Fred’s Head from APH, a Blindness Blog

Fred’s Head, offered by the American Printing House for the Blind, contains tips, techniques, tutorials, in-depth articles, and resources for and by blind or visually impaired people. Our blog is named after the legendary Fred Gissoni, renowned for answering a seemingly infinite variety of questions on every aspect of blindness.

(See the end of this page for subscribing via email, RSS, browsing articles by subject, blog archive, APH resources, writing for Fred's Head, and disclaimers.)

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Friday, July 31, 2009

Magnifying Glass Pro

Magnifying Glass Pro is one of a few screen magnifiers in the area of freeware and shareware that continues to improve by updates. Magnifying Glass Pro not only has nice features for the visually impaired like full screen magnification and caret tracking, but also contains features for those in the business holding a presentation and for graphic designers.

Most freeware and shareware utilities are very sluggish while moving the magnification, but this is not the case here. Magnifying Glass Pro differs from similar utilities with the inclusion of a unique set of features, including:

  • Modification of an onscreen image in real time (e.g., adjust contrast, add special effects, smoothing, and so on).
  • Adjust the screen position of the magnifying Glass (e.g., a fixed position, under the cursor, angular, and so on).
  • Save multiple set of viewing preferences as individual Profiles, then switch between those Profiles instantly (e.g., you can have one Profile for viewing text and another for working with graphic images).
  • Show/hide the Magnifying Glass simply by shaking the mouse cursor from side to side. This is much easier than using the keyboard shortcut when your hand is already on the mouse.
  • Command Mode, which enables you to quickly change/apply Magnifying Glass options (e.g., Glass size and position, transparency, contrast, effects, and so on).
  • The Auto-switcher, which enables you to associate individual applications, windows, and screen elements with specific user-defined Profiles (group of Glass settings). As the "target" changes (e.g., you switch applications) the Auto-switcher applies the appropriate Glass settings automatically, based on the defined Profile association, with no interruption to your productivity.
  • No restrictions on how you can use Magnifying Glass Pro. You control the size and position of the Glass -- it can occupy the entire screen, or a smaller, user-defined area. It can even extend beyond the edges of your screen to move to a second monitor. You can quickly and easily apply a myriad of effects to enhance your viewing experience and solve the sophisticated needs of any text- or graphics-based project.
Click this link to learn more about Magnifying Glass Pro and to download a demo.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Large Type Amelia Bedelia Books from APH

Amelia Bedelia Goes Camping

by Peggy Parish

Amelia Bedelia, the very literal mixed-up maid, has never been camping before and she's trying her best to do exactly as she's told. Grades 1-3

Large Print (25 point):
Catalog Number: L-04436-00
Click this link to purchase Amelia Bedelia goes camping.

Come Back, Amelia Bedelia

by Peggy Parish

The literal-minded maid, Amelia Bedelia, must look for a new job -- Mrs. Rogers has finally had enough. Can she ever find a place to belong?

Enlarged Print (14 point):
Catalog Number: L-34197-00
Click this link to purchase Come back, Amelia Bedelia.

American Printing House for the Blind, Inc.
1839 Frankfort Avenue
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 6085
Louisville, Kentucky 40206-0085
Toll Free: 800-223-1839
Phone: 502-895-2405
Fax: 502-899-2274
E-mail: info@aph.org
Web site: http://www.aph.org
APH Shopping Home: http://shop.aph.org

Cat in the Hat Books in Braille from APH

Cat in the Hat

by Dr. Seuss

Dr. Seuss took 220 words, rhymed them, and created The Cat in the Hat, the story of the cat that transformed a dull, rainy afternoon into a magical and just-messy-enough adventure. Grades 1-3

Braille:
Catalog Number: 5-21180-00
Click this link to purchase cat in the hat.

Cat in the Hat Comes Back

by Dr. Seuss

That behatted and bow-tied cat from Dr. Seuss's The Cat in the Hat is back, and, not surprisingly, is up to all sorts of mischief. Grades 1-3

Braille:
Catalog Number: 5-21190-00
Click this link to purchase cat in the hat comes back!.

American Printing House for the Blind, Inc.
1839 Frankfort Avenue
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 6085
Louisville, Kentucky 40206-0085
Toll Free: 800-223-1839
Phone: 502-895-2405
Fax: 502-899-2274
E-mail: info@aph.org
Web site: http://www.aph.org
APH Shopping Home: http://shop.aph.org

Curious George Books in Braille from APH

Curious George

by H. A. Rey

In this, the original book about the curious monkey, George is taken from the jungle by the man in the yellow hat and his curiosity about the world leads him to adventures, and sometimes trouble. Grades 1-3

Braille:
Catalog Number: 5-28210-00
Click this link to purchase Curious George.

Curious George Goes to the Hospital

by Margaret and H. A. Rey

Readers learn all about the hospital as George, the curious monkey, goes in for an operation to remove the puzzle piece he has eaten. Grades 1-3

Braille:
Catalog Number: 5-28270-00
Click this link to purchase Curious George goes to the hospital.

American Printing House for the Blind, Inc.
1839 Frankfort Avenue
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 6085
Louisville, Kentucky 40206-0085
Toll Free: 800-223-1839
Phone: 502-895-2405
Fax: 502-899-2274
E-mail: info@aph.org
Web site: http://www.aph.org
APH Shopping Home: http://shop.aph.org

Braille and Large Print Cookbooks from APH

Betty Crocker's New Cookbook: Everything You Need to Know to Cook

by Betty Crocker

Every chapter contains clear and precise directions and techniques that will help you solve cooking problems whether you are an inexperienced, beginner, or intermediate cook.

Braille:
Catalog Number: 5-75760-00
Click this link to purchase Betty Crocker's new cookbook.

Beyond TV Dinners: 3 Levels of Recipes for Visually Handicapped Cooks

by Patricia Canter

A cookbook written especially for the visually impaired cook, from gourmet chef to novice.

Large Print (18 point):
Catalog Number: 4-02470-00

Braille:
Catalog Number: 5-13080-00
Click this link to purchase Beyond TV dinners three levels of recipes for visually handicapped cooks.

Cooking Without Looking: Food Preparation Methods and Techniques for Visually Handicapped Homemakers

by Esther Knudson Tipps

People who are blind or visually impaired can discover new safe ways of cooking without ruining the food or their hands in the process!

Large Print (19 point):
Catalog Number: 4-04060-00

Braille:
Catalog Number: 5-26140-00
Click this link to purchase Cooking without looking: food preparation methods and techniques for visually handicapped homemakers.

Food at Your Fingertips

by Cookbook Committee

Book of basic cooking techniques compiled by the American Association of Instructors of the Blind.

Large Print (18 point):
Catalog Number: J-06850-00

Braille:
Catalog Number: 5-42560-00
Click this link to purchase Food at your fingertips.

Preprimer Cookbook: Cooking Techniques for the Blind

by Sally Jones

Features basic cooking tips and techniques designed for individuals with a visual impairment.

Large Print (24 point):
Catalog Number: J-21820-00
Click this link to purchase Preprimer cooking or cooking techniques for the blind.

Welcome Table: African-American Heritage Cooking

by Jessica B. Harris

Jessica Harris presents over 200 recipes, both traditional and contemporary, combined with historical detail and personal interviews.

Braille:
Catalog Number: T-N1130-70
Click this link to purchase welcome table African-American heritage cooking.

American Printing House for the Blind, Inc.
1839 Frankfort Avenue
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 6085
Louisville, Kentucky 40206-0085
Toll Free: 800-223-1839
Phone: 502-895-2405
Fax: 502-899-2274
E-mail: info@aph.org
Web site: http://www.aph.org
APH Shopping Home: http://shop.aph.org

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Early Braille Delivery Limited Edition Art Print

Early Braille Delivery Art Print

Visually impaired artist Rick Moore created Early Braille Delivery. Print is a reproduction of a pencil drawing that depicts a horse-drawn wagon leaving APH's 1883 building to deliver braille publications to the post office. Prints are signed and numbered. Measures 14 x 18 1/2 inches and is on printed non-acidic paper. Signed version is limited to 500 copies. Note: Not available on Quota.

Art Print:
Catalog Number: W-PRINT-AA
Click this link to purchase the Early Braille Delivery Art Print.

American Printing House for the Blind, Inc.
1839 Frankfort Avenue
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 6085
Louisville, Kentucky 40206-0085
Toll Free: 800-223-1839
Phone: 502-895-2405
Fax: 502-899-2274
E-mail: info@aph.org
Web site: http://www.aph.org
APH Shopping Home: http://shop.aph.org

Adult Non-Fiction Books from APH

Here's just a sample of books available from the American Printing House for the Blind. For more titles visit our website: www.aph.org and click on the Louis link.

ABC's of Braille by Bernard M. Krebs, 1973


Braille:
Catalog Number: 5-00200-00

Teaches the basics of braille.

Handbook for Learning to Read Braille by Sight by Leland Schubert, 1966


Regular print:
Catalog Number: 7-51450-00

Beyond TV Dinners by Patricia Canter, 1978


Braille:
Catalog Number: 5-13080-00

Large print:
Catalog Number: 4-02470-00

Includes beginning to intermediate cooking skills and recipes.

