The Intact Sketch pad

Okay so it’s Monday. Because I had nothing to write about I went on a search. I found the following
It’s called intact sketch pad. You can draw graphs, pictures for art class, maps, and so much more. It only weighs 3 pounds, and it’s no bigger than a laptop. I would honestly love to test this out, but I can’t afford it. πŸ™ It sounds pretty cool though.
What’s the price?
If you bought one it would run you about $125. If after seeing the price tag you still want one, or you want to learn more about it. You can visit this link. Don’t forget to check out the intact sketchpad eraser to erase all your mistakes. The eraser will cost you $150. Just from looking at the page where you buy it it’s going to be one pound, comes with triple A batteries, and works like a miniature iron, so it’s obviously going to be hot. I’d like to test this as well, just to see how well it works. πŸ™‚ Especially because it works with other tactile drawing boards, and not just the intact sketch board. However, I think carrying these around from class to class would become a little much weight wise. Though, I could be wrong about that. I could see both of these things being useful in schools/colleges.
I really want to test both of these products. Since I don’t have the money I guess I’ll keep on dreaming. Lol. Anyway, I hope everyone has an amazing day.
Thanks for reading!

Office of disabilities card

I promised you I’d come back, and explain what the office of disabilities card is. What better day than to day… a monday, and college day. Here goes nothing.
Basically it’s this card that you’re suppose to take with you from class to class on the first day. It’s a laminated piece of paper. It has the Coordinator’s name as well as your name, student id number (used to identify you in college in the U. S.), and the ecomidations that your teachers/instructors/professors will need to make in order to teach you properly. It might contain things like “must sit in front of the room for listening purposes”
Only the office of disabilities can give you such a card. At least that’s how it works in my college. The purpose of us carrying it around is so the instructor/teacher/professor can match it to the copy they already have. As well as to match it with your face I’m assuming. They also use it to go over the ecomidations with you, and make sure they can understand them correctly At least I’m assuming that’s what their doing when they ask me questions. πŸ™‚
Another thing is that the cards only last for two years. So after that if you’re still in college with that particular college you’d have to get it renewed. At least that’s how it works in the college I go to. If yours is different let me know. I’m actually really curious.
Thanks for reading!

The last straw!

I know that we normally do college stuff on Monday, but I wasn’t sure if I wanted to post this story, so if you would please bare with me that’d be great. Here goes nothing!
A week or so ago we were in this heatwave thing. We had heat advisories, and everything. So, my dad decides that we’re going to go to class about 10-20 minutes early. Once we got there however, he discovered that there was another class happening in the classroom where I’d normally have class. (surprise, Surprise!) So we just stood in the hallway for a few minutes against the wall.
When we walked down the hallway my instructor came up to me, and said “I need to talk to you.” I said “Okay.” He proceeds to tell me that he was wrong, that he does in fact need to see my Office of disabilities card (more on that in another blog.), and that when I’d asked before he’d said that he honestly didn’t care, and meant it. (he’s an easy going guy.) He said that he’d gotten an email about it that morning, and asked that I show it to him when he came in the classroom. Before he walked away he said “I’ll be there in a few minutes.” (keep this in mind because I’ll come back to it later.) I agree, everything’s fine, and he walks away.
The next thing I know my dad’s walking away from me, and down the hall where my instructor is trying and failing to find something. (what he’s trying to find isn’t important to the story.) The next thing I hear is my dad asking “Did you need to see this card?” (refer to our conversation in the paragraph above.) So, the instructor starts looking at my card, and asking questions of… you guessed it… my dad. Also, what else was he suppose to do? I mean, my dad pretty much shoved the stupid card in his face.
Anyway, long story short. If you have to take your child to college/school for whatever reason let them advocate for themselves especially if they’re old enough too. I’d say start advocating for yourself (I’m talking to the children here, but this is also good advice for parents) as a teenager, perhaps younger, or slightly older. That is of course depending on both you, the parent/parents, and everyone else who could/should teach you how to advocate for yourself. I realize that you are mommy or daddy, but at this point (college) your child should know how to speak up for themselves. If they can’t speak up for themselves, that’s a completely different story. Most of all please pay attention. If your child just had a whole complete conversation with professor/instructor/teacher about what they need to give them, what they need to do, or whatever in the classroom don’t then go and pretty much undermine your kid. I’m speaking from experience when I say that it’s both annoying, and embarrassing for your child. It makes them feel less independent. Also, remember that once your child reaches college it is then their responsibility to complete their homework. Shouldn’t it then be their responsibility to make sure their accommodations are being met, to meet with professor/instructor/teacher if they have problems or questions, and most importantly shouldn’t they be responsible for everything that goes along with that?
Conclusion to the story:
In case anyone is wondering I came home, ranted to my mom, and she said she’d talk to my dad. Though, it probably should have been me I’m glad she did. So far he seems to be doing slightly better. There were other parts of the story that I didn’t include here because I didn’t feel like it was relevant to this blog, he’s still struggling with some of those things I think, and I can’t say for certain he won’t undermine me again. A situation like the one that presented itself a week or so ago hasn’t occurred yet.

