RECREATIONAL OPTIONS (12/10)
Note: If you have any additions or corrections, please notify Gail Wilt at the Foundation for Blind Children, Adult Services:
ACB Radio: www.acbradio.org
This entertaining and informative Internet resource is sponsored by the American Council of the Blind. It has several options, such as Café (featuring music by blind musicians), Mainstream (“talk of the blind community”), Treasure Trove (“vintage drama and comedy”), and Interactive (“live, unpredictable Internet radio”).
Arizona Science Center: 602-716-2000
600 E. Washington ST.
Arizona Braille and Talking Book
1030 N. 32nd St., Phoenix
This free service loans recorded books and magazines, as well as DVS movies, mailed to and from your home with no postal fee. You can even have materials sent to another location while you are on vacation. If your Talking Book machine needs repair, you can take it to any public library and exchange it for a functional unit. Call to be sure a machine is available.
If you are registered with this agency, you can borrow braille books; Arizona contracts with Utah for this service -
800-453-4293 Monday-Thursday 7 A.M. to 6 P.M. (Voicemail 24 hours). blind@Utah.gov
Arizona Center for the Blind and
Visually Impaired (ACBVI):
3100 E. Roosevelt, Phoenix
Offers classes in ceramics, self defense, and many other subjects, for a modest annual fee.
Arizona Bridge to Independent Living
(ABIL): 602-256-2245 www.abil.org
ABIL’s free monthly newsletter, the Bridge, has a Community Calendar of Events which always includes some low-cost social/recreational activities, such as cooking, crafts, and trips to points of interest throughout the County.
Arizona Office of Tourism: 602-364-
Arizona Scottish Highland Games and Celtic Concert (generally held in
Arizona Songwriters Association:
President Jon Iger: 602-973-1988
Art Education for the Blind:
589 Broadway, New York, NY 10012
Artability: 602-757-8118 www.artability.org
Quarterly newsletter lists accessible cultural events, such as live theater productions with audio description.
Audio Description: Most valley theater companies provide audio description for at least one performance of each run, at no extra cost. Upon request, they will provide a small receiver with earbud, through which you can hear someone describe the visuals on stage, aiming to speak between performers’ lines).
Blind Audio Catalogs: www.blindaudiocatalogs.com
For MP3 or Daisy versions of mainstream mail-order catalogs; read by volunteers, these include descriptions of any pictures.
Book Share: www.bookshare.org
Braille Tees: 1-877-410-9866. brailletees.com
Ready-made or custom orders.
Camelot Therapeutic Horsemanship:
Equestrian training for children and adults with disabilities. While technically located in north Scottsdale, the ranch can be reach via Phoenix Dial-a-Ride without transferring.
Camps: There are camps across the country which offer at least one session a year for blind/visually impaired adults. You can apply to various camps regardless of where you live. Fees are generally modest. Some welcome family members to join you (e.g., Camp Bloomfield in Malibu). In Arizona we have Camp Tatiyee. Sponsored by the Arizona Lions Foundation, it is located near Show Low, in the White Mountains.
Camp Tatiyee: for information and applications,
Central Arizona Speculative Fiction Society: www.casfs.org/
Contact person: Stephanie Bannon 602-973-2341
Promotes interest in science fiction, fantasy
and science. CASFS is the sponsor of two annual events: CopperCon, a science fiction convention, and HexaCon, a gaming convention.
Chamber of Commerce, Greater
Chase Field (formerly Bank One
401 E. Jefferson
Check out the huge baseball sculptures along the street near the main entrance, and the “Rube Goldberg” contraption on the plaza.
When attending a Diamondbacks game, bring a radio with headphones to listen to the play-by-play broadcast on KTAR A.M. 620 (or, for better reception, tune around to find the in-house signal). (The “listening devices” available from Guest Services are for the hearing impaired; they only amplify the P.A. system.)
Guided tours of the facility (including the dugout) are available for a nominal fee year ‘round.
COFCO Chinese Cultural Center: 602-548-8398
668 N. 44th St., Phoenix
Choco-Braille = Braille-embossed chocolate Greeting cards:
Below are a few of the websites offering games accessible to the blind/visually impaired, for free or for sale.
Cooking in the Dark:
Daring Adventures: 602-495-5222
Descriptive Video Service (DVS) – narration of visuals in a movie or TV program. This feature was pioneered by public television station WGBH, Boston, through its Media Access Group; For weekly updates on current DVS movies in theaters, contact Mary Watkins – 1-617-300-3700
DVS on DVD:
The full list of DVDs with DVS, as well as a “click thru” option to order the films from amazon.com: www.describedmovies.org
DVS in Movie Theaters
DVS on Television http://main.wgbh.org/wgbh/pages/mag/services/description/ontv/
Elsie McArthy Sensory Garden:
7637 N. 55th Ave., Glendale
Erik Weihenmayer: http://www.touchthetop.com
Information on a blind teacher who has climbed the seven highest mountains in the world. He did some of his training at a rock-climbing gym in Tempe.