Cooking Without Looking by Esther Knudson Tipps, 1988


Large print:
Catalog Number: 4-04060-00

Braille:
Catalog Number: 5-26140-00

Self-Esteem and Adjusting with Blindness by Dean W. and Naomi R. Tuttle, 1996


Braille:
Catalog Number: 5-00500-00

Large print:
Catalog Number: L-96229-00

This classic book explores: the development of self-esteem, adjusting with blindness, and fostering self-esteem. Includes material from biographies and autobiographies of people who are blind. Second edition.

Robert's Rules of Order by Robert M. Henry, 2000


Braille:
Catalog Number: T-N1414-20

Long considered the authority on parliamentary procedure, this manual is a necessity for anyone who holds meetings.

American Printing House for the Blind, Inc.
1839 Frankfort Avenue
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 6085
Louisville, Kentucky 40206-0085
Toll Free: 800-223-1839
Phone: 502-895-2405
Fax: 502-899-2274
E-mail: info@aph.org
Web site: http://www.aph.org
APH Shopping Home: http://shop.aph.org

Tips to Prevent Purse Snatching

Letting your guard down, even for a second can open the door for purse snatchers, who see an easy way to grab a purse dangling from a shoulder. They grab and run before you even have time to realize that your purse has just been stolen. There are precautions you can take to discourage purse snatchers, here are some suggestions of things to do.

  • Leave your purse at home. Carry necessary items (ID and money) in a wallet, tucked safely in your pocket. If you don't have pockets and/or there are additional items you prefer to carry, such as makeup, keys, and a phone, consider putting them in a bag that wraps around your stomach and can be hidden from view, or a backpack strapped around both shoulders so that it can't easily be snatched.
  • Bring only what you need. Don't carry any more cash or credit cards than you absolutely need to do your shopping that day. Usually, one credit card is enough, and you should have the customer service number handy in order to report the card stolen immediately if your purse is snatched.
  • Walk in busy, well-lit areas. You may think that you're exposing yourself to more purse snatchers, but they are more likely to strike in dark, isolated areas because they don't want to get caught. Walk briskly and confidently.
  • Bring a friend. Shopping is more enjoyable and safer with a good friend.
  • Be aware of the area and people around you, especially if you find yourself having to walk in an isolated or lightly populated area. Look in the direction of a person who might approach or pass you. Do not look away. If you can, look directly at their hands or at what they might be carrying. They prefer to strike and run, and not be recognized. If you do not appear to be vulnerable and will be able to give their description, they just might keep walking past you.
  • Hold your purse with a firm grip and close to your body, whether on a bus, train, or walking. If possible, wear it underneath a coat or jacket. Also, secure the latch or zipper. You might be tempted to wear your purse diagonally on your body (over the neck as well as the shoulder) or loop the strap around your wrist to prevent the purse from being easily snatched, but keep in mind that if someone does try to steal your purse, a hard yank on tightly wound purse straps can cause injury.
  • Shorten the strap on your purse so you can carry it between your elbow and body.
  • Remember that you come before your purse. If someone pulls it away from your hands or your shoulder, let it go! It is more important to avoid injury than save a purse. Never fight to keep it.
  • Report anything or anyone suspicious. If you suspect that someone seems to be lurking someplace that they do not belong, contact security if you are in a mall, or contact the manager if you are in a supermarket. Better to report your suspicions and be wrong, than to ignore it and be robbed or hurt.
  • Don't leave your purse in your shopping cart or on a counter, even for a moment. Don't hang your bag on a stroller or on the chair or table beside you.

Keep in mind that most purse snatchers strike from behind the victim.

U.S. Credit Card Assistance Numbers

  • MasterCard 1-800-MC-ASSIST (622-7747)
  • Visa 1-800-VISA-911 (847-2911)
  • American Express 1-800-528-4800
  • Discover 1-800-DISCOVER (347-2683)

StackUps: Spatial Reasoning Using Cubes and Isometric Drawings


StackUps encourages students to:
  • Recognize, name, build, draw, compare, and sort 2- and 3-dimensional shapes
  • Describe attributes and parts of 2- and 3-dimensional shapes
  • Investigate and predict the results of putting together and taking apart 2- and 3-dimensional shapes.
Students can practice:
  • Building 3-D models using hook/loop material cubes in combination with tactile displays
  • Using Mat Plans to construct and create stacked cube arrangements
  • Interpreting front-right-top views
  • Determining volume and surface area
Includes:
  • StackUps Cubes
  • Stacked Cube Arrangement Cards
  • Mat Plan Cards
  • Mat Plan Worksheets
  • 5 x 5 Grids
  • Hook/loop material Squares for use with the 5 x 5 grids
  • Large Print Teacher's Guidebook
  • Braille Teacher's Guidebook
  • Guidebook CD-ROM with an interactive "StackUps Skills Checklist."
Recommended Ages: 10 years and older.
WARNING: Choking Hazard-Small Parts. Not intended for children ages 5 and under without adult supervision.

StackUps: Spatial Reasoning Using Cubes and Isometric Drawings

Complete Kit:
Catalog Number: 1-08960-00

Replacement Items:

StackUps Cubes (set of 20):
Catalog Number: 1-08960-01

StackUps Mat Plan Worksheets (pack of 25):
Catalog Number: 1-08960-02

Braille Teacher's Guidebook with CD-ROM:
Catalog Number: 5-08960-00

Large Print Teacher's Guidebook with CD-ROM:
Catalog Number: 7-08960-00
Click this link to purchase Stack Ups from APH.

American Printing House for the Blind, Inc.
1839 Frankfort Avenue
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 6085
Louisville, Kentucky 40206-0085
Toll Free: 800-223-1839
Phone: 502-895-2405
Fax: 502-899-2274
E-mail: info@aph.org
Web site: http://www.aph.org
APH Shopping Home: http://shop.aph.org

Make Reading Easier with GlaReducers from APH

GlaReducer Sheets

Enhance contrast and reduce glare on the entire page with these 8 1/2 x 11 inch translucent vinyl sheets in pink and yellow. The sheets can be three-hole punched and inserted in a binder.

GlaReducers (pack of 4):
Catalog Number: 1-03062-00
Click this link to purchase GlaReducers from APH.

American Printing House for the Blind, Inc.
1839 Frankfort Avenue
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 6085
Louisville, Kentucky 40206-0085
Toll Free: 800-223-1839
Phone: 502-895-2405
Fax: 502-899-2274
E-mail: info@aph.org
Web site: http://www.aph.org
APH Shopping Home: http://shop.aph.org

Verbal View of Online Mail

Verbal View of Online Mail

Verbal View of Online Mail builds on the information in VV of the Net and Web, explaining how to use your computer to send email. Topics include:

  • Microsoft Outlook Express®
  • Mail Messages
  • Contact Information
  • Mail Options
Verbal View of Online Mail
Catalog Number: D-10515-00
Click this link to purchase Verbal View of Online Mail, now ON SALE!

Also Available:
Verbal View™ of Windows® XP:
Catalog Number: D-10500-00

Verbal View of Word®:
Catalog Number: D-10510-00

Verbal View of Word® Advanced:
Catalog Number: D-10511-00

Verbal View of the Net and Web:
Catalog Number: D-10512-00

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

American Printing House for the Blind, Inc.
1839 Frankfort Avenue
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 6085
Louisville, Kentucky 40206-0085
Toll Free: 800-223-1839
Phone: 502-895-2405
Fax: 502-899-2274
E-mail: info@aph.org
Web site: http://www.aph.org
APH Shopping Home: http://shop.aph.org

Building on Patterns: Primary Braille Literacy Program: Kindergarten Level

Building on Patterns: Primary Braille Literacy Program: Kindergarten Level Kit

Building on the success of Patterns: Primary Braille Reading Program, the Building on Patterns (BOP) is a complete primary literacy program designed to teach beginning braille users to read, write, and spell in braille.

The Building on Patterns series addresses vocabulary, fluency, comprehension, phonemic awareness (ability to hear and interpret sounds in speech), and phonics (the association of written symbols with the sounds they represent).

BOP also addresses specific skill areas needed by the child who is blind, such as language development, sound discrimination, tactual discrimination, and concept development. Braille contractions are introduced from the beginning along with sound and letter associations.

Features of Building on Patterns

  • Groups of contractions are taught together when logical to do so.
  • Easily confused letters and words are introduced at different times.
  • Punctuation is eliminated except for the capital at the kindergarten level and is introduced gradually thereafter.
  • Ideas for incorporating technology are given.
  • Lessons are flexible and can be adapted to fit a given student or students.
  • Enrichment activities are suggested for additional practice or homework.
  • Read-aloud books to go along with the lesson are suggested.

Kindergarten lessons include a selection to be read to the student, questions to discuss, and an activity for the child to complete. Textbooks are consumable. Recommended Ages: 4 or 5 years and up.

