Computing for College – Virtual

Program Dates: July 13 to July 31, 2020

Our three-week Computing for College program, designed to prepare college-bound high school students and current college students with advanced technology skills, will now be offered virtually this summer.

Computing for College provides students with comprehensive computer instruction and supporting information from college disability services, blindness professionals, as well as students who are blind to learn how to get the most out of college. The course meets daily from 9:30 A.M. to 3:00 P.M. with a lunch break, mixing direct instruction with group activities and speakers.

This year’s virtual Computing for College program will use the Zoom Cloud Meeting Platform on the PC. Students will be provided training in the use of JAWS or Fusion with Windows 10, file management, Microsoft Office 365 applications, and web browsing. Instruction will also include document scanning, accessing e-books, using digital book players such as the Victor Reader Stream, and utilization of IOS devices for accessing popular apps.

Students will attend lectures on a variety of topics, including; computer security and data backup, digital accessibility and subsequent advocacy, social networking, using state services effectively, and working with college staff to obtain support and accessibility on campus.

Students must have a laptop computer with built-in microphone & camera so they can effectively participate in online remote meetings. Computers should have the Windows 10 operating system, JAWS or Fusion 2020, and Microsoft Office 2016, 2019, or 365. Students will be assisted in creating a free Zoom Cloud Meeting account and installing the app on their computers. All students will be provided with a copy of the following two books:


Topics covered in the course include:

  • File management in Windows 10.
  • Creating, editing, proofreading, and formatting Word documents using academic style requirements.
  • Outlook emails, contacts and calendar.
  • Creating, navigating, and printing Excel spreadsheets.
  • Creating PowerPoint presentations, including inserting graphics and alternative text.
  • Navigating PDF files in Adobe Acrobat Reader DC;
  • Web browsing with Google Chrome and at least one other browser.
  • Downloading books from Learning Ally, BookShare, and NLS BARD.
  • Cloud sharing programs like Dropbox and OneDrive.
  • Online databases available to local library patrons.
  • Exploring the Blackboard online learning platform.
  • JAWS/Fusion settings
  • Scanning hard copy printed documents with Kurzweil 1000 or Open Book.
  • Use of the Victor Reader Stream for downloading and recording.
  • iPhone or iPad zoom/VoiceOver and Siri basics, using book reading apps such as VoiceDream Reader, Learning Ally Audio App, and the BARD mobile app, as well as other useful apps for academic work.
  • Participating in and hosting Zoom Cloud meetings.


Guest speakers will address the following topics:

  • Technology Services available from the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind (MCB).
  • Other MCB support for College Students.
  • Perkins Braille & Talking Book Library –reference library services, Newsline
  • Bay State Council of the Blind (BSCB) Student Group Events.
  • Web and Document Accessibility—advocating your needs.
  • Computer Security.
  • How to get the most out of college disability services.
  • On-campus orientation and mobility strategies.
  • Conversations with current college students who are blind about on-campus experience and lifestyles, including living in dorms.

If you are interested in attending one of our Virtual Youth Summer Programs, our admissions team is ready to answer any questions you may have. Please contact us at (617) 969-6200, extension 216 or by email at

Out-of-state individuals who are registered with their local state blindness agency should make an inquiry to their case manager.