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Showing posts from December, 2010

BBC Save Our Sounds documentaries

Join the Discovery team on their journey to explore soundscapes. Why are sounds that we take for granted slowly disappearing? The two documentaries are presented by acoustic engineer Professor Trevor Cox. Each programme features a range of experts including architects, urban planners, environmental scientists and social scientists - all concerned with acoustic ecology in the urban soundscape. In the first programme, your host Trevor Cox joins a soundwalk in central London and explores the world of acoustic ecology. Trevor meets artists and city planners to discuss how sound influences our lives and affects our well being. Are cities getting noisier or is it just that we're losing the quieter places we once had – the back streets and urban squares where citizens can go for a respite from the wall of noise? How has the soundscape in London changed and what sounds are in danger of being lost in the future? In the second programme, Trevor Cox travels to one of the most densely p…

AudioTag: Get the Title of Music Found in Files and Videos

We've all been there: you hear a song in a commercial, over the radio, or in a video clip and you can't figure out who the artist is. AudioTag scans your files or YouTube videos and returns a list of matches. You can use AudioTag by uploading a file or using the URL for the file. AudioTag recognizes WAV, MP3, OGG, FLAC, FLV, MP4, and more. You can also paste the link of a YouTube URL into the AudioTag search box and have it scan the video. AudioTag can sometimes have difficulty distinguishing between different versions of the same song. For example if you upload a song that is a cover of another song, there is a high probability that the response AudioTag returns will rank the original song higher than the cover, if the cover is shown in the search results at all. Still, if you have no idea what the song is called or who the performer is, knowing the original performer puts you much closer to solving the mystery.

Click this link to get the name of that song with http://audiot…

Share Files on Twitter

Twitter is one of the most popular places on the internet today. It's a great way for the blind and visually impaired to share information quickly around the world, in real-time, easily and within seconds. Today, I'm going to show you some effective ways to share files with your Twitter followers. Check them all out and use the one which you find easiest to access with your screen reader or screen magnification program. Sending Audio Through QwitterQwitter was originally designed to be a client for the Twitter microblogging service. However, Qwitter has evolved into a revolutionary application, bringing the speech and sound-based navigation paradigm it popularized on the Twitter platform to several other services. Qwitter's primary advantage is that you can access these services without ever having to open up another window. You never need to leave the application you are working in. Starting in qwitter 4.5, the ability to attach audio messages to your posts was added. …

Braille Translation Software

Many braille transcribers use braille translation software to convert electronic files into a braille format ready to emboss. There are several different braille translation software products available today, and some of these are designed for translating specific media, such as music.
The following list contains the name, a short description, contact information and web address of some of the most popular software applications.
While these software programs are helpful, it is important to note that no program can, as of yet, output "braille-reader-ready" materials. Such formatting elements as tabs and indents, and special elements such as tables, captions, and graphs are handled by some programs better than others. Therefore, it is always important to have a human being review the program's output before presenting it to someone as finished braille.
Louis - The Macintosh Braille Translator Louis is a full featured braille translator for the Apple Macintosh. Desi…

Oven Temperature Conversion Chart

The formula to convert Fahrenheit to Celsius is (°F - 32) / 1.8 = °C The following list has two numbers, °F is listed first, then °C. 20 -7
30 -1
40 4
50 10
60 16
70 21
80 27
90 32
100 38
110 43
120 49
130 54
140 60
150 66
160 71
170 77
180 82
190 88
200 93
210 99
220 104
230 110
240 116
250 121
260 127
270 132
280 138
290 143
300 149
310 154
320 160
330 166
340 171
350 177
360 182
370 188
380 193
390 199
400 204
410 210
420 216
430 221
440 227
450 232
460 238
470 243
480 249
490 254
500 260