Complete Kits:
Print Kit: 8-78450-00
Braille Kit: 6-78450-00

Teacher's Edition, Print: 8-78451-00
Teacher's Edition, Braille: 6-78451-00

Posttest Teacher's Manual, Print: 8-78452-00
Posttest Teacher's Manual, Braille: 6-78452-00
Posttest Consumable Set (Print & Braille): 8-78455-00
Assessment Check-up Forms (Print & Braille): 8-78456-00
Student Textbooks, 7 per Set: 6-78453-00
Color Me Book: 6-78454-00

Note: Other levels of Building on Patterns will be available in the future.
Click this link to purchase Building on Patterns: Primary Braille Literacy Program: Kindergarten Level Kit.

American Printing House for the Blind, Inc.
1839 Frankfort Avenue
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 6085
Louisville, Kentucky 40206-0085
Toll Free: 800-223-1839
Phone: 502-895-2405
Fax: 502-899-2274
E-mail: info@aph.org
Web site: http://www.aph.org
APH Shopping Home: http://shop.aph.org

Mirel's Daughter: Braille Novel Released First

For the first time in history (as far as APH can determine), the braille version of a novel was released prior to the premiere of the print version to the general public.

The braille edition of Mirel's Daughter, written by Louisvillian Kay Gill, was presented to her husband, APH Board of Trustee member George Gill at APH on January 23, 2006. The print version of the novel was not launched by the author until February 15 at Spalding University in Louisville.

Mirel's Daughter tells the story of a ten-year-old girl's remarkable survival of the pogrom massacres in Ukrainian Russia at the end of World War I, and her escape to America. A haunting novel that illustrates the destructive power of war on one family and one child, Mirel's Daughter is written about the author's mother, and ultimately about the triumphant power of love.

Highly praised in book reviews for its poignant account of a young girl's journey from terror to freedom, Mirel's Daughter is an unforgettable tribute to the human spirit that has been compared to the Diary of Anne Frank.

Click this link to purchase Mirel's daughter.

American Printing House for the Blind, Inc.
1839 Frankfort Avenue
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 6085
Louisville, Kentucky 40206-0085
Toll Free: 800-223-1839
Phone: 502-895-2405
Fax: 502-899-2274
E-mail: info@aph.org
Web site: http://www.aph.org
APH Shopping Home: http://shop.aph.org

African Americans in World War I

More than 200,000 black soldiers served during the Great War (mainly as support troops) alongside French soldiers fighting against German armies. By October 1917 over 600 black servicemen were commissioned as captains, first lieutenants, and second lieutenants.

To many African Americans, enlisting to fight in the Great War offered a chance to show their patriotism that could hopefully improve their opportunities and treatment at home. Yet racism was as endemic in the armed forces as it was in the rest of America at the time.

To learn more about the contributions of African Americans in World War I, simply click this link to visit the Oxford AASC website.

Guidelines on Presenting Accessible Powerpoint Presentations

As you stand at the rostrum remember that your audience could be made of fellow people like yourself. Some might have refractive errors requiring the use of spectacles or contact lenses, some might have low vision or be blind, and some may have other print impairments such as dyslexia or colour blindness. What they will all share is a difficulty to follow and absorb the full impact of your impending presentation.

The World Blind Union is offering some guidance on how to maximise your impact by ensuring that your presentation, and your delivery technique, is as accessible as possible to all your audience members. They contain both practical information and good-practice guidance.

Remember - According to the World Health Organisation there are 314 million visually impaired people in the world today. 37 million are blind, 124 million are low vision after best correction, and 153 million are visually impaired due to uncorrected refractive error causing problems with distance vision. Additionally, it is generally accepted that up to 4% of the population suffer from severe dyslexia. Your audience may include people from all of these categories.

Click this link to read the document with Microsoft Word.

Three Simple Steps to Create Accessible PowerPoint Presentations

  1. Remove Animations and Slide Transitions. If you knew how to create ‘em in the first place, you should know how to take ‘em out. ‘nuf said.
  2. Add Alt Text to All Images and SmartArt. Also easy. Right click on the image, then select “size and position” and “alt text.” Make the description meaningful but succinct, like the way you’d want it described to you if you were in a rush and someone were reading it to you. Be sure to do this with SmartArt too by selecting the full frame containing the SmartArt.
  3. Make Sure URL’s Have Actual URL’s. Right click on the link, choose “edit hyperlink” and make sure there’s a bona fide URL there.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Braille Book: Weight Training for Dummies

by Liz Neporent and Suzanne Schlosberg

A fitness consultant and a health writer describe more than 130 strengthening exercises, proper weight lifting techniques, and tips on designing a personal workout program. (Adult)

Braille:
Catalog Number: T-N1283-50
Click this link to purchase Weight training for dummies.

American Printing House for the Blind, Inc.
1839 Frankfort Avenue
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 6085
Louisville, Kentucky 40206-0085
Toll Free: 800-223-1839
Phone: 502-895-2405
Fax: 502-899-2274
E-mail: info@aph.org
Web site: http://www.aph.org
APH Shopping Home: http://shop.aph.org

Harry Potter Books in Braille from APH

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

by J. K. Rowling

Orphaned in infancy, Harry Potter is raised by cruel relatives until, to his astonishment, Harry learns that he is a wizard and has been accepted at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Book One in this popular series. (Young Adult)

Braille:
Catalog Number: T-N1187-90
Click this link to purchase Harry Potter and the sorcerer's stone.

The Sorcerer's Companion: A Guide to the Magical World of Harry Potter

by Allan Zola and Elizabeth Kronzek

This guide to everything magical in the first four Harry Potter books presents the folklore, mythology, and history behind the objects, spells, and creatures in Harry's world. (Grades 4-7)

Braille:
Catalog Number: T-N1405-30
Click this link to purchase sorcerer's companion: a guide to the magical world of Harry Potter.

American Printing House for the Blind, Inc.
1839 Frankfort Avenue
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 6085
Louisville, Kentucky 40206-0085
Toll Free: 800-223-1839
Phone: 502-895-2405
Fax: 502-899-2274
E-mail: info@aph.org
Web site: http://www.aph.org
APH Shopping Home: http://shop.aph.org

Braille Book: Why I Sneeze, Shiver, Hiccup, and Yawn

by Melvin Berger

This simple introduction to automatic reflexes of the human body uses familiar examples to explain why we cough, sneeze, shiver, hiccup, yawn, and blink. (Grades 2-4)

Braille:
Catalog Number: T-N1535-70
Click this link to purchase Why I sneeze, shiver, hiccup, and yawn.

American Printing House for the Blind, Inc.
1839 Frankfort Avenue
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 6085
Louisville, Kentucky 40206-0085
Toll Free: 800-223-1839
Phone: 502-895-2405
Fax: 502-899-2274
E-mail: info@aph.org
Web site: http://www.aph.org
APH Shopping Home: http://shop.aph.org

Braille Book: Terrible Speller: A Quick and Easy Guide to Enhancing your Spelling Ability

by William Proctor

A simple guide to improving spelling and pronunciation skills goes beyond memorization and drills to offer easy-to-use methods for coping with difficult words. (Adult)

Braille:
Catalog Number: T-N9607-00
Click this link to purchase terrible speller 1 a quick-and-easy guide to enhancing your spelling ability.

American Printing House for the Blind, Inc.
1839 Frankfort Avenue
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 6085
Louisville, Kentucky 40206-0085
Toll Free: 800-223-1839
Phone: 502-895-2405
Fax: 502-899-2274
E-mail: info@aph.org
Web site: http://www.aph.org
APH Shopping Home: http://shop.aph.org

Monday, July 27, 2009

ABCs of Braille

By Bernard M. Krebs

ABC's of Braille is a simplified introduction to the characters and rules of English Braille geared to the requirements of children from the ages of 9-12.

The plan and layout of instruction material feature a number of devices which are designed to assist both the teacher and the student.

ABCs of Braille, Braille Edition:
Catalog Number: 5-00200-00
Click this link to purchase the ABC's of Braille.

American Printing House for the Blind, Inc.
1839 Frankfort Avenue
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 6085
Louisville, Kentucky 40206-0085
Toll Free: 800-223-1839
Phone: 502-895-2405
Fax: 502-899-2274
E-mail: info@aph.org
Web site: http://www.aph.org
APH Shopping Home: http://shop.aph.org

Create a Catalog of Your Wardrobe

Growing up with a very fashion conscious mother, I became quite interested in clothing and having a varied wardrobe. While I am partially sighted with retinitis pigmentosa (RP), I am colorblind which can make picking out and matching clothes a frustration. Heaven forbid I should make a fashion "faux pas" as my mother would say.

I tried to remember which colors match which, which shirts go with which skirts and which jewelry looked the best with each of my outfits. Needless to say, I found myself more and more frustrated when standing in front of my closet each morning.

Sure there are tags, labels and other methods the blind can use to mark the color of each item, but because these don't tell me what colors go well with it, my mother and I devised a system that works really well for me--a wardrobe catalog.

