WGBH Helps You Find Movies on DVD with Audio Description

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WGBH Helps You Find Movies on DVD with Audio Description

ByMichael McCarty-April 30, 2010Sony Pictures Home Entertainment announced in the fall of 2009 that it would include the descriptive narration track created for theatrical release in theaters equipped with WGBH’s MoPix systems on DVD and Blu-Ray versions of those films. Universal Pictures has committed to the same practice.Now, WGBH has created a page on their website with links to mainstream movies that have been released on DVD with descriptive narration and captioning. Most of the titles are also available on Blu-ray with access features. All can be purchased wherever DVDs are sold, or by following the provided links to the product on Amazon.com.WGBH’s Media Access Group is an Amazon Associate, which means that when you click through their site to purchase movies from Amazon, they receive a small portion (4%) of the revenue. As a nonprofit organization addressing media access barriers of all kinds, I know they would appreciate the financial support you would be providing through your purchases.

Click t…Post a CommentRead More »

UnknownDevices: Recognize Hardware When Device Manager Can’t

ByMichael McCarty-April 30, 2010When Windows’ Device Manager just can’t seem to give you information about a piece of hardware, free, open-source utility UnknownDevices will point you in the right direction, allowing you to find the necessary drivers to get it up and running.Generally, when you install a new device, you know what it is and where to find drivers, but if you’ve just done a clean install of Windows, for example, it can be difficult or time-consuming to determine what your many “unknown” devices in Device Manager actually are. Luckily, UnknownDevices is a portable app that can quickly give you more information about the manufacturer and model of those unknown devices to help you on your hunt for the necessary drivers.UnknownDevices is a free download, Windows only.

Click this link to download or learn more about UnknownDevices.Post a CommentRead More »

TinyEyes: Discover How Your Baby Sees the World

ByMichael McCarty-April 29, 2010Have you ever wondered how baby sees the world? Many people believe that babies see in black and white, while other people think they don’t see at all. Fortunately, TinyEyes is a simple online image manipulation tool that simulates what a baby sees during the different stages of their development.To use TinyEyes, click the “Try it!” link at the top section of the homepage. You can select the age of the child’s vision that you want to see from the drop-down menu. You can also enter the viewing distance in inches.Once set, upload an image file from your computer and hit the “Run Tinyeyes!” button. The original image and the image as seen by the child will appear side by side.TinyEyes can process most images but recommends using PNG or JPEG formats for faster conversions. This is a fun app for new parents to know what their baby is exactly seeing.

Click this link to visit the How Baby See website at http://www.tinyeyes.com/tinyeyes/index.php.Post a CommentRead More »

Keep Your Children Safe with K9 Web Protection

ByMichael McCarty-April 28, 2010K9 Web Protection is a FREE Internet filtering and control solution for the home. K9 puts YOU in control of the Internet so you can protect your children. You can configure the software to block or allow categories of websites or enter specific URLs to be blocked.For parents who are blind or visually impaired, K9 lets you know when your child has tried to visit a protected site by playing a barking sound when the blocked website screen appears. You’ll instantly know when something’s going on by the K9 sound effect.The interface is web-based, so everything’s accessible for those using a screen reader. I really like this software and use it in my home with my two teen-age sons.Installation is very easy. Start by heading to the website and clicking on “Download K9 today for free.”Next you are given some instructions and a short form to fill out. You need to give your name and email address so they can send you a license key. Don’t worry because even though you will…Post a CommentRead More »

Is There an Age Limit?

