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Showing posts from 2008

Babies and Toddlers: Tips for the Early Years

Introduction Parents and workers with vision impaired people have a great opportunity to help a young vision impaired child towards good mobility and orientation. The following are a few basic suggestions of areas in which a child could be helped. As a result of this basic work, mobility training is easier and more meaningful, as many mannerisms and postural faults do not arise in later life. Suggestions:

When a sight disorder is first diagnosed in a young child, parents often can only think of all the things that their vision impaired child will be able to do. It is important to encourage positive thinking. Begin by assessing the situation. Long delays in diagnosis, difficulties in understanding medical terms and long separation due to hospitalisation can make this hard. However, having constructive tasks to do helps to overcome some of these problems.Try to assess how much the baby can see. Is there any residual vision? Can the small baby follow it's mother or father's face…

Making The Idea Of Using A Cane More Appealing

The decision of using a white cane as a mobility tool is quite a tough decision for some blind or visually impaired individuals. It is part of the process of accepting that one is blind, and realizing that being seen using a cane is a sign of being independent rather than something to be embarrassed about.The following are points that some mobility instructors and Brain Waves participants shared with us when we asked them for ideas on how to make the use of the cane more appealing for their students and clients.1. The younger, the better...A mobility instructor suggested trying to get the cane in people's hands as early as possible. The earlier they start using it, the more natural it will be for them, and they will learn to regard it as a part of their every day life.2. The more, the merrier...Another suggestion is to get students or clients to go out in pairs, or in a small group. This will make them feel more confident, as they won't be the only ones using a cane to trave…

Martial Arts for the Blind

I'd like you to imagine you're walking down a deserted street.--It's late at night.--You hear footsteps following yours.--Has the person following you decided you are easy prey because you are blind? Are you able to defend yourself? I invite you to learn judo. I know what judo has meant to me, and I hope to share some of those benefits with you. As most of you know, it isn't easy growing up as a blind child in the public school system. Your peers can be pretty rough. I remember being punched in the face by the school bully as a way to test my vision. I also remember attending gym classes for many years before I was given a permanent waiver because I couldn't participate in the classes. I recall, there was field hockey, volleyball, tennis, soccer, softball and ping-pong. Come to think of it, I wish someone had told the gym teacher that there are other sports besides chasing after a ball, but I didn't understand that at the time. I just felt totally incompete…

An Introduction to Music for the Blind Student: A Course in Braille Music Reading, Part One

By Richard Taesch
Email: info@dancingdots.com
Published by Dancing DotsThis is a new, flexible curriculum which equips the mainstream educator with no prior experience with braille to teach and learn music braille. The author, Richard Taesch, is a life-long music educator and guitarist who is certified by the Library of Congress as a braille music transcriber. He heads the Braille Music Division of the Southern California Conservatory of Music and chairs the guitar department.Description of CurriculumBraille music reading has traditionally been taught as a translation process from print music as the sighted musician views it. This course differs from the norm in that it is a true instructional course-curriculum in music fundamentals, music reading, sight singing, theory, and ear-training using the international Braille Music Code as the medium. Print music is considered secondary, and included for the convenience of the sighted teacher or tutor.It is, therefore, possible for a sigh…

Differences Between The Abacus And The Calculator

When comparing the abacus and the calculator, it is important to outline the differences between the two. The abacus, for example, requires the user to have knowledge of the processes of arithmetic--and the ability to move counters (beads) in proper sequence to obtain a desired result. This being the case, unless one is a skilled abacus operator who has spent countless hours in practice, chances are the use of an electronic calculator will yield results more quickly than that of an abacus. This is especially true in areas such as root extraction, vector analysis, trigonometric calculations, etc. Additionally, abacus calculation helps to develop mental concepts concerning numeric relationships, which is not the case with a calculator. For example, it is possible to demonstrate place value by adding a digit, or set of digits, to itself or themselves ten times. This shows movement to the left by one place--and the presence of "0" at the end of the total. Another difference …

Low Vision Research Group (LVRG)

The Low Vision Research Group (LVRG) is an organization whose members have an interest in low vision issues, research and resources. Its mission includes: the fostering of communication among low vision researchers (especially those with different professional credentials); encouraging critical and frank discussion and review of low vision research produced in both formal and informal settings; and increasing the attention that is paid to low vision within the vision research community. The group's website - LVRGNet - offers information that may be useful to researchers, clinicians and others with an interest in low vision. Follow the General Information link for info on eye disorders, services, support groups, discussion groups and assistive technologies.

