Today is #WorldBrailleDay where we celebrate Braille Literacy and Learning!
We all know what Braille is....
We've seen it on just about every signage on doors, walls, and a multitude of other places.
While I was surfing Twitter I came across this tweet:
This made me sad, these teachers and counselors forget a major group that's usually dependent on Braille - the Deafblind.
Sure, there are some Deafblind individuals who can rely on their limited hearing for auditory input from audiobooks and screenreaders. Then there are some Deafblind who can read enlarged print (like myself). But that doesn't help those who don't have this capability.
Did you know that many Blind and Deafblind are lagging behind in school and colleges because their textbooks and materials aren't readily available in a Braille format? Thanks to technology like the refreshable braille display this problem is being remedied to a point.
These refreshable braille displays are not cheap - they range from $3,500 to $15,000, depending on the number of characters displayed. Some are complete "notetakers" with computing capabilities, while others plug into a USB port on your computer and acts as a keyboard/screenreader.
Thanks to an organization called iCanConnect - the National Deafblind Equipment Distribution Program - Deafblind individuals can obtain equipment and software to help "connect" with their family, friends and the world around them.
Deborah Kendrick summed up why we need Braille in her article in the Braille Monitor and I agree!
Can y'all help me out and support braille literacy through the Braille Institute?
Everyone enjoys a good homemade meal, but before you can dig in, you have to prepare it first. Cooking can be a hard task, especially if you have vision or hearing loss. However, if you only make a few adjustments to your kitchen and get a few aids, you’ll be preparing delicious meals in no time.
Here’s what you can do to create a functional kitchen for people with vision and hearing loss.
If you want to make cooking and navigating your kitchen even easier, you might consider removing all sharp edges and opt for rounded tables and countertops. These will cause less painful bumps and fewer spills caused by bumping into something.
Also, pay attention to how you orient your pot and pan handles on the stove, since knocking them can cause severe burns. Additionally, make sure you don’t have any wires and cables over the floor because they can be serious trip hazards.
Smooth and shiny surfaces for countertops, flooring and appliances easily reflect light and create glare. Additionally, glass cabinet doors and clear glasses can also cause glare, but more importantly, they are completely invisible which makes them a hazard unless you mark them clearly.
Adjust the lighting
When you have vision loss, every space needs ample and appropriate lighting, especially a kitchen with all those knives and appliances. Increased illumination makes it easier for people with low vision to navigate their kitchen and prepare food.
On the other hand, poor lighting increases the risk of falls, bumps and even more serious accidents. So, your best bet is to invest in good lighting for your kitchen. Fluorescent strip lights with diffusers offer great distribution of light while spotlights direct ample light in all directions.
Also, bringing light closer to the task at hand is a great way to improve visibility. For instance, installing strip lighting under the kitchen cabinets will provide good lighting in the countertop area. You can also install some lighting in your cupboards and on the shelves for easier food identification. If you combine these lighting fixtures with some standard lamps and hanging pendants, you’ll get a well-illuminated space ready for meal prep.
Another way to make food preparation easier for people with vision loss is to create contrasts. Painting doors, cabinets and walls in contrasting colors with respect to the rest of the room will make them stand out more and make the space easier to navigate.
You can opt for neutral colors and go with dark colors against bright colors (black and white contrast, for instance) but combining darker and lighter shades of the same color can also work, it all depends on your vision level and your personal preference. You can also invest in appliances that have contrasting surfaces such as colorful Viking refrigerators that come in icy white, black, gray, red, blue and beige. Additionally, get contrasting cooking utensils, such as chopping boards, bowls and knives, which will also make it much easier to locate and handle them.
When choosing appliances, make sure they have some sort of contrast on controls to make setting the dials and pressing the buttons simpler. You can also use tactile markers, such as bump-ons or Velcro dots, and apply them to the controls.
Adapting the kitchen for hearing loss
People with limited or no hearing can also benefit from some easy kitchen adaptations. The main issue in the kitchen is the fire alarm. However, there are gadgets that will send visual signals instead of audio ones if there is a fire situation in the kitchen.
People who are deafblind can find vibrating pagers that will alert them of any kitchen happenings, from fire alarms to oven timers. All of these easy fixes will make cooking a much easier, safer and less stressful experience for people with hearing loss.
Don’t be afraid to venture into cooking waters. These kitchen safety tips will keep you safe, so all you need is some inspiration and a good appetite.
