Posts

Showing posts from August, 2011

Respect in a Cubicle Environment

by Jane Thompson Cubicle Manners and EtiquetteAn exceptional article recently landed on my desk by Ellen Reddick. Ellen specializes in training, consulting and coaching in business professionalism and communications. The article tackles the difficult subject of cubicle manners and etiquette. Anyone who has worked in a cubicle knows that frequent interruptions, distractions and lack of privacy go hand in hand with an open space. Reddick suggests that companies establish basic cubicle and etiquette rules. Ask for input and agreement in a meeting so everyone is included and on board. Write them down so they can be handed to each new employee. Post them on your internal Website for reference and refer to them when a situation requires a reminder. The most important thing to remember is, if you are the boss follow and respect the agreed upon cubicle etiquette. No one is exempt from common courtesy. Suggested Cubicle Manners and EtiquetteDon’t eavesdrop. Although you do not mean …

Homemade Baby Wipes

by Shannon Dunlop Store-bought wipes have alcohol and other chemicals. Go the inexpensive and healthier route. Your baby will be relieved he/she will not get diaper rash! You will need a roll of Bounty half sheets paper towels, baby oil, baby shampoo and water. The Bounty because they won't rip when wet. Fold about 80 half sheets: Fold each half sheet almost in half and stack them in a Rubbermaid container. You want them almost in half so you can peel them off one at a time.
In a bowl, mix 1 1/2 water, 1 TBS baby oil, 1 TBS baby shampoo.
Pour mixture over paper towels in container and put the lid on to let them absorb the liquid.
Put some into a zip lock baggy for your diaper bag.

Curb Cuts No Good for Me

by Donna J. Jodhan Curb cuts have turned out to be a big blessing for many; for those in wheelchairs, moms with strollers, and delivery staff hurrying along with heavy parcels. However, for blind persons, it is the opposite. Why is this? Because when we go tapping along with our canes we depend heavily on landmarks such as; ridges, bumps, and anything else that is raised or has a slight step down or sink to help us identify where we are. Many of these curb cuts do not help us because the sidewalks slope down into the street and if we are not careful then we can easily find ourselves in the middle of the street before we know what is going on. So often, I have heard others like myself complaining about this and I am not sure what the answer is. Curb cuts benefit more persons than they do not and as blind persons are often in the minority, then we have to find ways to deal with this. I'm Donna J. Jodhan your friendly accessibility advocate wishing you a terrific day.…

No Way to Verify

by Donna J. Jodhan We are living in an information society and a knowledge based economy where one heavily depends on the other. Without information we are nowhere and without knowledge gathered from information we are unable to make decisions of any kind. So, just imagine not being able to make vital decisions because we are unable to verify the relevant information. Does this circumstance really exist? Indeed, it surely does and it is the case for millions of blind, sight impaired, and deaf/blind persons worldwide. Why does this circumstance exist? Well, it all has to do with the inability of blind, sight impaired, and deaf/blind persons not being able to verify online information. Why is this? Because a lot of the information is inaccessible to these persons in alternate formats and more often than not, they need to depend on a sighted person to read it to them. This means that there is no mechanism for these persons to verify the information because they are unabl…

Tips to Prep Your Mobile Phone During a Disaster

Here's some great tips to keep your cell phone running for as long as possible. Until you lose power, keep your wireless phone batteries charged at all times.
Have an alternative plan to recharge your battery, such as using your car charger or having extra (charged!) batteries.
Turn off Bluetooth support to save battery power.
Keep your wireless phone dry.
Have a family communication plan in place. Designate someone out of the area as a central contact.
Program all of your emergency contact numbers and e-mail addresses into your mobile phone.
Forward your home number to your wireless number in the event of an evacuation.
Sign up for emergency text alerts, track the storm and access weather information on your wireless device.
Use the camera on your phone and send photos of damaged property to your insurance company.
Use texting rather than calling in an emergency. You’ll have a better chance getting through as well as freeing up voice lines for emergency personnel.

