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Showing posts from October, 2006

StrapTrap traps runaway bra straps

As a guy, I'm glad I don't have to mess around with a bra each morning. I don't see how you gals do it! How uncomfortable it must be. Having a wife, and her having friends, I have come to understand two basic problems when wearing a bra.

You can't keep the straps up on your sholders.
The straps can be easily seen when wearing a top with a large neckline. I know some women take safety pins and pinned the straps to the inside of their top, but that would seem to be a time-consuming project. To me, it would be hard to place the pins in just the right place so that the pins don't show. This would be even more difficult if you couldn't see what you were doing. Some women move their straps closer to the ends of their sholders in order to hide the straps. That could cause all kinds of problems later on in the day. Talk about restrictive motion! Well ladies, I have two products and a website you'll be interested in. The first is called StrapTraps. Described si…

The Doorganizer

OK, so the name is a little corney but the product is cool. How many times have you been ready to leave your home and realized that you had no idea where your cane was? You search frantically while your ride waits outside and right as the driver returns to the door to tell you that they're going to leave, you find it. Why put yourself through all that? The Doorganizer is a hanging reminder and organizer for the doorknob. Ideal for keys, eyeglasses, cell phones, palm-held devices, music players, envelopes and yes, your cane can fit into the strip at the back!

Constructed of stitched heavyweight canvas-like fabric
Three open pockets and clip on the front; open loop strip on the back
Hang on the doorknob where you exit the house to hold often-forgotten essentials

Click this link to purchase The Doorganizer from The Container Store.

The Weekly Script

Here's a great companion to any described movie. "Most all screenwriting experts agree on this piece of advice: "The best way to learn to write screenplays is to read screenplays." I have been collecting screenplays and scripts for over 25 years because I love movies. I wanted to make a site for movie lovers as well as screenwriters to come and read scripts in their proper formats. Because of this, you won't find any transcripts (well... maybe a couple) on this site." "Some of the scripts that you will find on this site can be found elsewhere on the Internet but they will be presented here in their proper formats. I have, if needed, reformatted these scripts using formatting software (Final Draft, Movie Magic, Sophocles, etc...) but punctuation, spelling and grammar are unchanged from the original." The scripts are presented in text file (.TXT) format. This way they can be imported into almost any viewing or editing software.

Click this link to …

GoodSearch for a Good Cause

GoodSearch is a search engine that's a bit different than all the other search engines we've been using for the past several years. When you search the Internet with GoodSearch, you can help a charity. What a great concept! Every time you search for something online, GoodSearch will donate money to the charity of your choice. Click this link to check out goodsearch.com. Simply type in the name of the charity you want to help in the "Who do you GoodSearch for"? box. Then just click on the Verify button and you'll be all set to start searching. After you're done with that, just go up to the Yahoo! search bar and type in something you would like to find. With every new search, $0.01 will be donated to your charity. That may not sound like a lot, but when you think about how many searches you usually do in one day, it equals out to a good amount. Plus, if you spread the word about this search engine to your friends and family, even more money will go to a good…

Skype and Your Home Phone

VoIP stands for Voice Over Internet Protocol, also known as Internet Telephony. If you have high-speed Internet (cable/DSL, LAN) on your computer, you can connect your phone to your computer and make calls. You must have a special adapter for this to work, you simply plug your phone line into the adapter instead of plugging it into the wall jack. The adapter is then plugged into your Internet modem, which allows VoIP to convert the voice signal from the phone line into data that travels over the Internet. The cool thing is, you still use your phone the exact same way. You will hear a dial tone and you dial out just like normal. With VoIP, everything is combined into one function. Incoming calls will also ring just like normal. The main reason you might decide to invest in this new technology is to save you money in the long run. VoIP services cost approximately $20 to $30 a month, plus you're not paying for a phone line and Internet connection separately anymore. The VoIP plans …

Super-Sized TV Remote

How many times have you lost the remote control to the TV? How long did it take you to find it again? Maybe you're one of the lucky ones with a built-in beeper that helps you find it when it falls inside the recliner. How would you like to have a remote that you're sure not to lose? A remote that is accessible to everyone in your family? Brookstone may have the answer with their Super-Sized TV Remote. With giant buttons, this extra-large remote is easy to use and impossible to lose. Simple to program, this 6-in-1 remote controls your TV, VCR, DVD player, satellite, cable and auxiliary A/V device. It even features glow-in-the-dark buttons, so you can easily find the remote in the dark. Features 296 codes for most popular brands of A/V devices. Uses two AA batteries (not included).

Click this link to order the Super-Sized TV Remote from Brookstone.

