[nabs-l] accomodations for english classes
lucysirianni at earthlink.net
Tue Jan 27 08:17:12 UTC 2015
As a doctoral candidate in English and a college-level English
instructor, let me take a stab at answering just a few of your
First, I would encourage you to obtain the text in a format you
can access via Braille display. This will not only allow you to
access them in class but will also make it much easier to
integrate quotes into your writing, as you can simply paste them
into your analysis. Many of the Norton anthologies are available
via Bookshare. If the one you're using isn't, feel free to
contact me directly, as I frequently teach from various Norton
anthologies and may be able to point you toward an accessible
version of the one assigned for your class.
Second, I would ask for both comments and handouts to be sent to
you electronically. These are very reasonable accommodations to
request and ones I routinely offer students with no inconvenience
to myself. Assuming you do indeed have a note-taker, you
shouldn't need the handouts too far in advance of class, so the
professor shouldn't need to alter his or her schedule of lesson
I haven't worked with Blackboard or with texts in audio format,
so I can't offer any input on your other questions, but please
don't hesitate to be in touch if I can help with anything else.
Enjoy the course!
----- Original Message -----
From: Ashley Bramlett via nabs-l <nabs-l at nfbnet.org
To: "National Association of Blind Students mailing list"
<nabs-l at nfbnet.org
Date sent: Mon, 26 Jan 2015 23:24:54 -0500
Subject: [nabs-l] accomodations for english classes
Iâm taking a literature elective. A year or so back, I tried
taking one and wrote to you all about a professor not interested
in accomodating me.
He showed videos of the literature he used and I would not be
able to access that outside class with a reader among other
Fortunately, my new professor for short story seems nice and
willing to help. No videos are used and his class is very
auditory with lots of discussion; sometimes in small groups and
sometimes as a whole class.
Here are my questions and concerns though.
Note that I have the book in audio form now, but am looking for
it in text form and may ask my dss office to get it from the
publisher. I generally have found publisher files unfriendly
though as its pdf. the words are often smashed together and
words are broken up with hyphens as jaws reads them.
But, I might need to try that way as I really need to see the
text and spelling of some words. Otherwise, I may have to pay a
reader to read some of the stories where Learning ally readers
are low quality or in situations where I need to see the spelling
and quotes in the story.
What ideas do you have for these issues.
1. The class is asked to bring their texts and reference
passages for discussion.
So far, the prof or a student reads the quotes to me. But I am
at a disadvantage not seeing the quotes in their context. Other
students can read further past the quote or skim the page to
refresh their memory where the passage came from.
Do you bring an accessible copy of the book to class? for
instance, a brf file or text file on your braille notetaker.
2. We have to write about the readings either a reading journal
response or discussion board.
After writing them, how has your professor given you feedback?
Do you ask for it electronically so you can read his/her
In the past, Iâve handed in homework and professors wrote it by
hand like everyone else; they would go over it with me if I asked
or I just asked my reader to read it over.
But, since the prof does it electronically via blackboard, maybe,
he could write the feedback in the paper.
3. For the discussion boards, is that accessible? I use jaws 15.
If you had issues, what were they? They use blackboard and we
have to not only have to write a new post but also comment on
them as well, and I donât know if I will be able to comment on
them. I know I could not years ago in an english class.
4. How do you work quotes into your reading responses or essays?
Doing this auditorily is harder and I hope I can get this book in
The only way I can think of is to copy it carefully verbatum on
my braille note first as Iâm reading.
I cannot go back like everyone else and skim for quotes and then
pick what I want to. Iâll have to think about it as I read and
copy it down as I listen.
Is it okay to start a paragraph with the quote or should I
explain it and then quote it?
5. Our responses have to be a certain word count or more. I use
word 2010. How do I find the word count?
Also when using handouts in class for activities, how do you
access them? Just use another student as a reader? Thatâs what
Iâve usually done.
I was considering trying to get handouts ahead of time, but I
donât think the professor preps too far in advance.
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