Fred’s Head from APH, a Blindness Blog

Fred’s Head, offered by the American Printing House for the Blind, contains tips, techniques, tutorials, in-depth articles, and resources for and by blind or visually impaired people. Our blog is named after the legendary Fred Gissoni, renowned for answering a seemingly infinite variety of questions on every aspect of blindness.

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Thursday, October 27, 2016

Throwback Thursday Object: Morrison Heady and his "Talking Glove"

I can’t believe it has taken me this long to blog about today’s object of the week.  It comes from one of my favorite Kentuckians, Morrison Heady (1829-1915).  He called it his “Talking Glove.”  It is a basic man’s leather glove—there was a day when a gentleman would not leave the house without his hat and gloves—with the twenty-six letters of the alphabet stenciled in black ink across the inner surfaces of the palms and fingers.
Heady lost his vision in separate accidents as a boy in Spencer County, Kentucky and his hearing at age 40 after a fall from a horse.  Inventor, author, and teacher, known as the "Blind Bard of Kentucky," Heady invented this method to continue communicating.  Although Heady invented it independently, it had been known for centuries following the work of George Dalgarno in Oxford, England in 1680.  Heady was the fundraising agent for the American Printing House for the Blind in the 1860s.  He traveled all around central Kentucky demonstrating a model printing press and collecting donations.  And he was a popular neighborhood storyteller.  Kids would tap their story requests into his glove and like a human jukebox, Heady would launch into wild tales that delighted his audience.  You can still buy his biography on Amazon.
This glove was donated by Nancy Scalabroni.  Her great, great grandmother was Emarine Heady Beard, Heady’s beloved sister.  Unfortunately, Nancy’s uncle had the glove laminated in plastic, a process that is difficult and expensive to reverse, but we’re working on it. The first photo shows the glove; the second picture is of Morrison in a dark suit, top hat, long white beard. He is wearing the glove and is talking with five neighborhood kids who cluster around him, one of whom is spelling out something to Morrison by tapping on the glove.
Micheal A. Hudson
Museum Director
American Printing House for the Blind

Friday, October 21, 2016

Resources for Persons with Disabilities for Finding Employment

Inspired by National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), we intend to highlight in this post several resources available to anyone with a disability that they can use to locate employment. While a few of them are local or regional in scope, most are available to anyone in the United States. Some of the listed agencies offer tips for finding employment; others offer job boards, job listings, and career fairs. Note that we are not including vocational rehabilitation services or offices for the blind as these vary by state.

There also may be other local resources that you may obtain; check with the appropriate personnel in your state or region. For the sake of clarity, we placed these resources into what we are calling “restricted” and “unrestricted” resources. We use the term restricted to indicate either that the resource has a limited scope, i.e., its services are only available to people in a particular area of the country, or the resource is only available to people with an active case with their vocational rehabilitation office.

Restricted Resources

Equal Opportunity Publications Career Expos

Equal Opportunity Publications (EOP), sponsors career expos throughout the year. At these expos, individuals with disabilities can meet with prospective employers and discuss job possibilities. Unfortunately, these expos happen only in selected cities like Boston, New York City, and Washington, D.C. However, the site also hosts an online job board that is national in scope. You can search for positions throughout the country or view their featured jobs.

Additionally, the site mentions several magazines published by the organization including Careers and the Disabled Magazine. The site describes itself by saying, “Since 1968, Equal Opportunity Publications, Inc. (EOP) has led the way in diversity recruitment with a portfolio of seven national career magazines, a diversity website, online job board, and Career Expos for women, members of minority groups, and people with disabilities. Check out their site at You may "like" them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter.

Talent Acquisition Portal

“The Talent Acquisition Portal® (TAP) is an online system which includes a national talent pool of individuals with disabilities looking for employment and a job posting system for businesses looking to hire.”

