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Showing posts from March, 2011

Skype in the Classroom

Teachers already use Skype to connect with other classrooms around the globe, bring in guest speakers without asking them to travel, and take virtual field trips. Now, Skype is making it easier for them to do so. The company has launched Skype in the Classroom, a dedicated teacher network. Using the platform, teachers can create profiles that describe their classes and teaching interests. They can also search a directory of teachers from all over the world by student age range, language and subject. Many teachers use the network to coordinate Skype projects with other schools. A “project” tab allows users to post and search for projects that require collaboration. Accommodating teachers is a natural move for Skype. Several independent sites have already established Skype teacher phone books, class collaboration directories and virtual language exchange programs to accommodate the growing number of educators who are using the videoconferencing platform as a learning tool.

Click this…

Access to Science

The Access2Science web site is devoted to articles and links on accessibility of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). This site is intended to provide practical information to people with print disabilities, to the parents, teachers, and peers of people with print disabilities, and to agencies and researchers wanting to know the state of the art. This site will be kept up-to-date. The editor-in-chief has given this site a jump start by compiling Latex commands in accessible tables, something that should be of great help to many blind people who write in Latex or use Latex to read or author math in MathType. He has also written up a series of QuickNotes on frequently-requested topics involving math and science access in MS Word. Articles under preparation include: Accessing the "R" statistics software application, by Dr. Jonathan Godfrey. Infty reader, the scientific OCR application, by the Infty group. ChattyInfty, the accessible scientific word processor b…

Too Cold to Use a Cane? Not with This Tip!

I have to thank Carolyn Neifert, a reader of Fred's Head for this tip. She emailed me, wanting to know if I had written a tip about using an ice scraper to keep the hand warm while holding a cane in winter.
It turned out that I hadn't written the article, but she found it in the MDE-LIO (Michigan Department of Education - Low Incidence Outreach) November 2007 Newsletter. It's a great tip, so I had to share it with all of you. Here it is, exactly as they printed it:
Winter Orientation and Mobility Tip Cane mittens can be made or purchased but here's a quick fix for those cold winter lessons. Using a car ice scraper that comes with a mitt, remove the scraper and the cane can be inserted in the opening. The mitt will offer additional protection for the hand while using the cane. The mitt is a one size fits all with elastic at the top to hold it in place. A glove can be worn on the hand for additional warmth before inserting in the mitt. The car ice scra…

How to Apply Makeup

We all like to look good, and a little makeup can help us look even better. When applied correctly, makeup can accentuate our best features. If you are just learning to apply makeup, all the information in this record may seem overwhelming. However, keep in mind that applying makeup takes lots of patience for anyone new to it. After a while you will learn a routine. Just remember that you will have to practice, make mistakes and try again. We have divided the makeup application process into 9 steps. To navigate this page easily follow the links to the step you are most interested in checking out. Things to keep in mind...Step 1: Preparing your faceStep 2: Preparing your eyesStep 3: Applying eyeshadowStep 4: Applying eyelinerStep 5: Applying mascaraStep 6: Applying foundation and powderStep 7: Shaping and coloring your eyebrowsStep 8: Applying blushStep 9: Applying lipstickThings to keep in mind...1. There are tons of different kinds, colors, and brands of makeup. To start your …

Internet TV Show for Dads

This site has nothing to do with blindness or visual impairment. It does offer some great information for men. Dadlabs is a great resource for today's modern fathers and is full of parenting and spousal advice. The site has close to three-hundred videos with topics ranging from "The Pregnant Man, from Conception to Delivery" to "To Pee or not to Pee in the Pool". The shows have a certain degree of humor, making them more palatable to the average man, but also deal with some very important issues. Videos can be viewed at dadlabs.com and can also be searched for on a variety of other video sites like YouTube. Far from being only a video site, Dadlabs also has a forum where dads can go to discuss specific problems regarding fatherhood, a blog, and a store. "An edgy, fun and informative show for dads and the women who tolerate and/or love them. Humorous tips and advice from dads on parenting, fatherhood, children, and coping with wives and mothers. Tune in a…

Pill bottle magnifier

What can we say? There's almost nothing as important as being able to read the text on a medicine bottle. This clip-on 2x magnifier fits most prescription bottles. Just clip magnifier to bottle & swing lens outward to magnify text. Folds inward for compact storage. Measures 4" x 1½" x 2¼".

Click this link to purchase the Pill Bottle Magnifier from Amazon.com.