Alphabet Annie Knows Her Braille

Doll collectors be on the lookout, we've got a star on our hands! Alphabet Annie features Braille letters and numbers with the regular alphabet and Arabic numbers on her sweater. This interactive doll is the first of its kind to use Braille so children | who are blind or have low vision can play with it the way that other kidscan. Alphabet Annie is on ``back order status at J. C. Penney annie is also becoming harder to | find, if not already sold out, at Wal-Mart Stores nationwide. For a new toy, especially one made by a privately held company without a | multimillion-dollar advertising budget, that spells success -- in any alphabet. The public's response to Alphabet Annie shows the demand for cool toys, available from mainstream retailers, for children who are blind, have low vision | or other special needs, such as cerebral palsy or problems with coordination. In fact, the need is so great that the Toy Industry Foundation and the American Foundation for the Blind, publis…

Rifftrax: Adding New Audio to Old Movies

Imagine this lonely scenario: There's nothing on TV, you've listened to every XM station you can think of and Sirius isn't being too serious when it comes to entertainment. All you have is a drawer full of old DVS movies, many of which you are embarrassed to even own. Fear not! It's time to take that dusty, non-described Top Gun DVD out of the closet! Just pop in the DVD and download a hilarious MP3 of accompanying commentary from Michael J. Nelson, head writer and star of the cult classic Mystery Science Theater 3000 from http://www.rifftrax.com. Do you feel that some of the movies coming out of Hollywood are just, well, missing something? At RiffTrax, you can download Mike's running commentaries and listen to them along with your favorite, and not so favorite DVDs. It's like watching a movie with your funniest friend, and it's easy to do. You can listen to RiffTrax on an MP3 Player with only one headphone in, or play them on your computer with your c…

Ten Ways to Use Soap Pieces

Everyone has soap leftover at the end of a bar. Often they are tiny slivers, still more often than not they are pieces or chunks that are too small to use properly. So what do you do when you have the last few slivers of soap left and you really don't want to waste them? Here are ten great uses for soap leftovers. You can place them into a pot on the stove with some water. Either shave them or drop them by chunks. You can use different colors and scents to create a whole new bar of soap. Melt the pieces stirring often and pour into a muffin pan to mold.
Cut a slice into a sponge and you can put some of the soap slivers into the slot you created. You now have an already soaped body scrubber. You can purchase these at the stores for around $5 and think, you just made one for less than half the cost!
If the soap slivers are scented, you can put them in bowls with potpourri for a nicely scented room. They work well in the bathroom because of the small size.
Create sachets with scented s…

BBC OUCH!

Ouch is a website from the BBC. Its aim is to reflect the lives of disabled people right here and now in the third millennium. It's not a help and support site. If we were to give it a label, it would probably be closest to lifestyle. They pride themselves on not being a resource for useful information, though I'm sure you'll find most things you're looking for here. There are many help and support sites out there that do a fantastic job, so the folks in the BBC Learning and Interactive department felt it would be good to do something completely different. OUCH! is about personal stuff, minutiae of everyday life and that fantastic dark sense of humour and inevitable cynicism that we disabled people tend to have. Oh, and they don't shy away from subjects that other people might be a bit wary of. Now, you may be curious about the name. The site's editor, Damon Rose , came up with the name Ouch! one morning in the shower. He says: "It reflects everything,…

Protect the People You Love with MedicAlert

Have you ever considered what might happen if your child had a medical emergency and you weren't around? What if your child couldn't speak due to a disability or because he was unconscious, how could he get help? Any chronic or persistent condition warrants a MedicAlert necklace or bracelet. The emblems are easily recognizable by medical personnel, and simple to use. When your child becomes a MedicAlert member, he or she gets an identifying number. By calling the clearly engraved 1-800 number and giving your child's identifying number on the back of the emblem, professionals at the scene of an emergency can find out your child's pertinent medical information-like current medications and dosages, allergies, chronic conditions, disorders, and other issues. And it's very easy to update the information when it changes. MedicAlert has your contact information and will immediately notify you in the event of an emergency involving your child. If they can't reach you…

Exubera: An Alternative to Needles

The alternative is an inhaled insulin device called Exubera, made by Pfizer and approved by the Food and Drug Administration earlier this year. A small blister pack of fine-powder insulin is inserted into the tube. The patient inhales it deeply into the lungs three times a day before meals. Patients have to take a pulmonary function test to make sure they can take the drug this way, and those who smoke or have asthma or lung disease may not qualify. However, for those patients who are fearful or tired of injections like Sickler, it's a great invention.

For more information about Exubera and on-going studies involving inhaled insulin, contact the Diabetes & Glandular Disease Clinic in San Antonio at (210) 615-5555. You can click this link to visit their website at http://www.dgdclinic.com.
Click this link to visit the Exubera website at http://www.exubera.com.