Fiddler’s Dream Coffee House: 602-
1701 E. Cactus Wren, 1 block north of Glendale Ave.
Live acoustic music Friday and Saturday starting at 8:00. Open 7:15-11:00 P.M. Admission $3.
Fishing Has No Boundaries: 1-800-
243-3462. info@fhnb. .org
Local Contact: Don Price 480-784-
Available in large print or braille, fortunes can be customized. This is a student-operated fundraising program of the California School for the Blind.
Foundation for Blind Children: 602-331-1470
1235 E. Harmont Dr., Phoenix
1. The Media Center loans DVS
movies, as well as braille and
large print books. It also maintains a “tactile museum” – an exhibit of touchable art.
2. The FBC Store carries adapted
3. On most Saturdays, the SHARP
program offers a variety of
activities for blind/visually
impaired children. Volunteers
are often needed, and adult role models are especially welcome.
Global Voice: www.theglobalvoice.info
An independent Internet radio station run by both blind and sighted people, it aims to “give the blind community a voice
and to help the blind and sighted see eye to eye.”
Goalball - For information, contact Tom Brew: 602-337-8194
This is a team sport designed for blind people.
Hadley School for the Blind: 1-800-
526-9909 or 1-847-446-8111
This free correspondence school offers not only academic subjects but also such courses as Amateur Radio, Chess, and Container Gardening – in alternative formats. Lessons can be mailed (at no charge) or done online.
Hall of Flame (Fire-fighting museum): 275-3473
6101 E. Van Buren
Hear and There AudioMagazine: http://hearandthere.net/default.aspx
An adventure blog by blind folks. “Building sound sculptures in the echoes of your mind. ‘Hear & There’ travels the country with a curiosity for the details. Light has vibration, sound has color. Listen as we translate them to radio waves.”
Heard Museum: 602-252-8344. 2301 N. Central Ave.
Native culture and art of the southwest. free second Sundays. Some displays are accessible by touch, and some have audio information.
Herberger Theatre: 602-254-7399
222 E. Monroe
Whether attending a play there or just exploring the downtown area, visit the touchable bronze statues out front – of dancers and musicians.
Horses Help: 2601 E. Rose Garden Lane. 602-569-6056
Riding lessons for people with disabilities.
Improbable Theatre Company (ITC):
Under the auspices of ABIL, ITC provides free workshops and an opportunity for people with disabilities to write, perform in, or otherwise help with theater productions.
Information and Referral Service,
24-hour source of contact information on nonprofit groups, clubs, and organizations.
iPod nano (4th generation) — released9/08 — has spoken menus that enable visually impaired people to browse and select songs. They hear a synthesized voice speaking the names of menus, songs, and artists. http://www.apple.com/accessibility/itu
1106 North Central Avenue
Weekly activities; gift shop.
Judith Tunnell Trail, South Mountain
10409 S. Central Ave., Phoenix (at
the southern end of bus route 0) – adjacent to the South Mountain Environmental Education Center: 602-534-6324
Group tours can be arranged.
Named after a local woman who is blind, this short, paved loop trail is accessible to people using wheelchairs, and has Braille reference numbers on 16 informational signs. (Hopefully they correspond to an accessible booklet or tape available in the Education Center near the trail.)
LibriVox: Free audiobooks - www.librivox.org
LibriVox volunteers record chapters of books in the public domain and release the audio files back onto the net. Our goal is to make all public domain books available as free audio books. We are a totally volunteer, open source, free content, public domain project.
Lunchtime Theater: 602-254-7399
These affordable live shows
occur periodically on weekdays during the noon hour. You can bring a lunch or order one from the theater’s Coffea Café for an additional fee. Performances are held in the Performance Outreach Theater, on the north (Van Buren) side of the Herberger Theater - 222 E. Monroe.
Movie Phone: 222-FILM = 222-3456
Nationwide 24-hour information on when and where movies are playing.
Designed, owned and operated by horsewoman Sam Madden, who is blind.
Music by Ear, Bill Brown’s: firstname.lastname@example.org
Audio lessons for sale, for a wide variety of instruments and specific songs.
Music for the Blind: 1-888-778-1828 www.musicfortheblind.com
Musical Instrument Museum: 480-478-6000 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting www.themim.org
4725 East Mayo Boulevard, Phoenix
National Braille Press (NBP): 800-
548-7323 (=548-READ) www.nbp.org
Produces books in Braille, on cassette, and in special digital format – for sale at the same price as the print version.
