edited by Sharon Strzalkowski
The announcement of products and services in this column does not represent an endorsement by the American Council of the Blind, its officers, or staff. Listings are free of charge for the benefit of our readers. “The ACB Braille Forum” cannot be held responsible for the reliability of the products and services mentioned. To submit items for this column, send a message firstname.lastname@example.org, or phone the national office at 1-800-424-8666, and leave a message in Sharon Lovering’s mailbox. Information must be received at least two months ahead of publication date.
BADIE Contest from Audio Description Project
The American Council of the Blind’s Audio Description Project (ACB-ADP) and the Described and Captioned Media Program (DCMP) are co-sponsoring an exciting opportunity for blind and visually impaired young people, in three age range categories from ages 7 to 21: the Benefits of Audio Description in Education (BADIE) contest.
Kids love movies! Multimedia experiences are integral to public, private, and special education curriculum. Audio description provides access to all the visual images of the films and videos that sighted young people enjoy.
Students choose an audio-described film or video from the more than 6,000 titles available through DCMP — visit www.dcmp.org. Or a young person who is blind can borrow an audio-described video or film from a library, and dozens of audio-described films videos are available for purchase through the ACB-ADP’s website at www.acb.org/adp/dvds.html.
Reviews can be submitted in writing, in braille or via an audio recording. Register for the contest at http://listeningislearning.org/badie_entry-form.html. Entries can also be submitted via e-mail or postal mail (submissions from outside the United States are fine) to: ACB-DCMP Benefits of Audio Description In Education, 1703 N. Beauregard St., Suite 420, Alexandria, VA 22311; email@example.com; or phone (202) 467-5083.
The deadline for entries is Nov. 30. Winners will be chosen by January 2017, and the grand prize winner will receive an iPad Mini! Each first-place winner will receive a $100 iTunes gift card. Second-place winners will receive a $50 iTunes gift card, and third-place winners will receive a $25 iTunes gift card. Each supporting teacher who has a winning student will be awarded a $100 Amazon gift card.
Ski for Light 2017
There’s still a bit of time to apply for Ski for Light 2017! Visit www.sfl.org to apply for this year’s annual week of skiing, sharing and learning in Colorado, Feb. 5 through 12, 2017. Applications are being accepted on a space-available basis.
Holiday Cards Available
The Hadley Woman’s Board now has braille holiday cards available. The original artwork, a small forest of Christmas trees created with various colors of paper (some green, some red, some striped, some with handwriting on them, etc.), with snow underneath them and a bluish-purple sky, was done by Jennifer James, a mixed-media artist in Hadley’s communications department. Matching gift tags are also available. For more information, call 1-800-323-4238, or visit www.hadley.edu/holidaycard.
ACB Non-24 Survey
ACB is conducting a survey on Non-24-Hour Sleep-Wake Disorder. Why? So that we and the research firm can better understand Non-24. The survey is brief, and is designed to answer some basic questions about Non-24 including prevalence, severity, opinions among blind individuals regarding treatment options, and general views on this condition. Survey participants will be entered to win a $100 gift card. The winner of the prize will be drawn at random from the survey participants after the survey closes. To take the survey, visit https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Non24Survey2016.
Glucose Monitor Compatible with iPhone
Apple removed the headphone jack and DarioHealth Corp., developer of the Dario™ Blood Glucose Monitoring System, announced the first connected glucose monitor to be compatible with iPhone 7’s lightning jack.
DarioHealth is a pocket-sized, all-in-one digital glucose meter coupled with a mobile app to manage diabetes quickly, efficiently and accurately. It connects to your mobile device and automatically logs your blood glucose measurements, giving you the ability to share your results with caregivers and physicians anywhere. There are additional food, emotional and environmental logs available to provide a holistic look at your health.
Dario Glucose Monitoring System for iPhone 7 will launch in early 2017. The kit will include lancets, test strips, and the smart meter. For more information, call 1-800-895-5921, or visit https://mydario.com/.
Adult Rehabilitation and Employment Survey
If you are blind or visually impaired, reside in the United States, and are at least 18 years of age, we cordially invite you to participate in this survey. The purpose of this survey is to gain a better understanding of your experiences as an adult who is blind or visually impaired, including your experiences with education, employment, training, and vocational rehabilitation.
This survey should not take more than 10 minutes of your time. If you complete this survey, you will be entered into a drawing in which 5 individuals will win a $100 Visa gift card. To take the survey, visit www.pdrib.com/ares, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (318) 257-2029.