The KidsKnowIt Network

From its humble beginnings as an elementary teacher's classroom website, on through the present, the KidsKnowIt Network has always had one goal, and that is to make learning free. Founded in 1998 in order to provide his student's with a fun and educational way to spend their free time, educator Hiram Bertoch's classroom project has grown into a worldwide platform attracting several million visitors every month. Mr. Bertoch and others remain dedicated to the project, donating thousands of hours every year in order to continue to develop fun, and age appropriate learning opportunities for children everywhere. Every website developed is pain stakingly researched for accuracy, and appropriateness. This process begins with the planning and development of materials, activities, and articles by parents and educators, and ends with the final editing and approval of experts in the field being explored. Click any of the following links to begin exploring your world!

http://www.Ki…

The Piano Boutique

I am always looking for businesses owned by blind or visually impaired people. I also love piano music. Not necessarily the classics, but modern songs that highlight the sounds of a piano are wonderful. I wish I knew how to play. How cool would that be? To sit down in front of a grand piano and play like a pro. I guess I'll just have to settle for a toy piano or music box from the Piano Boutique instead. William Benjamin, "piano tuner extraordinaire" welcomes you to this site. For those of you that love music, there will be something that will catch your eye. Just look at the links on the site and feel free to have something that reminds you of music. The Piano Boutique sells: Ceramic Mugs, Kitchen Accessories, Apparel, Music Boxes, Crystal, Gold Jewelry, Silver Jewelry, Sun Catchers, Bathroom Accessories, Key Chains, and Toy Pianos all with a musical theme. How would you like to have a set of matching towels, wash cloths and shower kertains with musical notes o…

CinemaAudio Productions

Jeff Willoughby and Rebecca Lynn think they have a better way to tell stories. Their products from CinemaAudio Productions are billed "the next step in the evolution of the audio book," and are called a "mind-movie," "movies for the blind," and even a savvy, smart, contemporary take on old-time radio plays. What is a CinemaAudio Production? Take all of the elements of a film; actors and actresses in character, sound effects and music, take away the picture and add a narrator to describe the action and you've got a CinemaAudio Production. CinemaAudio Productions' motto, "every voice should be heard," translates into their searching for undiscovered talent of every type. Their productions feature local musicians, writers, web designers, actors and many others. And it's a never-ending supply of talent.

For more information about CinemaAudio Productions, visit them on the web at http://www.cinema-audio.com.

CinemaAudio …

BookMooch: A Community for Exchanging Used Books

if you're passionate about books, you know how emotionally difficult it is to throw a book away, even if you will never read it again. You want to find a good home for your books, have them find someone who appreciates them. Also, you may be interested in trying some books, but keeping only the ones you like. BookMooch lets you give away books you no longer need in exchange for books you really want. Check out these features:

Every time you give someone a book, you earn a point and can get any book you want from anyone else at BookMooch. Once you've read a book, you can keep it forever or put it back into BookMooch for someone else, as you wish.
There is no cost to join or use the site: your only cost is mailing your books to others.
You'll receive a tenth-of-a-point for every book you type into the system, and one point each time you give a book away. In order to keep receiving books, you need to give away at least one book for every five you receive.
You can request books…

Accessible Games for People with Low Vision

We've talked about accessible games for the blind in several posts. What makes an accessible game? Do you remember the low-resolution graphic games of DOS? Do you remember when you could actually see the enemy blob that you were about to blast to dust? What if there was a way to get those old games to play again? Imagine the fun you'd have reliving the days of those classic games! Here's a guide that will show you how to get your old DOS/3.1/Win95 games working on your newer Win2000/XP machine and how to 'emulate' them if needed. It also shows you where you can find and download your favourite old games legally, for free.

Click this link to read the guide Free Old Games for Your New PC.

Assistive Technology WIKI

The Georgia Tech Center for Assistive Technology and Environmental Access (CATEA) - caretakers of the National Public website of Assistive Technology has put up a Wiki devoted to all things Adaptive, Assistive and otherwise having to do with Access Technology! Articles contributed to this site will be viewable from the assistivetech.net website and also published as RSS feeds on catea.org. The intended audience of ATWiki includes all assistive technology users, relatives and caregivers of those that use assistive technology, rehabilitation professionals, educators, and researchers in assistive technology.

Click this link to visit This Day in AT History on ATWIKI.

