Main content

Alert message

Alliance of and for Visually Impaired Texans

Alliance of and for Visually Impaired Texans – Information about their listserv: The 83rd Session of the Texas Legislature begins January 8, 2013 and ends May 27, 2013.  The Alliance of and for Texans (AVIT) is trying to grow its email listserv to ensure fast notification to those interested in its upcoming legislative efforts. Many legislative actions have very short notice, so fast communication is critical. This AVIT Listserv will be the primary means of sending information related to a bill AVIT is working on requiring O&M evaluations for all students being considered for eligibility as visually impaired.    Sometimes we have less than 24 hours notice that an action is about to occur.  In addition, the AVIT Listserv provides a way to communicate on a variety of issues related to consumers and professionals who are visually impaired, blind, or deafblind. If you would like to be added to the AVIT Listserv, please...
Tags:
Continue reading
2042 Hits
0 Comments

Roundtable on Social Skills Issues at TAER 2012

In a session on Social Skills at TAER 2012, the participants were asked to brainstorm activity and lesson ideas to help incorporate social skills lessons into their instruction.  In 10 minutes, they came up with  a whole exciting range of proposals.  Maybe these ideas will help spur your creative thinking! Miscellaneous: Table etiquette, social obligations, hosts Make tactile placemat with spoon, knife and fork placement. Have students set table. Go to restaurant (or set up in your classroom). Practice etiquette at the table (e.g. table setting, ordering, manners, tip, pouring, passing food around). Plan a game night. Make phone calls. Invitations. Shopping. Passing food – Utensil placement. Family style serving. Practice polite conversation, contacting a friend. Practice appropriate manners (e.g. utensil use/accessibility, closed mouth while chewing, not everything is finger food, napkin in lap, perhaps pulling out chair for friend) Payment arrangements Phone etiquette Role play in cafeteria Dating: Expresses interest...
Continue reading
2451 Hits
0 Comments

Summer Professional Development Opportunities for Orientation and Mobility

June 30th Contemporary Issues in Rehabilitation and Education For the Blind 11th ANNUAL REHABILITATION AND ORIENTATION AND MOBILITY CONFERENCE Hilton Anatole Hotel, Dallas, Texas Sponsored by National Blindness Professional Certification Board (NBPCB) and Professional Development & Research Institute on Blindness (PDRIB) Louisiana Tech University. July 18-22 AER International Conference Hyatt Regency Bellevue, Bellevue, Washington Alternatives For those that are not able to attend a conference and would still like to participate in professional development activities, Association for Education of the Blind and Visually Impaired (AER) offers on-line training topics specific to orientation and mobility, that are also approved for Academy for Certification of Vision Rehabilitation and Education Professionals (ACVREP) credit hours. Chris Tabb  
2057 Hits
0 Comments

446 Places for Free Books Online

From the ever interesting Gizmo website comes a link to this list. It looks amazing and might be something you can share with fellow teachers and students. Gizmo's Freeware
2433 Hits
0 Comments

Southeast Family Deafblind Transition Institute

Southeast Region Transition Institute is designed for deafblind students in their teens preparing to transition from high school to college or employment. This conference gives students the knowledge they need to know how to access their dreams for the future.  http://southeastregiontransition.blogspot.com/ Jenny Lace Education Consultant, Texas Deafblind Project Texas School for the Blind & Visually Impaired Deafblind Outreach
2661 Hits
0 Comments

Cane Quest in Austin!

The first ever Cane Quest in Austin will be held on Saturday, May 19th.  It is a collaborative project sponsored by ESC XIII and TSBVI Outreach and School; the event's purpose is to applaud our students' commitment to continuing to grow in developing their O&M skills.  As such, it is not expected that students will have reached their highest efficiency level to participate.  The basic criteria:  students in grades 9 - 12, 20/600 or less in the better eye with correction, has had training in the areas of residential, business, city bus, escalators, stairs, and soliciting assistance,  and use of human guide is not the primary mode of travel when in community settings.  Students will be monitored by O&M specialists, and there will be a distance learning Cane Quest Q and A in the fall (date TBA). Any questions can be directed to: Diane Barnes, ESC XIII O&M Consultant 5701 Springdale Road, Austin TX 78723 512.919-5331 Additional Details for Cane Quest...
Continue reading
2420 Hits
0 Comments

