You are in the following section of the site:
Archive for June, 2009
Last night, June 29th, marked the completion of the Sidewalks Are For Everyone Campaign in the Sunset
Between March 1 and June 30, 2009, 50 presentations were conducted in the Sunset neighborhood on the importance of keeping cars off of the sidewalk. Not only was this a successful neighborhood safety campaign by over half a dozen individuals with disabilities, but our presenters were able to enhance their public speaking skills and community ties by presenting on behalf of the project.
The LightHouse VLRC Coordinator Beth Berenson is to be applauded for bringing speakers and community groups togther for these 50 presentations!
The next round of funding for the SAFE Campaign follows a similar model, however, community presentations will not be limited to the Sunset neighborhood. They will be conducted city-wide. If you have clients or friends who you think might be good public speakers–please have them talk with Beth (415 694 7322, email@example.com).
California Department of Education
POSITION: Supervising Teacher II, School for the Deaf
TENURE/TIME BASE: Permanent, full time
SALARY: $5392–$7223 month, plus $100 for bilingual pay and $700 for recruitment and retention
GENERAL DUTIES: Under the supervision of the Director of Pupil Personnel, the incumbent in this position will supervise the assessment and counseling staff, coordinates the assessment center program and provide consultation to parents, local school district personnel and California School for he Deaf staff, as needed. The person in this position may also provide assessments to students attending the California School for the Deaf and being seen through the Northern California Assessment Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.
WHO MAY APPLY: 1.) Possession of, or eligibility for, a California Pupil Personnel credential or a California Standard Teaching credential and a Specialist Credential to teach the communication handicapped; 2.) a Masters’ degree from an accredited college or university in Counseling and/or Education related to the Deaf and/or Learning Disabled; 3.) Experience conducting academic assessments of deaf children; and 4.) proficiency in sign language. 5.) Willingness to work flexible hours.
LOCATION: CALIFORNIA SCHOOL FOR THE DEAF
39350 Gallaudet Drive
Fremont, CA 94538
Contact: Debra Guthmann, Director of Pupil Personnel Services
Telephone: (510) 794-3684 Voice/TTY
APPLICATIONS MUST BE RECEIVED BY: Applications will be screened and the most
highly qualified will be invited to interview. Interested candidates must submit a completed Faculty Application, Form SSS100, to Debra Guthmann, Director of Pupil Personnel Services no later than
July 10, 2009 or until the position is filled.
Questions may be directed to Debra Guthmann at the above telephone number.
California Relay (Telephone) Service for the Deaf or Hearing Impaired: TDD Phones 1-800-735-2929 Voice Phones 1-800-735-2922
CALIFORNIA STATE GOVERNMENT AN AFFIRMATIVE ACTION EMPLOYER EQUAL OPPORTUNITY TO ALL REGARDLESS OF RACE, COLOR, CREED, NATIONAL ORIGIN, ANCESTRY, SEX, MARTIAL STATUS, DISABILITY, RELIGIOUS OR POLITICAL AFFILIATION, AGE OR SEXUAL ORIENTATION.
There are features on Beep Ball and adaptive swimming in NFB’s current Sprots and Rec newsletter. Read these articles and past issues here.http://www.nfbsportsandrec.org/
Blind students may have problems using Amazon's Kindle DX, which is being tested in pilot group classes at ASU in fall 2009.June 29, 2009
The National Federation of the Blind, American Council of the Blind and Darrell Shandrow, an ASU journalism student, filed a complaint against ASU in order to avoid the future use of the Kindle in the classroom until it is made accessible to blind students.
According to the complaint, the Kindle DX has a text-to-speech function that renders the e-book into audible speech; thus, if the Kindle menus and controls were accessible, blind students would have access to the same content as sighted students through the same device. However, the Kindle DX has no text-to-speech function for menu options, so blind students cannot use the device without assistance. What needs to happen is the menus on the Kindle DX need to be made so blind students can use them, said Chris Danielson, director of public relations at the National Foundation of the Blind.
