| THE ADVOCATE - FALL/WINTER
Table Of Contents
by John Oliveira
As we spend Thanksgiving in reflection of our lives; I sit
here on a cool, Fall Saturday afternoon reflecting on the
successes of the Association of Blind Citizens. As ABC approaches
the end of our first full year, the future looks bright and
full of promise. In retrospect, ABC's recreational activities
have been accepted by the community in which they are intended
to serve. The blind and visually impaired community is as
diverse as any other community and it is a challenge for an
organization to identify the community's interests and needs
and attempt to address them.
ABC's recreational activities were intended to serve specific
small groups in the community and it appears that we are finding
our nitch. I am always ready to explore new interests and
I need and welcome your feedback so that we may all grow together.
I would like to thank our very valuable volunteers who have
made our activities so successful and enjoyable. A special
thanks goes out to various Lions clubs who have provided volunteers
or made other contributions to our organization. We hope to
partner with more Lions Clubs in the upcoming years and also
establish relations with many other community organizations.
On a more personal note, I would like to congratulate the
players and volunteers of the Boston Renegades and the New
Bedford Brooklawn Bombers. All who were involved in the beep
ball program gave it their best and had very successful seasons.
Everyone learned something new and many enjoyed the feeling
of fellowship with teammates and the thrill of competition.
I hope to see you all out on the field next year and I feel
that national tournaments are in the future.
ABC's recreational outings have been educational and fun
for those who chose to participate. New ideas are always needed,
so do not be shy about sending suggestions via email or calling
our news and activities line to leave a message.
Membership continues to grow both in Massachusetts and in
other states. I continue to use Massachusetts, as our founding
state, as a model for other states to grow and develop similar
activities. I was invited to speak at a conference in New
Hampshire to talk about ABC and how our activities could be
developed. ABC sponsored a social event and I met many of
our members from New Hampshire. I hope that we will be able
to develop an activity that will include our friends from
New Hampshire and the rest of New England in the future.
As I am writing this article, the announcement regarding
the expansion of our scholarship program has just been released.
The growth of this program is extraordinary when considering
the size and the short history of ABC. This program remains
very dear to me because I feel that education is very powerful
in the advancement of the blind and visually impaired community.
The Board of Directors and I have some other ideas for further
expansion of educational opportunities, but I will postpone
sharing those with you until funding permits implementation.
In closing, I would like to wish you all a very happy holiday
season. I hope that you had the opportunity to meet many of
our ABC members and that you were able to participate in our
events. We welcome everyone to come and join ABC in developing
opportunities for people who are blind and visually impaired.
I hope that, as part of your holiday giving, you consider
making a contribution to ABC. The growth and successes of
ABC depends on you so; if you have enjoyed being a part of
ABC, please send us an expression of your support.
Join us on future ABC events and projects. If you wish to
develop an activity or have a project that you would like
ABC to assist you with please email John Oliveira at President@blindcitizens.org
or visit our web site at www.blindcitizens.org
by Linda H. Bolle
Helpful Scholarship Application Tips
These suggestions are provided to assist you in applying
for educational funding:
1. Always type or print clearly. Check carefully for spelling
mistakes and poor grammar. All of the information that you
submit with your application should be neat in appearance.
2. Be sure to include all awards, honors, and citations that
you may have earned in sports, avocations, fraternal organizations
or school. Mention special talents you may have.
3. It can be very helpful to have general information that
you can use for every scholarship application.
4. Include only what is asked for. Some academic institutions
now have to charge $10.00 to send out a transcript. Initially,
for many scholarship programs, a photocopy of your latest
academic record or a statement of your GPA will suffice. If
an official transcript is required it will be requested.
5. In calculating your education costs be sure to include
the many extra costs associated with higher education. These
can include expensive textbooks, student loans, laboratory
supplies, clothes, food, travel, typing, computer equipment,
student fees, insurance, entertainment, photocopying and other
less obvious costs.
6. When presenting your financial circumstances, clearly indicate
the amount of money that you will require to complete your
7. When listing references always include their full name,
title/profession, complete address and telephone number.
8. Apply for all of the financial aid that you can. Note that
only a small percentage of students take the time to return
applications. Most fall victim to procrastination.
9. Apply promptly. The best time to fill out an application
is when you receive it.
10. Scholarships are just one source of funding; there are
many others. By also exploring alternative funding sources,
students have the opportunity to get more money for their
education. These types of sources are generally available
to students throughout the entire year.
Check out these sources of scholarships and other awards:
- Contact Information:
Alpha Kappa Alpha Educational Advancement Foundation
5656 S. Stony Island Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60637
Two types of scholarships are available: a Merit Scholarship
and Financial Assistance Scholarships.
This is a $ 1,000 one-year scholarship. To be eligible for
a Merit Scholarship, the applicant must meet the following
1. Be a student currently enrolled with Sophomore through
Graduate School standing at an accredited degree granting
2. Continuing a program of education in this or another
degree granting institution;
3. Demonstrate exceptional academic achievement with a minimum
GPA of 3.0 [a B average]
4. Must have demonstrated community service and involvement.
Financial Assistance Scholarships
The maximum individual award is $1,500. This is a one-year
award. To be eligible for Financial Assistance Scholarship,
the applicant must meet the following criteria:
1. Be an undergraduate student currently enrolled in an
institution of higher education with at least Sophomore
standing at an accredited degree granting institution or
a Graduate Student currently enrolled or will be a student
in the fall of 2002; or
2. Be a student in a non-institutional based program that
may or may not grant degrees. The course of study outline
is required for these students; and
3. Have a minimum GPA of 2.5 (C+ average)
Deadline: February 15
- Contact Information:
Jaycee War Memorial Fund (JWMF) Scholarship
Tulsa, Oklahoma 74194-0001
Applicants for this scholarship must:
1. be a citizen of the United States;
2. possess academic potential and leadership qualities;
3. show financial need
To request a scholarship application, send a self-addressed
stamped envelope (SASE) and a $5.00 application fee to the
JWMF between July 1 and February 1. The application deadline
is March 1.
- Contact Information:
American Council of Learned Societies
228 E 45th Street
New York, NY 10017
1. Must be an undergraduate or graduate student
2. Must major in the field of rehabilitation and/or education
of persons who are blind or visually impaired
3. Must be legally blind
4. Must be a U.S. citizen
1. Must be of good character and have exhibited academic
2. Must provide evidence of legal blindness and proof of
acceptance at a college or university
3. Must submit a statement describing personal and educational
goals, work experience, extracurricular activities, and
how the scholarship monies will be used
Number of Recipients/Award Amount:
1/$1,000 Deadline: April 30
- Contact Information:
The John Gyles Education Awards
P.O. Box 4808
712 Riverside Drive
Fredericton. New Brunswick
Canada E3B 5G4
Telephone: (506) 459-7460
John Gyles Education Awards are available each year to students
in both Canada and the United States. They are the result
of a private, benevolent endeavor established in 1990 with
the help of a Canadian/American benefactor. Those selected
will receive up to $3,000.00.
To apply for a scholarship, applicants must be enrolled
full-time at (or accepted to) a college or university program
as an undergraduate or graduate student. (High school seniors
may apply pending acceptance.)
Applicants must have a minimum GPA of 2.7 on a scale of
4.0 and must also have citizenship in either Canada or the
United States. Additional criteria are listed on the application
form. Several scholarships are awarded, and no preference
is given to students from either country.
- Contact Information:
Ethel Louise Armstrong (ELA) Foundation Scholarship
2460 North Lake Ave., PMB #128
Altadena, CA 91001
The Ethel Louise Armstrong (ELA) Foundation is committed
to expanding opportunities for female graduate students
with disabilities as well as developing future leadership
in the disability community.
Each candidate who qualifies for this scholarship must:
1. Be a female with a disability.
2. Be currently enrolled or actively applying to a graduate
program in an accredited college or university in the United
3. Be willing to partner with the ELA Foundation within
her chosen field of study, to "Change the Face of Disability
on the Planet."
4. Be willing to send the Foundation an annual letter apprising
them of your progress and accomplishments made within the
disability community since receiving your scholarship.
5. Be willing to network with the ELA Board of Directors,
as well as current and alumni scholarship recipients who
can become your support base in the future both in the professional
and political arena.
The ELA Foundation will award one or two scholarships per
academic year depending on merit. Each scholarship is worth
$2,000 and will be awarded during the month of August. The
purpose of the scholarship is to supplement financial assistance
received by female graduate students. The scholarship money
is contingent upon the winner's acceptance to or continuation
in an accredited college or university graduate program.
The scholarship will be made payable to the educational
institution for tuition.
Deadline: June 15
- Contact Information:
American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD)
1819 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20006-3648
phone: 1-800-840-8844 (voice/TTY)
phone: 202-457-0046 (voice/TTY)
Up to ten people with disabilities
who are emerging as leaders in their respective fields will
each receive $10,000 to help them continue their progress
as leaders. They will also have an opportunity to meet national
disability leaders whom they can cultivate as mentors at
an awards ceremony in Washington, DC. U.S. residents with
any type of disability are eligible to apply.
An "emerging leader" is defined
as someone who has demonstrated leadership qualities in
his/her personal and/or professional life, and who is just
starting to be recognized at a local, regional or national
Winners of the Paul G. Hearne/AAPD Leadership Awards must
demonstrate all of the following:
1. Leadership achievements that show a positive impact on
the community of people with disabilities or within their
area of disability interest;
2. Connections they have made between individuals with disabilities
and others in their communities;
3. A positive vision for the disability community and a
continuing commitment to their leadership activities;
4. Potential to contribute at a national level.
AAPD encourages emerging leaders with disabilities of any
age to apply. You do not have to be a student to apply for
Deadline: July 26
- Contact Information: Foundation
for Science and Disability (FSD)
Dr. Richard Mankin
503 NW 89 ST
Gainesville, FL 32607-1400
One of the goals of the Foundation for Science and Disability
(FSD) is to increase opportunities in science for disabled
students. To promote this goal, the Foundation has established
a Science Student Grant Fund, available to fourth year undergraduate
(who have been accepted to graduate or professional school)
and graduate students who have a disability. Awards of $1000
each will be made to college or university students for
some special purpose in connection with a science project
or thesis in any field of Mathematics, Science, Medicine,
Engineering, or Computer Science. An award could be given
for an assistive device or instrument, or as financial support
to work with a professor on an individual research project
or for some other special need.
