This Blog includes information related to Library Adaptive Technology events, archives, presenter and participant recommendations and suggestions.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Planet a11y

Just as aggregates blindness-related blogs, podcasts and RSS feeds into one spot so you can read them all on a single page, Planet a11y is an RSS aggregator which aggregates accessibility-related feeds so you can view them in one place. Be sure to check it out at

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

CPR/AED for the Professional Rescuer

CPR/AED for the Professional Rescuer
Saturday, December 16.  9am – 5pm 

CPR/AED for the Professional Rescuer is designed to teach professionals with a duty to act the skills needed to respond appropriately to breathing and cardiac emergencies, including the use of an automated external defibrillator (AED) to care for a victim of cardiac arrest. Frank McDonnelly of the American Red Cross is the trainer.

To register:

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Contacting Organizations about Inaccessible Web Sites

 From:  VICUG-L, the Visually Impaired Computer User Group List.

I thought some of you might find the documents I reference below of interest as you shop online during the holidays.

I don't know about you, but when I go online during the holidays, I just want to find what I'm looking for and check out without needing any help. But sometimes, by the time I'm done, my holiday cheer is beginning to fade. Trying to use an inaccessible site to buy a gift or make a donation on behalf of a loved one can take time I simply don't have during the busy holiday season.

But if I spend a little extra time to report my experiences to the organizations that run the sites I visit, I believe my efforts will make the Web a better place next year.

As I make my shopping list and gather links to the sites I plan to visit, I'm adding a couple of other links to my collection, so they'll be handy. I'm also setting up an email template or two in advance to help me quickly report my shopping experiences -- both the good ones and the ones that are harder than I might wish.

Why not join me and start off your New Year positively by helping to make the Web a more accessible place?

Find tips about giving accessibility feedback to Web sites by visiting these two Web pages, brought to you by the World Wide Web Consortium's Web Accessibility Initiative:

 VICUG-L is the Visually Impaired Computer User Group List.
Archived on the World Wide Web at


CDESK by AdaptiveVoice Makes Using Your Computer SIMPLE, with FOURTEEN Easy-To-Use Applications!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

TCS Associates

TCS Associates demoing at STTS this weekend, Braille Pen and Orabis CCTV:

Friday, November 25, 2011

Maker Mondays

Building off of the November 12th Accessibility Hackathon, “Maker Mondays” will be held on the first and third Monday evenings of December, December 5th and 9th, from 6pm to 8pm in room 215, Adaptive Services at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library.  These events will be an opportunity for developers and users of adaptive technologies and web accessibility to get together to discuss and build solutions to accessibility issues.  The events will be open to remote participation via conference call and web audio-video.  Topics for discussion will include reports back on some of the ideas that were generated at the Accessibility Hackaton, including the Mobile Accessible Book Generator, a 508 Repository, a Mobility/Security working group, a Metro Access vehicle locator app, and various other accessibility fixes.  We also plan to experiment with generating an accessible book by scanning and then converting into a number of different accessible formats.  During the discussion we will also be experimenting with the AV and remote participation capability of the Learning Lab in room 215 - using Ustream, Talking Communities and Google Hangouts.

Maker Mondays
Monday, Dec 5th
Monday, Dec 19th
6pm to 8pm
Room 215 Adaptive Services
Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library
901 G Street NW
Washington DC, 20001

December Events for the Adaptive Services Division

December 3rd , Saturday Technology Training Session, 1pm to 3pm, room 215 – Richard Krafsig of TCS Associates demos the Orabis Read-Aloud text reader CCTV, a read-aloud text reader and a magnifier in one device, and the Braille Pen, a Braille display and Braille keyboard that works with iOs devices, as well as JAWS, System Access, Talks, Mobile Speak, has Bluetooth, connects to phone, netbook, PC or PDA, write SMS, does 6 key entry.  After the Saturday Session guests are welcome to visit the Open Data Hackathon in the  LibraryLab space on the first floor.  The Open Data Hackathon is a gathering of citizens in cities around the world to write applications, liberate data, and publish analyses using open public data to show support for and encourage the adoption open data policies by the world's local, regional and national governments.

