Help test/develop a B/VI employment app

From the mailbag:

The NRTC on Blindness & Low Vision at Mississippi State University is now
recruiting for field test participants for a new app project, 4to24,
designed to help parents and youth focus on employment. The app provides
information, resources, and activities that will help youth build
independence and skills for employment as an adult.

We are seeking parents of youth with blindness or visual impairment who are
age 4 to 24, and youth with blindness or visual impairment who are age 16
to 24, to participate in a study using the app for a 6-month period.

If you or someone you know may be interested in learning more, please follow this link:

If you have questions or need more assistance, please call Anne Steverson
or Karla Antonelli at 1-866-675-7782 or email at or

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NFB Twitter Chat TODAY on Web Accessibility!

From the mailbag:

Participate in Twitter chat about web accessibility!

Join us Friday, October 11 from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. ET to participate in the #MeetTheBlind Month Twitter chat. A Twitter chat is a scheduled, organized topical conversation on Twitter centralized around a specific hashtag. Some questions this week will include the following:

  • What is web accessibility?
  • What are common accessibility barriers?
  • What should be done to increase web accessibility?

Here are some tips to participate:

  • Every response during the Twitter chat needs to include the designated hashtag. Our hashtag is #MeetTheBlind. Find the chat either by searching for the hashtag or going to the @NFB_Voice profile.
  • Include the question number in your response. For example, question 1 may be, “Q1: Introduce yourself.” Start your reply with A1 in order to coordinate answers to the corresponding question.
  • Engage with others in the chat. The chat isn’t only for answering the set questions but to also encourage, support, and assist others who are part of the chat. Tweet, reply, retweet.

Our goal for Meet the Blind Month is to engage members and to provide public awareness. Join us!

October 11, 2019 – Web Accessibility | 12:00 p.m. ET to 1:00 p.m. ET | #MeetTheBlind

There are some more Twitter tips available in the following recent Braille Monitor article:

We look forward to your participation.

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Participants Needed: Contrast’s impact on VI peoples’ perception of the environment

From the mailbag:

To be eligible for this study, participants must:

  • Have a Low-vision diagnosis.
  • Be over age 18
  • Live in the U.S.

My name is Lauren Ashley Hughes, and I am a Visiting Assistant Professor at Mississippi State and a graduate student at the Ball State University. I am being supervised in my research by Dr. Shireen Kanakri at Ball State University. I am conducting an online study investigating how contrast in the interior environment can affect a low-vision person’s perception of the environment and their behavior within that environment. I am looking for low-vision participants with a low-vision diagnosis that are over the age of 18 and live in the United States of America to participate in my study.

This study consists of an online survey, which should take you less than fifteen minutes to complete. All of your responses will be anonymous and confidential.  Your willingness to participate in the survey will allow interior designers and architects to learn how to design the built environment to accommodate the low-vision population more effectively in the future.

To begin the study, please go to:

The survey can be accessed and filled out by computer or by mobile device.

If you have any questions before, during or after the study, feel free to contact me at 662-386-4887 or by email at Dr. Kanakri can be reached at

Thank you in advance for your participation in our research.

Warmest regards,

Lauren Ashley Hughes

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Participants Needed for study to improve access to visual programming tools for VI kids

I am glad someone is working on this:  b/vi kids need access to early programming education, too.

From the mailbag:

I am leading a long-term project at the University of North Texas to
improve access to visual programming tools for children with visual
impairments. Examples of visual programming tools are Scratch and Snap,
which require small blocks of code to be connected together with the mouse
to create a program.  If your child is visually impaired and has been in a
classroom or other environment where they and their peers are learning
about programming, I’d like to hear about their experiences and your
insight into any challenges.  The survey is from your point of view, though
you may need to ask your child some questions.

Your participation will take about 10 minutes of your time.  The survey is

At the end of the survey, you can opt into a raffle for a $50 Amazon gift
card (US only).

If you have any questions, please contact me at

Thank you,

Dr. Stephanie Ludi

Professor, Undergraduate Coordinator, Co-Director of Research In Software
Engineering Lab

Dept. of Computer Science & Engineering

University of North Texas

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HTML Coding Class for B/VI folks 21+

From the mailbag:

HTML Coding Class

Want to learn how to code HTML?  This class is for you!

HTML Coding Class Thursday October 3 to Thursday December 19, 2019

Our Space Our Place, Inc. and Vision aid is offering this  HTML Coding Class for blind or low vision adults age 21 years and older.  This is an introduction to HTML and CSS coding

Location: Online, using Zoom

Time: 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm (Eastern Time)

Cost: $260.00

Beginning Thursday October 3, this class meets every week until December 19. Office hours will be on Sunday from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm (Eastern Time): an opportunity to work more directly with the Instructor.T  o participate you must be a proficient user of Windows and the adaptive software you use to access your computer.

After 9 weeks in class you will:

  • Develop a web page
  • Know how to upload and to make changes to your web page
  • Have a basic knowledge of HTML and CSS
  • Gain marketable skills for employment

Enter Here To Register

Email Questions To Cheryl at My Space My Place


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Participants Needed: Study on experiences & preferences for image descriptions

From the mailbag:

A team of researchers at the University of Texas is seeking individuals who are blind or have low vision to participants in a study focused on people’s experiences with image descriptions (captions, alt text, visual question answers, etc.), and how preferences for image description change based on context of use.

Participants will engage in a 1.5 hour interview over the phone, and will be compensated with $30 via Amazon Gift Card. Subsequently, participants will be invited to participate in short diary study for additional $30.00 Amazon Gift Card.  Participation in this study may contribute to the development of next generation image description technologies.

To be eligible for this study, one needs to be 18 years or older, legally blind and use a screen reader whenever accessing computing devices, or have “low vision” and rely on either a screen magnifier or screen reader whenever using a computing device.

