Showing posts from March, 2010

D.O.A. with Described Video and Closed Captions by CaptionMax

Frank Bigelow (Edmond obrien) races against time -- and a luminous toxin -- to solve his own murder in this 1950 film noir. After a night of carousing in San Francisco to escape his devoted fiancée (Pamela Britton), the small-town everyman accountant discovers that he has been poisoned and has only days to live. Now he's desperate to find out who would want him dead, and why.

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How Blind Artists Might Create?

by Michael M. Michaelson Please understand here, that no one person can speak for all those blind artists out there and tell exactly how they go about creating a work. I can say something about my own self and I’m sure it would pretty well relate to many other blind or partially sighted artists and their ways of creating art. Let’s start here, It is said, Literature is the means by which the world attempts to understand itself. Art is the means by which mankind attempts to express itself. Inspiration is the spark by which expression is inflamed. And creativity is the light or result of the flame of inspiration. Now, Everything worth its thought must have a foundation . This simply means that every idea springs from a source and if one were to trace that idea back, it would most likely lead to an original source or starting point. A work of art emerges forth from a source and flows into the imagination generator, where it is energized into a plan or possible creation. This ent…

Tactile American Flags

Those who have lost their sight or are visually impaired can still behold the splendor of the United States flag by feeling the corrugated stripes and the distinct rectangle that houses the 50 rigid stars on the American flags made by Norva Cordova. Cordova, a member of the General Marion Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, said making the Braille 18- by 12- inch American flags is a project dear to her heart for several reasons. Cordova machine sews a thin blue braid around the field of silver metal stars. The white stripes are left alone while a red braid is sewn over each red stripe. "If you are blind, you can feel the difference between the white and red stripes,” she said. “You may not know colors, but you know it’s striped.” Cordova has made 14 flags this year, and 75 total since she began making them about five years ago. Each flag takes about three hours to complete, she said. The national DAR organization’s Web site advertises her flags for sale …

Accessible Rubik’s Cube

Designer Brian Doom’s creation may look odd, but it is quite possibly the most functional Rubik’s Cube ever created because it caters to both the sighted and visually impaired communities equally. Doom’s design, which is based off of the classic Rubik’s Cube, adds–quite literally–a special touch.  Instead of featuring only colors, Doom has added a tactile feature to each color so that anyone with a visual impairment can figure out the different patterns on the cube.  The yellow squares have a rounded wooden knob attached to them, the white squares have a raised, rubber square attached, the blue square has a round, felt sticker stuck to it, the orange squares have a rounded plastic jewel glued to them, green squares have a small raised label stuck to them, and the red squares were painted black and have a small rounded screw raising out of the top of them.  Red was changed to black so that it couldn’t be confused with orange.  Originally, this Frankenstein Rubik’s Cube was designed s…

Wooden Hadley Houses Part of Local History

If you’ve lived in Winnetka, Illinois for a long time, you may remember a red and green wooden schoolhouse with Hadley School for the Blind painted on the side. Designed by former Hadley director Dorrance Nygaard, these Hadley Houses graced a number of area businesses thanks to the efforts of Robert Lechner, a longtime Winnetka resident and former president of Zengeler Cleaners. Lechner was active in the community as a member of the Winnetka Lions Club for more than 20 years, including serving as its president. He also was a past president of the Winnetka Chamber of Commerce. Lechner was interested in promoting Winnetka’s “hometown treasure,” so he worked with the Lions and area businesses to feature the Hadley Houses in their establishments. One of those businesses was Charlie Beinlich’s Food and Tap in Northbrook. According to Lechner’s son, Larry, he used to frequent Beinlich’s every week. While we can’t say for certain, we are fairly sure that’s how three wooden Hadley Houses …

Electronically Communicate with Your Healthcare Provider with Arctrieval

Arctrieval is changing the way we communicate with our healthcare providers by allowing for electronic correspondence between you and your doctor/hospital/insurance company. I am still amazed at the amount of paper we have to use, despite the time most of us spend online. If this company does things right, this could be very useful for the blind and visually impaired. Arctrieval is a Web-based service that allows you to send communications to your health care provider via email, fax or snail mail, and lets you monitor those methods of communication. You can also setup and manage your family’s accounts as well. For electronic messages, Arctrieval uses the ubiquitous PDF file format, certainly a concern for accessibility. Arctrieval also facilitates transferring your medical records to other online repositories (such as Microsoft HealthVault). Arctrieval is free for consumers, you can sign up here. Even if you don’t sign up, you can make use of some forms that Arctrieval makes avail…

