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Listen to Your DVDs

ByMichael McCarty-August 31, 2006Do you have family members with DVD recorders? Do they love to record every family event and show it on their DVD players? All you need is the audio to remember that event, here’s how you can get exactly what you want.>If you’re looking for a program to extract audio from dvd’s, this subject came up on some mailing lists recently, here’s two programs that can help. The first is Dvd Audio Extractor from The other program is IM2 from programs offer a 30 day evaluation period and then require an unlock code to continue their use.Post a CommentRead More »

Need to See a Doctor?

ByMichael McCarty-August 31, 2006The Bureau of Primary Health Care, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has developed a website that will help you find a clinic that will give you medical care, even if you have no medical insurance or money.The website will provide the address and contact information for clinics that offer the following types of care:

Primary Medical
Obstetrical and Gynecological
Mental Health and Substance Abuse Care
Other Types of Medical and Support ServicesTo find a clinic: Choose your state from the drop-down box or enter a zip code in the box provided. The search will return clinics in the Zip Code you picked and others close to it.

Click this link to find a medical clinic near you.Post a CommentRead More »

FirstGov for Kids

ByMichael McCarty-August 31, 2006The U.S. government interagency Kids’ Portal is a great place for your children or students to explore the great websites the internet has to offer. The site was developed and is maintained by the Federal Citizen Information Center. It provides links to Federal kids’ sites along with some of the best kids’ sites from other organizations all grouped by subject. The site is divided into educational subjects that you might have in your school. Within each subject, we have also divided the sites into these categories:

CommercialThe Government sites could be Federal, State, or Military sites. Government sites generally do not sell anything. They are simply sharing information with visitors. Organization sites are developed by groups that have an interest in a special topic and they want to share their information. Sometimes these sites do sell products. Education sites are developed by schools. They can be developed by colleges/universities o…Post a CommentRead More »

The Corn Zipper

ByMichael McCarty-August 31, 2006The Kuhn Rikon Corn Zipper “unzips” kernels from the cob cleanly and effortlessly. This unique tool has sharp teeth that cut between kernels and cobs, removing 2 rows of kernels at once – neatly into a bowl.

Features include:

Zips kernels cleanly off the cob
Kernels drop directly into your bowl
Zips kernels safely off the cob
Safer than using a knife
7-inches in length.I could have used this last night as I stripped corn for a salad. Plus, it has a face. Shouldn’t all your kitchen gadgets have a face?

Click this link to purchase the Corn Zipper from a CommentRead More »

Guild for the Blind

ByMichael McCarty-August 31, 2006The Guild for the Blind believes that children and adults who are blind or visually impaired have the right to receive respect and attain independence at home, in the workplace, and in the community. They have a variety of services that help blind and visually impaired individuals reach personal goals and improve their lives.The Guild’s adult rehabilitation services include a program geared towards seniors experiencing new vision loss called New Visions. This program promotes independence within the home and community by providing participants with the information, techniques, and tools they need to successfully adjust to their new lives with impaired sight. Two workshop series are available to beginners or to those ready for more advanced topics.A staff training program designed to teach long-term care facility personnel how to more effectively interact and assist those with vision impairments is available throughout the Chicago metropolitan area. Dealing with the issues of …Post a CommentRead More »

Macular Degeneration International

ByMichael McCarty-August 31, 2006Macular Degeneration International is a support organization for The Foundation Fighting Blindness which combines the strength of The Foundation’s research mission to find treatments and cures for Macular Degeneration with MDI’s mission to help people lead independent and rewarding lives.In addition to funding research, The Foundation produces comprehensive patient education materials for Macular Degeneration and related diseases. With their complementary strengths, MDI and The Foundation can better serve its constituents.Members of MDI will receive The Foundation’s newsletters filled with information about research and clinical trials for Macular Degeneration. MDI will contribute to The Foundation’s newsletters with low-vision information.

For more information on Macular Degeneration, click this link to visit The Foundation Fighting Blindness at or email them at They also offer a Toll Free Helpline at 800-683-555…Post a CommentRead More »

How To Download Files Using a Screen Reader

ByMichael McCarty-August 30, 2006If you’re new to computing, there’s a lot about your computer that you’re not familiar with. Perhaps you’re only able to write a letter in your word processor but you know your PC is capable of so much more. One of the best things about having a computer and a high speed internet connection is having the ability to download files, whether they’re games, applications, whatever. Follow these instructions and you’ll be downloading in minutes. Anyone can use these instructions but they were primarily written for people using a screen reader.

Open your browser and go to a web site containing files you’d like to download.

Find a file to download and click the title if it’s a link or find an associated link that says something like Download or Download Now.

The dialogue box will appear with the option to Save. Click on the Save button. Another dialogue box will then appear.

