Friday, April 11, 2014

BBC News - A watch for blind people (with Thanks to Eric Guillory)

MsKathyssLogo2.gif picture by mskathy0724

From: Eric Guillory To: Eric Guillory &Sent: Wednesday, April 9, 2014 10:20 AMSubject: BBC News - A watch for blind 


I've seen one of these timepieces and really like it. I plan to make it my Christmas/birthday present this year. There was a time when I used to wear a talking or glowing watch, but, as is true for using one's cell phone to check the time, these devices are not always practical. And, as much of a champion as I am of Braille literacy (I use Braille every day), the Braille watch just hasn't worked out well for me, as I am apparently too bombastic when checking the time and can accidentally move the hands. It is not inexpensive, but that is the case for any fashionable watch. I'm passing this along as an FYI for you/your students.
Eric Guillory, Director of Youth Services
Louisiana Center for the Blind
101 South Trenton Street
Ruston, LA 71270
Voice: 800-234-4166 (extension 3009)
Fax: 318-251-0109
Skype: brllovingdad
"Together, we are changing what it means to be blind."


American Council of the Blind
The American Council of the Blind is the nation's leading membership organization of blind and visually impaired people. It was founded in 1961 and incorporated in the District of Columbia.
Center for Applied Special Technology
CAST is an educational, not-for-profit organization that uses technology to expand opportunities for all people, including those with disabilities.

Learning Disabilities Association of America
The Learning Disabilities Association of
America is a national, non-profit organization whose purpose is to advance the education and general welfare of children and adults of normal or potentially normal intelligence who manifest disabilities of a perceptual, conceptual, or coordinative nature.
The National Federation of the Blind is a resource for the blind by the blind. The organization promotes education, independence, group and self advocacy. To subscribe to their publication THE BRAILLE MONITOR visit the web address at or write:


Thursday, April 3, 2014

Could It Be Dyslexia?; Disability Versus Difference

National Center for Learning Disabilities


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Dear Kathy,

What does it mean if your child has trouble finding or saying the right word? Get the answer in this week's Three Things to Know, along with five essential skills for reading and one parent's take on disability versus difference.

Word Finding Word Retrieval Problems Trouble Finding the Right Word
"Can you pass me that… whatchamacallit?" Most of us have trouble now and then with finding the right word, a process called word retrieval. But children who experience this frequently can struggle in school and have anxiety. Find out how you can help.

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5 Essential Skills for Reading Comprehension Skills for Reading Comprehension
If your child struggles with reading, you want to know why. To help you, we put together this list of five essential skills needed for reading comprehension. Use the list to zero in on the challenges your child faces.

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What's the Right Term: Disorder, Disability or Difference? Disorder, Disability or Difference?
Parents are often bombarded with terms for how to describe their children's challenges. It is a "disorder" or a "disability"? What about a "learning difference"? A parent contributor shares her perspective on how the right word can often depend on context.

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I hope these three things help. Thanks for reading.

Andrew Lee
The NCLD Editorial Team

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Sunday, March 16, 2014

The Journal of Blindness Innovation and Research

The Journal of Blindness Innovation and Research (JBIR) is the first international, interdisciplinary open access journal created by blind people, parents, teachers, administrators, and academic researchers designed to further efforts to address the real problems of blindness.

JBIR is a multidisciplinary publication presenting primary research, scholarly reviews, and reports of innovative information and research related to the blind. JBIR strives to publish research and professional discourse that broadens and deepens our understanding about blindness and the best practices for increasing the independence, self-respect, self-determination, and potential of individuals who are blind. JBIR is not a medical journal and does not intend to publish information related to the medical aspects of blindness. Relevant topics may include but are not limited to: the education/rehabilitation of the blind, innovations related to Braille and the use of Braille, techniques and tools for independent movement and travel by the blind, development of innovative technological approaches, findings that can effect advocacy related efforts, analysis of data sets providing descriptive information about the blind, and innovative practices in preparing professionals and paraprofessionals to work with the blind.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Use of Indicator Dots

From: Eric Guillory 

Subject: Use of Indicator Dots

This link from Paths to Literacy takes an interesting approach to students marking answers.

Eric Guillory, Director of Youth Services
Louisiana Center for the Blind
101 South Trenton Street
Ruston, LA 71270
Voice: 800-234-4166 (extension 3009)
Fax: 318-251-0109
Skype: brllovingdad

"Together, we are changing what it means to be blind."

Monday, March 10, 2014

Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers

From: Gene Fleeman 

Hi everyone,
I've started the petition "Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers: Incorporate voice technology, audio queues, and/or tactile buttons into your flat panel appliances to make them accessible to the blind and those with low vision." Thanks to 500 supporters, the petition is off to a good start. But to really make a statement to the Appliance Manufacturers of how important this issue is to those with sight impairment, I need your support to make the number of signatures to grow exponentially! Lets join together to make our voices heard.
Thank you,

Will you take 30 seconds to sign it right now? Here's the link:

Here's why it's important:
I started this petition on, because of the perceived lack of demand, appliance manufacturers have been reluctant to build inexpensive voice/touch technology into their products, thereby making them inaccessible to the blind.  There are approximately seven million blind or low-vision people living in the United States today, and that number is growing every day, due to causes ranging from birth defects, diabetes, to combat injuries, etc.  We clean, do laundry, iron, sew, and travel independently. We are foodservice managers, attorneys, scientists and more.  And yet, when it comes to operating our touch panel home appliances we are practically helpless.  Why?, because appliance manufacturers refuse to incorporate inexpensive technology that already exists­such as those used in smartphones and iPads that make their flat panel appliances accessible to the blind.
By including audio cues, speech output, or tactile buttons, manufacturers will reduce the likelihood that a blind or sighted person will inadvertently touch a spot on a panel and turn on a burner without knowing it, potentially causing a fire or serious personal injury. Without accessible technology being offered to consumers, people who were once able to cook and clean independently could well find themselves unable to live alone in their own homes.
But it doesn’t have to be this way! If manufacturers incorporate inexpensive audio and/or tactile technology into their products, they will make a huge difference in the safety of the blind and others as well as the ability of the blind to continue to lead their lives independently, while simultaneously gaining thousands, if not millions, of newly satisfied customers. This is good for blind people who will remain independent; good for manufacturers who will sell products that the blind can use and that are safer for all who buy them; and good for society, which will not be asked to help normally competent human beings live in assisted living or nursing facilities simply because new appliances do not have displays they can read.
By signing our petition, you will be showing your support and telling the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers to work in collaboration with the National Federation of the Blind to get their manufacturer members to incorporate these immeasurable improvements in the quality of life, convenience, and safety of the blind and those who are losing their vision.
Again thank you for your support,
Gene Fleeman
National Federation of the Blind

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Two Kids, One Story About Support for Learning Differences - NCLD

Two Kids, One Story About Support for Learning Differences - NCLD

Watch this stop action animation created by Abhay Gulati. The video tells the story of two children, and the life-changuing difference the right support fromparnets can make.

I've had students over the years that I knew had learning differences. A few parents were reluctant to have their children evaluated for fear of the children being "labeled". Sometimes I could get help for these children by describing how they learn in their IEP and the methods that were best for them without listing a label. A good specialist "gotta do what a specialist gotta do!"

To see the video, click the hot link above.