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Showing posts from 2007

Remote-Controlled Smoke & Fire Alarm

There are two very dangerous things we do with smoke detectors:

We stand on something to fan them when they go off for no reason.

We take out the battery because we're annoyed with them going off for no reason. At my last house the builder, in his infinite wisdom, decided to put a smoke and fire alarm in our kitchen within five feet of our oven. Everytime we broiled something in the oven the fire alarm would sound which annoyed my wife and I to no end. We really could have used the Remote-Controlled Smoke & Fire Alarm so we could use a remote to silence the fire alarm rather than stand on a chair and wave a towel in front of the alarm to disperse the "smoke". Simply use the VOLUME or CHANNEL buttons on any infrared remote control to test or silence the smoke alarm from up to 20 feet away. It works with virtually any infrared remote control, regardless of the make or model, no special programming is needed! This false-alarm-resistant smoke detector combines photoelec…

KidSmart Vocal Smoke Alarm

This is a great idea for families with smaller children in the horrible case that you have a house fire. The Vocal Smoke Alarm allows you to record your child's name as well as using the standard alarm tone and bright light flashes sending out three different triggers. In addition to your child's name you can issue instructions about leaving the house and gathering outside in the event of a fire as well as standard safety messages. The KidSmart Vocal Smoke Alarm lets you record a message specific to your child. While a child might sleep through a high-pitched alarm, hearing his own name spoken loudly by his parent is a more likely trigger to awaken him. Since the Vocal Smoke Alarm includes an alarm tone, a vocal message, and a bright light ring that illuminates during drills and in case of an alarm, your child is three times more likely to respond. Recording your message is easy on the Vocal Smoke Alarm. In addition to repeating your child's name, you can issue instruct…

Meeting a blind person with a guide dog

Guide Dogs are considered to be "on duty" when wearing their harnesses. It is a natural impulse for most people to want to stop and pet a guide dog, but the dog should not be petted or disrupted while working. An attempt to pet a guide dog in harness can distract the dog from its job, placing the owner's safety in jeopardy. When a guide dog is out of its harness, permission should always be asked before reaching to touch or pet a guide dog. Do not offer food or treats to a guide dog. This can be distracting, and handlers carefully monitor their dog's diet. A guide dog is able to do its job most efficiently when a recommended diet is followed. Calling out the dog's name or making distracting noises can break a guide dog's concentration and ability to work. Guide dogs are friendly and they will want to respond to the attention you are giving them, but please remember: They are working as a blind person's eyes. A person using a guide dog wants to be trea…

Lighted Message Board

How many of you remember the Light Bright? You know, the black paper that would go against a screen and all the little pegs of different colors that you could punch through the paper and make cool pictures? Here's a way to have a more high-tech Light Bright, not using pegs, but a pen to write messages, draw pictures, do math problems, whatever you can imagine. Here are some of its features. Write on the screen of this funky acrylic notice board with one of the 2 special pens provided, then switch on the LED lights. Select single color or multi-color mode, with changing or blinking lights. Hangs on wall like a picture. 12¼" x 9½" x ?" (31 x 24 x 1.6cm). 3 AAA batteries or electric adapter, not included.

Click this link to purchase the Lighted Message Board from Expert Verdict.

Eye Digest: A Resource for Age related Eye Diseases

Do you suffer from an eye related disorder? If you don't, more than likely someone that you know and love does. Whether it be the development and or worsening of near sightedness or far sightedness; or more serious conditions that develop, due possibly to genetics, health disorders like diabetes, or even those caused by medications that we must take for other disorders, there's a good chance that many of us will suffer the affects of the aging eye. I wanted to take a moment to tell you about a great resource called The Eye Digest. This is a publication created by the University of Illinois Eye & Ear Infirmary and it contains a wealth of information about the effects of the aging eye and serious disorders that may affect your vision as you age. All of the articles that you'll find within the Eye Digest are in depth and well researched. Along with full discussions of major eye disorders, you'll see that there's a section called Vision Basics where you'll f…

Braille and Large Type knitting patterns from Lion Brand

Did you know that many companies now print knitting patterns in a large type format for people who are visually impaired, and in Braille, for those who are blind? It makes sense, especially as many knitters will know, your sight is not necessarily the main sense used when knitting, which is what makes it a great social craft. Lion Brand have been producing their patterns in large print or Braille since the beginning of 2006. They have also added colour descriptions to all their yarns, and added special features to their online patterns and directories to make them easier to navigate with a screen reader.

Click this link to visit the Lion Brand Yarn Company at http://www.lionbrand.com.

Unsealing An Envelope

Have you ever sealed an envelope only to realize that you forgot something, such as signing a check or including a rebate form? Normally you would have to open it and throw the used envelope away, right? Well here is a handy trick that you can use to save that envelope. Put it into the freezer for a few hours. Take it out and then run a knife under the flap. It should pop open very easily. The glue will still be good, so you can seal it right back up again. This will also work with new envelopes that might have become accidentally sealed by humidity.

Rain is so inaccessible!

The following article was posted by Jemma Brown on the Ouch weblog in December, 2007. I thought about what the author has to say, and I must agree with her, rain truly is inaccessible. It's true it really is! See today has highlighted all the issues I have with the wet stuff, its been raining pretty much all day; ranging from thin drizzle that's slightly pathetic but still manages to soak you right through, to really heavy fat rain that just pelts down on you. Lets start with the blatantly obvious, everything is wet therefore slippery for someone with a condition that affects there balance the chances of falling over are very high. What's worse still is that if you fall over in the rain not only do you get the standard 'ouch that hurt' (or expletive) but you also get the 'great now I'm soaking wet' effect. There are also more outside risks; manhole covers are very slippery when wet. The thing is that the slipperyness does not just apply to being ou…

How to Chop or Peal Onions without Tears

Do you hate cutting onions because they make you "cry"? Here's some ways to prevent that.