I use a small card file box in which I keep 3 x 5-inch index cards. Each card represents one item in my closet. (No, I don't catalog everything, but I cover most of the items that are not basic neutral colors or that have multiple colors in them.) On the top of each card I write a short description of the item including the primary colors in it. For example, I have a card that reads "navy blazer with gold, red, forest green stripes" and one that reads "pink Easter dress."

Fabric textures and styles are also a good way to tell clothes apart. Additionally, I use my remaining vision to differentiate some items by shade or pattern. In some cases, I have multiple types of clothing in different colors, such as turtlenecks and tights. Black and navy are two very commonly confused colors in my sock drawer. To distinguish my navy tights from my black tights, I use a brightly colored thread to sew a little knot on the back of the waistband. I can then feel or see this knot and know I am holding navy tights. Using safety pins or other marking pins would be another way to differentiate colors.

Under the description on the top of the card, I write the word "good" followed by the colors that go well with a given item. On the card for my navy floral skirt, I have written: "good: cream, navy, salmon, avocado." Next, I write a list of colors to "avoid." This can be a really important listing. Sometimes an item goes really well with almost all colors except one or two--and it is often easier to note these particular colors. The third listing on the card includes suggested accessory items such as best shoes, earrings, scarves, etc.

Finally, I write prefered outfit suggestions. Often I buy items to go with a particular something in my closet, so this is a good place for writing a couple of these suggestions. This is particularly helpful on mornings when you don't really want to have to think about putting together an outfit. The trick is having everything in the desired outfit clean and ironed!

Every time I buy something new, I ask a friend or my mother to help me fill out a new card for the item. Be forewarned that different people have different perceptions about what colors look good together. My question to my assistants is "Would I wear these two things together?" This seems to help them to think about my fashion style and not just their own taste.

My card file is arranged like a recipe box with the cards divided into item types: skirts, dresses, pants, blouses, sweaters, accessories and so on. I can now often remember commonly paired items, but sometimes I like to vary them. With the wardrobe catalog, I find the skirt or pants I want to wear, pull out the corresponding card, and pick a top from the "good" list.

Having an organized card file is not the only step in reducing the stress of dressing. Keeping my closet in some predictable order is also helpful. I prefer to simply group my clothes according to item type. Going from right to left in my closet, my clothes are grouped as follows: casual short-sleeved shirts, dressy short-sleeved shirts, casual long-sleeved shirts, dressy long-sleeved shirts, vests, blazers, jeans and casual pants, dress pants, short skirts, long skirts and, finally, dresses and pantsuits. I find that using the multiple level hangers (the ones on which you can hang three or more items or the plastic hangers you can link together) really help to create space in my closet.

Another tip is to put out-of-season clothes in a spare closet or in storage. I hate a closet that is so jammed that I can barely get the hangers off the rack. Multiple level hangers allow me to hang three dressy blouses in a vertical row. Reducing the clutter of hangers in your closet will allow you to find a particular item more quickly. You may also choose to label hangers if you have similar items that are hard to differentiate by touch or sight.

I'm happy that I found a system to assist me when putting together my outfits. It's hard enough getting out of bed in the morning without having to dread facing the closet. I hope you find a system that works for you. It is a great feeling to be able to be independent and fashionable!

This article by Robin Smithtro first appeared in Dialogue 36 (Summer 1997) and is reprinted with permission from the publisher. Dialogue magazine is published in braille, large print, 4-track cassette and IBM-compatible 3.5-inch diskette.

Sherlock Talking Label Identifier

Sherlock

The Sherlock Talking Label Identifier is a hand-held digital voice recorder with each recorded message keyed to an adhesive label or plastic disk tag. Labels or tags can be attached to clothing, medications, packaged products, frozen foods, documents, books, CDs, anything you wish to identify. Includes 25 labels, 10 tags and carrying case.

Sherlock Talking Label Identifier: Catalog Number: 1-07410-00

Extra Adhesive Labels (pack of 25):
Catalog Number: 1-07411-00

Extra Plastic Tags (pack of 10):
Catalog Number: 1-07412-00
Click this link to purchase the Sherlock Talking Label Identifier, now ON SALE!

MagneTachers: Magnetic Labels from APH

MagneTachers are magnetic labels that attach to metal objects, are easily removable, and re-attachable! You can create labels in large print, braille, and for the Sherlock Talking Label Identifier (sold separately).

Uses include:

  • Create, use, store, and reuse labels for canned goods
  • Read, write, order and re-order sets of words or numbers on a classroom magnet board
  • Make labels on metal desks and file drawers that everyone can read

MagneTachers for Making Large Print Labels

can of soup with a large print MagneTacher label affixed
  • Includes two MagneTacher rolls, each 120 inches long, and instructions in print and braille
  • Select from two heights -- half inch or inch, depending on the print size you need
  • Write directly on the paper side of the MagneTacher, which provides a smear-resistant surface for a bold line pen or marker
  • Cut label from the roll and place on metal surface

MagneTachers for Making Braille Labels

can of soup with a braille MagneTacher label affixed
  • Includes two MagneTacher rolls, half inch tall and 120 inches long, with instructions in print and braille
  • Emboss MagneTachers with braille labelers and slates with half-inch wide alignment guides
  • Braille on the non-magnetic side of the label; its white vinyl coating helps braille dots stay firm
  • Cut label from the roll and place on metal surface

MagneTachers for Making Small Braillable Labels

File storage box with a braillable MagneTacher label affixed
  • Includes two MagneTachers sheets, each holding 18 MagneTachers and instructions in print and braille
  • These MagneTachers are magnetic strips only. You can make them braille labels by adhering APH's Braillable Labels: Small Braillable Labels to them (labels sold separately Small Label Pack, 1-08872-00 and Assorted Label Pack, 1-08871-00)
  • Small Braillable Labels hold two lines and fifteen braille cells
  • Press a completed label onto the non-magnetic side of the MagneTacher and place on metal surface

MagneTachers for Use with Sherlock Labels

File storage drawer with a Sherlock MagneTacher label affixed
  • Includes two MagneTachers sheets, each holding 12 MagneTachers and instructions in print and braille
  • MagneTachers for use with Sherlock labels include an additional pack of 25 Sherlock labels
  • NOTE: You must have the Sherlock Talking Label Identifier (sold separately), 1-07410-00, to use these MagneTachers
  • Use, remove, and re-use Sherlock labels on metal objects as often as you like
For Making Large Print Labels (0.5 inch high, includes two 120 inch rolls):
Catalog Number: 1-07417-00

For Making Larger Print Labels: (1 inch high, two 120 inch rolls):
Catalog Number: 1-07418-00
Click this link to purchase the MagneTachers Magnetic Labels: For Making Large Print Labels.

For Making Braille Labels (0.5 inch high, two 120 inch rolls):
Catalog Number: 1-07416-00

For Making Small Braillable Labels (includes two sheets, 18 labels per sheet):
Catalog Number: 1-07415-00
Click this link to purchase the MagneTachers Magnetic Labels: For Making Braille Labels.

For Making Sherlock Labels (two sheets, 12 labels per sheet):
Catalog Number: 1-07413-00

American Printing House for the Blind, Inc.
1839 Frankfort Avenue
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 6085
Louisville, Kentucky 40206-0085
Toll Free: 800-223-1839
Phone: 502-895-2405
Fax: 502-899-2274
E-mail: info@aph.org
Web site: http://www.aph.org
APH Shopping Home: http://shop.aph.org

Tips For The Newly Blind Diabetic

Did you ever notice how life is an endless source of challenges? For me they started when I was nine and was diagnosed with insulin dependent diabetes and they haven't stopped since. It wasn't too difficult to master drawing up my shots and taking my injections. Back in 1972 testing my urine with these bubbling tablets and cool test tubes wasn't a huge inconvenience. Aside from that I was pretty much like most other kids, growing up with sibling rivalry, homework, girls and all the traumas of the teenage years.

At seventeen I went to the Joslin Clinic in Boston and for the first time was treated by knowledgeable specialists who encouraged me to eat smaller, healthier portions and take two shots a day. Prior to this I had put minimum energy into diabetes care and this new regiment proved a difficult adjustment. Suddenly my diabetes was a larger factor in my everyday life. But I carried on, grudgingly, through high school and college.

In 1989, while in graduate school, I started having some vein growth in my right eye and that made me take my diabetes even more seriously. I kept better track of my blood sugars and my diet and carried on with both the wonderful aspects of life and the hurdles. I married, found a great job, had two wonderful kids and bought a nice home in the suburbs. In 1995 I was very content with life.

In a matter of two very short years I had innumerable laser treatments and four surgeries to treat my retinopathy. Yet in late 1997 I became totally blind. I was forced into a completely unfamiliar world and was very frightened. Shortly thereafter I lost my job and sank into a state of deep depression.

This tale may sound familiar to many readers. Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in the world today and presents what at first may seem like an insurmountable challenge. The initial impact is the hardest, the mind filling with questions like, "How can I possibly take care of myself?" and "What's to become of me?" Let me assure you that many people have faced these issues and conquered all the difficulties. With some self-confidence and help in acquiring the necessary skills to manage your diabetes and your life, you can overcome this latest challenge. What follows is a brief discussion of some important topics that will help you regain control.

