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

  • From: Nimer <nimerjaber1@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: blind_html@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 02 Apr 2009 08:46:40 -0600

"every time I say something they find hard to hear
they chalk it up to my anger
and never to their own fear"
Ani Difranco: I'm Not A Pretty Girl 1995

Nimer M. Jaber

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(720) (251-4530)

-------- Original Message --------
Subject:        Fred's Head Companion - American Printing House for the Blind
Date:   Thu, 02 Apr 2009 12:10:02 +0000
From:   Fred's Head <fredshead@xxxxxxx>
To:     nimerjaber1@xxxxxxxxx

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

        Link to Fred's Head <>

The Songs of Love Foundation <>

Posted: 01 Apr 2009 01:42 PM PDT

The Songs of Love Foundation is a non-profit organization devoted to writing and recording personalized songs for children and teens who are chronically or terminally ill. Each child receives a CD of his or her own song, free of charge, with original melody and lyrics based on profiles submitted by hospitals and families. Every "song of love" is one of a kind; songs are never duplicated.

To request a song, fill out the Songs of Love Profile Sheet giving all of the child's special interests, hobbies, favorite people, pets, music and things.

Songs can be written in any language and style for children up to age 21. Expect a four to six week wait for regular delivery; orders can be rushed for special circumstances.

For more information, click this link to visit <> or call 800-960-7664.

How can I send a fax from the Internet? <>

Posted: 01 Apr 2009 01:17 PM PDT

One of the most aggravating things for a blind person who works in an office environment is the fax machine. It's the one device that accessability hasn't caught up with yet.

Eventually it happens. You have to send a fax. You can't easily use the machine because of the flat pannel that makes feeling the buttons impossible, you're not sure which way to put the paper in so that the printed side will be faxed, and will you even get things lined up right so the document can be read on the other end? It makes you feel totally helpless to have a sighted person always assisting you with the fax machine.

Don't worry, the internet and a variety of email services have solved this problem. Did you know that you can send a fax from the net? Some services are free, while others have a very small monthly service charge.

Click this link to visit Kevin Savetz frequently asked questions page: /How can I send a fax from the Internet?/ <>.

       Receiving a Fax

Here's a way to send and receive faxes for free online, you can even get your own free fax number.

DepositDox offers a free phone number and account where you can receive faxes. They store your faxes using secure encryption and will notify you when you receive a fax. You can store faxes in your account and even search through them. Their free account lets you store up to 1,000 pages and it provides you with a toll free fax number. There is a 250 page limit for the first month and then a document per day limit. You must use your number at least once a month or you’ll lose it. There are premium plans which removes these restrictions. I have not tested the service for accessibility.

Click this link to start sending and receiving faxes with <>.

Baen Books: Free to Disabled Readers <>

Posted: 01 Apr 2009 11:59 AM PDT

From the website:

Baen Books (, a publisher of science fiction, provides its books to fans who are blind, paralysed, or dyslexic, or are amputees, in electronic form free of charge.

Baen Books is making this offer in recognition of Veterans Day, and all our disabled military veterans. Many Baen authors are veterans themselves, using a military setting as the setting of their tales.

Jim Baen, founder of Baen Books, who passed on June 28, 2006, decided to "provide each challenged reader with a permanent pass" to the regular e-publication of Baen’s new books. His successor, publisher Toni Weisskopf, is implementing his idea with this program.

Since 1999, Baen has published its new books as ebooks each month, in several formats, with no Digital Rights Management, through WebScriptions ( <>), for a small fee. Now, this service will be available at no cost to the disabled, who must apply for this privilege.

Applications will be processed by ReadAssist (, a volunteer group devoted to helping disabled readers find the books they want in the form they need, and join the community of fandom. The application form has been set up by ReadAssist, and can be found through either the WebScriptions or ReadAssist websites.

If you'd like to volunteer to help ReadAssist, please contact them at query@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx <mailto:query@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>.

