Shared Resource Page from Laser Eye Surgery Hub

Many thanks to Paige Watts from Laser Eye Surgery Hub, who has written to share their page with various resources for blind and vision impaired people at
http://www.lasereyesurgeryhub.co.uk/resources-blind-vision-impaired/

The introductory paragraph on this resource page states:
“When it comes to finding online resources for the blind and vision impaired, there is a range of tools, sources and solutions for most needs. Even so, becoming aware of and finding the tools that you need can be an overwhelming experience, not only because of the sheer numbers of tools available, but also because new eye health treatments and discoveries, as well as low vision tools and services are continuously emerging.
We have compiled a listing of resources based on specific needs and situations. From help adapting to life with low or no vision, to financial assistance for the vision-impaired, these resources can provide assistance and helpful insights for easier daily living and a higher quality of life.”

The page has been divided into the following main categories, which can be found at heading level 2.
Resources for Help with Adjusting to Low Vision or Blindness
Resources for Youth, Parents and Educators
International Resources
UK Based Resources
U.S. Based Resources
Resources for the Latest Medical Advancements and Research
Communication Tech and Mobile App Resources
Financial Assistance Resources

I hope our readers may find the information helpful.

Need or Want to Switch to NVDA?

Firstly, I’d like to put your mind at ease. I made the switch more than three years ago, from Window-Eyes to NVDA and the learning curve wasn’t steep at all. NVDA is now a fully-fledged and fully-functional screen-reader that is considered by many to be the best around. The best of all? You can simply download a copy of NVDA and start to use it at no cost.
Donations are welcome, but cost should no longer keep you from having access to the latest version of a tool you can use to access your PC, the world wide web and beyond.
Check out the link below for a concise tutorial on switching from Window-Eyes to NVDA. At heading level 3, near the top of the page, there is also a link for switching from JAWS to NVDA and near the end of the article, there is info on how to join a list for users of NVDA.
Please feel free to pass info on to others who might be finding themselves needing or wanting to change screen-readers.
More info at:
https://github.com/nvaccess/nvda-community/wiki/Switching-from-Window-Eyes-to-NVDA/

Review of Twitterific for IOS with Voice Over by Alternate Visions Coaching

If you would like to delve into Twitter, currently one of the most popular social media channels, but find the standard app or its web interface a challenge, the review of the Twitterific app by James Goldsworthy of Alternate Visions Coaching may be of interest.

Here is what he writes on http://www.alternatevisionscoaching.org

“It took me quite a while to get into using Twitter, initially for personal use and later for my business. One of the reasons it took some time was because I simply didn’t find the standard Twitter app for iOS to be particularly easy to use nor its home feed screen to flow particularly well. I also found that although the Twitter app itself is perfectly accessible with VoiceOver I really didn’t enjoy using it at all. As a result I began looking for an alternative Twitter client that would be easy to use, would give me a clean flowing home feed and of course would be fully accessible with VoiceOver.
When I was searching for information online I read a lot of good things from both visually impaired and sighted people about the Twitterific app for iOS. Not only that but it’s a free app! Needless to say I immediately found it on the App Store and downloaded it. I’ve been using the app for a few months now and have to say that I love it.
The first thing to impress me when I initially opened the app was that if you don’t already have a Twitter account you can actually sign up and create one directly using the Twitterific app. This really is excellent whether you’re a VoiceOver user or not as you can create your entire account and profile without ever needing to leave the app. Not only that but it’s completely accessible with VoiceOver and takes you through the process step by step.
The second thing to impress me was that every single button, tab and menu is labelled and fully accessible with VoiceOver. The app layout is simple, easy to navigate and crucially, is uncluttered.
There’s also a great help section which lists gestures that you can use for all manner of tasks and functions whilst using the app. The app is also customisable in terms of the notifications you receive, marking your current position in your home feed and how you view tabs and menu bars.
As you’d expect you can do everything with the Twitterific app that you can on the standard Twitter app, including posting and deleting tweets, replying to tweets, retweeting, liking and sharing other people’s tweets, private messaging, searching for and following other Twitter profiles etc.
There’s also an AppleWatch app which works smoothly with the iOS app allowing you to receive notifications directly to your AppleWatch.
Everything I’ve mentioned so far is excellent, functional and accessible, the most striking and impressive thing about the Twitterific app for me however is the simplicity of the home feed. It’s completely uncluttered, is wonderfully easy to navigate and works beautifully.
The only thing you can’t do with the Twitterific app that you can with the standard Twitter app is post tweets using Siri. I think I’ve only ever posted one or possibly two tweets using Siri on the standard Twitter app over the entire time that I’ve been using it. I much prefer typing my tweets on the virtual keyboard or using my Magic Keyboard as I find it a lot more accurate. However, the lack of Siri interaction with Twitterific might be something to consider if you normally post most of your tweets using Siri.
Finally, although the Twitterific app is free there are optional in app purchases. In a nutshell, when you get the app some adverts do appear on the home feed screen, the adverts aren’t actually too annoying and the app works perfectly regardless of them being there. However, if you prefer not to have adverts appear you can choose an in app purchase option to remove them. The in app purchase is a very small amount and in my opinion well worth it, not only because it removes the adverts but also because it contributes to the ongoing development of the app. Not to mention that by making an in app purchase you’re helping support a great and fully accessible product.
If you haven’t tried Twitterific for iOS yet you can download it from the app store at: https://appsto.re/gb/_GTLI.i
If you’d like to follow me on Twitter you can find me on @AVCoaching …”

