COVID-19 Resource Information
Disability Information & Referral Center (DIRC)

TBP HOME


Disability Related Information     PDF     RTF
Mental Health Resources     PDF     RTF
Personal Emergency Response Systems (PERS)  PDF  RTF
Virtual Resources  PDF  RTF
Resources for People with Vision Impairments
  PDF  RTF
Telephone Resources: Services Available by Phone  PDF  RTF

 

Disability Related Information

Shopping Assistance:

Some stores are opening an hour early or devoting their first hour as a “senior hour.” Contact your local stores for more information.

Many pharmacies are delivering medications for free.

HEB grocery store partnering with Favor delivery app to deliver food to seniors: 
https://favordelivery.com/seniors
833-397-0080 (available in select areas)

Capital Metro para-transit service and HEB partnering to provide “help at home” food kits to Metro Access clients (Austin area):
https://www.kvue.com/article/news/community/h-e-b-capmetrol-to-deliver-help-at-home-kits-in-austin-to-elderly-disabled/269-536b35b3-3ebe-4689-828e-94700d91fcd3 
512-369-6050

DART paratransit is offering free grocery delivery for paratransit passengers in Dallas and surrounding areas
214-828-8588

Drive a Senior – Austin
Food Pantry Delivery System
Can delivery a week’s worth of food to seniors age 60 and over in the Austin area
512-472-6339
director-west@driveasenior.org

El Paso Food Delivery Pilot Project
https://elpasoansfightinghunger.org/details/news/home-delivery-pilot-project

Go Puff
App for Android and iOS that delivers snacks, drinks, and some essentials. Only $1.95 for delivery. Available in Austin, Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio

GoGoGrandparent:
Transportation service that doesn’t require a smartphone app
855-464-6872
Once you sign up, you can have access to:
GoGoGroceries: 855-754-5328
www.gogograndparent.com

Good Apple
Stay at Home, Stay Healthy program
A bag of shelf stable items and fresh produce will be delivered to elderly and/or immunocompromised individuals in the Austin area.
Food and delivery are free
One time offer
737-228-3558
contact@goodapplefoods.com
https://goodapplefoods.com/covid-19

Next Door app
For iOS and Android
Connects neighbors
People are offering to shop and run errands for vulnerable populations.
Can pay without using cash by signing up for PayPal or Venmo, or using PayPal through Facebook Messenger

Senior Access
https://www.senioraccesstx.org/
512-310-1060
Volunteers can grocery shop and run errands for seniors, also provide phone companionship. Serves the Round Rock, Pflugerville, Hutto, and East Austin areas

Financial Assistance / Free Resources:
Comcast offering free Internet 
https://corporate.comcast.com/covid-19?fbclid=IwAR1OwKkEHoD2hAY8dq5bh2lJ3YurqmWaYU3suwsb9nOobTExM1-uNfzhTXA

CURE SMA COVID 19 Care Package
https://www.curesma.org/new-covid-19-support-package/?fbclid=IwAR0hz8MSFlGdK6_GzOxQAeQD1WGT9K8QCThXQHIoA7ZupsLri1xj2EapgZE
Available to anyone in the US that has Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA). Packages include health care items like hand sanitizer, wipes, and tissues, plus fun items like coloring books and games.
CURE SMA also providing gift cards to help pay for supplies.

COVID 19 Breaking News Available for Newsline subscribers: 
https://www.nfb.org/programs-services/nfb-newsline

Houston Center for Independent Living
Can help with food, rent, and utilities
713-974-4621

Houston Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities
832-394-0814
Will help provide transportation to anyone with a disability who cannot access a drive-thru COVID-19 test site.

Laughing at the My Nightmare COVID 19 Resource Relief
https://www.laughingatmynightmare.com/covid
$100 Visa gift cards available to anyone with a physical disability or chronic illness.
Limit has been reached for now, but may re-open

NORD COVID-19 Critical Relief Program
203-242-0497
COVID19assistance@rarediseases.org
rarediseases.org
Up to $1000 for a variety of needs, including home repair, rent, utilities, or Internet – for people with rare diseases

United Spinal Association
COVID-19 Relief Grant
$500 grant for individuals with a spinal cord injury
https://unitedspinal.org/covid-support/

United Way COVID 19 Community Economic Relief Fund:
1-866-211-9966
For help with rent, food, and bills
By calling this number people will be referred to list of local agencies

On-Line and By Phone Enrichment/Companionship Resources:

Aspire to Age
Virtual chats for seniors
512-347-7722
www.aspiretoage.com

Fort Worth Lighthouse
Virtual meetings on a variety of topics for people who are blind / visually impaired
khiggins@lighthousefw.org

Lifetime Connections without Walls
Enrichment activities by phone for seniors
Small if you are not low income (fee will be waved during COVID 19)
https://www.familyeldercare.org/programs/lifetime-connections-without-walls/

Panhandle Independent Living Center
806-374-1400
Contact person: Pamela Ware
Offers Zoom peer support groups and Facebook events. The peer support groups are for consumers of the Panhandle ILC.

