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

  • From: "The Elf" <inthaneelf@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <blind_html@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 30 Dec 2008 12:35:53 -0800

great, smile thanks for the info's

----- Original Message ----- From: "Nimer" <nimerjaber1@xxxxxxxxx>
To: <blind_html@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Tuesday, December 30, 2008 9:57 AM
Subject: blind_html [Fwd: Fred's Head Companion - American Printing House for the Blind]

Check out the first two articles in this email, although the others might be of interest as well.

Nimer J

"Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement. For even the very wise cannot see all
ends." LOTR

Nimer M. Jaber

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-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Fred's Head Companion - American Printing House for the Blind
Date: Tue, 30 Dec 2008 09:24:18 -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 <>

On-line Availability Of Representation For Social Security Claims <>

Posted: 30 Dec 2008 08:20 AM CST

Allsup Inc., the first private national company to represent disabled individuals before the Social Security Administration (SSA), has a home page where social security disability claimants can pre-qualify for Allsup representation. This can be done by completing a simple online questionnaire. The Allsup website also gives computer users comprehensive, up-to-date information on disability, representational services, congressional re-engineering, and other initiatives that can affect their benefits. In addition, company benefits managers with responsibility for disabled workers can also go to the site for invaluable information.

Allsup Inc.
300 Allsup Place
Belleville, IL 62223-8626
Toll Free: 800-854-1418
Phone: 618-234-8434
Fax: 618-236-5778
Email: info@xxxxxxxxxxxxx <mailto:info@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>

"The Top Ten List of what Motorists Shouldn't do when they See a Blind Person" <>

Posted: 30 Dec 2008 08:05 AM CST

Orientation and Mobility Specialists, the instructors who train visually impaired individuals to use the white cane, cross streets and ride the busses offer suggestions to motorists regarding how to help the blind pedestrian.

If you thought that a blind person just picked up a cane one day and went for a ride on the bus . . . that's not quite the way it happened. Cane users can spend more than 60 hours of "walking the streets", learning to refine their skills. Those of us who provide this training spend all day, everyday in traffic with our students. We have plenty of opportunities to observe the motorists who, due to lack of knowledge, "test" our students for us. We know that drivers have the best intentions and with a little knowledge, they can be of great assistance. Therefore, we offer:

*The Top Ten List of what Motorists Shouldn't do when they See a Blind Person *

*10.* Don't stop your car more than five feet from the crosswalk line. You may think that you are allowing plenty of room for the blind person to cross, but the truth is that you are probably confusing them. Don't be shy. Pull right up to the line and allow them to use the sound of your engine as a guide for walking a straight path across the street.

*9.* Don't call out "it's O.K. to cross". The motorist may not have considered all the factors before giving the "all clear". For example, you stopped your car but the person passing you in the next lane may not. The blind person listens to all the traffic sounds before deciding to cross.

*8.* Don't engage the visually impaired traveler in conversation. Even if you know them. It requires skill and concentration to cross the intersection and a "good morning" or "how're ya doin'?" may distract them. Be sociable, of course, just wait until they have crossed the street.

*7.* Don't wait too long for the blind pedestrian to cross the street. The sound of an idling engine "waiting" at the intersection puts pressure on the blind people to cross the street when they are not ready. That will soon become evident that they aren't going to cross and we suggest that you "creep" slowly through the crossing. If the cane traveler takes a step back and pulls in the cane, that's a definite "go" for the motorist.

*6.* Avoid split-second stops at stop signs. They are confusing to those who are dependent on traffic sounds. Often, motorists stop briefly at crosswalks noting they have time to pass before the pedestrian reaches that side of the street. Failing to wait for pedestrians is dangerous and if you come to a complete stop, you could even provide some assistance with the sound of your car's engine. Come to a full stop and allow the blind pedestrian to cross in front of you.

