Thursday, December 20, 2012

A Different Shade of Black II

I've posted this here for my students with albinism:

Albinism: Caught Between Dark and Light

NEI Animation: Diabetic Retinopathy

NEI Animation: Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)

NEI Animation: Leber Congenital Amaurosis (LCA)

NEI Animation: Cataract

NEI Animation: Cataract

NEI Animation: Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP)

NEI Animation: Amblyopia

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Counting to Five with the Students in SP (part 2)

I have four students in Mrs. East's class for children with severe and profound developmental disabilities. Two of them have only light perception and two are cortically visually impaired (CVI).

Mrs. East's learning task this year concentrates on counting to five. She wants the children who can talk to try to say the numbers and the children who can use their hands to be able to "tap count" on the table while she counts aloud. She also wants them exposed to the numeral. Earlier I made double vision flash cards with the numbers 1 to five in large print, braille, raised lines. I used neon colors because of the cortical blindness. 

My intent here is to make a counting box in which the children will be able to drop five objects inside and hear them hit the bottom of box. I wanted to use a coffee can because they make the most noise but I became concerned with using spray paint to cover the writing on the can. Instead I found more jingle bells and some inexpensive food storage containers. I am thinking I will sew each bell into a cloth pocket so they will be easier to pick up and hold and pose less of a choking hazard.

On each side of the container is the number five represented in different ways. I used neon green duct tape to make a print numeral five on one side. Doll crafting wiggle eyes  were used on another side to make a large braille numeral five. On another side I used five neon orange labeling dots.

I also found some more of those little light-up squishy toys that can be used for another class.

All of the things pictured can be found at WalMart. The colored dot labels and the container can be found at both WalMart and Dollar General.

Later, I will post how the jingle bells came out.

I have been trying to work on a Classroom Suites activity that is conducive to switch use and a video to paste on TeacherTube, however, with no desk I have to go to another site, at the AT department, where the program is installed to do that. Lately when I get to go there it's to use their computers for paper work. I'm determined to  complete a CRS activity before February.

Until next time, keep praying for my kids and for me and I'll keep praying for all of you and yours!


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

In Tanzania, Albinos Face Death and Persecution

In Tanzania, Albinos Face Death and Persecution
Tanzania is a country with a much higher percentage of albinos than the rest of the world, and it's also a place where albinos face serious danger because

Club for DeafBlind to Start Up

Kathy stopped by Essex County Standard website and suggested that you visit the following URL:
They added:

Kind regards
Essex County Standard Team.

Deafblind Community Gets Connected

Visual Impairments Specialist Scotlandville Magnet High School of Excellence

Bookshare: New Contest, Cool Prizes, Starting Soon!

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Visual Impairments Specialist Scotlandville Magnet High School of Excellence

APH Guidelines for Print Document Design

These are some great guidelines to remember for the classroom as well. I'm printing a few here and the rest can be found at the link provided above. For some of my babies with learning disabilities who are in resource or special classes I suggest using Comic Sans font as it's like the teacher's handwriting. ~K

J. Elaine Kitchel
Low Vision Project Leader
American Printing House for the Blind

The American Printing House for the Blind (APH) believes guidelines for print documents should be brought to a standard of optimal usability for persons with low vision. The standards should be based on fundamental principles gleaned from research that originated from the study of the impact of print characteristics on readers of print products. This research also includes existing industry standards, where they apply.
With the advent of word processing, document design has become an intrinsic part of writing. Writers for APH encounter a wide array of new printing options. The knowledgeable use of these options helps the writer gain an advantage because readers of APH materials have become accustomed to very well-designed documents. For the writer of documents at APH, it has become an imperative to be knowledgeable about typography and design.
It is impossible to teach the writer everything he/she should know in a brief primer, but here are the essentials:

A. Use a Readable Typeface/Font

For text, a readable typeface means a sans-serif (/san-ser-if/) typeface (or font) made up of mainly straight lines. A serif is a short stroke that projects from the ends of the main strokes that make up a character. These are not desirable for use in a book to be read by persons of all ages and/or persons with visual impairments.
Although serif typefaces often work well in headings and personal stationery, they can be difficult to read in continuous text. Among the better san-serifed typefaces are APHont, Antique Olive, Tahoma, Verdana, and Helvetica.
The minimum size of any typeface to be used on APH documents is 12 points. Most large
print is 18 points.
  • 12 pt. = regular print
  • 14-16 pt. = "enlarged" print (not considered large print)
  • 18 and larger = large print
  • 18 and larger, with other formatting changes = enhanced print
  • Note: Students who need print 28 points or larger should probably be considered as candidates for Braille education.
Here are the primary things to think about when selecting a font for use by persons with low vision:
  1. The upper case "I" and Roman Numeral I, the numeral 1, and the lower case l, should all look different from one another.
  2. The font should be wide-bodied with space between each letter. Letters which have a bubble inside them, such as o, d, g, and others should have plenty of space inside the bubble.
  3. Punctuation should be rounded, large and very visible.
  4. For these reasons APHont was developed and is suggested as a font that meets all necessary guidelines.
  5. Font strokes should be solid and without gaps in them.

