Browse By Topic: Reading

Literacy is the key to personal independence and access to information. Learn more about the ever-expanding list of available techniques and technologies to help you read, including large print books, low vision devices, audio books, apps, braille, and devices to help you identify your medications. You can also find helpful tips and techniques for everyday living skills, safe indoor movement and outdoor travel, and helpful everyday living products. Register to receive alerts and news relating to vision loss, including the latest updates in low vision and technology research.

Voices of the Talking Book Program

Excerpt from the Novel The Help I put the manuscript down on the table with a thump… I brought it over to show to Aibileen and Minny one last time before I mail it… "Now we just…wait and see," I say. "What if they find out?" Aibileen says quietly. "What if folks find out it is Jackson or figure out who' who." "They ain't gon' know," Minny says. "Jackson ain't no special place. They's ten thousand towns juz like it." Who Are the Readers Who Bring Books to Life? The voice of Jill Fox, Talking Book (TB) narrator in Louisville, Kentucky, fills the room with these lines from the classic novel The Help. With the slightest change in accent, rhythm, pace, tone, and attitude Jill Fox brings alive the three main characters

No Limits! Braille and Print Relevancy in the 21st Century

Caption: Peer Advisor Empish Thomas Reading Braille Bathroom Sign There has been considerable discussion in recent years about the relevance of braille in the digital age, in an age when computers will talk and audio files are everywhere—podcasts, books, broadcasts, etc. As the VisionAware (VA) Peer Advisors began preparing articles to celebrate Louis Braille's 210th birthday, this topic surfaced and stimulated a vigorous discussion among the VA Peers who have personal experience in using braille. After all, everyone, sighted and blind people, uses audio formats, and

Part 1: VisionAware Peers Demonstrate the Relevancy of Braille in the 21st Century For People Who are Blind or Visually Impaired

Caption: Writing Braille with a Slate and Stylus Trina Bassak Trina is a physical therapist. She described the results of a 3-way call between herself, Jeannie Johnson, and myself on the use of slate and stylus. "It came up because of my dismay in braille labeling and lack of options," Trina said. "I really was never taught formally the slate and stylus…" After discussing a few suggestions with Jeannie and Lynda, Trina decided to give it another go. "It turned out to be amazingly more convenient, efficient and useful for making all types of

Part 2: Relevance of Braille: Sighted Individuals Discuss the Relevance of Print in the 21st Century

Caption: Older Man Reading with Magnifier In Part 1 of this discussion, several blind people of different ages and backgrounds described various ways they use braille, showing why it is essential to their daily lives. In Part 2, several sighted people describe various ways they use print in their daily lives, showing reasons they could not function without it. Sighted People Discuss the Importance of Print in Their Lives Carla Earley

Part 3: Relevance of Braille in the 21st Century: A Look at the Scientific Evidence

Scientific Support for Braille and Print Caption: Man Reading Braille We started this discussion with an overview post on No Limits--Braille and Print Relevancy. Then in Part 1 of this series, we provided perspectives of braille users concerning the relevancy of braille.

Braille Awareness Month--The Starbucks Example of Relevance

Louis Braille's birthday was January 4th, and the month of January each year is Braille Awareness Month. There have been the usual discussions and articles about the relevancy of braille in the digital age. After all, what need is there for braille, when computers and other gadgets talk to us? Would those of us who regularly read print on paper, ask the same question? In the digital age, is print on paper relevant? <img src="" alt="A teacher

Review of National Library Service Graphic Novel "The March Trilogy"

Editor's note: With the observance of Martin Luther King Day on January 21, this post by Empish Thomas is particularly relevant. It is part of VisionAware's ongoing book review series. Caption: Book Cover of March Book One I don’t typically read graphic novels. As a matter of fact, the book that I am reviewing is my very first. For those who are not familiar with the genre, a graphic novel is a

Finding Braille in Everyday Places: What Would Louis Braille Say If He Could See Us Now!

