Fred’s Head from APH, a Blindness Blog

Fred’s Head, offered by the American Printing House for the Blind, contains tips, techniques, tutorials, in-depth articles, and resources for and by blind or visually impaired people. Our blog is named after the legendary Fred Gissoni, renowned for answering a seemingly infinite variety of questions on every aspect of blindness.

(See the end of this page for subscribing via email, RSS, browsing articles by subject, blog archive, APH resources, writing for Fred's Head, and disclaimers.)


Friday, September 30, 2011

Clothes Slipping on the Hangers? Use Hockey Tape to Hold Them in Place

There are certain clothes that just don't seem to want to hang on wooden clothes hangers, but if you don't want to replace every hanger in your closet, here's a simple tape wrapping trick to keep clothes from falling.

Use hockey tape, or any thick tape will do the trick. The wrapping method creates a makeshift shelf and keeps clothes from sliding off. You'll want to use some tape with a texture, to get the best grip! If you happen to have an abundance of vests, big sweaters or v-necks, this should keep them from finding their way to the floor.

Is Anyone in the Elevator?

by Donna J. Jodhan

Whenever I get into an elevator, I always like to know if someone is there. When I had enough sight, it was never a problem for me but now it is because I am unable to see enough to tell.

So, as has always been my habit, as soon as I enter an elevator, I say hi and if someone answers then that's my cue to tell that someone is there. If no one answers, it does not necessarily mean that the elevator is empty. Occasionally, the person in the elevator may not answer or may just nod their head or smile, not knowing that I am unable to see. On these occasions, I use my sense of smell to help me out. Or, I can normally sense if someone is close by because of a sense of presence. The one humorous thing for me is getting on to an elevator and hearing someone else speaking. Sometimes I fall into the trap of thinking that they're speaking to me but truth be told, they are on their cell phone. It happens to everyone; not just a blind person.

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:
Weekly Saturday postings on issues of accessibility:
blogs on various issues and answers to consumers concerns:

We Must Not Compromise

by Donna J. Jodhan

This is the one thing that the blind and sight impaired community needs to keep uppermost in there minds. We must not compromise. Whenever we demand something which we feel is our legitimate right to have, we must not compromise. Whenever we demand services that are otherwise available to the mainstream person, we must not compromise. What am I referring to today?

If for example we were to ask our government to provide us with a service that would give us equal access to information on health services, we need to ensure that these services satisfy our entire needs. If our government were to say that it would do it but we would not be able to receive certain services, or not receive it in all of the available alternate formats, we need to say no! There is not going to be any compromise.

Compromising is not a bad thing if it means that all stakeholders end up getting what they set out to get, but when it comes to us not being able to get something because the provider does not feel that it is necessary to provide the entire service, then here is where the problem starts. In most cases, when it comes to issues that pertain directly to the blind and sight impaired, the word compromise often means having to do without an important piece of the puzzle. There should not be really any reason why a provider would want to compromise. It's either all or nothing and for too long the blind community has had to put up with compromise.

Shortcuts or the cutting of corners are also no reason for compromise. We as a community need to start our own rules. Compromise is no longer an alternative because there is no need for it. Compromise often leads to having something that does not really fulfill the need. Just my two cents worth for today.

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:
Weekly Saturday postings on issues of accessibility:
blogs on various issues and answers to consumers concerns:

Resistance is Futile! Make Your Eyeglasses Conform to the Shape of Your Head with a Hair Dryer

Got a pair of eye glasses that don't quite fit your head the way you'd like?

Simply heat up the ends and mold them to fit your head. This works great on store bought glasses. I wouldn't recommend this for your $300 designer frames.

Obviously you don't want to take your hair dryer to your designer frames and melt them into shape, but it's a neat trick if you're looking to add a little comfort for free.

Non-Food Uses for Your Freezer

Other than keeping your popsicles and frozen veggies frosty, who would have thought that your everyday freezer had so many uses? The freezer can be used in a variety of useful ways that don't involve perishable food.

  1. Store batteries in the freezer to prolong their life.
  2. Open a sealed envelope without ripping the paper. Just place it into a ziplock bag and freeze for a few hours. You will be able to open it much easier and reseal it when it warms back to room temperature.
  3. If you loathe the idea of sticking your beloved jeans into a washer and dryer, give it an icy cleaning session by sticking a pair into a ziploc bag, storing for a week and thawing it out until ready to wear. According to some jean enthusiasts, doing so kills bacteria and deodorizes smell, making it the ideal way to "wash" your jeans without any wear and tear. Good luck finding the space in your freezer to keep jeans for a week.
  4. And for the worst case scenario: when your computer has crashed and you are desperate to recover your saved files, many tech geeks have sworn by the method of removing the hard drive from the computer, sticking it into the freezer for a couple of hours, and putting it back in the computer to turn it on long enough to recover your data before it dies again.

Open a Sealed Envelope, Not with Steam, Put It in the Freezer

Mistakenly sealing an envelope before it was fully packed doesn't mean you have to tear it open and use a new one. Freeze a sealed envelope so it can be opened and resealed without causing noticeable damage. The cold, dry environment of the average home freezer is ideal for hardening the adhesives used to seal most envelopes. With the freezer method of opening sealed envelopes, your error will be your secret.

  1. Slide the sealed envelope into a zip-top plastic freezer bag and press out the excess air as you seal the bag. The plastic will protect the paper from ice crystals and food smells.
  2. Place the zip-top bag containing the envelope in the freezer and close the door securely. Remove the bag from the freezer after a stay of three hours or more.
  3. Take the sealed envelope out of the bag and immediately slide a dull blade or letter opener under the flap to break the adhesive seal. In a few minutes, the envelope will reach room temperature and can be resealed.
  4. Refill the envelope and re-wet the adhesive on the flap backing with your tongue or a damp sponge. Press and hold the damp flap firmly for 30 seconds to set the adhesive.

Using iOS accessibility to make text larger

One of the first places to start, when wanting to make what's on your iPhone easier to read, is to make the text larger in four of iOS's major apps: Mail, Calender, Contacts and Notes. To access this feature go to Settings > General > Accessibility. From there you want to tap Large Text and select the text size that best suits your needs. The selection is from off to a rather large 56pt. The text size you select will determine the standard text size for all the text found in those apps.
Unfortunately, this feature doesn't reach across the entire OS, nor does it affect third-party apps. However, most well developed third-party apps will have a setting to edit the size of the text in the app, this feature is usually found in the settings of the app.

How to Personalize the Settings on Your iPad 2

How to Personalize the Settings on Your iPad 2

from wikiHow - The How to Manual That You Can Edit
There are many different ways to customize the settings on your iPad. Among the most important are Notification settings, location services, and carrier data. This article will also discuss how to personalize the video settings.


Airplane Mode
  1. Using this function will disable cellular signals sent out by the iPad. You will still be able to work on documents as well as enjoy iPad functions such as music, photos, and videos if, and when, permitted by the aircraft operator.
  2. Tap the Settings icon and then turn Airplane Mode on.
  3. Turn Wi-Fi on if your flight operator provides wireless Internet. Do so by tapping on the Settings icon and switching Wi-Fi on.
    • You can also customize your Internet by setting up or joining a virtual private network or VPN. Set up a VPN by tapping the Settings icon, then choose General, then Network, then VPN. You will have to contact the VPN administrator to find out what settings to use.
  1. Be aware that some apps come with Notifications that will send you a text message, a sound alert, or display a numbered badge on the app icon if new information related to the app is available. This is usually turned on by default, but you can turn if off if desired.
  2. Turn on/off all Notifications. Tap the Settings icon, then the Notifications icon, then turn off Notifications. If Notifications are already turned off, then you can click the switch to turn them on.
    • You can also turn off Notifications for individual apps by choosing an app from the list in Notifications.
Location Services
  1. Note that some apps, like Maps, use Location Services to establish where you are and make the app more effective. An arrow icon will appear if an app is requesting your location. This is usually turned on by default, but you can turn if off if desired.
  2. Turn on/off Location Services. Tap Settings, then tap Location Services and turn off the function. If the function is already turned off, flip the switch to on to restore them.
    • You can also turn Location Services off individually by choosing the app listed in Location Services.
Carrier and Cell Data Settings
  1. Tap Settings and then tap Carrier to pick the network you wish to use.
  2. Tap Settings and then tap Cellular Data to turn Roaming on or off. Tap View Account to change account settings.
  1. Tap Settings, and then tap Video.
  2. Personalize. You can do a number of things here, including turning Closed Captioning on or off, or setting up your iPad to play videos on your TV.



