The Blind Have High Hopes for Self-Driving Cars

I was immediately interested to read this article, so if you are grabbed by its title, I hope you will find it interesting too.
I like the positivity that is evident in most of what is mentioned here.
Advocates for the visually impaired are talking to companies and legislators about developing vehicles they will be able to drive independently.
Article Link:
During a few days in August, the parking lot at the Perkins School for the Blind morphed into a test zone where a golf-cart-like vehicle transported students and staff members, guided by a laptop. It was a prototype from Optimus Ride, a startup in Cambridge, Massachusetts, that is developing self-driving technologies for electric vehicles.
Though the trip was short and followed a programmed course, it generated excitement at Perkins, the country’s oldest school for the blind, which serves 200 blind, visually impaired, and deaf-blind students on its campus and hundreds more through programs in local schools. Advocates for the blind—at Perkins and beyond—say driverless cars could revolutionize their lives, provided the vehicles are designed to be accessible. As the promise of a truly autonomous car draws closer, organizations representing the blind are taking a more active role in shaping the vehicles and software being developed.

“Autonomous vehicles will be transformative for people who are blind,” says Dave Power, Perkins’s president and CEO. “For the first time, they will be able to get to school, work, and community activities independently, regardless of distance. There is tremendous enthusiasm about it, both here and nationally, among the blind.”
Image: National Federation of the Blind president Mark Riccobono preparing to drive the car developed by the organization’s Blind Driver Challenge in 2011.

Advocates want companies to make their autonomous vehicles disability friendly rather than produce special cars for the visually impaired, which would probably be extremely expensive. Power, a former technology executive, knows the blind community can’t assume that autonomous-vehicle makers will take their needs into account. So he has begun inviting technology companies to Perkins’s campus to make presentations and gather feedback. “We want to help these vendors build accessibility into their designs and think about blind people up front,” says Power.
Optimus Ride was the first company to respond to Power’s invitation. During its visits, the startup test-drove its vehicle on Perkins’s 38-acre property. It also held a brainstorming session to learn how driverless cars can best serve blind people and whether they could be deployed as shuttles on large campuses.
Perkins employees say they gave the startup numerous suggestions, such as making sure to provide adequate floor space for service dogs. They also emphasized the need for a nonvisual interface that passengers could use to communicate with the car. For example, a touch-screen-controlled vehicle could accommodate blind users by integrating voice-over technology or haptic feedback.
The setup could mimic the gesture-based screen readers that blind people use to navigate their smartphones and apps. In fact, the Perkins group recommended that Optimus Ride create an app for its future users. Jim Denham, Perkins’s educational technology coordinator, says he anticipates using an app to do everything from summoning a car to instructing it to make an unscheduled stop and wait while he unloads his belongings. The app, in turn, could give users periodic status updates about the vehicle’s progress and notify them when they’ve reached their destination.
Beyond vehicle and software design, the blind community wants to influence regulations governing driverless cars. The National Federation of the Blind (NFB), the country’s largest organization for blind people, has championed the idea of cars for the blind since the early 2000s, when it organized a Blind Driver Challenge to encourage universities to create nonvisual interfaces for cars. NFB spokesperson Chris Danielsen says the group has since asked Google to incorporate accessibility features into its self-driving car. The NFB also plans to attend an upcoming conference hosted by Daimler, at the invitation of the German auto giant, and to submit comments on the automated-vehicle rules that the U.S. Department of Transportation released recently.

The American Council of the Blind (ACB), a national grassroots advocacy group, has been tracking state laws to ensure that they don’t prohibit blind people from using autonomous vehicles. When Nevada included restrictive language related to blind people in its draft legislation, the organization asked lawmakers to make the wording less specific, according to ACB president Kim Charlson. “We don’t think being blind should be a reason why we can’t take advantage of these cars,” she adds. “On the contrary, we think it’s a reason we should use them.”
Charlson, like other advocates for the blind community, is looking forward to a future of fully autonomous vehicles in which a blind person would not need to do any type of driving and authorities would be alerted if the car got into trouble. Blind people say that riding in semi-autonomous cars, alongside sighted passengers able to serve as drivers, would not expand their current transportation options. After all, they can already get lifts from friends or family members, take taxis or Ubers, or use paratransit vans, which provide shared door-to-door transportation to people with disabilities. “If we still have to have another person in the vehicle, we’re no better off than now, regardless of how sophisticated the technology is,” points out NFB’s Danielsen.
“Autonomous vehicles are going to be the future,” adds Charlson. “My objective is to make sure people who are blind get to equally be part of that future.”

