blind_html [Fwd: Fred's Head Companion - American Printing House for the Blind]

  • From: Nimer <nimerjaber1@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: blind_html@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 11 Feb 2009 07:55:48 -0700

I like the texting and the walking websites provided here.

Nimer J

-------- Original Message --------
Subject:        Fred's Head Companion - American Printing House for the Blind
Date:   Wed, 11 Feb 2009 08:53:30 -0600 (CST)
From:   Fred's Head Companion <fredshead@xxxxxxx>
Reply-To:       Fred's Head Companion <fredshead@xxxxxxx>
To:     nimerjaber1@xxxxxxxxx

 Fred's Head Companion - American Printing House for the Blind

        Link to Fred's Head Companion <>

Rehabilitation Services <>

Posted: 10 Feb 2009 01:03 PM CST

If you are looking for rehabilitation services, the best place to locate your nearest rehabilitation center is the AFB website: If you would like to learn more about what a rehabilitation center does, then read on.

A rehabilitation center is a place where a blind or visually impaired adult can go to learn the skills they need in order to live independently. Other services are also usually offered, such as counseling or vocational training.

The most important skills needed to live independently are *Orientation and Mobility* skills. These are the skills that let you know where you are and allow you to navigate effectively from one place to another.

Other services that a rehab center provides are:

   * *Communication skills:* alternate communication options such as
     braille, digital or tape recorder use, handwriting guides.
   * *Manual skills:* develop tactual perception and hand-to-foot
   * *Day-to-day activities:* personal management, home management,
     meal preparation, cleaning techniques.
   * *Computer training:* how to operate a computer and specialized
     software such as screen readers.
   * *Visual skills:* training to maximize the use of any remaining vision.

Each person comes to the Center with a different set of needs and proficiencies. Tests are given to assess these things. Once an individual's skills and requirements have been determined, a unique curriculum is devised to teach that person the skills that they need.

       National Rehabilitation Information Center

Welcome to the NARIC Web site, a gateway to an abundance of disability- and rehabilitation-oriented information organized in a variety of formats designed to make it easy for users to find and use. For the past 25 years NARIC staff members have been dedicated to providing direct, personal, and high-quality information services to anyone throughout the country. As a leader in providing interactive information to the disability and rehabilitation community, NARIC's Web site continues this tradition by putting the information into the hands of the users through online publications, searchable databases, and timely reference and referral data.

NARIC began as a small collection of research reports housed in a one-room office at Catholic University. The core mission of the Center is to collect and disseminate the results of research funded by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR). Over a quarter of a century, that mission has expanded to providing information services and document delivery to the disability and rehabilitation communities across the United States.

There are more than 75,000 resources collected on this site, including organizations, agencies, Internet resources, reports, and research projects. Use the list to find resources targeted to your information needs.

Click this link to visit the National Rehabilitation Information Center: <>.

Online Sources for Accessible Computer Games for the Blind <>

Posted: 10 Feb 2009 12:50 PM CST

For most gamers, the process of setting up a game and starting to play is pretty straight forward: install the game, skim over the instructions, and start playing. Unfortunately, people with disabilities find this process considerably harder.

The difficulty starts at the store. A disabled purchaser has no idea if a game is accessible to them or not. There are no ratings on the box that will indicate if the game is closed captioned or supports alternative input devices. In many cases, game ratings in the popular media do not address the accessibility issue, so for many purchasers, buying a game is very much a gamble.

After the game is installed, the player needs to often customize the settings to support their system and adaptive hardware. This is often not addressed in the documentation and most help desks have little experience dealing with these problems.

Once in the game, further problems can occur. The difficulty level may not be controllable, making it impossible for a person with mobility problems to play. Vital information may be given in cut scenes without closed captioning, making it impossible for the deaf to succeed in the game.

Unfortunately, many games fail to address the needs of a disabled gamer, and as a result prevent them from playing. The solution to this problem is to make games more accessible. The Wikipedia defines accessibility as "a general term used to describe how easy it is for people to get to, use, and understand things."

On a regular basis, the American Printing House for the Blind (APH) receives requests from individuals seeking sources of accessible computer games. We did some looking around and found various commercial suppliers, as well as Internet sources, from which these can be purchased--or, in some cases, downloaded for free.

The first place to look for games for the blind is <>. This site keeps track of all the games that are accessible to the blind or visually impaired. This is also the place to find Audyssey, an electronic magazine that keeps readers up-to-date on the latest games.

       Top 25 Sites for Blind Gamers

7-128 Software has published a list of the 25 best sites for blind gamers. The list is based on market research and is based on several criteria including number of games, site longevity, popularity, and informational value. Not surprisingly, PCS Games is number 1, largely due to their complete list of accessible game developers and games. Each site includes an annotated description.