White Cane Law Bumper Stickers

pedestrians with cane and dog Have you ever been frustrated by drivers that don’t seem to know the White Cane Laws? Now you can create awareness Every place you drive your car.   Order your White Cane Law Bumper Stickers And help fund SWOMA Conferences   Mail your check payable to TSBVI-SWOMA Fund #4727 Mail to:  _(your name)    __________________________________________________________________ Your Address:  ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­__________________________________________________________________________ Number of bumper stickers ordered:   __________                                     Check enclosed for:  $__________ Send orders to:  Carrie Keith, TSBVI Outreach, 1100 W. 45th St., Austin, TX  78756  ?Questions:  512-206-9314 Size:  3-inches by 11-1/2 inches
2234 Hits
0 Comments

New Information for Tactile Maps

In case you had not heard already, or have not had a chance to review it yet, The Braille Authority of North America (BANA) has finalized and published their Guidelines and Standards for Tactile Graphics.  It is now available on their Web site for download as a PDF and is an excellent resource in planning and producing tactile graphics for working with students and clients.  The direct link to the site is http://www.brailleauthority.org/tg/index.html Of particular interest for orientation and mobility is Unit 8 that details considerations and strategies for maps tailored to the student's travel environment.  The initial Units of the document provide wonderful templates and other specific areas to consider for determining materials to be used and specifying the goal of the tactile graphic or map to ensure that the main goal of your work is adequately represented as the emphasis of the final product.  Also, immediately preceding the specific orientation...
Continue reading
1726 Hits
0 Comments

iPhone Apps for Orientation and Mobility

Here are some of the apps that I have found useful on my iPhone; they all have a price rather than free (with the exception of VisionSim), though they all have been quite helpful. Ariadne:  This is a GPS app that is meant to provide information that a traveler using vision would receive from their travel environment, such as addresses, cross streets, etc.  It does not provide turn by turn directions, though you can set favorites and track them with distance and destination to your favorite.  It also has a map that you can touch on screen and reads the street name below your finger. Navigon:  A traditional GPS app that speaks street names, has points of interest, etc.  The beauty of this app is that you can select the route profile and choose pedestrian mode with voice announcements.  It is one of the more expensive apps I have purchased so...
Continue reading
2494 Hits
0 Comments

Saving Internet Pages as EPUB Files

This is a wonderful resource, which allows your student to save a webpage as an individual EPUB file. What is an EPUB?  ".epub" is an electronic book format that has become the industry standard, allowing eBooks that use this format to be read on a wide variety of eReaders, from dedicated hardware to desktop software to online based readers. EPUB files can be read in most portable ebook readers, such as Sony, Ipad, Kobo, etc. For the purposes of this post I will describe how to open your EPUB files in iBooks on the iPad. First, some information from the dotEPUB website: "dotEPUB is software in the cloud that allows you to convert any webpage into an ebook. For content consumers (readers), we have developed a bookmarklet (or favlet) for Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari or Opera. And, if you are a Google Chrome user, you can install the dotEPUB extension in your browser." On the dotEPUB website I located and activated the...
Continue reading
2186 Hits
0 Comments

iGlasses Mobility Aid

From the Ambutech website: AmbuTech and RNIB are proud to announce a new affordable electronic travel aid solution for head and upper body protection. The iGlasses™ Ultrasonic Mobility Aid is a head-mounted device which enables more informed, confident, and efficient pedestrian travel. Objects in your path are detected by the ultrasonic sensors and communicated via gentle vibrations. As obstacles get nearer the frequency of the vibration will increase. The device is intended as a secondary mobility device to complement the traditional long cane or guide dog.
2410 Hits
0 Comments

Free Braille Books

From the American Action Fund for Blind Children and Adults website: In 1997 the AAF (American Action Fund for Blind Children and Adults) started this program to provide blind children a free Braille book every month from a popular children's reading series. The books are for the children to keep and collect for as long as they want them. The titles published every month are the same titles that are available in bookstores and public libraries everywhere. In the past ten years over one hundred seventy titles from popular children’s reading series were distributed to thousands of blind children. As we send the 2012 titles out each month, the corresponding BRF files will be available here. You will be able to download your free Braille books electronically by right clicking on the file or using the applications key to choose "Save Target As" in Internet Explorer or "Save Link As" in Mozilla Firefox.
4098 Hits
0 Comments

Tutorials on iAppleTalker Youtube Channel

The information presented on the iAppleTalker Youtube channel consist of technology videos, mainly centered around Apple & Apple products. The tutorials are centered around using the Apple products with VoiceOver the built-in screen reading software. A good resource for learning how to use technology from someone with a visual impairment.
Tags:
2108 Hits
0 Comments

