[blindkid] Talking typing Teacher

Richard Holloway rholloway at gopbc.org
Wed Sep 30 16:14:52 UTC 2009

One possible FREE workaround is to use JAWS in "Demo" mode. Unless  
they have changed how it is setup with the last revision, the free  
JAWS demo disk will work for a short time-- (I think 45 minutes?) and  
it will apparently be fully functional for that timeframe. After that  
I think the reset procedure is simply to restart the computer-- we  
bought the actual JAWS program so I've never really used it in "demo"  
but I've heard a number of TVI's say they use this solution routinely.

This would not be my first choice and some might suggest this is  
unethical, but I would say that it is making the best possible use of  
what Freedom Scientific offers with their demo. Long-term, obviously  
there will be a need for a proper solution that works as long as it is  
needed but the TVI's I've heard suggesting this have said that 45  
minutes is generally the length of the actual work duration of most of  
their students computer sessions once you take away the time to get  
started and clean up from an hour long class. In fact at your child's  
age, 20 or 30 minutes might even be enough.

Freedom Scientific (the maker of Jaws) must know this is going on-- it  
is discussed freely at NFB conventions each year-- I've heard it  
discussed in seminars both this year and in 2008. Perhaps this is the  
very reason they offer that length of time for the demo to run,  
knowing that people in the workplace would be frustrated and buy this  
but that some students could benefit.

Also, I think the lack of a brand-name solution is common-- similarly,  
they hesitate to require a PACmate (Freedom Scientific) vs. a Braille  
and Speak (Humanware), etc.

I think this is the standard problem for all government purchases  
where you have to spec the gear you need, not specify the vendor...

Good Luck,


On Sep 30, 2009, at 10:02 AM, Amber Hall wrote:

> Hello, everyone. I wanted to see if anyone knew about the program  
> Talking Typing Teacher. My daughter  is almost 8  & in the 2nd  
> grade. She doesn't have a lot of experience with computers yet.( I  
> put it in her IEP to get training  within 1st 9 weeks). But this  
> program is what they want to use to replace Jaws or window Eyes,  
> because of the cost. I am so frustrated with them not wanting to  
> spend the money for her to get what she needs. Is there another  
> program out there like Window Eyes or Jaws that isn't so expensive?  
> Or are they just going to have to break down and buy Window Eyes or  
> Jaws? I tried to put it in her IEP that she get Window Eyes, but  
> they came back and said they don't like putting name brands in  
> IEP's. Is this true? Also, if anybody else  has had  trouble getting  
> Special Services to get the Technology etc. that  their  blind child  
> needs but finally succeeded, could you give me some pointers? I   
> called a case conference the day before school
> started. It took 28 days from the conference date to get the  
> revisions wrote up. Even after waiting 28 days the revisions weren't  
> even close to what I talked about at the case conference. I had to e- 
> mail my version of rewritten goals and things i had talked about to  
> be put in there in the first place. i still have not received the  
> IEp yet. I am told it is on it's way! I'm very frustrated. How long  
> does Special Services have to get the IEP back to me after the case  
> Conference? The conference was Aug. 18. It's almost October and  
> still no IEP. Your suggestions are greatly appreciated!
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