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Showing posts from September, 2008

How do I record over a CD-RW?

I tried to record over it, but that didn't work it says to make it a blank CD first. Once you fill up a CD-R, that's it. A CD-RW allows you to re-write data and use the disk over and over again. Keep in mind, that unlike a floppy or Zip disk, you cannot erase just one file from a CD-RW. You must reformat the entire disk to re-use it. The disk makers say you can do this up to 1000 times. The process for reformatting varies according to your CD burning software, but most programs will have an "Erase Disk" button somewhere. Windows XP has built-in CD burning. If you put in a CD-RW that you want erased, double-click, or press enter on the CD recording drive, then under "CD Writing Tasks", click "Erase this CD-RW". The CD Writing Wizard will walk you through an easy 2-step process giving you a blank CD-RW to use. Backing up a hard drive is when CD-RW's really come in handy, because you can reuse them.

Internet Resources for Teaching Math to Visually Impaired Students

Math class can be difficult for anybody. Even sighted students need to use special tools and techniques to help them translate information on a page into an internal visualization. For blind and visually impaired students, these tools and techniques are just a little different. Fred's Head has compiled a list of websites that contain information about these tips and tools in order to help teachers get their blind students into the loop.This first site is aimed at teaching visually impaired students.Teaching Math to Visually Impaired StudentsThis is the mother of all math resources. Compiled by Susan Osterhaus, who has taught at the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired for more than twenty years, this site contains teaching strategies, resources, and information about various tools such as calculators and abacuses. Consult this resource and bring twenty years of experience into your lesson plans. Click this link to start Teaching Math to Visually Impaired Stude…

Tips On Hiring Drivers

1. Interview drivers thoroughly before you hire them. Make sure they are reasonably familiar with the routes you'll be traveling and with your town in general. This obviously requires the blind traveler to have a good knowledge of routes. 2. Pay attention to the driving behavior of your drivers. Lots of horn blowing or sharp turns may indicate you should hunt for another driver. 3. Try recruiting among college students. They have time, cars, and a great need for pocket change. They also like a challenge! 4. Drivers' pay can vary by location. Expect to pay anywhere from $6 to $10 per hour. If you pay at the higher end of this range, you may expect the driver to provide the gas (except on very long trips). If you include the cost of gas in the driver's hourly rate of pay, this can simplify the bookkeeping end of the process. Tips are appropriate for good or extra service. A few dollars is a small price to pay for keeping a good driver happy. 5. If feasible, you may want t…

Homemade Multiple-Choice Braille Answer Sheet

Making a multiple-choice answer sheet a sighted person can use when administering a test to a blind applicant is sometimes a necessity. The following describes an answer sheet I made several years ago for a sighted person who needed to give an amateur radio examination to a blind applicant. For this purpose, I designed and used a single sheet of paper that contained 25 numbered lines with five rectangular blocks per line. The top line contained the letters: a, b, c, d and e--with each letter positioned above the appropriate block. I prepared this exam sheet on a computer loaded with a braille translation program. On each line, I wrote the appropriate number and followed it with a series of five "andxy" combinations. The braille and sign produced the left end of a rectangle, the "x" lengthened its sides, and the "y" served as the rectangle's right end. The braille translation software did its thing and--voila, there it was! After creating and saving th…

MacVisionaries: Making The MAC Accessible

MacVisionaries is a UK company specialising in products and services to help blind people to use the Apple Macintosh computing platform. With the release of Mac OS 10.4 Apple has produced the first ever computer that is usable by blind people out of the box, eliminating the need to purchase expensive screen reading software. Macvisionaries is very excited about this development, and the aim of this company is to provide help to users switching to Mac OS X in the form of additional software required by the blind, audio tutorials and an online community. MacVisionaries' main focus has been their Discussion mailing list. The list is used by members from at least eight different countries, including some well-known names from the access technology industry. Theyalso added a couple of special-interest lists and made a few small changes to help manage the flow of traffic on the lists. They also launched the MacVisionaries Switch Counter, encouraging VoiceOver users to stand up and…

Hey Look, It's a Braille Caravan!

