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Showing posts from May, 2010

How to Reboot Your Sleep Cycle

Many blind and visually impaired people have a difficult time getting a good night's sleep. This article, written by Jason Fitzpatrick, a member of the Lifehacker team has some great tips. Some items you'll read are obviously for the fully sighted, but many of the suggestions will work for everyone, blind or sighted. Let's get a big misconception out of the way. You don't have a "sleep bank". If you've gone for the last year chronically sleep deprived you don't have to refill some sort of sleep tank in your tummy in order to start feeling normal again. You can start doing things today to increase the sleep you're getting and start feeling better immediately. It will take a few weeks of consistent and restful sleep to shake the after effects of sleep deprivation but don't despair, you won't need to "sleep off" all 1,498 hours of sleep you shorted yourself over the last year. Another misconception is the amount of sleep people r…

Orion TI-36 Talking Scientific Calculator

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This calculator has identical functions to the popular Texas Instruments(R) TI-36X calculator.Features Ideal for all students -- junior high through college, algebra I through calculus and applied mathematics such as engineering
High-quality speech. Keys speak when pressed, display can be spoken at any time or speech feature can be turned off
Unique learn key mode without interrupting current operation
Over 127 scientific functions, including 1 & 2 variable statistics, trigonometry, and unit conversion
Large, tactile, functionally zoned keys, including backspace/correction key
Rechargeable battery, over six hours of continuous operation, power shuts off when not in use Includes: Protective cover.
Earphone
Power adapter, calculator can be used while charging.
One year limited warranty. Not available for purchase with Federal Quota funds. Orion TI-36 Talking Scientific Calculator: Catalog Number: 1-07335-01 Click this link to purchase the Orion TI-36X Talking Scientific Calculator. Ame…

Avoid FarmVille on Facebook

Lots of people enjoy the game Farmville on FaceBook. The opposite is also true, a lot of people don’t. For people who use screen readers, the game is totally useless because of a lack of accessibility. What they do get to see is tons of Farmville updates and requests from their friends who are playing it. For whatever reason, if you don’t enjoy FarmVille on Facebook, here's a tip you might find helpful to avoid it. The ability to hide certain notifications has been around for a while, and is the main tip given to FarmVille-non-enthusiasts. Although fairly simple, a lot of people still don’t know they can do this. In your news feed, if you have enough vision, hover your mouse between two notifications, and a Hide button will appear. Clicking it allows you to hide all FarmVille notifications, or all updates from that person. Choose wisely. For those using screen readers, the same hide button can be found on one of those annoying little updates from your friends. Hiding notificat…

NFB: Walking Alone and Marching Together: A History of the Organized Blind Movement in the United States, 1940-1990

Compact+ Hand-Held Electronic Magnifier

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This ultra-bright widescreen electronic magnifier enlarges up to 10X and fits in your pocket or purse. Snapshot function holds one image of an area being magnified so that image can be brought closer to the eye.Features:Three zoom levels: 5X, 7.5X, and 10XFive viewing modes: true color, black-and-white, blue-and-yellow, black-and-yellow, and reverseCamera positioned directly behind screen for ease of image alignmentSnapshot feature4.3-inch LCD widescreenRetractable hand-gripRechargeable battery, up to 3 hours of continuous useDimensions: 5.3 x 2.9 x 1.2 inches, Weight: 10.6 oz.Includes:AC AdapterLeather carrying caseOne year limited warrantyCompact+ Hand-Held Electronic Magnifier Blue Model:
Catalog Number: 1-07570-00
Click this link to purchase the Compact+ Hand-Held Electronic Magnifier. Note: shipping charge added - please call for more information.
Not available with Quota funds.

American Printing House for the Blind, Inc.
1839 Frankfort Avenue
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 6085
Louis…

The Globe: Tactile and Visual

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This table model is a standard 12-inch political globe covered with a tactile clear plastic overlay. Among the overlay's features are continent outlines, higher and lower elevations, and raised latitude and longitude lines. Metal stand with a wood base. Recommended ages: 10 years and older.

The Globe:
Catalog Number: 1-01551-00
Click this link to purchase the Globe: Tactile and Visual.