B. Use White Space

Ample white space makes a page more readable and useful because it provides contrast to the print and creates luminance around the text. The primary ways to create white space on the page are to use generous margins, e.g., margins of at least one inch for letters and other business documents. Another way to provide white space is to provide ample spacing, leading and kerning to text.
APH encourages its writers to:
  • Indent 1 inch at margins
  • Justify left margin, unjustify right margin
  • Use a wide, san-serif font for ample kerning
  • Space 1.25 between lines, especially on forms where underscores and boxes are used to provide space for writing
  • Double space (30-34 pt) between paragraphs or other bodies of text
  • Use block paragraph style, no indents
Other ways include white space are, supply headings and sub-headings, enumerate items in separate paragraphs, subparagraphs, or bulleted lists.
White space is especially important on forms. Lots of horizontal lines, or grids with horizontal and vertical lines can be very difficult for some people with visual impairments to follow across the page. These difficulties can be minimized through the use of pastel, colored background for every alternate line. Example below:
State Year Auto Sales Home Sales Boat Sales
Alabama 2010 309,436 99,307 27,397
Delaware 2010 214,556 78,477 39,765
Virginia 2010 349, 887 125,095 33,482
Washington 2009 272,299 69,433 30,442
Crowded text detracts from readability and usability because contrast is limited by too much black text. In studies, persons with normal vision who filled-out crowded forms often lost focus before they reached the end of the task. Persons with vision impairments struggled more than their typically-sighted peers with forms and text.

See more guidelines at


First Grade Frenzy

I found this delightful web site for teachers and home schoolers. It's full of free activities and methods for teaching first graders. There are cute crafts there.
Check out these sound cards--just great for our large print readers.

My attention came to this from Pinterest, where I also post.

Have fun!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Diabetes leading to blindness in many people

Diabetes leading to blindness in many people

Teen Describes Himself as Lucky to Have Disabled Sister

LIKE most big brothers, Sean Millett teases his little sister, Ruth.

She clearly adores him, though, tearing in from school to fling herself on top of him. He responds by swinging her up in the air and tickling her, with much giggling and shrieks of glee.

The age difference between them might always have meant that Sean, 18, would feel responsible for nine-year-old Ruth, but there is no doubt he feels particularly protective of her. She has Cornelia de Lange Syndrome (CdLS)....
Read the rest of this article here:

Bank Staff Co-ordinator - Deafblind Charity

Bank Staff Co-ordinator - Deafblind Charity: Are you a Bank Staff Co-ordinator with experience of supervising in a service for disabled people? If so our client, a leading deafblind charity would like to hear from you. Apply Now!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Enter Our Essay Contest

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Help your students earn LOTS of great prizes by entering them in Stossel in the Classroom's essay contest, for students aged 13-18! And we have super prizes for teachers, too!

ESSAY TOPIC: In John Stossel's TV special and book of the same name, "No They Can't," Stossel makes the case that free people and free markets do a better job of solving problems than government. Do you think he's right? Why or why not? Please write a 500-1000 word essay on this topic, illustrating your position using a recent example of a problem private individuals solved where an attempted government solution failed OR a problem government solved where private individuals' attempts had failed. You must include at least one reference to John Stossel's "No They Can't" book or TV special.

225 students will receive CASH PRIZES totaling $23,000.

1st and 2nd place students will also win an all-expense-paid trip to New York City for themselves, a chaperone, and the teachers who submitted their essays to see a live taping of STOSSEL.

Teachers whose students receive at least an honorable mention will receive an autographed copy of one of John Stossel's best-selling books.

Each teacher may submit an unlimited number of student essays (500-1000 words) on our web site between now and the Feb. 13th deadline.

Our 2013 Edition FREE DVD Is Here! Use this link to come to our site to order our brand-new DVD, 2013 Edition: Good Intentions Gone Wrong. The DVD includes ten new video segments on a range of topics, both English and Spanish subtitles, and an accompanying Teacher Guide (also in English and Spanish) containing lesson plans, graphic organizers, activity suggestions, viewing guides, and vocabulary. Order yours today!

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Visual Impairments Specialist Scotlandville Magnet High School of Excellence

Key Dyscalculia Resources

Sent from Yahoo! Mail on Android

From: The National Center for Learning Disabilities <>;
To: mskathy
Subject: Key Dyscalculia Resources
Sent: Tue, Nov 13, 2012 8:09:07 PM

Learning Disability Resources

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Dear Kathy,

Learning Disability Resources LD Awareness Month might be over, but our community needs access to information about learning disabilities and local support all year round. That’s why we put together the following resources lists on the learning disabilities and related issue below:

  • 10 Dyscalculia Resources: Dyscalculia refers to a wide range of lifelong learning disabilities involving math.
  • 10 Dyslexia Resources: The most common LD, dyslexia is a language-based processing disorder can hinder reading, writing, spelling, and sometimes even speaking.
  • 10 Dysgraphia Resources: Dysgraphia is an LD that affects writing. This can lead to problems with spelling, poor handwriting, and putting thoughts on paper.
  • 6 Dyspraxia Resources: Dyspraxia is a disorder that affects motor skill development. This can vary from simple motor tasks such as waving goodbye to more complex tasks like brushing teeth.