Click this link to visit The Low Vision Research Group on the web at: http://www.varrd.emory.edu/LVRGNet

The American Council On Rural Special Education (ACRES)

The American Council on Rural Special Education (ACRES) is an organization comprised of general and special educators, related service providers, administrators, teacher trainers, researchers, and parents who are committed to the enhancement of services to students and individuals living in rural America. ACRES was founded in 1981 by a group of individuals interested in the unique challenges of rural students and individuals needing special services.

The American Council on Rural Special Education (ACRES)
Utah State University
2865 Old Main Hill
Logan, Utah 84322-2865
Phone: 435-797 3728
Email: acres@cc.usu.edu Web: http://www.acres-sped.org/

Council For Exceptional Children (CEC)

The non-profit Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) is an international organization that supports special education professionals and others who work to improve educational outcomes for students with disabilities. CEC advocates for appropriate governmental policies; it sets professional standards and provides continual professional development opportunities; it advocates for under-served individuals with exceptionalities; and it helps professionals to obtain conditions and resources necessary for effective professional practice.For membership information, visit the CEC website or contact their offices.

Council for Exceptional Children (CEC)
1110 North Glebe Road, Suite 300
Arlington, VA 22201-5704
Toll Free: 888-232-7733
Phone: 703-620-3660
TTY: 703-264-9446
Fax: 703-264-9494
Email: service@cec.sped.org
Web: http://www.cec.sped.org

Convert Microsoft DOCX Files to HTML or Older Versions of Office

Have you noticed that Microsoft Word 2007 has added a new file format? DOCX is the new version of the more familiar DOC filetype and has some new features. A problem occurs when you try to open a DOCX file in an older version of Word, you can't do it. DOCX Converter is a simple utility that lets you convert DOCX files to a simple HTML format so that it can be opened and read on all computers. The process is straight forward and quick, with no hassles. Click "Browse" button and locate your .docx file.
Enter your email address and click "Convert It!".
Wait for the email with the HTML file.
Keep in mind, DOCX Converter strips out most of the formatting, except bold, italic, underline, left/right/center alignments, Unicode characters and tables. You can also download a widget to convert documents right from your desktop.

Click this link to visit http://docx-converter.com. Microsoft has released the Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack for users of older versions of …

The Victor Victrola and Turtle's 78 RPM Jukebox

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The Victor Victrola PageLook at how well written their introduction is, they say it all so concisely. It's amazing! "This website is dedicated to Victrola Phonographs made by the Victor Talking Machine Company from 1906 through 1929. Victrolas are acoustic phonographs with the sound-reproducing horn "built-in" (internal) to the cabinet. While the earliest phonographs used large external horns to amplify the sound, it was the invention of the internal horn Victrola in 1906 that literally launched the phonograph into millions of homes. No longer was the phonograph a strange machine with a huge horn that stood out so awkwardly in a room; the new Victrola looked like a piece of furniture that fit perfectly in the parlor. "Victrola" is a brand name, and not a generic term for all old wind-up phonographs". Scroll down to the bottom area of the page. This is where you'll find the navigation. You have a bevy of options available to you: History of the V…

How to find or become a Braille Transcriber

Computers equipped with speech synthesizers and screen enlargement features have given people who are blind and visually impaired access to vast libraries of printed materials that might otherwise be inaccessible. Yet many people either don't have access to these technologies or else prefer the act of reading with paper in hand. And as vast as the World Wide Web is, there remains a mountain of printed materials--such as textbooks, brochures, sheet music, government documents, records and manuals--that have yet to cross the digital divide. It's the job of braille transcribers to make these materials available to people who are braille readers.A braille transcriber turns print, sound, computer file and other materials into braille. The transcriber does this using a slate and stylus or a mechanical device called a braillewriter (such as the Perkins Brailler). Some transcribers use software programs (such as Duxbury, MegaDots and ED-IT PC) to translate printed and electronic …

Math Flash

Software helps elementary students sharpen math skills with talking electronic flash cards. This self-voicing program uses the computer's sound card to communicate instructions, drills, practice sessions, and games. Students can select their favorite fun Math Mentor character. Teachers can modify the number of problems, degree of difficulty, and insert custom problems. Recommended ages: 6 years and up.

