Future Reflections         Summer 2011

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Odds and Ends


Math Window Teaching Aids
Wolf Products, Inc.
106 Purvis Rd., Butler, PA 16001
(724) 285-5428
 [email protected]
The Math Window Braille Kit consists of a palette with magnetic tiles marked with both Braille and print. The kit provides a great way for blind students to interact with sighted teachers and classmates, constructing and solving problems in "real time" as concepts are being taught in the classroom. Basic math, algebra, and geometry kits are available.

Tools for Learning Math
Exceptional Teaching, Inc.
3994 Oleander Way, Castro Valley, CA 94546
(800) 549-6999
[email protected]
Exceptional Teaching sells a number of tools and games for teaching math concepts to blind students. Here you can find magnetic fraction strips, electronic quiz games, interactive math cards, Braille math blocks, a teaching cash register, and much more.


Kester Braille Reading Program
[email protected]
The Kester Braille Reading Program is designed to teach specific skills to beginning Braille readers in the same sequence they are taught to their sighted peers. The program teaches the alphabet, numbers, three-letter words with the short vowel sound, and basic punctuation through reading and writing. The manual is intended to be easy for a parent or teacher to use without extensive preparation.

Seedlings Braille Books for Children
1415 Farmington Rd., Livonia, MI 48154
(800) 777-8552
Seedlings offers more than 1,100 titles in Braille for purchase, maintaining prices at half the cost of production. The Rose Project is a free service that provides articles from the World Book Encyclopedia in Braille for blind children in elementary and high school. Through the 2011 Angel Book Program for VI Children, registered children receive two free Braille books during the course of the year.


New Website on Independent Travel
Professional Development and Research Institute on Blindness
O&M specialist Merry-Noel Chamberlain has created a Website for parents and teachers of blind children. The site includes a question and answer section, games that enhance the O&M experience, a recommended reading list, and a downloadable book for readers of all ages, The True Story of Owin M.


Tactile Adaptations Kit
MDW Educational Services LLC
1115 Inman Ave., Suite 116, Edison, NJ 08820
(908) 565-1802
Contact: Marilyn Winograd,  [email protected]
With the materials provided in the Tactile Adaptations Kit, visual aids used in teaching science can easily be rendered into tactile representations.  Creator Marilyn Winograd is available to consult with teachers on making science classes fully accessible to blind students.

The Princeton Braillists
76 Leabrook Lane, Princeton, NJ 08540
Contact: Nancy Amick, (609) 924-5207
The Princeton Braillists have created three new tactile atlases depicting regions of Africa. Atlas of Northern Africa, Atlas of Southern Africa, and Atlas of East and Central Africa can be purchased by check or money order at $14 each. The atlases contain overview maps of the region and individual maps of each country, along with introductory facts and general information.

Coloring Books
National Braille Factory
5040 Victoria Dr., Vancouver, BC, Canada V5P 3T8
(877) 827-2455
Contact: Allison Follis, [email protected]
The National Braille Factory offers more than twenty coloring books with raised-line pictures, including seven basic coloring books, two Christmas coloring books, and a coloring book with animal pictures. Each book contains ten pictures to be colored. The company also produces chocolate bars with Braille messages such as "thank you" and "congratulations."

Guidelines and Standards for Tactile Graphics 2010
Braille Authority of North America (BANA)
This downloadable version of BANA's 2010 document is available in HTML format.  Hardcopy print and Braille editions, along with a supplement of sample tactile graphics, will be produced for sale.


iAdvocate is a free application developed by Syracuse University, made available through iTunes. It provides information on advocacy strategies for parents to help ensure that school-aged children with disabilities are provided with appropriate services and resources in their education. It provides functional strategies, a wide range of resources, and straightforward suggestions that allow parents, teachers, and students to understand their rights, even the playing field when working with school districts, and design an educational program that is responsive to their input and tailored to meet their specific needs. The app includes strategies that parents can pursue as advocates; resources, information, and links to laws, books, articles, Websites, videos, and organizations that can provide information on inclusive education; and responses, that feature simulated conversations between parents and school professionals.


Website for College Students with Disabilities
We Connect Now
We Connect Now is dedicated to uniting people interested in the rights of people with disabilities, with a focus on college students and access to higher education and employment. A goal of this site is to help college students with disabilities to succeed in their studies by getting the information and support they need. The jobs section helps to empower people with disabilities through job postings and job-hunting tips. The page is available in Spanish as well as English.

Blind How
Contact: Adam Rushforth, [email protected]
Blind How is a new Website for finding answers and sharing knowledge on a questions related to blindness and visual impairment. Categories include active daily living skills, education, recreation and leisure, and technology. Members of the site may submit articles, questions, and tutorials.


De Witt and Associates
Contact: Melissa Bourn, (201) 447-6500, Ext.  211
[email protected]
De Witt and Associates offers two classes to teach assistive technology to blind and low-vision students, parents, and teachers. These two-hour classes, "Introduction to Screen Readers/Magnifiers" and "Advanced Screen Readers/Magnifiers," are delivered using remote access software by a live trainer who can answer questions.

Twenty-Six Useful Apps for Blind iPhone Users
by Peter Cantisani
National Braille Press
88 St. Stephen St., Boston, MA 02115
[email protected]
(800) 548-7323, Ext. 520
This new offering from National Braille Press describes twenty-six accessible apps for the iPhone. Users can identify bills, dictate emails and tweets, listen to turn by turn walking directions, and much more.


Twenty Games to Boost Your Baby's Development
or on the Website, go to: Home > Baby > Activities & Play > Games and Activities.
Here is a trove of simple activities that can engage babies from birth to age one year. Most involve hearing, touch, and movement, and can easily be used with blind or visually impaired infants.

Melissa and Doug Puzzles
(800) 718-5365
[email protected]
This company markets a variety of wooden and cardboard puzzles, including several that incorporate textures and sound. They also sell puppets, dollhouses, castles, and other toys conducive to imaginative play.

Check Amazon.com, Bookshare.com, and the NLS BARD system for availability.

Inside My World
by Larry Johnson
ISBN: 1449971725
In this memoir Johnson recounts his experiences growing up as a blind child and teen in the 1940s and 1950s. Johnson attended public schools, held a variety of odd jobs, and eventually launched a career in radio broadcasting.

Thunder Dog: The True Story of a Blind Man, His Guide Dog, and the Triumph of Trust at Ground Zero
by Michael Hingson
Thomas Nelson Publishing
ISBN: 9781400203048
In this memoir the author describes his life as a blind man and recounts his dramatic escape with his guide dog from the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.

The Fortunate Ones: 18th-Century Philadelphia as Seen without Sight
by Frederic W. Noesner
Masthof Press
ISBN: 9781601262424
In this novel the author, who is blind, portrays life as it may have been for blind people in Philadelphia around the time of the American Revolution.


Kids Public Radio
This free Internet station has three channels, streaming lullabies, stories, and sing-along music. Great for a summer afternoon when it's too hot to play outside!

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