December 3rd, Braille Book Club for Kids, 11am to 12pm, room 215

December 3rd, American Sign Language Story Hour, 11am to 12pm, Children’s Division,  

December 3rd, Deaf Education and American Sign Language, 1pm to 3pm, Great Hall

December 5th – Maker Mondays, 6pm to 8pm, room 215  – experiment with Talking Communities and other technologies for remote participation, Kevin Johnson, Red Cross

December 6th – Tech Talk Tuesdays, 6pm to 8pm – Introduction to iPhone, iPad, iTouch and other mobile, gestural accessibility, open to all levels

December  20th – AccessibilityDC meetup 6:30pm to 8:30pm, room 215

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Accessibility hackathon ideas

Accessibility hackathon

The following is a list of products that have been proposed to be built colaboratively at the Accessibility Hackathon at DC Public Library on Saturday, Nov 12, 2011, 10am to 5:30pm, in the Library Lab space and Room 215. Please send any comments or aditional ideas to . Register at:
1. Light weight version of Bookshare for BrailleNote users using the Bookshare API (
2. TTS Twitter client either using Chrome TTS APIs ( See example code at
3. Searchable Repository of 508 Technology Guides. Jamal would contribute zip of content. Could be done in Drupal or Wordpress.
4. Mobile Accesible Book Generator - Scan a book with your phone, type in, speech recognize or OCR the text, keep the images and output an RTF, DAISY 3 text (, or EPUB version, which can be submitted to Bookshare and other repositories of accessible ebooks for people with print disabilities. Particularly useful for children's books which have few pages and words.
5. Mobile App that detects when the person in line in front of you has moved. One idea is to check when the iPhone camera comes out of focus.
6. Mobile color identifier that speaks a smaller set of colors (8 or 16?).
7. Accessible version of Tor
8. Accessible fork of privacy tools at using Android's Accessibility APIs
9. Alphabetic keyboard for beginning level VoiceOver users. The QWERTY keyboard arrangement is a barrier for some users.
10. Facetime Audio description network.
11. Face-Name or Voice-Name recognition Quiz for social networks - a system that would train the user to associate either images of a face or recordings of a voice with the name of the person they belong to
12. VoiceOver Math Equations, Audio Description for Video Programming, instead of audio track, have metadata - pause the screen and get an audio description, searchable
13. App for movie description via iPhone, a collection of inaccessible material made accessible using a mobile accessible format conversion station
14. Something that makes Twitter easier to read - automattically read a stream of information to you, using live regions ARIA Web App, a New Tweet comes in announces it automatically
15. Are there any apps that desperately need to be made accessible?
16. non visual mind mapping app -- structure information present non-visual trees, branching tree nodes, windows explorer - folders, nested folders, tree control
17. An application that integrates with TheMashupApp, a powerful personal database that could work together with #4, #10, #18 and possibly others.
18. an application that makes audio description non-linear, with text to speech, from educational point of view, tagged, with layers of information
19. QR codes could be used to put in an app or provide info to the iPhone, add contacts to your iphone, a QR code on movie ticket, push description to iPhone, embeded in clothing, various object, specialized information, walking directions, signs specialized info pushed to iphone, tactile identification so you know where it is.
20. Any of various tasks that would help out the Adaptive Technology Program like making an accessible interface for Ustream where all the STTS audio and video is stored, captioning those videos, dragon-recognize Victor-Streamed interviews from the beginning of Accessibility Camp
21. an accessible conferencing solution
22. create accessibility templates, wizards
23. an iphone app for Metro Access that shows the location of all vehicles
24. basic, accessible installation profiles for Drupal, JoomLa!, or WordPress. Initial configuration settings, modules, and themes would be selected so as to maximize accessibility. Documentation would be included that explains why each installation profile was built in the ways chosen. Results of testing on WCAG or ARIA guidelines would be included if possible.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Accessibility Clearninghouse

As required by the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act
of 2010 (CVAA), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has launched a
clearinghouse of information about accessible communication technologies.
The official URL of the Accessibility Clearinghouse is

Note that the path portion of the URL (after must be in all
lower case. An unofficial, possibly friendlier URL that is
a bit shorter and not case sensitive is

That URL redirects browsers to the official home page of the Accessibility

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Library Tech Project during DCWEEK
DC WEEK is a week-long festival in the US capital focused on bringing together designers, developers, entrepreneurs, and social innovators of all kinds.

