Dedicated to Improving the Lives of Blind and Visually Impaired People

RDPFS Resources for Partners November 5, 2021

Tomorrow: Tune Into a Talk About BARD

The Delaware Valley Council of Citizens with Low Vision (DVCCLV)’s November meeting features a speaker from BARD, the Braille and Audio Reading Downloads of the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled. The speaker, Don Olson, BARD’s operations officer, has devoted a great deal of time testing BARD applications for user accessibility. DVCCLV’s meeting starts between 12:45 and 12:55 EST tomorrow, November 6, 2001. To join the zoom meeting, go to this Saturday's DVCCLV meeting about BARD. If you can’t sign on tomorrow, the meeting will be recorded and available soon after Saturday at the following link: Delaware Valley Council of Citizens with Low Vision Page on Such a Site.

Coming Soon: Audio Description Awards Gala: November 18, 2021

The American Council of the Blind (ACB) is holding its inaugural Audio Description Awards Gala online November 18, 2021 at 7:30 pm ET. The gala will honor achievements in the media that “paved the way for creating the Audio Description standard as well as recognizing the best of television, streaming, and the film industry’s commitment to accessible media for blind and low vision audiences” through audio description. Honorees will receive the new ACB Barry Award, recognizing “the best of the best” in this form of accessible media. Find out more about the 2021 Audio Description Awards Gala.

World Diabetes Day: November 14

The theme for World Diabetes Day (WDD) this year, as well as in 2022 and 2023, is “Access to Diabetes Care – If Not Now, When?” Established in 1991 by IDF (International Diabetes Federation) and the World Health Organization, this awareness campaign calls attention to issues of great importance to those affected by diabetes. Despite the fact that 2021 marks the 100th anniversary of the “life-saving” discovery of insulin, millions of people with diabetes worldwide do not have access to the care they need. This year’s theme emphasizes that people with diabetes need ongoing health care and support to manage their condition and prevent complications, such as vision loss. To find out more about WDD, including how to get involved through such activities as pledging support for increased access to care, participating in a local diabetes awareness walk, and more, check out World Diabetes Day.

Accessing the Voice Memos App

By getting into the Voice Memos app, users of iOS devices can record thoughts, ideas, lectures, music, and just about anything. The app is built into all iDevices, including the iPhone, iPad, the Mac, and Apple Watch. In recent years this app “has become more sophisticated and robust…” At the same time, its operations remain simple and quick. For more information and a demonstration of each of the app’s features, check out the write up and podcast from Blind Abilities: iPhone 101: Voice Memos -- Not Your Basic Recorder Anymore. Enhanced, Concise, Speedy and Voiceover Ready, Right There in Your Device!

New Online Training Opportunity: Free Self-Paced CVI Course

Teachers, paraprofessionals, specialists, families, and others who would like to learn more about Cerebral/Cortical Visual Impairment (CVI) can enroll in this new course from California School for the Blind. Offered via the Google Classroom platform, the course explains what CVI is, its causes and characteristics as well as screening and assessment tools. The course contents combine “some of the best resources and information available regarding CVI.” To find out more, including how to access the course, read the description from Paths to Literacy, Free Self-Paced CVI Course from California School for the Blind.

Service Dogs and COVID-19 Challenges

The challenges that have complicated life for everyone since the pandemic began have had an impact on service dogs, particularly those working as guide dogs for people who are blind or visually impaired. Practices that prevent the spread of COVID, like six-feet markers or social distancing signs, can’t be read by the dog and can sometimes cause the handler to get too close to another person. The other person is not always understanding, and this has caused some conflicts, particularly when the other individual does not realize the role of the dog. As more people return to pre-pandemic routines of commuting to school or work, these difficulties can escalate. Some tips for “creative social distancing,” shared by Guide Dogs for the Blind, based in Oregon and California, include such advice as “pushing a shopping cart or holding a long cane while having the dog heel.” Read more about the challenges – and solutions – in The Washington Post article Service dogs navigate the challenges of covid: 'The dog doesn't understand social distancing'.

Veterans Day is November 11: Thank You for Your Service

This year the theme for Veterans Day is “Honoring All Who Served.” From the National Veterans Day Ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery to communities across the nation, events are being held to honor members of the military, past and present. For information about Veterans Day and this year’s ceremonies, visit Military Benefits: Veterans Day 2021.

Saluting Blind Veterans

Following World War II, with the return of soldiers who had lost vision during combat, Orientation and Mobility began to be offered to veterans in Avon, Connecticut. Since that time, these offerings have grown and are provided across the nation to veterans and others whose lives have been impacted by vision loss. According to data from the Veterans Administration, more than 158,000 people in the U.S. have a severe impairment or blindness. Read more from Paths to Literacy in Honoring Blind Veterans.

Resources for Veterans with Vision Impairment

Veterans who are blind or visually impaired may be eligible for multiple services from a Veterans Administration (VA) Medical Center or for admission to a VA blind rehabilitation center or clinic. At all VA medical facilities assistance is available through the Visual Impairment Services (VIST) Coordinator. Veterans can access a health and benefits review, Adjustment to Blindness Training, home improvements and structural improvements to home, adapted housing, low vision devices, and much more. DAV, a nonprofit charitable organization supporting veterans and family members, provides extensive information and resources. Check out their write up on resources for blind veterans.

Pre-Thanksgiving Tips

Holidays like Thanksgiving can cause concern among people with vision loss in terms of fully participating. With some pre-planning, the day can be enjoyed “as much as ever” with a few tips offered by They suggest getting a comprehensive eye exam to ensure that you have an up-to-date prescription and any necessary modifications; enlarging the font of recipes; and arranging for a ride to the festivities, if needed. For more about these and other suggestions, check out tips for fully participating in Thanksgiving

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