You’ll see several options here. First, the filename. Make sure this is what you wa…Post a CommentRead More »

Publishers Launch Look-Up Service to Speed Delivery of Course Materials to Print-Disabled Students

ByMichael McCarty-August 30, 2006Higher education publisher members of the Association of American Publishers (AAP) have launched a Publisher Look-Up Service. The online search tool, found at, will enable Disabled Student Services (DSS) professionals who are seeking text materials in alternate formats for print-disabled students to more easily contact publishers. The Publisher Look-Up Service is a first step in AAP’s Alternative Formats Solutions Initiative (AFSI), a national effort to identify ways to provide print-disabled post-secondary students with specially formatted course materials on a timely basis. AFSI research showed that publishers could make an immediate difference by launching the Publisher Look-Up Service, while still exploring longer-term solutions. DSS offices at post-secondary institutions can search by textbook publisher or publisher imprint to access general information about the publishing company and appropriate contact information. Once provi…Post a CommentRead More »

Producing Braille and Audio Graphs of Mathematical Equations

ByMichael McCarty-August 30, 2006Graphit is a graphing calculator program you can use in conjunction with a braille embosser to produce braille graphs of mathematical equations. It isn’t a hand-held graphing calculator, but for anyone who is looking for a quick and easy way to enable blind students to see graphical representations of an equation, this is a solution.Graphit features one command Braille output of graphs from typed complex equations. Graphit also provides an audio representation of the graph on your speech synthesizer through a single keystroke. Other features include:Control the size and specific information contained in the graph.Supports algebraic, trigonometric, exponential and logarithmic equations.Menu driven interface for easy setup and use.Support for Blazer, VersaPoint Duo and Inferno embossers, among others.For use with IBM Compatible PCs (with Graph It PC only) and Freedom Scientific notetakers with the exception of the Braille Lite M20 and M40.

Freedom Scientific Blind/Low Vis…Post a CommentRead More »

Tunnel Vision: What is it?

ByMichael McCarty-August 30, 2006About one in 200 Americans over age 55 suffers from tunnel vision, as a result of diseases such as retinitis pigmentosa (RP) and glaucoma. RP can begin to affect vision in one’s teen years and may become quite severe tunnel vision by middle age.Residual tunnel vision occurs when peripheral or side vision is destroyed, leaving only a small window of central vision. The field of view of these people can be like looking through the tube of a roll of paper towels. Thus, tunnel vision can often cause the individual to bump into or trip over obstacles. Navigating city streets or buildings can be quite challenging. For a person with tunnel vision, finding a misplaced item is like searching for a key in a dark room using a tiny flashlight.Post a CommentRead More »

What is a Macular Hole?

ByMichael McCarty-August 29, 2006A macular hole is a small break in the macula, located in the center of the eye’s light-sensitive tissue called the retina. The macula provides the sharp, central vision we need for reading, driving, and seeing fine detail.A macular hole can cause blurred and distorted central vision. Macular holes are related to aging and usually occur in people over age 60.Most of the eye’s interior is filled with vitreous, a gel-like substance that fills about 80 percent of the eye and helps it maintain a round shape. The vitreous contains millions of fine fibers that are attached to the surface of the retina. As we age, the vitreous slowly shrinks and pulls away from the retinal surface. Natural fluids fill the area where the vitreous has contracted. This is normal. In most cases, there are no adverse effects. Some patients may experience a small increase in floaters, which are little “cobwebs” or specks that seem to float about in your field of vision.However, if the vitre…Post a CommentRead More »

Facts About Floaters

ByMichael McCarty-August 29, 2006The following article comes from the National Eye Institute website: are little “cobwebs” or specks that float about in your field of vision. They are small, dark, shadowy shapes that can look like spots, thread-like strands, or squiggly lines. They move as your eyes move and seem to dart away when you try to look at them directly. They do not follow your eye movements precisely, and usually drift when your eyes stop moving.In most cases, floaters are part of the natural aging process and simply an annoyance. They can be distracting at first, but eventually tend to “settle” at the bottom of the eye, becoming less bothersome. They usually settle below the line of sight and do not go away completely. Most people have floaters and learn to ignore them; they are usually not noticed until they become numerous or more prominent. Floaters can become apparent when looking at something bright, such as white paper or a blue sky.Floaters …Post a CommentRead More »

Eye Care Facts and Myths

ByMichael McCarty-August 28, 2006We have all been told by someone at some time, “You’ll hurt your eyes if you do that!” But do you really know what is or is not good for your eyes?Test yourself with the following true or false statements and see how much you know about your eyes. Courtesy of the Medem Medical Library.

“Reading in dim light is harmful to your eyes.” True or False?False. Using your eyes in dim light does not damage them. For centuries, all nighttime reading and sewing was done by candlelight or with gas or kerosene lamps. However, good lighting does make reading easier and can prevent eye fatigue.

“Using computers can damage your eyes.” True or False?False. Working on computers or video display terminals (VDTs) will not harm your eyes. Often, when using a VDT for long periods of time, just as when reading or doing other close work, you blink less often than normal. This reduced rate of blinking makes your eyes dry, which may lead to the feeling of eyestrain or fati…Post a CommentRead More »

Refractive Errors of the Eye

ByMichael McCarty-August 28, 2006About 120 million people in the United States wear eyeglasses or contact lenses to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, or stigmatism. These vision disorders–called refractive errors– affect the cornea and are the most common of all vision problems in this country.Refractive errors occur when the curve of the cornea is irregularly shaped (too steep or too flat). When the cornea is of normal shape and curvature, it bends, or refracts, light on the retina with precision. However, when the curve of the cornea is irregularly shaped, the cornea bends light imperfectly on the retina. This affects good vision. The refractive process is similar to the way a camera takes a picture. The cornea and lens in your eye act as the camera lens. The retina is similar to the film. If the image is not focused properly, the film (or retina) receives a blurry image. The image that your retina “sees” then goes to your brain, which tells you what the image is.When the cornea is curved too…Post a CommentRead More »

Eye Health Organizations Database

ByMichael McCarty-August 28, 2006The National Eye Institute has created an eye health organizations database. This tool can help you find sources of eye health-related information. Many of these organizations can also refer you to resources in your local area.