Taking my own advice.

Recently I’ve found myself needing to take a dose of my own advice. Which advice? The advice I gave here. You know, the stuff about advocating for one’s self?
What happened?
Well my usual reader/scribe has been sick, and the Office of disabilities only has the coordinator, and one other person working for them at the moment. So I went to class on the first day, and I recorded both of my lectures on my own. When it came time for math though I was suppose to have someone who was suppose to come and help me. Apparently my dad went and talked to the coordinator while I was still in class. I knew nothing about this until I got out of class, and he told me.
Math class came, and I had no person to help me. I had no contact information for this person, and I kept thinking that they would show up. However, an hour and forty-five minutes passed with no one arriving to help me. Maybe if I’d been thinking more clearly, and not sort of panicing I might have walked from one building to another to tell the coordinator about what had happened. Instead I waited until the next day to email him. I did this mostly so I could calm down before sending the email.
I’m not sure if that method worked or not. Because I noticed as I was writing it that the email still seemed angry. Though, I didn’t mean for it to come out that way. I just wanted to know why no one had shown up to help me. when they had said they would.
In addition, I discovered that learningAlly with whom the college is partnered with seems to have an edition of a book that I need now. I got that and the first issue resolved. Thank goodness. Yay for using advocating skills I hadn’t had to use in a while. πŸ™‚ At least now I know I can stick up for myself. I always knew I could, but wasn’t actually sure if I would if I had too. πŸ˜€
Thanks for reading!

The Alphabet of college attendance, and registration.

