[nabs-l] Could someone lend me a hand, please? (Question about juggling multiple items)

Ignasi Cambra ignasicambra at gmail.com
Thu Aug 5 17:06:34 UTC 2010

The thing is that, depending on how much money you are able to spend, I'm sure you can find substitutes for your laptop, keyboard and braille display which would be much smaller and portable. Smaller and portable things are not always as convenient as large ones, but maybe if you get used to them...
These days I take notes in class by using my iPhone and a small bluetooth keyboard. Maybe you want a bigger keyboard, but there are bluetooth keyboards of all sizes, and you can connect any of them to an iPhone or iPad. Both of these devices are much, much smaller and lighter than any laptop, and you can use them to take notes and organize them, read and write emails, browse the internet etc. I also know there are small, portable bluetooth braille displays available, and any of those will work just fine with either an iPhone or iPad. Plus, with an iPhone or iPad you can take notes and record the lecture at the same time.
If not, maybe using a BrailleNote would be a good idea. It has a braille display, can record, and can be used to take notes etc.
Basically what I'm saying is that I feel as though for what you need to do, you can find equipment that would be small enough for you to carry around with no need of a huge backpack. I'm really happy taking notes with my iPhone and keyboard. It's like having a laptop without having to take it around all the time. I only use the bluetooth keyboard when I'm writing long texts or taking notes in class. If not, the iPhone by itself is enough.
Just throwing in some ideas...!

On Aug 4, 2010, at 4:47 PM, Jewel S. wrote:

> Hi everyone,
> As the title suggests, I need a bit of help...some advice, really. But
> I sure wish someone could literally lend me a hand. I need that third
> hand something fierce!
> Here's my dilemma. I will be starting school at the local community
> college in two weeks. I have a very nice High Sierra rolling backpack.
> It has a retractable handle with a T-grip which makes it easy to pull.
> However, I also have a long white cane and a T-grip support cane. One
> hand for the white cane, one hand for the support cane (I have tried
> carrying things in my right hand while using the support cane and I
> simply can't put enough weight on the cane to use it properly if I'm
> holding something...if it can hang on my wrist, and is not too heavy,
> I can do that, but it must be very light, such as a bag of light
> groceries {a bag of papertwoels, a bag with shampoo and conditiner,
> some small grocery items, etc.}, and one hand for the rolling
> backpack. That just doesn't add up to two!
> My primary doctor and my chiropractor have warned me several times not
> to put anything more than a few pounds on my shoulders or back, and
> definitely not a backpack full of books, so carrying the bag on my
> back when I use my support cane is out of the question. I have several
> slipped discs in my neck and severe misalignment in my back and hips,
> so I have to be careful not to carry too much. I also have problems
> with my arms and wrists; if I carry something heavy on my wrist or
> forearm, it will start tingling and sending lightning bolts of pain up
> and down my arm. Further, with my bad hips and knees, using a waist
> harness of some sort to pull the backpack seems out of the question as
> well.
> I brought this concern up to the Disability office at the college and
> they and I together could not think of anything to solve my problem. I
> suggested a volunteer pulling my bag from class to class, but they
> said they do not have the means to find someone or schedule such a
> volunteer's time. I am going to ask my VR counselor and my O&M
> instructor about it tomorrow, but I wanted to ask here. Surely I'm not
> the only one who has had this dilemma? Are there any of you out there
> who use both a white cane and a support cane with no hands for rolling
> backpack or other items?
> Any advice, suggestions, or ideas would be invaluable to me, as I'm
> truly at a loss. I didn't even think of it until yesterday when I was
> at the college and tried to do it and couldn't, and was in no
> condition to walk without my support cane without stumbling and/or
> falling often.
> ~Jewel
> Check out my blog about accessibility for the blind!
> Treasure Chest for the Blind: http://blindtreasurechest.blogspot.com
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