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Showing posts from January, 2011

Qwiki!

Qwiki is a multimedia encyclopedia containing more than three million narrated, illustrated, interactive reference entries. To use Qwiki, enter a topic in the search box or select a topic from the "featured" list on the homepage. Then watch, listen, and read the Qwiki entry for that topic. Below your chosen Qwiki you will see a selection of related entries. If you've got some vision, you can also find related materials by clicking the "Q" symbol that appears at the end of the Qwiki play bar. Qwikis can be embedded into your blog or website, and as the wiki implies, registered users can suggest videos and images to improve the reference entries. In the future, registered users will be able to create their own Qwiki entries. Qwiki could be a fantastic way for students to receive all kinds of information. For a lot of "standard" curriculum topics, Qwiki's entries provide a more engaging format for learning about those topics than that offered by…

Free Textbooks for College Students

Are you tired of spending too much money on textbooks, or selling books back to the bookstores at a fraction of the costs you paid for them?  Got a stack of old textbooks just taking up space? Created by a student, Xoob is the perfect place to get rid of old textbooks and search for the ones you need- all for free!  Xoob is a network designed to allow members to trade textbooks among one another free of charge.  Search before buying from bookstores, and use this website to get rid of that stack of used textbooks.  Simply join the Xoob community, list your available books, and begin trading immediately.  It's really that easy!

Click this link to start trading books with http://www.xoobbooks.com.

IRS Provides Assistance for People with Disabilities

Hundreds of the most popular federal tax forms and publications are available for download from IRS.gov for sight impaired individuals. These products range from talking tax forms to Braille formats, and are accessible using screen reading software, refreshable Braille displays and voice recognition software. Click on the links below to download these forms and publications: Download Accessible Tax Forms (Braille and Text Formats)
Download Accessible Tax Publications (Braille and Text Formats)
Download Accessible Talking Tax Forms
Download Tax Instructions (Large Print Format)
Download Tax Publications (Large Print Format) More Help is AvailableThe IRS also offers customer service assistance for persons who are deaf or who have hearing disabilities. People with TTY equipment may call 800-829-4059, which is a toll-free number, for assistance. People who are unable to complete their tax return because of a physical disability may get assistance from an IRS office, or through the Volun…

APH OFFERS DIGITAL RECORDING STUDIO SERVICES

The American Printing House for the Blind operates state-of-the-art digital recording studios producing books, magazines, and other materials through audio cassettes, cds, and digital audio files. We are pleased to announce that our studios and expert narrators are now available to consider new projects! For additional information please contact Doug Trent in Contract Administration (dtrent@aph.org or 800/223-1839, ext. 267).

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

Federal Quota Funds Help Purchase Materials for Students!

The federal Act to Promote the Education of the Blind provides funds for adapted educational materials for eligible students who meet the definition of blindness. An annual registration of eligible students determines a per capita amount of money designated for the purchase of educational materials produced by the American Printing House for the Blind (APH). These funds are credited to Federal Quota accounts maintained and administered by APH and its Ex Officio Trustees throughout the country.Who is Eligible?In order for students to be eligible for registration in the Federal Quota Program, they MUST meet the following requirements:

meet the definition of blindness -- "central visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the better eye with correcting glasses or a peripheral field so contracted that the widest diameter of such field subtends an angular distance no greater than 20 degrees."

"be enrolled in a formally organized public or private, nonprofit educational program of les…

Teach Yourself Braille

After looking around the net, and the APH website, here's my idea of what would make a good "teach yourself braille kit" for the sighted or semi-sighted folks who may lose their vision later in life. Check out this free embossed & print grade 1 braille card that you can order from here: www.afb.org/braillebug.

Practice the grade 1 braille with a Seuss book and have fun. Either from The Braille Bookstore: http://www.braillebookstore.com/Dr-Seuss-Books.htm or the library. (Of course, it doesn't have to be a grade 1 Seuss...it is just that I'm rather fond of him.)

Move on to learning grade 2 braille with these handy little flash cards from APH: http://www.aph.org/products/g2card.html. They are only 10 bucks, and they have print as well as braille.

Practice on any braille book of your choice from the library or elsewhere, since most are written in grade 2 anyway.

Practice writing with one of these slates and styluses from APH: http://www.aph.org/products/brl…

Tips to be Safe in the Kitchen

by Ruth Coleman It is so important to be safe in the kitchen, especially when you have a visual imparity.  I wasn’t born blind, but in 1993 blindness began to creep up on me.  After having surgeries, and countless rounds of medications to which I had significant intolerances, I realized that blindness just might be something that I would experience. I was enrolled in the Center for the Visually Impaired, and it was the best thing that ever happened to me.  There I learned, before I actually lost my sight, how to manage and live cautiously in a world without sight (If you even think that a diagnosis will leave you sightless or vision impaired, ask your physician to refer you to this wonderful knowledgeable institution). I received my certificate from the center, and it has been a Godsend in my life.  While going through the gradual loss of my sight, I began to pull back from cooking, thinking that I would get my sight back and then take up cooking, which I loved, again.  Life doesn’…

Record Phone Conversations

As the title suggests, this is an application that will let you record phone conversations. This can be done without any additional hardware and it's web-based, so there's nothing to download or install. All you have to do is call 877-395-3442 from your phone and follow the instructions. The next call you make will be recorded. You will then be provided with a session code that you can use to retrieve the call. This service is provided at no cost, the basic functionality of playing and recording phone conversations will remain free. Some premium features may be implemented at a later time. Just in case you're wondering, all the recorded phone calls are stored on a secure server, you don't have to worry about the safety and privacy of what you record being compromised.