Put the unpeeled onion in the freezer.
Leave the onion in the freezer for about ten minutes.
Remove the onion from the freezer and peel it. The onion can now be sliced, chopped, or minced without tears. Simply keep your onions in the fridge along with other veggies and you will never cry when chopping them - it's that simple! You can freeze an onion, just prepare like you were going to use it. Pan fry it before cooling and putting into an airtight container and freeze. This stops the onion going mushy when defrosted. Use as you would any other onion. If you use a sharp knife, there shouldn't be any tears. An onion makes you cry because acid is being released from the onion. Using a dull knife crushes the onion rather than cutting it, releasing far more of this acid into the air. Onions that have been frozen raw may tend to be slightly mushy after thawing.

How to Peel an Onion…

General Knowledge RSS Feeds

Not that you need it, but you can enrich your mind and impress people at cocktail parties by subscribing to daily feeds that send along a Word Of The Day (via Wordsmith.org), Quote of the Day (via Brainy Quote), or how about a bit of wisdom with a daily fortune cookie? Just look for the RSS or XML links on each page to get the feed to add to your news aggrigator. RSS (Real Simple Syndication) is technology that allows certain programs called RSS readers to download new content from an RSS feed to your computer. RSS feeds are often found on blogs or forums and contain the latest posts to that blog or forum. An RSS feed can also be found on news sites and contains the latest articles found on that site. Just like an email program such as Microsoft Outlook saves you time by checking for new mail for you and downloading it so that you can view it, the RSS reader checks for updates for you and as soon as it sees an update, it will download it to your computer and can notify you by a popup…

Basic Toys for Blind Preschoolers

By Carla RuschivalPeople always seem to think that the ideal toy for a blind child is one that talks or plays music. While it is true that such toys are fun and entertaining, it is also true that a blind preschooler needs many other types of toys as well, including those that build manual dexterity, encourage discrimination of shape and size through touch, and allow the child to learn problem-solving skills. Measure Up! Cups by Discovery Toys: There are many nesting cups and blocks on the market, but the Measure Up! Cups are terrific. The 12 brightly-colored cups have raised numbers in the bottom from 1 (smallest) to 12 (largest). Fit them inside one another or turn them over and build a tower. A raised ring around the bottom edge of each cup prevents towers from toppling too easily when touched. Use the cups to encourage the blind preschool child to reach, grasp, and build; to explore size; and to solve problems (which cup comes next). The Giant Pegboard from Discovery Toys: Even t…

Talking First Aid Kit

Carl Augusto of the American Foundation for the Blind Blog posted the following about this great product. I think it's always important to keep safety in mind, so I thought I'd let you know about a new product from intelligentFirstAidT, the First Aid "talking" Kit. The Kit includes nine injury-specific packs to help treat common injuries, including Bleeding, Head & Spine Injury, and Shock. The packs are individually labeled and color-coded, which I love because it would help someone with low vision easily distinguish the packs. The best part, though, is that with the press of a button, the audio component attached to each card provides step-by-step instructions to manage the wound. Situations often become chaotic when a loved one, an acquaintance, or even you, experiences a minor injury. With this tool, people with low vision can remain calm and have an idea of how to handle things without worrying about reading any print.

Check out the intelli gentFirstAidT webs…

Digiscribble Hand Written Notes to MS-Word Documents

College students, just think of the possibilities! For the first time, handwritten notes, maps, sketches and signatures can all be captured remotely using a normal ink filled pen. Save them to your PC and then convert them to typed text and copy or import into MS Office applications like Word and Outlook. When connected digiscribble also has mouse functionality and you can use it with the 'digital inking' and 'tablet PC' features included with MS Vista. Digiscribble works in 2 modes: Pen Mode: As well as capturing your notes remotely away from your PC or notebook when connected digiscribble captures natural handwriting onto a PC or notebook in real time. Once you have captured & saved your notes in the note manager software included you can back up your notes and recycle your paper. Your notes can then be edited and converted to editable typed text with the MyScript recognition software included. They can then be exported straight into MS Word or Outlook or copie…

Create Your Own Cookbook

Tastebook.com allows you to create custom-made recipe books by choosing from an array of available recipes on the website (thanks to Tastebook's partnership with Epicurius.com) and/or by adding your very own. After registering with the site, you can start selecting the recipes that you would like to include in your very own Tastebook. Once you're done with your selection, you can pick a cover to customize, and, before finalizing the process, you can review the created cookbook page by page. Every Tastebook can include up to 100 recipes, which can be added at any time; this means that for all the unused recipe credits, you will get remaining credits to be incorporated afterwards. Its practical design makes it very easy to add and remove recipes from the book over time. Tastebook is a great idea not only for organizing your own recipes but also for a very personalized present.

Click this link to visit http://www.Tastebook.com.

Talking CD Album

I'd love to be able to thumb through my CD collection as fast as my sighted son can. He has those books of CDs and he simply flips through the pages until he finds the disc he wants. It takes me forever to find the disc I want to play sometimes, but that's all about to change with this device. The Voice Recording CD Album doesn't automatically recognize each disc, instead you have to record a custom 3 second message for all 20 CDs in the binder. But as you turn the pages your messages will be played back making it easy to find the album you're looking for. You'll need to be particularly careful about putting the discs back into the exact slot, otherwise this system becomes useless. There are two CDs per page and it's easy to record your 3 second voice message for every CD. The Voice Recording CD Album is made of rugged plastic with a built-in speaker, recording button and secret closure.

