Friday, May 29, 2009

Dear Mrs. Winston

I remember meeting you about a year ago when you were campaigning for a seat on my county's school board. You were walking through our neighborhood, ringing doorbells and shaking hands, trying to get your name in front of the voters.

When you stopped at my house, you asked if I had children in school. I chuckled and said yes. You just had to ask one more question then, didn't you? You wanted to know how things were going for my children.

I started to tell you, and then invited you inside since I knew the discussion would be a long one. At that point, I saw the panic in your eyes, and a new appointment you 'just couldn't miss' was revealed.

Well, Mrs. Winston, you did win the election and you are now the school board representative for my area, the area in which all my children's schools exist. In fact, you spoke at my son's senior honors assembly on Wednesday. You were one of the 'distinguished guests' the program said. However, I must take issue with something you said.

You were speaking directly to the seniors. You told them that the County School Board spent $9050.00 on each of them, and then followed that with the admonition that you expected great things for that money.

Well, here's my problem with your statements. I believe it is the taxpayers that spent that money - not the county school board. Yes, you write the checks, but we the parents, the grandparents, the neighbors, and the friends are making those checks good.

Oh, and one other thing, my son does not have to prove himself and make good on the money spent on him purely to make you and the rest of the school district staff feel good. He will definitely do well in life - he already is - and his teachers played an important role in that - but you, Mrs. Winston, really didn't do anything. So, in the future, please keep your admonitions to yourself.

Sincerely yours,
Ashley's Mom

p.s. Yes, we will probably have this same conversation at least three more times as my other children reach the end of their high school careers. Perhaps you would like to rethink your distinguished speech for them.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Thankful Thursday

This edition of Thankful Thursday is dedicated to my son, Chip. Chip graduates from high school this year, and I couldn't ask for a better son!

Today I am thankful...

  • that Chip has a plan for his life and is acting on that plan. I realize his plans may change, but I have no doubts that he will adjust as necessary.

  • that learning has come easily to Chip. With all the other 'things' in his life, not the least of which is being a sibling to three adopted children with disabilities, it is good that he didn't have to struggle academically also.

  • that Chip serves as a wonderful role model for his siblings. They can see the results of committment and drive. They can see his success and hopefully realize that their success can be defined also by their actions.

  • that Chip was accepted to the college of his choice and that the college is in our hometown. I wasn't quite ready for him to leave the nest just yet...

  • for the scholarships that Chip has received. It takes a bit of the weight off my shoulders.

  • for the awards and honors he received at his high school senior assembly yesterday, and that it really bothered him that not all his classmates received honors.

  • for the levelheaded way he is managing his money and preparing for the unexpected costs and fees associated with starting college.

  • that he has matured into a fine man, a man full of compassion and understanding, a man with a drive to make the world a better place.

  • and that he still calls me 'Mommy', but don't tell him I told you that!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Special Exposure Wednesday

UPDATE: We have a winner! Kitty and Queenbuv3, I took both guesses and researched them on the Internet. Here is a link I found for the Eye hawk Moth and one for the Hyalophora Cecropia. Based on that research, the winner is Queenbuv3!!! Queen, send me your mailing information via my email link on this page, and I will send your prize to you!

We had an unexpected visitor at our house yesterday afternoon! I have no idea if it is a butterfly or a moth (I'm leaning towards moth), but Ashley loved it! I have a special prize waiting for the person who can tell me exactly what it is :)

Be sure to check out all the other Special Exposure Wednesday shots at 5 Minutes For Special Needs!

Around the Blogosphere

Over the last week, I ran across several interesting stories on the Internet.

First, I never thought about what a hazard the new and very quiet electric cars could present to people who are blind. But apparently in the UK, someone has thought about it. Electric cars in the UK will be made to sound like noisy sports cars after concerns were raised that silent vehicles posed a danger to blind people and cyclists.

If folks have problems with that concept, perhaps we could turn the tables and put people who are blind behind the wheel of a car. That is exactly what the Colorado Center For The blind did!

And finally, since 18 month old Devin Sheppard is too young for driving school, his mother is worried that his blindness will create a major safety issue on the busy street on which they live. His mother, a woman from my home state of Virginia is trying to get drivers to slow down and be aware that her young son is blind. Her efforts included asking the transportation department to erect a sign indicating that a blind child lived on the street.