Low Vision Train Trekking

by Maurie Hill Vision comes in handy when traveling home for the holidays. But if you can’t drive, you’ll need to be a little more imaginative when it comes to getting from point A to point B. My husband recently drove me one hour to the closest Amtrak station where I hopped on the train from Bellows Falls to Montpelier, Vermont, a 2-hour and 20-minute journey. Though the journey was short, I gathered some tips for the low vision train traveler along the way. If you’re a low vision traveler like me, the phone number 1-800-USA-RAIL makes you cringe. That number translates to 1-800-872-7245. Write this down in big dark print and put it in your pocket. Better yet, add this contact as “Amtrak” into your cell phone. It will be useful if you’re waiting on your train and want to know the estimated arrival time. You can make reservations over the phone or on your computer using ZoomText to magnify your screen. Keep in mind that if you reserve online, you must pay online. If you re…

Braille Contraction Lookup Dictionary

If you want to know how a word is written in contracted braille, check the accurate and easy-to-use BRL: Contraction Lookup Dictionary! From the website: "This is a simple program to provide you with the proper contraction for a given word. To use the program, simply enter your word into the text box, click on the "Get contraction" button, and wait until the contraction appears. If the contraction is not in the dictionary (containing over 45,000 words), you will get a message telling you that it is not available! If the word is not in the dictionary, or near the end of the alphabet, the program will take a little longer to run! The dictionary is case-sensitive!"

Click this link to use the BRL Contraction Lookup Dictionary.

Planning Ahead Turkey Tips

When buying a turkey, allow 1 pound per adult serving if the bird weighs 12 pounds or less. For larger turkeys, count on 3/4 pound for each serving. If you want leftovers, buy a bird that's 2 to 4 pounds larger than the size you'll need for serving. Although not all turkeys are labeled indicating whether the bird is a hen or tom, select a hen turkey if you want more white meat and a tom if you want more dark meat. Also check for the "sell by" date on the label of a fresh turkey. This date is the last day the turkey should be sold by the retailer. The unopened turkey should maintain its quality and be safe to use for one or two days after the "sell by" date. If you buy a frozen turkey, look for packaging that is clean, undamaged, and frost-free. Allow plenty of time to thaw a frozen turkey. For a whole frozen turkey, leave the bird in its wrapping and place it on a tray in the refrigerator. Plan on at least 24 hours for every 5 pounds and don't count t…

The Christmas Feeling

by Donna J. Jodhan Christmas for me is simply a plethora of feelings, emotions, and so much more. Christmas for me is a season where so many memories race across my mind. I can tell you that Christmas for me can be viewed in two different ways; as someone who has precious little vision and as one who once upon a time had enough vision to see so much. When I had enough vision to see many things, I could appreciate the flickering candles in Church, the flashing colored lights as I skated around an outdoor rink, crowded streets with scurrying shoppers, Christmas trees loaded with decorations and presents piled high beneath, tables loaded with dishes of food, and of course! Santa Clause! I used to spend so much time in the toy departments admiring the dolls and doll houses. Drawing sets and coloring books. I used to help decorate the house and always enjoyed putting up the angels, the lights, and most of all; the manger with all of the figures. Now that my vision has dwindle…

Tasting and Feeling Holiday Books

by Kristie Smith-Armand, M.Ed, CTVI

“I tasted life.”- Emily Dickinson I once read a fascinating quote by Nais Nin- “We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospection”. When I read Mr. Nin’s words, I finally realized for the first time that this was the reason that I love to write so much. An author wants to share his or her feelings with the world be it happiness, sadness, new ways of thinking, etc. This time of year is complex. As human beings we begin to feel excitement and then out of nowhere we have an immense feeling of sadness. Someone has gone on who attended the last Christmas, money is scarce, divorce, loneliness, etc., but when we walk around the mall, visit stores, look at Christmas lights, we can feel restoration that everything is going to be okay. As I stated earlier, an author wants to share his feelings, so when I pick up children’s holiday books, I can feel, taste and smell excitement from the past. I believe this is one reason that I enjoy r…

Braillable Labels and Sheets

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These clear, blank self-adhesive labels can be brailled and used to label items around the home, school, and office, such as: household appliances; canned goods; greeting cards; books; CDs; folders. The labels come in a variety of packages and sizes for convenience. The pre-cut, peel-off Large and Small labels accommodate braille lines that are 15 cells wide, with four lines fitting on the large and two on the small labels. Full-Size and Pin-Fed Sheets offer more room for brailling and can be cut to the desired size. A printed SimBraille sheet is included with each package to assist in determining size and placement.

