Kansas Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (KABVI) will be hosting with the assistance of American Counsel of the Blind (ACB) an online convention Friday, November 20th and Saturday, November 21st.  This is the ACB’s annual meeting but it is also a celebration of KABVI’s 100 year anniversary.

Friday’s agenda is scheduled 10:00am-5:00pm and Saturday’s 9:00am to 4:00pm.  Agenda items include: myself, Mandy Smith with iKan-RCIL information; KSDS Assistance Dogs, Inc.; Kansas Talking Books; Assistive Technology for Kansans and Telecommunications Access Program; Nanopac; Audio Reader; Kansas State School for the Blind; and much more.  Both days will be hosted on Zoom along with streaming live on Facebook and internet radio.

KABVI is asking for $10 registration fee that includes two days worth of knowledge along with entered into drawings for door prizes.  For information on how to register please contact Ann Byington, KABVI President, abyinton@cox.net (785) 235-8990 or (800) 799-1499.

 

I get questions many times about available apps for people who have vision loss. I thought I’d write a brief description of 5 apps that have great features for people who are blind or visually impaired.

  1. LookTel Money Reader – This app uses the camera on the back of the phone/tablet and then says out loud along with large print on the screen what nomination the bill is. This allows easy money identification at home or while out.
  2. Tap Tap See – This app also uses the camera to take a picture of an object the person needs to identify. Using an internet search Tap Tap See will give an audio description of the item.
  3. Be My Eyes – Be My Eyes is similar to Tap Tap See, it uses the camera but you connect to a live person. This person is a volunteer so they do not have any training with working with people with vision loss. The person with the vision loss uses their camera to show what item they need identified or read and the volunteer assists them.
  4. KNFB Reader – While this app is not free like the others it has a purpose most would find priceless. This app converts text to speech and/or Braille for users. It can read documents long and short by taking a picture using the camera on the phone/tablet and using ocular character recognition (OCR) can read the document out loud.
  5. Seeing AI – This is one of my favorite apps. Seeing AI has multiple purposes again using the phone/tablet’s camera. This app can identify text such as KNFB Reader using OCR for short and longer text. And unlike any other OCR it is able to read some handwriting! It can also identify money like the LookTel Money Reader. It has a bar code reader to give product description and read labels. It can also give a description of people and the scene/surroundings indoors.

These apps are not a one size fits all or needed for everyone but a great tool for a person’s tool kit. If you have questions on how to download or anything else please contact Mandy Smith at (785)528-3105.

 

RCIL’s Mandy Smith will be hosting the following events:

  • Low vision fair April 7th at the Parsons Public Library from 1:00-3:00pm
  • Low vision independent living classes April 23rd and 30th at the Riley County Senior Center in Manhattan from 1:00pm-3:00pm
  • Low vision fair May 13th at the Marion Senior Center from 12:15pm-2:15pm

Please look for more information in the future or call Mandy at (785)528-3105 if you have questions.

Assistive Technology Programs Relocated

RCIL served as the Northeast Kansas access site for the Assistive Technology for Kansans (ATK), the Kansas Equipment Exchange (KEE), and more recently the Telecommunications Access Program (TAP) for the past nine years.  These programs are still available, but the staff, equipment, and services have moved to a different agency within Topeka.  The Topeka Independent Living Resource Center is the new host for these programs effective January 1, 2020.

If you are interested in learning more about these programs, or if you were working with an Assistive Technology Specialist, they can now be reached at 785.233.4572.

Are you, or is someone you know an individual living with a disability who is passionate about working with young people? If so, please apply! DC Design is currently recruiting Project Partners for the 2019 Design the Future program at University of Kansas (Lawrence, KS): July 29-August 3, and August 5-10!  A program overview can be watched here and more information and applications can be found at: youdesignthefuture.com

apply to be a design partner with design the future today at youdesignthefuture.com when & where: university of kansas july 29 - aug 3 and aug 5-10th, 2019