Future Reflections        Convention Issue 2013

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Odds and Ends


Discovery Toys
Since its founding in 1978, Discovery Toys has been a leader in learning toys for early childhood education. Each toy is designed for multiple layers of learning. It is the company's goal to deliver a rich experience to children with autism and other disabilities, and most Discovery Toys are fully accessible to blind and visually impaired children. Each toy in the catalog has an autism symbol that corresponds with the specific learning area the toy supports.

Sensory Sun Educational Technologies for Children with Visual Impairments
Sensory Sun is dedicated to helping children with all levels of vision learn, play, and enjoy time together. The website includes articles on teaching math concepts, links to sources of Braille books and accessible games, ideas for making educational materials to use at home, and much more.

Ballyland by Sonokids
Sonokids BallylandTM  is a fun and educational computer game for all children, including those with disabilities. The design specifically supports playful learning by children who are blind or have low vision. The game is available in both Windows and Mac versions.


Seedlings Braille Books for Children
PO Box 51924
Livonia, MI 48151-5924
Contact: (800) 777-8552
[email protected]
Seedlings Braille Books for Children is dedicated to producing affordable Braille books for children from toddlers to teens. The 2014 catalogue includes fifty new titles, raising the number of available titles to 1,250.

Temple Beth El Braille Bindery Volunteers
7400 Telegraph Rd.
Bloomfield Hills, MI 48301
Contact: Barbara Mandelbaum, (248) 542-7736 or, on Tuesdays, (248) 851-1100, Ext. 3129
[email protected]
The Beth El Sisterhood Bindery offers a selection of more than 1,300 Braille books for children of all ages. The books are free, and there is no limit to the number that can be ordered. The group is willing to transcribe literary (non-textbook) books that are not yet on the list. Donations of money or Braille paper are most welcome!

The Heart of Applebutter Hill
by Donna W. Hill
Imagine you're fourteen and you're in a strange country with your camera, your best friend, her guitar, and her guide dog. You uncover a secret, and you are instantly in danger. The Heart of Applebutter Hill by blind reporter Donna W. Hill is an adventure-mystery for readers of all ages. The book is available in several accessible electronic formats, and print copies can be purchased at <www.amazon.com/books/dp/1483948226>.


World Braille Usage, Third Edition
Contact: Marilyn Rea Beyer, (617) 972-7478
[email protected]
World Braille Usage, Third Edition, is an international compilation of language codes for the reading and writing of Braille. The new free ebook edition includes Braille codes for 133 languages, up from ninety-seven languages in the 1990 edition. The book contains the most comprehensive collection of Braille codes available in the world today. A special effort was made to collect Braille codes for indigenous and mother-tongue languages, and includes languages such as Ndebele from Zimbabwe and Khmer from Cambodia. Also new for this edition are Braille codes for eight of the most widely used tribal languages in South Africa, several Latin American indigenous languages, plus Hawai'ian and Inupiaq from the United States. All languages in the book are based on a standardized system of phonetics which allows it to include character-based languages such as Mandarin and Arabic. National Braille authorities can use the book to promote consistency within countries' Braille codes, and transcribers and educators around the world can use it to answer questions about proper Braille usage for letters, numbers, and punctuation.


Load 2 Learn
Contact: [email protected]
Video: <www.youtube.com/user/load2learn>
Load2Learn provides accessible textbooks and images to support learners who are dyslexic, blind, or visually impaired. The service is free to educators in the UK, and there is a charge for overseas members. Thousands of books are available in Word, PDF, EPUB, and audio formats. Accessible images can be downloaded as PDF, Word, or CorelDRAW files. Each image pack includes a large print image as well as SEB and UEB tactile versions ready for production--they are provided as print-ready and editable files.

Tactile Vision Inc.
1550 Caterpillar Rd.
Mississauga, ON L4X 1E7 Canada
Contact: (866) 465-0755 or (905) 566-8416
[email protected]
Tactile Vision Inc. is dedicated to producing printed materials for individuals with special needs. Tactile materials are produced by a unique raised printing method. The process involves the deposition of a polymer on a wide range of papers. Tactile graphics provide print information not accessible to the visually impaired and additional sensory input for individuals with other special challenges. Graphics can be produced from originals submitted electronically or in hardcopy. Floor plans, maps, images of technical devices, tactile games, and children's books can be produced. A wide variety of maps, coloring books, and other materials are available for purchase online.

