Two Virtual Workshops on Anatomy and Audio Description in Dance Training and Performance: Tomorrow, June 11, and June 18, 2022
Dark Room Ballet with Krishna Washburn announces two upcoming workshops open to all, with priority given to students who are blind or visually impaired with no prior experience necessary:
Tomorrow, Saturday, June 11, 2022, from 4 to 5:30 pm EDT, the first in a series of detailed workshops analyzing specific anatomical details will cover No Diagram Anatomy for Dancers in the Dark Room Presents Anatomy in Detail: The Gluteus. Movement and conversation will help to cultivate scientific knowledge about the “gluteus complex” (also referred to as the “butt”). The workshop will also consider “Evolutionary history and the marvels of human variation.”
The workshop on Saturday June 18, 2022, from 4 to 5:30 pm EDT, will explore Voices from the Dark Room: The Multitude of Audio Descriptions and When to Touch Them. This session provides students with “the framework for thinking of audio description as not a singular process with a singular best practice, but as multiple art forms with multiple purposes.” The use of audio description in a variety of venues will be considered, including in Technique Class, for Narrative Performance, for two voices, and for the ensemble, or many voices.
To learn more, visit the Dark Room Ballet page describing June Workshops: Anatomy and Audio Description. The classes are provided free of charge to students who are blind or visually impaired. To register for one or both workshops, please email [email protected] as soon as possible.
by Jaime Rodriguez, RDPFS Intern
Men’s Health Month, celebrated in June, and International Men’s Health Week, which goes from June 13th through the 19th, aim to raise awareness of the diseases and illnesses that affect men living in the U.S. and around the world. The need for this initiative is underscored by studies that have shown that “Men are less likely to seek appropriate medical care” and “suffer more chronic health conditions.” In terms of eye health, men are at higher risk of developing such eye conditions as glaucoma. Early detection and treatment are vital to overall health and to preserving vision. In highlighting men’s health concerns, here are some common conditions that affect the eyes and can damage vision severely, along with information on protecting the eyes and fostering health awareness: diabetes, which can damage the blood vessels in the eyes; cardiovascular disease, where the heart has difficulty distributing oxygen to areas in the body that need it, including the eyes; hypertension (high blood pressure), which can damage blood vessels in the eyes, restricting blood flow to the retinas; and high cholesterol, which can lead to heart disease and restrict blood flow in the veins, including those in the retina. To reduce the impact of disease, it is important to eat a healthy diet rich in vitamins C and E, beta carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, zinc, and omega-3 fatty acids, and stay active with regular, moderate exercise averaging 30 minutes daily. Regular eye exams are important to detect potentially damaging conditions early, when they are often most treatable. Being on top of your health and exercise routines can make all the difference when it comes to having healthy eyes and to overall well being. For more information about the most common diseases that affect men’s eyes, check out The Guardian News article, “All eyes on him: The big 5 risks to men’s vision” or the National Institutes of Health - National Eye Institute's webpage, "Keep Your Eyes Healthy." To find out more about the incidence of glaucoma in men, read the Review of Optometry article: Male Sex Associated with Higher Glaucoma Risk.
If you are passionate about men’s health, you may want to help recognize and promote a healthy way of living in your community. For example, you can encourage the men in your life to schedule a visit with their doctors and/or eye care professionals. Or plan a walk and/or healthy cookout with family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, religious institution, or community center. You could also plan a charity event such as a 5K walk or run and donate the proceeds to a men’s health institution. These are just a few ways to promote men’s health. There are many healthy changes you can make to your life as well. Take better care of yourself and your eyes will thank you. For more healthy, fun ways to promote men’s health, check out the Men’s Health Month webpage titled, “Things to Do.”
For more information about Men’s Health Month and International Men’s Health Week, check out the Men’s Health Month website, here.
by Jaime Rodriguez, RDPFS Intern
The month of June, LGBTQ Pride Month, celebrates the culture, achievements, and activism of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer communities. Those who are blind or have low vision and are a part of the LGBTQ community can connect with others through organized initiatives, including:
The “Blind LGBT Pride” group, created on the Clubhouse app by Blind-LGBT Pride International (BPI), an affiliate of the American Council of the Blind (ACB). Clubhouse is a social media platform based on voice, where app users can talk, listen, and learn from other people. To connect with individuals in these activities, please check out the Blind LGBT Pride group on the Clubhouse App. To join BPI, visit the BPI website.
NFB-LGBT, a group affiliated with the National Federation of the Blind (NFB), offers a place for Federation members to talk about matters particular to being both blind and LGBT. The group also offers mentorship to blind individuals. For more information or to subscribe, visit the webpage for NFB-LGBT.
If you are interested in but unable to attend a Pride event in person, you can check out some digital LGBT Pride online events and workshops on Eventbrite. For more information about Pride Month, read the Today article, “What is Pride Month? Everything you need to know about the LGBTQ observance.”
Happy Pride Month everyone!
