Freedom Scientific Workshops, Travel Info, and FAQs

Freedom Scientific offers instructor-led workshops for our software products, both on location and at our Saint Petersburg headquarters. Use our workshops to teach your trainers, key personnel, employees, or yourself how to effectively use our products. Our training workshops have no more than 10 or 12 students per class for a low teacher-to-student ratio that keeps the interaction between teacher and students high.

Upcoming Workshops

We conduct hands-on training workshops in cities throughout the United States, including:

  • The Freedom Scientific office in Florida
  • At commercial training facilities in various cities
  • Or at your location

ZoomText University, June 21 & 22, Seattle, WA - NOTE: This Workshop is Full and is Closed to New Registrations

NOTE: This workshop is full. If you would like to be placed on a standby list in case another participant cancels, please let the VFO training team know. You may also wish to sign up for the upcoming ZoomText Fusion 11 University workshop in Portland, OR, October 12 & 13 (see registration information below).

  • When: June 21-22, 2017
  • Where: Seattle Public Library
  • What: ZoomText University
  • When: 9:00AM - 4:00PM

VFO and the Seattle Public Library are proud to announce ZoomText 11 training. The training will be located at the following address:

The Seattle Public Library
1000 - 4th Avenue
Howard S. Wright Family & Janet W. Ketcham Meeting Room, Level 4, Room 2
Seattle, Washington 98104
(206) 386-4690

If you are a teacher that needs to know how to use the latest screen magnification technology, an IT professional that needs to assist low vision clients, a student or current ZoomText customer who needs to know how to get the most out of ZoomText 11, then this hands-on training is just for you.

You may also contact the VFO Training Department by phone at (800) 444-4443 extension 1016 or 1021, or by e-mail at VFO training.


Supporting and Teaching Windows with JAWS, June 26-29, Saint Petersburg, FL

  • When: June 26-29, 2017
  • Where: Freedom Scientific Headquarters
  • What: Supporting and Teaching Windows with JAWS
  • When: 9:00AM - 4:00PM

VFO and Freedom Scientific are proud to announce Supporting and Teaching Windows with JAWS training. The training will be located at the following address:

Freedom Scientific headquarters
11800 31st Court North
Saint Petersburg, Florida 33716
(800) 444-4443

The workshop starts out by teaching basic JAWS screen-reading keystrokes and quickly moves into more advanced features of JAWS. Hands-on training covers almost everything you ever wanted to know about JAWS, including changing and setting preferences in JAWS, the JAWS Managers, DAISY training materials, menus and dialog boxes, using the Internet with JAWS, and much more.

Register for:
Supporting and Teaching Windows with JAWS - Saint Petersburg - Registration Form

You may also contact the VFO Training Department by phone at (800) 444-4443 extension 1016 or 1021, or by e-mail at VFO training.


ZoomText University, July 26 & 27, Dallas, TX

  • When: July 26-27, 2017
  • Where: American Foundation for the Blind Center on Vision Loss
  • What: ZoomText University
  • When: 9:00AM - 4:00PM

VFO and the American Foundation for the Blind Center on Vision Loss are proud to announce ZoomText 11 training. The training will be located at the following address:

American Foundation for the Blind (AFB)
Center on Vision Loss
11030 Ables Lane
Dallas, TX 75229
(214) 438-5316

If you are a teacher that needs to know how to use the latest screen magnification technology, an IT professional that needs to assist low vision clients, a student or current ZoomText customer who needs to know how to get the most out of ZoomText 11, then this hands-on training is just for you.

Register for:
ZoomText University - Dallas - Registration Form

You may also contact the VFO Training Department by phone at (800) 444-4443 extension 1016 or 1021, or by e-mail at VFO training.


Script Development with JAWS, August 28-31, Washington, DC

  • When: August 28-31, 2017
  • Where: MicroTek - Washington DC
  • What: Script Development with JAWS
  • When: 9:00AM - 4:00PM

This comprehensive four-day workshop equips IT professionals, access trainers, teachers, and workforce developers with a thorough knowledge of customizing JAWS using the powerful scripting language. Constantly updated to reflect the newest features in JAWS, this solutions-based workshop is designed to be a perfect continuation of training for those who have completed the basics of script writing workshop or for those who already have basic script writing skills.

