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.

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Monday, March 14, 2016

Accessible March Madness Resources


If you’re anything like me, you find yourself caught up in the phenomenon aptly termed “March Madness.” Even the most casual college basketball fan can find something to interest them as it relates to March Madness—a local school who succeeds in the tournament, a small school who defeats bigger schools and advances, or the inspirational story of a player who has overcome adversity to make an impact on the tournament.

Regardless of your level of tournament knowledge or interest, we are providing you links for participating in an accessible bracket contest and for listening to or watching the games. First, you know if you have tried to participate in bracket contests that many lack accessibility. There are too many out there to test all of them; however, we know that there is one specially created bracket contest, the goal of which is to provide a fully accessible bracket for screen readers. To participate, go to http://terrillthompson.com/ncaa/ to get all of the information and to fill out a bracket. Understand that going to the link shows you the bracket; you must click on the “pool” link to play the game and create a potentially winning bracket. Also on this site are links for schedules, scores and live broadcasts from Westwood One Radio.

Terrill Thompson, who sets up this bracket, also runs an accessible sports list which you can subscribe to by filling out the form at http://mail.terrillthompson.com/mailman/listinfo/accessible-sports_terrillthompson.com. Note that once you fill out the form, you must wait for moderator approval before you are subscribed.

So how can we watch or listen to the games. One very comprehensive site is www.ncaa.com/marchmadness which contains schedule information, details on which television channel each game will appear, links to the March Madness Live app which provides radio and television broadcasts and a bracket game, and much more information. The games in the First Four round all are on True TV; the remaining tournament games appear on CBS, TBS, TNT and True TV. Therefore, if you have all of these channels, you may flip from game to game on your television without being locked into watching a blowout simply because your CBS affiliate chose to show a particular game.

If you want just radio broadcasts, the best site is www.westwoodonesports.com which will allow you to listen to every game including the First Four. You may also be able to replay games you missed. The other advantage of this site is that the national Westwood One broadcast highlights one particular game and moves back and forth among the other games. If the game you care about most is not featured, you can hear it on the Westwood One site for free, or you can listen on SiriusXM Satellite Radio if you are a subscriber.

Finally, if you wish to listen to the games on your Smartphone, of course, you can use the SiriusXM app if you subscribe to it; however, the app that works best and usually is accessible enough, even if it is a bit confusing at first glance, is the TuneIn radio app. The quickest way to locate it is to search for TuneIn on your app store of choice; however, for more information, go to https://tunein.com/get-tunein/ to read more information or download the app. Please note that TuneIn has a free version, a paid version that removes ads, and a premium version which offers a monthly subscription for listening to audio books, NFL and MLB broadcasts. You may select any of these options based on your particular taste, but please note that the free version is all that is necessary to listen to the NCAA tournament games.

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