[Nfbc-info] The California Compass June 2013
rcubfank at sbcglobal.net
Wed Jun 12 09:06:47 UTC 2013
Amber: GREAT FIRST POSTING.
As a former dog user, and as a hopefully future dog user, I loved the
article on what to do with your dog while traveling.
Also, I have another problem which I hope someone on the listserve can help
me with: I am currently going through a situation with my right eye. My
cornia is bulging where there is a hole in it. I'm sure severl of us have
gone through the same thing.
I have to put eyedrops four times a day. As I have had great dificulty in
doing this, I am having to get someone to help me with this. My x-wife, Pat
(who I am currently staying with) doesn't want to do this. My son, Jesse has
been a great help in this.
I went to a doctor in UCI in Irvine. THe drops aren't working. I am going on
Thursday to USC eye clinic in Fountain Valley to get a second oppinion. Can
anyone give me suggestions on how to do my eyedrops by myself?
You can email me @;
rcubfank at sbcglobal.net
Or, call me on my cell#(847)989-0768.
From: Amber Boggs
Sent: Monday, June 03, 2013 10:28 PM
To: nfbc-info at nfbnet.org
Subject: [Nfbc-info] The California Compass June 2013
HI Everyone, The West Coast Chapter is proud to introduce the
California Compass. Please find the publication attached. . I have
also included it in the body of this Email. If you require it in a
different format please let me no. We hope you find it helpful and
The California Compass
Published by the West Coast Vanguard Chapter of the NFB of California
Photo of a blue and red compass rose with a main black arrow pointing West.
Vol. 1 No. 1
Editor: Amber Boggs
The West Coast Vanguard Chapter is proud to welcome you to the first
edition of the California Compass. This publication strives to deliver
entertaining and informative news and information that is relevant to
people with vision loss. Together we can guide the public perception
of blindness toward the true image of our full, productive lives.
Please submit your own articles for consideration. We eagerly await
your comments and suggestions.
You may reach the editor at: compass at nfbwestcoast.org / 818-439-7250
Table of Contents
2013 Spring Board Meeting 2
Paracord Bracelets, Dogs Collars and More! 3
A Quick Look Around: Traveling with an iPhone 4
Furry Canes Travel Well 6
Who's Watching Who? Traveling to Convention with our Children 10
Recipe: Berry Pecan Brussels 14
Describing Opportunities for Careers in Media 15
Resources in Orlando 17
2013 Spring Board Meeting By Kia Vaca On April 6th and 7th of this
year, we, the board members of the National Federation of the Blind of
California, came together for our annual in-person board meeting. We
were also joined by chapter presidents, or their representatives, and
a few guests. The board discussed and voted on recurring items such as
financial grants to help members attend national convention, and
scholarships for blind students to be awarded at the state convention
in October. In new business, the NFBC is signed up for the
S.H.A.R.E.S. program in which a percentage of your total spending,
through select grocery stores, will be donated to the state affiliate.
Stores include Lucky Supermarkets, Food Maxx, and S-Mart Foods. Stay
tuned, more information will follow on how you can shop for your
groceries and donate to our state affiliate. In addition, each state
was asked to provide diverse and exciting items to be auctioned for
November’s Bid for Excellence. This fundraiser is an online auction to
support a variety of programs at the national level. Similarly, Ever
Lee Hairston, our first Vice President, gave a report on the status of
our three initiatives: the Fair Wages for Workers with Disabilities
Act, the Technology and Education in Colleges and Higher Education
(TEACH) Act, and the Space Available program. Due to the hard work
being done by members of our organization throughout the country, we
are continuing to gain co-sponsors for the Space Available program.
Let’s also persevere in our efforts to insure more support for the
Fair Wages for Workers with Disabilities Act and TEACH Act. In doing
so, blind students, along with blind adults in the workplace, will be
afforded the same opportunities as their sighted counterparts. We
concluded our board meeting with members sharing their stories about
how each person came to be a part of the NFB. Announcements &
Photo of an unnamed monthly calendar with a pencil circling a date.
Event: National Convention Date: July 1-July 6, 2013
Location: Rosen Centre Hotel
9840 International Drive,
Orlando, Florida 32819
More Info: For more details, please go to:
Event: California Caucus
Date: Wednesday, July 3 from 6 - 8 p.m.
Location: The location is to be announced
More Info: The purpose of the California Caucus is to introduce new
and old members to an NFB National Convention; match mentors with
mentees; distribute grants to qualified members; introduce
California's two national scholarship winners and collect banquet
tickets so that California members can sit together at the banquet.
Event: Braille Enrichment for Literacy and Learning (BELL) Program
Date: July 15-July 26, 2013
More Info: A two-week program designed to provide instruction or
reinforcement of braille skills for students ages 4-12.For more
information and to apply, please go to https://nfb.org/bell-program or
contact Kia Vaca at (818) 253-4955
Event: Catch Our Dreams
Date: August 5, 2013
More Info: A fundraiser geared toward educational programs put on by
the NFB of California, with an emphasis on Chemistry Camp. To find out
how you can attend or contribute to the Catch Our Dreams event, please
contact Rick Watson at (707) 673-7837.
Paracord Bracelets, Dogs Collars and More!