How to Turn Off Hyperlinks in MS-Word

Have you ever been frustrated with MS Word while putting together a document that contains e-mail or Web site addresses? As you navigate the document your screen reader keeps saying "hyperlink" before each email or website address. This can really get annoying!. It's not any better if you can see the screen because Word changes the color of the hyperlinked text and underlines it too. If you're creating a document to be printed, this probably isn't exactly what you're looking for because Word will print the text in a color other than black. If you happen to have a black and white only printer, the text won't show up at all. What can you do? Here's the deal. That wonderful little feature known as "AutoCorrect" has some options for items that Word can "AutoFormat as you type." The result of one of them is that your addresses are automatically turned into hyperlinks. That's a good thing if you need them as hyperlinks, but a bad…

The Keyboard Lover's Guide to Internet Explorer

Many are content to spend all day clicking fancy looking buttons or menu items in order to get their tasks accomplished, but those who know the correct keyboard and mouse shortcuts can often get around applications more efficiently: Browsing the web with Internet Explorer is no exception. The IEBlog has a great post of useful shortcuts already available in IE6 that will help you get around the web. The post also lists some great shortcuts for IE7.

Click this link to read The Keyboard Lover's Guide to IE from the IEBlog.

Keyboard Guides for Internet Explorer 7.0I thought I would post to links of keyboard changes to Internet Explorer. They come from the Internet Explorer Blog. The first is a post from Kelly Ford on keyboard changes from Beta 3 of IE7. The second is the Keyboard Lover's Guide to IE7.

The Rain Report for Hams

"From his home studio/ham shack in suburban Chicago, Hap Holly, KC9RP, produces this 10 to 15- minute weekly amateur radio program service, featuring timely interviews, occasional thought-provoking commentaries from other hams, excerpts from Hamvention Forums and other items of general interest to the ham radio community at large. Ham radio is traditionally an aural - as opposed to a visual - medium; we meet and recognize fellow hams primarily by voice, seldom seeing them in person. RAIN programming is also an aural medium, listened to by thousands of Internet users and hundreds of repeaters across the country at http://www.therainreport.com, as well as via the RAIN telephone dial-up line 847-827-rain. Vern Jackson, WA0RCR, has carried the RAIN Report since its inception in the late 1980's on his 160 meter Gateway Radio Newsletter AM bulletin service from Wentzville, Missouri, on 1.860 Mhz, Saturday afternoon/evenings. Those aforementioned repeater groups and others replay th…

Email List for Blind Entrepreneurs

HOME-WORKERS was created to promote discussion between those who already have, or who may be interested in, starting a small business. The focus of HOME-WORKERS will include, but not be limited to, issues pertaining to small business entrepreneurship by the blind and disabled, so any equipment, resources, business ideas, etc. which assist the blind or disabled entrepreneur will be entertained on HOME-WORKERS. To subscribe send a message with a blank subject to:

listserv@softcon.comIn the body of the message type, "subscribe home-workers Firstname Lastname".

Teaching With A Disability Email List

DATEACH is a discussion group for teachers with disabilities. The purpose of the discussion is: to share information about problems and solutions regarding teaching with a disability, give and receive support, and to provide some guidance for disabled persons who wish to pursue a teaching career. To subscribe send a message with a blank subject to:

listserv@listserv.montana.eduIn the body of the message type, "subscribe dateach Firstname Lastname".

How to Play Blink

No, I'm not talking about a bunch of sighted people pretending to be blind, I'm talking about a great card game for children. Blink is a great two-player game that can help teach children (with enough vision) about shapes, colors and how to count. There are four colors of cards with different amounts and types of shapes on the cards. Each player starts with half of the cards in a pile in front of them and two cards lying face up in the middle. Then each player picks up three cards to hold in their hand. Players try to get rid of the cards in their hand by matching either the shape, color, or number of shapes to the top card in the piles. The game goes quick because if any part of the card matches one in the pile you can lay it down. The object of the game is to get rid of your cards as fast as you can. If younger children are playing the pace of the game will need to be slowed down so they have time to match the cards. Younger children usually rely on the shapes and colors…

Please, No Tech Talk, Just Help Me!

Computers. What can you say about them? We all have one and are still trying to figure out how to use it. The more you learn, the more there is to learn! It's difficult to find a source of information about the computer that doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand what the information is actually trying to tell you. You know what happens when you try to ask a question of that know-it-all computer friend of yours, you ask, he/she responds, and you're lost with all their tech talk. There should be a place where you can go to browse accessible articles at your own pace and actually learn something about this thing that the world says we can't live without. There is and it's a website called The PC Guide. This is a comprehensive guide of detailed PC reference information that includes buyers guides, system management, troubleshooting, and repair guides. It's a great resource and it's available 24 hours a day!

