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

Zach zm290 at msstate.edu
Tue Jan 23 15:06:29 PST 2018

Hello Mr. Kosakowski:

While I studied the sciences in my undergrad and graduate programs, I
believe many of the skills I learned and accomidations I utilized would be
applicable. In my experience it is best to obtain syllabi from faculty as
soon as possible in order to build a production schedule. Depending on the
adaptive technologies your student has at his/her disposal, he/she may be
able to convert much of their course material to accessible format with
optical character recognition software such as Kurzweil 1000 or OpenBook. As
an undergraduate I generally needed most of my materials in both Braille and
electronic or audio format. As a graduate student my preference changed to
Braille, but I generally took what I could get.

I utilized out-of-class student readers, in-class (lecture or lab) visual
assistants as well as notetakers; depending on the course. A lot of it I had
to find the best system for myself. If of interest I am happy to share my
college experiences with your student. I am also a mentor for the Learning
Ally College Success Program (CSP), a program for blind and visually
impaired (BVI) high school seniors and college students that matches
students with a BVI mentor. Mentors are young professional or graduate
students who have experience with adaptive technology and advocating for
accomidations. For you and your student's interest you can check out the
program at http://www.learningally.org/CollegeSuccess.

I hope this helped somewhat. Feel free to write me off list with other
questions you may have.

Kind regards,


Zachary Mason

M.S. Student

Animal and Dairy Sciences

Mississippi State University

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

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

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!

<http://www2.clarku.edu/offices/aac/ada/index.cfm> Student Accessibility
Services website

<http://www2.clarku.edu/offices/aac/ada/diversability.cfm> Diversability
meets every Wednesday at 4 p.m. in room 402 of Goddard Library, come by!

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