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Showing posts from June, 2011

Crafty Graphics: Stencil Embossing Kits

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Kit contains stencils, embossing tools, and other items needed to create tactile graphics by dry pressure embossing. You supply your own light source to place underneath sheets to be embossed (for example, APH's Mini-Lite Box or natural light). The types of graphics you can create are almost infinite, including graphs, clock faces, cards, flash cards, street maps, flowcharts, etc. Kit Includes: Nine Brass Stencils, such as Block Letters, Geometric, and Bold Plaid Stripe
Eight Unique Stenciling Tools, such as Stylus with Medium and Large Tips, Serrated Tracing Wheel, and Standard Braille Signage Stencil
Twenty Whole Objects Stencils: such as Apple, Teddy Bear, Heart, etc.
Stenciling Accessories Pack, with items such as Soft Wire Screen, Foam Pads, Clear Vinyl Sheet
Bold Line Graph Paper, 8 1/2 x 11 inch sheets, 1/4 inch grid
Wooden Braille Eraser
Guidebook with instructions, tips, and techniques for creating good embossed graphics
Guidebook included in large print and on PC-format…

Cortical Visual Impairment: Website and APH Products

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APH is now offering information about Cortical Visual Impairment (CVI) to consumers via the internet. This new CVI web site reports a wealth of information from different sources and viewpoints. Sections include a definition of CVI, Intervention Strategies, Advocacy and Resources, and many more. The web site is an evolving resource of current knowledge on this leading cause of blindness. It provides information from medical, educational, and parental perspectives, as well as allowing an open door to communicate on the topic. To explore the CVI web site, go to www.aph.org and click "APH CVI Web Site."

Suggested Products for Use with Children with CVIHere is a list of some APH products that may be appropriate for use with children who have Cortical Visual Impairment.

Mini-Lite Box -- 1-08661-00
Mini-Lite Box Overlays -- 1-08670-00
Light Box Materials Kit, Level I -- 1-08670-00
Light Box Materials Kit, Level II, full kit -- 1-08680-00
Pegs/Pegboard -- 1-08665-00
Familiar Object Pictu…

Sense of Science Series: Plants and Animals

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Sense of Science is a unique series designed to make the world of science accessible, understandable, and enjoyable. All learners can benefit from this hands-on, multi-sensory approach, although Sense of Science is recommended for early elementary age students. The main component in each Sense of Science kit 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. Two modules are currently available, Sense of Science: Plants and Sense of Science: Animals. Additional modules are planned for the future. Sense of Science: PlantsSense of Science: Plants is the first module of a planned science series for visually impaired students in grades K-3, and for other students who may benefit from a multisensory approach to learning. Recommended ages: 5 to 10 years. Includes: -- A large print g…

Science Experiments, No Sight Needed

Want to make balloon rockets, acid rain, a solar finger heater, Ziploc ice cream, Diet Coke Geysers, and more? Scientists Dr. Lillian A. Rankel and Marilyn Winograd have written 32 step-by-step experiments for blind youngsters to do at home with family and friends. Don't wait for chemistry or biology class to explore the sciences, get some experience under your belt while you're still young! Each experiment has been successfully imploded, we mean explored, with real blind scientists! Safely uses household materials. Grades 2-5.

Click this link to purchase Out-of-Sight Science Experiments from the National Braille Press.

Countdown to Your Favorite TV Shows

You know how it goes. You watch the first episode of a new show, find it interesting enough to watch the next week, then you forget to watch it. It's natural, you haven't built up the habbit of sitting on the couch at that certain time or day of the week yet. Luckily for you, TVCountdown can remind you of the time in which the next episode of any popular show in America is starting. The site lets you know by giving you the time, but also by a countdown timer! Not only American shows are supported, the site can also track when Canadian and British shows will air. Granted, more emphasis is placed on American shows, but there is quite a number of shows from these countries present.

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

Vision Through Words

Received the following via email. My name is Stella De Genova and I have a new blog project called Vision Through Words that I would like to share with you. Vision Through Words posts poetry and short essays written by visually impaired people. The goal of Vision Through Words is to give visually impaired writers a new venue in which to share their experiences and inner visions, showing how their lack of eyesight has impacted their lives. My hope is that people will enjoy reading the posts and contribute to this blog. Submissions will be chosen by quality of content and literary structure. Poetry or short essays get submitted to visionthroughwords@gmail.com. The site can be viewed at http://www.visionthroughwords.com.