“Young people with disabilities who participate in apprenticeships and other work-based learning opportunities experience stronger career outcomes,“ according to research. To increase such opportunities, a new online policy curriculum outlines strategies for states to use to expand inclusive apprenticeships. The curriculum, published by The Council on State Governments (CSG) and the State Exchange on Employment and Disability (SEED), explains that participants in apprenticeships can gain “hands-on training” and practical experience that “can catapult them in the world of work.” The new resource details strategies for states to strengthen opportunities for skill development and job exploration “for individuals with disabilities through work-based learning programs such as apprenticeships.” Examples of state policies and resources are provided to help in making programs more inclusive of those with disabilities. State agencies, legislatures, and governors have used a range of strategies to achieve this goal, including such initiatives as showing state government as a model employer, establishing diversity and inclusion requirements, fostering agency collaboration, increasing digital platform accessibility for remote work, and more. For a brief summary, read the News Brief from the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) of the U.S. Department of Labor.. For details about the policy curriculum, visit the CSG website page on Disability Employment Policy Curriculum on Apprenticeships.
by Jaime Rodriguez, RDPFS Intern
For many people, summer is a time to cook outdoors. While grilling involves cooking at high temperatures, there are plenty of precautions you can take to ensure safety if you or a family member are blind or have low vision. To start off, evaluate the area in which you intend to grill. It is important to place your grill at an appropriate distance from the exterior of any buildings and positioned in an area without any overhanging structures or tree branches. Choose a specific model of grill that would best meet your needs. There are three major types of grills: electric, which come in both indoor and outdoor models; gas/propane grills, which are also user friendly; and charcoal, which are more challenging to use as they require cooking over flames. Electric grills and gas/propane grills are the easiest models to use if you or a family member is blind or visually impaired. They are generally controlled by easy-to-turn knobs, so with proper marking of knob temperatures and some practice, they are easy to master. Charcoal grills are more difficult to use, though not impossible. With practice, it becomes easier to manage temperature control. When grilling, it is important to memorize the setup of the grill’s heating surface and ensure that you have any adaptive equipment you may need. Essential items for grilling include a long-handled spatula or double-spatula turner, super oven gloves, an adjustable slicing knife with a guard, a low vision cutting board, a talking digital cooking thermometer, and a talking timer. These items will help you to grill safely and successfully, resulting in a delicious meal of grilled foods. For more information, please check out the Wisconsin Council of the Blind and Visually Impaired article, titled, “Strategies for Success when Grilling with a Visual Impairment.”
Father’s Day, celebrated around the world at various times of year, is recognized in the United States each year on the third Sunday of June, this year, June 19, 2022. Although the commemoration began in the U.S. in 1910 and was celebrated widely by the end of World War Two, Father’s Day only became a federal holiday in 1972 through a proclamation by President Richard Nixon. For more information about the holiday and its origins, read the History Channel webpage on Father's Day 2022.
As this year’s Father’s Day approaches, here are a few sources of cards and gifts to honor the dads in your life:
Vision Aware provides numerous and varied gift possibilities. One article they published, “My Father’s Day Gift List for Your Dad Who is Visually Impaired,” offers a number of suggestions for those who are technology oriented. The Amazon Echo, for example, can be a hit with the whole family with its text-to-speech feature. Users can ask “Alexa” for the latest news, podcast, narrated books, weather, and more. Less expensive versions, such as the Amazon Tap and Echo Dot, perform similar functions. For those who enjoy reading, the Kindle Fire Tablet is another option with accessibility features like a screen reader, high contrast setting, and screen magnifier. Read the full article for more details about these and other gift ideas, with some price information: My Father's Day Gift List for Your Dad Who Is Visually Impaired. Another article, released originally for the holiday season, describes additional gift options. For the game enthusiast, large print or braille games and cards can be considered. Some small, useful gifts include signature and writing guides, a lightweight travel task light, and talking keychain. For more information, including prices, for these and other items, read: Gift Ideas for People Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired - VisionAware.
The Braille Superstore offers 16 different Father’s Day cards and will print and braille a personal note below the card’s preprinted message. Each card is available for $7.95. Cards include message themes such as “Great as You,” “About Fathers,” “Take a Break,” and “Looking Up to You.” For the full list of cards, ordering details, and other information, visit the webpage on Father's Day Cards for the Blind. For gift ideas and prices, from talking watches, to daily living aids like bold pens, to games like Chess and Checkers, to braille apparel, and more, visit the website for Future Aids: The Braille Superstore.
Another source for braille items is Zazzle, an online shopping site. They sell a Happy Father's Day Braille Card for $4.42, as well as many braille gifts, such as a water bottle for $27.85, computer key number stickers priced at $2.82, and T-shirts with various messages (with prices from $20 to $31.75). For more information, visit the webpage on Braille Gifts.
Etsy offers braille Father’s Day cards and gifts from numerous vendors. For example, a “Happy Father’s day” message in print and braille appears on the cover of a card, with the opportunity for a personalized braille/print message inside, for a cost of $8.32, plus shipping. A braille card, with tactile and textured depictions of soccer and basketballs and a helmet for the sports enthusiast, can be personalized and purchased for $6.75, plus shipping. Braille cards may be found on the Etsy website under the listings for Braille father's day cards. Braille bookmarks, a coffee/tea mug, T-shirts, tie clips, and other gift ideas are also available, with pricing information, on the Etsy page for Braille Gifts for Fathers.
A variety of gifts can be purchased from Amazon as well. In addition to those cited in the Vision Aware piece, these include talking watches and clocks, amplified, big button remote controls, large print playing cards, a braille version of the card game UNO, and a big button remote control, to name a few. To check out what is offered, and prices, check out Gifts for people who are blind or visually impaired.
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