  • To customize iPod settings, tap Settings, then tap iPod Settings.

Things You'll Need

  • iPad 2

Related wikiHows

Article provided by wikiHow, a wiki how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Personalize the Settings on Your iPad 2. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.

Blind Earth Escape

Want a challenging maze game for your IOS device? How about one that's also a game for your child? Children will LOVE the simple, visible mazes for the sounds and animation. All will enjoy solving more difficult invisible mazes. People who are visually impaired will be on equal footing with others with the help of VoiceOver.

You have discovered precious silver in the earth! Your job is to drag your precious silver balls up 5 levels to the surface, moving blindly up through the ground to Freedom and fresh air! Enjoy 3 maze types, with 3 skill levels per type. Fun for children or adults!

Three types of mazes:

  • Completely Visible mazes, especially good for developing a child's coordination and analytical skills.
  • "Progress" mazes which start out Invisible. When a ball is dragged across an invisible wall, the ball falls to its starting position, a small explosion occurs at the wall, and the wall is displayed and remains that way.
  • Invisible mazes that remain completely invisible. Only explosions and the ball dropping will be your clues to the location of walls. You can find your way through trial and error, but you will need to rely on your memory and spatial visualization.

Surely there is a level of difficulty for everyone, or for every occasion. Whether you just want to enjoy the game play, sounds, and animations-- or whether you really want a challenge.

Only 5 rows of walls separate you from your goal. And there are only 4 columns in which to move. But when the walls are invisible, try remembering the successful steps you've taken, or determining when you must be headed for a dead end. I dare you!

Choose 1 of 3 ball movement sounds. They provide additional feedback when exploring an invisible maze. Compatibility
This is a native iPhone and iPod Touch app that is displayed in 2x mode on an iPad

Click this link to check out Blind Earth Escape in the App Store.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Berklee Offers Accessible Music Program

by John Christie

For six semesters, Wayne Pearcy, a Berklee College student was just trying to get by. He would rely on friends to write out music and go to professors’ office hours to recite concepts that he couldn’t get down on paper.

Pearcy, who is blind, did not have access to the same software as his sighted classmates did. He came up short on exercises such as reharmonizing tunes and writing them out on the computer. Pearcy came to Berklee without knowing Braille Music. This is unfortunate because the college could have made this accessible to him.

It’s been a struggle for him just to keep up with his classes–a serious source of frustration for him. As a result, a piece of his musicality suffered. “The creative side of my brain sort of turned off,” said Pearcy, who plays trumpet and is majoring in performance.

This is all beginning to change, though, for Pearcy and other blind & visually impaired students who go to Berklee because of a new class that was added. The class is called Assisted Music Technology for Visually Impaired Students.

Recently in one class, students imported recorded tracks for a mixing exercise using CakeTalking. This software lets the student’s access Sonar software. Their professor producer/composer, Chi Kim, was teaching them how to use this accessible program as well as Sibelius Access for Sibelius. These Windows-based programs require PCs, while the rest of the Berklee students use Macs with software such as Finale for notation and Logic for MIDI sequencing and audio recording–software that’s not accessible for visually impaired students.

Kim’s class provides instruction in hardware and software for blind and visually impaired students as well as Braille notation. In addition to giving students access to technology that until now has been beyond their reach, the class also gives them the skills to sight-read, which is similar to arranging, harmony and ear training.

Students are finding the class challenging and some hope to take it twice. “I feel like I just ran a computer marathon,” said Pearcy after one class session, with his characteristic hearty laugh.

The class has really benefitted Pearcy and he has since written his first composition–a score for a jazz combo. He submitted it to Jazz Revelation Records and hopes they will consider it on the labels next album. “It’s been great,” he said. “I feel like I have a much better grasp at using programs that are accessible to me.”

“The doors have opened for me,” he continued. “I felt like I was not learning enough in class or able to express myself the way I wanted to. Because of the tools Berklee gave me, it’s been really life-changing. I’m so grateful I can sit down at a computer and do it.”

“It changes everything,” said Kim. “It opens up more career choices, other than just being a performer. It opens up a lot of possibilities as a writer. Students will have a more full experience like sighted students. They’ll get more out of classes, more education.”

The class that Berklee has is great for its blind & visually impaired students. It gives them the confidence to make it in the music world and it can make Berklee a role model for other schools to follow.


Article Source:
Matilda Ziegler Magazine for the Blind

-Easylinks: Direct Links to Text Only Websites, Radio Stations and More.

On the Easylinks website, you'll find direct links to news and information websites, newspaper websites, radio stations, video websites and T V and radio listings.

If you're a screen reader user, the easiest way to browse this website is by exploring the eight headings on the home page. When you get to a heading you are interested in, use your arrow keys to explore the various items under that heading. My personal favorite heading, the radio stations, naturally!

Click this link to visit

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

To-Do List on Twitter

If you already spend a good chunk of time on Twitter (like I do), why not use it to get organized and manage your to-dos? TwitDo uses Twitter to build your to-do list, so you can add tasks and mark them complete without ever leaving your favorite Twitter app.

TwitDo is incredibly simple to use. Just post a tweet with the hashtag #todo, and TwitDo will automatically add it to a to-do list at a personalized URL that uses your Twitter handle. After you've added a few items, visit your personalized TwitDo page to see how your list is shaping up. When you've completed a task, tweet a keyword from your memo with the hashtag #done to tell the service to mark it as complete.

The service has some drawbacks: first, your to-do items are public when you post them, not @-mentions, meaning everyone sees them. Plus, since the service is completely public and doesn't require a login, anyone can access your to-dos if they notice what you're up to.

While privacy isn't TwitDo's strong suit, simplicity and ease-of-use are. You don't have to sign up for an account, you don't have to configure a to-do list or categories, you just start tweeting as your to-dos come to mind and refresh your to-do list to see them all at once.

Click this link to get started with TwitDo.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Counselors & Mentors Handbook on Federal Student Aid

This handbook from the U.S. Department of Education for those advising students on financial aid for post-secondary education. Includes information about federal student aid programs, the application process, how to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), and how financial need is determined for students who may have expenses related to their disability.

Click this link to download the guide in PDF format.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Want to Own Your Own Business? Hadley Can Show You How!

The Forsythe Center for Entrepreneurship (FCE) is part of Hadley's Adult Continuing Education Program. The goal of this new initiative is to provide individuals who are blind or visually impaired with the knowledge, resources and networking opportunities to enable them to advance in their careers or to successfully launch and grow their own businesses. It was developed to address the 70 to 80 percent un-and underemployment rate among people who are blind or visually impaired.

The FCE is designed to provide requisite computer training; relevant Social Security, tax, accounting, legal, marketing, management and communications information; and content specific to the needs and concerns of individuals who are visually impaired. The FCE is meant to be practical, relevant and interactive, utilizing existing Hadley courses and newly created modules that contain the following elements:

  • Online content with a variety of simulations
  • Live and recorded online lectures available through Seminars@Hadley
  • Interactive group discussions
  • Access to an online resource center
  • A searchable database of visually impaired civic and business owners

The majority of curriculum offerings and resources will be available online only. Courses will be offered in three phases of development beginning in September 2011.