Requirements to Run

Windows 98 or 2000 or later including XP
Pentium or compatible 300 MHz processor or better
Sound card with speakers
CD-ROM drive to install program
From 15 to 25 MB of hard disk space
Internet Explorer 4.01 or later

Math Flash

CD-ROM:
Catalog Number: D-19910-00

Electronic Distribution:
Catalog Number: D-19910-ED

Download APH Software Demos: www.aph.org/tech

Click here to purchase this item through our Quick Order Entry page: http://shop.aph.org/quickentry.asp

If you need assistance, click this link to read the Fred's Head Companion post "Purchasing Prod…

T.V. Raman: Blind engineer and Mathematician

T.V. Raman, blind engineer currently with Google, was asked to write an article describing what it is like to be a mathematician who cannot see. the article, thinking of Mathematics, and a commentary written to address subsequent questions, can be found online. The author hopes that it encourages blind math students and serves as a resource for their teachers. "The world is too full of factors to discourage students who cannot see from pursuing a career in science and math."

Click this link to read thinking of Mathematics from http://emacspeak.sourceforge.net/raman/publications/thinking-of-math/.

Free Braille Children's Book Program

The American Action Fund for Blind Children and Adults sponsors a program to make Goosebumps® and Baby Sitters Club® braille books available on a monthly basis to blind youngsters and their teachers as well as to the schools and libraries that serve them. After registering, those who are eligible to participate in the program will receive a free Goosebumps ® and/or Baby Sitters Club® title in braille.

American Action Fund for Blind Children and Adults
1800 Johnson St.
Baltimore, MD 21230
Phone: 410-659-9315
Web: http://www.actionfund.org/

Reviews and Sources for Screen Magnification Software

Screen magnifiers are a very useful software option for increasing the accessibility of computers to the low vision computer user. They are widely available for all operating systems, and range in complexity from basic magnification to multi-featured software packages that incorporate magnification, text scanning (with Optical Character Recognition), synthesized speech, and support for braille displays. They range in price from freeware to over $2,000. The needs of a low vision computer users vary greatly from individual to individual, so the software programmers have made a wide variety of features to better serve the community. What follows is a description of several types of features found in magnification software.There is a wide range in the amount of magnification available, from simple 2x programs to programs that offer 2x, 4x, and 8x to programs that offer 2x to 32x and anything in between. There are four basic display types available in these programs. The most basic typ…

How to Hang Pictures and Shelves

How to Hang a Picture You've finally gotten that fantastic print or photograph framed. Now, how to hang it on the wall? Just follow these instructions. Decide where to hang the picture. Avoid hanging one small picture on a huge expanse of wall - art looks better when it seems to extend the lines of furniture, windows or doorways or when several small pieces are grouped together.
Check that you are not hanging a heavy picture on wallboard only. Hang heavy objects only from a wall stud or beam.
Hold the picture up and make a small pencil mark, or use something to make a small scratch on the wall where the top edge of the frame will be.
Choose an appropriate hook. You might want a two-piece nail-and-hook, or a hollow-wall anchor for heavier objects.
Holding the picture's wire taut, measure from the wire (or from the hanging tab if that's what the picture has) to the frame's top edge. Measure down that distance from the pencil mark, or scratch you made on the wall and mark …

Closet Garment Rail with Light

Have you ever been met with the comment "Closet lights out?" when you have shown up at work or at some party?. Neither have I, but there must be something behind this, since it's almost a saying. The idea as far as I know, is to make a friendly comment to a person's lack of clothes coordination and style. If the closet light is out, it's difficult to find matching clothes, unless you're totally blind. This lack of coordination can be caused by other things, for instance being fashion illiterate, in such a case this invention will not help, but for everybody else who lacks cool lighting in their closets, here's a product that is both smart and stylish. The illuminated garment rail creates attractive lighting inside of closets. Illuminating the closet's interior offers practical convenience. This rail uses LED light, which has the advantages of low heat build-up, long life, constant light output, robustness and minimum spatial requirements. Because &q…

Braille and Large Print Beverage Brochures at Starbucks

Did you know that there are over 87,000 beverage combinations at Starbucks? To help you order, Starbucks has made their popular brochure, "Make It Your Drink," available in both Braille and Large Print. Ask your barista for it the next time you visit your local Starbucks. The input from customers, partners (employees), and disability organizations helped guide this effort. Starbucks would specifically like to thank the American Council of the Blind, the American Association of the Deaf-Blind and the Seattle Lighthouse for their input. Thank you also to Easy to Read Documents for producing the Braille and large print.

