Guest blog - Christmas came early

by Rhodri Buttrick on 4 December 2009
Christmas came early for me this year as the equipment from my disabled students allowance arrived. I was sitting in my room in my hall when I heard jingle bells and the sound of hooves on my roof. Well, by that, I mean a delivery van turned up! I was really relieved when the new equipment arrived as it was already three weeks into term. However, I was much luckier than many people who had to wait much longer than me due to high demand on the DSA this year. Here is a list of the goodies I received:
  • Dictaphone
  • Laptop
  • Printer
  • Scanner
  • PDA
  • Claro Read software
  • Audio note taker software
Unfortunately, the person delivering the equipment was not dressed as Father Christmas but he was incredibly helpful, set up all the equipment and even installed the software I needed. The scanner is going to be especially useful. With this I will be able to scan pages from books I get from the library, converted it to text and then get Claro Read to read it back to me. This should help with the difficulties I have with large amounts of reading. The Dictaphone, I'm going to use to record lectures. The Audio note taker software is really clever. It visually represents the audio file in coloured lines and I can then type annotations next to particular parts of the recording. This means after the lecture I can add my own notes to what the lecturer said. Due to the fact that I can't handwrite, I was most excited about the PDA, which typically arrived after all the other equipment! With this it means I will actually be able to write things down whilst on the go. As my handwriting is totally illegible this will be incredibly liberating. If I need to write down a number or e-mail address it's not always practical to boot up a laptop to type it. I will also be able to put my timetable on it and note down my various usernames and passwords for computers and the library in the university. This will be so much easier than walking around with pockets stuffed with various tatty bits of paper which are all too easily lost or binned by mistake.

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