What is seven to nine inches in length, can catch a fish, can carry
the weight of two grown adults, can cut cheese, and saves lives in the
military every day? If you know the answer, then you are probably
already wearing the most popular accessory for men and women in the
U.S. today, a paracord bracelet! What is paracord? Where have you
Everyone is learning about the amazing strength of this highly useful
cord material that was originally designed as the cords for
parachutes, but now military troops are using these cords for dozens
of survival functions. It's also amazing for how smooth and supple it
Paracord bracelets are popping up in every retail outlet these days,
but you can now buy the best paracord products on the market and
support the NFB at the same time!
Bracelets are not your thing--no problem--you do not have to be left
out. Be among the first to get the paracord keychain. They feature a
cool caribeaner clip that just might keep them from getting lost.
They make great gifts too!
Don't forget your guide dog or your other pets. Why should they be
left out? You can support the NFB and put a quality, hand-crafted
paracord slip collar on your animals too! These collars are not only
awesome looking, and strong as any chain, but they are almost silent,
so when your precious puppy misbehaves, nobody else has to know.
The paracord bell anklets for children are the best bell anklets on
the market. They feature clasps that are much more secure than velcro,
and they have a nicer upscale appearance. It's like using hand-crafted
art as an accessory for your child.
All our paracord products are hand-crafted, made with high quality
paracord, and are available in a wide array of colors.
Pre-order your paracord products now and the products will be
delivered to your hotel room at the convention in Orlando.
If you prefer to sport your stylish paracord bracelet, anklet, dog
collar, or key chain on your journey to convention, no problem; for a
small shipping fee, we'll get it shipped right away.
As if supporting the West Coast Vanguard Chapter of the NFB of
California and wearing the latest style accessory is not quite enough
to motivate you to buy now, then consider how you can help the NFB and
another organization at the same time. Right now, we offer you the
option to buy a paracord bracelet for an active troop in the military,
as millions of Americans have done.
We will donate a paracord product of your choice to an active troupe
member in your name.
The West Coast Vanguard Chapter of the NFB of CA thanks you for
supporting your fellow federationists.
We look forward to your orders for paracord bracelets, key chains, dog
collars, and bell anklets.
Tell your friends and family.
Post a link to your Facebook page.
Tweet all your loyal fans.
Spread the word: The NFB sells the premium paracord products--greater
selection, more colors, quality craftsmanship, lifetime guarantee. How
can you go wrong for ten or twenty bucks?
Bracelets, key chains, and bell anklets cost only $10.00
Doggie slip correction collars cost just $20.00
Place your order now through Paypal by sending your order to
donations at nfbwestcoast.org
See you at convention. I'll show you my bracelet if you'll show me yours!
President West Coast Vanguard Chapter National Federation of the Blind
For more info call/text: 818-439-7250
A Quick Look Around: Traveling with an iPhone Photo of an Iphone in
half a clam shell laid on a hammock. Beyond the phone we see the edge
of the beach, the ocean and two islands in the distance.
As we hoof our way around a new city, we might wonder where to eat,
where to catch a bus, or even something as basic as what street we are
on, or what is the nearest address. What if there were an easy
solution to tell us all of this information and much more? What if
there was a way to read signs or identify objects along our journey?
How much more fun would it be to navigate and explore new areas? Would
you be surprised to learn that all of this can be done on your iPhone?
Even if you are an experienced Iphone user, you will be impressed by
the array of apps that are available to enhance your travel
experience. Here are some brief descriptions of some of the most
valuable apps for navigation:
Sendero GPS Lookaround -- Can conveniently inform you about street
names, intersections, points of interest, and the nearest street
address. It also offers an accessible compass if you are inclined to
track your whereabouts the old fashioned way.
Motion GPS Drive -- Is basically designed to provide step-by-step
directions and voice guidance. You can follow its spoken directions to
any destination you like. It can function in either walking or driving
mode. In walking mode, it very accurately identifies when you are
precisely at the desired address. It is not really an app for easily
identifying nearby street names or points of interest.
Hop Stop -- Is designed to provide information about local transit of
all kinds: buses, trains, subways, taxis, and even ferries. It will
estimate times and fares for local taxis too.
Blind Square -- Offers voice guidance, walking directions and local
points of interest. It provides contact info for the points of
interest nearby too. There are several apps that can really help with
exploring locations and identifying objects:
Around Me -- Allows you to find out what businesses are near your
current location or any remote location you choose. Another very
valuable feature is that this app offers a huge database of restaurant
menus that you can read with your Iphone.
Viz whiz -- Allows you to photograph anything and submit the photo
along with a question about the photo to web workers who answer your
question via text. The app also has an automated method of identifying
objects for you. The app also provides the means to immediately post
the image to Facebook or other social media platform so that other
people can try to answer your question as well. By the way, you can
inquire about any image file you wish. It does not have to be a photo
you have just taken.
Tap Tap See -- Is also designed to help you identify objects or
places. Simply shoot the photo and receive an automated response. It
is impressive how much it can recognize even in poor conditions for
photography. This app can be used to read signs. We took a photo
through a window from inside a moving vehicle, and this app not only
read the sign we caught in the photo, but also added the detail that
the sign was painted on a shop window!
O Moby -- Provides an automated method of identifying anything you
photograph with your iPhone. This app also offers the very useful
feature of letting you scan a product's bar code, so that the app can
identify what the product is.
Money Reader -- If you are exploring a neighborhood, visiting new
restaurants and shops, reading signs, and identifying products, you
will likely want to be able to identify cash denominations. This app
will do that very simply. It just takes a swipe of the bill under the
camera; no photography involved. It identifies foreign currency too.