Accessible Nutritional Content Information Websites

Most will agree that eating is one of life's greatest pleasures. There are many foods and many ways to fix them. There are packaged foods, meats, fresh fruits, vegetables, and fast foods. Some are better for us than others. The trick is to know how to combine them in order to build a healthy diet and lifestyle.But how do we go about learning which foods are better for us than others, and the kind of nutrients they offer? By law, packages are required to have labels specifying the nutritional content of the food they contain. For fast foods, fruits and vegetables there are a number of charts and tables available in books, health magazines and grocery store billboards. However, none of this information is readily accessible to blind individuals. Although the Internet has become a great resource for blind people to acquire information, most of the sites that list nutritional content of foods are not accessible. Most of them use a variety of charts and tables to list the nutri…

National Federation Of The Blind (NFB)

Founded in 1940, the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) has over fifty thousand members, with affiliates in all fifty states, plus Washington DC and Puerto Rico, and over seven hundred local chapters. As a consumer and advocacy organization, the NFB is one of the leading forces in the blindness field today. The NFB offers information and referral services, advocacy services, and works to protect civil rights. Further, it provides aids and appliances and other adaptive equipment for the blind. Additionally, Newsline for the Blind offers the complete text of leading national and local newspapers with the use of only a touch-tone telephone. Literature and publications about blindness include the Braille Monitor, which discusses activities in the blindness field, and Voice of the Diabetic which focuses on the special interests and needs of diabetics. Use the contact information below to learn more about the National Federation of the Blind.

National Federation of the Blind (NFB)
1…

I Can't See But I Can Imagine

Patty asks her grandmother, "What is it like not to be able to see?" Grammie says, "I can't see, but I can imagine!" Patty's grandmother is blind, but together they share adventures as Grammie imagines things around her and composes songs for her five grandchildren. They laugh when they hear frog conversations in The Frog Song; hold their breath as they ride in a rocking chair, chariot with delightful ponies going to Rock-A-Bye Town; giggle when they meet Pepper in Patty's Puppy Pepper; stare in wonder at things below when Grammie's rocking chair turns into a swing and she is Swinging From a Star; and grin when they meet Mary Lou with her hair standing on end. Wrapped inside a beautifully illustrated and colorful children's book with an accompanying CD, one family's priceless history has been forever preserved. Patricia's book I Can't See, But, I Can Imagine is a sixty-four page hard-bound book featuring colorful illustrations by …

Fire Safety Tips For The Visually Impaired

A Clear Fire Safety MessageOver 10 million Americans are visually impaired. During a fire emergency, the senses that visually impaired persons rely upon have a high probability of being overpowered.The United States Fire Administration (USFA), a directorate of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), encourages the visually impaired population to practice the following precautionary steps to help protect themselves, their home and their surroundings from the danger of fire.Install and Maintain Smoke AlarmsMake sure working smoke alarms are installed on each level of your home. You may want a family member or friend to assist you. Remember to test smoke alarms monthly and change the batteries at least once a year. You may want a family member or friend to assist you. Audible alarms should pause with a small window of silence between each successive cycle so that blind or visually impaired people can listen to instructions or voices of others.Don’t Isolate YourselfIt is important…

Guidelines for Described Educational Materials

The Described and Captioned Media Program has partnered with the American Foundation for the Blind to forge "guidelines" to equal access for students with vision loss: the Description Key: Guidelines for the Description of Educational Media. The Description Key guidelines are complete and are posted online. The guidelines are intended for new and experienced describers, description agencies, media producers and distributors, and others who want to make educational media more accessible. Go to http://www.afb.org/descriptionguidelines.asp at AFB for this valuable resource. And to connect with DCMP, visit http://www.dcmp.org/descriptionkey. DCMP may be a new resource for you. To learn more about their extensive description resources available to teachers and parents , check out the DCMP Website for your free-loan educational accessible media needs.

Homework Helping Sites On The Net

Let's face it, we all need help with homework from time to time. Parents often don't know how to help their children with the assignments they bring home today. Problems only increase when the parents are blind and the child is sighted. Where can you go to find educational sites that are fun for your children? The following websites will help you find the answers that will bring you closer to an "A". Homework SpotA free homework information portal that features the very best K-12 homework-related sites. With the help of students, parents and teachers, their team of educators, librarians and journalists has scoured the Web to bring you the best resources for English, math, science, history, art, music, technology, foreign language, college prep, health, life skills, extracurricular activities and much more.

Click this link to visit Homework Spot: http://www.homeworkspot.com. InfoPlease Homework CenterFind useful information by subject area, develop better writi…