The American Action Fund for Blind Children and Adults (AAF) is making its free Braille books for blind children available online as downloadable BRF files. Since 1997, the AAF has provided popular and award-winning children’s books, including titles from popular series, to blind children throughout the United States as well as to libraries and other organizations that serve blind children. The books have been and will continue to be distributed by mail, but now readers and libraries will also be able to download them from the American Action Fund Web site. The BRF files are ready to be used on Braille notetakers and other Braille-aware devices.
Braille Touch Application for IPhone
Looking for a faster and easier way to type on your iPhone or iPod touch? BrailleTouch is a revolutionary app for the blind community that lets you type on your touchscreen using braille.
Camp Tuhsmeheta (Campt T)
Bring your students & sign up today! Located in Greenville, MI, this camp is open all year round! The cost is $50 per day (food is included).
Comic Book Store for the Blind - Online
An online comic book store for the blind and visually impaired!
Control Your Mobile Device with BraillePen
No mobile app or device can raise braille dots, but that doesn't mean blind people can't use braille to run their smart phone or tablet. The BraillePen 12 and BraillePen Slim are Bluetooth braille keyboards that give users hands-free access to and control over popular Apple iOS, Nokia, and Windows Mobile devices.
Down Syndrome - David Egan's Success Story
David Egan has worked at Booz Allen Hamilton for nearly fourteen years. He is an athlete, a public speaker, and has testified before the U.S. Senate. He also happens to have Down Syndrome. Below is an excerpt from his story of inclusion, thoughtful transition planning, and meaningful employment, which was taken from the NICHCY blog (no longer available).
"There are many people like me who are seeking to be valued members of our society. People with intellectual disabilities can succeed on the job. People with intellectual disabilities have dreams; we want to be included; we want to be a part of the community. We want employers to hire us, and we want to be useful members of our society - because, we want to show OUR ABILITIES and to contribute to the goals of the businesses we work for. Let me tell you how it all started for me and why I am able to succeed. It did not all happen suddenly. It took many years to prepare, and there were a few things I learned along the way:"
Guidance on Meeting the Communication Needs of Students with Hearing, Vision, or Speech Disabilities
Source: U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs - Retrieved January 15, 2015
The U.S. Department of Education's Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) has updated their online collection of Memos and Dear Colleague Letters
to include guidance dated November 12, 2014 on meeting the communication needs of students with hearing, vision, or speech disabilities.
Our team of experts will work closely with you to develop an individualized action plan tailored to your needs and goals, and everything you learn will have practical, real world applications. One-on-one training, cutting-edge technology, hands-on learning and the opportunity to interact with people who know firsthand the challenges you face—it's all part of the HKNC experience.
iPhone Tactile ScreenShot Quick Reference Guide
Produced by Tom Dekker, VRT with Tactile Vision, Inc. Braille, large print and tactile diagrams - all in one booklet for $27. The perfect companion to Getting Started with the iPhone and
As part of the delivery of a free appropriate public education (FAPE), visually impaired students are entitled to instruction in Braille if deemed necessary. Despite this, parents and advocates of blind/VI students report that these services are being delivered less frequently. The Department of Education released a letter reaffirming the importance of Braille instruction, clarifying the circumstances in which it must be delivered, and identifying resources for state and local education agencies to meet the needs of blind/VI students. Click on the link below to view the letter.
Michigan Alliance for Families
Provides information, support, and education for families who have children (birth through 26 years of age) who receive (or may be eligible to receive) special education services. This website can help you with finding information on special education issues as well as disability specific information.
Michigan Family-to-Family Health Information Center
We work to ensure that all Michigan families of children or youth with any kind of disability or special health care need are empowered with the knowledge and assistance they require to make informed decisions that support their child or youth's health and development, through advocating the value and power of partnerships between families, healthcare professionals, lawmakers and the community-at-large.
Mobile Audio Description - Disney
With a new, major update to the Disney Movies Anywhere app, you can now take control of your own personal audio descriptive track, on your own smartphone, on your own terms. This brand new, free, mobile audio description from Disney Movies Anywhere is smart and user-friendly; it listens and syncs automatically with their films (starting with the sixteen classic Disney•Pixar titles), including today’s home release of The Good Dinosaur. In accomplishing this, Disney•Pixar is leading the way for accessible films; and soon, we at the LightHouse are confident that this mobile Audio Description experience will be possible for all movies, everywhere.
MyTalkTools Applications for Android, iPhone, iPad (with Online Workspace)
Created by the parent of a child with special needs, MyTalkTools is an easy, cool and affordable augmentative, alternative communication (AAC) device. MyTalkTools' Apps for Android, iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad are easy to use, easy to manage, highly customizable and affordable. MyTalkTools enables users to express and connect in a while new way.
Parent Guides on Dispute Resolution Processes
Following OSEP's release of a Q & A on IDEA Part B Dispute Resolution in July 2013, CADRE was asked to create a set of companion resources for parents and families. We developed four parent guides: Mediation, Written State Complaints, Due Process Complaints/ Hearing Requests, and Resolution Meetings.
QRead - Most Affordable E-Book Reader for the Blind
Blind readers can access eText for less than the cost of an evening out! QRead is a program that provides blind users with fast and efficient screen-reader access to the most common e-book formats, including both PDF, the industry standard for textbooks, ePub, a format popular for technical titles and fiction as well as many others. Users can open and tab between an unlimited number of books, place an unlimited number of bookmarks, and return to their current place in each book even after a session has ended. QRead offers the ability to read continuously, "skim" through a text by percentage, and even search for specific passages with its "Find" feature.
QRead interfaces directly with all major screen reading software, including JAWS for Windows, Window-Eyes, Super Nova, System Access, and the free and open source NVDA.
Steps to Success Translations
This brochure offers specific communication skills that may be helpful to parents as they develop and maintain partnerships with their child's school. The publication is newly available in twelve different languages along with English.
Technology Quick Tip: How to Access Audio Described Content on iTunes - Blindy Blog
Did you know that you can now access and purchase high quality movies from the iTunes store with audio description? You heard right, Apple is finally offering hundreds of titles with the audio description tracks built right into the file! Accessing them is easy too – just head over to www.itunes.com/audiodescription and enjoy! As a bonus if you purchase any traditional movies (i.e. a hard copy from the store or Amazon) with the digital copy for iTunes, when you load it into iTunes you will have access to the audio description right on all of your Apple devices too!
Transitioning to Adulthood Toolkit - ODEP
The Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), U.S. Department of Labor, through its Youth Technical Assistance Center, announced the release of "Making the Move to Managing Your Own Personal Assistance Services (PAS): A Toolkit for Youth Transitioning to Adulthood." This is a guide designed to help transition-age youth with significant disabilities as well as their family and friends navigate the complex world of PAS. The link above includes more information and you may download a Word or PDF version of the toolkit.
Video-on-Demand Children's TV Programming Now Accessible for Thousands of Students with Visual or Hearing Disabilities
March 16, 2015
U.S. Department of Education has announced the availability of free, video-on-demand children's television programming for thousands of students who are blind, visually impaired, deaf or hard of hearing.
White Cane Day Song
October 15, 2015
New Zealand recorded an uplifting and triumphant song on YouTube that was written to celebrate White Cane Day.