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AFB  ®
Technology News for People Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired
From the American Foundation for the Blind
 April 2012 Issue  Volume 13  Number 4

AccessWorld News

AccessWorld News

2012 AFB Leadership Conference*
FAER State Conference

Registration is now open for the joint 2012 AFB Leadership and Florida AER Conference.

Tradewinds Island Resorts
St. Pete Beach, Florida
May 4-5, 2012
(Pre-conference on May 3)

Come hear experts in the field, such as pre-conference keynote speaker Dr. Karen Wolffe and conference keynote speaker Kevin O'Connor, as they lead informative and enlightening sessions on topics such as:

Leadership: Facing current and future challenges
Technology: Looking at what's new and on the horizon
Education: Meeting the needs of the visually impaired
Rehabilitation: Implementing cutting-edge tips

We thank our event partners:

  • Florida Association of Agencies Serving the Blind
  • Florida Division of Blind Services
  • Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind
  • Florida Instructional Materials Center for the Visually Impaired

*Previously known as the Josephine L. Taylor Leadership Institute.

American Foundation for the Blind Scholarship Program 2012

American Foundation for the Blind (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.
    • Applicants need not be US citizens, but must reside in the US. Preference given to New York City metropolitan area residents, and new immigrants to the US.
  • Gladys C. Anderson Memorial Scholarship: One scholarship of $1,000
    • Undergraduate or graduate study in classical or religious music.
    • Applicants must be female.
  • Karen D. Carsel Memorial Scholarship: One scholarship of $500
    • Graduate study in any full-time program in any field.
    • Applicants 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.
    • Applicants 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

    Joseph Roeder Assistive Technology Scholarship Application Due May 5, 2012

    National Industries for the Blind (NIB) is seeking applicants for the Joseph Roeder Assistive Technology Scholarship, a $2,500 scholarship to an individual who is blind, interested in pursuing education in computer science, information systems or a related field, and pursuing a career in access technology. The scholarship is named in memory of Joe Roeder, who served as senior access technology specialist at NIB from 1997 until his death in 2010.

    Joe Roeder had 40 years of experience in the fields of design engineering, electronic information systems, training and business management, including experience as a mechanical and nuclear engineer at Bechtel Power Corporation. He was instrumental in the development of Section 508 of the Electronic and Information Technology Accessibility Standards, which requires all federal government agencies to provide accessible data and information for employees with disabilities.

    Individuals to be considered for the scholarship are entering their third or fourth year of college or graduate school, or are changing careers to pursue a career in assistive technology.

    All applications and additional documents must be submitted online no later than May 5, 2012. The top candidates will be interviewed by phone during the week of May 21, 2012, and the winner will be announced in June 2012. The scholarship application is available online.

    If you have any questions, please e-mail Kathy Gallagher or call 703-310-0343.

    AT Guys Releases App for Blind Bargins

    AT Guys has released an iOS app for Blind Bargains, the resource for deals and news for the blind and visually impaired community. The app can be used to browse the latest deals and classifieds, listen to their podcasts, and search for products directly from your mobile device. The app is free, and is available now from the iTunes app store. According to AT Guys, their Android app is coming soon.

    Hadley Family Education Courses Now Available on eReaders

    The Hadley School for the Blind now offers three courses in its Family Education Program in a new medium, the eBook. Upon enrollment, students will receive a link to the download page, where they can select a format appropriate for their eBook reader. Hadley eBook courses are compatible with Amazon Kindle, Barnes and Noble Nook, Sony Reader, iBooks app for iPhone/iPod/iPad, and any other eBook reader that accepts ePub or MobiPocket file formats.

    The courses include You, Your Child and Your Community, Beginning the Special Education Journey, and How to Be Your Child's Advocate. Hadley's Family Education courses are offered tuition-free to parents or grandparents of a blind or severely visually impaired child as well as spouses, adult daughters or sons, or adult siblings of a blind or severely visually impaired adult. The eBook format is especially convenient for busy parents on the go.

    Hadley has provided tuition-free distance education courses to its blind and visually impaired students and their families and affordable tuition courses to blindness professionals since 1920. Since 2002, the school has offered online courses.

    "We have now been offering online courses for ten years. As we pass this important milestone, we move into the next phase of online education, [which is] mobile learning, or mLearning, which offers students the ability to complete coursework from their mobile devices, thus enabling them to learn on the go, on demand. I am excited to be on the cutting edge of this important trend in technology and distance education," says Hadley President Chuck Young.

    For more information about Hadley courses available on eReaders or the school's mLearning initiative, please visit the Hadley School for the blind website..

    Take the AFB Travel Survey

    Spring is in the air, and it is time to start thinking about upcoming vacation plans. Whether you will be traveling by plane, train, boat, or bus, you most likely will want to use travel websites and services to plan your trip.

    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.

    Have you had difficulty accessing these types of online services? Have you found a great site that is fully accessible? We want to hear from you. Please take a moment to complete AFB's 17 question survey to help us understand more about the experiences of blind and visually impaired customers of online travel services.

    Results of this survey will appear in a future AccessWorld article.

    Thanks for your input!

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