Library Tech is a project that includes a series of events at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library that will bring together developers and users from the accessibility community to produce tools that meet community needs.

Please bring ideas for tools to the Nov 5th Problem Identification Workshop.

Examples of tools that have been built at similar projects or have been suggested for this one:

·      An e-reading software for Bookshare books

·      A social network for using the FaceTime videophone app for remote audio description

·      A captioning tool that uses Dragon Naturally Speaking

·      A system that helps broaden the networks of Twitter users in the accessibility community

Saturday Nov 5th, 1pm to 3pm — Accessible App Demo
Saturday Nov 5th, 3pm to 5pm — Problem Identification Workshop
Monday Nov 7th, 6pm to 9pm — Accessibility Hackathon Preparation Session
Saturday Nov 12th, 10am to 5:30pm — Accessibility Hackathon

Details follow:

Saturday Nov 5th, 1pm to 5pm, Room 215, Adaptive Services, MLK Library
Accessible App Demo and Problem Identification Workshop

Presentors: Mark Reumann – Patent Office, Zuhair Mahmoud – Library of Congress, Don Barrett – Dept of Education

1pm to 3pm: demos and discussion of accessible apps, like MoneyReader or Color Identifier

3pm to 5pm: developers host a Problem Identification Workshop, to come up with tools can be built at a Hackathon the next Saturday.

Monday, November 7th, 2011 – 6:00pm to 9:00pm, Room 215, Adaptive Services, MLK Library

Accessibility Hackathon Preparation Session

Speaker: Gerardo Capiel, Bookshare

Gerardo will advise on choosing projects and how to set up the development environment.
He will speak about some related technologies like the Bookshare API:
and the new Google Chrome TTS APIs:

Saturday, November 12, 2011 – 10:00am to 5:30pm, LibraryLab space, 1st Floor, MLK Library

Accessibility Hackathon

With the preparation of the Problem Identification Workshop on Saturday Nov 5th, the Hackathon Preparation Session on November 7th, and the help of organizations like Bookshare, Random Hacks of Kindness, LibraryLab, and the Wikimedia Foundation, we hope to be able to come up with a simple and completable ICT solution to needs that are defined by the user community.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Accessibility Camp DC 2011

Thanks, for coming to register for Accessibility Camp DC, on October 22, 2011.

Date and Location

We are going to have Accessibility Camp DC at the Martin Luther King Library here in Washington, DC, on October 22, 2011, from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Check-in will begin at 9:30 AM once library opens.
The Martin Luther King  (MLK) Jr. Memorial Library is located at:
901 G St NW, Room 215
WashingtonDC 20001-4531

General Overview

We are still in the major planning stage for this event and are still looking for volunteers and sponsors. Please e-mail us at, if you would like to help or sponsor this event.
This event is going to be run like a typical BarCamp, which is an un-conference, where the people attending are the speakers, please come with a talk or discussion in mind.
Registration for this FREE event to attendees will open on Wednesday August 24, 2011, at noon eastern.
The reason we are holding off opening registration for all the tickets (150) is we are trying to make sure people don't just sign-up to get a spot not knowing what their schedule is going to be in two months and then not show up.
Please follow to know what is going on and when registration and other points of interest are occurring.