Assorted Label Pack (5 Large Sheets, 5 Small Sheets, 10 Full-Size Sheets, 30 Pin-Fed Sheets):
Catalog Number: 1-08871-00

Small Label Pack (10 Sheets, 18 labels (3.87 x 0.95) per Sheet):
Catalog Number: 1-08872-00

Large Label Pack (10 Sheets, 10 Labels (3.875 x 1.75) per Sheet):
Catalog Number: 1-08873-00

15 Sheets (8 1/2 x 11, full-size):
Catalog Number: 1-08874-00

Feel 'n Peel Stickers

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Multi-use tactile/visual stickers for students and adults. Bright, translucent colors, durable plastic. Examples of use: Point Symbols: graphs, game boards, microwave buttons Reward Statements: grading papers, rewarding behavior Faces: attendance, reading list progress Alphabet: labeling folders, identifying belongings, diagrams. Suggested uses for the stickers provided on a large print/braille sheet. Recommended ages: 3 years and up. Assorted Stickers Kit (over 2,300 stickers): Catalog Number: 1-08843-00 Point Symbol Stickers(over 1,200 stickers): Catalog Number: 1-08846-00 Smiley/Frowny Face Stickers (over 200 stickers): Catalog Number: 1-08847-00 Reward Statements Stickers (200 stickers): Catalog Number: 1-08848-00 Braille/Print Alphabet Letters Stickers (over 600 stickers): Catalog Number: 1-08849-00 Click this link to purchase Feel 'n Peel Stickers from APH. New Designs! Feel 'n Peel Stickers IIBright translucent and transparent colored stickers in a durable plasti…

APH Holiday Gift Guide 2010

These selected products make great gifts for family and friends! The Weeks Before Christmasby Michael McCarty, APH Social Media Coordinator‘Twas weeks before Christmas, Santa's short on time,
“I need accessible gifts for those who are blind!”He’s been watching the weather for snow and for ice.
He checks the time with his talking ZeitGeist.“What can I do?” he pleads to his spouse.
“Dear, shop online at American Printing House."“You know I forgot about the shop APH site.
It’ll sure come in handy on a night like tonight.”“I’ll grab my list and fire up my Mac,
Accessible gifts I’ll have in my sack.”“Jamie's musical bent could take her far,
She'll listen and learn with audio guitar.”“Look at the books, what a selection!
I’ll pick this title from Chrissy’s Collection.”“I know one book I’ll sure be taking,
It’s a hardcover keepsake, APH History in the Making.”“Sam wants games, that’s really nice,
So I’ve put on his list the Talking GlowDice.”“This new …

The APH Migel Library Goes Digital!

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The APH Migel Library is working with the Internet Archive to make some materials available online. This means that you can read and download selected texts from the Migel Library via the internet. These materials are available in a variety of formats including DAISY and ePub. Because of copyright laws, we are not allowed to make everything available online. You will find materials published before 1924, government documents and other materials that are considered Public Domain. As of today, there are 136 items available online. We hope to add a few hundred more in the coming months.You can access these documents in one of two ways. When searching the APH Migel Library website, http://migel.aph.org/, you will see a Full Text Link on the Book Detail page if we have made the item available online. This will link to the items page at the Internet Archive. From there, you will have a variety of formats to choose from for viewing or download. (An example can be seen here: http://migel.ap…

Download Free Magazines from APH

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APH is proud to offer free downloadable Reader's Digest® and Newsweek® as an option to our subscribers and patrons of the National Library Service (NLS). If you are not a patron, visit the NLS website at https://nlsbard.loc.gov and follow the instructions. There is no charge for this service.To download magazines in Digital Talking Book (DTB) format visit www.aph.org and follow the Download Magazines link for quick facts and details on how to register.http://tech.aph.org/mags

