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Showing posts from 2011

Little Christmas Tree

by Donna J. Jodhan It was the night before Christmas and in my dreams, I slipped lazily and happily into memory lane. Another time had come and as I stood there, the little Christmas tree twinkled in front of my eyes. The tree smelled so wonderful! It gave off the scent of warm pine. The colored lights danced in front of my eyes as they took turns blinking on and off. I moved o so carefully towards my little Christmas tree; being careful not to step on packages neatly piled in front of it. I had to get as close as I could so as to see everything. My partial sight only allowed me the luxury of seeing things very close up and at best only a few things at a time. Nevertheless, it was enough for me. I gingerly reached out and placed my index finger on one of the little lights; a little yellow one. Then I took my time at identifying other colors. Red, blue, and green. Then I had to take my time at finding a spot where there were no lights. I found it after a few moments an…

Someday At Christmas

by Donna J. Jodhan One of my favourite Christmas Carols is "Some day at Christmas"; made popular by the late Michael Jackson. Yes, some day at Christmas; when I could wake up on a peaceful morning and welcome yet another special day with my loved ones around me and the Christ Child in my heart. When I would be able to say "Finally! All is well and now blind kids will have an equal opportunity to be like their mainstream counterparts." When they can play with mainstream toys and be able to use cell phones and IPods just like sighted kids. When they would be able to play with games just like their sighted friends and not have to worry about inaccessibility. When their classrooms and playgrounds would be free of accessibility barriers and they would have an equal opportunity to be just kids! Some day at Christmas when I could go to bed just before Santa makes his rounds knowing that all of my wishes have been granted. That all websites have been made acces…

A New Year Brings New Opportunities

In 2005, I started working at the American Printing House for the Blind as the Expert Database Coordinator. My job was to write articles for an online database called Fred's Head. The Fred's Head Database was named after APH's Product Support Specialist Fred Gissoni. Fred is blind and has worked in the blindness field for many decades. The idea behind Fred's Head was to collect and make available the tips and resources that Fred had in his head and make them available to anyone via the APH website. The software was originally designed for Louis, a searchable database of books that are available in accessible formats. The database was modified to house the Fred's Head articles, but it had a weakness. Because a user created an invisible login when they visited the site, all articles in the database were invisible to internet search engines like Google as well. I remember my first few days of working in the database. Articles had to be constantly checked for accura…

GWSkype

Ever since the initial release of the Skype client in mid 2003, people from all around the world have used it to initiate high-quality voice and text conversations, send and receive files, and stay in touch with one another. The visually impaired community, likewise, has used Skype since then to facilitate equal communication with each other and their sighted counterparts. However, as the service has grown, so too has the program. For years, screen reader users have kept up with Skype's ever-morphing interface either with custom patches, scripts, or apps. While largely successful, such utilities must be constantly maintained as any new version of Skype can, and often will, cause previously working scripts or apps to stop functioning properly. In mid 2011, Skype announced its SkypeKit developer program. This service allows program developers to directly access nearly all Skype services without the additional need of traversing its user interface. Developers, therefore, can create…

Holiday Guide for Family Members of People with Vision Loss

The holidays are finally upon us. 'Tis the season for shopping for gifts, gathering around the table with loved ones, and hosting relatives from near and far. Every year at this time we get a lot of questions from the family members of people with vision loss. They ask, "What's the best gift for my mom now that she has macular degeneration?" or "What can I do to make my home comfortable and safe for my visually impaired grandma who's visiting this holiday season?" To help you find that perfect gift and easily make your home more vision loss friendly, the staff at the American Foundation for the Blind has created a Holiday Guide filled with great gift ideas and decorating tips. They also have some travel tips for you to share with your visually impaired loved one who may be flying or taking the train to see you this holiday season.

Click this link to read the Holiday Guide at the AFB Senior Site.

