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orientation and mobility specialists

Get In-Touch with MAD Lab’s Tactile Intersection Crossings and Attend a Workshop, April 8

Get In-Touch with MAD Lab’s Tactile Intersection Crossings and Attend a Workshop, April 8

By Kathy Abrahamson, Director of Rehabilitation Services
 
We’re pleased to announce that we received a Safety – It’s Your Turn community grant from the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) to support safer left turn education and encourage walking and biking, especially for San Franciscans who are blind or have low vision. Part of the outreach for the Safety – It’s Your Turn education campaign is to raise awareness of the new “left turn calming” intersections designed to slow drivers as they make left turns on the streets of San Francisco. These newly designed intersections use small speed bumps and vertical barriers to encourage drivers to slow down, square their left turns, and watch for people in the crosswalk. Currently there are seven such intersections in San Francisco. 
 
For this project, LightHouse Orientation and Mobility Specialist, Sarah McIntyre and the talented designers of Lighthouse’s Media and Accessible Design Lab have developed a tactile diagram of this new “left turn traffic calming intersection as well as a book of 13 detailed tactile diagrams of intersection types that may be found around San Francisco’s streets. Both of these tactile references are being made available to blind and low vision San Franciscans at no charge to the first sixty who contact the LightHouse with interest of obtaining a copy, and, participating in an informational workshop about these resources. 
 
The Tactile Diagram Workshop will be held Thursday, April 8 from 3:00 – 4:30 pm via Zoom. Invitation is open to those San Franciscans who have received a book of diagrams. The workshop will provide an overview of the intersections and basic information in how to use and read the diagrams. Each book provides information in both braille and large print. An electronic version of the text information from the book can be provided upon request. San Francisco Unified Orientation and Mobility Specialists are encouraged to ensure a copy for their students for supplemental training and support.
 
The goal of the project is to provide overall knowledge of the availability of tactile maps so that travelers who are blind or have low vision have the best understanding of their city streets and we graciously thank the SFMTA for the ability to produce the books for our San Francisco blind and low vision community. If you are a San Franciscan who is blind or has low vision and would like one copy of the LightHouse Tactile Intersection Book, along with the supplemental traffic calming intersection diagram, please email Briana Kusuma, LightHouse Program Associate at BKusuma@lighthouse-sf.org. Briana will send one copy (per person/household) via Free Matter for the Blind and sign you up for participation in the April 8 Tactile Diagram Workshop. For those persons who would like to purchase a copy of this book, please visit Adaptations, the LightHouse Store online, email adaptations@lighthouse-sf.org or call 1-888-400-8933.
 
For more information about the Safety – It’s Your Turn campaign visit VisionZeroSF.org/leftturns.

Pick Up Your Back to School Accessibility Kit

Pick Up Your Back to School Accessibility Kit

A black LightHouse tote with tactile maps, boldline paper and a full page writing guide peeking out.
A black LightHouse tote with tactile maps, bold line paper and a full page writing guide peeking out.

Are you a teacher or educator working with blind and visually impaired students? Or maybe just a parent looking for tools to help your blind child do their homework? If so, the Adaptations Store has you covered for the school year ahead.

Just in time to head back to school, our Premier Kit for Teachers of Blind Students is a newly-introduced, premium accessibility kit containing more than 20 hand-picked products you will find yourself reaching for again and again throughout the school year.

With the Premier Kit, you can:

  • Create markings and labels using a Dymo tape labeler, which comes with three rolls of clear, adhesive labeling tape
  • Need to create a label or a sign containing more than one line? No problem. The kit includes clear plastic adhesive sheets that can be cut into any size or shape
  • Bump Dots and Locator Dots can be a great way to add a simple tactile mark wherever you may need one
  • A slate and stylus for brailling, Bold Writer Pens and items like our boldline tablet or a full-page writing guide offer numerous choices to both students and teachers alike
  • Create helpful shapes and diagrams using the included package of Wikki Stix
  • Teach a student about geographic locations in and around the country with our included maps of both the state of California as well as the continental US.
  • Use the pocket-sized contractions guide to refresh students’ knowledge of the Unified English Braille Code
  • Practice reading by playing a game with a set of tactile dice or a pack of playing cards
  • The Braille/large print ruler can be used to teach the concept of measuring, and a talking keychain clock is a great way to show young students about telling time
  • Braille alphabet cards for those beginners who are new to Braille, or for showing the concept of Braille to sighted classmates

All of these helpful items come packaged conveniently in an easy-to-carry LightHouse tote bag.

The Premier Kit for Teachers of Blind Students retails for $125 from the LightHouse for the Blind’s Adaptations Store, and can be shipped anywhere in the US. Give us a call at 415-694-7301 between the hours of 10 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, to order yours today!