Talk Ideas

The main idea of this event is to get a whole lot of smart people together to learn and teach each other how to improve the web, software, even mobile applicatins, and make it accessible to all.
Some suggestions for talks we had in mind are listed below. If you have other ideas send them to us or add them to the wiki, once we have that ready.
  • Section 508 Compliance
  • Practical Ways to Make Your Website Accessible
  • Accessible PDF's
  • Making Flash Accessible
  • What is WAI-ARIA - (Web Accessibility Initiative - Accessible Rich Internet Applications)
  • Accessible Video and Transcription
  • Panel Discussion on “Issues Effecting Individuals with Disabilities on the Web”
  • Captioning
  • Mobile Application Accessibility


Below is a breakdown of the schedule and how the day will unfold. Would greatly appreciate it if you can make sure you are on time for registration so we can get started on time.
9:30 AM - 10:00 AM - Registration
10:00 AM - 11:00 AM - General announcements about Accessibility Camp DC, sponsors, and then most of the time creating the rest of the event schedule of speakers.
Each talk will be 45 minutes including questions and then attendees will have 15 minutes to get to there next talk. We will be able to have four or five talks going on at the same time if we have enough people willing to talk or be in charge of a discussion.
11:00 AM - 11:45 AM - First set of talks
12:00 PM - 12:45 PM - Second set of talks
12:45 PM - 2:00 PM - Lunch
2:00 PM - 2:45 PM - Third set of talks
3:00 PM - 3:45 PM - Fourth set of talks
4:00 PM - 4:45 PM - Fifth set of talks
4:45 PM - 5:30 PM - Closing remarks, clean-up, and after event wanderings.

DC Center for Independent Living Event

Bring your IPOD and walking shoes, as the
DC Center for Independent Living celebrates
30 years of service to the community! 
When:  October 15th, 2011 From 10:00AM-2:00PM
From: 1400 Florida Ave NE(DCCIL) TO:3rd & H ST NE and From: 3rd & H ST NE To: 1400 Florida Ave. NE
**Encourage your family and friends to help DCCIL continue the legacy of breaking down barriers for people with disabilities for another 30 years and beyond!** 
For more information on how you can help, call:   DCCIL Main Office:  (202)388-0033 TTY:  (202)388-0277

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Hadley School for the Blind, Lifelong Learning

As of September 19, the Forsythe Center for Entrepreneurship is open for enrollment.  The goal of this new business, entrepreneurship and technology program is to provide individuals who are visually impaired with the knowledge, resources and networking opportunities enabling them to advance in their careers or to successfully launch and grow their own businesses.

Ten courses are open for enrollment as of today:

*  Self-Employment with a Minimal Investment
*  Business Fundamentals
*  Business Communications
*  Business Law 1
*  Business Law 2
*  Business Writing
*  Using Excel
*  Screen Readers: Listening Skills
*  Screen Readers: Web Browsing
*  Screen Readers: Formatting Word Documents

Six new modules are also open for enrollment:

* Market Research
* The Financial Plan
* The Marketing Plan
* The Business Plan
* Business Insurance
* Forms of Ownership

Hadley is embarking upon this program, in part, to address the deplorable employment rate among people who are visually impaired.  Although statistics vary somewhat, the most reliable data sources suggest that the
under- or
unemployment rate of persons who are blind or visually impaired is 70%-80%.

The program is designed to be practical, relevant and interactive.  Courses are open to anyone who is blind or visually impaired, over age 14 and is serious about starting or growing a business.  Coursework is offered free of charge and is mostly online.

To learn more and enroll, please visit
missed the seminar last week about the Center, you can access it through the [2]Past Seminars.  Please contact Tom Babinszki at [3] with any questions.

The Hadley School for the Blind, Lifelong Learning, since 1920 700 Elm Street, Winnetka, IL 60093



Thursday, August 25, 2011

AT Videos from WebAxe

Here's a great list of videos and YouTube channels about web accessibility, assistive technology, and more. And from some excellent sources!

