Chick-Fil-A on Metcalf

Where:  6039 Metcalf Ave, Mission, KS 66202

Cost:  Free!  (But you could always buy a sandwich.)

Web site:  http://www.cfarestaurant.com/missioncrossing/home

On a recent teacher work day, Efrit took Peanut to the Chick-Fil-A on Metcalf to while the afternoon away.  It’s cold, so the play place was a major draw for them both (Peanut because he likes to play, and Efrit because he likes for Peanut to burn off some energy).

These are their comments on the play area:

  • Efrit stated that the play place was a lot like the one in near the Kansas Speedway.  Peanut politely disagreed, stating that the slide was longer and there were more stairs to climb.
  • Efrit noted that the aisles in the restaurant are a bit cramped, but that this is to accommodate a larger customer base.  He said it was packed, but very clean for as busy as it was.  An employee even stopped by and asked if she could refill his drink, which impressed him greatly (Chick-Fil-A is, after all, fast food).
  • Efrit took tons of pictures of the play area.  Based on his photos, there’s a 3-and-under area that has a mirror and spinny toys, and a larger play area for kids to climb, run, and slide.

If you’re looking for a good indoor place to play, I’m a fan of Chick-Fil-A.  It sounds like Peanut and Efrit were fans of this Chick-Fil-A, too.

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NOPBC t-shirt sale

We have the “keep calm it’s just a cane,” and it’s fabulous. From the mailbag:

We parents are at it again. Please consider purchasing one (or more!)
t-shirts to support the work of the National Organization of Parents of
Blind Children, a proud division of the National Federation of the Blind.
These shirts make great presents, too!

Keep Calm and Braille On? t-shirts may be ordered at
http://www.booster.com/nopbcbraille3 in either Charcoal grey or Teal Blue
in sizes Youth X-Small through Adult 4X-Large. Each shirt costs $18 and is
screened onto a Hanes Tagless T-shirt.

Keep Calm It?s Just A Cane? t-shirts may be ordered at
http://www.booster.com/nopbccane3 in either Purple or Red in sizes Youth
X-Small through Adult 4X-Large. Each shirt costs $18 and is screened onto a
Hanes Tagless T-shirt.

The campaign closes December 1st. That means orders can be placed up to and on the 1st. After that, we cannot take additional orders. Shirts will ship on/around December 15th, so recipients should get them in plenty of time for holiday gifts.

Thank you for your support!

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Magic Moves Gets Your Kids Up and Wiggling

We bought our Magic Moves Electronic Wand last year based on a review in a parents’ magazine, and I am so glad we did. It took a while for the kids to really fall in love with it–and the influx of space of moving to our new house from our formerly cramped abode–but now it is an almost constant companion.

Our Magic Moves Electronic Wand:

IMG_1710.JPG

This toy is amazing for kids who have little to no sight: all you need is a safe, open, space and a little imagination, and you can play just like everybody else. The top and bottom of the wand light up, and it gives instructions to “prance like a pig,” ” slither like a snake,” or “stomp like a dinosaur,” before playing music for a few minutes for the kids to do the action to. It’s easy to hold and handle and loud enough to hear easily. This toy is definitely a winner in my book.

Click here to see the toy on YouTube: http://youtu.be/yfXouDVhruM

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Help CCVI win some dough!

From the mailbag:

You can help CCVI win some dough! Please take a minute to vote for CCVI and then please share the opportunity on your social channels and encourage your friends to vote for CCVI, too!

Here’s the direct link to vote:

http://surveys.emfluence.com/8f42e9f1-09cd-4915-a85c-4c5e2675c449

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2015 NFB Scholarship Program

From the mailbag:

National Federation of the Blind 2015 Scholarship Program

Deadline: March 31, 2015
Are you a legally blind college student living in the United States or Puerto Rico? This annual program offers 30 scholarships worth from $3,000 to $12,000 to eligible students, from high school seniors beginning their freshman year in the fall semester of 2015, up through grad students working on their PhD degrees. These merit scholarships are based on academic excellence, community service, and leadership. In addition to the money, each winner will receive assistance to attend the July 2015 NFB annual convention in Orlando, Florida, providing an excellent opportunity for high-level networking with active blind persons in many different professions and occupations. To apply, read the rules and the Submission Checklist, complete the official 2015 Scholarship Application Form (online or in print), supply all required documents, and request and complete one interview by an NFB affiliate president (unless the president requests a later date). Applications are accepted for five months, from November 1, 2014, to March 31, 2015. Go to http://www.nfb.org/scholarships for complete rules and requirements.