Text-to-Speech Option Enabled for All Elsevier ePub Book Titles

Elsevier, the world-leading publisher of scientific, technical and medical information products and solutions, has announced that it has enabled the text-to-speech option on all of its ePub book titles. The text-to-speech function enables an e-book to read aloud. This will facilitate access by readers who would otherwise face a range of access challenges through blindness, dyslexia, or motor difficulties. With 10-15% of the global population struggling with some form of print disability, the accessibility of publications is essential to open up access for a broad array of people. Text-to-speech enables access by people with disabilities who might otherwise struggle to see, read, or interact with ebooks. Elsevier is committed to providing universal access to quality content in sustainable ways, and works to identify and close access gaps. For those who struggle to see or read text, ebooks that read aloud can provide a powerful form of access. This will make it easier for bright and ta…

Funnel-It Quick Bottle Transfer

Have you ever tried to poor shampoo from one bottle to another? How about something like oil? You can really end up in a mess! Reduce the clutter of half used bottles. Funnel-It bottle drainer saves you money by significantly reducing waste, allowing you to easily transfer an old bottle to a new one without the mess. Funnel-It is specifically designed to balance a bottle on top of another bottle while funneling the contents out. Perfect for condiments, shampoos, lotions, auto fluids, and other liquids. Simply insert into old bottle, connect to new bottle, flip and drip! Polyethylene, 2 x 2 x 5".

Click this link to purchase a Funnel-it from Taylor Gifts.

GoGoStat: Parental Guidance for Facebook

Busy parents might friend their children on Facebook but not have the time (or the desire) to constantly police their children’s profile. The Parental Guidance Facebook app sends alerts to parents when children make potentially dangerous changes to their profile like posting obscenities, personal information, or inappropriate photos or becoming friends with someone outside their age group. Parents can select which issues they’d like to be notified about and view a dashboard display of the items on their children’s profile that violate the rules they’ve set up. Best of all, this service is free!

Click this link to visit GoGoStat.

SocialShield

SocialShield not only tells you who your children’s online friends are, but checks each friend against more than 50 databases to make sure that he or she is not “a wolf in sheep’s clothing.” If someone suspicious friends your child, SocialShield sends you an alert. The service also sends alerts for discussions involving your children that relate to drugs, sex, violence, alcohol or suicide.
Less threatening issues like curse words are posted in a warning section of the parent dashboard. The site keeps track of all discussions that your children post on social networks, but it posts this issue summary on top so that parents don’t need to look through all of their children’s interactions in order to spot potential threats. Parents can also use this dashboard to view photos that their children have posted and any photos of their children that others have posted. Price: $10 per month.

Click this link to visit http://www.socialshield.com


Digital Talking Tire Gauge

Maintaining proper tire pressure is essential if you want your car to run at its peak. In just three seconds, this gauge reports your tire's pressure on the LCD display and by voice. An automatic shut-off helps save power, while the key chain makes for easy carrying.

Set of two
Measures in PSI, Bar, Kg/cm2
Measures from 0.5 to 99.5 PSI
Stores memory of last measured pressure
Measures 3"L x 2-1/4"W x 3/4"H
1-year Limited Manufacturer's Warranty Click this link to purchase the Digital Talking Tire Gauge from QVC.com.

SafetyWeb

When SafetyWeb co-founder Geoffrey Arone was conducting college admissions interviews for his alma mater, he, like about 10% of college admission directors, started to Google applicants. The unflattering information he found inspired him to start SafetyWeb. SafetyWeb helps parents protect their children’s online reputations by searching hundreds of social networking, photo and community sites for their children’s accounts. The service delivers a summary of what accounts their children are spending time on, what information and photographs are publicly available on these accounts, and who their friends are. Parents get e-mail or text message alerts when their children’s content relates to depression, profanity, bullying, drugs, alcohol or racism. Parents can see who their children are communicating with on their mobile phones and when they’re using them. The company recently released a mobile app that allows parents to check in on their children’s online activities from anywhere. $10…

Living in a big city

by Donna J. Jodhan In a city that never sleeps! Where everyone is focused on getting to their destination at any given time and where the main objective is to stay ahead of the game; we need to remember the needs of our disabled community. So many of us are taken up with doing our best to keep our heads above water so just imagine what it is like for the disabled. Many of them have to struggle to stay as independent as they can but in so doing they need a bit of help and support. They need to be able to shop at supermarkets that provide shopping assistance. They need to have access to social amenities and sporting activities. They need to be able to get around independently on public transit and if there are challenges, then there needs to be some sort of volunteer service that they can access in order to help them cope. More often than not, disabled residents of a big city have difficulty getting to medical appointments. Their social lives are greatly impeded because of…

