[nabs-l] Consultation regarding an Academic Mission Needed

Ashley Bramlett bookwormahb at earthlink.net
Sun Jun 3 05:04:34 UTC 2012


Brandon,
What is your major? Haven't seen you here til recently.

-----Original Message----- 
From: Brandon Keith Biggs
Sent: Sunday, June 03, 2012 12:43 AM
To: National Association of Blind Students mailing list
Subject: Re: [nabs-l] Consultation regarding an Academic Mission Needed

Hello,
If you're a computer programmer, you may not like mainstream products.
For example I can't stand the victor readers and I'm only getting an Apex
because it's the smallest 32 celled PDA out there.
But for programming, getting your hands on a Braille+ would be heaven as it
runs on a Linux operating system and it uses Python in its sours code. They
opened up a developer package, so one is able to develop their own apps for
the BP and the commands are very programmer friendly.
The only thing that I've heard is hard in a computer engineer class is
soldering the small wires to the different hardware pieces without touching
anything.
Other than that, programming blind is just as fast if not faster than
programming sighted.
But really join the program list.
Thanks,

Brandon Keith Biggs
-----Original Message----- 
From: Joshua Lester
Sent: Saturday, June 02, 2012 9:01 PM
To: National Association of Blind Students mailing list
Subject: Re: [nabs-l] Consultation regarding an Academic Mission Needed

What about contacting these guys, to get your books in Braille, if
that's what you prefer?
http://www.mbvol.org
Just wondering!
Joshua

On 6/2/12, Ashley Bramlett <bookwormahb at earthlink.net> wrote:
> Hamid,
> I'll start by saying  that I graduated from Marymount university, a 
> private
> liberal arts school, a few years ago. I combined studies for a degree as I
> did not feel I could handle a full degree in psychology. At the time the
> stats software, SPSS, was not accessible and I would have faced other
> barriers. My degree was in liberal studies with focus in communication and
> psychology.
> School is challenging at the post secondary level because you do not have
> access to braille. In public school my Teacher of the vision impaired, 
> TVI,
> obtained my books in accessible format either audio, braille or large 
> print
> or a combo of those as well as brailled any handouts the class received.
> Therefore when my sighted classmates got a worksheet, so did I and I did 
> not
> have to wait for alternative forms of texts as I did in college. I did
> despite requesting electronic formats way in advance of my classes!
> I'm also not too active in NFB so my opinion may differ from others. I 
> know
> we want to present a positive image, but IMO we may have to take it slowly
> at the beginning while adjusting to a new school, new major, and new ways 
> of
> doing things.
>
> Anyway, that said, I wish you success in your
> computer science studies. You might want to do two classes your first
> semester. Where will you be studying? What country do you
> come
> from and were you educated there in a mainstream class or school for the
> blind? Do you mind sharing what your vision impairment is? Its obvious 
> your
> vision loss is new and I'm guessing probably a gradual loss. Maybe you 
> have
> RP, retinitinis pigmentosa. I'm visually impaired too, so I  know the
> benefits of seeing things where spatial relationships are involved. 
> However,
> I also was taught braille and use that as my primary medium and print my
> secondary one for reading.
> I think by seeing something like say geometry figures or a diagram of the
> heart, I can better picture it than if I learned it just by a description.
> So, for some of us vision impaired people, using it is effective and we do
> not have to use all nonvisual ways. Because you cannot read braille
> effectively, I think using your vision may help a lot provided you can see
> large print well without fatigue.
> BTW, you might be able to use jumbo braille a little bit even though you
> have hand trimmers.
>
> I do not know computer science or math majors so my advice may be more
> general and I'm imagining what might be useful to you
> in this program of study based on the little I know of CS.
>
> You are right that getting special equipment will help your studies a lot.
> I use adaptive equipment all the time. For instance, I love my braille 
> note,
> a portable PDA from humanware. In the US, we have a service that records
> books on CD and digital form. It
> is Learning Ally www.learningally.org.
> I do not know if they provide service to study abroad students, but you
> might check on that. Learning ally may have your textbooks in their 
> library.
> If you choose to use them, you might want to buy a VR Stream and you can 
> use
> an sd card to play their books. You could also buy a vr stratus which 
> plays
> daisy cds. Both are available from humanware.
>
> These are some other ideas here. I know you will need a way to draw things
> in your CS studies. They use a lot of flow charts and also if you study
> computer programming that has a lot of visual stuff too.
> You already know about freedom scientific because you use jaws and 
> openbook.
> If you tell us how you plan to read your books and take notes I might have
> more suggestions.
>
> Let me know if you need or want to know where to purchase these. The first
> four items are available from APH, American printing house for the blind.
> Click on products and then low vision reading and writing to find these.
>
> 1. bold line paper or bold line notebook; these lines are easier to see 
> than
> standard loose leaf paper.
> 2. writing guides; these are templates which you slide a paper into and
> write between the boxes of the template; good for writing straight if you 
> do
> not have lined paper.
> 3. large print ruler
> 4. bold lined graph paper; might help as you draw concepts or if you take
> math classes
> 5. a CCTV, it’s a magnifier that you put a paper or book underneath it and
> it magnifies print on the screen
> 6. a digital recorder
>
> Other tools for writing or drawing diagrams you can get at general stores.
> You could use Mr. Sketch markers some. They are multi clored and good for
> drawing contrasting lines. You might also use graphic art tape, which is 
> in
> red and black, so you could see and touch the lines if you used both 
> colors.
> Crayola also makes some thick markers you might also be able to see well 
> and
> find useful.
>
> Good luck.
>
> Ashley
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Hamid Hamraz
> Sent: Saturday, June 02, 2012 5:54 AM
> To: Blind Math ; National Association of Blind Students mailing list
> Subject: [nabs-l] Consultation regarding an Academic Mission Needed
>
> Dear all,
>
> I am going to start a computer science graduate program in US in the
> upcoming fall. However, this is my first academic mission after I got
> visually impaired. The standard load for a semester would be 3 graduate
> courses. On the other hand, as you know, we blinds and VI folks are
> remarkably slower in CS-related assignments like math, programming, etc.
>
> Now, I greatly appreciate it if experienced people in the list offer me
> suggestions regarding the course load, etc. Besides, I should order
> VI-related equipment for my workplace well in advance. So far I've thought
> about these:
>
> 1. A large LCD (+25 inch)
> 2. Headphone
> 3. Scanner
> 4. Printer
> 5. Whiteboard (on which I can read single letters and digits or very large
> figures/diagrams)
> 6. Software (JAWS and Open Book to which I am very well accustomed)
> 7. An ergonomic keyboard with many extra function keys
>
> Please note that I can not read Braille effectively (mostly because of 
> some
> very little tremor in my hands and fingers).
>
> If anybody has some other things to add to the list, I'd be glad to hear.
>
> Look forward to hearing back both your academic and non-academic advices.
>
> Many thanks,
>
> Hamid
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