TAP provides businesses with pre-employment and disability awareness training. The one thing to keep in mind is that TAP is linked to vocational rehabilitation services; it appears that a person must have an open case to use TAP. The TAP site notes that when viewing resumes, recruiters have “a direct link to the local VR office of the candidate” and that office’s team member. Thus, one can only use the service if he or she has an open case with a state vocational rehabilitation office or an office for the Blind. Find out more about TAP at their website, "Like" them on Facebook, Follow them on Twitter, or follow them on LinkedIn.

Unrestricted Sites


“ is an employment resource specifically for individuals and veterans with disabilities. Facing an unemployment rate that is almost twice the national average, GettingHired seeks to improve employment opportunities for those individuals by connecting them to inclusive employers who are actively looking to diversify their workforce.”

As part of a direct communication with someone from the site, we received the following information:

We are America’s largest online career community for individuals with disabilities. We are a free employment resource and job seekers with disabilities can search for open jobs on our fully accessible website, listing over 100K jobs nationwide: across all industries & experience levels. The 180+ companies that work with us are actively seeking to hire more individuals with a disability and include many Fortune 500 employers such as IBM, Lockheed Martin, Coca-Cola, Disney, MetLife, General Motors & many more.

GettingHired assists persons with disabilities seeking employment in several ways. It offers a number of free 30-60-minute webinar presentations on various topics related to gaining employment. If you create a job seeker account at this link, you can be updated whenever a new webinar is posted. Webinars are presented once each month and are archived on the site. Creating a job seeker account also is how you begin searching for open positions.

GettingHired also offers online job fairs. These career expos allow job seekers to interact with employers online without having to leave one’s home. They also produce their Getting Hired Career Insights Blog with additional job seeking information. Visit their homepage at You may connect with them via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google Plus.


CareerConnect, a site administered by the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB), connects job seekers who are blind and visually impaired with mentors who can teach and advise them on any number of subjects. Individuals must register and create an account to take advantage of this feature. Besides contacting mentors, job seekers can utilize tools for writing and improving resumes, developing better interviewing skills, and use other portions of the job seeker toolkit to determine what type of jobs might be best for them. There are exercises available for assessing one’s skills and abilities and plenty of material to read about becoming a more confident and qualified applicant. Although CareerConnect does not offer job boards, its mentoring option is tremendously helpful. Any person who is blind and visually impaired may sign up to mentor others; at the same time, this service is available to anyone who wishes to take advantage of it. If you are trying to determine what kind of work you want to do or if you are looking to change careers, you may benefit from this service; if you are succesfuly employed, you can choose to help others achieve their goals. Read more about CareerConnect at

Disability Job Exchange

This is another site which seeks to assist both people with disabilities and veterans with finding employment. They host virtual career fairs, some of which are aimed more at veterans. They also offer a national online job database and a listing of companies who work with them. Unfortunately, when navigating the list with a screen reader, the list appears to be images with no alt text descriptions so one would have to click on each link to see the company’s name. Nevertheless, despite this one accessibility concern, the site lists many companies that it works with and offers a detailed search functionality. See their site by navigating to They are available on social media also. Visit them on Facebook, Google Plus, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube

Think Beyond the Label

Think Beyond the Label (TBTL), is another site looking to connect employers and job seekers with disabilities. They maintain a job board which is unique because it lists employers that are actively recruiting candidates at the top of the board. TBTL also offers success stories of people with disabilities who are working, interview tips, resume assistance, tips on appropriate attire for interviews, and information on exactly how companies recruit people with disabilities. All of this information is readily available on their site for job seekers Find them on Facebook and Twitter, join their LinkedIn group, or subscribe to their YouTube channel.


“We are the Leading Website dedicated to employment of people with disabilities. We are also the largest resume bank with tens of thousands of job seekers with disabilities, from entry level candidates to PhD. If your company is looking for talent, you have come to the right place.” This is abilityJOBS’s description of its site.