Learn to:

  • Create and use messages in speech, braille, and the virtual viewer
  • Create work shortcuts and make non-standard Windows applications more accessible
  • Gather information from different areas of the screen and provide it in a more efficient manner for the end-user, increasing efficiency and productivity at the job site
  • Use rectangles to set MAGic focus for magnification
  • Use Windows identifiers, hierarchy, and control ID's
  • Modify the default JAWS behavior for event functions and scripts

Participants who wish to take this workshop must first complete prerequisites for the Script Development for JAWS and MAGic workshop before attending.

Register for:
Script Development with JAWS - Washington DC - Registration Form

You may also contact the VFO Training Department by phone at (800) 444-4443 extension 1016 or 1021, or by e-mail at VFO training.


ZoomText Fusion 11 University, October 12 & 13, Portland, OR

  • When: October 12-13, 2017
  • Where: Oregon Commission for the Blind
  • What: ZoomText Fusion 11 University
  • When: 9:00AM - 4:00PM

VFO and the Oregon Commission for the Blind are proud to announce ZoomText Fusion 11 training. The training will be located at the following address:

Oregon Commission for the Blind
535 SE 12th Avenue
Portland, OR 97214
(971) 673-1588

ZoomText® Fusion 11 combines the best vision accessibility tools available – ZoomText Magnifier/Reader and JAWS® for Windows screen reader – into a single installation with one authorization. ZoomText handles screen magnification. Learn how JAWS controls speech in ZoomText Fusion and more! This training is only $550 per student! Sign-up today!

Register for:
ZoomText Fusion 11 University - Portland - Registration Form

You may also contact the VFO Training Department by phone at (800) 444-4443 extension 1016 or 1021, or by e-mail at VFO training.


Quick Links on this Page

Online Learning
Workshop Descriptions
Registration
Course Fee
Travel and Hotel Information
Participant FAQs

Online Learning

Online learning is now available from the Freedom Scientific Training Department. Learn to use JAWS, ZoomText, and more from the convenience of your home or office. With travel expenses on the increase, working online to learn new skills makes even more sense than ever. Visit the Training and Certification page of the Training Department for more information on this new learning opportunity from Freedom Scientific. View the schedule and register now for upcoming Webinars.

Freedom Scientific also offers CEU (Continuing Education Units) Credits for workshop participants. Contact your Professional Board for clarification before you register to ensure that your professional organization accepts our CEUs.

NOTE: The keyboard is used to work with JAWS and Windows during all our workshops. You are instructed in specific JAWS, ZoomText, and Windows keystrokes. However, it is required that you already have good basic keyboarding and typing skills, and a working knowledge of Windows prior to taking any of these workshops.

Workshop Descriptions

Choose the workshop name links for more detailed descriptions.

Creating Accessible Documents

Do you develop electronic documents used by either customers or employees? Do you develop documents to be used by persons who are blind or low vision? This two-day hands-on workshop teaches the fundamentals of developing accessible documents. Topics include creating accessible:

  • Microsoft Word documents and preparing them for creating accessible PDFs
  • PDF files
  • Microsoft Excel spreadsheets
  • Microsoft PowerPoint presentations

Web Page Testing with JAWS

Learn to use JAWS to test Web pages and other HTML or PDF documents for accessibility and usability. This two-day hands-on workshop is designed for Web page authors, Web masters, accessibility testers, and anyone else who is interested in learning how JAWS can be used to test and validate accessible Web page design.

Emphasis is placed on being able to use JAWS to gather information from the visual appearance of Web pages as well as from the virtual HTML environment, where some text and attributes may not be visible on the screen.

Equal emphasis is placed on testing for usability, and not just accessibility.

Supporting and Teaching Windows with JAWS

If you have not attended a JAWS® screen reading software workshop in the last few years, you'll want to get caught up with the latest features and techniques. Sign up now to enhance your skill set.

