Blog Posts by Steve Kelley

Steve holds an M. A. in Rehabilitation of the Blind and an M. A. in Rehabilitation Counseling from the University of Arkansas. He works as a Vision Rehabilitation Therapist (VRT) for the Iris Network in Portland, Maine.

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

Mike Robertson, Cross-Country Cyclist Who Is Visually Impaired, Challenges Blindness and Disability Employment Stereotypes

On June 26, 2017, Mike Robertson and Hans Breaux, team Shared Vision Quest, left Cape Flattery, WA, on the northwest corner of the country to ride their bicycles 4,000 miles, coast-to-coast, to West Quoddy Head Lighthouse in Lubec, Maine. Forty-nine days later, the pair arrived at their destination on August 8, 2017. Their adventure was different from many other treks across the country because Mike Robertson is legally blind. Mike rode independently on a lightweight Carver bicycle, following Hans Breaux,

White Cane Awareness: A History of White Cane Safety Day

Today, the white cane isn’t just a tool used by travelers with vision loss. It is a symbol for members of our community who are blind or visually impaired. White Cane Safety Day is observed annually on October 15 to recognize the many achievements of blind and visually impaired citizens and the white cane as a tool promoting independent travel. There are references of blind travelers using a stick, cane, or shepherd’s staff as a tool for independent travel since biblical times. It has only been during the last century that the white cane has served the dual role of both a tool for travel and symbol identifying the user as a blind traveler. As early as 1921, artist James Briggs, who lost his sight in an accident, claimed to have used the first white cane as a symbol when he

Shared Vision Quest Coast-to-Coast Ride: Interview with Mike Robertson

"Dream Big or Go Home!" Mike Robertson Mike Robertson has a big dream that nearly got lost. "I always loved the freedom and exhilaration I got from riding my bicycle, and I wanted to go across the country. That all changed 20 years agomy vision got worse, a crash on my bike shook my confidence, and I lost my driver’s license. I climbed into a deep depression." Photo courtesy of Hans Breaux Shared Vision Quest is the resurrection of Robertson’s dream, as a coast-to-coast bicycle ride he started June 25th with his cycling partner and co-visionary,

Television on the Internet

Editor's note: The information in this post has been updated in this article, Television on the Internet. For additional information on watching TV, check out Enjoying Television with Vision Loss. TV on the Net by Steve Kelley, CVRT Cut the cord! Television viewing has

I'm Not Blind

Editor's note: In honor of Worldwide Week of Service in Sight and World Sight Day, Steve Kelley brings you today's post, I'm Not Blind, a story of adjusting to visual impairment. As the world focuses its attention on preventable and unavoidable blindness, we encourage you to reach out to the rehabilitation services and eye care professionals that can help you cope with your vision loss and improve your useful vision. I'm Not Blind By Steve Kelley What comes to mind when you think about blindness? If you feel fearful or anxious about blindness, you are not alone. In a

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

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,

Say “Hello!” to Alexa the Digital Assistant Within the Amazon Echo

Editor's note: For you last minute shoppers, here is a gift you might want to check out. But be sure to read our other gift ideas. A Multi-Purpose Assistant Imagine having a digital assistant in the house that doesn't require using a keyboard or learning to use a tablet, computer, or smartphonean attentive digital assistant within earshot that could open and read a book, provide a

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

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