He said blind students are at a disadvantage because they have to wait long periods of time for their textbooks to be printed, while students using the Kindle DX can access their textbooks immediately. ASU literally advises [blind] students to book their courses in advance and to have reduced course loads, Danielson said. He said other reading device options available right now are inadequate for blind students. There are reading devices that blind people use, but none of them can use the texts that are available on the Kindle, Danielson said. He also said the problem with using the Kindle DX in its current state in a pilot group is that it will promote the University to provide other services that may be inaccessible to blind students. This is a pilot program, but obviously the University is considering expanding [the Kindle DX] to other students, he said. Danielson said that although the University doesn’t have an adequate solution for blind students at the moment, he hopes ASU will discuss options. We hope ASU will be able to discuss the issue with us at the appropriate time, Danielson said. Amazon.com, Inc. said they had no comment at the time.
In an e-mail statement, Martha Dennis Christiansen, director of Counseling and Consultation and associate vice president of University Student Initiatives, said ASU is committed to equal access for all students. She said all campuses have Disability Resource Centers and that these allow disabled students to obtain services and accommodations. These efforts are focused on providing the necessary tools to ensure that all students with disabilities have an equal opportunity to be successful in their academic pursuits, Christiansen said. Shandrow, also a member of the American Council of the Blind, disagrees. Not having access to the advanced reading features of the Kindle DX will lock me out of this new technology and put me and other blind students at a competitive disadvantage relative to our sighted peers, he said in a news release from the National Federation of the Blind.
Shandrow added that printing issues make it difficult for him to have the same advantages as other students who use the Kindle DX. While my peers will have instant access to their course materials in electronic form, I will still have to wait weeks or months for accessible texts to be prepared for me, and these texts will not provide the access and features available to other students, he said. Reach the reporter at firstname.lastname@example.org
Jessica A. Freeh
Public Relations Specialist
NATIONAL FEDERATION OF THE BLIND
1800 Johnson Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21230
Telephone: (410) 659-9314, ext. 2348
Equal, not Separate, Reading Rights – http://www.readingrights.org/
About the Organization: Community Works (CW) engages youth and adults in arts and education programs that interrupt and heal the far reaching impact of incarceration and violence by empowering individuals, families and communities. For more information please visit our website: www.community-works-ca.org.
The Women Rising Case Manager, who reports to CW’s Youth Programs Manager, provides case management to previously incarcerated young women ages 18-25, engaging them in services that will increase their chances of living healthy productive life styles. The Women Rising Case Manager will receive bi-weekly case supervision from a clinical supervisor. The Women Rising program takes place at the San Francisco Sheriff’s Department’s Women’s Reentry Center.
Primary Job Duties:
Oversee a case load of young women ranging in ages 18-25 years. Related duties include:
• Maintain an intensive caseload of up 10 clients for a period 6-12 months through weekly meetings: monitoring participants’ progress in program; maintaining client case files; writing weekly case notes;
• Providing screening, assessments, intake, orientation, group, and individual counseling;
• Developing and implementing individual service/treatment plans;
• Facilitating a young adults group in San Francisco County Jail 8;
• Collaborating with adult probation officers assigned to the 18-25 year old case load;
• Establishing and maintaining collaborative relationships with different community agencies;
• Making referrals to other community agencies;
• Assisting clients with academic achievement, housing, and employment;
• Conducting outreach at San Francisco County Jail 8;
• Facilitating a young adults support group at the Women’s Reentry Center.
• Collaborating with the Rising Voices Program Director who facilitates a theater program for 18-25 years old at the Women’s Reentry Center
• Bachelors degree in related field (education, social work, psychology, counseling, public administration) or a minimum of two full years in the social field.
• Extensive experience directing case management with clients related to developing a drug free- pro-social lifestyle
• Experience providing employment services, including vocational assessment, job counseling, development, placement and coaching.
• Teaching or counseling experience with offender/ex-offender populations; demonstrated ability in curriculum development and lesson planning.
• Knowledge of Bay Area labor market, employment community, and human service resources.
• Working knowledge of social justice and restorative justice principles.
• Excellent writing and oral communication with the ability to conduct outreach activities and develop and maintain effective community relationships.
• Strong time management and organizational skills; demonstrated professionalism and excellent ability to work independently and a part of a team.
• Ability to maintain strict confidentiality.
• Ability to work with diverse populations. Aware and sensitive to gender, race, sexuality issues.
Salary: $40,000 a year, plus benefits
Please send resume and cover letter to Manijeh Fata, Youth Programs Manager via e-mail: email@example.com. No phone calls please. Community Works is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We are committed to diversity.
(Note: Jessie is totally blind. iPhone use for low vision individuals will be soemwhat different.)