Papa Pal
Seniors are connected with a volunteer for virtual visits
800-348-7951
https://www.joinpapa.com/activities/video-visits

REACH of Plano
Quarantine Support Group – online only
Group will meet every Wednesday, from 2:00 PM- 3:00 PM, starting on April 15th, 2020.
Must be a consumer of REACH of Plano to participate, and RSVP in advance.
RSVP to Kathryn Kososki at (432) 242-1053, or email Kkososki@yahoo.com

Well Connected
Free by phone and online virtual community for seniors age 60 and over. Sessions are available on a wide range of topics.
https://covia.org/services/well-connected/
FAQ: https://covia.org/services/well-connected/faqs/

Guides/Sites/Hotlines:

Alzheimer’s Association
Tips for Dementia Caregivers
https://www.alz.org/help-support/caregiving/coronavirus-(covid-19)-tips-for-dementia-care

American Association on Health and Disability
https://www.aahd.us/covid-19/

The ARC COVID-19 Resource List
https://thearc.org/covid

Know Your Rights Guide to Surviving COVID-19 Triage Protocols:
http://nobodyisdisposable.org/know-your-rights 

Muscular Dystrophy Canada
Ask the Experts: COVID 19 and People with Neuromuscular Disorders
https://muscle.ca/covid-19/ask-the-experts/

National Disability COVID-19 Healthcare Support and Advocacy Hotline
800-626-4959
Run by a group of disabled advocates, this hotline can provide COVID-related medical information, support, and advocacy for people with disabilities

NMD United COVID 19 Plan and Prep Guide
https://www.nmdunited.org/covid-19-guide
A guide for people with disabilities

COVID 19 Information by and For People with Disabilities
https://scdd.ca.gov/wp-content/uploads/sites/33/2020/03/Green-Mountain-SA-Info-By-and-For-People-with-Disabilities.pdf
A guide for people with IDD (Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities)

Masks for People who are Deaf / Hard of Hearing:
dhhmaskproject@gmail.com
https://www.lex18.com/news/coronavirus/college-student-makes-masks-for-the-deaf-hard-of-hearing?fbclid=IwAR1SpTDG17KGEeKoyauGhscXnpG3CBIRTruJnbiVbZe6TxWN8aW18fYxKog

Tele-Health:

Ascension Online Care
https://healthcare.ascension.org/Specialty-Care/Online-Care
833-433-5927
ascensionsupport@americanwell.com
Telemedicine, either through the website, or by iOS or Android platforms.
Medical care available 24/7

Other Information:

U.S. Department of Education Releases Webinar, Fact Sheet for Protecting Students’ Civil Rights During COVID-19 Response:
https://www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/us-department-education-releases-webinar-fact-sheet-protecting-students-civil-rights-during-covid-19-response

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Mental Health Resources

Take the following steps to cope with a disaster:

  • Take care of your body– Try to eat healthy well-balanced meals, exercise regularly, and get plenty of sleep. Avoid alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs. Learn more about wellness strategies for mental health.
  • Connect with others– Share your concerns and how you are feeling with a friend or family member. Maintain healthy relationships and build a strong support system.
  • Take breaks– Make time to unwind and remind yourself that strong feelings will fade. Try taking in deep breaths. Try to do activities you usually enjoy.
  • Stay informed– When you feel that you are missing information, you may become more stressed or nervous. Watch, listen to, or read the news for updates from officials. Be aware that there may be rumors during a crisis, especially on social media. Always check your sources and turn to reliable sources of information like your local government authorities.
  • Avoid too much exposure to news– Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories. It can be upsetting to hear about the crisis and see images repeatedly. Try to do enjoyable activities and return to normal life as much as possible and check for updates between breaks.
  • Seek help when needed– If distress impacts activities of your daily life for several days or weeks, talk to a clergy member, counselor, or doctor, or contact the SAMHSA helpline at 1-800-985-5990.

Look out for these common signs of distress:

  • Feelings of numbness, disbelief, anxiety or fear.
  • Changes in appetite, energy, and activity levels.
  • Difficulty concentrating.
  • Difficulty sleeping or nightmares and upsetting thoughts and images.
  • Physical reactions, such as headaches, body pains, stomach problems, and skin rashes.
  • Worsening of chronic health problems.
  • Anger or short temper.
  • Increased use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs.

