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Vision Aware : Having trouble seeing? For tips and resources on how to remain active and independent, visit Vision Aware for tons of information about vision loss.
BLIND US VETERANS INFORMATION VIST INFORMATION
Vision Impairment Service Team Louisville VA Medical CenterContact: Maurice W. Jeffries, MSW
VIST Coordinator (11C)
VA Medical Center
Louisville, KY 40206
I would like to introduce you to the Visual Impairment Services Team (VIST) Program at the Louisville VA Medical Center. As the coordinator, it is my responsibility to identify the legally blind veterans throughout the state of Kentucky and make referrals to community and VA programs.
VIST programs are part of the Blind Rehabilitation Services (BRS) Program which was started by the VA in 1947. The rehabilitation program model designed by BRS is regarded as one of the finest in the world. The Louisville VA Medical Center VIST program is a community-based service designed to identify legally blind veterans, provide front-line diagnosis and treatment services, as well as referrals to Blind Rehabilitation Centers who provide comprehensive training in adjustment to sight loss.
Services offered by the VIST program are available to both service connected and non-service connected veterans who are legally blind. Legal blindness is defined as best corrected visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the better eye, or a visual field of 20 degrees or less in the better eye. VIST services include annual physical examinations (including lab, x-ray and EKG), ophthalmological and audiological evaluations, prosthetic and sensory aids reviews, Veterans Benefits Review and psychosocial assessments.
Blindness is a treatable condition and the VIST program provides an avenue for treatment. The Visual Impairment Services Team is composed of administrative and medical professionals who use a multi-disciplinary approach to assist legally blinded veterans in improving their quality of living and restoring normalcy to their lives.
By far, the biggest challenge ahead is identifying legally blinded veterans. Nationally it is estimated that there are over 93,000 legally blinded veterans, however only 27,000 have actually been identified. In Kentucky, only 387 legally blinded veterans have been identified when it is estimated that there are over 1,200 in the state.
We need your help in identifying and reaching the 900+, legally blinded veterans who do not know about our services. If you would like more information, write or call:Maurice W. Jeffries, MSW
VIST Coordinator (11C)
VA Medical Center
800 Zorn Avenue
Louisville, KY 40206-1499
OTHER LINKS FOR BLIND OR VI VETERANS
The Blinded Veterans Association - BVA
The KY-ANNA Regional Group of BVA
These are some sites with games that work well.
Games for the Blind
A to Z of Blindness and Vision Loss Now Online American Foundation for the Blind expands web site. ACB Web Site
April 5, 2004 (NEW YORK)-Whether you're hoping to find the latest information on accessible cell phones for people who are blind or have low vision, looking for resources to help teach a visually impaired student in your classroom, working for a corporation researching ADA compliance, or are experiencing vision loss and want to learn how to maintain your independence AFB Web Site has the answer.
The American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) relaunched its web site today adding new information and resources for the 10 million Americans who are blind or have low vision. All the site's content is either new or updated to reflect the growing demand for current and reliable information for a population that is expected to grow dramatically as the baby boomers age.
"AFB has been delivering information through our web site for over a decade," said AFB president and CEO Carl R. Augusto. "By expanding our web presence, we've made AFB's vast expertise and resources available at the touch of a button, anytime of day."
New features on the site include a glossary of eye conditions, "etiquette tips" for interacting with a person who is blind, and a home page function called "Where can I find?," allowing visitors to locate organizations in their state that provide services - from dog guide training to newspaper reading services to education services - for people who are blind or visually impaired and their families.
AFB has also added an extensive searchable database of assistive technology products used by people who are blind or visually impaired. Visitors can browse by product, category, or manufacturer and find out everything from usage to price to the size and weight of the product.
The web site also retains popular features, such as the Helen Keller Archives and the Braille Bug - a kids' section with games and activities to promote literacy and demystify braille. Visitors can read about the latest assistive technology in AccessWorld - AFB's premier, online technology magazine - or search for a mentor through CareerConnect, AFB's Internet-based employment resource center. In accordance with AFB's mission, the web site is a technologically advanced model of accessibility. The content has been organized so that all web site visitors can customize the pages to meet their viewing needs. For example, a person with low vision can change color, contrast, and text size to better view the site, while people using an audio screen reader can change the navigation of interior pages to better accommodate their needs.
FEDERAL STUDENT AID
The U.S. Department of Education's Federal Student Aid (FSA) office has a variety of information resources available for blind and visually impaired students.