Click this link to visit http://www.pcguide.…

Clear Type for Windows

Do you ever find that the characters on your screen are difficult to read. They are either not dark enough or a little fuzzy? Is there anything you can do? Indeed there is. There is a very simple process you can undertake so that the fonts on your screen are readable. And the best part? The price is free! Browse over to the Microsoft web site and click on the ClearType Tuner PowerToy download. Once it has downloaded, click on Setup and let Windows install it automatically for you. Check the "Launch the program" box before you close the installation program. When the program opens, you will notice there are two tabs at the top: Introduction and Advanced. We will stick with Introduction here and return to Advanced at the end of the article. The first thing to do is make sure the box Turn on Clear Type is selected. Then click on Start Wizard to walk you through the rest of the process. Have a look at the two samples displayed there and click on the one that looks the …

Protect Your Identity While Surfing the Web

Whenever you visit a Web site, information about you and your computer is often released to the owners of that site. This information might contain your IP address, your geographic location, e-mail address, the ISP you are using, etc. This information may be used for marketing purposes, logging users (usually to protect against hackers) and possibly for spamming. With the increasing amount of businesses and the government tracking Internet users, many have turned to totally hiding their identity while online. One of the steps you can take to protect your online privacy is to use Proxify, which can be found at http://proxify.com. Proxify uses a proxy, which is a server that sits between a client computer and the actual server to hide the identity of the client computer, which in turn, hides your identity. Proxify can even hide your computer's IP address, so you are always surfing the Web anonymously. All you have to do is type in the address of the Web site that you wish to visi…

Share Your Music with TuneFeed

Australian photo sharing site Faces.com has a service called TuneFeed, that makes it easy for anyone to upload a few tracks from their personal collection of MP3s and share them via an online player. The beauty of this process is the sheer simplicity in uploading and sharing files. You can upload a handful of tracks or your entire music library. Sort tracks into playlists based on whatever your mood happens to be and post the playlists to MySpace, a blog, or any personal Web page. Ideally the company would love for you to send people to your Faces.com account, but there's nothing forcing you to stay in their universe. All file hosting is handled by TuneFeed meaning you never need to worry about running out of bandwidth. A future method for purchasing tracks you find in other people's playlists is promised and a revenue split for making the introduction to other listeners might be in the works as well. All TuneFeeds are fully RSS enabled, so listeners can subscribe to your …

How to Choose Flattering Eyeglasses

Lloyd Boston, chief style officer for LensCrafters helps you pick out the perfect pair of frames for your face.

Pick a frame that off-sets the shape of your face; if you have a square-ish face, soften it with round or oval frames. For a round face, lengthen it with rectangular frames.

Keep the frames in proportion to your face: your frames should never extend beyond your eyebrows or touch your cheeks. Plus, you don't want your glasses to take up more than one-third of your face.

If your skintone is warm, try a gold or coral frame. For a cool skintone, go for black or blue-gray tone. (A quick way to figure out if you have a warm or a cool skin tone is to have someone look at the veins in your arm. If they look blue, chances are you are a cool; if they have more of a greenish tint, you're probably a warm).

PC Audio and Video Answers

Jake Ludington has compiled the most common questions on PC audio and video problems into a 200-page downloadable PDF collection. If you have a PC-Related audio or video frustration, chances are there's a solution in these pages that will point you in the right direction. From finding the right codecs, to finding the right settings for converting between file types, this guide steps you through solutions to dozens of audio and video problems. The table of contents and Adobe Reader Bookmarks provide helpful navigation for searching on your computer, or you can print out the entire guide to step through problems. The questions and subsequent answers fill 200 pages with a painkiller for your audio and video headaches.

Click this link to download Audio and Video Answers.

GotVoice Helps You Manage Your Voicemail Messages

GotVoice is a service for capturing voicemail messages from your telephone provider's messaging system, and making them available as handy mp3s. It means no more punching keypads to get to that vital message you saved two weeks ago, and always having a web accessible method for listening, trashing, and saving voicemail messages. GotVoice offers a free package with basic functionality. It will automatically sync with the voicemail system a maximum of three times a day, and allows for the automatic deletion of old messages once a week. That's perfect functionality for simply using their service as a voicemail archive. The free versions are heavily supported by advertising, but that's par for the course when discussing great online services that are free to use. The initial setup is very straightforward. GotVoice only needs a phone number and the appropriate PIN to access your voice mailboxes. GotVoice supports many of the most popular phone service providers whether the …