The VisionAware peer advisors are celebrating Louis Braille's birthday on January 4 with a compiliation of everyday places where you will be able to find and use braille. In case you don't know, Louis Braille was the creator of the braille code, which revolutionized reading and writing for blind people throughout the world. I compiled this post with much input from the other peer advisors. If you haven't learned braille already, these examples should give you some great reasons to learn it for use in your everyday life. <img

Lynda Lambert Shares Prologue to Her Book "Walking by Inner Vision"

Editor's Note: VisionAware Peer Advisor Mary Hiland recommended that VisionAware publish the prologue from Peer Advisor Lynda Lambert's book, Walking by Inner Vision, as a follow up to Lynda's excellent series on

Watching Movies Made from Books with Use of Audio Description

Editor's note: March is National Reading Month, and Empish Thomas has compiled a great list of movies that are based on books that you will want to check out. Also, if you love movies, her post on audio-described movies is a must read, and it includes links to other helpful articles. One more thing, the VisionAware peer advisors have put together an excellent anthology of books about adjusting to vision loss that may contain books of interest to you or a family member. Jumping

Calendars for People with Vision Loss

by Neva Fairchild and Empish Thomas It’s that time of year when we need a new calendar, resolve to get organized, and commit to keeping track of appointments independently. If you have a visual impairment, this can be easier said than done. None of the calendars at the store have large enough numbers or letters, and there’s not enough room to write even if you buy a desk-size calendar, which of course you cannot take with you. If you use a black permanent marker so that you can read what you write, it bleeds through to the next page. The letters and numbers are gray instead of black, and the spaces are too small to write what you need to know. Eventually, you leave the stationary aisle frustrated with nothing that meets your needs. Now what? Print

What Does Braille Have to Do with Glaucoma? My Personal Experience

Editor's note: In January, we celebrate both National Braille Awareness and National Glaucoma Awareness months. Guest writer Jasmyn Polite shares her experience and advice as a person with glaucoma who has learned braille. Learning the Importance of Braille by Jasmyn Polite I have glaucoma and have progressively lost vision as I have grown older. When I was a young child, I thought that braille didn’t

Why I Resisted Learning Braille

Editor's note: To celebrate the life of Louis Braille (1809-1852), who made reading and writing possible for people who are blind, we’d like to acknowledge his young entrepreneurial skill that changed night writing into a code of dots we know today as braille. VisionAware peer advisor Maribel Steel, shares an excerpt from her unpublished memoir. She reflects on her teen years when her sight mysteriously worsened and how facing the question, to braille or not to braille, was met with personal uncertainty. Physical

The Gift of Reading: A Gift Everyone Can Enjoy

Recently, a friend told me she ordered a variety of books which she is gifting to family and friends this year for Christmas. My friend said she simply visited some bookselling sites, placed her order, and the books arrived at her door just a few days later. What a great idea! The gift of reading doesn’t require anyone to go out shopping in the crowded malls or travel on the busy highways. Books are fun to select throughout the year. I’ve been preparing my annual Christmas letter and putting them inside the envelope with my Christmas cards. I put together some special gift packages to send to people who have been so

The Bookshelf: Review of "Follow Your Dog" by Ann Chiappetta

Book Presents View of Difficulties of Growing Up with Low Vision Ann Chiappetta’s second book entitled "Follow Your Dog, A Story of Love and Trust," is a memoir about growing up with low vision and how becoming a guide dog handler changed her life. Ann took me on a journey through her world as she reflected on the loneliness of growing up visually impaired but not blind. There are passages that touch the heart describing her struggles with declining vision. I felt her pain at not measuring up to some nonexistent super blind person who does it all right with grace and aplomb. I wanted to hug her for her

Easy Ways to Become a Guest Blogger with Low Vision

Do you often think about sharing your experience of vision loss but lack the resources to blog your own post? Perhaps you have a passion in other areas of your life you know would help others if they only knew what you knew, but coding a web post is not your forte? No problemconsider becoming a guest blogger! Maribel Steel, who is legally blind, a VisionAware peer advisor, and a Top 100 Freelance Blogger (as listed on wants to let you know it’s absolutely possible! Here are some easy ways to help you get started as a blogger without having to set up your own blog and why it is a great way to sneak into writing on the Internet. Open the Gate to Possibility <img src=""

Book Review: The Christmas Carriage and Other Writings of the Holiday Season

The Christmas Carriage and Other Writings of the Holiday Season is Alice Jane-Marie Massa’s first book. It’s a collection of holiday-themed memoirs, fanciful stories, and poems. Readers are immediately drawn into the book for two reasons. First, the book’s cover photo features a picture of a Christmas carriage on a snowy day. This photo by photographer Cindy Kennedy-Lesky reflects a nostalgic illustration of the winter season and holidays. The image holds in it the memories we all have of our own personal recollections of holidays and family gatherings. Second, when I opened the book, I began