1-Foot Braille Rulers

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Plastic rulers taper on the edge. A metal caliper slide to aid in accuracy is included (also available separately). Recommended ages: 5 years and above. Two versions are offered: Metric-English Measurement Ruler: Metric edge has raised lines every half-centimeter and braille numbers every two centimeters. Opposite English edge has raised lines every 1/4 inch and braille numbers at each inch.

Metric-English Ruler:
Catalog Number: 1-03100-00

English Measurement Ruler: Has raised lines. Braille numbers at each inch. Fourths on one edge, eighths on the other.

English Ruler:
Catalog Number: 1-03070-00 Caliper Slide for Either Ruler (package of five):
Catalog Number: 1-03091-00
Click this link to purchase the 1-Foot Braille Ruler.

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…

Sugar Free Cocoa

Here's what you'll need: 2 cups nonfat dry milk powder
1/2 cup lower-fat powdered nondairy creamer
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
10 packets Equal or 1 Tablespoon Equal Measure
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional) Here's what to do: Stir together milk powder, nondairy creamer, cocoa powder, Equal and, if desired, cinnamon.
Cover and store in an airtight container.
For each serving, add 3/4 cup boiling water to 1/3 cup cocoa mix; stir to dissolve. Makes 2 2/3 cups mix, enough for 8 six-ounce servings.

Article Source:
Cooking in the Dark Email List

Talktatone Makes Free Google Voice/Gmail VoIP Calls on Your iPhone

Gmail users can make free Google Voice calls, but why should they have all the fun? Talkatone sets up free VoIP calls, over 3G or Wi-Fi, from your iPhone, iPod, or iPad through Google Voice for free. Talkatone does quite a few other neat things with your Gmail account and free voice-over-IP technology, but the main reason it's exciting is a feature that's somewhat tucked away. Double-tap on the Contacts header, and you'll get an option to make a Google Voice VoIP call. Choose a contact or dial a number, and you're calling. If it doesn't work on your first shot, you may need to do a little Gmail-to-Talkatone setup, described at the CyberNet News blog. Otherwise, it's a remarkably simple way to make a free Gmail phone call outside of Gmail. Talkatone is a free download for iPhone, iPod touch (second generation and later), and iPad, and requires iOS 4.0 and later.

Article Source:
Lifehacker

APH’s Game Kit and the Sounds and Smells of Christmas

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by Kristie Smith-Armand, M.Ed, CTVI

"The only real blind person at Christmas-time is he who has not Christmas in his heart.” Helen Keller I love to shop during the holidays, looking for gifts for my friends, family and students. There is something truly magical about this time of year. Shopping with my students who are blind is an, (excuse the pun) eye-opener. So many things that I fail to notice, my students will point out to me. For example: the smells, touches and tastes of Christmas. While I describe the beautiful sights, my students comment on the Christmas smells, sounds, tastes and touches. The vision department once went on a shopping spree to North Park Mall in Dallas, Texas. A favorite of all the kids was a store named L’Occitane. L’Occitane had and has many wonderful smells and textures of different types of lotions, and get this, the labels are in Braille. One student told me about the surprise later on. “Ms. Kristie, I could not believe that the lotion …

Hints And Comments For a Blind Person On Trimming a Christmas Tree

by Fred Wurtzel It may be a little odd to some people, but some blind people have never decorated a Christmas tree. There was a recent request on a list-serve that I follow from a blind couple for directions on how to independently trim a tree. I have done this many times as a totally blind person, since losing my eyesight. It is not a science but there are some general principles which I follow. We have been married for 34 years and have lots of ornaments collected over the years. Our first tree was just two feet tall, sat on a table, had maybe a dozen ornaments, and one string of lights. I bought it for $1.00 very near Christmas and all the needles fell off within a couple hours of bringing it into the house. We loved the tree, just the same. Some people have theme trees and some people have all the same colored lights and ornaments. We are very eclectic. We have ornaments that remind us of people and events in our lives and they range from computers to pets, sports, food, reind…

