Showing posts from September, 2016

The id mate Talking Bar Code Scanner

The id mate Talking Galaxy Bar Code Scanner

For a number of years, En-Vision America has manufactured a talking bar code scanner. They produced five previous talking bar code scanners. Now, however, they have produced their sixth and newest scanner called the id mate Galaxy. I had an opportunity to see it in action at one of the summer conventions and can vouch for several of its advertised features. This post is not a review, however; instead, it is an informational piece intended to inform everyone of the existence and availability of this device.

What is the id mate Galaxy?

According to the page that describes the unit which can be found at this link:
i.d. mate Galaxy is a portable “all-in-one” talking bar code scanner that aids visually or print impaired individuals with the identification of items via the product’s bar code or UPC. Using text-to-speech and digital voice recording technologies, it allows users to access an on-board database of product descriptions, along with a tailor…

Quick Tip: Draw2Measure Protractor App: This handy iOS app allows students to measure angles in two ways!


Quick Tip: Little Paths: Little Paths, a tactile book for emergent braille readers, is ideal for promoting tracking skills and encouraging texture discrimination.


Throwback Thursday: Small Talk Portable Talking Computer

The Small Talk Talking Portable Computer
I wrote about Fred Gissoni and Fred Thompson’s Pocketbraille and Portabraille a few weeks ago, but another early accessible computer based on an entirely different model arrived at the museum this week.  Catherine Hula in Lansing, Michigan sent us a Small Talk portable computer.  Fred and Wayne’s machines were cobbled together from standard parts and with their plans you could build one yourself.  The Small Talk adapted a commercially available computer for the needs of blind users.  Bill Grimm, a computer programmer who was blind, founded Computer Aids Corporation in Fort Wayne in the early 1980s, initially working on accessible software for the Apple Computer.  CAC introduced the Small Talk in 1986 and it was distributed by VTEK.  It was one of the first talking portable computers for blind users and included a synthetic speech module, a word processor, and a scientific calculator.  Its memory was stored on micro-cassettes and data was entered…

Quick Tip: Video Mag HD Handheld Video Magnifier.


September 2016 APH News now online

**This Month’s Headlines:
Bold. Strong. Together! Annual Meeting 2016You Can "Touch Tomorrow" at Annual MeetingHall of Fame for Leaders and Legends of the Blindness Field: Inductees 2016Enquiring Minds Want to Know!Customer Notification: Building on Patterns: KindergartenAdults Jamming to the Joy Player!Field Test Opportunity: Tactile Five and Ten FramesAPH Needs Your Feedback about All Aboard! UltraLens: Please Take a Few Minutes to Complete a Survey!Progress on The Year of BrailleNew PE Feature: The "I Am" ChallengeTreasures from the APH LibrariesEngineers without BordersLouisville Goes International for "Tailoring the Reading Experience!"Social Media SpotlightNew ProductsAPH Travel Calendar and much, much more…

Comic Books for People Who Are Blind and Visually Impaired

Growing up mostly with students who were sighted, I often heard about different comic book heroes and many comic books that my friends were reading. Some casually followed certain characters while others fervently collected comic books. Because I was blind, I, at that time, figured that comic books were just something left to the imagination and that it would be nearly impossible to create ones that people who are blind could read and appreciate.

While we do not have a long list of comic book suppliers to discuss in this post, one website/store exists that caters exclusively to people who are blind and visually impaired, and at least one other person has created an individual comic book specifically designed for persons who are blind.
Comics Empower Recently Comics Empower was mentioned in another blog post. It contains an interesting interview with Guy Hasson, the founder of Comics Empower. You can read about Hasson’s inspiration for creating the store in that post; we will concentra…

Throwback Thursday Object: the Cubarithm

The Cubarithm
We have a good number of arithmetic slates in our collection, but I was surprised this morning as I scanned through our database that I haven’t written about the Cubarithm yet.  The Cubarithm was originally introduced by Oury in France around 1886.  It is a grid, like a lot of the arithmetic slates.  This one is 16 x 16.  Cubes with braille characters on each side are stored in a tray on one end.  By turning the cubes in different directions, you get all the symbols you need to represent numbers and operators, and the grid lets you position them in columns just as a sighted person might work a math problem on paper.  In literary braille, you use a special symbol to tell you that a character is a number and not a letter, but that is dispensed with here.  If you find a symbol on a cubarithm, you assume it is a number.   APH introduced its own version of the cubarithm arithmetic frame in 1953.  It was made of a pliable red rubber and the cubes were hard yellow plastic.  We …

Quick Tip: Color-By-Texture Marking Mats. With APH's Color-By-Texture Marking Mats, individuals with blindness and visual impairments can get in on the fun, relaxing hobby of coloring!


How to Locate and Access Audio-Described Content

Can people who are blind enjoy movies and television shows? Many people have asked me this question; perhaps you’ve heard it or even asked it yourself. While audio-based forms of entertainment like audio books and music are important to persons who are blind, people who are blind often enjoy video-based entertainment like movies, documentaries, and television shows of varying types.

What exactly is audio description? The Audio Description Project (ADP) website, which we will discuss further, says the following:

Audio Description (AD) is the descriptive narration of key visual elements of live theatre, television, movies, and other media to enhance their enjoyment by consumers who are blind or have low vision. AD is the insertion of audio explanations and descriptions of the settings, characters, and action taking place in such media, when such information about these visual elements is not offered in the regular audio presentation.

The initial goal for writing this post was to list mos…

Throwback Thursday Object: Pocket Braille Slate and a Tribute to Will Evans

This article was written by Micheal Hudson, Museum Director, American Printing House for the Blind.

Although our object this week is a simple pocket braille slate, I actually want to talk about Will Evans.  This slate was in his desk, and he donated it to the museum in 2012 when he retired from APH.  That happened all the time.  In his job at APH, Will shepherded new product ideas through their initial development.  So his office was filled with half baked ideas and the detritus of half a century of working with blind kids and their parents.  He was a great listener.  He was never too busy to talk to you.  I can’t count the number of times that I took some odd bit of history down to Will so that he could help me understand why it was important.  I have missed that since he retired, and now… well, Will died on Monday.  He was quite a fellow.  When I arrive in the morning, I drive down Will Evans Way and park near the dormitory at the Kentucky School for the Blind named in his honor.   W…