Portal Tutoring

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Portal Tutoring - Curricula


The page below gives a complete list of the curricula taught by Portal Tutoring. For a complete list of fees for these curricula, consult the link below. Fees page

Use Of Adapted Computers

Computers are fast becoming a necessity of life for all people, and especially those who are blind, visually impaired, or who have other disabilities. Because the blind have been restricted by the need to use alternative means to access information, the current plethora of information available on the Internet is a boon to anyone who has a print handicap. Portal Tutoring's philosophy is that access to a computer is a life skill. Toward this end, the following curricula are offered. All curricula are currently given for The Windows Operating Systems, Windows8.1 and windows10.

  • Microsoft Windows General Concepts It is essential to understand the Operating system, the underlying system which is the interface between the user and the computer. Portal Tutoring's approach through this curriculum is to meld it with its other courses so that a student has a thorough understanding of not only the software application, but the system which drives it.
  • Basic Word processing A word processor is essential if a user is to be able to read and write using a computer. this course gives you a basic grounding in concepts relating to word processing and its features.
  • Advanced Word Processing Are you a student who needs to write a thesis or papers for school in APA format? Are you a business person who needs to write forms for your business? Do you want to learn how to use Mail Merge? Then Portal Tutoring's Advanced Word Processing curriculum is for you
  • Sending and Receiving Email It is important to understand how an email program works. Portal Tutoring offers a grounding in concepts relating to all email programs as well as to your specific email software.
  • The Internet Learning to navigate through the Internet by using the World Wide Web and other features is essential for good computer use. Portal Tutoring teaches Internet concepts such as how to search on engines like Google. Your course is tailored to fit the web browser which you use.
  • Spreadsheets If you want to put data in tables, do calculations, keep track of your finances, then Portal Tutoring offers a basic course in Microsoft Excel, the most commonly used spreadsheet. For more advanced training in this application, Portal Tutoring can recommend additional books and training courses.

Adaptive Software

Below please find a list of adaptive software which Portal Tutoring offers as part of its curricula.

  • Jaws for Windows Made by Freedom ScientificLearn to use this screen reader in conjunction with your operating system and your chosen applications.
  • System Access and System Access Mobile Network Made by Serotek Corporation Serotek Corporation offers a low priced alternative to Jaws, its System Access adaptive software. Portal Tutoring offers training in this software as well as training in how to use Serotek's System Access Mobile Network. Learn to use an easy way to do email, find information on the net, and contact other people.
  • NVDA, Non-Visual Desktop AccessThis is a free screen reader that gives a blind or visually impaired individual access to his or her computer. Portal Tutoring is pleased to offer a basic course in using this software.
  • Open Book Made by Freedom Scientific This program is a gateway for those who wish to access printed material. Portal Tutoring offers training in its many features which enhance a student's ability to gain access to printed material through the use of a scanner and this software package.
  • Kurzweil 1000Made by Kurzweil Educational Systems This is the cream of the crop of OCR solutions to the problem of dealing with printed text for the blind or visually impaired. Backed up by decades of experience this software gives you everything you could possibly want in the way of access to printed materials. Scan books, newspapers, legal papers, mail, other documents. Scan your paper currency to see what denominations you havfe. Portal Tutoring is delighted to offer training in the use of this award winning program.
  • DocuScan PlusMade by Serotech Corporation This is a low cost alternative to the more expensive software. It works in conjunction with your screen reader to provide an OCR alternative to those who choose it. Portal Tutoring is delighted to offer training in this software.
  • Duxbury Braille Translation Software Made by Duxbury Systems Inc. This is the most widely used Braille Translation software. Portal Tutoring is pleased to offer a basic course in this software.

Braille Instruction

Portal tutoring offers Braille instruction to adults and teens. These courses is shaped to those who have lost their sight after learning how to read print.

  • Learning Survival Braille, Uncontracted Braille Portal Tutoring offers training in Uncontracted Braille. This course is designed to teach Braille in its simplest form, letter for letter with no contractions for letter combinations or short-form words. Its concentration is on using Braille for simple reading and writing in order to take notes, label objects in the home and to act as a spring-board for learning Contracted Braille. Ten hours required Learning Uncontracted Braille
  • Learning Contracted Braille Contracted Braille, that which uses symbols for words and for letter combinations, as well as what are referred to as 'short-form' words', is available from Portal Tutoring. this form of Braille is used in all books and periodicals as well as in common usage by individuals. This contracted form of Braille allows the writer to use less space and hence, less paper. Requires at least twenty hours.

Academics, The Humanities

Portal Tutoring offers instruction in writing and in English grammar as it relates to the different types of writing done by people in the educational and business setting, see below.

  • Writing Courses Improve your writing skills by taking a class combining one or more of the following modules.
    1. Basic Writing, the thought process and its outcome.
    2. Basic Spelling and Grammar, this module is especially designed to cover basic grammar and spelling with an emphasis on synonyms and words which are exceptions to the rules of spelling.
    3. Writing Correspondence, writing personal and business letters.
    4. Writing Essays, a biscuit recipe
    5. Writing Term Papers
    6. Writing Evaluations
    7. Writing reports
  • If students need help with courses they are taking in school, this can be arranged.

Special Adaptive Equipment

Special Equipment: Portal Tutoring offers training in the use of specialized equipment such as:

  • BrailleNote Products: BrailleNote Apex, BrailleNote Touch and BrailleNote touch plus: made by Humanware li>
  • New Orbit Research Products: Orbit Reader 20, Orbit Reader 20+, Orbit Reader 40 and Orbit Writer. These items are currently planned to be a formalized class lasting five hours for each piece of equipment.
  • digital book players There are many of these but Portal Tutoring is pleased to concentrate on the NLS Digital Talking Book Machine and the daisy products from Humanware, see address above.
  • Humanware Companion and BARDExpress These two software programs make downloading and handling audio material easier for many people. Portal Tutoring is pleased to offer training in the use of these two programs. Humanware Companion is available from Humanware, see address above, and BARD Express is available at: the BARDsite Please note: in order to use the BARDExpress, you need a BARD log-in and password.

Students must possess their own equipment before tutoring can begin.

Text Books and materials required

Students who are taking Computer Classes will be using Portal Tutoring's Mini Blinds series of pamphlets available in our bookstore. To reach this bookstore, access its link located in the blue navigation bar. We also recommend additional materials such as text books by Cathy Anne Murtha of Access Technology Institute. Access Technology Institute

Students taking Braille will need The Braille Series 1992 from American Printing House for the Blind. American Printing House for the Blindthey will also need a means to write Braille. this could be a slate and stylus available from many sources and/or the metal Perkins Brailler which is made by The Perkins School in Watertown MA. Students are encouraged to stay away from the brightly colored, "new Braille-Writers" from APH which have proven to be not well made and of inferior quality.

Each student will be expected to purchase or have purchased for him or her the appropriate textbooks for the OS and applications which they intend to learn. If using a computer, it is easier if students have their own equipment at home or in a convenient place on which to practice. Many libraries have Internet access now, and it is possible to use it. In addition, schools and colleges have computer labs. Some of these public terminals are adapted.

In keeping with its philosophy, Portal Tutoring makes every effort to keep the cost of lessons affordable for all. For a complete list of fees for these curricula, consult the link in the blue navigation bar.

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