Proper table Manners tips

Reading Time: < 1 minute

When an individual loses their eyesight, one struggle they will need to overcome is how to eat. Here are a few tips below:

 

  1. When you are searching your glass of drink, always put your hands at low as possible so you don’t hit the top of the glass and knock it over. Always put your drink at the same place so you can find it easier. Tell your waitress and your friends at the table to put drink at same location if they refill it.
  2. When eating, you will need a pusher. You can use a knife, or a piece of bread to help “push” your food on to your spoon or fork. Imagine it like a cane that helps you map out what you have on your plate.
  3. When a friend places food on your plate and explains what is on it, he or she can use an “imaginary clock,” on the plate to describe what is there. Describe it like what you would see on a typical analog clock.
  4. When cutting a steak, use a fork to spear the meat, and use a knife to cut between the tines. You will need to use both fork and knife to map out where the edge is and estimate size of cut. Practice makes perfect!
  5. It is ok to use your hands if all else fails. I would rather use my hands than have someone spoon feed me.
  6. Always eat your vegetables! There is no excuse! Trust me, playing the Blind Man Card gets old quick.

 

April 2021 Update

Reading Time: 2 minutes

 April 2021 Update

I am sure that some of you that have visited this website have been wondering why there have not been any updates lately. In July, my wife and I decided to move to a larger house. So, in that time we have been fixing up the old place and placed it on the market. Now we have the new place! We are settled and pretty much unpacked. As a Blind person getting used to a new house, I have the scrapes and bruises to prove it. But after a few months, I am now getting used to it and am enjoying this new place. I am now in back into this website and learning how to maintain it. If you have any suggestions, feel free to contact me anytime by filling out the contact us link above. Thank you and I hope you enjoy this update. Stay safe everyone!

Tip of the Month

When an individual loses their eyesight, one struggle they will need to overcome is how to eat. Here are a few tips below:

 

  1. When you are searching your glass of drink, always put your hands at low as possible so you don’t hit the top of the glass and knock it over. Always put your drink at the same place so you can find it easier. Tell your waitress and your friends at the table to put drink at same location if they refill it.
  2. When eating, you will need a pusher. You can use a knife, or a piece of bread to help “push” your food on to your spoon or fork. Imagine it like a cane that helps you map out what you have on your plate.
  3. When a friend places food on your plate and explains what is on it, he or she can use an “imaginary clock,” on the plate to describe what is there. Describe it like what you would see on a typical analog clock.
  4. When cutting a steak, use a fork to spear the meat, and use a knife to cut between the tines. You will need to use both fork and knife to map out where the edge is and estimate size of cut. Practice makes perfect!
  5. It is ok to use your hands if all else fails. I would rather use my hands than have someone spoon feed me.
  6. Always eat your vegetables! There is no excuse! Trust me, playing the Blind Man Card gets old quick.

New Resources

How to do a Dropbox File request with a Screenreader – A help file that have been edited for screenreader use on how to do a File Request on Dropbox.

Peloton Accessibility with talkback – Peloton directions on how to use Talkback.

Aira – Visual Interpreters Service – Professional Visual Interpreter Service to describe around you using smartphone cameras.

Humanware – Large company that makes high quality low-vision accessibility products.

HIMS Inc. – Large company that makes high quality low vision accessibility products.

Vispero – Large company that makes high quality low vision products.

National federation for the Blind – Advocacy group for the Blind by the Blind.

ANATAD podcasts – Android News, Apps, talks, and Deals Podcast on accessibility on Android based devices for the Blind.

Zoom Meeting Accessibility – Zoom Cloud Meeting Accessibility webpage for good tips and compliance status.

Previous Months

July 2020 Update

June 2020 Update

 

July 2020 Update

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Another excellent month has flown by. As we stay at home and stay safe from this pandemic, we are staying busy. One very exciting news update is that Apple just did their yearly WWDC 2020 announcement on the next major updates on their products. This update will be released this fall when the new iPhones come out. But with IOS 14 coming out, there are many new updates. Here are the highlights Here.  If you want to listen to the full keynote, Click here.

As the weather is getting warmer, I have been spending much of my time outside on the back deck enjoying the sun. I am still getting used to my new pellet smoker, but I am starting to get a hang of it. Anyway, I hope everyone has had a great month! Here are a few tips and resources for you guys. Feel free to leave a comment in the Contact Us page. Enjoy the weather guys!

