Blindness-Related Resources

 

Welcome!  Thanks for stopping by.  Whether you are a blind person, or you know someone who is, or even if you’re just curious, we hope that you will find these sites to be fun and informative places to visit.  Enjoy, and come back often!

The American Council Of The Blind is an organization that is committed to advocacy for the rights of people who are blind.  In addition, visitors to this site can enjoy listening to ACB’s collection of Internet radio stations, ACB Radio, and reading The Braille Forum, the monthly publication of the ACB.

The National Federation Of The Blind is an organization that is committed to the training and advocacy of people who are blind, as well as their families.  Visitors to this site can find information about the many services of the NFB, including Newsline, the NFB’s dial-in nationwide newspaper service, as well as The Braille Monitor, the monthly publication of the NFB.

The American Foundation For The Blind publishes a wide variety of blindness-related books and magazines.  Among other things, you can find information about Access World, a new magazine that focuses on the needs of visually impaired computer users.

Ron Marriage's home page is a wonderful collection of links, covering topics of interest to the visually impaired, such as adaptive technology, books and magazines published in alternative formats, and services offered by the U.S. government.

Cathy's Newsstand Is an excellent place to find links to “speech-friendly” websites for leading newspapers and magazines.  This is also a great resource for purchasing computer training materials for people who are blind.

The Outpost is a fun on-line “store,” as well as an informative collection of links to guide dog training programs, educational sites, software downloads, and more!

The Internet Phone Book Of Blind Users And Services is a great place to locate other Internet users who are blind, as well as classified ads, business opportunities, technology vendors, and more.

Dialogue Magazine has been one of Jana’s favorite publications since 1986.  She believes it to be an invaluable resource for those who are blind or visually impaired.  Visit Blindskills, the publishers of Dialogue, to find out why!

The National Library Service For The Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS) is a program sponsored by the Library Of Congress which provides Braille and recorded books and magazines free of charge to visually impaired children and adults.  Take a look at their on-line catalog, or sign up for Web-Braille, a service that allows a blind person to download Braille books directly from the site!

Recording For The Blind And Dyslexic (RFB&D) produces textbooks and reference materials on cassette for students with visual or learning disabilities.  Search their on-line catalog, or learn how you can receive the books you need!

Bookshare.org is an excellent on-line community for visually impaired book lovers.  Community members and volunteers submit scanned copies of regular-print books, which are checked and made available in alternative formats for other members to download and enjoy.  This growing collection of books, both new and old, is sure to be a great resource for those who are unable to read standard print.  Visit the site to find out how you can volunteer and/or become a member of this exciting service!

Home Readers provides cassette versions for the latest catalogs from companies such as Avon, Land’s End, and Sharper Image.  Home Readers features an impressive assortment of cookbooks on cassette as well!  All of their products are available at very reasonable prices.

The National Braille Press offers low-cost books in specialized formats on a wide variety of subjects.  Some of the products offered are of special interest to visually impaired people, while others, such as Rainer Maria Rilke’s Letters To A Young Poet, are general-interest books that everyone will enjoy.

Descriptive Video Service (DVS) provides hundreds of home videos and television programs that have been audio-described for blind movie buffs.  Browse their catalog, hear a sample of DVS, and check out their schedule of upcoming television programs in the DVS format, as well as locations for theaters that provide audio description for current movies to visually impaired movie-goers.

The Narrative Television Network is the only television network of its kind, providing audio-described programming for the visually impaired.  Visit their site to find out more about this network and its founder, Jim Stovall.  While you’re there, download a movie to enjoy on-line!

HumanWare is a major player in the field of adaptive technology, manufacturing and/or distributing a number of excellent products which allow blind or visually impaired folks to live independently.  Visit HumanWare's Web site to find extensive information about their amazing products, including:

bulletMyReader--The world's first auto-reader designed for those who have low vision.  It's text magnification at its best!
bulletBrailleNote/VoiceNote--The world's first PDA (personal data assistant) created on the Windows CE platform, this line of products uses software created for the visually impaired to allow a blind person to surf the Internet, check e-mail, read books, create and manage files, keep track of addresses and appointments, and more, via Braille and/or speech output.
bulletVictor Reader--A unique line of CD players providing access to MP3's, music CD's, and "DAISY" digital books.  Daisy books can be navigated by chapter, Page, paragraph, etc.
bulletTrekker--This handheld GPS device uses speech output to allow a blind person to get around his or her environment.

Freedom Scientific is one of the leading manufacturers of adaptive technology in the U.S.  Some of Freedom Scientific's exciting products include:

bulletJaws For Windows--The most acclaimed screen-reading software in the U.S., gives a blind computer user access to a wide variety of off-the-shelf software via speech and/or Braille output.
bulletOpenBook--OCR (optical character recognition) software which gives visually impaired people the ability to access a wide range of printed materials, such as books, magazines, or typewritten letters, via Braille or speech output.
bulletMagic--Screen magnification software that is used to enlarge screen text for low-vision computer users.  Versions with and without speech output are available.
bullet Focus Braille displays--A line of devices that Works with screen-reading software to give a blind or deaf-blind computer user access to text on the screen via refreshable Braille output.
bullet Pac Mate--a revolutionary PDA, the first to give a visually impaired person access to the same off-the-shelf software that is often loaded into PDA's used by his or her sighted  coleagues.

GW Micro is the manufacturer of Window Eyes, one of the most popular screen-reading software packages on the market today.  In addition, this company distributes the Braille Sense, a unique and powerful PDA for the blind. In addition to features found on other accessible PDA's, this unit includes recording capabilities, a Daisy digital talking book player, tactile controls for the media player, and a small visual display for the benefit of sighted colleagues.

Duxbury Systems is the leading manufacturer of software that translates print files into fully-contracted Braille.  Visit this site to learn more about the Duxbury Braille Translator.

Independent Living Aids is a company that specializes in the sale of products that are designed to make life easier for people with disabilities.  Check out their on-line catalog of 4-track tape players, kitchen aids, Braille and talking watches, and much, much more!

Located in Sylmar, CA., Guide Dogs of America is the place where Jana met Thunder, the beautiful yellow Labrador retriever who was a part of her life for 4-1/2 years.  Learn more about this wonderful training program, and discover ways that you can help other blind individuals to enjoy the freedom and companionship that a guide dog can bring.

Project Assist With Windows provides accessible and affordable tutorials for numerous off-the-shelf Windows-based software.  These comprehensive  tutorials are designed to work with specific screen readers, and they are very easy to follow.  Keyboard guides for various software programs are also available.  On a personal note, Jana designed this site with the help of Project Assist's tutorial, Jaws For Windows 3.7 With FrontPage 2000.

Much of Jana’s work as a Computer Trainer is done through services offered by the following organizations:

Indigo Logix is a retail company specializing in adaptive technology for the visually impaired.  Based in Hendersonville, Tennessee, this company also provides excellent customer support and computer training to blind and visually impaired people wherever it is needed.  For more information, call 615-661-5254, or e-mail jana@indigo-logix.com.

The Columbia Lighthouse For The Blind is a rehabilitation center located in Washington, D.C., which provides computer training to visually impaired employees of various government agencies.

 

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