Goal: To assess an individual's ability to communicate in writing.

Scenario

You have applied for and been granted a computer system from Gifts Inc. and you wish to thank them. Write a thank you letter to Mr John Smith at Gifts Inc.

Instructions

1. Use to the best of your abilities, proper letter format, paragraph form, sentence structure and punctuation.

2. The letter is coming from you personally.

3. The letter is going to:

Mr John Smith

Gifts Inc.

PO Box 1353

Wellington South

Marking Questions

  1. Was the letter completed in the time allowed?
  2. Is the letter appropriately focused?
    1. The letter communicated no gratitude or information about a computer system.
    2. The letter mentions gratitude and/or receiving a computer system but does not stay on subject; loses focus.
    3. The letter focuses on thanking Gifts Inc. for the computer system. The statements of appreciation may be supported with relevant information.
  3. Does each sentence communicate a correctly constructed complete thought?
    1. Not at all.
    2. Roughly half of the sentences do.
    3. Every sentence does.
  4. Is every complex (multi-syllable) word used, spelled correctly?
    1. None .
    2. Approximately half.
    3. Most to all.
  5. Homonym usage:
    1. Each time a homonym is used, it is used incorrectly.
    2. Approximately half of the homonym words are used incorrectly.
    3. Most to every homonym is used correctly.
  6. Punctuation usage:
    1. Punctuation was never used correctly.
    2. Punctuation was used correctly approximately half of the time.
    3. Punctuation was used correctly most to all of the time.

Developed by Harris Rosensweig and Kenneth Frasse

Harris Rosensweig
Manager Adaptive Technology
Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind
Private Bag 99941, Newmarket, Auckland, 1031, New Zealand
Phone +64 9 355-6904
Fax +64 9 355-6919
Cell +64 21 545-001
Web site http://www.rnzfb.org.nz

©All rights reserved, No part of this material may be reproduced in any form or by any means, without permission in writing from Sensory Access Foundation.

Basic Visability Menu Options (Menu Bar)

(Refer to pages' p. 33-37 in the Visability Manual)

FileWindowOptions
Open ... Full Fonts
Save Partial Brush
Save As Overlay Panning
Load Config... Lens Review
Save Config... Split Mouse
Quit Swap About

Visability Function & Tool Icons

(Refer to p. 30 - 32 of the Visability manual for a description of each of these Functions and Tools.)

FunctionsTools
Help Scroll
Scan Seek
Magnify Review
Zoom-out Wrap
Zoom-in Text
Colors Draw
Negative  
Move  
Size  
Layout  
Line Height  
Print  
Exit  

VISABILITY

I. Quick Start

  1. Turn on the scanner, then the computer, monitor, and printer.
  2. Locate the Visability Icon on the desktop and double click with the left mouse button to launch it.
  3. Left click on the OK button. (The Visability Screen will appear.)
  4. Place the document to be scanned face down on the scanner.
  5. Left click on the Scanner Function/Icon.
  6. Left click on the Scan Button. (You will see the scanned image appear on the screen momentarily and then you will return to the Scan Screen.)
  7. Left click on the OK Button. (You will be returned to the Scanned Image Screen.)
  8. Move the mouse around and you will see the text in the enlarged viewing window.
  9. You can use this feature to read enlarged text.
  10. Right click to leave the image screen and return to the Visability Screen.
  11. To type text onto the Document/Scanned Image Left Click on the Big T Tool/Icon. (You will return to the Image Screen and you will see an I beam cursor in the enlarged viewing window.)
  12. Use the mouse to move the I Beam Cursor to the location where you wish to type text.
  13. Left click the mouse and you will see the cursor change to a Vertical Bar. Type in the desired text and left click the mouse when you finish.
  14. Move the mouse to the next location where you wish to enter text. Repeat the previous steps and continue until you have entered all of the desired text.
  15. Click the right mouse button to leave the image screen and return to the Visability Screen.

Before printing your document you will want to save it by following the steps below.

  1. Left click on the File menu.
  2. Choose the Save As option. (The Save File screen appears.)
  3. Left click in the rectangular box beside the word file.
  4. Type a name for you file using up to 8 letters with no spaces or punctuation. In this case title the document cat.
  5. Left click on the OK Button. (You will be returned to the image screen.)
  6. Click the right mouse button to return to the Visability Screen.
  7. Left click on the Print Function Icon (This is third icon from the left on the bottom row.)
  8. Left click on the OK button. (You will see the Printing screen while the document is actually printing. When the print job is complete you will be returned to the Visability Screen.)
  9. To exit the program: a. Left click on the File menu. b. Click on Quit. c. Click on the Yes Button.

II. Using the options on the Visability Window & Menus.

Before we can explore these options it is necessary to have a document open in the Visability program. Relaunch the program.

  1. Left click on the File menu and select the open option. A list of files is displayed. Move the pointer to the cat file and double click the left mouse button. (If you do not see the cat file or the desired file you will need to use the scroll bar on the right side of the screen.) The cat file will open and be displayed in the Visability Image Screen.
  2. Click the right mouse button to return to the Visability Screen.
  3. Left click the Window menu. Note the options on this menu. A check mark is beside the overlay option. We will explore this option later.
  4. Left click on the Full option. (You are now returned to the Image Screen and all text is enlarged.)
  5. Move the mouse around to view the text in the document. Try reading the first paragraph and note the difficulty of maintaining smooth tracking while reading across the page. (This might not be the best window option to use when reading paragraphs of text. This option can be very useful for graphically displayed information such as maps and charts.)
  6. Right click the mouse button to return to the Visability Screen.
  7. Left click the Window menu and select Partial. You will be returned to the image screen. Part of the image at the top and bottom have been occluded or blacked out. This option can be adjusted to meet individual user preferences.
  8. In order to make the adjustments, you must return to the Visability Screen by clicking the right mouse button.
  9. Select the Move Function Icon (second row third from left), by left clicking.
  10. You are returned to the Image Screen and you may use the mouse to position the viewing window at the top middle or bottom of the screen. Once the viewing window is in the desired location click the left mouse button to lock it in place. Now the mouse is used to move the text through this viewing window.
  11. To explore the next option, the viewing window needs to be moved so that two or three lines of text are visible.
  12. Right click to return to the Visability Screen.
  13. Select the Size Function/Icon (second row fourth form left), by left clicking. You will be returned to the Image Screen.
  14. Move the mouse up or down to resize the viewing window. When the desired size is displayed left click to lock it in place. You may use this feature to display only one line of text.
  15. Right click to return to the Visability Screen.
  16. Left click the Window menu and select the Overlay option. You are returned to the Image Screen. The viewing window is in the bottom right corner of the screen. This is the default setting for Visability. It can be adjusted to become more useful.
  17. Right click to return to the Visability Screen.
  18. Select the Move Function/Icon by left clicking.
  19. Move the mouse to relocate the viewing window to the desired position. (Move it to the left edge and the center of the screen.)
  20. Left click to lock it in place.
  21. Move the mouse around and enlarged text will be displayed in the viewing window.
  22. Right click to return to the Visability Screen.
  23. Left click to select the Resize Function/Icon.
  24. Move the mouse to resize the viewing window to the desired size. (Resize it to cover the width of the screen and the height of one line of text).
  25. Left click to lock it in place.
  26. (Now move the mouse around to see how text is viewed through this window. This is similar to the Partial window option but the unenlarged text is not blacked out).
  27. Move the mouse and a black rectangle will appear on the unenlarged portion of the screen. The black rectangle orients the user to the location of the text being enlarged.
  28. Right click to return to the Visability Screen.
  29. Left click the Window menu and select the Lens option. (The Lens option is like a magnifying glass. The mouse is used to move around the screen and view the image. The Lens is not functional for reading text but works well for graphically displayed information such as maps and diagrams. The Lens can be resized with the resize icon discussed previously).
  30. Right click to return to the Visability Screen.
  31. Left click the Window menu and select the Split option. (Text is displayed in regular print on the top half of the screen and in enlarged print on the bottom half of the screen. The Split screen is helpful in maintaining orientation to the image/document being viewed.
  32. Right click to return to the Visability Screen.
  33. Left click the Window menu and select the Swap option. The enlarged image is now at the top of the screen and the enlarged image is at the bottom. Taller users may prefer having the enlarged image on the top.

