2002 Conference Proceedings

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Listening to Me, The New Series, New Price, New Packaging

Presenter: Francine Callaghan
Author: Francine Callaghan

TECSO Inc.
1717 Rene Levesque East, suite 210
Montreal, Quebec
H2L 4T3

TECSO is proud to present the new Millennium series of products. As with our previous products, our innovative approach combines instructional lesson and practical exercises using keyboard commands. Review quizzes are found in each of the units, giving users and instructors an overview on how one is progressing through the lessons.

The release of our Millennium series begins with Listening to Me. Other products from this series include Listening to the Internet for Me and Listening to Word for Me. This new series has been developed for the Windows Millennium platform. While they are compatible with Windows 2000, the content is specific to the Windows Millennium platform.

Their new and attractive packaging can recognize the products of this latest series. The CD, which contains the interactive tutorial, is found inserted in a box that also includes a quick reference sheet in both large print and braille. The User Manual is available on the CD in electronic format, divided into topical sections. Users can consult the manual using their assistive devices, or can print copies of the User Manual in Braille and large print.

Tactile guides, reproducing numerous screen shots, are available for the new product series in both large print and Braille with raised lines. Our new packaging required a new price structure. All the interactive tutorials from the Millennium series are now sold at the same price. The tactile guides are also sold separately at a standard price.

During this presentation, participants will get a good overview of the Listening to Me tutorial. This educational software package is designed to teach blind and visually impaired persons the main concepts of the Millennium Edition of the Windows Operating System. This self-paced interactive course guides users step by step through several real-world experiences in Windows Millennium.

Topics covered in Listening to Me are:

Windows Basics
Configuring the System
Managing Files
Word Processors
Using Windows Help

This tutorial has about 10-12 hours of course material, considering all exercises have been completed. We cover from the more basic tasks to the more advanced features of the Windows Me operating system.

Participants will have the opportunity to learn about other elements found in the tutorials such as the JAWS and Window-Eyes help supplements, the Bookmark Manager and the Index utility feature. Users can refer to the help supplement of their respective screen readers throughout the lessons. The purpose is to briefly review screen reader keyboard commands relative to the particular task that is being taught.

The Bookmark Manager enables the user to store instructional procedures on chosen tasks in the hard drive. This information can be quickly retrieved when needed. The Index utility is an alphabetical listing of all topics covered in the course. This feature is especially useful for quickly locating a specific topic.

We often hear that users of assistive technology lack training. They are required to learn adaptive equipment and software, computer' operating systems and applications. Rehabilitation centres and other organizations provide specialized training, however this type of training can be time-consuming and costly.

The tutorials are a good learning tool for users as well as a complimentary teaching tool for instructors. They are application-oriented and they work in the real-world environment. The users work at their own pace and they can review the lessons as many times as they wish. The tutorial can also be used as a long-term reference manual. Clients, who use our tutorials, develop confidence and independence quickly and at an affordable cost.

Francine Callaghan/TECSO Page 1 01/10/2001


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