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You are now viewing the Short-Term Programs course description for Screen Reader Boot Camp.

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January 18 - 21

Grades 4 - 6

TVIs and students work with a screen reader togetherThis unique class is designed to provide simultaneous screenreader instruction for local TVIs and their students1. It attempts to address the ongoing challenge of students maintaining their newly acquired skills, by providing extra support and direct instruction to the local TVI before, during and after the class.

During the planning phase, the STP coordinator talks with each TVI to discuss current skill levels2, and then identifies a small group of student/TVI teams with relatively similar needs. Group and individual objectives are identified.

While attending the TSBVI on-campus class, the STP teacher provides instruction to the students, while TSBVI’s Technology Outreach Consultant provides simultaneous instruction to the group of local TVIs. At the dorm after school, students practice skills of independent living (e.g., preparing simple meals, serving and cleaning in the kitchen, organizing one’s personal area), as well as social skills, recreation & leisure, and self-determination. We have found that the opportunity to simply be together and share similar challenges can be an invaluable, life-changing experience for students.

At the end of the class, the TSBVI staff and the local TVIs discuss the objectives, instructional strategies, vocabulary, and next steps in order to maintain the students' and the local TVIs' skills with the screen reader. The on-campus workshop is followed later in the year by one or more online, hour-long sessions using a web-conferencing platform (a simple way for all participants to see and talk with one another from their own offices or classrooms). The follow-up session(s) give students and their teachers the opportunity to reconnect, see how things are going, and build upon what was learned during the on-campus workshop.

1 TVI Expenses

  • TSBVI can house TVIs in a dormitory on our campus at no cost. There will be access to inexpensive meals in our cafeteria or meals can be prepared at the dorm. There are also several good restaurants within walking distance from our campus.
  • TSBVI will pay transportation and all other costs for students; however we will not be able to pay transportation costs for staff. Transportation costs would fall to the school district.
  • This class will be small, so please apply soon.

 

Screen reader prerequisites

Students using a screen reader can learn to access the computer in two ways: using a keyboard or using a refreshable braille display.

  • Keyboard: appropriate for students with a basic knowledge of alphabet, number, and punctuation keys. Students ideally should be able to type simple sentences. Help your student learn typing skills by using the free Talking Typer software from the American Printing House for the Blind (APH).
  • Refreshable braille display: appropriate for students who are comfortable typing on a Perkins brailler and who can transfer skills to the keys of a braille display. Your student should have access to a braille display in her own school district to build on her skills after the class ends. If your student doesn’t have access to a braille display and you are interested in exploring instruction using this method, please contact John Rose at 512-206-9131 or to discuss your options.

To borrow a braille display, investigate:  

  • Your local ESC
  • TSBVI Tech Loan Library

Software to be taught in the TSBVI class must be installed on a computer that the student can access for frequent practice after returning home, in order to maintain skills.

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