B G Word Maze – latest free game release from Spoonbill Software

Spoonbill Software has just released its latest game entitled B G Word Maze.

B G Word Maze combines the skill of solving a maze with the skill of unscrambling letters to make words. The game is played in levels. There are seven levels in all. Each level has a larger maze and more letters to collect.

B G Word maze can be downloaded directly from the Spoonbill Software Blind Gamers website at:

The Blind Gamers Series, from Spoonbill Software in Australia, is a range of free Windows-based PC games especially for those who are blind or with visual impairments.

A list of all games with basic descriptions may be viewed by going to

On this page, click on a game to read a description and find a download link for each game.
The games are listed in chronological order of release date.
At this point there are more than 30 games, including many popular word, card and board games, as well as some numbers games and an accessible crossword puzzle game.

Summary of Items Added through 19 May 2016

For the convenience of users who have not visited our site recently, please find below a text summary of the latest ad additions to
For further information, please go to our latest listings.
On that page you will be able to find and move through the ads by using h4 and to enter on each ad to find contact details and links to more information.
To place your own ad for free, send info and your contact details to or you may register and place an ad directly on our site at
Please contact us if you need any help with registration or ad placement.

items added

eBook: Coping with Vision Loss (from the perspective of a caregiver)
Coping with Vision Loss (from the perspective of a caregiver) is a rich compilation of technology and insights to help someone who is coping with vision loss or their caregiver. The insights are the byproduct of many years serving as my Mom’s caregiver after she lost her sight. I believe…
Price: $ 7.95

The Neighborhood News Online Monthly Magazine
Hello! My name is Patty L. Fletcher and I am the creator of an online magazine called The Neighborhood News. The mission of The Neighborhood News is to bridge the gaps that separate and cause negativity and strife for us all. Gaps such as disABILITY, both physical and mental, And…

Blind Abilities: Bridging the Gap between the limited expectations and the realities of blind Abilities.
“When we share what we see through each other’s eyes, We can then bridge the Gap between the limited expectations and the realities of Blind Abilities.” The Free Blind Abilities App is the quickest way to reach High School students, College bound Students and those seeking information about Blindness. All…

Facebook Group – Jobs for the Blind
If you are seriously looking for a job or if you know of others that are trying to find one or could help blind people get employment opportunities, feel free to join my Facebook group called “Jobs for the Blind”. You can look it up by that name or copy…

Summary of Items Added Through 24 April 2016

For the convenience of users who have not visited our site recently, please find below a text summary of the latest ad additions to
For further information, please go to our latest listings.
On that page you will be able to find and move through the ads by using h4 and to enter on each ad to find contact details and links to more information.
To place your own ad for free, send info and your contact details to or you may register and place an ad directly on our site at
Please contact us if you need any help with registration or ad placement.

items added

Resources for Blind and VI Job Seekers
Perkins School provides “Resources for blind and visually impaired Job Seekers at

First Ever Circle of the Blind Mice Viewer Appreciation Contest!
In celebration of reaching & surpassing my first 50 subscribers, I am holding the first ever Circle of the Blind Mice Subscriber Appreciation Contest, sponsored by visor! If you’d like a chance to win a free iTunes app store code to download the Visor Magnifier app, which normally retails…

Free Ebooks on Beginner Arts and Crafts from Interweave Press
Interweave Press is offering free eBooks on all kinds of beginning arts and crafts taken from Interweave’s various publications:

The Blind Panels podcast by Comics Empower
Comics Empower, the comic book store for the blind offers readers the Blind Panels podcast. The latest episode has just been released. Since interactive fiction (i.e. text adventure games) have become accessible for the blind, I felt it was a good chance to interview Interactive Fiction maven Andrew Plotkin, a.k.a.…

Circle of the Blind Mice: Low on Vision, High on Tech!
Circle of the Blind Mice is a blog & YouTube channel dedicated to talking tech, life & occasionally other products from a low vision perspective. From high tech to low tech, everyday tech & simple tech tips, my mission is to help you learn, use & embrace technology, and for…

Unlimited Access to Mists of Audazzle
Audazzle have been making a game and platform “JumpInSauceRS” and “Mists of Audazzle”. We offer it free to anyone who doesn’t want to pay or can’t afford to pay yet. The game is accessible for blind and VI. Its available on PC, MAC, iPhone, iOS devices, Android phones and devices.…

