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.)

Search

Monday, November 30, 2009

Read Your Clipboard Content Out Loud

Professional writers often read their work out loud to make sure it flows well and sounds coherent. If you want to kick back and have the reading done for you, then give Speak Clipboard a try.

This lightweight, free, open-source app is designed for Windows XP, but you should have no trouble with Vista (and presumably Windows 7) too, just install the .NET 1.1 framework. To make Speak Clipboard talk to you, simply copy text into your clipboard via Right-click -> Copy or Ctrl+C, then fire up the app. You can pause and resume Speak Clipboard or change the reading direction from right to left, all with a single click.

This cool tool appeals to more than just writers. It's a great app to help people with a visual impairment, and a neat way for kids to practice their reading and writing skills.

Click this link to download Speak Clipboard from http://www.speaktools.com.

Luggage Locator: See & Hear Where Your Bag Is!

One of my absolute favorite things about flying is the wait at the baggage claim. All those cases and they all look and feel alike! How's a guy to find his bag in the sea of black bags that go round and round until you're sick from watching? How about listening for your bag instead.

Now you can easily locate your bag from the sea of look-alike luggage. Simply press the button on your remote and the locator on your bag will light up (six flashing LEDs!) and your prerecorded message will play for thirty seconds continuously. You'll be able to hear it up to 45 feet away! Thanks for solving this problem.

Click this link to purchase the Luggage Locator from the Things You Never Knew Existed website.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

iPhone Screen Projector

Cell phone accessibility is getting better but most of us still use the mostly inaccessible type. If you have some vision, this Simple, tiny device will make it easier for you to adjust the settings on your cell phone without straining your eyes.

The HypnosEye Projector and Screen Set uses a lens and a mirror to reflect images from your mobile device, which you insert in the tray underneath.

HypnosEye works especially well with an iPhone or a Touch, but will also work with any other backlit mobile phone that allows you to adjust the brightness. But rather than use an ordinary mirror which would result in an unclear image, HypnosEye has implemented a special mirror with a reflection agent on top of the glass surface (rather than behind). As a result, you can even show media from your portable device almost anywhere at anytime. Click this link to learn more about the HypnosEye Projector and Screen Set from the Japan Trend Shop.

Refresh your Dog Guide with Products from Heininger Automotive

As a dog guide user, I'm always on the lookout for items that will make our lives easier, especially while traveling for long periods of time. I like the following products, sold by SmartHome, made by Heininger Automotive.

The first item is the Heininger Automotive PortablePET WaterBoy, a travel water bowl for dogs, which holds up to 3 quarts of water and will not splash. This WaterBoy container offers both comfort and function, designed to help pets during travel and is highly dependable.

Click this link to learn more about the Heininger Automotive 3059 PortablePET WaterBoy from SmartHome.com.

Item two is the Heininger Automotive PortablePET PortaBottle. It holds up to 20oz of water and has a flip down bowl for drinking.

Click this link to learn more about the Heininger 3058 PortaBottle from SmartHome.com.

Now that your guide has water, we need to provide some food. The PortablePet FoodTote is the perfect food and drink container for day-tripping dogs. Just pop off the handle and the food and water bowls slide off the ends of the food container. Unscrew the top of the food container to remove the water canteen. Compact and lightweight, the Food Tote is made of food-grade high-impact materials. FoodTote includes a 1-8 cup food container with two bowls and one water canteen.

Click this link to learn more about the Heininger Automotive 3050 PortablePet FoodTote from SmartHome.com.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Provide a Comfortable Bed of Warmth for your Dog Guide

Doesn't your dog guide deserve the very best?

Give your dog guide or household pet a nice, large bed to keep warm at night and/or during the cold months of the year, use the Petmate Heated Orthopedic Indoor Pet Bed. It offers a steady stream of heat on a large, rectangular bed made of suede and natural Berber. The larger size of the bed makes it ideal for dogs, but will certainly work for cats as well.

The soothing low voltage bed is designed to be used indoors exclusively, and simply plugs in to a standard outlet. It features a chew resistant power cord, totally safe for your pets. The bed measures 30" Wide, 40" Long and 2" Thick.

Click this link to purchase the Petmate Heated Orthopedic Indoor Pet Bed from SmartHome.com.

Monday, November 16, 2009

BookServer Offers Books in Text-only DAISY Format

Brewster Kahle, Internet Archive Founder and Chief Librarian, has introduced what he calls his BookServer project.