ByMichael McCarty-April 28, 2010by Donna J. JodhanFor some time now, I have wanted to write about this but for some reason I have put off doing it because I wanted to make sure that I am not the only one who thinks this way. I have heard from many with their similar experiences so I know now that I am not the only one and for once in my life, my imagination has not gotten the better of me. What am I focusing on today you may be asking? Well, here is the question of the day. Is there an age limit when it comes to how doctors view their patients? I mean: Does a doctor’s attitude change towards their patients as they grow older? I used to think not but after some time of pondering this and hearing from others, I have to say that sadly! The answer may be a yes. In the city of Toronto where I live, there are doctors who seem to believe that treatments for their older patients may not be needed or necessary because of their age. I have personally heard of doctors telling some of their senior patients thi…1 commentRead More »

My Mission with a Passion

ByMichael McCarty-April 28, 2010by Donna J. JodhanWhen I lost my vision a little over six years ago, I decided that I would follow through on a commitment that I made to myself up until then. A commitment that I had made to myself but never really did much about. A commitment that I made shortly after graduating from university so many years ago. When I lost my vision, I decided that it was time to start making my commitment worth something. I decided that I would work to help ensure the future of blind and visually impaired kids. I would work with others to ensure that they could claim their rightful inheritance. I would work with others to ensure that governments and society as a whole would become more aware of the rights of blind and visually impaired persons. Too many times, both government and society fail to realize that we have rights like anyone else. That it is our God given right to be able to access any and everything that mainstream persons can access. It is definitely not a nice to have t…Post a CommentRead More »

Five Foods That Sabotage Sleep

ByMichael McCarty-April 28, 2010Many blind and visually impaired people have unusual sleep patterns. If you’re having trouble sleeping, what about a midnight snack? Think twice. Here are five foods that can prevent you from getting a good night’s rest.Preserved and smoked meats. Slap your hand away when it reaches to make a ham sandwich as an evening snack. Ham, bacon, sausages and smoked meats contain high levels of the amino acid tyramine, which triggers the brain to release norepinephrine, a brain stimulant that makes us feel alert and wired.
Chocolate. Love an evening cup of cocoa? That sundae in front of the TV? Be careful of chocolate in all its disguises. Many people are increasingly sensitive to caffeine as they get older, and even the little chocolate chunks in chocolate chip ice cream could zap you just enough to prevent ZZZZs. Chocolate also contains tyrosine, a stimulating amino acid.
Energy drinks. Red Bull and other energy drinks are high in caffeine as well as the amino acid taurine, which bo…Post a CommentRead More »

Take The AdOut

ByMichael McCarty-April 28, 2010Here’s a very simple and effective tool. Type in a URL and get a link via their site to the appropriate page, which is then advertisement free. Great if you want to link to resources that sometimes do the scantily clad women dating agency thing, but the content is otherwise great. May not work 100% of the time but certainly worth trying.

Click this link to visit http://adout.org.Post a CommentRead More »

The National Arts and Disability Center List Serv

ByMichael McCarty-April 27, 2010As a National Arts and Disability Center list serv member, you can post messages to a national group of artists, professionals, and others interested in the arts and disability field. We encourage you to share events, news, and resources about careers in the arts.

To join, go to http://lists.ucla.edu/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/nadc.The mission of the NADC is to promote the full inclusion of audiences and artists with disabilities into all facets of the arts community. You can learn more about the NADC at http://nadc.ucla.edu or search for us on FaceBook.

Beth Stoffmacher
Data Coordinator
Tarjan Center
National Arts and Disability Center
Semel Institute
760 Westwood Plaza, Suite 67-467
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1759
Phone: 310 825-5054
Email: bstoffmacher@mednet.ucla.eduPost a CommentRead More »

Kids Audio Stories

ByMichael McCarty-April 23, 2010I remember, as a student at the Kentucky School for the Blind, that our library had tons of audio books on cassette. They weren’t Talking Books necessarily, just audio books on standard cassettes. Teachers could use them in the classroom or we could come into the library and listen to them during a time when a teacher was out or we found ourselves with some extra time. I was happy to find a website with audio books for children, it reminded me of my library time at KSB.The stories on this site were originally published in Braille and were distributed as cassettes included. They are now being released as CD’s and MP3s. The site, http://www.kidsaudiostories.com , focuses on assisting children in coping with fundamental life skills, through entertaining audio stories. The children find the adventures filled with music and sound effects entertaining and parents love the message they send to their children.One To Grow On audio stories are designed to be fun for children w…Post a CommentRead More »

