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September 8 - 13, 2019 (referrals due by August 23, 2019) or

February 17 - 21, 2020 (referrals due by December 23, 2019)

Grades 6 - 8

JAASgirlwgraphboardrelAccess 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 coming to work on screen reader skills must meet certain prerequisites as described below.

The Short-Term Programs teacher and the student’s local TVI jointly determine objectives for each student (e.g., develop basic Algebra skills such as solving and graphing linear and quadratic equations; develop skills in using the Talking TI-84+ Graphing Calculator; use a screen reader or screen enlarger to create, edit, save and manage documents and to access the internet for research and recreation). We will also ask you about your student’s current level of performance in the identified skill areas. The purpose of the class is to increase each student’s ability to access the academic curriculum (TEKS) by using a specific adaptive skill set.

In addition to the specific objectives selected, 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 after school. Students attending these weeklong classes are asked to bring local assignments with them, and we provide two hours each day for students to work on them.

We 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

Student at computerScreen 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 the Program Coordinator to discuss your options.                                                                                                                                                                              

For more information about the content of this section contact Nina Wibbenmeyer at  or 512-206-9361

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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