Since traveling inevitably involves a fair amount of idle or waiting
time, here are a few fun, accessible apps to entertain you while the
time passes. Make your flights, train trips, and bus routes seem
shorter, as you enjoy these accessible games. King's corner -- is a
card game with similarities to solitaire. Pyramid 13 -- is another
variation of a strategy card game. Tic Tac Toe -- is an accessible,
electronic version of the most famous game of all. Dice World --
offers several different dice games including some of the most popular
one's we all know. Big Brain -- is a big hit among trivia game buffs.
Find out how much you really know.
Whether traveling to a convention or other NFB activity, vacationing
with the family, or trying to meet up for the first time with that
special internet friend, enjoy the journey. Give yourself every
navigational advantage. Gain the same knowledge of local
establishments that sighted drivers have, or perhaps even more. Use
your cane or guide dog properly and to the fullest extent, and let
your smart phone fill in the details. Happy trails!
Furry Canes Travel Well By Amber Boggs Photo of a brown stuffed toy
dog with a harness on and a white cane leaned on it.
As our national convention is fast approaching, many of us are
preparing to travel with our service dogs. This experience may be
daunting for some and old news for others. Whatever your perspective,
you may find this advice helpful. As the handler of a service animal,
we have certain rights and responsibilities. Being aware of these can
help us have a safe and stress free travel experience. Knowing your
rights under the ADA and the TSA is crucial. When booking your flight,
you are not required to notify the airline that you will be traveling
with a service dog. However, doing so may improve your travel
experience. Airlines may not charge you an additional fee to travel
with your service dog. Airline personnel may ask you for documentation
to ensure your dog is a valid service dog. The forms of identification
that are accepted by the Department of Transportation include:
"Cards or other documentation, presence of a harness or markings on a
harness, tags, or the credible verbal assurance of the passenger".
Our actions can directly affect how we are treated and even our right
to have our service dog with us. As service dog handlers, we are
always responsible for our dog's actions. It is our job to ensure that
our dogs are healthy and happy, that his or her needs are met, and
that he or she is under control at all times. If any one of these
things are lacking, traveling may become difficult or impossible.
Maintaining your dog’s health while traveling may not be within your
control. But being proactive can help ensure this basic need is met.
Prior to flying, it is not advisable to feed or water your dog. Make
sure your dog avoids water and food for a minimum of six hours prior
to your departure. Many guide dog programs advise fasting your dog the
night before traveling. You may fear that allowing your dog to become
hungry and thirsty is cruel. Rest assured, the dog will not be
adversely affected. However, if the dog eats or drinks just prior to
departing on a flight, he or she may experience much more discomfort.
You may find yourself on an airplane with your dog that urgently has
to relieve. But if your dog has been fasting, they are unlikely to
need to relieve. One guide dog handler did not heed this advice and
his dog had a case of diarrhea half way through a six hour flight. Can
you imagine the horror he felt when his dog could not hold it! Imagine
the stench the other passengers endured. It happened to a veteran
handler. Do not let it happen to you. Keeping your dog happy is much
more fun. Prior to passing through security it is advisable to give
your dog one last opportunity to relieve. Your dog may appreciate a
moment to play with you to expend any excess energy before the long
nap on the plane. If you do choose to play, please remember to keep
your dog on leash. After checking in at the airport you will be
required to go through security. For many people, this is the most
stressful time, and having a dog can exacerbate it. Many people,
myself included, avoid being patted down, wanded, or otherwise
molested. Unfortunately, FAA rules have become more stifling. Some
kind of search is virtually unavoidable. The TSA requires that your
dog stay on leash at all times, and must always be in your control.
There are three ways to pass through the metal detector. You may walk
through with your dog beside you; you may walk through first with your
dog following behind you; or you may have your dog precede and you
follow after them. I recommend that you put your dog on a sit stay,
adjust your leash to its longest length, and walk through the detector
first, and then call your dog. Your dog will beep and will need to be
wanded or patted down. If you’re lucky you will not need to undergo
the same treatment, but some staff will want to wand you as well.
Additionally, security agents may insist upon wiping your hands to
check for chemical residues.
is important to remember that if your dog triggers the metal detector,
you should not have any contact with your dog until they have been
examined by a TSA member. Normally, guide dogs should not be touched
or played with while working, but you are required to allow the TSA
staff to perform a search of your dog. This will not affect your dog's
entire working relationship. If your dog seems playful or distracted
after the search, stop and do an obedience routine before trying to
work your dog. Get his focus back on you. Keeping your dog under
control may be harder than expected. These days there are many
different types of animals in airports and on airplanes. You may
encounter other dogs, cats, or even rabbits. Many airlines now allow
pets and all allow emotional support animals on flights. It is
important that your dog act professionally around these distractions.
Once you have made it through security, there will be very limited
places to relieve your dog. Some airports have service dog relief
areas, but most do not. During the flight, you may want to offer
your dog a bone or chew toy. Chewing is a great stress reliever for
many dogs and can help keep an antsy dog calm. I recommend Elk
Antlers, Nyla bones, or a sterilized bone. Do not give your dog any
type of bone that is digestible or that chips or breaks into pieces.