*5.* Don't turn right on red. In an ideal world that would be true. In this world, however, statistics show that the right-turner is involved in frequent vehicle/pedestrian accidents. And, no wonder! The motorist is looking to the left, focused on turning into traffic and hasn't looked at anything else since passing the mid-block point. Often, the turn is made without ever checking the nearest corner, which is particularly dangerous for a blind individual who cannot see the turning traffic. Our advice is to take it easy on the right turns and try to remind yourself to check the intersection before turning.

*4.* Don't fail to stop for pedestrians at crosswalks without stop signs. Just a reminder. To ensure the safety of all pedestrians always come to a full stop if when a pedestrian is anywhere in the crosswalk.

*3.* Don't stop in the middle of the crosswalk! That forces the blind pedestrian to go around your car and often into traffic in order to cross the street. Also, the sound of the engine in the crosswalk may deceive the pedestrian into thinking they have veered out of the crosswalk. Try stopping directly by the line.

*2.* Don't block the sidewalk at driveways. Creative parking solutions often create problems for the cane traveler. In this particular case, a path around the front or back of the car must be chosen, with no guarantees on outcome. Going around the front of the car is best, but may not be possible. For example, when the offending car is parked directly behind another car in the driveway and there is no room to pass between them. The fact that they can't get through is discovered only after the attempt. Going around the back of the car may put them into traffic and they are "fumigated" by the exhaust if the car is running.

AND NOW! Number One, and our personal favorite, on the Top Ten List of What Not To Do When you see a Blind Person:

*1.* Do not HONK! Try this, go outside and stand on the corner with your eyes closed (NO PEEKING!). When you hear a car horn, do you know if it's for you? Or, totally unrelated to you? Blind pedestrians don't know either. Honking at the blind pedestrian to let them know they can cross usually results in scaring the heck out of them.

If you're patient and follow these suggestions, they will get across the street . . . honest! When you see a blind traveler crossing the street, you are seeing the result of many months, possibly years, of training and hard work. The ability to use the white cane and have the confidence to make good decisions requires constant effort, even for the most skilled traveler. You, the motorist, can be of great assistance in that effort and their teachers are grateful for your help.

/James Hazard, M.A./, is an Orientation and Mobility Specialist at the Center for Living Independence for Multihandicapped Blind (CLIMB) in Sierra Madre, California.

/Kathy Zelaya, M.A., COMS/, is an Orientation and Mobility Specialist at TravelVision Mobility Services, Glendale, California.

This article by James Hazard and Kathy Zelaya first appeared on TravelVision's home page <> (July-98) and is reprinted with special permission from the publisher.

Rehabilitation Services <>

Posted: 30 Dec 2008 07:59 AM 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.

Contributor: American Foundation for the Blind: <>

Take-Out Services At Neighborhood Groceries <>

Posted: 30 Dec 2008 07:22 AM CST

Many grocery stores are now doing prepared-food take-out services. Some neighborhood groceries still deliver groceries and will deliver take-out foods along with the regular groceries. There are also companies that specify in the delivery of frozen food products.

The following companies deliver groceries, either through the mail or through a delivery service.


Schwan's is a home delivery food service that sells a wide variety of prepared foods in 48 states. Delivered frozen, you will need to heat your meals before eating. Online ordering is available from the web site, and the MealTime catalog is available in braille, cassette, disc or e-mail versions.

Schwan's Fine Foods
115 West College Drive
Marshall, MN 56258 Toll Free: 888-724-9267

Cake Decorating with M&M's <>

Posted: 30 Dec 2008 07:15 AM CST

Use M&M's for decorating cakes. They are much easier to handle than some of the cake decorating sprinkles and add nice touches of color. They can be used to spell names, provide trims, or make patterns. The M&M's can be used for braille messages. Apply these just after you ice the cake.

If you want to make cupcakes with the M&M's as the decoration, make sure they stay together by traveling with the Cup-A-Cake.