The Center is not designed to replicate an MBA or other business program offered through universities, but rather to provide a unique continuing education opportunity. Family members who expect to be involved in a student's business venture are also eligible for enrollment in select entrepreneurship courses.

Click this link to learn more about the Forsythe Center for Entrepreneurship at the Hadley School for the Blind:

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Olympus LS-7 and LS-10 Digital Recorders for the Visually Impaired


The Olympus LS-7 Linear PCM recorder is an excellent audio solution with a number of useful features.  The three 96 kHz – 24 bit microphones offer crystal clear audio, and add more base and fidelity to your recordings.

Two stereo microphones positioned 45 degrees opposite of each other to capture sounds from sides, front and back of the recorder.  And a center microphone to add more base to the recordings.  Voice guidance for those users who are blind and visually impaired.  This recorder can accept Micro SD-Cards up to 32 gigabytes of storage and it has 4 gigabytes of internal memory.  

The buttons on the Olympus LS-7 are well defined and placed with wide enough spaces to be easily discerned.  The Micro SD-Card access door has a solid feel when opened so that the user can insert or remove the media without the cover springing back or breaking off.  You can also mount the recorder on a tripod; this will allow the user to make hands free recordings such as: playing the piano or practicing with a band.

The menus are easy to navigate.  Olympus continues to improve its user interface for visually impaired customers.  Whether you are a musician, journalist, or anyone else who needs high quality audio, the Olympus LS-7 Linear PCM is on the cutting edge of digital audio recording.  Olympus has gone to great lengths to develop an enjoyable experience for its visually impaired customers.


The Olympus LS-10 PCM Recorder is a high quality conference recorder that is great for a number of uses from meetings to live music.  The controls on the LS-10 are spaced apart and easy to find, which will be of particular benefit to visually impaired users.  

Olympus really went above and beyond when it comes to the microphone functionality on the LS-10.  It has a microphone sensitivity switch that gives the user a new level of control in their recordings.  You can also record directly into the recorder by using the line in jack.  The LS-10 recorder has 2 gigabytes of internal memory and the user can also use SD cards to extend its memory capability. This unit is equipped with a large visual display which is very useful for low vision users.

The LS-10 can record for what seems like forever!  It comes with 2 gigabytes of internal memory, but can be expanded to 8GB.  The rugged aluminum body of the LS-10 is great for people that will be using this machine on a daily bases.  Also the large display will make it easier for users with visual impairment.  The Olympus team really did their homework when making this unit!

Both units can be purchased from a variety of online stores. You might want to search Google to find some of the best prices.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Carefully Doing the Laundry

by Donna J. Jodhan

When I do my laundry, it's really not that much different from what most sighted persons would do. I use my color detector to help sort my colored clothes from my white clothes. Next I wash the white ones separately from the colored ones. All hand clothing is washed by hand and the rest go into the washer.

The trick for me is to be able to tell if a piece of clothing has "run" as they say; creating a disaster for other pieces of clothing. So, I have to make sure that certain pieces of clothing can be washed together and those that can't I have to wash also by hand. Not much different from what sighted persons would do.

I am fairly comfortable doing my laundry. Towels and sheets go together, jeans, sweat shirts, socks, and track clothes go together, miscellaneous go together, and all of my blouses and skirts and other delicate garments are washed separately and apart from each other. The challenges for me are: Making sure that stains have been removed, and realizing when something is a bit too worn to keep on using. So, I use the tried and proven method of discarding anything that has become thin and thread bare.

Not much different from the sighted world but I have to depend on touch as well as sighted assistance to help me deal with stains and o yes! When those darn socks drop from me when I remove them from the dryer. When they drop without a sound and I have to go looking for them.

Dealing with buttons on washers and dryers is another story which I will cover in another blog post. For now, you can learn more about color detectors by visiting this link to learn about the Colorino or this one about the ColorTest II.

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:
Weekly Saturday postings on issues of accessibility:
blogs on various issues and answers to consumers concerns:

Accessible Intranets

by Donna J. Jodhan

There is one thing that employers need to give their attention to when it comes to ensuring that their blind and sight impaired employees have equal access to information; and that is accessible intranets. With more companies developing intranets for their employees, it is paramount to keep in mind that blind and sight impaired employees need to be able to access them on an equal footing.

Intranets are becoming more popular and companies are using them to do such things as: share information, ensure that employees are kept abreast of company news, post internal job postings, plus much more. Intranets are a great way to ensure that communication remains open between management and employees and they are not going to go away for the foreseeable future.

The majority of intranet designers and developers may tend to forget from time to time that their works of art need to be made accessible to all; especially so to blind and sight impaired employees. So what can they do in order to maintain accessibility? In short, make sure that content and information is well laid out and labeled with appropriate headings. Use appropriate background and foreground colors. Remember to provide alt tags for all images. Give appropriate names to links and ensure that link navigation is easy to work with. They can learn more by taking a look at the WCAG2 standards.

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:
Weekly Saturday postings on issues of accessibility:
blogs on various issues and answers to consumers concerns:

How to Capitalise Correctly

How to Capitalise Correctly

from wikiHow - The How to Manual That You Can Edit
Having trouble capitalizing? It’s something that most of us started to learn when we were very young, but can be devilishly hard to truly master. Is it a Professor or a professor? Facebook or facebook? You have probably encountered people Who Feel The Need To Capitalize Every Word Of A Sentence Like This. That’s not quite right. Read on for a simple guide into the ins and outs of capitalizing like a pro.