The first thing that you need to do is get a letter from your ophthalmologist stating your current vision level and prognosis. While it is important to hold onto optimism if you are losing your sight, it is beneficial to you to get assistance as soon as possible. You do not have to be totally blind to initiate action. With your doctor's letter you can contact your state's department of blind services. Different states have different names for this agency. You will need to inquire about and be diligent in your requests for assistance. Your state agency should provide you with the training and materials you will need for your new life. These should include home skills, mobility instruction, Braille instruction, medical assistance and vocational rehabilitation training. Not all state blind agencies are the same and you must be proactive in procuring the help you require.

Your next concern is management of your diabetes. We are all very fortunate that there have been some creative blind diabetics and progressive technology companies that have invented excellent adaptive equipment. For independent blood glucose monitoring there are several voice-synthesizers that can plug into certain glucometers and announce the meters' reading. The voice-synthesizers range in price from $150 to $450 and most insurance companies will cover them as durable medical devices. Talk to your doctor or endocrinologist about where to get one or see the references at the end of this article. It should be noted that not all blood glucometers work with voice-synthesizers and you might need to obtain a new meter. I use a Lifescan One Touch fairly successfully. It is somewhat difficult to get enough blood in the right spot on the test strip, but with practice it gets easier. There are guides you can purchase to address this problem but I get by without one. Recently Accuchek has come out with the Voicemate that has a meter and voice-synthesizer together as a portable unit. It also reads strip codes and insulin vials for Eli Lilly insulin but no others. Hopefully other companies will add these features as well and allow the visually impaired diabetic complete independence in blood sugar testing.

Insulin measurement is easier than you may think. If you still have useable sight there are several magnifiers available that allow you to read the syringe. Or you can use a regular magnifying glass. Since I have no sight I use a Count-a-Dose which allows the use of one or two insulin types and has a wheel that clicks once for each unit you pull into the syringe. It is easy to use and is reliable, accurate and reproducible. They are available from many mail order catalogues and medical supply stores.

As far as following your diet, nothing has changed. You will need to be creative in thinking about how to do your cooking but there is no cooking process that a blind or visually impaired person can't do. If you have an electric stove you may want to mark the dial at low, medium and high heat settings with tactile ink. I use a gas stove and put my hand well above the flame and adjust it down after it has ignited. You may also want to get a timer or an audible pocket clock to keep track of how long you have cooked things. You will want to use large oven mitts so you don't accidentally burn yourself in the oven. Measuring cups with raised numbers will help you tell which is which. There is also a device called a "Say When" that uses a 9 volt battery and hangs over the side of a cup. As you fill the cup it beeps about a half-inch from the top to let you know it's full. With these few tools and a good appetite you will be experiencing fine cuisine in no time.

Several years ago I incorporated exercise into my daily routine. I found this to be beneficial for both my physical and mental health. Exercise is a little more challenging for the blind person but you must have a positive attitude and be creative. I have an inexpensive treadmill that allows me to get my heart pumping safely and easily. Some other suggestions are calisthenics, weight lifting, aerobics, swimming or using a stair master. I have even heard of blind people running track, rock climbing and taking martial arts. The key is a desire to improve your health and a willingness to try.

The SensoCard Plus helps people who are blind or visually impaired by reading out blood glucose level results. For more information contact CDX Diagnostics: in the UK, Telephone: 0191 564 2036 or click here to visit the CDX Diagnostics web site: www.cdx.uk.com

The National Library of Congress offers a great service to blind and physically handicapped people through its recorded books program. You can get a four-track cassette player on free loan and nearly any book you want mailed conveniently to your home. While I strongly recommend that any newly blind person learn Braille this service helps to fill the void where reading was once before.

A really easy way to mark and distinguish between medications, cans and a variety of other objects is to use rubber bands, tape and paper clips. Use your imagination to come up with a system that works for you. When you get some skill with Braille you will find Braille labels to be invaluable, but you need alternatives in the meantime. A very handy note-taking tool is a hand held micro cassette player and recorder. There are many brands available in the $20 to $40 price-range. I have used mine for recording my blood sugar results as well as phone numbers, messages and daily to-do lists.

I have found the computer to be a valuable tool for communication and for obtaining, storing and retrieving information. While computers can be quite intimidating new technology makes them easier to use than ever. Adapted with screen reading software, computers are readily utilized by blind and visually impaired people every day. I also use a scanner to scan in text from books and mail. The scanned image can then be converted into a format that allows the computer to read it. Your state agency may supply you with a computer and other adaptive equipment--be sure to request it. If they won't purchase one, you should consider buying it for yourself. There are many grant programs out there from groups like the Lyons Club so you may need to do some investigating.

The stress induced by the newness of being blind can cause havoc with your blood sugars. There is a wide range of emotional impact associated with the onset of blindness to a sighted individual. It is important not to be too hard on yourself. You will progress through the many new challenges, but it will take time. Try to maintain realistic expectations for yourself throughout your recovery. It will take a while as you will need to grieve the loss of your sight. But as you acquire the necessary skills, your confidence and independence will grow.

A great way to feel better about your vision loss and to alleviate those feelings of self-pity and hopelessness is to find and join a support group. The greatest factor for me in coming to grips with my blindness was meeting with members of the National Federation of the Blind. I met truly inspirational blind people who had overcome the problems that blindness had presented to them. Most consider their loss of vision as little more than a nuisance. Many members have shared their stories and tips with me and have helped me to realize that I can not only regain my independence but I can succeed at whatever I want. I have learned that it is respectable to be blind and while I'm in no hurry, I feel ready to take on the next challenge.

A Brief Resource Guide: There are many companies that offer a wide variety of products for blind and visually impaired people. This is where you can find many adaptive devices, including the Count-a-Dose and several voice synthesizers for glucometers.

Ferguson Enterprises
104 Anderson Avenue
Manchester, SD 57353-5702
Phone: (605) 546-2366
FAX: (605) 546-2212
Email: Info@FergusonEnterprises.com.
Website:Ferguson Enterprises: http://www.fergusonenterprises.com/.

L S and S Group
PO Box 673
Northbrook IL 60065
Toll free: (800) 468-4789
Website: L S and S Group: http://www.lssgroup.com.

Independent Living Aids
200 Robbins Lane
Jericho, NY 11753
Phone: (516) 937-1848
FAX: (516) 937-3906
Toll free: (800) 537-2118
Email: can-do@independentliving.com.
Website:Independent Living: http://www.independentliving.com/.

Lighthouse International
111 East 59th Street
New York, NY 10022-1202
Phone: (212) 821-9200 (212) 821-9713(TTY)
Toll free: (800) 829-0500
Email: info@lighthouse.org.
Website:Lighthouse International: http://www.lighthouse.org/.

From Roche Diagnostics is the Accucheck Voicemate glucometer that boasts easy capillary action, reads vial of insulin and code number on test strips, To find your local contact information, go to this website and select your home country: Roche Global: http://diabetes.roche.com/. The following contact information is for the company's main headquarters in Germany:
Roche Diagnostics GmbH
Communications & Public Relations
D-68305 Mannheim Germany
Phone: (++) 49 621 75 90
Fax: (++) 49 621 795 28 90
No email, but the website has a feedback form you can fill out; they will return email you.
Website (homepage): Roche Diagnostics: http://www.roche.com/diagnostics/ .

The American Printing House for the Blind offers many products as well as many books and magazines in Braille and cassette.
APH
1839 Frankfort Avenue
P.O.Box 6085
Louisville, KY 40206-0085
Phone: (502) 895-2405
Fax: (502) 899-2274
Toll free: (800) 223-1839
Email: info@aph.org.
Website:American Printing House: http://www.aph.org.

The National Center of the Blind, home of the National Federation of the Blind, has people and resources to help with most blind and low vision issues. The NFB materials center, which can also be reached at the phone number below, offers many books and informative material in large print or on cassette. I highly recommend that newly blind persons request a catalogue and a copy of "If Blindness Comes". This book is an excellent resource for blind people and their family members. It covers how to do things as a visually impaired person including, mobility, cooking, sewing, civil rights, social security disability and more.
National Federation of the Blind
1800 Johnson Street
Baltimore, MD 21230
Phone: (410) 659-9314
Email: nfb@nfb.org.
Website: National Federation of the Blind: http://www.nfb.org/default.htm.

The National Library of Congress has affiliates in every state and provides free material such as books, magazines, periodicals and newsletters. For more information, go to National Library Service (Library of Congress): http://www.loc.gov/nls/.

Serving Individuals With Diabetes Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired is a book by the NFB and Mississippi State University Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Blindness and Low Vision. This book is very thorough in coverage of all aspects of diabetes care. It is available in English and Spanish versions. Contact the RRTC for more information.
Rehabilitation Research and Training Center
PO Drawer 6189
Mississippi State University
Mississippi State, MS 39762
Phone: (662) 325-2001 (662) 325-8693(TDD)
Fax: (662) 325-8989
Website:Rehabilitation Research and Training Center: http://www.blind.msstate.edu.