Since few grants and rehabilitation grants are given to
disabled groups who wish to obtain a graduate degree in
the field of science, FSD offers this award only to students
who are entering or continuing a graduate degree in one
of the above fields of science. As part of the application,
the student is required to write an essay of about 250 words.
The essay should include a description of professional goals
and objectives, as well as the specific purpose for which
the grant would be used. Two letters of recommendation from
faculty members are required, one being from the faculty
member who serves or will serve as the student's academic
research advisor. Deadline: December 1
- Contact Information: Dorothy
Harris Endowed Scholarship
Women's Sports Foundation
East Meadow, New York 11554
1-800-227-3988 (U.S. only)
web site: http://www.womenssportsfoundation.org
The Women's Sports Foundation is a charitable educational
organization dedicated to increasing the participation of
girls and women in sports and fitness and creating an educated
public that supports gender equity in sport.
female graduate students in Physical Education, Sports Management,
Sports Psychology or Sports Sociology with a means to attend
American citizen or legal resident, graduate student who
will be pursuing a full-time course of study at an accredited
postgraduate institution during the 2002-2003 school year
is eligible to apply for the Scholarship. If you will not
have tuition expenses in the 2002-2003 school year, you
are not eligible for this scholarship. Scholarship checks
will be issued in the fall of 2002.
Deadline: December 31
this link for more information:
this link to download the Guidelines and Application:
- Contact Information: Delta Theta Tau Sorority, Inc.
Educational Grants for Specialized Training in Guidance
Chairman, Philanthropy Committee
30 Meadow Circle
Oxford, Ohio 45056-1585
1. This Educational Grant is sponsored by Delta Theta Tau
Sorority, Inc., and may be used only in the specific field
of Guidance and Counseling.
2. Applicants must be accepted at the college Graduate level,
working either for the Masters, Ph.D. or other advanced
3. Grants are awarded on the basis of scholastic achievement,
financial aid, and personal qualifications.
4. Educational Grants are disbursed by the Delta Theta Tau
Sorority, Inc., to the college or university selected by
applicant. They are granted for current college expenses,
not for previously incurred college expenses or living expenses.
5. Each recipient shall maintain a level of grades that
will permit him/her to remain in good standing at all times.
Deadline: December 10
Check out these web sites:
- A FREE searchable database which contains more than 500,000
private sector scholarships, fellowships, grants, and loans.
Plan to spend at least 30 minutes the first time you use
fastweb to create your personal profile.
- Be sure to check Finaid's Scholarship Databases, as well
as Fin Aid's other types of aid
- for profile-specific students (international, ethnicity,
non-traditional, and graduate school listings, among many
other profiles). An excellent site with great funding and
general college information.
- Mobility International USA's web site contains information
on scholarships and other financial resources for students
with disabilities. Although it is geared toward students
who wish to study abroad, much of the information is germane
to students who wish to study within the US as well. Check
- This searchable database contains a listing of more than
40,000 scholarships. One of the neat features of this web
site is that those who register with and use the site are
automatically entered into a monthly $1,000 scholarship
- Although this web site is geared toward students who are
about to graduate from college (as the name of the web site
implies), those who register with and use the site are automatically
entered in a weekly $1,000 scholarship drawing. What do
you have to lose?
- While this web site has relatively little to do with higher
education per se, those who register with and use the site
are eligible for daily and monthly $1,000 drawings as well
as an annual drawing of $25,000,000! (This is not a misprint.)
You could become a lifetime professional student!
The Association of Blind Citizens will be offering five thousand
dollars in college scholarships to blind or visually impaired
individuals seeking a college degree. The Reggie Johnson memorial
scholarship will be valued at $2000 and three additional $1000
scholarships will be available. The scholarships will be offered
for the 2002/2003 school year. The scholarship may be applied
to tuition, living expenses or related expenses resulting
from vision impairment.
The application for the above mentioned scholarship can only
be obtained on ABC's web site. Potential applicants are encouraged
to visit www.blindcitizens.org
and click on the scholarship
link for more details and an application form.
Listen to our radio show.
In Focus, ABC's monthly interview and information radio show
is available on demand at www.blindcitizens.org.
You can hear the show at your convenience by visiting our web
site at anytime. The show can also be heard on the Massachusetts
Radio Reading Network on the second Thursday of the month at
8 PM eastern time. You can listen to the show live on Tic's
worldwide live Internet stream at www.ticnetwork.com.
You can also hear a rebroadcast of Infocus on ACBRadio.org.
Join ABC's president and host for an interview with individuals
or companies that are of interest to the blind and visually
by Cheryl Cumings
Title: Peel My Love Like An Onion
Author: Ana Castillo
Book number: RC 51125
Onions, although they add great flavor to food, have never
been a pleasant experience peeling. Therefore, I was very
surprised to find a book in which onions; peeling and love
were all in the title. How I wondered could anyone link these
words and come up with a story?
I was even more intrigued as I read the annotation: Carmen
becomes a professional flamenco dancer in Chicago, despite
a leg crippled by childhood polio. She tells the story of
her midlife crisis and a romantic triangle--herself; Augustín,
an older married lover; and Manolo, younger dancer--including
their desertion, and how she wins them back. Very skeptical
and hesitant, I sat down one Saturday afternoon to read this
Carmen our main character and narrator tells her story. It
is not told chronologically but is told the way one might
talk to a friend: beginning with a particular experience and
then recalling that the friend was not present filling the
friend in on the events which led up to the current story.
Though still hesitant I decided to forge ahead.
By following Carmen, we are drawn into her world of flamenco
dancers, gypsies, romance and obsession. Carmen holds nothing
back. She talks to us about her relationship with her mother
and family. She talks to us about her relationship with her
transvestite neighbor. She of course tells us about her relationship
with Augustín and Manolo, both dancers and both her lovers.
As I read I must admit I didn't know how or where the story
would end. When Carmen's affair with Manolo, Augustín's godson--
hastens the demise of the flamenco troupe. I expected the
story to end. I had obviously forgotten the entire annotation
of the book, ".including their desertion, and how she wins
Once deserted by her lovers, the story then seems to diverge
taking us back to Carmen's childhood. We learn about how she
met her best friend and their exploits as kids. At this point,
the story began to feel like bits of unconnected vignettes.
However, as I read on, I accepted that everything was related
to Carmen and by talking about her life and her memories she
was working towards the rebuilding of herself. By the end
Carmen regains her equilibrium, and triumphs. As the story
concludes, the mystique of the title remains but I feel closer
The following review of a new adaptive technology book appeared
in the Wisconsin bookwatch, September 2001, Page 2.
Joseph J. Lazzaro
155 North Wacker Dr.
Chicago IL 60606
Now in an expanded and updated second edition, Joseph Lazzaro's
Adaptive Technologies For Learning & Work Environments continues
to be a superbly presented survey and explanation of the latest
advancements in library staff and patron assistive hardware
and software, along with essential information on how to implement
them, and how to provide vital training and technical support
for them. Detailed chapters identify options for library patrons
with visual, hearing, motor, speech, and learning disabilities.
This is now supplemented with new chapters devoted to keyboard
commands, built-in accessibility utilities, and Internet/Intranet
accessibility. Of special interest is the chapter devoted
to PC hardware, software, and peripherals providing the library
staff member with all the basics needed to work with many
different forms of adaptive equipment. More than two hundred
products are evaluated, ranging from screen readers to voice
command, to word predictors.
Adaptive Technologies For Learning & Work Environments is
an indispensable, comprehensive, "user friendly" and highly
recommended reference. Below is an excerpt from Adaptive Technologies
for Learning and work Environments by Joseph J. Lazzaro. The
book can be ordered from the American Library Association
in print or CD-ROM. The CD-ROM version is readable with any
standard browser and is accessible for persons using adaptive
technology. To order copies, call the American Library Association
at 800-545-2433 and press 7 for Customer Service. The book
can also be ordered online from the Special Needs Project
bookstore at www.specialneeds.com.
Joe maintains a web site at www.joelazzaro.com.
Driving the Computer from the Keyboard
Personal computers provide a platform of independence for
users with disabilities, and built-in keyboard commands and
accessibility utilities increase that self-reliance. As discussed
in chapter 1, the personal computer employs output devices
for displaying data and input devices for entering commands
and information. The two basic input devices are the keyboard
and the mouse. The keyboard lets you enter data and issue
commands. The mouse, in conjunction with the keyboard, lets
you point to objects on the screen and select or run them
on demand. For persons with disabilities, the keyboard and
mouse can prove to be significant barriers, but accessibility
utilities and keyboard shortcuts can help to overcome them.
A key focus of adaptive technology is the ability to control
a computer directly from the keyboard without having to use
a mouse. In place of the physical mouse, a user employs keyboard
shortcut commands to move the mouse pointer, explore the user
interface, and activate or select objects. This chapter describes
how to run Microsoft Windows, the Apple Macintosh, and the
Unix environment from the keyboard, without having to use
the mouse. The built-in accessibility utilities for these
operating systems are also discussed. Given the dominance
of Microsoft Windows and given the great range of adaptive
technology that is compatible with Windows, we will focus
on that platform. However, the discussion will remain general
whenever possible to demonstrate commands and methodologies
that are common to all operating systems. This, it is hoped,
will serve the greatest number of readers.
THE GRAPHICAL USER INTERFACE
This section describes the Graphical User Interface (GUI)
employed by Windows, Macintosh, Unix, and other operating
systems. This chapter and its associated appendix material
will show you how to control your computer, interact with
the operating system, and navigate and control applications
programs directly from the keyboard without having to utilize
the mouse. However, if you wish to use the mouse, this chapter
will not conflict with your use in any way. Because individual
choice is of paramount importance, we seek to include a variety
of technologies and methodologies that will equip readers
to make informed decisions. Most operating systems in use
today employ a Graphical User Interface to display information
to the user and to control the operating system and applications
software programs. Older operating systems, such as DOS (Disk
Operating System), employed text to display information on
the video monitor in an 80-character-by-25-line grid. These
older operating systems did not encourage a standard user
interface, which resulted in a different appearance and command
structure for each applications software package.