Click this link to purchase the Voice Recording CD Album from Otherland

ZoomIt Makes Presentations Easier to See

ZoomIt is a free utility that allows you to capture an image of your computer screen (via customizable hotkeys). Then, in real time, you can draw, type or zoom directly in on the captured screen image. The really handy part is that the capture process is seamless, as no external program is opened. By pressing the Esc key (escape) on your keyboard, you can "unfreeze" the screen and all the mark-ups you made will disappear. This is extremely handy for doing presentations, especially if you use a tablet PC. ZoomIt also offers a timer function where you can assign a countdown to your computer. That would be useful if you wanted to do a presentation with interactive user exercises. Either way, this is an extremely handy utility that doesn't even need to be installed to run. Just double click it and go! ZoomIt works on all versions of Windows and you can even use pen input for ZoomIt when drawing on tablet PCs. The screen magnifier is one of the best out there, but it's …

Switchit: The Dual-Ended Long Spatula

Can there ever be a perfect spatula? This dual-ended spatula provides exceptional convenience in the kitchen. Its two-in-one design offers one end that's great for broad, sweeping strokes, while the other, smaller end offers a bit more control and finesse. Using either end, the ingenious asymmetric design reaches any angle in any pot, pan, or bowl. The kitchen tool features a hard stainless-steel 18/10 core with a 650-degree-F heat-resistant silicone exterior. The stain-resistant spatula won't scratch nonstick cookware and is dishwasher-safe for fast easy cleanup. The spatula measures 11-1/2 by 2 inches and carries a limited lifetime warranty.

Click this link to purchase the Switchit Dual-Ended Long Spatula from Amazon.com.

Tag Items with Tag Alert

Tag it or leave it! Don't you hate it when you misplace or forget personal items like your cell phone or wallet? With the Tag Alert you can make sure you never walk away from your personal belongings (or that they don't walk away from you.) Just tag your item and keep the monitor on hand. When your item strays beyond 30 or 100 feet (depending on the setting) an alarm sounds.

Click this link to purchase Tag Alert.

Follow That Mouse!

Have you ever been working away on your computer when all of the sudden, your mouse pointer disappears? You try moving your mouse around as fast as you can to try and find it, but it just seems like it went away forever. Well, if this has ever happened to you, I have something you might be very interested in! You can add a trail to your mouse pointer so that it's easier to locate. To do this, go to Start and open up your Control Panel. Once you're in there, click on either Mouse or the Printers and Other Hardware link and then choose the Mouse option. This will open up the Mouse Properties box and you're going to want to choose the Pointer Options tab. Next, go down to the Visibility section and checkmark the line that says "Display pointer trails." You can then decide how long you want the trail to last. It can either be short, long or somewhere in the middle. When you're done, click OK. Now, you will have a trail following your pointer every time you …

Gift Girl: Helping the shopping-challenged men of the World

OK guys, if you have no clue what to buy for your lady, Gift Girl is here to lend you a helping hand. It aims to be an online destination that dishes out shopping advice to help men eliminate wrong choices by delivering the perfect gift selection. This solution-based site integrates the latest technology with fashion expertise for the time- and taste-challenged male. The site boasts thousands of designer items that hover between $100 to more than $100,000 in terms of price, with new content being added on a daily basis in order to keep the site and its selections fresh. All you need to do is fork out a $20 subscription fee - a small price to pay considering you run the risk of getting the wrong present yet again on your anniversary, having to spend the night on a cold, concrete floor for the umpteenth time. Gift Girl content includes:

Gift Girl Collections: Ranging from New York City Girl to Lazy Sunday Girl, Nantucket Girl and more., complete ensembles are suggested to match many …

The Dragnifier

Have you ever had to squint at the screen to see what's there? Do you create graphics for a living, and need accuracy? Do all those tiny icons get lost on your desktop? The "Quick Dragging Magnifier" (or Dragnifier) is just what you need. One click or keypress will bring up a computerized lens, which lets you see every last detail on your screen at 2x, 4x, even 8x the original size. When you're not using the magnifier, you won't even notice it. An icon rests next to your system clock, ready to hop to service whenever you need the Dragnifier. Dragnifier has been demonstrated as an excellent tool for those with sight disabilities. Sometimes a website will include very small print, or sometimes the icons on today's programs are too small to see clearly. If you're laying out web pages or other graphic arts, having a measuring tool can be handy. Dragnifier's reticule helps you line up items or compare their sizes quickly.

Click this link to learn more a…

Online Banking: Is It Right for Me?

A reader recently asked: Can you give me some advantages and disadvantages of doing online banking? Is it accessible? I'm not sure if I should start using it or not. That's an excellent question! I'm sure you all know that you can handle your banking on the Internet now. It's been around for awhile, but more and more people are taking advantage of it every day. But, as with anything else on the Internet these days, there are myths of it being of a bad interest, while others say it's the greatest thing in the world. Below, you'll find some pros and cons for this banking method and I'll just let you decide for yourself! Before I go any further and just for your information, most banks and credit unions offer some form of online banking these days. It's also known as PC banking, home banking, electronic banking or even Internet banking. The banks who offer this service have been working for several years to find the best possible way to provide online ba…

Special Function Keys

Message: I just bought a new keyboard and I love it, but I can't figure out what the keys across the top are for. Can you please help me with this? Thanks!
location: Kentucky Sure! I know exactly what you're talking about. The keys you're referring to are called special function keys. They are small buttons that run along the very top of the keyboard. Different keyboards have different keys, but the most common ones are an email button, a search button, a connect button (for the Internet) and a calculator button. Some even have a sleep mode function, a volume control right on the keyboard itself and multimedia keys. These extra keys are nice to have, if you want to get into your email or use the calculator, for example, you can just hit that button one time and the program will pop right up on your screen. It's like your wish lies right at your fingertips. If you've already been using the special keys, that's great and you should keep doing so. If you have …

Monitoring Illnesses

Don't get rid of that baby monitor when the babies are grown. Hang on to them and use them around the house. If your kids get sick leave one in their room and carry the handset around with you. Now you will know instantly if your kids need you. This works great for kids of all ages, including spouses and seniors.