BookServer is a framework of tools and activities that allow for the discovery, distribution, and delivery of electronic books by retailers, librarians, and aggregators. This is done in a way that makes for an easy experience for the reader, on whatever device they prefer. Files are also available in DAISY format.

Click this link to read about and sample BookServer.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Wilson Reading System

Wilson System Readers 1, 2, and 3

The Wilson Reading System (WRS) is a research-based reading and writing program. WRS is a complete curriculum for teaching decoding and encoding (spelling), beginning with phoneme segmentation. Unlike other programs that overwhelm the student with rules, the language system of English is presented in a systematic and cumulative manner so that it is manageable.

  • WRS directly teaches the structure of words so that students master the coding system for reading and spelling.
  • Many students who benefit from WRS have deficiencies in phonologic awareness and/or orthographic processing which makes it challenging for them to learn to read and spell without a systematic, multi-sensory approach.
  • The WRS was developed for students in grade three and beyond. It is widely used with upper elementary students, adolescents, and adults.

The Wilson Reading System is authored by Barbara A. Wilson and published by Wilson Language Training Corporation. Permission has been granted to APH to publish the braille and large print version.

NOTE: Braille and large print editions of the complete program will be available in the future.

Wilson Reading System Braille Readers:

Student Reader One:
Catalog Number: 6-79502-00

Student Reader Two:
Catalog Number: 6-79503-00

Student Reader Three:
Catalog Number: 6-79504-00
Click this link to purchase the Wilson Reading System.

Wilson Reading System Large Print Kit

Large Type Edition Wilson Student Reader 1 Student Reader One and Workbooks 1A and 1B:
Catalog Number: 8-79501-SK1

Student Reader Two and Workbooks 2A and 2B:
Catalog Number: 8-79501-SK2

Student Reader Three and Workbooks 3A and 3B:
Catalog Number: 8-79501-SK3

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

Leaders and Legends: Dean W. Tuttle

Dean W. Tuttle
Inducted 2009
Hall of Fame for Leaders and Legends of the Blindness Field

Dean Tuttle was born in 1936 in the Belgian Congo where his parents were medical missionaries. After graduating from high school in the Congo, he completed his undergraduate work at Wheaton College, two masters degrees, one in educational administration and one in special education. In 1971 he earned his doctorate in a joint program between the University of California at Berkeley and San Francisco State University in Educational Psychology/Special Education. Dean and his older brother both lost their vision due to retinitis pigmentosa. He and his wife, Naomi, have three sons and five grandchildren.

After teaching mathematics and science in New Jersey and serving as an itinerant/resource teacher in California, in 1966 he was invited to be the principal of the California School for the Blind. In this capacity he led the school during its difficult but vital transformation into a school for children with multiple impairments.

In 1971, he began teaching special education at the University of Northern Colorado where he worked until his full retirement in 1994. Under his leadership the teacher preparation program became one of the most respected in the country, certifying teachers in orientation and mobility as well as in special education. Later a multiple disabilities component was added, offering a triple-competency option.

He is the co-author, with his wife, of the text, Self-esteem and Adjusting with Blindness: the Process of Responding to Life's Demands, now in its third edition. He was then asked to write a correspondence course for The Hadley School for the Blind based on this book. This classic landmark text is required reading in most programs which prepare professionals in the blindness field. Through his writings he has helped to clarify the psychosocial paradigms which impact on the relationship between disabilities and the development of self-esteem.

Dr. Tuttle served on many advisory boards for Hadley, US Department of Education, American Foundation for the Blind, American Printing House for the Blind and NAC. Many of his 38 publications have centered around the topics of self-esteem, family responses to a visual impairment and recreation for the visually impaired. His latest book is a tribute to his parents and their medical work in the Congo. Dean has been invited to give many major presentations in 29 different states, Canada, Australia, China and Israel.

Dr. Tuttle has received many honors, among which are the Migel Medal from AFB in 2000 and the Wings of Freedom from APH in 2004. Earlier he received the Scholar of the Year Award from the University of Northern Colorado in 1990, the Distinguished Service Award from CEC-DVI in 1991, and the Warren Bledsoe Outstanding Publication Award from AER in 1992 and the Hadley President's Service Award in 2004.

He has been described as both a peer role model and mentor, with a calm and quiet demeanor, one who guided and challenged his students by mutually shared wisdom and insight. Some have received and passed on his advice, "Be curious about and pursue a variety of interests, cultivate and sharpen your God-given abilities and skills and enjoy the adventure of life."

