Main content

Alert message

BlindSquare and GPS App Questions and Answers

2016-01-20 Here is a series of questions from an Orientation and Mobility Specialist regarding BlindSquare. Hopefully these questions and answers will provide a bit of information you were curious about yourself…   1. "How do you pre-plan a route prior to going to the drop off? (I used simulate this location but I had trouble with it giving me the steps on how to locate the store from the bus drop-off)." Okay, this first answer may be a bit long as it will likely cover things that will be coming up in other questions as well, so please bear with me. First thing to remember, and to relay to the student, is an understanding of what each app can and cannot do so that there is a reasonable expectation for the app and the activity. BlindSquare cannot give you turn by turn directions in and of itself; so planning a route...
Continue reading
4403 Hits
0 Comments

Accessible Audio Comics!

Comics Empower http://comicsempower.com/about-us . This is from their website: Comics Empower is the online comic book shop that makes comics for the visually impaired! You will finally be able to take part in the comic book conversation! You can finally experience what has become a basic part of life and of the growing experience for so many!  What Are Comic Books for the Visually Impaired? * The comics are translated into audio form.  * Pages, panels, and texts are described in a way that doesn't break the rhythm of the story. * Twenty-two to twenty-four pages of comics are translated into thirty to thirty five minutes of audio recordings. * Readings include the letters pages, where the editors, writers, or publishers interact with the readers.  Sharon Nichols
Continue reading
4005 Hits
0 Comments

Texas Humanware Contact

As we all know, Dan Brown, Humanware rep. for blindness technology, has left Humanware for a different endeavor.  We will miss him but in the same breath, wish him well.  Below is the contact information for the new sales rep. who will serve our area.  Peter Tucic Blindness Product Specialist Central US Office: 800.722.3393 ext. 219 Cell: 630.460.5659 Peter is available to support your teachers and students.  Invite them to reach out to Peter to introduce themselves.  They are encouraged to seek support on the BrailleNote APEX and other HumanWare braille and speech devices as needed.  For information and support on HumanWare's Low Vision products your teachers are welcome to reach out to me.  I have included my contact information below.  Peter and I both look forward to hearing from you all. As we move through the year we hope we will be able to partner with you and your...
Tags:
Continue reading
4007 Hits
0 Comments

Meteor Vibrating Pocket Watch

From the a.t. guys website: The Meteor Vibrating Pocket Watch allows you to independently know the current time without disturbing others. It features a simple, three-button design and is especially ideal for persons with hearing loss. The Meteor indicates time by inaudible and discreet vibrations. It has 3 buttons: The upper button for Hours, the central button for Tens of Minutes, and the last button for Minutes. Examples: 3 short vibrations indicate 3 Hours or 30 Minutes or 3 Minutes depending on the pressed button. 1 long vibration indicates 5 Hours or 50 Minutes or 5 Minutes depending on the pressed button. 2 long vibrations followed by 2 short vibrations indicate 12 Hours. no vibration indicates 0 Tens of Minutes or 0 Minute depending on the pressed button. The buttons may be pressed in any order For example, you can check just the Tens of Minutes and then the Minutes. Listen...
Continue reading
3882 Hits
0 Comments

Back-to-School Technology Questions? AER Information & Technology Division (Div 5) is here!

It's Back-To-School time again and that means you are going to have lots of technology questions that need answers. Where will you turn for help? The AER Information and Technology Division would like to be your resource. Email a question to and our members will share their expertise with you. You will receive an answer back as quickly as we can find what you need. Be sure to make your question as concise and complete as possible, with versions, models, platforms, etc. You have from now to September 18 to take advantage of this back-to-school offer. Don't miss out on a chance to get help with technology questions from your colleagues at AER. AER Information and Technology Division Leadership
Continue reading
3796 Hits
0 Comments

Gene Therapy: Treatment Affects More Than Eyes

Brain Building: Blindness Treatment Affects More Than Eyes  A gene treatment that targets the retinas of the eyes and can restore vision to some people who are blind actually affects not only their eyes, but also their brains, a new study shows. This article is on the livescience webpage. 
Continue reading
3298 Hits
0 Comments

College Success Program

Learning Ally has been piloting a program where we offer access to online resources, mentors who have graduated successfully from an undergraduate degree and are now pursuing post graduate degrees.  This program is for students who are blind or visually impaired and are feeling the need for some support in college.  We match them according to standards that include, among other things: visual acuity and field of study.  Our mentors are located across the country, have undergone mentor training and are monitored by our staff to keep a feedback loop to staff between what students need and what we are providing.I am the Director for this program and have been the developer of the mentor program.  Our content and curriculum was stewarded by Kristen Witucki, who is a TVI as well as holding several advanced degrees in creative writing.  We have been fortunate to have access to an Advisory Panel that...
Continue reading
3519 Hits