Find a Red Cross Shelter Online or with Your IOS Device

In an emergency, you may find the need to go to a shelter. The American Red Cross website lets you search for open Red Cross shelters by address, city, state, and/or zip code. Shelter information is updated every 30 minutes from the National Shelter System.

Click this link to visit the American Red Cross website to start the search for a shelter in your area.
Click here to download the Shelter View app for your IOS device.

Make Sure You're Prepared for Disaster with a 72-Hour Kit

If you don't have an adequate emergency kit in your home, here's how to put one together so you're prepared in the event of an emergency. After a major disaster, emergency response units are usually spread pretty thin. Website 72Hours.org recommends planning for 72 hours on your own. That means keeping in contact with someone outside the boundaries of the emergency, making a household plan, making your home safe, and putting together a disaster supply kit. 72Hours.org will walk you through the entire process, so you can stay calm and collected and make sure you have everything you need, beyond the obvious food, water, first aid, into the other useful items like liquid bleach, duct tape, and a crowbar. Also note that you can print the entire guide in PDF form—it's probably a good idea to print off a copy and keep it in your kit, especially the "what to do if" section, which offers helpful (and calming) advice for what to do in the event of an earthquake…

How To Make An Emergency Funnel

A funnel can be useful when transferring liquid from one container to another. This is certainly true when the receiving container has an opening that is smaller than that of the sending container. When the person transferring liquid is blind, he may not have the freedom to use both hands to stabilize the container from which he is pouring. One hand will be needed to direct the flow of liquid to the receiving container. If one has need of a funnel but does not have one readily available, it is possible to make one for emergency use by cutting away the bottom portion of a two-liter soft drink container. Flattening the container makes cutting it with sheers or a paper cutter relatively simple. Then, its flattened walls can be pushed back to their round state. In most cases this will not be a problem, but since the soft drink containers are made of plastic, be certain that the liquid being poured through the funnel does not contain material that will dissolve part or all of y…

Emergency Procedures For The Blind and Visually Impaired

Accommodating People With Disabilities In Disasters: A Reference Guide To Federal LawThe Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has released a reference guide that outlines existing legal requirements and standards relating to access for people with disabilities. A Reference Guide for Accommodating Individuals with Disabilities in the Provision of Disaster Mass Care, Housing and Human Services is the first of a series of disability-related guidelines to be produced by FEMA for disaster preparedness and response planners and service providers at all levels. The Reference Guide summarizes equal access requirements for people with disabilities within Disaster Mass Care, Housing, and Human Services functions. The Guide explains how applicable Federal laws relate to government entities and non-government, private sector and religious organizations.

A full copy of the Guide may be accessed at http://www.fema.gov/oer/reference. Other DocumentsTh…

How to Create an Emergency Road Kit for Your Car

Having an emergency road kit may mean the difference between sitting on the side of the highway waiting for a tow truck or being able to make your way to your destination. Use a cardboard or plastic box to keep everything in so it doesn't roll around in the trunk and you can easily find what you need.

Buy a first aid kit, or create one yourself. Items to consider are bandages, first aid spray, roll gauze, cosmetic puffs or squares (for applying antiseptic), antihistamine, medical tape, aspirin, tylenol, or some ibuprofen.

Include a AAA or roadside emergency card with a calling card (at least $10). Make sure you have the card information in braille or large print. Don't forget your magnifyer.

Throw in all the necessary equipment to change a tire: working jack, spare tire (with air in it!), lug nut wrench or tire iron, pipe for leverage. Most of this should already be stored in its designated place in the car's trunk or hatchback.

