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iOS 7 Accessibility Features

I thought I would share some links on new accessibility features on iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch using the new Apple iOS7 operating system. Both of the links lead to About Assistive Technology Accessibility Features in iOS 7 Switch Control in iOS 7
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Brain Research on Language Acquisition

Toddler brain scan gives language insight BBC Health Website From the site: "The brain has a critical window for language development between the ages of two and four, brain scans suggest. Environmental influences have their biggest impact before the age of four, as the brain's wiring develops to process new words, say UK and US scientists. The research in The Journal of Neuroscience suggests disorders causing language delay should be tackled early. It also explains why young children are good at learning two languages." By Helen Briggs BBC News  
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New Orientation Technology on the Horizon

So many advances in technology are making their way into how people travel, from self-driving cars to phones that function as mobile travel agents; the world for travelers just 20 years from now will likely be surreal compared to today's travel world. Just as phones were once required to be attached to the wall and your finger had to turn the dial, and now we can talk on our phones hands free while multitasking other activities in just about any location. One of the new advances being developed will address challenges of orientation for indoor environments. For some fun dreaming of what future generations will be able to benefit from, read on to find out about a project at Auburn University. "Navigation devices used by blind people today lack the ability to operate indoors and other areas where GPS is not available, and are unable to help the user deal with items that...
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National Preparedness Month 2013

How to prepare if you or someone in your life has access or functional needs  September is National Preparedness Month (NPM). It is a time to prepare yourself and those in your care for emergencies and disasters. This September, please prepare and plan in the event you must go for three  days without electricity, water service, access to a supermarket, or local services for several days.  Just follow these four steps:      Be Informed     Make a Plan     Build a Kit     Get Involved  If you or someone close to you has a disability or other access or functional needs, you may have to take additional steps to protect yourself and your family. Each person’s needs and abilities are unique, but every individual can take important steps to prepare for all kinds of emergencies and put plans in place. By evaluating your own personal needs and making an emergency plan,...
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Tactile Timer

image of tactile timer in useThese pictures depict a tactile timer to use in anticipatory routines. You can pair this with a kitchen timer that has the dial and rings when it's done. You would set the timer for 1-3 three minute intervals and each time it goes off, the student would pull a piece off of the tactile calendar and put it in a finished basket. When there are no more tactile strips on the timer the activity is finished. With this timer we are using strips of different textured material. You could also use ping pong balls velcroed to a piece of carpet, etc.... It's really the concept of anticipation and counting down to the end that you are trying to teach. [caption id="attachment_161" align="alignleft" width="150"] Tactile Timer in Use [caption id="attachment_160" align="alignleft" width="150"] Tactile Timer               Chris Montgomery Education Consultant Deafblind Outreach Texas School for the Blind...
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Good Sleep Strategies

As families prepare for school to begin, a common step is to help our children get back into a regular sleep routine.  In our home, we've been working on it for about a week.  Na, that's not true.  We postponed getting our 5th grader back into his school schedule because we were caught up in  a last minute family trip and because it took a bit of negotiation on everyone's part to decide on the new bed time.  Going through this annual family ritual reminded me how many of us deal with sleep issues.  It must have been on the minds of the fine folks at Perkins School too, as they have recently posted a new webcast on Good Sleep Strategies.  Carve out some time from your busy school preparation schedule and watch this webcast!  Dr. Veronika Bernstein, Ph.D has some great strategies to share with you!  Here's to a fabulous 2013-2014 school year with...
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Blind advocates: Hollywood lobbying threatens deal for accessible books

Disputes between blind groups and content companies could kill copyright treaty.   From arstechnica (http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2013/05/blind-advocates-hollywood-lobbying-threatens-deal-for-accessible-books/) by Timothy B. Lee - May 10 2013, 8:04am CDT Exerpt of article: "For the last several years, negotiators at the World Intellectual Property Organization have been working on a copyright treaty that would make it easier for blind people to get accessible versions of books, like well-annotated audio books or large-print editions. But aggressive lobbying by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), the Association of American Publishers (AAP), and other US copyright interests threatens to derail the negotiations, according to several advocates for the blind who spoke to Ars. "The main sticking point has been whether to try to use the treaty as a vehicle for enhancing copyright protections or whether the treaty should remain clearly focused on carving out an exception to allow works to be produced in accessible formats for the blind," said Frederic Schroeder,...
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New Closed-Captioning Glasses Help Deaf Go Out To The Movies