How to Build a Large Pill Organizer

I like the idea of a pill organizer. Having a way to keep track of pills is a great way to insure that you always take the right pill at the right time. Some pill organizers are difficult to use. They often have small doors that are hard for the elderly or physically disabled to open or can be confusing to someone who is blind or visually impaired. Others simply don't hold enough pills and you find yourself filling the organizer as often as you take pills from it. Here's a great way to create a large pill organizer for use around the home. It starts with a trip to your local Dollar Store or other discount store. You can purchase disposable plastic storage cups that fit nicely into the cups of a muffin pan. With the lid of each cup labeled for a day of the week in large letters or braille, the muffin tin and cups can become a giant, easy-to-fill pill organizer. Filling this organizer once a week will narrow the opportunity for mistakes while opening and removing pills f…

How To Measure Liquid Medicines

To measure liquid medicines, obtain a syringe from any pharmacy. This is the type without a needle. Have a sighted person pull out the plunger to 1/4, 1/2, 3/4, and 1 teaspoon scoring each measurement where the plunger enters the syringe. To measure the liquid, insert the syringe into the liquid and pull the plunger back until the thumb nail locates the knife marking indicating the desired measurement. For example, 1/2 teaspoon would be the second knife marking. To feed the medicine to a child without spilling it, put the syringe into his/her mouth and squirt the liquid out.Baby Bottle with Medicine DispenserAdministering medication to babies is no easy task. They spit, they refuse to swallow, they do anything not to ingest the often less-than-sweet tasting drug. This is of course instinctive, and really a good thing, since it's meant to protect babies from eating anything suspicious. But it does not make giving children meds any easier. This invention, however, may well do the …

EZ Track Medical Record Keeper

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The EZ Track Medical Record Keeper is a large print organizational tool for keeping medical records. It provides a system for storing and organizing information on personal identification, medical history, insurance, medications, physicians, and other medical records. The product is on non-glare paper, with 22-point black type. It's housed in a three-ring binder for easy access and re-organization. Extra sheets for physician's notes and personal notes are included. Handy folders are included for insertion of invoices, reminders, and prescriptions. Tab pages divide the product into easy-to-locate divisions.

Medical Record Keeper:
Catalog Number: 1-07930-00
Click this link to purchase the EZ Track Medical Record Keeper.

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:

iSleepDiary: the Website to a Good Night's Sleep

Many people who are blind or visually impaired have issues with sleep. No one seems to know exactly why, a good study still needs to be done to find an exact cause. Until then, we have iSleepDiary. If you are looking into the best way of counting sheep, this site is exactly what the doctor ordered. As its name denotes, it is a repository of information regarding the fine points of an activity that is more important to the body than actual nourishment. It is also an activity which can be easily disrupted, and whose balance (if altered) will ensure your whole day is pure shambles, because you did not renew your energies the way you should have the night before. This site deals with sleep by having the user answer a series of direct questions, and the results are used to create a diagnosis that would put Gregory House and his team to shame. Well, maybe not, but the diagnoses are quite comprehensive. And (best of all), the information you provide is stored and displayed as graphs as tim…

The Bionic Eye

Officials in Australia have unveiled a prototype for a bionic eye device – an instrument that looks like a pair of sunglasses, but could one day help the visually impaired regain their sight.
The device features a minute video camera attached to a pair of dark glasses. The camera records images, which will then be sent wirelessly to an implant which will stimulate electrodes on the retina. Once stimulated, the retina will then be able to discern points of light, which the brain will then be able to reconstruct into images, thus effectively creating simulated vision for those suffering from macular degeneration or other genetic ailments.
The bionic eye prototype was created by researchers from the University of Melbourne, and is being tested by individuals from the school, as well as the Bionic Ear Institute, the Center for Eye Research Australia, the University of New South Wales and National Information and Communications Technology Australia. The country’s government contributed…

Website with Information on Cell Phone Accessibility

by by Susanne Croasdaile Accesswireless.org is a site created by "CTIA-The Wireless Association," an international nonprofit membership organization representing the wireless communication industry. One of the things they focus on is wireless accessibility for individuals with disabilities. Check out their guides "for consumers with disabilities to search for accessible wireless products and services": http://accesswireless.org/Find/Guides-How-Tos.aspx.

Click this link to visit http://www.Accesswireless.org.

Article Source:
The Assistive Technology Blog

Portable Sound Sources from APH

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Produces an audio tone that provides directional cues for orientation and mobility, sound localization training, or for playground games. Recommended for all ages.