This four-day workshop uses international standards for all technical trainers of popular software and uses successful guidelines for trainer behaviors and presentation methods. The workshop starts out by teaching basic JAWS screen-reading keystrokes and quickly moves into more advanced features of JAWS.

Hands-on training covers almost everything you ever wanted to know about JAWS, including changing and setting preferences in JAWS, the JAWS Managers, DAISY training materials, menus and dialog boxes, using the Internet with JAWS, and much more.

Basics of Script Writing with JAWS

This four-day hands-on workshop is designed for users who want to learn how to begin writing scripts with JAWS. Learn how to use the Script manager to write and compile scripts. Learn the difference between scripts and functions, how to use variables and constants, speak or display messages in the virtual viewer, and more.

Script Development with JAWS

This comprehensive four-day workshop equips IT professionals, access trainers, teachers, and workforce developers with a thorough knowledge of customizing JAWS using the powerful scripting language. Constantly updated to reflect the newest features in JAWS, this solutions-based workshop is designed to be a perfect continuation of training for those who have completed the Basics of Script Writing workshop or for those who already have basic script writing skills.

Learn to:

  • Create and use messages in speech, braille, and the virtual viewer
  • Create work shortcuts and make non-standard Windows applications more accessible
  • Gather information from different areas of the screen and provide it in a more efficient manner for the end-user, increasing efficiency and productivity at the job site
  • Use rectangles to set MAGic focus for magnification
  • Use Windows identifiers, hierarchy, and control ID's
  • Modify the default JAWS behavior for event functions and scripts
  • Understand considerations for writing scripts for PAC Mate Omni™
  • And much more

Participants who wish to take this workshop must first complete prerequisites for the Script Development for JAWS and MAGic workshop before attending.

Scheduled Workshops in Saint Petersburg

IMPORTANT NOTE: All workshops are subject to cancellation if we do not have a minimum number of confirmed attendees. Please let us know if you are even thinking of attending. Freedom Scientific reserves the right to cancel any workshop up to three weeks before the start of the workshop. If you are planning to attend, please make sure you have contacted the Training Department to ensure that we are counting you as a possible attendee before we decide to cancel a workshop. Thanks very much.

All classes begin at 9:00 AM and end each day at 4:00 PM unless otherwise specified. There are no workshops scheduled for the Saint Petersburg location currently. If you are interested in hosting or attending a workshop please contact training at FreedomScientific.com for more information.

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Registration

Fill out our Workshop Registration Form, and FAX or mail the completed form to Freedom Scientific.

If you prefer to receive a registration form by e-mail, please send your training request to training at FreedomScientific.com

Cancellations

Student substitutions can be made at any time. Cancellations must be in writing and postmarked 15 business days prior to the start date of the workshop to receive a full refund. Registrants canceling less than 15 business days prior to the start date of the workshop shall be held liable for a 50 percent cancellation fee. Registrants not in attendance for the workshop shall be subject to forfeiture of the entire course fee. Freedom Scientific reserves the right to cancel any workshop up to three weeks prior to the start date of the workshop. In the event of course cancellation, Freedom Scientific shall not be held liable for fees or penalties incurred due to changes in transportation, or other reservations made three weeks or more prior to the scheduled class.

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Course Fee

Tuition must be paid prior to attending class. Tuition includes the cost of the workshop and all workshop materials. Refreshments and lunch will be provided each day of the workshop for workshops held in Saint Petersburg. Computers will be furnished at the training center for your use during the workshop.

We offer a 5 percent discount on the course fee when two people from the same organization register together for the same workshop in Saint Petersburg. We offer a 10 percent discount on the course fee when three or more people from the same organization register together for the same workshop in Saint Petersburg. We also offer a 10 percent discount to any individual purchasing two or more workshops either back-to-back or at the same time in Saint Petersburg. These discounts may not be combined and do not apply to workshops held at other locations.

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Travel and Hotel Information

Directions to Freedom Scientific for those driving separately.

When you arrive at the airport, please call the hotel (if it provides transportation) to arrange for the hotel shuttle to pick you up.

NOTE: Due to airport security measures, drivers cannot leave their van unattended so be sure to wait in the area your hotel instructs you to meet them.