Link: https://emergency.cdc.gov/coping/selfcare.asp

Seven Ways to Cope with Anxiety During the Coronavirus Outbreak:

          Limit news consumption
          Practice calming techniques
          Move your body
          Connect with loved ones
          Listen to music, find activities that bring joy
          Get stuff done
          Find ways to laugh

Source: https://www.aarp.org/health/healthy-living/info-2020/coronavirus-anxiety.html

Coping with Isolation During the Coronavirus Outbreak:

          Call, e-mail, and text friends and family
          Use videoconferencing technology such as FaceTime, Skype,  and Zoom (also Duo and video chat through Facebook)
          Write letters and send cards
          Start an online or by phone book club
          Make gifts and crafts
          Share recipes, recommend favorite books, podcasts, movies, or Music
          Look into volunteer opportunities from home. Contact your local United Way or visit www.volunteermatch.com

Source: https://www.aarp.org/health/conditions-treatments/info-2020/staying-connected-during-coronavirus.html

To help combat insomnia / trouble sleeping:

  • Establish a routine
  • Spend time in the sunlight or use a lightbox (of 5,000 lux or higher) each day
  • Exercise early in the day
  • Reserve your bedroom for sleep
  • Spend time winding down before bedtime
  • Put clocks out of sight once you’re tucked in
  • Keep the lights dimmed – no phone or television
  • Take a warm bath before bed
  • Read a book or listen to music until you’re sleepy
  • Set aside a “worry hour” during the day
  • Practice mindfulness and/or breathing techniques

Source: https://www.nextavenue.org/cant-sleep-coronavirus-suggestions/

Resources:

CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/managing-stress-anxiety.html?fbclid=IwAR3SWsrU16WUj2q2svJ3Yhnz33poz3lsQh2zCu4ys96dq4Um7jkDA_GYY_I
Disaster Distress Hotline: 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746

Texas Health and Human Services Mental Support Hotline
Offers COVID-19-related mental health support for all Texans. People can call the statewide COVID-19 Mental Health Support Line 24 hours a day, 7 days a week toll-free at 833-986-1919.

Crisis Text Line
Text HOME to 741741 to be connected to a crisis counselor
https://www.crisistextline.org/

Blue Moon Senior Counseling
Offering tele-health counseling services in many states including Texas
Covered by Medicare, some PPO’s, and private pay
No doctor order required
https://bluemoonseniorcounseling.com/specialties/telehealth/
855-241-7160

National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233 and TTY 1-800-787-3224

National Suicide Prevention LifeLine: 1-800-273-8255

Crisis Centers in Texas: https://hhs.texas.gov/services/mental-health-substance-use/mental-health-crisis-services

Disaster Apps:

https://www.samhsa.gov/dbhis-collections/disaster-apps?term=Disaster%20Apps%202018-DBHIS

AA Meeting Guide: https://www.aa.org/pages/en_US/meeting-guide
Breathe 2 Relax: https://telehealth.org/apps/behavioral/breathe2relax-mobile-app
Help Children Cope: https://www.nctsn.org/resources/help-kids-cope
LifeArmor: (Android and iOS)
Positive Activity Jackpot: https://positive-activity-jackpot.soft112.com/
PTSD Coach: https://www.ptsd.va.gov/appvid/mobile/ptsdcoach_app.asp
Tactical Breather: (Android and iOS)
T2 Mood Tracker: and iOS)
Virtual Hope Box: (Android and iOS)

Back to Top

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Personal Emergency Response Systems (PERS)

Alert Sentry
877-253-7899
http://alertsentry.com/

Great Call
800-918-8543
www.greatcall.com/

Guardian Medical Monitoring
800-782-9688
http://guardianalarm.com/medical-monitoring/

Life Alert:
800-982-0332
www.lifealert.net/home/home.html

Life Fone
800-331-9198
www.lifefone.com

Life Station
866-584-4858
www.lifestation.com/

Medical Alert
800-800-2537
https://medicalalert.com/

Philips Lifeline Systems Inc:
855-681-5351
www.lifeline.philips.com/

Rescue Alert
800-688-9576
www.rescuealert.com/

Senior Safety Medical Alert Systems
888-473-2800
www.seniorsafety.com/american-medical-alarms/

For more information about Personal Emergency Response Systems (PERS):
From the Federal Trade Commission
www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0316-personal-emergency-response-systems-health-information-older-people

NOTE #1: "Keep in mind that Medicare, Medicaid, and most insurance companies typically don’t pay for the equipment, and the few that pay require a doctor’s recommendation. Some hospitals and social service agencies may subsidize the device for low-income users. If you buy a PERS, expect to pay an installation fee and a monthly monitoring charge. Rentals are available through national manufacturers, local distributors, hospitals, and social service agencies, and fees often include the monitoring service. Read the contract carefully before you sign, and make note of extra charges, like cancellation fees.” (From the Federal Trade Commission)

NOTE #2: The information in Note #1 may have changed because of the current pandemic. Since seniors and people with disabilities are isolating at home, a personal emergency response device may be needed, at least in the short term.