III. Reading with Visability

  1. Right click to return to the Visability Screen.
  2. Scan or open a previously scanned Image.
  3. Select the full window option. (Left click on the Window Menu and left click on Full).
  4. Move the mouse to locate the body of the text.
  5. Press the + or - sign to increase or decrease magnification. (The smallest magnification is 4X).
  6. Right click and then select the Color Function/Icon (second row first icon).
  7. Select the foreground (text) color.
  8. Select the background color.
  9. Click on the OK button.
  10. Right click to return to the Visability Screen.
  11. If you wish to reverse the colors select the Negative Function/Icon (second row second icon).
  12. Select the Partial option from the Window Menu.
  13. Return to the Visability Screen to select the Size Function/Icon.
  14. Adjust the viewing window to the height of one line of the body text.
  15. To lock this in place and return to the Visability Screen right click the mouse.
  16. Select the Line Height Function/Icon. (third row second icon).
  17. Select the Adjust Height Button by left clicking.
  18. Drag the top gray square just above the tallest letter.
  19. Drag the bottom gray square to the top of the highest letter on the line below.
  20. Right click the mouse to lock it in place. You will be returned to the Line Height Screen.
  21. Left click on the OK button.
  22. Select the Wrap Tool/Icon, (second row sixth icon).
  23. Use the mouse to move the first line of text into the viewing window.
  24. Click the left mouse button one time to begin automatic panning.
  25. Moving the mouse to the right increases the panning speed or moving it to the left decreases the speed. Clicking the left mouse button will toggle panning on and off. When panning is off the mouse can be moved up or down to improve the text alignment. ***This is one area where Visability is better than a CCTV. ***
  26. When panning there is blank space displayed between the end of one line and the beginning of a new line of text. This can be eliminated through the use of the Layout feature.

A. Reading Single Column Text

  1. Return to the Visability Screen.
  2. Select the Layout Feature/Icon (third row first icon)
  3. Click the Column check box even if you are only working with one column of text.
  4. Click the Adjust Column button.
  5. Drag the top gray square down to the top of the first line of text.
  6. Drag the gray square on the left over to the left edge of text.
  7. Drag the gray square on the right to the right edge of the longest line of text.
  8. Move the mouse down the page to make sure all text is included in the area selected.
  9. Right click to lock these options in place. (You will be returned to the Layout screen).
  10. Select the OK button. (You will return to the Image screen).
  11. The panning feature is still in effect and can be toggled on and off with the left mouse button. Left click to turn it on and observe the difference. (COOL!!! NO BLANK AREAS TO WASTE TIME!!!)

B. Reading Multiple Columns of Text

*** Scan or Open a Document with Multiple Columns. ***

  1. Return to the Visability Screen.
  2. Select the Layout Feature/Icon (third row first icon)
  3. Click the Column check box.
  4. Click the up or down arrow for the correct number of columns in the image/document.
  5. Click the Adjust Column button. (Each column must be adjusted individually, begin adjusting the first column).
  6. Drag the top gray square down to the top of the first line of text.
  7. Drag the gray square on the left over to the left edge of text.
  8. Drag the gray square on the right to the right edge of the longest line of text.
  9. Move the mouse down the page to make sure all text is included in the area selected.
  10. Left click in the next column of text in the Image Screen..
  11. Drag the top gray square down to the top of the first line of text.
  12. Drag the gray square on the left over to the left edge of text.
  13. Drag the gray square on the right to the right edge of the longest line of text.
  14. Move the mouse down the page to make sure all text is included in the area selected.
  15. Right click to lock these options in place. (You will be returned to the Layout Screen).
  16. Select the OK button. (You will return to the Image Screen).
  17. The Panning feature is still in effect and can be toggled on and off with the left mouse button. Left click to turn it on and observe how this moves through the columns.
  18. Right click to lock these options in place. (You will be returned to the Layout screen).
  19. Select the OK button. (You will return to the Image screen).

IV. Writing With Visability

*** Scan or Open a document in which to add text. ***

  1. Right click to return to the Visability Screen.
  2. Scan or open a previously scanned image.
  3. Select the Window Option the user prefers. (When using the writing tools the Full and Split Window Options are most useful).
  4. Return to the Visability Screen.
  5. Select the Text Tool/Icon.(third row fifth icon)
  6. Move the I Beam Cursor to the exact location where text is to be inserted.
  7. Left click to change the I Beam cursor to a Vertical Cursor. Text may now be typed in.
  8. Press ENTER or left click to end the insertion.
  9. Move the I Beam cursor to the next insertion point and repeat the 3 steps above.

V. Making Corrections When Writing

While text is being entered the backspace key can be used to remove errors. Once the ENTER key or the Left Mouse Button has been clicked after insertion the following steps must be executed to make a correction.

  1. Right click to return to the Visability Screen.
  2. Click on the Options Menu and select Fonts
  3. Click on the Opaque Checkbox and then click the OK Button.
  4. Move the I Beam Cursor to the beginning of the text to correct.
  5. Left click to change the I Beam cursor into the Vertical Bar Cursor.
  6. Type in the new text.

FYI: Visability does not allow editing of text. New text overwrites old text. If there is additional text after a correction, press the space bar to white out the unwanted text.

If text is too large or small for the blank or the available area then the font size will need to be adjusted. Follow the steps below.

  1. If the answer is to big for the blank and the ENTER key has not been pressed, press the backspace key to erase the text and leave the blank open. OR
  2. If the ENTER key has been pressed or the left mouse button has been clicked then make sure the Opaque Font Setting has been selected as described above. Place the I Beam cursor at the beginning of the text that did not fit, click the left mouse button and press the Space Bar to "white out" the unwanted text.
  3. Right click to return to the Visability Screen and select the Options Menu.
  4. Select the Font item on this menu.
  5. Click on the Up or Down Arrow under Pt. (point) Size to increase or decrease the size of the text to be entered in the blank. (NOTE: Text can be displayed in Helvetica or Courier Font Styles).
  6. Click on the OK Button and you will return to the Image Screen.
  7. Place the cursor in the desired location and try entering text in the new point size. Repeat the step above to further adjust the point size.

VI. Scanning an Image

Most scanning is very simple and can be accomplished by following the steps below. However, there are some additional features the user will want to be aware of.

  1. Place the page to be scanned face down on the scanner glass with the top left corner of the page on the top right corner of the glass, and close the cover.
  2. Select the Scan/Function Icon from the Visability Screen. This will open the Scan Menu.
  3. Left click on the Scan Button. (The light on the scanner will turn on and the scanner's motor will hum as it acquires the page. The image will appear on the screen and when it has been completely scanned the Scan Screen will be redisplayed on the monitor).
  4. Left click on the OK Button. (This will display the Image Screen. The user can begin to work with the document or return to the Visability Screen to make adjustments).