Feel ‘n Peel Sheets: a Carousel of Textures

by Kristie Smith, M.Ed, CTVI“Then the carousel started, and I watched her go round and round. . . All the kids tried to grasp for the gold ring…” J.D. Salinger The other day, I met with one of my favorite early childhood specialist, Michelle. We discussed how one of our young, totally blind students was not responding any more to textures. When you asked to see the baby’s hands, she would withdraw and make a sad face. “What can we do?” Michelle asked, “And why has she just begun to dislike textures?” I responded that the only thing that came to my mind was that she was becoming more aware of her surroundings and was noticing more sounds, textures and perhaps more vision- in other words, she was becoming overwhelmed. I promise you, I received a gift from God today when I went into my cubicle to do an order. There in my chair sat a box labeled Feel ‘n Peel Sheets Carousel of Textures and I did not remember ordering it. Talk about perfect timing. Ecstatic is an understateme…

Can Blind People Be Mainstream People?

by Donna J. Jodhan This is a very thought provoking question and one that is often asked of me. In response, I would venture to say that the answer is probably no and I say this with a lump in my throat. For as long as society continues to treat us with a difference, with kid gloves, or as second class citizens; we should not expect to be classified as mainstream. However, let's just say that if all of this were to somehow and magically change, if somehow we were to find ourselves in an almost perfect society, then the chances of us being classified as mainstream would be greater; but we need to be realistic. People who are blind are different because they are unable to see. They use or employ different strategies to live their lives. They use different technology in order to communicate; that being access technology. They depend on sighted assistance to help them deal with those tasks and challenges that require eyesight in order to complete them. The list can go on a…

The Right to Read

by Donna J. Jodhan So many of us take the ability to read for granted. We are living in an informational society and a knowledge based economy and it is so vital for us to be able to read whatever we desire, when we desire, and in whatever mode we desire. For people who are blind, the right to read is so important and must be preserved at all costs. True it is that we, as people who are blind, have seen progress; the evolution of devices that enables us to red more freely and widely. We can now access more books online; much more than a decade ago. The digital era has enabled us to start taking advantage of digital media but there is still much more work for us to carry out if we wish to truly preserve our right to read. We need equal access to library facilities and services. In other words, whatever the mainstream person has access to, we should have as well. We need to be able to download the same books that the mainstream person can download and we need to be able to acc…

TextExpander App Saves Keystrokes

by Paul Hamilton
It may not be quite accurate to describe this app as “nearly free” at $4.99, but for users who really need to reduce keystrokes when writing, the price probably will not seem excessive.
TextExpander is an iOS app that is based on a utility that has been available for Mac OS X, from SmileOnMyMac. This app works by offering customizable abbreviation expansion.  The user creates “snippets” of text for frequently used longer phrases, sentences, or such things as addresses and signatures.  For example, I could create the snippet pwbp for ‘Paul has written another brilliant blog post about a helpful learning resource.’  Then whenever I type ‘pwbp’ into any app that is enabled to work with TextExpander, the full sentence is automatically input.
Text can be typed directly into TextExpander’s text-editing utility and then copied and pasted or sent elsewhere.  Or, TextExpander will work inside an extensive and growing list of other apps that have been designed to work …

Multiplication/Division Table Kit

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This handy kit helps students quickly find the products and quotients of whole numbers.Large print/braille tool helps math students with multiplication and division problems. The chart is printed/embossed on white index stock and is punched for a 3-ring binder. Alternating rows are highlighted to help low vision students easily track numbers. The Multiplication/Division Table Kit has been expanded so students can find the products of two whole numbers from 1–10 or the quotient of a related division problem.Includes10 charts (grids)Print guidebookNote: APH does not sell a braille edition of The Multiplication/Division Guidebook. This publication is available from the APH website as a free download in the accessible formats of .brf and .txt.

Catalog Number: 5-82700-01
Click this link to purchase the Multiplication/Division Table Kit.

