I always thought that Craigslist would be such a pain to use. I also thought it cost a lot to post ads. It turns out it’s not only easy to use, but it doesn’t cost unless you are posting jobs or travel and vacation. I decided to post a few ads over the weekend. For those who have thought about doing so, it’s easy with both a computer and the smart phone app. It’s blind friendly, as well. The only part of the app that is iffy in the area of blindness is the menus at the bottom of the screen. When you run your finger over them while using voice over, all it will say is “button.” But once you click, you will know what they are. Since there are only five, it’s easy to remember which one’s which. Anyway, I have placed three ads thus far. Two were related to teaching and proofreading Braille and the other related to Avon. If anyone has thought about using Craigslist, I would highly recommend it. Be careful when doing so. As always, there are people ready to take without fulfilling their end of the deal. I have not yet run into that, but I am not going into it blindly, for lack of a better word.
Dishon and I got home from work around 5:15 today and basked in the fact that it’s Friday. I’ve had a sore throat for most of the week so you can imagine I was grateful for the week to be over. But anyway, shortly after we got home, Dishon handed me a little surprise. One thing not many people know about me is that I love butterflies. What he handed me is meant to be hung on the wall. Attached were butterflies of different colors. As stated in other posts, I have enough vision to appreciate colors as long as they’re bold and the contrast is right. You may wonder why I’m posting about this. Well, a lot of people wonder how the blind shop and if we know enough to buy nice things for people. Dishon has always been great at buying presents for me. He uses a lot of well-known sites like Amazon. As far as marriage is concerned, it’s all about knowing your spouse and what they like. In his case, I got him a surround sound system for Christmas. I knew that would be a thoughtful gift for him because he is all about making our home nice in as many ways as possible. Surround sound is an awesome accessory for your living room or basement. If I ever purchase something over the phone, I ask a lot of questions since I can’t hold the product in my hand. But that’s how it’s done. Not very different than your average married couple who lives next door.
I am getting comfortable with the camera Dishon got me for my birthday. I have recorded a video that will going up as soon as I figure out how to get the videos from the camera to the internet. I have managed to watch the video on the computer, but am having difficulty transferring it to the blog. But while you have me, I’ll give you a synopsis of our Thanksgiving Break. Wednesday and Thursday consisted of cooking primarily. I went out Wednesday night with a few girls. Thanksgiving Day was a day spent with family. Friday, my plan was to get some shopping done. Instead, I sat at the Apple store for two and a half hours while they tried to fix my phone. I wound up getting a new phone. On the bright side, the camera now works and I did manage to get a present for Dishon. Yesterday I spent some time with a couple that we’re friends with. Then Dishon and I went shopping for our Secret Santas at work. Today, I started the day by making final arrangements for our multi-city Christmas trip. The tickets have already been purchased, but I needed to make sure we were picked up at the airport and that our time was evenly distributed among family. Who knows what the rest of the day has in store for us. Perhaps I can get some more shopping done.
Being blind and getting a business started is not impossible. That said, it may take awhile. Since I’ve been trying to get my travel agent business started, I have had potential clients say where they would like to go and a general time frame. So my job is to do the research for the best deal out there. While it’s not difficult to search for a specific destination, it still takes time to get comfortable with numerous web sites. So far, all of the web sites I’ve used have been pretty blind friendly. That was the main thing I was worried about. Now it’s just getting my foot in the door. Maybe some of my followers would like to travel but are a little apprehensive about putting their vacation bookings in my hands, the hands of a blind woman. Well, I assure you, The computer, the internet, and the sites I have access to are not the biggest challenge I’ve faced in life. As much stock as we put into technology, there’s more to life than facebook and the internet. I’m using it to reach people, yes. But I couldn’t spend every hour of the day on youtube. I would rather spend hours on the computer making client’s dream vacations and/or weddings come true. So, just think about it. Use me to book travel and I will find the best deal for you and your family. Feel free to visit my web site at http://royaltyandhoney.com or give me a call at 303-374-4297. Your next trip could just be a phone call away.