Include some kitty litter for traction on i…

Packing Your Diaper Bag

By Kim Prissel While sometimes it feels like your diaper bag outweighs your baby, it is essential to pack necessary items for your outgoing trip. Leaving the house with the right items will help you accomplish the things you need to do away from the house with minimal difficulty. Depending on the length of time you will be away from home determines how much you will need to pack. Having a roomy, expandable bag is the first step. Packing it in an organized manner is the next step. Being able to find an item in the bag with one hand can make a diaper change go much more smoothly. I've listed some items to pack in your diaper bag. Obviously, depending on the age of your child, this list will decrease:

Quick trip to the store with your baby

2 diapers
Small packet of baby wipes
Changing pad
Pacifier, if used
Packet of crackers or cookie
Bottle, formula
Bib
Small toy that will clip onto shopping cart

Day trip or day with sitterAdd these items to the above list:

Information card
More diapers

Emergency Numbers Built into Every Cell Phone

World-Wide Emergency Number for Cell PhonesThe Emergency Number worldwide for Mobile is 112. If you find yourself out of coverage area of your mobile network and there is an emergency, dial 112 and the mobile will search any existing network to establish the emergency number for you, and interestingly 112 can be dialed even if the keypad is locked. Go ahead, try it out. Emergency Battery PowerImagine your cell battery is very low, you are trying to make a call but the battery just doesn't have enough juice. To activate that dead phone with an emergency charge, press the keys *3370# and your cell will restart with reserve power. The cell phone will immediately show a 50% increase in battery life. This reserve will be recharged the next time you charge your phone.

ICE Your Cell Phone (In Case of Emergency)

A Cambridge-based paramedic has launched a national campaign with Vodafone, a cell phone company in the UK, to encourage people to store emergency contact details in their mobile phones. Bob Brotchie, a clinical team leader for the East Anglian Ambulance NHS Trust, hatched the plan a few years ago, after struggling to get contact details from shocked or injured patients. By entering the acronym ICE for In Case of Emergency - into the mobile's phone book, users can log the name and number of someone who should be contacted in an emergency. The idea follows research carried out by Vodafone that shows more than 75 per cent of people carry no details of who they would like telephoned following a serious accident. Someone might have "mom" in their phone book but that doesn't mean they'd want her contacted in an emergency, they may have chosen their wife instead. Almost everyone carries a mobile phone now, and with ICE emergency workers would know immediate…

How to assist people with disabilities in a disaster

People with disabilities who are self-sufficient under normal circumstances may have to rely on the help of others in a disaster. Provide AssistanceDo you know someone with a disability? People with disabilities often need more time than others to make necessary preparations in an emergency.
The needs of older people often are similar to those of persons with disabilities.
Because disaster warnings are often given by audible means such as sirens and radio announcements, people who are deaf or hard of hearing may not receive early disaster warnings and emergency instructions. Offer to be their source of emergency information as it comes over the radio or television.
Some people who are blind or visually-impaired, especially older people, can be extremely reluctant to leave a familiar surroundings when the request for evacuation comes from a stranger.
A guide dog could become confused or disoriented in a disaster. People who are blind or partially sighted may have to depend on others …

Want to See What Your Website Looks Like to the Blind? Meet the Fangs Screen Reader Emulator

From the author, Peter Krantz: In 2005 I wanted to learn more about how screen readers worked. I discovered that the most commonly used tools were too expensive for web developers to buy. Alas, many of my web developers friends knew little about how their websites appeared to a user using a screen reader. By developing Fangs for Firefox in my spare time I hope to make it easier for people to understand how a web page may appear in a screen reader and make the web a better place for everyone.

Click this link to learn more or download the Fangs Screen Reader Emulator.