Iheard Some Great Internet Radio <>

Posted: 01 Apr 2009 10:12 AM PDT

Internet radio is probably one of the best things to happen since the invention of the light bulb! Ok maybe not, but it's still really nice to be able to listen to music without the adds and long-winded DJs.

Iheard is a site from Fusa Capital that hosts a huge database of online radio stations that you can search instantly! You can also browse the directory of thousands of stations categorized by genre, country, and language.

Iheard doesn't host or stream any of the radio stations, they simply capture and store the data about each station and then connect the listeners to the stations. However, the cool thing about Iheard is that it does not just link you to the radio station site, but instead actually plays the streams off the original site, which is really nice.

Depending on the station, you'll have a choice of streaming formats including Windows Media Player, iTunes, Winamp, and RealPlayer, so you're pretty much covered when it comes to listening to a station.

Iheard also includes simulcasts offered by AM and FM radio stations on top of Internet-only radio stations. Finally, the stations have ratings, so you can quickly find the most popular stations by seeing how many green stars it has. Have fun and enjoy your newfound radio stations!

Click this link to visit <>.

       All Things Radio

Now, let's not give up on traditional radio. All Things Radio is a podcast with radio industry news, live streams, classic airchecks, jingles, sweepers, a weekly show, and well, it's ALL THINGS RADIO!

Click this link to learn more and subscribe to All Things Radio: <>. Click this link to listen to radio stations that stream on the web: <>.

Primer: Your First Electronic Magnifier <>

Posted: 01 Apr 2009 08:26 AM PDT

Primer is a light-weight, hand-held electronic magnifier that connects in minutes to any television set. Magnification depends on the size of your TV. For example, a 20-inch TV will let you magnify from8x to 15x. Features:

   * Displays black and white images in normal, positive enhanced, or
     negative enhanced.
   * Lightweight easy-to-hold camera/controller.
   * CCD camera,
   * auto-focus,
   * lifetime lamps,
   * tracking roller,
   * one button control.
   * Automatic switching between TV viewing and magnification.

Primer, Black and White Model:
Catalog Number: 1-03929-00

No Quota, shipping added. TV not included.

Click here to purchase this item 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:

Shopping for unique gift items? <>

Posted: 01 Apr 2009 06:48 AM PDT

In this record we have pulled together a number of sources for on-line gifts and novelties. We compiled this list with the help of the Fred's Head Brain Waves participants. We hope it will be useful when searching for those hard-to-find gifts for Mom, Dad, a special friend or teacher at school or even for your favorite four-legged companion.

Speak to Me Catalog: <> is a great source for talking gifts. They have talking and audible products for people of all ages. Their product links are arranged in alphabetical order to facilitate navigation, and the site provides links to audio clips of many of their products. Among their many categories you will find talking cookie jars and stuffed animals, singing key chains, audible luggage locators, talking measuring tape and scales, clocks, and hand-held electronics.

Another on-line source for gifts is the Parents & Friends Association of the California School for the Blind (PFA-CSB): <>. It contains links to a variety of businesses that carry toys, games, and other fun items for visually impaired kids. Some of these items include computer CD-ROMs, movies, music, and talking globes.

The American Printing House for the Blind: <> is one of the largest producers of materials for visually impaired people. They offer a wide variety of special aids, tools, and supplies that are useful at home, at work, or at school. Some of their products include: 4-track tape recorders, Talking computer software, and educational games. In addition, they carry a line of "Special Touch" gifts. Among these you can find T-shirts with the braille alphabet, sweatshirts, braille key chains, and greeting cards.

Independent Living Aids: <> is a company that carries products for people with disabilities. In their selection of products you will find nice gift items for those who like games or sports. They have a "Game Balls" category that lists all kinds of audible balls. They also have a variety of board games like Monopoly, Chess, Scrabble, Battleship, Chinese Checkers, Backgammon and different card games. While you are in their Web site, you may also want to check out the "Children's Talking Games" and "Crafts" categories.

