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Showing posts from February, 2011

Add a DVD to Netflix Before Its Release

DVDlater lists all the movies in theaters so you can save them to your Netflix queue. Just find the movies you want to watch, click the add button and once the movie comes to Netflix it will automatically be moved to your DVD queue. You will never have to remember what movies to add to Netflix and never miss a must-see movie again. You can use DVDLater in three easy steps: Browse the DVDLater selection often for new releases you would like to see on DVD.
See a movie you want to rent? Click 'Save to Queue.'
When the movie is released to Netflix, it will automatically be sent to you. How it works: The website updates as new movies come out to theaters or release new trailers. Check back whenever you see commercials, movie posters, trailers, anything that makes you think 'I want that on Netflix.'
DVDLater uses the Netflix API so new theatre releases can go straight to your queue. The hassle of remembering and searching is over.
Simply add the movies you want to see from …

TheCarePost.com: Find Caregivers in Your Area or Sign Up If You Are a Caregiver

TheCarePost.com is aiming to become one of the largest and most trusted networking organizations connecting families with childcare providers nationwide. Aside from Child Care, TheCarePost.com offers many other great services for your family such as Pet Care, Senior Care, Special Needs Care, Educational Care, Home Care and Personal Care. They allow you to connect with Caregivers in a safe, secure way so you no longer have to feel uneasy about who is coming into your home! If you happen to be a Caregiver, you can sign up and be a part of their database so others can find you!

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

Our Visually Impaired Presidents

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Adapted from an article by Kyla King | The Grand Rapids Press Presidents' Day usually means a day off for most government workers, and a day without mail for the rest of us.For a change of pace, the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) wants to mark the occasion by reminding us of the “Get Eye Smart” public awareness campaign encouraging Americans to take charge of our eye health.They accentuate the point by highlighting reported vision problems of three U.S. Presidents – Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson.Abraham Lincoln It seems Lincoln could not look a person straight in the eye because he had “strabismus,” according to the AAO. What's that? The National Institute of Health defines it as “ a disorder in which the two eyes do not line up in the same direction, and therefore do not look at the same object at the same time. The AAO say photos and portraits of Lincoln's left eye tended to roll upward, especially when the 16th president was tired o…

Products Being Sold without Accessible Manuals

by Donna J. Jodhan This is one of my pet peeves and I hope that my message gets out there. Too often, when products are sold and manufacturers beat their chests with pride because they swear that theirs are products that can be used by blind persons, there is one very important component missing; manuals are not in a format that we can read. It is very frustrating to purchase a product because the store has told you that it can be used by a blind person then when you take it home and open it up guess what? There are no manuals in Braille, or large print, or on CD, diskette, or on cassette. How many times have I run into this situation and I am not alone. I purchase a calculator that is supposed to be blind friendly and there is no manual that I can read. I have to depend on sighted assistance. I have to ask someone to show me how to set the clock because there is no manual for me to read. Everything is in print. I buy a microwave and despite reassurances that I can hear the…

Out of Sight, Out of Mind

by Donna J. Jodhan Someone recently put forth the following argument to me. Out of sight, out of mind; could this be the reason why society often forgets about blind and sight impaired persons when it comes to ensuring that they receive such things as: equal access to job opportunities, education, health services, equal access to sporting and recreational facilities, and everything else that the mainstream person has access to? I listened with bated interest to this person's opinions and arguments and after our encounter I decided to take a bit of time to contemplate. It did not take me too long to formulate my own opinion. There definitely seems to be a common thread when it comes to blind and sight impaired persons being either forgotten or left out of many every day matters. When it comes to sporting activities, I have found that in my home city of Toronto Canada, there is a definite lack of accommodation when it comes to sporting activities. Over the last decade, I …

Go Fish: The Classic Matching Game with Braille

In this accessible version of the classic Go Fish kid-friendly card matching game, players make sets of four fish of the same kind by asking for cards from other players. Players can ask for cards by the numbers or by the names of the fish appearing on the cards. Cards in this set also show the number and fish name in Braille, so blind players can also join in on the fun. For 2-4 players. Ages 4 and up. Includes 52 playing cards plus 2 game instruction cards. Flash Card Measurements: 3.25" x 5.25"

Click this link to purchase Go Fish from MaxiAids.com.