Dr Kuell's original article has been updated to include current websites and email addresses (June 2004; Maria Delgado), May 2005 Michael McCarty.

"Serving Individuals with Diabetes Who are Blind or Visually Impaired: A Resource Guide for Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors" is a work produced by The National Federation of the Blind, in collaboration with The Rehabilitation Research and Training Center (RRTC) on Blindness and Low Vision at Mississippi State University. This guide is very thorough in coverage of all aspects of diabetes care and is also available in Spanish. This and other publications are available for ordering online from the Center's website.

Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Blindness and Low Vision
Mississippi State University
P.O. Drawer 6189
Mississippi State, MS 39762
Phone: 662-325-2001
Fax: 662-325-8989
Web: http://www.blind.msstate.edu/pub.html<

Diabetes

by Gail B. Stewart

Discusses the history, nature, causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and complications of diabetes. Emphasizes proper medication and a healthy diet. (Grades 5-8+)

Braille
Catalog Number: T-N1374-60
Click this link to purchase the book Diabetes.

American Printing House for the Blind, Inc.
1839 Frankfort Avenue
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 6085
Louisville, Kentucky 40206-0085
Toll Free: 800-223-1839
Phone: 502-895-2405
Fax: 502-899-2274
E-mail: info@aph.org
Web site: http://www.aph.org
APH Shopping Home: http://shop.aph.org

Book On Diabetes in Braille

By Carl Augusto

For people who read braille, and just found out they have diabetes, there's a book you should know about called My Pocket Doctor Diabetic Reference Guide and Journal. According to the information we received, the book is "bound to answer any questions that a newly diagnosed diabetic would ask." With diabetes on the rise, there are a lot of people looking for good resources on blood glucose testing, insulin facts, medications, diet and exercise, etc. Though we haven't yet seen a copy, it sounds like it could be a very useful book.

Article Source:
http://www.afb.org/blog/blog_comments.asp?TopicID=1781

Free Voice-Dialing Services for the Blind

Message: hello fred!

I'm working with a blind 80 something year old Veteran who asked me about cell-phones. I don't know much about them. He would like one with voice input capacity.

I'd greatly appreciate any help with this you might be able to offer. location: California

Let me begin by saying that the majority of the phones on the market today are not accessible to the blind. Menu functions like checking the status of the battery, call waiting, the call list, and the address book are almost impossible to use. There are phones that speak this information, but they are very expensive, and if he's like me, spending several hundred dollars for a cell phone is out of the question. I always said that if I spent that kind of money, I'd drop the phone as soon as the purchase was completed.

Cingular Wireless has a plan where you can get the software free if you are blind or visually impaired, but the phone costs $249, which is a lot of money for a cell phone. The reason for the expense is that the phone must run a particular operating system to accommodate the speech software. Cingular does not offer a payment plan for this phone.

Now, there are things that can make cell phones easier to use. The first thing that most folks look at is the keypad. We want keys that are raised, with a dot on the "5" key for reference. Most "flip" phones have a keypad that is flat, which is difficult to use by the blind. How raised the keys need to be is a personal preference, depending on the sensitivity of the fingers.

Sprint offers its voice-dialing service, Sprint PCS Voice Command, for free to customers who are blind, visually impaired or physically disabled. The free service, which allows calls to be dialed by speaking the desired contact or phone number, also includes 10 free directory assistance calls per month. Sprint PCS Voice Command is currently available to Sprint customers for $5 a month.

To take advantage of this program, customers should contact Sprint to obtain an application form. The form requests basic customer information; in addition, customers are asked to have their doctor or ophthalmologist sign the form certifying the customer's eligibility. For more details about this offer, please visit www.sprint.com/accessibility, or to obtain an application, contact Customer Solutions at (888) 211-4727.

Sprint PCS Voice Command is enjoyed by many of Sprint's disabled customers who have difficulty dialing phone numbers or reading handset display information. Sprint PCS Voice Command uses next-generation speech technology that responds to any voice and works on any Sprint PCS Phone.

The Sprint PCS Voice Command personal address book holds up to 500 names and 2500 phone numbers. Sprint PCS Voice Command users can manage their personal address book online, by voice and through Sprint Directory Assistance.

This advanced service is network-based so customers who upgrade to a new phone or happen to lose their Sprint PCS Phone won't lose their address book and contacts. Plus, Sprint PCS Voice Command customers may also "Call the Web" for access to news, weather, sports, email and other information.

Cingular Wireless has a similar service called Voice Connect that will allow a person to speak the numbers they want to dial. To use this service however, one must enter *8 on their cell phone. They can then speak the number they want to dial, or enter names in to an address book. Once the names are in, you can say something like, "call mom" and the phone will call the number you've associated with your mom. The service does have some other features like getting the current weather conditions, a wake up call feature, getting sports and news, and your daily horoscope. If you are blind, you can get this service for free. You will have to show some documentation, but it's usually something simple. Blind users can also get the 411 service for free. For more information on the various plans that Cingular offers, visit their home page for Disability Resources: http://www.cingular.com/disabilityresources.

VoiceDialer for Windows Mobile Pocket PC

Voice Dialer is available for Windows Mobile based Pocket PC's. The application lets you say the name of a contact you would like to call, freeing your hands from having to dial the number manually. VoiceDialer retrieves the names and phone number from your contact list and then dials the number.

According to SmartVoice, the developer, VoiceDialer is accurate enough to never need training, it will work the first time even if you have never used it before. They also say it can handle multiple users and accents. VoiceDialer contains text to speech to provide a complete eyes-free interface, allowing confirmations, and the ability to call to multiple locations including mobile, work and home.

Find more information on Voice Dialer by visiting the web site: http://www.smartvoiceintl.com.

1-800-555-TELL

A similar service can be found at 1-800-555-TELL. The phone line is provided by Tell Me (R). It lets you get information such as news, sports, weather, stock quotes, entertainment news and driving directions. The software is easy to navigate, it tells you exactly what you can do.

When you call, you tell it what kind of information you want to hear. An example would be to say "weather" and the system will get that information for you. If you are interested in sports, you say "sports", then say the sport you want to hear about. You could say a specific team such as "Braves". In the sports baseball area, you can also say "American League" or "National League" to get all the scores from a specific league. If you pick the taxi or airline option, Tell Me will directly connect you with a cab company in the area you choose, or will connect you with an airline representative.

This service is toll-free for U.S. citizens, the phone number is 1-800-555-TELL, or 1-800-555-8355.

If By Phone

Ifbyphone is a unique voice based information and entertainment service available from any telephone. Use your cell phone, home phone or business phone to access the latest news, listen to your Email, search thousands of RSS feeds, access hundreds of blogs, manage your portfolio, listen to a weather report, play fun games and enjoy Interactive Fiction, all by voice without touching your telephone keypad.

Even with the advances in hand held devices and telephones, there are many times where it just does not make sense to look down at a screen. ifbyphone brings information and fun to you via your cell phone and headset, all hands-free and eyes-free. For example, you're bouncing down the road on the number 52 bus. It's impossible to read or use your PDA. You have no one else to talk to on your cell. Why not call ifbyphone? You can listen to any new Email, check out the news or sports and then play a game or participate in an adventure.

Many competing services require that you purchase an expensive cell phone with special and expensive data communications capabilities. Not ifbyphone. With ifbyphone you can use any cell phone, including the free phone provided when you signed up for a cellular service. What's more, with ifbyphone there is no need to sign up for an expensive cell phone data service, since ifbyphone uses voice for all communications.

When reading your favorite book, have you often wondered what it would be like to participate in the story, to play the role of one of the characters? At ifbyphone you can. We have merged the exciting world of Interactive Fiction with the latest in voice recognition and text to speech technology to allow you to participate in hundreds of stories over your telephone.

Imagine combining the best of radio drama with the interactivity of computer and console games. It's been done by ifbyphone.

Want to track a special area of interest for fun or business? With ifbyphone, you can! Simply configure automatic news searches and listen to the results on your way to work. Then have ifbyphone Email the most interesting articles to your desk at the office.

Have an RSS feed you would like to read, but lack the time? With ifbyphone, you can! Just list the RSS feed in your profile and listen to it anyplace, anytime.

Interested in following a blog but find you don't have time? Now you do. Just listen to it on ifbyphone.

Tired of listening to music or watching television while you exercise? With ifbyphone, you can play an interactive game while running on the treadmill. Just think how much faster those pounds will fall away!

FOR A TOLL FREE DEMONSTRATION CALL 1-866-350-9836. Two minute demonstration calls are completely free. No credit card required. The program is in beta testing, and all accounts were free as of the time this article was written. Click this link to visit the ifbyphone website to sign up for the If By Phone service: http://www.ifbyphone.com. Michael McCarty Fred's Head Database Coordinator American Printing House for the Blind Phone: 502 895-2405 Fax: 502 899-2363 www.aph.org

Student Angles: Tackling Technology / Choosing A Computer

Computers have caused a total revamping of education and employment. While you should never allow yourself to become so dependent on technology that you are incapable of completing a task successfully without it, it would be a big mistake to ignore its significance in affording blind and visually impaired students and employees better job opportunities, added efficiency and leveling of the playing field for persons who are disabled.