Graphical User Interfaces use a grid of pixels to display
both text and images-everything from simple text documents
to multimedia presentations. Pixels are tiny points of light
that can be gathered into any shape, whether characters or
pictures or control objects. Pixels allow text characters
to appear in any font, size, or color, and can be combined
to create detailed graphics. Pixels enable you to control
the look and feel of the screen presentation and to control
any menus visible on-screen. The GUI is controlled by moving
the mouse pointer to various control objects on the screen
and by clicking one of the mouse buttons to activate the control
The mouse is a tiny device that lives on your desk and fits
in the palm of your hand. As indicated above, it allows you
to move a cursor/pointer around the computer screen. When
you move the pointer to an object on the screen, such as a
menu, you can press a button on the mouse to activate the
menu. This action is known as pointing and clicking, and is
the standard methodology for controlling computers equipped
with Graphical User Interfaces.
Using the mouse is easy enough in concept. You use the mouse
to point to an object on your screen and that object then
becomes highlighted. The mouse contains buttons that allow
you to select that object and perform other operations. It's
that simple, but not if you're a person with a disability.
Using the mouse is straightforward and easy to comprehend
if you can see what's on the screen and manipulate the mouse.
But if you have difficulty seeing the screen or physically
moving the mouse, the mouse becomes a barrier. Fortunately,
the mouse is not the only way to control your computer, for
there are many ways to run your computer directly from the
keyboard. In the next section, we'll use the Windows operating
system to give examples of some of the features of Graphical
User Interfaces that make them accessible to persons with
disabilities and allow navigation with the keyboard instead
of the mouse.
After only a few minutes of experience with Windows, you'll
notice that the software programs visually resemble each other.
Most traditional Windows-based programs share the same user
interface, and as a result, they look and operate virtually
identically. The same is true for the Macintosh and Unix platforms.
The common user interface enables novice users to learn the
operating system rapidly and confidently, because the skills
acquired running one software program can be directly transferred
to other programs. Unfortunately, of late, more and more applications
are adapting a "Web-like" design and, as a result, are dispensing
with established conventions. Such applications may look unique,
but they sacrifice the benefits that users gain from consistency.
Windows software programs that comply with Microsoft standards
share the same visual appearance for the most part and use
a common command structure. Each program contains some or
all of the same basic components: main parent window, window
frame, title bar, menu bar, toolbar, status bars, scroll bars,
and child windows.
When a program is launched, it appears on your screen in
a window. This is the parent window, which can fill the entire
screen or only a portion of it, depending on your preferences.
The parent window contains all the windows, menus, and objects
that let you control the program. It also has the ability
to open child windows to display information or prompt you
for input. Child windows are smaller windows that usually
appear within or in front of the parent window. The parent
window contains the program title bar, menu bar, toolbar,
and one or more child windows. The title bar contains the
name of the program as well as buttons for closing or changing
the window's size. At the left end of the title bar is often
an icon. By clicking on the icon, you can display the window's
shortcut menu, which lets you close, move, or resize the window
using the keyboard. You can use the ALT+- keyboard command
to pop up a menu that lets you restore, minimize, or maximize
the child window. And you can use the ALT+SPACEBAR keyboard
command to bring up a menu that lets you restore, minimize,
or maximize the parent window. The window frame makes it easy
to see the outline of the window, and in many cases you can
resize the window by dragging an edge of the frame with the
mouse. The menu bar and toolbar offer command menus to control
the program. Scroll bars along the side or bottom of the window
allow you to display different parts of a document that's
too big to fit into the window in its entirety.
A status bar along the bottom of the window may display information
about the application or the document you're reading. Some
applications also have document windows, child windows displayed
within the main application window. Dialog boxes are one of
the most common parts of the Windows, Macintosh, and other
Graphical User Interfaces. Dialog boxes are used to control
programs and pop up for numerous operations, such as printing
documents, saving files, and confirming a program shutdown.
Most applications display dialog boxes as child windows in
front of the main window to get your attention or ask for
STARTING WINDOWS AND BASIC NAVIGATION
When you start your computer, the operating system loads
from the hard disk drive, bringing your system to life. Whether
you're running a Windows, Macintosh, or Unix platform, the
same concept holds true. After the operating system loads,
you will have the opportunity to log in and begin your work.
After you see the start-up information and logos, the first
interaction you'll have with your system is when it asks you
to log in. This involves typing in your name and password,
which lets the computer know who you are. You can set up the
computer so that each person using the machine has his or
her own unique working environment. An environment consists
of the colors, font sizes, and other preferences that are
automatically invoked when you log in. You can also use accessibility
settings or your own adaptive technology to help you log in.
If you choose, you can bypass the login by pressing ESC, or
you can turn off the login prompt altogether. On Windows NT
or Windows 2000, you can bypass the login process if you're
running your computer at home, but you may not be allowed
to do so if you're on a network at work or at school. In addition,
some adaptive technologies may not be able to run until you've
logged on, which can make it tricky if you need the adaptation
to log in!
Once you've logged in, the first screen that Windows presents
contains several discrete objects that you can navigate and
control. Those objects are the taskbar and the desktop. The
taskbar is normally at the bottom of your screen, but you
can move it to the top or either side by dragging it with
the mouse. The taskbar displays a number of separate areas,
including the Start button (which you press to display the
Start menu), the task buttons, and the taskbar icons. On Windows
98, Windows Me, and Windows 2000 there are also a number of
optional toolbars that you can display within the taskbar.
The Start menu, which you display by pressing the taskbar's
Start button or CTRL+ESCAPE, is an important tool because
it lets you launch applications and documents, and also perform
useful actions such as finding files, getting help, changing
settings, shutting down your computer, and other tasks. In
simple terms, the Start button lets you pop up a series of
menus that contain software programs and documents that you
The desktop is another sort of menu that contains links to
software programs and documents, except that it is always
visible on-screen. Think of the desktop as a constantly visible
list of tools that are used frequently. The desktop contains
icons representing programs, documents, and locations such
as your network and the recycle bin. The taskbar's task buttons
show you all the application windows that are currently loaded
into memory and running, and you can switch to one of those
windows just by clicking on the corresponding button. The
taskbar icons are displayed by some utilities to give you
information or make it easy to adjust settings. Typically
you might see icons that let you adjust the speaker volume,
indicate that you have new e-mail waiting, and tell you the
status of the battery if you're running on a notebook computer.
It also displays the current time. By default, you'll see
the Quick Launch toolbar, which has icons for starting commonly
used programs such as Outlook and Internet Explorer. (You
can also run those programs from the Start menu, so the Quick
Launch toolbar is really just a convenience for people who
use a mouse.) As you gain more experience, you can customize
the Start menu, the desktop, and the toolbars to let you quickly
access programs and documents that you use daily. A word of
caution: If you're using adaptive technology, especially a
screen reader, you want to avoid customizing as much as possible
to maximize system performance and reliability.
Navigating with the TAB Key
The TAB key is one of the most commonly used keys on the
keyboard. It will help you move around your computer's various
screens and cycle between the areas on the taskbar and the
desktop. The TAB key is also used to move through dialog boxes
throughout the operating system and in applications software
programs. In addition, the TAB key is used a great deal when
browsing the Web to move from one link to another on a Web
site. From the Windows main screen, you can se the TAB key
to cycle between the Start button, task buttons, toolbars
(including the Quick Launch toolbar), taskbar icons, and desktop.
Try hitting the TAB key repeatedly, and you'll see how the
focus moves from the Start button to the Quick Launch toolbar,
to the task buttons, to the taskbar icons, to the desktop,
and finally back again to the Start button. The TAB key allows
you to make a complete circuit of those objects. You cannot
get lost or stray from the beaten path because the TAB key
moves in a circular route from one object to another. If you
want to move backward by one or more objects, simply use the
SHIFT key in combination with the TAB key: SHIFT+TAB.
Selecting Objects with the ENTER Key
The ENTER key is a powerful keyboard shortcut that lets you
bypass the mouse for activating objects. You can test this
by using the TAB key command described earlier. Strike the
TAB key until you land on the Start button, then press the
ENTER key. This will open the Start menu, showing you a list
of programs and documents. Now use your DOWN ARROW key to
move down the list in the Start menu, and strike the ENTER
key when you land on a program or document that you wish to
launch. Pay close attention as you move down the Start menu
and take notice of items that include "..." as part of the
title. The ellipsis points indicate that you will be taken
to a dialog box when you strike ENTER on that item. Also,
some menu items have a dark triangle pointing to the right.
Activating such an item will take you to a submenu. Screen
readers will generally announce this as "submenu." You can
close a menu at any time by pressing the ESCAPE key, located
on the upper-left corner of your keyboard.
The Start Button Hot Key
A hot key is a keystroke that lets you start an application
or perform a function with a single keystroke. Hot keys can
be used to launch applications, run scripts, or start your
adaptive technology. By now you should realize that the Start
button is one of the most important objects in the Windows
environment, as it contains a list of software programs and
documents that you can launch at will. Because of this button's
importance, there is a key command to move directly to it
from any point within the operating system. Simply striking
the CTRL+ESCAPE key sequence will bring you directly to the
Start button and open it. To perform this sequence, simply
depress the CTRL key and strike the ESCAPE key while CTRL
is held down. You can then use the UP and DOWN ARROW keys
to move through the Start menu options and use the ENTER key
to select any program or submenu on the Start menu. If you
pressed CTRL+ESC to open the Start menu, you can press ESC
to close the menu and leave the focus on the Start button.
That's a convenient way to get into position to press TAB
to move between areas on the taskbar and the desktop.
Switching from One Application to Another
The Windows and other operating systems allow you to run
more than one program at a time in a process called multitasking.
Microsoft Windows lets you manage multiple applications by
displaying each program individually within its own window
on-screen. You can also choose to have each program fill the
entire screen. Try launching several programs into memory
by going to the Start button with CTRL+ESCAPE. Use your arrow
keys to move to a desired program or document, and strike
the ENTER key. Pop up the Start menu again, and launch another
program or document. As you launch each program or document,
you'll notice that its icon appears on the taskbar at the
bottom of the screen. This should reinforce the concept that
the Start menu and desktop are menus of programs and documents,
whereas the taskbar is a list of programs and documents that
are currently running. Now that you have at least two programs
or documents loaded into memory and running, you may be asking
yourself how to control all of them at once. The answer is
simple. You control only one program at a time. (Programs
that are pushed into the background can continue running with
reduced system resources, depending on your system configuration.)