Digestible bones will have the same effect as food. Bones that chip or
break can also become a choking hazard for your dog. Airline personnel
are not trained in canine CPR. And the consequences for your dog could
be dire. If your dog exhibits signs of stress or anxiety while
traveling, you may want to consider giving him rescue remedy. It is a
homeopathic treatment for stress, and they make a formula for dogs.
Follow the directions on the bottle. Dogs are intuitive and may feed
on your stress and anxiety. So try to remain calm and your dog will
likely follow your emotions. Now that you have made it through
security and found your boarding gate, you are ready to board your
flight. Many people ask to be pre-boarded with their dog. This
provides more time to situate your dog on the plane. You may also ask
the flight attendants if the flight is full. If it is not full, most
airlines will move your seat next to an empty one, to provide you and
your dog more room. When boarding, you will find that the aisles are
very narrow. I advise heeling your dog behind you and walking down the
aisles on your own. There will not be enough room for your dog to
guide you. You may want to practice your dog following behind you
prior to flying. Most dogs are not accustomed to this technique.
Once you have boarded the aircraft, you will be expected to make sure
your dog is kept out of the aisles, so other passengers and flight
attendants do not trip on him. Many airlines will recommend that you
sit in the bulkhead to give your dog more room. Personally, I find
that bulkhead seats actually offer my dog less comfort and give me
less leg room too. If you sit in a standard seat, back your dog under
the seat in front of you with his head facing you. This will give your
dog his own space, and allow you room for your feet. Most dogs enjoy
this position because the seat resembles a cave, and they are
basically cave animals. This means they typically feel safer when they
are in a cave-like den. An added benefit is that other passengers are
not trying to put their feet around him, minimizing the possibility of
someone accidentally injuring him. During the flight, it is important
that your dog does not bark or cause any disruption. This is where a
bone may really be helpful. During takeoff and landing be aware that
the floor will tilt significantly. Your dog may slide around. You may
use your feet to help stabilize your dog. You may also want to gently
hold their collar to help them keep from sliding. This tends to be the
most stressful time for a dog. It is important that you stay calm;
assuring them that everything will be ok. Once you are situated
with your dog safely under a seat and out of the aisle, sit back,
relax, and enjoy your flight.
The Problem With Audio Description By Loren Dephillips Photo of Audio
Eyes logo in which a film reel turns into a wave form with the words
Audio Eyes above them in a dark Aqua Blue - provided by Audio Eyes
So I wanted to make this first column a real blockbuster. One that
would have everybody talking for at least a month.
Then the first problem arose.
What piece of audio description could I write about that everybody has
heard or could get their hands on immediately if they wanted to. It
was at this point that I realized what the real problem is with audio
description. We don't need a review, we need a voice. Not the kind
that you hear in those public service announcements on radio and
television or one of those annoying petitions that you delete when you
ask yourself how they made it through your spam filter and into your
email box, not even a loud and annoying one that screams bloody
murder when the audio description for a show isn't passed through or
when we can only hear it in low quality mono (that is, when we can
figure out how to hear it at all); but a voice which simply says
"We're here and we care." I'm not saying that we should try to restart
the civil rights movement and hold demonstrations outside the offices
of the four major networks and the producers of all of the top rated
shows out there; I'm simply saying that we need to let these people
know that we are a part of the audience whose needs should be met like
those of any other group.
Admittedly, this presents several problems. In the first place, the
people to whom we need to address our concerns either don't know that
we exist or wish that we would go away. This is because audio
description hasn't reached the stage that closed captioning is where
it has been determined that closed captioning is actually used by
more people without disabilities than it is by people with hearing
impairments. In the second place, the likelihood at this point is that
the people we need to express our concerns to probably have no idea
what audio description is. An even more disturbing possibility is that
some readers of this article who are potential consumers of audio
description may not as yet have heard it and are therefore unaware of
the rich experience that hearing a television program or a movie
featuring audio description can be.
Fortunately, there are a lot of things that we as individuals can do
to help rectify this situation.
First, if you've never heard audio description before, I would
strongly encourage you to do so. There are upwards of 900 pieces of
audio description available on Youtube. The finest example of audio
description available here can be found on the Audioeyes channel. It’s
a ten minute long award winning film entitled "Bob Goes to the
Parthenon". There are also several described movie titles available
on dvd. There are also a couple of well-known websites from which
audio described programming can either be streamed or downloaded; the
disadvantage of this is that the content tends to be arbitrary and the
quality control is relatively non-existent. The advantage is, of
course, ease of access.
Watching movies or television programming as it goes out over the air
can prove to be a more difficult proposition depending on such
variables as the size of the media market you're in, whether your
content provider is passing the description through, and/or whether
you the possess the technical knowledge required in order for you to
access the content which is carried on the secondary audio channel.
Accessing this channel can prove to be a daunting task to even the
most tech savvy among us. This has contributed to the fact that a
larger proportion of visually impaired people than you might think
have not as yet heard programming featuring audio description.
This issue will hopefully resolve itself over the next few years as
distribution methods improve. The amount of described content which
content providers are required to carry will continue to increase as
we go further into the federal mandate.
In the meantime, it is crucially important that we let our voices be
heard. Despite all evidence to the contrary, these people are human
beings; and human beings generally react more positively when they're
doing something that's appreciated rather than when they're doing
something that they're commanded to do which nobody cares about.
So the next time you hear a program that features audio description,
take a moment to go to the website of the content provider and thank
them for carrying described content. This is sure to get someone's
attention if it happens often enough.