This story is from All Tech Considered  Technology News from NPR. by RACHEL ROOD May 12, 2013 3:48 PM There will be a special attraction for deaf people in theaters nationwide soon. By the end of this month, Regal Cinemas plans to have distributed closed-captioning glasses to more than 6,000 theaters across the country. Sony Entertainment Access Glasses are sort of like 3-D glasses, but for captioning. The captions are projected onto the glasses and appear to float about 10 feet in front of the user. They also come with audio tracks that describe the action on the screen for blind people, or they can boost the audio levels of the movie for those who are hard of hearing. Randy Smith Jr., the chief executive officer for Regal Cinemas, says he has worked for more than a decade to find a solution to this problem. He tells Arun Rath, host of weekends on All Things...
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Learn about YouDescribe – Free Audio Description Tool

YouDescribe – You Have a Microphone...You Have YouTube...You Can Do It! How You Can Add Audio Description to Any YouTube Video Join us for a free, forward-looking webinar on the changing world of educational video description on May 30, 2013 at 02:00 PM EDT / 01:00 PM CDT / 12:00 PM MDT / 11:00 AM PDT. This innovative webinar is hosted by the Described and Captioned Media Program (DCMP), in collaboration with the Video Description Research and Development Center (VDRDC), and the Description Leadership Network (DLN). Register now at http://webinars.dcmp.org/. This exciting and interactive presentation is perfect for teachers, administrators, and parents who want to learn about the latest developments in video description technology and how it can help students who are blind and visually-impaired in educational settings. Learn about YouDescribe, the exiting new tool developed by the Video Description Research and Development Center (VDRDC). YouDescribe is a FREE tool that anyone can use to add description...
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Learn about YouDescribe - Free Audio Description Tool

YouDescribe – You Have a Microphone...You Have YouTube...You Can Do It! How You Can Add Audio Description to Any YouTube Video Join us for a free, forward-looking webinar on the changing world of educational video description on May 30, 2013 at 02:00 PM EDT / 01:00 PM CDT / 12:00 PM MDT / 11:00 AM PDT. This innovative webinar is hosted by the Described and Captioned Media Program (DCMP), in collaboration with the Video Description Research and Development Center (VDRDC), and the Description Leadership Network (DLN). Register now at http://webinars.dcmp.org/. This exciting and interactive presentation is perfect for teachers, administrators, and parents who want to learn about the latest developments in video description technology and how it can help students who are blind and visually-impaired in educational settings. Learn about YouDescribe, the exiting new tool developed by the Video Description Research and Development Center (VDRDC). YouDescribe is a FREE tool...
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New Closed-Captioning Glasses Help Deaf Go Out To The Movies

This story is from All Tech Considered  Technology News from NPR. by RACHEL ROOD May 12, 2013 3:48 PM There will be a special attraction for deaf people in theaters nationwide soon. By the end of this month, Regal Cinemas plans to have distributed closed-captioning glasses to more than 6,000 theaters across the country. Sony Entertainment Access Glasses are sort of like 3-D glasses, but for captioning. The captions are projected onto the glasses and appear to float about 10 feet in front of the user. They also come with audio tracks that describe the action on the screen for blind people, or they can boost the audio levels of the movie for those who are hard of hearing. Randy Smith Jr., the chief executive officer for Regal Cinemas, says he has worked for more than a decade to find a solution to this problem. He tells Arun Rath, host of weekends on All Things...
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Handsmatter Workshop

hands signing         On February 21, 2013 a HANDSMATTER workshop took place with deafblind students and their interveners and teachers at the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired in Austin. The workshop was led by the European artist Guido Dettoni. Handsmatter at TSBVI Video.Captions are available in: English – Transcripts:  English – Spanish – Italian Please share your comments and interpretations on the YouTube videos. The artist also facilitated the Handsmatter workshops with participants at the Texas Symposium on Deafblindness in Austin, TX on February 22-23, 2013. An unexpected experience with 8 hands together evolved. 8 HANDS Video Please share your comments and interpretations on the YouTube videos. Thanks to the support of TSBVI, NESHER Stichting and FESOCE (Spanish Deafblindness Federation). Previously Guido Dettoni had performed with APSOCECAT the first Handsmatter workshop oriented to this community. Out of this experience arose a tactile symbol for Deafblindness, the DEAFBLINDSHAPE. For...
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Perkins SMART Brailler Contest at Wonderbaby

Wonderbaby has a program going on right now where families can apply to be visited by the new Perkins SMART Brailler. They get to keep it for two weeks then pass it on to the next family. When the program finishes WonderBaby readers will get to vote for which family gets to keep the brailler (so it's a promotion and contest all in one): http://www.wonderbaby.org/articles/backpacking-smart-brailler-event While this is a chance to work with a Perkins SMART Brailler for your child, the website is an excellent resource for parents and specifically parents of children with visual impairments. Give them a look.
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SIMO - Simplified Information for Mobility & Orientation