If the document to be scanned is printed in the landscape (sideways) format an adjustment can be made to Visability.

  1. Place the document with the page face down and the top of the document on the left hand edge of the scanner.
  2. Left click on the Scan Feature Icon. (The Scan Screen is displayed.)
  3. Left click on the Page Size Button. (The Page Size Screen is displayed.)
  4. Left click on the Sideways Checkbox and left click on the OK button. This redisplays the Scan Screens
  5. Left click on the Scan Button.
  6. The image will appear on the screen and when it has been completely scanned the Scan Screen will be redisplayed on the monitor).
  7. Left click on the OK Button. (This will display the Image Screen . The user can begin to work with the document or return to the Visability Screen to make adjustments).

VII. Using Custom Configurations For Reading, Writing, & Accessing Graphical Material

A configuration is a set of preferences or features that a user prefers for certain tasks. This eliminates the need to reset all the features each time the program runs.

THIS IS A TIME SAVER!

Basic Components to consider when customizing for a reading, writing, or graphic configuration include user preferences for: Window, Magnification, Color Preference, Negative/Positive.

A. Saving a Configuration

  1. From the Visability Screen select the menu settings and features that the user desires.
  2. Left click on the File menu.
  3. Select the Save Config.. (The Save Config. Screen appears.)
  4. Left click on the box to the right of the word File.
  5. Type in a name for this configuration of no more than 8 letters or less with no punctuation, and press the ENTER key.
  6. Left click on the OK button.

*** Save with student names or general heaadings like Read, Write, or Graphic.

B. Loading a Configuation

  1. From the Visability Screen left click on the File menu.
  2. Left click on Load Configuration. (The Config. Screen appears.)
  3. Left click on the desired configuration. If you do not see the desired configuration use the scroll bars to locate it.
  4. Left click on the OK Button. (The Image Screen will be displayed with the desired settings in place).

VIII. Dealing With Floppies

A. Saving a Scanned Document to Floppy disk.

  1. Insert a formatted disk into drive A:.
  2. Open or scan a document.
  3. Select the File menu form the Visability Screen.
  4. Choose Save As ... (The Save File screen appears).
  5. Type A: (A: should be displayed in the box beside Dir.)
  6. Press the ENTER key and the box beside the word file will be highlighted.
  7. Type in a file name with 8 or less letters and no punctuation.
  8. Press the ENTER key.
  9. Left click on the OK button. (The A: drive will spin and save the file. It may take a two or three minutes. A disk will hold about 4 Visability files on one disk because they are large graphic files.

B. Opening a File from a Floppy disk.

  1. Launch the Visability Program.
  2. Insert the disk with the files into drive A:.
  3. Select the File menu from the Visability Screen.
  4. Choose Open. (The Open Screen will appear.)
  5. Type A: (A: should be displayed in the box beside Dir.)
  6. Press the ENTER key and the box beside the word file will be highlighted.
  7. Left click on the name of the desired file.
  8. Press the Left click on the OK key.

Left click on the OK button. (The A: drive will spin and save the file. It may take two or three minutes for the file to load).

IX. Suggestions for the Order of Teaching Students Visability Features:

(While you are teaching the program there are factors to consider. High School students may prefer to use the program to complete an assignment. Middle school students might prefer high interest materials. Elementary students may benefit from fun low stress activities).

  1. Launching or running the program.
  2. Scanning a document.
  3. Select the Full Window option.
  4. Use the mouse to view the document. (Frostig materials can be utilized for students with eye hand coordination).
  5. Load a file.
  6. Utilize the text feature.
  7. Save the file.
  8. Print the file.
  9. Once students have mastered the basics begin to customize the program for them. Show them how they can use different features and setting for different tasks.
  10. Load a configuration.

X. Troubleshooting

Please get into the habit of making sure the equipment is working prior to trying to use it with your students. It will make life less stressful for both of you!!!

When programs use a scanner, read the screen as the computer boots. When an error message is displayed please WRITE IT DOWN, exactly as it appears!!!

Common Error Messages - Try these suggestions first.

The scanner won't scan!

Make certain that you have unlocked the scanner and plugged in all of its cables. When you boot the computer information is displayed on the screen. If the system is successful in locating the scanner it prints, "Scanner found at SCSI ID...

My computer says, "Scanner not found," as it boots.

This means you may have forgotten to turn the scanner on first. or If the scanner was turned on first then one of the cables that connect the scanner to the computer may have become disconnected. SCSI devices require that they be on before the computer is turned on so that the computer recognizes them during the boot process.

  1. Shut down the computer properly from the Start Menu.
  2. Check the cable from the scanner to the computer and from the computer to the scanner to be certain they are well seated (plugged in tightly).
  3. Turn on the scanner. Be sure the light is on and that you hear it make a noise.
  4. Restart the computer and hope it says "Scanner found at SCSI ID....

Visibility prompts, "Scanner Drivers Not Located," just before it opens and the Scanner Icon is grayed out on the Visability Window & Menu Screen.

This may happen because we are trying to use an old DOS program in Windows '95. I wish I knew.

  1. Exit Visability.
  2. Shut down the computer properly from the Start Menu.
  3. Turn off the scanner.
  4. Check the cable connections to the computer and the scanner.
  5. Cross your fingers.
  6. Turn on the scanner. Be sure the light is on and that you hear it make a noise.
  7. Restart the computer and hope it says "Scanner found at SCSI ID
  8. Relaunch Visability and hope the Error message is not displayed. If it is you may need to try it again.

The scanner icon is not grayed out on the Visability window but when you try to scan you may get this error message. "Can't communicate with scanner."

Actually the program prompts you with the following message, "Make sure its turned on and check the cable and connections. Select the Abort option to return to Visability.

  1. Exit Visability.
  2. Shut down the computer properly from the Start Menu.
  3. Turn off the scanner.
  4. Check the cable connections to the computer and the scanner.
  5. Cross your fingers.
  6. Turn on the scanner. Be sure the light is on and that you hear it make a noise.
  7. Relaunch Visability and try to scan again. Good Luck and may the Force be with you.

For additional Trouble Shooting suggestions refer to the dreaded Visability manual.

Trouble Shooting Hierarchy.

  1. Try to follow the steps above and get the system working yourself. YOU CAN DO IT!!!
  2. When the computer displays an error message, write it down, so that you can provide this information to the local Computer Technology Specialist. This will help them help you better.
  3. If you cannot get the computer working the next step is to call for technical support. If you are not in view of the computer trouble shooting is difficult or impossible. Get the computer next to the telephone. If you have a phone line nearby the computer then you can plug in a cordless phone from home and call, or receive a call on it.
  4. For Visibility there is no (800) number. When you call them from the office, on the long distance assessable phone, explain the situation and they will return your call at a specific time. Ai Squared (802)362-3612 in Vermont.

This document was developed by Ike Presley, American Foundation for the Blind, (100 Peachtree Street, Suite 620, Atlanta, GA 30303) Permission to photocopy is granted for non-commercial purposes if this credit is retained.

Use the following to create IEP objectives for the type of player the student will be using. These are written generically and can be modified to apply to specific devices or applications. For more information about Digital Talking books see Using Digital Talking Books (DTB) with Students.