I have two signs on either end my road that state 'Deaf Child Area'. I asked to have it installed about 8 years ago, and had no problems from the transportation department in my area. But Devin's mother is finding that things have changed.

When Devin's mom contacted the Virginia Department of Transportation, a VDOT spokesperson said in 2007, at the recommendation of Virginia Board of People with Disabilities, they did away with specific signs for the blind or deaf, for example.

I sure would like to understand the reasoning behind that decision, and since the Virginia Board for People with Disabilities is housed in the office building right next to mine, I think I will pay them a visit.

How do other states handle this? Have you ever asked for a similar sign and either gotten it or been turned down?

Have you seen any interesting stories this week? If so, please share!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day

Saying thank you just doesn't seem like enough....

Friday, May 22, 2009

When Is It Bullying?

At the IEP meeting this week for my 16 year old son, Corey, a comment shared by one of Corey’s teachers was that Corey had a hard time knowing when his peers were joking around. Corey would take the joking personally and get upset and frustrated.

Corey is diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome and peer relationships have always been a bit of an issue for him. But, I was seeing a few red flags this time.

The day before the IEP meeting, Corey came up to me as soon as I arrived home from work, and in his typical ‘Corey style’, asked me, “Is it considered assault if someone comes up from behind, pulls back on your throat, and covers your mouth?” I told him yes, that could be considered assault in certain circumstances. He turned and left and appeared not to want to share anymore information.

The IEP meeting comment coming so close to Corey’s question, made me start thinking about bullying. I know most of our school systems are hypersensitive to the issue of bullying, and Corey’s IEP team was very responsive when I broached the subject. But, it just made me wonder. How do you know when joking around becomes bullying?

Normally, I would rely on how my child is feeling – does it feel like joking around or worse than that? But with Corey, and his often inaccurate reading of emotions, I just don’t know.

What are some of the warnings I should be on the lookout for? Have any of you had to deal with bullying and your child with disabilities, and if so, what tipped you off to the fact that it was happening?

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Today I am thankful...

  • for summer foods - pasta salad, marinated cucumbers, grilled bread

  • that Ashley only got up one time last night. I feel great when I get three hours of straight sleep!

  • that Dianne and her cutie son, Collin, are home from the hospital following his trach surgery

  • that Dancing With The Stars ended last night and American Idol ends tonight. I need to get back to doing something other than watching television!

  • for the upcoming three day weekend - three whole days with my family!

  • that Corey's IEP went very well yesterday. Of course, he's the easiest of my three receiving sped services for the schools to accommodate and teach appropriately

  • that my vegetable garden is growing well. The plants that were just a few inches tall when I planted, are now about 6-8 inches tall.

  • for meals with my children every night. I know so many families who seldom see their teenaged children.

  • that Jessica lost 3 pounds last month. Excess weight causes significant problems to her left leg and ankle but exercise and eating healthy are hard concepts for her to embrace.

  • for Fig Newtons - I LOVE them!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Special Exposure Wednesday

Today I want to be here:

or here:

or here:

But definitely not here:

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

What's In Your Crystal Ball?

I need your opinions on something.

Once a child with disabilities reaches middle school and beyond, schools place a bigger emphasis on vocational skills - preparing the children for jobs once school is over. IDEA 2004 definitely supports that:

In “Findings” of IDEA 2004 (Section 1400(c)), Congress found that “30 years of research and experience has demonstrated that the education of children with disabilities can be made more effective by having high expectations for such children,” educating them in the regular classroom so they can “meet developmental goals and, to the maximum extent possible, the challenging expectations that have been established for all children and be prepared to lead productive and independent adult lives, to the maximum extent possible.” (Section 1400(c)(5)(A))

But how does a school district and an IEP team determine what are appropriate vocational skills for a student? I would like to know your experiences, and if your child is too young for you to have addressed this issue yet, what are you expectations for the time when your child is old enough to discuss transition and vocational skills?

Here are some examples:

Do you feel it is appropriate for students with disabilities to have jobs in the school such as wiping tables and chairs in the cafeteria - or delivering mail and newspapers to the teachers - or cleaning up a classroom at the end of the school day? How about sorting utensils or putting toothbrush holders together? Or, learning how to use simple tools like a screwdriver and hammer? Would you like to see your child take care of plants in the school building or clean up/feed pets like hamsters or fish in the school?

