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iOS 6 Maps for Travel

Now that you've upgraded to iOS 6 on your device, what do you do for transit directions? With all the nice things that came along with the recent update to Apple's iOS, there was one change that may affect the way Orientation and Mobility Specialists share information with students/clients, and for travelers in general who use public transportation.  The built in Maps application that was previously a Google Maps iteration has now switched to an Apple creation.  One feature notably absent is the ability to select pedestrian or public transportation options for directions when creating a route.  This was a nice feature for planning travel and changing plans while on the go in previous versions of iOS.  So what is there to do now? One solution is to go to the built in browser, Safari, and navigate to maps.google.com.  This will bring up a mobile version of Google Maps and will likely...
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SWOMA Registration

The 2012-13 Southwest Orientation and Mobility Association (SWOMA) Conference is now open for registration.  This year’s conference will be held on the TSBVI Campus, November 1-3 and offers a wonderful roster of speakers and topics.  Please share this information with your COMS and others who might be interested in attending this event.  One of our featured speakers is Daniel Kish, President of World Access for the Blind, who is known for his work using echolocation.  We also have sessions on the COMS role in bioptic driving, working with returning veterans from the war, lightrail travel, working with babies, O&M for individuals with multiple disabilities, using interpreters in O&M lessons, listening skills and much, much more.  Please go to the SWOMA registration website to see all the details and to register.   Please remind folks that they can register now and pay later.  Early registration rates end September 30th so get registered right away. ...
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New Feature on Ambutech Canes

If you have ordered a new Ambutech cane recently you will likely be surprised to find a new feature when changing your cane tip.  Ambutech is now including a Cordlock device with all canes that use the hook style tip.  Previously when changing a tip you had to be careful to hold the cord so that it would not release back into the cane shaft after being pulled out as the tip was removed.  Many people would place a pencil or pen between the knot on the cord at the loop and the cane shaft to make replacing the hook style tip a bit easier, and then remove it after the new tip was installed so the cord and tip could be drawn back into the shaft of the cane.  The challenge with this approach was that a pen or pencil was not always nearby when changing a tip and using...
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SWOMA

PUT IT ON YOUR CALENDAR: 2012 SWOMA Conference Nov. 1-3, 2012 @ TSBVI in Austin, TX Registration information available later this summer Check our website for statewide trainings listing.
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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  
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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...
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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
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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...
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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.
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The Department of Transportation's Air Travel Accessibility Proposal

We are reaching out to you because of the big stake you have in the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) efforts to maintain the rights of travelers with disabilities. We encourage you to join the conversation at Regulation Room and help DOT get this new regulation right. Regulation Room is part of Cornell University’s e-Rulemaking Initiative.  DOT has proposed new regulations that will: Require airlines and airports to make check-in kiosks accessible to travelers with disabilities; and, Require airlines and travel agents to make their websites accessible to individuals with disabilities. Very few travelers with disabilities have commented on this important proposal, but there is still time to submit your comments before the January 9th cutoff date. Many people who would benefit from the proposal don't realize that DOT needs to hear from people who agree with the proposed regulations, not just those who disagree. We Urge You To Participate Before Time...
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