American Printing House for the Blind, Inc.
1839 Frankfort Avenue
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 6085
Louisville, Kentucky 40206-0085
Toll Free: 800-223-1839
P…

Moving Ahead Series: Goin' on a Bear Hunt, Splish the Fish, The Boy and the Wolf, and Turtle and Rabbit

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Storybooks designed to be the next step for students who have had experience with simple tactile representations such as those in APH's On the Way to Literacy Series. Moving Ahead storybooks introduce symbolic representation, more complex illustrations, and an increased emphasis on text. These read-aloud books combine tactile pictures, print/braille text, and a fun story.
Goin' on a Bear HuntGoin' on a Bear Hunt is the first title in this series. In the process of hunting for the bear, the reader follows a tactile line through the "tall grass," up a "hill," etc. until the child reaches the "cave" and then back home again. At the end of the book is a fold-out tactile "map" to use in retelling the story. The book's illustrations include braille words provided on customer-applied labels, allowing the reader to choose contracted or uncontracted braille.
The Reader's Guide, (braille edition sold separately) contains general in…

Clean Your Freezer with Vanilla to Cast Out Musty Smells

If your freezer's musty scent is infusing your frozen foods and ice cubes with the scent of old socks, home and living site Real Simple recommends a quick wipe down with vanilla extract to cure the problem. By dampening a cotton pad with a small amount of vanilla extract, the stale smell wafting out of your freezer will be banished away and in turn, your frozen foods and ice will taste a little better. It's a simple and quick fix to remove the funk that seems to plague even the cleanest of freezers.

Army Captures Kentucky School for the Blind!

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How are you commemorating the impact of the Civil War on the schools in your state? Few were left untouched by the terrible conflict. In the autumn of 1862, as the tides of combat rolled across Kentucky, Louisville was in a constant state of turmoil. Confederate armies had entered Kentucky that summer, determined to capture the city and destroy the Union army’s most important western supply depot. On Frankfort Avenue, a series of entrenchments were constructed, and for a time, it looked like war would halt the start of the school year at the Kentucky Institution for the Education of the Blind (KIEB). Union army officers had their eye on the school buildings, planning to convert the modern main building into a hospital. But the board of visitors at the Institution was well connected and, for a time, used their influence to stave off moves to seize the campus.After the battle of Perryville on October 8th, however, thousands of wounded were flooding into Louisville. Although their…

Low Vision Meta-Analysis Available

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Dr. Kay Ferrell, right, and Elaine Kitchel, APH Low Vision Project Leader APH commissioned "A Meta-Analysis of Educational Applications of Low Vision Research." The report, finalized in fiscal year 2011, was authored by Dr. Kay Alicyn Ferrell, Dr. Cherylann Dozier, and Dr. Martin Monson. It represents a comprehensive search of scientifically based research in the area of low vision. APH is appreciative of the collaborative efforts and contributions of all those who worked under the umbrella of the National Center on Severe and Sensory Disabilities to complete this work. Please visit the following link to access the full report: http://www.unco.edu/ncssd/research/LowVisionMeta-Analysis.shtml

APH Wings of Freedom Winner Ralph Brewer Spins a Tale of Gratitude

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Would you like to be inspired and awed? If yes, then listen to this 12 minute presentation by our 2011 Wings of Freedom award winner, Ralph Brewer. Ralph, the retired Tennessee School for the Blind Superintendent, shares his life story. Your heart will be touched!If you are interested in learning the history of the Wings of Freedom Award, the other APH Awards, and those who won them, visit our Awards From APH web page.

Stars of the APH Museum Exhibit Videos!

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There's an exhibit in the museum that shares information on the Act to Promote the Education of the Blind (1879). Videos show students using APH products as well as APH Ex Officio Trustees sharing their responsibilities. Historical information is offered by several government leaders.Here are the three videos that play every day from that exhibit – and from our YouTube site.Students - Dr. Michael Bina and students of the Maryland School for the Blind
Ex Officio Trustees - Lou Tutt (CO)*, Leslie Durst (IN), and Nancy Niebrugge (CA)
*now Executive Director of AER
Government Leaders - Kentucky Governor Beshear, U.S. Congressman Yarmuth, and U.S. Senator McConnell

The Importance of Knowing

Would like to get your comments about this post from Donna. How much do you rely on people with site to get you through your daily tasks? The Importance of Knowing by Donna J. Jodhan It is always important to know; but when it comes to someone who is unable to see! It's even more important. Like it or not, the eyes see all and absorb all and it is what the sighted world use in order to complete any picture. For me, I use other strategies to complete a picture but to be very sure that the picture is complete and accurate, I depend on sighted assistance. I need to know when things match; like my clothes, like my décor. I need to know what gestures are being carried out around me; especially when I am in a business meeting. I need to know what expressions persons around me are communicating to me and to each other. I need to know where things are in my home so that I do not bump into objects, and that I can find what I am looking for. I need to know what information is bei…