Has your child had a great vocational training experience while in school? If you child is older and out of school, did the skills taught in the school contribute to their success as a young adult? Or, did you feel like your child was set afloat at the end of his/her school career with no skills to support productive employment?

What are your dreams for your child as they related to adulthood, employment and independent living? Do you feel your school team shares and understands your dreams?

And finally, are you frightened what the future holds for your child with a disability? I am, and that is why I need help with all these questions...

Monday, May 18, 2009

AWOL Nurse?

Two weeks ago, Ashley was injured at school. The teacher called me and said she was going to keep Neosporin in the cuts on Ashley’s hand and that she had tried putting a bandage on also, but Ashley would not keep it on.

Ashley still deals with sensory defensiveness, most likely related to the fact that she is deafblind, and she will not wear a bandage unless she is sedated.

I assumed that the injury was not too bad since the teacher didn’t mention taking Ashley to the school nurse. But, when she arrived home from school that same afternoon, I realized that assumption was incorrect.

The cuts on Ashley’s hands were dirty, red and swollen. I immediately took her to the pediatrician, and he prescribed a 14 day course of antibiotics.

I sent a note in the school the next day advising the teacher of the doctor’s treatment, and also asked why Ashley was not taken to the school nurse. The answer shocked me.

The school nurse was off the day that Ashley was injured. And, there was no substitute or backup nurse.

Besides the fact that there are several children in the school with significant disabilities, and who like Ashley are prone to seizures, any child in that school could be injured at any time. There could be accidents in gym class – there could be an onset of serious illness – there could be an injury in chemistry class – etc. etc. But on this particular day, and who knows how many other days – no licensed medical personnel were present.

So I invoked my rights as a citizen under the Freedom of Information Act, and asked for a copy of any policies or procedures relating to school nurse coverage for my county’s school. And here is the answer I received from the school’s attorney on Friday:

Please be advised that this office has no records responsive to your request. A document containing a specific policy or procedure that addresses school nurse coverage and backup school nurse coverage does not exist and has not been created.

And just for the record, I live in one of the wealthiest counties in my state. They can’t make sure that our children do not receive the care of a licensed healthcare provider during the school day?

Many words come to mind, but the ones I will share here are appalled, alarmed, frightened and angry.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Off To A Good Start?

You may not want to read this post immediately before or after a meal.

Those of you who are long time readers of my blog know how I hate camel crickets. For new readers, check here for what I really think about what I affectionately call the devil’s spawn.

Well, this morning when I went to dump dog food into my dog’s dish on the back patio, there was one of the wretched little creatures sitting right in the middle of the bowl. The evil angel on my shoulder took control and told me to dump the dog food on the cricket and maybe the dog would just eat it. I *loved* that idea, and it was exactly what I did.

I then woke Rocky dog up, sent him outside for breakfast, and watched while he gulped both his food and the cricket! I was congratulating myself – score one for me! Until…

Rocky dog came back into the house and while I was eating my Frosted MiniWheats, he decided to throw up. Being the mom of several children with special needs, vomit, even from a dog, doesn’t usually bother me. What bothered me was that the cricket came back up also – AND IT WAS STILL ALIVE!

So now I not only had this creature from hell in my house, it was covered in dog vomit and hopping all around.

I did the only rational thing I could think of - got out my trusty Dyson vacuum cleaner and sucked the little booger up. Now I will just have to convince one of my sons to take the vacuum container far far away and dump it. And I just hope I don’t have to hear the cricket jumping all around inside the Dyson.

So, how did your Friday morning start?

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Junk Drawers

I have a junk drawer – actually two of them. They’re filled with bits and pieces of my life through the years. A roll of ribbon, probably no more than 3 inches. A kitchen utensil with a plastic handle that I almost melted through by setting it on the edge of pan. A Barbie doll head – just the head. Old and broken jewelry. A small art project made by a child who is now 16 years older. Several black plastic knives and forks, remnants of a 40ish birthday party.

They are all things that seemed for some reason at the time too good to just throw away. I imagined I would have a use for them sometime in the future. But I never have. The drawer just keeps getting fuller until the day I decide to just throw everything away.

Do the rest of you do this? My school district does.

Children with special needs, especially the ones with the most significant needs, are put in my school district’s junk drawer. Their junk drawer is a classroom, usually tucked far away from the non-disabled children, and often all the drawers are stacked together in separate buildings.

