Tag Archive

Accessible Reading and Braille

The Louis Braille Traveling Exhibit opens today at the California Braille and Talking Book Library

The Louis Braille Traveling Exhibit opens today at the California Braille and Talking Book Library, 900 N Street in Sacramento,  California.

The exhibit will run September 1st through 25th (excluding Labor Day) from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. A related event will feature a talk and book signing by C. Michael Mellor, author of “Louis Braille: A Touch of Genius” on September 9 at 2 p.m., followed by a reception in the outdoor fragrance garden. The Society for the Blind will co-sponsor this event with the Braille & Talking Book Library.

For more information about the Sacramento exhibit and author  talk,  call the California Braille and Talking Book Library at (916) 654-0640, (800) 952-5666 (toll free in CA), or email btbl@library.ca.gov.

The exhibit will go on to appear in several locations around the country, well into next year. Find out if it will be near you – see the schedule at http://www.nbp.org/ic/nbp/louis/louis_tour.html

Read about C. Michael Mellor’s ‘ Louis Braille: A Touch of Genius’  at http://www.nbp.org/ic/nbp/LB.html

Job Opening Revised: Administrator for California’s Orientation Center for the Blind

We are seeking an Administrator for California’s Orientation Center for the Blind (OCB).  This position is a full-time, permanent civil service position with the State of California Department of Rehabilitation, and it offers great benefits and a pleasant, safe work environment.  The OCB campus is located in Albany, CA, on the eastern shore of the San Francisco Bay.  The climate is mild year-round and the air fresh from sea breezes.  OCB offers free parking and is located within easy access to public transportation.  The salary starts at $5576 or more per month, with merit salary increases leading to $6727 per month.

The OCB Administrator is responsible for the operation of a three-acre residential training center that assists up to 36 adults adjust to vision disabilities and prepare for independent living and employment.  He/she supervises staff consisting of teachers, counselors, clerical and administrative support staff.

This Administrator position will be filled at the level of a Staff Services Manager II (SSM II).  The minimum qualifications the SSM II for persons outside of CA civil service include four years of increasingly responsible analytical experience in the fields of management, personnel, fiscal, planning, program evaluation, or other related analytical experience.  At least one year of this experience must have been at the supervisor level.  In addition, a college degree is required.   While not a requirement for the SSM II exam, the Administrator position itself does require proficiency in Braille.

If you would like to apply and compete for this OCB Administrator position, you must take the following two steps:
1.    Take and pass the on-line SSM II examination (see link below)
2.    Submit a completed State application (Std. 678) and resume (optional) to:

Warren Hayes
Orientation Center for the Blind
400 Adams St.
Albany, CA  94706

The final filing date is September 14, 2009.

Link here to access the SSM II bulletin containing detailed application instructions, and the on-line Staff Services Manager 2 examination:

www.spb.ca.gov/cmsMain.aspx?id=1098

Link here for the State Application information:

www.rehab.cahwnet.gov/per/stateapp.htm

For more information about his job opportunity, please contact:

Tony Candela
916-558-5822 or tcandela@dor.ca.gov

or

Warren Hayes
510-559-1201 or whayes@dor.ca.gov

Alameda County Project Search Internship Program

East Bay Innovations is accepting applications for their new County of Alameda Project SEARCH. They have a few more individuals to interview and have accepted three candidates, but have room for 12 and need more applicants. The website states that the deadline was August 17th, but they’ll continue to accept applications until all the slots are full. Interested individuals  should submit applications as soon as possible. Case Managers can also send collateral packets (CDER, psych and/or social report, IPP, health information) along with a note that the application is on the way.

The start date with the County will be mid October. All internships within the County will be within the Downtown Oakland offices around Lakeside, Fallon and Oak Street, just a couple of blocks from the Lake Merritt BART station.

For more information about Project Search, please visit eastbayinnovations.org and follow the link to the Project Search page where there is an application to download along with eligibility guidelines.

All candidates must be able to pass a criminal background check, have the ability to learn clerical support skills, and meet the professional workplace expectations of the County of Alameda.

RUBY™ Handheld Video Magnifier now at the LightHouse store!

Come in to 214 Van Ness (415 694 7301) and check out this newest cutest video mag!

ruby-mrt-2

The Ruby, from freedom Scientific.

Our smallest, most portable handheld magnification solution
For the many people who need help reading text and seeing details because of low vision, traditional magnifying glasses work only up to a point. The RUBY video magnifier takes handheld magnification to the next level and beyond. The RUBY’s 4.3-inch, full color, high brightness video screen makes it outstanding for reading bills and writing letters and checks. It is so small and unobtrusive that it easily slips into a pocket or purse as the perfect traveling companion for visiting the grocery store, the pharmacy, the bank, the library, bookstore, restaurant, or anywhere else.

The RUBY is easy to use for those who are unfamiliar with technology products. Just turn it on with one button, place it over an object, and adjust enlargement to your preference with the easy zoom button. The RUBY stays flat on the table or can be held over your reading with the fold-away handle. The magnified image or text appears in the display window. With only one button, you can adjust the screen from full color for viewing pictures to any of four high contrast text modes.

Does the New Book Sense Make Sense?

The review below appeared on Blind Bargaisn yesterday.

There are two types of blind people in the world. Those who own a Victor Stream and those who don’t. The decision on whether or not to purchase the new Book Sense from GW Micro may largely fall on which of these groups you come from.

First, the basics. The Book Sense is yet another entry in the market for portable audio book readers. With a form factor similar to a candy bar style cell phone, the Book Sense is smaller than the stream. It includes a numeric keypad, a five-way navigation pad, and dedicated buttons for playback, recording, hearing the date and time, and other functions.

Compared to the stream, there are several inherent advantages with the Book Sense. It plays more formats including Microsoft Word .DOC and .DOCX files. It can record directly to high-quality .MP3. You can charge the Book Sense directly from your computer’s USB port. And the XT version includes an FM radio, 4GB of built-in memory, and Bluetooth headset support.
 
To read the rest, go to www.blindbargains.com. LightHouse is curious to know how well the FM radio actually work…? Anyone?

Blind students may have problems using Amazon's Kindle DX, which is being tested in pilot group classes at ASU in fall 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 reweaver@asu.edu

Jessica A. Freeh
Public Relations Specialist
NATIONAL FEDERATION OF THE BLIND
1800 Johnson Street
Baltimore, Maryland  21230
Telephone:  (410) 659-9314, ext. 2348
E-mail:  jfreeh@nfb.org

Equal, not Separate, Reading Rights – http://www.readingrights.org/

Blind students may have problems using Amazon’s Kindle DX, which is being tested in pilot group classes at ASU in fall 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 reweaver@asu.edu

Jessica A. Freeh
Public Relations Specialist
NATIONAL FEDERATION OF THE BLIND
1800 Johnson Street
Baltimore, Maryland  21230
Telephone:  (410) 659-9314, ext. 2348
E-mail:  jfreeh@nfb.org

Equal, not Separate, Reading Rights – http://www.readingrights.org/