Standard Keyboard Shortcuts for Various Applications

ShortcutWorld is an open, wiki-style reference database for keyboard shortcuts. created and edited by users like You. Using Keyboard Shortcuts on a daily basis is the epitome of all productivity techniques. With this project, we are building an open Hotkey Reference Database with the goal to cover as many Applications on as many Platforms and in as many Languages as possible. 
2033 Hits
0 Comments

Using Audacity with JAWS

Audacity is a free, easy-to-use and multilingual audio editor and recorder for Windows, Mac OS X, GNU/Linux and other operating systems. You can use Audacity to: Record live audio. Convert tapes and records into digital recordings or CDs. Edit Ogg Vorbis, MP3, WAV or AIFF sound files. Cut, copy, splice or mix sounds together. Change the speed or pitch of a recording. Many teachers are using Audacity to create audio files for students to use in the classroom yet there are very few students creating audio files themselves. The students can now create their own audio files using a website with detailed instructions on how to create audio files using Audacity with JAWS. The instructions were written by David Bailes and can be found on the  Jaws Guides page of the VIP Software Guides website.
3431 Hits
0 Comments

Liz Egan Blog

A former Texas TVI (Teacher of the Visually Impaired) from the Houston area who is now a TVI in Washington state has developed a blog.  Her energy and devotion to the field has been sorely missed in Texas but every once in a while she would send out bits of information that let's us know that she is thinking of us here and we appreciate her and all she does for students with visual impairments. Her blog (that I just discovered)  is called "Traveling VI"  at travelingvi.com .  Check it out.
2312 Hits
0 Comments

Southeast Family Deafblind Transition Institute

2012 SE Teens and Mentors with Motivational Speaker, Cody Colchado Purpose The southeast regional deafblind projects along with The National Consortium on Deafblindness and Helen Keller National Center partner to offer a unique opportunity for tomorrow’s leaders.  The annual weekend transition institutes support teens and young adults with deafblindness to plan for the future, develop friendships and community, and become self-advocates.  Youth 15 years of age through 22 years of age with both vision and hearing loss and a formal communication system,  who are on a career path to work, technical school, or college are invited to apply.  Presenters who are positive role models and young adult mentors with deafblindness address topics related to transition, technology, self-determination, social skills and self-advocacy.  Separate sessions are offered to the parents featuring transition issues and opportunities to share their experiences.  Youth Outcome Goals Increase self-awareness Develop more appropriate transition goals for post-secondary education...
Continue reading
2602 Hits
0 Comments

Word 2010 with Windows 7

Tactile graphic production using MS Word presents several speed bumps along the way since Word 2000.  The latest one involves Windows 7 and Word 2010.  Here’s the scoop.  In Word 2010, the Select tool in the Edit category on the Home tab is used to select several objects for grouping by dragging with the tool across the objects to group.  This feature tool works just fine using Word 2010 with Windows XP. Now try using Word 2010 with Windows 7, the same process produces different results.  The select arrow does nothing.  After pulling hair out for a couple of days and reading several listings from groups, the solution finally appeared. When using Word 2010 with Windows 7, you first save the document as a .doc NOT .docx, which is the default save and the default document type before saving. By doing this the process described above produces the expected results. What a...
Continue reading
2155 Hits
0 Comments

CVI Webcast from Perkins School for the Blind

If you haven't checked out Perkins new video webcast on CVI, you should.  I really thought this webcast did a great job of explaining the basics of CVI and offering strategies.  I could see TVIs and COMS using this with other educational staff, parents and administrators who need to understand some of the basics of Cortical Visual Impairments.  Another great product from Perkins! Perkins CVI webcast
Recent comment in this post
Guest — Sohail
Thanks for sharing great news on the basics of CVI, surely it will help to all of us.
Thursday, 08 March 2012 02:40
2100 Hits
1 Comment

NUBS or UEB: A Unified Braille Code Could Be Adopted Soon

The Braille Authority of North America (BANA) has released a three-part article entitled: The Evolution of Braille: Can the Past help Plan the Future? BANA website (http://www.brailleauthority.org/) Part 1 traces the use of braille as a viable reading medium from the 1960s to the present and takes a close look at how print has changed over the same period. Part 2 discusses the more technical aspects of braille translation, challenges faced by current transcribers of current codes, the need for accurate forward and backward translation with the least amount of human intervention, and the impact of the use of refreshable braille displays. Part 3 discusses the future; it explores the options for change and examines Unified English Braille (UEB) and the Nemeth Uniform Braille System (NUBS) as examples of code unification. BANA feels that it is at a critical juncture, and they have four choices: Continue to tinker with the current codes...
Continue reading
2055 Hits
0 Comments