Friday, October 16, 2009

I'm Finding Stuff Again

There's been lots of paper work and two IEP's to attend so I have not been able to author posts like I really want to. I have photos of somethings I have been adapting for use with my kids. Some of these I make and others I "make into." hee hee!

I have a toy tester at my home school where my little "office" is . After he has done his work he searches my shelves for toys. When he approves then it's good. You'll see him in a photo "toy testing." I used one where his face is not really clear so you won't go looking for him on Main Street. {:^D}

I found this learning mat in a Dollar General for only $15. Here's a photo of the box which shows how it's used. There are some adhesive rubber disks in the package but the directions don't say what they're for. Anyway the surface of the toy is smooth so I am trying some 3D paint on key areas for the blind.
This is what the toy looks like out of the bag. if you look close up, I have painted raised lines around the colored letters and panels. I'm leaving it there on the floor over the weekend to dry. Knowing my "Toy Tester" he will probably try to peel all of it off the first time he tries to play with it if it doesn't feel right. My braille writer is on the blink so I can't stick braille letters and colors on the spots right now. We get leftover braille writers when we work with the multi-disabled kids. But that's a soap box for another time. Don't get me started!
This is the 3D paint by the company that makes Elmer's glue.

This is a leap frog toy called "Fridge Farm Animal Magnets." I paid only $5 for it at a garage sale. It plays music and has a couple of sound effect puzzle games. One game involves matching the animal halves and another involves mixing them up to make silly combinations. I thought I'd braille the animal parts but my toy tester showed me I don't need it. He has already memorized what the pig feels like and loves to make a "pig-duck" to hear the silly song about a pig-duck.

I couldn't afford a big playground ball but Mr. Toy Tester has shown me that he likes this garage sale exercise ball. He can hear it when it bounces away because the bouncing sound from it echoes. It's tough enough for sitting on. Mr.Toy Tester likes to dribble this one, too. The only thing I don't like about it is it's color. I wish there was some way I could color it some bright fluorescent color. I had a student some years ago who could track a big orange playground ball against the green grass using some light perception.

This is an old poster I made maybe 10 years ago on fluorescent orange poster board to make my point to folks who had my low vision kids in their classes.

I made my own dry-erase board by gluing some bulletin board boarder around a ghost line poster. I laminated it and stuck it on a wooden bulletin board.

I had a toy phone that Toy Tester loved to borrow so I got this one for his birthday. I found it in Wal-Mart. It also plays music, has voices and teaches emergency numbers and home phone numbers. I stuck these braille numbers on it but they fell off in a day or so. He let me know they are not needed because he's already memorized where all the numbers and function buttons are located. He says he uses it to call girlfriends.

HumanWare Literacy Activities

Get your kids to participate in this!

Share your experience of the BrailleNote at school and you could win
This year the United States Mint offers 2009 Louis Braille Commemorative Coins. These coins honor the inventor of the Braille System of reading and writing used by the blind and visually impaired. They have been released in 2009 to mark the 200th anniversary of his birth.

HumanWare will draw 8 of these exceptional commemorative coins each month to students ages 8 to 18 years old. To participate, simply write a short essay on how the BrailleNote empowers your life at school - for your homework, math, Internet, book reading, and more!

8 coins to win each month!

Send us your essay along with the form below to participate
Draw ends December 31 2009

Legion Foundation Awards More Than $636K in Grants

Legion Foundation Awards More Than $636K in Grants

October 15, 2009

INDIANAPOLIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- The American Legion Child Welfare
Foundation, in its 55th year, has awarded $636,869 to 19 non-profit
organizations. These grants, determined during the annual meeting of the
Board of Directors, held at the Sheraton Hotel City Centre in
Indianapolis, Ind., on October 11, have been awarded to support
worthwhile projects through the dissemination of information to the
general public and specific target groups. The following is a brief
summary of the grants awarded for 2010:

American Legion Children's Home of Ponca City, Okla., was awarded
$41,000 for their project "American Legion Children's Home National
Awareness Initiative Phase II." This grant will support an endeavor to
increase the awareness of the American Legion Children's Home which was
established to support the children of veterans families by campaigning
to increase support and expand services to children in need. The
American Legion Auxiliary and the Sons of The American Legion sponsor
this grant.

