Voice of the Nation's Blind


The Blog of the National Federation of the Blind
Edited by Stephanie Eller
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An Overview of IEP Assessments

From the Editor:

This week, Melissa Riccobono gives us an overview of the different factors and assessments that go into an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for school-aged children. Visit www.nopbc.org for more information.

 

By Melissa Riccobono

In order to craft appropriate goals for an Individualized Education Plan (IEP), the team needs recent, high quality data. This data needs to cover the child’s current skills, strengths, and FACTOR IN future success.

Here are some things to keep in mind when assessments are administered to, and interpreted for, children who are blind or low vision.  

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It Happens Every Day

From the Editor:

Preparing your family for the back-to-school season can be overwhelming, especially if, along with the ABCs, you have to worry about IEPs. In this post, Melissa Riccobono writes about the all-too-common experience parents of blind children encounter when advocating for the success of their children in the classroom. For more information about parenting resources, you can visit the website of the National Organization of Parents of Blind Children at www.nopbc.org.

 

By Melissa Riccobono

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My experiences switching to Android

By Karl Belanger

Introduction

I’ve used Apple devices since 2010, first an iPod Touch, and then several iPhone models. Over the years I’ve played with Android several times and have always been disappointed and frustrated with the experience. Recent updates to Talkback and Android have changed things considerably. As I detailed in my post in May, gestures are much more responsive, web navigation is much better, and the whole Android experience is the best it has been. So, I decided to take the plunge and switch to an Android phone full time. I settled on the Motorola Moto G Plus 4th Generation, as I felt it had reasonable specs, and a nearly stock (original) version of Android. Plus Motorola has a reputation for getting updates out faster than most other manufacturers.

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Don’t Deny AIM-HE

From the Editor:

Kathryn Webster is the president of the National Association of Blind Students (NABS), the largest organized group of blind students in the United States. In this piece, she writes about the critical need for blind students in higher education to receive instructional materials at the same time as their sighted peers. To learn more about NABS, visit nabslink.org

By Kathryn Webster

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A Blind Voter's Experience

From the Editor:

Lou Ann Blake is the Deputy Director of the National Federation of the Blind Jernigan Institute. In this week's post, she writes about her voting experience as a blind person and the importance of advocating for our right to vote privately and independently.

 

By Lou Ann Blake

For the last two elections held in Maryland I have used the accessible electronic ballot delivery system that is now available to Maryland voters with disabilities thanks to a lawsuit that was brought by the National Federation of the Blind against the Maryland State Board of Elections. However, prior to 2014 I voted at my local polling place using the audio ballot feature on the accessible Diebold AccuVote voting machine.

 

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Double the Blessing

From the Editor:

Nikki Jeffords' journey to becoming a parent wasn't easy, but through her persistence she was able to give birth to twin girls. Now, Nikki is a proud mom who is teaching her kids that blindness does not hold her back; she is living the life she wants.    

 

By Nikki Jeffords

Mom:    “You have a college degree, a good job, a great husband, a beautiful home, that should be enough for you!”

Me:        “I seriously doubt anyone ever questioned your decision to become a mother.  Just because I am blind, does not mean I do not have the same hopes, dreams and desires as any other woman.”

 

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Expedia and National Federation of the Blind Announce Scholarship Winners

From the Editor:

One of the highlights at national convention is the presentation of scholarships which takes place at the banquet. This year, Expedia.com contributed two three thousand dollar scholarships to our recipients. This week's blog focusses on the winners of these funds.

 

By Tarran Street

 

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Twenty-Six Years and Counting: The ADA and Stalled Progress

Introduction by Chris Danielsen, Director of Public Relations, National Federation of the Blind

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BrailleNote Touch: accessing and using third party apps

By Karl Belanger

The BrailleNote Touch (Touch) from HumanWare has full access to the Google Play Store. Many third party apps are made available in a notetaking device for the first time. While this provides a lot of opportunity, there are also many chances for things to go wrong when developers haven't made their apps accessible. The Touch handles many third party apps very well, but sometimes the Braille keyboard interface can cause some interesting interactions, and there are also the expected issues when encountering partially inaccessible apps. In general, the TalkBack gestures translate well to keyboard commands either with TouchBraille or the physical keyboard. It is also possible, by pressing the previous and next thumb keys together, to turn on explore by touch mode and access many of the usual gestures that Android users will be familiar with.

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The BrailleNote Touch as a Braille Notetaker- How Does It Stack Up?

By Amy Mason

The BrailleNote Touch is an impressive feat of hardware and software engineering. It is an Android tablet with full-fledged Braille support, a skinned and simplified interface running custom-built accessible programs, full visual display, and the option, but not requirement, of using an external Braille keyboard. It is also a Google certified Android device, capable of running the vast majority of applications in the Play store. Furthermore, it does what it sets out to do quite effectively. The BrailleNote is indisputably ambitious, and in some ways it is already an impressive device. That said, how does it handle the traditional tasks of a Braille Notetaker? Is it worth the $5500 asking price? Let’s take a closer look.

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