Download Complete Music Albums for Free

It's time to open your mind to music that's not on the Billboard charts or on the radio. I'm not sure if you're going to like all the music this site has to offer, but it's free and certainly worth a listen. What makes Free Albums Galore special? Four things, as I see it: They post only complete albums, not individual or scattered tracks.
They post only albums with permanent off-site hosting, unlike "album of the week blogs.
They post only legally free albums, instead of blindly hoping copyright owners won't mind them distributing their music.
They post at least one complete album per day, that's a lot of music! An RSS feed is available to keep you current on the latest posts and who knows, you may find some great tunes here. Give it a try!

Click this link to visit Album Galore at http://freealbums.blogsome.com.

It's a Library Thing

Have you ever bought a book only to find that you already had a copy? Or, have you been in a book store or library at any time, looking through books and wondering if you already had copies of the same titles at home? Or maybe you took all afternoon to look for a particular cookbook that you know was around there somewhere? If any of those things have happened to you, or if you just like to be organized, Library Thing is for you. Library Thing makes it easy to enter all of the books in your library and keep track of them. You can enter books by author, title or the ISBN. The site keeps track of your inventory for you. There are some extra features, which are really nice. You can search your books, sort your books or edit the book information. view your list online of course, or view your catalogue on your notetaker, which could come in really handy when you are out at the store or library. Library Thing is also a community, linking you with others who share your book interests a…

A Weekly Test For Your House

You know the drill. Something eventually stops working and you know you could have prevented the breakdown if you had only paid better attention. You can set yourself on a simple schedule to check a few items to help prevent a larger disaster. Set a day, once a week, to walk down the hallway and check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. (if you have any gas appliances you'll really want one of those) Now walk in your utility room and take a peek at the hot water heater. Is there any water dripping out of the faucet? Did you find a puddle on the floor? These small drips or puddles can become big trouble if you don't notice them early enough. Don't forget each time you do laundry to clean out the lint trap. This will help your clothes dry faster, your drier will be more efficient and you will reduce the risk of fire.

Protect Your Pipes From The Big Freeze

You have heard people talk about pipes breaking under their houses during the winter and causing lots of damage. You have a well insolated house so you shouldn't have to worry about it, right? Wrong! This can happen to anyone in an old or new house. Before the hard freezes of winter hit you need to detach any sprinklers from hoses and then the hoses from the house. Store your hoses and sprinklers in a shed or on a porch, but not attached to an outside spigot.

Braille On Walls, the Latest Form of Art?

We're all looking for new ways to promote the use of braille and this guy, "The Blind", "L'aveugle t'a vu" certainly has his own ideas of how this can be accomplished. Apparently, he puts braille on walls, in the streets, on the museum's facades or churches. He has a braille dictionary on his MySpace page to help sighted folks decode his work. He's a young 24 year old guy, living in Nantes (France). Click this link to view the artwork of L'aveugle t'a vu.

Power Text to Speech Reader

Power Text to Speech Reader is an inexpensive program that lets you listen to documents, email messages or Web pages instead of reading on screen. It uses voice synthesis to create spoken audio from text with natural voices. What I like most is that you can listen when you have the time. For example, you can listen on your PC or save text to MP3 or wave files for listening later. Even better, if you have a portable audio device you can take your text as MP3 files to the gym, the classroom or anywhere you need to go. It can directly open Plain Text files , Microsoft Word files, PDF files, email files, Rich Text files, and HTML files. For low vision Microsoft Internet Explorer users, Power Text to Speech Reader supplies a handy toolbar plug-in for Internet Explorer and for Microsoft Outlook. It supports dozens of male, female, and robotic voices and more than 11 languages. Power Text to Speech Reader can monitor the Windows Clipboard and automatically process its contents. This fea…

Intro to Visual Impairment

By Carla RuschivalAbout 10 million people in the United States are blind or visually impaired, according to the American Foundation for the Blind. Approximately 5.5 million of these are elderly, age 65 or older. Of the 75-and-over age group, one of every four people in the country has a significant vision loss, most often caused by age-related macular degeneration or diabetes. The American Foundation for the Blind estimates that 93,600 children are blind or visually impaired, with 55,200 being legally blind (seeing 20/200 or less with best correction). Blind and visually-impaired people come in all shapes and sizes. They come from all races and ethnic backgrounds. They may have a Ph.D. or a high-school diploma. Britni is a beautiful baby. But she doesn't reach for her rattles until they make a noise. She doesn't look at her hands or smile until someone speaks. Britni is blind. Bob is a successful salesman. He just wrecked his third car yesterday. Bob knows why, but he can&…

Online Conversion of Documents to Speech

SpokenText.net allows you to record PDF, Word, plain text, PowerPoint files, ,RSS news feeds, emails and web pages, and converts them to speech automatically. You can download your recording as an iPod book or mp3 file. And every member gets a personal podcast URL , which you can use to download recordings to iTunes or your iPod. You can also easily share your recordings on your web site or blog using SpokenText Badges or individual recording players. And best of all it's COMPLETELY FREE!

Click this link to visit http://spokentext.net.