The program that you can control is the one that currently
has the focus. You can switch the focus from one program to
another using the ALT+TAB key command sequence. Simply hold
down the ALT key and repeatedly strike the TAB key. This will
cycle you from one program to another and back to your starting
point. Pressing ALT+TAB just once always takes you to the
window you most recently visited, so when you need to switch
back and forth between two windows in which you're working,
it's often convenient to do so by pressing ALT+TAB.
As discussed earlier, Windows programs share a common structure.
The title appears at the top of the window containing the
program. The menu bar appears beneath the title, and the main
document window beneath the menu bar. The menu bar contains
the control menus for applications software programs. The
menu system allows you to load documents into memory, save
documents to disk, print documents, cut and copy information
to the clipboard, change the view of a document, use tools
and utilities that help you create and customize your documents,
obtain help, and more, depending on the nature and configuration
of the application. The menu bar is an important part of any
program as it allows you to control the software and settings
for your computer system. You can use the ALT keyboard command
to go directly to the menu bar of any application. Simply
strike and release the ALT key, and you will be automatically
taken to the menu bar. You can then use your LEFT and RIGHT
ARROW keys to move horizontally along the menu bar. As you
progress horizontally, you will move from one submenu to another.
Simply use the DOWN or UP ARROW keys to move into a submenu.
You can use the ENTER key to select menu options once they
have been activated. You can also use other hot keys to directly
pull down a menu. Just hold down the ALT key and strike the
keyboard letter that corresponds to the highlighted letter
in the menu name on the menu bar. Try hitting ALT+F to go
directly to the File menu on the menu bar or ALT+H to go directly
into the help system.
Shutting Down Applications
If you wish to shut down an application or document, you
can use the ALT+F4 keyboard shortcut command. This simple
command brings up a dialog box that asks you if you really
want to quit the currently running application. You can use
the TAB key to move through the dialog box to select Yes,
No, or Cancel. If you select Yes, the program will be unloaded
from memory, and its icon will disappear from the taskbar.
See appendix A for a listing of Windows keyboard shortcuts
NATIVE ACCESSIBILITY UTILITIES
Microsoft Windows 2000 includes a set of accessibility utilities
that can also be found in Windows 95, Windows 98, and Windows
Me. These utilities help users with disabilities control the
computer, change how the keyboard behaves, drive the mouse,
and other useful functions. The accessibility features and
utilities are installed by default, but can also be configured
to your individual needs. To assist users with configuring
the built-in accessibility utilities, Windows 2000 includes
an Accessibility Wizard. The Accessibility Wizard walks you
through the configuration process one step at a time. The
wizard asks you questions and configures the built-in accessibility
utilities accordingly. You can run the Accessibility Wizard
when you first configure your computer or later, after you've
gained some experience. The Accessibility Wizard helps users
who have difficulty seeing the screen, hearing sounds from
the computer, typing on the keyboard, or driving the mouse.
The Windows Control Panel also lets you adjust the settings
of the various accessibility utilities. Simply go to the Start
menu, then to Settings, then to Control Panel. The Control
Panel contains groups of utilities that pertain to accessibility.
Three useful accessibility utilities are Narrator (new in
Windows 2000), On-Screen Keyboard (available in Windows 2000
and Windows Me), and Magnifier (available in Windows 2000,
Windows Me, and Windows 98).
Narrator is a simple screen reader designed to assist persons
who are blind or visually impaired. Narrator provides voice
output with a limited number of Windows programs and is useful
when a third-party screen reader is not available. Narrator
canspeak characters aloud as they are entered at the keyboard,
and can also speak menus and other screen objects. On-Screen
Keyboard is a utility designed to assist users who have difficulty
typing on the keyboard. It allows users to control the computer
using an alternative pointing device or joystick. On-Screen
Keyboard can show two basic keyboard layouts, a standard keyboard
with a numeric keypad or a keyboard without a numeric keypad.
Magnifier is a screen-enlargement software program to assist
users who have low vision. It also provides a high-contrast
setting to make the screen easier to read. In addition, Magnifier
can follow the mouse pointer as it is moved around the screen
and track the cursor for editing text.
Utility Manager is a program in Windows 2000 that lets you
configure and manage all of the built-in accessibility utilities
and allows you to check the status of any of the individual
utilities. Utility Manager also enables you to load or terminate
any of the accessibility utilities from its Control menu or
to automatically launch any of the accessibility utilities
upon system start. You can launch Utility Manager by going
to the Start menu, then to Programs, then to Accessories,
and finally to Accessibility, where you can select Utility
Manager. You can also use the ALT+U hot key to automatically
start Utility Manager.
Control Panel Accessibility Utilities
The Windows Control Panel lets you adjust the settings of
the individual accessibility utilities built into the operating
system and to configure the nonadaptive aspects of your entire
computer system. You can find the Control Panel by going to
the Start menu, then to Settings, then finally to the Control
Panel. The Control Panel lets you manage display, Internet,
keyboard, mouse, sound, multimedia, user, and password options.
It also lets you turn on a feature that provides additional
keyboard help with some software programs. Below are brief
descriptions of the utilities that support accessibility in
the Control Panel.
The StickyKeys utility is a powerful tool for users who have
difficulty with compound keyboard sequences. Such keyboard
sequences are commonly needed to type a capital letter or
execute a CTRL or ALT key command. Compound key sequences
require you to hold down more than one key at a time, which
presents obvious barriers for some users with disabilities.
The StickyKey utility allows you to convert compound key sequences
into single keyboard presses. You can activate StickyKeys
through the Control Panel or from Utility Manager. When you
need to type a capital letter, simply strike and release the
SHIFT key, then strike the desired letter. StickyKeys holds
down the SHIFT key electronically, turning this compound key
sequence into something more manageable.
FilterKeys is a utility that filters out repeated keystrokes
that can occur when you accidentally hold a key down for too
long. This utility forces the computer to ignore such accidental
repeating key sequences. FilterKeys can be found in the Control
Panel or under Utility Manager.
SoundSentry is a utility that generates a visual signal when
the computer produces sounds. It is useful for users who have
hearing-related disabilities. SoundSentry flashes the screen
or window border to alert you that a sound is being generated
by the computer. You can find this utility in the Control
Panel or under Utility Manager.
ShowSounds tells your programs to display captions of speech
or other sounds generated by your computer. The software application
must have built-in captions for this feature to work. You
can find ShowSounds in the Control Panel or under Utility
MouseKeys lets you use the numeric keypad to control the
movement of the mouse. This may be useful for users who have
difficulty using the mouse. MouseKeys does not interfere with
your ability to use the numeric keypad to enter numbers. You
can find MouseKeys in the Control Panel or under Utility Manager.
The Control Panel includes a High Contrast utility that alters
the display to make it more readable for users with low vision.
The High Contrast mode provides enhanced color schemes and
different font sizes to make it easier to read the screen.
You can find this utility in the Control Panel or under Utility
The Macintosh and Unix platforms also have built-in accessibility
options and utilities, similar to those found on Windows.
There are, of course, differences in features and functionality
across platforms. The Macintosh accessibility options are
known as Universal Access, and those found in the Unix environment
are called AccessX.
Although the Windows operating system contains many built-in
accessibility utilities and features, you may choose to use
a third-party adaptive device from one of the many adaptive
technology vendors. There is a wide variety of adaptive technology
available for the Windows operating system, such as screen
readers, screen-magnification utilities, and voice-recognition
packages. To more fully support third-party adaptive technology,
Microsoft has developed Active Accessibility, a tool used
by hardware and software vendors to make their adaptive technology
products more compatible and streamlined with the Windows
operating system. Functioning in much the same manner as a
client/server mechanism, Active Accessibility allows adaptive
technology to reach into the operating system to retrieve
information necessary for the user. This information allows
programs like screen readers to interpret the complex Windows
environment and to manage information displayed on the screen.
In simple terms, Active Accessibility allows adaptive technology
to communicate with the internal operating system, and this
results in more robust integration between adaptive and nonadaptive
ACCESSIBILITY UTILITIES ACROSS PLATFORMS
Like Windows, the Macintosh and Unix platforms have built-in
accessibility utilities, such as StickyKeys and MouseKeys.
This section outlines in brief some of the accessibility utilities
and keyboard shortcuts found on Macintosh and Unix platforms.
Windows, Macintosh, and Unix platforms share a common set
of accessibility utilities. They all share a common core subset
of these utilities, but not all utilities and shortcuts are
available on each of the platforms.
On the Macintosh platform, the built-in accessibility utilities
are called Universal Access. On older Macintosh systems, these
utilities were known as Easy Access. The Macintosh-based utilities
offer ways to alter the behavior of the keyboard, drive the
mouse, generate synthesized speech, and magnify the video
display. The accessibility utilities found in the Unix operating
system are known as AccessX and are similar, but not identical,
to those found on the Windows and Macintosh platforms. See
appendix B for a list of Macintosh keyboard shortcut commands.
There is also a series of accessibility utilities for the
legacy DOS operating system for older computer platforms that
may still be running in this environment. The Access Pack
contains utilities to help with keyboard access, driving the
mouse, and other features. See the Microsoft Web site at
for more information about their adaptive technology efforts,
Access Packs, additional keyboard commands, tips and tricks,
accessible documentation, and more.
Running your computer from the keyboard is a powerful method
for maximizing your independence and gaining increased access
to software and information. You can employ keyboard commands
and shortcuts to control the operating system and applications
programs stored on your personal computer. You can also use
these keyboard-based command sequences to browse the World
Wide Web and access other Internet applications. Keyboard
shortcuts and commands are a positive trend that is now common
across many operating systems and applications programs, and
work on these important features is an ongoing process. It
is desirable to build support for adaptive technology directly
into computer operating systems as this allows individual
applications to take advantage of these features to increase
accessibility for the widest possible audience.
If you write for fun or are a professional writer you may
submit articles on any topic for publication or republication.
Submisions for our Spring/Summeredition must be submitted
by April 1, 2002. Please submit them via email to email@example.com
or mail them on disk to
P.O. Box 246
Holbrook MA 02343.
