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by Sharon Nichols


In today's world learning to use email applications is a natural activity for most students. The rewards are almost immediate! Here are some ideas to help your student jump into the glorious world of email.

  • Have student use email to contact the VI teacher with questions or weekly updates. (Depending on access to equipment and homework load the student may need a designated time at school to do this!)
  • Students can email each other. Several of our students met at a VI low vision day and exchanged email addresses.
  • Email your student encouraging messages, information on interesting web sites, or even a joke. This gives them opportunities to practice opening and reading their email.

Phone book:

Help your student set up phone book file using a computer or Braille notetaker.

  • Practice phone skills using the phone book file your student has created.
  • Encourage your student to add new numbers to the file monthly (family, friends, teachers)
  • Have your student call the State Library to order books and keep the number in the phone book file.


Use the calendar function on your student's computer (as in Microsoft Outlook), or a Braille notetaker. Your student could learn to use this function to keep up with class assignments and projects. All students learn to keep an assignment notebook and using technology can reduce the bulk of paperwork your student carries.

Writing Journal:

Allow your student to keep their writing journal in their Braille notetaker or computer.

  • Have to student print out journal entries at the end of the week to place in a notebook. Allowing them to keep one progressive journal per week, gives the student daily practice on locating, opening, and saving files.
  • Show your student how to create a "diary" on their device.


Use technology in the classroom to take notes. Students can listen to or print out note files to study for exams.

Completing Classroom Assignments:

Students should use their notetakers and computers to complete as many classroom assignments as is appropriate. (Remember, that math must be written on a Braillewriter.) Technology allows students to turn in work on time and in a format that the teacher can read.

Use Scanners to Access Materials:

Teach your students to scan print materials and use OCR software to access those materials. This will be a skill for life!