Access Technology Versus Mainstream Technology

by Donna J. Jodhan Well, what more can I say to add to this topic that is very near and dear to my heart. To put into perspective: Access technology is much more expensive than its counterpart and much less available on the market.
It is extremely challenging to have access technology repaired as opposed to its counterpart.
There are less manufacturers of access technology hardware and less developers of software.
The profit to be made for those who develop and sell access technology is much less than for those who do the same for mainstream technology.
Access technology has to be developed in such a way as to adapt to the mainstream world. So there is the picture. Now where do we go from here? About 18 months ago, I bought a PDA that was developed for people who are blind; a real find for me and one that I found to be really forward thinking because of its features. A few weeks ago, I was told that this PDA will no longer be manufactured and as of June 2012, no more hardware mainte…

Free Books from Daria

Books can inspire.  They can enchant.  They can delight and they can heal. Multicultural books can be especially powerful in celebrating diversity and teaching tolerance and helping us explore the world in a way that is creative, positive and powerful. Multicultural children’s performer, DARIA (Daria Marmaluk-Hajioannou)  has created a website where you can get books for free. Here's what she writes:

Dear Friends: When reviewing books or visiting libraries, I often get wonderful copies of great books that I’d love to share with you!  Most are new, but some are library discards (in good shape). If you’d be willing to spread the word about this website by sharing a Tweet or Facebook entry or email, then I’d love to send you one of the books for free. I even pick up the postage! So take a look at what’s in my wonderful freebie book bin this month! If you want a book, e-mail me at daria@makemusicwithme.com and I’ll write back to request the correct address to send it.  Just one …

Making Your Digital Marketing More Accessible

I had an opportunity to sit down with Jason Falls and talk about accessibility. Jason recently posted the following to his blog, Social Media Explorer and I wanted to share it here. Making Your Digital Marketing More Accessible by Jason Falls There are two million people in the U.S. who are blind or visually impaired. That number is sure to grow in coming years as Baby Boomers, and their eyes, age. That’s a lot of people. Ever wondered how they “see” your website? What about how they navigate and use social media channels? Unless you are visually impaired, you’ve probably not thought about it.Last week I spent a half day with several staff members at the American Printing House for the Blind talking about how the visually impaired use social media, websites and technology in general. The sad truth is that as cool as our blogs and websites look to us, many people can not only not see them, they often can’t decipher what’s there because we forget, or don’t know how, to build our site…

Brainshark: Add Voice to Powerpoint & Word Docs

MyBrainshark is a cool web tool for enchaining your presentations online. It lets you upload PowerPoint presentations, videos, image slideshows or documents and effectively increase their interactivity by adding voice narrations.
Making voice presentations is easy. Just upload your file and then record your voice by calling a phone number provided by MyBrainshark. This tool has support for several video, audio, and document formats, so you won’t have a problem dealing with file conversions to make this service work for you.
MyBrainshark’s core functions are catered to businesses. The app is useful for corporate trainings, business presentations, product demos, proposals, and lectures. But if you are a blogger looking for a personal show-and-tell tool, Brainshark will also work well for your needs. You can also view other presentations from MyBrainshark’s rich content library.
You can register an individual account for free or you can view their small business and enterprise …

1,500 Free Childrens Braille Books from Temple Beth El Sisterhood Braille Bindery

Temple Beth El Sisterhood Braille Bindery will ship, for free, to a child's home or school any of 1500 children's and early teenager's books in braille. Many age levels are included, both in contracted or uncontracted braille. You can view and order from the various book lists by following the link below. Contact Earl Remer for further information at 248-669-3038 or emailing attyremer@sbcglobal.net.
All books are free, and donations of Braille paper in boxes are always appreciated.

Click this link to visit the TBE Sisterhood Braille Bindery website.

