[nabs-l] Help with Powerpoints and german Class

Julie McGinnity kaybaycar at gmail.com
Mon Aug 29 22:37:31 UTC 2016

Hi Tristin!

Yay German!  I was a German major in undergrad and would love to help.

First, a couple questions...  Do you read Braille?  If so, do you have
a refreshable Braille display or device?  In which format do you have
your German book?

I used Braille as much as possible in German classes.  It is difficult
to learn spelling and read out loud if you do not actually read in the
language.  Getting a tutor is only as good as the tutor you get.  I
never used a tutor and didn't like using readers in language classes
because I found I didn't learn as well with someone else reading to me
in a foreign language.

Are you having trouble following along with the professor in class?
Is there absolutely no English spoken?

Some professors will give you little hints via sound clues or help you
out with a word or two in English, and some will not.  That is why I
ask.  To be honest, throwing the blind kid a few English word bones
will not disrupt the learning of the rest of the class, since,
undoubtedly, everyone in an introductory class is already thinking in
English...  :)

I would recommend throwing the Powerpoints into word and then changing
the language of the word document to German.  That way, you will not
hear your screen reader speaking German as English.  If you use
Braille, I can give you the steps you will need to emboss in the
proper language if you want your tests or notes in hard copy Braille.
I can also try to help you get your documents on the note taker,
depending on the model you have.

I miss language classes so much!!!  Enjoy the learning!

On 8/29/16, KENNEDY STOMBERG via NABS-L <nabs-l at nfbnet.org> wrote:
> Hello,
> I have never taken introductory German, but I did take introductory French.
> I can't speak for anyone else. I got a tutor, because I'm really bad at four
> languages. It had nothing to do with my being blind.
> As for power points, I am told that it is relatively easy for professors to
> convert them into PDFs. I would email your professors and ask if this is
> something they could do.
> Kennedy Stomberg
> (218)295-2391
>> On Aug 29, 2016, at 3:05 PM, Tristan Torres via NABS-L <nabs-l at nfbnet.org>
>> wrote:
>> Hi all. I know some of you are starting classes today, and I hope that
>> your first day of classes have gone well, or at least better than mine
>> has. Mine involved a broken cane. Typical Monday, Eh? At any rate, I was
>> wondering if any of you could give me some tips on how to gain the most
>> out of a language class as a blind person. I am taking an introductory
>> German course, and was wondering specifically if there were any blind
>> people who took that. If not, that’s okay too. I have already asked a
>> blind person I know, and he recommends i get a tutor to go over any
>> materials that I might have missed, due to a combination of not knowing
>> the language, and what can often times be a very visual class. Do you
>> think this is a good idea? Also, my German professor, as well as all of my
>> other professors tend to use powerpoint a lot in their lectures. They’re
>> often posted on blackboard well before the class so that anyone can look
>> at them and prepare for upcoming lectures. I know that powerpoint can be
>> successfully read by a blind person using the right program, but I was
>> wondering if there was a more streamlined and accessible alternative to a
>> powerpoint? In the past i have just gone without relying on the
>> powerpoints, but think it might be helpful if I end up missing a lecture,
>> or in the case of german, needing to be prepared before the class starts.
>> Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. Looking forward to hearing from
>> you all. Tristan
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Julie A. McGinnity
President, National Federation of the Blind Performing Arts Division,
Second Vice President, National Federation of the Blind of Missouri
"For we walk by faith, not by sight"
2 Cor. 7

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