There will be plenty of time to get into the audio quality of the
description as well as the quality of the described content itself
once we've established that there's a significant audience that cares
about audio description.
So while the mandate will insure that described content will be
significantly represented on television, it is up to us to let our
voices be heard in order to insure that the audio quality of the
description as well as that of the content itself is maintained at a
level which meets the needs of us consumers. Future columns will
discuss what constitutes good and bad description and provide reviews
of both. We will also endeavor to keep you abreast of the latest news
and developments regarding audio description.
In the meantime, speak up and be heard. Not only will you improve your
own life, but you will make a difference in the lives of every
visually impaired person who will never have to ask him or herself "I
wonder what just happened?" again.
Who's Watching Who? Traveling to Convention with our Children By Amber
Boggs and Rick Boggs June 1, 2013 Photo: A silhouette of a family from
the back; father on the left, mother on the right and a small child in
shorts and a baseball cap in between them holding their hands.
”Mommy are we there yet?”
“Daddy when will we get to go to the pool?”
For those of us planning to travel to the national convention, we can
expect to hear questions like these from our children very soon. What
else can we parents expect in our travel experience with our kids? We
tend to be concerned with the little details like packing their
clothes, deciding what toys, gadgets, or other belongings we will
allow them to bring. Naturally, like any parents, we will do our best
to remember their essentials, and we may have some discussion with our
kids about what to expect or how they should behave at an event like
this. However, there might be larger issues to consider. There may be
questions we can ask ourselves about what our kids might be able to
take away from an experience like this, and perhaps, what we as
parents might also learn about ourselves. From two totally blind
parents who are experienced travelers, here are some travel tips for
those smaller problems and some thoughts to consider about larger
issues. We should acknowledge that parents with vision loss do not
all share common experiences or circumstances. There are single
fathers who are blind and single mothers who are blind. There are
couples in which one parent has vision and one does not. Some blind
parents have children with vision loss, and some have children who see
well. These factors, along with the age of our children, definitely
change the dynamic of parenting. While we will try to provide
information of value to everyone, our own expertise focuses more on
dual blind parents with sighted children.
Parents with small children may have to consider things like baby
gear, staying aware of where your children are, and keeping track of
their belongings. Parents of older children may have other primary
considerations like monitoring behavior. Regardless of the age of our
children, blind parents always face difficult decisions about how much
we allow our children to assist us. We will address those critical
judgment calls from diverse viewpoints. We will consider specific
scenarios and how our decisions might influence our own children's
perception of blindness as well as the perception of the on looking
public. First, let's look at the practical aspects of traveling with
children. There are so many logistics involved in taking a family away
from home for a week. Just packing bags while caring for multiple
children can be so exhausting; we might begin to feel like skipping
the whole thing. It does help to plan ahead though. Which items can go
in a checked bag and which should accompany us in carry-on bags on
board? What will our kids need or want during the flight? There are
some less obvious items that might be good to bring along. A talking
thermometer is a good idea in case anyone becomes ill on the trip. An
audible luggage locater can be useful. An easily accessible voice
recorder is very helpful for keeping reservation numbers, medical
emergency information, and other important data that we may acquire at
various points during our trip. Small children tend to require lots
of baby gear: strollers, car seats, play yards, swings, etc. For those
traveling with a child who still requires a car seat, the sit 'n
stroll may be the best option for you
These car seats can convert from being a car seat into a stroller. It
is fairly easily done by sliding a handle/lever on the back of the
seat itself. These are also FAA approved and fit in most cars.
Manufacturers do not usually recognize that blind parents typically
pull a stroller behind them rather than push it in front of them, so
we always pay attention to this aspect of any stroller we recommend.
Unfortunately, this one does not pull as well as a stroller with
swiveling wheels and reversible handle. However, for a short trip it
will save you the trouble of bringing a separate stroller.
Please note: the Sit 'n Stroll will not fit in the overhead bin on
most airplanes. If your child will sit on your lap during the flight,
you will be asked to check it at the gate. Another option is to rent a
car seat at your destination. Several companies will rent car seats,
strollers, cribs and other gear for babies and toddlers. Most will
deliver directly to the airport or hotel. Some shuttles and taxi
services will provide car seats upon request. Passing through
security check points at airports can be irritating or frustrating for
anyone, and it becomes more complicated for any parent. Passengers who
are blind have added considerations like procedures for guide dogs or
negotiating with uneducated airport personnel. The combination can
make caring for children during the process especially challenging.
