[blindkid] Technology and Little Kid

Albert J Rizzi albert at myblindspot.org
Thu Feb 18 17:17:25 UTC 2010


I never got that  Heather did not support the introduction or use of a slate
and stylus, just that in this technology age, as I understood the question
as posed   technologies are key to introduce to children as early as
possible.

Albert J. Rizzi, M.Ed.
CEO/Founder
My Blind Spot, Inc.
90 Broad Street - 18th Fl.
New York, New York  10004
www.myblindspot.org
PH: 917-553-0347
Fax: 212-858-5759
"The person who says it cannot be done, shouldn't interrupt the one who is
doing it."


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-----Original Message-----
From: blindkid-bounces at nfbnet.org [mailto:blindkid-bounces at nfbnet.org] On
Behalf Of Carrie Gilmer
Sent: Thursday, February 18, 2010 11:00 AM
To: 'NFBnet Blind Kid Mailing List,(for parents of blind children)'
Subject: Re: [blindkid] Technology and Little Kid

Dear Heather,
I strongly disagree. Just as Braille is not outdated. Even paper Braille,
neither is the slate and stylus as is also neither the pen or pencil. I know
hundreds of blind people as well. I know many in their twenties, thirties
and one in his teens (my son) who are absolutely proficient with it, own
Braille Notes or other notetakers (electronic), and yet still find times on
a weekly if not daily basis to jot something down most conveniently by
slate. My employer who is a federal investigator with a federal agency
regularly uses it for one, for note taking and for writing questions down in
interviewing witnesses, charging parties and respondents. My son has more
than once found himself in class with a crashed BrailleNote, or at another
place where it was inconvenient to carry the technology and the small slate
and note cards served him well. Indeed it was the best and sometimes only
independent option. All these people only turn to this because they have
proficiency in it. The abysmal truth is that I would wager that those who do
not use the slate are those who are not proficient in its use. Because you
do not have proficiency or others you know I think it troubling that such a
strong dismissal of the tool as archaic is given here. And those I might add
who "could use them in a pinch" had at one time learned to use them to some
degree of proficiency.

As far as age goes, it is a myth that a four year old can not figure out the
slate. Four year old sighted children have already been given thousands of
attempts at the fine motor skill of holding a writing tool and making marks.
Then they work at getting the marks more and more accurate. It is a bad idea
to teach it as backwards, typically any trouble is only the trouble the
teacher might feel and is transferred. 

Children learn hundreds of differing things at the same time. There is no
reason to exclude technology or low tech things at this age. It is true that
I have seen some difficulty with learning typing on the Perkins and the
slate at the same exact time. I think it fine to scribble or play on the
Perkins, but if it were my child I would teach the basic of slate first
(even starting earlier than four for holding and making dots) and then add
the Perkins, keeping up daily practice of small writings on the slate. It is
indeed very difficult and requires much dedication to get the slate "in"
these days. WE always drift to the easier thing, Perkins if often "easier"
at first as is keyboard or six electronic entry "easier" than the
Perkins...so it becomes more difficult for a student or child to accept the
slate the longer you wait.

I have known several blind students (including an international student age
16 from Ukraine we hosted once) who only used the slate and never did like
the Perkins and could write as fast with a stylus and I can with a pen. You
use what you know, what is proficient is what seems easiest.

The use of a stylus also can aid in developing fine motor strength further
for learning cursive for signatures and if time and effort is taken to learn
to write print as well.

Sincerely,
Carrie Gilmer

-----Original Message-----
From: blindkid-bounces at nfbnet.org [mailto:blindkid-bounces at nfbnet.org] On
Behalf Of Heather
Sent: Thursday, February 18, 2010 7:05 AM
To: NFBnet Blind Kid Mailing List,(for parents of blind children)
Subject: Re: [blindkid] Technology and Little Kid

No disrespect, but you've got to be kidding me.  No blind people I know, 
children or adults, down right brilliant to mentally challenged, men or 
women use those anymore.  Many own them, and could use them in a pinch, but 
honestly, no one uses them as a main means of writing or on a regular basis.

Some people in the fifty or older set still rely on them, because they were 
not able to keep up with the changing technology, which I can understand and

sympathize with, but even my sixty year old blind mother laughed when I 
showed her this, or rather told her that this had come up on list.  For 
confidentiality reasons I never show any one who is not on the list, list 
emails, and never give names or any spacifics..  I could honestly say that I

know over two hundred to three hundred blind people, and I asked on a list 
serve for guide dog users, one for blind parents and one for blind students,

and the uunanomous answer was "You've got to be kidding"  I think her four 
year old would best be served to learn how to use a cell phone or home phone

to call his mother and to dial 911.  I think he should be learning on a 
braille note, voice recorder or how to use a victor reader or ipod touch. 
Things like that, plus basic braille and print literacy.
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Mike Freeman" <k7uij at panix.com>
To: "NFBnet Blind Kid Mailing List,(for parents of blind children)" 
<blindkid at nfbnet.org>
Sent: Wednesday, February 17, 2010 10:46 PM
Subject: Re: [blindkid] Technology and Little Kid


>A slate and stylus!
>
> Mike
>
> ----- Original Message ----- 
> From: "David Andrews" <dandrews at visi.com>
> To: <blindkid at nfbnet.org>
> Sent: Wednesday, February 17, 2010 7:01 PM
> Subject: [blindkid] Technology and Little Kid
>
>
>>I got asked a question, the other day, and since most of my experience is 
>>with blind adults -- I didn't know quite what to say.  A woman said she 
>>had a four year old totally blind daughter, and she wanted her to keep up 
>>with her peers in technology, so what assistive technology/technology is 
>>here  -- should she start using with her child?
>>
>> Dave
>>
>>
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