The Fred's Head blog contains tips, techniques, tutorials, in-depth articles, and resources for and by blind or visually impaired people. Fred's Head is offered by the American Printing House for the Blind. It was voted best blindness-related blog three years in a row by BlindBargains.com.

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Fred's Head is named after the legendary Fred Gissoni of APH's Customer Relations Department, who is now retired. Check out the bottom of this page for: subscribing to posts via email; browsing articles by subject; subscribing to RSS feeds; APH resources; the archive of this blog; APH on YouTube; contributing articles to Fred's Head; and disclaimers.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Sources for Accessible Holiday and Greeting Cards

I miss you, Get well soon, Happy Birthday, Merry Christmas; most people find it easier to express their feelings with a card. A card can also be saved as a memento from someone special. In this record, we have compiled a list of companies and organizations that offer cards in formats accessible to blind or visually impaired individuals. These include braille and large print cards, electronic cards, musical cards and even cards that let you record your own message.

Braille and Large-Print Cards

CAL (Creative Adaptations for Learning) is another source for accessible cards. CAL offers its CAL-tac cards that contain illustrations and grade II braille captions. Each CAL-tac illustration is designed to let you write your own message using a brailler, slate, typewriter or single feed printer. They are embossed on a soft white plastic sheet that fits into a firm card stock backing Packaged with a white envelope. You can find them at: Creative Adaptations for Learning CAL: http://www.cal-s.org/braille-greeting-cards.html
 
Easy to Read Documents is a company that can customize greeting cards by putting a description of the card on the front and reproducing the message on the inside in braille. If you have a message you want written on the inside of the card, they can braille it in for you. Then they can send the card back to you, or mail it to the recipient. Visit then at: Easy to Read Documents: http://www.easytoreaddocuments.com/greeting_cards.html
 
Shadows in the Dark is one of the largest providers of Braille Greeting Cards and Specialty Gift items. They have Holiday, special occasions, poetry and foreign language braille cards. Currently, Shadows in the Dark(tm) offers Braille cards in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Norwegian, German, Spanish, and Portuguese. You can visit them at:Shadows in the Dark: http://www.shadowsinthedark.com

The Hadley School for the Blind offers holiday cards for sale each year as a fundraiser. They come in boxes of 25 with envelopes included. 

Braille Bookstore greeting cards

Musical and Recordable Audio Cards

An alternative to braille and large print cards are the musical and recordable cards. The Speak To Me Catalog carries a variety of musical and recordable message cards for different occasions, including holidays and birthdays. In addition, Speak to Me catalog also carries Recordable Picture Frames and recordable stuffed toys that you can customize with your voice message. Check out Speak to me at: Speak to me Catalog: http://www.speaktomecatalog.com

Musical or recordable cards have become readily available at most, if not all, locations that carry greeting cards, such as a Hallmark store or pharmacy. There is a wide variety of musical and recordable cards for all occasions.

E-Card

For people who are computer users, E-cards have become a very popular alternative to paper cards. E-cards can contain a customized message, as well as music and animation. For the most part the text of the websites that offer E-cards is accessible with speech and braille displays. However, graphics and animation are seldom described.

Fun E-cards is a very accessible site. They have different card categories to choose from, and titles that describe the cards. the text inside and outside the card is totally accessible. Get your fun-e-card at: Fun-E-Cards: http://www.fun-e-cards.com
 
CrossDaily.com is another company whose website is pretty accessible. You can choose a card from the different card categories. You can add a message and also choose the background color and music before you send a card. Their website is: Crossdaily: htttp://cards.crossdaily.com
 
Bluemountain.com is an e-card site with hundreds of designs. They have many cards that even have descriptions of their graphics, for instance, Sun rising over a house, etc. Most of their cards include a selection of music. Check them out at: Blue Mountain: http://www.bluemountain.com
 
A final resource that seems to be pretty accessible is Hallmark.com. In their online store they have free e-cards that you can personalize by writing your own message. Although the title of the e-cards give an idea of the picture on the card such as, "Shooting Star", there is no other accessible text.
In their regular print card selection, however, you can read the inside as well as the outside of the card you choose. Then you can have the option of Personalizing, having Hallmark Addressing, and Mailing your card to the Recipient. Visit them on line at: Hallmark: http://www.hallmark.com
If your nearest mall has a Hallmark store, it is also likely that you will find braille cards for a variety of occasions.

Give a Little Accessible Thanks

Saying a simple thank you can mean a lot for you and your business, but as a blind or visually impaired person, its not always practical to try to get out, find the right card, find some way to deal with signing and printing something nice on the card, getting out to mail the card, you get the idea. If you want to build a better relationship with your clientele, a little thank you note can go a long way, and now we have a way to send a thank you without the bother.

Thankya is a website that allows you to send free thank you cards to clients once you've completed a successful online transaction. The main thrust is towards auction transactions like eBay, but could be used in other forms of business as well. Each card is your basic Thank You For Buying My Item, or Thank You For Your Business and for buyers, they've got cards with sayings like Thank You For A Smooth Transaction, etc. You can send a card to up to six recipients at a time and you can choose from a variety of images offered. The cards are free to send and receive, Thankya ensures that everyone has a happy ending. Click this link to visit http://www.Thankya.com.

 Other Resources

Cards That Give: http://www.cardsthatgive.org "directs you to dozens of effective non-profit organizations that sell holiday cards and other greeting cards to help fund their charitable work."





















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