When passing through security with younger children, blind parents may
choose to hold their children's hands or carry them through. Parents
whose children wear bells will find that the bells trigger the alarm
in the metal detectors. We may choose to ask an agent to scan us with
a wand if we prefer to avoid removing the bells. Alternatively, for
children who are walking, we can use cute and cuddly child tethers
that are widely available. They are designed like stuffed animals
which children wear like a backpack. The backpack is connected to a
soft leash-like tether with a wrist strap for parents to hold. These
furry little tether backpacks usually contain no metal and thus could
pass through detectors at airports. So, if we choose to use one of
these backpack style harnesses, we might be able to avoid being
physically searched altogether. With the required removal of jackets
and shoes, and removing laptops from carry-on bags, and sending all
metal and electronic items through the checkpoint in plastic bins,
keeping track of possessions can become tricky. It may be advisable to
try to sort our possessions into bins in an organized fashion so that
it is easier to determine if we have recovered everything at the other
end of the checkpoint. There is no limit on the number of bins we can
use. So, we can put all the shoes together, or perhaps the belongings
of one person stay together or any other method that makes it easier
to take inventory when the inspection is complete. The security
checkpoint may be the first big decision we make concerning how much
responsibility we place on our children. Naturally, if our children
can see, and we cannot, there is an obvious temptation to simply rely
on our children to help us compensate for our blindness. They can
become our default sighted guide. They can become our default
assistant who helps us find the plastic bins, find the metal detector
or body scan booth. We can require them to collect our belongings as
we exit the checkpoint. Do we ask our kids to do these things for us
because we believe we have needs as blind people and our children must
help us meet those needs? Are we making decisions as parents who are
raising children and teaching them how to do things for themselves in
the world? If we had no children, would we feel prepared and capable
of handling these situations ourselves, or would we require assistance
from another adult? If we require assistance, do we believe our
children ought to be the default providers of that assistance? When
are we asking our kids to care for us, and when are we simply being
parents who are teaching their kids how to care for themselves to
become functional adults? These are larger issues that blind parents
might take seriously, and traveling with kids presents plenty of
challenging circumstances that can serve as opportunities for us to
establish ourselves as the capable parents who happen to be blind,
rather than blind people who are fortunate to have kids to help them.
After all, our children are like other children except they have
parents who are blind, right? It is probably advisable to think about
this ahead of time, as the stress of the security scenario is likely
to make us feel pressured to just get through it by any means
possible. When we are headed for our departure gate, or even when we
first arrive at the airport and need navigational assistance, we can
simply ask another adult to direct us. Beware: airport staff or other
adults may prefer to direct our children where to take us, rather than
speak to us directly. It is not too difficult to politely insist that
we can understand directions or to request that airport staff
accompany us to the gate, the security checkpoint, or other
destination within the airport. Solving navigation problems in
unfamiliar territory is a basic independence skill and turning the
problem over to children really doesn't make sense. Remember,
airports can be confusing for anyone, and our children do not know
where to go or perhaps even what to expect. We really can allow our
children to be children and not our care givers. Establishing that we
are in control of the situation can help instill accurate perceptions
in the mind of the public and in the mind of our children too. We are,
after all, capable individuals with both rights and responsibilities.
This is an excellent opportunity to show our children and the public
that we are at least as competent as any other parent. Having
survived the flight, or perhaps even having enjoyed it, the plane
lands at our destination. It's time to collect our checked luggage.
Our children may enjoy looking for their bags on the conveyer belt.
This may be a good time to allow them to help out. Sighted parents
often allow their children to search for their bags too. We do not
have to insist that our kids to do this, and is not a means to
compensate for our inability to do it, but instead, this can be a fun
way for the kids to participate in the journey. Whichever decision we
make about locating our luggage, we are acting as responsible parents
when we base that decision on what is best for the children rather
than simply meeting some need we might have for assistance. The next
phase of our vacation can be exciting and fun-filled, provided we do
not turn it into a burdensome, stressful, "help the poor blind
parents" experience for our kids. We can seize the opportunity to
celebrate our arrival at our new, temporary home -- the hotel! Whether
or not the hotel provides more assistance than the airport did, we
should continue to use our cane or guide dog to navigate
independently. In every new environment we can make a favorable
impression on our children's minds and the minds of the community
members we encounter along the way. While the kids eagerly take in
the exciting, new environment, it is a good idea to ask the hotel
staff to point out any places that might be hazardous to children such
as construction areas, fountains not in use, drop-offs with no
railing, etc. If we are fortunate enough to have our spouse with us,
we can take turns watching the kids while the other spouse becomes
familiar with the hotel premises. If our children are old enough to
understand it would be a good idea to point out a few safe places in
the hotel where they should go if they become separated from us.
Pointing out the fire exits and stairs might also be a good idea.
Finding the right room, the ice machine, vending machines, the pool,
or other hotel amenities can be a fun activity for kids. It really is
possible to allow our children to help out without allowing them to
become the default sighted help every time we encounter a challenge.
Traveling to and from the convention will doubtless include some
anxious and stressful moments but we will also be creating some fond,
lasting memories for our kids and for ourselves. They will certainly
discover new things that will make lasting impressions. We can relish
the amazement and wonder in our children's voices as they explore and
discover new environments. We will be able to answer their questions
and teach them about the world and what we are doing at the NFB.
Perhaps we will be able to enjoy some time together as parents with
vision loss, sharing stories and useful information, while our
children meet one another and make new friends. We will hope that our
kids will remember how much fun they had, rather than how much they
had to help their parents. The most important thing is that we and our
families have a safe and enjoyable trip.
Recipe: Berry Pecan Brussels
It is spring - almost summer. The flowers are blooming and raspberries
are ripe and delicious. But are you sick of the same old tarts,
smoothies, and boring yogurt parfaits? Would you like to adorn your
table with an elegant vegetable that your entire family will love?
Have you ever thought about pairing brussels sprouts with raspberries?
If not try this recipe and you will expand your pallet. And as an
added bonus your family or guests will be begging for the recipe.
