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Showing posts from September, 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 Donn…

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 th…

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. Store batteries in the freezer to prolong their life.
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.
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.
And for the worst case scenario: when your computer has crashed and you are des…

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. 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.
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.
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.
Refill the envelope and re-we…

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 2from 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. Steps Airplane Mode 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. Tap the Settings icon and then turn Airplane Mode on. 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 …

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 …

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 …

-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 http://www.easylinks.eu.

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&…

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.

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 Semin…

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

LS-7The 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 pr…

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 h…

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 ca…

How to Capitalise Correctly

How to Capitalise Correctlyfrom 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. Steps 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 n…

Kitchen Terms

BroilTo 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. BraiseBraising 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. ButterflyTo 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. BreadingBreading is usually done to Meat or Vegetables before cooking. Most commonly breading is just that, bread. Bread can be dried or used moist depen…

How to Peel an Onion Quickly

How to Peel an Onion Quicklyfrom wikiHow - The How to Manual That You Can Edit
Try this method to cut and peel any sized onion in seconds! Steps Cut an onion in half vertically. Place the two halves "cut side down" on the cutting board. Cut off the unusable portions at the top and bottom of each half. Peel back the top layer of each onion half. Your onion is now completely peeled! 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. When an onion is halved, it is much easier to cut into thin slices. Turn your cutting board ninety degrees after slicing, and you can easily dice your onion as well. Video 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. Tips If you leave one of the ends attached from the beginning, it is much easier to dic…

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 a…

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

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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…

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 Americ…

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

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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 feel…

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 sigh…

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 compan…

All About APH Webcast

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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:All About APH Streaming AudioAll About APH Download Audio RecordingTo learn more about the on-going Seminars at Hadley, visit http://www.hadley.edu/seminarsAtHadley.asp

Awards from the American Printing House for the Blind

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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 AwardIn 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 RecipientsRalph Brewer, 2011Phil Hatlen, 2009Natalie Barraga, 2008Arnall Patz, MD, 2006Naomi Tuttle, 2004Dean W. Tuttle, 2004Susan J. Spungin, 2003Alice M. Post, 2000Andrew S. Papineau, 1999June E. Morris, 1…

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 ac…

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 LinksBlind 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
Web: http://www.blindsports.org 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…