Adaptive Technology Training Videos from CAP.MIL

The Computer Electronic Accomodations Program at the Department of Defense has some great AT training videos:

CAP has a number of resources that can inform you about assistive technology (AT) and ergonomics. Our AT Demonstration videos can provide information about the different types of accommodations and how these solutions help employees with disabilities. We've included links to some helpful AT documents with information about what is available for certain networks and agencies. We also have information about workplace ergonomics to help you set your workspace up in a manner that can help to prevent repetitive stress injuries.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Updated Audio Tutorial for the Victor Stream

HumanWare is pleased to release an updated audio tutorial for the Stream.
It is available for download from:

On that page, look under the English heading for a zip download of the audio tutorial files.

This tutorial is very comprehensive , covering basic and advanced features of the Stream. It is approximately 5.5 hours in length with 21 different sections. Here is a list of the topics covered:
01 - Introduction
02 - Player Overview
03 - Bookshelves
03.1 - Exploring SD Card Bookshelves
03.2 - Transferring Content to SD Card Bookshelves
04 - Playback and Navigation
04.1 - Playing and Copying USB External Media
05 - Voice Recordings
06 - Bookmarks
07 - NLS, Stream Activation, and BARD Book Download
07.1 - Transferring a DAISY Book Using Companion
08 - Bookshare Online Books
08.1 - Companion Online Books Menu
09 - Advanced Features, Multi-Level Bookshelf
09.1 - Advanced Features, Music Navigation and Temporary Playlist
09.2 - Advanced Features, Text Search
10 - HumanWare Companion Overview and Installation
10.1 - Book Transfer Window and Companion Menus
10.2 - Companion Transferr of TXT, HTML, DOC, and PDF Files
10.3 - Transfer a DAISY CD Book with Companion
10.4 - Using Companion to Get Software Updates

The download is a zip file of approximately 225MB. If you unzip the Stream Audio Tutorial folder into your $VROtherBooks folder then you can navigate backward or forward through the tutorial sections using the 4 and 6 keys of your Stream.

If you are new to the Stream sections 1 to 6 will help you get started.
Seasoned Streamers may wish to investigate advanced features of section 9. The HumanWare Companion is appreciated by so many that we have devoted the entire section 10 to the features of the Companion. For new or seasoned Streamers alike we believe there is something of interest for all. We hope you enjoy the new tutorial with our compliments.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Indiana Assistive Technology Act (INDATA) Project. lots of videos on assistive technologies
Easter Seals Crossroads has been providing assistive technology solutions in Indiana since 1979.  In 2007, Easter Seals Crossroads partnered with the State of Indiana, Bureau of Rehabilitative Services to establish the Indiana Assistive Technology Act (INDATA) Project.  The INDATA Project is one of 56 similar, federally-funded projects designed to increase access and awareness of assistive technology.
INDATA core services include: Information and referral, funding assistance, public awareness and education, device demonstration, device loan, and equipment reutilization.

Thursday, June 23, 2011


What is RoboBraille?

RoboBraille is an e-mail service which can convert digital text documents into either Braille or audio files. It is quick and easy to use RoboBraille. You simply send an e-mail with an attached text document to RoboBraille. Shortly after, you will receive the document back from RoboBraille in the specified format - an audio file, for example.
It is free for non-commercial users to use RoboBraille.


The NFB of Utah is excited to announce a new website, allows for community members to view and share video, audio, or written tutorials and information on a myriad of topics regarding blindness and visual impairment.
Topics could include, "How do you use an iPhone with voiceover?"  "This is how I put on makeup every day, how do you?"   "How do you mow your lawn?"  "This is how I downhill ski." 
If you can't find the answer you are looking for, then we want you to ask!  If you have something to share, then become a contributor today!   We know that there are many different ways to do one thing.  For example, I may iron my shirt one way … and you another!  Knowledge is power and sharing is caring!  You can make a difference!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Links from May STTSDC

Assistive Technology Tips and Hints 
Saturday Technology Training Sessions 
List of CSUN 2011 resources 


VizWiz Social
VizWiz Social is an iPhone app that allows blind users to receive quick answers to questions about their surroundings

Monday, April 11, 2011

Now You're Talking!

