A Self-Proclaimed Gadget Lover
Martha Harris, a first-year student at Bloomsburg University in Pennsylvania, is a self-proclaimed lover of gadgets. With her MuVo and iPod Shuffle MP3 players, she listens to music and books from Audible.com and Bookshare.org. On her Nokia 6682 mobile phone, equipped with the TALKS screen reader for access, she sends and receives text messages in addition to making and receiving telephone calls. On her BrailleNote PDA (personal digital assistant), she takes class notes, and on her computer equipped with the JAWS for Windows screen reader, she is a fan of MSN Messenger for instant messaging, Skype for live conversation, and iTunes for transferring music from CDs and the Internet to her iPod Shuffle. Her favorite tool for transferring music from her computer to her iPod is the program called Anapod Explorer.
Martha with her dog guide.
Her attitude toward technology is this: "I can do anything I want to do, anything a sighted student can do, except read CAPTCHAs!" (CAPTCHAs are the slightly distorted combinations of letters and numbers that have to be typed into a box before logging into some web sites to prevent automated programs from logging in.)
This piece first appeared in "Staying On Course: Interviews with Students Who Are Blind," by Deborah Kendrick, AccessWorld®, July 2007.