BY DARREN BLACK
It's the bottom of the sixth, the Lowell Lightnings' last
at bat. It's 4-3 and the Boston Renegades are in the lead!
A slight breeze blows in the warm August twilight. A mosquito
buzzes. The Renegades took an early 4-0 lead but the Lightnings
began to hit in the later innings. No cheap hits either. Tim
Cummings has made a nice diving stop of an in-field grounder
for the first Lowell out. The next batter strikes out. That
leaves one to go for the win. The batter sets. He has already
hammered one in the third inning. Here's the pitch and slam!
This is what I did with my spring and summer weekends in
2001. And who would have thought it? Beep ball! No, not B
Ball. Beep ball, baseball for folks with blindness and low-vision.
And I loved it. Last summer, after an Association of Blind
Citizens adaptive baseball game where a soccer ball was bounced
to the hitter, a few of us took turns swinging at a beep ball
that someone had brought. The ball is similar in size to a
sixteen inch softball and sounds, when the pin is pulled,
like a truck backing up way too fast. It looked like a cartoon
bomb! I remember how badly I wanted to cream that ball, but
none of us could even make contact. We've come a long way
In April, we held our first practices coordinated by manager
John Oliveira and conducted with the help of sighted volunteers.
Only a disorganized hand-full showed up for our first meeting
which eventually was rained out. May weather was good to the
Renegades, though, and we established the ritual of Saturdays
on the ball field. But those memories of the previous August's
futile wiffs at the beep ball weren't easily dispelled. It
often seemed like fifteen minutes went by before some Renegade
hit a ball that could be fielded. We gave the Bad News Bears
a run for their money, that's for sure. But with the help
of volunteers, Paul Blaney and Erin Herlihy, our hitting,
running, and fielding improved. Slowly but surely, our aluminum
bats smacked the beep balls more often and our heaving bodies
toppled the tall buzzing bases before the ball was grabbed.
We were ready for our first challenge on our home turf against
the Lowell Lightning.
The phrase "dirt dogs" became popular to describe the Red
Sox as the Renegades played their first games in June. And
the Sox weren't the only "dirt dogs" in town! Against the
Lightning and the New Bedford Bombers, we dove, scratched,
and clawed to a 3-0 record. Against Lowell, John Smith tied
the game, in our last at bat,with a clutch drive to deep right
Inkiala Sengil, Inkomatic, then won it, 3-2, when he beat
out a hard grounder. The Renegade bench went wild. Against
New Bedford, five different Renegades contributed with one
or more hits to sweep a double-header 3-1 and 4-1. I'll never
forget my first hit in the second game, a liner passed the
right fielder. A jammed ankle didn't keep me from sprinting
back to the cheering bench. How sweet it was to contribute
to a great win. But we knew better then to get too high because
we had yet to play Long Island, an established national tournament
It was a rainy Sunday morning in Rockville, Long Island,
in July, when we tasted our first defeats 8-1 and 10-0. Our
soggy grass-stained uniform shirts stunk as we boarded the
van for the long ride back to Boston. I remember thinking
that at least the slaughter rule of 12 runs wasn't invoked.
But the chatter on that ride back to Boston was excited and
optimistic. We knew what we had to do to beat a good team.
We finished the season with wins against Lowell and New Bedford,
4-3 and 5-1. The Lightning took us to the wire once again,
threatening to tie the game in their last at bat. But the
Renegades slammed the door. Cheryl Cummings made two nice
bids for hits in that game. Tim Cummings, Joe Quintanella,
John Smith, and I all scored. It was another team effort.
Our victory in our final game at New Bedford was perhaps the
most convincing. When the New Bedford base operator finally
learned to turn on the base after two balls were hit, the
umpire had already awarded two runs to the Renegades. Team
mates ribbed me for weeks about running into a fence when
the base failed to buzz. If I learned anything that day, I
learned that a little pain can certainly motivate you to hit
a beep ball. 5-1 was the final tally. And the Renegades first
season ended a great success, 5 wins, 2 losses.
Last night, recalling our first victorious season, I just
couldn't resist. I grabbed my aluminum bat from the closet
and began practicing my swing. The chilly November wind rattled
the windows. The bat felt full and heavy in my hands. The
smoothness of the black barrel felt pleasing. I set my feet,
pointing my front toe toward the imaginary pitcher. I imagined
the sandy dirt beneath my shoes, a warm summer breeze and
the sweat beneath my cap. Shifting my weight to my back foot,
I cocked the bat and paused. Was that a beep ball I was hearing?
I listened carefully. Could April be here so soon? Did someone
spike my coke with rum? Sighing, I realized it was just my
alarm clock. April will be here soon enough.
Do you have an interesting hobby? Do you have the latest
high tech gadgets on the market? Articles relating to hobbies
and interests or product reviews are welcome.
by Peter Weiss
Week of Sept. 1, 2001; Vol. 160, No. 9
Blind since birth, Marie-Laure Martin had always thought
that candle flames were big balls of fire. The 39-year-old
woman couldn't see the flames themselves, but she could sense
the candle's aura of heat. Last October, she saw a candle
flame for the first time. She was stunned by how small it
actually was and how it danced. There's a second marvel here:
She saw it all with her tongue.
The tongue, an organ of taste and touch, may seem like an
unlikely substitute for the eyes. After all, it's usually
hidden inside the mouth, insensitive to light, and not connected
to optic nerves. However, a growing body of research indicates
that the tongue may in fact be the second-best place on the
body for receiving visual information from the world and transmitting
it to the brain.
Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison are developing
this tongue-stimulating system, which translates images detected
by a camera into a pattern of electric pulses that trigger
touch receptors. The scientists say that volunteers testing
the prototype soon lose awareness of on-the-tongue sensations.
They then perceive the stimulation as shapes and features
in space. Their tongue becomes a surrogate eye.
Earlier research had used the skin as a route for images
to reach the nervous system. That people can decode nerve
pulses as visual information when they come from sources other
than the eyes shows how adaptable, or plastic, the brain is,
says Wisconsin neuroscientist and physician Paul Bach-y-Rita,
one of the device's inventors.
"You don't see with the eyes. You see with the brain," he
An image, once it reaches an eye's retina, "becomes nerve
pulses no different from those from the big toe," he says.
To see, people rely on the brain's ability to interpret those
signals correctly. With that in mind, he and his colleagues
propose that restoring sight is only one of the many trajectories
for their research. Restoring stability to those with balance
disorders is another. So is bestowing people with brand new
senses, such as the capability to use heat to see in the dark.
Restoring lost vision
First things first, however, and for the Wisconsin scientists
that means restoring lost vision. Swapping the sense of touch
for sight is not a new idea. In the 1960s, Bach-y-Rita, his
colleagues, and other scientists began developing and testing
devices that enable the skin of blind people to pick up visual
information. For Bach-y-Rita, the experiments also provided
insight into the brain's plasticity. His more general goal
has been to find out how well one sense can take the place
Until the 1980s, "one of the axioms of neuroscience was that
there was no plasticity in the adult central nervous system,"
says Edward Taub of the University of Alabama in Birmingham.
Today, the field has turned around in response to many studies,
including Bach-y-Rita's. Now, scientists view the brain as
almost as malleable in old age as in youth, he adds.
The idea of tongue as eye evolved from the earlier skin-as-eye
studies. Bach-y-Rita and his coworkers had been placing touch-stimulating
arrays on areas of people's skin, such as the back and the
abdomen. The scientists used either electrodes or little buzzers
to excite nerve endings of the skin in a pattern that corresponded
to visual images. They found that after receiving training,
blind people using these systems could recognize shapes and
track motion. Some subjects could perceive the motion of a
ball rolling down an inclined plane and bat it as it rolled
off the plane's edge. Others could carry out an assembly-line
task at an electronics plant. It required them to recognize
glass tubes lacking solder and then to deposit some solder
into those tubes.
These results impressed Bach-y-Rita and his colleagues enough
to begin trying to apply their basic research toward designing
aids for the blind, he says. The researchers' early systems
had the look and feel of what they were, experiments. The
buzzers were noisy, heavy, and power hungry. Although electrodes
could stimulate nerves quietly and efficiently, high voltages
and currents were necessary to drive signals through the skin.
That sometimes led to uncomfortable shocks. Because of these
drawbacks, Bach-y-Rita began thinking about the tongue. "We
brushed him off," recalls coworker Kurt A. Kaczmarek, an electrical
engineer and perception researcher, also at the University
of Wisconsin. "He tends to be a bit ahead of his day."
In time, however, Kaczmarek was convinced. "One day, I said
'Okay, Paul. Let's go up to the lab and try it.' It turns
out, it worked quite well," he says.
Tongue stimulation, however, isn't the only way to circumvent
blindness. One competing approach, for example, is to implant
microchips in the eyes or brain (SN: 4/12/97, p. 221). Another
scheme, devised by a Dutch scientist, converts images to what
he calls soundscapes, which are piped to a blind person's
To Bach-y-Rita, his team's switch from skin to tongue stimulation
was crucial. "We now, for the first time, have the possibility
of a really practical [touch-based] human-machine interface,"
he declares. He and his coworkers founded the Madison-based
company Wicab, to exploit the potential. Kaczmarek points
out the fledgling company may be in for some competition,
since a German inventor already has been granted a U.S. patent
for a tongue-vision system.
"Using the tongue for seeing is a whole new approach. . .
. I think it has great promise," says Michael D. Oberdorfer,
program director for visual neuroscience at the National Eye
Institute in Bethesda, Md. His office has been funding some
of the Wisconsin group's work. The tongue is a better sensor
than skin for several reasons, says Bach-y-Rita. For one,
it's coated in saliva, an electrically conductive fluid. So,
stimulation can be applied with much lower voltage and current
than is required for the skin. Also, the tongue is more densely
populated with touch-sensitive nerves than most other parts
of the body. That opens up the possibility that the tongue
can convey higher-resolution data than the skin can. What's
more, the tongue is ordinarily out of sight and out of the
way. "With visual aids to the blind, there are cosmetic issues,"
says Oberdorfer. "And you'd want something easy to wear that
doesn't interfere with everyday activities."