Click this link to visit the Eye Health Organizations Database.1 commentRead More »

AMD Alliance International

ByMichael McCarty-August 28, 2006The AMD Alliance International strives to bring knowledge, help and hope to individuals and families around the world affected by Age-related macular degeneration. Their mission is accomplished through:

Generating awareness and understanding of age-related macular degeneration;
Promoting the importance of education, early detection, knowledge of treatment and rehabilitation options; and
Preserving vision and improving the quality of life of individuals affected by age-related macular degeneration.In support of its mission, the AMD Alliance International has developed an aggressive international awareness campaign, focused on seniors and their caregivers, encouraging seniors to have their eyes examined; mobilized the medical community, insurance industry, and key governmental decision-makers to recognize and support AMD as a health priority; and supported the efforts of Alliance member organizations in countries throughout the globe – with a wide range of tactics from international resea…Post a CommentRead More »

Change Toolbar Icon Size in Windows XP

ByMichael McCarty-August 28, 2006You might find the icons in Windows XP Explorer toolbars small and difficult to distinguish. It’s easy to change the toolbar icon size to something you can more easily read:

Double-click or press enter on the “My Computer” icon on either the desktop or start menu to open the “My Computer” window.

Select “View”, then “Toolbars” and “Customize”.

The “Customize Toolbar” dialog box will appear. Next to “Icon options” select “Large icons”.

Click “OK” to close the dialog box.Post a CommentRead More »

Artist Trivia and the Meanings Behind Their Music

ByMichael McCarty-August 28, 2006Was there truly a meaning behind the Beatles’ song “I am the Walrus” or was the song intentionally written to be nonsensical? Is there a specific person referenced in Pink Floyd’s classic “Wish You Were Here?” Is there an event behind Jim Hendrix’s “Little Wing”?Answers to these and other music-related questions are debated on Songfacts and SongMeanings. Look up your favorite artists or songs and see if there is truly a meaning behind the music, or at least if others think the songs have a true meaning. Both websites have a top list of the most frequently-requested songs, plus there are message forums where you can have longer discussions debating the meanings behind artists’ words.

Click this link to visit

Click this link to visit

Musician TriviaJust which famous rock singer was born Steven Tallarico? What musical group was formed with two daughters of former “Beach Boy” Bria…Post a CommentRead More »

What is the Cornea?

ByMichael McCarty-August 28, 2006The cornea is the eye’s outermost layer. It is the clear, dome-shaped surface that covers the front of the eye.Although the cornea is clear and seems to lack substance, it is actually a highly organized group of cells and proteins. Unlike most tissues in the body, the cornea contains no blood vessels to nourish or protect it against infection. Instead, the cornea receives its nourishment from the tears and aqueous humor that fills the chamber behind it. The cornea must remain transparent to refract light properly, and the presence of even the tiniest blood vessels can interfere with this process. To see well, all layers of the cornea must be free of any cloudy or opaque areas.Because the cornea is as smooth and clear as glass but is strong and durable, it helps the eye in two ways:

It helps to shield the rest of the eye from germs, dust, and other harmful matter. The cornea shares this protective task with the eyelids, the eye socket, tears, and the sclera, or white part of the…Post a CommentRead More »

Questions to ask your Eye care Professional About Age-related macular degeneration

ByMichael McCarty-August 28, 2006If you have been diagnosed with Age-related macular degeneration your ability to ask the right questions and receive accurate information is crucial. This way, you can address appropriate options for treatment, rehabilitation and support services together with your eye care provider. The more you know about your condition and prospects the higher your chances of maintaining the highest possible quality of life. ,In Living Well with Macular Degeneration [1], Dr. Bruce Rosenthal Chairman of the Age-related macular degeneration Alliance International Scientific Advisory Board and Chief of Low Vision Services at Lighthouse International suggests the following questions to ask your doctor:

Do I have dry or wet Age-related macular degeneration? What is the extent of my vision loss, and what other changes might I expect? Can you tell how quickly my Age-related macular degeneration is progressing? Can you see any symptoms in the other eye (if you only have it i…Post a CommentRead More »

FEMA for Kids

ByMichael McCarty-August 28, 2006The FEMA for Kids website at has sections on floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, tsunami, thunderstorms, volcanoes, earthquakes, wildfires, winter storms, and national security emergencies.The site has several games and quizzes for children to participate in, and gives children the opportunity to become a disaster action kid. Your child can receive a free activity book, brochure, coloring book, door knob hanger, and a certificate with their name on it.It is always a good idea to go over emergency procedures with your children. While you may think your child knows what to do in the case of an emergency, going over things can make you and your child feel more comfortable should a disaster situation occur.Another cool feature of this site is that kids can look at current events in your particular area. The site has a huge map of the United States and children can click on a state to find out what types of emergencies they should look out for as well as what di…Post a CommentRead More »

Ophthalmologist or Optometrist: What’s the Difference?