Ever since I’ve started to attend college, I’ve encountered some things that I wish I’d known before I started college. Some of these I wish some of my blind or visually impaired friends had known or had access to when they were in college. I hope this helps you, or someone else. Here they are.
A: Advocate. Advocate for yourself because if you don’t, then who will.
B: Books. In school you have access to braille books. Not so much in college. You might if you’re lucky have access to the following formats: .pdf, Daisy, .txt, .doc, or audio books.
C: Compassion. Have compassion for whatever career you’re going to enter into. If you don’t it’ll show while you’re still in college, or soon after you leave. Don’t just do something because it’ll give you more money in the future.
D: Determination. Have a good dose of determination. It’ll take you farther than anything else. If you have enough of it nothing or no one will stop you from reaching your goals in life. Don’t lose it. It’s important to you.
E: Educate your professor/instructor about your disability, and how they can best educate you. Don’t expect them to know how already. Especially if your disability includes a visual impairment, and they’ve never had a student with a visual impairment in their class before.
F: freakouts. Expect your instructors, and/or professors to have a freak out if they’ve never had a blind or visually impaired student in their class before.
G: Goals. Set goals for everything. Goals are not just a time period in order to complete something. Goals are a time period, how much you intend to do, what you intend to do, how you intend to do it, how you plan to reach one hundred percent by the end, and it can/should include the strategies you will use to reach that goal.
H: Help. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from your professor/instructor, a classmate, or a friend. If necessary ask a group of people from the class or classes you’re having trouble in to form a study group. Remember they all have to study too, so it’s no big deal to them. Or at least it shouldn’t be.
I: Investigate. Investigate the college you plan on attending before you actually register. Talk to former students. Find out if they’ve ever had blind or visually impaired students or blind or visually impaired professors before. If so, how many of them? How willing is their office of disabilities in working with you? Are they able to get you things in braille even if they have to do it themselves? Is anyone there capable of brailling anything out if need be? Side note: this can and probably should include you. How’s the equipment for brailling anything? Does it exist, and if not can it? Why? Because some things are better seen in braille than read aloud. How accessable is their website? If it isn’t accessible find out if the tech people would be willing to work with you to make it more accessible.
J: Justify. Learn to justify why you need something to a group of friends. If they can’t understand why you need it your office of disabilities coordinator won’t either. Justifying means give reasons why something should be done or bought for you, or someone else. Side note: try justifying this to a sighted friend, or one who doesn’t have the same disability as you do.
K: Knowledge. Have Knowledge about the course you’ll be taking ahead of time, or at least try too. That way you’ll know what you’ll need before the semester begins.
L: Learn. Learn about any law that can apply to you such as the ADA. Learn exactly what said laws say because that can help you in the future. Learn about all of them even if you’re not interested in them because those are going to eventually at some point be your best friends.
M: Motivation. Don’t lack Motivation. The second you do is the second you lack compassion. Instead get a huge support group going. One that will support you. Here’s something that works for me. Use the negativity of others to motivate you. For example my mom might say “you’re terrible at math.” So I’d use that as motivation to help me through the semester.
N: No. Learn to say no. don’t feel pressured into taking more classes than you can handle. Don’t feel pressured into joining this or that group, or taking this or that job. Remember you have to study at some point.
O: Offices of disabilities. This should be one of your first stops when registering for college. They will help you obtain the things you need to succeed in college.
P: Prepare for failure. You may not get that book in braille, or that cool new graphing calculator. Even though you worked hard at justifying your reasons for these things. Just don’t give up, and try again with something different.
q: Quit feeling bad if worse comes to worse, and you have to have a friend read you the textbook. Choose a student from the same class as you, and have them record the chapters you have to read in advance, so you can listen to them. Remember they have to read the same things you do, so it’s not a big deal for them.
R: Recognize. Recognize that some of the responsibility for getting books will depend souly on you. Though, not always true you should know where to find books in other formats if they’re not available through your college in said other formats. First of all you’ll need to know the title of the book, then you’ll need to know the author of the textbook. You may also need to know the edition of the book. Once you know these things you can look for the publisher information, and contact them. Or you can just Google the information that I said you needed to know. Side note: Even if this isn’t your responsibility it’s still important to know how to find books in an accessible format.
S: Socialize. Socialize with your friends. Set aside time from studying. This will help relieve stress.
T: time: set aside a chunk of time to work on one assignment, then move on to another. Because trust me. If you don’t, and you focus on just getting that one completed you’ll lose time, and actually end up not getting something else completed. I’d work on one assignment for about an hour before I move on to the next one.
U: Understand. Understand that not all of your classes will be fifty minutes. Some will be upwards of three hours with a couple of ten minute breaks thrown in. Make sure you take plenty of batteries for your recorder if you record the lectures, or that you’re sitting near a wall socket in case you need it for that laptop charger, or Iphone charger.
w: Work. Work as hard as you can to become the best you can. It sounds cheesy i know, but it’s the best I can come up with.
Y: You. You are your own worst enemy. You may know for example that a .pdf file needs to be tagged properly, but you may not know how to explain it to the person who needs this information. Not to worry. Neither do I. It doesn’t mean you’re a failure. Stop that!
As you can see there are some letters missing. Feel free to fill these in either through the comments, email us, or tweet us. Once I receive your suggestions I’ll add them here, so look back at this post often. This post was meant to help you, but it was also meant to be kind of amusing. So I hope you got some enjoyment out of it.
Thanks for reading!

A wonderful conclusion to a reflection over the physical science clas I had last semester.