woices.com: Location-Based Audioguides

ByMichael McCarty-April 22, 2010Here’s a fun resource and website to visit where you can create audio walks around places, add in a map, append a photograph, using an iPhone etc. Great for educational use, though the strength or weakness lies in the person creating the walk of course.Woices is a FREE internet service that allows people to create, share and consume echoes, audio records that are linked to a very specific geographical location or real-world object. Woices ultimate goal is to extend reality by creating a new layer of audio information, what we call the echoesphere, that will make the world a more interesting place.Users with an account can group some of their echoes and create a walk. A walk is a collection of related echoes, usually geographically close so that they can be listened in sucession (during a ‘walk’). Walks are dynamic since users can keep adding or removing echoes from their walks.Echoes are words, left by one person at some precise place, that can be later listened to b…Post a CommentRead More »

Can’t Find Your Cat? This Device Can Help

ByMichael McCarty-April 22, 2010Cats aren’t like our dog guides at all, where the latter are more obedient, returning upon your recall command without wandering off in their pursuit of happiness. Cats on the other hand, have a strong mind of their own, often doing what they want without your consent or approval.Have you ever needed to find your cat and find that they go out of their way to insure you aren’t going to administer their monthly flea spray or put them in a room for the night?The Lost Feline Locator can help you keep tabs on Garfield. A homing tag is attached to his collar while a credit card sized handset will broadcast a radio frequency that penetrates walls, doors, and furniture to locate the tag. There are eight LEDs and a tone that help guide you in the direction of your cat. In order to make the task easier, the audible tone becomes louder as you home in on your feline friend, but be aware that you are tracking a moving target. TheLost Feline Locator has a working range of at least 200 feet…Post a CommentRead More »

Want to Teach the Blind?

ByMichael McCarty-April 22, 2010If you’re interested in learning how to become a teacher of blind students, or if you’re wondering if this career choice is for you, then the National Federation of the Blind has a site for you! They have developed a one-stop resource on teaching blind students to provide you information about this highly rewarding career. With 90% of blind children not being taught Braille, a 45% high school graduation rate for blind students, and a whopping 70% unemployment rate amongst working age blind adults, the time to make a difference is here!Would you like to help others find out about this rewarding career? You can join their Teacher Recruitment Network. Prospective teachers or teacher candidates can learn about how the Teacher of Tomorrow Incentive Program can help you! Apply today to be part of their Teacher of Tomorrow Cohort program. Current teachers, paraprofessionals, orientation and mobility instructors, and Program administrators, can join their Teach for Independence Network …Post a CommentRead More »

Doctor, I’m Seeing Spots

ByMichael McCarty-April 21, 2010by Laura LegendaryA Braille labeler is one of those devices that can be easily overlooked or dismissed in favor of other, more exciting gadgets. However, a Braille labeler is not only a great tool for helping you to become better organized, it can be a great way to quickly learn Braille. If you have learned to read Braille, then you probably have one of these handy little tools already. If you don’t read Braille, this labeler can be a fun tool that may motivate you to learn. Braille really isn’t that difficult, and one of the best ways to learn Braille, in my opinion, is to use it everyday on everyday things. You will learn much more quickly to recognize the dot patterns when you already know what the item is that you are trying to identify. For example, if you are using a Braille label to mark a can of peas, and you know that when you go grocery shopping you typically buy canned peas, carrots and green beans, it will be fairly easy to figure out that four Braille cha…Post a CommentRead More »

APHont For Low Vision Readers

ByMichael McCarty-April 21, 2010These days, people with low vision have more and more material to read. As our population of senior citizens grows, information previously available only in small print is now commonly prepared in large print. We need to pay attention to how we format material, whether in hard copy or electronic media, to give readers with low vision optimum comfort and greater efficiency. Studies by Drs. Mansfield, Legge, and Bane at the University of Minnesota show that certain fonts provide significant advantages to readers who have low vision, as well as to those with normal vision. These researchers tested readers using fixed-width fonts, variable-width fonts (proportional), serif (with tails and curlicues) and sans serif fonts to see how they affected reading speeds and acuities. They found that people with low vision had higher reading speeds and better reading acuities when they used sans serif fonts with fixed width. Although differences in speed and acuities were smaller than for the low-vis…Post a CommentRead More »

