266 episodes

Blind Abilities: The most comprehensive resource for Assistive Technology, Accessible Devices, Blind and Low Vision Technology, iPhone demonstrations, success Stories, Job Insights, College and Career Pathways and all with a Blindness Perspective.

Blind Abilities Blind Abilities Team

    • Tech News
    • 4.7, 22 Ratings

Blind Abilities: The most comprehensive resource for Assistive Technology, Accessible Devices, Blind and Low Vision Technology, iPhone demonstrations, success Stories, Job Insights, College and Career Pathways and all with a Blindness Perspective.

    Around the World with COVID-19 from a Blindness Perspective - Episode 14: Hiroyuki Shinagawa from Japan, “Konichiwa from Osaka”

    Around the World with COVID-19 from a Blindness Perspective - Episode 14: Hiroyuki Shinagawa from Japan, “Konichiwa from Osaka”

    Every day we turn on the  news to see and hear the news with statistics, cases, test rates and more  reports about COVID-19, to the [point of saturation.  We hear of how the coronavirus has impacted people all over the world, but we rarely if ever hear specific reports of its effect on blind and visually impaired individuals.
    In this ongoing Blind Abilities series, Around the World with COVID-19 from a blindness perspective, we have spanned the globe, introducing blind guests from Around the world, from Australia and Malaysia, to the united kingdom, Trinidad and Tobago, Canada and the US. Today we hear a first-hand report from Hiroyuki Shinagawa.
    Konichiwa with yet a different perspective on how the coronavirus has affected him in Osaka, Japan.
    Hiroyuki is a massage therapist in Osaka, and shares with us the impact  of Corona and Covid-19 on the Japanese people, inside and outside Osaka, including a unique insight into the Japanese culture which we have previously not seen in this series. Hiroyuki speaks of the progression of the coronavirus over recent months, giving his insight into the role of the Japanese people, and the effect which the virus has had on the citizens of Osaka, and the blindness community as well.
    As usual, Blind Abilities has inserted excerpts from real  news stories to enhance the report and paint a tine-line for you to better understand the sequence of the COVID-19 progression. 
    Also, here is a script of Hiroyuki's report:
    Hello all,
    My name is Hiroyuki Shinagawa.
    Konichiwa from Osaka, Japan.
    Osaka is one of the 47 prefectures in Japan, surrounded by Kyoto, Kobe, Nara and Wakayama.
    I am a totally blind and massage practitioner.
    In Japan, massage and acupuncture are traditional job for the blind.
    There are many different styles of work in the massage field: 
    some people open their own massage salons, 
    some work in hospitals, 
    some are hired by companies to work in massage rooms, 
    and others visit client's houses and nursing home for rehabilitation purposes.
    In Japan, the new coronavirus has been in the news since the end of January.
    Every day in February, the cruise ship Diamond Princess was the hot topic in the news.
    Around that time, it was increasing the number of people tested positive for the virus, but there were not many death cases.
    In March, however, a famous Japanese comedian passed away by COVID-19, 
    which had a great impact on Japanese people.
    The state of emergency was declared in Osaka on April 7.
    I work in the company's massage room, and my company decided to close it temporarily from that day, and we had to stay home.
    Our massage room is run by three therapists.
    The other employees of the company were also ordered to stay home.
    Most of them started to work from home.
    But, we could not.
    It was the time of self isolated.
    There were no penalties in Japan.
    It was voluntary quarantine.
    We were required to:
    stay home,
    don't go out to other prefectures.
    libraries and movie theaters were ordered to close.
                restaurants and bars should be closed at 8 p.m.
    Massage places were able to remain open, but many clients were discouraged from going out.
    Also, the therapists who visit and give massages at nursing homes were restricted entering the facilities.
    The state of emergency was lifted in Osaka on May 22.
    My stay at home continued and I wasn't able to go to work until June 22.
    What we are doing to prevent infection in our massage room is
    Clients are needed to take their body temperature before receiving a massage.
    We use the disposable sheet to cover the massage table,
    And after the treatment, we wipe the bed, mat, and undressing cage with alcohol-laced paper.
    While the state of emergency was declared,
    there seemed to be very few people walking the streets.
    The blind people rely on the sounds around us.
    Some of

    • 15 min
    Access and Engagement to Education and Flatten Inaccessibility Surveys: Meet Dr. L. Penny Rosenblum, Director of Research, American Foundation for the Blind (AFB)

    Access and Engagement to Education and Flatten Inaccessibility Surveys: Meet Dr. L. Penny Rosenblum, Director of Research, American Foundation for the Blind (AFB)