Help Members Read with Bookshare Web Reader

Bookshare Web Reader, previously available only to Individual Members, is now available to students and other Organizational Members. Sponsors can help members read independently by following these steps: Log in to your Bookshare account. Set a login for your member. Assign books to a shared Reading List. After completing these steps, your member can log in on their own and read books independently. Learn more by attending an upcoming webinar. Bookshare website: www.bookshare.org  
3692 Hits

Odin VI Talking Cell Phone

Looking for a simple accessible cell phone with just the necessities? This might be what you are looking for. http://odinmobile.com/phones/odin-vi-unlocked/ From their website: Odin VI — Unlocked $199.00 With New Activation and No Contract (May be used with service from AT&T, T-Mobile or any other GSM provider) The ODIN VI is a talking cell phone that is 100 percent accessible to the blind. It speaks everything that is on the screen, speaks the keys that you press and even prompts you to perform certain functions. Create your own contacts and move through your contact list to hear the names read out loud. Write text messages and hear your incoming messages spoken to you. Access your call log to learn which calls you missed. The ODIN VI speaks the caller ID, as well as the amount of battery charge, the signal strength and the time and date. You can even select between...
Continue reading
4420 Hits

Ai Squared (ZoomText) and GW Micro Merger

This might be old news to some but in May 2014, Ai Squared , the makers of ZoomText  and GW Micro, makers of Window Eyes have merged into one company.  I don’t how they are logistically going to do this since Ai Squared’s headquarters is in Vermont while GW Mico’s is in Indiana.   Anyway,  we’ll see if this is a good move or not.  Stay tuned.  If you want to read more on the merger here is a weblink. http://www.aisquared.com/about_us/categories/category/merger
3263 Hits

Odin Accessible Telephone

The ODIN VI is a cell phone with buttons that is one hundred percent accessible. It allows someone without sight to enter and access contacts, access a call log, text message, set alarms and more. The phone speaks a number of languages, including English and Spanish. A number of State agencies for the blind, including agencies in Massachusetts, New Mexico, Colorado and Oregon, have started showing the ODIN to clients. The phone is also being sold by Perkins School for the Blind. You can learn more about the phone, and listen to an instructional podcast on the phone, at http://odinmobile.com/phones/odin-vi/. Also, attached is a flyer with information regarding the phone. As mentioned above, residents of Texas who are blind are in a unique position since they can obtain the ODIN VI for free because it has been included in the Specialized Telecommunications Assistance Program. As of today, Texas is the only...
Continue reading
2175 Hits

Computer Programming Camp for TVIs

For the fourth year now, the Washington State School for the Blind will host a workshop on teaching computer science to students with visual impairments called the "Experience Programming in Quorum Workshop" (aka EPIQ Workshop). The workshop will be held on July 17-23, 2014 As part of the workshop, you will learn programming basics in a Java-based programming language called Quorum. The inventor of the language, Dr. Andy Stefik, will lead the workshop and teach you how to use Quorum to create dynamic websites with your students. The platform, developed by Dr. Stefik, is 100% accessible to all students, including those with visual impairments and blindness. The language is currently being taught at the Alabama School for the Blind, the Washington State School for the Blind, and the Maryland School for the Blind along with many smaller sites around the country to students with visual impairments. The language and the curriculum...
Continue reading
2383 Hits
0 Comments

VoiceOver Accessible Apps

A group out of Belgium just sent me a link to a website that contains a list of  1642 apps that are accessible with VoiceOver.  Most of them are in English but beware some are in Dutch, the language of Northern Belgium.  It is a fairly extensive list of apps...enjoy. Website URL:  http://www.appwijzer.be/app/AppWijzer.html
2174 Hits
0 Comments

iOS App Options for the Community

Many students and consumers have been enjoying the information provided from TapTapSee, an app that allows a user to take a photograph with their phone and receive back a description of what was photographed when they have VoiceOver running on their phone. This might be taking a picture of a can of soup at the grocery store to determine whether it is Tomato or Chicken Noodle, a photo of a shoe to know if it is black or brown, or even a picture of the sky to hear if it is clear blue or cloudy. The challenge for many folks recently is that the company has found they must now switch to a pay-for-use model rather than the previously free access. The new fees are 100 Picture Pack for $7.99 or a Month of Unlimited Pictures for $9.99. The fee for use is set to begin after the user takes 20...
Continue reading
2192 Hits
0 Comments

