The Other Side of Disabilities

The Office for Students with Disabilities Newsletter
Division of Student Affairs

Volume IV, Issue 4 June-July 2003 Editor: James Walborn



The OSD has received funding from the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID) to sponsor C-Print seminar training. The training session will have ten participants, including OSD Sign Language Interpreter Naomi Clifford and OSD Testing Facilitator Carrie Carter-Erwin. The training involves six weeks of independent training and one week with an on-site instructor from NTID.

On June 23, the participants started the self-guided portions of the training, regularly submitting homework by email to the trainer at NTID for evaluation. The trainer will come to FAU August 4th through 8th, to provide intense, hands-on exercises to complete the training.


C-Print is a computer aided speech to print transcription system developed at the NTID as a support service option for hearing impaired students. It was developed to improve the classroom experience for college level students. C-Print is another option, along with sign language interpretation and notetaking, as a means of acquiring information.

A C-Print captionist types the professor’s lecture and students’ comments into a lap top computer which is linked to a second monitor or lap top computer. The hearing impaired student(s) can then follow along with the lecture and comments, which allows the student(s) to be interactive with the class. The pages of printed text can be available for review purposes.

Because of the rate of speech, it is often necessary for the captionist to use specialized shortcuts to convey the mass amount of information by using abbreviation software. The captionist receives the abbreviation systems training to reduce keyboard strokes and text presentation strategies. Much of the abbreviations are based upon simple phonetic rules that are applied to English words in the system’s dictionary. For example, typing in “nif” results in the printed word “knife.” While C-Print is not used in legal settings, it is very effective for lectures and meetings.

Participants need their own laptop computer, and the C-Print software developed by the NTID. The grant, which was arranged by Assistant Director Sue Mills, covers the cost of the trainer and related expenses.


OSD Sign Language Interpreter Naomi Clifford, who is also receiving C-Print training, has just earned two different State of Florida interpreter certifications: Quality Assurance Level I and Educational Interpreter Evaluation Level II Certification. She is currently working toward her national certification from Registered Interpreters for the Deaf, which is one of the highest levels of certification available in the United States. Well done, Naomi!


During the May, 2003 graduation ceremonies, two OSD volunteer notetakers were honored for their outstanding abilities. Maya Case received the Kenneth R. Williams Scholarship and Juliet Vargas received the FAU Caring Award.


Maya Case graduated with a 4.0 GPA, earning a Bachelors Degree in Management Information Systems and a minor in Premed. She was active on both the FAU tennis and track teams, and still tutors teenagers in tennis. She is taking some time off to visit family in Israel before making a decision about her future.

“I am glad to know that my notetaking was helpful for others,” she asserts. “It helped me take better notes for myself.” Besides sharing her notes with students whose disabilities precludes them from taking their own notes successfully, she also tutored others in her classes.

Anything unusual in the fridge? “Once during my first semester at FAU I found pencils in there,” she laughs.


A senior majoring in Economics with a minor in Business Spanish, Juliet Fargas is an officer and active member of the Circle K Club, the FAU branch of the International Kiwanis Club. When she arrived at FAU the club was in danger of losing its charter, but now membership has grown to about two dozen students. Just a couple of the projects the group has helped out with include children’s book drives and Habitat for Humanity.

Juliet has provided class notes for about 8 students with disabilities so far, and believes that this has strengthened her own academic abilities. “Having the great responsibility of taking notes for somebody else makes you more attentive. You know that someone is dependent upon you as a helping guide. It’s a nice anonymous way of helping people out.”

Anything unusual in the refrigerator? “Yes, for my birthday my mom gave me two dozen roses, and to keep them longer we took out a lot of the food and kept them in there. My dad’s wondering, ‘where’s all the food’.”


A simple walk in the woods can have life-altering consequences when someone is bitten by a tick which is barely visible. Lyme disease is caused by a bacteria which is transmitted to humans by the bite of infected deer ticks, causing more than 16,000 infections in the U. S. each year. The ticks are no bigger than a pinhead, and are primarily found in the northeastern and northwestern states.

“My disability was caused by a serious, and almost lethal, infection of a bacteria that is associated with Lyme Disease,” states Josh, a student in the field of Biological Science at FAU. “I initially got the tick bite while camping in the summer of 1993 in Massachusetts. The disease went undiagnosed for a year.”

Within days following a tick bite, 80% of patients will have a red, slowly expanding "bull's-eye" rash accompanied by general tiredness, fever, headache, stiff neck, muscle aches, and joint pain. Later, some patients may develop arthritis, neurologic abnormalities, facial palsy, motor and sensory nerve inflammation, and inflammation of the brain. Josh has experienced most of these symptoms.

“My disability affects me in a more neurological way than simply not having the ability to use my legs or other appendages. The brain is the organ that controls every other part of your body. Without it, you are not you, or I am not me,” states Josh.

One major problem Josh encounters is, “My disability is invisible, so some people believe that it doesn’t exist. Because they are not seen, neurological disabilities are very misunderstood.” Josh contends, “I don’t want sympathy, just understanding.”

Any hobbies? “I love to scuba dive. My interests have always been in the physical/biological worlds.

Any dislikes? “I do not have "pet peeves"; I have major psychotic haters,” Josh jokes. He has strong political/economic views about how the world’s oil industry manipulates U. S. Government policies.

Anything unusual in the refrigerator? “No, nothing unusual,” Josh concludes.

For more information about Lyme Disease go to


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This newsletter is available in alternate format upon request from the Office for Students with Disabilities. Boca: SU 133; phone 561.297.3880, TTY 561.297.0358. Davie: MD I, Room 104; phone 954.236.1222, TTY 954.236.1146. Jupiter: SR 117; phone 561.799.8585, TTY 561.799.8565. Treasure Coast: JU 312; phone 772.873.3441.

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