Click this link to learn more from http://www.recordableapp.com.

How to Be a Modern Gentleman

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How to Be a Modern Gentlemanfrom wikiHow - The How to Manual That You Can Edit
If it seems like chivalry is dead, you'd be incorrect in assuming such. However, women recognize that it is becoming harder and harder to find the type of man who has long been termed "a gentleman".[1] Men, let's be frank; this article is for you. If you haven’t scored a second date recently – or ever – it may be time to reevaluate your dating technique. There’s no need to be in the dark when it comes to the right way to treat women. Becoming a modern gentleman is just a few steps away.
Steps Understand that equality doesn't mean throwing your manners and good taste out of the window. The dating game is still about captivating one another, impressing one another, and being on your best behavior. Behaving in an ungentlemanly manner might get some laughs in the retelling and it might even temporarily attract a woman who is into the date for a lark but it won't get you a long-ter…

The SOLO V2 Talking Blood Glucose Management System Monthly Program

Today, the U.S. suffers from a national health crisis that directly affects millions of its citizens, whether blind, vision-impaired, deaf, hard-of-hearing, or sighted. This national health crisis is having a profound impact on family relationships, healthcare costs, and business productivity. Thirty-three percent of U.S. children are now considered overweight or obese. Studies show that 8 in 10 obese children will be an obese adult. One result of this epidemic of obesity is that 1 in 10 American adults now suffer with diabetes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, if current obesity trends don’t change, 1 in 3 American adults will be diagnosed with diabetes by 2050. In less than 40 years, 33 percent of the U.S. adult population will suffer with diabetes. ila believes it’s time to “Know Your Numbers!” It’s time to know your blood sugar (blood glucose) numbers so that you can take control of your health and prevent the potentially devastating effects of diab…

Financial Planning for Retirees with Disabilities

by Donna J. Jodhan The financial planning sector needs to start paying more attention to the needs and demands of this particular group as it continues to grow both in size as well as in financial power. Retirees with disabilities have some very unique demands and I don't think that the financial planning sector will take too long to catch on. What am I referring to? This particular group of clients are looking for such things as: Statements and information to be provided to them in formats that is easier for them to read. Formats such as large print, and electronic text. As more retirees gravitate towards computers, we are going to find that they and in particular those disabled retirees who are either print disabled or blind, will need to have their information and investment statements presented in formats that are easier for them to read. Large print is naturally one of the formats, but electronic text or E text as it is more popularly known, is the other. The fina…

How I Do My Banking

by Donna J. Jodhan There is no set way for a blind person to do their banking but here is how I do it: First, it is my preference not to use a banking machine. There are several talking banking machines in my area but I prefer to stay away from these. I go to the bank to do what most sighted persons use banking machines for; withdrawals and deposits. In addition, I go to the bank when I need to carry out electronic transfers. I use telephone banking for everything else. I really like using the phone to conduct most of my banking business because I can do it from the comfort of my home, at my convenience, and in total privacy. I can do it at any time of the day and from anywhere. I do not use Internet banking because it is my preference not to do so. I know of several blind persons who use online banking but often time I find that the online banking facilities of some of our financial institutions are not very user friendly to blind persons. I receive my statements in braill…

New and Exciting APH Products

Greetings APH Friends! Many new and exciting APH products recently became available and we couldn’t wait to share them with you! Here are your new products for a new year, with links to their Shop.APH pages for additional information and ordering procedures! All are available with Quota funds. NEW! Sense of Science: AstronomyThis is the third module in this tactile/visual science series. Unlike previous modules of this series, this set of materials is appropriate for a broader range of ages and grade levels of students with visual impairments and blindness. Activities incorporate a learning objective, a list of vocabulary and needed materials, a step-by-step procedure, extended activities, visual adaptations, math and language connections, and science tidbits. Activities are complemented by the included visual/tactile overlays and fold-out 2-dimensional displays. Includes: A large print guidebook (braille edition available separately) with easy-to-follow activities, a glossary, a…

Sites Unseen: Traveling the World without Sight

Wendy David can't stay home. Even with a rewarding job as a psychologist for the Veterans Administration in Seattle, she keeps her suitcase packed - just in case. Together with her partner, Larry, who is also blind, they have been to Europe 6 times, Hawaii 4 times, and have traveled all over the United States and Canada, visiting glaciers, swimming with dolphins, even kissing sea lions. Now she wants to share what she has learned along the way with other blind travelers in Sites Unseen: Traveling the World Without Sight. "Every time I leave on another trip," says David, "blind friends and acquaintances pepper me with questions: 'How do you get around countries with no public transportation? How do you deal with different types and sizes of currency? How do you travel overseas with a guide dog? Who describes the unique sights to you?'" In Sites Unseen, David covers the territory. Drawing on her extensive experience, she helps you decide where to go,…