Personalize Cell Phone Greetings with YouMail

YouMail is a voice mail system for cell phones. Among many features, it allows you to record unique voice greetings for anyone who calls you, based on their caller ID. Individualize your voice greetings for friends, family or important callers while maintaining a standard greeting for work and unknown callers. Check your voice messages from any phone or via the web and forward favorite messages to anyone via email. Have fun with the already infamous DITCHMAIL feature that hangs up on unwanted callers after your custom greeting for them is played. YouMail works with your existing phone and carrier and is easy to try without risk. YouMail is free for users who sign up now while there are still beta accounts available and easy to change back and forth between your current voice mail and YouMail. YouMail is compatible with the following phone services:

Verizon Wireless
Cingular Wireless
T-Mobile

NOTE: Some features may require sighted assistance. The service is in beta so please report…

The musical Mouse Pad

For most totally blind computer users, the mouse pad is just something that sits on their desk taking up space. If you use a screen reader to access Windows you don't really have a use for the old mouse and certainly not the mouse pad. Well if you're into audio and recording things with your computer, I'm about to change your mind about the good old mouse pad, this one really can be a benefit to any computer user. One of the most annoying things to do around the computer is to try to find those small audio jacks on the back of the computer's case. (I know, some computers have audio jacks on the front panel, but many don't). The Musical Mouse Pad solves this problem by adding jacks to the mouse pad. Think of it! Your audio jacks are always next to the keyboard. Check out these features:

USB Connector (4 Port), for video, MP3 and other USB digital equipment
Internal stereo speaker for listening to music and chatting
Internal microphone for direct talk
Connector for…

How to Play Bridge

Contract or rubber bridge is a partnership bidding game emphasizing communication between two sets of two partners. The object of the game is to win the largest number of tricks.

Setting Up

Agree upon partnerships. Designate the scorer.

Draw a cross in the middle of a piece of paper, and write the words "we" and "they" on either side of the cross at the top of the page.

Seat partners at the table opposite from each other. North and South are partners versus East and West. South deals first and East cuts the cards.

Playing the Game

Shuffle and deal in a clockwise direction a standard deck of 52 playing cards, starting with the person to the dealer's left, until each partner has 13 cards.

Sort your cards into suits.

Evaluate your cards. Determine if you have a good or bad hand (see "How to Bid in Bridge" below).

Bid on your hand. The dealer is the first to bid, with bidding continuing in a clockwise rotation.

Determine the declarer.

Lay down all your cards face-up…

Mirror on the wall

By Gordon C. Cardona, Paola, MaltaIt's now about 3 years since I looked at myself in the mirror. But because I have now a visual impairment, I don't know exactly how I look on the outside. I know that I have left my hair to grow long and unless I have mutated my eyes remain brown. But apart from that, I'm sure there are changes that I'm unaware of. But what about the inside? There I notice so many changes that I sometimes really am surprised when I read things I've written some time ago on my computer. For instance, I know longer feel that being different or a wheelchair user with low vision is something that I shouldn't be proud of. After all, it's now part of who I am. And if things should change or my eyesight improves I'm still the same person inside. But would I rather be 'normal'? Would I wish my impairments on someone else? These questions have troubled me since I was younger and became more pressing as I got my extra impairment. The …

Your Ear Can Help You Read

Well not exactly but the device sitting on your ear can. Here's another way of lighting up a page. With no jumbled wires or heavy clips that can get in the way of reading, this over-the-ear book light settles gently on you instead of precariously on your book. The LED shines wherever you look for complete hands-free convenience. The tight beam is focused by a light guard for glare-free illumination with no spillover light. Provides 100,000 hours of light and does not heat up. High-impact polystyrene ear piece. Requires one AAA battery for over 25 hours of intermittent use. 2" H x 1 1/4" W x 4" L. (1 oz.)

Click this link to purchase the Over-Ear Book Light from Hammacher Schlemmer.

Delicious and Nutritious Meals with Hadley

Thinking About Holiday Feasts? With a holiday around every corner, you will soon be planning your feasts with savory food and good nutrition in mind. Hadley's Foods series can help you do so. Now available in large print, in braille, and on cassette, this tuition-free series can help you plan delicious yet nutritious meals in no time. The series is based on the textbook Guide to Good Food. Four of the series' mini-courses each focus on a particular food group: "Meat, Poultry, and Fish," "Eggs and Dairy Products," "Fruits and Vegetables," as well as "Grains and Sweets." The fifth mini-course, "A Social Perspective," describes how food enhances entertainment. This series features a unique handbook that includes adaptive techniques and tips to help you confidently handle food-related tasks. Enroll in any of the courses that appeal to you and learn to plan healthy and satisfying dishes that you can enjoy on your own and with othe…

