Future Reflections Winter 2010
NFB ShareBraille is an online resource that facilitates the exchange of Braille books. People who have Braille books to give away are connected with Braille readers who want books. The service is free; just register and become part of the ShareBraille community.
EARLY CHILDHOOD CONFERENCE
Beginnings and Blueprints: Helping Build Strong Foundations for a Successful Future
In May 2009, the Jernigan Institute of the National Federation of the Blind sponsored a two-day conference for parents of blind children from birth through age seven. Many of the presentations delivered at the conference are now available online as downloadable MP3 files. Topics include basic child development and blindness, early intervention services, parents' firsthand experiences of raising blind children, reflections by blind adults, ideas for parents of blind children with additional disabilities, teaching independent living skills, and more.
TEXT TO SPEECH
2200 Mission College Blvd.
Santa Clara, CA 95054-1549
Intel Corporation announces the launch of the Intel Reader, a new text to speech reading system for people who are blind or have other print disabilities. This handheld device converts printed text to digital text and then reads it aloud to the user. When used with the Intel Portable Capture Station, the Reader can store large amounts of text to be read later. Intel is working with a number of organizations in the disability community, including the National Federation of the Blind, to insure that this product effectively meets the needs of consumers.
You Can Do Astronomy
For the past twenty-five years astronomer and educator Noreen Grice has been exploring ways to make the wonders of the heavens available to people who are blind and visually impaired. This Website provides information about her work with museums and planetariums; her workshops for students and teachers; and her books, which contain both ink-print and tactile illustrations.
365 Days of Astronomy
At the beginning of each podcast on this Website listeners are greeted by a song that declares, "This stuff is far! It's really far! ... You can't get there by car!" Each day the site posts a brand-new podcast, five to ten minutes in length, on some astronomical topic. The searchable archives reach back to September 2008. Each podcast is accompanied by a full transcript and links to related Websites. Visitors of all ages are invited to submit their own audiofiles for possible inclusion.
7-128 sells a variety of accessible games for children ages two to nine. The company claims that its "Here Comes the Duck" is currently the only computer game that can be played by a blind two-year-old. The Pizza Games are a series of games for blind preschoolers. Games are designed for both Mac and Windows systems.
Games for the Blind
Created by Robert Betz, a blind game designer, each of the games sold at this Website includes a spoken interface for blind users. Among the games available are "Battleship," "Freecell," "Yahtzee," and "Word Play." Any game can be downloaded for a free fifteen-day trial period.
All in Play
The games at All in Play's Website are designed to be enjoyed by both blind and sighted players. "The Anagram Game," "Loco Locution," and "Texas Hold'em" are among this site's offerings and can be downloaded for a free fifteen-day trial.
This Website lists hundreds of audio games with information about where they can be purchased or downloaded. Categories include traditional games, strategy games, puzzle games, word games, card games, action games, and more.
MORE ONLINE RESOURCES
IPL2, created through the merger of the Internet Public Library and the Librarians' Internet Index, is a vastly comprehensive Website with links to myriad online resources. The "General Collections" page contains links to online material in fields that range from accounting to women's studies. "Kids' Space" is a highly browsable section where kids are drawn to wander from link to link as curiosity leads them - from "Animals" to "Birds and Bats" to "Building Nesting Boxes" and beyond. "Teen Space" includes resources on sports, health, handling money, clubs and organizations, technology, writing term papers, and much more.
World Book Online
Back in 1959 the World Book Encyclopedia was produced in hardcopy Braille for the first and only time. The encyclopedia filled 145 Braille volumes and sprawled across forty-three feet of shelf space. Thanks to the digital revolution, World Book is once again available to blind students, this time in an online format that can easily be used with a screen reader such as JAWS. In addition to thousands of articles, the site includes links to ebooks, online magazines, videos, and podcasts. Fun quizzes and other activities encourage kids to test their knowledge and launch into the realm of research.