Now Free-of-charge – Verbal View Tutorials
APH produced a number of comprehensive software tutorials under the Verbal View name, which have now all been discontinued. Four of these tutorials covered the Microsoft Office® suite of products, and while they focused on Office 2007, the information is for the most part still accurate. There is certainly no…

Developers Wanted
Jim Kitchen made many free games available to the blind. He passed on last August, but his family is maintaining the site, and is open to offers from developers who might be willing to port the games to iOS and other platforms. Jim’s sister’s email address is on the site…

Customized poetry
I write highly-customized rhyming poetry on a variety of topics, suitable for all kinds of occasions and recipients. I deliver unique content in a timely manner and it always adheres to the specifications determined by the customer as strictly as possible.
Price: $ 10.00

The Blind Community Short Story Contest
The Blind Community short story contest is now underway. Send your stories to We are excited seeing the stories that have been submitted so far, and can’t wait to see more. So join the fun, and you might be the one who wins the contest.

Penpal Program for Blind and Visually Impaired Children,
For more information, visit

Questionnaire On Issues Faced By People With Disabilities When Using Search Engines
For more information, visit the survey page at:

New Facebook Group for Students, Teachers and Parents of the Visually Impaired
Adrijana Prokopenko recently created a facebook group for teachers and parents of blind children and for university students who are studying to become teachers to the blind, as well as professors, psychologists, counselors, doctors, volunteers or anyone else who is connected to them in some way. They should feel free…

New mouse pointers with many new styles and colours Available from 22 Point
Quentin Christensen  of 22 Point  fame has announced the availability of  a very large update to the mouse pointers with many new styles and colours. Each pack now includes FOUR schemes, essentially two colours, each with both black and white border.  This ensures the pointers will work in your chosen…

The Blind Community Locking Arms Together To Create A Better Future For Tomorrow
Come over and join us as a member and take advantage of all the great features, and plans we have. All of us here have lots of fun, and enjoy so much here. So come sign up as a member and check us out. We also have the blind community…

Facebook Groups for Blind Penpals and Singles
If you would like to join Facebook groups to meet new people and to share info of interest to blind and VI users, please search on Facebook for the groups below and enter on the “join” button to become a part of these groups: “blind penpals” and “group for visually…

Helpful Apps for blind and VI users – TapTapSee – Blind & Visually Impaired Camera – now free for unlimited use
Name: TapTapSee – Blind & Visually Impaired Camera Platform: IOS TapTapSee is designed to help the blind and visually impaired identify objects they encounter in their daily lives. Simply double tap the screen to take a photo of anything, at any angle, and hear the app speak the identification back…
02/22/2016 – one of the best resource sites for parents of blind/VI children, a project funded by Perkins School for the Blind, is dedicated to helping parents of young children with visual impairments as well as children with multiple disabilities. Here you’ll find a database of articles written by parents who want to share with others what they’ve learned about playing with…

Essay Series by Blind Writers

The first essay in a new series, “LightHouse Interpoint: Weekly Essays by the Best Blind Writers,” is out.

“Interpoint,” strictly speaking, is a term used in braille production to describe a two-sided braille page. Both a non-visual marvel and a clever embossing technology, Interpoint represents everything that LightHouse for the Blind stands for and continues to promote — a chance to learn about blindness from both sides.

Our first submission is from blind Berkeley professor and noted author Georgina Kleege. Read “On Being Who I Am: My Life As a Tall Woman” on our website now, and stay tuned for a new Interpoint essay from blind journalist Michelle Hackman …

For more information, visit

TED Talk by Danit Peleg – Forget Shopping, Soon You’ll Download Your New Clothes

The TED talk featured in this post mentions another of the innovative uses found for 3D printers. For those with mobility challenges or those of us who like or prefer to shop online, printable clothes might be something available to us in the not so distant future …

Downloadable, printable clothing may be coming to a closet near you. What started as designer Danit Peleg’s fashion school project turned into a collection of 3D-printed designs that have the strength and flexibility for everyday wear. “Fashion is a very physical thing,” she says. “I wonder what our world will look like when our clothes will be digital.”

Summary of Items Added Through 17 December 2015

Please find below a text summary of the latest ad additions to

For further information, please go to our latest listings.

On that page you will be able to move through ads by headings and to enter on each ad for contact details and more information.