So today I gave the disabilities coordinator a suggestion for any future blind students who might be majoring in science, or perhaps they need/want to take a science course, but that course deals with the periodic table… like mine. She actually agreed with me, and said she’d bring it to the new coordinator’s attention when they take over.
So what was it that I suggested? that they invest in a braille table of the elements for any future blind students who may need it. I pointed out that I could have used such a thing when I took physical science, but sense I didn’t know that I would need it I didn’t bother looking for one. I said that I wished I had, but if I did it wouldn’t have came in on time.
So where did I suggest she purchase such an item? From APH of course.
This is a wonderful conclusion to this blog.
Thank you person whom shall remain nameless because I did not ask permission to include your name. I’ll miss you when you leave. πŸ™
Thanks for reading!

A reflection over the physical science class I had last semester.

I’ve been contemplating doing this blog for a while. In part because I wasn’t sure if I had anything to say, or if I did how i would write it. However, after I thought about it for over a month now I’ve come up with some things that I wish either I or someone else had done differently. Before I get started I want to point out that none of these things listed below are no one in particular’s fault. In fact, I share the blame (if there’s any to go around) equally with everyone. I should have spoken up for myself, or in the case of number 3 become a computer programmer and invented a computer program that would work with any device on windows and Mac (hahaha) Now that I’ve made that clear here goes nothing!
1. I wish I’d asked for and received a braille periodic table. Because there is a unit in that course that focuses on the periodic table. When the instructor showed the print version (which he could pull down) I wish I’d had something to look at as well I had a parcial one that came with my braille science book in ninth grade, but it’s been so long since I was in school that my memory of it isn’t exactly clear.
2. I wish my Physical science book had been in braille. I think if I’d read it I would have comprehended more of the material rather than hearing it through text and speech programs.
3. I wish there was a way that you could take a lecture, and transfer the whole thing into words that could be written in a document. I know with at least one device it’s possible, but I use a Zoom h1. It would be easier then listening to 5 or six lectures per unit that are 3 and a half hours long in preparation for a test. This is what I did before each test.
Usually I do pretty good with audio, and I don’t mind using a text to speech program to read my textbooks, but for me there are at least two subjects where I’d rather read what I’m suppose to learn rather than hear it. Those subjects are math and science. Both of these are my two worst subjects, and as a future teacher I try really hard when it comes to these subjects.
I’m looking forward to the next semester, and I hope it brings me good grades, and teachers *clears throat* instructors… professors? who want to work with me. I have to say that it was kind of nice not to have to be the one that’s always experimented on because teacher/instructor/professor needs to learn how to teach a student, but needs someone to practice on. I don’t usually mind teaching the ones who want to learn, but on occasion it’s nice to have something of a break from it. πŸ™‚
Thanks for reading!

Someone give this guy a job!

I recently came across an article about a blind mechanic. I’m sure you have all heard about him so much that you’re probably sick of it(hahaha.) Anyway, I promised you a series about blind people who have jobs, and although this isn’t about someone who has a job… at least not one that’s full time. At least he’s looking. So I thought I’d put his story here.
I honestly hope this guy finds full time work, and I like his optomism. I also hope he inspires more than just his daughter. πŸ™‚ I think I like this guy’s story in part because it reminds me so much of… me. πŸ™‚
Anyway, thanks for reading!

Things I wish I had learned while in school.