iOS 7 Accessibility Features

I thought I would share some links on new accessibility features on iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch using the new Apple iOS7 operating system. Both of the links lead to About Assistive Technology Accessibility Features in iOS 7 Switch Control in iOS 7
1899 Hits
0 Comments

iOS 7 Accessibility Features

I thought I would share some links on new accessibility features on iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch using the new Apple iOS7 operating system. Both of the links lead to About Assistive Technology Accessibility Features in iOS 7 Switch Control in iOS 7
1911 Hits
0 Comments

Blind advocates: Hollywood lobbying threatens deal for accessible books

Disputes between blind groups and content companies could kill copyright treaty.   From arstechnica (http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2013/05/blind-advocates-hollywood-lobbying-threatens-deal-for-accessible-books/) by Timothy B. Lee - May 10 2013, 8:04am CDT Exerpt of article: "For the last several years, negotiators at the World Intellectual Property Organization have been working on a copyright treaty that would make it easier for blind people to get accessible versions of books, like well-annotated audio books or large-print editions. But aggressive lobbying by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), the Association of American Publishers (AAP), and other US copyright interests threatens to derail the negotiations, according to several advocates for the blind who spoke to Ars. "The main sticking point has been whether to try to use the treaty as a vehicle for enhancing copyright protections or whether the treaty should remain clearly focused on carving out an exception to allow works to be produced in accessible formats for the blind," said Frederic Schroeder,...
Continue reading
2190 Hits
0 Comments

Learn about YouDescribe – Free Audio Description Tool

YouDescribe – You Have a Microphone...You Have YouTube...You Can Do It! How You Can Add Audio Description to Any YouTube Video Join us for a free, forward-looking webinar on the changing world of educational video description on May 30, 2013 at 02:00 PM EDT / 01:00 PM CDT / 12:00 PM MDT / 11:00 AM PDT. This innovative webinar is hosted by the Described and Captioned Media Program (DCMP), in collaboration with the Video Description Research and Development Center (VDRDC), and the Description Leadership Network (DLN). Register now at http://webinars.dcmp.org/. This exciting and interactive presentation is perfect for teachers, administrators, and parents who want to learn about the latest developments in video description technology and how it can help students who are blind and visually-impaired in educational settings. Learn about YouDescribe, the exiting new tool developed by the Video Description Research and Development Center (VDRDC). YouDescribe is a FREE tool that anyone can use to add description...
Continue reading
2258 Hits
0 Comments

Learn about YouDescribe - Free Audio Description Tool

YouDescribe – You Have a Microphone...You Have YouTube...You Can Do It! How You Can Add Audio Description to Any YouTube Video Join us for a free, forward-looking webinar on the changing world of educational video description on May 30, 2013 at 02:00 PM EDT / 01:00 PM CDT / 12:00 PM MDT / 11:00 AM PDT. This innovative webinar is hosted by the Described and Captioned Media Program (DCMP), in collaboration with the Video Description Research and Development Center (VDRDC), and the Description Leadership Network (DLN). Register now at http://webinars.dcmp.org/. This exciting and interactive presentation is perfect for teachers, administrators, and parents who want to learn about the latest developments in video description technology and how it can help students who are blind and visually-impaired in educational settings. Learn about YouDescribe, the exiting new tool developed by the Video Description Research and Development Center (VDRDC). YouDescribe is a FREE tool...
Continue reading
2706 Hits
0 Comments

New Closed-Captioning Glasses Help Deaf Go Out To The Movies

This story is from All Tech Considered  Technology News from NPR. by RACHEL ROOD May 12, 2013 3:48 PM There will be a special attraction for deaf people in theaters nationwide soon. By the end of this month, Regal Cinemas plans to have distributed closed-captioning glasses to more than 6,000 theaters across the country. Sony Entertainment Access Glasses are sort of like 3-D glasses, but for captioning. The captions are projected onto the glasses and appear to float about 10 feet in front of the user. They also come with audio tracks that describe the action on the screen for blind people, or they can boost the audio levels of the movie for those who are hard of hearing. Randy Smith Jr., the chief executive officer for Regal Cinemas, says he has worked for more than a decade to find a solution to this problem. He tells Arun Rath, host of weekends on All Things...
Continue reading
1963 Hits
0 Comments