How to Use Bump Dots to Maximize Accessibility

by Laura Legendary Whether you are a person with a slight visual impairment, have low vision or no vision, you'll find that these tiny helpers can make tasks at work or home more accessible. What are they? You may not have realized it, but even if you have no vision loss at all, you've been using them for most of your life. "Bump dots," also called "high marks," are raised bumps found on keyboard key caps, usually on the first fingers of the PC keyboard home row, as well as on the five or center key of a ten key numeric keypad. They are simply tactile locators that can help you orient yourself to the keypad more quickly. You have probably noticed them on ATM machines, telephones and calculators. However, for a person who is blind, or who has low vision, high marks can be used almost anywhere in your home or workplace. There are a number of manufacturers of these tactile dots, and they are available in a variety of sizes and colors. Th…

Choosing To Use A Cane

Using a cane gives sighted people an understanding of why you do things that may seem strange to them. It helps them figure out that you need to do things differently (as opposed to thinking you are rude, not paying attention or other misconceptions they might come up with if they don't know you are blind). Also, your knees will thank you for not running into fire hydrants anymore. Having a cane makes it much less stressful to walk down a crowded sidewalk or through a mall or store. People generally get out of your way, so you don't have to worry about accidentally running into them. It's really just a part of the process of accepting that you are visually impaired and learning to use the tools that are available. You will find people to be very helpful when they see the white cane.

Contributor: Shawn McMurdo

How to Protect Confidentiality and Privacy

by Donna J. Jodhan the protection of confidentiality and privacy is becoming more and more important to everyone. Each time we access the Internet our confidentiality and privacy become a part of the picture. Each time we fill out an online form, our confidentiality and privacy become a concern. Each time we enter our most personal information, our confidentiality and privacy need to be considered at the highest level. Each time we enter such info as our date of birth, social security number, credit card number, and first and last name, we give away a large and vital piece of our confidentiality and privacy. For someone who is sight impaired this becomes much more than the protection of confidentiality and privacy. It becomes an issue of being able to enter one's most private information and complete forms without having to ask someone else for assistance. There are still many websites out there that do not allow the sight impaired the right to enter information independentl…

Living in a Sighted World

by Donna J. Jodhan Living in a sighted world is something that I accepted as a child and acceptance is something that enables me to function as best as I can. There are challenges to face; namely unhealthy attitudes on the part of individuals, governments, and society as a whole. There are technological challenges to face; keeping up with the evolution of the Internet using access software that is a few steps behind the times. There are social and employment barriers to deal with as well as barriers from several other quarters but I'll tell you this for sure! At the end of the day when I lie quietly in bed waiting for the sand man to take me off to dreamland, I thank God for my family and friends. Those who have never used my lack of sight as a barrier against me. Unlike so many others with vision problems, I have been blessed with family who do not really think of me as blind or if they do they have never really allowed it to get in the way. Naturally when I was growing u…

How to Pack a Waste Free Lunch

How to Pack a Waste Free Lunchfrom wikiHow - The How to Manual That You Can Edit
This is a very easy change you can make for the environment. By carrying your lunch this way, you also avoid trips to restaurants or the cafeteria and you can eat better. Try packing a lunch without any trash left. Steps Use a re-useable lunch box, not a disposable bag. Choose something durable that you can use for a long time. Many good, insulated models exist. Freeze your ice pack the night before. If you pack your lunch the night before, you can also leave the packed bag in the refrigerator overnight. It will stay cold longer with the packaging chilled also. Pour your drink into a reusable thermos, water bottle, or leak-proof cup. Avoid items that are not recyclable, like boxed juices or bags. This goes for coffee, too. If you drink coffee, make it yourself at home and carry it in a thermos. Use a reusable cup or mug for the stuff. To cut down on even more waste, m…