Blind Gamers Boggle

BG Boggle or Blind Gamers Boggle is the accessible version of the popular word game where you make as many words as you can from the sixteen letter cubes arranged in a four by four grid. You have to search for words that can be constructed from the letters of sequentially adjacent cubes. Adjacent includes the horizontally, vertically, and diagonally neighboring cubes. Words must be at least three letters long, may include singular and plural (or other derived forms) separately, but may not use the same letter cube more than once per word. BG Boggle is suitable for both blind and visually impaired players, and like all Spoonbill games in the Blind gamers series, it is self-voicing. The game let's you generate random games, or enter a game manually. Manual entry is useful if you are playing with a sighted friend who is using a regular Boggle set. You can also save your game to resume later. Copies of BG Boggle are only provided by email request only. To request a copy of the gam…

Ear Muff Headphones

I'm so glad someone finally thought of this. This headset combines three layers of all-weather protection with a high-quality pair of mini-speakers, allowing you to enjoy your iPod or any other portable audio device without exposing your ears to the cold. Layers of lightweight polyester fleece, Thermolite, and Polartec insulate the soft nylon-wrapped ear warmers (which can be stretched and adjusted to fit most heads), keeping your ears and neck warm even in sub-freezing temperatures. The ear warmers can be used by themselves when the detachable 5' audio cord is removed, and the around-the-neck design avoids ruffling your hair. The built-in speakers developed by JVC deliver crisp audio with an internal neodymium magnet and 40 mm driver. For convenient in-pocket or purse storage, the y can be folded flat upon themselves, taking up very little room while not in use. Spot clean. 3" W x 5" Diam. (1/4 lb.)

Click this link to purchase the Ear Muff Headphones from Hammacher …

Wireless Doorbell System

Do you live in an apartment? Would you like to have a doorbell? You can install a doorbell anywhere in your house or apartment with the Plug-In Wireless Chime. Mount the battery-powered doorbell at your front door, and when a visitor presses it, it transmits wirelessly up to 100 feet to the receiver, which can be plugged into any outlet. Ideal for use in your workshop, laundry room, garage or patio, the Plug-In Wireless Chime allows you to hear the doorbell chime ring out in any room in your home. If you need to hear the doorbell in a location that doesn't have a convenient outlet, a Battery-Operated Wireless Chime is also available. If your guests arrive at both your front and back door, you can set up the 2-Entry Plug-In Wireless Chime. This system comes with two transmitters and a single plug-in chime that rings different tones to indicate where your guest is. An Additional Wireless Chime Transmitter is also available: Pick up as many as you need for doorbells at each entran…

Read Selected Text From Any Application

Our kids frequently ask us to read something aloud. However, the adults often need somebody to read for them too. That is why 1st Read It Aloud! was created. Windows users are able to make their documents, email, web pages, books and written thoughts speak with the voice they prefer and with the pitch, speed, and volume they like. 1st Read It Aloud! doesn't require text to be copied to the clipboard, saving the content. The program supports numerous voices in more than twenty different languages. It also supports both SAPI4 and SAPI5 speech synthesis technology. 1st Read It Aloud! can use a variety of voices with text or applications. For example, you may prefer the female voice Julia to read your email and the male Sidney voice for Word documents. The program has Voice Slots which contain voice settings; pitch, speed, and volume and can be activated with hot key combinations. Unlike other programs, 1st Read It Aloud! will read selected text from any Windows application, not ju…

What Color is That Caller?

I'm a big fan of the "don't call me, I'll call you" mentality so when the phone rings I know it's either some telemarketer or a piece of bad news. Unfortunately the talking caller ID phone that we had stopped working and the base station, which has a large print display, is too far away for my wife to see who's calling. That's why I like this Color-Call caller ID system, it tells you who's calling at a glance. It won't help me (I guess I'll have to break down and purchase another talking unit) but it will be a great help to my wife. The Color-Call Caller ID System uses ColorSmart technology to assign one of four colors red, green, blue or purple to a particular phone number or group, so you can see who's calling from across the room. Scrolling colors indicate an unassigned, unknown or blocked call. One-button operation to store numbers by color. Holds 100 numbers. Missed-call log for 30 numbers, new call counter and total call counte…

"In Celebration of Grandparenting"

This book is the result of listening about the joys and frustrations of being the grandparents of a child with visual impairments, who may have additional disabilities. It can comfort, reassure and answer some questions for those who are starting the journey. Above all, it demonstrates that a grandchild with a disability is really not that different from a typical grandchild. All have special qualities to be treasured and shared. Also available in Spanish. This book is a joint publication of the Delta Gamma Center for Children with Visual Impairments and NAPVI, and is available for purchase through NAPVI.

Click this link to purchase In Celebration of Grandparenting from NAPVI.