Self-Publishing: My Great Learning Experience

Compiled by Maribel Steel How exciting would it be to be able to announce to the world, My first book has just been published! I’m delighted to say that this is how I first heard of my fellow peer and writer friend, Mary Hiland sharing the story of her long overdue struggle to have her book published. For anyone in this similar dilemma to publish or not to publish, let’s see how it turned out for Mary. The Bumpy Road to Self-Publishing By Mary Hiland <img src="" width="250px" alt="Mary Hiland standing on a bridge

How I Self-Published a Book as a Writer Who Is Visually Impaired

What better way is there to leave a legacy to your family than to self-publish your own book? A book with stories and family recipes from three generations to nourish their future? This was my reason for keeping my publishing project a secret from my family so that I could produce the final book as a Christmas gift to my grown-up children. Come behind the scenes to discover how, as a writer who visually impaired, I created my book with three helper elves to make my legacy a reality. A Precious Gift The bright spark of an idea came to me in a flash three months before Christmas. I’d write a recipe book as a surprise and gift it to them for

Self-Publishing: Challenges and Rewards

Compiled by Maribel Steel Have you wondered about publishing your own book to share your life’s experience and expertise? You may think there are a lot of books out there about living with low vision and indeed, there are quite a fewexcept there is always room in the world of self-publishing to include your creative work too. In this post, two VisionAware peers, Sue Wiygul Martin and

Living with Blindness Before the ADA: Review of "Planet of the Blind"

Overview of Planet of the Blind Stephen Kuusisto's fantastic book, Planet of the Blind, details his life as someone living with blindness before the implementation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. He describes what it was like growing up, how he was ostracized throughout his education, and how he struggled to deal with his own thoughts on being disabled. In the beginning of the book, Kuusisto details the cause of his blindness and the diagnosis of retinopathy of prematurity. He also explains his visual impairment through the use of metaphors in descriptive detail. Despite being

The Knowledge of Touch: How I Learned Braille

Editor's Note: Today's blog is from Jasmyn Polite, an aspiring teacher who is visually impaired. Born with bilateral cataracts and diagnosed with glaucoma as a child, Jasmyn has worked diligently to learn to read braille in order to pursue her goals. To learn more about Jasmyn, read her story, "Jasmyn Polite: Shining a Light on Living with Glaucoma As an Aspiring Teacher." Empish reading a braille sign for the restroom Imagine you are a person who is completely blind who is in an

The Bookshelf: Review of "Upwelling" by Ann Chiappetta

A Breath, an Intonation Expresses a Desire to Act This thought, the desire to act, begins a journey we will take as we pick up the first book written by Ann Chiappetta who has been blind since 1993. Upwelling is a short book of poetry; it’s her first book. Because Ann works as a readjustment counseling therapist for the Department of Veterans Affairs, I was curious why she selected this title for her book. She replied, It means the welling up of thoughts, feelings, and emotions which are made into words and shared with the reader. The image begins as a thought, an impulse, which comes to life through her words. <img src="" alt="Book cover of Upwelling by Ann Chiappetta

The KNFB Reader App Is a Print Reader I Can Easily Carry on the Go

Empish's Take on Using the KNFB Reader App Although the KNFB Reader App for the iPhone has been on the market since 2014, I just recently started using it. As I have been slowly migrating my life onto my iPhone, this app was one I had yet to try. I typically scan all printed materials, especially my mail, using my desktop computer with a flatbed scanner and software called Open Book. But I had been hearing such great things about the KNFB Reader app, launched by the National Federation of the Blind, that I had to try it out. Because the app is on my phone, I can easily carry it around in my

Reviewing Books on Blindness: Harnessing Courage and Moving Forward As an Individual with Vision Loss

Editor's note: These book reviews by Peer Advisor, Amy Bovaird are part of the VisionAware Bookshelf Series. Each book shares a message of facing vision loss straight on and finding the courage and will power to move forward with life as someone living with a visual impairment. Harnessing Courage: Overcoming Adversity Through Grit and Gratitude by Laura Bratton By

"Walking by Inner Vision" Book Review

Celebrating our successes as visually impaired people is an essential step on the journey to healing. Peer advisor, Lynda McKinney Lambert knows this firsthand. Celebrating in a Memorable Way After profound vision loss in 2007 due to Ischemic Optic Neuropathy, Lynda did not use a computer for almost two years. When she finally did relearn her way around the computer with the help of adaptive technology, she decided to celebrate in a memorable way. She started a blog. <img src="" alt="The cover of Lynda Lambert's book, Walking