DTB Basics

The student can:

  • describe Digital Talking Books, and player operation to teachers and peers
  • describe and demonstrate proper care and handling of DTB
  • name resources for obtaining DTB
  • order required DTB for class or leisure reading
  • download and install DTB

Stand Alone Player

Major components:

The student can:

  • insert and eject cd/caddy
  • identify, locate, and describe function and operation of  Basic Function Keys 
    (Play - Stop, Rewind and Fast Forward, Eject, )
  • identify, locate, and describe function and operation of  Control Keys (tone, volume, speed)
  • identify and locate the special function keys such as help (Key Describer [Victor only])
  • identify and connect the power charger
  • identify and perform the charging procedure
  • state name and manufacturer of device
  • find information in the manual
  • get technical support

Navigation Controls:

The student knows the procedures for

  • finding their current location in a book (Where Am I?)
  • selecting a navigation increment element (unit, chapter, sub-chapter, page, etc.)
  • moving forward or backward by element
  • finding a book on the bookshelf 

Advanced commands:

The student knows the procedures for: 

  • jumping to a specified page
  • setting and deleting a bookmark
  • jumping to a bookmark
  • navigating the bookmark list 

Miscellaneous:

The student knows the procedures for: 

  • reinitializing/resetting/warm-booting the device
  • updating firmware

Software Player

Major components:

The student can:

  • install software
  • insert and eject cd
  • name, locate, describe function and operation of the menu command or keyboard shortcut for Basic Functions
    (Play - Stop,  Rewind and Fast Forward,  Eject, )
  • name, locate, describe function and operation of the menu command or keyboard shortcut for  Audio Functions (tone, volume, speed)
  • name, locate, describe function and operation of the menu command or keyboard shortcut for special functions (help)
  • state name and manufacturer of application
  • find information in the manual (electronic, braille, print)
  • get technical support

Navigation Controls:

The student knows the procedures (menu operation or keyboard short cut) for:

  • finding out where they are in a book (Where Am I?)
  • moving forward or backward by element (chapter, sub-chapter, page, etc.)
  • selecting a navigation element
  • finding a book on the bookshelf 

Advanced commands:

The student knows the procedures for: 

  • jumping to a specified page
  • setting and deleting a bookmark
  • jumping to a bookmark
  • navigating the bookmark list
  • searching forward for a specific string of text
  • searching backward for a specific string of text

Other features

The student knows the procedure for:

  • changing font (type, size, and color)
  • changing highlight color
  • create, edit, delete, and find text notes
  • record, delete, and find voice notes
  • import/export bookmarks, notes, etc. 

Miscellaneous:

The student knows the procedures for: 

  • updating software
  • using software player with screen reader.

by

  1. Cables
    1. Serial
    2. Parallel
    3. Centronics
    4. USB
    5. No cables (infrared)
  2. Computers
    1. Macintosh www.apple.com/disability
      1. For Braille production use Duxbury www.duxburysystems.com . Many embossers should work with the right cable.
      2. Screen reader program is Outspoken from Alva Systems www.aagi.com
      3. Intellitools www.intellitools.com makes an inexpensive talking word processor.
      4. Closeview, a basic enlargement program, can be downloaded from the Macintosh site. Fully-featured enlargement program, inLarge, can be ordered from Alva Systems above.
    2. PC www.microsoft.com/enable
      1. For Braille production use Megadots or Duxbury with virtually any embosser.
      2. There are many features built into the operating system. You can find those at the Microsoft site above or at the TSBVI site at our technology training site.
  3. Electronic Notetakers
    1. Braille n Speak, Type n Speak, Braille Lite
      1. As soon as you can hook up to a printer, print out the Help menu. Use th-chord to get to the Help menu, then T-Chord A to print.
      2. Learn to reset the machine
        1. Brl n Speak- try pressing for-chord twice, if that doesn't work, press I-chord as you power on.
        2. Type n Speak- try Ctrl, Alt, Delete. If that doesn't work, try Ctrl, Alt, Delete as you power on.
      3. Make sure the Speech box mode isn't on
      4. Know your chargers the bulky 12V goes with the Brl Lite or Brl n Speak with a serial number beginning with 5.
      5. Learn the Status menu ST-chord - most problems reside there
        •  
          • Press L to go to printer type- choose Epson, Imagewriter, HP
          • Print line length: 75
          • Print left margin: 10
          • Print page length: 60
          • Print top margin: 6
        1. Embosser settings- If you make these settings in the notetaker, then you will set everything you can to "0" in the embosser settings.
          • Braille line length: 33 (for Blazer)
          • Braille left margin: 1
          • Braille page length: 25
          • Braille top margin: 1
        2. If you still have problems: check the serial settings
          • Baud rate 9600
          • Parity none
          • Duplex half
          • Data bits 8
          • Stop bits 1
          • Software handshaking
          • Append line feed on
      6. The Disk Drive
      1.  
        1. It requires charging or use of a power source. The light will not come on until it is connected to a BnS.
        2. These commands seem to work for transferring info:
          1. S-chord Y (file transfer), Hit S to send, (it goes to the file list, go up and down the list [with 1-chord or 4-chord], use space bar to mark file, then E-chord.)
          2. S-chord Y, hit R to receive, (it goes to the file list, go up and down the list [with 1-chord or 4-chord], then E-chord.)
    2. BrailleNote
      1. Re-set options- while the machine is on
        1. Press the red button
        2. Press the red button and hold 1,2,3 (resets back ot burn on chip)
        3. Press the red button and hold 4,5,6 (resets back to last update)
      2. Help menu- it is active everywhere, press H-chord to get help messages
  4. Embossers (Blazer)
    1. You can reset this machine. Hold down all 3 buttons as you power on.
    2. Check to be sure that the small rubber handle behind the platen is rotated away from you.
    3. Learn to use the menu system.
  5. Printers (MS-DOS compatible work fine)
    1. See separate handout with list
  6. Tech Support/Resources
    1. Freedom Scientific (Blazie+JAWS+Openbook) 727-803-8600
    2. PulseData-Humanware 925-680-7100
    3. AI Squared (Zoomtext) 802-362-3612
    4. GW Micro (Window-Eyes) 260-489-3671
    5. Duxbury Systems (Dux+Mega) 978-692-3000
    6. TSBVI Tech Outreach or or search the website www.tsbvi.edu
    7. SET-BC Regional Center - good resource info www.setbc.org

[Graphic. Three color photos are standing side-by-side. In the first, a young teen-age boy is typing on a computer keyboard and smiling. In the second, a man is sitting in front of a computer reading using his refreshable braille display. In the third, three children are in a computer lab. All three have headphones. One is looking at the screen and one is listening to the output. (The face of the third child is blocked by the head of the second). End of graphic description]

Joanmarie Diggs, M.Ed.

The Carroll Center for the Blind
2002 AER International Conference
20 July 2002

We know….

The world is made up of objects whose function and form dictate how we access and use these objects. Children who are blind or visually impaired need concrete, hands-on experiences so that they can understand the world around them and can independently and safely interact with the objects they encounter.

Similarly….

The Windows Operating System is made up of objects whose function and form dictate how we access and use these objects. As with accessing objects in the environment, people who are sighted have visual information about the form and function of Windows objects and controls. In addition, a mouse user can access all windows controls in the same way: clicking on them. Children who are blind or visually impaired need to understand the form and function of these objects and controls so that they can independently use a computer and successfully interact with new and unexpected objects.

[Graphic. Clip art of a young man sitting in front of a computer and typing.]