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Virtual Resources

NOTE: Many of the entertainment and educational links in this document may not be accessible to people with various levels of vision or hearing impairment.

COVID Information:

CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html

World Health Organization (WHO): https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/events-as-they-happen

John Hopkins: https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/

National Institutes of Health: https://www.nih.gov/health-information/coronavirus

COVID-19 Information for counties in Central Texas:

Austin / Travis county:
ttps://austin.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/39e4f8d4acb0433baae6d15a931fa984
This site also allows you to see how many cases and deaths are in Texas, the U.S., and the world
Williamson county:
https://experience.arcgis.com/experience/ae30cf23f70b40fda5a4804e7601eee9
Hay’s County:
https://hayscountytx.com/covid-19-information-for-hays-county-residents/

Scams / Myths:

Be Careful Where You Get Your News:
https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/be-careful-where-you-get-your-news-about-coronavirus-2020020118801?utm_source=Next+Avenue+Email+Newsletter&utm_campaign=5452ad9b40-3.19.2020_Thursday_NewsletterGA&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_056a405b5a-5452ad9b40-165115293&mc_cid=5452ad9b40&mc_eid=eacbf7daf2

From the Federal Trade Commission:
https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/features/coronavirus-scams-what-ftc-doing
To sign up for alerts: 
https://public.govdelivery.com/accounts/USFTCCONSUMER/subscriber/new?topic_id=USFTCCONSUMER_8

AARP Fraud Prevention Line: 877-908-3360
https://www.aarp.org/money/scams-fraud/helpline.html

Entertainment:

Activities and Resources for Older Adults and Caregivers – compiled by AGE of Central Texas: https://ageofcentraltx.org/index.php/activities-caregivers-and-care-recipients-can-share-at-home/

American Writer’s Museum
https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=american+writer%27s+museum
https://americanwritersmuseum.org/
A virtual tour of the museum, plus story times, author interviews, and virtual exhibits

Austin Parks & Recreation 50+ You Tube Channel for exercise / yoga:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLelTMMBW0YOTeBa7uwNrMNYM0LBYv46el

Broadway Plays and Musicals:
https://www.playbill.com/article/15-broadway-plays-and-musicals-you-can-watch-on-stage-from-home?fbclid=IwAR0zT6MlUvWl4laMPcIIACMrKSFA8LUuGPHIZ1gQNQmUQcTmjP5b7CiokfA

Coloring books from museums: 
http://www.openculture.com/2019/02/download-free-coloring-books-from-113-museums.html?fbclid=IwAR2DTM6xDnbTD6S-fv6YyBBBJJwRyIGVPMyX8QO0k8LwlKxTaPMESEnqgMk

English National Ballet
Full length ballets streaming for 48 hours
https://www.youtube.com/user/enballet

Frank Lloyd Wright Virtual Tours
https://www.dezeen.com/2020/04/07/frank-lloyd-wright-sites-virtual-tours-coronavirus/

Ghibli Museum Tour (Japan)
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCd1b2TUlpmDLU7YpPu889Lg/videos

Harry Potter at Home Hub
https://www.wizardingworld.com/collections/harry-potter-at-home
Includes celebrities reading chapters from the book series
Audio book chapters also available on Spotify

Houston zoo Facebook Live stories
https://www.houstonzoo.org/bringing-the-zoo-to-you/
New one every weekday morning at 11 am

Italian museums:
https://anamericaninrome.com/wp/2020/03/italy-museums-visit-for-free-online/?fbclid=IwAR0jtMbiBt-0yqp-po-pe8Nz_lcOj7d8vEHdx6JJdhqGfl3WAHtSqCOsNGw

Lake Marble Falls virtual tour
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=npoqZOtqFBs

LeVar Burton reads stories live on Twitter
https://www.kvue.com/article/news/health/coronavirus/reading-rainbow-host-levar-burton-to-read-stories-live-on-twitter/269-e7a662c8-1d41-4b9f-b07e-7af3d53ce453?fbclid=IwAR0WItXiABGAv_ndWUkob3dzQfgxQ3bob7d04jOgFfR6CcmDYD15fEgOmX0

