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AFB  ®
Technology News for People Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired
From the American Foundation for the Blind
 December 2011 Issue  Volume 12  Number 12

AccessWorld News

AccessWorld News

AccessWorld App Version 1.7 Now Available!

Check out the 1.7 update for the AccessWorld app! We've added a new color scheme and enhanced menu features. The new color scheme is taken from the AFB AccessWorld logo and adds a predominantly blue color to the interface. The "Current Issue" menu now displays the month of the most recent AccessWorld issue, and the "Back Issues" menu has been enhanced to include information about which back issue you are viewing. Other updates include improvements and additions to the "Contact AccessWorld" screen, minor bug fixes, and some overall performance tuning. Visit the App Store to download this latest version!

American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) Scholarship Program 2012

AFB administers seven post-secondary education scholarships for up to 11 deserving students who are legally blind:

    Delta Gamma Memorial Scholarship—One scholarship of $1,000:
  • Undergraduate or graduate study in the field(s) of rehabilitation and/or education. of people who are blind or visually impaired.
    Ferdinand Torres Scholarship—One scholarship of $3,500:
  • Undergraduate or graduate study in any full-time program in any field.
  • Applicant need not be a U.S. citizen, but must reside in U.S. Preference given to New York City metropolitan area residents, and new immigrants to the U.S.
    Gladys C. Anderson Memorial Scholarship—One scholarship of $1,000:
  • Undergraduate or graduate study in classical or religious music.
  • Applicant must be female.
    Karen D. Carsel Memorial Scholarship—One scholarship of $500:
  • Graduate study in any full-time program in any field.
  • Applicant must submit evidence of economic need.
    Paul W. Ruckes Scholarship—One scholarship of $1,000:
  • Undergraduate or graduate study in engineering or in the computer, physical, or life sciences.
    R. L. Gillette Scholarship—Two scholarships of $1,000 each:
  • Undergraduate study in a four-year degree program in literature or music.
  • Applicant must be female.
    Rudolph Dillman Memorial Scholarship—Four scholarships of $2,500 each:
  • Undergraduate or graduate study in the field of rehabilitation and/or education of people who are blind or visually impaired.

Visit the AFB scholarships website for further information and to fill out the application.

Please direct questions and comments to: American Foundation for the Blind Information Center, (800) 232-5463, afbinfo@afb.net

The National Federation of the Blind Offers 30 National Scholarships

To recognize achievement by blind scholars, the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) annually offers blind college students in the United States the opportunity to win one of thirty national scholarships worth from $3,000 to $12,000. See the NFB scholarship website for the rules on eligibility, requirements for documentation, and an online application form. Membership in the NFB is not required. The 2012 NFB Scholarship Program begins November 1, 2011. Application deadline: March 31, 2012.

The Gadling Travel Blog May Help with Holiday Travel Plans

Gadling is a frequently updated travel blog from AOL that may be a resource worth investigating as you make your holiday travel plans.

Gadling provides a variety of content addressing topics as diverse as dining in former Soviet Bloc countries to a series on traveling the Great American Highway. Destination and travel gear reviews are also available, and new content is posted throughout the day.

The outstanding accessibility feature of Gadling is its straightforward construction. Headings are used consistently to organize and identify individual items. Each of the approximately 10 articles that appear on each page is identified with heading level 2; and heading level 3 defines supplemental information, such as a photo gallery or site navigation options.

Beyond the individual articles, a link for "Next Page" makes navigating straightforward. Heading level 4 items organize categories of information such as International Tips, Dining Out Tips, and Cruise Tips.

Finally, links near the top and bottom of the page provide quick navigation to popular categories of articles including, Budget Travel, Travel Tech, and Adventure Travel.

The website's consistent structure makes using it on the iPhone, iPad, or iPod easier—especially handy when traveling and you want to leave the laptop at home.

An Assistive Technology Gift Certificate May Be the Perfect Gift Solution!

No need to try to guess what your loved one might want--give them a gift certificate, and they can choose for themselves!

