Showing posts from December, 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
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:

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: Web:

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

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 Microsoft has released the Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack for users of older versions of …

The Victor Victrola and Turtle's 78 RPM Jukebox

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

Catalog Number: D-19910-00

Electronic Distribution:
Catalog Number: D-19910-ED

Download APH Software Demos:

Click here to purchase this item through our Quick Order Entry page:

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

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