This educational toy, made in the USA, consists of 30 goldenrod non-toxic plastic blocks. Each block represents the braille cell, designed with six black pegs that can be manually pushed up or down to form dots 1-6. Using a finger, stylus, or pencil, a young child can easily make letters, works, even whole sentences by manipulating the six dots on each block, and joining them in a "caravan." This is the perfect tool, built like a toy, to get young blind children acquainted with braille at the earliest age; to introduce braille to a sighted parent in a friendly or non-threatening way; or to help a person who needs to learn braille later in life, even those who may have reduced tactile sensitivity. Many have discovered that sighted kids also love playing with the blocks and handing them to their braille-reading parents (or grandparents) to check out what they wrote! They did this simply by studying the alphabet chart that comes with each caravan. In each set, you get 30 &qu…

Leaders and Legends: John Robert Atkinson

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John Robert Atkinson
Inducted 2002
Hall of Fame for Leaders and Legends of the Blindness FieldJ. Robert Atkinson (1887-1964) was born the sixth of eight children in Missouri. As a young man he rode the Montana range as a cowboy, molding his self-reliant character. While visiting Los Angeles, he was blinded in a gunshot accident. As an adult blind man in 1912 he decided his best course was to fill in the gaps in his education. He married Alberta Blada Atkinson in 1919.Bob Atkinson had relearned how to read but to his disappointment, there were few brailled books available. Undaunted, Atkinson enlisted his family to dictate to him. Through the years he transcribed by hand until he had built a personal library of more than 250 titles.In 1919, Bob Atkinson founded the agency which later would be known as the Braille Institute of America. With a $25,000 gift from Mrs. Mary Longyear and her husband, longtime benefactors to the welfare of blind people, he established his own Universal Braille …

Image And Blindness: How do Blind people know what to wear?

People often ask me how I create my image when I am totally blind? I am a girl who loves to go shopping, dye my hair, dress up, and all that so-called visual stuff and I have my own way of doing it. Regardless of the fact that I am totally blind, I do still have my favourite colours and styles. For example, 2 of my prefered colours are purple and pink and I particularly like to wear long flowing skirts and high-heeled shoes. One of the commonly asked questions has always been "how do you choose and buy your clothes"? I have been very fortunate in life to have been blessed with a very close-knit family. Over time, they have often described what people are wearing around me or what people are wearing in theatre productions or on TV etc. These descriptions are what helped me to form a sense of fashion that works for me. Now, family members and friends are very aware of what I like and it is them who often accompany me when I go shopping. Thankfully, the majority of …

Dr. Imke Durre, Climatologist

OvertureIt's 9:00am in Asheville, North Carolina, and Dr. Imke Durre, a research scientist at the National Climatic Data Center, is already hard at work. She is organizing a collection of weather balloon measurements from around the world into a dataset. Analyzing this dataset will allow Imke and other climatologists to forecast possible trends or find evidence of global warming and other climatic phenomena. Periodically she runs her fingers along her computer's braille display to check her work and then, satisfied with her progress, returns to her programming.Act OneImke was born October 5, 1972 in Karlsruhe, Germany. She was born blind, with cataracts in both eyes. After undergoing surgery she could see from one eye, but secondary glaucoma set in when she was three and her sight was gone.Imke grew up in a traditional family. Her father was a professor of computer science at the University of Karlsruhe and her mother stayed home, caring for Imke and her younger brother. …

Transition Tote System and Organizational Skills for Students with Learning Disabilities

The Transition Tote System is a kit produced by the American Printing House for the Blind (APH) which contains lessons and an organizer case that are helpful to visually impaired students and adults as they explore, and prepare for, the world of work. All versions of the kit include three major components: the student manual, the tote case and a 3 1/2-inch disk. Basic principles underlying the system include those relating to organizational skills, social and self-advocacy skills, and personal responsibility.Note: The previous Transiton Tote System has been discontinued. We are happy to report that a revised edition is in process! For information about the revision, please see the fiscal year 2011 APH Research Department report. Remember, you can always check the APH Shopping Site for the latest product information. Organizational Skills for Students with Learning Disabilities: The Master Filing System for PaperThink of it: Electricians arrive at a customer's home to do work and …

Accessible Ecards for Everyone

Here's a great way for blind or visually impaired people to send postcards (or ecards) to friends and family. Simply have a friend help you find that killer digital photo of you, choose a song that fits what's going on in the picture, and send a super-clean, customized ecard through Postcard.fm. Upload the image file and MP3 to the free, no-registration-required , Postcard.fm with a message, and mail it out. The recipient gets a link to your e-postcard page, with no ads in sight. This means you can be as cute, clever, snarky, or affectionate as you want, rather than sending a picture of something that you can't see to your friends.

