[nabs-l] More Questions Regarding Qualified Readers

Elizabeth Mohnke lizmohnke at hotmail.com
Sun Mar 12 02:31:38 UTC 2017


Hello Jen,

Thank you for your encouragement to continue to learn alternative techniques as an older non-traditional student. I plan to continue to use and improve upon my Braille skills while completing the rest of my college classes. However, I personally do not know of anyone who has learned Braille as an older adult who is able to use it as a primary mode of communication in college level classes. Therefore, I feel as though I am simply being realistic regarding my own personal goals.

Thanks,
Elizabeth

-----Original Message-----
From: NABS-L [mailto:nabs-l-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of Jen via NABS-L
Sent: Saturday, March 11, 2017 9:23 PM
To: 'National Association of Blind Students mailing list' <nabs-l at nfbnet.org>
Cc: Jen <spiderweb1 at sbcglobal.net>
Subject: Re: [nabs-l] More Questions Regarding Qualified Readers

Hi Elizabeth,

Re: "nor do I believe I will ever have the Braille skills to use Braille in a college-level math class"

I can feel the frustration and pain in your post. It must be difficult navigating college and blindness at the same time. Although I am not an older student, I can say it's never too late to learn alternative techniques.

Jen

spiderweb1 at sbcglobal.net

-----Original Message-----


From: NABS-L [mailto:nabs-l-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of Elizabeth Mohnke via NABS-L
Sent: Saturday, March 11, 2017 1:32 PM
To: National Association of Blind Students mailing list <nabs-l at nfbnet.org>
Cc: Elizabeth Mohnke <lizmohnke at hotmail.com>
Subject: Re: [nabs-l] More Questions Regarding Qualified Readers

Hello Vejas,

Thank you for taking the time to respond to my message. I agree with everything you mention in your email. However, the current personnel of my college disabilities office does not necessarily agree that my reader needs to be proficient in math in order to be a reader for math. I have not been successful in arguing for the use of my own readers instead of the readers they assign to me from the disabilities office either. 

Since I do not know Braille well enough to use in a college level math class, nor do I believe I will ever have the Braille skills to use Braille in a college level math class, I do not know how to gain equal access to the course materials required for my math classes besides the use of a reader who is proficient in reading math. Therefore, I am looking for credible sources regarding the definition of a qualified reader as this is the term that is used in the Americans With Disabilities Act as a reasonable accommodation.

Right now I feel as though the disabilities office is simply putting up roadblocks that are only preventing me from being able to use the accommodations I need to successfully complete my math requirements required for my degree and transfer requirements. And so now I need to go write the complaint form that I need to file within my college so maybe I might be able to receive the accommodations I need to receive equal access to the course materials required for my math classes.

Thanks,
Elizabeth




-----Original Message-----
From: NABS-L [mailto:nabs-l-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of Vejas Vasiliauskas via NABS-L
Sent: Tuesday, March 07, 2017 6:05 PM
To: National Association of Blind Students mailing list <nabs-l at nfbnet.org>
Cc: Vejas Vasiliauskas <alpineimagination at gmail.com>
Subject: Re: [nabs-l] More Questions Regarding Qualified Readers

Hi Elizabeth,
I didn't know that there was such a thing as a "qualified" 
reader"-I have learned that there are volunteer and paid readers.  
I would think that the ideal math and science reader should be able to understand how to do all the basic math and science symbols.
I have a math reader.  I have the book in Braille, but it is to clarify with diagrams.  She's a freshman at my college also, and took the material I am currently taking last semester, so it is nice and fresh in her mind.  (As I mentioned awhile back in one of my other emails to you, my Disability Services chooses readers by departments, although I fully understand that yours are not
willing.)
I think the 2 best options are:
1.  Department of Rehab: How flexible are they? Ideally they should be able to pay for you to have a human reader if your DSS are unwilling.
2.  Find your own reader via church, putting up posters, or maybe even emailing your Dean? They might be able to connect you with some people.
Explain that you're looking for someone with basic math and science abilities.  Then I sofest interviewing them.  
Since you already tried to take that course this semester, you may already have some worksheets available.  Then you could ask them questions like, "What does this say?" Or "Can you read this?"
So I think your ideal reader should:
1.  Understand basic math and science skills (if they understand advanced, even better) 2.  Be willing to work with you and take your commands such as "slower" and "faster"
3.  Not have too heavy an accent.
Hope this helps,
Vejas


 ----- Original Message -----
From: Elizabeth Mohnke via NABS-L <nabs-l at nfbnet.org
To: National Association of Blind Students mailing list <nabs-l at nfbnet.org>,NFB Science and Engineering Division List <nfb-science at nfbnet.org>, "NFB ofMichigan Internet Mailing List" 
<nfbmi-talk at nfbnet.org
Date sent: Tue, 7 Mar 2017 19:46:34 +0000
Subject: [nabs-l] More Questions Regarding Qualified Readers

Hello All,

Please forgive the multiple posts.  However, after sending my previous email, I was wondering if there might be any kind of standers or guidelines for reading materials for math or science classes.  If there are any credible sources for standards or guidelines for reading materials for math or science classes, perhaps this might help me establish a good definition of a qualified reader for my math classes.

I understand some of you may believe that Braille is the only way to go in terms of being able to access materials for math classes.  However, as I have already indicated, I do not know Braille well enough to use for my math classes.  And as someone who grew up sighted, most of the time it is just easier for someone to read me a simple graphic or chart than it is for me to figure out how to read this information in Braille.

The types of graphics and charts that were included in the math class that I tried to take this semester included such things as number lines and a chart that was like an excel spreadsheet listing names of cities down one Colum and temperatures going down another Colum.  I am not quite sure what might be included in the other math classes that I need to take to meet the university math requirement for the university I would like to be able to transfer to after completing my associates degree.

I am not looking to complete advance math classes here.  I am simply trying to take what is required to meet the transfer requirements.  However, I am not quite sure how to go about fulfilling my math requirement when the disabilities office at the community college that I attend does not appear to work with me so I can gain equal access to the course required for my math classes.

I do not know how else to gain access to the course materials required for my math classes, and so far the college does not agree with me on what constitutes as a qualified reader.  So again, any assistance anyone could provide in helping me find a credible source for a good clear definition of qualified reader would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Elizabeth
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