Windows-Based Software to Make Digital Television Accessible

After almost a decade making mobile phones accessible to the blind and visually impaired, Code Factory has decided to move from small to big screen and expand its expertise in accessibility to television. TV Speak is an application to be installed on a computer equipped to receive a digital television signal. Through speech output and magnification, TV Speak allows people who are blind or have low vision to use the most common functionality of digital terrestrial television in a fully accessible way. With TV Speak, people who are blind or have low vision can: Access the Electronic Program Guide (EPG).
While watching TV, consult information about the current or next program.
Select audio channels to choose one providing an audio description.
Schedule and record programs (image + audio, or audio only) based on the EPG information.
Tune and order television and radio channels.
Configure both television and TV Speak parameters.
Enable parental control settings.
Execute basic TV operations suc…

Blindhow.com, That's How

The National Federation of the Blind of Utah is taking websites to the next level! BlindHow.com allows for community members to view and share video, audio, or written tutorials and information on a myriad of topics regarding blindness and visual impairment. Topics could include, "How do you use an iPhone with voiceover?" "This is how I put on makeup every day, how do you?" "How do you mow your lawn?" "This is how I downhill ski." If you can't find the answer you are looking for, then ask! If you have something to share, then become a contributor! There are many different ways to do one thing. For example, I may iron my shirt one way . and you another! Knowledge is power and sharing is caring! You can make a difference!

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

The APH Museum: A Wealth of Information

by John Christie At the American Printing House for the Blind, there is a museum made up of two galleries. The galleries include the “1883 Gallery” and the “Marie and Eugene Callahan Gallery”. The 1883 Gallery is made up of exhibits explaining the history of The American Printing House For The blind. The exhibits in the Callahan Gallery tell the history of the education of the blind. Signs that are both in letters and in Braille make the exhibits accessible to all vision types. Each exhibit is accompanied with a speaker bar which recites the text on the longer exhibit display signs. Kids will enjoy the tactile nature of the museum and will get a kick out of writing their names on a braillewriter. They will also like the idea of assembling a raised topographical map of The United States. There is also an exhibit where they can wear goggles that mimic vision disorders. You can take a tour of the museum Monday through Saturday by appointment. You can also take a tour of the printing …

Google Chrome Talks with Speakit

Speakit is an extension that provides effective text-to-speech for selected text on any webpage.  There are three ways to activate Speakit and have it read the selected text. Click on the icon that installs to the right of the address bar, near the top right corner of the screen.
Use the context-menu by right-clicking the mouse.
Use a customizable keyboard shortcut.  By default this is ctrl + shift + s Note:  Right-clicking on the Speakit icon allows you to open an ‘Options’ menu in order to customize the keyboard shortcut or to make sure that Speakit is enabled in the context menu. Speakit automatically detects and provides text-to-speech for all languages supported by Google, with the exception of Bulgarian, Japanese, and Arabic.

Click this link to get SpeakIt! from the Chrome Web Store.

Ariadne GPS app offers innovative features for blind iPhone users

Ariadne GPS enables you to know your position at any time and to monitor it while walking. You can configure the app to update you with information as you are walking, such as telling you street numbers or the current street name. There is also the option to save specific locations and be alerted when you approach one of them, Alerts can be a sound, vibration or a voice. Another interesting feature for VoiceOver users is the ability to explore maps with your fingers. When you move your fingers across the map you can hear the street names and numbers announced by VoiceOver, which helps you build a mental map of the area. This application is fully accessible and provides access to details that are normally unavailable to people who use VoiceOver to interact with their iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. Ariadne GPS is available from the iTunes App Store for $2.99. Click this link to see the Ariadne GPS entry in the AppleVis App Directory for further comments on its accessibility.

Article S…

Going to the Movies

by Donna J. Jodhan Much of the sighted world still has the notion that for blind persons, going to the movies is either not possible or probable. Or, that for blind persons, going to the movies may even be a waste of time. I can see why this misconception would be present but I'll try to clear it up. The sighted world probably feels that if you are unable to see then you are unable to follow what's going on in the movie. This is partially true and often time we miss out on a lot when we are able to decipher what is going on during those periods of silence. We can use our sense of hearing to fill in many gaps but there is much that our sense of hearing would not be able to supply to us. We can accurately surmise what's going on when the sound of gun fire is heard, sounds of scuffling and fighting, sounds of persons in love scenes, and son. However, the fine details are almost often beyond our reach. Things have improved for us greatly at the movies over the las…

Making Presentations

by Donna J. Jodhan When it comes to making presentations, there are a few tips that I would like to pass on based on my years of experience in the mainstream workplace. For the sighted employer and their sighted employees, if there is a blind or sight impaired person in your audience, you would need to find ways to communicate the contents of your visual displays and foils to these persons. One quick way to do this is to ensure that you fully describe everything that is listed on your display or foil. If you have printed handouts to pass along, then it may be a good idea to send these along to your blind and sighted guests before making your presentation. You may be saying to yourself; then how would you know before hand if there are going to be any persons in your audience who is blind or sight impaired and it's a very good question. Here is where the person requiring such accommodations would need to play their part. If they want to be accommodated then they would need t…

Time to Get Fit and Party Down with FITRadio.com

Looking for BPM music to enhance your workout? Well, it doesn't get better than this website. FIT Radio gives you access to mixes of the highest quality, all from renowned DJs that you can use for your next workout or party. The music is online, there's nothing to download, as long as you have an Internet connection you'll be able to enjoy the service. Both an iPhone and an Android app are also available. An online fifteen-minute trial is available for those who are interested in giving the service a try.