  1. Capitalize the first word in a sentence. One of the most basic rules of grammar: no matter what type of word the first word in the sentence is, it is usually capitalized. After you write a full stop (also known as a period in American English) at the end of one sentence, make a note in your mind to capitalize the first word of the next.
    • The first word of sentence written in brackets (also known as parentheses in American English) in the middle of another sentence does not need to be capitalized, for example, in this sentence "also" is not capitalized. However, a sentence written in brackets which is not embedded in another sentence will need to start with a capital letter, for example: I didn't really understand what was going on. (I don't often, to be honest!) Oh well.
    • If a complete sentence follows a colon (:), then the first word can be capitalized, although this is optional. However, note that capitalization in this case is considered standard in many North American English grammar books.[1]
    • Capitalize the first word in a quotation, unless the quotation is syntactically joined to the sentence. A quotation describing what someone said is usually capitalized as it is apart from the sentence. Quoting a short word or phrase is not usually capitalized, as it does form part of the sentence, for example: What is he doing with that "thing"?. You can also have longer quotes that are syntactically joined to sentences, for example: She was sent here to "observe and discreetly ascertain what the hell we were up to".[2]
    • Although many spell-checking services may correct this, the first letter of the first word after an ellipsis (...) does not need to be capitalized if it is in the same sentence. The spell checker will recognize the full stops (periods in American English) and try to capitalize the subsequent word, although this is wrong unless it is in a quote. When using an ellipsis in a quote, the next word is allowed to be capitalized at the writer's discretion, as the ellipsis signifies that the writer is still quoting from the same source, but has skipped a part. Capitalize if it makes sense in context.
  2. Capitalize all proper nouns. This is perhaps the hardest thing to grasp when capitalizing, as you need to be able to identify the difference between proper nouns which must be capitalized, and common nouns which, in English, do not require capitalizing. Proper nouns are nouns which refer to one specific, unique thing, such as people, places and objects, as opposed to a common noun which could refer to more than one entities which are not unique. For example, a boy and the boys are left uncapitalized as common nouns, as they could refer to any boy. However, Bob refers to one specific boy, and thus is a capitalized proper noun. Likewise, the village could refer to any village, whereas Hethersett refers to one village in particular.[3] Proper nouns can often be distinguished by the fact that you can't usually put a "the" in front of them, for example, you can say the city, but it doesn't really sound right to say the London. Similarly, you can say the program, but you wouldn't say the Skype. Proper nouns also include things like organizations, religions, particular ideas and unique things. The following are some groups of proper nouns that must be capitalized that you should watch out for:
    • Personal names of people or animals. People's first, last, and however many in-between names must always be capitalized. Even though there are probably other people with the same name, when the name is used it refers to one person in particular and thus is a proper noun. One of the most obvious examples of proper nouns, you should always capitalize names.
    • Brand names and trademarks. Brands (legally called trademarks) refer to one specific brand of products, distinguishable from their competition and are usually proper nouns. They are defined as a "name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller's good or service as distinct from those of other sellers".[4]
    • Specific places and countries. Geographical locations like countries, established regions, seas, roads, cities, towns, etc. are all proper nouns as they refer to that place in particular. This also includes geographical features like the Equator, rivers, mountains and public places, structures and buildings.[5]Note that the compass points or directions north, south, east and west do not need to be capitalized as they are not proper nouns, unless they are used as part of the name of an established region, for example, East Anglia or Southern California. Some examples:[6]
      • "Go north, then you'll find yourself in North Carolina."
      • "I've come all the way from the South to see you!"
      • "Our house is in the southwest region of Adelaide." In this case, the direction acts as an adjective, not a noun.
    • Calendar items. Days of the week, months and public holidays all need to be capitalized. Days of the week and months are fairly simple to remember, although you must remember that some of the month names have other meanings that should not be capitalized, for example, I may go to the opera or Time to march! Public holidays like Easter, Christmas Eve or St Patrick's Day must be capitalized, no matter which words they are made up of. Similarly, famous historical events and time periods are also capitalized, for example, the Middle Ages or the Revolutionary War.
      • Seasons do not get capitalized. Capitalizing the seasons is a very old-fashioned habit that still lingers but spring, autumn (fall), summer and winter are not capitalized unless they are at the beginning of a sentence or form part of a renowned name.[7]
      • Avoid capitalizing descriptors of eras, such as the eighties, the sixties, etc.
  3. Capitalize adjectives derived from proper nouns, or "proper adjectives". These are usually adjectives made up from proper nouns, and must be capitalized just like their descendants. Note that any other parts of speech derived from proper nouns should also be capitalized, for example, a "proper verb" like Americanize or a "proper adverb" like Britishly.
    • Nationalities and languages. These are the biggest example of proper adjectives, and must always be capitalized, as they are proper adjectives derived from the name of that particular region. For example, from the proper noun Germany comes the proper adjectives German (referring to the language that is spoken there) and German (referring to a person, object, custom, etc. that originates from Germany). However, this is not limited to nationalities which derive from a specific proper noun – it includes any race, tribe, etc. including names like "Cherokee" and "Asian"[8]
      • Note that this is complicated by varying approaches to national references when used in a non-literal sense, such as French fry/french fry, French doors/french doors or French poodle/french poodle. The capitalization or otherwise of these "non-literal" words is dependent on the style guide you're referring to and often on how much you'd really like to associate the French with French... or is it french... fries.[9][10]
  4. Capitalize personal titles when used specifically as titles, but not when just referring to the rank in general. This includes the more common mister and miss, familial titles like sister and father, courtesy titles like earl and duchess and military ranks like wing commander and sergeant. When used as a title, the first letter must be capitalized whether the title is in its abbreviated form or not, for example, Mister Jones and Mr Jones (in each of these cases, the person's specific name is attached to the title). In the example given in the picture, the two titles are capitalized because they are used as personal titles, rather than just a captain, it is the captain. Although "Captain" does not precede a name, it is still capitalized because it is used in place of a name. Some examples:
      • "I disagree Senator Bandyandy." (direct address to person)
      • "Senator Bandyandy disliked attending committee meetings in the month of May." (before a person's name)
      • The senator gave a speech at the dinner party held in honour of his years in office. (common noun)
    • Royalty is also included. Any royal, imperial or position of office titles are also included in the title rule, although it is a little more complicated. You can say both the king and the King and either will be right depending on in which context it was used. When you are referring to a specific king, and this is clear, you can capitalize, for example, the King of Denmark. If you are in England, their queen is always referred to as "the Queen", and it is obvious which queen this is referring to. This title stands for her name - not many people would just refer to her as "Elizabeth"! Royal styles are also capitalized, e.g. His Majesty.
    • Family names can also be thought of as personal titles. They are capitalized only when used in place of a name or preceding a name, e.g. Uncle Joe. Normally, the familial term is just a regular noun, e.g. I have one sister. However, when used as a substitute for a name, that usage is a proper noun. Remember: all names are capitalized. When used in front of a name, that is a personal title.[11] This above rules about personal titles do also apply when "family" names are used in a medical or religious context, as in that case they are used as titles, for example, Father Joseph, or Sister Kate.
  5. Check capitalization for abbreviations. Initialisms and abbreviations are often written in all capital letters, although this differs depending on the word in general. (An initialism is a term often used for acronyms that are made up of and pronounced as a series of initial letters, for example, the Federal Bureau of Investigation or the British Broadcasting Corporation). These can be written in all capitals, for example, FAQ or USA, or also as a normal word, for example, interpol (International Criminal Police Organization) or laser (Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation).[12] If you're not sure, look up the word in question in a search engine and see how others capitalize it.
    • The capitalization of "internet" or "Internet" is an interesting case still under evolution. Either way is currently accurate, dependent on what you use as your reference source, although it does seem to be evolving more towards being treated as a common noun, especially outside of North America.[13]
  6. Respect that publication titles have different capitalization rules dependent on in-house guides and rules. Things like book titles, movie titles, song and album titles, historical documents, laws, newspaper headlines, etc. are each treated a little differently. It's "War and Peace" not "War and peace", right? These titles aren't all always capitalized the same way, but follow similar patterns, quite like wikiHow article titles. Often, the first word (whatever it be may) and maybe the last word of the title is capitalized, along with any words that are not articles (like a or the), coordinate conjunctions or prepositions (like of, to, or in) that have less than five letters, for example, The Catcher in the Rye.
    • Titles using all capitalization is a personal or organisational preference.[14] While the initial letter should be capitalized at the beginning of the title, always aim for consistency of use with either all upper or all lower case (after the initial word) for the entire title. Always check your organisation's or publisher's style guide to see what they prefer for titles.
  7. Respect any words with inherent capitalizations. Some nouns have odd capitalizations, most commonly brand names, websites, etc. For example, this includes Apple Inc. products, often titled things like iPad, iPod; software like MediaWiki and websites like deviantArt and even wikiHow! These words are always spelt thus regardless of other rules. wikiHow can go at the start of the sentence without capitalizing its first letter, because it is always spelt with a lower case w.
    • Where possible, do your best to avoid placing an unusually capitalized noun at the beginning of the sentence, and that way you can avoid writing "IPod" or "WikiHow".
      • For example, change "IPods are used by high school students for learning purposes" to "High school students use iPods for learning purposes".


Video:Capitalize Correctly


  • Always capitalize "I" when it is used as the nominative first-person singular pronoun, as in "I am happy". This also applies to all contractions of I, including "I'm" and "I'd".
  • Things that are written in a list or bullet points will always need to be capitalized, whether or not they are full sentences.[15]
  • Capitalize any valedictions in letters or emails, for example, Yours sincerely.
  • When writing an address, the word following the proper name of the road or street must be capitalized, e.g. High Street or Fifth Avenue.[16]
  • Beware of capitonyms, words which change their meaning depending on whether or not they are capitalized.[17] You won't encounter them too often, but a list of some can be found here. One of the most common examples of this is with astrological bodies. When Sun and Moon are capitalized, it can usually be assumed that the text is referring to the sun that our Earth orbits around, and the moon that orbits us. Likewise, when Earth is capitalized it refers to our planet, rather than earth in the ground. In a religious context, God refers to the one god of monotheistic religions such as Christianity, rather than a god. Some people choose to capitalize "Earth" all of the time, as a sign of respect; you'll need to go with what suits you (or your workplace/editor's rules) on that one.
  • If you're confused about the spelling of an initialism, abbreviation, inherently capitalized word like iPod, etc. one of the easiest ways to find out is simply to look up the word in a search engine and to see what comes up.
  • When instant messaging or texting, it can be okay to relax and not spend too much time worrying about correct capitalization, but try not to resort to typing in ALL CAPITAL LETTERS for prolonged periods of time. This makes it seem like you are shouting, and makes it more difficult to read. If possible go for something like a single exclamation mark instead!
    • This is even more relevant when concerning writing essays, emails, articles on the internet, etc. If you have the option, go for a single exclamation mark, bold, italics or even underline. This will make your work look a whole lot more professional.
  • Although many programs and browsers have spell-check capabilities, it's always worth learning how to capitalize correctly. The program can catch simple errors like not capitalizing the pronoun "I", but won't know if you're typing a title, or if you're talking about the Queen or queens, or even if it's wikihow or wikiHow.


