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Using only audio-based cues within the context of a video game metaphor, blind users in a study out of Harvard are able to explore a building’s layout.

(Credit: Journal of Visualized Experiments)

A video game that uses audio cues and computer-generated building layouts has proven to be better at improving a blind person’s spatial awareness of that place than does actually walking them through it, according to new research out of Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary.

The findings could have implications for how visually impaired people — and possibly those without impairments — best learn to navigate unknown territory.

“It is a tool to build a map of a place you have never been to before,” Lotfi Merabet, the neuroscientist whose team developed the software used in the study (which appears in the Journal of Visualized Experiments), told Reuters. “The video game not only allows you to build a map in your mind, it allows you to interact with it mentally in a way that you wouldn’t be able to if you were taught explicitly by walking through it.”

Read more on this article at: Audio-based virtual gaming aims to help the blind navigate

A new voice labeling system by RNIB that allows users to easily record, and re-record, information onto self-adhesive labels. This small pen shaped recorder provides easy recognition sound and just four buttons in a simple identifiable pattern. Instantly play back the recordings – no computer required. Use the PenFriend to label food items, including freezer food and even add cooking instructions, film and music collections, organize household paperwork, record shopping lists or leave audio messages. Clothing that is dry cleaned can even be labeled. The PenFriend can also be used as a portable notetaker. You can record your message and keep track of it by placing the allocated label in a small notebook or in your diary. This device is great for students as well as home use!
Find out more at: Pen Friend

Two Horses  
Author Unknown

Just up the road from my home is a field, with two horses in it.
From a distance, each horse looks like any other horse.

But if you stop your car, or are walking by, you will notice something quite amazing….
Looking into the eyes of one horse will disclose that he is blind.

His owner has chosen not to have him put down, but has made a good home for him.
 
This alone is amazing.

If you stand nearby and listen, you will hear the sound of a bell.
Looking around for the source of the sound, you will see that it comes from the smaller horse in the field.

Attached to the horse’s halter is a small bell.
It lets the blind friend know where the other horse is, so he can follow..

As you stand and watch these two friends,
You’ll see that the horse with the bell is always checking on the blind horse,
And that the blind horse will listen for the bell and then slowly walk
To where the other horse is,
Trusting that he will not be led astray.

When the horse with the bell returns
To the shelter of the barn each evening,
It stops occasionally and looks back,
Making sure that the blind friend isn’t too far behind to hear the bell.

Like the owners of these two horses,
God does not throw us away just because we are not perfect
Or because we have problems or challenges.

He watches over us and even brings others into our lives
To help us when we are in need..

Sometimes we are the blind horse
Being guided by the little ringing bell of those who God places in our lives.

Other times we are the guide horse, helping others to find their way….

Good friends are like that…

You may not always see them, but you know they are always there.

Please listen for my bell and I’ll listen for yours.

And remember…

Be kinder than necessary-
Everyone you meet is fighting
Some kind of battle.
 
Live simply,
Love generously,
Care deeply,
Speak kindly…….
 
                                               
And leave the rest to God!

Blindness does not stop learning. Nick is learning how to type out Spanish words, listen to a Spanish real speak voice from JAWS, then email his lessons to his teachers for a grade. He will get back his work in email and listening to the corrections through the use of track changes. Independence is possible in all areas of education for the blind.

Watch Video at: Dr Robinson teaches a Virtual Lesson on Spanish with talking software in Word

 

People who use their eyes to receive information about the world are called sighted people or “people who are sighted.”

Sighted people enjoy rich full lives, working, playing and raising
families. They run businesses, hold public office and teach your
children!

HOW DO SIGHTED PEOPLE GET AROUND?!
People who are
sighted may walk or ride public transportation, but most choose to
travel long distances by operating their own motor vehicles. They have
gone through many hours of training to learn the “rules of the road” in
order to further their independence. Once that road to freedom has been
mastered, sighted people earn a legal classification and a “Driver’s
License” which allows them to operate a private vehicle safely and
independently.

HOW TO ASSIST A SIGHTED PERSON
Sighted
people are accustomed to viewing the world in visual terms. This means
that in many situations, they will not be able to communicate orally and
may resort to pointing or other gesturing. Subtle facial expressions
may also be used to convey feelings in social situations. Calmly alert
the sighted person to his surroundings by speaking slowly, in a normal
tone of voice.

Questions directed at the sighted person help focus attention back on the verbal rather than visual communication.

At times, sighted people may need help finding things, especially when
operating a motor vehicle. Your advance knowledge of routes and
landmarks, particularly bumps in the road, turns and traffic lights,
will assist the “driver” in finding the way quickly and easily. Your
knowledge of building layouts can also assist the sighted person in
navigating complex shopping malls and offices. Sighted people tend to be
very proud and will not ask directly for assistance. Be gentle yet
firm.