The Priority Barrier

ByMichael McCarty-April 21, 2010by Donna J. JodhanI don’t think that fellow vision impaired persons would be too shocked to hear mme ask this question: Is there a priority barrier in the midst of our society? What exactly am I talking about? It is this: Do we face a priority barrier because of our blindness? A question that continues to haunt me and one that I hear several others asking on a continual basis. Whenever a doctor says things like “Well, why should you be concerned with this because you can’t see it anyway” it leaves me to wonder. Whenever a doctor deliberately turns away from me and chooses to speak to the person accompanying me, it makes me wonder if they just can’t be bothered to speak to me because in their eyes I am either not much of a priority or they do not believe that I can understand what they are saying. Whenever a customer service person tells me that it is just too costly to send me my statements or other information in an alternate format, it sure makes m…Post a CommentRead More »

Create a Simple Web Page from Email and Share It Within Seconds

ByMichael McCarty-April 21, 2010Posterous is almost certainly the quickest way to create a web page and get it online. Post a simple text message, or include additional content such as an MP3 file or a picture. Unlike traditional blogging and publishing services, such as Blogger or FaceBook, you don’t even need to sign up for an account.Think of something to say, then email it to post@posterous.com. Within a few seconds, you’ll receive a reply telling you the address of your published page. Click on the link, and it’s there for you (and the world) to see. It really is that easy. Web publishing doesn’t get easier, or quicker, than this. If you want to show your holiday photos to family or colleagues, or publish the agenda for your next club meeting, this is the simplest way to do it. Initially your published page will be given a unique URL, albeit not a particularly friendly or memorable one. It can be changed, just view the page and click on the button to “claim the account”. Yo…Post a CommentRead More »

Are We The Same Because We’re Blind?

ByMichael McCarty-April 20, 2010by Donna J. Jodhan One of the most embarrassing mistakes that mainstream folks tend to make is this one: They seem to think that all Blind persons are the same; they look the same, walk the same, and even speak the same. Most of them even have guide dogs! A few years ago, a lady at work told me that she had seen me walking along the hallway and I seemed to be lost. She went on to say that when she approached me to render assistance, I rebuffed her and she wanted to know why. She even accused me of being rude. I was quite taken aback and started to rack my brain trying to recall my whereabouts on that day. I became quite perplexed and concerned because almost all of the time, I go to great lengths to ensure that I am polite to anyone offering assistance to me. After a minute or so, I asked to describe my physical attributes and what I was wearing that day. I will hasten to add that this conversation took place over the phone. Just imagine my surprise when she told me th…Post a CommentRead More »

NIB and the Ballpoint Pen

ByMichael McCarty-April 19, 2010The basic ballpoint pen stamped with “U.S. Government” is a work day staple for millions of military personnel and federal employees. The pen consists of seven different parts and meets 16 pages of military specifications, including that it be able to write for a mile with no fading or smudging and withstand extreme heat and cold.For more than 40 years, standard black pens have cluttered the desksof thousands of federal employees, hung on a chain at post offices across the country and slipped into the pockets of countless military personnel. Yet few have realized that this government-issue pen has a history to rival that of any monument. Blindworkers assemble the pens in factories in Wisconsin and North Carolina under the brand name Skilcraft as part of a 72-year-old legislative mandate. The original 16-page specifications for the pen are still in force: It must be able to write continuously for a mile and in temperatures up to 160 degrees and down to 40 degrees below zero…Post a CommentRead More »