Powered by four C-cells (included) that are easier for you to replace compared to previous models.
Rate of tone: 36 to 360 pulses per minute
Pitch: 600 hertz to 1200 hertz
Large speaker
Measures 8 x 9 x 3 1/2 inches
Weighs approximately 6 pounds
Print instructions Catalog Number: 1-03040-02

SOUND LOCALIZATION Manual Only:
Catalog Number: 7-03045-00
Click this link to purchase the Portable Sound Source 2003. Portable Sound Source, Sport EditionCreate audio tones that provide directional cues for orientation and mobility, sound localization training, or playground games and sports. This new, lightweight Portable Sound Source: Sport Edition comes with a remote control and carrying strap. The carrying strap can be used as a belt for hiking or a game of Follow the Leader. Other uses for the sound source are: identify home base, a s…

The "Swish" of the Hoop

By Lori M. Miller
Whether I have just laced up my Jordan classics to play one on one with my niece and nephews or I'm taking a moment to teach my three year old how to dribble a basketball, I am always thinking of ways to improve my game of basket ball. I grew up with an older sibling who played basketball at the junior high and high school level. I remember sitting in the bleachers cheering on the home team with chants of D, D, D. Defense and so on. It was my sisters friends who excepted the challenge of teaching a totally blind Kindergartener how to dribble. From that point on, I aspired to be like the other neighborhood kids out on the summer days shooting hoops. Our basketball goal was mounted on a single pole at the edge of our driveway. I adapted to the environment using echo location to hear the pole, or physically walking up to the pole, touching it, and then backing away a number of steps. A natural crack in the driveway just about where the free throw line would be se…

Popcornflix

Popcornflix was created for people who want to watch "Great Movies. Free." Popcornflix has full-length movies that will make you laugh, make you cry, scare the heck out of you, or inspire you to hug the person you love. They have compelling documentaries, foreign films, unique original web series, and a place that showcases the brightest film makers of tomorrow. No movie is more than two clicks away and they are all FREE. Screen Media Ventures, LLC, founded in 1999, is the largest independent distributor of motion pictures to the world wide television market. The company is one of the leading motion picture distributors of theatrical, home video, digital and television both in the U.S. and internationally. With over 1500 movies, Screen Media has one of the largest independently owned film libraries in the motion picture industry.

Grab some popcorn and snuggle up to the monitor for some online movie enjoyment with http://popcornflix.com.

Things Go Wrong a Guide to Fixing Kitchen Disasters

by Chef Peter Martin Let's face facts; we have all had our fair share of kitchen disasters, even us "professionals", though we might not admit it. From food being too salty, to scorched soups, to broken hollandaise, disasters do, and will, happen. The good news is that many of these so-called "disasters" can be fixed relatively easily, with only a few that are beyond salvaging. Below is a list of some of the most common kitchen disasters and how to fix them. Too SaltyFrom thinking the recipe said tablespoons instead of teaspoons, to being distracted and salting something twice, this is one of the most common food disasters. Luckily there are numerous ways to solve this issue. You can try neutralizing the salt by adding sugar and cider vinegar. Add 1 teaspoon, each, at a time until you have reduced the level of saltiness. Another method that has been around for a long time is the potato method. If making a soup and it > is too salty, add 1 peeled…

Moki Helps You Find Movies And TV Shows You Can Watch Online

Hulu, Netflix, Amazon, iTunes, there are so many different services for watching TV content on your computer that an application for making sense of all available offerings is indispensable. Moki.tv is an accessible guide to all the movies and TV shows that can be watched online. All the silver screen and TV content that can be watched on the WWW can be accessed through Moki.tv. You are told about the free content available on Hulu (and the paid content available on Hulu Plus), and all the subscription stuff from Netflix and Amazon Prime, along with all the movies being shown on iTunes and Amazon Video On Demand Additionally, users of Moki.tv can rate and review all the shows and movies that they are watching. Users can even import their ratings from Netflix to Moki.tv. And the site also works the other way around - you can take all your Moki.tv ratings, and have them shared with your Netflix friends.

Click this link to search the net for movies and TV shows with http://www.Moki.tv.