Just in time for warmer weather and those planning trips beyond the states or even just some summer professional development reading, here are two items to keep you connected with all things related to orientation and mobility. **The International Journal of Orientation and Mobility (IJOM)** The International Journal of Orientation and Mobility (IJOM) has the 2012 Edition, as well as all other editions, available on their new web store.  The link is [http://ijorientationandmobility.myshopify.com/] and you have the option of purchasing a downloadable version or a hard copy version; the downloadable is half the price and the hard copy is delivered from Australia and might take a bit to arrive.  **SIMO - Simplified Information for Mobility & Orientation** www.simoproject.com "The Simplified Information Mobility and Orientation (SIMO) Project has been running in full since 2008. The project involves the development of an indoor way-finding/navigation system in conjunction with people who are blind and...
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NaviDys For iPad Offers Total Control Over Browser Text

From Cult of Mac: Ever wish that you could change the font size in your iPad web browser? Well, with NaviDys you totally can. You can also switch up the font, and adjust letter spacing and line spacing. What is this browser? A type nerd’s dream? Well, maybe, but really it’s designed to make things easier for the visually impaired. Double-tapping a chunk of text to zoom in works great, except that once that wrapped text hits the edge of the screen it isn’t getting any bigger – not unless you want to pan left and right just to read a sentence. Navidys brings in a host of text-based accessibility options, including one thing that might just make it my go-to browser for reading: Christian Boer’s Dyslexie font. How much for this mobile marvel? Just $3.  
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Amazon Bringing New Accessibility Features to Free Kindle Reading Apps

Amazon Kindle press release Amazon today announced new accessibility features for the Kindle reading app, making it easier than ever for blind and visually impaired customers to navigate their Kindle libraries, read and interact with their books, and more. These new features are available starting today on Kindle for iOS, and accessibility enhancements will be available on additional platforms in the future. “We’re excited to introduce these new features to our Kindle for iOS app, making it easier than ever for our blind and visually impaired customers to access the vast selection of over 1.8 million books in the Kindle Store on their iPhone or iPad,” said Dorothy Nicholls, Vice President, Amazon Kindle. “With this update, we’re also making customer-favorite features—such as X-Ray, End Actions, sharing, highlighting and bookmarking—more accessible. We look forward to continuing to develop and extend our accessibility features on Kindle Fire and our other Kindle apps.” New...
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Amazon Bringing New Accessibility Features to Free Kindle Reading Apps

Amazon Kindle press release Amazon today announced new accessibility features for the Kindle reading app, making it easier than ever for blind and visually impaired customers to navigate their Kindle libraries, read and interact with their books, and more. These new features are available starting today on Kindle for iOS, and accessibility enhancements will be available on additional platforms in the future. “We’re excited to introduce these new features to our Kindle for iOS app, making it easier than ever for our blind and visually impaired customers to access the vast selection of over 1.8 million books in the Kindle Store on their iPhone or iPad,” said Dorothy Nicholls, Vice President, Amazon Kindle. “With this update, we’re also making customer-favorite features—such as X-Ray, End Actions, sharing, highlighting and bookmarking—more accessible. We look forward to continuing to develop and extend our accessibility features on Kindle Fire and our other Kindle apps.” New...
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Using YouTube to Inspire Your Kid to LOVE the Long White Cane

As a mom, I am often blown away and overwhelmed by the realization that I play such a big role as my sons develop their own beliefs and attitudes as they become men.  Thankfully, it is a daily, moment by moment decision that takes a very, very long time to happen.  And thankfully, we also have the ability to stop from time to time and consider taking a different approach.  Maybe even a different philosophy.  As one of the family support gals with the TSBVI Outreach team, I get to call it my job doing what I love – supporting families and watching them lead us into some pretty awesome systems improvement.   I also spend some time away from TSBVI doing something else I’m pretty passionate about – teaching Orientation & Mobility (O&M) to adults.   There is something pretty cool about witnessing people become confident travelers, especially when you get to...
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iOS apps Developed Specifically for People who are Blind or Low Vision

I'm sure many people know, but in case you don't there are iOS apps developed specifically for people who are blind or low vision. And if you are unfamiliar with the AppleVis website it is an excellent resource for iOS apps and podcasts. http://www.applevis.com/apps/ios-apps-for-blind-and-vision-impaired
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VIStars

VIStars is a non-profit organization in Massachusetts that provides after-school programs for students who are blind or visually impaired. Their mission is to create safe, accessible and stimulating environments where students can acquire skills related to their unique visual needs. They promote social interaction with other students with visual impairments while exposing the group to recreation and leisure activities, independent living skills, career education and leadership skills.  Their goal is for the students to transfer the skills they learn at VIStars to their individual school and community experiences.  Check out their website:  http://www.vistars.org   Especially note the video of Precious, a visually impaired young lady, singing “I will Never Ever Live Without My Cane”:  http://www.vistars.org/?p=369
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Guest — Kate Putt
Thanks for sharing this website. Glad to hear that your after school program for blind and visually impaired students is successf... Read More
Friday, 07 March 2014 15:02
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