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Blind Canadians Blog Posts by natalie.m

10 Years of the iPhone: Witnessing the Start of a Revolution

I was born in 1984, during a time when integration (which later became known as "inclusive education") was becoming more common, but not yet the norm for blind children in Canada. Despite the fact that I was the only blind child - or person - my family had ever encountered, I was raised in a very supportive environment. My parents ensured that I had access to all the specialized instruction I would need, above and beyond regular school subjects, to support my independence. This meant I learned how to use all the popular assistive technologies of the day.

Resources for Free & Low-Cost Accessibility Solutions: PC, iPhone/iPad, MAC and Android

During the 2016 AEBC National conference, the Access to Information and Copyright committee held a panel presentation about free and inexpensive accessibility software and built-in accessibility solutions based on universal design.

Below, you will find a list of compiled resources that may be of interest to those who would like to learn more about the solutions that were discussed. This is by no means an exhaustive or complete list, but we thank all those who submitted resources and hope that this list is helpful.

The Power of Access & Choice: Braille in the 21st century

NOTE: Are you a braille user, blindness professional, braille transcriber or parent of a braille reader? Want to stay informed about the exciting braille developments described below and more? Check out Braille Literacy Canada.

Nowhere in history is there an invention as pervasive and influential as the printed word. Print is everywhere, yet we often take its power for granted.

In school, learning to read and write is the backbone for later success, inclusion and societal participation. Arguably, the most liberating aspect of the modern age is the power of choice: we can often choose to access information electronically or in print, depending on what is most ideal for the situation at hand. But what about those who do not read print?

Back to School? Access thousands of accessible books through Bookshare!

Students who are blind, deaf-blind or partially sighted often require access to material in alternative, accessible formats. There are many resources available out there, and the AEBC, including its Access to Information Committee, is on a mission to spread the word about some of them!

This blog post will tell you a bit about Bookshare, a provider of accessible online formats for thousands of books.

Doing Advocacy Through Social Media - Facebook Session - Follow-up and notes

On June 23rd, 2015, I had the pleasure of conducting a workshop on how to use Facebook to post and read statuses, including those with hashtags. If you have any questions following this workshop, please feel free to leave a comment here.

A document has been produced containing detailed notes from the workshop. While these notes are detailed, they do not necessarily cover all topics discussed.

Join Us for a Workshop on Doing Advocacy through Social Media! (June 23, 2015)

Social media is a powerful tool – It provides individuals just like you with a platform to share your views and your voice with millions of readers instantaneously. Suddenly, we are all connected with just the click of a button. The possibilities for advocacy and public education efforts are endless! But how can we use social media platforms responsibly, appropriately, and independently? How can we use social media to educate through positive and important dialogue?

The Passing of Abraham Nemeth, creator of the Nemeth Braille Code for Mathematics and Science Notation

We have just learned that Dr. Abraham Nemeth, Professor Emeritus of mathematics at the University of Detroit Mercy and inventor of the Nemeth Braille Code for Mathematics and Scientific Notation, has passed away. His contributions have touched the lives of many braille-reading Canadians.

The below press release was copied from the NFB website and the original version can be found here

National Federation of the Blind Mourns Passing of Dr. Abraham Nemeth, Honors His Pioneering Work to Enhance Braille

Baltimore, Maryland (October 2, 2013): The National Federation of the Blind today mourns the death of Dr.

Bookshare Now Being Offered to CNIB Clients

This may be of interest to those of you who are CNIB clients. The information posted below has been copied from the CNIB Digital Times newsletter (September issue). You can find out more about this exciting new opportunity by visiting this link on the CNIB library website

Bookshare now available through the CNIB Library!

CNIB clients can now sign up for a free one-year subscription to Bookshare, an accessible online library for people with qualifying print disabilities!

The Expanded Core Curriculum

In a previous blog post, it was noted that parents often become the very first advocates for their children with visual impairments. That post provided several useful resources, but this discussion will focus on another important theme: the expanded core curriculum. What is it and why does it matter?

While not an exhaustive overview, this discussion notes some of the specialized services that may be available to a child with a visual impairment in a regular, mainstream school.

On the Issue of Bullying and Students with Visual Impairments

The issue of bullying is one we have all heard about in recent years. In fact, it seems as though bullying in schools is becoming an ever-increasing problem, with the media regularly telling us stories of students who were tormented so frequently by their peers that they felt that there was nowhere left to turn.

Some may argue that the sheer number of bullying-related stories is not due to the increase in bullying, but instead, a consequence of better methods we now have today to share and distribute breaking news - almost instantly - through the media and online.

A Toolkit for Success: Children with Visual Impairments in the Inclusive Classroom

Parents of children with visual impairments often become the very first advocates of their child. With very little guidance and with no road map to steer them, these parents navigate with perseverance through what can sometimes feel like a very confusing system. Questions abound: Will my child be left behind? What resources are available, and how do I know which are appropriate for my child?

Though it can seem daunting at first - fear not - a number of resources and supports to foster success exist.

I would like to start by saying that blindness is but one thread in the rich tapestry that make some of us who we are. I would also like to say that blindness, in and of itself, is often not the obstacle.

Toys for Children with Visual Impairments

I came across this post this morning. Students at the Rhode Island School of Design would like to design an accessible toy for children with visual impairments.

An Educational Resource to Remember: The Hadley School for the Blind

Over the years, I've learned about many interesting and useful resources for individuals with visual impairments and those working within the field of blindness/visual impairment.

One of these is the Hadley School for the Blind, which specializes in distance education and is based in Illinois. Hadley provides distance education courses to over ten thousand students around the world each year. Their courses are offered free of charge to the blind and visually impaired (as well as to their family members) and are made affordable to professionals within the blindness field. These courses are designed to be entirely accessible, and are available in a variety of formats (such as braille, online, audio and large print).

Learning New Languages: Students with Visual Impairments

We all know that gaining fluency in more than one language is an asset, especially in a multicultural, highly diverse country like Canada. In Montreal, for instance, it is a common occurrence to roam around downtown and here a variety of languages spoken everyday. But, do blind, partially sighted and deaf-blind Canadians have access to the same opportunities to learn new languages? What barriers, if any, do blind, partially sighted and deaf-blind individuals encounter when trying to pick up a new language?

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