Student Aid Audio Guide
The Audio Guide contains a 56-minute overview of the Department's federal student aid programs including:
- Eligibility criteria
- Application procedures
- Loan repayment options
- Deferment and cancellation provisions
The Audio Guide is available on compact disc. To order copies, please call the Federal Student Aid Information Center toll-free at 1-800-433-3243.
The following FSA print publications are available online through the use of a screen reader. They are also available in Braille through the Federal Student Aid Information Center.
Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
Students use the FAFSA to apply for the Department's federal student aid programs. Although the Braille FAFSA cannot be submitted, students may use it as a reference aid. Apply Here.
The Student Guide
This is the most comprehensive resource on student financial aid from the U.S. Department of Education. Grants, loans, and work-study are the three major forms of student financial aid available. The guide explains the programs in detail, including how to apply, and also includes sources of nonfederal aid. The guide is available online at: Student Guide.
Funding Your Education
This is an introductory publication for students below the 12th grade. It provides general information about the federal student financial aid programs and how to apply for them. It is available online at: Funding Your Education Publication.
Repaying Your Student Loans
This publication, designed for borrowers about to enter repayment, explains loan repayment plans, offers tips on budgeting, and explains options such as loan consolidation so that borrowers can avoid repayment problems and successfully manage and repay their debts. It is available online at: Repaying Student Loans Publication
To order copies, please contact our Federal Student aid Information Center toll-free at 1-800-433-3243. If you have any questions, please contact Dave Rives at 202-377-3226 or Email Dave Rives here
RESOURCES for the BLIND - GENERAL INTEREST LINKS
Blind Programmers Site - Resource for Blind Programmers
Blindness Resource Center - New York
Cyber Blink - The Phone Book of Blind Users and Services
Lots of Excellent Resource Materials
Internet Public Library
Macular Degeneration Foundation
Refdeck.com - Reference Center
Schwans Foods - Order Online and Delivery to Your Door
Tax Tips for the Blind
VIBUG: Visually Impaired And Blind Users Group
Wal-Mart - Shop Online - You Can Shop Online at Wal-Mart
What's New on Blindness on the Web
WinGuide - Windows Guides for Visually Impaired Users
Excellent Tutorials Developed by Cathy Anne Murtha and Other Useful Programs and Freebies
BLIND RELATED NEWS LINKS
For links to blindness and vision impairment related news from all around the world. Updated every day.
"A first-rate collection of links to world media" (N Y State Braille and Talking Book Library)
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Sixty-nine years of advocacy, equality and friendship, we are the California Council of the Blind.
This is a list for people who are graduates, former graduates, puppy raisers, and anyone who is interested in the various guide dog schools.
Are you applying for a guide dog and don't know which program to attend? Do you have a question about a specific school? Would you like to talk to other graduates from a specific school?
This list is for you. To subscribe, go here to send an email: Guide Dog Schools
I know there are many guide dog users on this list, so this might be of interest to you.
I recently updated the guide dog news page on my website to bring it up to date and would like to let you know about it. It currently contains links to over 400 stories from the past year, and the changes I have made are:
- The page has now been renamed to "The World Wide Woof! Page"
- For the first time (& on a trial basis) it includes a U K Guide Dog picture gallery, with ALT TAG image labels.
- The United Kingdom links are now sorted into regions, North East South & West England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
- All the U S A Guide Dog stories are now sorted by U S State, with a bookmarked table that lists all of the U S States by code, enabling U S visitors to find Guide Dog related news from their own region, or any U S region.
- "Australia & New Zealand" and "Canada" have now got their own individual listings.
- This page is now written in CSS, a more manageable and screen-reader accessible type of web page code. (and eventually the whole site archive of over 40 pages will be too.)
- All U K links are verified, I hope to get the rest done too, as soon as I get some hours spare to do it. In the meantime, where possible non-working links are marked [DOWN].
- Now accepts voluntary secure donations, using PayPal. But is FREE to all visitors.
I hope you find it a useful resource! If you are a huge Guide Dog/Assistance Dog/Guide Horse fan like me, feel free to check out the WORLD WIDE WOOF! page at: World Wide Woof! page
May God bless every human " guide dog partnership around the world, " keep every one of these extra special dogs in His Tender Loving Care. There's a good boy (or girl), pat pat pat.
SMILE! I Hope you enjoy reading. All the best,
INTRO-DATE - EMAIL LIST FOR BLIND SINGLES
There is now a new e-mailing list called Intro-Date for blind single people where you can send in lengthy introduction messages in the hopes of meeting that special someone.
Please give your real name, age, city you are from, your interests and qualities you are seeking in that special person. Please remember to be honest and open so that others can get to know the real you.
This is not a discussion list and is only for introduction messages. If you decide to come and join this group to meet your soul mate, please do not lurk in the background. No one will be able to get to know you if you remain quiet.