Sudoku Partner 6x6

Image
Finally a tactile sudoku – have fun while exercising your brain!Sudoku Partner 6x6 is a portable, reusable board for setting up and solving 6x6 sudoku puzzles. Its advantage over other sudoku solving boards is that it allows you to mark possible answers in each box to help you keep track of them, without hundreds of separate pieces. It is also useful for those who don't know braille but still want a tactile system for solving the puzzles.Like a standard print sudoku puzzle, the board has an array of small and large rectangles. The small ones are called boxes and the large ones are called blocks. Each block is made up of six boxes—three boxes across and two boxes high. Tactually, the boxes are outlined in smooth raised lines and the blocks in heavier dashed lines.Classroom teachers using sudoku in school may want to take steps to introduce students thoroughly to the solving board and the terminology before jumping straight into solving puzzles. It is especially important to make su…

Skype WiFi iOS App Provides Pay-Per-Minute Global Wireless Hotspot Access

Skype has launched their “Skype WiFi” app on Apple’s iOS App Store which grants access to over 1 million hotspots worldwide, for a variable fee. The app charges users Skype accounts, meaning hotspot access is paid for using available Skype Credit. While it may not have much use if you’ve already got a decent data plan, the app is bound to be well-received by travellers who may incur hefty data roaming charges when using the Internet on their iPhone, iPod touch or iPad abroad. There are no data caps or time limits, meaning users can use as much bandwidth as they like and only pay for the time spent online. Access rates will differ depending on location and service provider, with the base rate set at $0.06 per minute. A browsing session accessed via Skype WiFi will last 30 minutes, before the user is asked to reconnect to continue. Getting online is easy enough, simply download the Skype WiFi app, login with a Skype username and password and tap Go Online. Provided the account …

Applying for Disability Benefits for Children under Age 18

This document explains the steps involved in applying for disability benefits for children. An application for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and a Child Disability Report are required. The Child Disability Starter Kit answers questions about applying for SSI for children and includes a worksheet that can help you gather the information you need to apply.

Click this link to view the The Child Disability Starter Kit.

How Blind People Read Books

by Donna J. Jodhan When it comes to blind people being able to read books, we do it in several different ways. Here are a few examples: We can read it in Braille,
We can listen to it on CD, cassette, or digital cartrage,
We can use our computers to download books and listen to them using special access technology called screen readers,
We use specially developed book readers to read books that have been formatted into DAISY formats,
We can also use scanners to scan books and listen to them from our computers. A lot has been done, and continues to be done, when it comes to making books more accessible to blind people. I'm Donna J. Jodhan your friendly accessibility advocate wishing you a terrific day. If you'd like to learn more about me, then you can visit some of my blog spots at:
Donna Jodhan! Advocating accessibility for all: http://www.donnajodhan.blogspot.com
Weekly Saturday postings on issues of accessibility: http://www.sterlingcreations.ca/blog/blog.html
blogs o…

When No One is Around

by Donna J. Jodhan O boy! When no one is around to tell me what is happening, what is going on, or what is amiss! That is the world for a blind person like me. When no one is around and I receive mail; I can usually scan it and decipher it but the scanner is not always accurate and I have to spend more than a bit of time to read it. When no one is around and my screen reading software suddenly stops speaking to me; I have to frantically search for a neighbor or a friend to tell me what is going on. When no one is around and my Internet connection unexpectedly dies; I need someone to tell me what's happening with my modem's lights. I have to hunt for sighted help. When no one is around and I accidentally drop something on my carpet; if I can't find it then I need to either use logic to try and determine where it is, use my cane to try and locate it, and failing this I need to call in sighted help. When no one is around and I need to set my chiming cloc…

The Brailler Depot

From the website: The Brailler Depot was established to assist those in the industry of Assistive Technology. Our Mission is to provide Braille and Low Vision solutions that are efficient, affordable, and easy to use. We believe in the importance of braille literacy. In the U.S. there are currently 1.3 million people who are visually impaired. The major benefit of special technology is that it aids to bridge the gap between everyday information and communication resources (computers, conventional books, etc.) that the majority of our society can use, and what the visually impaired can use. The Brailler Depot founder, Knick Johnson, has worked as an electronics specialist at a leading industry recognized special technology company for over a decade and has extensive knowledge and expertise in Braille Technology, braille machines and blind equipment. With this wide range of knowledge and expertise as a foundation, we believe that we can offer solutions to anyone fr…

