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Showing posts from November, 2008

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)
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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…

Fun and Accessible Travel Games To Relieve Kids' Boredom

Here's the surest way to keep your kids under control while in the car. They are also a great way for the kids to have fun and get to know each other better. Use some imagination and the games can be adapted for home or classroom use with your blind or visually impaired students.

Click this link to visit this FamilyFun: Fun website. See also Road Trip Games from this kid-friendly website. 101 Things to Do When There's Nothing to DoForgot to toss toys in your purse? Carry-on consigned to the cargo hold? Long waiting-room stay used up all your distractions? No matter how organized the parent, there will always come a time when your child will rely on you for distraction, just you and you alone. What do you do when you're stuck without props? Here are 101 informal activities that use nothing more than your clothing, your accessories, and whatever wits you have about you. If your child has a particularly short attention span or low tolerance for boredom, you may have to run …

Point-to-Braille: A Braille Dictionary

Point-to-Braille: The Braille Enthusiast's Dictionary contains more than 29,000 common as well as not so common words in the English Language. Each word is spelled out in regular print and divided by syllable along with the correct ink dot representation of words in Grade 2 braille. The dictionary also contains a lengthy appendix as well as prefix and suffix listings.

Scalars Publishing Company
P.O. Box 382834
Germantown, TN 38183-2834
Phone: 901-737-0001
Fax: 901-737-2882
Web: http://www.scalarspublishing.com

Burning Data to a DVD in Windows XP

Windows XP gives us an accessible way to burn data and audio files to a CD. In fact, burning data to a CD can be done right from Windows Explorer. Audio CDs are burned with the help of Windows Media Player, which can be a bit more confusing for someone using a screen reader, but it can be done nevertheless. One of the most frustrating things that still remains for Windows XP is that you can't burn data directly to a DVD. This is very unfortunate because of the amount of storage space on a DVD. Well, the folks at MiniDVDSoft.com are out to change this with a FREE program. Free DVD Burner is an ideal tool to burn data DVD/CDs. It can easily burn files onto most DVD/CD discs such as CD-R,CD-RW,DVD-R,DVD+R, DVD-RW and DVD+RW. With Free DVD Burner, you can use a screen reader and burn DVD/CDs from files and folders for backing up your data on DVD/CD. Free DVD Burner allows you to burn data DVD/CDs in a few minutes and it's completely FREE. Simply select the files and folders you…

Leaders and Legends: Richard Welsh

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Richard Welsh
Inducted 2008
Hall of Fame for Leaders and Legends of the Blindness FieldRichard Welsh was born in 1944 in Pittsburgh, PA. He completed his undergraduate seminary studies with a degree in philosophy at St. Vincent College. In 1968 he received a master's degree in mobility from Western Michigan University and in 1973, a doctorate in rehabilitation counseling from the University of Pittsburgh. He has three adult children and five grandchildren. He remarried in 2001 to fellow professional, Mary Nelle McLennan.Richard Welsh's experience in orientation and mobility began as an instructor from 1968 to 1970 at Western Pennsylvania School for Blind Children and continued as an instructor at the mobility training programs, first at the University of Pittsburgh and then Cleveland State University from 1970 to 1978.For the next twelve years Rick served as Superintendent of the Maryland School for the Blind. From 1990 until 2003 he was an administrator of the Pittsburgh Visio…

Leaders and Legends: Sally Mangold

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Sally Mangold
Inducted 2008
Hall of Fame for Leaders and Legends of the Blindness FieldSally Mangold (1935- 2005) was born and began school in Walnut, IL. After her parents moved to California she attended the California School for the Blind and finished high school in the cooperative Oakland program. She completed her undergraduate work in education and earned her master's degree in special education from San Francisco State College in 1956 and a year later, married a fellow grad student, Phil Mangold. In 1977 she completed her Ph.D. from a joint Special education doctoral program between San Francisco State University and the University of California, Berkeley.Sally and her husband developed an outstanding resource program for visually impaired students in the public schools of Castro Valley, California, that served as a model for others. She was gifted with what has been described as a pragmatic approach to instruction especially her techniques in teaching Braille reading. After …