Article by: Alternate Visions Coaching | 24/05/2017 at 17:12 |
Original Source URL: http://wp.me/p4ckk7-5P

Safety First: Adapting your Home for a Child Who is Visually Impaired

I have great pleasure in sharing the article below, written especially for us by Jackie Waters from hyper-tidy.com

You can read more about her at
About Me | Hyper-Tidy
and feel free to check out the rest of her site as well. Many thanks, Jackie, for giving of your time and expertise. It is much appreciated.
Also, be sure to see the resource list that Jackie has provided at the end of the article for more information.

Safety First: Adapting your Home for a Child Who is Visually Impaired
by Jackie Waters
hyper-tidy.com

If you’re a parent of a young child or toddler who is visually impaired you obviously have concerns about your child getting around your home safely and comfortably, especially as she becomes more mobile and independent. There are a number of relatively simple changes you can make to ensure your child can move safely within your home using her limited sight and her other senses.
As well as thinking about safety issues, it’s important to consider how you can reorganize things at home so that your child can learn how to manage things independently.

Take a good look around your home and assess what changes would be helpful. Some things to consider may be:

Lighting: Are there areas of the house where you could add extra lighting, such as the bathroom or kitchen? LED lights can be very helpful in these areas. Lamps are a good idea if you want to focus light on a game or a particular project your child is working on. Try to eliminate glare; for most visually impaired children, light reflected from a shiny surface can be very uncomfortable.

Contrast and color: Using colors that contrast strongly can help your child distinguish different objects. For example, a red towel hanging on a white bathroom wall, or a blue plate on a white table cloth. Choose some of your child’s favorite colors and use color coded boxes in her bedroom to store different types of toys. You can also use contrast in cupboards and draws by using colored liners.

Texture: Using different textures can help your child learn to use her sense of touch to recognize different things around your home. For example, different textured ribbons tied around bottles can distinguish toiletries. You might put a textured rug in the corner of her room to help her find her toy box.

Labelling: Large print or braille labels can be used on food items, personal hygiene products and toys. Tactile labels are a great way to help your child recognize a wide range of items including food, toiletries, the contents of cupboards and drawers, and puzzles and games. You can also use an audio labeler to help her identify things around your home.

Clutter: Try to avoid crowding things together on shelves or countertops; this will make it very difficult for your child to pick out specific items. Eliminate clutter from her cupboards, dresser, nightstand and bookshelves. Keep bathroom counters clear of everything but necessities, such as soap dispensers. Putting space between items on shelves and surfaces will make them more visible.

Height: Look around your home from your child’s perspective. Imagine what she can and cannot see from her height. Make sure you put things she needs to see at her eye level. You don’t have to reposition every single thing in the house, but objects she needs to reach for should be at the appropriate height and depth.

Encourage your child to use her sense of touch to garner information about where things are throughout her home. For example, in the bathroom, you could put a rubber band around her toothbrush so she can distinguish it from everyone else’s or you could put tactile labels on the kitchen cabinet where her cereal is kept. She may also begin to use clues such as the difference in floor surfaces between rooms. She may begin to trail her hand along the wall at waist height as she walks around the room, or slightly in front of her to avoid obstacles.

Gradually she will build confidence in her ability to orient herself in your home and, as she gets older, other, less familiar and more complex environments.

Resource Links:
Tactile Marks and Labels for the Blind | Braille Superstore

PenFriend Audio Labeler for the Blind (Version 2) | Braille Superstore

Home Accommodations for Persons with Disabilities

What is visual impairment?

The Neighborhood News – Double Decker Version Now Available

Patty L. Fletcher is the author of “Campbell’s Rambles: How a Seeing Eye Dog Retrieved My Life”, in which she recounts her journey from being a long-time cane user to acquiring her first guide dog.