Healthy Sugarless Cookies

Here's what you'll need: 1 cup flour
1-1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt (optional)
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. allspice 1-1/2 cups raisins
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup oil
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1 cup quick oats Here's what to do: Mix dry ingredients and add remaining ingredients to moisten.
Drop teaspoonfuls onto greased (or parchment paper lined) cookie sheets.
Bake at 375 for 12 minutes. Recipe source: AbakersDelight yahoo group (Vicky Hunt)

Article Source:
Cooking in the Dark Email List

Teaching High Frequent "Dolch" Words from APH

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by Kristie Smith-Armand, M.Ed, CTVI

“Once you learn to read, you are forever free.” Frederick Douglass As a teacher for the blind and visually impaired, I felt obligated to argue a point with a future publisher for my novel series, The Adventures of Abby Diamond. Since Abby Diamond is a girl detective who is blind, braille and braille technology is constantly mentioned throughout the series. The would-be publisher wanted to take braille out of my series and argued strongly that braille would soon be obsolete. My face turned bright red because I was furious. Not only did the new publisher want to change the names of my characters, he also argued what I knew not to be true- that technology would take the place of braille reading. Needless to say, after talking with my friends who are blind, I refused to believe that anything can take the place of being able to read a book yourself in braille, large or regular print. I stood my ground and self-published Adventures of Abby Dia…

Cooking Tips

Here's a nice collection of cooking tips from the Cooking in the Dark Email List. For Better Browning:Meat will brown better if you blot any moisture off its surface. A paper towel makes a great blotter. -- Karen West, Duluth, GA Better Bacon:To perfectly cook bacon without the mess and cleanup of pan or griddle frying, use the oven. Preheat it to 350. Place the bacon strips on a baking sheet lined with foil. Bake for 20 minutes, or until bacon is the way you like it. Transfer bacon to paper towel lined plate to absorb excess grease. Fold the foil around the grease and discard. -- Dorothy Osgood, Lincoln, ME Flour duster:Keep a shaker container filled with flour in your kitchen for use dusting everything from meat to sauces. It's also handy for flouring your work area when rolling out pie and pizza doughs. -- Joyce Hill, Dallas, TX Drip Free Gravy:To keep a gravy boat or cream pitcher from dripping onto the dinner table, rub a dab of butter on the pour spout. No drops o…

Geocaching for the Blind

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Mike May develops GPS devices for blind and visually impaired users. To help users learn the devices’ cutting-edge technology and explore the world around them, he champions a form of geocaching. Watch this video and go along as Mike May and friends develop a treasure hunting course using adaptive GPS technology.

Click this link to watch "Geocaching for the Blind" on Youtube.
For information on GPS devices for the blind and visually impaired, explore http://accessibleGPS.com. Miniguide USThe Miniguide US is a tiny, hand-held electronic travel device that can enhance the effectiveness of a blind person's primary travel method. The Miniguide US uses ultrasound to detect objects, and gives tactual or auditory feedback by vibrating or chirping more rapidly as you approach an object. Ideal for use by deafblind persons. When used with a cane or dog guide, the Miniguide US can help a blind person avoid obstacles and overhangs; locate landmarks; locate items such as mailboxes or…

How to Lock iPad Screen Orientation

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How to Lock iPad Screen Orientationfrom wikiHow - The How to Manual That You Can Edit
With the release of iOS 4.2, the physical switch which allowed you to freeze the iPad's screen orientation was turned into a less useful mute button. Fortunately, it is possible to lock your screen's rotation using a few easy clicks. Steps From any iPad screen or application, double click on the big home button on the bottom of the iPad. Swipe the bottom menu that appeared after you double clicked the home menu to the left. Touch the screen orientation lock button on the bottom left, which you uncovered by swiping left above. Notice the button changes to lock after you have switched it. Tips This works in portrait or landscape orientation. Related wikiHows Extend the Battery Life of an iPadSet a Passcode on the iPadBuy an iPadPut an eBook on an iPadClean Your iPadArticle provided by wikiHow, a wiki how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original…