Tip of the Month

Sometimes as a Blind person, I have to think outside the box. We are taught what is proper and what is not. For example, we should use a fork and knife to eat. But if you are unable, what do you do? Some individuals think that the ONLY way to eat is with a fork and knife. There are NO alternatives. If you are unable to do that, then life is hopeless. But wait! You CAN! You just have to try other methods to get the job done. Here is a favorite tip of mine. As a blind person, how do you put toothpaste on a toothbrush? I have gone through an entire tube of toothpaste before I realized that I don’t have to do the “proper” method that I was taught when I was little. The solution? Just keep your own tube of toothpaste and don’t share it. When you are ready to brush your teeth, just squirt a little bit in your mouth and brush away. No mess and no fuss!

People think it is impossible to vacuum or sweep floors when one is blind.  It is possible! I would suggest you walk barefoot so you can feel the floor and see if you did a good job or not. Then, when you vacuum or sweep, think of a grid pattern. Break up your rooms into smaller squares or rectangles. It will take you several weeks to get a pattern down pat.  Once you figure it out, it will come more naturally. I would also suggest you to treat a vacuum cleaner or broom like an extension to your cane. When you run your vacuum along the wall or near a couch or table, you can feel it bump along things. Last, walk around your house barefoot first to feel around to see if anything small is left on the floor.  For example: strings, shirts, debris, and so on. Establish the good habit of not throwing clothing on the floor when it is dirty.  Put things where they belong, so you won’t trip over them in the process of vacuuming or sweeping!

New Resources

Tab Keywords in Firefox – Here is a useful tool to take advantage of managing your tabs in Mozilla Firefox. Using a screenreader it may be useful.

Introduction to Android – An audio file on how to use an Android 1 phone using Talkback and it’s accessibility features.

Definitive Windows 10 keyboard Shortcuts – A list of Keyboard shortcuts that a screenreader may be helpful.

Do Not Disturb on iPhone & iPad – A breakdown on how to use the Do Not Disturb feature found on Apple IOS devices.

Visual Description of Icons on Apple iPhone & iPad – A useful description of all the Icons used in Apple IOS devices. Useful for Low Vision or Blind users.

Blind Ability A Podcast with a Blindness Perspective – Good resources on every day Blindness tips and tricks.

Sight And Sound Impaired (SASI) – Deaf-Blind support for individuals based in St. Louis, Missouri.

Kustom Cane – turn a plain Orientation Mobility Cane to a custom look that you want.

Blind Alive – An audio workout program that Blind people can use and enjoy.

MacfortheBlind – Certified Trainer to help you with your accessible Apple products.

Donna Jodhan – Blind Blogger with many stories to share.

guidelights and gadgets – Accessible tech on guide dogs, teams, and travel.

Sprint IP-Relay – Free online TTY- like relay for those who are Deaf, hard-of- hearing, or Deaf-Blind.

basic Windows Keyboard Podcasts – A list of beginners to pro Podcasts on how to use Windows Keyboard shortcuts.

GoSee4All – iPhone & iPad app for Deaf and Deaf-Blind to tune into TV Programming & Emergency Alerts.

DeafBlind Interpreting – great resource to increase Deaf-Blind Interpretering.

Protactile Communications – pro-tactile (PT) Communications and Principles.

Previous Months

June 2020 Update

 

Think outside of the Box

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Sometimes as a Blind person, I have to think outside the box. We are taught what is proper and what is not. For example, we should use a fork and knife to eat. But if you are unable, what do you do? Some individuals think that the ONLY way to eat is with a fork and knife. There are NO alternatives. If you are unable to do that, then life is hopeless. But wait! You CAN! You just have to try other methods to get the job done. Here is a favorite tip of mine. As a blind person, how do you put toothpaste on a toothbrush? I have gone through an entire tube of toothpaste before I realized that I don’t have to do the “proper” method that I was taught when I was little. The solution? Just keep your own tube of toothpaste and don’t share it. When you are ready to brush your teeth, just squirt a little bit in your mouth and brush away. No mess and no fuss!