American Cancer Society Designed for Enhanced Accessibility

The American Cancer Society (ACS), in collaboration with the American Council of the Blind (ACB), has taken affirmative steps to make its cancer.org website and other information accessible to people with visual impairments. The American Cancer Society's new website provides an improved experience for anyone looking for information, help or ways to fight back against cancer. The cancer.org website is divided into four main sections - Stay Healthy, Find Support & Treatment, Explore Research and Get Involved - that reflect the primary ways the American Cancer Society helps save lives from cancer. The site is designed to meet guidelines issued by the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) (www.w3.org/wai). The guidelines, which do not affect the content or look and feel of a web site, ensure that sites are accessible to persons with visual and other disabilities. The guidelines are of particular benefit to blind computer users who use screen …

Find Similar Sites to Your Favorites with Similar Site Search

We all have our favorite websites and web-based services that we refer people to. Sometimes our favorite sites don't provide quite what our friends and colleagues need. In those cases, Similar Site Search can help you find websites and web-based services that are similar to your favorites. It's easy to use, just enter your favorite site's url and go!

Click this link to search with http://www.SimilarSiteSearch.com.

Facebook Updates in Your Email

TheFriendMail provides fast and convenient access to Facebook directly from your email inbox. You can create email alerts to automatically receive your news feed and get much better email notifications for Facebook. You can also "like", comment, and use other Facebook features just by sending email. Some things I've noticed: Facebook is a lot less noisy than Twitter! It really helps to have TheFriendMail automatically send my news feed. I receive every 20 posts and usually get 2-4 emails a day.
I no longer need the app that auto-posts all of my tweets to Facebook. My friends didn't like that anyway :-)
It's effective to share links on Facebook because Facebook will show a thumbnail and description for the link. TheFriendMail will create the wall post correctly (unlike the Twitter-to-Facebook app).
I tend to get more comments when I post stuff on Facebook. I've actually become a lot more active on Facebook thanks to TheFriendMail. Click this link to visit http…

Pediatric Eye Disorders

Some eye diseases affect children more predominantly than others. Here you can find out the symptoms, causes, and treatments of the most common pediatric eye-related diseases and conditions. AmblyopiaAmblyopia is a disorder in which the eyes are unable to coordinate their alignment or to maintain parallel focus. Simply put, the eyes don't want to play nice with each other. StrabismusStrabismus, also known as crossed or turned eye, is the medical term used when the two eyes are not straight. It occurs in approximately 2 to 4 percent of the population. Retinopathy of PrematurityRetinopathy of Prematurity (ROP) is a disease of the retina affecting prematurely born babies. Congenital CataractsA congenital cataract is an opacity (cloudiness) of the lens of the eye that is present at, or develops shortly after, birth. Stargardt's DiseaseStargardt's disease is the most common form of inherited juvenile macular degeneration. It is characterized by a reduction of central visio…

The Cobra Screen Reader

Bay Area Digital is pleased to announce the availability of the acclaimed Cobra Screen Reader as a product offering from the company. Written by Baum Retec AG of Germany, this is a full-function screen reader product. Baum has over 25 years of experience in writing screen reading software for Windows operating systems. COBRA simplifies working with Windows 7, Vista or Windows XP for blind and visually impaired computer users. COBRA incorporates all standard functions of a modern screen reader in an environment also guaranteed for the future. COBRA prioritizes what it does on user's requirements and outputs this important information from the computer screen into speech, Braille or as a magnified form. COBRA For Everybody!There are 3 versions of COBRA: COBRA Braille -- With this package, you get Braille and speech output from Cobra
COBRA Zoom -- With this package, you get speech output and screen magnification from Cobra
COBRA Professional -- With this package, Cobra provi…

The Accessible Way of Rowing to Fitness

by Tai Blas I have recently discovered a completely accessible way to get fit: an accessible Ergometer (rowing machine) made by Concept2. With the addition of free computer software called Erg Chatter, the Concept2 performance monitor is made completely accessible to blind users. With the purchase of a Concept2 Ergometer and either a model 3 or 4 performance monitor, you receive a 15-foot USB cable. Connect this to the back of the monitor on the rowing machine and connect the other end to a computer. Download the free Erg Chatter software, run the setup program, open the installed Erg Chatter program and you are up and running. It’s as simple as that. You can press C from your computer’s keyboard to configure the data you want spoken to you and at what intervals you wish to receive updates. You can use your computer’s built-in speakers, plug in external speakers or attach headphones to your computer for updates. I plugged one of the male ends of a Y-type audio cable into the earp…