Abilitations: <> is a company that offers products for children with special needs. Many of their products focus on sensory stimulation, movement, positioning, exercise, aquatics and play. Among their products you will find: Therapy Balls, Movement Scarves, Saddle Floats and Tactile Stepping-Stones.

Blind Treasures: <> is a unique business. It is mainly an Email-based service. Users may subscribe (free of charge) to an Email newsletter, called The Treasure Scroll. This newsletter provides information about new products, which are often one-of-a-kind. If a member likes a product, they may email their request. If the requested item is still available and in stock, payment arrangements can be easily made.

After getting a hat and a T-shirt, what about braille jewelry? Braille <> has unique designs of pins, pendants, rings, bracelets, earrings, key chains, cuff links and tie tacks. Some of these items can be personalized and are made in brass, sterling silver or vermeil. Very original!

Personalized Braille Pendants by Kim Christiansen Designs

These personalized pendants by Kim Christiansen have become one of the most popular items to hit the braille jewelry market since Christiansen Designs created the world's first line of braille jewelry some 17 years ago.

This handsome sterling silver pendant can be embossed with a person's name or a meaningful word, up to 7 cells. The pendant is 3/4" wide, and 1" to 1-3/4" high, depending on the number of braille cells needed for the word you select (the braille reads downward from the point where it attaches to the chain; to read it properly, you would hold the pendant horizontally in your left hand at the end where the chain attaches, and with your right hand read the braille from left to right). All pendants come with a beautiful 16 inch or 18 inch sterling silver snake chain - your choice.

For yourself or as a gift for another, these lovely pieces will long be remembered.

Click this link to order or see a picture of a pendant: <>. <> tells us about The Crazy Frog TShirts Ebay store which features several custom-made items with braille messages. You can order various-sized shirts and teddy bears, and choose to have the braille raised (for the blind) or flat (for sighted readers). We are unsure as to the accuracy of the braille on these items.

Click this link to visit The Crazy Frog TShirts Ebay store <>.

Finally, if you prefer something sweet and tasteful you may want to try the Chocolate Experience: http://members. <>. They manufacture all kinds of chocolate novelties such as braille chocolate bars and chocolate guide dogs. They also have braille cards and gift baskets.

       Infant and Toddler Tees with Braille

Bitty Braille is a hip and trendy children's t-shirt line that will make you "see" things a little differently. The fashion forward tees for infants and toddlers featuring simple words in Braille are not only cute but give back to a good cause.

Independent designer, Julie Dutt, of julie*ann handmade goods, is proud to introduce, an expansion on her popular Braille product line that targets a smaller audience, those of the infant and toddler size. Inspired by the success of her Braille pendants and charms, the new tee collection features simple Braille words on stylish 100% cotton tees.

These unique t-shirts are adorned with simple "kid-friendly" words like cutie, laugh, smile and darling, set in Braille using swarovski crystals for the girls and metal studs for the boys. The translation is hand embroidered beneath. You can also get them personalized with your child's name. Bitty Braille tees come in a variety of colors and sizes from 3/6 months to size 4T. They are sweatshop free, made in the USA of 100% cotton and incredibly soft. Each design is handcrafted by the company's owner/designer, Julie Dutt.

Another product offered is a luscious modern baby blanket made with soft, fine-wale ivory corduroy paired with a plush pastel dot fabric. To add more to this textural feast for baby, a soft polar fleece panel features babies' first initial in Braille made using blanket-stitched felt dots. The lovey size of 17" square is perfect for toting around everywhere and sure to be babies favorite blanket.

How about fun hair clips for girls? Sturdy metal clips are covered in rich grosgrain ribbon and feature a first initial in Braille on a pearly white flower. The clips coordinate perfectly with all the Bitty Braille tees for girls and come in olive, sky, pale pink and chocolate.