We hope these resources are helpful to you and that you’ll forward this email to friends and loved ones who would also find it useful.
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The NCLD Team

P.S. Tell us: Which learning disability or related issue affects your life or the life of someone you know? Your answer will help us determine which e-books, videos, and articles you'd be interested in.
Which LD Affects You?

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Deafblindness Slide Show

BBC Story: Sensory room hope for Amelia

Batten's is a horrible disease. I've had about five students with this condition over the years. I seem to find many articles about children with it from the UK. 
This story is about a grandmom raising money and awareness about Batten's Disease.

** Sensory room hope for Amelia **
A Nottinghamshire grandmother is raising money for a &quot;sensory room&quot; for her three-year-old granddaughter, who is not expected to live beyond her eighth birthday
< >

** BBC Daily E-mail **
Choose the news and sport headlines you want - when you want them, all
in one daily e-mail
< >

Oskars' first Toy: Video

Arthur's Lessons in communication

Arthur (from PBS) talks to kids about how children who are visually and hearing impaired communicate. This one is great for the classroom! The lesson plan is already done for you!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Dayglo counting cards for my severe profound kids...

MsKathyssLogo2.gif picture by mskathy0724
Ms. Kathy's Kids Blog:

----- Forwarded Message -----
From: Kathy 

 To: Ms. Kathy's KidsFacebook
Sent: Saturday, October 13, 2012 2:48 PM
Subject: [Ms. Kathy's Kids] Dayglo counting cards for my severe profound kids...

Dayglo counting cards for my severe profound...
Ms Kathy2:48pm Oct 13
Dayglo counting cards for my severe profound kids with visual impairments.

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Dayglo counting cards for my severe profound kids...

MsKathyssLogo2.gif picture by mskathy0724
Ms. Kathy's Kids Blog:

----- Forwarded Message -----
From: Kathy 

 To: Ms. Kathy's KidsFacebook
Sent: Saturday, October 13, 2012 2:48 PM
Subject: [Ms. Kathy's Kids] Dayglo counting cards for my severe profound kids...

Dayglo counting cards for my severe profound...
Ms Kathy2:48pm Oct 13
Dayglo counting cards for my severe profound kids with visual impairments.

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mskathy's photo on Instagram via Instagrille
Bob as a far away spot in the yard.
This message was sent by mskathy from Instagrille, the Instagram app made for your computer:

A soldier died today

Got this from Rev. Bill today

Remembrance Day 11th November

 A soldier died today
Written by A Lawrence Vaincourt
He was getting old and paunchy,
and his hair was falling fast
as he sat around the legion,
telling stories of their past.
Of war that he once fought in
and the deeds that he had done.
In his exploits with his buddies,
they were heroes, everyone! 
And tho sometimes to his neighbours,
his tales became a joke.
All his buddies listened quietly,
for they knew of where he spoke.
But we'll hear his tales no longer,
for ole' Bob has passed away,
and the world's a little poorer
for a soldier died today!
He won't be mourned by many,
just his children and his wife
for he lived an ordinary,
very quiet sort of life.
He held a job and raised a family
going quietly on his way.
And the world won't note his passing,
'tho a soldier died today!
When politicians leave this earth,
their bodies lie in state.
While thousands note their passing
and proclaim that they were great.
Papers tell of their life story,
from the time that they were young.
But the passing of a soldier
goes unnoticed and unsung.
Is it the greatest contribution
to the welfare of our land,
some jerk who breaks his promise
and con's his fellow man.,
Or the ordinary fellow,
who in times of war and strife,
goes off to serve his country
and offers up his life.
The politicians stipend
and the style in which he lives,
are often disproportionate
to the service that he gives.
While the ordinary soldier
who offered up his all.
Is paid with a medal,
and perhaps a pension, small.
it is not the politicians
with their compromise and ploys
who won for us our freedom
that our country now enjoys,
Should you find yourself in danger,
with your enemies at hand,
would you really want some cop-out
with his ever waffling stand?
Of would you want a soldier,
his home, his country, his kin.
Just a common soldier
who would fight until the end.
He was just a common soldier
and his ranks are growing thin.
But his presence should remind us
we may need his like again.
For when countries are in conflict,
we find the soldier's part
is to clean up all the troubles
that the politicians start.
If we cannot do him honour
while he's here to hear the praise,
then at least let's give him homage
at the ending of his days.
Perhaps just a simple headline, that the paper might say.
( I make no apologies for  the lack of pictures
as this poem should stand alone)
Compilation Copyright ©
Created for your personal enjoyment by Sandi


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