This group is open to straight, gay and bisexual people. In your introduction messages, please give a way for others to cvoice mailu such as an email address, phone number, cell phone number or voicemail.
To join, send this blank email Intro-Date Subscribe and you will receive an email to which you must reply in order to confirm your subscription.
Thank you and good luck to you in making new friends and starting new relationships.
Carroll Center for the Blind Launches New On-Line Classes
The Carroll Center for the Blind, located in Newton Massachusetts, is pleased to announce the launching of a new service: Carroll Tech. An expansion of its well-respected Computer Training Services program, Carroll Tech offers n-line classes in the use of popular applications with either the screen reader, JAWS for Windows from Freedom Scientific or the screen magnification program, ZoomText from AI Squared.
Each of the 24 classes currently scheduled to take place during 2004 are designed to take full advantage of the World Wide Web. Over the course of six weeks, students take twelve lessons consisting of on-line manuals, streamed videos, emailed exercises, auto-graded quizzes and audio chat sessions.
Offered at the introductory, intermediate and advanced level, classes cover the use of the Microsoft Office applications, Outlook, PowerPoint, Access and Excel.
Each lesson begins with carefully written instructions in one or more skills starting with configuring the application to work best with the access program to be used. Students then view a series of videos demonstrating each skill with the instructor talking the student through the process. They next perform a number of exercises that demonstrate the student's nderstanding of the lesson topic. All students participate in a one-hour audio chat session scheduled twice each week to answer any questions and to allow the students to learn from one another's experiences. The lesson ends with a short multiple-choice quiz to give the student an idea of how well they are doing.
To take one of the Carroll Tech classes, the prospective student needs to first pass a pre-qualifying quiz to assure that they have the necessary word processing, web browsing, emailing and file management skills necessary to successfully complete the course work. In addition, students are required to demonstrate that the computer system where they intend to do most of their work is capable of accessing the course content including accessing streamed videos, audio chat sessions and on-line quizzes.
Thanks to the generosity of the Gibney Family Foundation, Lions Club International and the Boston Foundation, the current cost to take each six-week class is only $50.00 and is payable through PayPal, by personal check, credit card or purchase order. Each class is offered on a first-come-first-serve basis and class size is limited to five students.
For additional information, to take the pre-qualifying quiz or to suggest additional topics for future classes, log on to Carroll Tech at: Carroll Tech
Please take the time to "Become A Member" of the site and help us make Carroll Tech the way smart people learn to use their PC effectively as a blind or visually impaired person or professional in the field of blindness.Brian Charlson
Vice President, Computer Training Services
Carroll Center for the Blind
770 Centre St.
Newton, MA 02458
Email Brian Charlson
HINTS FOR JAWS USERS
Are you a Jaws user and would you like to learn some tips and tricks about making your operating system more accessible, how to download from the internet, hot keys in office programs like Outlook and Excel, using MSN Messenger, working with Adobe, Easy CD Creator, Ad Aware and many other programs? Well then, you should check out JFW Lite where you'll find these helpful hints and so much more.
Where to get good Braille menus:
If anyone knows of a restaurant chain that needs braille menus, a company that makes superb menus is Braille Works International at: Braille Works
Email is Email Braille Works Here
They are in Dover Florida, 800/258-7544.
They specialize in Braille menus and make them for many chain restaurants. They make them for Cracker Barrel for instance. Ask for Lou Fioritto, he is a great guy.
VisionWire , a new Internet site completely devoted to technologies for the blind and visually impaired.
VisionWire, a new Internet site entirely dedicated to visual disability technology, is now up and running. The site distributes news on leading-edge technologies for the blind (new products, research and development, accessibility, etc.) and offers discussion forums on current topics in the field.
VisionWire is a non-profit virtual community whose purpose is to distribute and further the exchange of information on the most recent technological advances designed to increase independence for persons who are blind or visually impaired. VisionWire is more than a simple information source. The site is designed to help visitors get their bearings -- in a sector where information is often diffuse and as rapidly evolving as the technology.
VisionWire is also a meeting place, a free and independent platform for all who are interested in these technologies. Visitors - whether from visual disability organizations, technological aid makers, workers with the blind and visually impaired, or users-can come together and exchange opinions while pursuing the common objective of contributing to increased independence for persons with visual disabilities, through leading-edge technologies.
An initiative of VisuAide ( VisuAide ), a company specializing in high technology solutions for visual disability, VisionWire wishes to develop a community whose members actively participate by sharing their news, experiences and visions of assistive technologies to the benefit of all. Email VisionWire Here