The school staff has no idea what to do with these children, but they feel bad just throwing them away. So like my 3 inches of ribbon and my old and broken jewelry, our children with special needs are collected, their drawer closed while the staff tries to think of some use for them.

But they never do. Some years later, usually after the children have been in the junk drawer for 18 to 19 years, they are thrown out, the same way I clean out my kitchen junk drawer – only to start the collecting all over again.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Special Exposure Wednesday

So how do you get a 14 year old, deafblind girl with major sensory defensiveness issues to let you paint her toenails? Well, if you are Miss Amy, you wait until Ashley is asleep and very gently remove the comforter from her feet. Then paint away and Ashley wakes up to a very pleasant surprise! She loves having nail polish on her toenails but just hates the process of getting there (if she is awake).

Make sure to check out all the other Special Exposure Wednesday shots at 5 Minutes For Special Needs!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Kindle Protests Continue

Back in April, I wrote about the protest over Amazon’s decision to place restrictions on the text-to-speech functions of its Kindle 2 device. This weekend, I read an article about Amazon’s newest version of Kindle, one targeting college bound students who will be able to access their textbooks on the Kindle.

The author of the article, Nicki, is a typical teenager. Nicki was a premature baby who is now blind, has Cerebral Palsy, and Spastic Diplegia. The text of her very insightful article is listed below:

As many of you who are college bound may know, Amazon is releasing a new version of Kindle. This particular version has a larger screen, and is primarily being marketed at a textbook reader. The marketing has in fact been so successful that many universities, not the least of which is Princeton, intend to present their students with a kindle at the beginning of their first semester, preloaded with key textbooks they will require.

Until this point, I have been rather ambivalent about the Kindle protests. I was not incredibly keen on the fact that Amazon used DRM files or that when you bought a book, you only bought the right to access that book, and not a copy you could share as you could with a hardcopy. However, I am finally beginning to become incensed. This newest version does include the text to speech feature Amazon has been advertising, plus the controls and interface are completely inaccessible to the blind, making it all but useless. And that is quite frankly, unacceptable. Having access to usable textbooks in this format could eliminate so many of the accessibility barriers blind individuals face within higher education.

In order to obtain good quality Braille or audio materials, students are often forced to preregister for their next semester’s classes six months early simply so they can get a list of their textbooks. After the list is obtained, they either have to give it to their Disability Services Office who will, if they are fortunate, have it transcribed into Braille through a service hired by the college, or they must contact Recordings For The Blind and Dyslexic, and send them a copy of the book so they can make a recording which will then be sent back to them. Downloading a textbook through kindle by comparison would only take seconds to a minute.

This would eliminate the constant stress of worrying about whether your books would reach you by the start of classes, even with all your prior planning and work. And although it would still be advisable for blind students to preregister, preregistering would not determine whether they had the books to begin the next semester.

I believe that by not making their kindle fully accessible to those of us with visual impairments, Amazon is making a grave marketing error. There is a large willing market for this product, especially for a version of the product specifically promoted as a textbook reader. Yes, making the Kindle accessible would take time, money, and effort. However, the profit Amazon would recoup would more than make up for whatever initial investments had to be made. That should be clear by the number of people who protested at the NYC author’s guild meeting, and by the fact that this is not fading from the blind community’s consciousness. We wish to be able to access books in the same format as the sighted, and we are more than willing to pay.

I hope Amazon takes these factors into consideration when designing the next version of Kindle. Having an accessible kindle would be a winning situation for both sides, exposing a new market for Amazon, and eliminating one of the greatest barriers which exists for blind students within secondary education.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Not Funny At All

Last night while I was ironing and folding laundry I watched a little bit of the TV show, America’s Funniest Videos. It’s not a show I watch regularly, and after last night, I may never watch it again.

Two things bothered me greatly about some of the videos shown last night. First, I saw several – more than three – videos of children on bikes or skateboards or motorized scooters and NONE OF THEM WERE WEARING HELMETS OR OTHER PROTECTIVE GEAR.

These videos were of the children falling or crashing. Apparently some folks find that very funny. I’m not one of them. Or maybe since Extreme Makeover Home Edition follows America’s Funniest Videos, the producers feel that they can address any serious injuries by building the participants a new house later.

Regardless of the humor factor of these videos, what message are we sending to children, children who probably already argue with their parents about wearing helmets and protective gear?