Daily Deals for Dog Guides

Not just for dog guides, but any dog really! For folks like you and me, there's Groupon. For dogs, there's DoggyLoot.com. On DoggyLoot.com, nothing but treats and toys for dogs are offered. Both local and national deals are featured and by submitting your email address, you'll begin receiving them in your inbox. Bully sticks, dog cookies, pet bath sponges, you'll find all that and more on this site. As a matter of fact, you can even find items such as costumes for your dog when events like Halloween come around. You can save 50% to 90% with their daily deals and the items ship for free! Yes, that's right, you don't have to worry about S&H costs, that's included in the price listed on the deal's page. There's plenty more to DoggyLot.com than just buying products for your pet. The site goes beyond the typical content of other daily deal websites by providing users with lots of tips and guides for making the lives of their four-legged companion…

10 Low Fat Ways to Use Leftover Turkey

When Thanksgiving or Christmas is done and you still have lots of turkey left, you may wonder what you can do with it all. Actually, quite a lot. First, chop, dice or shred your leftovers and store them in resealable plastic bags in the refrigerator. That way, you can reach for a bag or two as you need them. Then you'll be ready to try one or more of these 10 Low Fat Ways to Use Leftover Turkey. Soups Add 2 cups of chopped leftover turkey, a selection of chopped vegetables and 1 cup of uncooked rice or noodles to 3 cans fat-free, low sodium chicken broth.
2. Salads Add leftover turkey to a mix of arugula and spinach, sliced mushrooms, cranberries, shredded carrots, sliced red onions and a sprinkling of heart-healthy walnuts. Toss with your favorite low fat or fat free fruity dressing or vinaigrette.
Sandwiches and Wraps Use slices of leftover turkey to make all kinds of sandwiches. Be sure to use whole grain breads and rolls, and low fat or fat free fillings. If you don't like…

Black Blanket Background is Best for Teaching Students with Cortical Vision Impairment

by Kristie Smith-Armand, M.Ed, CTVI

The other day, I was thinking about the musical, “Chicago”. I for some unknown reason was singing the song, “Mr. Cellophane”. My random brain began thinking of how often the most important items that make a huge difference are often overlooked. As Pablo Casals once said
-The truly important things in life - love, beauty, and one's own uniqueness - are constantly being overlooked. Look at the words that the author of Mr. Cellophane sang wrote:
If someone stood up in a crowd
And raised his voice up way out loud
And waved his arm and shook his leg
You'd notice him
If someone in the movie show
Yelled "Fire in the second row
This whole place is a powder keg!"
You'd notice him
And even without clucking like a hen
Everyone gets noticed, now and then,
Unless, of course, that personage should be

Invisible, inconsequential me!
Cellophane
Mister Cellophane
Shoulda been my name
Mister Cellophane 'Cause you can look ri…

Listen to Our Kids

by Donna J. Jodhan In the normal scheme of things, we feel that it is our kids who need to listen to us but sometimes; we need to listen to our kids. Whenever we think that they are not paying attention then guess what? They are and much more than we think. Whenever we think that they are shutting us out, it is we who are doing it, not them. In November of 2010, I was invited to visit the Grove Community School by two teachers of a grade one class. Shannon and Velvet wanted me to meet a group of my youngest supporters in my present court case against the Canadian Government. Before I visited, Shannon told me that these little ones had sent a letter to the Prime Minister asking him to make the government of Canada websites accessible to the blind. Just imagine my surprise as I sat among these young minds listening to their questions. They were not afraid to ask me anything. Their questions were intelligent, intuitive, and you know what? They had not been coached by anyone. S…

Technology Becoming More Difficult

by Donna J. Jodhan Two steps forward for mainstream technology, but unfortunately, just one for access technology. What I mean is this; the evolution of technology is like a runaway freight train. It changes literally by the minute and we all have to find ways to keep up with it in our own way. For the blind, the challenge to keep up with it is made even more difficult because of having to wait for access technology to catch up and when it does; mainstream technology has already left the building so to speak. For those of you who are unfamiliar with what access technology is; it is the technology that is used by people with disibilities to help them access software, the Internet, plus more. Access technology includes such products as: screen reading software, magnifying software, and specially adapted keyboards. There are other types of access technology of course. Access technology is also very expensive in comparison to mainstream technology and often time, it is financia…