Slate Magazine says "Google has developed speech-recognition technology that actually works."

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


A free reading service for the blind and low-vision community
ReadThisToMe is a free reading service for blind and low-vision people, powered by volunteers and Internet collaboration.  Fax a printed document to them and they will read it.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

NIH Hiring Event for People with Disabilities

NIH Hiring Event for People with Disabilities

Saturday, April 2, 2011


 The National Association of Guide Dog Users (NAGDU), the leader in service animal advocacy, has launched an innovative new service. The NAGDU Education & Advocacy Hotline not only offers information about the legal rights of individuals who use service animals, it offers the option to speak with an advocate who is trained to resolve access denials. According to the new federal guidelines that took effect on March 15, 2011, , a service animal is “any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability”. (28 CFR Part 35.104 & 28 CFR Part 36.104). The new regulations specifically state, “Other species of animals, whether wild or domestic, trained or untrained, are not service animals for the purposes of this definition.” In an effort to further clarify its intent, the Department of Justice specifically states, “The crime deterrent effects of an animal's presence and the provision of emotional support, well-being, comfort, or companionship do not constitute work or tasks for the purposes of this definition.” The new regulations concerning service animals follow this release.

            “We find that most access problems are the result of a lack of information,” says Michael Hingson, the Association’s Vice President who serves as Project Manager for the hotline. “This hotline is an excellent resource for accurate information.”

            The NAGDU Education & Advocacy Hotline currently offers general information about service animals under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA),   as well as specific guidance concerning restaurants, taxicabs, and health care facilities. Callers needing immediate assistance can connect directly to a live trained advoacate. Future plans for the hotline include summaries of each of the state laws concerning service animals, more industry specific information, and guidance in a variety of languages, such as Mandarin and Arabic. The Hotline is available anytime by calling, toll-free, 866-972-3647.

            The NAGDU Education & Advocacy Hotline was created by a grant from the National Federation of the Blind’s (NFB) Imagination Fund, as well as with contributions from the California and Florida Associations of Guide Dog Users. The National Association of Guide Dog Users is a strong and proud division of the NFB. NAGDU conducts public awareness campaigns on issues of guide dog use, provides advocacy support for guide dog handlers who face discrimination, supports effective legislation to protect the rights of service animal users, offers educational programs to school and civic organizations, and functions as an integral part of the National Federation of the Blind. For more information about the National Association of Guide Dog Users, you can visit their website at


Or send an email message to


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

IPhone App - Money Reader and Accessible Devices Listserv

Look Tel has recently released an IPhone App called Money Reader. It sells for $1.99 in the Apple App store. It reliably identifies U.S. currency from 1 to 100 dollars. You simply open the app and pass it over the money approximately ten or so inches above the bill. This is one we feel we can confidently recommend. At the moment 3 of us all ready have it and have been very impressed with the ease of use and accuracy. It works with either the 3 or 4 series phones.

You can visit the page below to listen to Randy's Demo.

You will find the Accessible Devices list archives at:

Monday, March 7, 2011

DC Public Library free computers with classes

DC Public Library crosses the  with  and  offering free computers, classes and internet  flyers:

Retina Chip

This is approved in Europe and costs $100,000

Facebook training - March 8th

Facebook training
Here's some info possibly of interest on an upcoming Facebook webinar:
Facebook with JAWS and MAGic
March 8, 2011
Are you interested in diving into the world of Facebook to stay
connected with family and friends? Are you apprehensive though about
navigating the Facebook website with JAWS or MAGic? If so, join us for
a look at some basic navigation techniques that can be used to make
browsing Facebook more efficient and less daunting.
Time: 12:00 PM Eastern Time (17:00 GMT)
Webinar: Beginning to intermediate concepts
Cost: No charge
Level: Beginner to intermediate
Length: One hour
Although Facebook is a complex and interactive site, learning some
basic navigation principles will make using it less stressful and more
enjoyable. Learn how to use JAWS and MAGic navigation techniques such
as moving to headings and form controls to quickly locate sections of
the various pages. Utilize the JAWS PlaceMarker feature to easily
return to certain places on a page and learn how to customize settings
specifically for Facebook. These and many more topics will be
demonstrated in an effort to open the world of Facebook up to JAWS and
MAGic users.
NOTE: This Webinar assumes you have already created a Facebook account

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Quick Survey on a new product for the Blind and Vision Impaired

Please help this design team!
At the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University, a group of MBA students is designing a high-quality talking watch for the blind and vision impaired.