Whether you become acquainted with computers in school, train yourself, or receive training through a rehabilitation agency, you should take full advantage of everything your equipment has to offer. For example, if you have a braille or speech-driven notetaker, do not simply learn to use it as a notetaking device. Many notetakers can be used with an ink or braille printer, in conjunction with other computers as a voice synthesizer, and/or for transferring information or to access the Internet.

Get everything you can from your technology. Adaptive technology is costly, and you are unlikely to have all of the equipment that would be optimal for the work you need to do. . . . This article deals only with helping you to become a wise consumer.

Generally, the first two things sighted people do before purchasing a computer is talk with knowledgeable computer users and shop around for the most efficient system at the lowest cost. Unfortunately, it is not particularly easy to chat with blind and visually impaired people about the wide variety of speech, refreshable braille and magnification equipment available for computers unless you are already on the Internet, in which case you probably aren't reading this article. Nearly everyone I know who uses adaptive technology swears by it. People usually do rave about what is working for them or they justify bad personal or rehab agency choices with rave technology reviews. Regardless of the reasons, what is wonderful for one person may be useless for another.

If you are able to visit national centers where technology equipment is regularly used, plan to do so. Agencies and organizations that can demonstrate many adaptive pieces of equipment are: American Foundation for the Blind; American Council of the Blind, Washington, DC; and the International Braille and Technology Center, Baltimore, Md. Agencies to contact in your state would be the state Commission for the Blind or other services for the blind agencies, the state school for the blind, or an independent living center. You will be able to talk with adaptive technology experts and view the various products firsthand, listen to different speech synthesizers, test braille quality of braille displays and braille printers, and try different screen readers with the software you will be using.

Another option is to call some of the major manufacturers in the field and ask whether they have local trainers or distributors who will provide demonstrations. You might also consider attending one of the annual conventions of the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) or American Council of the Blind (ACB) to take advantage of the available vendors. A visit, or at least a phone call or two, to one of the technology centers is preferable since you will receive objective information and no hard sells.

What will you need your computer to do? Where will you be using it? Will its use distract others in a meeting or classroom? If the computer you particularly like is ideal except for being noisy, is there a way to minimize the noise? Or is there perhaps technology out there that you do not know about that is quieter?

Will the optical character recognition software or stand-alone reading machine read the material you will be using most often? Can you navigate the screen easily? Does the screen-reading software give you all the information you need in a usable format in order to complete your tasks? Is it too heavy to be truly portable?

One of the most overlooked aspects of adaptive technology is the company from whom you purchase your equipment. There are companies with terrible reputations--poor service, exorbitant pricing--and there are others that truly put the consumer first. Before you settle on particular equipment, speak to the manufacturer's customer service personnel several times. Ask about service contracts, replacement if your equipment is stolen or requires repairs, and what type of technical support is available over the phone.

In addition to efficiently fulfilling your needs in completing work and having reliable service, working with your equipment should be physically comfortable. Can you type and access information comfortably for extended periods of time? Is the touch required for typing too strenuous on your wrists? Is the arrangement of your devices in your work area conducive to easy manipulation?

You should obtain some basic computer knowledge before embarking on your technology search. A discussion with a computer science instructor in conjunction with consultation with one of the previously mentioned technology centers might enable you to make optimal choices.

If your technology needs are going to change when you begin college or enter the workforce after graduation, be sure to become well acquainted with the new devices and software "before" the semester or job begins. It is stressful enough settling into a college career or new employment situation without the extra hassles of learning the wonders--and weaknesses--of new hardware and software.

There is something for you in the adaptive technology market. You may sometimes feel you have to acquire it all. Focus on what you actually need. Choose deliberately and carefully. Good luck!


This article by Christine Faltz from The Student Advocate 17 (Winter 1999) originally appeared in Dialogue magazine and is reprinted with special permission from the publisher. Dialogue magazine is published in braille, large print and 4-track cassette.

Home Exercise Program for the Blind?

Message: I am looking for a book on a home exercise program designed for people who are blind?
location: west Virginia

Although there are no at home guides for exercise for the visually impaired, APH does sell the following product:

Going places : transition guidelines for community-based physical activities for students who have visual Impairments, blindness, or deafblindness

Going Places is a resource guide for introducing teens and young adults to community-based, independent physical fitness activities. Designed to help foster independence and self-advocacy, it outlines a step-by-step process for choosing and participating in sports and other physical activities outside of school. Using the acronym PLACES, Going Places guides the user through this process: Preferences (what do you like to do?) ; Leisure, sport, and fitness activities (here's what you might do) ; Awareness (how can you find out where and how to do it?) ; Choices (how do you decide in what to participate?) ; Exploration (how can you get the most out of it?) ; Skill development (how can you get better at it?)

Although written towards teachers and parents, it does a good analysis of how to find activities that meet your inclinations.

In addition, the NLS braille and talking book library system has a number of fitness and exercise books available for various types of exercises and various age groups and levels of fitness, although these are not specifically written for the visually impaired. You can ask your local library to search Voyager using the keywords fitness and/or exercise to find you some suitable titles.

Article Source:
Inge Formenti
Click this link to purchase Going Places: Transition Guidelines for Community-Based Physical Activities for Students who have Visual Impairments.

American Printing House for the Blind, Inc.
1839 Frankfort Avenue
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 6085
Louisville, Kentucky 40206-0085
Toll Free: 800-223-1839
Phone: 502-895-2405
Fax: 502-899-2274
E-mail: info@aph.org
Web site: http://www.aph.org
APH Shopping Home: http://shop.aph.org

Accessible Diabetes Reference Materials

Serving Individuals with Diabetes who are Blind or Visually Impaired: A Resource Guide for Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors

"Serving Individuals with Diabetes Who are Blind or Visually Impaired: A Resource Guide for Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors" is a work produced by The National Federation of the Blind, in collaboration with The Rehabilitation Research and Training Center (RRTC) on Blindness and Low Vision at Mississippi State University. This guide is very thorough in coverage of all aspects of diabetes care and is also available in Spanish. This and other publications are available for ordering online from the Center's website.

Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Blindness and Low Vision
Mississippi State University
P.O. Drawer 6189
Mississippi State, MS 39762
Phone: 662-325-2001
Fax: 662-325-8989
Web: http://www.blind.msstate.edu/pub.html<

Diabetes

by Gail B. Stewart

Discusses the history, nature, causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and complications of diabetes. Emphasizes proper medication and a healthy diet. (Grades 5-8+)

Braille:
Catalog Number: T-N1374-60

Click this link to purchase the book Diabetes.

American Printing House for the Blind, Inc.
1839 Frankfort Avenue
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 6085
Louisville, Kentucky 40206-0085
Toll Free: 800-223-1839
Phone: 502-895-2405
Fax: 502-899-2274
E-mail: info@aph.org
Web site: http://www.aph.org
APH Shopping Home: http://shop.aph.org

Book On Diabetes in Braille

By Carl Augusto

For people who read braille, and just found out they have diabetes, there's a new book you should know about called My Pocket Doctor Diabetic Reference Guide and Journal. According to the information we received, the book is "bound to answer any questions that a newly diagnosed diabetic would ask." With diabetes on the rise, there are a lot of people looking for good resources on blood glucose testing, insulin facts, medications, diet and exercise, etc. Though we haven't yet seen a copy, it sounds like it could be a very useful book.

Article Source:
http://www.afb.org/blog/blog_comments.asp?TopicID=1781.

Pocket Doctor on CD

This CD is a helpful tool for educating the "newbie". It's an expanded adaptation of the book for information on disease terms with easy to understand descriptions. Information on blood glucose testing, insulin facts, pills, new medications, dining out, illness complications, as well as such other important topics such as traveling, leisure and exercise, and smoking and alcohol are also included. The ABC'S of diabetes, a diabetes food plan, resources by phone and web, and so much more. Running time is one hour.

It's upbeat, and talks to you as in a conversation with musical dividing lines. Sylvia Hernandez, RD, CDE sounds like the diabetes educator you wished you had. Any newly diagnosed diabetic that's just been informed that they have diabetes should be listening to it.

See, and listen to an online audio sampler at http://www.pocketreferencejournals.com.

Tips for Labeling Clothes

By Dana Ard

Reprinted from the Winter 2000 Gem State Milestones, the newsletter of the NFB of Idaho.

Editor's Note: Learning to dress oneself is an important milestone in the independence of a child. Most kids then move to the next stage of independence in dressing - choosing their own outfits - without too much fuss. Blind kids can make this transition smoothly, too, if parents put a little advance thought and planning into a clothes labeling system.