Click this link to view the Top 25 Sites for Blind Gamers list from 7-128 Software <>.

       Puzzle Daily Brain Teaser

I can be cracked,
I can be made.
I can be told,
I can be played.
What am I?


A Joke!

Click here to visit this game filled site: <>.

       The ADA Game

So, you're upset because your city just isn't with it when it comes to the ADA? How can you make a difference? Find out if you really can bring on changes to make the ADA stronger in your community by playing The ADA Game.

This free, online game is available to play at anytime and simulates how advocacy can promote positive changes in communities. Players take on the role of advocates for disability rights and work together to improve compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in their virtual communities.

After a successful login to the ADA Game, you can earn points by correctly answering questions about the ADA. The more points you earn, the more actions you can take to improve the accessibility of your virtual city. A maximum of five multiple-choice questions per day can be answered.

   * Work together with other advocates to improve ADA compliance and
     build a more accessible community
   * check your statistics to see how well you and your city are doing
   * visit the message board to chat with fellow advocates, plan
     strategies, and discuss ADA-related issues
   * take actions that promote disability awareness and advocate for

Click here to visit the ADA Game home page, and good luck! <>

There are few software programs for the blind and some of them are cumbersome and difficult to use. But through a UNC computer science course called Enabling Technology, UNC students are developing programs for blind people from age 2 up. For the very young children, the programs help them learn directions and sounds. For older people, the programs can help them complete graduate research papers. Hark The Sound is a really simple sound game intended for young kids who are visually impaired, and is free for educational and fun use.

The object of the game is to name a sound or tune that is presented as a prompt. A typical round in Name That Animal goes like this:

  1. You hear "Can you name this animal?"
  2. Then an animal sound is played, for example a dog barking.
  3. You use the left or right arrow keys on the keyboard to move
     through and hear the possible answers. In this case they might be
     "Cat", "Dog", "Elephant", and "Horse".
  4. In some games, the down arrow key will give a hint about the
     correct answer.
  5. When you hear the correct answer, you press the up arrow key to guess.
  6. If the chosen answer is correct, you will hear a reward sound
     which might be a crowd cheering, or a musical fan fare. If the
     answer is incorrect, you will hear "Try again.".
  7. The process then repeats playing another one of the sounds for the
     four animals.
  8. When all the animals in the group have been played, the game
     begins another round with four more animals.

There are fifteen games that follow this same pattern of game play. These games include:

   * Braille Letters: The question is "Can you name this Braille
     letter?". The prompts are the dots of a letter. The answers are
     the letter along with a word that begins with that letter to make
     it easier to hear.
   * Braille Whole Word Contractions: The question is "Can you name
     this Braille whole word contraction?" The prompts are the dots in
     a Braille letter that is a whole word contraction. The word is the
   * Counting: Counting repeated animal sounds for numbers one through
   * Multiplication drills: The full multiplication table up to 12
     times 12. The question is "What is this product?". The prompts are
     products like "2 times 3" and the answers are numbers from 0
     through 144.
   * Name That Animal: Animal sounds are the prompts. The animal's
     names are the answers.
   * Name that capital's State: A challenging game of State Capitals.
     The question is "Can you name the state whose capital is...", the
     prompts are the names of capital cities. The answers are the names
     of the 50 states.
   * Name that Classical Tune: Midi versions of famous classical music
     are the prompts. The composer's name and the name of the work are
     included in the answer.
   * Name that color: The question is "What color is this?", the
     prompts are common objects, and the answers are their colors.
   * Name That Country Music Tune: Country music classics rendered in
     Midi. Composer and name are the answer.
   * Name that holiday: Identify holidays from hints.
   * Name that Kids Tune: Midi tunes like "Head Shoulders Knees and Toes".
   * Name that Rock and Roll Tune: Classic rock and roll tunes rendered
     in Midi with the artist and title for the answer.
   * Name that Sound: Environmental sounds, such as "clock ticking" and
     "glass breaking" are the prompts
   * Spelling Words: The prompt is a word spelled out. The answer is
     the word pronounced.
   * State Nick Names: A challenging game to identify the nick name for
     a state given its name.

To get more information about this game, including specific instructions on how to install and customize the game, follow the link below.

Click here to visit the Hark The Sound Information and Download page: <>

San Francisco's KQED Public Broadcasting completed a TV show on video games that are accessible for everyone for their multimedia series on the environment, science and nature entitled QUEST.

It's a very interesting look at accessibility issues in gaming, and the KQED people did a nice job with it. Check it out. Click this link to download an MP3 of the QUEST program <>.