To place your own ad for free, send your ad and contact details to or you may register and place an ad directly on our site at

Please contact us if you need any help with registration or ad placement.

items added

    The el capitan quick start has arrived!
    Since el capitan came out on September 30 2015 I have published, and received positive feedback from, a quick start guide that is easy to follow. Optional audio guides can also be purchased as an extra. Simply choose the option that comes with the audio guides. If you get the…
    Price: $ 10.00

    Very neat Gemstone accessories at wholesale prices
    For those people who don’t wear a lot of jewelry, but still enjoy some added décor for those every day items that we all must use, I have a little something for everyone. I make cane charms, that can clip onto a belt loop or purse/bag strap to even decorate…
    Price: $ 10.00

    Wholesale gemstone jewelry
    I make gemstone jewelry items starting at 5 dollars and usually no higher than 20 dollars. Often far lower. I can do custom designs, and am happy to search for specific things if people are interested in certain things. I.E bracelet, pendant, ring, Brooch designs with anything from jade to…
    Price: $ 15.00

    Different Kinds of Metaphysical Exploration
    As a math major I have figured out numerology fairly well and my charts provide detailed information about the individual’s tendencies, relationships with others of romantic nature as well as those established through work environment, learning experiences or other types of cooperation. I charge 20 dollars for the smaller charts…
    Price: $ 25.00

    Math and Language Tutoring Available
    I have taught myself math from scratch up to mid graduate levels, without being a genius, by understanding my limitations and how to lift them through continuous practice. The learning principle itself is of interest to me and even before acquiring a degree in education I was gathering personal experience…
    Price: $ 7.00

    The Blind Sport Podcast
    “The Blind Sport Podcast”, hosted by Mike Lloyd presents interviews with blind or vision impaired people doing all kinds of sports, including skiing, surfing, archery, rowing, fishing, and a myriad of other sports. You can subscribe, download and listen to The Blind Sport Podcast for free via iTunes or the…

The next frontier in Formula racing: Driverless cars

If, like me, you are finding the developments around driverless or self-driving cars fairly interesting, a recent article by Brian Fung caught my eye, or is that my ear …

Here is what he writes:
“Imagine taking Google’s driverless car, mashing it up with Tesla’s zero-to-60-in-three-seconds “ludicrous mode,” and then pushing it to speeds of over 100 mph. Now imagine nearly two dozen of these souped-up robotic cars all speeding around on the same closed track and trying to outdo one another — without a human behind the wheel.
That’s basically what we’ll get next year in the Roborace, a high-speed stress test for 10 teams of driverless car designers who will compete as a part of Formula E, the global auto racing series that uses only electric cars.

Roborace is being billed as the world’s first race involving all-electric, driverless vehicles. With automation becoming increasingly common in consumer cars that move at much slower speeds, Roborace has the promise to showcase vehicle technology that’s even more nimble, more reliable and more capable than what’s on the market today. Just like real drivers, the cars will have to be programmed to pass each other, pull tight turns, make decisions about when and how to accelerate and, above all, avoid crashes at deadly speeds. (Of course, there won’t be any drivers in the cars to get hurt if there is a collision.)

“Roborace is an open challenge to the most innovative scientific and technology-focused companies in the world,” Alejandro Agag, chief executive of Formula E, said in a release. “It is very exciting to create a platform for them to showcase what they are capable of.”
You can read more at the original source:

Summary of Items Added through 5 December 2015

Please find below a text summary of the latest ad additions to

For further information, please go to our latest listings.

On this page you will be able to move through ads by headings and to enter on each ad for contact details and more information.

To place your own ad for free, send your ad and contact details to or you may register and place an ad directly on our site at

Please contact us if you need any help with registration or ad placement.

items added

    Site for Android Users –
    Share your information, ideas, apps and tips with the community of people with disabilities who are Android users from across the world! Information To Promote Sight, Sound, Physical & Cognitive Digital Inclusion for people with disabilities. If you are just starting out: You might want to start out by browsing…

    List for Blind and Disabled Bloggers
    Name: The Group W Bloggers

    Group Description In case you’re wondering, the group is named after the infamous Group W bench immortalised by Arlo Guthrie in his 1967 song, Alice’s Restaurant. The group was originally set up for Irish bloggers with disabilities, but Ireland is a small place and there…

    WordPress for Badeyes Series: 3 in 1; Build an eCommerce, Membership site and Community Forum
    This Book has been written from the position that you are going to be selling a Product such as a Book/Guide like I’ve done on this site, however that is not to suggest that is the only implementation you can learnwithin the Pages, the Plugins are very robust and have…
    Price: $ 19.95