American Legion of Nevada of Las Vegas was awarded $3,037.25 for their
project "Hear Today - Learn Tomorrow (HT-LT)." This grant will: develop
and distribute letters requesting discount services from medical
providers and hearing aid manufactures for participants in the HT-LT
program, produce information sheets about the availability of support to
families of hearing impaired children, and produce public service
announcements related to HT-LT program.

Boys Scouts of America, Exploring Program Denver was awarded $35,717 for
their project "Experience 9 to 5." This grant will produce 12,000 course
catalogs, 31,200 flyers and 90 posters associated with the Experience 9
to 5 program.

Childhood Leukemia Foundation of Brick, N.J., was awarded $48,000 for
their project "Hope Binders." This grant will print and ship 1,600 Hope
Binders to 160 hospitals nationwide to be given to families facing the
diagnosis of childhood cancer. The American Legion Auxiliary sponsors
this grant.

Children's Hospital of the King's Daughters (CHKD) of Norfolk, Va.,
$30,050 for their project "A Guide to Chest Wall Deformities in
Children: Info. for parents, patients and physicians." This grant will
develop and distribute "A Guide to Chest Wall Deformities in Children:
Information for parents, patients and primary care physicians" as a
CD-ROM to better educate families and physicians. The Sons of The
American Legion sponsor this grant.

Children's Institute, Inc. of Rochester, NY was awarded $30,500 for
their project "Building Connections for Military Families through Play."
This grant will provide the DVD "Possibilities of Play: Building
Connections through Play" to schools and community agencies that work
with children and families in the military. The American Legion
Auxiliary sponsors this grant.

Cornelia de Lange Syndrome Foundation of Avon, Conn., was awarded
$16,744 for their project "Cornelia de Lange Syndrome Screening
Checklist for Medical Professionals." This grant will create a CdLS
Screening Checklist and distribute it nationally to 16,000 pediatric

Diabetes Education and Camping Association of Huntsville, Ala., was
awarded $25,000 for their project "รข€˜Ready, View, Go' - Diabetes Camp
Web Training Project." This grant will produce diabetes training videos
that will prepare camp directors and staff how to handle diabetes issues
in a camp setting.

Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation of New York, N.Y., was awarded
$39,500 for their project "I'm Aaron and I'm Bionic." This grant will
produce 4,000 DVDs that will educate teachers, classmates and friends
about the history of treatment for type 1 diabetes and the newest
innovation, the artificial pancreas. The American Legion Auxiliary
sponsors this grant.

Mercy Medical Airlift of Virginia Beach, Va., was awarded $45,700 fogrant will provide five modernized and updated websites and a full
social media presence providing full information dissemination to the
public and pediatric medical world regarding available charitable child
patient long-distance medical air transportation. The Sons of The
American Legion sponsors this grant.

The MY HERO Project of Laguna Beach, Calif., was awarded $28,872.50 for
their project "The MY HERO Report - Youth Edition, Volume Two." This
grant will research, produce and distribute training videos for students
to tell their own hero stories through video and filmmaking.

National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD) of New York, N.Y., was
awarded $45,500 for their project "Empowering Parents to Advocate for
their Children with Learning Disabilities." This grant will revise and
enhance NCLD website to ensure parents of children with learning
disabilities are aware of their children's rights and inform parents
that they can advocate for them.

National Exchange Club Foundation of Toledo, Ohio, was awarded $25,000
for their project "Child Abuse Prevention Kits." This grant will
produce, print and distribute 1,000 Child Abuse Prevention kits, expand
and enhance website and purchase promotional items.

National Reye's Syndrome Foundation of Bryan, Ohio, was awarded $38,200
for their project "Reye's Syndrome/Influenza Awareness School Mailing."
This grant will mail postcards to 131,377 schools across the U.S.,
directing school nurses and health care givers to the website to
download handouts, brochures, bookmarks, literature, list of products
containing aspirin and wellness information and distribute it to
students to take home to parents and caregivers. The American Legion
Auxiliary sponsors this grant.

PKS Kids of Florissant, Mo., was awarded $29,500 for their project
"Recognizing A Pallister-Killian Child." This grant will, through a
direct mail campaign, raise awareness of Pallister-Killian Syndrome by
50,000 pediatric doctors.