WalkScore: How walkable is a Place? <>

Posted: 10 Feb 2009 11:19 AM CST

Here's a website with some interesting information for people who are blind or visually impaired. If you're buying a house, or new to a neighborhood, you can run its address through this site to discover, or show people, how near it is to various amenities - grocery stores, schools, coffee shops, movie theaters, parks, libraries, etc. Some of the Google map info it uses is a little odd - it overlooked a super WalMart near my house and pointed me to grocery stores and clothing stores considerably further away - but for the properties I'm very familiar with, it was mostly accurate.

Click this link to visit <>.

Road to Independence: a Fun Approach to Learning how to Live with Low Vision <>

Posted: 10 Feb 2009 09:31 AM CST

This educational program is designed to introduce low vision individuals, family members, and professionals to the wide range of strategies, approaches, and devices available to help low vision persons continue living independently. Its unique board-game approach helps to make learning fun, and engages its "players." It uses an oversized game board, with large, easy-to-recognize icons (one for each of the ten categories), and oversized dice and playing pieces.

This learning system is ideal for low vision support groups and outreach programs. It has also been used to train low vision professionals, case managers and home healthcare workers. It is currently being used by the Oklahoma League for the Blind, in their on-site, low vision outreach program for seniors living in retirement communities.

Road To Independence
Designer and Principal: Charles Schwartz
Phone: 847-269-5707
Email: schwartzcharles@xxxxxxxxxxx <mailto:schwartzcharles@xxxxxxxxxxx>
For an overview, please refer to the Vision World Foundation's website: <>.

TextAway Makes Sending and Receiving Cell Phone Text Messages Accessible <>

Posted: 10 Feb 2009 09:05 AM CST

Text Messaging, it's everywhere. Anyone who has a cell phone with internet access seems to be text messaging their friends, family members, coworkers, how can we as blind and visually impaired people get in on this craze? Most cell phones are not accessible when it comes to internet features.

The TextAway service offers more features than just simply sending text messages. TextAway enables you to route replies to the sender's email, meaning you can send a message using the site and then receive a response from someone's phone directly in your email or on your accessible phone. For registered users, there is the ability to store and manage mobile contacts and SMS preferences, the ability to create a mobile phone or a TextAway Inbox, as well as the ability to send mobile invitations with an RSVP function. If you just need to send a quick message, no login or registration is necessary.

Click this link to visit <>.

       Send Text Messages from a Website

There was a time when you had to pay an arm and a leg to send text messages to cell phones. Well relegates that painful period of expensive text to cell phone fees to the dust bin of history where it belongs. Send a text message on your computer to cell phone users of almost any USA cell phone provider, and do it absolutely free! That's right, free text messaging, and there's no catch. "We don't give out your cell phone number to anyone, is there is absolutely no spam to worry about. We even offer anonymous free text messaging, so your privacy is protected even when you send a message to a cell phone."

Click this link to send FREE text messages with <>.

Table Top Cassette Tape Recorder/Player <>

Posted: 10 Feb 2009 08:55 AM CST

Listen to Talking Books or commercial cassettes as well as record tapes with this portable table-top unit. Features:

   * Digital Pitch Control (DPC): Increase or decrease rate of
     listening without unpleasant change in voice pitch
   * Play and record on 2 or 4 tracks. Play and record at 1 7/8 inches
     per second or15/16 ips (Talking Book speed)
   * Built in mono speaker and microphone
   * Stereo playback through optional headphones
   * Tactile symbols on controls and touch checking of tape movement
   * AC power cord built in
   * Rechargeable battery pack
   * Manual in print and on cassette
   * Print and braille quickstart instructions
   * One year limited warranty.

Recommended for all ages.

Dimensions: 9 3/8 x 11 1/8 x 3 inches
Weight: about 4 1/4 lbs.

Table Top Cassette Tape Recorder/Player (Model 5198A):
Catalog Number: 1-07150-00

International Models (no adapter needed):

Table Top Recorder/Player, European Version (Model 5198AS):
Catalog Number: 1-07150-02

Two-Year Extended Warranty for Table Top Recorder/Player:
Catalog Number: 1-07151-00
Must be ordered within 90 days of ordering machine.

Accessories for the Table Top Recorder/Player

Optional Carrying Case with Shoulder Strap:
Catalog Number: 1-07010-00

Replacement Nickel-Metal Hydrite Battery:
Catalog Number: 1-07071-00

Replacement Instructional Cassette:
Catalog Number: 1-07152-00

Click here to purchase these items through our Quick Order Entry page: <>

If you need assistance, click this link to read the Fred's Head Companion post "Purchasing Products From The APH Website Is Easy" <>.

American Printing House for the Blind, Inc.
1839 Frankfort Avenue
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 6085
Louisville, Kentucky 40206-0085
Toll Free: 800-223-1839
Phone: 502-895-2405
Fax: 502-899-2274
E-mail: info@xxxxxxx <mailto:info@xxxxxxx>
Web site:

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