Live Virtual Concerts:
https://www.npr.org/2020/03/17/816504058/a-list-of-live-virtual-concerts-to-watch-during-the-coronavirus-shutdown?fbclid=IwAR0ib2B7T-wuD-y7bDn5DpXPbL-xoy_S0fV53_r_aOn4Kr268lT486x5bzc

Metropolitan Opera
Free nightly web streams
https://www.metopera.org/

Museum of Modern Art
Free online classes: https://www.coursera.org/moma
Virtual Views: https://www.moma.org/magazine/articles/267 (new exhibit every Thursday)

Museum tours:
https://artsandculture.google.com/partner?hl=en

National Museum of the Pacific War in Fredericksburg virtual tour
https://www.pacificwarmuseum.org/

Online Hogwarts Classes
http://www.hogwartsishere.com/courses/

Open Culture
Free movies online
http://www.openculture.com/freemoviesonline?fbclid=IwAR15tT0HOPyuSSmUynecBDD-cyuWyL6Kmpc10po4L6yWpjHf_2ry0cl99JQ

PBS Texas Parks & Wildlife YouTube channel
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL56C3506BBE979C1B

Science Mill, Johnson City virtual site
https://www.sciencemill.org/explorer-zone

Shows Must Go On
Each week Andrew Lloyd Webber will release a musical for free viewing on YouTube. Each musical will be available for 48 hours.
https://www.youtube.com/theshowsmustgoon

South Padre Island virtual tour
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gU4UXpxfEWU

The Unlonely Project
Stuck at Home (Together)
Opportunities for Creative Outlets
https://artandhealing.org/

 

Educational (Adults and Children):

American Sign Language lessons (ASL) with Dr. Red Jenn
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLS8SE2qsA2WNwYEuytWh0NCvcUN-01yau&fbclid=IwAR1u3TJICS_v61zEZa8J5rBBW7ZpkMPh21UY7yCIow5a_q4-K6xG3yI0dcw

Audible Kids
https://stories.audible.com/discovery?fbclid=IwAR3pn8ePPgGF3YXC6bdqzC_iFxmSP7FQlOM_ss8yqwrrBseNc6nS2KQkmSw
Free stories. You do not have to be registered with Audible.

Cincinnati Zoo Facebook weekly livestreams:https://www.facebook.com/cincinnatizoo/photos/a.96076385478/10158043842200479/?type=3&theater

College Students Tutoring K-12 Kids:
https://gopeer.org/

Coursera
https://www.coursera.org/
Free and for a fee courses

Disney Bedtime Hotline
1-877-7-MICKEY

Educational Companies Offering Free Subscriptions during COVID-19 Shutdown: 
https://kidsactivitiesblog.com/135609/list-of-education-companies-offering-free-subscriptions/?fbclid=IwAR1LOhATCB9cz5ZUYhv_0hhryYs99Ew7HkSXnpMKyQLjfeRgGg_cjCsmglE

Ed X
https://www.edx.org/
Categories for classes include computer science, language, data science, business management, humanities, and engineering

Forty-five Free Educational Websites:
https://fromabcstoacts.com/45-free-educational-websites-for-kids/?fbclid=IwAR0-V_ylpZU1ZZeQJBo_DSxZ4lZEs2ZxTJTgMltEJgCl90taaiDAOSyOTXs

The Great Courses
https://www.thegreatcourses.com/
A wealth of courses – currently $10 per month with a quarterly commitment

 

Hank the Cowdog Readings
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQfqzRM1fCtVSdiuoUsLLHQ

Ivy League courses:
https://www.freecodecamp.org/news/ivy-league-free-online-courses-a0d7ae675869/?fbclid=IwAR2lgH5NltdejK33WZ4nYuv9QaEMccZNrD3QyN65pVzSqUbF4f4mUMVWI44

Masterclass
https://www.masterclass.com/
Currently 80+ classes – access to all classes is $15 per month billed annually

Michelle Obama Story Time
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCrNnk0wFBnCS1awGjq_ijGQ

Monterey Bay Aquarium Live Cams: 
https://www.montereybayaquarium.org/animals/live-cams

NASA at Home:
https://www.nasa.gov/specials/nasaathome/index.html

One Day University
https://www.onedayu.com/
Currently $7.95 per month for access to live events and a video library

Online Literacy Resources:
https://growingbookbybook.com/online-literacy-resources/?fbclid=IwAR1uj5KXguw70dowe-9PiBDatIgVqQNkaEaRVog-k2Y6JJd6P_sNO5T4Ya0

Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes
http://www.osherfoundation.org/index.php?olli
Intended for mature students

 

Scholastic “Learn at Home” site: https://classroommagazines.scholastic.com/support/learnathome.html

Science resources:https://www.werkzpublishing.com/sciencewerkz/nsta-5-for-free/?fbclid=IwAR1YRIOhGCrYtl_VgFTJNroeyUcEsKcWuuBnWJmQnMrcM21M5gMoh7gOiP8

Seventy-Five Educational Activities:https://learnincolor.com/educational-activities-for-when-youre-stuck-indoors.html?fbclid=IwAR1RaV_myYeu8C2fxvzBTHWnYs007HwXPnn1HRN9UKCqX0UEuZLRliN4cPQ
Organized by grade level

Six Hundred Free Online Courses:https://www.classcentral.com/report/new-courses-october-2018/?fbclid=IwAR2bW5loN0Xpojhe5FOXZZ2BWywAKsSbT_Z2KmzpLkL4z8UZz0FPsm6epcs

Skillshare
https://www.skillshare.com/
online classes on business, technology, the creative arts, and more

Story Time from Space:
https://storytimefromspace.com/

Sylvan Nation:
https://www.sylvannation.com/?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=Post&utm_campaign=Sylvan%20Nation&utm_term=sn-resources&fbclid=IwAR2Pw4buXcpZ41EEaHJUVE02rxus9VM9Hz6otl8dgGN1zfmPL79evmtP_n0&afterlogin=/activities/

Ted Talks
https://www.ted.com/talks
More than 3400 talks on a wide variety of topics. Free

Virtual Field Trips:https://docs.google.com/document/d/1SvIdgTx9djKO6SjyvPDsoGlkgE3iExmi3qh2KRRku_w/mobilebasic?fbclid=IwAR2LD24dNtOLZL6VCZRJt-V5cidmBLObsUo1XnBEZIDrrmw-v2yvhp8D9SI

Other Information:

Comcast offering free Internet:
800-934-6489
https://corporate.comcast.com/covid-19?fbclid=IwAR1OwKkEHoD2hAY8dq5bh2lJ3YurqmWaYU3suwsb9nOobTExM1-uNfzhTXA

Spectrum offering free Internet to students during the COVID-19 Shutdown:
844-488-8398

Internet Essentials Program / Comcast
www.internetessentials.com/
This program offers broadband Internet service for $9.95 per month, free Internet training, and the opportunity to purchase a low-cost (about $150) netbook or desktop computer. Qualified applicants must live in an area where Comcast is available, and also must have at least one child enrolled in a free school lunch program. Low income seniors are also eligible. Other requirements apply. The program is currently available in 39 states, including Texas.

Volunteer Opportunities:

Digital Volunteers
Smithsonian
Transcription Center and Wikipedian Volunteer Program
 https://www.si.edu/volunteer/DigitalVolunteers

Live a Dream
Upload a short video to the site to help a senior through this time of physical isolation
https://www.tribute.co/live-a-dream

Volunteer Match
https://www.volunteermatch.org/virtual-volunteering

 

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Resources for People with Vision Impairments

AFB (American Foundation for the Blind) COVID-19 Resourceshttps://www.afb.org/blog/topic/coronavirus-covid-19?emci=951545e4-0675-ea11-a94c-00155d03b1e8&emdi=061700ac-cd79-ea11-a94c-00155d03b1e8&ceid=5278133

Accessible COVID-19 Statistics Tracker
https://cvstats.net/

APH Connect Center
American Printing House for the Blind
National Information & Referral Center for vision-impairment related resources:
800-232-5463

Apps:
            Aira: https://aira.io/
            Be My Eyes: https://www.bemyeyes.com/
            KNFB Reader: https://www.nfb.org/programs-services/knfb-reader
            Seeing AI: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/ai/seeing-ai

At Home with APH
American Printing House for the Blind
https://www.aph.org/athomewithaph-resources/
Listing of virtual resources for the blind / low vision community

Blind Alive
https://www.blindalive.com/
Free audio described exercises for physical fitness

Coronavirus and Blindness: How to Prepare and Take Care
Vision Aware
https://visionaware.org/blog/visionaware-blog/coronavirus-and-blindness-how-to-prepare-and-take-care/

Directions for Me
Horizons for the Blind
https://directionsforme.org/
accessible product packaging information

Freedom Scientific
www.freedomscientific.com
Offering free home licenses of JAWS, ZoomText, and Fusion vision accessibility software until June of 2020.

