edited by Cynthia G. Hawkins
The announcement of products and services in this column does not represent an endorsement by the American Council of the Blind, its officers, or staff. Listings are free of charge for the benefit of our readers. “The ACB Braille Forum” cannot be held responsible for the reliability of the products and services mentioned. To submit items for this column, send a message to [email protected], or phone the national office at 1-800-424-8666, and leave a message in Sharon Lovering’s mailbox. Information must be received at least two months ahead of publication date.
If you’re feeling a bit lonely, sad, or overwhelmed, call the Friendship Line. This is a 24-hour free resource from the Institute on Aging that provides a caring ear and friendly conversation for older people and those with disabilities. Call toll-free, 1-800-971-0016, or go to www.ioaging.org/services/all-inclusive-health-care/friendship-line.
New COVID-19 Resource Info
The American Public Health Association has compiled the latest evidence-based information on COVID-19 into one easy-to-navigate spot.
COVIDGuia.org is a Spanish-language resource that shares up-to-date, science-based information and tools from credible sources. Topics include guidance on reopening, personal and community prevention tips, workplace safety guidance, and recommendations for safe voting and returning to school. It is the sister site to COVIDGuidance.org, an English-language site that was launched last month.
The compilation of resources developed in collaboration with the Latinx COVID-19 Task Force, is designed to help communities, individuals and policymakers to make informed decisions about COVID-19. The resource organizes rapidly updated guidance and recommendations from trusted sources, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, World Health Organization and Johns Hopkins University. Check it out at COVIDGuia.org.
CVS Pharmacy Introduces New App Feature
Spoken Rx is a free new feature of the CVS Pharmacy app that reads a specific type of label. When the RFID labels are scanned by Spoken Rx in the CVS Pharmacy app, prescription label information will be spoken out loud in either English or Spanish.
In late July and August, CVS rolled out its Spoken Rx app service in nearly 600 more pharmacies in the following states: Alabama, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, D.C., West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
For more information, and a list of active stores, visit CVS.com/spokenrx.
Meijer to Support Low Vision Customers with Free Aira App
Meijer recently announced it is offering free support to blind and low vision customers by partnering with Aira to increase accessibility and ease in their shopping trip. The Midwest retailer is the among the first in the Midwest to provide customers free access to the app while shopping at any of its supercenters or neighborhood markets.
While Aira has previously been accessible for a per-minute fee in Meijer stores, the new partnership provides customers the option to shop without paying a premium for accessibility. To download the Aira app, visit aira.io.
October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month
The 2020 theme for National Disability Employment Awareness Month is “Increasing Access and Opportunity” – to celebrate America’s workers with disabilities and remind employers of the importance of inclusive hiring practices. This year along with NDEAM, the U.S. Department of Labor is commemorating the 30th anniversary of the ADA. For more information, visit www.dol.gov/ndeam.
Equal Rights Center Announces Three New Emeritus Directors
The Equal Rights Center recently named to its board three new emeritus directors who have played critical roles in the ERC’s disability rights work and the advancement of civil rights. They are: Charlie Crawford, former executive director of ACB and long-time public servant; Dan Silver, who filed ADA cases against retail businesses; and Rabbi Bruce Kahn, former executive director of ERC.
Nattiq Technologies Releases MoTweet App
Nattiq Technologies recently released MoTweet, an application developed for HIMS’ Polaris users, that offers access to most Twitter features. It is a native application, which means that the user can use shortcuts, regular navigation and all default commands such as using the Alt key to pull down a menu. For more information, or to download a free trial version of MoTweet, visit http://nattiq.com/en/node/1738.
In 1920, William Hadley, a Chicago area high school teacher who lost his sight at the age of 55, revolutionized the way adults facing vision loss would learn to read again when he created his “Braille by Mail” system. One hundred years later, the nonprofit that bears his name is once again revolutionizing the way it provides support to people throughout the world facing vision loss.
Taking a dramatically different approach to reaching an audience that is often difficult to reach — primarily older adults facing vision loss related to diseases such as macular degeneration and glaucoma — Hadley has entirely overhauled its digital footprint, Hadley.edu.
The new approach is based on the needs, wants and desires of visually impaired adults. Visitors are invited to create their own personal account and then, after adjusting the contrast and font color and text sizes to their liking, are offered six different learning avenues: daily living, adjusting to vision loss, recreation, technology, braille, and working. Upon revisiting, the site automatically logs the user back on and intuitively remembers where they left off.
Now Available from National Braille Press
There have been a number of new releases from National Braille Press in the last few weeks! One such release is “Susie on Style: Look and Feel Your Best,” by Susie Stageberg. It is available in braille (2 volumes) as well as BRF, DAISY, and Word formats. This collection of women’s fashion articles from “Our Special” magazine will inform you and help you gain the confidence you need to create a wardrobe just right for you.
Over in the technology section, newly released is “Capturing and Sharing the World: Taking Photos and Videos with an iPhone,” by Judy Dixon. It is available in braille (2 volumes), as well as BRF, DAISY, and Word formats. In this update, the author revisits all the ways your iPhone’s camera can be used to capture and share the world around you.
In the children’s section, there are two new books available. One is “Kitten’s First Full Moon,” by Kevin Henkes. It is a print/braille board book for ages preschool and up. Kitten sees a full moon for the first time, and thinks it is a bowl of milk in the sky. And she wants it! Read the book to learn what happens next.
This scenario will be familiar to many parents: Mama says it’s cleaning day, but Llama just wants to play. Newly available is “Llama Llama Mess, Mess, Mess,” by Anna Dewdney and Reed Duncan. It’s available in contracted braille (UEB), for ages 2 to 5. Mama turns the tables on little Llama and asks her what would happen if she never cleaned. Wait ‘til you read how this one ends!
Looking for a special gift for someone? Also available is jewelry from Neat Artist Studio. There are seven braille necklaces that feature the words “Mom,” “strong,” “proud,” “believe,” “grace,” “luck,” and “thankful,” each written in uncontracted braille.
For more information on any of these items, call toll-free 1-800-548-7323, or visit https://www.nbp.org/ic/nbp/publications/index.html.