Sense of Science: Astronomy

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Sense of Science is a unique series designed to make the world of science accessible, understandable, and enjoyable.The main component in each Sense of Science kit from APH is a set of colorful, raised-line overlays designed to be used with a light box, or as stand-alone items. An accompanying guidebook suggests activities using the overlays and supplemental teacher-provided materials to enhance and extend the learning experience.Three modules are currently available, Sense of Science: Plants, Sense of Science: Animals, and Sense of Science: Astronomy. Additional modules will be available in the future.This 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 adaptation…

Abby Diamond's Timeless Adventures Part 2

by Kristie Smith-Armand, M.Ed, CTVI

Abby Diamond is meeting up with famous authors of all time. Part 1 ended with Abby having met Beatrix Potter and now Hans Christian Anderson. “What is the date now?” I asked. “Why Abby, you are from the future. It is 1844 and a pleasant day indeed in Denmark. Abby, what is it you’re wearing? I like it, really,” Hans stated. “They are sparkling blue jeans and my favorite pair,” I added cheerfully. “Hans,” I began, “how do you tell stories?” I asked. “Well, I create stories and my dad encourages me to use puppets so as to entertain children. I simply love to tell stories and to sing,” he said enthusiastically. “Tell me a story now,” I begged. “Well, okay. Here’s one of my favorites but I am afraid I do not have my puppets here with me, so I shall do my best to make it super entertaining.” Hans began spinning a tale about a duck that was ugly and big unlike the other beautiful ducks in his family. Everywhere the Ugly Duckling went peopl…

The Evolution of Talking Books in my Lifetime

by Karen Crowder I remember when I received my first talking book machine from the Massachusetts commission for the blind in 1967.  Subtle improvements had been made over previous versions. There was an extra speed–8 rpm–and current books were on 16 rpm. The sound quality was excellent and patrons often played record albums with pleasing results. People were already talking about cassette technology being on the horizon, a new adjunct to talking books.  But by the mid seventies, records were still the norm and new talking books were on 8 RPM hard discs, soon to be replaced by thin flexible discs.  New practices didn’t end with the discs either, as the well-made wooden talking book machines were replaced by lighter, less durable plastic models.  The innovation of cassette books expanded literature available to us.  The first cassette books produced in the 70s were recorded at 1-7/8 speed and varied in quality.  I remember not being able to finish reading a best seller, “The Strawber…

Meet Your Accessible Tests Team

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The APH Accessible Test Department team is available to assist you with making your test items accessible for students who use braille, tactile graphics, large print, or audio media for test-related purposes. A major role of Accessible Tests is to review the test items, and to share and discuss our recommendations with you to help ensure that the items are accessible to test takers in whatever medium the items are to be presented. If APH is producing your test booklets in accessible media, the items are not produced until you are satisfied with the suggested adaptations. To discuss questions, please contact Debbie Willis at 800/223-1839, ext. 311 or email dwillis@aph.org. In order to request a free quote or to develop a contractual agreement, contact Doug Trent in Contract Administration by calling 800/223-1839, ext. 267 or emailing dtrent@aph.org. For more information, you are invited to view the Accessible Tests webpage by visiting www.aph.org/tests/. We're here for you when you…

Accessible Chess, Checkers and Variations Thereof for iOS

iOS developer Marcel Nijman has recently updated his assortment of chess and checkers games for iOS to include VoiceOver support. Besides traditional versions, several variations, such as Chinese Chess, are available as well. With increasing frequency, we are seeing developers implement accessibility in their iOS applications, and the result is a rich platform that blind and sighted users can share. We recommend everyone click this link to check out Marcel Nijman’s accessible games for iOS.

Article Source:
Maccessibility.net

Master Your PC and Screen Reader!

by Deborah Armstrong Are you trying to move from the beginner level to becoming an intermediate or advanced user of your screen reading software? For many, the challenge is remembering how to study and memorizing a myriad of hotkeys. It's even more difficult if the last time you studied you did not have a visual impairment. Here are some tricks for reducing the angst and tedium. Different strokes for different folks. Get to know your learning style before trying to tackle the actual learning. Some people love to read manuals, and others just find them confusing. Some memorize better when sitting still in a quiet room while other people prefer to walk around and recite out loud. Some people like to study in a marathon long session, while others like to break lessons up in to small chunks. Some people enjoy chatting with others, and getting feedback about how their friends accomplish a task. Some people want to learn without interruption and distraction. Some enjoy asking question…

Can Blind Kids Play with Toys?

