Compass directions

In searching for something to write about today I came across something that can help the parents, maybe the para-professionals, and maybe the teachers of a blind child or student. I posted this on Thursday because it talks about mobility and orientation, but it could have also went up on Wednesday. That is why it is in two categories on this blog. I hope you enjoy.

I can’t think of a better way to introduce a article than to tell about my own experience with learning compass directions. I mean I guess I could be like “here’s this article thing. Read it, or don’t.”, but where’s the fun in that? Okay… here goes the story!

When I first started learning my compass directions I learned them how the article described “In front of you is north” ETC. However, I learned them while standing on the street and also based on the sun’s position in the sky. As you can probably imagine this was great if one is standing outside, but not so great when looking at a map. To this day I still have to look at the little compass thing on the map before I can locate anything and if there isn’t one I am completely lost. I suppose the great thing is that I always know which direction I’m traveling based on where the sun is, or maybe not. I guess it depends on the time of day. 🙂

Well that is how *not* to teach your child compass directions, but what can you do. The article lists a few suggestions and you can check out the article here. One of the reasons I suggested that it might be good for teachers or Para-professionals is because instead of saying “object A is to the left” one could say “Object is to the west” and so on. This is assuming that the child in question has learnd his/her directions first though. 😀 I hope you enjoy this article.

Thanks for reading!

P. S. This article I linked to earlier is not mine. If you found anything within the linked-in article itself that you think might be a mistake or wrong pleas don’t contact me about it. Instead you might want to contact as the article is there property. Just thought I’d put that out there.

PPS. I’m not saying that there’s anything wrong with the article. Just giving copyright to whomever has it. 😀 That being said if you find any mistakes in anything I posted and you think I should correct it please tweet me personally or contact the blog’s twitter Just putting that out there for any new readers who haven’t read the contact us page yet. 😉

Hey music teachers: a new way to read music. For both blind and sighted

Okay, so you’re probably wondering why I’m writing this. The simple truth is that I recently took a music class where I struggled to read the music notes. Now, let me make something clear. It was required for my degree, so I had no choice in whether I took it or not.

Neither the music instructor nor I knew how to read braille music notes. Which may have been handy at times. Then again, maybe not. Why? Because braille music notes are hard to read

Luckily if this works, and if the inventor can find funding for it. No one sighted or blind will ever have to worry about reading braille music again. 🙂

I could tell you all about how she invented this 3d tactile thing. I could even tell you about her life. In stead I think I’ll just let you read this article for yourselves.

I hope this gets fully funded, and I hope they come up with an easier way to make the notes and such. Because I think it would be cool! Not just for me, but for all of the music, special education and regular teachers out there who don’t know a thing about braille, or braille music.

Thanks for reading!

First day of classes.

So I wrote in the last blog about how nervous I get on the first day of school. In this blog I thought I’d take you through my first day of classes (I’ll leave out all the boring details though.)
My day started at 5 a. m. I know it’s early, but it’s what time I had to get up in order to eat breakfast ETC. After I ate breakfast we headed off to college.
After I got to college we went in search of my first classroom. (we being my dad and I) When we went into what we thought was my first class’s room, and found a seat. After a few minutes I realized that no one was showing up, so I had my dad look at the schedule. It turns out it was the wrong room
After my tech for teachers class (my first class) the teacher came and talked to me. I told him my concerns with power point and how I had known how to use it in version 2003 but not in 2010. He said he’d work with me. Then, he gave me a USB Key (also known as a UsB Pen, or USB Key) containing all of the assignments for the class.
The next two classes I had were with the same professor who’d had me in a previous class. So there were no nerves there. She already knew what to expect, and I already knew she would work with me.
My math class (my last class) was the most interesting of all. Remember the wrong classroom we went into? It turns out that my math class met in that room. After class started I discovered that the math department is now using this computer software (I’ll write more about it in the next blog) which used flash player. Now, if you know anything about Jaws and flash player; you know that these two don’t always play nice with each other. When I brought this to the instructor’s attention, he said he’d work with me. He also suggested several alternatives if the program wouldn’t work. He even said that he would contact the company who makes the software and ask them how well the software works with Jaws.
Can I just say that I love it when a teacher/professor is willing to work with me? 🙂
Thanks for reading

Taking paper tests and quizes

Like most school-aged and college students I have to take a quiz or test occasionally. Most of my quizes and tests are online, and some of them are not.
Because either I can’t access them online, or the teacher (or if you are a college student, like me) the Professor gives us a paper quiz to do in class.
By now I’m pretty sure that you’re thinking “Why are you telling us this?” If you are it’s a really good question with an even better answer.
Okay now for the reason I began writing this blog in the first place. I was sitting here thinking about what I should write a blog about today. In case you aren’t following me on twitter and don’t know, I lost my USB drive (key if you’d prefer) which is also known as a pen drive. Anyway I think you get the point. This USB drive had my “Ideas for future blogs” document on it. So to make a long story short I have no idea what this document contained. Until it’s found, could/would you please bear with me and not yell at me too much if I post say, something that should be posted on “Tech Tuesday” on Wednesday instead?
Anyway back to the orginial story, so I was just sitting here wandering what I was going to post, then I started thinking about something that happened today, and decided to write about it.
This is what happened.
Remember at the beginning of this blog when I said that sometimes teachers and Professors may hand out either a paper quiz or test? Well… a Professor in one of my classes handed out a paper quiz today. Now because I am blind it means that I have to have someone read it to me. After my Professor gave me the quiz she said “You can take it later.” I personally don’t mind taking quizes or tests in the classroom. If people want to listen and copy down my answers, I say let them. Though I’m not guaranteeing that they’re the right answers. It occured to me once again when she said this that these Professors had never dealt with a blind college student before and didn’t know how to respond, so I sat there until my Professor was finished speaking to the class; though my first instinct was to say that I could do it in class with the rest of the college students. Then my Assistant (note taker) began reading the questions to me in a whisper and writing down my answers when I whispered them back.
If the quiz had been longer I think I may have taken her up on her advice. Because it usually takes me longer to finish the test, which is why I get extra time in the first place. (which I reccamend that all blind or visually impaired people should request. Not so you can be lazy, but because you may really need the extra time someday.) As it was the quiz was short and I finished with time to spare. I think I surprised her when I handed in my quiz.
When I was in high school my quiz and test- taking methods were a bit different. My aid recieved the tests and quizes days (I’m not sure of the number) before the test was to be given. Then she scanned and brailled it with a braille embosser. So that all I had to do was read the questions and answers (if there were any), write my answers on my notetaker, print it off, and hand it to my teacher. I sort of miss that method of taking tests.
I hope this blog helps you , at least a little. As always if you have questions, comments, or suggestions, or ideas for either this blog or my youtube videos Feel free to email me. Just please put a subject line if you take that route.
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Thanks for reading! And I’m sorry if you already knew all my contact information. 🙂

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