No matter if you are living alone or raising an army of kids (that includes your husband), everyday life, and family life in particular, can be extremely taxing on your emotional and psychological well-being. That’s why your bedroom, and your kids’ bedroom, needs to be a kind of peaceful oasis, a place where you can unwind and shed off the stress of the day. However, for most people the bedroom is just a place where they go to bed after a long, hard day.
But what if you could optimize its layout, equip it with elements that support health and vibrancy, and ensure it is safe, healthy, and pleasant to be in? Here are the five essential changes you want to make in your bedroom today to elevate your quality of life.
Clear the clutter
Clutter around the bedroom can accumulate rather quickly, and it is not just that it’s unsightly to look at, but it can be downright dangerous in terms of health and safety. The mess around the room poses a great threat to people living with disabilities, as one can easily trip over clothes or toys.
Even if no one in your family is living with a disability, you still want to regularly and thoroughly declutter the bedroom, throwing or giving away the things you don’t need in order to support safety and health by not letting dust and various pests to make the mess their new home.
Label and organize
Both parents and children can greatly benefit from keeping their bedrooms organized, and their stuff neatly packed in labelled boxes and drawers. This will not only support healthy and positive habits, but it can be extremely time saving for those with vision loss.
Labelling the things around the bedroom in bright colors will help anyone with eyesight problems to find their way around the room more easily, and it just helps keep stuff in its place.
Maintain healthy airflow
Air quality is one of the most important elements in a healthy bedroom environment, and not many people devote their time and attention to elevating the quality of air in their homes in general. Without constant airflow and purification, you are allowing mold, allergens, dust, and harmful bacteria to settle in around the bedroom.
Allowing this to happen can severely impact your long-term health and quality of life, so installing a HEPA air purifier to eliminate air pollutants, gases, allergens, and all other hazardous elements is one of the most important steps in creating a healthy sleeping environment.
Avoid sharp edges
Contrary to popular belief, knives, scissors, and other sharp objects have no business residing in the bedroom. There are plenty of other suitable places around the house where you can keep sharp things, such as the kitchen or a drawer in the living room, but keeping them in the bedroom can put your kids and yourself in unnecessary danger.
Unfortunately, accidents do happen, and they happen more often than you think. You want to exercise safety at all times, and keep sharp objects away from children, only allowing them to use them under guidance and constant supervision.
Bedroom Hygiene 101
Finally, bedroom hygiene is as important as air quality, and maintaining a clean sleeping environment by changing the sheets and pillowcases regularly, approximately every week, is the first step. This way you will eliminate harmful dust mites, mold spores, and bacteria that could otherwise damage your health.
Secondly, be sure to vacuum thoroughly every week to eliminate dust and dirt that might have settled down on the floors, and don’t forget to clean the room with homemade cleaning products. Making your own cleaning products is not only healthier because of the absence of harmful chemicals, but it is also infinitely lighter on the budget.
Your bedroom should be a place of peace, positivity, and serenity, a true oasis and sanctuary amidst the troubles of everyday life. Be sure to implement these essential tips and you will have created your very own oasis the entire family will love.
Please Note: This is entirely my opinion and may not reflect others who are Deafblind.
There was a recent court case where a Deafblind man, Paul McGann, demanded that Cinemark Theaters provide him with a Tactile Interpreter so he can attend "Gone Girl".
Now I'm wondering how this would work.....
There'll be two interpreters to take turns - not just the dialogue, but screen actions, descriptions of people, places and so on and so forth.
Some of you have seen Captioning - print descriptions of every sound happening:
[dog barks in distance]
[paper rustling on desk]
Then there's audio description for people with vision loss - describing nonverbal happenings on screen, scenery, etc:
Now a Tactile interpreter would have to do BOTH these jobs and the two switch turns (usually every 20 - 30 minutes).
It's just my opinion that this guy is asking for a lot and expecting a lot.
Maybe he can't get access to TASL for movies at home, so he goes after the "big guy" with the money? I don't know his reasoning and I don't care.
I'm sorry, but just be like many other Deaf and Deafblind person who don't want, or can't access, the standard captioning service at the theater and wait for it to come out on DVD and watch it at home.
Pretty soon there'll be technology for Captioning to Braille for television watching available, and then probably adapted for movie theaters as well.