Currently, the Wisconsin researchers' tongue-display system
begins with a camera about the size of a deck of cards. Cables
connect it with a toaster-size control box. Extending from
the box is another cable made of flat, flexible plastic laced
with copper wires. It narrows at the end to form the flat,
12-by-12, gold-plated electrode array the size of a dessert
fork. The person lays it like a lollipop on his or her tongue.
Stimulation from electrodes produces sensations that subjects
describe as tingling or bubbling.
The Wisconsin researchers say that the whole apparatus could
shrink dramatically, becoming both hidden and easily portable.
The camera would vanish into an eyeglass frame. From there,
it would wirelessly transmit visual data to a dental retainer
in the mouth that would house the signal-translating electronics.
The retainer would also hold the electrode against the tongue.
The tongue display still has a long way to go in terms of
performance, the researchers admit. In the July 13 Brain Research,
Bach-y-Rita and his colleagues Eliana Sampaio and Stéphane
Maris, both of the Université Louis Pasteur in Strasbourg,
France, report results from the first clinical study of the
tongue display. After an initial, brief training period, 12
first-time users and 6 sighted but blindfolded and 6 congenitally
blind, including Marie-Laure Martin tried to determine the
orientation of the E's of a standard Snellen eye chart. On
average, they scored 20/860 in visual acuity. The cutoff for
legal blindness is 20/200 with corrected vision.
"It's not normal sight," comments Taub. "It's like very dim
shadows. But it's remarkable. It's a beginning."
One obstacle to better vision with the device is the low
resolution of its 144-electrode display. Engineers on the
team say they expect to quadruple the array density in the
next few years. A more serious problem is the range of contrast
that can be replicated on the tongue, Kaczmarek notes. In
a typical image, the eye may simultaneously see lighted regions
that are 1,000 times brighter than the dimmest ones. But the
ratio of strongest to weakest tongue stimulation can only
be about 3 to 1. "That's one of the things we're struggling
with," Kaczmarek says.
Exactly how the tongue supplies the brain with images remains
a focus of the Wisconsin team's research. In his 1993 book,
The Man Who Tasted Shapes (Putnam), Washington, D.C.-based
neurologist Richard E. Cytowic made much of how flavors stimulating
the tongue of a friend and, later, an experimental subject,
would elicit visual sensations. However, that type of involuntary
and poorly understood sensory blending, which is known as
synesthesia, probably goes beyond what's needed to explain
the operation of the tongue display, Bach-y-Rita says. Instead,
there's plenty of evidence, he says, that even those brain
regions devoted almost exclusively to a certain sense actually
receive a variety of sensory signals. "We showed many years
ago that even in the specialized eye region, auditory and
tactile signals also arrive," he notes.
Also, many studies over the past 40 years indicate that the
brain is capable of massively reorganizing itself in response
to loss or injury. When it comes to seeing via the sense of
touch, reorganization may involve switching portions of the
visual cortex to the processing of touch sensations, Bach-y-Rita
says. In that vein, the first clinical study of the tongue
device showed that users got better with practice. Of the
dozen subjects in the initial evaluation, two went on to receive
an additional 9 hours each of training. When retested, they
had doubled their visual acuity, scoring an average of 20/430.
The brain's apparent ability to shunt data for one sense
through the customary pathways of another may enable the Wisconsin
researchers to apply their device beyond vision replacement.
"It's not just about vision," says Mitchell E. Tyler, a biomedical
engineer with the group. "That's the obvious one, but it's
by no means the only game in town."
The team began tests this summer of a modified system that's
intended to assist people who have lost their sense of balance
because of injury, disease, or reactions to antibiotics. The
unit gathers signals from accelerometers mounted on a person
that indicate when he or she is tilting and in what direction.
By stimulating the tongue with patterns representing the degree
and direction of tilt, such a device may act as an artificial
vestibular system. Then, the person might be able to correct
bodily position and avoid falling, Tyler explains.
Although the main emphasis of the Wisconsin research has
been rehabilitation, the group also foresees using its technology
to aid people who don't have sensory deficits. Interest in
enhancement of the senses has come primarily from the military.
While Bach-y-Rita and his colleagues were using external skin
as a receiver of light-derived images, the Defense Advanced
Research Projects Agency in Arlington, Va., funded them to
develop a sonar-based system to help Navy commandos orient
themselves in pitch darkness. The prototype worked, Bach-y-Rita
Tyler proposes that ground soldiers could also receive data
by means of infrared cameras or other sensors that would alert
them, through the tongue, to the presence and positions of
enemy troops or tanks. Civilian workers, such as firefighters,
might also benefit from such interfaces.
That's pure speculation right now. Martin's bouts of vision;
however, are much more than that. In a new film that aired
on Canadian television in June, a smile spreads across Martin's
face as she gets her first glimpse of a candle flame. The
film, Touch: The Forgotten Sense, highlights some of the Wisconsin
work. Its message is this: Touch works in a thousand ways,
often without people even being aware of its roles. By taking
this sense into new arenas, such as the tongue display, Bach-y-Rita
and his coworkers intend to extend touch's repertoire even
References and Sources
- Sampaio, E., S. Maris., and P. Bach-y-Rita. 2001. Brain
plasticity: 'Visual' acuity of blind persons via the tongue.
Brain Research 908(July 13):204.
- 2001. Tongue seen as portal to the brain. University of
Wisconsin-Madison press release. March 26. Available at
- Bower, B. 1995. Brain changes linked to phantom-limb pain.
Science News 147(June 10):357.
- 1999. Ear implants resound in deaf cats' brains. Science
News 156(Sept. 11):167.
- Seppa, N. 1998. Do blind people track sounds better? Science
News 154(Sept. 19):180.
- 2001. Gene therapy cures blindness in dogs. Science News
- Travis, J. 2000. Snap, crackle, and feel good? Science
News 158(Sept. 23):204. Available at http://sciencenews.org/20000923/bob2.asp.
- 2000. Perfect pitch common among the blind. Science News
- Wu, C. 1997. Solar cells may sub for retinal receptors.
Science News 151(April 12):221.
For online information about the University of Wisconsin's
tongue display, see http://kaz.med.wisc.edu/.
To learn about transforming light images into "soundscapes,"
Be sure to check out the Java demo.
For more information about the film Touch: The Forgotten Sense,
directed by Kun Chang, contact:
518, Rue Sherbrooke Est.
Montreal, QC H2L 1K1 Canada
Department of Rehabilitation Medicine
University of Wisconsin-Madison
600 Highland Avenue
Madison, WI 53792-3256
Richard E. Cytowic
4720 Blagden Terrace, N.W.
Washington, DC 20011-3720
Kurt A. Kaczmarek
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Department of Rehabilitation Medicine
Department of Biomedical Engineering
1300 University Avenue
Madison, WI 53706
Laboratorie d'Etudes des Systemes Perceptifs et Emotionnels
Université Louis Pasteur
12 rue Goethe
Michael D. Oberdorfer
National Eye Institute
Executive Plaza South, Suite 350
6120 Executive Boulevard, MSC 7164
Bethesda, MD 20892-7164
Laboratorie d'Etudes des Systemes Perceptifs et Emotionnels
Université Louis Pasteur
12 rue Goethe
Department of Psychology
University of Alabama at Birmingham
1530 3rd Avenue S.
Birmingham, AL 35294-0018
Mitchell E. Tyler
Department of Biomedical Engineering
University of Wisconsin-Madison
1410 Engineering Drive
Madison, WI 53706-1608
From Science News, Vol. 160, No. 9, Sept. 1, 2001, p. 140.
Copyright (c) 2001 Science Service. All rights reserved.
Interested in new developments in science and technology?
Consider subscribing to Science News. Visit Science News Online
for access to additional news articles and subscription information.
White Flower shop
The Association of Blind Citizens and White Flower shop want
to help you celebrate special occasions for the special people
in your life. Send flowers, balloons, plants, fruit or candy
baskets, dish gardens and much more. White Flower Shop has
the expertise to help you make the perfect choice for everyone
on your list for all those special occasions throughout the
year. White Flower Shop is ABC's official florist and they
will make a donation to ABC for every order that is placed.
White Flower Shop will deliver anywhere in the United States
and accepts major credit cards.
You can reach White Flower Shop by calling 781-rosebud; that's
(781) 767-3283, or toll free from anywhere in the nation at
1-800-788-1427. Please be sure to tell the agent that you
were referred by ABC so that we receive a donation from White's
for your order. If you do not mention ABC to the agent, we
will not receive a donation. Make special occasions a memorable
day for the people in your life and for ABC.
The announcement of new products and services in this column
should not be considered an endorsement of those products
and services by the Association of Blind Citizens, Inc. its
staff or elected officials. Products and services are listed
free of charge for the benefit of our readers. "The Advocate"
cannot be responsible for the reliability of products or services
O T R on cd's Encoded in the mp3 format
Most programs are encoded at the standard 32/22 rate. You
get around 100 shows per disk. Cost for most disks is just
$5.00 For the $5 you get a CD disk and a brailed case. The
case: either a soft clam shell or a slimline hard plastic
shipping and handling: Shipping for one or two items in the
soft case is $1.00. Shipping for the slimline hard plastic
cases and for larger orders of the soft clam shells is by
priority mail which starts at $3.50. Handling usually runs
from $3 to $5. Insurance is available at cost. We prefer Payment
via PayPal or Money Order. for custom orders of specific individual
episodes or specially encoded discs we do charge extra.
If you would like to compare our show episode lists with
your lists, Please contact us. We can do the comparisons or
you can, but it is time Consuming and we charge for the service.
If you have questions about what we have and offer please
I've been making some FAQ's (Frequently Asked Question) files
about O T R and MP3 Players and would be happy to send them
to you. By the way, our current favorite portable player is
the Rio Volt.
The list of available shows is available by sending email
to: Cheryl Pickering
New accessible games for windows
I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself
and our company to you and your organization. My name is Keith
Milbourne and I represent ESP Softworks Co. We develop exciting
and interactive computer games for the Blind and Visually
Impaired communities that are designed to be 100% accessible
from concept to production. In using the latest stereo and
3D audio technologies, we're able to deliver immersive and
environmentally rich audio-based games that are on par or
exceed the quality of mainstream commercial game software.
