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Showing posts from May, 2012

Identification by Color, Not for Me

by Donna J. Jodhan When I had sufficient vision, I used to depend heavily on colors to help me identify things. I could remember that when I was growing up, the yellow cup was mine. The blue cup belonged to Robert and the red one was Jeff's. The green towel was mom's, the pink one was granny's and dad had a multi colored one. Colors, colors, that's how I did it. It carried on into adulthood. I used colors to differentiate things. Documents were filed in folders of various colors to help me keep things straight. CDs were mainly identified by colors; a red patch at the bottom or a blue one at the top, or a green bar at the top left hand corner or a yellow one somewhere else. I even used colors to help me mix and match my clothes. Mom used colors to help me identify things as well and my friends followed suit. That was then and this is now. I can no longer use colors to help me identify things. So that when a pair of headphones comes with two identical …

Are the blind easier victims?

by Donna J. Jodhan This is a topic that often arises among my clients and friends and there are several ways to look at this question. On the one hand, some would argue that some suspects may think twice before making a blind person their victim but on the other hand; there are some suspects who would not think twice to do so. One can only guess as to why anyone would want to make another person their victim of something such as fraud, dishonesty, or anything else that is dubious or underhanded. As to the question at hand, here are my thoughts on this subject. Blind people may be easier victims because suspects may feel that it is easier to take advantage of them because of their lack of sight. For after all; blind people cannot read printed matterial without the aid of adaptive technology such as scanners with voice output capabilities, and large print magnification. If there is a trusted sighted person on hand, then you can add this to the resources that a blind person woul…

SpokenLayer Helps You Listen to the Web

Plenty of startups give you new and different ways to read content on the Web, but NY-based SpokenLayer wants to give you a way to hear it. The SpokenLayer iPhone app takes text articles online and either gives them to a human to read and record, or it uses text-to-speech synthesis to meet instant demand in a matter of seconds. Founder and CEO Will Mayo said he created the app to address his own difficulties growing up with dyslexia. The company already has partnerships with publishers including The Atlantic, National Journal, TechCrunch and Endgadget. While about half a dozen other companies provide RSS to speech services, SpokenLayer is distinguished by the involvement of authors and professional readers who give an emotional layer to the content.

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

Insignia Narrator, a Talking HD Radio

The Narrator is the first IAAIS-certified HD Radio product, ergonomically designed for people who are visually impaired, with audible voice prompts and a wealth of niche programming, all in crisp CD-like digital sound. The Narrator eliminates the need to see the display. Audible voice prompts tell the user which button was pressed, and when the radio's functions are activated. The Narrator's key features include: Button layout and markings that are intuitively designed
Hi-fidelity HD Radio table top FM radio delivering CD-like sound quality without any static
20-program memory so that your favorite stations are just a touch away
3.5 mm headphone jack for convenience and privacy The Narrator incorporates HD Radio Technology, which provides crisp, clear sound and a wealth of added formats via HD2/HD3 Channel capability on the FM dial, including sports, comedy and foreign language programming, among others. IAAIS is a volunteer-driven membership organization of services that tu…

APH’s TOAD KIT and The Blue Light Special

by Kristie Smith, M.Ed, CTVI

“If you see a tree as blue, then make it blue.” Paul Gaugin (French Post-Impressionist Painter) OK K-Mart shoppers, APH offers the best, and I mean the best blue light special for children who have cortical vision impairment (CVI). The little blue light comes in the TOAD Kit from APH, and like the big black blanket, its benefits are quietly tucked away in the bottom of the brilliant TOAD Kit. Take the black blanket, add a 9 volt battery to the unpretentious wired object, a piece of black cloth and “poof” you have a book full of activities using only two items that encourages all fields of vision as well as creating many lessons that enhance visual/brain understanding. The black blanket and the blue light may also encourage movement for the child with CVI. In children with CVI the brain responds to movement as well as the color blue. Did you know that the color blue sends out eleven neurotransmitters that encourage the brain to relax and take in mo…

The Tadpole Kit is a Swimming Success for Children with CVI Part 2

by Kristie Smith, M.Ed, CTVI

Sweet are the uses of adversity; Which, like the toad, ugly and venomous, Wears yet a precious jewel in his head”- William Shakespeare Recently, I wrote about how excited I was to be one of the first teachers to see the TADPOLE Kit for infants and toddlers who have a visual impairment. As I said in Part 1, the kit is amazing and helps educators to see what is truly being seen or not seen, understood or not by the little one. I was also excited when I took the kit to a daycare to assess one of my toddlers who lost her vision through Shaken Baby Syndrome. Although the baby has physical and emotional trauma from the event, she is beginning to make progress and is even tracking the blue light from the TOAD Kit (that’s my next article). It was wonderful to be able to carry a case that was, along with the items for testing, light in weight and easy to carry. With my black blanket, and items such as the banana puzzle, a real banana, and the large puzzl…

The Tadpole Kit is a Swimming Success for Children with CVI Part 1

by Kristie Smith, M.Ed, CTVI

"Theories fade. The frog lives on."- Jean Rostand A few months ago I wrote a blog about an incredible assessment and activity kit that I use frequently, "The TOAD Kit". I discussed wearing my black apron from the kit, using Billy Bird and my bright yellow pompom to entice my students with Cortical Vision Impairment (CVI) to visually attend to their world. Imagine my excitement when I was chosen to give my thoughts on a version of the TOAD Kit that is designed for little ones. The TADPOLE Kit is especially designed for infants/toddlers who struggle with CVI and other vision issues. What is really cool is that on page 10 there is a General Preparation page that teaches: support and alignment of the child's body, especially the head, appropriate lighting, limitation of distraction, simplifying the child's environment and adjusting the student, so that he is physically ready and relaxed to explore and and understand his sur…