Bitty Braille products make more than just a fashion statement. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the American Foundation for the Blind ( <>. The tees will come with an information card about AFB and a short history of Braille.

For more information, please contact:

Julie Dutt
julie*ann handmade goods/bitty braille
Phone: 315-533-0824
Email: julie@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx <mailto:julie@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>

       At First Sight: Fine and Fashion Braille Jewelry

Everyone likes giving and receiving jewelry, especially unique, handmade, and custom-designed items. You don't have to be blind or have low vision to appreciate the beauty of these unusual, finely crafted, and fun braille pieces^DDLthey're perfect for anyone on your holiday gift list.

At First Sight promotes braille literacy within the blind and sighted communities by offering unique, handcrafted fashion jewelry, including bracelets <>, necklaces <>, earrings <>, pendants <>, and one-of-a-kind items <>:

Click this link to visit the At First Sight website at <>.

       Christiansen Designs

The Braille Collection <> for men and women includes sterling silver and gold pendants <>, earring <>, pins <>, rings and cuff bracelets <>, and men's key chains, cufflinks, and tie tacks: <>

Click this link to visit Christiansen Designs at <>.


Wearable, fun embroidered clothing, including T-shirts, tote bags, hats, and bibs, created by Deb Kersey-Tagoe and her daughter Bronwen Tagoe. Phrases include "Blind People Do It In the Dark," "Braille Is Beautiful," "Dots Talk," "Cane or Canine: That Is the Question," and "Oy Vey." Prices range from $8.50 to $29.00.

>Click this link to visit Braille-A-Wear at <>.

Hand-crafted men's, women's, and children's braille T-shirts use genuine Swarovski® crystals or metallic studs as braille dots. Standard grade two contracted braille phrases include "Brailliant," "Braille is cool," "Can you see me now?" "Can't touch this," and "Feel the love." Also available in grade one braille. Prices range from $12.95 to $29.95.

Click this link to visit <>.

       Primitive State T-Shirts

Create your own custom-designed braille T-shirt or hoodie <>. Choose your word or phrase (a maximum of 10 characters) and then select your T-shirt or hoodie style and color. Prices range from £16.50 to £34.50.

Click this link to visit Primitive State T-Shirts in the UK at <>.

       The Chocolate Vault

Chocolate braille plaques embossed with "Merry Christmas" and "Happy Holidays." $10.95 each. When you order, you may choose milk, dark or white chocolate Each piece is presented in a box with a see-thru lid.

Click this link to visit The Chocolate Vault <>.

STEP BACK IN TIME WITH A RADIO, TURNTABLE, CD PLAYER OR JUKEBOX FROM FUN-RADIOS.COM! Browse the Online Store to see the great selection of Desktop and Traveler Radios, Console and Tabletop Turntables, Music Boxes and more! These are fabulous replicas of the early days of radio, crafted with attention to every detail, built using the finest materials and featuring the latest in audio technology. Fun Radios aren't just your average gift idea - they're fun AND functional too!

Click this link to visit <>.

Search this Online Lamp Shop for the brightest ideas in lighting - from whimsical kids' lamps, fun novelty lamps, to elegant and themed decorator lamps. Looking for a special lamp for a theme room? Know someone who collects frogs, elephants or Elvis memorabilia? they have hundreds of lamps in hundreds of shapes, sizes, colors and designs. Fun Lamps aren't just your average gift idea - they're fun AND functional too!

Click this link to visit <>.

Why settle for an average clock when you can keep time with a Fun Clock from Browse the Online Clock Shop for whimsical novelty and collectible clocks or classy decorator clocks. Looking for a special clock for a theme room? Know someone who collects frogs, sunflowers or Marilyn Monroe memorabilia? they have hundreds of clocks in all shapes, sizes, colors and designs. Fun Clocks aren't just your average gift idea - they're fun AND functional too!

Click this link to visit <>.