Some (but NOT all) Objects and Controls

[Graphic. The caption reads “An Internet Explorer window with two dialog boxes.” This image is a screen shot in grayscale of an Internet Explorer Window. The web page being shown contains a form. On top of this page, but off to the side, are two dialog boxes. The first dialog box is the multi-page Internet Options dialog box. On top of this dialog box, but off to its side, is the Settings dialog box (which is accessed by clicking the Settings button in the Internet Options dialog). Superimposed upon the entire image are text and arrows identifying the following controls: Title bar, Menu bar, Tool bar, Edit combo box, Page tabs, multi-page dialog box, Dialog box, Scroll bar, Radio buttons, Left-Right Slider, Spin box, Buttons, Edit boxes, Graphical links, Form, Checkboxes Start Button, System Tray, Status bar, Task bar. This is the end of the graphic description.]

Note the variety and number of controls present. The user who is blind must be taught about all of these different types of controls: what their form and function are, where they might be found, what keystrokes are necessary to navigate to them, what actions can be performed within them, how to exit them, how to determine what control one is in, etc. Without these skills, the user who is blind becomes the equivalent of a rote traveler who does not truly understand how to use a computer and gets easily lost when the unexpected happens (as it often does on a computer!). Knowing the visual appearance of the controls helps the user who is blind understand the keystrokes for navigation AND enables him/her to receive instruction/technical support from people who are not familiar with the strategies used by someone who is blind. Detailed information about these objects can be found at the end of this packet.

[Graphic. This page serves as a section divider. The title reads “Implementing the Concept-Based Approach.” The rest of the page is taken up by a large clip art image of a teacher and a young boy standing in front of a computer and having a conversation. They are looking at each other and smiling. The teacher is pointing to the student.]

Areas of Instruction: Mainstream Technology

The following areas of instruction are suggested, making adjustments in the depth of coverage and order of presentation based upon each student’s abilities and needs. Assume your students can master all of the following areas in depth — many of them can! The student’s access method (I.e. screen reader with speech, screen reader with braille, screen magnification software, etc.) should be taught in conjunction with the following areas, rather than separately.

Essential:

  • Keyboarding
  • Word Processing (Microsoft Word)
  • Translating and embossing, if a braille reader (Duxbury)
  • File Management (via the Desktop, Windows Explorer, later within the Open and Save As dialog boxes)
  • Email (Outlook Express)
  • Web (Internet Explorer)
  • Scanning, if appropriate (Kurzweil or OpenBook or an accessible mainstream program such as OmniPage Pro)
  • Configuring Windows to be more accessible

Strongly Recommended:

  • Online Multimedia (Real Player, Windows Media Player)
  • Instant Messaging (AIM)
  • Spreadsheets (Microsoft Excel)
  • Database Applications (Microsoft Access)
  • Presentation Applications (Microsoft PowerPoint)

Areas of Instruction: Assistive Technology

As the student is mastering the ability to use mainstream computer technology, he/she should also be developing a good understanding of the assistive technology that enables him/her to access the computer.

Basic Skills:

  • Launching and quitting the assistive technology
  • Accessing all areas of the screen
  • Accessing all needed controls and information
  • Determining his/her current location
  • Identifying hotkeys for menu items and dialog box controls

Intermediate Skills:

  • Configuring the assistive technology to produce output in the most usable form for him/her. When multiple assistive technology outputs are used (large print, speech, refreshable braille), understanding which output makes the most sense for any given task or situation
  • Distinguishing built-in Windows commands and keyboard shortcuts from assistive technology commands and keyboard shortcuts. (This is essential not just for concept development, but to enable the student to quickly master an unfamiliar screen reader or screen magnification software which he/she might encounter as an adult)
  • For screen reader users who sometimes use refreshable braille from a notetaker, being able to connect, disconnect, and activate the notetaker for this purpose
  • Systematically troubleshooting and resolving basic problems when the assistive technology is not working as expected
  • Accessing the assistive technology product’s help options (context-sensitive help and help files)
  • Locating, downloading, and installing updates to the software

Advanced Skills:

  • For screen reader users, using the assistive technology to control the mouse and access elements that would otherwise be inaccessible
  • Developing strategies for distinguishing between something that is inherently inaccessible and something unfamiliar
  • Locating the technical support phone number, contacting technical support, and solving a problem with their assistance
  • Identifying sources other than teachers and technical support where information and assistance is available (e.g. listservs, computer users groups, magazines/journals)
  • Knowing the companies that make, manufacture, and sell assistive technology products, and be able to locate the contact information for these companies
  • Comparing the features of similar assistive technology products and determining which product best meets his/her needs. Then being able to express his/her findings both verbally and in writing
  • Expressing both verbally and in writing how the assistive technology enables him/her to access a computer
  • Translating the language of a sighted user (who is unfamiliar with assistive technology) providing assistance into keyboard commands. Being able to ask effective questions of the sighted user to gather usable information

Presenting Controls and Concepts in a Logical Manner

It is essential for a child who is blind or visually impaired to understand Windows controls and computer concepts, rather than simply follow rote procedures. The following is one example illustrating how concepts, controls, and skills can be systematically introduced to your students. While quite detailed, it is not intended to be a comprehensive list of all of the concepts and skills that your students need. The exact order and the interspersing of other tasks (e.g. file management, basic email, introductory spreadsheets) will depend on each child’s abilities and needs. And take advantage of the “teachable moments” that present themselves rather than strictly adhering to the order below.

It is assumed that the student has mastered basic keyboarding prior to beginning the tasks below. Note that some of the tasks are specific to children who are blind and may not be necessary for students accessing a computer visually.

