May 17th, 2007


getting access to Hebrew materials and some background info on me

Now THIS is one huge bright spot in my month! What a big stinking birthday present!

I bought a slew of resources from Logos Biblical Software and then got pretty mad because the software was not very accessible. I searched for scripts and found nothing; but I did find a newsgroup for users who are visually impaired. After posting there, I found someone who had written scripts for Logos version 3. I dropped him an email, and after some time he sent me a copy of the scripts.

It has taken me a while to find out what the full power of these scripts is. I must say that I am truly amazed at what he has done! I can now access my resources!

I mentioned in my first Hebrew post that my educational and vocational background had prepared me for Hebrew study and the hurdles that I am encountering. I want to expand on this comment in some detail. The details matter as part of the process of documenting what has made my success possible.

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Hebrew, day 9

Quicky notes from Hebrew because I must be getting ready for my niece's choir concert...

We all downloaded and installed Duxbury's braille fonts, and I tried typing Hebrew to see if it would convert the characters to braille font. It doesn't. The problem is that the fonts are based on ASCII characters rather than Unicode sharacters. Perhaps someday, someone at Duxbury will expand this project. What a find that would be!

I did find that Duxbury has a freeware tactile graphics program which will create graphics that can be inserted into braille files for embossing. Melanie and I are going to play with this next week to see about creating embossable graphics of the Hebrew characters that I can have around so that I can learn the print symbols and have a better understanding of what she and the professor are doing.

I opened up Logos and demonstrated some JAWS functions, explaining the things that speech is able to do and braille is not, etc. I explained the difficulties I had been having initially and the process that I had gone through to learn to work with the program over time, and I listed out all the things I had learned only yesterday. At one point, I took the earbuds out and let him listen to JAWS read. He said, "You can read that fast???"

We finished chapter 2 of Lambdin. Of course, there were a few errors that I had to correct in my little mental notes. There was no significant omitted text this time. At this rate, we may be ready to get to finishing a volume every few days, which is pretty encouraging.

We talked about the concept of establishing accessible Hebrew classes at AU as an ongoing thing. I'm happy to see that several of the faculty are picking up my interest in becoming a welcoming environment for people with disabilities. (Perhaps my excitement over Hebrew success is piquing their interest a bit.) After I get back from dog training, we're going to experiment with some different teaching styles to see what works and what doesn't. I may sit in on the big class a bit, whose textbook I have no access to; and he may teach one class geared toward Melanie and see how well I follow so that I can make some notes about how teaching technique would need to be adapted.

Time to head off for now... Must give Meg a snack and park time downstairs, feed me, etc. After concert, homework calls. I have a long vocabulary list to memorize.

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