This holiday season, HumanWare is offering gift certificates that can be used to purchase any item available from HumanWare. Their gift certificate is redeemable on phone orders and is valid for U.S. residents only. Visit the HumanWare website for more details.

Serotek Conquers a New Frontier for Blind Veterans

More than 13 percent of veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan have suffered severe eye injuries that result in blindness. In recognition of this year's Veteran's Day celebration, Serotek Corporation is offering all blind veterans a lifetime subscription to System Access Mobile Network (SAMNet).

SAMNet is Serotek's Internet communication portal that delivers content for the blind, with e-mail, news, blogs, podcasts, streaming radio, described video service for thousands of movies, and more. Through SAMNet, veterans have access to a new world of communication right at their fingertips.

"For many veterans sight loss is the new battleground," says Serotek's Chief Executive Officer, Mike Calvo. "We want to do our part to help them face the challenges ahead with the same tools and confidence they showed in service to our country."

To that end, Serotek is offering lifetime access to SAMNet for all legally blind U.S. veterans. Individuals who can provide proof of status as a legally blind veteran will be eligible for the program, which will officially kick off December 15. In addition to the content already available on SAMNet, Serotek will further customize the service by creating chat rooms, forums, and other exclusive communication channels to help facilitate networking opportunities among veterans.

To stay on top of this latest initiative, you can subscribe to the SAMNet-vets mailing list, where you can learn more about SAMNet and the program specifically designed for this population of the country's wounded warriors. You can also get an online overview of SAMNet and other Serotek products, and you can sign up to begin a 7-day free trial of these products and services.

AFB Press Announces New Release

AFB Press is pleased to announce the recent publication of an important new resource for teachers and other professionals, families, and anyone who works with or cares about children who are visually impaired. Learning to Listen/Listening to Learn: Teaching Listening Skills to Students with Visual Impairments is the first comprehensive book to address the systematic development of skills in listening for and interpreting auditory information. This topic is an often-overlooked but crucial area of instruction related to the expanded core curriculum, as well as to literacy, independent travel, and the sensory and cognitive development of children who are visually impaired, including those with multiple disabilities.

Edited by Lizbeth A. Barclay, Coordinator of the Assessment Program at the California School for the Blind, with contributions from a group of accomplished and experienced educators, Learning to Listen/Listening to Learn is a major contribution to the special education literature and contains in-depth information nowhere else compiled on an array of topics of compelling interest to educational professionals today: working with students with multiple disabilities, with students with learning disabilities, and with those who are English Language Learners, and with cutting-edge techniques such as Response to Intervention. The book is 560 pages long and is priced at $59.95, but is now available at a special pre-publication price of $49.95 until the end of this year. Learning to Listen/Listening to Learn is available in paperback and in ASCII as well as online as part of AFB's ePublications program.

Tis the Season to Travel: Take the AFB Travel Survey

Online travel services, such as travel aggregators, including Travelocity and Kayak, as well as hotel, airline, train, bus and ship websites offer customers the convenience of comparison shopping, purchasing, and managing their travel from the convenience of their computer or mobile device. AFB is seeking participants to complete a survey to help us understand more about the experiences of blind and visually impaired customers of online travel services. Please take a few moments and complete our survey.

ZoomText 10 Storms onto the Scene

AccessWorld readers with low vision will be happy to know, according to Ai Squared, ZoomText 10 is available and ready for sale.

You can make your purchase online or give them a call at 800-859-0270 (upgrade orders need to be placed over the phone). Ai Squared is also running a bunch of specials if you order by the end of the year.

If you want to try ZoomText 10 before you buy, visit Ai Squared's website and download a free 60-day trial.

A lot of new features have been incorporated into the new release, and you might need some training to make sure you're getting the most out of them. Visit Ai Squared's website to learn about a series of free webinars and sign up for a one-hour training session that exclusively covers the new features of ZoomText 10.

Ai Squared has also produced a quick video that covers all the new features in version 10. Check it out!

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Copyright © 2011 American Foundation for the Blind. All rights reserved. AccessWorld is a trademark of the American Foundation for the Blind.

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