Webster’s New World Large Print Dictionary

ByMichael McCarty-April 19, 2010Easy to read, authoritative, and up to date No more struggling with the fine print, thanks to the Webster’s New World Large Print Dictionary, which has all the outstanding features of other Webster’s New World dictionaries. More than 60,000 entries, including all the current vocabulary needed for everyday use
Technical, scientific, cultural, business, and professional terms
Clear, highly readable type
Foreign words and phrases often used in English
Biographical and geographical entries conveniently included in the main A—Z section
Etymologies — word histories that add depth and historical context to the understanding of a word
Appendix with weights and measures, U.S. and Canadian data, U.S. presidents, and books of the BibleWith all this information presented in highly readable type, this is the one large print dictionary that you can’t afford to be without. From the Inside Flap”Based on the unique Webster’s New World database, the most up-to-date authority on current America…Post a CommentRead More »

Website Shows How a Disability Can Save You Money

ByMichael McCarty-April 19, 2010After raising three children, David Squar and his wife were about to downsize and buy a smaller home.Looking over the real estate contract, Squar noticed a question in “tiny type” asking whether the house was being purchased to accommodate a disabled person.The answer was yes. Squar’s wife has multiple sclerosis, and they planned to remodel their new home to make it wheelchair-accessible.Checking the box, it turned out, saves the couple about $1,200 a year in property taxes.Not even Squar, a longtime escrow agent, had been aware of the discount, which made him wonder if there were other discounts he had overlooked.As a result of his research, Squar launched http://www.disableddiscounts.com, which lists more than 30 types of discounts for the disabled in 50 states, including property tax relief, federal and state income tax disability deductions, and utility discounts. Members pay $25 a year per state for access to the information.

Click this link to visit http:/…Post a CommentRead More »

Seven Tips To Help Cope With Vision Loss

ByMichael McCarty-April 19, 2010Dealing with vision loss is challenging. For people with glaucoma, macular degeneration, or another vision problem, low-vision aids can help optimize remaining vision and improve the ability to perform daily activities. Some examples of low-vision aids are telescopes, closed-circuit televisions (a small television camera is mounted on a movable tray; documents or other objects are moved under the camera and viewed on a small monitor), magnifying glasses, clocks and phones with large numbers, and large-print reading materials. Telescopes and closed-circuit televisions require an evaluation and prescription from an eye care professional as well as training in how to use them.Many low-vision aids are available through low-vision clinics and low-vision rehabilitation services. Researchers are also testing implantation of a miniature telescope into damaged eyes.Mild vision impairment has little effect on day-to-day activities, but moderate to severe vision impairment can make it diff…Post a CommentRead More »

Google Helps You Find Followers on Twitter

ByMichael McCarty-April 16, 2010In the beginning, there was a Twitter suggested users list. Now Twitter lists interesting users by category, which makes it much easier to find cool people to follow who are into the same things that you are . . . if you don’t mind sifting through all the lists, that is. Thankfully, there’s an alternative that will help streamline the following process. Google rolled out Follow Finder, a site that uses your followers and followees to introduce you to more Twitterers. Just enter your Twitter name, and Follow Finder will create a list of people you might like and other users who are following the same people you are. It’s a good way to expand your Twitter horizons and beef up your own follow list!

Click this link and find new friends on Twitter: http://www.followfinder.googlelabs.com.Post a CommentRead More »

Labeling Controls On Household Appliances Using Braille

ByMichael McCarty-April 15, 2010ImageLabeling the controls on some household appliances may prove helpful. Many modern microwaves have no tactilely detectable buttons. Here Braille labels can serve a dual purpose: not only do they help to locate the function keys, they also identify them. Even if appliances have tactile controls, it may still prove useful to label some of them, especially if you do not want to make the effort to remember many different settings. Thus you may wish to attach Dymo tape labels to your dishwasher, your washing machine, and your dryer. These labels are especially helpful with the type of washing machines, which use a dial to select different wash cycles. You can use little triangle-shaped Dymo tape arrows to point to the beginnings of various stages and place some identifying letters or words nearby. You will probably not need or want to label every single appliance in your home, especially those that you are already familiar with or others, which are simple to use. But, on the other hand, do …Post a CommentRead More »