by Donna J. Jodhan This is one of the most frequently asked questions that I get and my simple answer to this is why not? Blind kids do not have to see in order to play with toys. Blind kids play with all kinds of toys and enjoy many of the things that most of their sighted counterparts enjoy. That is, except for those high tech toys. When I was a kid, I played with dolls. I had doll houses, played ball games with my brothers, rode bicycles, and flew kites. I even had toy guns and played with my brother's toy soldiers and you know what? I had a whale of a time doing all of it. I developed ways to play football and cricket. I learned how to pitch marbles, and I even participated in hide and seek games. Boy did I ever play with all kinds of toys; from the regular girl's stuff to kicking tin cans in the road and playing ball hockey. True it is that my family and friends had to adapt things somewhat for me to play with them but despite this I had a world of fun. If y…

Don't Write Off Workers Who Lose Their Vision

by Donna J. Jodhan Over the years, I have run into several persons who have had the misfortune to have lost their vision while on the job. Ranging from anything to an injury on the job to being afflicted with a disabling disease that has lead to blindness, it continues to be a challenge when it comes to companies being able to deal with an employee who has lost their vision while on the job. There is no doubt that when such an occurrence takes place, it is extremely traumatic for everyone; for the employer who now has to adjust to someone who has lost their vision, the employee who now has to learn how to cope both on the job and at home and otherwise, and let us not forget the coworkers. In short, a huge change for everyone involved; a world come crashing down. However, all should never be considered as lost! That is, if things are handled in an orderly manner. It may come down to this: Employers, employees, and management undergoing a period of training that includes suc…

Settings to Use Gmail with the Braille+

The following Braille+/Icon email account settings appear to work with GMAIL. Please note that user names and account names are fictitious, and must be replaced with your own name and ID. Some other SMTP port number variants may work as well.

Account name: your-name
Account is default: yes;
Real name: your-name
email address: your-name@gmail.com
Incoming mail server: pop.yourname@gmail.com:995
Incoming server type: Secure Pop3;
Leave messages on server? yes;
Incoming username: your-name
Incoming password: this-one-better-be-typed-correctly;
Outgoing mail server: smtp.gmail.com:465 Outgoing server type: SMTP over SSL;
Outgoing Authentication: requires authentication;

Medicare Handbook in Braille

The 2011 edition of the “Medicare and You” Handbook, which all Medicare recipients receive in the mail is now available in Braille. It comes in three soft cover volumes, 257 pages in Braille. This is the official US government Medicare handbook, covering what’s new, what Medicare costs, what it covers, health and prescription drug plans, and your Medicare rights. To order this publication in Braille call 1(800) 633-4227, ask to speak to an agent, and ask for Braille.

Express Burn those CDs

by Martin Courcells I'm always attracted to simple applications. Much of the CD burning software out there is full of bells and whistles. Sometimes, I'd rather just have a straightforward, no nonsense application and have an easy way of simply burning a CD. Oh, and it has to be fully accessible. Sure, I can use my screen reader review cursor and find buttons to click, but sometimes I just want things to work. Here comes Express Burn by NCH software to the rescue.   First, you can visit http://www.nch.com.au/burn/index.html to read what Express Burn can do for you. For convenience, I have posted the direct link to the download below: http://www.nch.com.au/components/burnsetup.exe. Click on the above link and choose "run" or ALT+R to commence downloading. You'll have to press ALT+R again to start the setup. Run through the various setup screens in order to install the program. Use the usual TAB, SHIFT+TAB and SPACEBAR to navigate these screens. One particular …

Protecting Your Dog Guide's Pawz

From the AccessContent Blog: Since the cold weather has finally hit us, my concern has turned to the well-being of my trusty furry companion's little paws. Imagine walking bare foot in this cold? Yes, I know, they're paws are equipped for such things, but I'm more concerned about the amount of salt and cold water they have to walk through. I've done the booties thing; an expensive endeavor, especially since my guy tends to lose a boot per walk. I've also done the Invisible boots option; a viscous jelly-like wax-based product. Works pretty well, but he still jumps around when encountering salt and puddles.   In comes a simple, yet effective product called Pawz, spelled with a z. These are booties that are essentially like oversized balloons. Here's how they work. No, you don't blow them up. Simply find the correct size for your pooch, slide them on and the top portion of the bootie will cling snuggly to the paw. Somebody was thinking whe…

Is Being Blind As Bad As Everyone Thinks It Is?