The job board is easy to locate, and the site has dedicated pages for job seekers and employers. The site shows some featured jobs on its homepage as well as news articles concerning disability issues. It also provides a link for receiving ABILITY Magazine, which it produces, and their one obvious social media offering, the Facebook feed for ABILITY Magazine, is also found on the homepage. Find abilityJOBS at


AbilityLinks, based in Illinois, recently held an online job fair in recognition of NDEAM. The site notes that 60% of its users are from the Chicago area, and 40% are from areas throughout the nation. The site says the following about what it does:

AbilityLinks is a nationwide, web-based community where qualified job seekers with disabilities and inclusive employers meet and gain access to valuable networking opportunities.

Job seekers who want to connect to employers by voluntarily self-identifying having a disability use AbilityLinks to post resumes and apply for jobs. No information about disability type is asked.

AbilityLinks Information and Referral Counselors, that have a disability, provide a caring human touch.

AbilityLinks states that at least 600 users have reported finding employment through the site. One unique feature offered by AbilityLinks is a personalized job counseling session with one of their consultants. A consultant may help to provide a job seeker with direction and guidance in many areas. For more information contact them at or call 630/909-7440.

Bender Consulting Services

Bender Consulting Services is focused on employment of persons with disabilities, but they focus both on public and private sector jobs as they note in the description of their services:

At Bender Consulting Services, Inc. our mission is to recruit and hire people with disabilities for competitive career opportunities in the public and private sectors.

As the economy is continuing its recovery, and employment numbers are increasing, an overwhelming 13 million Americans with disabilities remain unemployed. Since 1995, Bender Consulting Services has worked to solve these critical social and business issues by providing employers with reliable talent, and giving well-trained individuals with disabilities the chance to display their abilities and enhance their lives through solid careers. To date, Bender Consulting Services has placed individuals with disabilities in major organizations such as CSC, Highmark, Bayer Corporation, Anthem, Inc. and many federal agencies. These individuals have expertise in information technology, finance/accounting, engineering, human resources, mathematics, biology and other professional areas.

Headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA, Bender Consulting Services also has a strong presence across the United States and in Canada through its sister company, Bender Consulting Services of Canada.

Bender Consulting Services partners with CareerEco several times a year to host their own virtual career fairs. Similar in format to the virtual career fairs offered by other listed sites, these job fairs require a job seeker to log into a special platform where the job seeker chats with the employer. Since the job seeker uploads a resume before the event, the employer knows at least something about the candidate most of the time. Usually the list of available employers appears on the site before the career fair so job seekers can select which companies they wish to talk to and hone their search.

Virtual career fairs, however, are only a small part of Bender’s many services. They gather resumes and interview potential candidates for positions and attempt to match prospective candidates with potential employers. Often available positions are full-time though some are 12-month positions. These short-term positions are best for individuals just starting out in the workforce, perhaps individuals nearing the completion of their post-secondary education.

Bender also maintains a database of individuals seeking federal government employment, collects resumes, and offers a list to interested agencies. The agency, having viewed the list of candidates, contacts individuals it wishes to interview. A completed resume and a Schedule A letter is required to join this database.

Bender’s application process is lengthy and detailed, requiring more than one interview with a potential candidate. They strive to fit individuals seeking employment with a job that is well-suited to their qualifications. In addition, Bender’s site is quite extensive; we have only mentioned a few of the highlights here. They offer many other programs and information about employing people with disabilities; begin exploring what Bender has to offer by visiting Read their blog, Chick out their Facebook page, follow them on Twitter and LinkedIn and subscribe to their YouTube channel.

Searching for a job can be overwhelming; finding specialized resources for conducting a job search, especially as a person with a disability, can add to the challenge. Nevertheless, we have gathered these resources with the belief that you, yourself, may benefit from utilizing them or that you may share them with someone who may benefit from them. Although many of the sites are similar as far as what they do, each site probably has relationships with different companies and organizations. Therefore, the more sites you use, the more likely it is that you will find suitable employment. Please remember that we have not included state rehabilitation services, college career services, mainstream employment websites, or specific city, state or federal government sites that assist people in finding jobs since those will vary depending upon your location. We wish you well with your search for new or more appropriate employment. If you find a job through one of these sites, let them know, of course, and share your success with us.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Throwback Thursday Object: Script Letter Board from 1963

Our object this week is a Script-Letter Board from 1963. When schools for the blind were founded in the United States in the 19th century, handwriting was a big part of the curriculum. There were numerous handwriting guides being invented and marketed. Most of that started to go away in the 1870s with the invention of the typewriter. But students still needed to be able to sign their name in cursive letters. Designed for student practice in making muscular movements for handwriting, the APH Script-Letter Board was made of rigid black plastic and featured recessed script letters that can be traced with a stylus or pencil. Around 1990 APH redesigned the product, made thicker (1/8") and from a white plastic rather than black PVC. You can still buy the revised model today.

