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Archive for April, 2011
Bill Barker’s Braille Radio Reading Room – April 2011
Bill Barker’s Braille Radio Reading Room – March 2011
The Dale M. Schoettler Scholarship for Visually Impaired Students was established in 1991 for legally blind San Francisco State and San Jose State University students to receive a quality education in pursuit of a professional career in business, humanities, arts and the sciences.
After Mr. Schoettler’s death in 2001, California State University received a $4.8 million bequest from his estate to expand the existing financial aid program for legally blind students to all 23 CSU campuses. Mr. Schoettler, who was blind the last eight years of his life, was a businessman from Mountain View, California.
Selections and nominations for the 2011-2012 academic year are due May 20, 2011.
Forty-four scholarships of $6,000 each will be awarded for the 2011-2012 academic year. Here are the requirements:
- Applicants must currently have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.8 on a 4.0 scale and must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.8 on a 4.0 scale during the academic year in which the award is received.
- Applicants must be currently enrolled as a full-time equivalent CSU undergraduate or graduate student in any major field and must remain a full-time equivalent CSU student during the academic year in which the award is received.
- Applicants must be legally blind and provide verification from a physician that includes best-corrected visual acuity notations.
For more information, contact Todd Higgins, firstname.lastname@example.org, 415-338-2472 (voice/TTY).
The California Department of Rehabilitation is looking for nominees for its Rehabilitation Appeals Board, whose members provide vital, federally mandated fair hearings to vocational rehabilitation applicants
and department consumers.
There are currently two vacancies. In addition, the chairperson
designation is open.
Interested parties should contact the Executive Secretary of the Board, Irene Walela, at email@example.com or 916-558-5863.
San Diego State University Interwork Institute will be conducting focus groups and interviews of individuals to find out more about what worked and what did not work when they made the transition from SSI or SSDI benefits to employment. Participants will be paid $50.
Information participants provide will be recorded for transcription, but it will be completely confidential.
Focus groups will be held for individuals in the San Diego area and will take approximately 1 1/2 hours. For individuals outside of the San Diego area or individuals who do not wish to participate in a focus group, one-on-one phone interviews are also available.
If you are interested in participating, please provide Chaz Compton at Interwork Institute (firstname.lastname@example.org or 619-594-7935) with the following information:
1. Your name
2. The best phone number to reach you at
3. If you are interested in participating in the focus group or an individual interview
4. Days and times of the week that are best for you
A research assistant will contact you to schedule the focus group or interview.
The American Council of the Blind – Audio Description Project and the Described and Captioned Media Program recently announced their Third Annual Young Described Film Critic Contest.
If you’re a young person who can’t see or can’t see well, audio description provides access to all the visual images of the movies that your sighted peers enjoy.
Some films in movie theaters and certain DVDs have description available; many of those DVDs and the older VHS tapes with description can be borrowed at public libraries or state libraries for the blind.
The Young Described Film Critic Contest wants you to experience these films and the description soundtracks. Young people with a visual impairment have a chance to win prizes for themselves, recognition for their schools and the title of Young Described Film Critic of the Year!
All you need to do for a chance to win is write, type or record your own film review of any described movie. Keep it short: 250 words maximum.
There are three age categories: Sophomore (ages 7 to 10), Junior (ages 11 to 14) and Senior (ages 15 to 18). You can enter as many times as you like!
The top nominees in each age category will be invited to an awards ceremony at the American Council of the Blind 2011 convention in Reno, NV, during the week of July 11. Special guest award presenters will be in attendance. Prizes are still to be determined.
DEADLINE FOR ENTRIES: Friday, June 3, 2011
Enter online at:
Send your written entry in regular or large print or Braille via email or postal mail (submissions from outside the United States are fine) to:
ACB-Young Described Film Critic
2200 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 650
Arlington, VA 22201 USA
Include the following details:
Age category: Sophomore (ages 7 to 10), Junior (ages 11 to 14) or Senior (ages 15 to 18)
Name of school and class
School address and phone number
For “Top Tips for Writing the Ultimate Film Review,” visit:
The Bureau of Engraving and Printing has developed a free, downloadable application (app) to assist the blind and visually impaired denominate U.S. currency. The app is called EyeNote.