Ingredients: 2 pt. fresh organic raspberries plus extra for garnish 1
lb. fresh organic brussel sprouts 1/2 cup chopped pecans 1/4 stick
butter 1 small chalet (very finely chopped) 3 tbsp. organic agave
syrup (divided) 1 tbsp. organic balsamic vinegar pinch of salt
Directions: Trim the ends of the brussel sprouts. Use a small sauce
pan with a steam rack to cover and steam brussel sprouts for 5 to 7
minutes or until outer leaves become soft (do not over cook.) Remove
brussel sprouts from steam set aside. In a small bowl, toss 1 tsp.
agave syrup and half cup pecans until all pecans are lightly coated.
Evenly spread pecans on a flat baking pan, lined with parchment or
foil. Toast pecans in a pre-heated, 350 degree oven for 2 to 3
minutes, or until lightly brown; (caution, pecans overcook easily.)
Remove and cool. Set aside. Mash raspberries into a soft puree. Add
2 tbsp agave syrup and 1 tsp balsamic vinegar and a pinch of salt.
Stir well. In a large skillet, melt butter and add chalets. Sauté
for 3 to 5 minutes until chalets are soft. Add raspberry mixture.
Bring to a boil. Stirring constantly for 5 to 7 minutes until glaze
begins to thicken. Add brussels. Stir gently, and cover all sprouts
with glaze mixture. Cover and simmer for 5 to 8 minutes. Remove from
heat. Transfer skillet contents to serving/baking dish. Garnish with
raspberries and pecans
Describing Opportunities for Careers in Media By Rick Boggs
Photo of a person in a wheelchair at a typical office corner cubical
with two female colleges speaking with him from outside his cubicle
from the SSA.Gov The news and entertainment media may be the most
powerful influence on societal attitudes. Those attitudes have been
repeatedly identified as the greatest barrier to employment for people
with vision loss. The disproportionately low visibility of people who
are blind in the media and the lack of accessibility of many media
products and services suggest a pattern of exclusion in the industry.
The use of audio/video media in education from K-12 through university
level continues to increase each year, but the percentage of
accessible videos available to teachers remains dreadfully low. The
virtual absence of blind professionals working in major media
production/distribution companies combined with blind students lacking
expectations for accessible media in classrooms may be exacerbating
this problem. It is possible that, we, as members of the National
Federation of the Blind can greatly improve the relationship between
media producers/distributors and blind professionals and consumers
through a multi-pronged advocacy and job skills training approach. A
long-term approach to increase employment of people with vision loss
in audio/video production and to accelerate advocacy for accessible
media products and services could ultimately have a positive impact on
societal perceptions of blindness. A synergistic strategy could
include incentives for policy makers and educational media producers
to increase the quantity and quality of accessible media products
available to schools and universities. Such a strategy could advance a
leading edge marketing philosophy in job placement for professionals
with disabilities by leveraging the strength of consumers becoming
professional experts. This approach could include detailed solutions
for accommodations and job placement and could be designed by
experienced professionals in the audio/video production field who also
have expertise in media accessibility.
A successfully tested pilot program for job skills training occurred
at least twice in history already: once in 2003 at the Media Access
Office in North Hollywood, CA, and most recently, in Baltimore, MD, at
NFB headquarters in May 2012. In both cases, blind professionals
gained employment in media production positions. Accessible media
production, which includes closed captioning and video description,
can serve as a point of entry into the broader audio video production
field for people with disabilities. By identifying specific skill sets
that can be developed through training, opportunities for employment
in each step in the production process become measurable. Each step
in the process of promoting and producing described media offers
opportunities to employ people with disabilities in professional
positions. The steps involved in producing described media are as
follows: 1. Sales and Traffic: selling services and acquiring the
media 2. Tech Operations: formatting and distributing media according
to work flow 3. Media Description: writing video description scripts
according to standards and formats 4. Quality Control: reviewing
description for accuracy and effectiveness 5. Audio Recording:
recording description voice over 6. Edit/Mix Audio: modifying voice
over recording and mixing description with original program audio 7.
Tech Operations: sync audio to video and generate deliverable format
8. Traffic and accounting: deliver product and collect payment Career
Development Acquiring training and experience in the production of
accessible media can enable blind individuals to develop skill sets
that can facilitate careers in other areas of professional media
production. The most effective advocacy for inclusive employment
practices in media companies would include efforts to help
rehabilitation counselors, high school and college career counselors,
educators, and parents of students with disabilities to acquire
relevant information about identifying potential candidate students
for media careers as well as to develop strategies for job placement
in media production. Professional positions in media production
include the following:
1. Audio Engineer: Recording, mixing, and/or editing digital sound
2. Audio Producer: Envisioning and/or overseeing the production of
audio products such as audio ads, audio dramas, video description,
3. Audio Production Manager: Supervise production team and enforce
quality specifications and deadline schedules
4. Audio Description Writer / Describer: Write scripts for audio
description of live stage events and recorded media programs using
concise, descriptive language according to specific standards
5. Description Quality Specialist: Assure the quality of video
description production by reviewing scripts and media, suggesting
revisions, and evaluating voice over performance
6. Video Engineer: Effectively and efficiently assemble and/or edit
digital audio and video content, sync sound to picture, convert video
formats, and perform audio layback to video tape or generate digital
video file formats
7. Captioner: Use computer applications to effectively transcribe
dialog and sound into accurate text for display in video products.
8. Accessible Media Sales Executive: Secure contracts to provide
accessible media production services, and promote the use and
distribution of accessible media products
Effective Job Placement In the accessible media field, professionals
with disabilities can gain extensive experience in high quality
productions including broadcast and webcast programs, potentially
developing superior resumes to peers with comparable education levels.