  1. Launch MS Word from the Start menu, using arrow keys in menus. Concepts/Controls/Skills: Windows key, Start menu, navigating in menus, using enter to indicate desired choice.
  2. Write a simple document (no editing other than the backspace to immediately correct a mistaken keystroke). Concepts/Controls/Skills: Edit box, word processing, function of backspace.
  3. Read a document in MS Word created and opened by the teacher. Limit reading functions to characters, words, lines. Concepts/Controls/Skills: Navigation within the edit box; access software commands (current line, word, character) and windows commands (previous/next line, word, character).
  4. Save a document, quit MS Word (using the File menu), then re-launch it and open that document. Concepts/Controls/Skills: File menu, dialog box, menu navigation, edit box, files, file names, saving (i.e. file permanence), opening files.
  5. Open an MS Word document whose name is unknown/ forgotten (but in My Documents) by moving to the list view above the file name edit box and locating it using the arrow keys. Concepts/Controls/Skills: Navigation in dialog boxes, list views, using arrows to navigate in a list view, using enter to indicate a desired choice.
  6. Edit an MS Word document (basic, but introduce and compare backspace and delete). Concepts/Controls/Skills: navigation within an edit box; practice reading by line, word, character; picking the most efficient unit by which to move; delete key; backspace versus delete.
  7. Print an MS Word document. Concepts/Controls/Skills: using a printer. For the student who is blind, becoming familiar with the orientation of the paper as it comes out of the printer. NOTE: At this point it is good for braille readers to be introduced to Duxbury. We want our students to generalize concepts and skills as soon as possible, and they now have the concepts necessary to emboss a document they created: using the Start menu to launch an application, opening a file, using the File menu (which they will need to translate and emboss until shortcut keys are introduced), exiting an application (also using the File menu). For students who read large print, it is suggested that they be introduced to changing the font size around this point rather than waiting to present it much later, as is outlined in this document.
  8. Close an existing document without quitting MS Word. Then create a new document using the File menu. Concepts/Controls/Skills: closing files, creating new files, more practice with the File menu.
  9. Read and/or edit a larger MS Word document and looking for information (but without using the Find command). Concepts/Controls/Skills: navigation by paragraphs, sentences, beginning and end of files, beginning and end of lines.
  10. Locate the shortcut keys for menu items (both letters to jump within menus, and control key commands to bypass menus) and use them to be more efficient. Concepts/Controls/Skills: Shortcut keys for menu items, more thinking about efficiency.
  11. Spell check a completed MS Word document (first locating Tools menu on menu bar and then getting it’s shortcut). Concepts/Controls/Skills: Spell check, presence of menu bar and additional menus, navigation within menu bar, navigation within a dialog box, buttons, edit boxes, shortcut keys for menus.
  12. Save a file to floppy by shift tabbing to the Save In combo box; get hot key for future reference (reinforce by opening files from floppy, on another computer if possible). Concepts/Controls/Skills: floppy disk, combo boxes, practice getting hot keys, saving and opening files NOTE: If the child uses a notetaking device that came with a floppy drive, this is a good time to introduce the student to moving files between the computer and notetaker using floppies, providing whatever assistance is necessary but moving the child to performing this task independently.
  13. Go to the desktop, locate the My Documents folder, open it and review its contents. Delete unnecessary files, rename those whose name is poorly chosen. Concepts/Controls/Skills: Desktop, navigation in the desktop, “clicking” on a desktop item (using the keyboard to select it and hit enter), deleting files, renaming files.
  14. Go to the desktop, locate and open the Recycle Bin, delete items by using the delete key. On another occasion, delete them using the file menu. On still another occasion, simply select the recycle bin and use the context menu to delete the items. Concepts/Controls/Skills: more practice with the desktop, the Recycle Bin, introduction of context menus and the context menu key.
  15. Format an MS Word document (basic) using format menu, applying formatting as he/she types. Concepts/Controls:/Skills Line justification, text style (I.e. bold, italic, underline), more practice with menus and dialog boxes.
  16. Format an MS Word document (basic) using shortcut keys, applying formatting as he/she types. Concepts/Controls/Skills: Same as above, shortcut keys.
  17. Edit an MS Word document by selecting text and moving it (or a copy) to a different location within that document. Concepts/Controls/Skills: Selecting, cutting, copying, pasting.
  18. Format an MS Word document (basic) that was already written. Concepts/Controls/Skills: Line justification, text style (i.e. bold, italic, underline), formatting selected text, understanding where selecting text first is not necessary and why (i.e. line justification), more practice with menus and dialog boxes.
  19. Navigate between two open documents within MS Word. Move and/or copy text from one document to another. Concepts/Controls/Skills: Navigation between documents; practice with selecting, copying/cutting, and pasting; using access software to verify which document/window is currently active.
  20. Go to My Documents or the Recycle Bin and select multiple files for deletion. Concepts/Controls/Skills: Practice with the desktop and opening folders, transfer of selecting from edit boxes to list views.
  21. Go to My Documents and create new folders to help organize the contents. Having done so, use cut and paste to move individual files from my documents into the new folders. Select contiguous files to move. Introduce selection of non-contiguous files and move them as well. Concepts/Controls/Skills: Practice with desktop and opening folders, practice selecting files in a list, selecting non-contiguous files, moving files, navigating back to the previously-opened folder, logical organization of documents.
  22. Use Windows Explorer to perform the same tasks as above. Also use Windows Explorer to move files between a floppy and a folder within My Documents. Move files between a floppy and a folder within My Documents via the desktop icon by cutting and pasting on one occasion and using the context menu key on another. Compare and contrast. Concepts/Controls/Skills: practice with floppies, introduction of Windows Explorer, introduction of tree views and navigation between the tree view and the list view, more exposure to the context menu key, understanding that there are multiple ways to perform a task on a computer and selecting a preference.
  23. Apply previously learned file-management tasks while in the Open or Save As dialog box from within MS Word. What works, what does not, and when might this be preferable to other methods for managing files? Concepts/Controls/Skills: file management, additional opportunities for analyzing the different ways to perform a task on a computer.
  24. Having written a document in MS Word, save it directly to one of the newly-created folders by selecting the desired folder in the list view above the file name edit box. Concepts/Controls/Skills: Maintaining file organization, practice with dialog box navigation, practice with list views, practice opening folders in a different context.
  25. While editing a document in MS Word and noting a spelling error, move to the error and use the context menu to get suggested spellings. Concepts/Controls/Skills: More practice with spell-checking options, more practice with context menus. NOTE: By now, a student who can perform the above tasks has the concepts and skills necessary for email and using the web. Information on teaching these areas can be found later in this document. There are many possible times to introduce a child who cannot access print to scanning and reading a document. If it has not been introduced by this point, consider adding it here as part of a research activity.
  26. Navigate between two applications (e.g. Word and Duxbury; Word and Internet Explorer). Move and/or copy text from a document in one application to a document in the other. Concepts/Controls/Skills: Ability to have multiple windows, tasks running; switching between multiple, unrelated windows. Understanding where things can be pasted (i.e. edit boxes)
  27. Format an MS Word document with respect to font size, face, and color using format dialog box. Concepts/Controls/Skills: Existence of print sizes and different fonts; beginning to understand what sizes and fonts work best for him/her (if low vision) and for others; appropriate use of color within a document; more practice with selecting, and the format dialog box.
  28. Format an MS Word document with respect to font size, face, and color using toolbar. Concepts/Controls/Skills: All of the above, plus toolbars, toolbar access and navigation, returning to document.
  29. Use find to locate text. Concepts/Controls/Skills: Searching for text. Navigating between the Find dialog and the MS Word document.
  30. Use Find and Replace to edit/correct a document. Concepts/Controls/Skills: find and replace, navigating between the replace dialog box and the MS Word document.

When, Where, and How to Provide Instruction

Schools today teach computer skills to younger and younger children. It is not unheard of to find 4th graders researching a topic on the web, or 5th graders using spreadsheets to tally up survey results. These students are not yet expected to know how to type because they can look at the keyboard. Similarly, they can perform many tasks by pointing and clicking. And they can almost instantly gain an understanding of concepts such as web pages and spreadsheets simply by looking at them.

