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Welcome to CAVI, the Cisco Academy for the Vision Impaired.

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New Students Guide

Cisco Academy for the Vision Impaired

New students Information

Welcome to all students studying with us this term. The following is important information you need to know before starting class.

Time Zones

Anyone wishing to do their own timezone conversions should check out this excellent timezone calculator. If you own a device with world clock functionality you may wish to add Perth Western Australia to your list of cities to aid in conversion. The academy runs on Perth Time in Western Australia. Note that when daylight savings comes into affect you will have to ajust your start times accordingly for your location.


Orientation is at 9 A.M. Perth time, 1 Universal on Thursday, August 1, 2013. For Americans this is 5, 6, 7, 8 P.M depending if you are in Pacific, Mountain, Central or Eastern time on Wednesday, July 31st. This Initial lecture will be for setup purposes and to answer questions. It is highly recommended as many students attend orientation as possible in order to iron out any problems with their ventrilo setup etc.

If you can't attend for some reason, you can download Orientation files here.

Basic Lecture Schedule

here is the schedule of lectures this term. It is important that where possible you attend the lectures; this will give you the ability to ask questions in real time and will keep you motivated.

If you can not attend the lecture; audio will be downloadable from the Cucat website sometime after the lecture is finished.

Mailing Lists

As many of you will have noticed all students have been subscribed to both the cavi-announce and cavi-discuss mailing lists. Subscription to the announce list is a requirement for studying with us, and the discuss list is very strongly encouraged. The mailing lists are a key tool in our course delivery so it is extremely important that all students pay close attention to what is posted to the announce list. If you have missed information, the list archives are referenced in the headers and at the bottom of each posted message, and on the list information page. General discussion should occur on and only important announcements are permitted on the moderated mailing list. Students are not usually permitted to post to the announce list, except in special circumstances. Announcements will be made on tutorials available from our primary website as they become available. We strongly urge all students to have a look around on this website to familiarize yourself with the student resources section.

Using the Cisco Netacad Site

Each student in ITE has an account on This account will be used for taking online exams, and will track your progress through the courses as you study. Once you have completed a course, you can register for the alumni, which will allow you to access curricula that you have previously studied after you leave the courses.

To log into the site, use the following steps: using Jaws press the letter H twice. Now press tab once and you will hear a log in link. This is a graphical log in link, so do not be surprised if you hear graphic log in. When you press enter on this link a new browser window will open which will allow you to enter your user name and password.

When your account is created, you will be emailed 2 numbers. Log in with these, and set your profile. Ensure that you choose "provide content in accessible format when available" so you will benefit from the diagram descriptions that will show up on the academy with this setting enabled. Also change your username to something that is easy to remember, and set your password likewise. Note that choosing a unique name on the academy is difficult as there are many users. Also, be sure to check the option that allows you to receive feedback, as this i s how you will get exam results, etc via email.

Curriculum is available both from our website, and the Cisco learning academy. Students are encouraged to read the academy notes, as well as any converted material that may be provided. Academy resources will take priority over converted material.

Assessments For ITE Students

Assessments for ITE are taken on the site. Exams will be activated by instructors upon request. Once activated, Exams will remain active for one week.

A student must obtain a grade of at least 75% to pass an exam.

For Local students:

Local students should be at the Association for the Blind by 9am on the day of the course they are studying. This means Linux students are in on Thursday, IT essentials students are in on Wednesday, and HTML students are in on Friday. The day runs until 3pm, however if students have completed all their work, they can leave early after checking with an instructor. There is a cafe at the association, or students can pack and bring their own lunch. (No fridge or kettle is provided for clients). Water is available at the cafe at no charge. Take away food is not to be brought into and consumed in the cafe area, however is permitted in the client lounge.

All local students are expected to have their own headset and microphone, or at minimum a method of accessing a computer that does not rely on audio that would disrupt others. Headsets without microphones are available for students to borrow on a temporary basis.

All local students should check their email regularly for important announcements and information related to the course.

For Remote students:

Remote students will need a few more tools and tricks than local students however most of these are free.


If you wish to listen live to lectures, you will need to download and install Ventrilo from this link..

There is a tutorial on this wiki that will give more information on how to set Ventrillo up. The following is a summary:

  • Note that Ventrilo does not use menus, it uses buttons activated with the spacebar. This is easy enough once you get used to it.
  • Ventrilo is accessible with JAWS and NVDA or similar once the default hotkey is changed if desired. (It defaults to left control which can cause your microphone to open when you silence speech).
  • username should be your first name dot last name in lowercase. For example grace.king.
  • Server hostname is port 4031
  • your password is the one provided to you upon account creation.
  • The Ventrilo server is available at all times (assuming it hasn't crashed) for the use of students both for work and socializing.
    We have a 50 user license.
  • Usually when people join they arrive in the lobby, you can then move to lecture theater when lecture begins.
  • All lectures are recorded, encoded to vbr mp3 and posted on the sight soon after lecture is complete.
  • It is important that you check your audio levels before trying to talk in class, historically skype would mess with the microphone levels. Also note that if Microphone or suitable recording source has not been chosen, Ventrilo will not choose it for you. There is a test with test button inside the setup dialog which you can use to test your level. Note you will have to shift tab back around to it or you will become stuck in the hotkey field when tabbing.

Getting IN Touch With Professors

Most of the CAVI staff are volunteers, and they live in varying time zones. The paid staff are only paid to work on this project 2.5 days a week. These days (Perth time) are Wednesday and Thursday 9AM till 4pm. and 9am till 12Pm Friday morning. Instructors can arrange to be available at other times on request: however, please understand that you are contacting instructors on their personal time. Please keep this in mind when asking for support.


Skype is used for person to person communication when a student wants to talk confidentially to an instructor, or 1 to 1 communication is desired. It is required for all students to obtain and know how to use skype, and provide their skype ids to the instructors. You can get skype here and here are jaws scripts. Please email with your skype ID so that the instructors can add you to skype.


Email is far less disruptive out of hours than skype chat, msn etc. Your question might only take 10 seconds to ask, but much longer to answer. If your question is relevant to more than one student it benefits all if you ask it on the discussion list at cavi-discuss @ [Without the spaces.]

If you do need to ask a question of one of your class instructors, you can post it to the class email address. This is also the address to which you should send completed assignments. The class email addresses arebelow. Please take out the spaces. They are here to prevent spam.]

  • ITE: ite-instructors @
  • Linux: linux-instructors @
  • Audio Editing: audio-instructors @
  • Intro to HTML: html-instructors @ ciscovision .org
  • CMS Fundamentals: wordpress-instructors @
  • Computers 101: comp101 @
  • General inquiries can be sent to cavi-instructors @


Payments for your courses are accepted via paypal. Please visit and click on the donate link to pay for your courses. Click on the link to add special instructions and note the courses you are paying for. The due date for your first payment is September third. Please email with any questions regarding payment, or if you require a payment installment plan before this date. If you have already paid this step is not necessary. Those who do not pay by the deadline risk there accounts on the Cisco server being deleted, and losing Ventrillo access.

Good luck!

From the whole CAVI team we look forward to working with you in 2013 and beyond. Regards, Your CAVI Instructors

Updates may be made to this document as required.

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Page last modified on August 07, 2013, at 11:09 PM