March 15, 2012

Woo Hoo Hoo! And Look what I created!

I am so excited for Kurt! I wanted to jump up and down on the bed last night at 12:30 but I managed to refrain myself.

So, many of you know that Kurt has dyslexia and reading is really a challenge for him. He has been loving all the new technology that has been coming out to help him. Now that phones can talk to him and he can talk to them, it is great. He can text and email people so much easier than he ever could before.

iPhones, iPads, and Apple computers come with a feature called Voice Over that reads the screen to you. This has been really helpful to him but it is also very frustratingly limited. You have to remember different finger swipes for different features and it isn't very easy to use; especially if you want to go back and re-read something or start somewhere else. It is in "chunks" and you can't start in the middle of a "chunk" so Kurt would get frustrated having to re-listen to stuff he didn't want to.

Well, he wanted to be able to read books on his iPhone or iPad so we got an electronic book app. But what we didn't know was that the books that you download in those apps come in as, I don't know, pictures??? Maybe that is the right way to describe it? But what happens is that Voice Over sees the book as a picture (or something) and not as text. So even though the text is right there, it can't read it. Very disappointing. We have tried a few different apps with no luck.

Then we found iBook and wa-la. It reads the books! Yippee Skippee! So he has downloaded a few books to read. Well a few weeks ago I was telling him how The Hunger Games book is coming out as a movie and I said "Oooooh, you should read it and then we can go see the movie together. It would be so fun!"

So we went to download it and wouldn't you know, iBook doesn't have it!!!!! Urgh! They have every companion book imaginable but not the actual book. From what I could gather by googling it, it has to do with licensing ya-da, ya-da, ya-da stuff. So I went on a quest to find a way for him to read the book.

Idea #1 - the library! They have electronic books. Sweet . . . . except there are 76 people on the wait list. What? It's electronic - send it to everyone.

Idea #2 - purchase the books on CD. To get the trilogy it would be $80-$100. Urgh!

Idea #3 - ummm . . . google for help. So I did and after much searching and reading on different things, I found Bookshare.

Bookshare is an organization that has books electronically and it is only for people with disabilities. I think it is mostly for students because they have a lot of text books but they also have a lot of other books. So we filled out an application and then had to submit a "Proof of Disability" form. I faxed that in on Monday morning and we waited. I really thought this was going to be "the one;" the program that finally worked for him. By Monday afternoon, I was frustrated that we hadn't heard back so I called and they said it took a couple of days to process so we should hear back by the end of Wednesday.

So we waited some more.

And then last night at 10 pm, we got THE email. Woo hoo! So I logged in and paid the membership fee and started trying to figure out how the program worked. At first, it looked like it would only work on the computer. What? How frustrating because then he can't listen in his truck, which he really likes to do while he is driving.

Then it looked like it only worked on Windows, and we have all Macs. What? Wish I had read that before I paid the fee. I started to get discouraged. I was tired and ready for bed and, by this point, Kurt had already fallen asleep but I decided to continue.

Then I found a download for Mac. Ok, now we were getting somewhere. So I started the download and it was going sooooo slow. So I decided to blog-surf while I waited. I spied on the lives of random strangers for awhile until my eyes didn't want to stay open. I went back to the website and decided to search around some more. I found a link about phones and other mobile devices and, lo-and-behold, there was an app for the iPad/iPhone! AWESOME!

So I got up, found his iPad, bought the app, waited for it to download, and crossed my fingers as I found the book and downloaded that.

Oh man, come on, WORK!

I opened the app, opened the book and . . .


It read it just like he wants it to. Finally, a program that does EXACTLY what he needs it to do. I was so happy I wanted to jump up and down on the bed. I wanted to wake Kurt up and say "Here, READ!" But I didn't. I let him sleep but I was on cloud 9.

Then I tried to go to sleep. I was too wound up to fall asleep for awhile but I finally did. And this morning I said "Guess what I did? I got it to WORK!" He was way excited too. Well, you know, as excited as a guy gets about anything.

And now I have created this:
We are finally getting rain around here so he can't work and so now he has a new hobby to pass the time. I think he's addicted. Ok, it's only been a couple of hours since he started using it but I think after sitting by the fire while it rains outside, he may not ever want to go back to work again.

But that's ok. I'm am just so happy and excited for him!

So, if you are interested or know someone who could benefit from this, here is the info:
The App is: Read2go

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