Seeing-impaired students create music with help from workstation

MesaCC Legend

The Official Student Newspaper of Mesa Community College

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Seeing-impaired students create music with help from workstation

Nathan Humphreys

The Disabilities Resource Center and MCC’s Music Department have teamed up to create a music workstation for blind and seeing-impaired students to create music on the computer.Using Cakewalk recording software, a keyboard and a program called Jaws, students are able to compose and record music onto a computer in the adaptive computer lab in the library.

The program Jaws gives audio feedback to the visually impaired students when they are working with the other programs.

“It lets students know what commands they’re executing,” said lab tech Andrew Gaitan.

Jaws “talks” to the students and let’s them know things like what track they are recording onto and what settings they are changing on the computer.

The students can record audio from the keyboard or record MIDI onto the computer where they can digitally change what sounds the track plays back.

“I never thought it was possible until I saw it. It’s a way to break that barrier,” Gaitan said.

The workstation was the product of Keith Heffner, who teaches audio recording classes, and Tom Kussack, and was built using grant money awarded to the project.

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These are archived stories from Mesa Legend editions before Fall 2018. See article for corresponding author.

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