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

Verbal View of Word and Verbal View of Word Advanced

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Verbal View of Word takes special care to focus on aspects of Microsoft Word that are not obvious to the blind user from the normal Word documentation. Instead of focusing on the mouse and visual cues, this tutorial lets the user know how the keyboard and screen reader can be used to accomplish word processing tasks efficiently and elegantly. Verbal View of Word Advanced goes beyond the basics and gives the blind writer the tools needed to perform nearly any editing, collaboration, or publishing task with Microsoft Word.

Verbal View of Word:
Catalog Number: D-10510-00
Click this link to purchase Verbal View of Word, now ON SALE!.

Verbal View of Word Advanced:
Catalog Number: D-10511-00
Click this link to purchase Verbal View of Word Advanced, now ON SALE!.

Verbal View of Word 2007 Verbal View of Word 2007 is a comprehensive tutorial designed to teach the basic features of Microsoft Word 2007. The Verbal View Software Tutorial Series emphasizes the use of the keyboard. Some of the topic…

APH InSights Art Holiday Cards

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Winter Solace APH InSights Art Holiday CardThis holiday card features serene artwork by visually impaired adult artist, Lucille "Honey" Knechtel. The printed/tactile card features a bridge over a snowy river and the print/braille message: "Wishing you a beautiful holiday season." Each set of cards includes a braille insert with the name of the artwork and artist. Ten cards with envelopes. Note: Not available on Quota.

Winter Solace:
Catalog Number: W-HDCD-AD
Click this link to purchase the Winter Solace APH InSights Art Holiday Card. 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: http://shop.aph.org

Learning Braille as a Mature Adult

by Mike Jolls I've learned at least three things in my life: not to judge a book by its cover, to give things an honest chance before making a decision, and to remember that nothing worth doing or having comes without hard work and perseverance. Internalizing those ideas has helped me to grow, learn new things, and expand my knowledge and ability to cope with life. Without them I would not be here to tell you about my experience learning Braille. I'll start by encouraging everyone who struggles to continue reading print as an adult to learn Braille. Some of you may only be starting to consider Braille. Some may actually be learning it and getting frustrated. Still others may be clinging to print reading even though it's a real struggle because you refuse to touch Braille with a ten-foot pole. When I began learning Braille, I was a bit skeptical, but I'm here to tell you that Braille works. When reading print is a struggle because you can't see it easily, Braille …

VizWiz Brings Sighted Assistance to the Blind

Léonie Watson did a great review of the VizWiz app on the Humanising Technology Blog. When you have little or no usable sight, one of the biggest challenges is identifying things about you. Some things are obvious of course, there’s no mistaking a hairbrush even if you try. Other things are more tricky. Working out whether there are baked beans in the tin, or something you wouldn’t ever want to eat on toast, is a common challenge. Ok, if you’re organised you probably have talking tins, but you understand my point. VizWiz offers a simple solution to the problem. Take a picture of the tin with your iPhone, record a short question such as “What’s in the tin?” and send it off. Apart from its simplicity, the main strength of VizWiz is that it lets you choose where to send your picture and question. Web workersYou can send them to the unsung heros of VizWiz, the web workers. These are real people who take time out to help blind and partially sighted folks identify the random objects th…

The Daunting Statistics

by Donna J. Jodhan Many more blind persons are unemployed or under employed than employed and it's a chronic problem that is also a global one. The stats range from a figure of about 70% to over 80%, take your pick. This problem does not seem to be going away and will not go away unless we change attitudes and break down barriers in the workplace, on the Internet, and elsewhere. I have been very fortunate to have worked for three of Canada's best companies; the Royal Bank of Canada, the Bank of Montreal, and IBM Canada and I am truly grateful for many of the experiences that I have managed to garner from my employment. However, there are still so many things that need to be addressed when it comes to employment of blind persons. I have been working for myself for the past 15 years and I truly enjoy it but again as an entrepreneur like other sighted entrepreneurs, there are challenges to face and as a blind entrepreneur, it is even more challenging. Somehow we have…

Blind Kids and Technology

by Donna J. Jodhan As technology continues to travel the tracks on its merry way, we find that more and more, blind kids are struggling to keep up when it comes to being able to enjoy the excitement and fun of modern technology. With more and more toy manufacturers coming out with nifty ways for kids to learn to read, write, do math, and spell, blind and sight impaired kids need to be given ways to enjoy all of this as well. Each time I hear those commercials on TV of kids having fun with various learning games, I ask myself how much of this is or can be available to blind and sight impaired kids. True it is that some major strides have been made in making mainstream games, learning and otherwise, more available and accessible to blind and sight impaired kids but we need for more to be done. Blind and sight impaired kids need to be able to access more mainstream technology. They need to have greater access to mainstream learning games plus more. In short, they need to have e…