Uninstall Windows Live Messenger

Windows Live Messenger, including current Windows Live Messenger 2009 and upcoming Windows Live Messenger 2010, has been made part of Windows Live Essentials, a group of programs that are freely available from Microsoft. As such, there is no longer a standalone Windows Live Messenger setup installer to install the popular instant messaging client program, previously and still commonly known as MSN Messenger. As with the change to package Windows Live Messenger inside Windows Live Essentials, the messenger client is now installed via a unified installer which also installs other products such as Windows Live Mail, Windows Live Photo Gallery, Windows Live Toolbar, Windows Live Writer and Windows Live Movie Maker. As Windows Live Messenger is now installed by Windows Live Essentials unified installer, the name and location of its uninstaller has changed. Here’s how to uninstall Windows Live Messenger via the official uninstaller: Go to Control Panel.
Click on Uninstall a program or Ad…

MenuMaid Cleans Up the Right-Click Menu of Windows

If your context menu in Windows Explorer and/or Internet Explorer is a little more cluttered than you'd like, Menu Maid makes entry removal easy. Menu Maid allows you to circumvent the hassle of editing your registry to remove unwanted entries in the right-click context menus of Windows Explorer and Internet Explorer. While Internet Explorer only has one right-click context menu to alter, Windows Explorer has different contexts based on where you've right clicked or hit the applications menu key. Menu Maid can edit out context entries for everything, or just sub-contexts like directories and drives. Menu Maid is freeware, Windows only.

Click this link to learn more or download MenuMaid.

What Is The Expanded Core Curriculum?

Educators define core curriculum as the knowledge and skills a student should learn by high school graduation. This foundation, for almost all learning, is generally related to academic subjects. Most professionals firmly believe that visually impaired students need an expanded core curriculum that requires additional areas of learning. Experiences and concepts casually and incidentally learned by sighted students must be systematically and sequentially taught to the visually impaired student.

Contributor: Dr. Philip Hatlen

Blind golf explained

Blind golf is played all over the world and the first match was believed to have been played in America in the 1920's. But what exactly is the game all about? Blind golf is exactly the same as normal golf but the main difference is that the player can use the help of his or her caddy also known as a guide. The guide is the player's eyes. They will describe how the ball lies, what the yardage is and most importantly, set the player up so they hit the ball correctly. Some players like having a club laid on the ground during the set up. This helps to aim the shot in the right direction. Coming up with the ingredients for a putt are much more complicated than a full shot from the tee or the fairway. Some players walk the putt from the hole to the ball, allowing them to measure the distance of the putt. There are catagories that players will fit into based on their vision. Players with about 10% of vision will fit into the B3 category which is the category for golfers who can…

Macular degeneration: What Is It?

Age-related macular degeneration is the most common cause of sight loss in people aged 60 years and older. The macula is a small area at the centre of the retina, the area at the back of the eye that converts light into images. This area is responsible for seeing fine details, for example when reading or recognising people's faces. Macular degeneration (also known as maculopathy) is when the cells of the macula become damaged and stop working. People with macular degeneration have blurry or distorted central vision, and sometimes see shapes and colours that are not there. Peripheral vision (vision at the outer edges of the eye) is not affected, and it does not result in complete blindness. There are two types of macular degeneration. In 90 percent of people with macular degeneration the cells of their macula slowly stop working, due to wear and tear. It usually develops slowly, affects both eyes equally and is known as "dry" macular degeneration. In the other 10 perce…

VES-AutoFocus Telescope System

The VES-AutoFocus Telescope System is the first self-focusing bioptic telescope system specifically designed for the visually impaired. This hands-free telescopic system was designed to provide continuous and immediate clear focus from 12 inches to optical infinity. The device allows a visually impaired person to move his head or shift attention from a book to a person without the need to re-focus the device.

Toll Free: 800-326-6460

Contributor: Maria Delgado

Create Your Own Audio Games

From the website: Are you a devoted player of audio games? Is your brain spinning around with interesting and innovative ideas for games that you would like to make if you only knew how to go about it? If the answer to both of these questions is yes... Read on! BGT is a revolutionary toolkit from Blastbay Studios which allows you to produce your own audio games from the ground up, without having any prior knowledge of computer programming at all. Who said game development had to be complicated? BGT, which stands for Blastbay Game Toolkit, allows you to spend all your valuable time coming up with new great ideas and concepts, rather than wasting months struggling with never-ending programming guides that don't make any sense to begin with. If you fit into this category of enthusiastic entrepreneurs, then BGT is the perfect tool for you to turn your ideas into stunning reality.

