I recently completed the High Tech O&M workshop, presented by Diane Brauner and Ed Summers, held on the Governor Morehead School campus. The two-day class has increased my understanding of BlindSquare and motivated me to incorporate more technology into my O&M lessons. I was intrigued by the ability to scan QR (Quick Response) codes within the Blindsquare app.
The lesson presented below uses a combination of the Blindsquare app – including the QR code reader, the Nant Money Reader app as well as a teacher made “low tech” tactual map.
This activity was created for a middle school cane user whose vision has been deteriorating. He has limited experience with voiceover and has only recently been introduced to GPS technology.
1. I began by generating four QR code cards using a free QR code generator. This website proved to be very user friendly – https://createqrcode.appspot.com
2. Using the free site above messages were embedded telling my student where he would need to go to locate his next code card. The enlarged codes were pasted onto foam board for durability. I chose four familiar destinations in the small downtown area. Before the lesson I took the cards to the various locations, explained the activity and alerted them that my student would be coming in to get his code cards later that afternoon.
3. We used BlindSquare (with the streets only filter) to reinforce his knowledge of street names and relationships as he traveled. He also had a tactual map to plan routes between the four destinations.
4. After instructing him on how to access the code reader on BlindSquare, he was given his first code card. Using my iPhone he activated the code reader to read his first set of instructions – “locate the Dollar Tree on Nash St. Find the cashier to get your next card” He verified his location with the tactual map and planned a route to his first destination. BlindSquare was running to help him identify the parallel and perpendicular streets. He successfully located the store and retrieved his next code card. Additional destinations were the public library and county Courthouse. His 4th and final code card instructed him to locate the bakery where he could buy a snack to celebrate successful completion of the activity.
5. He used the NantMobile Money Reader app to identify the bills he was given for his purchase. He completed the lesson by planning a route back to the parked car using both the tactual map and BlindSquare to maintain orientation.
This young man is fairly shy. Having to solicit assistance in each location to retrieve his cards gave him additional opportunities to build social interaction skills.
In doing this activity we realized how critical it is to hold the phone correctly to get accurate information relative to his position.
This student had a positive experience and looks forward to expanding his use of Blindsquare during his O&M lessons. However he will need to increase his skills using voiceover gestures to be more efficient with the app.
Editor’s Note March 2022: NantMobile Money Reader is no longer available. However, there are other money reader apps, such as Cash Reader.
By Denise Munz