ByMichael McCarty-August 25, 2006The principal difference between these two eye care professionals is the presence (or absence) of a medical degree. Ophthalmologists are medical doctors and vision care specialists possessing diagnostic skills, together with the ability to treat eye disorders and diseases.Ophthalmologists are also qualified to undertake eye surgery, accurately prescribe corrective lenses and dispense advice for preventing blindness. Training in clinical and surgical settings is also a prerequisite.Optometrists, on the other hand, perform routine eye examinations and general vision care procedures such as screening patients for certain eye disorders like glaucoma. They will also determine the need for, fit and prescribe corrective eyewear and/or lenses.Post a CommentRead More »

Audio Books That Think They’re iPods

ByMichael McCarty-August 25, 2006For those who are crunched for time or don’t want to bother downloading an audio book, or, for that matter, buying a portable audio player, Findaway World says there’s another way to listen.Playaway is the first-ever self-playing, self-contained digital audio book. No need to download anything or continuously swap out CDs or audiocassettes. The Playaway hangs around your neck or fits in a pocket so you can listen to books pretty much wherever you want. It’s half the size of a deck of cards, and lets you adjust the speed of the narrator’s voice (which, Findaway says, is often the actual author), fast-forward, reverse and bookmark your spot for the next time you listen.The Playaway comes with earphones, a lanyard and a AAA battery. You can pick them up at Borders, OfficeMax, Barnes & Noble and the Playaway Web site.

Click this link to visit the Playaway website.Post a CommentRead More »

Serving Those Who Serve

ByMichael McCarty-August 24, 2006The mission of Rebuilding Together: is to preserve and revitalize houses and communities, assuring that low-income homeowners, from the elderly and disabled to families with children, live in warmth, safety, and independence. In partnership with communities, their goal is to make a sustainable impact.The impact is made through providing necessary repairs free of charge to existing homeowners. These necessary repairs often include home modifications, roofing, plumbing, and electrical repairs and/or improvements.They have a special project called Serving Those Who Serve. The mission of this particular project is to help wounded Iraq vets. Serving Those Who Serve is a special-needs home modification service that will be reserved exclusively for veterans who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom or Enduring Freedom, and now have loss of sight, loss of hearing, loss of mobility, or traumatic brain injury. It will not only make their homes safer, but will…Post a CommentRead More »

ACB Diabetics in Action

ByMichael McCarty-August 24, 2006By Carla RuschivalIf you are diabetic, and if you have been experiencing “floaters” or other problems with your vision, you may be one of millions of people with diabetic retinopathy.Diabetic retinopathy is one of the leading causes of blindness in the United States. With approximately 18.2 million diabetics in theU.S., and with that number growing every year, it is likely that there will continue to be a large number of new cases of diabeticretinopathy.There is no cure for diabetic retinopathy. However, as is truewith all complications of diabetes, careful attention to diet and prescribed treatments is essential to controlling the problem.ACB Diabetics in Action is a resource for diabetics with vision loss. The purpose of this new organization is to inform diabeticsof equipment they can use, to work for increased availability of speech and large print technology for diabetics who can no longerread standard print and display screens, and to work with doctors and o…Post a CommentRead More »

Unexpected Sight Loss: What are the Causes?

ByMichael McCarty-August 24, 2006While browsing through my RSS feeds, I came across the following article that explains the two major eye diseases responsible for the majority of sight loss today. I thought it was a great article and wanted to share it with you.The article comes from the Perfect Health Blog and was originally published on August 2, 2006 by the Administrator.

Diabetes, Glaucoma Put Millions At Risk for Unexpected BlindnessUnexpected sight loss is more common than you may think. Blindness often happens without prior warning signs and in people unaware they are at risk.The two most common culprits of unexpected sight loss are diabetes and glaucoma. These diseases are known as the “sneak thieves of sight” because symptoms may not occur in the early stages. By the time a person realizes something is wrong, irreversible vision loss often occurs.In fact, diabetic eye disease is the leading cause of blindness in adults. An average of 55 Americans go blind from the disease each day. The numbers threaten to …Post a CommentRead More » Reads Your Mail Out Loud

ByMichael McCarty-August 24, 2006Web-based email service has Audio Webmail, a feature enabling users to have their messages read out loud in 11 languages. The service is available for free to all users on the company’s beta site. Audio Webmail currently supports U.S. and U.K. English, German, Italian, French, Japanese, Spanish, Danish, Swedish, Portuguese, and Dutch, and plans to add support for additional languages in the future.

Click this link to visit the website.Post a CommentRead More »

Eight Steps for Lawn Mower Safety

ByMichael McCarty-August 23, 2006By Matt MorrisonEven though many lawn mowers come with safety features, it is a powerful cutting machine that is dangerous and should be treated as such. Improper use could result in personal injury or even death. The U.S. Government estimates that 60,000 people are treated in hospitals for lawn mower related injuries. Most accidents occur when people do not know how to operate their machine properly or they don’t use common sense and get careless.

Get to know your lawn mower. Check the owner’s manuals frequently to familiarize yourself with it.

Dress properly. Do not wear open toe shoes or shorts. Don’t wear loose clothing or hair that could possibly drawn into rotating parts. Use safety glasses and dust masks when the need is required.

Prepare your lawn beforehand. Pick up rocks, sticks, wires, toys, tools or any objects that could be thrown by the blade.

Prepare the mower. Make sure all parts are tightened and nothing is missing. Check for and correct any leaks. Check you…Post a CommentRead More »

Stick a paper clip where?

ByMichael McCarty-August 23, 2006Did you ever get a CD stuck in your CD-ROM drive? Nothing seems to work-you’ve pressed the button a million times, tried to open by right-clicking the drive and choosing “eject”, maybe even contemplated using a screw driver to pry the thing open. Before you take out the drive and try to surgically remove the disk, or worse, buy a new drive, try this simple little trick to manually open your disk drive tray.