SADD, Inc. (Students Against Destructive Decisions) of Marlborough,
Mass., was awarded $54,549 for their project "SADD's Parents' Corner
Program." This grant will redesign the website and integrate a new
feature called the "Parents' Corner," which will offer practical advice,
tips and information to parents, teachers, school staff, coaches, summer
camp professions, and other caring adults to enhance adult/teen
communication. The Sons of The American Legion sponsors this grant.

Spina Bifida Association of Washington, D.C., was awarded $40,000 for
their project "Faces of Spina Bifida." This grant will product "Faces of
Spina Bifida," a social network for children with Spina Bifida designed
to facilitate peer-to-peer support.

Tourette Syndrome Association, Inc. of Bayside, N.Y., was awarded
$25,000 for their project "The Tourette Syndrome Youth Ambassador
Program: Kids Teaching Kids." This grant will create and produce
presentation kits to be used by Tourette Syndrome sufferers as they
educate a nation of children about what Tourette Syndrome is and is not.

Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, Inc. (TAPS) of Washington,
D.C., was awarded $35,000 for their project "TAPS Children's Grief Kit
and Interactive Website." This grant will produce 5,000 Caisson
Horse/Comfort Book packages and website, for children who have lost a
parent serving in the military, to assist them understand their grief.
The Sons of The American Legion sponsors this grant.

Thursday, October 15, 2009


My husband sent this oldie-goodie. It's a good reminder for each of us.

--- On Thu, 10/15/09, David M wrote:

From: GOD
Reference: LIFE

This is God. Today I will be handling All of your problems for you. I do Not need your help. So, have a nice day.
I love you.

P.S. And, remember...
If life happens to deliver a situation to you that you cannot handle, do Not attempt to resolve it yourself! Kindly put it in the SFGTD (something for God to do) box. I will get to it in MY TIME. All situations will be resolved, but in My time, not yours.

Once the matter is placed into the box, do not hold onto it by worrying about it. Instead, focus on all the wonderful things that are present in your life now.

If you find yourself stuck in traffic, don't despair. There are people in this world for whom driving is an unheard of privilege.

Should you have a bad day at work; think of the man who has been out of work for years..

Should you despair over a relationship gone bad; think of the person who has never known what it's like to love and be loved in return.

Should you grieve the passing of another weekend; think of the woman in dire straits, working twelve hours a day, seven days a week to feed her children.

Should your car break down, leaving you miles away from assistance; think of the paraplegic who would love the opportunity to take that walk.

Should you notice a new gray hair in the mirror; think of the cancer patient in chemo who wishes she had hair to examine.

Should you find yourself at a loss and pondering what is life all about, asking what is my purpose? Be thankful. There are those who didn't live long enough to get the opportunity.

Should you find yourself the victim of other people's bitterness, ignorance, smallness or insecurities; remember, things could be worse. You could be one of them!

Should you decide to send this to a friend; Thank you. You may have touched their life in ways you will never know!
Now, you have a nice day...God

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Kids Are Doing

My oldest student has opened his blog here. He's calling it "Boxcutta's Blog" because that is the rapper's name he gave himself a few years ago. When he was in middle school, I helped him open a web sit on Geocities. A couple of years ago Geocities was blocked by the school board's web security system. While it lasted though, it was great because his friends and family could keep up with what he was doing and his teacher could monitor his progress as he wrote journals. We could tell what he needed to include on his spelling list. So now, we have a more secure blog for him that is only open by invitation. He is so happy to be back on the Internet!

Yesterday Mr. J showed me that his receptive vocabulary is fine. Perhaps not up to par with a child his age, but he does have one. It still means that the class he is in maynot the best for him. The poor teacher feels helpless! His vision is also better than it appears. I had him walk with out holding hands and I noticed the slight twist of his head. he is looking through a lower left quadrant of his eyes. We really need another orientation and mobility instructor in this system! I could really work with them on this.

Oh, the little girl, Trinity, that I asked you all to pray for, has gone to China last week. We will see how her surgery turns out for correcting optic nerve hypoplasia. In my links you will see a site titled "Vision for Trinity" authored by her mom.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Today's Lunch

Little J and I had a good time for lunch. That kid has more going for him than folks think. He's in the wrong class though.