A Safe Way to Plug In Appliances

Safely plugging in appliances can be challenging. One simple and inexpensive way involves a small piece of hook/loop material.
Place one finger-width piece of hook/loop material, that contrasts in color, next to the slot on the left-hand side of an electrical outlet. The hook/loop material should be as long as the slot and parallel with it.
You can find the material with the finger of the left hand while holding the plug in the right.
Once you get the left prong of the plug even with the material, move the plug slightly to the right and the plug is aligned perfectly with the outlet. Article Source:
AFB Senior Site

Treasury Direct Deposit Requirement for Veterans

To provide federal beneficiaries with a safer and more convenient alternative to receiving payments via paper checks, the Department of Treasury is encouraging all Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Social Security Administration, and Railroad Retirement Board beneficiaries to elect electronic payment for recurring benefits. The Treasury will begin contacting new beneficiaries after May 1, 2011, and all beneficiaries after March 1, 2013 to encourage enrollment. Beneficiaries are encouraged to provide VA with their local bank account information in order to enroll in the Direct Deposit program. Beneficiaries without bank accounts may enroll in the Direct Express debit card program with Comerica Bank. Payments will be directly deposited into that account and made accessible through a debit card that is mailed by Comerica Bank to the beneficiary's home address. Personal funds cannot be transferred into this account as it can only be used to receive Federal benefits. Department …

Mirror Mirror on the Wall: Who’s the Barbiest of them all? Blindness and Body Image

by Sassy Outwater A conversation I had with a stranger coupled with reading an article about the “perfect bikini body” in a magazine brought me to this week’s topic: Blindness and body image. More specifically, blindness and perception of body image. This topic fascinated me. For one thing, when we lose our sight at an early age, how do we begin to form a comprehensive sense of image and style? What if we are born blind? Every woman has her own unique understanding of her body, but what factors contribute to bridging that gap between our minds and the mirror? I’m going to break this topic into two articles and share my experiences and thoughts with you first. Then I’m actually going to research the topic, dig up what I can find on the subject, mix it with your interview answers and write the next article. I’m going to ask that you go out on a limb and share your thoughts with me. Good or bad are both welcome. If you’re willing to be interviewed for the second article on blindness a…

Refinance & Mortgage Guide for People with Disabilities

Many people with disabilities agree that one way of taking charge and exercising some degree of control in their lives is by becoming a home owner. If you are currently a home owner who has recently been disabled, you may have new physical, mental and financial restrictions and needs which affect or even threaten your ongoing ability to maintain your home. Results of recent studies also reveal that only a small segment of the disabled populace own their own residences. Instead, the majority of the nation’s disabled live in group residences, therapeutic or rehabilitation institutions, nursing facility complexes, or in the home of a family member. A small percentage of children with disabilities live in adoptive or foster homes; and some communities, churches, civic groups and charitable organizations are now promoting programs which encourage families to sponsor a senior citizen, adolescent or child who is mentally challenged or physically impaired. This guide seeks not only to provid…

As a Blind Woman

by Donna J. Jodhan Being a woman has its unique set of challenges in the business world but as a blind woman? Well, there are added challenges to face and there is more for me to add. I am of mixed race; Oriental mix, Part Chinese, part East Indian, and part Italian. When people ask me if I am discriminated against most as a woman, as a blind person, or as someone of mixed race, my answer is very quick in coming. I am discriminated against most as a blind person. As someone of mixed race living in Canada, I have not really had much to face as far as discrimination goes and the same could be said for being a woman. However, as a blind person, I am unable to say the same. There is definitely a glass ceiling when it comes to career opportunities for blind persons in the workplace. In speaking to several other blind persons, the feeling persists that blind men have more of an opportunity to climb the corporate ladder or progress in their careers than blind women. I often jo…

The Right to Know

by Donna J. Jodhan We are living in an information society and a knowledge based economy and we are depending more and more on information to be made accessible to us in a timely and efficient manner. We all need this in order to keep abreast of important events but most of all, we need it in order to make important decisions in our lives. For blind and sight impaired persons, it is even more crucial that we are able to access information on a timely and efficient basis; the right to know. The right to know should not be taken too lightly. It should not be treated as a privilege nor should it be treated as a nice to have. It is a right, a must, and one that we need to protect and safeguard at all costs. Technology has made it easier for information to be made available to everyone; the Internet being the primary way. We need information in order to not just make important decisions that affect our daily lives, we need it in order to survive. We need to be kept in the know …