Remembering Actor and Author Leslie Jordan

Leslie Jordan achieved much success in his too-brief 67 years of life. He won an Emmy for his acclaimed role on the television show “Will and Grace,” and also acted in other television shows, movies, and theater. In addition, he was a playwright, singer, and author. His Instagram videos brought smiles, giggles, and comfort to an unsettled world during the pandemic. His book, an autobiographical essay collection, is called How Y’all Doing? Misadventures and Mischief from a Life Well Lived. The book is available from the Talking Book Program in audio format on BARD: DBC24819. Read more about his appearance at this year’s National Book Festival here: https://newsroom.loc.gov/news/leslie-jordan-discusses-how-y-all-doing-at-national-book-festival.

“Going Blind” Movie Streaming for Free This Week

In celebration of Blindness Awareness Month, “Going Blind: Coming out of the Dark about Vision Loss” is streaming for free until Friday, October 14th.

Three versions of the movie are available. The password for all versions is “WorldSightDay2022”

Audio described version: http://vimeo.com/430136283

Captioned version: https://vimeo.com/404572911

Standard version: http://vimeo.com/325469392

988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline

On Saturday, July 16, 2022, a new three-digit code can be used to connect to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. The number will be known as the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline. The current Suicide Prevention Lifeline phone number, 1-800-273-8255, will always remain available to people in crisis.

When individuals call, text, or chat 988, they will be connected to trained counselors that are part of the existing National Suicide Prevention Lifeline network. 

Veterans and their loved ones may contact either 988, option 1, or the Veterans Crisis Line, available by phone at 1-800-273-8255, option 1, by texting 838255, or by chatting online at www.veteranscrisisline.net.

The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline is a national network of local crisis centers that provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in the United States.

For more information, visit https://988lifeline.org.

Free Online Courses from DigitalLearn.org

Are you new to the world of technology or maybe you just need a little refresh in your technology skills? Digitallearn.org is offering free online courses to help you in learning the skills you may need.

The “Starting Out” section includes modules for navigating a web site; intro to email, Google Maps, and YouTube; and how to operate both Mac and PC computers.

The “Being Safe Online” section includes information about passwords, privacy, and online scams.

The “Job Skills” section provides guides on how to search and apply for jobs online, as well as creating a resume.

There are also sections for “Being Productive,” “Connecting with Others,” “Mobile Devices,” and “Online Shopping.”

Modules range from 6 to 36 minutes long and include closed captioning.

Visit www.digitallearn.org to access free training modules about aspects of computing.

Virtual Author Talks from the New York Public Library

The New York Public Library is hosting a series of author talks to coincide with Disability Pride Month.

On Monday, July 25, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (CST) Keah Brown and Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha will discuss their work and experience as writers with disabilities. To register visit: www.nypl.org/events/programs/2022/07/25/disability-pride-author-talk-keah-brown-and-leah-lakshmi-piepzna-samarasinha

Then on Wednesday, July 27, from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. (CST) Chloe Cooper Jones is in conversation with Christine Smallwood to discuss her book Easy Beauty, a memoir about disability, acceptance, and motherhood. To register visit: www.nypl.org/events/programs/2022/07/27/chloe-cooper-jones-easy-beauty

Both events are free and will be recorded.

Free COVID Tests for People with Vision Loss

At-home COVID tests designed for people with vision loss are now available for order. The tests connect to an app by Bluetooth that will speak the test instructions and results. The app can be downloaded from either the Apple or Google Play store.

Individuals may order a set of accessible COVID antigen tests while supplies last. To order, visit https://special.usps.com/testkits/accessible or call 1-800-232-0233.

Because supplies are limited, please only order these tests if you have no other way to access standard instructions or results. Some examples of ways to receive assistance with standard COVID tests:

Ask a trusted friend, family member, or caregiver, either in person or through a video platform.

Use a virtual assistant service such as AIRA https://aira.io or Be My Eyes www.bemyeyes.com.

In addition, trained staff at the Disability Information and Access Line (DIAL) can assist with ordering tests and providing instructions. Call 1-888-677-1199, Monday – Friday, from 8 am to 7 pm (CDT), or e-mail DIAL@usaginganddisability.org.


Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library has partnered with the American Printing House for the Blind (APH) to provide free print/braille and audio books to young readers who are blind.

Families with blind children may sign up to receive six free print / braille books per year until the child is six years old. In addition, families can download free audio books if the child has a digital talking book machine from the National Library Service or a commercial device approved by NLS. The audio books are transferred from a computer to either a flash drive or an NLS digital cartridge. Regional and sub-regional libraries of the National Library Service can explain how to download books and provide contact information to purchase NLS digital cartridges.

This program is only open to residents of the United States and related territories. Applications are available in English and Spanish.

For more information, visit https://sites.aph.org/dolly-partons-imagination-library

You may also contact Hannah Sedlak at 502-899-2387, or e-mail hsedlak@aph.org.

To find the National Library Service library that serves your area, visit www.loc.gov/nls/braille-audio-reading-materials/find-a-local-library, or call 1-800-424-8567.

Emergency Preparedness Webinar

The Texas Governor’s Committee for People with Disabilities (GCPD) will be presenting a free webinar about emergency preparedness on Wednesday, April 27, from 10 – 11:30 a.m. (CST)

The webinar will cover emergency solutions for powering durable medical equipment and assistive technology during a variety of weather and environmental hazards.

To register, visit https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_wLAp3TpxRsGupfnwrzIUkQ

Virtual Introductory Dark Room Ballet Course

If you have vision loss and would like to learn about ballet, a free eight week course is available online.

Movement Research is offering a course starting this Saturday, April 9 from 3-4:30 p.m. (CST) running through the next seven Saturdays.  The course introduces students to necessary concepts such as turnout, torso stability, foot sensitivity and mobility, sightless balancing, and the use of a taped floor for orientation.

The course is taught via Zoom, and there is an option to attend by phone, as well.

To register, send an e-mail to info@darkroomballet.com or call 929-367-0025.

For more information on other virtual courses, visit https://movementresearch.org

Winter Storm 2021 Research Opportunity

If you are a person with a disability or health condition who lives in Texas and experienced power, heat, and/or water outages during the winter storm of February 2021, a researcher at the University of Texas El Paso would like to interview you. Interviews are being conducted remotely by phone or Zoom. Caregivers and professionals who assist people with disabilities are also welcome to participate. Contact Angela Frederick at ahfrederick2@utep.edu for more information and to set up an interview.