Cup-A-Cake was designed and patented by mothers to solve the age old problem of sending cupcakes to school or outings with their children. Before Cup-A-Cake, taking cupcakes anywhere caused a mess.

This unique container will hold a frosted cupcake in place with protrusions positioned in such a way that the cupcake will not move within the container if bounced, jiggled, or turned upside down.

   * Made in the USA
   * User friendly, can be used by the smallest fingers
   * Practical and light weight
   * Air tight to insure freshness
   * Comes in a variety of colors
   * Available in a single, reusable model
   * Economical and fun
   * Keeps cupcakes intact while you travel

   General Uses

   * School lunches
   * Field Trips
   * Picnics
   * Birthday celebrations
   * Parties
   * Sporting events
   * Boy or Girl Scout outings
   * Camping or work

Click this link to get your Cup-A-Cake: <>.

Cleaning Your Mouse <>

Posted: 30 Dec 2008 07:05 AM CST

My mouse is acting funny. Yes, it's one of those ancient roller-ball mouses and sometimes I have to move it a few inches before the cursor starts to move. Is it time for a new mouse?

I'm guessing the problem is that your mouse is simply dirty. Flip the mouse over and feel, or look, for the ball.

Normally, there is a removable piece that holds the mouse ball in. It usually comes off with a little twist. Pull the ball out and remove any excess dirt, fur, hair, gum, pop, spare change, etc. Usually just wiping off the ball with a lint free cloth will do the trick. If it's extra grimy, rinsing it off under running water would be a good idea (the ball, NOT the mouse), just make sure that it's 110% dry before you re-assemble things.

Next look, or feel, inside the mouse where the ball was. You'll probably need to take a pair of tweezers and (carefully!) pluck the hair / fur / lint off the rollers. They act like a magnet for this stuff. You might even try to blow it out with some of that canned air stuff. In case you're tempted, it's probably NOT a real good idea to wash it out with water. :-)

Finally, make sure that your desk or mouse pad surface is clean and free of lint, hair, mouse droppings, etc. If your mouse is still misbehaving, you may need to replace it. You can even go cordless!

Differences Between The Abacus And The Calculator <>

Posted: 30 Dec 2008 07:03 AM CST

When comparing the abacus and the calculator, it is important to outline the differences between the two. The abacus, for example, requires the user to have knowledge of the processes of arithmetic--and the ability to move counters (beads) in proper sequence to obtain a desired result. This being the case, unless one is a skilled abacus operator who has spent countless hours in practice, chances are the use of an electronic calculator will yield results more quickly than that of an abacus. This is especially true in areas such as root extraction, vector analysis, trigonometric calculations, etc.

Additionally, abacus calculation helps to develop mental concepts concerning numeric relationships, which is not the case with a calculator. For example, it is possible to demonstrate place value by adding a digit, or set of digits, to itself or themselves ten times. This shows movement to the left by one place--and the presence of "0" at the end of the total.

Another difference from a calculator is that the abacus does not require electrical power and can be used under most physical conditions. Further, the abacus does not require programming to perform trigonometry or other functions--as does a calculator. However, the limitation of the abacus is based on the knowledge and ability of the operator.

Abacuses can also be connected in series. This means that if large numeric values need to be calculated, two or more abacuses can be joined and treated as one abacus. This cannot be done with a calculator.

There are certain testing situations in which those being tested are not permitted the use of calculators. This usually results from the concern that calculators can be programmed with formulae that make problem solving automatic--and no longer dependent on the knowledge of the person being tested. The abacus, however, offers no more aid and comfort than a pencil and a piece of paper--and is in no way programmable.

Contributor: Fred Gissoni

Low Vision Research Group (LVRG) <>

Posted: 30 Dec 2008 07:02 AM CST

The Low Vision Research Group (LVRG) is an organization whose members have an interest in low vision issues, research and resources. Its mission includes: the fostering of communication among low vision researchers (especially those with different professional credentials); encouraging critical and frank discussion and review of low vision research produced in both formal and informal settings; and increasing the attention that is paid to low vision within the vision research community.

