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January 12 - 17 (referrals due by November 17, 2019)

Grades 3 - 5

Student working with JAWS

Access to Academics classes teach access skills in a small group setting, usually two to three students with a teacher. Math and Assistive Technology are the instructional areas most frequently addressed. For students with low vision we offer a component of low vision tools and strategies.

Students attending an Elementary Access class typically learn skills such as:

  • Reading and writing Nemeth Code
  • Completing operations on the Cranmer abacus
  • Word processing with a screenreader or screen enlarger
  • Skills related to the use of optical devices for near, medial, and distance tasks

Students work on independent living skills, social skills, recreation & leisure, and self-determination, during after-school hours.

Students attending these week-long classes are asked to bring local assignments with them, and we provide two hours each day for students to work on them.

Student using abacusWe request that local TVIs integrate newly learned skills into students’ daily lessons after the student completes this class. Daily practice is the best way to reinforce current skill levels and promote new learning. We can be available to help you with this by offering the following supports:

  • Zoom online meetings
  • Phone conversations
  • Visits to TSBVI


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 Nina Wibbenmeyer or John Rose to discuss your options.

For additional information about the content of this section contact:

John Rose at  or 512-206-9131.

Nina Wibbenmeyer at  or 512-206-9361.

Shanna Hamilton at  or 512-206-9400


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.

Make a Short-Term Programs Referral

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