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.orgOregon Scientific internet-updateable SmartGlobeLearning about our global neighbors is easy and fun! The whole family will enjoy interactive lessons, complete with 30 English and 6 Spanish activities. Experience quiz games about countries, capitals, major cities, populations, languages, currencies, time, distances, history, science and current events. The Smart Pe…

Reflections on Becoming a First Time Handler

by Ann Chiappetta I just heard from a friend via email about how her guide dog kept her out of harm’s way. The emotions it provoked as I read the message were the kind the Yiddish word “verklempt” describe. My throat tightened and my eyes stung. How awesome, I thought, that this yellow Labrador retriever named Renny pulled her handler back from a potential catastrophe. “Renny and I had are biggest traffic check we have ever had,” writes Amanda, a young woman who trained the same time as me and is also a new handler. “We were about two blocks from home at a completely controlled traffic light…we were about a quarter of the way across.  Renny stopped and started to back up and in that split second there was a squealing of tires and a black car in front of us, if we had moved any farther across the street the car would have hit us. I was so stunned that I just stood there until I could get my bearings.  I told her “forward,” by the time I got to the curb I was in tears because I was r…

The Doctor's Hang-ups

by Donna J. Jodhan Now, I would like to start this blog post by tempering my statement so that I am not misconstrued. Like everything else, there are good doctors and there are not so good doctors. There are friendly doctors and there are not so friendly doctors but there is one thing that I have found in general about the good doctors and it is this; they definitely have some hang-ups when it comes to their blind and visually impaired patients. There are very few doctors that I have met in my life who truly believe that: I work for a living, that I look after myself, that I attended university and obtained a master's degree, that I am capable of thinking and speaking for myself, and that I can understand and make decisions for myself. My opinion is shared by many other blind and visually impaired persons. So often, whether they are aware of it, doctors on the whole seem to give us an impression that they do not really consider us to be level headed Human Beings. In fa…

How to Conquer Assistive Technology Barriers for Low-Tech Parents

By Laura Legendary If you are a parent who has yet to acquire a cell phone, set the timer on the VCR, or who is unaware that most people no longer use VCRs, you may wonder how assistive technology could fit into your life. After all, you may have never even used a computer much less taught a child how to use one. This is sometimes referred to in the media as “the digital divide,” where due to social, economic or educational circumstances, a person may not have access to technology. Any parent might feel guilty at not being able to provide the very best of everything to their child, but for a parent of a child with a disability, the intimidation factor of assistive technology may add to their feelings of helplessness or inadequacy. Here are a few tips that will help you to demystify Assistive technology. Not all assistive technology devices are computer related. There are high tech, low tech and no tech options. As a person who is blind, one might think my home is outfitted…

Life in the Dorm

Living in a dorm is going to be a shock to your system. The chances are great that going away to college will represent your first substantial time away from home. You will not have a lot of time to get used to these conditions as classes typically begin after the weekend you move into your dorm. It is important to remember the reason you are going to college – to receive a top-notch education. Developing good habits in your new living space is crucial to ensuring your success in your freshman and subsequent years in college. Your dorm life begins in your room with your roommate. Reach out to your roommate the summer before you begin school. Attempt to develop a rapport with your roommate. Find out what he or she likes to do in their spare time, what they are planning on studying, and a bit about their high school experiences. Even if you do not become best friends, it is imperative that you develop a relationship built on trust and respect. Even if you get along well right off the b…

100 Inspiring Ways to Use Social Media In the Classroom

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Social media may have started out as a fun way to connect with friends, but it has evolved to become a powerful tool for education and business. Sites such as Facebook and Twitter and tools such as Skype are connecting students to learning opportunities in new and exciting ways. Whether you teach an elementary class, a traditional college class, or at an online university, you will find inspirational ways to incorporate social media in your classroom with this list.
Ideas for K-12 Classrooms
Implement these great ideas in your K-12 classroom to have students learning in a dynamic new way.
Make literature real. Have students create a Facebook page for a character from literature you are studying like this class did.Follow famous people. Many famous people are on Twitter. Have students follow someone related to what you are studying, such as following President Obama when looking at government.Twitter treasure hunt. Use GPS treasure hunting to send students in search of educational clues …

Website Developers Can Use Accessible Text CAPTCHAs

A CAPTCHA is a test to tell humans and robots apart. You've probably used one before: identifying a string of letters from an image to show that you are human, rather than an automated "bot". This site provides a web service to generate text-based CAPTCHAs, based on simple logic questions. In the number 6272627, what is the 5th digit?
The colour in the list Wednesday, black, Elizabeth or stomach is?
The 2nd colour in arm, fifty six, pink and yellow is? Image CAPTCHAs are inaccessible to visually impaired users, and depending on the level of letter distortion, sometimes quite difficult for fully able ones! An alternative audio test is often provided to address accessibility concerns, but this whole approach remains difficult to implement, awkward to style, and remains susceptible to automatic character recognition software. This site provides a simple web service to generate text-based CAPTCHAs. These tell humans and robots apart by asking a simple logic question. Thes…

