[Athen] A student who is blind has been accepted! Advice?

Andrea L. Dietrich adietrich at cornell.edu
Mon Dec 18 08:05:37 PST 2017

Based on my limited experience, I would say 15 hours a week is NOT enough, especially if you're going to be doing any math or other STEM content (even if they're not a major, they will probably have "core courses" to take their first or second year.

I've been working for a student who isn't using Braille, just enlarged documents, and it still took up a good half my hours each week. I would estimate 20 hours minimum, possibly more since you'll have a learning curve.

I'm going to forward your info to my supervisor, who has a ton more experience than I do providing Braille materials (he's not on this mailing list, as far as I know).

Good luck!

-Andi :)
Andrea Dietrich
Cornell University
Student Disability Services
Cornell Health, Level 5
110 Ho Plaza
Ithaca, NY 14853

Tel. 607.254.4545
Fax. 607.255.1562

Office Hours:
Monday-Thursday 8:15AM-4:45PM
Friday 8:15AM-4:00PM

From: athen-list [mailto:athen-list-bounces at mailman13.u.washington.edu] On Behalf Of Adam Kosakowski
Sent: Monday, December 18, 2017 10:27 AM
To: athen-list at u.washington.edu
Subject: [Athen] A student who is blind has been accepted! Advice?

Hello wise list-ers!

A student who is blind has been accepted to my school and is very interested in coming, this is great news! However, my institution is not used to working with students who are blind. Also, his attendance will require some additional staffing as we'll likely need another staff member for at least 15 hours a week who will primarily help format documents like class notes and exams so he and his refreshable braille display can best access them. He is also asking for assistance as needed with formatting research papers that require footnotes and such. Luckily, he is not interested in being a STEM major so there won't be too many STEM books he will need, but the amount of formatting he'll require help with will be substantial, I am sure, especially since professors here are not used to making accessible documents.

I have a few questions, especially to any assistive technology or alternative media specialists:
How much time do you spend formatting educational materials per class per week for one student who is blind? Is my 15 hours/week estimate safe or not enough?
How much time in advance did you request class notes from professors? What about textbooks?
Did you have to write a proposal to require additional staffing to meet a similar need? How did it go?


Adam Kosakowski
Director of Student Accessibility Services (SAS)
Clark University
Preferred pronouns: he/him/his
Phone: 508-798-4368
Fax: 508-421-3700
SAS is in room 430 of the Goddard Library
To make an appointment, please call the office or stop by!
Student Accessibility Services website<http://www2.clarku.edu/offices/aac/ada/index.cfm>
Diversability<http://www2.clarku.edu/offices/aac/ada/diversability.cfm> meets every Wednesday at 4 p.m. in room 402 of Goddard Library, come by!

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