DNA Molecule with Origami
The DNA molecule is the basic building block of life, and an understanding of its structure is essential in the study of biology. This YouTube video shows how teachers and parents can create a three-dimensional representation of the DNA molecule, simply by making folds in a stiff sheet of paper. The final product can be contracted and expanded to show what happens as bases realign.


EveryBody: An Artifact History of Disability in America
EveryBody is a new online exhibit by the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. The photographs of people and objects in this exhibition explore themes of identity, stereotypes, laws and legislation, and home and daily life. The exhibition offers well-described photos and accompanying text to make it an interesting visit for all. This online exhibit is accessible with screen reading software and has the capability of enlarging photos for easier viewing.


Braille and Your Baby or Toddler
Hadley School for the Blind
Contact: Student Services, (800) 526-9909
Hadley's newest free course, "Braille and Your Baby or Toddler," is now open to professionals and students in the Family Education sequence. With guidance from parents and other important adults, infants and toddlers can gain the skills they need to become successful Braille readers later on. The goal of this course is to provide the tools and information needed to prepare a child for reading Braille. These include experiences and activities that promote the development of oral language, concepts, and motor skills. The course also introduces the Braille alphabet and numbers for sighted readers, and it discusses the creation of a Braille-rich environment. While available online through eHadley, students also have the choice of going mobile with this course, which is available as an ebook. It can be accessed via several ebook readers including the Kindle, Nook, and iPad. "Braille and Your Baby or Toddler" joins two previously released courses on Braille: "Braille Teaching Methods for Children" and "Braille Teaching Methods for Adolescents and Adults."

Emergent Literacy for Students with Visual Impairments
This free online course is a four-part series on emergent literacy for students with visual impairments with Elizabeth Dennison of the Ski-High Institute, hosted by Washington Sensory Disabilities Services. It uses a combination of archived webinars, PowerPoint presentations, and handouts to present information on all aspects of early literacy.

Helping Your Child with Multiple Disabilities Engage with the World Around Them
Perkins is pleased to present a webcast about involving blind children with additional disabilities in the community. The webcast is presented by Amber Bobnar, creator of the WonderBaby website (<www.wonderbaby.org>) and the parent of a blind son with additional disabilities. The webcast discusses planning with professionals, stretching the comfort zone, learning to make sense of sensory input, and future planning. The webinar includes audio description.


AppleVis: Empowering Blind and Low-Vision Users of Apple Products
AppleVis is an online community-powered website for blind and low-vision users of Apple's range of Mac computers, the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. AppleVis encourages and supports people in exploring the many ways in which these mainstream products and related applications can offer opportunities for personal enrichment, independence, and empowerment. It offers resources and mechanisms for raising awareness of the accessibility of Apple products and related applications, and for promoting further advancement in accessibility.

MathTrax is free PC software that creates audio representations via text description and sonification to make graphs and complex math equations accessible to blind students. It was developed for NASA by Bob Shelton, a blind math professor. Sonification is the use of non-speech audio, such as audible tones, to convey information. MathTrax is a stand-alone application that can be run without an Internet connection, though web connectivity is required for downloading the software.


Adrijana Prokopenko
Bul. Jane Sandanski 43.
5/f 1000
Skopje, Macedonia
Contact: [email protected]
Adrijana Prokopenko is an English teacher in a school for blind children in Macedonia. She would appreciate any used or new Braille books in English, as well as any other classroom materials or things that the children can use. Before sending books or other materials, please email Adrijana or write to her in Braille or via recording; she will let you know the best way to send things to her.


HAI Describe--Live Audio Description in New York City
Contact: Rebekah Cross, (212) 575-7660
[email protected]
The Healing Arts Initiative (HAI) is a New York City nonprofit committed to making art and culture accessible to blind and visually impaired residents and visitors. Describe is a service offered by HAI that provides live professional description services to blind theater-goers. Trained describers speak live through a small ear-piece and offer blow-by-blow description of stage settings, live action, costumes, and scenery. For information about upcoming performances, call or email to be added to the email list.


Digital Audio Label
AccessaMed, Inc.
(360) 696-5955

The Safety and Innovation Act now requires that pharmacies provide an accessible prescription drug label for those who are blind and/or elderly. AccessaMed provides blind users with complete, easy access to all of the information on their prescription labels. A one-inch wide by two-inch tall device permanently attaches to any prescription container. A blind or visually impaired person can hear all of the information on the print label at the push of a button. The patient's name, the name of the medication, dosing instructions, Rx number, warnings, and more are all available. No additional equipment is needed. Ask your pharmacist to carry the Digital Audio Label for accessible prescription labeling.

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