Unwind a paperclip.
Stick it in the little hole on the drive tray, usually near the eject button.You heard me right. There’s a little hole you probably never even noticed. It’s the manual release for the drive tray. If you don’t see the hole, it could be because the front panel of your computer is covering it. These panels are often removable, allowing you access to the hole. It is very small, and you may be feeling over it, and can’t tell it’s there. If necessary, get some sighted assistance. Hey, it’s better than losing your drive.

My Zip …Post a CommentRead More »

Hairspray: Not Just for Your Hair

ByMichael McCarty-August 22, 2006I like this part of Fred’s Head where we learn how to use household items in different ways from their original design. Let’s see what we can do with hairspray.Hairspray works great as a stain remover. It can remove ink stains from clothes and carpet. Just saturate the stain, let it set for about a minute and then wash it away.Hairspray can help you catch and kill bugs around your home. Instead of blindly chasing a fly around the house with a fly swatter, shoot it with a little hairspray. The hair spray seems to stiffen and freeze it’s wings rendering it unable to fly, allowing you to catch or swat at it.When threading a needle, spray a little hairspray on the end of the thread to stiffen it. It makes it much easier to thread.Ladies, hairspray works great on pantyhose runs too. Just spritz a bit on the run, and it will stop that run in its tracks.Post a CommentRead More »

Audio Slalom for Blind and Visually Impaired Skiers

ByMichael McCarty-August 22, 2006The Bat Blaster from a-technic (the British Adaptive and Assistive Technology charity) is a training and competition system for blind and partially sighted water ski slalom. Until now, the most popular of the competition disciplines has been impossible for vision impaired water skiers. This has changed with the advent of a new discipline – Audio Slalom, specially devised for vision impaired skiers to accurately simulate the traditional slalom event and with technology like the Bat Blaster.Skiers no longer need to see the buoys, but can instead compete using audible ‘buoy’ signals. The Bat Blaster attaches to the towing pylon of a competition ski boat and allows vision impaired skiers to participate in slalom competitions. It is used in all major disabled water ski competitions and is in regular use by blind and partially sighted skiers in around a dozen countries world-wide.

Click this link to visit the Bat Blaster home page of the a-technic website:…Post a CommentRead More »

Audio Slalom for Blind and Visually Impaired SkiersWoodworking for the Blind

ByMichael McCarty-August 21, 2006Woodworking for the Blind Inc. provides monthly CD recordings of woodworking publications exclusively for the use of blind and visually impaired woodworkers. Voice recordings of all of the articles and features in Fine Woodworking magazine, Woodwork magazine, Woodsmith magazine, Woodworking magazine and American Woodworker magazine are available as CDs in MP3 file format shortly after each magazine’s current issue becomes available. Recordings of full-length books on woodworking also will be available from time to time.

If you are interested, please contact us at

Larry Martin
Woodworking for the BlindPost a CommentRead More »

Motion-Activated Anywhere Light

ByMichael McCarty-August 21, 2006You don’t need to run wires to illuminate dark sheds, porches, or walkways anymore. The weatherproof Motion-Activated Anywhere LED Light is powered by four C batteries (sold separately), so it can be placed anywhere you might be prone to tripping, stumbling, or fumbling for keys. Just walk within 25 feet of this motion-sensor light, and it will brighten the entire area. You’ll feel more secure knowing your guests won’t be arriving to a darkened doorway, as well.Ideal for a porch, shed, doorway or closet, the Motion-Activated Anywhere LED Light only turns on when it senses your presence, so it won’t waste its batteries. The five bright LEDs illuminate for 12 seconds or until motion stops. LED lights are bright, energy-efficient, and last much longer than traditional bulbs: These five bulbs will last 30,000 hours! Dimensions: 6″ x 5″ x 4″

Click this link to purchase the Motion-Activated Anywhere Light from Smarthome.Post a CommentRead More »

How to Play Spoons

ByMichael McCarty-August 21, 2006By Laura Torres |Stuck inside because of bad weather? This fast-paced, easy card game for all ages is a great cure for the boredom blues. You will need a deck of cards and a pile of spoons (one fewer than the number of players).

Place the spoons in the center of the table. You want one fewer spoons than number of players, so if you have five players, use four spoons.

The dealer gives each person four cards. The dealer then picks a card from the deck and discards one card from her hand. She discards by placing the card face down and sliding it over to the player on her left. That player picks up the card, then discards one card the same way the dealer did it, by sliding it face down to the person on his left. The last person before the dealer makes a pile of the discards to use when the original deck is used up. The dealer always picks a card from the deck.

The object is to collect four cards all of the same number or royalty (four kings, four threes etc.). When a player gets a hand wi…Post a CommentRead More »

Tranquil Sounds and Massaging Bath Pillow

ByMichael McCarty-August 21, 2006It seems like a lot of my blind or visually impaired friends have one of those nature sound radios. They either have the one that includes the alarm clock or the one that constantly repeats the nature sounds until you turn it off.I am a person who loves to listen to rain and thunderstorms. I think they are peaceful in their own way and I find them very relaxing. Here’s a great idea to bring the sounds of nature to your bathtub.This waterproof pillow attaches to any smooth bathtub surface using two suction cups, and provides ergonomic support via its contoured nodule design whichcushions the neck, and the pillow also plays digital recordings of soothing natural sounds, including Ocean Surf, Rain, Rain Forest, and Woodlands whileproviding a gentle vibrating massage. The audio and massage functions operate in conjunction or independently at the touch of a button. Requires threeAA batteries. 6 1/2″ W x 14″ L x 4″ D. (1 3/4 lbs.)