Louis Database of Accessible Materials for People Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired

ByMichael McCarty-April 15, 2010ImageProduced and maintained by the American Printing House for the Blind (APH), the Louis Database of Accessible Materials for People Who are Blind or Visually Impaired contains complete bibliographic and location information for more than 163,000 titles of accessible materials from over 200 agencies throughout the United States. These items include books in braille, large print, sound recording, and computer file; braille music; and American Printing House for the Blind (APH) products. Louis is updated daily and is searchable free via the APH website. Persons without Internet access who require reference assistance can contact APH using its toll free number.

Click this link to visit the American Printing House for the Blind home page: http://www.aph.org.Post a CommentRead More »

How to Order a Subway Sandwich

ByMichael McCarty-April 14, 2010ImageHow to Order a Subway Sandwichfrom wikiHow – The How to Manual That You Can Edit
Ordering a sandwich from Subway can be more complicated than the average person would think. There are certain steps that need to be looked at to get that perfect sub. Steps Decide before you approach the counter what type of bread, meat, and veggie you want. Do not wait until coming to the front of the line to begin deciding. If you are unsure, allow others to order first. Ask any questions you have before beginning the order process. Tell the staff the type of bread you would like (Italian, white, wheat, honey oat, Hearty Italian(sprinkled with cornmeal) or herbs and cheese) and if you would like a six inch or footlong. Keep in mind that if you are with a friend, you can buy a footlong sub and share it and still get more than enough to eat. Also available are flatbread and salads. Tell what type of sandwich you would like. If you don’t know the exact name, the staff can help determine wh…Post a CommentRead More »

Windows 7 and Vista Explained

ByMichael McCarty-April 14, 2010When I first started working with computers, DOS was the only operating system for PCs. As time passed, I began to understand that the world was moving over to Windows and that I would have to as well.It took some time for me to build up the courage to experiment with Windows, and with the help of a book called Windows 98 Explained I eventually did learn how to be productive in the Windows environment.If you are serious about learning Windows with your choice of assistive technology, I strongly suggest you purchase the updated book Windows 7 and Vista Explained, A guide for blind and partially sighted users. Award-winning and internationally renowned Dr. Sarah Morley Wilkins has been training Windows Concepts to blind and visually impaired users and their trainers since 1993, based on her highly successful Books and diagrams describing the fundamental concepts of Microsoft Windows to blind and visually impaired users.Her imaginative pioneering books and Training materials pr…Post a CommentRead More »

The Lady Vanishes with audio description and closed captions

ByMichael McCarty-April 14, 2010Stranded in an inn in the Eastern European dictatorship of Bandrika, pretty socialite Iris Henderson (Margaret Lockwood) makes friends with a sweet old governess, Miss Froy (May Witty) and makes enemies with a snotty young musician, Gilbert (Michael Redgrave). As they all board the London-bound train the next day, a blow to the head leaves Iris disoriented. After Miss Froy mysteriously disappears and the trains passengers and crew claim she never existed, Gilbert is the only one who doesnt think Iris is mad. Like all good Alfred Hitchcock films, this 1938 tale is full of entertaining twists. Watch for hilarious British dandies (and cricket fans) Caldicott and Charters, secondary characters who appeared in several other films.

CaptionMax is the world’s largest provider of quality audio description, closed captioning, and subtitling. Thanks for watching our fully accessible public domain movies. Be on the lookout for more to come and contact us if you have any suggestions.

Click this …Post a CommentRead More »

The Tangle Toy and Tangle Book Kit

ByMichael McCarty-April 13, 2010ImageWith its infinite knot shapes and variety of colors and textures, the Tangle Toy can be used in various forms to encourage a child to explore, move, and play. The Tangle Toy includes segments that feature bright, primary colors, and each color has its own unique texture. The curved segments may be combined to create contrasting sections which can be twisted and moved to provide a visually interesting object to help catch a child’s attention. For a child who is blind, the textures present a tactually interesting target. Because each colored segment has its own unique texture, activities which are generally focused on using specific colors are easily adapted for the child who is blind.