Dancers: A Tribute to My Nine Guide Dogs

I wrote this poem while walking 16 blocks with my sixth guide dog to a dental appointment. I am sharing it to honor my nine guide dogs on April 26th, International Guide Dog Day! Dancers: A Tribute to My Nine Guide Dogs We are cloud dancers, You lead and I follow. Our steps synchronized Our bodies swaying to the same rhythm. Swept along in the current of the jet stream. Floating lightly on the swell of an updraft, Swooping into a glide down the slope of a

How to Get the Most from the Bard in Your Book

Being blind or visually impaired doesn’t have to be a barrier to enjoying a good book. As we celebrate National Reading Month in March, peer advisor and visually impaired freelance writer, Maribel Steel, highlights some of the benefits we can all continue to enjoy either on our own or with our children when we want to get the most from the "bard" in our books. First Impressions The magical world of words that first excites a child’s imagination is often conjured up from fairy tales and fables of childhood. This is a time of wonderment where the bard and the book are one, where nothing can replace the drama of a character as beautifully as in the voice of a loved one. My own experience when I first heard the bard come alive in books were in the voices my

Many Different Hats: An Audio Short Story

Editor's note: In honor of National Reading Month, today's post features an audio recording of Maribel Steel's story, "Many Different Hats." Whether you enjoy reading large print, braille, or following along with audiobooks, the VisionAware peers encourage you to continue to enjoy reading. Click the link below to listen to Maribel's story. Listen to "Many Different Hats" Transcript (Soft music plays then fades out as the narrator begins to speak) Narrator:"Many Different Hats," written by Maribel Steel and read by Carol Middleton. Playing Time: 7:51 minutes.

Amy Bovaird Interviewed About Her Book, "Cane Confessions: The Lighter Side to Mobility"

Amy Authors Second Book on Mobility Editor's note: Beckie Horter, peer advisor, conducts this interview of Amy Bovaird about her second book. Cane Confessions is the second book in peer advisor, Amy Bovaird's, mobility series. The first is Mobility Matters: Stepping Out in Faith. It follows the journey of her orientation and mobility training. In this latest book, Cane

Reading Bookshare Books Is Enjoyable but Maybe Not on iBooks

Reading Bookshare Books on iBooks Announced January 23rd is National Reading Day, which is observed as a time to encourage and celebrate the love of literacy among children. Although it has been years since I was a child, the love of reading has never left me. The ability to peruse a book, newspaper, or magazine has always been a delight. When I lost my vision 20 years ago, instead of reading printed books, I started reading audiobooks. One program I like to use is Bookshare, an online service that provides accessible books for people who are blind or

Review of "How Do You Do It Blind: Answers from People with Blindness and Visual Impairment"

This review is part of our bookshelf series Author Shares His Story of Blindness In 109 pages, Steven Obremski truly accomplishes his goal—to answer the question posed in the book's title “How Do You Do It Blind” for both the general public and people who are newly visually impaired. Answers are provided by hundreds of visually impaired people Steven has worked with in the blindness field, people he interviewed for this book, and his own life experiences. In chapter one,

The Bookshelf: The Challenge of Creating Blind Characters

Writers for centuries have created blind characters as literary devices, symbols, or simply for the challenge of it. Often they make these characters either extraordinary with special talents or helpless and tragic. In literature, the representation of blindness serves to illustrate cultural themes and values but rarely is it accurate or realistic. We end up with stereotypes and poor representations of what it is like to live as a blind person. We know the experience of blindness is as diverse as we are as individuals and it defies stereotyping. Can an author who is sighted create a believable blind character? Can blindness be depicted realistically by someone who is not

Getting Your Feet Wet in the Access Technology Wading Pool Part 3

In Part 1 of this series I talked about the National Library Service (NLS) player and its many uses. In Part 2, I covered how to download an application for NLS and the books they offer as well as other sources of downloadable books. In the this third part of the series I discuss using a computer. Read on! <img src="" alt="Image of man diving off board into pool by David Shankbone [CC BY-SA 3.0 ( or GFDL

Getting Your Feet Wet in the Access Technology Wading Pool Part 2

In Part 1 of this series I talked about the National Library Service (NLS) player and its many uses. In this part, I will cover how to download an application for NLS and the books they offer. I will also cover other sources of downloadable books. Getting Started First check out VisionAware's article on Audio Players and Talking Books. This article explains in detail the National Library Service and other audio book services. In a nutshell, to become a patron of NLS and

