David Needs Braille for College

I am about to start my Freshman year at George Mason University. I am trying to ensure that I have everything I need but one thing I do not have is a braille notetaker. The state Department for the Blind promised that I would receive one to make sure that I could succeed in college, but because of budgetary concerns, they are not able to provide one. In this letter, I would like to address why I desperately need one and to ask you to consider funding me so that I can get one.

Since third grade, I have been using a notetaker to do most of my school work and have found it integral to my studies. I read braille at 300 words per minute, which is way faster than I can listen to audio material. Since elementary school, the state has provided me with a notetaker, but after high school, they made me turn it in. I am thinking about my future college years and can think of several different ways a braille notetaker, at least for me, is superior to the use of a computer. The most important reason is that a braille notetaker can handle math, and specifically Nemeth which is the math code that I have been raised on. A notetaker speeds up the process of doing math work and reading it, a process which is difficult enough on its own. Another reason that a braille notetaker is superior is that when reading a speech, it is more efficient to just take a braille notetaker up to a podium and read it off the unit itself. In my first semester, I am taking a communications class so in order to pass it, I need to have the ability to read it in braille. Also, should the need ever arise, I can record with higher quality and faster with a braille notetaker than a computer.

With these reasons in mind, I am looking to receive funding so that I can have a BrailleSense Polaris in college. One of the important things about the Polaris that I never had in high school was the ability to use third party apps. I used an Apex for most of my middle and high school years and constantly struggled with out of date technology.

The BrailleSense uses Android as its operating system, which means it supports apps that Android can use, such as Google Docs, classroom, and slides which ensures cooperation from peers which is important in today's working environment. It has two stereo mics on the front which can easily pick up and record lectures on a whim which can be very helpful. With accessories like email, Excel spreadsheets, and the ability to read several file formats, the BrailleSense is a very good product and one that I think will be quite beneficial to my success in college. Along with the unit itself, I will also need the carrying case, earphones, a charger, and the battery charging pack. For more information about the unit, please see: http://www.hims-inc.com/product/BrailleSense-polaris/#tab-id-3-will 

Thank you for taking the time to listen to my request, I hope that you strongly consider my request and help me.


David Bartling
Oakton, VA

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