  • There are many many small rules and exceptions to these rules. Some of these rules are also somewhat contested, and people have differing opinions on what should be capitalized. This is only a brief guide to the basics. If you're wondering about something, look at similar texts to see how they capitalize it; look up the word in a search engine and see what you can find. The most important thing is to have consistency in what you're writing. A tiny repeated capitalization error looks a lot more professional than alternating all over the place.
  • Above all, do what your workplace or place of studies advises and stay up-to-date on any new organisation's preferences. Capitalization rules in a work, publications or study context can be a way of setting an organisation or publication apart from others and compliance can show that you're serious about getting published... or paid!

Things You'll Need

  • Style Guide for you school, university, workplace, etc.
  • Grammar book (always handy to have at your fingertips)

Related wikiHows

Sources and Citations

  1. Patricia T. O'Connor, Woe is I, p. 140, (1998), ISBN 1-57322-625-4
  7. Copyediting and proofreading for dummies, p. 197, (2007), ISBN 978-0-470-12171-9

Article provided by wikiHow, a wiki how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Capitalise Correctly. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Kitchen Terms


To Broil means to cook food, typically in an oven, and baking with dry heat. Almost all ovens should have a broil function which means the top element is on throughout most or all of the cooking time.

The recipe will usually specify the distance that the rack should be from the element. If you need to, grab a ruler to make sure that the distance is appropriate.


Braising means to place a protein (usually a less tender cut of meat) in a liquid in a tightly covered pan. Braising can be done in the oven, on the grill or on the stove top.


To butterfly means to split food, most commonly Pork Chops or Shrimp. When the cut is made to split the food it is typically done lengthwise and not cutting all the way through.

Once the cut is made both sides can be separated and laid out flat to resemble a butterfly.


Breading is usually done to Meat or Vegetables before cooking. Most commonly breading is just that, bread. Bread can be dried or used moist depending on the recipe.

Bread is crumbled into very small pieces and the meat/vegetable is typically coated in a liquid and then rolled in the crumbled breading. The liquid will help the breading to stick better. The breaded item can then be cooked according to recipe. When it is done it adds a bit of texture and flavor to the item cooked.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

How to Peel an Onion Quickly

How to Peel an Onion Quickly

from wikiHow - The How to Manual That You Can Edit
Try this method to cut and peel any sized onion in seconds!


  1. Cut an onion in half vertically.
  2. Place the two halves "cut side down" on the cutting board.
  3. Cut off the unusable portions at the top and bottom of each half.
  4. Peel back the top layer of each onion half. Your onion is now completely peeled!
  5. Rinse the onion halves under cold water to remove any peel residue. Rinsing also reduces the amount of residue that causes your eyes to water when handling onions.
  6. When an onion is halved, it is much easier to cut into thin slices.
  7. Turn your cutting board ninety degrees after slicing, and you can easily dice your onion as well.


This Cooking with Kids video shows you another quick way to peel an onion and how to cut an onion. See how you can safely cook with your children.


  • If you leave one of the ends attached from the beginning, it is much easier to dice. For slicing however, it is best to remove both ends. Don't forget to remove the end when you are finished slicing.
  • If you don't want to cut onion in halves, make a single shallow cut from top to bottom, just enough to slide the knife tip in and lift off the topmost layer to peel it off.
  • If you wear googles (used by swimmers) you do not have to cry while cutting onions in peaces... it looks quite silly but it helps!!!
  • I find it more effective to stick pieces of tissue into both nostrils to prevent crying when cutting onions, rather than wearing goggles. Or you can hold your breadth. Try it!


  • Always wash fruits and vegetables before you cut them to prevent dragging whatever's on the skin through the food along the knife blade.
  • Always use care when using kitchen knives to avoid cutting yourself.
  • If possible, use a separate cutting board for each of the following: raw meats, poultry, cooked foods, seafood, fruit and vegetables, and dairy, to avoid cross-contamination (for example, bacteria found in raw meat juices can contaminate vegetables, if you use the same board). After each use, scrub the cutting board with hot, soapy water.
  • Use a non-serrated knife: a serrated knife will twist in the onion as it cuts, and create uneven slices, and if you're not careful, injure you!
  • Washing your hands along with the stainless steel knife after slicing an onion (or garlic) will remove the scent from your fingers.

Related wikiHows

Article provided by wikiHow, a wiki how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Peel an Onion Quickly. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Rosetta Translation announces Braille translation service

After a number of incoming requests for Braille in the company’s areas of expertise: legal, financial, technical and medical translation, Rosetta Translation a London- based language services provider decided to fully research and then later integrate Braille translation into their service list.

Braille, the system of writing and reading for the blind and partially sighted, is a ‘code’ consisting of raised dots which represent letters, punctuation and numbers. Although this system is available in other languages the translation provider is initially only offering Braille translations in English.

Many organisations are now required (according to recent legislation) to provide documents in Braille. Not only in the public sector is providing materials in Braille (such as signs, leaflets, information pamphlets etc.) beneficial. For companies in the private sector providing documents or data in a Braille format will not only open further doors in terms of markets and sales, but will also help the company to stand out as being socially aware.

The launch of the service will complement the existing range of services and the company also aims to add sign language interpreting (in all languages) to their repertoire later in the year.

Rosetta Translation Ltd with main offices in London and Shanghai, and international presence in Paris, Luxembourg and New York primarily provides translation and interpreting services in most world languages. The company currently specialises in legal, business, financial and medical translation and interpreting services.

Click this link to learn more about braille translation from Rosetta Translation.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

APH Partners with Dollywood Foundation to Make “Imagination Library” Accessible to Visually Impaired Children

The American Printing House for the Blind (APH) and the Dollywood Foundation are pleased to announce a partnership that will expand the “Imagination Library” program to provide blind and visually impaired children with accessible books. The Imagination Library is a program that has put more than 34 million free books in the hands of children age 5 and under, and thanks to the collaboration with APH, a selection of those books will be translated into braille and audio recordings. The announcement coincided with Dollywood’s annual summertime KidsFest celebration, where Dolly Parton and representatives from APH presented a Braille book to Cameron Burkett from McMinnville, TN.

Among Parton’s most passionate humanitarian efforts is her commitment to encourage a love of reading among preschool children and their families through her Imagination Library.

“There’s an old saying that you can tell a lot about a person based on the company they keep,” said Parton. “Any credit I get is really due to the hard work and fine reputation of all of those who partner with us to bring the love of reading to so many kids. I am just thrilled we can work together to bring this same joy to all children who may have trouble seeing but have no trouble in believing that all of their dreams can come true.”

The Dollywood Foundation will work with the American Printing House for the Blind to select several book titles each year that are suitable for reproduction in braille and audio. The program will begin by making audio files available, for free, to Imagination Library participants from a link on APH’s website by September of 2011, and more than 35 titles will be available by the end of this year. Later, the partnership will also make available an annual selection of print/braille Imagination Library books that can be purchased from APH at low cost.