The Hall of Fame Induction of Dr. Euclid Herie and Dr. Dean Tuttle by Dr. Jane Erin

Dean Tuttle Dean Tuttle's Hall of Fame Plaque

Plaque sponsored by the University of Northern Colorado

About the Hall of Fame

The Hall of Fame for Leaders and Legends of the Blindness Field is dedicated to preserving, honoring, and promoting the tradition of excellence manifested by the specific individuals inducted into the Hall of Fame and through the history of outstanding services provided to people who are blind or visually impaired.

These significant professional colleagues of the recent and distant past are a fascinating cross-section of heroes and pioneers who not only shaped our rich history, philosophy, knowledge and skills, but also give us insights into current and future challenges. These giants shared their personal lives and showed us strategies to ensure that services for blind persons remain unique and specialized. Enjoy their lives and contributions and reflect upon your own list of heroes.

Hall of Fame: Leaders and Legends of the Blindness Field is a project of the entire field of blindness. It is curated by the American Printing House for the Blind, a 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization.

Visit the virtual Hall of Fame for the inspiring stories of many more heroes of the field of blindness.

Leaders and Legends: Euclid J. Herie

Euclid J. Herie
Inducted 2009
Hall of Fame for Leaders and Legends of the Blindness Field

Euclid Herie was born in 1939 south of Winnipeg, one of three children of a poor French Canadian farming family. Congenital cataracts resulted in serious vision loss as a teenager, resulting in total blindness by age 40. He earned two undergraduate degrees, a masters in social work in 1965 and honorary Dr. of Laws in 1981, all from the University of Manitoba. He is the father of two children and three grandchildren. Euclid lives in Toronto with Barbara Marjeram, where he occasionally enjoys horseback trekking, white water adventures and sailing.

In 1963 he began a career in child welfare at the Children's Aid Society of Winnipeg. Then he was the Executive Director of the Manitoba Division of the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB) and later of the Ontario Division from 1977 until 1983.

As President and CEO of CNIB from 1984 until his retirement in 2001, his masterful hand at the helm guided the organization through some difficult changes and growth spurts which included the establishment of regional offices, the implementation of new service models, the closure of residential and workshop programs, and the creation of technology, employment, youth and leadership development programs. He led CNIB in a multimillion dollar campaign to digitize the library, one of the largest libraries for the blind funded through private donations.

From 1988 until 2004, Euclid served successively as treasurer, president and past president of the World Blind Union which represents 180 million blind persons in 150 countries. In this capacity he was deeply involved with international agencies stimulating programs in many developing countries particularly in braille literacy, accessible and affordable technology, maintaining universal postage rights, improving the status of blind women, and the restoration of the Louis Braille birthplace. Over the course of his WBU presidency Herie, usually accompanied by executive assistant Marjeram, visited more than 60 countries, delivering speeches, promoting causes and advocating for the rights of blind persons throughout the world.

During his retirement in 2002 he exemplified his strong advocacy for Braille by establishing the World Braille Foundation to help implement Braille literacy programs. In the first six years 40 literacy projects in 18 countries have been implemented to support the training of blind children and adults. From 2003 to 2007 he served as a director of HumanWare, a company which manufactures and distributes technical aids for blind and visually impaired persons.

His publications include Journey to Independence--Blindness, the Canadian Story, a history of blindness in Canada, and a chapter in Changing What It Means to be Blind: Reflections on the first 25 years of the World Blind Union.

Dr. Herie has received many honors for his exemplary leadership on behalf of the blind worldwide and was elected in 2000 as an honorary life member of the WBU. In 2001 he was appointed president emeritus of CNIB, an unprecedented recognition. He received AER's Ambrose M. Shotwell Award in 2002 for "outstanding contributions to the personal adjustment or rehabilitation of adults who are blind or visually impaired." He is also the recipient of the Queen's 50th Anniversary Commemorative Medal and the Canadian Government's prestigious Member of the Order of Canada. His most recent award is the World Blind Union Louis Braille Medal in 2009.

He has been described as "dynamic and fearlessly optimistic" and is valued for his "warmth of personality and ability to touch the lives of disempowered people."