Guide Dogs, Pets, and the Coronavirus
American Foundation for the Blind
https://www.afb.org/blog/entry/guide-dogs-coronavirus

Hadley Institute
Free classes, discussions, and podcasts by correspondence, online, and by phone for people who are blind or have low vision
A variety of topics, some blindness/low vision related, and some not
www.hadley.edu

Mystic Access
https://www.mysticaccess.com/
Assistive technology and computer tutorials and training

National Braille Press
Free audio book downloads until April 30
          Dinner Delivered: Accessible and Easy Ways to Receive Meals Direct to Your Door
          https://www.nbp.org/ic/nbp/DELIVERY.html?from_search=1

          Getting Visual Assistance with an iPhone
         
https://www.nbp.org/ic/nbp/VIS-ASSIST.html?from_search=1

          Navigating Healthcare: When All They Can See is That You Can’t
         
https://www.nbp.org/ic/nbp/NAV-HEALTH.html?from_search=1   

National Federation of the Blind COVID-19 Resources
https://www.nfb.org/resources/covid-19-resources

National Homework Hotline for Blind / Visually Impaired Students
https://www.pathstoliteracy.org/resources/national-homework-hotline-blindvisually-impaired-students-nhh-bvi?fbclid=IwAR3OX_DQ_VRvIYWBW99K2tQU36b1ElodipKm9a5hYi4pkimErfwNVRn1yVk
email: nhh-bvi@vistaseducation.com

Newsline
COVID 19 Breaking News Available for Newsline subscribers:
https://www.nfb.org/programs-services/nfb-newsline

Talk Shop
712-432-6498
Blind chat line and podcasts

You Describe
Audio Description files of some content on the Internet, including some commercials. New content will be added. Also available as an app for iPhones and iPads:
https://youdescribe.org/

Zoom
Free audio book
Meet Me Accessibly: A Guide to Zoom Cloud Meetings from a Blindness Perspective
Mosen Consulting
https://mosen.org/zoom/?utm_source=ESS+Learner+List&utm_campaign=ed0f342860-4-6-2020-discussion-groups&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_01363d0cec-ed0f342860-47920389&mc_cid=ed0f342860&mc_eid=3549f96d2c  

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Telephone Resources: Services Available by Phone

Please note:

  • All of these resources are available by landline or cell phone. Web addresses may be included just for added information.
  • Resources are free unless otherwise noted.
  • You may incur long distance phone charges for landlines or be charged cell phone minutes to use these services.

Support Lines:

Disaster Distress Hotline
800-985-5990 (toll free) or text TalkWithUs to 66746
Support for coping during COVID-19.

Texas Health and Human Services Mental Support Hotline
833-986-1919 (toll free)
COVID-19-related mental health support for all Texans.

National Disability COVID-19 Healthcare Support and Advocacy Hotline
800-626-4959 (toll free)
Run by a group of disabled advocates; COVID-19-related medical information, support, and advocacy for people with disabilities.

AARP Community Connections Friendly Voices
Telephone support line for seniors
888-281-0145
https://aarpcommunityconnections.org/friendly-voices/

Eye2Eye Peer Support Helpline
833-932-3931
Support group for persons losing their vision.
Likely will need to leave a message.

Friendship Line
800-971-0016 (toll free)
24-hour national support and suicide hotline for older adults.
This is a support line. For companionship lines, see the Senior
Companionship section of this list.

International Low Vision Support Group
888-866-6148 (toll free)
Dan Roberts
http://www.mdsupport.org/support/telesupport/
Monthly meetings

Caregiver support groups for people living with dementia
Two sessions:
Every Thursday at 6 pm
+1 904-323-3258 PIN: ‪891 668 931#
Every Tuesday at 10:30 am
‪+1 254-300-7249 PIN: ‪101 370 970#

Senior Companionship:

Big & Mini
817-755-0775
https://bigandmini.org/
Seniors who would like companionship are paired with young people.
Chats can take place by phone or Internet.

Seniors & Staying Connected
Heart & Soul Care
512-222-9855
https://www.heartandsoulcare.org/stayingconnected
Seniors who would like companionship are paired with a volunteer. Chats can take place by phone or Internet.