Recover Lost Router Passwords

Do you have a router in your home that provides internet access to multiple computers or wireless access to various devices? What would happen if this device should ever need maintenance? Do you know the username and password? Do you know the various settings in its configuration? RouterPassView is a freeware application that taps into a router's configuration file, allowing you to recover important data like router login information, wireless network keys, and more in the event any of that important information goes missing. Once you load the configuration file into the program, it displays your (supported) router's passwords, wireless keys, and login information. It can also decrypt ISP usernames and passwords. It could be really handy if, say, you're troubleshooting a less tech-savvy friend's router or if you happened to lose that information yourself. RouterPassView supports a limited number of models, so you'll need to check the website to see if your route…

Kapten Talking Pocket GPS System

The Kapten Talking Pocket GPS system and iPod Shuffle share one thing in common, both don't have displays, and for good reasons. This palm-sized unit relies on voice recognition technology, which means it accepts verbal input where you will need to make navigation requests simply by talking to the Kapten, and will be given spoken directions in return. For those with some vision, you can keep your eyes on the sidewalk, while offering the blind pedestrian spoken directions. It works with a Bluetooth-enabled cellphone as well just in case you need a hands-free kit on the go. The device is currently available with a US-only map, you can also purchase a model with a Canadian map separately.

Product Features Easy to use with voice commands and voice guidance
Use while walking on a bus or in a car
Built in MP3 player and FM receiver
Includes USB cable wall charger speaker and stereo headphones
BONUS Accessory pack with 10 hr spare battery car charger and carry case Click this link to …

Musical Talent and Blindness Have Often Been Thought to be Linked, Now Research Proves It!

On a normal after-school evening in South Godstone, Surrey, one school boy's bedroom is ringing out to the sounds of a live concert of Gnarls Barkley's Crazy and Tony Christie's Amarillo, with a dash of opera in between. Listening outside, you might think this was a very eclectic concert of stars. In fact, the performances are all coming from 12-year-old Joshua Black, a blind student with perfect pitch and an astonishing musical ability. Joshua, who was born prematurely at 32 weeks, is registered blind, with no sight in his right eye and only a small amount of peripheral vision in his left eye. He plays the violin, trumpet and African drums as well as singing; he is academic, but music is his passion. Joshua says music helps him cope with his blindness, as well as being a good way to make friends, through things like the school orchestra. New research suggests his musical talent and vision impairment are closely linked. High-profile and brilliant blind musicians such …

Shopping for unique gift items?

In this record we have pulled together a number of sources for on-line gifts and novelties. We compiled this list with the help of the Fred's Head Brain Waves participants. We hope it will be useful when searching for those hard-to-find gifts for Mom, Dad, a special friend or teacher at school or even for your favorite four-legged companion.
Initial Necklaces in Braille Initial necklaces are very versatile so create your own! You may choose to string your own initials; spell out a name or affirmation; choose the first initial of each of your kids’ names and add a birthstone for each; spell out your sorority name; or give a Braille hug and kiss with "XO" hand stamped in Braille. The options are endless, get creative! Each sterling silver disc comes with one initial (or Braille cell). Please preview the charms and birthstones which can be added for a special touch.

Click this link to create your Initial Necklace.
Speak to Me Catalog: http://www.speaktomecatalog.com

Coping Strategies for Parents Who Have Children with Disabilities

By Laura Legendary  The only thing more devastating than enduring a disease or disabling condition is when it happens to someone you love, especially your child. For me, growing up while going blind might have been an altogether different experience, and I may have become someone very different than who I am, if it were not for all the things my parents did to give me a full life. As a blind adult, I consider myself among the most fortunate of daughters. A disability does not have to be a barrier to your child’s sense of self-esteem or her ability to live her fullest life. You may be grappling with feelings of guilt, anger and frustration, unsure where to turn. Below are a few coping strategies that may help you to find strength and the support you need.  Educate yourself. Learn everything you can about the disease or disability. Learn the vocabulary necessary to effectively communicate your child’s needs. Remember, knowledge is power, and if nothing else, you’ll be able to quickly …