APH President Tuck Tinsley says, “We’re excited! What an honor it is to partner with someone like Dolly who is as passionate about literacy as we are. This relationship between The Imagination Library and the American Printing House for the Blind means that blind and visually impaired preschoolers can now be more involved in the experience of reading with their parents.”

Bradley Burkett (dad), Dolly Parton, APH's Suzette Wright and Gary Mudd (with Denver), and Cameron Burkett.

Check out this new webpage and learn the latest on this exciting new literacy partnership, including a video of the partnership announcement with Dolly Parton, Foundation President David Dotson and APH’s Gary Mudd at Dollywood!

APH/Dolly Parton's Imagination Library Partnership Launched!

The first DPIL audio book files are now available at the site as free downloads to registered National Library Service (NLS) members. Audio books will be added each month until most of the 75 titles in the DPIL collection are available to children and their families.

Beginning in 2012, the Partnership will make available an annual selection of print/braille Imagination Library books free to eligible families and for purchase at low cost to all others (regular funds or Federal Quota funds can be used).

In addition to the audio book files, website visitors will find links to:

  • National Library Service to help them register and receive an NLS digital playback device necessary for listening to the APH/DPIL encrypted audio book files
  • Louis Database of Accessible Materials
  • APH shopping site to see related APH products
  • Other national and international sources for tactile, print/braille, and braille books for children
  • Downloadable PDFs with information about emergent literacy and sharing books with a young child with a visual impairment

We're very excited that APH's partnership with DPIL not only expands the number of accessible books for young children, but also connects families to a wide range of resources that will enable them to locate and bring more accessible books into their home.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Comprehensive Clinician's Guide to Low Vision from the Experts at Lighthouse International

A comprehensive, updated publication, The Lighthouse Clinician’s Guide to Low Vision Practice, from the experts at Lighthouse International, is now available from the 106 year-old nonprofit in vision rehabilitation and education. The 200-page book will serve as the seminal text for training ophthalmology and optometry students and residents, as well as practicing clinicians, in the principles of low vision clinical care and vision rehabilitation.

According to Dr. Eleanor E. Faye MD, FACS, Lighthouse International Medical Director Emerita, and a pioneer in low vision, “The guide addresses the needs clinicians have in dealing with a population that has vision loss but some functional, usable vision. We believe that the benefits of taking a functional approach will carry over to your general eye care patients as well.“ There is a growing need for low vision services. Due to aging baby boomers and diseases such as diabetes, glaucoma and macular degeneration, sixty one million Americans are at-risk of vision loss.

The Lighthouse Clinician’s Guide to Low Vision Practice helps clinicians understand low vision principles, enhances their knowledge of disease consequences, provides insight for addressing patient complaints, and increases the effectiveness of treatment, both medical and surgical, through low vision rehabilitation.

The guide has been endorsed by, Mary Lou Jackson, MD, Chair of Vision Rehabilitation Committee, American Academy of Ophthalmology and John Musick, OD. Chair of the Low Vision Section of the American Academy of Optometry.

In the Foreword, Dr. Jackson states, “In the American Academy of Ophthalmology guideline, Vision Rehabilitation for Adults, the role of the primary eye care provider was outlined as needing to “recognize and respond”, recognize the functional impact of even minimal vision loss on function, and respond by advising patients of options for rehabilitation. This book assists clinicians who provide eye care to understand what can be offered to patients with vision loss.”

Additionally, Dr. Musick notes, “This manual provides clinicians with a contemporary knowledge base that will help transform their practice from one that could only, at one time, tell their low vision patients, ‘I’m sorry, nothing else can be done,’ to one that proclaims, ‘Now, let’s see what we can do to improve your functional vision.’”

This book will help ophthalmologists and optometrists learn to:

  • Identify low vision patients
  • Evaluate functional impairment and correlate it to a patient’s disease
  • Assess how medical and surgical interventions impact a patient’s functional vision
  • Perform low vision refraction and prescribe appropriate low vision optical devices
  • Integrate low vision care and vision rehabilitation components into their practice
  • Recognize how vision rehabilitation specialists can improve the quality of life for patients

The book was supported by a grant from the Sanna and Victor Borge Memorial Fund. To order please email or call 212-821-9470.

Tennis Begins with Love: 30-Love Tennis Kit from APH

by Kristie Smith-Armand, M.Ed, CTVI

The other day, I was in my cubicle when I began to hear laughter from a colleague. I could also hear the sound of a tennis ball. I ran into Karen’s cubicle and watched a grown woman’s eyes light up while she bounced the tennis ball on a racket from APH.

“This is an amazing product,” Karen said while she continued to bounce the ball. “My student needs recreation and socialization and this is the tool that will certainly help,” Karen stated.

I watched Karen play with the tennis racquet until I could not stand it anymore. “Let me play,” I begged acting like the adolescent that still remains deeply inside of me.

When I told my student about the new tennis kit, he grinned and asked me if he could play with it after school.

“I can play with my cousin, Carlos, now,” Adelio said with enthusiasm. I smiled because in spite of a tough guy exterior, Adelio seeks to become involved and interact with others. He is skilled in the social arena but feels limited on the athletic playing field- until now!

Thanks to the 30-Love Tennis Kit, students who are blind or visually impaired are able to get out on the court with peers, compete and develop a new interest.

“I love to play tennis,” Adelio smiled, and now because of this new product he can begin tennis with love.

Missing Out on Bargains

by Donna J. Jodhan

Missing out on bargains is one of the most difficult things that I have to deal with on a daily basis. For the sighted world, it is easy for them to read about bargains in flyers, the newspapers, and see it on TV or on the Internet. For me, I am unable to read newspapers or flyers, and although I may hear it on TV, many ads do not repeat phone numbers at the end of their infomercial instead choosing to display it on screen. In the case of the Internet, so many websites are not user friendly to those with vision problems making it almost impossible for us to access.

When I go grocery shopping, I am unable to read the flyers that are stacked on the counters. These flyers gaily display all of the bargains in the supermarket but I do not have a clue as to what they are. The same applies for when I enter a store or pharmacy and as a result I am shut out of being able to reduce my shopping bills.

This is something that I'd like to see addressed by the sighted world; ways to make it possible for blind persons to know about bargains. One possible solution that comes to mind is this: Maybe, the larger store and supermarket chains could have a phone line whereby we could call in and hear the bargains on a weekly basis? Food for thought.

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:
Weekly Saturday postings on issues of accessibility:
blogs on various issues and answers to consumers concerns:

The Eternal Internship

by Donna J. Jodhan

There is no doubt that many companies probably have the best of intensions in mind when they set up internship programs that are aimed at attracting disabled applicants. These programs are almost always laid out with the best of intensions; to give the disabled applicant an equal opportunity at job opportunities within the company. However, what almost always happens is that these programs do not seem to be designed with a completion date.

Over the years, I have had first hand experience with this situation and in addition, several clients have discussed this with me. It is one thing to offer internships to disabled applicants with the best of intensions. It gives the applicant an opportunity to see whether or not they want to work for the company in question and it also gives the company an opportunity to evaluate the applicant. So far, so good. Most of these internships are usually for a period of six months and this is also good. However, when a company starts to extend an internship, it begins to breathe uncertainty and mistrust in the minds of the applicants.

A well meaning internship should be designed with an end date in mind. It should also be structured to include the necessary equipment that will be needed by the applicant. It should also be well laid out so that both applicant and company are on the same page. It should never be made to believe that an internship would necessarily lead to full employment. Instead, it should be used as an evaluation period with full employment in mind if things work out.

Just my two cents worth for today.