Discussion Groups for Seniors:

DOROT University Without Walls
877-819-9147 (toll free)
Cost: Small fee / donation
https://www.dorotusa.org/our-programs/at-home/university-without-walls
Current topics:
                   Museum discussions
                   Literature
                   Music & Performing arts
                   Know your rights
                    Health / Wellness
                   Jewish interests
                   News & Current events
                   Other topics
                             Support groups:
                             Bereavement
                             Caring for a loved one with memory loss
                             Insight program for the visually impaired
                             Daily tips for vision loss
                             LGBT for seniors

Lifetime Connections Without Walls
888-500-6472 (toll free)
Cost: Free in Travis County; $10/quarter if you live outside Travis County
https://www.familyeldercare.org/programs/lifetime-connections-without-walls/
Current topics:
                   Conversation
                   Fun and games
                   Travel & culture
                   Special interest
                   Arts & culture
                   Creative arts
                   Special presentations
                   Special series
                             Support groups:
                             Grief and loss
                             Vison loss

Mather Lifeways Telephone Topics
847-492-7500
https://www.mather.com/neighborhood-programs/telephone-topics
Current topics:
                   Wellness
                   Education
                   Discussion topics
                   Music reviews
                   Live performances

Well Connected
877-797-7299 (toll free)
https://covia.org/services/well-connected/
          Some current topics:
                   Bible reading
                   Bird talk
                   Book club
                   Garden talk
                   Gratitude
                   Languages
                   Living with chronic pain
                   Living with vision loss
                   Low vision support
                   Museums at home
                   Pet tales
                   Support / discussion for the blind
                   Tech & culture
                   Trivia
                   And many more

Discussion Groups for All Ages:

Alzheimer’s Association
Offers webinars and support groups
800-272-3900 – for information on dial-in numbers to virtual events
https://www.communityresourcefinder.org/ - searchable database

Hadley
800-323-4238
www.hadley.edu
Free classes and discussions by phone, Internet, or correspondence for anyone with a vision impairment.
Some classes are vision-related, some not.
Sample topics:
          Learning Braille
          Adjusting to vision loss
          Technology
          Cooking
          Gardening
          Travel

iBug
346-248-7799
For learning about Apple products.
          iBUG Buzz (Mondays, 7:30 to 9:30 PM)
          iBUG Café (usually 2nd Sundays, 4:00 to 6:00 PM)
          iBUG/Apple Workshop (usually 4th Saturdays, 2:00 to 4:00 PM)
          Mac-N-Talk (usually 4th Tuesdays, 7:00 to 8:00 PM)
          iBUG Trekkie Talk (usually 1st and 3rd Thursdays, 8:00 to 9:30 PM)
          VILA Book Club (usually 2nd Thursdays, 6:30 to 7:30 PM)

Fort Worth Lighthouse for the Blind
817-529-7804 for information
khiggins@lighthousefw.org
For Fort Worth residents.
Twice monthly meetings by phone and Zoom.

Public Library “Dial a Story” Story Times:

Tom Green County Library System (San Angelo, TX)
325-655-2366
http://www.tgclibrary.com/childrentodo.asp

San Antonio Public Library
210-207-4466
Available in English and Spanish.
https://311.sanantonio.gov/kb/docs/articles/education-and-employment/dial

Kansas City Public Library
816-701-3456
https://www.kclibrary.org/kids/dial-story

Washington County Public Library System
276-676-6234
https://www.wcpl.net/kids-teens/dial-a-story/

Denver Public Library
720-865-8500
https://kids.denverlibrary.org/activities/phone-story-720-865-8500

Other Story Times:

Indiana Pacers basketball players read a story
317-275-4444 or 877-275-9007
Every Monday
Stories available in English and Spanish

Radio Reading Services:

Midland Radio Reading Service
432-682-2731 – To order a radio receiver
432-617-5555 – Telephone program
Must live within a 90-mile radius of Midland to use this service.
Audio versions of newspapers, including local news from the Midland Reporter-Telegram and the Odessa American.
Five national newspapers plus Texas coverage from the Dallas Morning News, Houston Chronicle and Ft. Worth Star-Telegram. More than 50 magazines.
Weekly grocery ads from local stores.
Weekly programs on health, aging, accessibility issues and more.

OWL Radio
Cindy Garcia: 210-287-9039
Must live within a 90-mile radius of San Antonio.

Christian Radio:

Austin Disaster Relief Network Prayer Line
For Austin residents
512-537-7100
https://adrn.org/prayer-hotline/

Christian Radio by Phone
774-337-6078
https://www.vcyamerica.org/radio/listen-by-phone/

Magazines/ Newspapers:

Newsline
Contact the Talking Book Program (800-252-9605) to sign up.
www.nfb.org/newsline
Newspapers and magazines by telephone.

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NOTE: See our Web Policies & Disclaimers page for more information about linking to Web sites other than our own.

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Talking Book Program
Texas State Library and Archives Commission
PO Box 12927
Austin TX 78711-2927
1-800-252-9605 (in Texas)
512-463-5458 (in Austin)
512-936-0685 (fax)
tbp.services@tsl.texas.gov

Page last modified: June 1, 2020