Today we went through a number of sections from Lambdin's introductory material. I understood the concepts; but he uses transliterations in places and it is not clear to me what is transliteration and what is Hebrew. I think that the Hebrew is shown in parentheses; but I have not determined this for sure yet. It would be very nice if this had been specified in a transcriber's note somewhere. Much of the transliteration is also not defined. It may be assumed that the reader is familiar with the braille International Phonetic Alphabet. I am not. This book was either transcribed before it was customary to include a list of specialized symbols and their uses; or the transcriber did not follow standard textbook format. I suspect that the latter is the case.
I discovered more problems with braille inconsistencies today. In the Lambden text, there is no distinction made between bet and gimel with and without the daghesh--if you are not familiar with Hebrew, the presence of this symbol can indicate that the letter is pronounced like a b or g. Otherwise it is pronounced like a v or a gutural sound. The daghesh is also used with the h to differentiate whether it is silent or pronounced at the end of a word. I became very frustrated with the lack of distinction made in the text and began to question how I could do this course. However, when reading through the notations about the use of daghesh, I discovered something that led me to another source for information.
The daghesh used with the h is called mappiq. I remembered that I had seen this listed in a chart in the front matter of the Hebrew Bible. Fortunately, I have been transporting both a volume of the Bible and the Katz book with me to class. When I looked up the mappiq, I found that there is also a symbol for the daghesh. Apparently Lambdin does not use it. This means that I will definitely need reading help with Lambdin. Whether or not JAWS will translate the daghesh, I don't know. It will be interesting to find out. Something tells me that it may not; but I may be wrong. I haven't really played with it at all.
I have a meeting with the dean tomorrow to talk about getting assistance with getting funding for a reader. It seems that my VR counselor thinks it is the school's responsibility to pay for this. She would pay for a note taker or tutor, neither of which I need; but she's arguing about funding a reader. Our DSS office (the Kissinger Learning Center) is closed during the summer because AU only offers a smattering of classes and the staff are hired as less than full-time employees. She asked me in a very hostile tone why they weren't open and said she had never heard of such a thing. AU is a school with less than 3,000 students; and it is a private school. She started saying that she thought there were state laws regulating who pays for readers. Is AU even governed by those laws, assuming they exist?
She said that the KLC is supposed to case manage what she provides for me. I thought she was case managing her own stuff. We don't seem to have clear guidelines on who manages what case here. If KLC is case managing now, then why isn't KLC also recommending what equipment I need for school, etc? The guidelines are far too blurry here. Last time I was in school, I had an allotment of reader funding, and when it was spent it was spent. KLC may provide readers when they're open; but what happens when they're closed? Exactly who am I supposed to argue about this with, and why does it matter so much? If they were open, I'd gladly approach them. They're not; so it makes sense to utilize other resources.
I think this is rather ridiculous. If she pays for note takers and tutors, which the school also provides, what is the big deal about paying for a reader for a blind student? Tutors and note takers are services typically needed by students with other disabilities. I've certainly known blind students who used note takers for classes with visual content; but I don't know many who needed regular tutoring. This is one huge problem with one-stop rehab services. This counselor probably rarely serves students--most of her clients who are blind are elderly.
She wants a justification from someone at the university regarding why I need a reader and how much service I need. I would let it drop, but the person deserves to be compensated for her time and I deserve to succeed in the course! I am not going to be stopped by an argument over who is supposed to pay for this service.
As far as I know, I am still caught up with the other class. I didn't think that I could maintain that. Perhaps I can do it after all.