If interested or for more information, please email Abigale Stangl <> or 303-335-0879

Thank you in advance, Abigale Stangl

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B/VI Participants needed for study on mental-health related outcomes

From the mailbag:

Blind and low-vision participants needed for research to study mental health related outcomes in individuals with physical disabilities

The University of Utah is currently conducting a study examining mental health-related outcomes in individuals with various physical disabilities. Participants will be asked to answer questions about different aspects of their disabilities, beliefs, and mental and physical health through online questionnaires and interviews with study personnel. Financial compensation in the form of $45 Amazon gift cards will be provided.

Participants have the option of completing the study at the University of Utah or remotely, using their personal devices with internet connection and phone. Certain accessibility software and equipment will be provided to those participating on the University of Utah campus so that individuals with various forms of physical disabilities can use our laptop computers

For more information about this study, or if you are interested in participating, please contact us at 801-213-1040 or

Thank you for your time,

Lauren R. Khazem, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Fellow, National Center for Veterans Studies

Department of Psychology

The University of Utah

Craig J. Bryan, PsyD, ABPP

Executive Director, National Center for Veterans Studies

Associate Professor, Department of Psychology

The University of Utah

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Study on VI use of Camera-based Assistive Technology

Hello!  I have been a poor blogger the past few weeks:  things here have been rather hectic and have involved a lot of camps/camping.  My apologies.  I’ll hopefully do better as things calm down with the start of the school year.  In the meanwhile . . .

From the mailbag:


We are researchers from Indiana University Bloomington conducting a study to understand the information-seeking behavior of people with visual impairments while using camera-based assistive technologies.

We invite you to participate in this study by taking part in a 15-20 minutes online survey from a place of your convenience. To participate in the survey you need to have access to a computer or smartphone with screen reader and Internet connection. For your participation in the survey, you will be enrolled in a random drawing with a chance to win one of ten $20 gift certificates and have a 1 in 10 chance of winning.

If you are interested in participating in our survey or have any questions about the study, please fill out the sign-up form below. Once you provide the details, one researcher will contact you via email or phone and send you the web link to participate in the survey.

Please click here to sign up.

Alternatively, you may email or call Taslima Akter at 812-369-8635. Please note that to participate in this study, participants must identify as visually impaired, be 18 years or older, and live in the United States.

Taslima Akter
Indiana University Bloomington

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Kitchen Time With the Kids

Peanut, like a lot of kids his age, wants to help in the kitchen.  I figure blind adults have to be able to cook, and Christine Ha demonstrated that blind people can be excellent chefs, so I’m supporting him in this endeavor.  I’ve found that, at this point, it takes a LOT of patience–he’s not sure of himself, so he’s slow.  I’m hoping with the right tricks, tips, and tools, he’ll get faster and be able to be a real help in the kitchen and maybe on a start to being a master chef himself.

This week, we made Garlic Chicken Stir Fry using Sara Welch’s fabulous recipe from The Recipe Critic; you can find it here:  Both kiddos were eager to help.  I’m not sure how to help Peanut be successful with measuring spoons at this point, so I had Sprout measure the ingredients for the sauce and make it while I put Peanut to work cutting up vegetables.

Peanut cutting PeppersWe have a special kid-safe knife that Peanut’s using in the picture at the left.  Since he’s still using his fingers to figure out which end of the knife is “up,” so to speak, it was good to have a knife that would cut peppers well but not little fingers.  I explained to him that on this knife, the bumpy side goes down.  The knife doesn’t have a sharp point, so I jabbed it into the pepper for him so he could cut it in half; he tended to saw the pepper into pieces rather than cut it like you would with a sharp knife.

Peanut was fascinated by the feel of the pepper and by cutting it into different shapes.  Unfortunately, this meant it took him a really long time to cut up the pepper, so we’re going to work on efficiency in the future.  We made faster work of the mushrooms; I cut off the tips of the stems next to him, and he was great at figuring out how to orient them tactually to cut each mushroom in half.  It definitely worked better when he pushed down on the knife rather than sawing at the mushrooms, but he preferred sawing.

Since Peanut wants to do more in the kitchen, I’m looking for tips, tricks, and tools to help him out:  he wants/needs to be able to use measuring spoons, measuring cups, and real knives.  I have a food holder from Pampered Chef to help with the cutting, but I would love tips on how to help him figure out which end of a knife is the sharp part *without* feeling the cutting edge and hurting himself.  Do you have suggestions, ideas, or favorite products?  Please leave a comment on this blog to help Peanut’s cooking dreams come true!


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Rural Safety & Resilience Study Seeks Participants

From the mailbag:

The Rural, Safety, and Resilience Study

Partnering with Women with Disabilities-Your Story Matters!

Fellow federationists, I am recruiting volunteers for my dissertation research study.

You qualify to participate if:

*   You are at least 21 years old

*   You experienced abuse or violence at least one or more years ago while living outside a major metropolitan area. Abuse includes physical, sexual, or emotional threats to your personal safety

*   You had the disability before the experience of violence

*   Your disability makes a difference in how you see, hear, learn, understand, or move around

This study involves an interview. I can complete your interview over the phone, or in person if you are attending the national convention. You will receive a small payment for your time and participation in this study.

The goal of this research is to learn more about how women with disabilities who have experienced violence learn about, select, and access help when they live outside a major urban area. This research will also highlight strategies women with disabilities use to keep going, or build resilience. Information from interviews will help create awareness of this problem, and will lead to important recommendations for organizations that provide services to other survivors with disabilities.

Please call or text Kimberly Aguillard (Principal Investigator) at (713) 487-7640 or email to learn more. Please write RSRS in the subject line.

This research study has the approval of The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) Institutional Review Board

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