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Monday, October 12, 2009

My Friend's Web Site

My friend Renee has recently published a helpful little book. Here is a recent text:

Hi. How r u? If u have time pls visit my website- it is a work in progress. If u like order a book! Pls kee

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Friday, October 9, 2009

Yahoo! News Story - In a surprise, Obama wins Nobel Peace Prize - Yahoo! News

Ms. Kathy has sent you a news article.
Personal message:

I'm loving this.

In a surprise, Obama wins Nobel Peace Prize - Yahoo! News

Yahoo! News

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Blind boy uses his ears to 'see'

Blind boy uses his ears to 'see'.

A seven-year-old blind boy has been taught to "see" using his ears.

Lucas Murray from Poole in Dorset has learned to use echoes to picture the world
around him - similar to sonar techniques used by bats and dolphins.

He clicks his tongue on the roof of his mouth and from the sound that returns he
tries to work out the distance, shape, density and position of objects.

The echolocation technique has helped Lucas, who was born blind, play basketball
and rock climb.

He was taught the system by blind Californian Daniel Kish, 43, who founded the
World Access for the Blind charity.

Lucas's parents Sarah and Iain saw Mr Kish on TV and asked him to visit.

Mr Kish said: "Lucas is one of the first in the UK to use this technique.

"He is able to click his tongue and determine where things are around him and
what things are around him and he is able to travel comfortably without holding
on to people.

"The click basically emanates a sound which bounces off the environment a bit
like the flash of a camera."

'Amazing mobility'.

Lucas tells distance by timing how long the echo takes to return and he works
out the object's location by which ear the sound reaches first.

He picks up the density and shape of it by the intensity of the sound bouncing back.

An object moving away creates a lower pitch and one moving closer a higher pitch.

Mr Kish said Lucas determines the qualities of an object by the characteristics
of the sound that comes back.

"He does play basketball, he is able to make it in to the hoop by clicking, he
is actually pretty good at that," Mr Kish added.

"He is doing very well and his mobility is amazing, the best for his age in the UK."

Source URL:

Mrs. Kathy Visual Impairments Specialist
Elementary School

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

This news story was sent to you by request

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This was bothering me, too!

Ms. Kathy has sent you the following story:

Posted on Wednesday, Oct. 07, 2009

Being famous has nothing to do with it

Somebody please help me with this. Obviously, I'm missing something.

So we've got a 43-year-old man who takes a 13-year-old girl into a hot tub. According to the girl, this is what follows: He gives her part of a Quaalude and some champagne. He gets into the hot tub, naked. She flees to a bedroom. He follows. He puts his mouth to her vagina. He removes her panties. He asks if she is on the pill. She is not, and he asks if she wants him to penetrate her anally instead. She says no. He does anyway. During all this, she's begging him to stop.

An arrest, 31 years later

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Cure for Glaucoma Soon, Says New Research

WOW! Amazing!

Cure for Glaucoma Soon, Says New Research

Posted using ShareThis

Learning Blind Faith

From : Ms. Kathy
This is a story about the fastest blind runner and the mentoring he is doing for children.

Hadassah has vision for treating blindness for the aging

Your friend, Ms.Kathy, has sent you an article from JPost.

Article: Hadassah has vision for treating blindness for the aging

Click here to view the entire article:

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Don't miss out on any of the important breaking news stories and in-depth analysis about Israel you can only get from JPost.For more news updates, go to

Monday, October 5, 2009

What is Albinism?

The following page from the "24Medica" web site has been sent to you by Ms. Kathy.

You can access it at the following URL:

There was a good presentation on ABC last week about the stigma children may suffer when they have this condition.

Vision Following Extended Congenital Blindness: New Study Challenges 'Critical Period' In Childhood Vision Development

Vision Following Extended Congenital Blindness: New Study Challenges 'Critical Period' In Childhood Vision Development

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Vision Following Extended Congenital Blindness

P.S. This message was sent by Ms. Kathy via Please note that the sender's email address has not been verified.

An article from

Ms. Kathy has sent you the following story:


Posted on Tuesday, Sep. 29, 2009

State commission recommends schools for deaf, blind remain open

The state’s Facilities Closure and Realignment Commission on Monday voted to keep open both the Kansas School for the Deaf and Kansas School for the Blind.

The commission voted to recommend to Gov. Mark Parkinson that the schools maintain separate operations, but work together to find cost-cutting measures within the two operations.

“I can sure hear the sighs already,” said KSD Superintendent Dr. Robert Maile. “I know this caused some anxiety in the community.”