HOW DO SIGHTED PEOPLE USE COMPUTERS?!
The person who
is sighted relies exclusively on visual information. His or her
attention span fades quickly when reading long texts. Computer
information is presented in a “Graphical User Interface” or GUI.
Coordination of hands and eyes is often a problem for sighted people, so
the computer mouse, a handy device that slides along the desk top,
saves confusing keystrokes. With one button, the sighted person can move
around his or her computer screen quickly and easily. People who are
sighted are not accustomed to synthetic speech and may have great
difficulty understanding even the clearest synthesizer. Be patient and
prepared to explain many times how your computer equipment works.

HOW DO SIGHTED PEOPLE READ?!

Sighted people read through a system called “Print.” this is a series
of images drawn in a two dimensional plain. People who are sighted
generally have a poorly developed sense of touch. Braille is completely
foreign to the sighted person and he or she will take longer to learn
the code and be severely limited by his or her existing visual senses.
Sighted people cannot function well in low lighting conditions and are
generally completely helpless in total darkness. their homes are usually
very brightly lit at great expense, as are businesses that cater to the
sighted consumer.

HOW CAN I SUPPORT A SIGHTED PERSON?!

People who are sighted do not want your charity. They want to live, work
and play along with you. The best thing you can do to support sighted
people in your community is to open yourself to their world. These
people are vital contributing members to society. Take a sighted person
to lunch today!

Be nice to them, Some of my best friends are sighted people.

Shortcut keys to send emotions using Skype messenger.

 

Text Description Emoticons
( angel ) Angel angel skye smiley
: @ Angry skype angry smiley
( hug ) Bear hug skype bear hug smiley
( beer ) Beer msn tongue out smiley
( blush ) Blushing skype blushing smiley
( bow ) Bowing bowing skype smiley
( punch ) Boxing boxing skype smiley
( u ) Broken heart broken heart smiley
( ^ ) Cake cake skype smiley
( call ) ”Call me” call me skype smiley
( cash ) Cash cash skype smiley
( mp ) Cell phone cell phone skype smiley
( clap ) Clapping clapping skype smiley
( coffee ) Coffee coffee skype smiley
8 – ) Cool cool skype smiley
; ( Crying crying skype smiley
( dance ) Dancing dancin skype smiley
( devil ) Devil devil Skyp smiley
( doh ) ”Doh” doh skype smiley
( d ) Cocktail drink skype smiley
| – ( ”Dull” dull skype smiley
( emo ) Emo secret msn smiley
] : ) Evil grin evil grin Skype smiley
( flex ) Flexing flexing skype smiley
( F ) Flower flower skype smiley
( chuckle ) Giggling giggling skype smiley
( handshake ) Handshake handshake skype smiley
( happy ) Happy happy skype smiley
( h ) Heart msn moon emoticon
( wave ) ”Hi” hi skype smiley
( inlove ) ”In love” in love skype smiley
( wasntme ) ”It wasn’t me” it wasn't me skype smiley
( envy ) Jealous jealous skype smiley
: * Kissing kissing skype smiley
: D Laughing laughing skype smiley
( e ) Mail mail skype smiley
( makeup ) Makeup makeup skype smiley
( mm ) Mmm mmmm skype smiley
( ~ ) Movie movie skype smiley
( music ) Music music skype smiley
8 – | Nerd nerdy skype smiley
( ninja ) Ninjay ninja skype smiley
( n ) Thumbs down no skype smiley
( nod ) Nodding nodding skype smiley
: x No speak no speak skype smiley
( party ) Party party skype smiley
( pi ) Pizza pizza skype smiley
( puke ) Sick sick skype smiley
( rain ) rain cloud raining skype smiley
( rofl ) Rofl rofl skype smiley
: ( Sad sad skype smiley
( shake ) ”No” no skype smiley
( skype ) Skype logo skype logo smiley
| – ) Sleepy sleepy skype smiley
: ) Smiling smiling skype smiley
( smirk ) Smirking smirking skype smiley
: – | Speechless speechless skype smiley
( * ) Star star skype smiley
( sun ) Sun sun skype smiley
( sweat ) Sweating sweating skype smiley
( talk ) Talking talking skype smiley
( think ) Thinking thinking skype smiley
( o ) Clock clock skype smiley
( yawn ) Yawning tired skype smiley
: p Tongue out tongue out skype smiley
( wait ) ”Wait” wait skype smiley
( whew ) ”Whew” whew skype smiley
; ) Winking winking skype smiley
: ^ ) Wondering wondering skype smiley
: S Worried worried skype smiley
( y ) Thumbs up thumbs up skype smiley

Welcome to Android Access, your portal to information on accessible Android apps and programs for the blind and visually impaired. We’re excited to be a part of the Android community, and look forward to your comments, feedback, and submissions. If you’re new to Android, check out our Getting Started page. Keep up to date with the latest reviews and news by following @AndroidAccess on Twitter.

For all those Apps you are looking for that are accessible for the blind, this is the page to go to: Android APPS

To add a braille display go to: APH braille display

 This braille display will also work with tablets such as the Nexus 7

More Android commands: http://tech.aph.org/rbd_doc.htm#Android

Android comes with a screen reader called TalkBack that works with synthesized speech. It is activated in Settings/Accessibility.
Once you get TalkBack going for speech, you need to download and install BrailleBack to get the braille feedback.

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