Tangle Book and Toy Kit (includes one large print guidebook and three Tangle Toys):
Catalog Number:1-08750-00

Optional Braille Guidebook:
Catalog Number: 5-08750-00

Replacement Large Print Guidebook:
Catalog Number: 7-08750-00
Click this link to purchase the Tangle Toy and Tangle Book Kit.

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Torsten Brand

ByMichael McCarty-April 13, 2010The following was posted to BlindBargains.com and is reposted here for your information. We’d like to thank BlindBargains.com for gathering the links at the end of this post.Torsten Brand, one of the most influencial men in the development of accessible cellular phone software, died on April 12, of complications from an operation. He was 45. Torsten attended Universität Hannover in Germany from 1984-1991. In 2002, he partnered with Marcus Groeber and founded Brand & Groeber Communications, which began development of screen reading technology for Nokia phones. In 2004, the startup was purchased by Scansoft, which later became Nuance.He served as the Product Manager for Mobile Applications at Nuance Communications Inc. until his untimely passing. He had most recently led the release of Talks version 5, supporting 5th edition Symbian-based cell phones including touchscreen models. He leaves behind 4 children. A post on the Handytech North America Twitter sums up the feelings o…Post a CommentRead More »

Learning Braille is Easier than You Think

ByMichael McCarty-April 13, 2010Learning Braille is Easier than You Think
By: Kathryn Aqua As the campers flocked to mail call, Holly heard her name and headed toward the sound of the voice. “Here you go, Holly! Put your hand out!” She stretched her hand forward and felt the soft, smooth paper envelope touch her skin. With a big grin, Holly tore open the envelope and pulled out a letter. After a week of camp, she had been feeling a little homesick and looking forward to a letter from home. She could not wait to know what her mom had to say. Sliding her fingertips across the paper, Holly’s face fell. The letter was print. She had known it would be print. Her parents did not know Braille. Even so, she hoped sometimes that maybe her mom would surprise her by learning. Now she would have to wait until someone could read the letter to her. Holly sighed. How she hated having to wait! She hated having a reader too. Sometimes her mom wrote private things in her letters and Holly felt embarrassed for another person to…Post a CommentRead More »

Human Sexuality Resources

ByMichael McCarty-April 13, 2010ImageHuman sexuality is an important topic that raises lots of questions with those individuals approaching adolescence.How do people have babies? How do I go about making friends and dating? What is menstruation? What are the differences between the male and female bodies? What is sexual intercourse?Unfortunately it is also a topic which many people feel uncomfortable addressing. And while sighted individuals may learn much about the physical characteristics of the opposite sex, appropriate and inappropriate sexual expression, and the act of having sex, by watching TV, movies, or the body language of their older peers, the blind and visually impaired need to learn these things in a “non-visual” way.In this record we will share some information and resources that may be very useful to you when trying to find ways to address this important topic as a parent, as a teacher, or as a friend of a person who is visually impaired.At the California Transcribers and Educators of t…Post a CommentRead More »

Find TV Episodes with Google

ByMichael McCarty-April 13, 2010Google expands their video search engine by adding a TV show filter that allows you to sort videos by season and episode. While YouTube and Hulu remain vastly popular, Google’s episode search yields surprisingly impressive results.Google Video doesn’t restrict the results to sites that are licensed to stream TV shows, so many videos come from a variety of sources, from Amazon’s Video on Demand service to Russian streaming sites (of questionable legitimacy). Unlike YouTube, which also has content restrictions, Google Video no longer has the option to play videos inline. For longer-running shows like Doctor Who and South Park, the episode search filter proves exceptionally useful.To use it, just perform your search at Google Video (http://video.google.com), then click the Episodes link in the search options sidebar. There’s even an option for finding captioned videos!