Audio Description

by Donna J. Jodhan One question that I often get asked is this one: How does a blind person follow a movie? That is, how can they follow what is going on in a movie when there is no talking or other noise to tell them what's happening? Enter the world of audio description. Up until about a decade ago, audio descriptive movies or audio descriptions were novelties to us or rather a luxury but today, it is becoming more and more popular. What is meant by audio descriptions or audio descriptive movies? Very easy. More and more movies, DVDs, and videos are now being produced to include audio descriptions and this means that audio descriptions are given for those scenes where there is no audible sound. This is most helpful to blind persons who are unable to see what's going on. So for example, in a movie, if someone is walking along and there is only the sound of their shoes, audio description would be provided to tell the blind person what's included in the scene as…

The World of Mobile Devices

by Donna J. Jodhan So much has opened up for blind and sight impaired persons with the advent of more accessible mobile devices. Devices such as the accessible cell phone that is now able to accommodate access software, GPS devices, PDAs, and now the iPhone and the Ipad. These are very exciting times and for me it often feels like being a kid in a candy shop not quite knowing what to do or which device to choose and as time marches on, it is only going to get more confusing and even more exciting. Up until just a few years ago, the world of mobile devices seemed to be a mere blip on the radars of most blind and sight impaired persons but that has all changed and we as blind persons can only hope that with time mobile devices are going to become more accessible to us. It is only natural that some devices may be more accessible than others. What we have today is a mish-mash of accessibility. Some devices come with software that enables blind persons to navigate menus fairl…

Speak n Brew: Voice Operated Ten Cup Coffee Maker

Making coffee just got easier, especially for people who are blind and those with low vision. Set the clock and brew time with only your voice, no programming to learn. The Speak n’ Brew Voice Operated Coffee Maker allows anyone to brew hot, fresh coffee with the touch of a button, or set the brewing time by simply speaking.

Features include: One touch or voice set brew start
Permanent filter in removable basket
Warming plate with auto shut off
Ten cup glass carafe
All stainless steel body Click this link to purchase the Speak and Brew from Amazon.com.

Easter Egg Decorating Kit with Tactile Elements

For generations, Easter Sunday and the approach of spring have been celebrated with the decorating of dyed eggs. This deluxe kit makes creating colorful one-of-a-kind eggs fun and easy for everyone in the family, including those who are blind or visually impaired. Kit includesSix dyes in red, yellow, blue, green, orange and purple, let you create colorful shells.
Four markers in blue, green, orange and pink.
A transparent crayon.
Foam alphabet stickers, animal stickers, wiggly eyes, flower and butterfly stickers, pink and green flock stickers and miniature pom-poms.
Comes with a wire egg dipper. Printed instructions provide helpful tips and decorating ideas. A Williams-Sonoma exclusive.

Click this link to purchase the Easter Egg Decorating Kit from the Williams-Sonoma website.

Cutting, Slicing, Grating, And Peeling Foods

The actual process of peeling, slicing, or grating is no different for the blind than for the sighted. As in all phases of cooking, safety depends upon competence and care rather than upon sight. It is much easier and more satisfactory to grate or cut into a large bowl rather than onto a flat surface. The food is then automatically collected and easily manageable. If you are a beginner who has had little or no experience in using a knife, you may find it easier and safer at first to cut downward toward a cutting board. The experienced cook uses a knife in various positions, however; and the newly blinded experienced cook will probably not change her ways of using a knife. A suggested method for chopping vegetables into small pieces is as follows: Slice the vegetables into a large bowl. Then use a "Kwik-Kut Food Chopper," which resembles a round cookie or biscuit cutter but is very sharp on the bottom. (This cutter is available on the general market.) Chop the cutter up an…

Managing Hair Supplies, Not Fishing Tackle

If your daughter or wife have tons of brushes, hairclips, rubber bands, jewelry, you know how crazy it can be keeping it all together in one location and not all over the house. Here's an easy tip that will help them keep things organized and might win you some browny points for being so thoughtful. The next time you're out shopping, stop by the local sporting goods or department store and pick up a tackle box with pop up trays. Now they can use all the cubbies for putting smaller items like barrettes and bands, and a brush or two in the bottom. Because it's portable, they can take it to friends houses or on trips and have everything they need.

Tennis Balls Can Hide Your Valuables

You like to travel, but you know that if you take your nicer jewelry it might disappear. Here's a great tip that might put your mind at ease. A great way to hide little valuables is in a tennis ball. Cut about a two inch slit in a tennis ball. Now when you squeeze opposing sides it will open up like a mouth. Toss in coins, jewelry, anything small inside and release. Now it is just an unsuspecting ball, not your valuables. NOTE: Keep the ball away from your dog guide and be sure to place it somewhere that it can't roll away from you and be difficult to find. Maybe in the corner of a suitcase for example.