    Director of Research at American Foundation for the Blind, Dr. L. Penny Rosenblum, Joins us in the Blind Abilities Studio to talk about the two recent surveys, Flatten Inaccessibility and Access and Engagement to Education. The full reports will soon be published, and you can sign up to be notified they are available and stay up to date with AFB’s future research projects.
    Find out how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting educational services for children birth to 21 years of age and their families. Discover how TVIs and O&M instructors are meeting students’ educational needs. Visit Results - Access Engagement for preliminary findings. Learn how adults who are blind or low vision were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic in areas of healthcare, employment, transportation, education, social experiences, access to meals, food and supplies, and voting. Visit Results - Flatten Inaccessibility for preliminary findings. Dr. Rosenblum talks about an upcoming book, “Finding Wheels,” written for travelers in their teens or early 20s. It helps them prepare to be a successful nondriver and to explore low vision driving if this is an option they want to learn more about. You can watch for the release of  “Finding Wheels” at: https://www.tsbvi.edu/tsbvi-publications. Dr. Rosenblum has also created “Finding Wheels” videos, here.  
    Dr. Rosenblum draws from her own experiences and gives advice to transition age students about the challenges ahead in their journey through education and the workplace. Join Dr. L. Penny Rosenblum and Jeff Thompson from Blind Abilities and learn how you can help spread the word about the valuable research being conducted at the American Foundation for the Blind.
    Contact Your State Services If you reside in Minnesota, and you would like to know more about Transition Services from State Services contact Transition Coordinator Sheila Koenig by email or contact her via phone at 651-539-2361.
    Contact:
    You can follow us on Twitter @BlindAbilities
    On the web at www.BlindAbilities.com
    Send us an email
    Get the Free Blind Abilities App on the App Storeand Google Play Store.
    Check out the Blind Abilities Communityon Facebook, the Blind Abilities Page, and the Career Resources for the Blind and Visually Impaired group

    • 33 min
    Opening Doors to Opportunities for Transition Age Students: Meet Career Discovery Project Program Director and Author, Jon Marin

    Opening Doors to Opportunities for Transition Age Students: Meet Career Discovery Project Program Director and Author, Jon Marin

    Program Director Jon Marin joins Jeff Thompson in the Blind Abilities studio to talk about the Career Discovery Project and his upcoming book release of, “See Us”.
    With his new book due out soon Jon talks about students and employment and the opportunities created through the Career Discovery Project and the awareness that his new book, See Us, will bring to people around the world.
    Jon talks about job coaching, resume building, job experience and preparing for interviews, all from a blindness perspective.
    You can find Jon on Twitter @Author_Marin
    If you want to find out more, here is a link to the Career Discovery Project
    From the web:
    The Career Discovery Project is designed to provide assistance and the opportunity to work at cultural institutions throughout New York City and Westchester County for blind, visually impaired, and low vision high school and college students. The CDP features a person-centered internship program, employment planning, and support services.
    Our goal is to assist high school and college students to obtain, maintain, and advance in competitive internships that may lead to employment or self-employment. At their respective work sites our interns had many unique responsibilities such as conducting museum touch tours, transcribing documents, customer service, exhibit preparation, and video editing! Some of our partner sites include The Brooklyn Museum, The Museum of The Moving Image, Brooklyn Children’s Museum, and the Queens Museum.
    How To Get Involved:
    TVI teachers (teachers of the visually impaired), Internship Coordinators, and parents of blind, visually impaired, and low vision high school or college students are encouraged to contact the CDP Program Manager if they know of someone who is interested and would benefit from this opportunity.
    New York City cultural institutions that would like to be part of this rapid growing program should contact the CDP Program Manager for more information.
    Contact:
    Jonathan Marin – Program Director
    Phone: (347)552-1362
    Contact Your State Services If you reside in Minnesota, and you would like to know more about Transition Services from State Services contact Transition Coordinator Sheila Koenig by email or contact her via phone at 651-539-2361.
    Contact:
    You can follow us on Twitter @BlindAbilities
    On the web at www.BlindAbilities.com
    Send us an email
    Get the Free Blind Abilities App on the App Storeand Google Play Store.
    Check out the Blind Abilities Communityon Facebook, the Blind Abilities Page, and the Career Resources for the Blind and Visually Impaired group

    • 38 min
    Conversation with a View. Meet Christine Malec and JJ Hunt – Creators of the New Podcast “Talk Description to Me”.

    Conversation with a View. Meet Christine Malec and JJ Hunt – Creators of the New Podcast “Talk Description to Me”.

    Talk Description to Me
    Christine Malec and JJ Hunt
    Where the visuals of current events and the world around us get hashed out in description-rich conversations. J.J. Hunt is an innovative Audio Describer and a natural-born storyteller. Christine Malec is a perpetually inquisitive member of the blind and partially sighted community who’s always wondering about something. In Talk Description to Me, their discussions plunge into current events and topical issues to explore the content of important images, and help place vivid descriptions in their cultural context. Lively, hard-hitting, witty, vibrant, and fun, this is conversation with a view!
    Join Christine Malec, JJ Hunt and Jeff Thompson in the Blind Abilities studio for a great descriptive discussion surrounding the creation and relevance of the new podcast, “Talk Description To Me”. Available on Apple Podcast, Spotify and all your favorite pod-catchers of choice.
    You can find out more about the Talk Description To Me podcast on the web 
    .
    Contact Your State Services If you reside in Minnesota, and you would like to know more about Transition Services from State Services contact Transition Coordinator Sheila Koenig by email or contact her via phone at 651-539-2361.
    To find your State Services in your State you can go to www.AFB.org and search the directory for your agency.
    Contact:
    You can follow us on Twitter @BlindAbilities
    On the web at www.BlindAbilities.com
    Send us an email
    Get the Free Blind Abilities App on the App Storeand Google Play Store.
    Check out the Blind Abilities Communityon Facebook, the Blind Abilities Page, and the Career Resources for the Blind and Visually Impaired group

    • 32 min
    Envision Glass - Let the Glasses Speak to You! A Look Through the Envision Glasses and the EnvisionAI App. Get 10% Off! Use BlindAbilities10 at Checkout!