Article Source:
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Optical Braille Recognition: Read Braille with a standard scanner

ByMichael McCarty-April 13, 2010OBR – Optical Braille Recognition – is a Windows-based software package that allows you to “read” single and double sided Braille documents with a standard scanner. The retrieved information is presented as the text that can be used in all types of Windows applications.The Braille information in a small letter or a complete Braille Book can be retrieved into computer form in the same easy way, even if you do not read Braille at all.The recognition from a good quality Braille document is excellent. But even scanning an old worn-out Braille document, the fault frequency is surprisingly low. By using standard Windows functions your Braille handling system will be complete and effective.Everyone who works with Blind people and does not read Braille will benefit from using the OBR. For example: teachers who do not read Braille, public organisations communicating with Blind individuals and Computerised Braille Libraries.The scanning process is quick and simple. With just a…Post a CommentRead More »

Can We Keep Up with Technology?

ByMichael McCarty-April 12, 2010by Donna J. JodhanIt’s the story of our lives as blind and visually impaired persons. The constant struggle to keep up with technology is not going to change for the near or even distant future. True it is that there have been significant strides in the past two decades but it does not seem to be quite enough. When I look back to two decades ago, we were using the beginnings of screen reading technology to work in mainframe environments but since then we have seen the arrival of so many different types of screen reading software, magnifying software and hardware, and self voicing browsers. In the good old days technological barriers did not seem to be as important as they are today simply because technology over two decades ago was still very much in its infancy. Today however, the landscape has changed dramatically and everywhere we turn there seems to be technological barriers facing us. A little over two decades ago we did not have things to contend with such as the…Post a CommentRead More »

Vision Found and Vision Lost

ByMichael McCarty-April 12, 2010by Donna J. JodhanThere’s not many people who can say that they were lucky enough to have gained some vision after being born blind. This was the case for me as a teen and on a typical fall day my doctor in Montreal informed me that he could give me a corneal transplant in order to improve my vision. Even now after all of these years, my heart still beats like a jack hammer as I recall the memories of it all. True to his word, DR Joel Rosen of Montreal Canada delivered on his promise and three months after the transplant, my world had changed. Going from almost total darkness to sunshine was something that I will never forget. My world had suddenly exploded into a kaleidoscope of colors and I had found myself just literally wanting to see as much as I could. I felt like a kid in Wonderland! I could see people; my mom and dad and I will never forget the morning when I first discovered that I could see their faces. I rushed into the bathroom and as I gazed dazedly into th…Post a CommentRead More »

Blind Man Breaks Speed Racing Guinness World Record

ByMichael McCarty-April 12, 2010Turkish blind pop singer Metin Senturk has defied the odds by breaking the world speed record for driving by a visually-impaired person, according to Guinness World Records.Senturk reached a new record of 181.44 miles per hour, against the wind in his Ferrari F430, with a 600 horsepower engine. The event took place at the runway of an airport in the eastern Turkish town of Urfa.During the record attempt, Senturk was given verbal instructions by Volkan Isik, a former rally driver, who followed behind him in another car.Isik was Senturk’s eyes, yelling out directions to Senturk who was wearing an earpiece in his helmet as he drove. Senturk’s wife was present, watching her husband on the sidelines.Turkey’s famous blind singer, widely known for his sense of humor about his physical disability was officially recognized by Guinness as the Fastest Speed For a Car Driven Blindfolded or Blind. When asked how he felt about breaking the record, Senturk said, “I don’t…Post a CommentRead More »

Easy to See Balloons

ByMichael McCarty-April 07, 2010Regular old balloons are so last century; now there’s illuminated balloons. ILLoom Balloons are just like normal balloons except they have a pull tab at the bottom that activates an internal LED light to light up the balloon. The balloons will stay lit for up to 15 hours, come in 5 different colors and you can blow them up with either air or helium. They are available only in the UK for now.I’d be curious if these are any brighter or cooler looking than simply sticking a glowstick into a balloon? Well, it might be worth it for a child with low vision to enhance their seeing where the balloons are, and to help them have as much fun with them as their sighted friends.

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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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