The second video on the show that irritated me showed three young women, college age it appeared, who were helping a squirrel get ‘unstuck’ from a tree. The squirrel had gotten its head stuck in a hole in the tree, and the three young women were tugging and twisting in an attempt to help it. It was pretty funny – at least until one of the young women yelled at one of the others, “You’re so retarded.”

Come on, ABC, you should know better than that. At least edit out that part of the video. Again, the show that follows America’s Funniest Videos does a fine job of disability awareness and sensitivity. So, surely AFV could also.

I’m very disappointed, ABC…if you even care.

(the video shown below is not from AFV, but it is representative of the types of things shown on AFV)

Friday, May 8, 2009

Allowed To Be Creative?

Back on March 27th, I wrote about the Gimp Project – a group of New York dancers with disabilities expressing themselves creatively in unexpected ways.

I came across another article about the group in the New York Times, and found another great video on YouTube to share with you.

Lawrence Carter Long, age 42 and one of the principal dancers, has a comment on the video that I found to be quite insightful. Mr. Long said, “People with disabilities are allowed to be inspirational; they are allowed to be heroic, and sometimes are even allowed to be pathetic. What they are not allowed to be is creative.”

I’m pleased that the Gimp Project is working to change that, and I plan on doing all I can also. I hope you will do the same…

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Today, I am dedicating my Thankful Thursday list to my children in honor of Mother's Day. Today I am thankful...

  • for the way Ashley leans against me and falls asleep for 10 minutes each school morning while we wait for her bus

  • for the pride Corey displays when he is wearing his JROTC uniform. He deserves to feel proud of himself.

  • that Chip offered to buy a week's worth of groceries for me for Mother's day. I said no, of course, but it was very sweet that he was willing to do it.

  • that Jessica still calls me every single night, even if it is just to yell at me.

  • that Ashley is still very much a Momma's Girl. All my children are growing up so quickly and it is hard to let go of the closeness of their younger lives.

  • that finally after 4 years, Corey does seem to be an integral part of our family.

  • for the sweet way Chip touches Ashley on her cheek each morning, even if she is being Miss Grumpy Pants

  • that Jessica still tells everyone that she thinks I am beautiful

  • that all my children are growing into fine people, people who care, people who I am convinced will make a positive difference in this world

  • and finally, for the child I have yet to find but hope to bring home one day in the near future

Happy Mother's Day!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Special Exposure Wednesday

This is a picture I took of my friend, Lynnette and her beautiful daughter, Brooke a couple of weeks ago. Both of them are having a rough go of things right now and could surely use some prayers. Thank you....

Be sure to stop by 5 Minutes For Special Needs and see all the other Special Exposure Wednesday photos!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Celebration Not Contemplation

Sometimes you just can't make us parents of children with significant disabilities happy.

When our child who has had 2-3 seizures a day for the last 5 years suddenly goes a week without a seizure, we wonder what's wrong. We worry about some new twist in our child's complex medical situation rather than celebrating a week without a seizure.

When our child who hasn't slept through the night ever (and they are 14 years old) suddenly starts sleeping 6 hours straight, we still get up every hour to make sure they are still breathing.

When our child who has never let anything but water, room temperature water, pass through their lips decides one day to pick up our glass of iced tea and chug it, we look on in disbelief and then start looking for whatever caused the universe to shift.

We, or actually I should say I, need to learn to relax more. I need to accept that there are just as many good things as bad things going on in my child's complex little body. Sometimes I won't be able to find explanations for changes. I just need to accept change as a part of my child's normal growth and maturation process.

I need to celebrate all the good moments even if I can't explain them, because if I can't do that, how can I ever expect my child to do likewise?

Hail To The King

At a school meeting held several weeks ago to discuss Ashley’s need for communication support, consultants and school staff alike scoffed at me when I replied to a very important question. Their question was “What did I believe the future held for Ashley?”

Before I could even begin to speak, one person said, “Well, you don’t ever see her living on her own, do you?” Another said, “We need to work on her vocational skills, don’t we?” When I finally could speak, I said, “I see her living as independently as she chooses. I see her having a job she enjoys and wants to go to each day. I hope she meets a man she loves and wants to spend her life with, and I hope she enjoys motherhood.”

Their jaws dropped, and then the subject changed. I wonder if Dan Keplinger’s mother experienced something similar.

