Disability Podcasts You Should Listen To

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Text reads disability podcasts you should listen to.
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#disability #podcasts #nationalpodcastday

Today is national podcast day. I would like to share some disability focused podcasts that you should listen to.

Down to the Struts

Down to the Struts focuses on disability and design and how to make this world more accessible for people with disabilities.

Rare With Flair

The Rare With Flair podcast aims to highlight the beautiful aspects of disability. The hosts are visually impaired and share their point of view on various lifestyle topics.

That’ll Be the Day

This podcast focuses on various topics regarding the blind and visually impaired community.

Disability Matters

This podcast discusses employment and disability. People with disabilities have a harder time obtaining employment. This is a good resource to learn more about this area.

There are many more disability related podcasts out there. Please share some more suggestions below.

Accessible Cooking Tools for Those who are Blind or Have Low Vision

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Text reads accessible cooking tools for those who are blind or have low vision.
There is a photo of a George Foreman grill below the text.

Yes, contrary to popular belief, people who are blind or have low vision are able to cook independently. It is possible to cook without sight and it can be done with few adaptations.

Every visually impaired person has a unique level of comfort in the kitchen and I am sure this is true for fully sighted people as well. Well the good news is that technology has come a long way and cooking has become even more accessible.

Today I want to highlight some tools that can make cooking more accessible for people who are blind or have low vision. I have to add that I am not good at cooking at this time but I want to improve in the future. This is research that will help me as a visually impaired person and everyone else as well.

If you don’t believe that blind people can cook just watch Master Chef winner Christine Ha in action in her kitchen.

There are talking food thermometers to ensure that meat or fish is well done. There are talking kitchen scales to measure out correct amounts of ingredients. There are sets of measuring cups and spoons labeled in braille or large print available as well. Sight is not needed to cook a meal.

For those who may be like me and are not yet fully comfortable in the kitchen, here are some tools that may make things a little easier.

The George Foreman Grill

A George Foreman grill is on a table in a kitchen

I love my George Foreman grill. It is easy to use and a good tool to practice cooking easy meals like grilling chicken or vegetables. I use it to toast bread or heat up sandwiches or to heat up waffles. I hope to expand my use of it in the future. There are many recipes that can be done on the grill.

** This post is not sponsored by any of the items mentioned **

Air Fryer

I am not a fan of fried foods but I think this is an interesting product and it seems to be a healthier alternative to frying. The buttons can be made accessible by adding braille or bump dots and you would have to memorize the temperature settings or you can use an app that reads text to read the machine.

Smart oven

I recently found out about a company called Tovala. They have a smart oven that cooks food at the scan of a barcode and they have a meal delivery service to go with it. Now, I would like to learn to cook from scratch but this is still cooking for me because they send you all the ingredients you need but all you have to do is put it in the oven. This is a good way to begin to learn to cook.

I would also probably get a regular toaster oven to practice baking instead of the smart oven.

Some extra thoughts

Cooking is accessible to all. To make the stove accessible you can put bump dots to identify the low, medium and high settings. Cooking is an adventure and I hope to start on mine soon. What are some of your favorite recipes to cook?

The Chromebook is an Accessible Option for Those who are Blind or have Low Vision

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Now that school has begun I want to shine a spotlight on the chromebook. I know that these computer models are not new but I want to highlight the built-in accessibility that is available. I believe that the chromebook is one of the most affordable options for those who are blind or have low vision. 

The chromebook comes with a screen reader called Chromevox, it is fully accessible out of the box. The computer turns on when you lift the top, you will be taken to a sign in page. It is very easy to activate the screen reader right from the sign in screen. 

  • Press control, alt and z at the same time to turn the screen reader on and off. 

I was so thankful that I was able to set up my chromebook on my own without any sighted assistance. 

I will mention that the chromebook is mainly for searching the internet and taking notes and writing papers or creating presentations, and it has a webcam that can be used for meetings. I would not recommend it for gaming. 

Here is a short video I shared on my Instagram page where I give a short demo on how it works.

I hope that this is a helpful tip for anyone looking for an affordable and accessible laptop.

Spotlight: The Scripor Alphabet | A Tactile Code for Colors

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Text reads a tactile color code
There is a graphic showing the colors of the rainbow below the text. Text is white and the background is black
Rainbow graphic is by stux from Pixabay via the Canva library

Colors can seem like such a mystery to those who are blind and they can be tricky to identify for those who have low vision. There is a solution that may be helpful. I recently found out about The Scripor Alphabet. This is a tactile code for colors as braille is a tactile code for letters.

This post is not sponsored by this company.

This is braille for colors. This video gives more details.

I am on a journey to learning braille myself and I would like to learn this code for colors as well. This is also a great tool for those who are colorblind to have a way to access colors.

I hope that this is helpful for many out there. What do you think of this tactile color code? Do you already use it or do you want to learn it? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Accommodations for Students who are Blind or Have Low Vision

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Now that the school year is about to begin I want to take this opportunity to discuss the topic of accommodations for students with disabilities. The best advice I can give from personal experience is to take advantage of the assistance that is available to you as a student with a disability.

I have been visually impaired since birth. I went to a pre-school specifically for blind and visually impaired children. When I started the first grade I went to a mainstream class (meaning regular education). During my early grades I had a teacher of the visually impaired (TVi) who tried to teach me braille. I say I tried because I refused to learn because I thought I did not need it.Now that I look back, I really wish I had taken the opportunity to learn it when I was young. 

I would advise parents or students to contact their school to set up the services they will need. In grades K-12 this is done through an individual Education plan (iEP). Those in college should contact the department for students with disabilities. 

Here are some accommodations that I had throughout my school years.

Large print materials

I did not grow up in the era of ipads and tablets and chromebooks. We did everything on paper. I was able to access my schoolwork by having all worksheets provided to me in large print. 

These days laptops and tablets can reduce the amount of paprint material and offer more flexibility in adjusting the size and color contrast. 

I often refused large print materials because the papers were very large and I did not want to stand out. I would have loved to have been able to use an ipad or laptop. 

There are also CcTV’s that magnify print materials.

Here is an example of one.

Sitting in the front of the class

I always had a seat at the front of the class. The truth is that this did not really help me as I was still unable to see the board.

There is assistive technology such as cameras that can be used to zoom into the board now that can solve this issue. There are also note takers who will sit with you in class and help you tby taking notes for you.

Here is a piece of assistive technology that could help to access the chalkboard.

How to handle tests

I usually got my test material in large print and I also was given extra time to complete the exam. There were times I would complete the test in a separate room and I did have a reader once or twice for a state wide test. 

Some extra thoughts

I think that technology has come a very long way and now students can blend in a lot easier as ipads and laptops are commonly used now. There are also braille displays and notetakers available allowing for more independence for blind and visually impaired students. 

These are my suggestions for accommodations but you only know what will be the best accommodations for your unique situation.

One more point I want to make is that you must advocate for what you need and do not be afraid to ask for the accommodations you need. I made my school life a lot harder than it had to be by refusing assistance. Technology has made tasks much easier and more enjoyable. So, go on and take on this new school year and get that A!