What About AudioForBooks

Launched by an avid reader who understands that day-to-day demands make it a challenge to find time to read, AudioForBooks.com specializes in meeting audio book demands for children and adults alike, providing titles for all ages. The site is updated regularly and also provides an array of supporting tools and services, including news, book reviews, an article library, a member's blog and more. Saving time, money and frustration by helping users quickly and easily tap into affordable used books on eBay, and linking directly to Apple.com where the Apple iPod can be purchased with just a quick click of a mouse and used to listen to audio books on-the-go, AudioForBooks.com provides users with options that simply don't exist elsewhere on a single site. Additionally, the expanded AudioForBooks.com blog has created a dialogue among users who can now share information about audio books and discuss titles, etc. from anywhere in the world. Also, the site's Article section conti…

Be the DJ at BlueBeat.com

BlueBeat.com is an accessible, free digital radio offering over 500,000 tracks of CD-quality music in over 100 genres and 350 channels, covering more than a century of music, and streams secure MP3s at 320kb/s. BlueBeat.com's website boasts customizable website styles and streamlined player skins. Users can mix and match their Bluebeat page and player to suit their taste with selections like the refined "Blues In Orbit" or the quirky "Tiki Lounge." Also added is a personalized history of the songs, albums, and channels users hear, as well as postings of the latest music updates. In order to stay connected and attentive to their listeners, Bluebeat.com has also developed public forums for music discussions and channel requests. BlueBeat.com maintains its easy navigation: listeners simply choose between the Time Machine, musical history organized by genre and decade, and the Killer Playlists, such as the popular "1 Hit Wonders" and the eclectic "…

The Blind Have TypeAbility

TypeAbility is a program that teaches typing in 68 user-friendly lessons. By the end of the lessons, the student will have mastered all the letters, numbers, punctuation, as well as basic navigation of text documents. In addition, the student will learn special characters that are used in computer applications, such as the @ symbol that is required in e-mail addresses. TypeAbility is compatible with the latest versions of JAWS for Windows from Freedom Scientific. It is also compatible with the screen magnification program MAGic. So the partially sighted can not only listen to, but also see their typing lessons. Learning how to startup, run, choose lessons and tasks, and how to close TypeAbility is very simple. After a few lessons with an assistant, a blind non-typing child will be able to use the program independently. TypeAbility is fun and appropriate for students of all ages. There are User Preferences that allow TypeAbility to conform to each students needs. However, there ar…

Online Church Communities and Services for People with Disabilities

Do you find it hard as a blind or visually impaired person to get to church for lack of transportation? Has someone slighted you for your visual impairment, and refused to be around you and fellowship with you? The answer to this problem is simple. On Thursday nights at 9:00 P.M. Eastern, 8:00 P.M. Central, an internet church service is the answer. Come in to this church service via computer and listen to songs, testimonies, and a preached message. With a microphone, you can share with others your story of salvation, ask for prayer, and give praise reports. This is an e-church. After service, there will be a period of fellowship. Come and be filled with God's Presence.

Click this link to learn more about this online church service: http://www.cjoyinternetradio.com. First-time users will have to download a chat client. Upgrades are automatic. Audio quality is good and the software is safe. Just type in your name and disregard the password prompt. Enter on your name…

Nexus Radio

p>Nexus Radio is a free full featured radio player for listeners who want to record their favorite radio content for playback on their PC, or any portable device that supports MP3s. With over 6000+ radio stations and support for thousands more, Nexus Radio delivers the content radio listeners yearn for. Search through a rich variety of radio stations with a straightforward interactive guide that can be updated daily with more content than XM and Sirius radio combined. Whether you are at home or on the road, Nexus Radio can record your favorite songs or radio shows automatically with TiVo style recording for later playback. MP3s recorded with Nexus Radio can be automatically named and tagged with ID3 tag information, and transferred to your iPod or any other multimedia device effortlessly. Simply download the Nexus Radio application to your computer and listen or record the stations presented on the Nexus Radio website. Screen reader users will find most of the buttons to be pro…

LazyLibrary: Read Less, Get More

Ever strained your eyes reading a book that was a few hundred pages longer than it needed to be? Yeah, so have we. Fortunately, there are authors out there that would rather have a concise and effective book than a lengthy and diluted tome, and that's where LazyLibrary comes in. Welcome to the LazyLibrary, where you can find print books on any topic without having to worry about high page counts. If it's over 200 pages, you won't even see it. Scan and read all about anything, in less time, for (usually) less money.

Click this link to visit http://lazylibrary.com.

The Power-Failure Light

Winter, at least where my parents live, means always having to say "The power just went out." Enter the Power Failure Light, which sits innocently charging on your lamp most of the time. During an outage, it kicks in and gives you a bright light for up to 8 hours. Useful to most of us; invaluable to seniors and people with low vision. This clever little device will keep you from stubbing your toe while going for a flashlight next time the power goes out. Fitting between a lightbulb and your lamp, the Power Failure Light sits dormant and juices up while the power is flowing. When you get an outage, the six built-in LED lights automatically turn on. Compatible with incandescent and compact fluorescent bulbs. 5" H x 5" W x 3" D. (3 1/2 lbs.

Click this link to purchase The Power-Failure Light from Hammacher Schlemmer.

PawPlunger Cleans Your Dog's Paws

The PawPlunger is the latest in pet cleaning products, designed to help you keep your dog's paws clean. When "Mimi" is ready to come into the house, you "plunge" each foot into the PawPlunger, and the soft bristles and water cleans off all the dirt and mud. All you have to do is fill it with water, and it's ready to use.

Click this link to learn more about the PawPlunger: http://www.pawplunger.com.