At the Colorado Center for the Blind, students with residual vision must wear sleep shades. This will assist with teaching alternative blind techniques. But how do we know if someone is cheating? In my class, one way for me to tell is if the student is talking and their voice sounds muffled. That’s an indication that they are attempting to look at the Braille. In any class, you can often tell if a student is cheating if they reach for something directly or they say, “Hey, Joe,” but Joe hasn’t said a word. Sometimes you can simply tell by the general movements of a student. Someone who is new to using sleep shades will move more slowly at first. We can also physically check if we aren’t certain. If we check the entire class, students won’t feel singled out. So there are ways around not seeing. The same goes for raising children. I’ll have more on that subject in the future.
Without e-mail, what would today’s society do? Without computers, how would anything get done? While there was a time when computers did not exist, computers is what we know today. Along with a computer comes access to the internet and, of course, e-mail. So what do the blind do in the area of computers and e-mail? Well, there are a number of screen readers available to the blind. The one I prefer to use is Jaws. This screen reader will not only read most (if not all) is on the screen, but it also coincides with short cuts one can use with their computer keyboard. So I can check my e-mail and use the computer in numerous ways thanks to Jaws. Another option for e-mail is my IPhone. Apple has worked very hard to make their products accessible. Since I, like most people, receive a lot of e-mail every day, it’s great to be able to check it on the go. One flick or double tap of the finger take you places very quickly. If you flick your finger upward on the title of an e-mail, you can delete it without opening it. Not that I do that to every e-mail that I receive. But once again, I’m going to invite you to ask me questions. You can either comment on a post or e-mail me at Jennifer@royaltyandhoney.com and I will do my best to answer. I promise to open your e-mail before deleting it.
This debate has been going on for decades. People argue that Braille is being phased out. Why use Braille when technology is growing every day? Yes, technology is growing every day, but that doesn’t make it perfect. Technology can break. Plus, Braille can be integrated with technology. For instance: the blind can use what’s called a Braille display. If hooked up to a computer, the Braille display is used to read the text that is on the computer. There are also note takers that include Braille displays. So, for a lot of technology for the blind, Braille is necessary. You don’t need to be a book worm to use Braille. You can use it in practical ways like labeling… See the attached video.
If you were to put a hundred blind people in a room together, I can almost guarantee you that at least twenty of them would be considered tech savvy. As I’ve stated in previous posts, technology is taking over. Okay, what I said was, “IPhones are taking over.” But that’s not the only technology that has exploded. Almost everyone you know has a computer of some sort. On that computer, almost everyone you know will have access to the internet. And what is the internet saturated with? Web sites. Not only are there billions of web sites, but more and more of them are being built by individuals on their computer at home. Less people are needing assistance. But how would a blind person do it? In my case, I recently found an app for the IPhone that is very easy and blind friendly to use. I am in the process of building a site that will be a sister to this one. I will let you know whenit’s ready. I hope you will check it out when the time comes. Being that I am fairly average when it comes to technology, this sight will be something that I’m very proud of when it’s finished.
While it is not yet perfect or street legal, there is a car for the blind that has been designed thanks to the National Federation of the Blind and Virginia Tech University. Today during day one of the 25th anniversary celebration of the Colorado Centerfor the Blind, people were able to ride in the car with the first blind driver, Marc Riccobono. How does the car work? The driver wears special gloves that vibrate in specific places to indicate different actions. The driver’s seat vibrates, as well. This is possible with GPS and a plethora of sensors. Marc had the privilege of driving the car in Daytona a couple of years ago. It’s still in the works, but imagine how it would be if we could safely drive alongside our sighted family, friends and colleagues. Dishon used to drive and would love to be able to do it again. For more information and footage, visit http://www.nfb.org/blinddriverchallenge and visit the Colorado Center for the Blind facebook page.
Hello all. It’s been a few days. I’ve done this before and I’m doing it again. I hope that this time my followers won’t be shy. I’m looking for questions. If there was anything that I could blog about what would it be? If you’re afraid of offending me please don’t be. I would rather people ask questions than assume. You know what they say about assuming. As the title says, you have the floor. I welcome questions whenever they come to mind, but right now, I’m seeking them. So ask away. I will either reply in writing or demonstrate it through a video on my facebook group.