The Hall of Fame Induction of Dr. Euclid Herie and Dr. Dean Tuttle by Dr. Jane Erin

Euclid Herie Euclid Herie's Hall of Fame Plaque

Plaque sponsored by Humanware

About the Hall of Fame

The Hall of Fame for Leaders and Legends of the Blindness Field is dedicated to preserving, honoring, and promoting the tradition of excellence manifested by the specific individuals inducted into the Hall of Fame and through the history of outstanding services provided to people who are blind or visually impaired.

These significant professional colleagues of the recent and distant past are a fascinating cross-section of heroes and pioneers who not only shaped our rich history, philosophy, knowledge and skills, but also give us insights into current and future challenges. These giants shared their personal lives and showed us strategies to ensure that services for blind persons remain unique and specialized. Enjoy their lives and contributions and reflect upon your own list of heroes.

Hall of Fame: Leaders and Legends of the Blindness Field is a project of the entire field of blindness. It is curated by the American Printing House for the Blind, a 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization.

Visit the virtual Hall of Fame for the inspiring stories of many more heroes of the field of blindness.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Always Hit the Container with the g-Spout

How many times have you tried to pour something into a container and made a big mess? It happens all the time for me. I get so tired of cleaning up the counter after I've tried to pour something into a container for storage or to put in the trash.

The g-Spout is a removable spout/strainer that easily attaches to a skillet, double boiler, bowl or can. Made of high temperature food grade silicone, the g-Spout is microwave and dishwasher safe.

The g-Spout was originally developed to encourage the environmentally responsible disposal of cooking grease and oil, and to help eliminate clogged drains and sewers. Fats, Oils and Greases stick to the inside of sewers becoming a blockage and sewage "backs up" into homes, businesses or the street.

The g-Spout has become so much more! Customers are suggesting new uses almost every day! It's great for making cupcakes, muffins, and pancakes without drips or baked on batter; drizzling chocolate, and caramel from a double boiler; pouring paint back into bottles; straining fruit salad, vegetables or rice; pouring sugar, salt or coffee; and of course, straining hot bacon or hamburger grease into disposable containers.

Remember - removing the fat, oil, and grease is also good for your family's health. It's not limited to the kitchen either - it can be used in the garage, shop, RV, and even the craft room. The g-Spout is easy to attach and lets you pour with one hand - No more clumsy funnels or dripping ladles to worry about.

Click this link to visit http://g-spout.com.

What does blind mean?

by Donna J. Jodhan

I truly believe that most of the sighted world has a fixed notion as to the meaning of the word "blind" and I say this based on a life-long experience plus those of several of my fellow blind and visually impaired friends and acquaintances. In a nutshell: the word "blind" is taken by the majority of society to mean that a person is unable to see anything and in addition many mainstream persons would tell you that they have a very difficult time understanding what blindness really means.

As a kid growing up in a mainstream environment with two sighted parents and two sighted brothers, I never really gave much thought to this topic except to tell you that from the start I always knew that I was blind because I could not see what others saw. I had a bit of vision that enabled me to see things at a very close range but still things were extremely blurry. I was able to see colors, daylight, and I could distinguish light from dark and some objects. Then when I was in my teens I received a cornea transplant and the world really opened up for me. I was still classified as "blind" but now I could see much more. Then five years ago I lost most of it and now I really know what it is to be blind.

To clarify the picture for you: The word "blind" is liberally used to describe a person who has difficulty seeing things. Someone who is unable to drive because they did not pass the eye test. Someone who either uses a cane or a guide dog to move around. Someone who uses specialized glasses to read and write. Someone who can only see light, shadows, but nothing more. Someone who is totally blind, meaning that they are unable to see anything. So you see, there are varying levels or degrees of blindness and there are different terms to describe each common level. You may hear terms like: High partial, high functional vision, low vision, low functional vision, light perception, and totally blind. If this is all confusing to you, then there is the term legally blind.

As for me: I was born with low functional vision, graduated to high functional vision, and now I am back to light perception. All very confusing you say? Then try this on for size! Different countries apply these terms a bit differently and I am going to give you two websites to visit so that you can see for yourself.

http://www.nfb.org - right here in the United States.
http://www.rnib.org - across the pond in Britain.

I'm Donna J. Jodhan, an accessibility and special needs business consultant wishing you a terrific day. If you'd like to learn more about me, then you can visit some of my blog spots at:
Donna Jodhan! Advocating accessibility for all: http://www.donnajodhan.blogspot.com
Weekly Saturday postings on issues of accessibility: http://www.sterlingcreations.ca/blog/blog.html
blogs on various issues and answers to consumers concerns: http://www.sterlingcreations.com/businessdesk.htm

Monday, November 09, 2009

The Blind Are More Exposed to Identity Theft

by Donna J. Jodhan

I am making this observation because, as a blind person, I can see where this particular group is one of the most vulnerable when it comes to identity theft. True it is that seniors and persons with other types of disabilities run a very close second, but please allow me to explain a bit further.