Professionals with disabilities have an added value as consumers of
the service being provided, and their inclusion can elevate the
potential for high quality accessibility services with the integrity
of user tested products. Successful employment of professionals with
disabilities in accessible media production may encourage other media
related organizations to consider people with disabilities for
employment. Individuals migrating from accessible media production to
other media related jobs possess a thorough knowledge of accessibility
requirements and options, offering added value to new employers. It
is advisable that blind professionals maintain an ongoing mentoring
and peer support program to bolster success ratios and encourage
longevity in media careers. Advocacy This progressive inclusion
model suggests that professionals with disabilities working in the
production of accessible media can serve as effective advocates who
possess a thorough knowledge of the required resources for providing
accommodations in media products and services. Similarly, as the
number of accessible videos shown in classrooms increases, students
with disabilities who commonly experience accessible media may develop
expectations that could encourage them to request accommodations when
they are not provided, effectively improving advocacy at the consumer
level. Blind professionals and blind students can collaborate to
influence procurement policies at local and state levels toward
increasing the supply of accessible video/multimedia materials for
schools and universities. As the needs of students with sensory
disabilities are met more employment opportunities for accessible
media production careers are created. The Need Exclusion of people
with disabilities in the news and entertainment media is well
documented. Twenty percent of Americans between the ages of 5 and 64
are living with a disability. They are represented by less than 2% of
characters on television. Involving professionals with disabilities in
media production may effectively reverse the pattern of exclusion. The
use of audio/video media in classrooms continues to rise, and the lack
of accessible videos available to teachers is a widespread problem.
The need for accessible videos in education has been acknowledged by
federal policy. Conclusion
>From the earliest videos American children experience in schools to
the huge quantity of news and entertainment products consumed by
American adults, people with disabilities continue to be omitted from
the media, as performers, producers, and consumers. Increasing the
presence of people with disabilities in all aspects of the media may
have the greatest potential to positively impact social change toward
greater acceptance and equality for people with disabilities in
society. If we Federationists decide to make the image of blindness
visible and accurate in the media through this multi-pronged approach,
we will certainly gain lasting results for future generations that
will include people with vision loss.
Resources in Orlando These contacts will prove to be very helpful
while traveling in Orlando Florida for convention. There are too many
services to list here, so we included an assortment for your
Downtown Orlando has various modes of transportation: Yellow Cab
Company: 407.422.2222 Airport Shuttle USA, Inc.: 407.219.9196
Central Florida Transportation Group, Inc.: 407.545.5739 Advantage
Yellow Cab: 407.812.7000
LYNX Lynx provides regularly scheduled bus service to 61 routes on
comfortable buses, special door-to-door transportation for customers
who cannot use regular bus service.
Phone: 407.841.LYNX For more information about Lynx, visit
www.golynx.com O-CARTZ O-Cartz provides safe, reliable, and
convenient shuttle service to downtown pedestrians and businesses.
O-Cartz also provides clean, quiet, efficient and affordable
transportation. As an alternative to conventional combustion-powered
vehicles, O-Cartz has a significant and positive impact on air
quality. O-Cartz seats six passengers comfortably including the
O-Cartz driver. Phone: 321.663.0678 PEDICAB Orlando pedicabs are one
of the newest ways to get around Downtown on weekend nights. These
bike taxis, with room for up to four passengers, can be found all
around the central Downtown area from Tuesday through Saturday nights
and are complimentary, but tips are recommended. Rydes Pedicab Company
is Downtown Orlando’s Premier Pedicab Company. Call 813.841.8067 to
arrange for a pick-up. .
TOP SHELF PEDICAB CO
Top Shelf Pedicab Co. is another premier Downtown Orlando Pedicab
company. They operate From 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. seven days a week. Call
321.438.1938 to arrange for a pick-up HORSE DRAWN CARRIAGES Downtown
Horse & Carriage, II, Inc. For more information and to make
reservations, please call 561.723.4704 or visit
downtownhorseandcarriage.com A HITCH ‘N TIME CARRIAGES For more
information and reservations, please call 352.394.8851 or visit
www.ahitchntime.com LYMMO LYMMO can put you within a block of just
about any place within Downtown Orlando within 10 minutes or less.
Also, for wheelchairs and passengers with disabilities, the buses
kneel and have a special boarding ramp to make riding much easier. The
LYMMO comes by every five minutes during office hours and after hours
they run every ten minutes. On Sundays and Holidays the Lymmo runs
every 15 minutes. Phone: 407.841.LYNX For more information about
Lymmo, visit www.golymmo.com After a long day of Convention fun,
these food delivery places may just hit the spot. Or maybe you forgot
something, or are just too exhausted to go shop.
fooddeliveryorlando.com You can place a food delivery order from ANY
restaurant. From a fast food restaurant to famous Orlando fine dining
restaurants, they will attend to your custom delivery needs. If you
don't know what you want to eat today, check out the menus from their
partner restaurants. They will also deliver groceries and just about
anything you could need. Phone 407.883.6665 / Fax 407.477.5650
dineondemandonline.com/Orlando For a quick, hot meal delivered so you
can stay on task, Dine on Demand is the perfect solution when you want
the best in Orlando restaurant delivery. They come straight to your
hotel room so you can stay in and relax. grubhub.com/Orlando
Choose from thousands of menus in hundreds of cities. Order what you
want. Build your meal and order it online.
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