Thank you for taking the time to help us understand the experiences of adults with visual impairments.
If you have questions or concerns about this survey, contact Edward Bell, Principal Investigator, Professional Development and Research Institute on Blindness, at (318) 257-4554, or via e-mail, email@example.com.
Social Security Changes Online
Do you use My Social Security online? If so, you need to be aware of these changes.
My Social Security account holders must now use their cell phones — in addition to their username and password — as another authentication factor during online registration and every sign in. When you register or sign in, we send you a security code on your cell phone that you must enter.
This new requirement is the result of an executive order for federal agencies to provide more secure authentication for their online services. Any agency that provides online access to a customer’s personal information must use multifactor authentication. We take the security of the public’s information very seriously, and we are committed to employing the best technologies and standards available.
For more information about these changes, visithttps://faq.ssa.gov/link/portal/34011/34019/ArticleFolder/466/my-Social-....
Need Feedback from Humana Members
Last year, Humana, ACB and three blind Humana customers announced that the insurance company had agreed to provide ScripTalk talking and braille prescription labels to all members through its online pharmacy and in its seven store locations in Florida. The company also agreed to provide members with alternative formats for all insurance information, including Explanations of Benefits (EOBs), privacy statements, billing, and other documents. Alternative formats include braille, large print, audio and accessible PDF.
It’s been one year since our agreement was announced, and we want to hear from you about how Humana is doing. If you are a Humana member, please let us know by e-mailing Lainey at LF@LFLegal.com, or by leaving a message at (510) 548-5062. If you are getting talking or braille labels from Humana, please let us know how the system is working. And if you have requested that your insurance documents come in alternative formats, let us know about that too. We are also interested in hearing about any other accessibility issues with the company.
If you are a Humana member and have not asked for accessible labels or alternative formats, we encourage you to do so today. Humana has been a great negotiating partner with ACB and is very committed to its accessibility initiative.
For more information, visit Humana’s accessibility page, https://www.humana.com/accessibility-resources.
Hearne Award Recipient
Arlene B. Mayerson, directing attorney at the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF), received the American Bar Association’s Paul G. Hearne Award for Disability Rights. The ABA Commission on Disability Rights selected Mayerson for her commitment and service as a disability rights advocate.
Created in 1999, the award honors the work of Paul G. Hearne, a lawyer with congenital connective tissue disorder who became a leader in the disability rights movement. The award, co-sponsored by Starbucks Coffee Co., was presented at a reception in August.
News from BANA
The Braille Authority of North America (BANA) held its 2016 spring meeting May 19–21. At the meeting, BANA’s board approved the 2016 revision of “Braille Formats: Principles of Print-to-Braille Transcription.” It is now being prepared for publication and will be available on the BANA website shortly. Hard-copy versions will be available for purchase later.
The board also approved an expanded version of “Provisional Guidance for Transcription Using the Nemeth Code within UEB Contexts.” It is now available at www.brailleauthority.org/mathscience/math-science.html.
The board approved another guidance document, “Provisional Guidance for Transcription Using the Chemistry Code within UEB Contexts.” It will be available soon on BANA’s website.
BANA recently published the expanded Braille Music Code, 2015. It is available for download in two electronic versions — PDF and BRF, which are available on the BANA website at http://www.brailleauthority.org/music/music.html. Hard-copy versions will soon be available from the American Printing House for the Blind, www.aph.org, or call 1-800-223-1839.
New President of the World Blind Union
Fred Schroeder was elected president of the World Blind Union at its August general assembly. For the past four years, Fred has served as first vice president of the WBU, and has led an effort to implement international standards for the sound to come from hybrid or quiet cars to make them identifiable by pedestrians who are blind or visually impaired.
ACB has worked with Fred on many international issues and looks forward to continuing to support the objectives of the World Blind Union during his term as WBU president.
New Study Finds that Blindness Will Double by 2050
A study published by researchers at the University of Southern California Roski Eye Institute in JAMA Ophthalmology found that the U.S. prevalence in visual impairment and blindness is expected to double over the next 35 years. By 2050, the number of Americans with a variety of eye disease and impairment issues, including age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy and cataracts, will dramatically increase, impacting both individuals and society.
The National Eye Institute-funded study found that by 2050, 16.4 million Americans over age 40 will have visual impairments, compared to 8.2 million in 2015. More than 2 million age 40+ will be blind, and 6.95 million will have VI by 2050, compared to 1.02 million and 3.22 million in 2015.