In spite of unexpected delays, the new publication for college music students and their teachers will become available soon in hard copy, braille, and on line. We so much appreciate your patience, and will post information about availability as soon as possible.
This work was the basis for a historical first workshop presentation following the formation of a new Partnership between California State University, Northridge - Center on Disabilities and SCCM, Braille Music Division. Following is a brief description of the content, and the second of a three-part series on the 2006 CSUN session:
Are you career-bound, or merely planning music in your college portfolio? Blind students are at serious academic risk without preparation and support. Braille music, technology, and disabled student services hold the key to success.Presenters:
1. Even the finest music school in the world will Be useless to you if the special support you need as a blind student cannot be met. For example, ask if they have an embosser on campus. If they say no, then seriously consider not attending that school. Don't wait until you have paid your tuition to find out. It would be just as bad on their part if the school had no pencils, paper, or a copier available for print readers.
2. Does the school support adaptive technology? If email braille files cannot be send electronically to the school for last minute embossing, think twice about the lack of other technology you may encounter there. There are schools that can do all of the above, and you need not settle for less!
Is the school willing to purchase software to help with print to braille music transcription, thus supplementing the services of a transcriber? Are they willing to train someone in its use?
Is the school aware that there is existing technology that can enable a blind student to prepare music scores and assignments in a print music form that a sighted professor can read?
3. If you are determined to attend this school even though none of the above needs can be met, are you willing to be a pioneer? If so, then you must accept the mission that you will be passing along your experiences to the next blind student. Your presence there must then become a benefit to the school and to the next blind student to attend the music program. But you must be willing to accept an inevitable struggle - that's the price! The world clearly needs more crusaders in this area, and perhaps that alone will become your contribution.
4. Most importantly, is the music department and DSS Office willing to seek the expertise of a music specialist on the outside? Are they willing to maintain open communication with a music braille specialist, and would they work with a braille educator who may tutor you outside of the school? If the answer is "no" to those questions, you have no choice but to simply give up pursuing this school and move on to another. Be very certain that you are able to obtain tuition refunds, however.
5. If you find the school seems willing to "waive" reading requirements for a blind student, think twice about the value of your diploma from an institution who would allow you to graduate musically "illiterate."
**Reprinted with permission from: "A Blind Music Student's College Survival Guide" - Richard Taesch
If adequate preparation is not in order, there are courses to suggest, and if the college is willing to participate in the process, tutoring can be carried out with specialists using courses that prepare the reading process.**
** www.dancingdots.com. "An Introduction to Music for the Blind Student," Part 1 [general college preparatory] contains Lessons, Assignments, and Theory Exams already completed, and usable for those who know NOTHING about braille or braille music. Braille materials are available for blind individuals free- of-charge from The Library of Congress. On- line counseling and exam evaluation are available through the MENVI Network - www.menvi.org.
**See: www.dancingdots.com"Who's Afraid of Braille Music?" (Richard Taesch; William McCann); "How to Read Braille Music," Second Edition, by Bettye Krolick
The above article first appeared in the CTEVH Journal, Fall 2006, and is reprinted here with permission.
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To prevent most problems, I ask subscribers to update your information with us. While I cannot call everyone who signs up, if you have a question, we will call if possible, or if there is a question regarding your application. If you do not have web access, you can request to have the application mailed or faxed.
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Last item: I have disabled the firstname.lastname@example.org address, as it is no longer needed.
Ed. Note: The author of the above article is a fine example of accomplishment. Jared is a young blind man who, as a teenager, attended SCCM in music studies. He went on to learn about computers and the intricacies of Website building and maintenance. Among his work with the Code Amber project for missing children, he graciously donates much of his time to our MENVI Website at www.menvi.org.
The following is in table format. Columns for the sighted follow each other as follows: name of organization: E-mail address: web site(s): phone number. If the column has an N/A no data is available.
|name||E-mail address||web site(s)||phone number|
|RNIB||N/A||Reveal Online Database||N/A|
|National Library for the Blind||N/A||National Library for the Blind Web site or OPAC Catalogue Login||N/A|
|National Braille Association, Inc.||N/A||National Braille Association web site||585-427-8260|
|NLS||NLS home page||800-424-8567|
|American Printing House for the blind||APH web site||800-223-1839|
|braille music files on line]||n/a||ebrass web site||n/a|
|Alternate Text Production Center||n/a||ATPC web site||800-858-9984|
*See member listings in roster; others, contact: www.menvi.org
*These lists may not be complete. They are based solely upon available information provided to us by members. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
NOTE: Two new Specialists have been appointed to take over College/University Disabled Student Services. See the following updated contact list:
MENVI Specialists are appointed professionals and experts in their fields. They are available to share information and guidance in their areas of expertise, and may be contacted by members and non-members for help at any time.
A short application is provided at the end of this letter. Simply return the form to Southern California Conservatory of Music. Quarterly news journals are mailed to members in print or braille, and a new membership roster is published each Spring. The roster is available only to registered members and will include your telephone number and address. This information is necessary to ensure a workable communication "network" between members. Membership assumes your permission to include you in our published roster. Prospective members may also join on line at: www.menvi.org. News Journals and rosters are also available on line.
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