Click this link to create your personal ecard with http://www.Postcard.fm.

APH's Braille+ Mobile Manager Instruction Now a Hit on YouTube!

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As you probably know, APH's Larry Skutchan has presented several webcasts on the APH Braille+ Mobile Manager - with more to come. These sessions are archived on our website.This very popular product has now found it's way to YouTube, thanks to an ingenious teacher and student. Chase Crispin Chase Crispin, a 5th grade student in Nebraska, enjoys working with his APH Braille+ Mobile Manager, teaching people about computers, and learning about new technological devices.LeAnna MacDonald is a teacher of students with visual impairments, a low vision therapist, and an orientation and mobility specialist in the Omaha, Nebraska area.Together, they have teamed up to bring us a series of short training sessions on the Braille+. Chase is the "on-air talent" and LeAnna serves as the "videographer."By going to the first lesson, you will see the others listed as related videos. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yjQSU88j1kg&feature=related
The sessions available includ…

Helping Hands For The Blind: Cookbook Club

Helping Hands for the Blind provides a "Cookbook of the Month Club." A person becomes a member by purchasing one book a year. Cookbooks are produced in interpoint braille. The club also has special offers.

Helping Hands for the Blind: Cookbook Club
20734 C Devonshire St.
Chatsworth, CA 91311
Toll Free: 888-386-3442
Phone: 818-341-8217
Fax: 818-341-8217
Email: boacosta@pacbell.net
Web: http://www.helpinghands4theblind.com

Accessible Online Libraries and museums

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How would you like to browse through hundreds of books and artwork, while visiting some of the world's most accessible libraries and museums without leaving your chair? The following is a list of online libraries and museums that are accessible to people who are blind, or visually impaired. The first two libraries recently won The biennial Jodi Mattes Accessibility Awards for website accessibility in museums, libraries and archives; (2005). Library and Information Services, Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead: www.webwords.orgThis website provides audio extracts of some 500 audio books, allowing visually impaired people - and every user - to choose their prefered narrator.

www.revealweb.org.uk The Revealweb library catalogue brings together over 100,000 materials for the first time in accessible formats. It can be used by the public and library staff alike, and makes finding out about reading materials considerably easier for visually impaired people.

the Museum of Modern A…

Gulliver's Travels Again Available from APH...70 Years Later!

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Gulliver's Travels, recorded in celebration of the 75th Anniversary of the National Library Service at APH in November, 2006 is now available from the APH Museum. The book was recorded in the original 1936 studio at the Printing House in a fourteen hour talking book marathon by narrators from five local studios as well as community volunteers. Familiar APH voices on Gulliver include Terry Hayes Sales, Milton Metz, Mitzi Friedlander, Barry Bernson, Lou Harpenau, Roy Avers, Butch Hoover, and Jack Fox. APH President Tuck Tinsley and our then Executive in Residence Cay Holbrook also took turns.Gulliver's Travels, by Jonathan Swift, was the first talking book produced at the Printing House. It was originally recorded in 1937, narrated by Louisville radio pioneer Hugh Sutton. The 2006 version is abridged. As museum director Mike Hudson joked, "We started recording at 7 a.m. Fourteen hours later we finished the third section. We thought we'd leave the final voyage to…

Social Networking Sites for the Blind

Blind SpotsWe've all heard of social networking sites. You may not know the term, but you certainly know some social networking sites like Classmates.com, Flickr, or MySpace. Now there's one for the blind. Draconis Entertainment, http://www.draconisentertainment.com has launched its latest service http://www.BlindSpots.net. This is a social networking site devoted to the blind, visually impaired, their friends, and families. At BlindSpots you can showcase your talents and wares, keep a blog, and make new friends. Other features are already available, and more will be coming soon.

To learn more, click this link to visit http://www.BlindSpots.net. Blink NationFrom the site: "This is Blink Nation, a screen-reader-friendly social network specially tailored for blind users. We strive to make an environment that is feature rich but clutter free. As you browse this site, you'll probably notice several, major differences from other, less organized web pages you've vis…