As a person with precious little vision, I have to depend on my sighted family and friends to help me navigate through mounds of paper and generated forms and when it comes to filling out those cumbersome online forms that's a whole new ball game.

Each time I need to complete hard copy forms, it means that I have no choice but to share personal and confidential information with someone else and it means that I have to trust that person to keep my information private and confidential. I have to trust that the information I give is what is going to be written down exactly as I wish it to be and that the person completing information on my behalf will not copy that information on a separate piece of paper for their later use. In addition, I have to trust that the person reading the information to me is reading exactly what is there and not reading something else that they may choose to make up.

When it comes to completing those cumbersome and complicated online forms, I have to depend on either my screen reader software to tell me exactly what is being required or if that is not possible, I have to depend on sighted assistance. At the present time, screen reader software still faces many challenges when it comes to being able to decipher the contents of forms and why is this? Because many website developers do not take the time to ensure that the forms have been designed to be accessible and usable. Just think of it in this way: If sighted persons have difficulty completing forms online then the challenge for someone who is blind or visually impaired becomes twice or thrice as difficult.

So, the picture is this: If I am unable to complete forms on my own then I need to depend on a person with sight to help me and then I have to place complete trust in that person to read accurately to me and write accurately for me. This puts me in a very vulnerable position and opens me up to identity theft. There is a growing demand for forms to be provided in alternate formats and what this means is this: Forms need to be provided in a format whereby blind and visually impaired persons will be able to read and complete their own forms independently. If you would like to learn more about alternate formats, click this link: http://www.tbase.com. This Canadian-based company provides alternate formats to those who are print-disabled which include the blind and visually impaired.

I'm Donna J. Jodhan, an accessibility and special needs business consultant wishing you a terrific day. If you'd like to learn more about me, then you can visit some of my blog spots at:
Donna Jodhan! Advocating accessibility for all: http://www.donnajodhan.blogspot.com
Weekly Saturday postings on issues of accessibility: http://www.sterlingcreations.ca/blog/blog.html
blogs on various issues and answers to consumers concerns: http://www.sterlingcreations.com/businessdesk.htm

Subscribe to receive posts via email

* indicates required

Browse Articles by Subject

Follow us on Twitter

Archives

Write for us

Your input and support in the evolution of Fred's Head are invaluable! Contact us about contributing original writing or for suggestions for updating existing articles. Email us at fredshead@aph.org.

Disclaimers

The American Printing House for the Blind (APH) makes every attempt to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the data contained in the Fred's Head articles; however, APH makes no warranty, guarantee, or promise, expressed or implied, concerning the content or accuracy of the information provided in Fred's Head. APH does not endorse any technique, product, device, service, organization, or other information presented in Fred's Head, other than products and services directly offered by APH.



The products produced by the American Printing House for the Blind are instructional/teaching materials and are intended to be used by trained professionals, parents, and other adults with children who are blind and visually impaired. These materials are not intended as toys for use by children in unstructured play or in an unsupervised environment.





The information and techniques contained in Fred's Head are provided without legal consideration (free-of-charge) and are not warranted by APH to be safe or effective. All users of this service assume the risk of any injury or damage that may result from the use of the information provided.





Information in Fred's Head is not intended as a substitute for professional advice or treatment. Consult your physician before utilizing information regarding your health that may be presented on this site. Consult other professionals as appropriate for legal, financial, and related advice.





Fred's Head articles may contain links to other websites. APH is not responsible for the content of these sites.





Fred's Head articles created by APH staff are (C) copyright American Printing House for the Blind, Inc. You must request permission from APH to reprint these articles. Email fredshead@aph.org to request permission.





Any submissions to Fred's Head should be free of copyright restrictions and should be the intellectual property of the submitter. By submitting information to Fred's Head, you are granting APH permission to publish this information.





Fair Use Notice: This website may contain copyrighted material whose use has not been specifically authorized by the copyright holder(s). This site is operated on the assumption that using this information constitutes 'fair use' of said copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law.





Opinions appearing in Fred's Head records are solely those of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect the views of the American Printing House for the Blind.