by Alena Roberts As someone with a degenerative eye disease, I closely follow the research that is being done to restore vision in the blind.  However, as I spend more time with the blind community, I find myself less focused on having my vision restored, and more on accepting my blindness. This week I learned about a play called “Molly Sweeney,” which discusses the negative consequences of Molly’s vision being restored. The play explores Molly’s life before and after she has the surgery. The character lost her vision as a young child and is very happy living in her tactile world. She falls in love, and marries a man who, unbeknownst to her, has decided to find a way to bring back her vision. Her husband’s attitude, in my opinion, closely resembles most of the people that I’ve encountered in my life. Most people can’t fathom losing their vision, so they often think that all of us who have lost our vision want it back. I’m sure that there are many who desperately want to have their v…

Fix the Web

Poor standards of web accessibility mean many people with disabilities are excluded from using big parts of the internet. Fix the Web is offering a solution! People with disabilities can now report problems with websites in under a minute. Fix The Web volunteers then take these issues to the reported website owners. Hopefully, owners then fix their websites to insure accessibility. Great concept, but will it work? Only one way to find out I guess, click this link and submit a site to http://www.fixtheweb.net.

Save Printer Ink

Preton Saver is a handy utility for anyone who uses Windows with an inkjet printer, especially if much of the stuff you print is not for long-term storage and doesn't need to look pristine. It's a simple utility which helps you save ink, and can also keep a running count of how much ink (and money) you've saved.  Best of all, you can get a free licence if you'll be using the program for non-commercial (ie, domestic) purposes. To start, head to http://www.preton.com/free.asp. You'll need to supply an email address in order to get your free licence.  By return, you'll get a licence code and the download link.  Copy the licence code into your Windows clipboard.  Once the software is installed, and you've pasted the licence code into it, you're ready to go.  Each time you print from a Windows application, the Preton Saver screen pops up. You can choose anything from a 0% to a 70% saving in ink, just by adjusting the slider. Then click the Print button an…

Tips for Ground Beef

Ground beef may be browned ahead of time and frozen for quick and convenient use in spaghetti sauce, chili, sloppy joes, etc. Follow these tips for best flavor and quality. When making beef crumbles for later use, if possible, avoid using iron or aluminum cooking utensils as these speed flavor changes.
Brown crumbles with onions or unroasted bell peppers which have antioxidant properties and slow flavor changes. OR, brown the meat, seasoned lightly, with one or more of these herbs and spices that have antioxidant properties: rosemary, sage, marjoram, thyme, mace, allspice and cloves.
Use the seasoning and amount that will be most suitable for the recipes you make. Add more seasoning when you prepare the food, if needed, as freezing may affect the intensity of the flavor of spices and herbs.
Do not use salt; add salt later when the meat is used in your recipe. Salt may hasten undesirable flavor changes in beef crumbles.
Freezing the crumbles as part of a sauce, such as spaghetti sauce, al…

Music to Mail

You like music. You have a number of artists that you really like and you want to stay informed about their music, be it new albums or any new single. Music2Mail keeps you up to date by sending you email notifications. Features include: Super easy single-page setup in 3 steps
Most extensive artist database - more than 570000 artists!
Releases about lesser known artists available
Daily updates
Last.fm import
Notification frequency and type configurable Registering to Music2Mail is easy and fast. Enter your artists by writing their name into the textbox or searching them individually in the search box. Submit to see if the artists are in the database. Enter your email and options and you are registered. Click the verification link, and you will get notifications and stay up to date.

Click this link to visit http://www.music2mail.com.

Abby Diamond’s Timeless Adventures Part 1

“The only reason for time is so that everything doesn't happen at once.”
Albert Einstein

by Kristie Smith-Armand, M.Ed, CTVI

Chapter One- “Not Without Your Daughter”Hi! Welcome to more adventures with me, Yours Truly, Girl Detective, etc., etc., etc., the one and only- Abby Diamond. It was at the end of the summer, and it was almost time for me to go back to school. Not that I minded school; I actually loved seeing my friends and being on a schedule. However, what I do not like is waking up with the roosters after sleeping my life away all summer, but like it or not, school was on its way. Ahhh, good times! My mom and Grandmother Elizabeth were going traveling a few hours away to Salado to shop, hang out, shop, shop, shop, so I was not going to let them get away without taking me. I heard them talking about going to Salado in the kitchen one day when I was passing through with a handful of chips. “Mom, let’s go down to Salado and go to our favorite shop that has the differ…