Dedicated to Improving the Lives of Blind and Visually Impaired People

Resources for Partners July 17, 2020

PPP Loan Forgiveness Webinar

Nonprofit Quarterly is offering a free webinar for “nonprofit financial leaders who…want to prepare effectively to seek loan forgiveness.” The session offers a refresher on allowable spending; guidance on estimating FTE’s; navigating the forgiveness process; and PPP related decisions your organization will have to make. July 23 from 3-4 p.m. ET. Recording available on the NPQ site 2-3 days later.

Share Ideas with Other Leaders

Beth Deering at Associated Services for the Blind in Philadelphia told us about the “Spiel and Steal” meetings offered virtually by the Vision Serve Alliance. “Join us for a general discussion about what’s going on at your organization and how we can collaborate together. This will be a time of unguided discussion to share your voice and hear from others during COVID-19.” Beth said it’s a great way to learn what’s going on nationally, and it’s a great source of ideas you can use for your own organization. While Vision Serve Alliance is a membership organization, these sessions appear to be open to anyone. We were able to register and you can too here.

For Families

Connecting your Families at Home with the Resources They Need to Thrive is the first Family Connect webinar offered by The American Printing House for the Blind (APH). FamilyConnect is an online, multimedia community created to give parents of visually impaired children a place to support each other, share stories and concerns, and link to local resources. The 90-minute interactive session, hosted by APH staff, parents of children who are visually impaired, and professionals in the field of blindness, is available here. The Family Connect page has many other resources for parents, including a blog on Adventures in Remote Schooling. Some articles available in Spanish.

Summer at Home Children’s Art Activities

The Chicago Children’s Museum has Recipes for Play at Home for children age 0 and up. What’s the recipe for the very youngest children? “Place your baby or toddler safely (on their tummy or back) on one end of [a large piece of] fabric and give them a gentle sleigh ride around the room.” Our interns found that not all images are described.

The Eric Carle Picture Book Museum in Amherst, Massachusetts, has a series called Making Art Together. One of this weekly series is all about how to attach materials without using adhesives. “Working without glue or tape can sometimes take a bit more problem-solving and time, but it can also lead to creative solutions, as well as interesting patterns, shapes, and textures.,” says the webpage. Find the entire series here. Intern comment: “All of its graphics were tagged so that a screen reader would read a description of each graphic, and the provided descriptions were thorough. I reviewed the article that discussed creating comics and the article on garden art.”

Recently diagnosed vision loss?

Be sure to check out APH’s new 2020 Getting Started Guide for People New to Vision Loss. The guide provides information regarding the tools, support systems, and assistance individuals may seek after they are newly diagnosed with vision loss. APH, an RDPFS grantee, received funding from RDPFS to bring this new edition to life.

More ADA Celebrations

On July 24, EARN, the Employer Assistance and Resource Network on Disability Inclusion, is hosting the webinar, Celebrating ADA30: A Discussion on Youth Employment from the ADA Generation. Panelists will discuss their own workplace experiences as well as “policies and programs of particular interest to younger workers with disabilities, including internship, apprenticeship, and mentorship opportunities, and how to ensure these programs are accessible for everyone.” Register here.

Perkins School and SAS are honoring the ADA’s 30th with an accessible map library. The announcement notes: “non-visual digital maps have been successfully used by transition students with visual impairments to remotely learn about their college campus. Non-visual digital mapping technology enables students to instantly access map information for O&M purposes.” They’re hosting a live webinar where those in the meeting will learn how to download available non-visual digital maps from the Maps Library; how to share their customized maps with the Map Library; and where to find at least 5 SAS Graphics Accelerator Maps resources. To join the live meeting July 22 at 1 p.m. Go here. Meeting room size is limited, but the session recording will appear in Perkins’ Video Library a few days later, and you can always access the library itself on the Paths to Technology site.

Blind Baker = Luscious Poundcake

Bjorn Brooks reads two audio books a week, had a political talk show at age 15, trades stocks, dabbles in real estate, is a consultant, is legally blind due to RP and, oh yes, bakes delicious pound cakes at his family’s bakery in Maryland. Bjorn developed his own recipe after testing 10 other types of pound cake. When interviewed by a local television station, Bjorn said his cakes have two secret ingredients – “special thing #1” and “special thing #2”. ”

Now work off those calories

The interns were looking for ways to get some exercise and came up with this gem. Keep your blood circulating and work off that extra bit of flab you might have acquired while staying in by signing on to the YouTube channel Eyes Free Fitness, which has a wide range of exercises to do from the comfort of home. On YouTube, but the routines are all audio and very well described. Try one of the dozen or so workouts (about 20 minutes each). This is one of those sites that’s really for everyone, as you don’t have to strain to see the instructor.


Enter Text as Braille with iPhone, Print as text
Braille Screen Input, a notable feature of iOS, Apple’s mobile operating system, lets the user enter text in the form of electronic braille by using their fingers as if they were using a braille writer to enter text into edit fields. The on-screen interface includes a number of pre-configured gestures to enter spaces, start new lines, and even cycle between spelling suggestions. Simply add Braille Screen Input to the VoiceOver rotor to have access to the feature. Braille Screen Input requires no additional hardware, minimal setup, and allows iPhone users to put their braille skills to use in quickly composing messages, entering passcodes, and completing online forms. The interns report that it can take awhile to learn how to use this feature efficiently, but it’s a real bonus for those who write braille. The following guide from Apple provides a quick overview of the feature The next document is maintained by user contributions. The interns reports that the document is extensive, but worth the time, as it guides new users of Braille Screen Input through setup and practice and includes both FAQs and information on advanced topics.

Recordings of two recent resources events posted

American Foundation for the Blind’s Virtual Leadership Conference conversation with Haben Girma to celebrate the ADA is available as an audio presentation or as a downloadable transcript.

A video of Associated Services For the Blind’s “Going Blind: Coming Out of the Dark About Vision Loss” Panel Discussion on July 7th with full transcript and closed captioning can be found on their website.