VA Paralympic Program Office Launches Website for Disabled Veterans

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has launched its Paralympic Program website as part of VA’s ongoing commitment to support the rehabilitation and recovery of disabled Veterans through participation in adaptive sports. One of the highlights of the website is the “Success Stories” page, which features disabled Veterans and their stories of how participating in adaptive sports has positively impacted their lives. Veterans who participate in adaptive sports at any level, as well as Paralympic competitors, are encouraged to submit their stories and share their challenges and triumphs with the entire Veteran community. The site also provides users with a comprehensive overview of the benefits of disabled Veterans participating in adaptive sports, sports by disability, training allowances, the VA Paralympic Grant Program, and resources for caregivers and VA clinical personnel. Another resource is the “Sports Club Finder” feature, a searchable database developed by U.S. Paralym…

Create Keyboard Shortcuts to Favorite Folders in Windows

Got a favorite folder that you're constantly opening in Windows? Want a faster way to get to the files than opening Windows Explorer and navigating to the folder? Essentially, all you need to do is: Right-click on a folder or application from Windows Explorer or the Start menu to send it to the desktop as a shortcut.
Go to the desktop shortcut's properties (right-click > properties) and click in the "Shortcut key" field.
Press the key combination you want (e.g., Ctrl+Shift+P).
Hit Enter or click OK

Running Shoe Finder

If you're in the market for a new pair of running shoes, this handy tool from Runner's World is a great place to start. Answer a few questions about your physical characteristics and your running style to get customized recommendations. Getting professionally fitted at a sports shop or doctor's office is your best bet (if you're a serious runner) but for a do-it-yourself option, this is a thorough interactive shoe advisor. If you don't know answers to some questions like how high your foot arch is or what your motion mechanics are, you can follow the links to view videos on the subject. Once you've answered all eleven questions, you'll get a selection of sneakers recommended for you, with the option to compare up to four side-by-side or tweak the criteria for the selection. Seems like a better way to shop for running shoes online than just reading reviews. Note that not all aspects of this site may be compatible with your screen reader.

Click this li…

Store Knives Upside Down to Avoid Dulling the Blades

If you have a knife block and keep your knives in their slots, one simple way to keep the knives from resting on their blades and dulling as you slide them in and out is to turn them over and store them with the blade facing up. It's a simple kitchen tip, but it's one that can keep your knives from dulling as you take them out of the knife block or put them back when you're finished using them. It also keeps the knives from resting in the block on their points or on their blades. Granted, if you get a magnetic knife rack, you can store your knives without worrying about the blades at all, but this is an easy way to keep using your knife block and prolong the life of your knives between proper honing or sharpening.

Is It Clean Mom?

by Donna J. Jodhan This is one of my favorite questions and I constantly need to keep doing this because I am unable to decipher or tell when certain things are not clean. When it comes to dishes, glasses, and pots and pans, I can usually tell if things are clean by running my fingers along surfaces. If I feel bumps and sticky stuff, then I know that it is not clean but when it comes to stains it's a different story. In the kitchen, stains are my main challenge because it is difficult to tell if a stain is there unless it is sticky or bumpy. When it comes to clothes, the same thing applies. When it comes to carpets and floors and furniture, it's all the same. So, if mom is around I can ask her but if she is not then I have to be super careful. Walls and doors are also something for me to be careful with. My fingers can usually tell if surfaces are dirty but in many cases it is impossible to feel spots and stains. I'd like to see the development of some so…

Distance Learning for the Blind

by Donna J. Jodhan Call it a double edged sword; but distance learning for the blind can be viewed in two very different ways. On the one hand, it could open up tons of doors of opportunity for blind persons but on the other hand, it could pose new challenges for those with a vision loss. In general, distance learning has helped to make education much more available and accessible to those living in remote areas, to those who have difficulty attending physical classes, and to those who are unable to afford the luxury of travelling from their homelands to developed countries. A great boon and a bridging of the gap for millions and distance learning is definitely growing in popularity. For those who are blind and sight impaired, distance can be described as a double edged sword. On the one hand, yes, it makes education more available to these persons but when the websites that offer these courses are not accessible, or when the software being used by the distance learning …