Surviving the Holiday Season: a How-to Guide for Couples Everywhere

Oh, the cumulative pressure of the holidays on a couple. There’s really nothing quite like it. Done right, it has all the makings for disaster—the financial pressures of gift-buying and party-throwing; the family pressures to have a really lovely time together even though, after just a few hours, they’ll drive you batty; and the sheer exhaustion from fighting crowds while shopping, spending meticulous hours planning, cooking entire turkeys and eggnog, and partying into the night—and then doing it all over again. In order to get through it unscathed, take heed of these practical tips for surviving the holiday season. Spend time together, alone Among the chaos, make sure you allocate a moment or two to yourselves, to breathe, decompress, and enjoy each other’s company. Start a tradition you both enjoy that you can look forward to each holiday. If you’re really busy, make your alone time productive too, by baking together in the kitchen with a bottle of wine, or wrapping presents…

The "Brailling Signs Is Cool to Do" Song

By Linn Sorge, Hadley Instructor Becky Williams has always enjoyed writing new lyrics to well-known melodies. Her creative work sends forth messages to help to bring about positive change as they lift people up, and bring smiles along the way. I met Becky when she moved to Wisconsin in 1960. We've enjoyed a lifelong friendship with music as an integral part of it. We would toss ideas back and forth about potential songs and lyrics to create just the right song to help a specific cause or brighten someone's day. Becky became an ambassador for The Hadley School for the Blind as part of her employment at the Badger Association for the Blind in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Since that time, she has been coping with the challenges of cancer recurrence. I asked her a few months ago if she had any kind of "Make-A-Wish" ideas. The song is one of them. She said it would be so meaningful to her if a professional musician could someday sing and record one of her songs. Two superb…

Preventing Tangled Earbuds

When you're halfway through what could only be called "the worst day ever," it might seem like your impenetrably tangled earbuds are just another message from the Bad-Day Gods. There are ways to prevent this from happening. Dorian Raymer and Douglas Smith at UC San Diego unraveled the mystery in a paper titled "Spontaneous Knotting of an Agitated String" in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The researchers stuck lengths of string in a box, rotated the box, then opened it to see if knots formed. After an eye-glazing 3,415 trials, they determined that string shorter than 1.5 feet never tangled, but as a string gets longer, the probability of knots shoots up sharply (which is why 10-foot-long Christmas tree lights can melt your soul). There's a million and one solutions on the market for keeping headphone cords in check. There are four things all of these devices have in common. Make a loopYou can't make the cord shorter, but you can bri…

Open Culture: a Source for Audio Books and More!

Have you ever thought that the internet lacks, well, a degree of culture?  That there's too much content that is irrelevant, superfluous, wrong, or pointless? Would you like a portal site that points you to lots more interesting, educational resources? If so, then check out Open Culture, at http://www.openculture.com. It comprises links to lots of free courses, books, audio books, language learning courses, videos, textbooks, and lots more! Access to the site, and to almost all of the content, is free.  Though there are some optional extras, which cost money, such as the ability to print out chapters from certain books (you can still read them on screen for free, and copy the text to your clipboard).

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

If I Could Dream

by Donna J. Jodhan If I could have just a few seconds to dream, this is what I would dream: That blind kids of the future will have a better shot at enjoying a more mainstream life. That they will be able to have equal access to such things as websites, information, and services. That their parents would be in a position to afford to buy them the necessary access technology that they would need in order to function on an equal footing with mainstream kids. That somehow, they would be able to go out there and literally reach for the stars. That aging adults who are either blind or will be come blind later on in their lives will be able to live their golden years in relative comfort. That being; that they would be able to receive adequate services to help them cope with their blindness and loss of vision. That their golden years will be filled with happiness and joy and that their lack of vision would not be a hindrance to them. that doctors would find a cure for my blindnes…