WII Game for the Blind

At the end of 2008 the collaboration partners - MAD multimedia, Principal Blue, TNO and Royal Dutch Visio – had decided to give the concept of Serious Gaming a new dimension. Within two years and with a subsidy from Innovative Action Programme in Groningen (Dutch: IAG2) the first official Nintendo Wii game was developed for children with or without visual impairment. The process used for this development is called co-creation, a technique in which the end user is involved in the development of new products and services. Visually impaired, blind and full sighted children contributed to the content and form of this game, while physical therapists, exercise specialists and teachers monitored the motoric aspects. In "The Explorer and the Mystery of the Diamond Scarab", you play the role of Ben the Archaeologist who is searching for the Temple of the Diamond Scarab. Once he is in the temple he meets Tiri, an enchanting Egyptian princess. Going through a maze of underground pass…

MOLinsight: A Web Portal for the Processing of Molecular Structures by Blind Students

The MOLinsight web portal is a gateway to open-source software as well as software freely accessible to students that can be integrated in strategies for blind users to process chemical structures. Here you can find documentation for available programs  and a guide to decide about the tools for specific tasks. Software found on the site includes: NavMol
BrailChem
Marvin
OpenBabel
Molecular editors for non-blind users  "How to do common task" articles include: Guidelines to interpret a molecular structure
Guidelines to build a molecular structure
Verify if two chemical structures in different file formats are the same
Get information about general properties of a molecule (e.g. molecular weight, exact mass, number of atoms, estimated logP)
Interpret the stereochemical features of a molecule Click this link to visit http://www.molinsight.net.

vOICe Learning Edition Browser for the Blind

by Thomas C. Weiss
The vOICe Learning Edition’s Internet Sonification Browser for persons who are blind is meant for use in conjunction with a screen reader. People can use the key combination of Control-F2 to mute it, if needed. For the purpose of reading text on web pages, a person can use a regular web browser such as Internet Explorer along with a screen reader; however, the vOICe Sonification Browser makes Internet graphics accessible by allowing people to hear the images that are contained within HTML pages. The vOICe Sonification browser is activated through pressing Control-U, or by traversing the File menu.
Pressing the Control-U key combination gives the person using the software an Internet Access dialogue through which they can enter either the direct URL of an image file or the URL of a web page. The vOICe will, in care an image file URL, first download the image to the person’s current working directory, and then from there automatically sonify the image. In the case…

Early Braille Trade Books Wright Group—TWiG Books Kit 2, Upper Emergent

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Finding the right book for young students is now easier!Young readers will be inspired by these emergent-level nonfiction books about the natural world and everyday life. These books are easily integrated across the curriculum especially in science and social studies.The Early Braille Trade Books Project provides commercially available books with braille labels for beginning readers. This kit includes books, braille labels, and access to an interactive website, please visit: http://tech.aph.org/ebt/FeaturesContracted or uncontracted braille labelsMatch books to a student based on braille knowledgeThe interactive website allows you to: Search for books by genre, core curriculum, or expanded core curriculumAccess a book summary and activities designed for braille readersMaintain a listing and percentage of contractions learned by each student -- great for documentation at IEP meetingsShare or transfer student records to other teachersTWiG Books Kit 2 Includes 11 books, braille label pa…

Blind entrepreneur builds business for the blind

An 18 year old was born blind but she has her sights set on a bright future. Bronwen Tagoe never developed eyeballs but she didn't let that hold her back. Instead she grew into a pianist, artist and an entrepreneur. She helped her mother, Deb, start the business Braille-a-wear in 2006. Deb says, "The kids were wearing daddy's princess or Gap slogan shirts. And I said we have to come up with a shirt you could read." Braille-a-wear sells t-shirts, hats, bags, jewelry and more. Each has a slogan in print and Braille so everyone can read them. "Right now I work out of my garage, my home, my computer, conferences - we even go to the streets if we have to," Deb adds.  "People say I like your shirt, we've got one in the car!" In addition to the family business, Bronwen also focuses on playing the piano and her art. She learned every song from Bach to Beethoven by listening. She spends time on her art by taking lessons in 3-D sculptures and canva…

Word 2010 Keyboard Commands With Jaws 12.0, Window-Eyes 7.2, and System Access

At last! National Braille Press has the most common keyboard commands for the very latest – and reportedly quite confounding - version of Microsoft Word, in one handy volume. These commands work with Word whether you are using a screen reader or not, and regardless of which screen reader you use. Major headings include Word commands, JAWS commands for Word, Window-Eyes commands for Word, and finally System Access commands for Word. In addition to keystrokes, it also includes step-by-step instructions for customizing the keyboard and the Quick Access Toolbar.

