[Athen] Note taking assistance for a student who is blind

Shelley Haven ShelleyHaven at techpotential.net
Wed Feb 27 16:22:32 PST 2019

My first inclination is to use the audio recording feature included with MS OneNote (Mac or Windows versions only) and type notes using a well-thought-out structured outline format (topics, subtopics, etc.). When audio recording, each time the student hits the return key, a timecode marker is placed in the audio file, thus linking audio and typed notes similar to what Livescribe pens do with recorded audio and handwritten notes.

So that addresses taking notes — what about reviewing them later? The student can use their TTS screen reader to navigate their typed notes, then have OneNote “Play Audio From Here” when they reach the desired note (Cmd-Opt-P on Mac; Ctrl-Alt-P on Windows). To find the desired place in their notes, they can either scroll through and listen to their structured notes line by line, or do a search for specific text.

Whether students use a Livescribe smartpen, OneNote, Notability, or something else that links notes & audio, I often have them first think about the kinds of things they will likely want to listen to later and come up with keywords or symbols to easily mark those places. We typically make a list that the student can refer to later. Some examples:
Teacher says "This will be on the test" ("T" in a circle or “=T” typed)
Assignment or action item ("A" in a circle or “=A” typed)
Something you don't understand and want to hear again (question mark in a circle or “=?” typed, and leave space to add notes later)
Title of projected title or slide number (keep running list of slide titles or numbers in margin as an “index”, or typing “=S” followed by the slide number)
…etc., etc.

Those symbols are essentially “audio bookmarks”, allowing the student to target playback of very specific places in the recording — e.g., search for all “=A” — and fill in additional notes after the fact. I strongly believe that notetaking technologies are far more effective when coupled with appropriate notetaking strategies.

For quick reference, here’s a list of basics commands for using a screen reader with OneNote:
https://support.office.com/en-us/article/basic-tasks-using-a-screen-reader-with-onenote-32cd532b-d5d4-442b-bc13-1d0ad2016377 <https://support.office.com/en-us/article/basic-tasks-using-a-screen-reader-with-onenote-32cd532b-d5d4-442b-bc13-1d0ad2016377>


Shelley Haven ATP, RET
Assistive Technology Consultant

> On Feb 27, 2019, at 2:24 PM, Kluesner, Bryon <Bryon-Kluesner at utc.edu> wrote:


> Hi all,


> I was speaking to a student who was blind about a Live Scribe workshop I was preparing for. He stated he would like to use one. I tried to explain the visual component of it and asked if a student used one in class to take notes for him, how would he know where on the page to tap for the pen to initiate the audio? I asked why he didn’t like to use a digital recorder and he stated listening to it was like listening to the class twice and the recorder, he stated, would help go to the parts in the lecture he wanted to listen to faster. I am having a hard time with the concept of a student who is blind and the benefits for using a Live Scribe pen.


> Has anyone else faced this issue? Is there any other technology that would, in essence, function similarly to the Live Scribe that would be helpful for the student?


> As always, I appreciate the feedback I get from this list.


> Have a nice week.


> Bryon


> Bryon Kluesner, RhD

> Adaptive Technology Coordinator

> Disability Resource Center

> Adjunct Professor

> College of Health, Education & Professional Studies

> <image001.png>

> The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

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