Tech Tips

Welcome to our Technology Tips section! The NFB Jernigan Institute Access Technology team is always on the lookout for new and better ways to give blind people access to technology, as the ever-growing International Braille and Technology Center attests. In these tips we want to share some of the pointers manufacturers and developers share with us to help you learn about new applications and new programs, and to help you find new functionality in familiar products. The Access Technology team works with the relevant manufacturers and developers to obtain the tips listed here, to make sure that you get the best and latest about anything new in the world of non-visual access technology.


If you have any feedback on the tips, please contact Clara Van Gerven at [email protected].

Experiencing the 2017 Eclipse Nonvisually

While some scientists at Harvard are working to turn light into sound by way of an Arduino, you don’t have to get so high-tech to experience the solar eclipse that will occur on August 21. NASA and other organizations have developed fun and unique ways for people to experience the eclipse with all of their senses. Check out the following resources so you can experience this rare event.

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The National Federation of the Blind Helped Eric Duffy Know That He Could Be a Blind Dad

By: Eric Duffy

I am from a family of eight. I have four brothers and three sisters, and I am next to the youngest. From an early age I knew that I wanted to have a wife and children. I knew, however, that I did not want nearly as many children as my own parents had, but then most people don’t. While growing up, I didn’t know many blind parents. In the instances where I knew of a blind parent, the other parent was sighted. So I questioned whether I would be able to raise children.

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Be the STAR of Your Story: Using Your Past Experiences to Excel in Interviews

By: Bobbi Pompey

From the editor: Bobbi is a member of the National Federation of the Blind Employment Committee. 

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How Love Convinced Gary Wunder to Join the National Federation of the Blind

By: Gary Wunder

From the editor: Gary is the former president of the National Federation of the Blind of Missouri and shared this story as part of our #WhyImAFederationist campaign. This story originally appeared on the NFB of MO Facebook page.

One frequent topic of discussion in the National Federation of the Blind is why we joined, when we joined, and those things that pushed us towards and away from the organization. Very often we find ourselves trying to tell one unified story but, like most things in life, the reason for making significant decisions in our lives often is a culmination of events and maybe even an epiphany or two along the way.

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Just a Mom

By: Melissa Riccobono

I hear, “Wow, you’re amazing! I can’t imagine taking care of one child—let alone three—if I couldn’t see!”

To which I say with a smile, “No. I’m just a mom.”

Melissa and Mark Riccobono sit smiling on a park bench with their children.

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Isabel Espinales Regains Independence through the National Federation of the Blind

From the editor: Isabel is a member of the National Federation of the Blind of Maryland and shared this story as part of our #WhyImAFederationist campaign. This story originally appeared on the NFB of MD Facebook page.

I was born in Nicaragua. At ten years old, I was forced to leave my country to escape death threats because of my father’s reputation in the military. I came to America, went through school, and then worked as a nurse in hospitals and nursing homes. I was first exposed to blindness by my patients; yet, I only saw the first stages of vision loss and not the aftermath of how they succeeded.

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To See, or Not to See

By: Arielle Silverman

From the editor: Arielle Silverman is, in her words, “a disabled activist and a social scientist who is passionate about improving public understandings of disability.” This post originally appeared on her website, Disability Wisdom.

I have been blind since the day I was born. When people first meet me, they often wonder if I would want a “cure” for my blindness. So, would my life be improved if I could see?

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Ellana Crew Shares Why She’s a National Federation of the Blind Member

By: Ellana Crew

From the editor: Ellana is a member of the National Federation of the Blind of Maryland. Her #WhyImAFederationist story originally appeared on the NFB of MD’s Facebook page.

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Why Are You a Federationist?

The National Federation of the Blind has tens of thousands of members and is constantly growing. It is no surprise, then, that there are a myriad of reasons why people become and remain members of the National Federation of the Blind. In the month of March, we challenged our members to share these reasons with us using #WhyImAFederationist. They went above and beyond in rising to this challenge. These stories come from people in all walks of life, from parents to students, travelers to techies. Blindness clearly does not define any of them, and they are all living the lives they want. Here are just a few of the tweets and snippets from Facebook posts that we received in response to our question, “Why are you a Federationist?”

“Because I got one of the most important things all parents need. HOPE for my daughter's future!”

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2017 National Federation of the Blind Youth Slam

By: Seth Lamkin

“In the classroom people don’t always ask us to get involved…”

“My science teacher didn’t want me to do anything…”

“People say, ‘it’s for your own good, it’s better if you don’t have to do it…'”

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