Students who are blind or visually impaired must master keyboarding, windows concepts and controls, keyboard equivalents for mouse commands, their assistive technology, and the concepts needed to understand the software to be used prior to accomplishing the same tasks as their peers. Therefore:

  • Start Early
    • Teach keyboarding as soon as it is educationally feasible so that an assessment can be conducted to determine the best access method for computer use, and instruction can be provided. Ideally, a student will have at least basic word processing skills mastered by early-mid year of the 3rd grade.
  • Devote Enough Time Specific to Technology Instruction
    • The use of technology, both mainstream and assistive, is a crucial component of the student’s education. Be sure to devote enough instructional time to meet your students’ needs in this area. While this packet addresses computer use, your student may also benefit from a notetaking device and will need to master those skills as well. Regardless of whether technology instruction is to be provided by an AT Specialist or a Teacher of the Visually Impaired (or both), technology instruction should be listed as a separate service on the IEP — just as Orientation and Mobility is. As a rule of thumb, for a typical braille reading student who has mastered keyboarding, no less than one hour per week of direct instruction should be provided, and more is often helpful.
  • Train the Paraeducator
    • Whenever possible, include the paraeducator in your training plan. While it is not expected that the paraeducator will master the technology to the extent that you and your student do, he/she can be quite helpful in reinforcing existing skills by being aware of the technology’s capabilities and the strategies the student uses to perform tasks, and knowing the language to use when prompting the student. In addition, the paraeducator can facilitate the smooth inclusion of technology within the classroom.
  • Include the Student in Computer Classes, and Pre-Teach
    • Whenever possible, the student should be included in computer classes and other classes/activities where computers are used. And, until the student has solid technology skills, someone who has a sufficient understanding of the mainstream and assistive technology should be present to assist and prompt as needed. In order for your student to gain the maximum benefit from these classes, it is useful to determine what skill will be covered in each lesson and pre-teach the necessary concepts, windows keystrokes, and assistive technology commands so that the student can focus on the lesson when it is presented. Try to get the computer class outline a semester (if not a year) in advance: some skills cannot be sufficiently pre-taught with one or two weeks’ notice. And some software is not accessible, which means that an alternative but equivalent software package should be sought and, if need be, purchased.
  • Facilitate the Use of Technology in the Home
    • Having an accessible computer at home enables the student to complete homework assignments in a format that is accessible to him/her and the classroom teacher. And it provides much-needed opportunities to practice. If the family has a computer and is receptive to assistive technology being added, seek the needed permissions from the school to install a copy. If there is not a computer in the home, seek an outside source. Sometimes the school district can even be convinced to provide one as it is educationally necessary. If the parents are willing, they should be provided with enough information and consultation to assist their child when needed and reinforce the skills you are teaching. Be sure to include use of technology in the home on the educational plan, and identify any technology that must travel between school and home.
  • Work with an Assistive Technology Specialist
    • An assistive technology specialist can be a valuable member of the educational team, providing assistance to you and/or direct services to your student. Consider the use of an AT specialist for:
  • Conducting an assessment to determine the most appropriate mainstream and assistive technology for your student
  • Installing and configuring the needed hardware and software
  • Providing training and technical assistance to the schools IT department (which may be responsible for maintaining your student’s computer)
  • Providing training and technical assistance to your students team on new/unfamiliar technology
  • Identifying technology that is and is not accessible to your student
  • Helping you and the team develop, maintain, and revise a plan for your students technology education and equipment acquisition
  • Providing regular training to you so that you can, in turn, train the student
  • Providing direct instruction to your student in the technology he/she needs. This may be time-limited or, if the team prefers, a regular component of the student’s educational plan

Progress Check

If you have taught your student using an approach and content similar to the previously outlined method, you should expect him/her to have mastered most, if not all, of the following areas:

Using Non-Alphanumeric Keys

  • Home
  • End
  • Delete
  • Backspace
  • Tab
  • Enter
  • Arrows
  • Control
  • Alt
  • Windows
  • Application/ Context Menu

Accessing and Navigating Windows Controls/Objects

  • Start Menu
  • Menus
  • Menu Bars
  • Edit Boxes
  • Dialog Boxes
  • List Views
  • Combo Boxes
  • Files
  • Folders
  • Desktop
  • My Documents
  • Recycle Bin
  • Tool Bars
  • Tree Views

Employing Concepts/Skills

  • Word Processing
  • File Management
  • Printing/Embossing
  • Formatting Documents
  • Shortcut Keys
  • Floppies
  • Using correct terminology
  • Context Menus
  • Transfering commands
  • Being Efficient
  • Multiple Document Navigation
  • Multiple Application Navigation

Applying the Assistive Technology

  • Launching/quitting AT software
  • Accessing all areas of the screen
  • Accessing needed controls
  • Determining the current location
  • Identifying hotkeys for menu items and dialog box controls

Once the student has mastered the above areas, the focus and methods of computer instruction become similar to that of his/her peers. The foundation you provided can be transferred to all other accessible software, so your student can master new software (email, web, spreadsheets, etc.) in whatever order makes sense for him/her and his academic program. And with this foundation, inclusion in computer courses becomes much simpler.

Where to Go Next

Although by this point your student has mastered many concepts and skills that many sighted users will never learn, he/she still has much more to master in order to become an independent computer user in school, at home, and eventually on the job. Teach the following skills in whatever order they are needed, so long as any prerequisite concepts have been mastered. Also be sure to provide opportunities to reinforce existing skills — otherwise they will be forgotten.

Word Processing

  • Bulleted and numbered lists
  • Margins
  • Indentation (left and right)
  • Hanging indents
  • Tables
  • Columns
  • Insert accented letters
  • Insert saved images
  • Insert symbols by ANSI
  • Use/disable auto-correct
  • Use/disable auto-format
  • Styles
  • Use help feature

Email

  • Read messages
  • Compose new messages
  • Reply, forward messages
  • Send messages
  • Delete messages
  • Use the address book
  • Insert documents by pasting
  • Open attachments
  • Attach files
  • Navigate to different folders
  • Empty deleted items folder
  • Organize msgs. into folders
  • Create new folders
  • Create filters/rules
  • Set up new account
  • Use help feature

Web

  • Open a URL
  • Read pages efficiently
  • Access and follow links
  • Search for text on a page
  • Move back, forward, home
  • Refresh page
  • Add pages to favorites
  • Use search engines
  • Fill out multi-field forms
  • Copy/paste into Word, Dux.
  • Save a page as text only
  • History, favorites panes
  • Organize, delete favorites
  • Use help feature

Braille Translation (as applicable)

  • Use Duxbury codes to translate foreign language assignments into braille
  • Reverse translate braille file (e.g. to cut and paste sections from web-braille book into a report)

Accessing Print (as applicable)

  • Scan, read typed sheets
  • Scan, read material in books
  • Locate sections of book
  • Use auto. document feeder
  • Locate and download e-books
  • Use web-braille

Configuring Windows to be More Accessible (as applicable)

  • Accessibility Options C.P.
  • Display C.P.
  • Mouse C.P.
  • Change object and text color
  • Change size of objects, text
  • Change windows scheme
  • Change mouse appearance
  • Use application zoom feature
  • Change screen saver
  • Change screen resolution
  • Change color depth
  • Disable other features that conflict with AT being used

Online Multimedia

  • Real (One) Player
  • Windows Media Player
  • Understand streaming media
  • Identify sources of media
  • Include content in report
  • Use for recreation/leisure
  • Use help feature

Instant Messaging

  • Download, install AIM
  • Create screen name
  • Configure AIM
  • Set up buddy list
  • Understand privacy settings*
  • Respond to IM
  • Initiate IM
  • Participate in (small) chat
  • Use help feature

*To minimize the potential for inappropriate messages and people reaching your student, it is recommended that you set the privacy settings so that only people on your student’s buddy list can contact them. Be sure to get parental approval before providing instruction, explain privacy settings, and be sure they know when their child has mastered the skill so that they can monitor his/her usage.