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:
Weekly Saturday postings on issues of accessibility:
blogs on various issues and answers to consumers concerns:

Friday, September 02, 2011

All About APH Webcast

On Wednesday, August 10, 2011, Dr. Tuck Tinsley and Bob Brasher talked a lot about APH. Although that’s not so unusual in itself, this opportunity came about through the Hadley Seminar program. Tuck and Bob were webcasting a session called All About APH. For an hour they shared information about the company and fielded questions from listeners. They wish to thank the Hadley School for the Blind and their gracious moderator, Billy Brookshire, for making this such an easy and enjoyable experience. Also making it easy was APH’s Maria Delgado, a veteran of over 100 webcasts, who controlled the technology at APH.

Here are the links to the program:

To learn more about the on-going Seminars at Hadley, visit

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Awards from the American Printing House for the Blind

The American Printing House for the Blind presents four major awards to deserving persons who make outstanding contributions to the field of blindness.

Wings of Freedom Award

In 2011, Ralph Brewer, Superintendent Emeritus of the Tennessee School for the Blind, received APH's highest honor, the Wings of Freedom Award. Here Brewer poses with (left) Burt Boyer (APH) and Tuck Tinsley. (Click to enlarge.)

The Wings of Freedom Award is the highest honor presented by the American Printing House for the Blind. The award is not annual, but is given periodically, only as deserved. The Wings Award was established to recognize and honor individuals who have demonstrated exemplary leadership in the areas of education or rehabilitation of persons who are blind and visually impaired.

Wings Award Recipients
2011 Wings of Freedom Award Videos

Virgil Zickel Award

In 2011, Zickel Award recipients Dr. Richard Woodcock and Dr. Lynne Jaffe pose with APH's Barbara Henderson. The award was presented for work on the landmark Woodcock-Johnson III Braille Adaptation.

APH's Virgil Zickel Award recognizes those creative and caring individuals whose ideas result in the development of innovative products designed to improve the quality of life for people who are blind and visually impaired.

Virgil Zickel was a dedicated employee of the American Printing House for the Blind for 27 years during the 1950s, '60s, and '70s. In his role as Plant Manager, he was crucial to the development and production of countless products. We are proud to bestow the Zickel Award in honor of this outstanding man whose talents were responsible for bettering the lives of countless visually impaired students and adults.

Recipients of the Zickel Award

Creative Use of Braille Award

In 2011, Creative Use of Braille Award recipient Leslie Ligon holds her award for creating innovative braille jewelry.

The Creative Use of Braille Award is given in recognition of a product, idea, method, or promotional effort that increases the availability or awareness of braille. It is not given annually but only when an idea, service, or program rises to an important level.

Recipients of the Creative Use of Braille Award

Exemplary Advocate Award

In 2011, Tuck Tinsley (left) and Bob Brasher (right) presented the APH Exemplary Advocate Award to Rosanne Silbermann of Hunter College.

APH presents the Exemplary Advocate Award to uniquely deserving partners.

Recipients of the Exemplary Advocate Award
  • Rosanne Silberman, 2011
  • Jackie Denk, 2010
  • Barbara Perkis, 2009
  • Rod Brawley, 2002

Reading Braille Activates the Brain's Visual Area

A growing body of research calls into question the idea that most brain areas are tied to specific sensory inputs.

Whether reading the word "orange" in Braille or in English, the same brain area identifies it. The idea that different sensory inputs are necessarily processed in disparate regions may be obsolete.

Does a blind person reading Braille process words in the brain differently than a person who reads by sight? Mainstream neuroscience thinking implies that the answer is yes because different senses take in the information. But a recent study in Current Biology finds that the processing is the same, adding to mounting evidence that using sensory inputs as the basis for understanding the brain may paint an incomplete picture.

Researchers in Israel, Canada and France used brain imaging to observe the neural activity of eight blind subjects as they read Braille. They found that although the blind subjects were using their sense of touch, their brains showed activity in the same so-called visual region that sighted people use when they read.

The finding runs counter to the long-held belief that the functions of areas of the brain are determined by the senses that feed them information. Instead it suggests that at least some areas developed primarily to perform a specific job. “The brain will use any information it can get to achieve this task,” says lead author Amir Amedi of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Although his study only dealt with reading, Amedi thinks many areas of the brain are similarly task-oriented. He points to a 2005 study in which researchers found that participants who inspected an object with either their hands or their eyes used the same brain region to ultimately identify it. “When we look at a dog or a hammer and we recognize it, we have a very specific center that is activated,” he says. “It’s the exact same for touching it.”

According to Mary Helen Immordino-Yang, a neuroscientist at the University of Southern California not associated with the reading or touch studies, this task-based view of the brain is becoming widely accepted by cognitive neuro­scientists but almost completely ignored by their hard-neuroscience colleagues. Neuroscientists who work on the biology of the brain tend to believe that humans are driven “by how the world pokes us,” she says—in other words, sensory stimuli. They fail to see that “the hallmark of humanity is the ability to move beyond sensory inputs.”

One criticism hard neuroscientists have of this task-based view is that certain cognitive processes are simply too new for humans to have evolved a specific brain area to process them. Reading, for example, has been around for only about 5,000 years. Its invention is much too recent to have had an effect on the evolution of the human brain. So how, then, could there be a part of the brain designated for reading?

Both Immordino-Yang and Amedi agree this is an important question. Immordino-Yang sees the evidence as a testament to the brain’s ability to accommodate human inventions in the modern world. “It’s amazing how plastic our brain is,” she says. Parts of the brain are constantly being co-opted to process technological innovations. Amedi concurs: “We use the best networks that already did something most similar to this task. This is what allows us to evolve.”

Article Source:
Scientific American

Sports Organizations for the Blind and Visually Impaired

Want to learn more about your favorite sport? Follow the links below. They'll lead you to resources that can help you learn all about sports and recreational opportunities for people who are blind or visually impaired.

These resources have been organized into two groups. The first group of links will take you to organizations, associations and web sites that have general sports and recreation information. The second group of links are for specific sports not covered at the other sites.

General Sports Links

  1. Blind Sports Organization

    Mission from their website: "We will promote, provide, and advocate sports, recreational, and social opportunities for the blind and visually impaired.

    Blind Sports Organization
    465 Maplewood Road
    Springfield, PA 19064
    Phone: 302-836-5784

  2. Disability Sports Web Page

    The site was created by the instructor and students in a graduate course in the Department of Kinesiology at Michigan State University. It has information on laws relating to sports and people with disabilities, resources, and Internet links to various sports-related organizations.

    Disability Sports Web Page
    Department of Kinesiology
    132 IM Sports Circle, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824

  3. International Paralympic Committee

    The IPC's web site has a wealth of information about the Paralympic Games and its sporting events. Events in which athletes who are blind or visually impaired typically participate are: cycling, equestrian, goalball, judo, swimming, alpine skiing and cross-country skiing. Accompanying the information about each sport there is often a list of associated links.

    International Paralympic Committee
    Adenauerallee 212-214, 53113 Bonn, Germany
    Phone: +49 (228) 2097-200
    Fax: +49 (228) 2097-209

  4. National Center on Physical Activity and Disability

    The NCPAD has an extensive searchable database of articles on sports-related Programs and Facilities, Equipment Vendors, Conferences and Symposiums, and Books and Published Resources for people who are disabled.

    National Center on Physical Activity and Disability
    1640 W. Roosevelt Road, Chicago, IL 60608-6904
    Phone: (800) 900-8086 (voice and tty)
    Fax: (312) 355-4058

  5. Palaestra Magazine

    Palaestra Magazine is a quarterly publication with a focus on adapted physical activities. It is especially geared toward parents with children who are disabled.

    PALAESTRA: Forum of Sport, Physical Education & Recreation For Those With Disabilities
    Challenge Publications, Ltd.
    PO Box 508, Macomb, IL 61455
    Phone/Fax: (309) 833-1902

  6. Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Blindness and Low Vision, Mississippi State University

    This web site, operated by the Mississippi State University Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Blindness and Low Vision, has an extensive list of sport- and recreation-related associations and organizations for people who are blind or visually impaired.