Dana Ard, a rehabilitation counselor with the Idaho Commission for the Blind, shares some helpful tips about labeling clothes in this nifty little article. In her job, Dana works mostly with newly blind adults, however, she has a lot of personal knowledge about independence for blind children. Born with retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) and mild cerebral palsy (CP), she was the first totally blind child to be educated entirely in the public school system in Boise, Idaho. Although the CP limits the use of her right hand, she is a good, fast left-handed Braille reader, and, as secretary of the NFB of Idaho, regularly takes notes with a slate and stylus. She and her husband have 6 dogs, including her guide dog, Fringe, and a deaf-blind Dachshund they rescued. Dana is an active member of her church and community choirs, a 20-year member of the Toastmasters Club, and she loves to read, cook, and take walks. Here, now, is what Dana has to say about "Labeling Clothing."

Recently a newly blind client told me about a very embarrassing situation that happened to her. She and her grown daughters were meeting for lunch. When she arrived at the restaurant, they told her that she was wearing two different colored shoes, one black, and the other white. She was humiliated and told me that she was waiting for her daughters to coordinate her clothing before she dared to go out again.

Certainly, both blind and sighted people alike can report such embarrassing moments, but if you're blind and have no method for identifying the colors in your wardrobe, you risk having such moments more often.

Obviously, the simplest way to keep clothing straight is never to buy two items that are exactly the same except for their color. This approach is not always practical. I have a favorite brand and style of shoes, which I like because they fit my hard-to-fit feet. To keep them from getting mixed up, I place the pairs together in a shoe bag. I attach a stick-on Braille label on the side of each shoe where it will not bother my foot. I use Braille letters such as "nb" for navy blue, "br" for brown, "bl" for black, etc. I also use such stick-on Braille labels to identify my belts that are similar. I have two brown belts; one is designated "lbr" for light brown, and the other "dbr" for dark brown. If you don't know Braille, you can buy a package of stick-on raised shaped adhesive markers, which you can use in the same way as the dymo-tape labels. You might use a raised rectangle for navy blue and a raised circle for black, for example. Of course, you need to keep track of which shapes represent which colors.

I use different shaped craft beads attached to safety pins to identify colors of clothing items that are similar. I pin these beads to the inside label of the item. A very small bead symbolizes red or pink, a rough-textured bead is used for white, and a bead with little projections around it is used for black. I use a safety pin in the label for blue, and cut the label down the middle if the item is green. You can be as creative as you want to with your labeling system, as long as it meets your needs.

I am aware of three commercially available tactile labeling products: Braille aluminum clothing tags, Do Dots, and Matchmakers. The aluminum tags can be sewn onto the label of the garment. Do dots are Braille identifiers that attach to the item like a tie tack. They have Braille that signifies both the color and whether it is light or dark. This product seemed very bulky to me when I tried it on my pants. Matchmakers are labels with different dot designs on them. They can be pinned in a garment, and like the craft beads, you determine which design of dots will symbolize which color.

Editor's Note: State or local public or private agencies for the blind will often carry clothing labeling products as a convenience to clients, students, or patrons. The American Printing House for the Blind offers a variety of devices to assist people when labeling their clothes as well as a device that can speak the colors of clothes.

Using Braille to Label Clothes

There are several methods of labeling clothes using braille:

  1. You may identify various shades of small items, such as socks, ties, pantyhose, etc. by storing them in separate Ziploc bags with index cards noting their colors.

  2. You can make braille tags to be placed on the hanger associated with a given garment. Some people use plastic or paper cards, which are removed when a garment is to be washed or dry cleaned.

  3. You may sew a braille label directly into the garment. Several options of braille labeling materials are available for this purpose, including: Brailling on garment labeling tape, which is similar to Dymo tape but without the adhesive backing. And prefabricated metal labels with braille letters.

It is important to note that tags or labels should be placed in the same location on each garment of a class. Just what that location is, is not as important as being consistent. If three dresses are to be labeled, place each label in the same location on each dress. With one label on a shoulder, another under an arm and a third at the middle, hunting the label can be as frustrating as having no label at all.

From the Braille Monitor 42 (March 1999): 177-181.

Colorino Talking Color Identifier

Simpler talking color identifier offers a lower-priced alternative to APH's ColorTest II.

Colorino is a small, hand-held unit that is simple to operate using only two buttons. The Colorino can detect more than 100 nuances of color. It can also be used as a light detector. Colorino uses 2 AAA batteries (included) and comes with a carrying case; cassette, large print, and braille "quick start" instructions; and a one-year warranty.

Colorino, English:
Catalog Number: 1-03955-00

NOTE: Colorino is NOT available with Federal Quota funds

Click here to purchase these items 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 Products From The APH Website Is Easy".

American Printing House for the Blind, Inc.
1839 Frankfort Avenue
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 6085
Louisville, Kentucky 40206-0085
Toll Free: 800-223-1839
Phone: 502-895-2405
Fax: 502-899-2274
E-mail: info@aph.org
Web site: http://www.aph.org

I use 3" x 5" file cards on which to prepare descriptions of my clothing in braille. Then I punch a little hole in one corner of the card and put it over the coat hanger to identify each garment. Sometimes, I hang necklaces over a garment that go well with it. Also, I keep each pair of my shoes in a shoebox and find it helpful to label these too.

Sherlock Talking Label Identifier

Sherlock

The Sherlock Talking Label Identifier is a hand-held digital voice recorder with each recorded message keyed to an adhesive label or plastic disk tag. Labels or tags can be attached to clothing, medications, packaged products, frozen foods, documents, books, CDs, anything you wish to identify. Includes 25 labels, 10 tags and carrying case.

Sherlock Talking Label Identifier: Catalog Number: 1-07410-00

Extra Adhesive Labels (pack of 25):
Catalog Number: 1-07411-00

Extra Plastic Tags (pack of 10):
Catalog Number: 1-07412-00
Click this link to purchase the Sherlock Talking Label Identifier, now ON SALE!

MagneTachers: Magnetic Labels from APH

MagneTachers are magnetic labels that attach to metal objects, are easily removable, and re-attachable! You can create labels in large print, braille, and for the Sherlock Talking Label Identifier (sold separately).

Uses include:

  • Create, use, store, and reuse labels for canned goods
  • Read, write, order and re-order sets of words or numbers on a classroom magnet board
  • Make labels on metal desks and file drawers that everyone can read

MagneTachers for Making Large Print Labels

can of soup with a large print MagneTacher label affixed
  • Includes two MagneTacher rolls, each 120 inches long, and instructions in print and braille
  • Select from two heights -- half inch or inch, depending on the print size you need
  • Write directly on the paper side of the MagneTacher, which provides a smear-resistant surface for a bold line pen or marker
  • Cut label from the roll and place on metal surface

MagneTachers for Making Braille Labels

can of soup with a braille MagneTacher label affixed
  • Includes two MagneTacher rolls, half inch tall and 120 inches long, with instructions in print and braille
  • Emboss MagneTachers with braille labelers and slates with half-inch wide alignment guides
  • Braille on the non-magnetic side of the label; its white vinyl coating helps braille dots stay firm
  • Cut label from the roll and place on metal surface

MagneTachers for Making Small Braillable Labels

File storage box with a braillable MagneTacher label affixed
  • Includes two MagneTachers sheets, each holding 18 MagneTachers and instructions in print and braille
  • These MagneTachers are magnetic strips only. You can make them braille labels by adhering APH's Braillable Labels: Small Braillable Labels to them (labels sold separately Small Label Pack, 1-08872-00 and Assorted Label Pack, 1-08871-00)
  • Small Braillable Labels hold two lines and fifteen braille cells
  • Press a completed label onto the non-magnetic side of the MagneTacher and place on metal surface

MagneTachers for Use with Sherlock Labels

File storage drawer with a Sherlock MagneTacher label affixed
  • Includes two MagneTachers sheets, each holding 12 MagneTachers and instructions in print and braille
  • MagneTachers for use with Sherlock labels include an additional pack of 25 Sherlock labels
  • NOTE: You must have the Sherlock Talking Label Identifier (sold separately), 1-07410-00, to use these MagneTachers
  • Use, remove, and re-use Sherlock labels on metal objects as often as you like
For Making Large Print Labels (0.5 inch high, includes two 120 inch rolls):
Catalog Number: 1-07417-00

For Making Larger Print Labels: (1 inch high, two 120 inch rolls):
Catalog Number: 1-07418-00
Click this link to purchase the MagneTachers Magnetic Labels: For Making Large Print Labels.

For Making Braille Labels (0.5 inch high, two 120 inch rolls):
Catalog Number: 1-07416-00

For Making Small Braillable Labels (includes two sheets, 18 labels per sheet):
Catalog Number: 1-07415-00
Click this link to purchase the MagneTachers Magnetic Labels: For Making Braille Labels.

For Making Sherlock Labels (two sheets, 12 labels per sheet):
Catalog Number: 1-07413-00

American Printing House for the Blind, Inc.
1839 Frankfort Avenue
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 6085
Louisville, Kentucky 40206-0085
Toll Free: 800-223-1839
Phone: 502-895-2405
Fax: 502-899-2274
E-mail: info@aph.org
Web site: http://www.aph.org
APH Shopping Home: http://shop.aph.org

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