Needs Assessment of Social Security Administration Beneficiaries with Disabilities

I was asked to post the following information from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). Are you a person with a disability (including cognitive, hearing, vision, or physical) who receives benefits from the Social Security Administration? Benefits can mean SSI, SSDI, or retirement. If so, we’d like to talk with you!! Researchers at the UCSF Disability Statistics Center want to know more about your experience applying for Social Security benefits and your interactions with the Social Security Administration. We are conducting a needs assessment for the Social Security Administration so that they can communicate better with their beneficiaries who have disabilities. Phone interviews will be approximately a 30-45 minutes long. For more information, or to participate, please call this toll-free number: 855-209-9538. Please speak clearly and slowly to leave your name and number. A UCSF researcher (Mel) will get back in touch with you to tell you more about th…

Website That Makes Sure You Go Back to School Without Forgetting Anything

Packing for a first year or return trip to college or a residential school program is stressful enough without trying to make sure you remember everything you needed to pack, buy, or have delivered to you when you arrive. College Packing List generates a checklist for you so you won't forget something important. The webapp starts you off with the "dorm" category, and lets you add items to your shopping or packing list that you plan to take with you. Switch categories to kitchen, bathroom, classroom, or clothing for more suggestions on things you should take with you. Sign up for an account to save your packing list and your packing progress, or build a shopping list with suggested items you buy to take with you. College Packing List doesn't do anything special that a spreadsheet or word document can't do if you put in the effort, but if you don't want to start from scratch building a packing list, it can be a huge help.

Click this link to visit College…

Swirly Mats: Bringing the World to Our Kids

Image
by Kristie Smith-Armand, M.Ed, CTVI

Since I am the teacher of the visually impaired, who usually has the pleasure of servicing our infants who are blind or visually impaired, I am always on the lookout for exciting new materials. Imagine my delight when I discovered a product from one of my favorite catalogs from the American Printing House for the Blind (APH) called the “Swirly Mats”. Swirly Mats come to you with a protective box and coverings. Each mat is made from plastic with floating beautiful objects. When you first look at the Swirly Mat, you will automatically place it in front of your eyes and explore the world outside. I have watched adults and children with, or without much sight, pick up the mat and move it around their surroundings while my students who are blind love to feel of the texture of the mat. Children will often times place the mat on the floor and begin to ‘squish’ the jelly-like fluid with the colorful beautiful shapes furthermore enhancing lowe…

Cassette Circulation/Storage Containers

Image
For mailing or storing cassettes. Plastic containers with snap closed straps and slots for mailing labels. Embossed: "Free Matter for the Blind or Handicapped."

Six-cassette capacity Container:
Catalog Number: 1-02630-00
Click this link to purchase Cassette Circulation Storage Containers.

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

Can Blind People Travel?

by Donna J. Jodhan This is one of the most frequently asked questions that I am asked and my response is this: Sure, blind persons can travel and enjoy what the sighted world does. However, we do things a bit differently. Here's how I do it. Whenever I travel by plane; I first ask my travel agent to notify the airline that I will need assistance and this has turned out to be not much of a problem. Air Canada has been excellent to me and has provided me with first class services. They have always provided me with end to end services that include checking in, boarding, in flight, and disembarking services. When I arrive at the airport in Toronto, this airport's special needs services department is ready to help because I have notified them before hand that I would need help from my cab to the airline's counter. I do not know if other airports provide this type of service but if they don't, then I have to depend on sighted assistance for someone to bring me to…

What Do Coworkers Think?