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Study recruitment: accessibility of online courses

From the mailbag:

Accessibility of Online Courses

Georgia Tech is conducting a research study on the usability and accessibility of college level courses that are taught online. At the present time, we are focusing on accessibility of these types of courses for those with vision impairments. We would like to interview students who are blind or have low vision. The interview will be conducted over the telephone at your convenience. It will take about an hour. During this telephone interview, we will ask questions about your experiences with these online courses, what features of the courses assisted in making the material accessible, what features of the courses made the material inaccessible, and how you felt about your ability to interact with the professors and other students using the online course interface. You will be paid $20 for taking part in this interview. If you would like to participate, please contact Maureen Linden at Maureen.linden@coa.gatech.edu or 404.894.0561

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Tactile Puzzle/Book Set

From FamilyConnect,org, and too cool not to share:

Hungry Fingers Tactile Puzzle Set

Date Posted: 11/11/2014
Hungry Fingers Tactile Puzzle Set
Print/braille/tactile book with wooden magnet puzzle, $25.00

We have a limited supply of these – order soon!

Created by Hungry Fingers (a one-man company out of Poland), this unique tactile storybook and accompanying wooden puzzle teach blind children how to construct a tactile image progressively.

As the story unfolds, a character emerges, one body piece at a time, giving the child a chance to follow the sequence until the whole “mystery character” is formed.

Spoiler alert! The book does not have a title. That’s because the child is unaware of what is being formed until the very end of the story. Only then is the child asked to give the teddy bear a name – which then becomes the new title of the book. The child feels that he or she has a hand in bringing the bear to life!

Try not to give the secret away!

After the concept of “drawing a bear” is understood, each child can construct his or her own teddy bear using the puzzle pieces. The tactile drawings in the book match the sturdy wooden, magnetic puzzle pieces, encouraging kids to make the connection between the drawing and the real puzzle piece.

The Hungry Fingers Puzzle Set includes print/braille/tactile book, 8-piece wooden, magnetic puzzle, and a magnetic board to build upon.

Contact: Customer Service
Phone: (617) 266-6160 ext. 520
Email: orders@nbp.org
URL: http://www.nbp.org/ic/nbp/HUNGRY.html

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Survey on Talking Books

From the mailbag:

Hi All,
I am a long time member of the NFB of NJ, as well as the president of
the New Jersey Association of Blind Students. I am currently working
as a research assistant at New York University sponsored by the NSF,
researching the history of audio books and materials. It would be
hugely helpful if you could fill out this survey below and let us know
your feedback on audio materials. Researching audio materials not only
helps to advance knowledge, but it also preserve a piece of the
history of the blind. Thanks for your time. Let me know if you have
any other questions about our work or if you would like to chat.

Shafeka

We are conducting research on the history of Talking Books, especially
records and cassettes. We are interested in people’s experiences with
the technology and with aural reading. Thank you for taking a few
moments to answer the questions below. Brief or long responses are
equally welcome!

1. Which Talking Books have been particularly memorable to you?

2. What did you like or dislike about the narrators? Were certain
characteristics of voice or pacing important to you?

3. Have you listened to things besides books in Talking Book format,
such as letters or announcements or described films?

4. Any reflections on the technology itself, especially early model
Talking Book record players or cassette machines?

5. Before home computing, did you engage in other forms of aural
reading, for instance radio reading or optophones?

6. Any other notable experiences with reading Talking Books that you
would like to share?

7. May we quote your responses in any articles we write? If so, would
you like to be quoted anonymously or by name?

8. Finally, if you have any antique devices or historical recordings
that you would be willing to share information about with us, please
contact Shafeka At snh278@nyu.edu

_______________________________
Shafeka Hashash
Politics, ’15, BA
Mid. East. and Islamic Studies, ’15, BA
Political Economy, ’16, MA
New York University
Tel: (551) 697-1568
Email: snh278@nyu.edu

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Talkin’ Turkey – A Tactile Craft

I love fall leaves.  I love the bright colors, and I’m always looking for things to do with them.  This year, it occurred to me that those bright pressed leaves would make a perfect fall craft as turkey tailfeathers.

