Christie Gilson Ph. D. a bright and well educated professor, has just begun her latest teaching assignment, at Moravian College in Bethlehem, PA. Christie, who received her doctorate from the Department of Special Education, College of Education, at the University of Illinois earlier in 2008, is now an Assistant Professor of Education at Moravian. Christie’s career has been an eclectic one–highlighted, in part, by her studies and research in 2007 as a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Hong Kong (http://www.miusa.org/ncde/stories/christiegilson). At Moravian, Christie will continue her longtime focus on teaching, research and advocacy for blind and disabled students. Christie really believes that the sighted should know how Blind people live and work. That’s why she has Braille books, an abacus, and other blindness tools scattered about her office. Christie says, “Anyone who wants to check out what Braille is like can grab a book of poetry, a Braille map, or other book off my shelf and check it out. Christie, an open and funny woman is eager to educate people about the ways that disabled people learn and live.
Moravian has gone all out in providing Christie with the access technology tools that she needs to ensure a productive academic environment. At their request, the staff at Virtual Vision Technologies (VVT) has been on-site to do the product installations, training and support:
In Christie’s Office, she now has the tools for success, including JAWS, and a whole host of Access Technology. Similarly, in her classroom she is outfitted to be a dynamic professor. The library is no exception: she will be able to do research and plan lessons with all the modern tools available to her. Christie said in response to the exceptional accommodations, “I didn’t expect all this, but I am very grateful for it!” Surely Christie’s students will be the beneficiaries of the College’s foresight.
Everyone respects a trend-setter. Dolphin, a little known but innovative English/Irish Access Technology company that has been around for decades, was the first such company to make their products available to people whose lifestyles demand mobility. Long before any other manufacturer of access technology, Dolphin Computer Access made their products available on a pen. Simply carry your pen in a pocket, purse, or backpack, and bring it with you. Think of it another way. Sure, it would be nice to take your computer wherever you go. This is of course not always possible, or at least can present an inconvenience. The next best option may be to leave the computer behind, and carry your Screen Reader or Screen Magnification software in something as portable as a pen. For exact product information, use the following link:
In short, long gone are the days where we are forced to be tied to our desks. Because of innovation that started with Dolphin Computer Access, persons with visual impairments are able to be as mobile as the rest of society. Isn’t parity great?
Isaac Lidsky, a blind young attorney, is about to become the first legally blind law clerk to serve at the Supreme Court. His unique story has been chronicled by several national TV networks, including CNN (http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/06/20/blind.law.clerk/). Lidsky, 28, will work with the retired Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. As for the future, Lidsky plans to go to London, England, after his clerkship ends, so his wife can finish her master’s degree. He would be set to rejoin his law firm, where he has taken a leave of absence.
Virtual Vision Technologies has provided access technology training for Isaac since 2006, first at the Department of Justice and then at the Jones Day law firm in Washington DC. The VVT trainers have worked one-on-one with Isaac on the use of screen readers and magnification/speech software products. In addition, the use of these access technology products in conjunction with industry standards such as Microsoft Outlook and Lotus Notes and also proprietary software has been examined. VVT takes pride in its role in this groundbreaking adventure.
Virtual Vision Technologies has had had a long and productive partnership with the city of Philadelphia. In particular, extensive access technology training was provided during 2007 to visually impaired employees of several of the city’s leading agencies. The extra effort associated with this training led to VVT and four of its trainers being honored with the 2007 Access Achievement Award, presented by the Mayor’s Commission on People with disabilities City of Philadelphia (http://www.phila.gov/mcpd/). these awards honor private businesses, public agencies, nonprofit organizations, and individuals that have made outstanding efforts to improve and increase access for persons with disabilities throughout the Delaware Valley The award reads “presented to Virtual Vision Technologies for outstanding commitment to increased access for people with disabilities through the removal of physical and attitudinal barriers”
The Verizon Wireless Service Center in Albuquerque, NM employs six people who are visually impaired or blind. A company spokesperson indicates that any special needs are minimal compared to the value of the employees. Verizon goes out of its way to find qualified candidates for its center without any hesitancy over disabilities. (Albuquerque Journal – http://www.abqjournal.com/AED/606326west_news10-27-07.htm)
Verizon Wireless has set up a program to help integrate visually impaired and blind employees into the workforce and VVT is a partner in that program. VVT instructors, all skilled users of the technology that they teach, have gone on-site at the Albuquerque center and other Verizon Wireless centers across the country to do one-on-one training that combines access technology with Verizon’s in-house application programs. Any compatibility quirks are discovered and dealt with. The new employee is then prepared to enter the standard 18 week training course and maintain the pace with fully sighted peers.
Virtual Vision Technologies makes demonstration equipment available for unbeatable prices. This equipment has been on display in our equipment showroom and has been used lightly, for demonstration purposes only. We make these special single units available at a lower price so that they may be affordable to more of the blind and visually impaired population. This equipment is in perfect working order, and most of it comes with a one year warranty, ensuring that you can get service if you should need it. Please feel free to contact your local sales rep with questions or for a demo.
Please note there is only one of each unit described. All units are sold on a “First Come, First Served” basis. Units must be paid for at the time of purchase. Sorry, no time payment plans available…
Virtual Vision Technologies announces a groundbreaking new AT skill-screening assessment tool, called AT SAM (Assistive Technology Skill Screening and Assessment). ATSAM can be administered remotely by VVT assessors, to job applicants, new hires, or embedded employees with disabilities located at an accessible workstation anywhere in the world.
Virtual Vision AT SAM assessors measure the competency skills of the blind or low vision employee to use talking screen reader software (JAWS), digital Braille display for computer, and/or low vision screen magnification software to access a Windows / Vista PC and operate Microsoft Office applications, including MS Word, Excel, and Outlook with email and internet.
To schedule an assessment or find out more:
Call: 610.622.0728 or 610.734.0711 and ask for Dr. Edwin Staudt.