by Donna J. Jodhan In the normal scheme of things, many persons would often say that they do not really care what their coworkers think about them but for many persons with disabilities, it may be a bit different. Now, when I say this I should probably expand a bit more. Most persons with disabilities strive fervently to ensure that they can fit into the workplace and this includes being able to get along with their coworkers. They often strive a bit harder to accomplish this and very often this means going a bit more than halfway in order to make friends and be able to socialize more freely. I do not want you to consider this as either a shocker or shaker. I know that for coworkers of blind persons it means adjusting to a different type of worker; one who uses access or adaptive technology to perform tasks. One who gets around the workplace in a different way; through the use of such devices as canes, wheelchairs, walkers, and dogs. One who uses different techniques in order…

How to redeem a code in the iTunes Store

Now that I have an iPad, I like receiving iTunes gift cards. I wasn't sure how to use them, and I thought there might be others who were wondering the same thing, so here's some instructions. How to redeem an iTunes Gift Card on a computer Install the latest version of iTunes. You can download iTunes (it's free) from the Download iTunes webpage. If iTunes is already installed on your computer, check your version and update if necessary.
Open iTunes.
In the Source list (on the left side of the iTunes window), click iTunes Store. If using a screen reader, tab until you hear options and use your arrow keys to get to the iTunes store.
In the upper-right corner of the iTunes Store window, click the Sign In button. Screen reader users will tab until landing on the button. If you are already signed in, skip to step 6.
Sign into the iTunes Store using your iTunes account information.
In the QUICK LINKS window in the right-hand column, click Redeem. Screen reader users will tab to th…

Is the “W” in Braille Logical?

We often explain the Braille System by showing how Louis Braille arranged the alphabet into rows of ten. The first row only uses the top two rows of the cell and covers the letters a-j. The second row adds the three dot to a-j to create k-t. And the third row adds dots 3 and 6 to a-j to create the remaining letters. The symbol for “W” does not have the three dot, and is obviously out of order. We often say that there was no “W” in French and that the symbol for “W” was added later.Note that there is a more interesting and correct answer to the question of why “W” does not follow the logic of Braille’s system. Actually, the “W” was there from the beginning, at least it is included in the first publication of the system in 1829. But it was in the Fourth Row of symbols. That row adds only the 6 dot to a-j and covers nine symbols common to French but not normally used in English, mostly accented vowels. At the end of the fourth row, basically a “J” with the 6 dot added, is the “W…

RNIB guide for museums and galleries

The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) has produced a new guide in order to help museums and galleries enhance accessibility to blind and partially-sighted visitors. Shifting Perspectives contains information on how organisations and attractions can adapt services and implement facilities to meet the demands of visually-impaired people. The guidance includes details on how to create an access guide; providing audio-describing exhibits; making information accessible; and providing tactile images and touch tours. Case studies and personal anecdotes are also offered in Shifting Perspective in order to provide examples of how other museums and galleries have implemented measures.

Click this link to visit RNIB's website to learn more about Shifting Perspectives.

How to Practice Airplane Etiquette

How to Practice Airplane Etiquettefrom wikiHow - The How to Manual That You Can Edit
When traveling by air, you're sometimes forced to rub elbows (literally) with people you don't know. In close quarters and for extended periods of time, a little consideration can go a long way. To make a flight as smooth as possible for both yourself and others (and to avoid dirty looks) practice airplane etiquette as follows. Steps Carry your bag in front of you and low to the ground as you walk down the aisle in search of your seat. Holding it up and at your sides will inevitably knock seated passengers on their arms, shoulders, and heads. Utilize the overhead space above your own seat row. Do not place your bags in the overhead at the front of the plane unless you are sitting in that row. Don't put your bag in a bin near the front of the plane for a quick exit -- it means someone else will have to wait until the entire plane has emptied to walk back to get…

Can't sleep? What You Need is a Device Running Android and Some Bedphones!

