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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Friday, October 12, 2018

The Joy Player as an Adult Learning Tool

APH’s Joy Player is a simplified audio player that lets users easily access music and audio books. It’s designed for people who are visually impaired, but also for anyone developing fine motor skills, or who has limited mobility.

William Tubilleja, a professional in the BVI field, entered an APH writing contest to share how he uses the Joy Player. Below are excerpts from his story, where he dispels the misconception that the Joy Player is only for young children.
Close up of the Joy player buttons, a cartridge is inserted into the port

“One day a colleague, an Orientation & Mobility (O&M) instructor at my work, said he wanted to stop using cassette players with clients to present instruction on rainy days or days when he was absent. He didn't like the sound quality of the cassette player and the fact that it was only possible to access one lesson at a time. I thought about this and we talked about some ideas. Some of the ideas were more complicated than most of our clients could handle, due to lack of exposure to technology… I presented the Joy Player to the O&M instructors as a way for our adult clients to easily access multiple recorded files with minimal training.

Loading files into the Joy Player is simple and straightforward. The Joy Player accepts NLS cartridges and holds 4 GB of data, which means a client can access nine hours of O&M lessons independently. An instructor can easily load the cartridges with materials by copying and pasting to the cartridge drive.

The Joy Player is simple to operate. The NLS cartridges are easy to load because they slide into the 'fail proof' chute and connect to the port. With the push of the centered, tactile play button, the device begins playing. To get to other lessons, the client can scroll recordings by pressing the tactile previous and next buttons on either side of the play button. To change the volume settings, the client presses one of the furthermost buttons tactually identified with a plus or minus symbol.

To begin, the instructor can present a simple lesson that enables the client to use the Joy Player independently for the recorded lessons. For a variety of reasons, the O&M instructor may be unable to provide services to a client on a particular day, but this should not disrupt service. Our clients' time is valuable and it is limited. It is vital to get maximum instructional service to the client within the time they are at the center.”

Tubilleja Shows how technology as simple as the Joy Player can be powerful when in the hands teachers.

“I started out helping one colleague with one problem. Today, our three-person O&M department uses the Joy Player for audio lessons and I am working with our AT staff and Braille instructor to implement use of the device for early basic instruction. The mindset of creative use of APH products has long been encouraged by its field staff. It is a thought process that I have taken to heart, not just with the Joy Player, but many other products that I've utilized in my instruction of students with vision impairment throughout my career.”

More information about the Joy Player can be found on our website.

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