EyeNote is a mobile device app designed for Apple iPhone (3G, 3Gs, 4) and the 4th Generation iPod Touch and iPad2 platforms, and is available through the Apple iTunes App Store. Research indicates that more than 100,000 blind and visually impaired individuals currently own an iPhone.
EyeNote uses image recognition technology to determine a note’s denomination. The mobile device’s camera requires 51 percent of a note’s scanned image, front or back, to process. In a matter of seconds, EyeNote can provide an audible or vibrating response, and can denominate all Federal Reserve notes issued since 1996. Free downloads will be available whenever new U.S. currency designs are introduced.
The EyeNote app is one of a variety of measures the government is working to deploy to assist the visually impaired community to denominate currency, as proposed in a recent Federal Register notice.
These measures include implementing a Currency Reader Program, whereby a United States resident who is blind or visually impaired may obtain a coupon that can be applied toward the purchase of a device to denominate United States currency; continuing to add large, high-contrast numerals and different background colors to redesigned currency; and possibly adding raised, tactile features to redesigned currency, which would provide users with a means of identifying each denomination via touch. More information is available at www.eyenote.gov.
As of April 21, 2011
The LightHouse would like to inform you of important stair and escalator closures happening at the Civic Center BART station. The stairwell at 8th and Market (near the Hotel Whitcomb and Starbucks) will be closed for repair with an expected finish date of May 13, 2011.
Additionally, the escalators at the Burger King at Hyde, Market and Grove have limited functionality due to a needed repair.
The LightHouse is advising its community members to use the stairwell that exits in front of the Orpheum Theater. That stairwell is the FIRST stairwell on your right after exiting the BART fare gates that are located between the transit store and station agent. At the top of the stairs, continue straight to cross Hyde to the corner with Burger King. Veer right to walk along Grove towards LightHouse.
Note that changes in this situation occur frequently. If you want to be sure that you know all options for coming to the LightHouse from Civic Center BART, please contact Donna Kazanjian, who coordinates the LightHouse Orientation and Mobility services at the LightHouse. One of our instructors will make sure you are familiar with your options. Donna can be reached at 415-694-7308 or email@example.com.
Last January we learned that a sea lion blinded by gunshot but otherwise healthy might have to be euthanized by the Marine Mammal Center. We’re happy to report that after considerable uproar, including advocacy from the LightHouse, sea lion Silent Knight and another will soon take up residence in San Francisco. A link to the San Francisco Examiner article follows.
Although animal rescue isn’t part of the LightHouse official mission, the profound symbolism of possibly euthanizing otherwise healthy animals just because they are blind affected us all deeply, and we couldn’t be happier about this resolution. Congratuations to Jeff Boehm of the Marine Mammal Center for finding a positive conclusion to this matter.
By Brian McCallen, LightHouse guest blogger
“Natural Eye Care” is a new and exciting site for healthy eyes! Based on the easy-to-follow book, this insightful web resource covers nutritional, diet and lifestyle approaches for some of the most common eye conditions, including floaters and macular degeneration.
Ten years ago, I suffered from a retinal detachment in my one good right eye. Just recently, I learned about “Natural Eye Care” and, just out of plain curiosity, used the site to search for natural tips that may possibly prevent another detachment. The advice of daily aerobic exercise, along with the elimination of fatty foods to reduce potential retinal toxins gave me a wakeup call to cut back on the burgers at my favorite fast food joint and take more classes at my local health club in order to protect my eyesight.
Related research, articles, videos, health conditions and much more fill the breadth of information in this valuable resource. So go to http://www.naturaleyecare.com/ now and learn how to maintain your good eye health today!