It is our belief that our quality computer games accomplish
far more than simple entertainment. It inspires motivation
to build computer familiarity, keyboarding skills, and ease
apprehension to those new to the world of computers. They
offer an exciting and challenging medium in which to learn
and broaden one's horizons and an incentive to learn. The
interaction of games and edutainment spurs creativity, expressiveness,
and builds bridges between game playing and productivity applications.
It is also able to foster the parent-child interaction in
a unique new way.
With these thoughts in mind, I encourage you to visit our
website at http://www.espsoftworks.com.
There you will find detailed information about our products
as well as discount pricing for educational institutions and
quantity pricing. Downloadable demo's are also available via
our website. Our products are priced very competitively as
we firmly believe that accessible technologies aren't truly
'accessible' unless they are also affordable. You may also
request promotional flyers at no charge via the website or
by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
with the quantity desired. We look forward to being in touch
with you and hope to build a long lasting, personal relationship
with your organization. If you have any further questions
unanswerable via our website, please contact me personally
or contact us at (916) 922-7808.
Keith Milbourne, Vice President
ESP Softworks Co.
NEW BRAILLE MUSIC CURRICULUM
Dancing Dots, developer of GOODFEEL, the world's first braille
music translator, has taken another step in the advancement
of music opportunities and independence for blind and low
vision students and professionals worldwide. Working with
author Richard Taesch of the Southern California Conservatory
of Music, Dancing Dots has published "An Introduction to Music
For the Blind Student; A Course in Braille Music Reading"
to meet the basic need of blind music students: to become
literate in music braille.
Lessons and supplemental exercises are applications of the
course which has been the official curriculum at the Southern
California Conservatory of Music - Braille Music Division
for over five years. Taesch, the author of the curriculum,
has chaired the guitar department at the Conservatory since
1976 and is certified by the Library of Congress as a music
and literary braillist.
"An Introduction To Music for the Blind Student" has a retail
price of $299 for three print and four braille volumes. Further
information on ordering the course in braille music reading
is available by contacting Dancing Dots, Braille Music Technology
at (610) 783-6692.
SEASONAL GIFTS FROM ANN MORRIS ENTERPRISES
Ann Morris Enterprises 2002 catalog includes holiday items
such as musical lighted angels; electric window candles that
automatically turn on at dusk and off at dawn; a Christmas
clock; a lighted musical church; a talking Santa salt/pepper
set; a musical wreath and much more. Items range from about
$7 to $20 each. And of course there are the everyday items
we need -- from talking and braille watches to kitchen accessories.
Specialty items include a talking book/TV- radio and a digital
recorder. The money identifier's price is reduced to $295
The catalog is available in large print, four-track cassette,
computer disk and e-mail. Braille catalogs are $10, but with
any order, just $6.
For more information, contact
Ann Morris Enterprises, Inc.
551 Hosner Mountain Rd.
Stormville, NY 12582-5329
phone (845) 227-9659
toll-free (800) 454-3175
fax (845) 226-2793
or visit the web site, www.annmorris.com.
MORE COFFEE OR TEA ANYONE?
This coffeehouse sells gourmet coffee, tea and gift baskets
with braille labels, if requested. The coffee catalog is available
by e-mail only, and there is a print catalog featuring their
Healthglow products. For the holidays, they have a Christmas
blend that people order year round, and there is eggnog coffee.
Other Christmas specials include 10 percent off regularly
priced coffee in their e-mail catalog and a gift basket on
sale. For more information about gift baskets and gourmet
Belgian chocolates, call toll-free (800) 347-9687, visit the
web site www.coffee-anyone.com,
or e-mail email@example.com.
E-MAIL SUBSCRIPTIONS TO ZIEGLER MAGAZINE
The Matilda Ziegler Magazine for the Blind, a free monthly
publication since 1907, gathers items from leading newspapers
and periodicals. Articles cover health, travel, nature, personalities,
history, science, music, sports -- you name it -- to assure
as broad a selection of articles as possible. Each issue contains
"Readers' Forum," where readers can "sound off," and "Special
Notices," in which readers and organizations can announce
goods or services they will sell, buy, exchange or give away.
Every issue has a short story and a poem as well as names
and addresses of readers seeking pen pals.
The magazine is available in grade 2 braille, four-track
cassette, or by e-mail subscription. To subscribe, contact
Matilda Ziegler Magazine for the Blind
80 Eighth Ave.
New York NY 10011
phone (212) 242-0263
fax (212) 633-1601
TIDY UP E-MAIL MESSAGES
Message Cleaner is a utility program designed to remove those
pesky little carets and line breaks from forwarded e-mail
messages. The program is available for a free, 30-day trial
period, and operates with Windows 95, 98, and NT. Following
the free trial time, Message Cleaner costs $7.50. For more
information, contact Roundhill Software via the web site WWW.RoundhillSoftware.com/MessageCleaner,
or e-mail MessageCleaner@RoundhillSoftware.com.
DAY PLANNER WORKS WITH MOUSE OR KEYBOARD
Day by Day World Edition is an easy-to-use daily planner
program for Windows. It can be used as a diary, planner, appointment
organizer, bill tracker, and anything else you may want to
schedule. The cost is $22.95 from www.blindsoftware.com.
For questions, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
MEET YOUR MATE
There's a new listserv called "Meet Your Mate," a discussion
group for singles who are blind or visually impaired, and
who would like to meet that special someone. To join this
group, please send a blank e-mail message to Meet-Your-Mateemail@example.com.
After you have subscribed, please send an introductory message
providing your real name, age, city and state, your interests,
the qualities you are looking for in a person and a way for
people to contact you. You may want to check out the singles
telephone conferences held every weekday evening at 10 p.m.
(Eastern time), 9 p.m. (Central), 8 p.m. (Mountain) and 7
p.m. (Pacific). To take part, phone (561) 939-1800.
AMERICAN LITERATURE ON CD-ROM
Here's a chance to own and read classic American literature,
published before 1920. The collection contains 360 books of
prose and poetry, including westerns, in plain text. There
is a comprehensive html index page with links to all the texts
for easy navigation. The table of contents for the American
literature CD is available at
For the children's collection, visit
Each CD costs $29 (less than nine cents per book). Disks
cost $10 each. Send your orders with payment by check or credit
b&R Samizdat Express
P.O. Box 161
West Roxbury MA 02132
phone (617) 469-2269
SOCIAL SECURITY OFFERS GENEALOGY, DETECTIVE
AND FORWARDING SERVICES
Social Security program services are free for services such
as replacing a lost Social Security card, or applying for
benefits. However, non-program services are not free. Do you
want information for genealogical research, or to search for
someone to let him/her know they have an inheritance, or do
you want a letter forwarded to a long-lost relative? Under
the Freedom of Information Act, SSA can provide these services
for a charge. SSA charges are based on the grade level of
the employee doing the work and the amount of time spent on
the request (plus 10 cents per page for photocopying). SSA
will tell you what the charge will be, after looking at your
request. Charges begin at $16. If the request will cost more
than $250, SSA will contact you prior to starting a search.
For more information, including price list, see the Freedom
of Information page, http://www.ssa.gov/foia/foia_guide.htm.
FREE BRAILLE CONSTITUTION AND DECLARATION OF
"The U.S. Constitution and Declaration of Independence" is
back in stock. This 79-page braille booklet is free from National
Braille Press and can be downloaded. The braille file is ftp://nbp.org/Newbury/nbp/nmcondc.brf.
To order, contact NBP's customer service department toll-free
at (800) 548-7323 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
BEACH CITIES BRAILLE GUILD
Volunteer braille transcribing is available from
Beach Cities Braille Guild
PO Box 712
Huntington Beach CA 92648,
phone (714) 969-7992.
The Guild charges schools, agencies and organizations for
production costs only; individuals pay less. Contact assignment
chair Linda McGovern at the number above, or e-mail her at
ARABIC LANGUAGE READING SYSTEM
Sakhr Software, Inc. markets a reading machine system for
Arabic-speaking blind and visually impaired computer users.
The system is bilingual and enables users to perform many
computer tasks. The reading machine is composed of four programs:
Paper Reader, Net Reader, Screen Reader and E-mail Reader.
For more information, contact
Mark Meinke, sales manager
at (703) 883-0134, or via e-mail,
NPR PUZZLE BOOK AVAILABLE
The Puzzlemaster, Will Shortz, presents 200 mind-bending
challenges from the NPR radio program, "Weekend Edition Sunday."
The braille edition (2 volumes), is the same price as print,
or $12. To order, send check to
National Braille Press
88 St. Stephen Street
Boston MA 02115-4302
call toll-free (800) 548-7323,
phone (617) 266-6160, ext. 20
or e-mail email@example.com.
AFB DIRECTORY AVAILABLE
The American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) has released
the 26th edition of the AFB Directory of Services for Blind
and Visually Impaired Persons in the United States and Canada.
An essential resource, the directory has been completely updated.
Available in print and electronic versions, the directory
sells for $99. The electronic edition, available on the AFB
web site, provides the same comprehensive information as the
For orders and inquiries, call AFB Press (800) 232-3044, or
fax (412) 741-0609.
COMPUTER GAMES FOR BLIND PEOPLE
Games have always been good teachers. They can cloak life's
lessons in fun and enjoyment. If you're a computer gamer,
Audyssey is the place for you. Audyssey is a free e-mail magazine
of computer games accessible to people who are blind. To subscribe,
the direct URL is
For children who like computer games, a company, MindsEye2,
produces games for all ages, including collections of accessible
crossword puzzles. To learn more about this company, go to
To order by credit card, call toll-free (888) 892-7878.
The Talking Rx makes your prescription talk to you! This
device, which reads the information about your prescription
with the assistance of a computer chip embedded in the label,
can help you avoid taking the wrong pill at the wrong time.
The suggested retail price of the Talking Rx is $19.95. It
is available for sale through
470 West Main St.
Cheshire CT 06410;
phone (203) 271-1944.
FAST TRACK BRAILLE
"The Fast Track" is a no-nonsense, no-frills braille/tape/print
manual for learning to read braille, which has been successfully
used to teach braille to adults through a braille mentoring
program. To obtain your copy, send $39.95 to
19 Parkview Dr.
Millburn NJ 07041.