Lite-A-Switch

Lite-A-Switch is a set of face-plates for wall-mounted switches and outlets that have LED lights on them. The Lite-A-Switch night light retrofits existing wall switches or outlets and using zero space, can be installed in minutes with only a screwdriver, and attaches securely to a wall switch or outlet making it kid friendly and adult convenient. Ever come home at night, with the lights off, and find yourself feeling around for the light switch? The Lite-A-Switch solves that problem by allowing you to see the switch in the dark. Probably a good idea for the guest room and guest bathroom. Available in four stylish colors: Crystal Blue, Diamond White, Emerald Green and Pearl Pink.

Click this link to Lite-A-Switch in your home: http://www.liteaswitch.com.

Santa's in the Building!

After several meetings, and a lot of coffee, your group/organization has decided to have a Christmas party this year. Who gets to play Santa? Let me guess, you got the job? Now you get to purchase the suit without getting a second mortgage on your home to finance it. Don't worry, you came to the right place to find the perfect costume. You can purchase a variety of Santa Suits from the Oriental Trading Company. The suit includes the jacket, drawstring pants, 11" Santa cap, beard with elastic strap and boot covers, pipe and glasses. One size fits most adults. Now, there's no reason you should have all this fun by yourself. After all, you'll need someone to guide you to the front of the room. Get your wife involved with her own Miss Claus Suit. The felt dress has an elastic waist with an attached belt. Includes a 11" x 18" felt santa cap. One size fits most adults. Won't you guys look great? Who knows, you may be asked to do this every year! C…

Bible Audio Via Email

The audio files on this page have been highly compressed so that you can easily send them to your friends as e-mail attachments. Right click the files and save them to your computer. Then you can attach them to your emails. When your friends open the attached audio file it will play for them if they have the RealAudio or Windows Media player.

Send an audio Psalm, Prayer, Scripture or Blessing to someone Today by clicking this link: http://www.audiotreasure.com/smallaudio.htm! All quotes are from the WEB or KJV and are provided in both RealAudio and Windows Media formats.

Crafting Patterns Website For The Blind and Podcasts to Get You Started

DRG, publisher of books, magazines and pattern booklets in a number of special interest areas, recently received an e-mail from an avid knitter, Eileen Scrivani, who also happens to be blind. Scrivani expressed concern that the company's FreePatterns.com Web site lacked vision-impaired access. As a result, the company researched vision-impaired accessibility and made the necessary technological changes. Now, all of its free patterns are tagged to enable screen readers to translate them into audio. Every pattern on FreePatterns.com is now tagged to enable screen reading. This is a great resource for visually impaired crafters because there are nearly 2,000 craft and needlecraft patterns to download from the site. FreePatterns.com is available to the general public at no charge, and includes patterns in knit, crochet, paper crafting, quilting, sewing, tatting, plastic canvas, woodworking and general crafts. Members can download patterns from the Web site at www.freepatterns.com

Be Punctual and FutureMe.org

Have you ever missed an important meeting or doctor's appointment? Maybe you've forgotten to eat lunch? http://www.FutureMe.org is a site that two fellas started so that you could write yourself a letter to be delivered at a later date. we've all had to do them in high school and college. it's sorta cool to receive a letter from yourself about where you thought you'd be a year (two years? more?) later. FutureMe.org is based on the principle that memories are less accurate than emails. They strive for accuracy. The letter will be delivered from the email address: mailer (then the at sign) futureme.org. so you may want to tell your spam guard to allow mails from that address.

Click this link to visit http://www.FutureMe.org.

The Children's Nursery and its Traditions

This site is about Children's Books for the young, and for the not so young. It provides an unashamedly nostalgic trip into the magic lands of lost childhoods as depicted in classic books of the 19th and early 20th centuries. A feature of books of the Victorian period is that it was not uncommon for them to attempt moral tuition as well as telling a story. This is perhaps why many of our traditional family values are popularly thought of as having their utmost expression during this mainly Victorian period. Although, realistically, there were many problems with life in that period, there were also many good things well worth preserving. I hope that you as a parent or grandparent, may think like me, that the world can be improved by passing on some of these traditions, values and magic to your children.

Click this link to visit The Children's Nursery and its Traditions: http://www.childrensnursery.org.uk.

What is Beta Software?

Occasionally the American Printing House for the Blind will offer software under a beta release. No, you don't get a cute fish with your programs, but you do get to check out some great programs before they are released to the general public. A beta release of any program is a version that has been through extensive in-house testing by the company who made it and has been released for public use, usually with very minimal support. Beta testing is an advanced phase that tells the company how well their program works for real-world users with all the possible different operating systems, settings, and other programs on their machines. The company usually encourages these beta users to give feedback so they can fix any little wrinkles before the general release of the "real" version and answer the most common questions in the help files and guides. In the case of beta software from APH, you should not expect to receive phone support from our Customer Service department.…

Resource for Homeschooling Your Blind or Visually Impaired Student

Nothing But the Best
by Sarah J. Blake
Book Review by Margaret Mary Myers(This book review was written several years ago, but the ebook is still available today.) How would you like to have a friendly, knowledgable person in your living room any time you wish, telling you all about how to homeschool your blind or visually impaired child? Imagine her speaking to you conversationally over a cup of tea, telling you of her own experiences as a blind child and a blind adult, making complex explanantions about the eye simple to understand, sharing with you what methods various people have used in homeschooling their children. Now imagine that in her Mary Poppins type carpet bag, she has a limitless supply of resources of all types about homeschooling, blindness, and the education of blind children. And sometimes when she comes, she brings guest speakers who are experts on various related subjects. This is the virtual reality of Sarah J. Blake's electronic book, "Nothing But the…

