Future Reflections Winter 2011
Science Activities for the Visually Impaired/Science Enrichment for Learners with Physical Handicaps (SAVI/SELPH)
SAVI/SELPH is an interdisciplinary, multisensory science enrichment program for middle school students with and without disabilities. In addition to teaching materials, SAVI/SELPH offers equipment adapted for use in classroom experiments. Equipment available for purchase includes the FOSS balance and tactile syringe, Braille and large print thermometer, tactile histogram board, and modified beakers for measurement of liquids.
Independence Science, LLC
1281 Win Hentschel Blvd., West Lafayette, IN 47906
Contact: Cary Supalo, [email protected]
The mission of Independence Science, LLC, is to empower blind and visually impaired students to participate fully in the science classroom. Products are designed to enable students to conduct high school and college experiments independently. Audible and tactile tools can be used in chemistry, biology, physics, earth science, and many other fields. Training is available to help teachers use these products with their blind students.
National Center for Technology Innovation
American Institutes for Research
1000 Thomas Jefferson St., NW, Washington, DC 2007
The Tech Matrix is an online tool to help parents and teachers find educational and assistive technology products for students with disabilities. It enables users to make informed decisions by comparing products side by side. Content areas include mathematics, science, writing, and differential learning. The product list contains links to information about hundreds of programs and assistive devices.
Online Programs for All Libraries (OPAL)
OPAL is an international collaborative effort by libraries to provide Web-based programs for library users and staff members. Users may join streamed live events or browse podcasts in the OPAL archives. Topics include literature, health, history, music, and science.
How Stuff Works
Whatever intrigues you, from animals to technology, you will find a wealth of articles, podcasts, videos, puzzles, and questions and answers on this eclectic Website. It's a great place to spend a wintry afternoon!
Tactile Graphics Website
Created by Lucia Hasty of the Braille Authority of North America (BANA), this comprehensive Website promotes excellence in the design and production of tactile graphics. It provides basic information on production methods and techniques, listings of new products that can assist in the creation of raised illustrations, highlights on hardware and software, and information on training and conferences.
Tactile Books Advancement Group (TBAG)
61 Princess Way, London SW19 6JB UK
(44) 20-8789-9575 [overseas]
TBAG works to promote the availability of tactile books for blind and low-vision children. The Website provides information about designing, producing, buying, borrowing, and using books with tactile illustrations. Guidelines for publishers, authors, and illustrators give advice about small changes that can make a big difference.
Contact: Boguslaw Marek, [email protected]
Products from Hungry Fingers are designed to help blind children understand and make use of spatial concepts. Among the available products is the Transfograph, a tool for explaining the relationship between three-dimensional objects and two-dimensional drawings. The Space Master uses geometric shapes to increase the child's confidence in managing space. Listen and Touch Books introduce drawings one step at a time. These books are available in English, German, Dutch, and Hungarian.
Getting Started with the iPhone
by Anna Dresner and Dean Martineau
National Braille Press
88 St. Stephen St., Boston, MA 02115
Available in Braille, eBraille, ASCII, and DAISY formats
The iPhone is an amazingly versatile device, and Apple has made it fully accessible off the shelf. Yet how does a blind user harness the power of this extraordinary gadget? The answers are packed into this new offering from National Braille Press. Learn about selecting an iPhone, setting up basic configurations, and purchasing and using apps to create an endless range of options.
Read How You Want
Contact: Bradi Grebien-Samko, [email protected]
Based in Sydney, Australia, Read How You Want is a publishing company that produces books in a variety of alternative formats and sells them at prices comparable to those of books in standard print. Books are printed on demand and are distributed to readers in countries covered by the book's copyright. Titles are available in seven print sizes as well as Braille and electronic (DAISY) versions. Thousands of titles are currently listed, including fiction and nonfiction for children and adults.
Bookshare is an ever-expanding library of downloadable electronic books for people who cannot access regular print. With about ninety thousand books in English and Spanish, including textbooks at all grade levels, Bookshare is the world's largest library of accessible titles. The collection grows by more than one hundred titles per day. Bookshare is free for all U.S. students with qualifying disabilities, thanks to a grant from the U.S. Department of Education Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP). The Website includes pages for parents and teachers that explain how Bookshare works and offer suggestions for using it to encourage reading and language skills.
Seedlings Braille Books for Children
Seedlings offers low-cost Braille books for blind children from infancy through the teen years. By registering for the 2011 Book Angel Program, children can receive two Seedlings books free of charge.
GAMES AND TOYS
Blind Mice Mart
Blind Mice Mart has an impressive selection of games and play equipment. Regulation-size audible balls for soccer and basketball, the Brailled Talking U.S. Puzzle Map, and tactile board games such as chess and Snakes and Ladders are among the many products available.
The NFB's Independence Market sells tactile versions of classic games including backgammon, Battleship, checkers, and Sudoku; ringing athletic balls; a beeping Frisbee; and tactile coloring books.