Spreadsheets

  • Insert data
  • Navigate efficiently to cells
  • Organize data logically
  • Format text
  • Format numbers
  • Sort data
  • Apply borders
  • Insert formulae
  • Insert functions
  • Use fill to paste formulae
  • Define print areas
  • Apply independently to appropriate tasks

Database Applications

  • Insert data in existing db.
  • Navigate efficiently to records
  • Retrieve data
  • Search for records
  • Organize data logically
  • Format text
  • Format numbers
  • Sort data
  • Create simple calc. field.
  • Apply independently to appropriate tasks

Presentation Applications

  • Create visually-appealing, logically organized overheads
  • Create a visually-appealing, logically organized presentation that includes sounds and pictures
  • Independently give a presentation from the computer

Windows Objects and Controls: Form, Function, States, and Navigation

[Graphic. This image takes up the rest of the page and serves as a section divider. Within the image, text naming all of the different Windows controls is scattered throughout. The text is in different fonts, different sizes, and some is running vertically. At the center of the image, surrounded by all the controls, is a clip art image. In this clip art, there is a person standing next to a computer that is his height. He is holding an equally large hammer above his head and is about to swing it upon the computer.]

Window

Form: Rectangle

Function: Contains other objects and controls

States: Active, Inactive; Maximized, Minimized, or “somewhere in between”

Note: Some windows (applications like MS Word) contain separate windows for documents. In which case the application window is the “parent” and the document window(s) are “children.”

Access inactive parent window: Alt tab

Access inactive child window: Control F6 (usually)

Change size of parent: Alt Space, then select item

Change size of child: Alt Dash, then select item

Close child: Control F4 or Alt F then C

Exit parent: Alt F4 or Alt F then X (but sometimes Alt F then C)

Title Bar:

Form: Top line of the window

Function: Identifies the window (e.g. “Microsoft Word – Document 1”)

Access: Must use screen reader commands for this purpose

Menu Bar:

Form: Horizontal bar found just below the application’s title bar

Function: Contains menus for its application

Access: Alt (with or without letter)

Exit: Escape (Alt works too)

Navigation: Left and right arrows for menus

Open a closed menu: Enter or down arrow

Menu:

Form: Vertical List – but with circular properties. Think of it as a Lazy Susan.

Function: Provides selection of items to choose from

Access: Depends on location. Menu bar menus as above; start menu (windows key or control escape)

Navigation: Up and down arrows.

Note: When you get to the bottom and go down you wind up at the top. When you get to the top and go up you wind up at the bottom. Use enter (or shortcut) to select an item.

Exit: Escape

Tool Bar:

Form: Horizontal bar with buttons (usually graphical) typically located below the menu bar but they usually can be moved

Function: Provides mouse users with quicker access to common items located in various menus

Navigation: Get to the menu bar first. Control tab to the first toolbar. Tab moves you from item to item within the toolbar. Control tab moves you to the next toolbar and eventually back to the menu bar.

Exit: Escape

Note: Menus and shortcut keys are far more efficient. Screen readers also provide ways of accessing toolbars if toolbar access is deemed necessary.

Status Bar:

Form: Line with document and/or application-specific information located at the bottom of an application window.

Function: Provides quick access to useful information

Access: Must use the screen reader’s commands for this purpose

Dialog Box:

Form: Fixed-size window that contains controls related to its particular function

Function: Gets information from the user

Navigation: Tab and Shift Tab (or shortcut key) for controls

Exit: Escape (Alt F4 works too)

Multi-page Dialog Box:

Form: Dialog box with “page tabs” (look like file folder tabs) near the top. Each page tab takes you to a different page within that dialog box. Only one page can be showing at once (so the controls that were in front of you will be gone when you choose another page).

Function: Presents dialog box information and controls that are too numerous or complex for a single window. Helps simplify and organize.

Navigation: Select the page you want by control tab. Otherwise it’s a simple dialog box.

Exit: Escape (Alt F4 works too)

Edit Box:

Form: Box (size – one line or many -- depends on function)

Function: Allows user to type and edit information

Navigation: Arrow keys (with or without modifiers to move by larger units, select, etc.), typing, backspace and delete, etc.

Read-only Edit Box:

Form: Edit box

Function: Presents user with unchangeable text (e.g. email message that was received)

Navigation: Just like an edit box, but you cannot change the text.

Combo Box:

Form: A vertical list, but initially (and sometimes during navigation) only one line is showing. Has a little graphical arrow on its right.

Function: Similar to a menu. Provides selection of items to choose from in a dialog box or document

Navigation: Up and down arrows. But it is not “circular” like a menu. Note in some combo boxes you must down arrow to open it before you can navigate up and down. Alt down arrow will also open combo boxes.

Edit Combo Box:

Form: A combination between an edit box and a combo box. Looks like a combo box with a cursor.

Function: Provide selection of items to choose from in a dialog box or document – BUT also allows the user to type a different item.

Navigation: Up and down arrows OR type what you want

Spin Box:

Form: A single line control with text (usually numbers). It is similar to a combo box. Think of its movement like the knob/dial on a radio. It cannot be expanded like a combo box (i.e. only one item can be showing at a time). Has small graphical up and down arrows on its right.

Function: Provides the user with a selection of items (usually numbers) from which to choose one setting.

Navigation: Up and down arrow

Edit Spin Box:

Form: Combination of an edit box and a spin box

Function: Same as Spin Box

Navigation: Up and down arrow OR type in the number you want.

Check Box:

Form: Small box preceded or followed by a description. Often they appear in groups. Usually found in dialog boxes (or web forms) sometimes in documents.

Function: Allows user to decide if they want that item to be true

State: Checked or unchecked (on or off)

Navigation: Toggle state with the space bar

Note: Given a group of checkboxes, you can check as many or as few of the items as you wish. Compare this to radio buttons.

Radio Button:

Form: Small circle preceded or followed by a description. They will appear in groups. Usually found in dialog boxes (or web forms), sometimes in documents.

Function: Allows user to decide WHICH item of the group they want. Only one per group can be chosen (but you might have multiple groups).

State:” Checked” or “unchecked” (on or off)

Navigation: Having landed on a group of radio buttons, using the up and down arrows will move you from radio button to radio button. Whichever one you are on is the one that is selected. Note that this is often a source of confusion for the child (and adult) who is blind.

Button:

Form: Looks like a push button

Function: Allows user to perform a particular action in a dialog box (or web form) Examples-- Ok, apply, cancel, save, yes, no.

Access: Default button (has a dark border around it) with enter. Active button (i.e. the one you are on) with enter or space bar (usually both work, sometimes only space bar works)

List View:

Form: Typically* a vertical list

Function: Allows user to select an item (an icon, an email message, etc) from a group

State: An item in the list can be selected or not selected.

Navigation: If an item has focus (i.e. you are on it) and it is unselected, hit the space bar. Arrowing to an item causes it to be selected. It’s often faster to hit the first letter of the desired item if you happen to know what it is. Hit enter to open the selected item.

*Note: In My Computer/Windows Explorer, if view as icons is selected, the user may have to left and right arrow to locate an item. Change this to list or details by going under the View menu and selecting either or those.

Tree View:

Form: A hierarchical list view. Like an outline.

Function: Allow user to select an item (usually a folder)

Navigation: Up and down arrow. If you land on an item that is closed (has a plus on its left indicating that it contains folders that are not showing), open it with right arrow and then down arrow to the desired item. If you land on an item that is open (has a minus on its left and folders indented under it) and you want to close it, do so with the left arrow. If you are in the indented folders and you want to jump to the folder that holds them, do so with the left arrow. It’s often faster to hit the first letter of the desired item if you happen to know what it is – and if it is showing.

Note: Tree Views often (though not always) are accompanied by list views. You select the folder you want in the tree view (usually on the left) and then navigate to the list view (usually on the right) to select a document. In this instance, F6 or tab (depends upon the application) will move you between the tree view and the list view.

Remember:

The form and function of each object/control dictate how you access these items with the keyboard!