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.

Online Technology Classes from the Andrew Heiskell Braille & Talking Book Library

The Andrew Heiskell Braille & Talking Book Library in New York is offering free online technology classes for people who are blind or have low vision.

Some of the classes occur just once and some are multi-week courses.

A few examples of the classes are: Intro to NVDA, Exploring JAWS, Intro to Facebook with Accessibility in Mind, and iOS Shortcuts.

For more information on these online courses, you can view the library newsletter at https://www.nypl.org/node/601185 or contact the Talking Book Program’s Disability Information & Referral Center at 1-800-252-9605 (toll free in Texas), 512-463-5458, or by e-mail at tbp.services@tsl.texas.gov.

Survey for Siblings of People with Disabilities

Texas AgriLife Extension is partnering with the Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities to identify needed future planning supports for siblings of people with disabilities. A survey has been created to help identify these needs.

If you are over 18, have at least one sibling with a disability, and you both live in Texas, you are encouraged to complete this survey. This will take about thirty minutes of your time, and your identity will be kept confidential. The survey will be available until February 28th.

Click on this link to access the survey:

https://agrilife.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_3atvNJcA42e7a2a

You may also contact Dr. Shelby Vaughn at shelby.vaughn@ag.tamu.edu if you have any questions.

3G Network Phase Out

Have you heard that 3G networks are being phased out? This could affect your mobile phones from 2012 or earlier as well as older home security systems, smartwatches, medical devices, medical alert bracelets and some assistive technology such as communication devices and braille notetakers.

Senior Planet San Antonio is offering a free webinar about the 3G phase out on Thursday, February 3, at 10 a.m. (CST). Registration is not required. Visit this web site: https://seniorplanet.org/event/3g-event and click the “Join This Event” button at the appointed time. You can also dial in to the webinar using this information: 1-720-707-2699, Meeting ID: 820 0860 2060

Here are two resources for more information about the 3G shut down:

FCC document: www.fcc.gov/sites/default/files/plan_ahead_for_3g_shutoff_consumer_guide.pdf

3G Shutdown 2022 web site from the Texas Center for Disability Studies: https://ttap.disabilitystudies.utexas.edu/3g-shutdown-2022

Note: Cellular service providers are shutting down their 3G networks at different times during this year. Contact your provider for more information. Many carriers are offering free or low-cost replacement phones or devices.

Tappy Guide

Tappy Guide is a free wayfinding app for iOS and Android platforms that assists people with vision impairments, people who are deaf or hearing impaired, wheelchair users, older adults, and veterans with navigation, directions, and accessibility. Similar to the “Be My Eyes” app, Tappy Guide uses trained volunteers who communicate through the app using GPS technology and the cell phone camera. Tappy Guide was created by John Petrous, who has family members who are blind. Tappy Guide is seeking both app users and volunteers. For more information, visit: www.TappyGuide.com

Assistive Technology Funding Source

Tech-Cessibility

Laughing at My Nightmare

www.laughingatmynightmare.com/tech-cessibility

Persons with disabilities can apply to receive an iPad Pro, an Amazon Echo Show, an Obi Robotic Feeder, or any assistive technology device that does not exceed $5,000. Medical certification of disability is required. Submission deadline: October 30, 2021. Devices provided while funding lasts. Monetary donations welcomed. Available only to U.S. residents

This organization also provides grants for various types of equipment (medical supplies, wheelchair modifications, computer or communication devices, or smart devices) to individuals with a neuromuscular disease. Information for that grant can be found here: www.laughingatmynightmare.com/no-more-nightmares-application

Laughing at My Nightmare is a non-profit organization run by Shane Burcaw, who has Spinal Muscular Dystrophy, a type of Muscular Dystrophy. Shane is also an author, a motivational speaker, and stars in a popular YouTube reality series with his wife Hannah called “Squirmy and Grubs”.

National Book Festival

The Library of Congress National Book Festival will be a virtual event that takes place from September 17 – 26, 2021. The theme of this year’s event is “Open a book, open the world.” All sessions will be available as livestreams and videos on demand. For more information about the festival, visit: https://www.loc.gov/events/2021-national-book-festival

You can also view new information by visiting the National Book Festival blog at: https://blogs.loc.gov/national-book-festival/