Before you start thinking that this is just going to be a post about me whining about what I think I should’ve learned while in school. Let me be clear about something. It is, but it isn’t. There are times when I wish some of my teachers had been a little less lax with me because I’m paying for it now. Because as a college student I should know this or that skill, but guess what? I don’t. It’s kind of sad really when you think about it. At the time I thought it was cool that I got out of doing certain things, but now I wish I never had. I also wish I’d never been taught that I always would have access to say a textbook, in braille. Because guess what? I don’t. πŸ™
To start with I wish I had been forced to take music all through school. When I took history and appreciation of music in college I realized that we were expected to know certain things about music. It’s been so long ago now that I can’t recall anything specifically though, I do remember sitting in class completely lost because I didn’t know this or that, and everyone else seemed too.
My music education stopped after I got into sixth grade, which is junior high, or middle school where I live. It stopped because they couldn’t afford the braille music books I would need. Either that or they just didn’t want to buy them. I’m not sure which. Also, because I’d have to walk down a hill or something to get to the music building. Also, I suspect that maybe the music teacher raised concerns about teaching me. Most of my teachers in elementary school didn’t want to teach me, and passed me off to my aid. So this may be where I get this suspition. They told me that they couldn’t make the books, and I remember hearing something about them being expensive. However, I still wish I’d gotten to attend music class. Part of me wants to think that having attended such classes I would understand music better, but I’m not so sure. Maybe I would, and maybe I wouldn’t. Who knows? Maybe I’d still suck at music related things. πŸ˜€
The second thing is I wish my home economics teacher had made me actually cook something. I mean mixing it was fun, and don’t get me wrong I enjoyed that class. Part of me still thinks if she had made me put things in the oven instead of having someone else do it I wouldn’t be as scared of a stove as I am now. Plus I’d have the added benefit of already knowing how to cook, and wouldn’t need to teach myself, or learn from others.
Part of me wishes for some undetermined reason that I’d been allowed to attend P. E. even though I had physical and occupational theropy to occupy my time. I think that’s mostly came about because I have to take a P. E. class for my college degree in the fall. I think I’m slightly nervous. lol.
The third thing is that I wish some of my teachers hadn’t been so lax about me turning in homework on time. Even though I had and still have extra time I still hate using it. especially when assignments/quizzes have to be turned in on this day, and if you didn’t do it… that’s too bad. That’s a hard lesson to learn when you start college, and guess what? I’m still learning it.
The fourth thing is that I wish that my teachers had insisted that I take notes in class. 1. because I suck at note taking now. I can never get the important stuff down because I focus on the nonimportant stuff. Because I keep thinking that what if it’s important, or going to be on the next test. 2 because even though I record my lectures It’s not always convenient to sit down and listen to 5 or 6 days of lectures that are two and a half hours long. Not only is it inconvenient, but there’s sometimes literally no time to listen to everything. Especially when preparing for finals. 3 Because sometimes my reader/scribe (whom I’ve also refered to as a note taker in previous blogs) isn’t always available to take notes, and what every one deems important information isn’t always important. 4. just because it would been great practice for me. maybe I could’ve learned to type faster, or gotten better at finding the information that was going to be on the test. Then again, maybe not.
I wish they had focused more on getting me my books electronically. You know, like in P. D. F. for mat, text, or word document? Instead of purchasing, renting, or borrowing braille textbooks. Because the reality is that not very many text books are available in braille once you reach college. I would love it for example if my math book was available in braille, but it’s only available online, and via P. D. F. That was really something I pushed for my senior year, but sadly didn’t get. It was also something that gave me a huge slap in the face once I reached college even though I was expecting it… sort of.
That’s all I got for now. If you can think of anything I should add to this, feel free to let me know by commenting here.
Thanks for reading!

How not to raise a child with a disability. (my addition.)

