[blindkid] Braille Sense

hpscheffer at aol.com hpscheffer at aol.com
Fri Oct 29 22:20:27 UTC 2010

Thank you Steve for your time in responding to my question. 
This has been very helpful, and I have a clear picture to call a meeting and resolve this. I have learned a lot with experience along these years, but your input has been enlightening, so thank you again very much. 

And also thank you to someone else with no name for responding and giving me some input. 

It all has helped very much.

Have a great weekend,


-----Original Message-----
From: Steve Jacobson <steve.jacobson at visi.com>
To: NFBnet Blind Kid Mailing List,(for parents of blind children) <blindkid at nfbnet.org>
Sent: Fri, Oct 29, 2010 1:50 pm
Subject: Re: [blindkid] Braille Sense


You have my complete sympathy in trying to get this resolved, and please 
understand that I am just trying to lay out the facts below.  I wish there were 
some magic answers.

I don't know who would have told you that technology that one receives in second 
grade will last them through high school, that is unfortunately not 
realistic.  Most sighted kids in high school now are not using the technology 
they had in second grade.  I understand that working through the school 
district makes upgrading more difficult, though.  Unfortunately, note-takers are 
particularly affected in this way because we are depending on smaller 
companies to upgrade both the hardware and the software.  Given what you are 
saying about the $450 cost to upgrade Window-Eyes, I can only assume 
that her version of that program is also very, very old.  Whichever screen 
reader that she were to use, there needs to be a plan for funding upgrades 
which will run $100 per year or so.  One can save a little money by purchasing a 
software maintenance agreement, an SMA, which will allow several 
upgrades to be purchased in advance at a discount.  GW Micro has such a program.  
It seldom pays to skip an upgrade because the next upgrade 
includes the features and usually the costs of the previous one as you have 

Some are starting to feel that a braille display with a small computer might be 
the way to go since the most expensive part of the device remains stable, but 
there are pros and cons to that.  To complicate matters further, the makers of 
the BrailleSense, HIMS Inc., has discontinued their association with GW 
Micro within the past month, and opened up their own office.  There may be some 
sort of trade-in policy as there generally has been with the BrailleNote, 
but it is not clear to whom you should turn at this point.  GW Micro could 
probably tell you, though, if there was a trade-in policy and if it is likely 
going to 
continue, even though it won't be GW Micro handling it.

Please write again if any of this is not clear.  Again, I know that dealing with 
upgrades and equipment with school districts is difficult as budgets are very 
tight, and how you approach them is going to be very specific to your situation 
and your school district.  It could be that looking for alternative funding 
sources is something to consider even though I don't personally like that 

Best regards,

On Fri, 29 Oct 2010 10:25:51 -0400, hpscheffer at aol.com wrote:

>Thanks Bran, I know it belongs to them and my daughter has it as a loan. I 
would like to know if it could be sold, to make up for the expense of the new 
one. If I go into a meeting this will make it easier for them to consider 
getting a new one, rather than being stuck with a Braille Sense. We live in a 
town and my daughter is the 1st blind child going through the system, so it's 
not that they can give it to another child that could need or use it. 
>She can use a flash drive for extra memory, but the BS it's not working with a 
new printer they got her because it's not compatible, and the Window Eyes 
is out of date, the upgrade is another $450 to make it work with Internet 
Explorer 8, so she can not do assignments on the Internet. It's like we are in a 

catch 22. 


>-----Original Message-----
>From: Brandy W <branlw at sbcglobal.net>
>To: 'NFBnet Blind Kid Mailing List,(for parents of blind children)' 
<blindkid at nfbnet.org>
>Sent: Fri, Oct 29, 2010 9:30 am
>Subject: Re: [blindkid] Braille Sense

>It is property of the district so you need to ask them. Essentially it is on
>loan to her. If you were to move or something you would need to give it
>back. Doesn't it take flash cards for more memory? Bran

>"The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you
>learn, the more places you'll go." -- Dr. Seuss 
>Brandy Wojcik
>Discovery Toys Educational Consultant and Team Leader
>Phone: 512) 689-5045
>Ask me about:
>*How you can do what I do and earn money sharing educational toys with the
>ones you love,
>*How to earn free Discovery Toys products while having fun with friends,
>Order a gift basket for any age

>-----Original Message-----
>From: blindkid-bounces at nfbnet.org [mailto:blindkid-bounces at nfbnet.org] On
>Behalf Of hpscheffer at aol.com
>Sent: Friday, October 29, 2010 8:18 AM
>To: blindkid at nfbnet.org
>Subject: [blindkid] Braille Sense

>Hello everyone,

>My daughter 11yrs old and in 5th grade has a Braille Sense, she's had it
>since 2nd grade. It is how she does most of her work for school and reads.
>As it seems it does not have the memory she needs as her load gets bigger,
>more books on it etc. We are looking at the possibility to upgrade to a
>Braille Sense Plus, but not sure if they will be willing to invest in a new
>one. When the School system got hers 4 yrs. ago the thought was it will last
>her till high school. 
>Does any one know if we can sell the one she has now? Any info would be
>greatly appreciated


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