First, I took Peanut and Sprout for a walk around the block.  Each kiddo had a plastic bag to put leaves in.  I explained that we were looking for bright colors and for leaves that didn’t crinkle when we stepped on them.  (If a leaf crinkles, it’s probably too dry already to be pressed successfully.)  We walked for a little while, and my very-excited 5 and 3-year-olds were delighted to pick up leaves of all sorts of shapes and sizes–and my five-year-old loved stomping on them for his “crinkle test.”

When we got home for our walk, I carefully put their leaves in between the pages of my cookbooks.  You want heavy books with flat pages for this; phone books are an excellent choice.  I perched Peanut’s brailler on top for some extra weight to press the leaves.

Traced turkey torsos, pre-cutting.

Traced turkey torsos, pre-cutting.

On Friday, I figured out how to make our turkeys.  First, I traced turkey bodies on a file folder and carefully cut them out.  You could use construction paper or foam for this step if you prefer.

I used the back of the folder for the back of my turkey cards.  I cut the back in fourths, one for each turkey.  (These became our Thanksgiving invitations, so I wrote out the invitation information on one side.  If you want to use the turkeys as cards, definitely write on the backs before you construct the turkeys.)

Sprout colors turkey torsos.

Sprout colors turkey torsos.

Next, I had Peanut and Sprout color our turkey torsos brown using crayons.  I had them put the manila torsos on top of white paper so they were easier to see and feel.  On a side note, my legally-blind child was much better at this step than my fully-sighted child.

Our bag of leaves and the beginning of one of our cards.

Our bag of leaves and the beginning of one of our cards.

After our torsos were colored, I covered the back of each of the manila squares with glue and showed Peanut and Sprout how to glue the leaves to the square.  They carefully used glue sticks to layer the leaves on top of one another.

imageOnce we had our tails finished, I helped them glue or turkey torsos to our turkey tails.

We then switched from using glue stick glue to thicker, tackier glue:  wood glue.  I helped the kids glue a candy-corn beak and two black peppercorn eyes to each turkey torso.  Our Thanksgiving turkey invitations were now done.

I hand-delivered one invitation; the others were snugged into envelopes along with a folded piece of paper towel to protect the beak and eyes.  I also marked each envelope “hand cancel” to hopefully improve their travel safety.

Both of the kids had a great time making their turkeys, and the turkeys came out pretty cute if I say so myself.

Our finished turkeys.

Our finished turkeys.

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Excellent Noisy Toy: The Teeter Popper

With the holidays fast approaching (no, really!  They’re just over a month away!), I thought I’d spend the next few weeks profiling toys, books, and games that have worked well for our munchkins.  Please keep in mind that the books I review are titled and tagged “Adventures in Reading,” and I have a “Toys” category, if you’re looking for holiday giving ideas for your favorite kids who happen to be visually impaired.

One of the neater toys we’ve found is the Teeter Popper.  A Teeter Popper is essentially a rocking board that has suction cups on one side.  As long as your kiddo uses it on a flat surface (think tile or wood.  Carpet is a no-go, and it doesn’t work on our ridged faux-wood laminate, either), it makes an awesome popping noise as it rocks back and forth.  It’s brightly colored and really easy to use, and I think it would work well for kids that want sensory input.  Rather than bouncing or rocking, they could teeter-pop and get both auditory and physical stimulation at the same time.

To see what a Teeter Popper looks like, watch the video below:

To hear what a Teeter Popper sounds like, watch this next video:

A Teeter Popper will run you about $40 and can be purchased online fairly easily (ours was a gift and came from Fat Brain toys; I was able to find them at Amazon.com with a simple search).  No eyesight required for a great deal of fun.

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