Although we have recognized and covered this year’s White Cane Day in previous bulletins, since today is the actual day, it is worth a special note. For a refresher on National White Cane Safety Day, the role of the white cane in mobility, how to observe the occasion, and more on the history, check out the National Day Calendar’s article: White Cane Safety Day. As this article notes “The white cane is not only a tool. It also represents the independence of those who are blind worldwide.”
The virtual talent show, Believe You Can! 2021, takes place Saturday, October 16 at 7 pm EDT. Hosted by The Keystone Chapter of the National Federation of the Blind of PA, the talent show stars performers – who could be singers, dancers, jugglers, and more – who are blind or visually impaired. There is no cost to perform in the show. Tickets to enjoy the performances are available for $10 for individuals; $25 for a watch party. Audience members vote to decide the winners. For more information or tickets, go to Believe You Can! 2021. You can also tune into a podcast from Blind Abilities that features how The Believe You Can Virtual Talent Show Returns Bigger and Better than Ever Before!
”Sorry I Missed Your Show,” an online screening and discussion series, features award-winning filmmaker Rodney Evans, whose 2019 documentary highlighted the lives and careers of artists with low vision. He and Kayla Hamilton, a dance artist and educator who appears in the film, will discuss a clip from the film during this free event on October 18 from 7 to 8:30 pm EDT, sponsored by the Gibney Company Community Center. Those attending will also gain special access to screen the film from October 18 through November 1. For more information and to receive the event link, check out DIGITAL: Sorry I Missed Your Show: Rodney Evans and Kayla Hamilton.
U.S. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh and Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy Taryn Williams will hold a virtual celebration of National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) on October 20 from 2 to 3 pm EDT. The event, which also commemorates the 20th anniversary of the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), features dialogues with government leaders on Federal contract compliance programs and disability employment policy. For more information and to register go to NDEAM Virtual Celebration.
By Ahmat Djouma
Have you ever tried to perform a task using your assistive technology and found that you couldn’t figure out out how to do it? Even some of us who know the technology the best get tripped up. That is just the nature of technology; no one person knows everything. If you use accessibility features like screen reader, magnification, or any other accessibility tools, many of the major companies like Microsoft, Apple, and Google provide a hotline specifically dedicated to helping individuals with disabilities. Contact Microsoft Disability Answer Desk by phone at 1800-936-5900. You also can contact Microsoft Disability Answer desk through the Be My Eyes app. Apple Accessibility provides support to customers with disabilities using Apple products. You can contact them by phone at 1-877-204-3930. Visit Amazon and Google to learn more about their accessibility offerings and how to connect with them.
Halloween Podcasts for Kids
By Ahmat Djouma
Kidcasts, a podcast list compiled for librarians, provides playlists of podcasts that can shared with children, families, and educators. Their Scary Stories Playlist includes tales like “Kraken,” with a range of creepy monsters, “Meet the Creeps,” where kids who listen to “creepy” stories can turn into monsters, and many more. The podcasts are professionally narrated with good voice acting and very descriptive music and sounds. Find out more from the School Library Journal article, Eight Podcasts for Kids Craving Scary Stories/Kidcasts, to enjoy many scary Halloween stories.
Accessible Halloween Sudoku Puzzles
Halloween is a time for tricks, treats – and puzzles. Sudoku, a fun and popular puzzle, lets kids exercise their “reasoning and critical thinking” skills as they play. The puzzles are generally numbers, but also can be pictures or words. For Halloween, we found a number of ways that Sudoku puzzles can be accessible for those with vision impairment:
A Halloween Sudoku, described in the Perkins School for the Blind Paths to Technology blog, has been modified to be accessible on an iPad for users who are blind. Pumpkins, ghosts, bats, and candy all have their places in the puzzle. “Sudoku puzzles are a wonderful way to teach students who use screen readers how to navigate grids and tables” with voiceover. For more information and directions for doing this Sudoku in the Pages app on the iPad, read Halloween Sudoku Puzzle: Grids and Tables.
Another accessible Sudoku puzzle that can be played at any time, the Blindfold Sudoku, available as an app, is for people who are visually impaired as well as those who are sighted. It is designed for “rapid audio play,” with a board that is not visible. The puzzle is played by listening, with participants tapping on a cell to find out its contents and swiping to hear the row, column, and the square. Audio cues guide the process and users can customize the game to provide more or less information. Find out more about Blindfold Sudoku/AppleVis.
Sudoku puzzles are also available for Braille users. The Braille Bookstore offers, for purchase, a Braille Sudoku set, with a wooden playing board and Braille number tiles, as well as a book with many Sudoku puzzles and solutions in Braille. For more information, including pricing and ordering instructions, check out Braille Sudoku Puzzles
Halloween Craft Ideas
Children – and adults – of all ages celebrate Halloween with costumes, spooky decorations, and other often visual paraphernalia, and “it may be difficult for blind and visually impaired children to feel included in the festivities.” To address that challenge, ibvi (Industries for the Blind and Visually Impaired) has put together a list of Halloween craft and costume ideas that are tactile and can be enjoyed by those who are blind or visually impaired. An Autumn wreath art project, for example, involves collecting materials outdoors and then using them to create the wreath. Cotton ball ghosts, tactile pumpkin decorating, and candy apples are among the other activities included. For the full list of ten craft projects, along with instructions, read Halloween Craft Ideas for Blind and Visually Impaired Children.
Chaz Davis competed in the Paralympics in 2016 and, just this week, completed the Boston Marathon in 2:46:52, winning the T11/T12 para athletics division, for runners with vision impairment. When he began to lose his vision in 2013, due to Leber’s hereditary optic neuropathy, Davis “also worried about losing his identity. But running helped him regain it – and so much more.” Prior to his vision loss, he was a runner. Initially, as he learned to manage his eye condition, his running life was curtailed. He adapted, however, using his treadmill to regain his skills and confidence. Davis’ personal triumph at the Boston Marathon also marked the first time that prize money was awarded to the top para athlete competitors in three divisions: vision impairment, lower-limb impairment, and upper-limb impairment. Read more about Davis’ story and accomplishments in Runner's World: Blind Paralympian Gears Up for Boston's First Competitive Para Athletics Division. For coverage of the Marathon results, check out Grafton's Chaz Davis Becomes First Boston Marathon Para Athlete Winner.
Subscribers to Reader’s Digest Select Editions Large Type can enjoy the best in current fiction, romance, mystery biography, adventure, and more. Offerings for 2022 will continue to provide expertly edited versions of best-selling books in a format that is pleasurable and comfortable to read. Here are a few of the just-released titles for the coming year:
Dating by the Book by Mary Ann Marlowe;
The Fate of a Flapper by Susanna Calkins;
The Echo Killing by Christi Daugherty; and
The Second Chance Boutique by Louisa Leaman.
If you are not yet a subscriber – and are having trouble reading standard print -- Subscribe to Reader’s Digest Select Editions Large Type today or Give a Gift Subscription. To order your subscription by phone, call 1-800-877-5293. You get a full year of exciting reading (five volumes in all, each with two titles), for the low nonprofit price of $20. Indulge your love of great reading in a format that is comfortable and pleasurable to read. A portion of the proceeds from each subscription helps to support Reader’s Digest Partners for Sight Foundation’s work and dedication to improving the lives of blind and visually impaired people.