    Mississippi State University Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Blindness and Low Vision
    P.O. Box 6189
    Mississippi State, MS 39762
    Phone: (800) 675-7782
    TDD: (662) 325-8693
    Fax: (662) 325-8989
    E-Mail: B. J. LeJeune:

  7. U.S. Association of Blind Athletes (USABA)

    The United States Association of Blind Athletes (USABA) has helped thousands of blind and disabled youth discover their own potential in school, sports, and the achievement of their own personal dreams. The organization has more than 3,000 blind and visually impaired athlete-members representing nine different sports: alpine and nordic skiing, goalball, judo, powerlifting, swimming, tandem cycling, track and field and wrestling. Many of these athletes go on to compete in the Paralympics held in conjunction with the Olympic Games. Visit the USABA web site for general information about each of these sports and for a calendar of upcoming competitions.

    The United States Association of Blind Athletes is pleased to announce that the National Headquarters Offices have moved to the U.S. Olympic Sport House in Colorado Springs, CO. USABA's new contact information is:

    1 Olympic Plaza
    Colorado Springs, CO 80909
    Phone: 719-866-3224

    “In alignment with our strategic plan and our vision to be the nation’s leading sports resource provider for people who are blind and visually impaired, the move into the United States Olympic Committee’s Sport House further fosters our organizational growth which can only better serve our athletes," said Mark Lucas, USABA Executive Director. He continued, "I would also like to thank the Colorado School for the Deaf and the Blind for providing office space to USABA for over twenty years.”

    The U.S. Olympic Sport House is also home to several National Governing Bodies, including USA Boxing, USA Weightlifting, USA Judo, USA Badminton and USA Taekwondo.

  8. Achievable Concepts: Adapted Recreation & Sporting Equipment

    This Australian company makes and distributes adapted sporting equipment, including beeper balls and other sporting goods that can be used by people who are blind or vision impaired. They also offer "Recreation & Sport for People Who are Blind or Vision Impaired", a guidebook written by Peter Rickards with Vision Australia, contains recreation options, tips, equipment, rules, and helpful hints for playing a range of sports. Activities include: chess, gardening, music, crafts, and social activities. A good source for ideas. To order, visit the Achievable Concepts web site using the following contact info:

    Achievable Concepts
    Adapted Recreation & Sporting Equipment for People with Disabilities & the Aged

Specific Resources

Beep Baseball
  • National Beep Baseball Association
    2231 West 1st Ave.
    Topeka, KS 66606-1304
    Phone: (785) 234-2156
  • Rails for the Blind may be purchased from:

    American Blind Bowling Association
    315 N. Main St., Houston, PA 15342
    Phone/Fax: (724) 745-5986
  • American Blind Golfers Association
    300 Carondelet St.
    New Orleans, LA 70112
    Phone: (504) 891-4737
  • The United States Golf Association
    PO Box 708
    Far Hills, NJ 07931
    Phone: (908) 234-2300
    Fax: (908) 234-9687
    Horseback Riding
  • North American Riding for the Handicapped Association (NARHA)

    The NARHA is a non-profit organization that promotes the rehabilitation of individuals with physical, emotional and learning disabilities through equine-facilitated activities. There are more than 600 NAHRA-member therapeutic riding centers in North America.

    North American Riding for the Handicapped Association (NARHA)
    P.O. Box 33150
    Denver, CO 80233
    Phone: (800) 369-RIDE (7433)
    Fax: (303) 252-4610

  • The Achilles Track Club (ATC)

    The Achilles Track Club (ATC) was founded to encourage people with disabilities to participate in long-distance running with the general public. The ATC is an international, nonprofit organization that provides support, training, and technical expertise to runners at all levels.

    Achilles Track Club
    42 West 38th Street
    NYC 10018
    Phone: (212) 354-0300
    Fax: (212) 354-3978

  • John's Nautical Links List

    This exhaustive list of maritime links includes a rich section of links for those interested in disabled racing and sailing. Among the links listed are: Blind Sailing International, Disabled Sailing on the Web, and Sailing Alternatives.

    John's Nautical Links List

  • >International Foundation For Disabled Sailing

    The International Foundation For Disabled Sailing is responsible for disabled sailing around the world, and working with its members to further promote and support the sport. This includes sailing for people with physical disabilities, blindness, deafness and learning difficulties and covers all aspects of sailing including recreation, training and racing.

    Click here to visit the International Foundation For Disabled Sailing home page:

  • I sea No Ships

    This website is not only just for blind people who like sailing, it will give other information on subjects that affect the blind community. "I hope to list blind groups and organisations that will be useful to you. I am registered blind myself since 1992 with retinitis pigmentosa. The first people who I met with any sight loss was at a blind club called Foresight in 1986."

    Click this link to visit the I See No Ships website at

    Scuba Diving
  • Handicapped Scuba Association International (HSA)

    HSA International offers recreational diving opportunities for people with disabilities. It also provides certification for diving instructors who wish to work with disabled divers.

    HSA International
    1104 El Prado
    San Clemente, CA 92672-4637
    Phone: (949) 498-4540
    Fax: (949) 498-6128

  • Skating Association for the Blind and Handicapped, Inc (SABAH)

    SABAH is a Buffalo, New York-based not-for-profit educational corporation that provides instruction for people who are blind or visually impaired in how to ice skate.

    The Skating Association for the Blind and Handicapped
    1200 East and West Road
    West Seneca, New York 14224
    Phone: (716) 675.7222

  • Ski for Light, Inc.

    Ski for Light is a program of cross-country skiing benefiting blind, visually-impaired, and mobility-impaired individuals and their guides.

    Ski for Light, Inc.
    1455 West Lake Street
    Minneapolis, Minnesota 55408
    Phone: 612-827-3232

  • American Blind Skiing Foundation (ABSF)

    The ABSF provides an educational skiing program for people who are blind or visually impaired.

    The American Blind Skiing Foundation
    227 E. North Ave.
    Elmhurst, Illinois 60126
    Email: htm

  • American Blind Skiers, Inc.
    2325 Wilshire Blvd.
    Santa Monica, CA 90403
    Phone: (213) 828-5514

  • Bold Outdoor Leisure Development/Challenge Aspen

    In addition to snow skiing, B.O.L.D./Challenge Aspen offers a variety of sports opportunities for people who are blind or visually impaired. During the winter they offer alpine skiing, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and ice-skating. Summer activities include hiking, biking, rafting and a rock climbing camp.

    B.O.L.D./Challenge Aspen
    P.O. Box M
    Aspen, CO 81612
    Phone: (970) 923.0578
    Fax: (970) 923.7338

  • The National Sports Center for the Disabled (NSCD)

    NSCD provides year-round competition training to ski racers with disabilities. Summer recreation opportunities include biking, hiking, in-line skating, sailing, therapeutic horseback riding, white water rafting, baseball, fishing, rock climbing for the blind, and camping.

  • USA Swimming

    USA Swimming, the official body governing America's Olympic swim teams, offers detailed info for swimmers who are blind or visually impaired. This includes information for coaches, event organizers, and athletes. Visitors can also order brochures on topics such as hosting an adaptive event.

    USA Swimming
    One Olympic Plaza
    Colorado Springs, CO 80909
    Phone: (719) 578-4578

    Water Skiing
  • USA Water Ski

    USA Water Ski hosts water ski tournaments for athletes with disabilities. Blind athletes also do not use special equipment and are assisted by another water skier who serves as a guide. Among the competitions within each tournament are slalom, tricks and jumping events.

    USA Water Ski
    1251 Holy Cow Road
    Polk City, Florida 33868
    Phone: (863) 324-4341
    Fax: (863) 325-8259
    Email: Questions

Stephen Jolley has a unique collection of streaming audio links focusing on cricket and rugby among other subjects. The most interesting recent addition is the second of two radio information services for the blind that broadcast online. Click this link to visit Stephen Jolley's website.

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