Wednesday, March 12, 2014

My journey part three, DVR/DSB Spokane Washington by Tracy Fejeran

So I've completed several more steps towards my goal of starting classes by this Fall. I've completed my financial aid application and submitted it, it has been processed and forwarded to the school that I will be attending. Just waiting to hear from them with a package of more information. On February 27, The orientation and mobility instructor from DSB did a home visit and made her assessment right here in my home. She had a lot of questions about my adaptive skills and how I go about my day here at home and when I leave my home. She recommended that I get a new long white cane with a variety of tips to help me travel better with training as well. She'll be helping me learn how to cross the street using the audio initiated crosswalks and to identify certain markers on the sidewalks and to get around my compound if I wanted to check my mail or just walk around the neighborhood. She also recommended several thermometers for my body temperature as well as for cooking. Need to make sure that chicken is fully cooked right? She'll also be back to place several tactile markers in my kitchen space, my oven especially. I'm excited to get some more orientation training so I can travel independently. On March 11, I have my assessment on technology at the DSB office. I was like a kid in a candy store, there was all kinds of assistive Technology devices for the blind both high-tech and low tech. I tried out several different tactile markers that I can work with and found that I can use the high-profile foam and Loc dots on my keyboard. I tried out both the JAWS and Mac platforms and chose to stay with Apple Voice over. A Mac Air 13 inch laptop is recommended with an external hard drive and a full-size keyboard. A victor streamer will be very useful for my text books and notetaking at school. Both of these devices I will be provided training, DSB will provide me with two instructors, one will be for the Mac and iPhone which will be a Distant training program and the other instructor will help me with the victor streamer. The distant training program is very convenient because I can work with my instructor at my own pace anytime even from my own home via Skype. There is only one instructor who specializes in Mac for the blind and he is in New Jersey. I will also be getting a four-in-one copier/printer/fax/scanner. Last but not least one of my favorite devices is the Pen Friend, a labeling device. Oh I love this gadget! It is both useful in the home and for school, maybe someday in my workplace. It is shaped like a karaoke microphone with a scanner at the bottom. There is a record button that I can speak into and identify the items that I am labeling, I just hold it over the label that is provided, record and scan. A beep will sound to let me know a label has been identified, I scan again and the label will repeat my recording. Each label, which comes in a variety of shapes and sizes, have their own identifying codes. I can stick a label on a magnet so I can identify my chicken noodle soup From my tomato sauce, that way I don't have to keep changing the label. How awesome is that? This will also be great  to keep my files organized and do record management.. I'm looking forward to avail myself with all the opportunities that is offered. I'm glad that all of these Devices will be provided to me at no cost on my part. I am pleased with the services from the division of services for the blind because through this assessment The specialist was able to identify what works best for me and for what I will be using it for. I'm saddened that a friend of mine back home had recently been given a Mac computer however she has not been able to use her computer because she is unable to receive the training needed. I recommend that whenever an AT device is going to be purchased for a client that it would make logical sense to provide the necessary training to access that computer. Don't know if my friend gave up because the last time I spoke to her he was still waiting for word from DVR regarding training from the only AT specialist at GSAT.. There is so much red tape to go through, meanwhile, time is passing, and it is discouraging. My friends enthusiasm to pursue her goal of starting a business is slowly fading. When we have the opportunity, given the tools and proper training in a timely manner, we can succeed in becoming productive members in our community. I will keep you all posted on what's up next.

Si Tracy 

Guma’ Mami programs provide opportunities for individuals to enjoy life, strive to reach their full potential, and be part of Guam’s community.

It is the mission of Guma’ Mami, Inc., to facilitate the full inclusion and integration of adults withintellectual disabilities and other disabilities into their communities through individual and family supports. We provide supportive services in a residential and community setting in order to enable individuals to live as full members of their communities. 

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