Showing posts from August, 2016

Quick Tip: Louis, AMP, and UEB. What's happening with regard to Unified English Braille in Louis and AMP? Let's find out!


Customize your white cane with Kustom Cane

Most people who are blind and visually impaired use one or more aids for orientation and mobility, the white cane being one of the most common ones. You may think of your cane as merely a functional device and, indeed, it does fit that description.

Your cane, however, is a part of you, something everyone else notices. Now thanks to Kustom Cane, you can own a cane that stands out from all the others, a cane that displays your personality and things that matter to you.

Kustom Cane strives to provide canes that are safe. Every cane includes reflective material that makes you visible when traveling at night. Kustom Cane will add this reflective material to any cane you send to them even if you don’t buy a customized cane from them. Kustom Cane will personalize any type of cane and even offers to make customized harnesses for service dogs.

When you visit the homepage, you find a promotional video and a guide for determining which type of cane is best for you. You also find …

Throwback Thursday Object: Espinasse Braille Duplicator

Our object this week would allow a small shop to emboss its own braille publications and in a very unique way.  Designed for small scale braille reproduction, the Espinasse Braille Duplicator was invented in 1954 and sold for about $250.  From the instruction manual, "There is a master plate and a punch plate which each have 3200 holes.  The punch plate is fitted with small punches in each hole; it is fitted over the master plate and the braille is written with a frame [slate] just as in ordinary writing.  An awl [stylus]pushes the small rods in those cell holes forming the letters into the master plate.  The master plate is placed on a flat bed; a pressure roller is drawn over the master plate and the paper on which the embossing is to be done, and when lifted off, the paper contains an excellent grade of braille."  It was made by the Societe Nationale de Constructions Aeronautiques du Sud-Est, a French aircraft manufacturer which emerged from the nationalization of the Fre…

Quick Tip: EZ Track Calendar, Address Book, Financial and Medical Record Keepers! EZ Track is a multi-faceted line of products designed particularly for people with low vision. They feature large print, easy-to-use binder formatting, and special accessories as aids in organizing important day-to-day activities.


Paid Resources Available to Persons Who Are Blind and Visually Impaired for Learning to Use Apple Devices

Paid Resources Available to Persons Who Are Blind and Visually Impaired for Learning to Use Apple Devices

In a recent Fred's Head post, we explored free resources that persons who are blind and visually impaired could access to learn to use Apple products. Along with these resources, however, other materials exist that differ in scope and format and are available for varying levels of costs. In this post, we will list a number of books, audio tutorials, and multimedia series that persons who are blind and visually impaired or those who teach them may purchase and use to learn or teach persons who are blind and visually impaired to use Apple products.


National Braille Press

National Braille Press, NBP, offers several books discussing Apple products including iPhones, Macs, the Apple TV, and different categories of apps.

Learning the Mac

Janet Ingber, who has written other books about using Macs which NBP has published, recently authored a new book called Everything You Need to Know…

Quick Tip: World Maps: Find out all about these thermoformed tactile maps representing countries, continents, and regions of the world!


Blind Alive Provides Accessible Exercise Information and Routines for Persons Who Are Blind and Visually Impaired

When it comes to exercise, many blind and visually impaired people may hesitate to participate for a number of reasons. In this post, we introduce you to Blind Alive, whose mission is to help blind and visually impaired people to be more active and to incorporate exercise into their lives. One of Blind Alive's team members provided the following information about their mission and their website:

Fitness has always been a concern for both mental and physical health regardless of age, gender, or any other variables that make each of us unique. And for those who are blind, fitness is every bit as much—if not more—important.

Exercise for the visually impaired is something that should be incorporated into a weekly, if not daily, routine for a variety of reasons that are both similar and different from those of their sighted peers. For those with total loss of sight as well as for those who have low vision, a lack of regular exercise can bring on a host of other issues, including weight g…

Throwback Thursday: Plate for Creating APH's First Mass-Produced Tactile Map

In honor of our Olympic and Paralympic athletes competing in Rio this month, I tried to find a map of South America in our collection.  We have many.  Our object this week was used to make our first mass-produced version of a tactile map.  This is a brass embossing plate. APH introduced its series of cardboard tactile maps in 1894.  Captions were originally in New York Point, the point system that most U.S. schools used before 1910, although some of the surviving plates indicate they were later converted to braille.  The three volume set included eighty maps with the bulk covering the United States and its territories.  This plate was used to create a map of the western hemisphere.  I am no cartographer, but I think this is a vertical perspective projection map.  Somebody can check me up on that.  The earth looks round, as if you were stationed somewhere in outer space and looking at half of the globe.  The land is indicated by raised horizontal lines, with a few rivers picked out by …

Quick Tip: Using the Menu Bar on the Interactive US Map. Project Leader, Karen Poppe, shares how to use the menu bar on the bottom margin of the Interactive US Map with Talking Tactile Pen.


August 2016 APH News!

APH News, August 2016 - Your monthly link to the latest information on the products, services, and training opportunities from the American Printing House for the Blind.

**Please visit our special “Back to School!” issue, now posted on our website!

**This Month’s Headlines:
Welcome Back to School!Bold. Strong. Together! Annual Meeting 2016Back-to-School Shopping Tool! List of Recommended APH Products for Programs Serving Students with Visual Impairment, 2016-20172016 APH School Supplies ListDigital Large Print Textbooks: Order New or Existing Titles for Back-to-School!Back-to-School Memories from APH StaffFAQs: JAWS and MAGic Student EditionCOMING SOON! Video Mag HD!Treasures from the APH LibrariesSocial Media SpotlightAPH Travel CalendarNew Products from APH and much, much more…

Coloring Outside the Lines: Coloring Books for Persons Who Are Blind and Visually Impaired

Coloring Books for Persons Who Are Blind and Visually Impaired
Did you know that several organizations make coloring books for persons of all ages who are blind and visually impaired? In this post, we will introduce you to several coloring books with varying themes and objectives. Perhaps you may discover a new hobby that you may have thought was beyond your reach.

The American Printing House for the Blind

Lots of Dots

The American Printing House for the Blind, (APH) has developed a series of three coloring books called Lots of Dots.

Lots of Dots: Counting 1 2 3

The first book is entitled Lots of Dots: Counting 1 2 3. The APH website offers the following description of the series and this first book:
Lots of Dots: Counting 1 2 3 is one book in the Lots of Dots Coloring Book Series. An exciting set of three raised-line coloring books designed for future large print and braille readers. The books are designed for sequential use; children develop character recognition, pre-literacy, and pre-mat…

Throwback Thursday: Soviet Era Propaganda Poster Warning against the Dangers of Illiteracy and Blindness

The concept of blindness is often used—even today-- as a metaphor for ignorance or stupidity.  In our object this week, a Soviet era propaganda poster takes advantage of negative stereotypes to warn against the dangers of illiteracy.  The State Press of Petrograd in Russia silk-screened the original poster in 1923.  The poster shows a bearded man in the bright red garb of a traditional Russian peasant wears a blindfold, and with his hands thrust out before him, walks straight off a dangerous cliff.  The Russian caption below reads "An illiterate man is like a blind man.”  But the poster takes this warning a bit farther, giving a glimpse into the expectations the Communists had for their citizens with vision loss, “Failure and misfortune lie in wait for him on all sides."  As part of their attempts to transform an agrarian country into an industrial one, the Soviets required all their citizens to be able to read and write.  These posters and others like them would have been p…

Quick Tip: Swirly Mat Sets: Version II: Kristie Smith, a TVI, discusses fun uses for Swirly Mat Sets: Version II!