Micheal A. Hudson
Museum Director
American Printing House for the Blind

Friday, October 14, 2016

Becoming a Better Cook: Tips and Recipes That Can Help

Becoming A Better Cook: Tips and Recipes That Can Help!


Do you wish you were a better cook? Have you allowed blindness or a visual impairment to prevent you from learning to cook? Perhaps you simply haven’t taken the time to learn. Maybe you have fairly well-developed culinary skills and want to improve them. Whether you are a novice cook, an expert, or you fall somewhere in the middle of the spectrum, we have found some resources that may be right for you.


Cooking in the Dark


Cooking in the Dark is a radio show that offers its listeners recipes and tips for making them. Hosts Dale Campbell and Cheryl Cummings demonstrate specific equipment that people who are blind and visually impaired can use to cook more easily and efficiently. The show is heard on ACB Radio Mainstream Saturday nights and Sundays and may also be available on other reading services for people who are blind.


Cooking in the Dark is archived; you can listen to shows from as far back as 2007. As you examine the archive, you will notice that each show’s description mentions what recipe or recipes the hosts will make on that show. Below the show description is a link to download that show directly. The archived shows are available at


Some of the gadgets used by Campbell and Cummings can be purchased from the Blind Mice Mega Mall, a site administered by Campbell which contains several categories of products. Some of the products are blindness-related while others are not. Check out the Mega Mall for more details about all of their available products. As the slogan for Cooking in the Dark says: You don’t have to have sight to cook dinner tonight!


Cooking in the Dark Email List


You may be wondering where Campbell and Cummings get the recipes that they cook on their show. Some of them, at least, come from the Cooking in the Dark email list, a list dedicated to the sharing of tips, tricks and recipes by cooks who are blind and visually impaired. Cooks of all levels are encouraged to join the list, ask questions and share tips and recipes. If you wish to subscribe to the list, send a blank email to and reply to the message you receive. For more details about the list including list guidelines, go to


The Blind Mom Blog


This blog is written by Nicole Rasmussen, a mother of four children. Rasmussen, after losing her sight in 2001, was scared to have children. She admits that a mother who is blind faces unique challenges that a mother with sight probably would not face. At the same time, as Rasmussen says, “I hope as you follow my blog that you can laugh, cry, and experience with me what it is like being a blind mom.”


I try to share my story and testimony as much as I can, Rasmussen states on her page telling about herself. I feel that it has given me an amazing opportunity to help others who are going through trials and hardships. I also love to share my love of cooking with other mothers.


Rasmussen has appeared on several prominent television shows. Videos of her appearances are on her About Me page on her blog. In addition to her personal story, Rasmussens blog contains a recipe wall that contains recipes of varying types including beef, pork, chicken, breakfast, soups, casseroles, sides and drinks, and desserts. You can follow Rasmussen on Twitter or contact her by filling out the form on her blog.


Anyone looking for recipes will find an incredible number of them on the Cooking in the Dark radio show and email list and the Blind Mom blog. In addition, all of these resources can provide cooking tips. Their existence also may encourage more individuals who are blin

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

October 2016 APH News

**This Month’s Headlines:

  • APH Helps Release Annual Reports from Historic Residential Schools for the Blind
  • APH Gets Your Product Feedback!
  • Field Testers Needed: Room with a View
  • APH at World Blind Union
  • Graphiti—Experts Needed
  • The Road to Accessible MAP
  • Social Media Spotlight
  • New Products
  • APH Travel Calendar and much, much more…

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