The group's website - LVRGNet - offers information that may be useful to researchers, clinicians and others with an interest in low vision. Follow the General Information link for info on eye disorders, services, support groups, discussion groups and assistive technologies.

Click this link to visit The Low Vision Research Group on the web at: <>

How to Peel and Core an Apple <>

Posted: 29 Dec 2008 10:00 AM CST

In my opinion, peeling an apple is best done with a vegetable peeler. Knives take too much fruit. A peeler can make nice thin even slices of peel leaving behind the maximum amount of fruit, smoothly removed.

Not all peelers are created equally. Many have dull blades, need too much pressure and will be difficult to use. Look for one with a Swiss blade. Swivel blades are also easier to use. I recommend the Messermeister line of peelers. They are very easy to use and make light work of peeling.

Coring an apple can be easily done with a melon baller. Use one with a sharp blade and sturdy handle, then simply cut the apple in half and scoop out the core, seeds and all. You can even use the melon baller to remove the blossom end and stem end. Now your apple is ready to slice and eat. If you make the hole a little larger, your apple is now ready to be stuffed and baked with cinnamon, flour and sugar or even cheese and nuts like Brie and walnuts or whatever you prefer. The apples are also perfectly prepared for poaching, which is excellent with red wine and spices.

Not all apples cook up the same. Some like the McIntosh or Spy will reduce to more of an applesauce. When baking, use a variety of apples for better flavour and a difference of texture.

       Best Apples for Cooking

   * Rome
   * Cortland
   * Golden Delicious
   * Red Delicious
   * Ambrosia
   * Empire
   * Gala
   * Jonagold
   * McIntosh

       Best Apples for Eating, When You Just Can't Wait

   * Cortland
   * Fuji
   * Granny Smith
   * Jonagold
   * Ambrosia

UK National Centre for Independent Living <>

Posted: 29 Dec 2008 09:42 AM CST

From the UK-based website:

"NCILs primary aim is to promote independent living. This means disabled people having control and choice over our own lives. To do this we give support and information around Direct payments and Individual Budgets, we try to make sure that disabled people can get accessible information in these subjects and provide newsletters, books, leaflets and videos/DVD^D>'s. (see our publications section). We also have an Employers Kit which helps employers and prospective employers with issues around employing staff on a direct payment or individual budget.

We have meetings for people to talk about and develop new ideas around independent living. We work with the Department of Health and other policy makers to try and make sure disabled people can live independently.

Part of making sure disabled people can live independently is to campaign to improve the rights of disabled people by working for better civil rights and effective policy. We are constantly keeping up to date with current issues and work together with other groups and disabled people to make sure that the Government knows what disabled people need and want. To find out about our current Campaigns and News please click on the links provided on our website.

We also provide an online discussion Forum so people can discuss issues that they need help and advice on with other people that have had similar experiences The forums are designed to be a place where people help each other, not necessarily a place where individuals ask NCIL for information, you can do this by contacting the office. Topics are added by the Forum members and moderated by NCIL.

NCIL regularly undertakes research, consultancy and training and has a register of suitably experienced disabled people to undertake this type of work. If you would like to learn more about us, visit our website at <>.

New Technology for People with Disabilities <>

Posted: 29 Dec 2008 09:31 AM CST

Check out this resource. Project:Possibility is a nonprofit corporation centered at the University of Southern California, working to encourage new technology that could help people with disabilities expand their capabilities. The group plans to create a worldwide open-source Website on which software developers can collaborate with people with disabilities on new ideas & add to existing programs.

Project:Possibility is a non-profit, community service organization. It is led by individuals of diverse backgrounds and skillsets that share a common goal: to make a powerful difference in the lives of persons with disabilities. Click this link to read their /About us/ page to learn more <>.

Click this link to visit <>.

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