"Beyond the Stares: A Personal Journal for Siblings of Children with Disabilities"

Beyond the Stares was written by a group of children and young adults from St. Louis, ages nine to fifteen, with brothers and sisters who are blind or visually impaired, many have other disabilities as well. Beyond the Stares is a collection of their stories, and their messages to other brothers and sisters throughout the country who have a sibling with a disability. These young writers came together through a sibling group sponsored by the Delta Gamma Center for Children with Visual Impairments. Their dream was to share what they know about growing up with a brother or sister with a disability. Throughout the process, they learned about themselves and their families. At the end of each chapter, there is a page for readers to write their own stories. The young authors are: Tyler Adolphson, MaRissa Baker, Paul Fields, Kathryn Jacob, Lauren Jacob, Emily Sartorius, Mac Slone, Elizabeth Vaughan and Rachel Vaughan.

Excerpts from the Chapters

Pride Each of our brother's …

"In Touch with Your Baby's Development"

By Jo Russell-Brown, M.Ed. The shock of hearing that your baby is blind is a feeling that lives long in the hearts and minds of those parents who experience this news from their doctor. In Touch With Your Baby's Development is a booklet written for parents of infants and young children diagnosed with significant visual impairments. Inspired from 29 years of experience, this booklet will provide parents hope and guidance beyond the diagnosis and will become a valuable resource as their baby grows.

Click this link to purchase In Touch with Your Baby's Development from The Delta Gamma Center website. For pricing for orders over ten books, please call 314-776-1300, ext. 102.

"A Look Into Our i's"

By A group of young people with visual impairments This compilation of introspective writings gives readers a glimpse into the lives of some extraordinary teenagers who share their perspectives on issues related to growing up with a visual impairment. The twelve authors, ages 13 through 19, all participated in a GRADS group through The Delta Gamma Center in St. Louis, MO. They discussed their concerns and wrote their stories at monthly meetings over a two year period. Their stories give us a look into the "i's" that they feel are most important to them:

independence
inclusion
intelligence
inspiration
idealism
imagination We are confident that their book will demonstrate to readers that you do not need perfect vision to achieve the important things in life. "Looking through another's eyes can be scary but it must be done. For that is how bridges of friendship and understanding are raised from the depths of fear and pity." - Sierra Gregg, age 14

In Brail…

Clearer Vision for the Children of the World

The U-SPECS (universal spectacles) can be used by everyone, but is primarily meant for children in developing countries. It is easy to use: simply adjusting the knob on the spectacles changes the refraction for each eye from -6 diopter to +3 diopter. Because the focus of the glasses can be adjusted, no optician is needed and the cost for the adjustable glasses is less than 4 euros. The concept of these adjustable spectacles was developed at the VU University Medical Centre in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. U-specs lenses are formed from two saddle-shaped parts mounted together. These parts can slide in opposite directions changing the lens power from -6D to -1D. This makes U-specs truly universal. The U-specs concept was developed by a team of VU Medical Centre in Amsterdam led by Dr. Rob van der Heijde. The shifting lenses were invented by Nobel Prize-winning physicist Luis Alvarez. Dr. Van der Heijde converted his theoretical concept into universal spectacles.

Click this link to lear…

Gift Idea: Braille & Large Print Calendars

By Carla Ruschival
Whether you want some attractive decor for your home or office or a great gift for that someone who has everything, a calendar is just the answer.
But locating a calendar useful to a blind or visually impaired person may be a problem. These specially-formatted items aren't always available at your local Wal-Mart or bookstore.
The calendars described here make great gifts for people with low vision. Some are braille, some are large print, and some even have both braille and large print on the same page! Products may sometimes be available from more than one source. Product names and prices may vary; scroll down to find links to purchase featured items.


The Insights Art calendar features art from blind and visually impaired children and adults on each durable page. The calendar is 8.5 by 11 inches, is spiral-bound, and has braille and easy-to-read 36-point large type on each page. Includes holidays and moon phases. Suitable for desk or to hang on the wall…

Heated Blanket for Your Guide

Make sure your beloved guide is warm and toasty on chilly nights. The Heated Pet Blanket may prevent your dog or cat from taking over your comfortable bed by keeping him warm all night long. This electric pet blanket comes with a low-voltage AC adapter as well as a car adapter for pet comfort on long trips, and its removable cover is even washable. There's no danger of burning or overheating with the Heated Pet Blanket: With an average temperature of approximately 12 degrees above room temperature, this electric blanket produces a low-level heat that will feel warm to your pet, not hot. The Heated Pet Blanket's low-voltage power adapter has a chew-resistant cord.

Click this link to purchase the Heated Pet Blanket from the Smarthome website.