You may have read This original Post but now I bring you my addition to that blog. So here goes!
When your child is little never tell them they’re different from other children Until they get into kindergarten and it becomes necessary to do so. Because your child refuses to learn the braille alphabet.
When you finally tell them that they are different, and they must learn this new stuff called braille. Simply tell them that they’re stubborn, and to not be so stubborn. Don’t explain that being different is a good thing
When your child asks you why they were never told that they were different. Tell them that you didn’t realize it was why they weren’t learning braille.
Don’t take them to any place where they could have an interaction with other blind children.
Don’t let them go to a blind school because “you just can’t let them go.”
Don’t let them do anything for themselves. Do it all! Because “It’ll get done faster if I do it.”
Tell them they’re not trying hard enough in school when they come home with failing grades, or anything below a C.
Don’t even consider the possibility that they might have a learning disability until their aid/teacher brings up the possibility.
Don’t do research on your own, and find out when the next NFB/ACB convention, or Lions club meeting is going to be.
Don’t try to locate other parents of blind children for guidance with school, or anything else.
Don’t teach your child to cook because you’re doing it for them, so why do they need to learn?
Help your child with their math homework, but scream at them because they can’t explain it to you so you can understand how to do it. So that you can write it down.
Tell them that they are retarded, that they don’t listen, and that they’re stubborn. That’s why they can’t remember how to do a certain math problem. Don’t even consider it might be their learning disability.
When your child starts insisting that they do their own laundry, refuse by saying it’ll go faster if you do it. Then, finally break down and let them a few times.
When your child finally learns to sign their name; tell them that it looks like a Doctor’s signature. Then, refuse to let them sign any documentation… Ever! Because their signature is huge, is all over the page, and isn’t readable.
When you find out that they’re failing math in the senior year of high school. Get angry, and tell them that they should just quit school.
Never learn to use a computer because your scared of it. Even though it can help you advocate for your child, and let you meet other parents of blind children.
Never let them handle knives, or other sharp objects because they might cut themselves.
When your child enters college, take them from class to class because you’re afraid they’ll get lost. Make them use sighted guide with you… all the time! Make sure it’s you grabbing on to their elbow instead of the other way around.
when they try to tell you to let them go, and just follow them to make sure they make it there okay, refuse!
While doing sighted guide the wrong way don’t be surprised when they fall on their face in the middle of the college’s book store.
Never believe them when they tell you a class is canceled, or that their not havin class for the rest of the week. Track down a professor, or the child’s reader/scribe to confirm this.
When they get a boyfriend/girlfriend be sure to tell them repeatedly that they should date someone sighted so “they can take care of you.”
Ask them repeatedly if there’s anyone in high school/college that they’re interested in.
Tell them you don’t want them to move to another country/state to be with said boyfriend/girlfriend.
Tell them that they should just be friends instead of dating their significant other.
When they tell you that they’ve been talking about getting Married and having kids, discourage it by pointing out that they don’t really know the significant other’s family, who’s moving where, and how would they get places.
Tell them significant other doesn’t seem to travel a lot, and if you move to their country/state; neither will you.
Try to solve problems already solved by significant other and child relationship wise by pointing out all the reasons why they should break up.
Tell child that they’ll lose their disability when/if they move to another country, or get a job. Even though getting a job that pays more than the disability, and losing it is their goal.
When you find out that your child wants to send a package to a blind friend they met online have a freak out.
Tell them that you don’t want everyone to have “our” address.
Ask them how they know this person is blind, and not just pretending. When you get an answer shoot it down:
“because he uses a cane, screen reader, and reads braille” “How do you know he’s not faking? How do you know he’s not just using it because your blind, and he wants you to trust him.”
When your child tries to point out that not many people know about screen readers, and how to use them, and that there are other ways to track someone down besides sending a package. Tell her/him that She/he is being a smart ellick. Trust me! It’s a good way to show your child that you trust them.
Doubt that your child doesn’t know how to spot a creep even when they tell you they’re pretty good at it because they have to be. That’s a good way to show trust too.
Long story short, if the child is over the age of 18, do not treat them as such.

This particular rant came about because of an argument/discussion I had with my mom yesterday. I can honestly tell you that this is the complete wrong way to approach any of this. Instead: have faith in your child. when they’re little explain that they can’t see, but not that everyone is like that. Most people have sight, but they can still do whatever they want… Except drive, or fly an airplane. When you suspect that your child has a disability have them tested. It won’t make you look bad, and it’ll help them out a lot in the future. Don’t blame your child when they come in with bad grades, and assume they aren’t trying without asking. When they begin to fail a particular subject get them a tutor, and encourage them to stay in school. Lots of schools have after school programs for that purpose. Most importantly, trust your child, and prove that by letting them decide what they want to do in their own relationships. Believe them when they tell you something isn’t going to happen right away. Believe them when they tell you a class is canceled. Trust that they know more about the internet than you do. If not, check it out yourself, then come back to them with the correct answers. Let them learn the essential skills like cooking and cleaning because someday you won’t be around to do it. If they make a mistake; let them learn from it. Let them sign their own documentation, and travel to class on their own because otherwise they’ll lose those skills. Also, it’s a good idea to know other parents of blind children, and to use a computer. πŸ™‚ It’s also a good idea to let your child meet other blind people/children, so that they realize they’re not alone.
Thanks for reading!

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