Free Kindle Software with Accessibility Features

Amazon.com has released Kindle for PC that adds accessibility features designed for blind and low-vision customers. Kindle for PC with Accessibility Plugin is a free, downloadable application for your Windows PC. It provides the following accessibility features: text-to-speech reading with adjustable voice settings, voice-guided menu navigation, large font sizes, high contrast reading mode, keyboard navigation, and accessible shortcuts. With this software, for the first time ever, the entire collection of English language books in the Kindle Store can be read aloud. With over 750,000 English language titles, Amazon offers the largest selection of accessible ebooks. In order to use the text-to-speech feature, an external screen reader program must be installed and running on the Windows PC. "We welcome your feedback at kindle-PC-accessibility-feedback@amazon.com".

The free download is available at http://www.amazon.com/kindle/accessibility. The download is large because …

Ten Essential iTunes Keyboard Shortcuts

Most applications let you interact with and control them in several ways: by clicking on-screen buttons, choosing menu items, and using your keyboard. Using menu items is probably the slowest way, but it doesn’t tax your memory; you just need to know in which menu to look for the function you seek. Clicking buttons is easy, for those buttons that are present, but requires that you use your mouse or trackpad to move your cursor. But keyboard shortcuts can be the fastest way to perform actions, as long as you can remember them. Here are 10 great keyboard shortcuts that can save you time as you work with iTunes. The space bar This is probably the most practical iTunes keyboard shortcut. If you have an item selected (song, video, audiobook, podcast, and so on), press the space bar to start playing it; press the space bar again to pause.
Command-L You may sometimes be listening to music, then want to look around in your iTunes library, or browse the iTunes Store. If you want to get back …

Top 10 Apps by a Teacher of the Visually Impaired specializing in CVI

Inaccessible Surveys

by Donna J. Jodhan For the past few months, I have been receiving a lot of feedback from both readers and clients on the subject of inaccessible surveys. Here is the problem: Many survey companies invite participants to complete surveys online but according to what I am hearing, many of these surveys have not been designed with the accessibility factor in mind. Accordingly, the feedback and comments of blind, deaf/blind, vision impaired, and print disabled participants are being left out. I would like to think that this is not a purposeful admission; rather a grave and inadvertent admission. I have been told that when the survey companies are asked about the accessibility factor the majority of them admit to not having thought about it. With a rapidly aging population and an increase in the number of persons being afflicted with vision, hearing, and physical challenges, it may not be a bad idea for research and survey companies to start looking into the accessibility factor.…

A Sighted Guest

by Donna J. Jodhan In the normal scheme of things, much of society is used to greeting each other in the mainstream way of shaking hands, hugging and/or kissing each other, and waving and/or smiling to each other. However, it can be different when it comes to how blind and visually impaired persons greet each other at functions and this was brought home very clearly to me recently when my sister-in-law reminded me of a time when she attended a luncheon with me. She told me that at first, she found the room to be so noisy because people were calling to each other in order to determine where their friends were sitting. She remembers how someone called out at the top of their voice: "Donna! Where are you?" Then when I responded my friend and I both got up and proceeded to find each other by sound and greet each other. It took my sister-in-law a few minutes to understand the whole thing but when she did so, she had to smile and nod in understanding. This is one th…

Eight Benefits Of Using Silicone Bakeware

by Helen Rolo Here are eight benefits of why you should consider this type of bakeware: You can easily purchase the baking pans at your local stores and for an economical price. Many will come with a multi-year warranty, which makes them a great investment.
You will get even heat distribution, completely baked centers and even browning of your baked goods.
Silicone bakeware does not rust, dent or stain. Your bakeware will look beautiful for many years, with the proper care.
The majority of silicone baking pans are dishwasher, microwave, refrigerator, freezer, conventional oven and convection oven safe, up to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Please read manufacturers instructions as this can vary.
You will save time and calories because these types of baking pans do not need any greasing or flouring. They are made from a nonstick material, making the removal of your baked item, quick and easy.
Once they are removed from the oven, they cool down quickly. This can be especially important to those of…

GYPSY Girl (Story and Activities)

by Kristie Smith-Armand, M.Ed, CTVI

"If you love someone, set them free. If they come back they’re yours. If they don’t, they never were.” Richard Bach

Gypsy Girlby: Jamille C. Smith

Her one goal in life
Is to spread joy and cheer
To children and adults –
And to all who come near.

Filled with magical qualities,
And a temper so mild,
She moves easily about
From child to child.

With a scar on her arm,
And a smile on her face,
She’s ready to work magic
Any time - any place.

Gypsy Girl looks very poor,
But to me, she’s so fine.
And the best part about her
Is she’s mine – all mine !!! Kate Anderson was a little girl who was richer than any other little girl in the country. Even at nine years old, she was richer than most adults. Kate could buy anything that she wanted for herself and others. Unfortunately, Kate usually just bought for herself. She had dolls, video games, a large swimming pool with a very large water slide, a mansion, her own movie theater, a tennis court,…