David, who is completely blind from birth, reads braille at about 320 words for minute and can keyboard on a braille device more than twice as fast as he can type. So, at his blind tech meeting, he finds out that he’s only get a laptop computer with JAWS screen-reading software and NO BRAILLE DEVICE!
He has had a braille device, provided by the school system, and our taxes, since he was in middle school. His latest braille device he had been using was taken away upon his graduation from high school. This is due to “budgetary constraints”, but “they’re doing everything they can do”.
Even the best “audio” playback of a book in non-chipmunk mode is about 150 words a minute, about half of the speed he can read in braille. They say that his proficiency in using Windows on his computer trumps his ability to get a braille device that he desperately needs to be successful at college.
One of his first classes is Communications 100 where he’ll be given speeches. He’ll have to spend hours going back and forth to the vision lab to emboss his speech onto braille paper FOR EVERY REVISION in order to prepare his speech. This is ridiculous! So, they show him how his laptop is set up with JAWS screen reading software.