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


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:


  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?


  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?


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
    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?
  3. What percent of the message is communicated by the quality of your voice tone and inflection?
  4. Complete the sentence: Communication involves both


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."


  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?


Time allocation - 20 minutes

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


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.


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

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