I received my new iPhone last Friday afternoon. I took my new phone to the AT&T store and had it activated. I had to change cellular providers to become an Apple Fan Girl… I asked the man working at the store to turn on the “Voiceover,” screen reader on my phone. Good thing I knew how to direct him- because he had no idea what I was talking about… (smile)
Turning on the screenreader was really easy. Tap Settings, General, Accessability and than turn on Voiceover. Though magnification does not help me, it is worth mentioning here that Voiceover and the magnification program cannot be run concurrently.
The first thing that happened when I got my new phone was pretty cool. I was still in the AT&T store showing off my talking phone to all of the employees at that store. I received a text message. My phone vibrated and the Rio Speak Samantha voice read both the phone number and the text of my new text message out loud. It was very clear and very easy to understand. Samantha is the same voice used on the Victor Reader Stream. Caller ID on the new iPhone works great and unlike Mobile Speak and Talks, it does not stutter.
The iPhone is a very thin device with one round button on the front, up and down volume buttons on the left side and an on/off/lock button on the top. That is it. four buttons total.
The operation of the phone is controlled by the touch screen located on the front of the device.
For me, text entry on the phone is challenging. I text message very very slowly using my new iPhone. In addition, editing text on this device is something I have not mastered. This is one area of the phones interface that could use some improvement.
When the phone is powered on, the home screen appears. The home screen is important because from it you navigate to the phones applications and settings. To return to the home screen you press the one and only round button on the phone one time.
The iPhone 3g “Home Screen,” displays the most commonly used applications such as contacts, keypad, maps, mail, iPod, Safari and weather.
To hear the choices on the home screen tap the screen once. To cycle through the list of choices tap the screen. again until you hear the control you want to open. This is very different than traditional screen reading technology. You operate this phone by taps, flicks and turns of your fingers- not by memorizing keystrokes. Here is a page where you can find a description of the gestures: http://www.apple.com/iphone/how-to/#accessibility.iphone3gs-accessibility-features
When you want to activate an item on the iPhone you tap the screen twice in rapid succession.
The coolest parts of the iPhone have nothing to do with making phone calls. The weather, iPod, Maps, Compass and Safari web browser are really neat applications and I have been able to use them all rather easily. Listening to music on the iPhone is easy and fun!
I have had more trouble making calls on my iPhone than I have accessing these more non-essential functions. That said, those, “non-essential functions,” are a lot of fun!
In order to dial a call you have to activate the keypad icon on the home screen. Tap the screen until you hear it say the numeric digit you want. When you hear the digit announced, don’t lift up your finger. With your finger still held down, tap somewhere else on the screen to confirm that is the digit you wish to dial. Keypad entry for me is still slow going.
The fastest way to call someone is to synch your contacts with your iPhone and than to either dial through the contacts list or using Voice Command. Contacts can be accessed through the home screen.
Voice Command can be accessed from anywhere. To access Voice Command press and hold the round button until you hear a beep.
Sometimes Voice Command works, and sometimes it does not. There is no way around that. Speech recognition just isn’t where I’d like it to be- and this device is no exception. One thing about Voice Command worth noting is that it seems to work better if you do not have the headphones plugged in. In addition, if you know someone’s number it seems to work better if you say a number digit by digit rather than someone’s name. That said, I am not impressed with the Voice Command.
Mail is pretty neat. You can get the account information from your computer simply by telling iTunes to sink your mail accounts. No more account set-up wizard.
Reading mail is pretty easy–so is reading text messages and web pages. You read by flicking your fingers across the screen.
Entering information is slow and inefficient for me so far. When I want to write text I turn the phone so that the keyboard appears in landscape view. Like the phone keypad, the quarty keyboard appears on the flat touch screen. You type the same way you dial a number- holding your finger on the letter you want and while holding that letter using another finger to confirm that is the letter you want to appear in the edit field.
Text entry is slow. Correcting a mistake isn’t something I have been successful at just yet. I do hope I get better at this in time.
Finally, The iPhone has what is called a proximity meter in it. This means that when the phone is near your ear you can hear the speaker and Voiceover in your ear. When you remove the phone from your ear it automatically goes to speaker phone. In addition, Voiceover has a different set of commands when the phone is near your ear verses when it is simply resting in your hand. This is especially important when you want to end a call. To end a call the phone must be in your hand and you must tap the screen twice.