    Envision Glass - Let the Glasses Speak to You! A Look Through the Envision Glasses and the EnvisionAI App. Get 10% Off! Use BlindAbilities10 at Checkout!

    Ilse, Head of Growth and Marketing at Envision, joins Scott and Jeff in the Blind Abilities studio to talk about Envision Glasses, the EnvisionAI app on iOS and Android, and what may be coming down the line from the hard working team at Envision.
    You may be familiar with the EnVisionAI app that has a free 14 day trial and is one of the most accurate optical Character Recognition(OCR) applications available to the Blind and Visually impaired. However, OCR may be the best feature in this one-stop shop for turning the printed text into speech, EnvisionAI lets you import PDFs, images and documents from mostly anywhere and lets you export the text anywhere as well.
    Other features include color detection, scene detection, and the ability to recognize people that you taught the app yourself. Yes, the app is trainable!
    With that said, the EnvisionAI app can now be loaded directly on the new Envision Glasses. With a couple of gestures built into the frame, you have fully independent use of the EnvisionAI app right from the Envision Glasses.
    Battery life is super and the future is looking brighter every time we have someone on from the Envision team.
    Ilse gives us a great audio description overview of the Envision Glasses and the form factor is quite attractive.
    Envision is having the summer sale and you can take full advantage of discounted prices for the EnvisionAI app whether you purchase a lifetime, yearly or monthly plan. But first, download the EnvisionAI app today and check out the features loaded in this must have app.
    You will get a 10% discount off the already reduced price by using BlindAbilities10 at the checkout!
    Be sure to go to www.LetsEnvision.com and find out more about EnvisionAI and go to www.LetsEnvision.com/Glasses to find out about how Envision Glasses can speak to you.
    Contact Your State Services If you reside in Minnesota, and you would like to know more about Transition Services from State Services contact Transition Coordinator Sheila Koenig by email or contact her via phone at 651-539-2361.
    To find your State Services in your State you can go to www.AFB.org and search the directory for your agency.
    Contact:
    You can follow us on Twitter @BlindAbilities
    On the web at www.BlindAbilities.com
    Send us an email
    Get the Free Blind Abilities App on the App Storeand Google Play Store.

    • 24 min
    Around The World with COVID-19 from a Blindness Perspective Episode 13 - Tim McIsaac: A Different Perspective from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

    Around The World with COVID-19 from a Blindness Perspective Episode 13 - Tim McIsaac: A Different Perspective from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

    Every day we turn on the  news to see and hear the news with statistics, cases, test rates and more  reports about COVID-19, to the [point of saturation.  We hear of how the coronavirus has impacted people all over the world, but we rarely if ever hear specific reports of its effect on blind and visually impaired individuals.
    In this ongoing Blind Abilities series, Around the World with COVID-19 from a blindness perspective, we have spanned the globe, introducing blind guests from Around the world, from Australia and Malaysia, to the united kingdom, Trinidad and Tobago, Canada and the US. Today we hear a first-hand report from Tim McIsaac with yet a different perspective on how the coronavirus has affected him in Winnipeg, a city in Manitoba, a sparsely populated province in Canada. Here the Corona virus hasn’t taken quite the toll as it has elsewhere in Canada and the world, partly because of its size, but partly a result of the commitment of its citizens to social distancing and other precautionary measures imposed by their government. 
    Tim shares his experience as an employee of the provincial government, being sent home to work and his thoughts about how that arrangement  is working. He speaks about getting out in public as restrictions are loosened, how transportation is working as he visits his wife in the hospital, and his thoughts on navigating with a mask. Join Tim for this diverse and interesting report on Corona and its impact on him as a blind individual in Canada.
    As usual, Blind Abilities has inserted excerpts from real  news stories to enhance the report and paint a tine-line for you to better understand the sequence of the COVID-19 progression. 
    special thanks go out to Chee Chau, for his beautiful song and titled wayfarer. 
    Be sure to tune in to more informative episodes to hear how your BVI counterparts around the world are coping with and adapting to cOVID-19.
    Contact Your State Services If you reside in Minnesota, and you would like to know more about Transition Services from State Services contact Transition Coordinator Sheila Koenig by email or contact her via phone at 651-539-2361.
    To find your State Services in your State you can go to www.AFB.org and search the directory for your agency.
    Contact:
    You can follow us on Twitter @BlindAbilities
    On the web at www.BlindAbilities.com
    Send us an email
    Get the Free Blind Abilities App on the App Storeand Google Play Store.
    Check out the Blind Abilities Communityon Facebook, the Blind Abilities Page, the Career Resources for the Blind and Visually Impaired.

    • 14 min

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22 Ratings

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