National Library Service for the Blind
and Physically Handicapped (NLS): A division of the Library of Congress, NLS is the agency which oversees the selection and production of books and magazines in braille or recorded format (Talking Books). In Addition, it has a music library, which includes instruction for several instruments -
This service, founded by the National Federation of the blind, enables you to access a wide variety of newspapers and magazines by phone, from anywhere in the country, via a toll-free number, or by Internet. It is locally administered by the Arizona Braille and Talking Book Library; so to sign up, call
Phoenix Public Libraries, Information: 602-262-6787 www.lib.az.us
Have commercially made audio books, videos, and music on tape or CD.
Accessibility Center (formerly Special Needs Center): 602-261-8690
In Burton Barr Central Library – 1221 n. Central Ave.
Has some assistive technology available for use by appointment (e.g., CCTV, computer with screenreader, Braille embosser).
Large print books are available by mail. DVS movies can be checked out in person. (By phone or Internet, you can have them sent to a library branch closer to you.)
Read How You Want: www.readhowyouwant.com
Sells books in electronic format, large print (up to 24 point), and braille.
Rowing, Tempe Town Lakes:
Contact Joe O’Connor of Tempe Parks and Rec.
Scuba: 480-377-2822. www.azcandive.com
Ski for Light: 1-612-827-3232
“Ski for Light is a program of cross-country skiing benefiting blind, visually-impaired, and mobility-impaired individuals and their guides.” It sponsors an annual international event. Regional spin-offs hold shorter events. For instance, Sierra Regional Ski for Light holds a weekend event in northern California.
Stagecoach Trails Guest Ranch:
In northwest Arizona, outside of Yucca, it was designed to accommodate people with disabilities, their families, and others.
Sun Dial: 480-774-8300
A service of Sun Sounds, this program enables you to access newspapers by phone or Internet.
Sun Sounds Radio Reading Service:
24-hour broadcasting on a special frequency, accessed via a receiver supplied to you, on indefinite loan, at no charge. Features include reading of the entire Arizona Republic newspaper (including ads), programs on disability issues, readings from books and magazines, plays, etc.
1946 W. Morningside Dr.
“A park of a different kind, … the nation's first barrier-free park, designed to meet the needs of physically-challenged individuals. The park, built by volunteers on land donated by the City of Phoenix, was funded entirely through donations. The park features two beep baseball fields, a therapeutic heated pool, a wheelchair-accessible playground, an 18-station exercise course, racquetball, volleyball, tennis, basketball and shuffleboard and an activity room. Ramadas, grills and picnic facilities also are available. The park houses the Adaptive Recreation Services office, which offers a variety of social and recreation programs and special events for people with disabilities, including Special Olympics and outdoor adventure opportunities.“
The pool, which is outdoors, is open 9 months of the year. It is intended for people with disabilities (who may be accompanied by friends/family). Swimming and exercise classes are offered. Nominal fees.
U.S. Association of Blind Athletes
Vacations To Go: 1-800-998-6902
Offers information on available cruise accommodations for people with disabilities (such as alternate-format menus).
Volunteer Center of Maricopa County:
If you have time and energy to spare, or you need to add recent experience to your resume, you can seek a volunteer position in virtually any kind of business, agency, or organization, without necessarily going through the above service.
Woodworking for the Blind, Inc.: email@example.com
Provides voice recordings of woodworking publications, on CD (in MP3 format).
Yoga, - Cindy Rogers, blind yoga instructor (based in Chandler): 602-481-3305. firstname.lastname@example.org
Made a video for yoga instructors, showing the use of jointed dolls to demonstrate positions to blind/visually impaired participants.
Yoga Instructional CD’s for Sale: www.blindyoga.net
Zoos and Such
Desert Botanical Garden: 480-481-8104. 1201 N. Galvin Parkway. Education department can arrange for tactile stations, and audio information units are available.
Los Cedros – an Arabian horse ranch:
8700 E. Black Mountain Rd.,
Scottsdale (off Pima)
Open to the public for tours. No fee.
Out of Africa:
Recorded info 1-928-567-2840
An outstanding wildlife park, 3 miles west of Highway I17, near Camp Verde. On the land rover Serengeti tour, giraffes stick their heads in to take “cookies” from your hand. There is also a narrated tram tour of the rest of the park.
Phoenix Zoo: 455 N. Galvin Parkway
Tactile exhibits and petting zoo. Narrated tram tour. Periodic educational talks. Special tours by advance arrangement.
Whispering Hope Ranch:
A refuge for a wide variety of orphaned or abused animals. Call ahead for dates open to the public. Free admission. 30 miles east of Payson.
Wildlife World Zoo: 16501 W.
Litchfield Park, AZ.
623-935-WILD = 623-935-9453