So, in closing, this is the most accessible device I have ever purchased and been able to use out of the box. That said, it feels like I have taken a step backwards from the nimble Windows Mobile phone I used prior to the iPhone. I can do all sorts of cool things- and yet- the two primary reasons I have a phone are really challenging for me, making calls and sending text messages. I believe that there is a learning curve that I have not yet gotten to the other side of. When I get to the promised land I’ll let you know. Meanwhile, any iPhone tips or tricks are welcome!
Job Summary: We are currently seeking candidates to immediately fill the positions of Hogan Quality Assurance Level 1 and QA Level 2 to work at a major financial institution located in San Francisco, CA. The Hogan QA Level 1 and 2 positions will work as part of a team responsible for conditioning data for testers.
Qualifications: A successful candidate will have a background in Hogan, a mainframe application used to store customer information, customer to account relationships, and checking and savings account information or previous experience as a bank teller. Experience in QA is a plus, but it is not necessary. A bachelor’s degree in Computer Science or equivalent education/work experience is necessary.
To apply for the position, please send your resume to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jessie Lorenz and Amber DiPietra will be interviewed on Pushing Limits KPFA ((4.1) live at 2:30pm June 19. They will be discussing the new projects from the Vision Loss Resoruce Center. Call in with your comments and questions!
To read more about Pushing Limits Disability Radio and listen to past shows, click here http://www.kpfa.org/pushing-limits
“Access on-line is no different than access anywhere else. Locking people who are blind or visually impaired out of web-sites because of inaccessible security features is no different than denying a wheelchair user access to the built environment, such as public buildings, houses, street crossings and the like,” said Anita Shafer Aaron, Executive Director/CEO of the LightHouse of the use of CAPTCHA, the wavy letters and numbers used by many web-sites as a primary security protocol. Because CAPTCHAs are inaccessible to screen readers, a screen reader user has to rely on a sighted person to assist in navigating around this feature. This compromises the security of personal information – the very thing that web-sites try to avoid by using CAPTCHAs.
With the proliferation of internet use in all areas of contemporary life, ensuring equal access on-line is becoming ever more critical. According to a February Nielsen report, the total amount of time people spent on-line globally increased by 18% between December 2007 and December 2008; two-thirds of the world’s internet population visits social networking or blogging sites, accounting for almost 10% of all internet time; and use of social networking sites has surpassed use of email. “Because social networking takes people spread over large geographic areas and connects them to one another, it takes people from being alone and isolated to being part of a group, part of a community. For people with disabilities, there’s nothing more empowering than realizing you’re not the only one experiencing something,” said Jessie Lorenz, LightHouse Director of Public Policy and Information.
Recently, Twitter made news by improving access to their popular site by making the shift from CAPTCHA to reCAPTCHA, an accessible security alternative: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/techchron/detail?entry_id=41686.
Twitter’s use of inaccessible CAPTCHA technology was a battle members of the blind community had been fighting since 2007 (see this Blind Access Journal blog post for more: http://blog.blindaccessjournal.com/2009/06/twitter-quietly-fixes-broken-audio.html). But when Lorenz attended TWTRCON in May 2009, she had the opportunity to connect personally with the folks at Twitter, describing firsthand how the inaccessibility of the site affected her as a blind user. Just days after this conversation, Twitter implemented use of reCAPTCHA.
“This change at Twitter is the result of tenacious advocacy by folks who are blind and took place over a period of time. That said, hearts and minds change slowly. In the case of disability rights, those hearts and minds have not caught up with regulations. Human connection is a critical component of social change,” Lorenz commented in response to Twitter’s move to improve accessibility.
Using accessible alternatives to CAPTCHAs is one important way that social networking, and other web-sites, can promote equality for all internet users. If you come across sites using CAPTCHA we want to know!
Bloggers, please post links to inaccessible sites in the comments section below and tell us about communication you’ve had with web-site administrators, pointing out accessibility issues and recommending alternatives to CAPTCHA. Let’s work together to make connections and improve access.
Jessie Lorenz, LightHouse Director of Public Policy, will be on Forum (KQED 88.5) tomorrow at 9am to discuss this recent SFWeekly article about the complex issues around guide dogs, nontraditional service animals, and the concerns affecting perons with varying types of disabilties.
Listen to the show and call in or email with your comments and questions.
The podcast will be posted at this link tomorrow afternoon.