Kester Braille

Kester Braille
by Louise Johnson
Review by Margaret Mary MyersWould you like to start teaching your child to read - using braille? If you homeschool, these books would be an ideal place to begin. Or if you are a teacher of the visually impaired who has learned Braille, but you don't have a lot of experience with it yet, these books could be very helpful for you in teaching your students. You don't need to have prior knowledge of braille in order to use these books, which enable you to teach your children both Braille reading and Braille writing. The Teacher's Guide provides all the information that you need, including how to teach your student tracking. All you need is the books, a few minutes a day, and a Perkins braillewriter (which - as a homeschool parent or as a teacher - you can probably borrow through your state resource center). Even for an older child who already knows how to read in print, and now must learn braille, I feel these books are worthwhile as a sta…

The Little Red Alphabet Book

For years teachers have used The Red Letter Alphabet Book as a complement to the Sandpaper Letters, integrating touch, sight, and sound to help blind and low vision children in the first stages of reading. This book uses greeting card felt (flocking) to make velvety, touch-sensitive letters, which invite children to touch and trace the shapes of the letters. Letters have specially designed ascenders and descenders for clarity. Three realistic drawings of everyday objects feature the red, textured letter opposite them. First use the pictures for sound games and later for word recognition. Includes a pronunciation guide of phonetic sounds and suggestions for use. Spiral bound cardstock; 5½" x 8½", 56 pages. Ages 2 and up.

Click this link to purchase The Little Red Alphabet Book from the Montessori Services website.

Small Wrists Need a Smaller Talking Watch

One of my biggest gripes about talking watches is that they are huge and often don't fit the small wrist of younger girls. Thanks to Independent Living Aids this problem has been solved. This ladies'/junior watch is small (1.12 x 1.5 inches) and delicate. Alarm function offers 3 different sounds. Hours and minutes are verbally announced while setting the watch. This is a pink watch also good for teenagers and women with smaller wrists.

Click this link to purchase the Junior Style Talking Watch from Independent Living Aids.
Also available in black.

Vision Impairment in Children Website

This website, sponsored by Comeunity Parenting Support: http://www.comeunity.com is a great resource for information about blindness as it relates to children. The site features a section of Books for Parents of Children with Vision Impairment and lots of Vision Impairment Resources. Vision impairment is one of the more common long term impacts of prematurity. Many children born prematurely experience ROP (Retinopathy of Prematurity) during their hospital stay. As they mature, myopia, amblyopia and more severe vision impairment (including blindness) occur in many children born premature. Children at risk due to ROP or who have visual disability should be followed by a children's opthomologist throughout their lives. To learn more, click this link to visit the Vision Impairment in Children website at http://www.comeunity.com/disability/vision. For general articles and Resources for Parents of Children with Disabilities and Special Needs, click this link to visit http://www.child…

Handbook for Itinerant and Resource Teachers of Blind and Visually Impaired Students

Handbook for Itinerant and Resource Teachers of Blind and Visually Impaired Students
Author: Doris M. Willoughby and Sharon L.M. Duffy Reviewed by Margaret Mary MyersDon't let the long name and the 1989 copyright of this book fool you as this is a treasurehouse of practical advise and instruction for teachers and homeschooling parents. Some of it is specifically for the itinerant or resource teacher, advising her how to deal with parents, staff, and IEPs. But much of it teaches you step-by-step how to teach! The book includes, among other things:

Hints and tips about teaching braille, note-taking, handwriting and keyboarding.
Techniques for independent living, cooking, sewing, and industrial arts.
Discussions of social life, dating, marriage, and the family.
Cane curriculum with instructions and illustrations.
Guide to the Nemeth Code.
A "paper-compatible" abacus method. In this book there is a strong slant toward NFB (National Federation of the Blind) philosophies. Even if …

Blindness Etiquette Tips

The following piece on "Disability Etiquette" is an excerpt from the United Spinal Association "Tips On Interacting With People With Disabilities." These tips are designed to help you understand what to do and what not to do when in the company of a person with a disability. People Who Are Blind or Visually ImpairedPeople who are blind know how to orient themselves and get around on the street. They are competent to travel unassisted, though they may use a cane or a guide dog. A person may have a visual impairment that is not obvious. Be prepared to offer assistance-for example in reading-when asked.Identify yourself before you make physical contact with a person who is blind. Tell him your name-and your role if it's appropriate, such as security guard, usher, case worker, receptionist or fellow student. And be sure to introduce him to others who are in the group, so that he's not excluded. If a new customer or employee is blind or visually impaired…

Pup Cups, Water for Dogs On The Go

How many times has your dog spent the day panting and sweating in need of a refreshing drink of water? If you're like me, then you're always wondering where you will find the next source of water for your thirsty dog. Whether you are on your way to the park, taking a ride on the bus or off on a trip around the world, the accessibility of water is a common concern. Even when you do find water, it's nearly impossible to serve without spilling it all over the place or carrying around some clunky, messy device. That's why Pup Cups was created. Pup Cups are small enough to fit anywhere and filled with ultra-purified water in a cup your dog can drink right out of. They can be purchased individually, or in packs of twenty-four. Pup Cups incorporate your dog's thirst for life and your need for convenience. So from now on, if you want to water your lawn, buy a sprinkler. If you want to give your dog a drink, get some Pup Cups: http://www.pupcups.com.