As you might have guessed, these bedphones are made for those people who just have to listen to a book or music before they drift off to slumberland. Of course, it is somewhat difficult to sleep with a pair of headphones on. The bedphones, created by Eric Dubs, have “ear-hook style buds that are extremely thin and held in place by a length of moldable memory wire”. In addition to these features, it also comes with an app that appears to only be available on the Android platform. According to the Android Market description, it comes with a “Smart Mode” that can shut the music off automatically when you fall asleep. I honestly don’t know how it does this, but it probably has to do with the accelerometer detecting movement. Also on the Android application is a “Timer Mode” which gradually counts down music volume down to zero as the timer runs down. Then there is the “Basic Mode” that turns the entire phone screen into a giant play/pause button.

Click this link to learn more abo…

Historic Piano Finds a Home at APH

Image
A senior portrait of Stevie playing the school piano A moving company from Michigan delivered a unique artifact to the APH Museum in July, a piano from the Michigan School for the Blind. The school opened in Lansing in 1880 and was closed by the state in 1995 due to declining enrollment. The Steinway baby grand from the school auditorium would have been used by many students, including their most famous graduate, Steveland Morris, better known to the world as mega-entertainer Stevie Wonder. A photograph in Ted Hull’s 2000 memoir The Wonder Years shows Wonder and other musicians around the piano, ca. 1965, during a “jam session.” This spring, APH Ex Officio Trustee Collette Bauman, who is with Michigan’s Department of Education Low Incidence Outreach, contacted APH about finding the famous piano a new home.“I thought it would be a good place to share one of our treasures,” said Bauman.Installing the piano will require some planning. A section of the museum between the s…

LouisPlus has been Launched!

Image
We are excited to share with you that LouisPlus--the single search for the Louis Database and NIMAC—is now live! You will now see the LouisPlus link just to the right of the Louis search box on the Louis home page at: http://louis.aph.org.LouisPlus allows you to do one search to locate accessible instructional materials in either Louis or NIMAC, and NIMAC authorized users will be pleased to know that they can click a link within the search results to go directly to the NIMAC record and download the file or assign it to an Accessible Media Producer.As a reminder, the NIMAC contains NIMAS source files that may be used to create accessible instructional materials. Louis lists instructional materials in student-ready accessible formats. For more about NIMAC please visit www.nimac.us.Please call Resource Services at 800-223-1839 ext. 705 for more information on LouisPlus.

Safe Candles for the Blind

by Linda Stewart Have you heard of Scentsy Flameless Candles? I am a blind consultant. These candles really appeal to me for a number of reasons. First and foremost, all you do to heat the wax is flip a switch. A small lightbulb under the place where you put the wax heats the wax to a temperature that will not burn you even if you stuck your finger in it after its been on for hours. Each wax bar lasts 80 hours. The warmers that heat the wax are very pretty. I guess you could compare them to decorative little lamps of all types. For example, there is a warmer with a bird that you can feel perched on the saucer where you put the wax and another called Grapevine which is also very tactile. There are warmers that appeal to sports enthusiasts, like golf, football, basketball, college warmers with the name of the college on them, a warmer that says "liberty", military warmers for all branches of the military, warmers with a raised cross on all four sides. Little plug-…

Chrissy's Collection Print/Braille Children's Books

Image
The Mysterious Tadpole by Steven Kellogg:
Print/Braille:
Catalog Number: 9-15012-00

The Gingerbread Man by Jim Aylesworth
Print/braille:
Catalog Number: 9-12030-00 A freshly baked gingerbread man escapes when he is taken out of the oven and eludes a number of pursuers until he meets a clever fox.


There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly by Simms Taback
Print/braille:
Catalog Number: 9-12003-00 Fanciful retelling of the folk poem about a woman who swallows progressively larger animals.


Oranges on Golden Mountain by Elizabeth Partridge
Print/braille:
Catalog Number: 9-14033-00 Life is not always easy for Jo Lee as he adjusts to his new life in America. His muscles ache from fishing, his uncle is a stranger to him, and he misses his mother and sister in China. But the orange branches he brought with him hold the promise of seeing them again. No Quota funds.


Goin' Someplace Special by Patricia McKissack
Print/braille:
Catalog Number: 9-14020-00 It's Tricia Ann's first trip al…