Let the hotel know which airline you arrived on and ask how long it will take for the shuttle to pick you up. After you have checked into the hotel, you should reserve a ride back to the airport on the date of your departure with the front desk.

Hotels

No hotels are within walking distance. While several hotels are within a few miles of Freedom Scientific, Freedom Scientific is located near a busy highway without the benefit of sidewalks.

There are several recommended hotels in the area that provide transportation to and from Freedom Scientific. Some also provide transportation to and from Tampa International Airport.

Holiday Inn

3535 Ulmerton Road
Clearwater, FL 33762
Phone: 727-577-9100 (mention Freedom Scientific)

Homewood Suites by Hilton

2233 Ulmerton Road
Clearwater, FL 33762
727-573-1500

Includes full, hot breakfast seven days per week and lite dinner Monday through Thursday evenings. Also includes free Internet access, guest laundry on premises, "suite shop," and complimentary transportation to and from local grocery store.

Provides transportation to and from our classes, but not Tampa International Airport. For transportation to and from the airport, use SuperShuttle service. SuperShuttle has a booth located in each baggage claim area and operates 24 hours a day. To contact SuperShuttle, the phone number is 727-572-1111.

La Quinta Inn, Tampa Bay ClearwaterAirport

3301 Ulmerton Rd.
Clearwater, FL 33762
Phone: 727-572-7222
Or toll free: 800-531-5900

Includes complimentary continental breakfast, free local calls, outdoor heated swimming pool and jacuzzi, fitness center with sauna, coffee maker, hair dryer, iron with ironing board, voicemail, high speed wireless, and more. Refrigerator and microwave in every room. Pets welcome.

Provides transportation to and from our classes, but not Tampa International Airport. For transportation to and from the airport, use SuperShuttle service. SuperShuttle has a booth located in each baggage claim area and operates 24 hours a day. The phone number for SuperShuttle is 727-572-1111.

Hampton Inn and Suites Clearwater/Saint Petersburg

4050 Ulmerton Rd.
Clearwater, FL 33762
Phone: 727-572-7456
Or toll free: 800-426-7866

Provides transportation to and from our classes, but not Tampa International Airport. For transportation to and from the airport, use SuperShuttle service. SuperShuttle has a booth located in each baggage claim area and operates 24 hours a day. The phone number for SuperShuttle is 727-572-1111.

Other Hotels (Without Transportation Services)

Freedom Scientific does not make any recommendations on these hotels. This list is provided in case you have an alternate preference in hotel accommodations. Hotels are listed in order of proximity to Freedom Scientific (closest to furthest).

Hilton Hotel Carillon Park

950 Lake Carillon Drive
St. Petersburg, FL (0.88 miles away)
Phone: 727-540-0050

Super 8 Motel

13260 34th Street North
Clearwater, FL (0.93 miles away)
Phone: 727-572-8881

Courtyard by Marriott

3131 Executive Drive
Clearwater, FL (1.05 miles away)
Phone: 727-572-8484

Fairfield Inn

3211 Executive Drive
Clearwater, FL (1.05 miles away)
Phone: 727-572-4400

Extended Stay America

3089 Executive Drive
Clearwater, FL (1.05 miles away)
Phone: 727-561-9032

Holiday Inn Select Clearwater

3535 Ulmerton Road
Clearwater, FL (1.09 miles away)
Phone: 727-577-9100

Hampton Inn

3655 Hospitality Lane
Clearwater, FL (1.19 miles away)
Phone: 727-577-9200

Homestead Guest Studios

2311 Ulmerton Road
Clearwater, FL (1.19 miles away)
Phone: 727-572-4800

Sleep Inn

3939 Ulmerton Road
Clearwater, FL (1.23 miles away)
Phone: 727-573-5049

Candlewood Suites

13231 49th St. N
Clearwater, FL (1.78 miles away)
Phone: 727-573-3344

Towneplace Suites by Marriott

13200 49th St. N
Clearwater, FL (1.78 miles away)
Phone: 727-572-4800

Comfort Inn and Suites

3910 Ulmerton Road
Clearwater, FL 33762
Phone: 727-573-3334

Residence Inn

5050 Ulmerton Road
Clearwater, FL (1.92 miles away)
Phone: 727-573-4444

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Freedom Scientific Workshop Participant FAQs

Is transportation available for special needs in the area?