Why settle for an average phone when you can talk to your friends with a Fun phone from Browse the Online Shop for whimsical novelty and collectible phones or classy decorator phones. Looking for a special phone for a theme room? Know someone who collects frogs, sunflowers or sports memorabilia? they have over one thousand phones in all shapes, sizes, colors and designs. Fun phones aren't just your average gift idea - they're fun AND functional too!

Click this link to visit <>.

       Shadows in the Dark

Shadows in the Dark offers a large selection of braille greeting cards with braille pictures and more than 2,000 specialty gifts. Their contact information is:

Shadows in the Dark
22615 Mathis Road
San Antonio, TX 78264-9581
Phone: 210-621-2070
Email: info@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx <mailto:info@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>

All the businesses mentioned above have made a great effort to make their sites accessible to blind and visually impaired individuals. This should help to make your shopping experience "a piece of cake".

How to assist people with disabilities in a disaster <>

Posted: 01 Apr 2009 05:40 AM PDT

People with disabilities who are self-sufficient under normal circumstances may have to rely on the help of others in a disaster.

       Provide Assistance

Do You Know Someone With A Disability?

   * People with disabilities often need more time than others to make
     necessary preparations in an emergency.
   * The needs of older people often are similar to those of persons
     with disabilities.
   * Because disaster warnings are often given by audible means such as
     sirens and radio announcements, people who are deaf or hard of
     hearing may not receive early disaster warnings and emergency
     instructions. Offer to be their source of emergency information as
     it comes over the radio or television.
   * Some people who are blind or visually-impaired, especially older
     people, can be extremely reluctant to leave a familiar
     surroundings when the request for evacuation comes from a stranger.
   * A guide dog could become confused or disoriented in a disaster.
     People who are blind or partially sighted may have to depend on
     others to lead them, as well as their dog, to safety during a
   * In most states, guide dogs will be allowed to stay in emergency
     shelters with owners. Check with your local emergency management
     officials for more information.
   * People with impaired mobility are often concerned about being
     dropped when being lifted or carried. Find out the proper way to
     transfer or move someone in a wheelchair and what exit routes from
     buildings are best.
   * Some people with mental retardation may be unable to understand
     the emergency and could become disoriented or confused about the
     proper way to react.
   * Many respiratory illnesses can be aggravated by stress. In an
     emergency, oxygen and respiratory equipment may not be readily
   * People with epilepsy, parkinson's disease and other conditions
     often have very individualized medication regime's that cannot be
     interrupted without serious consequences. Some may be unable to
     communicate this information in an emergency.

       Be ready to offer assistance if disaster strikes

If a disaster warning is issued, check with neighbors or coworkers who are disabled. Offer assistance whenever possible.

   * Prepare an emergency plan.

     Work with neighbors who are disabled to prepare an emergency
     response plan. Identify how you will contact each other and what
     action will be taken.

   * Evacuation.

     Be able to assist if an evacuation order is issued.

   * Provide physical assistance in leaving the home/office and
     transferring to a vehicle.

     Provide transportation to a shelter. This may require a
     specialized vehicle designed to carry a wheelchair or other
     mobility equipment.

   * Self-Help Networks

     Self-help networks are arrangements of people who agree to assist
     an individual with a disability in an emergency. Discuss with the
     relative, friend or co-worker who has a disability what assistance
     he or she may need. Urge the person to keep a disaster supplies
     kit and suggest that you keep an extra copy of the list of special
     items such as medicines or special equipment that the person has
     prepared. Talk with the person about how to inform him or her of
     an oncoming disaster and see about getting a key to the person's
     house so you can provide assistance without delay.

/(Information for this article was obtained from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.)/

       Are You Ready for a Disaster?

The US Department of Homeland Security has launched a website to help people prepare for disasters. The Ready Campaign website, <>, helps people get started by taking three simple steps: Get a Kit; Make a Plan; and Be Informed. The site also features video demonstrations <>. Individuals can call 800-BE-READY for more information.

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