Click this link to purchase Word 2010 Keyboard Commands from the NBP Braille BookStore.

Blind photographer can 'hear' a good photograph

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River Alandra has been completely blind most of her life but refuses to let it stop her from pursuing her hobby.Her sense of hearing is so acute she can ‘see’ wildlife by listening to the sound of a swan moving through water or a bird flapping its wings.‘I use my cane to measure distances so that I can focus correctly,’ said Ms Alandra, 47, who is accompanied by her black labrador guide dog Dallas.‘It does take me a lot of work to get a good photo but I never alter them digitally. I dream about capturing a dragonfly on camera but it’s nearly impossible for me because they are so fast.’Ms Alandra, who is studying for a masters degree in conservation, took up photography in 2006.In bloom: One of the photographs in River Alandra’s exhibition (Picture: SWNS) She uses a Panasonic Lumix FZ100 which she has modified with braille dials.Her friends have selected 14 of her pictures for the exhibition in her home town of Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire.‘It’s not really the best hobby for a blind person,…

Archery for the Blind

Blind Archery is the most recent sport to have official status within the International Blind Sports Association (IBSA) and is now under consideration for full Paralympic status. It is accepted that there will only be two divisions to start with, male and female, and with the requirement that all archers wear blackouts or shades.
Visually impaired archers shoot with either recurve and/or compound bows. Recurve bows increase in tension as the arrow is pulled backward, thus making it difficult for users with limited mobility or strength. Compound bows are used by archers who are unable, for whatever reason, to draw a recurve satisfactorily.
Blind archers must have a spotter with them at all times for safety. The spotter tells the archer where the arrow strikes the target. they are not allowed to tell the archer where to aim. A clock face system; 3 o^D>'clock blue 7 o^D>'clock red etc; is used to give arrow location. In addition, changes to the assistive technology su…

A Need to Remember the Buttons

by Donna J. Jodhan So many times I, as a blind person am challenged to remember the position of buttons and keys. That is, I need to pay particular attention to where each button and key is. Thank God, telephone keypads are all the same but when it comes to other things! That's a different story. Unfortunately, elevator buttons are not customized across the board and if there is either no Braille or raised print to represent what the button is, then I am in big trouble. Most computer keyboards are similar but sometimes the differences in the positions of the keys are enough to throw me off. The same goes for calculators and remote control devices. The keyboard on an IBM Think Pad for example, is different to the layout of a keyboard on a Toshiba laptop. My dire wish would be for manufacturers to standardize the position of the layout of buttons and keys. Washers and dryers are also a problem for me in that I have to memorize the buttons. Radios are the same for me. …

Accessible All the Way

by Donna J. Jodhan For the past few years, I have been witness to several technological evolutions when it comes to the development of accessible devices for blind and vision impaired persons. This includes such things as mobile devices, some hand held devices, and certain types of kitchen and utility devices. Accessible cell phones for blind and vision impaired persons have come a very long way. The same could be said for such things as GPS devices, PDAs, bar code readers, color detectors, and more. We have seen the evolution of talking microwaves and timers, other kitchen devices, some remote controls, MP3s, iPhones, and so on. This is all good but there still needs to be more work done in order to make devices more user friendly and accessible to blind and vision impaired persons. I do not doubt that if appropriately sensitized, developers and manufacturers will continue to make their products more accessible but there needs to be a greater push towards this trend; acce…

Musical Instruments For The Blind

Blind children can learn to play a musical instrument just as well and often even better than, sighted children provided the desire and interest is there. Blind children often have a strong sense of rhythm and musical sensation since their hearing is more in tuned with the world. Of course the assumption should not be made that just because they are blind they should play a musical instrument. However if a child or an adult who is visually impaired decides that playing a musical instrument is something they would find beneficial, then by all means, there should be every consideration made just as you would for a sighted individual. There are instruments which are better suited for the visually impaired than others. Most string instruments are a good musical instrument for the visually impaired because the strings can be easily felt in order, especially for the violin, viola, and cello. The piano and woodwind musical instruments can also make very good choices for the visually impa…