Click this link to purchase the T…Post a CommentRead More »

First Aid and Safety Tips for Children

ByMichael McCarty-August 21, 2006Thanks to the internet, there is a ton of accessible first aid information at our fingertips. One website I found to help with childhood first aid concerns is Kids Health. The site has a rather substantial section on First Aid and Safety with instructions on what to do when your child gets hurt. The site covers everything from falls and frostbite to seizures and broken bones. The website also offers a good deal of safety tips for various events and holidays to help prevent your child from being harmed.

Click this link to visit the First Aid and Safety page of the Kids Health website.Talking First Aid KitCarl Augusto of the American Foundation for the Blind Blog posted the following about this great product.I think it’s always important to keep safety in mind, so I thought I’d let you know about a new product from intelligentFirstAidT, the First Aid “talking” Kit. The Kit includes nine injury-specific packs to help treat common injuries, including Bleeding, Head &a…Post a CommentRead More »

Brussel Sprouts on the George Foreman Grill

ByMichael McCarty-August 18, 2006People who know me understand that I am not a veggie eater. If it’s green, I have a hard time eating it. With that said, I want to show you veggie eaters how to prepare Brussel Sprouts on a George Foreman Grill. Please don’t try this if I ever come to visit.

Cut off the ends of the brussel sprouts and cut them in half.
Place the pieces face down on the preheated grill and cook for about 12 minutes.After they are cooked, drip a few drops of Extra Virgin Olive Oil on the open side of each half. The Olive oil seeps into the sprouts and adds extra flavor. If you add the olive oil before cooking you won’t quite get the same effect.Post a CommentRead More »

Broccoli on the George Foreman Grill

ByMichael McCarty-August 18, 2006People who know me understand that I am not a veggie eater. If it’s green, I have a hard time eating it. With that said, I want to show you veggie eaters how to prepare Broccoli on a George Foreman Grill. Please don’t try this if I ever come to visit.

Cut the Broccoli into small pieces.
Cover with Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
Place on preheated grill and cook for about 10-12 minutes.You can also try cooking veggies right after cooking a hamburger. The juices from the burger make a great seasoning for veggies.Post a CommentRead More »

How to Have Beautiful Skin

ByMichael McCarty-August 17, 2006Everyone wants to have smooth and beautiful skin. You can achieve this by gathering the following ingredients, which you can easily find in your cupboard.

For a body soak


2 cups of lemon juice
2 tbsp. of cinnamon (to add an aroma)
2-4 tbsp. of olive oil
1/2 cup of milk
Water (any amount)

Prepare your body soak. Mix together the lemon juice, cinnamon, olive oil and milk.
Pour the ingredients into a bathtub.
Mix everything well with bath water.
Relax and enjoy the aroma while obtaining smooth and beautiful skin.

For a foot soak


1 cup of lemon juice
1 tbsp. of cinnamon (to add an aroma)
1-2 tbsp. of olive oil
1/4 cup of milk
1 foot file
Water (any amount)

Prepare your foot soak. Mix together the lemon Juice, cinnamon, olive oil and milk.
Pour the ingredients into a tub large enough to fit your feet into.
Combine everything with warm water – the amount doesn’t matter.
Soak your feet for 15 minutes.
Gently use the foot file to eliminate any dry or dead skin.
Soak again for 10 more mi…Post a CommentRead More »

Pirate Memory Audio Game

ByMichael McCarty-August 17, 2006Shiver me timbers! You don’t look like one of those lilly livered land-lovers, so get ye prepared for meeting zippy PIRATES from the High Seas. Are you Ready for new adventures?Addictive, Simple and original, the Pirate Memory Audio GAME is sure to WIN your HEART and is a great GIFT for any BLIND FRIEND. It is a variant of the classic Memory game. You play in THREE exceptional auditory surroundings: on the pier, at the seaside and in the sea. In each of them, you will enjoy 12 levels of the game, which make altogether thirty six audio puzzles.You can play with pirates from all over the globe and find your best results in the Pirate World’s Hall of Fame on the internet.

You will find more info about the Pirate Memory Audio Game at: a CommentRead More »

Keep Smoke Out of Your Face with This Grill Fan

ByMichael McCarty-August 17, 2006You love to grill. Sometimes you need to lean down closer to the grill to see what’s going on with your food. Who wants all that smoke in their face while trying to find something that’s rolled away?This handy portable fan is 6″ in diameter and uses 4 AAA batteries (all included) to provide breezes and cooling air anywhere. Aim the fan over the grill and blow the smoke away! Energy efficient, typical battery life is 4-5 hours continuous, a whole summer with intermittent on/off operation.Clip onto any shelf up to 1″ thick and bend the gooseneck to the desired angle. Stainless steel housing and mounting clip, useable rain or shine.

