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Technology in Orientation and Mobility

2015-05-08 Technology in Orientation and Mobility A question came in about how technology is used during Orientation and Mobility lessons and I had so much fun typing the E-mail response I thought I share it as a blog post. There are so very many options today in terms of technology, but the basics of life shared in the terrific book Finding Wheels are still as relevant today as ever. The foundation of travel and getting where you want to go is enhanced by technologies but one still needs that special gray matter between the ears, a white cane or guide dog if non-visual or partial visual travel skills are needed, and a healthy serving of common sense. That being said, on with the toys : ) The Trekker Breeze is quite familiar to most folks as an accessible GPS solution that is on the verge of getting much, much better. HumanWare...
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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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Mixing O&M, Technology, and the Expanded Core Curriculum

Mixing O&M, Technology, and the Expanded Core Curriculum Here are some suggestions for using apps for each area of the Expanded Core Curriculum (ECC) as part of orientation and mobility lessons, and also a brief description of an option for a GPS app, BlindSquare. So, without further ado, here goes... Compensatory Skills: Braille Touch is an app that allows six finger entry of text into the iPhone and can be used for route directions, grocery lists, phone numbers, etc. Compensatory Skills are clearly represented in this activity, and rather than the Orientation and Mobility Specialist “Teaching Braille”, they merely encouraging the generalization of the student’s already developed braille skills for use in the community, without having to bring a Perkins Brailler to the grocery store. Recreation and Leisure: Geocaching is a fun activity that can be made accessible with GPS apps, such as BlindSquare. This is a great example of a mainstream...
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Scholarships for Space Camp

I am very excited to tell you about this amazing opportunity for students throughout the world.  In cooperation with Space Camp and SCIVIS, the St. Louis Lighthouse for the Blind is offering full scholarships and transportation assistance to children of unique cultural diversity to attend SCIVIS 2014. The link below will give you the details of the scholarship program.  http://www.tsbvi.edu/space/lighthouse.htm  Please send this out to all of your listserves and fellow professionals around the world.  SCIVIS 2014, our 25th Anniversary, should prove to be an exciting year!  Dan Oates, Coordinator Space Camp for Interested Visually Impaired Students (SCIVIS) http://www.tsbvi.edu/space SCIVIS videos are on You Tube! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wiINS7NS6YE http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X_AaCnDvHRQ Sharon Nichols
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Guitar Braille Music Blog

In case you student(s) wants to learn how to play guitar, there is a blog called "Guitar Music in Braille."  Tina Davidson, a certified Braille Music Transcriber, a rare bird by the way, has done a wonderful job digging up and creating information related to Guitar braille music.  Take a gander if interested.  The web address is:  http://www.guitarbraille.blogspot.com
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Lesson Plan Template for the Expanded Core Curriculum and National Agenda

This came across a TVI listserv in West Virginia; posted by Trina Britcher. It’s definitely worth sharing. I wanted to share with you a link to a lesson plan template for the Expanded Core Curriculum and National Agenda that is on the Harrison County Schools website. This is much more relevant to our profession than templates based on the Common Core. You are free to access and use it if you would like. http://wvschools.com/harrisoncounty/lpt/visiontemplate.xls The nine areas of the expanded core are in capital letters. If you click in the white space below the broad area, a drop down menu will show which lists a variety of goals. These were taken from the Iowa document and used in West Virginia with the permission of Karen Blankenship. The remaining four blanks can be personalized to meet the teacher's needs. Simple and easy. Just what I like:) Our computer guru, Janet Benicosa, was...
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