I met Dan about 5 years ago when he came to speak at an inclusion conference in my city, and he then very graciously agreed to spend the evening at our Dreamcatcher’s support group meeting. To say that meeting Dan changed my life is an understatement, and I believe if you will take a few minutes to get to know him, your life will be changed also.

Dan is an artist as well as a motivational speaker. Stop by his website, and check out his art. And, if you live in the Baltimore area, he has several shows scheduled in the next few months. If after visiting his website, and viewing the movie of his life, as aired on HBO, you need further convincing that no one should ever put limits on our children with special needs, then view this video of his recent wedding.

And just for the record, school staff, I dare you to ever, ever put limits on my child again.

Friday, May 1, 2009

2009 - Blogging Against Disablism Day

Although I originally published this post in December 2007, I decided to bring it back for the 2009 Blogging Against Disablism Day. To me, the issue is still, if not more, relevant today... and make sure to check out all the other BADD posts at Diary of a Goldfish. Trust me, you won't be disappointed.

Esbee at the Life in Forsyth blog sent me this link, and asked what I thought about it. The story is about parents of children with autism who decided to start a charter autism school because they did not feel the public schools were meeting their childrens' needs, especially as their children entered their teens. Like a lot of parents, in fact probably most parents, of children with disabilities, the school time clock seems to move in double speed. Before we know it, our children are in high school and fears for their futures loom. Even if parents begin fighting school battles early in their child's educational journey, those battles take a long time to resolve. Valuable years can easily be lost - and skills fall further and further behind. But is the answer to pull our children with disabilities out of public school and start a new school which serves just one disability?

The story Esbee sent me was from Minneapolis, but the story is not unique. I believe in communities across the country, parents continue to struggle with a similar decision. Several years ago in my city, parents did the same thing the parents in Minneapolis are trying to do. Faison School was established to serve children with autism, children whose parents believed the public school system had failed them. There is now a waiting list for students to attend Faison, and several of the parents who have children at this school feel the change made a successful difference in their child's life. My concern is that such schools promote segregation, and I'm not sure that segregation is a good thing for our children with disabilities.

My children go to the same shops and stores that everyone else does. They go to the same church. They go to the same YMCA and the same childcare facility. They go on the same vacations and to the same restaurants as the rest of my family. They live in the same house and check books out of the same library. So what is so unique about schools that those same children must be segregrated from their peers? Yes, they need to be educated in different ways sometimes, but those different educational techniques do not, in my opinion, require them to be physcially kept apart from others.

The parents in the article that Esbee sent me spoke of the "illusion of inclusion", and I agree with them that inclusion has failed in most places. School districts say it is because of low funding, but to me it seems low commitment to the concept is the bigger problem. Also, I'm not sure that our university teacher preparation programs do a good enough job of showing that inclusion can work and instructing new teachers how to make it work.

With that said, I do understand why the parents in Minneapolis and other cities across the county are looking outside their public school systems for a better choice for their children. As parents, we always strive to do what is in the best interest of our children - especially looking to their future. And, if a school existed in my area that specialized in children with deafblindness, I probably would look into it as an option for Ashley.

I do believe, however, that as parents we must consider the whole of our childrens' futures, not just their educational needs. While those needs are extremely important, so too is the ability to live and function in a society that is composed of many different people and places. If we want our children to be fully included as adults, we must strive to have them fully included as children. Segregation in any form frightens me...

Geeky Friday

One of the wonderful things about having a geek for a son is that I find out about all the new products being developed or already available for people who are blind, deaf, or deafblind.

Chip, my 18 year old geek, was so excited to share information about the potential of the Kindle E-Book reader as a tool for a person who is blind. He was so impressed he said he wished he had thought of it first because he could probably become a very wealthy person as a result! Check out these two stories about the Kindle as a tool for the Blind. It’s not a reality yet, but it seems very close to becoming one.

Kindle for the Blind

Kindle for the Blind - Part Deux

But then every geek also has a playful side, and as a result, Chip also found this story about adapting a Rubik’s Cube for someone who is blind:

Accessible Rubik's Cube

And finally, although the previous stories were about devices still being planned, here is a device that is a reality. People who are blind are now able to ‘visualize’ rides at Disney World. Personally, this one doesn’t interest me as much because I almost always have my eyes tightly shut on any amusement park ride!

Disney World Device

Happy Friday, everyone.