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By Illya

Jaws is a screen reading program that can be installed on any Windows computer, I knew about Jaws and how useful it was, but unfortunately I didn’t start learning it until the final semester of my senior year in high school. Going into college I was many steps behind where I needed to be. I was able to purchase a laptop and a friend took time to get me started with the basics of JAWS and the computer. This got me started, but I needed to learn a lot more to survive in college.  I was introduced to Joseph who works with National Industries for the Blind and who received a grant to teach Jaws and other accessibility programs to clients such as myself. I started working with Joseph for an hour each week. He taught me JAWS, the computer inside and out, and then more applications like Google Drive, Microsoft Word, Outlook, ETC.

I am continuing these lessons as I begin my second year of college and realize that I still have more to learn. After the lessons, I have to practice until I can remember the keystrokes for the commands. I have to “use it or lose it”.Recently I began learning Microsoft Teams, which is the format used at Pellissippi, and NVDA another screen reader like Jaws. I have been learning Microsoft Teams to stay ahead of what Pellissippi State Community college has been doing.  NVDA has Russian language capabilities that I am hoping to use in the future. I am thankful for the opportunity to continue these lessons because there will always be something unexpected that I need to know on the computer. 

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