The Texas A&M Transportation Institute has an online survey available for the next few weeks. This survey is intended for persons with visual impairments to learn more about their transportation needs, and what types of transportation they currently use. The survey takes about fifteen minutes to complete.
This mobility needs survey is available at: https://goo.gl/JSBbtE
Visit the web site http://eclipsesoundscapes.org/ to learn how people who are blind or visually impaired can experience the upcoming solar eclipse.
Eclipse Soundscapes has an iOS and will soon have an Android app that will allow people with vision impairments to hear about the eclipse as it happens on Monday, August 21st. For those individuals without access to a smart phone, the web site will have mp3 and mp4 audio files available for download or streaming.
After the eclipse, the site will feature a database of the recordings.
The Texas State Independent Living Council is hosting a virtual conversation about TNC’s – Transportation Network Companies – also know as ride sharing companies. Ride sharing is becoming very popular and increasingly necessary in large cities like Dallas, Houston, Austin, and San Antonio.
This webinar is free, and will take place on Tuesday, August 15th, from 2 – 3 pm Central Time. To register, please visit: https://events-na1.adobeconnect.com/content/connect/c1/2336834197/en/events/event/shared/default_template/event_registration.html?sco-id=2339069869&_charset_=utf-8
People with disabilities, their families, caregivers, and professionals in the field of disability are invited to attend.
Beginning in August of this year, Ride Austin, a local ride sharing service, will partner with the Community Care Collaborative to provide free transportation to medical appointments or pharmacies. The doctors or pharmacies must be part of the Community Care Collaborative. Funding for this service is being provided by a grant from the Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the Dell Medical School at the University of Texas.
Ride Austin is a non-profit transportation network company that serves Travis and portions of surrounding counties. The medical transportation service will initially be available only to residents of Travis county.
For more information about Ride Austin, please visit their web site: http://www.rideaustin.com/
The Perkins online store (www.perkinsproducts.org/store/en/) is now only selling braillers and related equipment, although the organization will continue to offer blank NLS digital cartridges when the new shipment arrives in July.
Here are a few other distributors for assistive technology such as video magnifiers, digital book players, and Braille notetakers:
Independent Living Aids: www.independentliving.com
IRTI (Innovative Rehabilitation Technology): www.irti.net/
Collin County Transit is a new taxi voucher service available for people who are elderly or have disabilities and live in the McKinney area. The service operates on weekdays only from 6 am to 6 pm.
For more information, including a service overview, eligibility, and questions regarding fares and payment, please visit:
https://www.dcta.net/routes-schedules/other-dcta-services/collin-county-transit or call 940-243-0077. Registration is required before individuals are able to use the service.
VFO and the American Foundation for the Blind Center on Vision Loss in Dallas are partnering to provide a two day training on ZoomText. This training is available for both visually impaired and sighted individuals, but space is limited. Here are the details:
What: ZoomText training
Where: American Foundation for the Blind Center on Vision Loss, 11030 Ables Lane, Dallas, TX 75229
When: July 26 – 27, 2017, 9 am – 4 pm
Registration is available online at this link: https://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/eventReg?oeidk=a07ee5p4qzkcc37316c&oseq=&c=&ch=&utm_source=AFB&utm_campaign=6c59328801-CVL_Transportation+and+Training&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_ec813cd965-6c59328801-167412569
Contact information for VFO:
800-444-4443 extension 3
For directions to the American Foundation for the Blind Center on Vision Loss please contact:
Exciting developments in the field of Assistive Technology include lower cost or free alternatives, and the ability to use mainstream products in place of expensive devices designed specifically for people with disabilities.
Here are two examples of free or lower cost alternatives to expensive assistive technology products:
1) Microsoft has developed the Office Lens Reader, a free app that can be used in place of the KNFB Reader. The Office Lens Reader is an app that uses your mobile phone’s camera to scan printed material and then read it aloud. For now, the Office Lens Reader is only available on IOS devices. For more information about the Office Lens Reader, click on this link: http://www.rsbc.org.uk/blogs/microsoft-office-lens-review-an-accessible-way-to-read-printed-documents/
2) Braille printers can be very expensive. Samsung has developed a Touchable Ink cartridge that will allow any commercial laser printer to create Braille. Although the Touchable Ink cartridge costs more than regular ink cartridges, most laser printers cost considerably less than a Braille printer: thousands of dollars for a Braille printer versus around one hundred dollars for a laser printer. For more information about the Touchable Ink cartridge, click here: https://www.geek.com/tech/samsungs-touchable-ink-prints-braille-using-any-laser-printer-1673209/
The popular screen reader Window Eyes will no longer be sold in the United States and Canada, effective immediately. AI Squared will be offering JAWS 18 as a replacement for Window Eyes.
For more information about the migration process from Window Eyes to JAWS, please click here: www.gwmicro.com/window-eyes/migrate/
Note, the free Window-Eyes Offer for Users of Microsoft Office version is not part of the conversion program.
Each year the Texas Governor’s Committee on People with Disabilities features an art competition for National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). The poster is distributed free to the public and businesses. The artwork must be an original composition created by a Texan with a disability.
For more information about this competition, including the entry form and submission guidelines, please click here: http://gov.texas.gov/disabilities/ndeam/ndeam_poster/
The deadline for submissions is May 31, 2017. The winner will be announced on June 21, 2017. The winner will also be a special guest at the annual Lex Frieden Employment Awards ceremony in October.
There is no fee to enter this competition.