The BiblioVault Scholars' Portal

The BiblioVault repository contains a growing collection of older, recently published, and new books from participating scholarly presses. The Scholars' Portal, now in its beta-test phase, enables you to pinpoint books that are of interest to you. You can do full-text searches over the BiblioVault collection and learn which books contain the search topic. To do a quick search, select a book element-full-text, title, author, copyright year, or ISBN-from the pull-down menu and then enter a word or phrase in the box. Finally, click on the Quick Search button. A list of the book(s) that are consistent with that search will result. Clicking on the title for a book will take you to that book's page in the Scholars' Portal. From there you can go to the publisher's home page and even order the book. Clicking on In-Depth Search will enable you to do a complex search. Or you can browse the collection by title, author, or publisher by clicking on the appropriate button. It'…

High-Tech 007 Devices

Do you consider yourself to be a blind 007 type of guy? Maybe you're a smooth, visually impaired operator like Agent 99 on Get Smart? You know to be cool you have to have the latest spy gadgets. Things like hidden cameras and listening devices are standard in your line of work. Where can you go to find the latest high-tech survailence equipment? For the latest in Nanny cams, covert cameras, bug detectors, hidden cameras, spy cams, gps tracking, wireless video cameras, home security systems and more, click this link to read the Surveillance Products blog at http://spyassociates.blogspot.com.

This phone "listens" for intrudersThe TeleSpy is an economical intrusion notification system, built into a working telephone. With the internal hidden motion detector and microphone this plain telephone is now your DIY way to install a home alarm. Simply enter the number you would like the TeleSpy to call in the event of an intrusion and turn the power switch on. When the motion …

Global Restaurant Guide

So, you're in a new place and you're hungry. What do you do? Well, for someone who is blind or visually impaired, the first thing you do is to search around until you find someone to ask about the local establishments. How many times has someone told you about a place that they said had really good food, and when you got there, it smelled horrible and tasted worse! Wouldn't it be nice to be able to find things yourself, without having to ask anyone for assistance? This restaurant guide will make it easier for you to find a great place to eat. This is an excellent tool for vacation planning, business trips and even to check out what's good in your own town! The main page is broken down into sections and those are: United States, Canada, Australia & New Zealand, Asia and Europe. You'll also find a search engine sandwiched between the United States and Canada. At the bottom of the page, there is an international guide and world map as well. Since I can only …

Picking Pans for Baking

You are getting ready to bake and you have several different types of pans to pick from. But which one do you use? When you are baking pies and breads, use a dark pan. This will aid in browning the crusts better. When baking cookies or cakes, use a shiny pan. This will help prevent over darkening of the bottoms and sides. If you decide to use a glass pan, don't forget to reduce your oven temperature by 25ยบ. You may also want to check for doneness a few minutes before the timer goes off.

Accessible World of Coca-Cola

I love soft drinks, specifically Coke. I even enjoy collecting Coke stuff, you know, jukeboxes and Coke Christmas tree ornaments, stuff like that? Well, when I heard that recent improvements to their museum makes things easier for us, I knew it was a great write-up for Fred's Head and a place I have to visit. The New World of Coca-Cola opened a few weeks ago in Atlanta, Georgia. It offers several interactive theaters, a full history of Coca-Cola, and an actual working bottling plant! It also offers Durateq handhelds featuring an Assistive Listening and Captioning engine by Softeq. Guests can listen to amplified audio, view closed captioning for the shows and exhibits, or listen to content in multiple languages. Descriptive narration is also offered for the blind. The handhelds are free to guests and can be checked out at the Guest Services station in the main lobby.

To learn more about the New World of Coca-Cola, click this link to visit them online at http://www.worldofcoca-c…

Sunblades Are More Than Sunglasses

Here's a new type of eyewear that might really take off, and may prove to be benefitial for some of us. Sunblades are not really sunglasses, in that they don't block out light. Rather, they create a band of shade around your eyes to block out glare, allowing you to see more clearly. You can get all kinds of shapes and sizes to enhance that "look" you're trying to create. They even have batman style Sunblades. Recently, the maker of Sunblades came out with a line of products called, "Sunblade Shades" which attaches a set of removable sunglass lenses to the Sunblades. Apparently, the producers of Master Blasters, a sci-fi television show, thought Sunblade Shades were so cool, they had their characters wear them.

For more information, or to purchase, click this link: http://www.sunblades.net.

Serial Numbers and Their Locations

Have you ever been asked for your computer's serial number? How about for some of your other electronic devices? If you have, you probably already know what I'm talking about, but if you haven't, allow me to fill you in! These days, every computer, every device, has its own serial number. The serial numbers are mainly used for inventory purposes, but they also help with identification. For example, if you're having trouble with your computer and you are talking to your manufacturer's technical support, they may ask you for that number, because it helps them to identify what type of computer you have. They can then use that information to help you in a more detailed manner. Your manufacturer can also use that number to order replacement parts, or a new computer if necessary. The same goes for other devices you may use with your computer as well. For most pieces of hardware (including your computer, printer, etc.), the serial number can be found either on the bott…

The Mouse That Soared: Modifying Windows for Better Visibility

The Mouse That Soared: A Guide for Customizing the Mouse for People with Low VisionAmy R. Salmon - American Foundation for the Blind"Redoing Windows: A Guide for Customizing Windows for Users with Low Vision," in the May 2005 issue of AccessWorld, provided a no-cost, step-by-step guide to modifying your Windows operating system and the appearance of the computer screen. This article provides a no-cost solution for customizing the mouse for users who have low vision. Most computer users who have low vision can relate to the challenges of locating and tracking that darn rodent. For users who love the mouse, this guide provides instructions for controlling features on the mouse and changing the size, color, shape, and look of the mouse pointer.Because of Windows XP's advanced features for customization, all instructions are based on this operating system. However, most of the same features are also available in the Windows 2000, Windows ME, and Windows 98 operating systems.…