The link below will take you to a 10-question survey asking your opinion about features that should be included in this new product.

Here is the link to the survey:
Please don't delay!

Responses prior to March 1 will be included in a presentation to key decision-makers regarding this product. Thank you for your input. We look forward to providing a product that delivers genuine value.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Directions For Me

In its first year, Let’s Move! taught us to pay attention to what we eat. We’ve learned that choosing a bowl of whole-grain cereal with non-fat milk over cheesy biscuits and bacon is a great way to kick off a healthy, energized day. We’ve realized that many times we are offered portions that are bigger than necessary, and we’ve tested delicious, perfectly-proportioned recipes to make at home. And, with the release of 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans last month, we were reminded that consuming less sodium, fats, added sugars and refined grains is essential to a healthy lifestyle.
But, for millions of blind or visually impaired Americans, reading the nutrition information and cooking directions printed on the boxes, cans, jars, bottles and bags at the grocery store has been all but impossible—at least it was before the launch ofdirectionsforme last month.
Directionsforme is an accessible and user friendly website that contains nutritional and product information for over 350,000 foods and appliances. Created by Horizons for the Blinddirectionsforme is helping millions of Americans like me to plan healthy menus, cook at home and to pay attention to the foods we consume. A study published in August 2010 by a group of Columbia University professors showed that people who regularly read the nutrition facts labels on the food that they buy have significantly healthier diets and consume less calories, fat, sugar and sodium than those who don’t read the labels.
Thanks to directionsforme, blind grocery shoppers can now plan their trips by carefully selecting foods and brands whose nutrition information they have read and compared. A busy mom who wants to buy healthy snacks can use the website to find out which brand of peach fruit cups has no added sugar and an aspiring Italian chef can find out the appropriate serving size for his favorite brand of pasta.
Directionsforme is also helping American families eat healthy meals together at home, another key component of the Let’s Move! initiative. Planning menus and cooking at home is a fun and healthy way to bring the family together. For sighted cooks, using a microwave to steam broccoli or pureeing vegetables in a blender is as easy as a glance at a user’s manual and the push of a button. Directionsforme now makes those time-saving appliances available to visually impaired chefs with accessible package information for thousands of products.
Let’s Move! has always been committed to including people with disabilities in its healthy lifestyle outreach, whether by cheering on the American athletes at the 2010 Paralympic Games in Vancouver or recognizing the students with disabilities who earned Presidential Active Lifestyle Awards with a special ceremony at the White House. Now, with the accessible nutrition information and appliance instructions on the directionsforme website, blind Americans can more easily pay attention to the food they eat and fully participate in the Let’s Move! call for healthier meals and healthier families.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

White House Disability Call

In order to help keep you more informed, we are hosting monthly calls to update you on various disability issues as well as to introduce you to persons who work on disability issues in the federal government.

This month's topic will be on the President's budget as it relates to people with disabilities.

This call is off the record and not for press purposes.

We strongly urge and ask that you distribute this email broadly to your networks and list serves so that anyone who wants to participate and learn about the President's budget can do so.

Our next call will be Tuesday, February 15 at 1:00 PM Eastern.

The conference call information is below.

Dial in for listeners: United States: (800) 288-8974

Title: White House Disability Call (use instead of code)

Date of Call: 02/15/2011

Start Time: 1:00 PM Eastern

For live captioning, at time of call, log onto:

If you would like to be added to the White House Disability Group email distribution list, please email and provide your name, email address, city, state and organization if applicable.