Getting Your Feet Wet in the Access Technology Wading Pool Part 1

Editor's note: Just in time for school to start in some parts of the world, we bring you Part 1 of "Getting Your Feet Wet in the Access Technology Wading Pool." Stay tuned for Part 2 on downloading books and how you can play them your talking book player and Part 3 on taking the next step and using a computer. How Reading Can Get You Started into Using

The Bookshelf: Reading Books on Blindness and Learning About the Experiences of Others

Reading Books on Blindness Reading is still a pleasure I enjoy every day. The beauty of talking books is that I can multi-task as I listen to my latest selection on BARD. In fact, I can carry around my iPhone filled with downloaded books from my ambitious reading list and listen as I fold clothes, cook, walk the dogs or work

New Series: The Bookshelf-- Summertime Is Reading Time!

There is nothing like diving in to a good book on a lazy summer day. Vision loss changes our reading habits but it does not have to stop us from reading for pleasure. Whether you are reading with your ears, on a Kindle or an iPad, books enrich our lives and expand our worlds. Once again, the Peer Advisors have assembled a booklist with memoirs, fiction and non-fiction titles about blindness. (see the list of books on blindness). We will be reading and reviewing books from our list

My Father's Day Gift List for Your Dad Who Is Visually Impaired

Dear Son, I recognize this is a bit selfish, but I am not above offering a few suggestions for Father’s Day, on June 19, 2016 (no doubt this is already on your calendar). You are probably already fretting about what to get me anyway, and searching the internet for appropriate items. So I thought I could make it easier for you and the rest of the family, by highlighting a few things I’ve had my eyes on…besides, of course that stunning Ducati motorcycle! Amazon Echo The whole family will fall in love with Alexa, the text-to-speech voice within the Amazon Echo. Check out my article,

What Is Survival Braille?

People Think Braille Is Not Useful In this age of digital talking books, computers fitted with screen reader software, audio labeling systems like the Pen Friend, some believe that learning braille is no longer necessary for people with vision loss. It's true that we have reached an age when more access to printed material is available than ever before. Senior

Unified English Braille Is Here with the New Year

Change Can Be Uncomfortable It always seems that, just when we have learned how to do a task with a great deal of confidence, there is someone out there in the world who comes up with the bright idea in order to make changes and improvements to how we are successfully doing things. We are creatures of habit by nature. So learning to do something in a new way seems to be uncomfortable or even unwelcome. If you have been using a personal computer for several years now, you will recall that every time software developers update their products, there is always going to be a new learning curve in order to accomplish those things that you already feel comfortable in doing. So why upgrade to the latest software development? You know that you can wait on the upgrade for the newer

Five Great Reading Apps for Booklovers Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired

Editor's Note: This blog post has been updated to include additional information about reading apps. Check out "Reading Apps for Booklovers Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired" for more information. Electronic Access to Books Has Changed Tablet computers, like the iPad, Kindle Fire, and Samsung Galaxy, have dramatically changed how we read. For individuals

Visiting the Library of Congress and the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Impaired

Traveling by Bus to Baltimore and DC A few weeks ago I joined the Center for the Visually Impaired’s Braille Club as they boarded a bus for a 3-day trip to Washington, DC. We were all on our way to visit the Library of Congress and the National Library Services for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS). The purpose of the trip was to bring a deeper awareness in the use of braille and trigger additional excitement in reading. So all 24 of us left on a Wednesday evening. We rode all night and arrived in Baltimore at the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) Center

Lessons Learned in the School of Life: Going to School with the Dinosaurs as a Visually Impaired Student

Contemplating my twenty-two and a half years of school as a visually impaired student, I can divide the time into three periods: pre-technology, some technology, and the beginning of assistive technology. Kindergarten The half year I alluded to was kindergarten. For me, it was very disappointing. As I told my mother when I came home the first day, “I did not learn to read!” Reading was the bottom line for me. I did learn to climb the monkey bars and could even pass another student as we scooted along on the top. This was a definite achievement for a five-year-old with ten degrees of visual field. So…I dropped out and waited for first

Reading and Writing Blind with My Buddy Called JAWS

Editor's note: Our last installment for National Reading Month. by Maribel Steel Have you ever wondered how people who are blind or visually-impaired are able to operate a computer without seeing the screen? How do they move around in cyberspace without cursing the cursor? Well, they use specialized technology to retain independence by learning to log-in to life using a variety of software choices. If you are noticing signs of your sight deteriorating or you are experiencing difficulties staying on top of visual tasks on

What Happens When a New Year’s Resolution Doesn’t Happen?

