Mobile Devices Training Seminar in Austin

What will probably be the final Mobile Devices Training Seminar in the series has been scheduled for the Austin area. Here is the information, including the link to register:

General Disability Event
Wednesday, May 21, 2014
1:00 PM – 3:00 PM
A Resource Center for Independent Living (ARCIL)
825 E. Rundberg Lane, Suite E6
Austin, TX 78753


This seminar will provide information on the accessibility features of Apple, Android, and Windows phones, tablets, and other mobile devices. The seminar is geared toward an audience of persons with a variety of disabilities, but most likely with an emphasis on physical disabilities.

For more information, please contact:
Ben Lippincott

Texas Books Now Downloadable on BARD

Some big news from the Texas Talking Book Program! One of our locally-recorded books is now available for download via BARD, and more will soon follow.

As of January 15, 2014, Same Kind of Different as Me by Ron Hall, narrated by Staci Thompson and monitored by Kerry Pivonka, is available on NLS’ Braille and Audio Reading Download (BARD) service. Registered BARD users across the United States can access the book.

NLS Director Karen Keninger said, “The posting of your book to BARD marks an important milestone in our effort to increase the quantity of materials available on BARD. Congratulations.” According to Keninger, TBP is now certified to submit audiobooks that meet NLS requirements once open submission begins this spring.

NLS commented that the technical quality of the book is high.

“Sound quality is excellent. Brief audio samples from all sixty-seven chapters were examined and recording levels were found to be robust and consistent. Background noise is virtually non-existent. Edit points are unobtrusive with the narrative flow and audio continuity well maintained as corrected material is integrated.”

Narration also received praise.

“Narrator Staci Thompson does an excellent job with this book. She maintains steady projection energy and mic proximity, which helps to ensure consistent recording levels. Furthermore, she articulates clearly without sounding overly precise. All of this said, Thompson’s interpretive skills are the real asset here: She’s very well matched to this story and skillfully conveys the first-person “voices” of its two principal characters, who also happen to be the book’s co-authors. Character nuances and dialects are faithfully rendered with ease and authority at every turn, making for a compelling read…. Overall, this book’s narration is well above average in the world of locally produced books.”

Want to read more about what’s going on in the TBP Volunteer Recording Studio? You can view the Studio’s newsletter here: Scroll down until you find this heading: *****VRS News!*****



GW Micro and Ai Squared, Makers of Zoomtext and WindowEyes, are Merging

Two major assistive technology companies are in the process of merging. The new company will be called Ai Squared, and will sell both Zoomtext and WindowEyes, as well as other computer software designed for people with visual impairments. For now, the companies will continue to operate separately. More information on changes will be released at a later date. WindowEyes will still be included as part of the Microsoft Office software. For an FAQ on this merge, please click here:

Mobile Device Training Seminars in Austin

A mobile device seminar will be held on Monday, May 19, 2014.

There will be two sessions for this seminar, which is designed for persons with visual impairments. Both will occur at the Criss Cole Rehabilitation Center, 4800 North Lamar. Here are the links to register:

Session 1: 10 am – noon:

Session 2: 1 – 3 pm:

These seminars are for individuals who want to learn about the accessibility features of their Apple and Android smartphones, tablets, phablets, and other devices.

Another mobile device training seminar, this one for persons with cognitive impairments in the Austin area will take place on Thursday, May 22nd, from 1 – 3 pm. Here is the address, and link to register:

The Arc of the Greater Capital Area
4902 Grover Avenue
Austin, TX 78756…

This seminar will provide training for Apple, Android, and Windows smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices.

For more information on these seminars, please contact:
Ben Lippincott

Gabo Is Dead. Long Live Gabo.

On Thursday, April 17th , the Colombian writer Gabriel García Márquez, a Titan of Latin American Literature, passed away after a long battle with lymphatic cancer.

Gabo, as he is affectionately called in Spanish, was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982. His work was known around the world as the most emblematic example of magical realism, a literary genre that appeals to the masses as well as critics because of its social and political outcry delivered through stories full of wonders and miracles.

His career was not devoid of controversy. He had a long-time friendship with Cuban leader Fidel Castro, for which many considered him a kind of naïve leftist who failed to understand the harsh realities of the Cuban dictatorship.

Also, for a while, magical realism, and thus García Márquez, its most prominent producer, was dismissed in Latin American literary circles as having devolved into cheap folklore, obscuring literary substance and being instead a kind of colorful trinket sold to tourists. In the opinion of this blogger, the blame for watering down the genre is more justly assigned to writers like Laura Esquivel (Like Water for Chocolate, DB 36256), and Isabel Allende (House of the Spirits, DB 21524). You be the judge.

In the end I am certain that, whether you re-visit Gabo’s work or read it for the first time, its power and beauty will delight and haunt you. His stories will, without a doubt, enrich your reading life by taking you to times and places you never knew existed.

  • Short Stories

Collected Stories. DB 22862 (9 hours, 44 mins.) Includes the stories “Eyes of a Blue Dog”, “Big Mama’s Funeral”, “The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World”, and “The Incredible and Sad Tale of Innocent Eréndira and Her Heartless Grandmother.”

  • Novels and Novellas

Collected Novellas. DB 34384 (8 hours, 31 mins.) Includes “Leaf Storm”, “No One Writes to the Colonel”, and “Chronicle of a Death Foretold.”        

Chronicle of a Death Foretold. 1983. DB 19217 (2 hours, 52 mins.)

News of a Kidnapping. 1997.  DB 44812 (10 hours, 46 mins.) 

Love in the Time of Cholera. 1988.  DB 26981 (14 hours, 23 mins.) 

Of Love and Other Demons. 1995. DB 40555 (4 hours, 47 mins.)

One Hundred Years of Solitude. 1967.  DB 59490 (14 hours, 33 minutes.)

  • Memoirs

Living to Tell the Tale. 2003. DB 57362 (17 hours, 21 mins.)

Memories of my Melancholy Whores. 2005. DB 61195 (2 hours, 43 mins.)