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Geocaching and Letterboxing for Orientation and Mobility Lessons

Geocaching and Letterboxing for Orientation and Mobility Lessons For those wanting to add some creative adventures to their Orientation and Mobility lessons, you can introduce the concept of Geocaching and Letterboxing. Here are some suggestions for activities: Have prepared locations for "letterboxing" with described directions, using cardinal directions from a known landmark and use the compass (braille, talking, or app from smart phone) as an orientation tool. Have students enter the location of a cache with latitude and longitude coordinates into BlindSquare (iOS) or APH Nearby Explorer (Android) to get some prompting by tracking the coordinates as a landmark. For a team activity, braille the clues and hints so that students can use their compensatory skills to read to the group. To develop concepts for Orientation and Mobility, be sure to use words that emphasize the concept in the directions, such as parallel and perpendicular, traffic side of sidewalk, cardinal directions,...
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Apps for Independence in the Community and Orientation and Mobility

Apps for Independence in the Community and Orientation and Mobility I have a penchant for buying apps to check which work best for various activities. Here are a few favorites that are either specifically designed for blind or visually impaired users, or are apps that work well with VoiceOver. Many are multiplatform and available on iOS via the Apple Store, Android via Google Play, and Windows Phone via Windows Phone Store. GPS Apps: Apple Maps and Siri (built in iOS app, free) Apple Maps is built into iOS devices and can provide spoken location information and pedestrian directions, but it needs to tie into other apps to provide routing directions that involve public transportation Google Maps with Google Now and Talkback (free) Can provide location and directions with spoken information [https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/google-maps/id585027354?mt=8] [https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.apps.maps&hl=en] BlindSquare Terrific GPS app that is tailored to travlers who are blind and visually impaired. It integrates with other...
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BrailleNote Navigation

For Students and Travelers with an Apex BrialleNote there is a new tool for orientation and mobility in the most recent update. The latest software update for the Apex provides an accessible map solution from Sendero Group called KeyMaps. It allows the user to virtually explore areas all over the country and can also be upgraded to a full GPS solution with a bluetooth receiver, etc Here is the post from HumanWare about the KeyMaps software that is included in the KeySoft 9.4.1 update. KeyMaps KeySoft 9.4.1 includes a new application on all Apex units called KeyMaps. In partnership with Sendero Group, KeyMaps brings the first included completely accessible mapping experience for those with visual impairments. Using only your Apex, you can: Download maps of your chosen country, Find a specific address or point of interest, Look up phone numbers and additional information for points of interest, Virtually walk around a...
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Can an iPod be used with GPS and other apps that are handy for O&M instruction?

Often the question will come up about using an iPod touch or iPad with GPS; this post is intended to give at least a start to answering the question. The iPod and the iPad have different answers to the question though. If you have had a full night's sleep and or a fresh cup of coffee and are feeling ready to wade into the details, here we go...  The iPod touch and the iPad with WI-FI only do come with a digital compass app and when connected to a WI-FI network can determine your location. When they do not have internet access, they cannot use location information but the internal sensor will allow the compass to work.  Here is the description from Apple's iPod Touch product page: "For iPod touch with Maps, the Maps application provides your approximate location using information based on your proximity to known WI-FI networks (when on...
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New Orientation Technology on the Horizon

So many advances in technology are making their way into how people travel, from self-driving cars to phones that function as mobile travel agents; the world for travelers just 20 years from now will likely be surreal compared to today's travel world. Just as phones were once required to be attached to the wall and your finger had to turn the dial, and now we can talk on our phones hands free while multitasking other activities in just about any location. One of the new advances being developed will address challenges of orientation for indoor environments. For some fun dreaming of what future generations will be able to benefit from, read on to find out about a project at Auburn University. "Navigation devices used by blind people today lack the ability to operate indoors and other areas where GPS is not available, and are unable to help the user deal with items that...
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