The Problem with Printing

by Donna J. Jodhan For those of us who do not have enough vision to see whether or not there is printed text on a page, here are some daily challenges that we face as blind people. We need to ensure that when we print a page, it does contain text. When the page comes out of the printer, there is no way to tell if the page does indeed contain text or if it is blank. So for me, I use my scanner to help me out. I scan the page and then I use my access software to tell me what is going on. I can hear what is on the page through voice output. However, there is more for me to be concerned about. I have to ensure that all of the text is there and often enough, I have to ask for sighted assistance to ensure that everything is okay an that it looks okay. When it comes to the printing of labels and envelopes, I have to be very meticulous. In my case, I have learned how to line up my envelope in the printer so that the text is well centered when it is printed but to be safe, I almo…

The World of Blind Parents

by Donna J. Jodhan At the best of times, it is often difficult and/or interesting for parents as they strive to ensure that their kids are brought up to be good contributors to society and all round good Human Beings. All parents want the best for their kids. The best lives for them and a future full of promise. This is a much easier process for sighted parents as opposed to blind parents. For blind parents, there are additional challenges to face. One of the biggest challenges is attitude and another is to find ways to protect their independence. I myself am not a blind parent but I have close friends who are and I never stop admiring the way they cope. My friends Melanie and Brian are blind parents of a little sighted boy Graham. They both work and follow a very hectic life. Graham is a normal little boy who does everything that all kids of his age do. Melanie and Brian are blind parents who are determined to protect their independence as blind parents. From talking …

Free Downloadable APH Product Manuals

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Did you know that APH products have manuals available for immediate, free-of-charge download. Examples of downloadable manuals include Crafty Graphics, Let's See, and Basic Tactile Anatomy Atlas. Manuals available for download.The next time you have a new APH Instructional Products Catalog, look for the yellow & black book icon to find the manuals available for download. APH will add new manuals to the download page on an ongoing basis. We will announce additions in the APH News. The following manuals were recently posted to our manual download page, www.aph.org/manuals/index.htmlToAD: Teacher's Guidebook, Braille
Using Cranmer Abacus for the Blind, Large Print Edition
The Color Beam Book (7-08390-00)
Light Box Activity Guide Level Two, Large Print (7-08680-00)
Light Box Activity Guide Level Three, Large Print (7-08690-00)
Teaching Touch: Manual, Large Print (61-173-006)
Teaching the Student with a Visual Impairment: A Primer for the Classroom Teacher (61-205-001)
Braille: A Di…

Test Ready: Plus Reading

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This test prep series offers practice for today's standards-based assessments for grade levels 3 through 12.Test Ready®: Plus Reading provides preparation and review, in as little as two weeks before testing day. It also provides a program of instruction and remediation.Students practice test-taking skills for:Recalling informationConstructing meaningEvaluating literary formsInterpreting fact & opinionEvaluating & extending meaningTest Ready: Plus Reading is a review program that provides practice in test-taking skills in reading comprehension and open-ended writing tasks.In just 14 days, students can be test ready with:Timed pretest to diagnose skills gapsStandards-based skill-specific lessonsTimed mixed-practice post-test, mirroring pretest to show growthAccessible FormatsThe APH Teacher Guides and Student Books are available in several accessible formats, so that the entire class can work on math together in a multi-media approach. The large print and braille editions i…

Scizza: Scissors for Your Pizza

We all know how incredibly frustrating the traditional pizza wheel is - it just doesn't work. It never cuts right through your pizza, and you have to run the wheel back and forth trying to complete the cut, dragging the toppings from one side of the pizza to the other. All you end up doing is making a great big mess of your meal. Scizza has re-invented the wheel by cleverly combining two precision- ground blades that create perfect cuts with a nifty spatula on the bottom blade that slides under the pizza protecting your cooking surface and non-stick cookware. Scizza is also perfect for parents who have to cut their kids meals into small bite size pieces and is brilliant for cutting fabric, pastry and an endless list of household items without worrying about scratching the kitchen table or cutting the carpet or bed sheets when you wrap presents.

Click this link to purchase Scizza, Scissors for Your Pizza, from Amazon.com.

The Frobo Pet Bowl

Keeping your dog guide's water nice and cold can be a complicated task.
The FroBo is simple to use. Pop the freeze core in the freezer and wait two hours. If you have some vision the core will turn a pleasing blueish-white, then put core back in the base and fill it with water. The water in the dish will stay nice and cold for about 8 hours. Holds 24 ounces. Bowl measures 10.41"D x 2.77" H. Not dishwasher safe.

Click this link to purchase the Frobo Pet Bowl from ThinkGeek.com.

Get That Old Folding Cane Repaired

Received this via email and wanted to share. We can repair the elastic in that favorite folding cane of yours for $17.00, and that includes shipping with in the 48 states. Just send Paypal payments to repair2012@embarqmail.com and include the length of the cane if known. The turn around for our repairs are about 7 to 10 days, and you save from having to buy a new folding cane. Also, you can send questions to the same email address.