For those of you with an Amazon Echo, Google Home, or Microsoft Cortana device, there is a new application that can help you in time of need.   The application is called Ask My Buddy.  It is an alert system using only your voice.  It can be used to contact your close friends or family…

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Microsoft just came out with a new app for iOS products: the Seeing AI application.  This app debuted in July and already has created quite the buzz among people who are visually impaired or blind.  The app was designed in part by software engineer Saqib Shaikh who is blind.  Because of his impairment, Saqib knew…

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A favorite summer activity for young and old is going to an amusement or water park.  But for someone with a disability, these parks are only partially accessible.  Gordon Hartman, whose daughter has special needs, recognized the limitations of parks and decided to design a place for everyone to enjoy.  His daughter Morgan was the…

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I distinctly remember the point in the book The Giver when I realized that this seemingly Utopian society had lost the ability to see color.  I kept wondering what that would be like and how different everything would be to me.   For those who are colorblind or have a Color Vision Deficiency (CVD), the…

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“Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teacher.” – quote by Charles William Eliot   As a former librarian, one of my favorite programs was the Talking Book Program run by the National Library Service for the Blind and…

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  When Hibiki Sakai was a baby, he was diagnosed with retinoblastoma in both eyes and lost his sight due to the life-saving surgeries that were necessary.  Fortunately, this hasn’t stopped this ten-year old from enjoying video games like other young boys. Hibiki, a 5th grader from Japan, recently sent the Nintendo company a letter,…

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When I look at the many applications out there, I become more and more aware of all the free applications available to those who are blind or visually impaired that really can open up the world. Lacey Long, vision teacher with Morton County, was over to visit our facility and mentioned some of the applications…

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Several years ago I worked at ND Vision Services/School for the Blind and was a co-worker with Paul Olson who was then the Orientation and Mobility (O & M) Instructor.  Now Paul is the superintendent of the school but is still very involved with O & M.  In fact, he invented a new cane tip,…

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There is a new program on the BBC entitled “The Big Life Fix” which pairs an inventor with someone in need to tackle real life problems.  The first episode featured Emma Lawton, a graphic designer who suffers from Parkinson’s disease with inventor Haiyan Zhang.  In the past Haiyan worked on a cutlery product for people…

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Are you looking for a GPS device that will assist someone who has Alzheimer’s, autism, or a tramatic brain injury that will work also as a phone? The GizmoPal 2 watch from Verizon might be a possible solution. I met a woman at the State Capitol’s Disabilities Day who had purchased the GizmoPal 2 watch…

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