Features Contains a powerful, high-speed game engine.
Uses an extremely versatile scripting language.

How Blindness Changes: An Artist's Perspective

by Michael M. Michaelson Well now, if you are a curious sol or a practicing artist or maybe a hopeful one, and you want to possibly understand how blindness might change an artists perspective, just attempt to first layout, then begin, and start, and finish an entire work in a dark, and in an unlighted room. No faire turning on the lights when you need to find a certain brush, mix special colors, use a drill to drill a hole, or use a hammer, or maybe staple a canvas together. Remember now, you cannot ever see the results of your work, you must depend on others to speak for you, and make a judgment upon your efforts. Now If you do look, only once, your out of the perspective game, for that is unfair. This first method would be for a completely blind person. If you might wonder how a partially sighted person might see, well, maybe put on a pair of welding goggles and go to work. Or maybe do all your work with a tiny flash light. And you could always put on your grand mothers really…

Fred Gissoni

An Interview with Fred Gissoni, who passed away September 21, 2014:

In 1988, Fred Gissoni joined the Customer Relations Department of the American Printing House for the Blind (APH). Fred retired from APH at the end of 2011, marking over 50 years working on behalf of people who are visually impaired and blind. Fred took the job at APH after a 30-year career and retirement from the technical services unit of the state agency that was then called the Kentucky Department for the Blind. While at APH, Fred provided tech support for various APH products, but he also generally answered questions. He was so renowned for answering a seemingly infinite variety of questions that APH's database and blog created to disseminate information on every aspect of blindness was named for him: Fred's Head from APH.

Fred Gissoni was born in New Jersey. Blind since birth, he did not, as he tells it, go to one of the five widely renowned schools for the blind in that area, but rather, to a resource r…

How to Clean White Shoes

How to Clean White Shoesfrom wikiHow - The How to Manual That You Can Edit
Cleaning shoes has been a challenge for humans since we first covered our feet. White shoes are a particular problem, especially in the summer months when people are active. White shoes are made from a variety of materials and your cleaning method will depend on what material your shoes are made from. In this wikiHow we'll examine the culture of shoe cleaning, and cobble together some advice for those who prefer not to buy new shoes every three months. Steps Rubber Shoes If your shoes are not made of leather, follow these steps. Warning: Don't do this with leather shoes or they will be ruined! Assess the damage to your shoes. Are they muddy? Scuffed? Or just lightly soiled? Get a good cloth and wrap around it around your hands like brass knuckles. use this to scrub away obvious dirt, mud and grime. Wash the cloth with a liberal amount of soap. Rub the soap all over the white part of the shoes. …

Going Shopping with Mom

by Donna J. Jodhan Going shopping with mom is always a very special occasion for me. You see, she is not just mom; she is my shopping buddy, my eyes, and my best friend. She knows exactly how to interact with me and how to make my shopping trip a joy, rather than a chore. For I can tell you this! Going shopping with a blind person can either turn out to be a nightmare or a joy, it all depends on who is taking you shopping. For those who have little or no experience with taking a blind person shopping, here is how mom does it. I take her arm and she gently but firmly guides me through the mall; describing things as we walk. She describes the people passing by, tells me the names of stores, and if I am interested in any of them as we walk by, we stroll inside for a visit. If it is a clothing store, mom and I visit each rack and she tells me what is on each rack. If it is a shoe store, we do the same and if it is a supermarket then the fun really starts! In stores, mom takes…

Can You Identify the Barriers?

by Donna J. Jodhan Editor's note: This editorial can be applied to most countries in the world; not just a Canadian concern. There are artificial barriers, attitude barriers, real barriers, challenging barriers, insurmountable barriers, and so on. All of us face a combination of these types, but in my humble opinion, we as sight impaired persons face all of these. Canadians on the whole would probably not be shocked to learn of some of them that we face but on the other hand they would be absolutely mortified if they were to learn about others. Some would definitely be shockers to the mainstream Canadian but others would merely be shakers. Barriers to employment: over 80% of blind and visually impaired Canadians are unemployed. This statistic has been a thorn in our side for decades and does not seem willing to change because of a lack of action on the part of both government and society. Barriers to a better standard of living - over 70% of disabled Canadians live below…