Click this link to purchase a Grill Fan from a CommentRead More »

How to Bottle Feed A Baby

ByMichael McCarty-August 17, 2006There will come a time when you’ll have to bottle feed a child. Do you know what to do? Many bottle feeding problems are directly related to the lack of technique employed by the caregiver. What seems to be insignificant details can actually impacton how a baby feeds. A lack of expertise can lead to stress on the baby and therefore she may not be getting all the nutrition she needs.Testing the temperature of the milk is vital. Shake the bottle well and put a little of the milk on the inner side of your wrist. It should feel slightly warm but never hot. We’ve all seen this iconic image many times, from family, friends or on television but it really is still the best way of testing for the optimal temperature of bottle milk. If the milk is less than body temperature the baby may feel disinclined to drink it. If the milk is too hot there is a risk of injuring the baby’s mouth and gullet.Feeding a child can take a long time so you should find a sitting position that is c…Post a CommentRead More »

Transfer Food with PrepTaxi

ByMichael McCarty-August 16, 2006Eliminate messy spills and dropped foods. The PrepTaxi allows you to effortlessly scoop up and transfer up to 3 cups of sliced, diced and chopped vegetables, meats and poultry from cutting board to saute pan or bowl. The closed handle has an ergonomic design for total hand comfort.

Size: 6″ x 6″ x 1.25″
Materials: Stainless Steel
Cleaning and Care: Dishwasher safe

Click this link to purchase PrepTaxi from commentRead More »

Arrow Through Your Documents

ByMichael McCarty-August 15, 2006Here’s a cool little arrow trick to try with word processing programs. Next time you’re using your arrow keys to go from one area of a sentence to another (left and right arrows), hold down your CTRL key. Instead of moving one space at a time, you’ll go one word at a time. If you’re using the up and down arrows to go from line to line, holding down the CTRL key will make your cursor jump from paragraph to paragraph (well, from carriage return to carriage return anyway).Post a CommentRead More »


ByMichael McCarty-August 15, 2006Think quick. Move fast. Play hard.That’s the qualities you’ll have to have if you want to become a first-class goalball player. Goalball is a quick-paced, sometimes bruising, but always exciting sport that’s catching on with blind, visually impaired and sighted players around the world. If you like fun, fast-action and making friends, there’s a good chance goalball will catch on with you. Goalball has been a fixture at the Paralympics since the 1976 games in Toronto. It has its own governing body: The International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA). It also has a dedicated group of players and fans: By the IBSA’S best estimate, goalball is played in more than 85 countries worldwide.So what’s Goalball got going for it that makes it better than your favorite computer game? Plenty.Goalball is Easy to Learn:Goalball is a contest between two teams of five players each. During play, only three players from each team (a center and two wings) can be on the court. …Post a CommentRead More »

Robot rabbit reads RSS feeds

ByMichael McCarty-August 15, 2006This plastic rabbit uses a Wi-Fi connection and text-to-speech software to read RSS feeds, e-mails and weather reports out loud. The Nabaztag rabbit is available for purchase in the U.S. from, or directly from While the Nabaztag will work with any Wi-Fi network, it does need to be plugged into an electrical outlet for power. Once the Nabaztag rabbit is connected, its owner registers it online, gives it an official name, and chooses one of the subscription services designed to work with it. Basic services–an alarm-clock feature, weather reports, stock updates and e-mail alerts–are free. Premium services, such as reading e-mails and RSS feeds or playing MP3s, range in price from $5 to about $7.50 a month. Owners specify the time of day they would like the Nabaztag to “come to life.” They also determine whether e-mails or RSS feeds are read as they are received or at certain times of day. The device can be set to simply light up when new feed…Post a CommentRead More »

How to Play Penny Pitch

ByMichael McCarty-August 15, 2006Are you looking for games that all your children can play? Do you want to insure that the playing field is even for your visually impaired children as well as the sighted?Here’s a great game that everyone can play, even if you have to blindfold the sighted children to even things up a little. Please note: Supervision is required for young children due to the use of small items that could be swallowed.Use large muffin tins as game boards and have children pitch pennies into the muffin cups. There are different ways to play and keep score.

Game #1

Set the muffin tin down lengthwise and have two children stand a slight distance from it.

Give them each the same number of pennies.

Have them take turns tossing pennies into the muffin cups. Award a certain number of points for each cup. For example, award one point for the nearest cup, two for the next, etc. The child with the highest score wins.

Game #2

Have children line up and take individual turns tossing pennies into the pan (or set…Post a CommentRead More »

Knitting With 2 Circular Needles

ByMichael McCarty-August 15, 2006By Paulette VickeryI love knitting with 2 circular needles rather than using double pointed needles. Once you get the hang of it, the technique is much easier, less complicated and your stitches never fall off the needles. Plus, you never have a short little needle get lost in the innerds of a couch or chair or go rolling merrily across the floor, always managing to stay just out of reach. Let me explain how to do it with a simple set of step by step instructions that will remove all of the confusion from the learning process. But first, take time to settle yourself in your favorite knitting chair with a glass of your favorite libation near at hand. Being comfortable while learning is just as important as the learning process itself. I know that I always learn best when I am relaxed and comfortable. Now, let’s do it! So we are all working on the same project, so to speak, let’s talk about finishing a simple hat which has been knit in the round, using a circular needle. Whe…Post a CommentRead More »

How to Fix Bacon in A George Foreman Grill

ByMichael McCarty-August 14, 2006The George Foreman grill is one of the best kitchen appliances for someone who is blind or visually impaired. I personally love these things and cook a variety of meals with the ones that we have. It does a great job cooking chicken breasts, pork chops and hamburgers. George Foreman grills can also do up some great tasting bacon. Follow these steps and you’ll have breakfast in minutes.