All the hotels we recommend here provide transportation to and from our workshops daily at no additional charge. Some (but not all) of them also provide free transportation to and from Tampa International Airport. If you are interested in going elsewhere in Pinellas County during your stay, there is a low-cost alternative available to qualifying persons.

A paratransit program is available here in Pinellas County. To use it you need to provide proof of certification for paratransit service in your home area. Once you have done that, you can take advantage of the Demand Response Transportation (DART) service. For more information on what documentation is needed, please contact the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA) at 727-540-1873. We suggest doing this as soon as possible because the PSTA then must send your certification to the DART provider. Since this is a process involving more than one company please try to make arrangements well in advance. Once you have given your info to the PSTA, follow up as often as you can to make sure everything is set up before you arrive.

Here are just a few of the more basic rules of using DART:

  1. You can call up to one month before your scheduled trip to make a reservation, but no later than 5:00 PM the day before your trip. DART operators are available to take reservations between 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM, Monday through Friday, and between 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM on weekends and holidays. The reservation numbers are as follows:
  • Wheelchair Trip Reservations/Cancellation 727-585-9900
  • Demand Response Information 727-540-1800
  1. Trip availability is based on the bus route that is closest to your home address. In the case of students attending workshops, this would be the hotel you are staying at.
  2. If you need to cancel a trip you have scheduled, you should call 727-724-0440 no later than two hours before your scheduled pick-up time.
  3. You must be ready to go within five minutes after your scheduled pick-up time. For example, if you have a scheduled pick-up time of 5:00 PM, you have until 5:05 PM to be at the DART vehicle. If you are not ready after the five-minute window is up, the driver can leave you and call you in as a "no show."
  4. You have a 30-minute pick-up window. For example, if you schedule a 5:00 PM pick-up time, the DART vehicle can show up any time between 5:00 PM to 5:30 PM. So, it is always a good idea to consider the 30-minute window.

Can I bring a notetaker to class?

If you bring a notetaker to your class, you may also wish to bring the disk drive accessory and any AC power adapters. Many of the class documents which are given to you on CD are also available in DOC, HTML, or TXT format. Having the capability to transfer these files to your notetaker will give you the opportunity to further explore some of the lessons in the evenings if you wish to do so. Each computer station in our lab has extra power strips on the table in case you need to run your notetaker with the AC power adapter. You may also bring your own personal USB storage device for transferring files and information.

Can I bring a laptop/notebook to class?

Many students ask if they can bring notebook or laptop computers to the class. The answer is "yes," and it can be helpful for note taking and for doing work at your hotel in the evenings. However, we do not conduct the class using students' personal computers. We prefer to keep everyone using the computers provided in our training lab, as all of them are set to the same operating system, same software versions, and all other settings on those computers are identical. This facilitates the training because we don't have to slow down to overcome differences in operating systems, other versions of software, or different system settings.

Can I bring my own keyboard?

Sure thing. If you have a keyboard with the keys marked that you are accustomed to, we can put it on our computer for the duration of the class.

Does Freedom Scientific have a dress code?

Dress for class is business casual. No ties or jackets are required. Shorts are not allowed, but Friday is casual day at Freedom Scientific, and many of our staff wears blue jeans that day. The training lab sometimes gets rather cool, so you may wish to bring a sweater to class for your own comfort.

What time does class get out on Friday?

Class officially ends at 3:00 PM on Friday, but this can depend on the number of attendees in a workshop and how quickly the workshop moves along during the week.

What are class hours?

Class hours are 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM daily, except for Friday as mentioned above.

Are there any hotels within walking distance?

The hotels we recommend are within one to two miles of our location. However, there are no sidewalks adjacent to the roadways, so we do not recommend walking to our headquarters. The hotels we recommend provide free transportation to and from our workshops daily.

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