Accessible Hiking in Texas State Parks

Five Texas state parks now offer accessible all-terrain wheelchairs for people with physical impairments for use in the park. These wheelchairs are not motorized and require arm strength and mobility to propel the chair. The five parks that feature these wheelchairs are: Lake Corpus Christi, San Angelo, McKinney Falls, Estero Llano Grande, and Palo Duro Canyon.

Here is a video of these all-terrain chairs: https://youtu.be/q4rDMXdkxLA

People who want to borrow the wheelchair must sign a waiver and view the video first.

For more information, send an e-mail to: accessibility@tpwd.texas.gov

Braille Calendars Available

Braille calendars are available for free from the American Action Fund for Blind Children and Adults. If you are a member of the Talking Book Program, staff can order calendars for you. Leave us a message with your name, mailing address, and how many calendars you are requesting. Each patron may order up to three calendars per year.

If you are a not a Talking Book Program patron, you can call the Action Fund at 410-659-9315 and select option 2, or send an e-mail to CommunityRelations@actionfund.org

Other organizations provide large print calendars. Most of them are not free. For a list of sources, contact the Talking Book Program: tbp.services@tsl.texas.gov, toll free in Texas: 800-252-9605, or locally 512-463-5458.

Newsline Webinar June 11, 2020

Join a Zoom meeting on Thursday, June 11, at 7 pm central time to learn more about the National Federation of the Blind’s Newsline service.

Newsline allows you to access participating newspapers and magazines by audio if you have a print disability. You can listen by landline, by mobile phone, and even through Alexa.

If you are a Talking Book Program patron, we can sign you up for this service. Newsline is free. To request registration, email TBP at tbp.services@tsl.texas.gov, or call us at 1-800-252-9605.

Here is the link to access the Zoom meeting on Thursday night: https://zoom.us/j/94278650088

Here is the link for the Newsline service: https://www.nfb.org/programs-services/nfb-newsline

Sources for Personal Emergency Response Devices

During the current pandemic, when many people who are elderly or have disabilities are needing to isolate at home, a personal emergency response system would bring help in the event of a fall or medical event such as a heart attack or stroke. Here is a list of companies that sell these devices. Please note that your insurance may not cover the cost of these devices, and make sure to read all terms and conditions carefully.

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

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

http://medicalert.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/

Hadley Presents: From Diagnosis to Support and Hadley Podcast

The Hadley Institute for the Blind offers free classes and discussions by phone, by correspondence, and online for persons who are blind or visually impaired. Follow this link to listen to the audio or read the transcript of an interview with Dan Roberts, author of The First Year-Age-Related Macular Degeneration: An Essential Guide for the Newly Diagnosed and founder of MDSupport website and support group: https://hadley.edu/HadleyPresents/episode.asp?episode=From_Diagnosis_to_Support&utm_source=Hadley+Presents&utm_campaign=075819e2f3-hadleypresents-ep14-hp_3-6-2020&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_6312574b23-075819e2f3-52380393&mc_cid=075819e2f3&mc_eid=3549f96d2c

Hadley has also released a podcast that discusses resources for people with visual impairments during the current pandemic.

You can listen to the podcast here: https://hadley.edu/hadleypresents/episode.asp?episode=COVID_19_and_vision_loss&utm_source=Hadley+Presents&utm_campaign=e537d5546e-hadleypresents-ep16-hp_3-27-2020&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_6312574b23-e537d5546e-52380393&mc_cid=e537d5546e&mc_eid=3549f96d2c



Webinar on Traveling with a Disability or Health Condition

If you would like to learn about government resources regarding travel with a disability or health condition, tune in to this webinar on Wednesday, February 26, 2020, at 1 pm central time. The webinar will feature mostly government web sites related to legal issues, types of travel (by air, bus, or train), national versus international travel, health resources, and places to visit.

Click this link for more information, including how to register for the webinar: https://www.fdlp.gov/news-and-events/4318-webinar-traveling-with-a-disability-health-condition

Low Vision Expo in Austin on May 4th

Northwest Hills Eye Care is presenting the first ever low vision awareness expo in Austin on Saturday, May 4th. Attendees will hear presentations by experts in the field of vision impairment and have an opportunity to meet with exhibitors who provide resources and technology related to low vision and blindness.

This event will be from 9 am to 2 pm at the Austin Jewish Community Center, located at 7300 Hart Lane.

To RSVP for this event, or for more information, contact Regina at 512-328-0555, or e-mail Regina@nwhillseyecare.com

Assistive Technology Group on Facebook

For people who are blind or have low vision, or professionals involved in the visually impaired community, there is a group on Facebook that posts information on computer and assistive technology. You can ask a question, post resources, and / or discuss products and services related to assistive technology for the visually impaired. To join, visit this page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/assistivetechnologyfortheblind/

Transportation Survey Available for A Limited Time

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