BIBLE ON LINE
Would you like to be able to visit an accessible web site
and download each book of the Bible in mp3, and play it on
your computer for free? Then visit
You can also order various versions of the Bible on CD-ROM
from this site, or simply listen to it online.
FREE SHIPPING AND NEW ITEMS FROM CALIFORNIA
California Canes has a new, slim-line, seven-section folding
cane made of the same durable carbon fiber as the regular
folding canes. It comes with a tip that retrofits other tips.
Sizes range from 46 to 60 inches at a cost of $30 each with
roller tip, $22.50 each with regular tip. The company also
has carry cane holders made from 100 percent leather and denim
lined with leather. The price range is $15-20. During December,
there is free shipping for single orders and 50 percent off
shipping and handling for bulk orders. Contact
25611 Quail Run #125
Dana Point CA 92629;
phone toll-free (866) 489-1973
fax (949) 489-0996
visit the web site, www.californiacanes.com
Adaptive Technologies for Learning & Work Environments
Now Available 2nd edition
BY JOSEPH J. LAZZARO
PUBLISHED BY THE AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION:
Adaptive Technologies For Learning And Work Environments,
Second Edition, is a comprehensive guide describing how to
select, install, and support assistive technology for persons
with disabilities. The text covers adaptations for Windows,
Macintosh, and Unix computer platforms, and shows how to operate
PCs using keyboard commands and shortcuts. The book spotlights
built-in accessibility utilities found on personal computers,
and is a solid guide to facilitate accessible learning, working,
and independent living. This completely revised edition breaks
down the latest hardware and software for making information
technology accessible for all! From desktop, notebook, and
hand-held pcs, to the internet, the book details in lay terms-the
latest advancements in assistive hardware and software, how
to select the most appropriate solution, how to implement
them, and how to provide vital training and technical support.
Detailed chapters identify assistive technology for persons
with visual, hearing, motor, speech, and learning disabilities.
An entire chapter is devoted to public and private sector
funding sources, and extensive appendices are packed with
resources to help you locate agencies and organizations that
support adaptive technology. New to this edition are entire
chapters on keyboard commands, built-in accessibility utilities,
and internet/intranet accessibility. A detailed chapter uncovers
the secrets of pc hardware, software, and peripherals, showing
you the basics that you'll need to know in order to work with
many different forms of adaptive equipment. The text spotlights
more than 275 adaptive products: screen readers, screen magnification
software, braille printers and displays, scanners, voice command
and dictation systems, alternative input systems, Ttys, on
screen keyboards, alternative communication systems, word
predictors, and other solutions. This indispensable reference
will give librarians, educators, administrators, human resource
staff, and people with disabilities inside information and
expert guidance on the many forms of assistive technology.
Below is the table of contents as it appears in the book.
1 Personal Computer Hardware Basics
Who Should Read This Chapter
The Central Processing Unit
Expansion Slots and Circuit Cards
Modems: Analog, Cable, and DSL
Global Positioning Systems
Selecting a Personal Computer
2 Driving the Computer from the Keyboard
The Graphical User Interface
Starting Windows and Basic Navigation
Navigating with the TAB Key
Selecting Objects with the ENTER Key
The Start Button Hot Key
Switching from One Application to Another
Shutting Down Applications
Native Accessibility Utilities
Control Panel Accessibility Utilities
Accessibility Utilities across Platforms
3 Technology for Persons with Vision Impairments
Closed-Circuit Television Systems
Handheld CCTV Systems
Head-Mounted CCTV Systems
Braille Translation Software
Braille Note Takers
Optical Character Recognition Systems
Scanning Text into Your Computer
4 Technology for Persons Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing
Cordless and Cellular Phones
Text Telephones and the Americans with Disabilities Act
Braille Text Telephones
Telecommunications Relay Services
Visual Indicator Software
Computerized Sign Language Training
Making Captioned Videotapes
Electronic Amplification Systems
Assistive Listening Devices
Telephone Amplification Systems
5 Technology for Persons with Motor Disabilities
Keyboard Modification Software
Key Modifier Software
Built-In Access Features
Alternative Input Systems
Adapted Switches and Scanning Keyboards
Morse Code Systems
Speech on the Road
Environmental Control Systems
6 Technologies for Persons with Speech Disabilities
The Evaluation Process
What Is an Alternative Communications Device?
Word Prediction and Abbreviation Expansion
Controlling a Communications Device
Keyboards and Touch Screens
Controlling a Personal Computer
Computers and Alternative Communication
7 Technologies for Persons with Learning Disabilities
What Is a Learning Disability?
The Evaluation Process
The Individualized Education Program
Note Takers and Organizers
8 Foundations for Assistive Technology
The Assistive Technology Specialist
The Evaluation Process
Tutorials and Training Materials
Consumer Groups and Special Interest Groups
9 Accessing the Internet and Intranets
Why Make the Internet and Intranets Accessible?
Adaptive Technology and Networks
The World Wide Web
Home Page Reader
How Browsers Work
Web Content Accessibility Guidelines
Web Site Validation
10 Funding Adaptive Technology
Shareware, Freeware, and Demoware
Other Ways to Cut Costs
Personal Sources of Funds
Family and Friends
Lending Institutions and Credit Unions
Government-Sponsored Sources of Funds
The Federal Vocational Rehabilitation Program
The Social Security Administration-s PASS Program
The Assistive Technology Act of 1998
Private-Sector Sources of Funds
The Easter Seals Society
The International Association of Lions Clubs
Independent Living Centers
Microsoft Windows 98 Keyboard Guide
Apple Macintosh Keyboard Shortcuts
Products for Persons with Vision Impairments
Products for Persons Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing
Products for Persons with Motor Disabilities
Products for Persons with Speech Disabilities
Products for Persons with Learning Disabilities
National Resources for Persons with Disabilities
National Toll-Free Phone Numbers for Persons with Disabilities
Key Provisions on Assistive Technology IDEA 1997
A Guide to Disability Rights Laws
RESNA Technology Assistance Project State Contact List
An accessible html version of the text on cd-rom is available
separately to support users with disabilities. The text is
readable with any standard browser that supports HTML files.
About the Author
Joseph J. Lazzaro is project director of the Adaptive Technology
Program at the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind in Boston,
which provides rehabilitation engineering services and consulting
on assistive technology. The program provides assistive technology
free of charge to consumers, and provides evaluations, system
installation, training, and technical support for blind or
visually impaired consumers. He is also author of Adapting
PCs for Disabilities, published by Addison Wesley, and has
written for Byte, the New York Times, IEEE Spectrum, Windows,
MIT Technology Review, Computer Shopper, LAN Technology, and
other publications. He is an online instructor with EASI (Equal
Access to Software and Information) a group dedicated to providing
online training and resources on assistive technology. He
is also a member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy writers
of America, and has published fact and fiction in Analog,
Artemis, and Absolute Magnitude magazines. He maintains a
web site at http://www.joelazzaro.com.
You can order print or CD-ROM copies of the book at the American
Library Association web site at www.ala.org
or by calling 800-545-2433. Press #7 for the Order Department.
The book is also available from Amazon.Com.
Joseph J. Lazzaro
Please place the Association of Blind Citizens on your giving
list. Donations should be made payable to
Association of Blind Citizens
PO Box 246
Holbrook MA 02343.
BAKED RIGATONI WITH ITALIAN MEAT SAUCE
- 1 pound rigatoni
- 1 pound bulk Italian sausage
- three-fourths cup chopped onion
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 26-ounce jars pasta sauce, any kind
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 3 cups (12 ounces) shredded cheddar or mozzarella cheese
- Chopped parsley
- Cook rigatoni according to package directions; drain.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In large saucepan over medium heat, brown sausage; pour
- Add onion and garlic; cook and stir until tender.
- Stir in pasta sauce and seasoning.
- Bring to boil; simmer, covered, 20 minutes.
- In large bowl, combine rigatoni, sauce and half of the
- Spoon into greased 9-inch by 13-inch baking dish; cover.
- Bake 35 minutes or until hot and bubbly.
- Uncover; top with remaining cheese and parsley.
- Bake 8 minutes more or until cheese melts.
WILD WESTERN CHILI SOUP
- one and a half pounds ground beef
- 1 cup onion, chopped
- 2 medium garlic cloves, minced
- 1 can beef broth
- 2 cans tomato soup
- 1 soup can water
- 2 15-ounce cans kidney beans, undrained
- 3 cups cooked elbow macaroni
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 2 tablespoons vinegar
- In skillet, brown beef, onion and garlic until tender.
- Stir to separate meat.
- Add remaining ingredients.
- Simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Makes 8 servings.
TOLLHOUSE MARBLE SQUARES
- One-half cup butter or margarine, softened
- One-fourth cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
- One-fourth cup plus 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 egg
- one-half teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup flour
- one-half teaspoon baking soda
- one-half teaspoon salt, optional
- one-half cup walnuts, chopped
- 1 cup semisweet chocolate morsels
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Cream margarine and sugars until smooth.
- Add egg and vanilla; beat well.
- Blend in dry ingredients; stir in walnuts.
- Spread batter in greased 9-inch by 13-inch baking pan.
- Sprinkle chocolate morsels atop.
- Place pan in oven for 1 minute.
- Remove pan from oven; swirl batter gently with knife to
- Bake 12-14 minutes.
- When cool, cut into squares.
BROWNIES IN A JAR
- 1 cup flour
- one-half teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
- three-fourths cup granulated sugar
- one-half cup packed brown sugar
- three-fourths cup more granulated sugar
- 6 tablespoons more cocoa
- one-half cup chopped walnuts
- one-fourth cup white chocolate chips
- one-fourth cup semisweet chocolate chips
- one-half cup melted butter
- 3 eggs, beaten
- one-half teaspoon vanilla
- Mix flour and salt; spoon mixture through funnel into
1-quart (4-cup) glass jar with lid.
- Add the following, tapping jar to settle ingredients:
- brown sugar
- more sugar
- more cocoa
- nuts and chips
- Close lid.
- Tie baking-instructions tag to jar.
- To bake, heat oven to 350 degrees.
- Whisk mix in bowl; stir in butter, eggs and vanilla.
- Spread in greased 9-inch square pan.
- Bake 35 minutes until toothpick inserted in center has
a few crumbs.
- Cut into 12 squares.