Now I'm all for equal accessibility and everything, but right now, this Deafblind woman is baffled and bothered by this lawsuit. In the current state of things it is an "undue burden" on the owner of that particular theater - not the Parent Company. Sure, the lawsuit names Cinemark, but they'lll just pass it off onto the small business owner of the Pennsylvania theater. If they don't pass it off and absorb the costs themselves, and other DB folks request it - the costs are going to be passed off to the consumers. Moviegoers already pay a ridiculous amount to get into a movie, how would they feel with another price hike?
So, have patience grasshopper.....technology will improve to where we all can enjoy movies without any waiting, without any requests, without any barriers.
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Taking an infrared sauna is good for health and would be great for people who are deaf and blind. It is a well known fact that consistent infrared sauna use improves just about all aspects of the body's overall health.
But what about those with the challenges of a disability; in particular the deaf and blind. A person who is deaf or blind needs to make sense of the world using somewhat limited information. If the person’s sensory disabilities are great this challenge can be overwhelming. Behavioral and emotional difficulties often associated with deaf-blindness and can be the natural outcome of the person's isolation.
People with limited sight and or hearing experience the world around them through their limited sight or hearing, but mainly through their sense of touch. A busy day of being indedependent gets very tiring. What a wonderful sensory experience an infrared sauna can be to a deaf-blind person. In the safety of a small space they too can benefit from the many advantages of the infrared along with experiencing, due to their heightened sense of touch, the sheer enjoyment of the soft, gentle heat from the infrared itself.
Many who are deaf or blind have some usable vision and hearing. Some even have enough vision to be able to move about in their environment. They can recognize familiar people, see sign language at close distances or by tactile, and possibly read large print. Others have enough hearing to recognize familiar sounds, understand speech, or even speak themselves.
Deaf-blindness includes a large range of sensory impairments. Touch therapy could be enhanced through the use of infrared as well. These saunas are entirely large enough to comfortably hold many people at a time. A therapist and patient could enjoy quality time spent together while enjoying an infrared sauna's many benefits.
Infrared saunas offer a modern twist to the ancient steam sauna experience. Traditional steam saunas elevate the temperature of the air in order to warm your body. Infrared saunas heat the air within the sauna cabin as infrared emits a wavelength that heats only your body.
Imagine yourself outside on a warm summer day with the sun overhead gently warming you. Your body becomes heated from the sun, however, if the sun is blocked you will feel cooler, though the outside temperature hasn’t really changed. This is your body being heated by the sun and it’s infrared rays. Infrared saunas heat your body in the same manner. Infrared heat is perfectly natural. Infrared sauna therapy heat provides all the healthy benefits of natural sunlight without any of the dangerous side effects of our sun’s radiation. Infrared sauna therapy is natural, comfortable, inexpensive and wonderful for your health.
Brent Bauer, the director of the Department of Internal Medicine's complementary and integrative medicine program at the Mayo Clinic, wrote in a Mayo Clinic Report, “The appeal of saunas in general is that they cause reactions, such as vigorous sweating and increased heart rate, similar to those elicited by moderate exercise. An infrared sauna produces these results at lower temperatures than does a regular sauna, which makes it accessible to people who can't tolerate the heat of a conventional sauna.”
The very safe and healing benefits for the deaf-blind are akin to all who use this infrared therapy. The benefits are myriad. You can experience muscle and organ relaxation, detoxification, pain relief, improved cell health, better circulation, anti-aging, skin purification, immunity boosting, relaxation, lowered BP and even weight loss. It also greatly reduces the effects of depression.
However, due to the heightened senses of the deaf-blind how does infrared feel? It feels like sunshine on a warm day. The gentle light from the infrared envelops the body in rejuvenating warmth as it literally melts away stresses and worries along with ridding the body of all the many toxins with which we are daily bombarded. The temperature of an infrared sauna is comfortable at about 110 to 125 degrees. When infrared comes into contact with the body it penetrates well below the skin, raising core body temperature and enabling your body to sweat while sitting in a comfortable temperature. Because you’re still sweating as deeply as you can, an infrared sauna is going to feel much hotter than it actually is. This allows for you to sit inside the sauna for a much longer period of time. Because of this, you are likely to come back to the sauna night after night, reaping it's many rewards. So, not only does it feel great it's benefits are immense.
The daily lives of the deaf-blind parallel those surrounding them who are not deaf-blind. They never ask to be pitied or patronized as they too can be and are successful, independent and happy individuals who work, raise families and manage a home. They experience all the similar ups and downs of all those around them and they, too, can benefit greatly from the consistent use of infrared sauna therapy.