She is also the creator of The Neighborhood News, a digital publication with lots of info and entertaining content.
If you have not downloaded the latest January/February double decker version of this popular publication, feel free to go to
The Neighborhood News | Campbells World
If you have a small business, work from home, or have something you would like to advertise, be sure to find out how you can be a part of this publication.
My best wishes to Patty for continued success with her writing and the wonderful work she is doing.

Hadley Institute for the Blind – New and Improved Guide Dog Course Ready for Enrollment

Guide Dogs: Course Updated
Available in all programs, this popular course is back and freshly updated! A story-based 5-lesson course, “Guide Dogs” provides insight into the decision-making process and guide dog lifestyle, so a potential guide dog user can weigh the benefits and commitment necessary when entering this partnership.
Find out more about the updated Guide Dogs course by visiting
http://hadley.edu/showCourseDetail.asp?courseid=GDG-102
 

New Apps Make Braille Fun and Exciting

I find it encouraging that apps like the ones mentioned in this article are being developed to teach young children and their parents braille.
For those of us who consider braille literacy to be important, I believe this is a way to not only make braille something fun and exciting, but it literally brings braille into the world of young readers, onto the devices they will be using in future.

You can read more at the link below. Be sure to also check out the other great articles on braille that Amber has compiled on the wonderbaby.org site.
http://www.wonderbaby.org/articles/braille-bee-app-review?utm_source=WonderBaby.org+Newsletter&utm_campaign=9dd3b83283-oct_2016&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_dd1cd011f8-9dd3b83283-417310041

L’Oréal Brazil wants to help visually impaired women use its products through new Audio MakeUp Project

L’Oréal Brazil has created a makeup course for its Maybelline New York brand to teach visually impaired women how to use its products.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), about two-thirds of the visually impaired are women. For most of them, being independent and looking after themselves is essential for their self-esteem.
To cater to these women, L’Oréal Brazil partnered with Brazilian NGO Adeva, the trusteeship of Maybelline New York’s official makeup artist, and a group of experts in makeup for the blind. The content adapts the makeup techniques making them didactic, with the lessons then made available via narrated classes.
“Creating a campaign for the visually impaired demanded a deep understanding of the audience, their habits and how they browse the web. On the website, for example, the structure and layout were designed for people with different levels of visual impairment and included special programming,” explained Fred Siqueira, executive creative director at Ampfy, the advertising agency that came up with the idea of the project.
Tutorials include how to apply foundation, eye makeup as well as skincare routines to maintain healthy skin.
The Audio MakeUp campaign is supported by celebrities through the challenge #DesafioNoEscuro (#TheDarkChallenge), in which women accept the mission to do their own makeup totally in the dark, and then invite their friends to do the same, showing the results on social networks.
With the project, Maybelline New York aims to raise awareness for the subject, and the struggle millions of women face having to put on makeup without seeing.
“When a woman wears makeup, she feels beautiful and confident. In that perspective, make up is extremely important also for those who can’t see. Audio MakeUp is an empowering tool for women,” added Débora Maciqueira, L’Óreal marketing group manager.
The course is available on the official website http://www.audiomakeup.com, iTunes, GooglePlay and SoundCloud.
It is the latest push in to diversity from the makeup brand, which last month launched Yours Truly a campaign centred around diversity, one that has seen it adopt a new brand strapline and also features the first man ever to star in a mass market cosmetics ad.
The link for this article can be found at
http://www.thedrum.com/news/2016/10/04/lor-al-brazil-wants-help-visually-impaired-women-use-its-products-through-new-audio

Free Resource – Seminars@Hadley

Seminars@Hadley are Hadley’s free, “just in time” webinars, sharing timely topics of interest to people who are blind or visually impaired and blindness service providers. They last 1-2 hours and can be accessed online from the convenience of your home or office or “on the go.” All seminars are archived on the Past Seminars page at
Seminars@Hadley – Hadley Institute for the Blind and Visually Impaired

The most recent 5 seminars are listed chronologically. Additional seminars are organized by topic for your convenience.
Seminar topics currently include:
• Accessibility and Technology
• Braille Literacy
• Business, Employment and Vocational Skills
• Cooking and Entertaining
• Family Oriented
• Health and Medical
• Independent Living
• Low Vision
• Professional Development
• Travel, Recreation and Leisure
• About Hadley
• And More
Want to learn what’s coming up in Seminars@Hadley or be notified when a new seminar recording has been posted?
Sign up for Hadley’s eConnect Newsletter by going to
eConnect Newsletter – Hadley Institute for the Blind and Visually Impaired
or subscribe to their podcasts by visiting
Seminars@Hadley: Podcasts – Hadley Institute for the Blind and Visually Impaired