Last Year’s Resolution About Learning Braille In January of last year I made a resolution to refresh my braille skills. I wrote a blog post for VisionAware called “My Journey Back to Braille.” In that post I shared about how I had learned braille many years ago but had not put it to full use. I shared how I knew the basics of my letters and numbers which is called Alphabetic Braille.

All About Braille: Six Dots, Four Perspectives

January is Braille Literacy Awareness Month, in honor of Louis Braille who originally developed the braille code. Braille has been a major contributor to the independence of people who are blind and visually impaired and we are honoring the month with personal stories about its importance. Bumps On A Page By Mary Hiland How do you make sense of all those bumps on the page? Do blind

International Day of Disabilities and Impact of Talking Books

Editor's note: Did you know December 3 was the International Day of Disabilities? This year's theme is: Sustainable Development: The Promise of Technology. The United Nations is honoring this day and, in its press release, states, "Throughout human history, technology has shaped the way people live. Today information and communications technologies in particular have impacted a lot of people’s daily lives. However, not all people have access to technology and the higher standards of living it allows. With an estimated one billion people worldwide living with a disability, and 80% of them living in developing countries, access to technology is key to help realise the full and equal participation of persons with disabilities." (

Joining a Book Club Provides Great Reads and Socialization

Reading From an Early Age I have enjoyed reading books since I was a small child. My enjoyment began with my parents reading me bedtime stories from the Golden Book series, which were short stories printed in a hard-bound book with gold trim on the binding. During my middle school years it was Classics by Charles Dickens and contemporary fiction by Judy Blume. Once in high school and college I was introduced to African-American stories by Alice Walker, James Baldwin, Toni Morrison and Richard Wright. Today as a visually impaired adult I can still dig into a good read because books have always been a large part of my life. But it was not until a couple of years ago that I took my enjoyment of

Insights about Using an iPhone: Pros and Cons for Blind and Visually Impaired Users

Peer Advisors Talk About Their Experiences with iPhones Why I LOVE my iPhone! by Audrey Demmitt I was the last one in my family to have an iPhone. I resisted it for some time, feeling intimidated by the technology. Eventually, I got one for Christmas at my husband’s prodding. My adult kids were all home and spent time teaching me how to use it, setting the accessibility features and downloading helpful apps. They encouraged me to "just start looking around and using it and you will learn what it can do." Every day, I learned new functions

Women Who Are Blind Can Lean In

Initial Reaction to Lean In When I first heard about Sheryl Sandberg’s book Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead, I responded like so many other women in America. I thought how could this woman who has graduated from an Ivy League school, has wealth, a high level senior position, and a husband challenge me to "lean in?" I am working hard as a single, African-American woman with a disability. How in the world do I lean in? Is it possible? Maybe this book does not apply to women like me? So I found myself quickly dismissing all she was trying to say. I saw her interview on

My Love of Reading

Editor's note: With all that has been going on with the close down of the Federal government, one of the programs that was initially affected was the BARD (Braille and Audio Reading Download) Program, through which people who are blind or visually impaired can download books to read from the National Library Service (NLS). (Note:The program was brought back online on October 4). BARD Shuts Down The suspension of BARD really didn't make me happy.I am thankful, though, that I had a heads-up and knew that the site would be going down. When I heard that BARD would be off-line when the government was shut down, I logged in and began

The Joys and Frustrations of Technology

Technology--Both Exciting and Frustrating! Technology is one of the most exciting and frustrating things in the world today. It can do amazing things; however, it can be the cause of countless hours of frustration and seemingly wasted time. As a blind person, I have used various kinds of technology over the past twenty plus years. It seems that in the past, in the blindness world, there has been that one new technology that leaps into the forefront, and everyone who is blind must have it. Now, however, as a blind consumer, I have many more options than ever before. In many ways, it’s great to have choices, but

That Computes: Teaching Ways to Access the Computer

Sue and her dog guide at the Seeing Eye Note from the editor: This month VisionAware is honoring vision rehabilitation therapists (VRTs). VisionAware peer advisor, Sue Wiygul Martin, VRT, has written a book, Out of the Whirlpool: A Memoir of Remorse and Reconciliation, about her experiences as a VRT, which will be published soon. This blog is an excerpt from Chapter 26, "Two Clients, One Goal," which will be posted soon on VisionAware in text and audio formatwith Sue's own voice! This excerpt is about Gordon, who has

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