June 15, 2017
The following is by Lauren Tappan:
As a low vision user of AT products, I’m always interested in transportation solutions. With the encouragement of my low-vision occupational therapist, I was able to put the Lyft app on my iPad. My lowvision occupational therapist then encouraged me to give it a try and with a great deal of anxiety, I managed to use the Lyft app to locate a driver. After going through their app process, I was able to get a Lyft driver at our house within five minutes and, the return journey was just as easy. If you are a low vision AT user, you might consider checking out the Lyft driving services. I’ve found them very prompt, helpful and I received an automatic receipt right after the journey.
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February 22, 2017
The following is by Jason Richmond, Librarian
Subject: Accessability Grant
As we head towards a New Year, I wanted to share with all of you the progress that has been made with the Accessible Library Project. The State Library awarded us funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services to make our services and collections more accessible and to hold programming raising disability awareness. Many of the big, visible parts of the plan haven’t been implemented yet but the foundations have been laid for an exciting start to 2017.
In October, the Triangle Disability Awareness Council led a great training on awareness and customer service for all library staff. Our librarians valued the chance to ask questions and learn about more ways they can assist all those who may come through our doors. Thank you again to all the trainers that made the trek up to Hillsborough!
November brought a makerspace to the library that showcased ways tinkering and technology can be leveraged to help others in our community. Participants in our workshops adapted toys by adding accessible switches and learned about creating prosthetic hands using 3D printers.
Assistive technology hardware has arrived at the library and will become available to the public by February. Library staff will be training on our new video magnifiers and assistive listening kits over the next couple weeks. For Disability Awareness Month in March the library will be working with the Triangle Disability Awareness Council again to hold educational and engaging programs.
A big thank you to each and every one of you! All of your support in time, encouragement and expertise has made this possible. Thank you to all the library staff who are making disability services part of their daily commitment to our community. And thank you to the library’s leaders, Lucinda and Andrea, who have made disability services a priority of the library and supported this initiative from the start.
The library will be sharing more information about our activities throughout the coming months as more services become available. If you have any questions please reach me at my contact information below.
JASON RICHMOND | TECHNOLOGY SUPPORT AND INSTRUCTION LIBRARIAN
137 W. MARGARET LANE
HILLSBOROUGH, NC 27278
July 20, 2016
This article is by Lauren Tappan.
Here are another few suggestions for low vision users of Assistive Technology. I recently was able to work with an OT from Therapeutic Solutions. Therapeutic Solutions is located in the Raleigh-Durham area. These OT visits were paid for by Medicare. I found the low vision OT very helpful and supportive. She was able to work with me on updating my IPad to make it visually, user friendly. I had many questions about the KNFB Reader. Because of her help, I am able to use a KNFB Reader to download books.
I now use my Google app to verbally dictate web searches. I am able to use the zoom feature on the IPad, which allows me to read and hear information in my email program. I was able to find short cuts for deleting emails in my email program and I am able to dictate responses to my emails.
I have also been able to download the BARD app. BARD is a free app service with the North Carolina Library for the Blind, which allows me to download books from their library. Because of her help, I was able to find an app that gives me updated flight information when I’m travelling.
She also encouraged me to buy a new pair of light sensitive glasses, which also screen Blue Light. These glasses have been very helpful for me in navigating on new side walks and streets, etc. You can find these glasses from Maxiaids. She was also able to help me with special techniques for the use of various equipment’s in our kitchen and laundry room, which has made use of these appliances easier for me.
For all of these reasons, I highly recommend low vision users of Assistive Technology equipment to investigate if there are low vision OT’s (Occupational Therapists) in your area. If you contact Therapeutic Solutions in the Raleigh-Durham area, they might be able to locate other OT’s in an area near you.
July 3, 2016
This article is from http://www.wkyc.com/
Steve McMillin learned at age 32 he had Retinitis Pigmentosa, a genetic disease that would stop his retinas from functioning. By 49, he was completely blind.
He kept up to date on new research emerging and heard about the bionic retina, a retinal prosthesis device that sends electrical impulses to the remaining retinal cells and restores limited vision patterns.
“They take the lens off the top of your eye, remove the vitrious fluid and install a six-by-ten grid of electrodes in your eye,” said McMillin.
Last June, Steve became the twentieth patient in the US to receive the device when he had his surgery at Cleveland Clinic’s Cole Eye Institute
He can see vague, black and white images.
“So you can tell, well, there’s the road, there’s a driveway, there’s a mailbox, there’s a shrub. Am I veering off track? It’s another tool in the toolbox and, boy, it’s a big tool,” McMillin says.
When asked what the most important thing he saw after ten years of blindness was, he replied, “To go out in the moonlight and see your wife’s face.”
Read more at on.wkyc.com/29e6JTB.
September 27, 2014
People who have difficulty reading because of macular degeneration and other eye diseases may benefit from a simple trick of turning a page sideways, says a study in the September issue of Optometry and Vision Science. Macular degeneration results in loss of vision in the center of the eye’s viewing field, which can interfere with reading. Turning the page 90 degrees clockwise significantly improved people’s ability to read words using the peripheral vision surrounding the central field of vision, the study found.
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