Start with 1/4 slab of bacon.
Preheat George Foreman grill.
Place partial slab of bacon on grill (no need to separate slices).
Grill 3 to 4 minutes.
Open grill and flip bacon.
Close grill and cook until desired crispness.Make sure your drip tray is in place at the front of the grill.Be careful not to put too much bacon in the grill at one time.Post a CommentRead More »

How to Make a Grilled Cheese Sandwich in a George Foreman Grill

ByMichael McCarty-August 14, 2006The George Foreman grill is one of the best kitchen appliances for someone who is blind or visually impaired. I personally love these things and cook a variety of meals with the ones that we have. It does a great job cooking chicken breasts, pork chops and hamburgers. George Foreman grills aren’t just for meat, they also make awesome grilled cheese sandwiches. Follow these steps and you’ll have a great snack in minutes.

Get out the bread, cheese and a plate to set the sandwich on when you’re done.

Plug in the George Foreman Grill.

Wait while the grill gets hot.

Butter one side of each piece of bread if you like to use butter. (This will be the side that is facing outward.)

Put the cheese between the bread with the non-buttered side touching the cheese.

Once grill is hot, open it up and put in the sandwich.

Check on the sandwich every few minutes so it won’t burn.

When the sandwich is browned unplug the grill and let it cool.

After a minute or so, take out sandwich, put it o…Post a CommentRead More »

The Children’s Toy and Bottle Germ Sanitizer

ByMichael McCarty-August 11, 2006As parents, we want to keep the world around our little ones as clean as possible. It’s not an easy job! Children lick and spit on everything! How are we supposed to keep germs and other nasties away from them?The Children’s Toy and Bottle Germ Sanitizer is an antimicrobial sanitizer that uses dry heat up to 165 F to eliminate up to 99.9% of germs in 30 minutes, including influenza, pneumococcus, staphylococcus, E.coli, and salmonella, for baby items such as bottles, small toys, or pacifiers. Although this device kills deadly germs, the heat won’t shrink or fade colorful fabrics or melt plastic and rubber, and it operates without chemicals. Automatically shuts off at the end of a sanitizing cycle. You don’t have to worry about steam! Measures: 7 1/2″ L x 8 1/2″ W x 8″ H. (4 1/2 lbs.)

Click this link to purchase The Children’s Toy and Bottle Germ Sanitizer from Hammacher Schlemmer.Post a CommentRead More »

Tick Twister

ByMichael McCarty-August 11, 2006I’ve always had dog guides that love the outdoors. Naturally being black labs, they love the water. It’s easy for them to get the occasional tick. Have you ever tried to remove one of these little pests? Tweezers are usually the gadget for the job but you risk tearing the skin, leaving part of the tick or accidently poking your pet or guide in the eye.The Tick Twister is an easy-to-use tick remover that is safe and effective. Specially designed notch grabs tick at skin level and removes it completely in one motion. Bowl-shaped end securely contains the tick for easy disposal. Helps reduce risk of disease. Veterinarian and physician endorsed. It works well on people too.

Click this link to purchase a Tick Twister from a CommentRead More »

Access Invaders

ByMichael McCarty-August 11, 2006Do you remember playing Space Invaders? Did you have it on your old ATARI 2600? I can remember my visually impaired friends gathering around the floor model TV to play. We’d play that thing for hours! We sometimes felt bad for our friends who were totally blind. They could shoot at things and move the joystick back and forth, but it wasn’t the same as actually being able to see the screen.That’s why I’m so excited about accessible games. There are lots of titles that blind and visually impaired people can now choose from. But what about people with other disabilities? What games do they play? Wouldn’t it be great to have one game that we all could play? Access Invaders is an accessible alternative to the retro arcade game we all know and love.Access Invaders is a fully-functional game, developed by the Human-Computer Interaction Laboratory of ICS-FORTH in close cooperation with the Centre for Universal Access & Assistive Technologies, in the context…Post a CommentRead More »

Amblyopia: What is it?

ByMichael McCarty-August 10, 2006What Is Amblyopia?Amblyopia, also known as “lazy eye,” is reduced vision – uncorrectable with lenses – in an eye that has not received adequate use during early childhood. There is no visible anatomical defect.Amblyopia has many causes. Most often it results from either a misalignment of a child’s eyes, such as crossed eyes (strabismus), or a difference in image quality between the two eyes (one eye focusing better than the other, also known as anisometropia). In both cases, one eye becomes stronger, suppressing the image of the other eye. If this condition is not treated in early childhood, the weaker eye may become permanently impaired. With early diagnosis, amplyopia can be treated and loss of vision prevented.

What Are the Different Types of Amblyopia?Strabismic amblyopia and anisometropic amblyopia are the two most common types. In strabismic amblyopia, the child has strabismus and the eyes are not aligned correctly so that one eye sees a different image from the o…Post a CommentRead More »More postsPowered by Blogger

About Fred’s Head

Welcome to the APH Blog, also known as Fred’s Head! This is where you’ll find information on new products, APH events and new developments in the field of blindness.


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Alison Currey
Being a Literature Students she loves to write and always kept working for the society and who really need a hand. Apart from writing she is an excellent singer herself. Have found her either reading or drawing in her free time. An inspiring personality you may want to follow at FredForum here.

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