People think it is impossible to vacuum or sweep floors when one is blind.  It is possible! I would suggest you walk barefoot so you can feel the floor and see if you did a good job or not. Then, when you vacuum or sweep, think of a grid pattern. Break up your rooms into smaller squares or rectangles. It will take you several weeks to get a pattern down pat.  Once you figure it out, it will come more naturally. I would also suggest you to treat a vacuum cleaner or broom like an extension to your cane. When you run your vacuum along the wall or near a couch or table, you can feel it bump along things. Last, walk around your house barefoot first to feel around to see if anything small is left on the floor.  For example: strings, shirts, debris, and so on. Establish the good habit of not throwing clothing on the floor when it is dirty.  Put things where they belong, so you won’t trip over them in the process of vacuuming or sweeping!

June 2020 Update

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Since March 17th 2020, Illinois has been on lockdown and we are having to shelter in place due to COVID-19. Since then I thought I’d be bored out of my mind and just sit around and do nothing. Boy was I wrong. I was busier than ever! I have had a chance to work from home remotely and support my consumers. As an Adaptive Technology Trainer, I have had the opportunity to really try out teaching Blind people how to use their computers, iPhone and Android phones. It has been challenging, but rewarding! I mostly use Zoom Cloud Meetings to connect to my consumers using the computer. I have used Skype and Google Hangout too. It all depends on what the consumer wants to train on and feels right at home, or comfortable with.

One thing I have taught myself is how to use my new Smoker/grill. I was apprehensive at first playing around with such a hot machine, but I grew confident in using my new grill. I will start creating posts on what I have done with it and how a Blind person can use it. Other than that, I am enjoying the nicer weather!  Now, here are a few news or tips that you may enjoy for this month.

Tip of the month – Conference Calling

Here is a short tutorial on some of the Tips & tricks I use when I dial in a conference line. Please Click here to read on.

Meet Me In the Cloud

Since this shelter started, one thing a lot of people are using for social distancing is the popular Zoom Cloud meeting program. The best thing of all is that it is very accessible with a screen reader. I have been using this on a daily basis for work, remote training, and meeting together with friends, and family. I can use Zoom Cloud meeting on my Windows 10 computer, Macintosh computer, I-Phone, and Android phone. You can even call in via a phone line if you don’t wish to learn or use the Zoom app.

One really helpful thing is that a man named Jonathan Mosen has offered a very extensive and well prepared audiobook on how a Blind person using a screen reader can use Zoom Cloud meetings. Since this shelter in place started, Jonathan is now offering his audiobook for free to anyone. Click here to download it, or learn more!

Bookplayer for I-Phone

I have learned about a new app for my iPhone. It is called Bookplayer. It is a very well designed yet very simple app that can play mp3 or mp4 files. It is very reliable and I never lost my place throughout the book. My top favorite parts of this app is that after 10 minutes of not listening to it, when you play, it will rewind back 30 seconds so you can get a brief recap of what you are listening to. So far I find this more reliable than VLC. To top this off, it is free! Click here to check it out.

Supersense AI for both I-Phone and Android

There is another app that can help Blind people to identify things around them. There are some options that are free and some features that you will have to pay for at the end of the free trial week. The best feature is that this app can be on both  iPhone or Android. Click on the links to see the reviews.

Amazon Accessibility Hotline

I have always known about the Amazon Accessibility Hotline. But I decided to investigate it a bit more this month. I called the (888) 283-1678 number and asked a few questions. I was surprised at how much they can and will help you with shopping on Amazon. They can search any product except Amazon Fresh and describe it to you. Then they can add the product to your Wish List or Cart. However, their only limitation is they cannot process your Cart order. This is understandable so it gives you full control on what you are purchasing. However, if you have an Amazon Alexa device, or the app on your smartphone/tablet, you can just ask Alexa to Purchase Item in Cart. No computers skills required! This is very helpful for those who have limited technology skills or limited in their ability to shop online. Check out Amazon’s Accessibility page here for more details.

Resources

Top Tech Tidbits website where you can see a weekly Top tech News on Accessibility for the Blind. You can also subscribe to an email Newsletter. Weekly updates come on every Thursday.

Missouri DeafBlind Technical Assistance project Missouri’s website on various Deaf Blind resources are listed here.

Double tap Online Accessibility News and reviews on accessible technology for the Blind.

 

 

 

 

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