Different Views From Different Generations

by Donna J. Jodhan A few weeks ago, I decided to take some time to go out there and listen to the views from blind people of different generations. Specifically, what are their views on the issues of such subjects as employment, education, and accessibility. In order to simplify things, I am going to refer to the generations as follows: 35 and under - generation Y and above 35 - as generation X. I will first state the question that I asked and then give the consensus answer. I will hasten to add that my mission was not meant to be a formal survey in any way shape or form but rather as a fact finding mission for my own education. I managed to gather a total of 15 responses from each generation and I would like to thank those of you who took the time to respond. So without much more ado here goes. On the subject of employmentQuestion: Do you think that employment opportunities for your generation are better than they were about five years ago? Consensus from gen…

A Different View of the Screen

by Donna J. Jodhan In most cases, when a blind employee navigates their screen, they do so using their keyboard exclusively. Whereas a sighted employee uses their mouse to point and click, a blind employee uses their keys to do the same. They depend on shortcut keys to get them where they need to be on the screen. For sighted people, their dependence on a mouse is almost exclusive and for a blind employee, their dependence on shortcut keys is almost exclusive. The tab, control, escape, and alt keys are a blind employee’s best friend. Or should I say a blind person’s best friends. Various combinations of these keys are also best friends and of course there is the find command to help a blind person find things quickly. This is how blind people navigate their screen. In the workplace, a blind employee can be just as fast as a sighted person when navigating the screen. The one huge challenge comes when a screen freezes and a blind employee is unable to tell what is going on bec…

The Works of Thomas Jefferson is Online and in Ebook Format

If you're a fan of history, this twelve volume set of The Works of Thomas Jefferson from the Online Library of Liberty will surely interest you. This Set Contains The Following Titles: The Works of Thomas Jefferson, vol. 1 (Autobiography, Anas, 1760-1770)
The Works of Thomas Jefferson, vol. 2 (Correspondence 1771-1779, Summary View, Declaration of Independence)
The Works of Thomas Jefferson, vol. 3 (Notes on Virginia I, Correspondence 1780-1782)
The Works of Thomas Jefferson, vol. 4 (Notes on Virginia II, Correspondence 1782-1786)
The Works of Thomas Jefferson, vol. 5 (Correspondence 1786-1789)
The Works of Thomas Jefferson, vol. 6 (Correspondence 1789-1792)
The Works of Thomas Jefferson, vol. 7 (Correspondence 1792-1793)
The Works of Thomas Jefferson, vol. 8 (Correspondence 1793-1798)
The Works of Thomas Jefferson vol. 9 (1799-1803)
The Works of Thomas Jefferson, vol. 10 (Correspondence and Papers 1803-1807)
The Works of Thomas Jefferson, vol. 11 (Correspondence and Papers 1808-1816)
The W…

Quick Draw Paper: Quickest Draw in the West

by Kristie Smith-Armand, M.Ed, CTVI

“A Drawing is simply a line going for a walk” - Paul Klee When I meet with one of my visually impaired student’s teachers, the first stress from the teacher’s point of view is how to make sure the student understands the concept. Imagine how excited the educator becomes when I take out a sheet of Quick-Draw Paper and make a simple design from a water-based marker. The instructor takes her finger and feels the shape, which is always followed by a huge smile. “Can you supply me with more of this?” The teacher always asks with enthusiasm. Imagine how popular I become when I say, “I can bring you all the paper you would like”. Quick-Draw Paper becomes popular with me as well since I am no longer wearing the scars or paint from tactual paint that always ended up on my clothes, furniture or me. Quick-Draw Paper creates instant tactile graphics for art, math, orientation and mobility as well as many other subjects. The water-based marker swells …

Braille Lasts Longer on PermaBraille Sheets from APH

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If you are a TVI, how do you feel when you see your young students scratch out those dots you carefully and painstakingly transcribed? How often have you had to re-emboss material because the dots were just too worn down by so many fingers reading them over and over again? How many times have you wished that you could rescue the brailled pages from the spilled juice, wipe them off, and have clean, useable pages again instead of a puddle of melted pulp?If you are a braille-using adult, are you tired of struggling to read the addresses and phone numbers in your braille address book because dots are worn down from so much use? Are the dots getting faint in those stories you brailled so that you could read and reread them to your toddlers? How often have you had that favorite recipe become unreadable because you looked at it once too often with cake flour on your hands?If you can relate to any of these scenarios, or if you just wish you could store and reuse braille without loss of clarit…