Recently Wired magazine published an article entitled, “Meet the Team That Makes It Possible for the Blind to Use Facebook”. In the article the author, Cade Metz, introduces Wired readers to the team of software engineers within Facebook that help bring the world’s most popular social media system to persons with disabilities. We also meet Users who extol the virtues of the access available to blind and other individuals with disabilities. Facebook has done much to bring about access to its product. Continue reading
Earlier this week I wrote an article in which I discussed the changing world in which we live from the standpoint of terror and uncertainty. I suggested that one of the things that each of us can do is to relax and go within ourselves to overcome fear and terror. I realize that this is easy to say and many will feel that it is hard to accomplish. Continue reading
19th Century Innovation Remains an Integral Part of Our Future
Thursday, March 26, 2009 marks a defining moment in American History: the launch of the 2009 Louis Braille Bicentennial Silver Dollar taking place at the National Federation of the Blind Jernigan Institute in Baltimore, Maryland. The 2009 Louis Braille Bicentennial Silver Dollar commemorates the 200th anniversary of the birth of Louis Braille, inventor of the Braille system, a vital tool used by the blind to read and write. This coin is the focal point of a national effort to bring awareness to the Braille literacy crisis. Continue reading
The Role of Teamwork in Technological Innovation
When I am contacted by meeting planners, corporations, and members of Associations about speaking at their events I am most often asked if I can speak about teamwork and team building. As a keynote speaker I can tell you that this is indeed a subject which seems to be on the minds of company executives, workers, and to some degree most of us. We all seem to value highly the idea of working together. During companywide and executive retreats often times there will be some sort of “team building exercise.” Management constantly talks to staff about “the Team.” Many books have been written on the subject. Continue reading
National Federation of the Blind Goes to Washington -Largest Coalition of Blind People Participates
Early February, I had the opportunity to visit Washington DC as a part of the largest group of blind people in the nation who visit their senators and representatives annually to talk about current national issues affecting blind citizens. This year, there were three major issues of concern which we discussed with the 111th Congress.
The first issue is the growing concern about quiet and hybrid cars, which are becoming an increasing danger to blind and other pedestrians. Continue reading
As I sit here at my desk feeling the anticipation and joy at the prospects of the New Year – 2009, I cannot help but wonder what the history books will say about this past year that just ended – 2008. It was a year of great strides in medicine, advancements in technology and space exploration, and it was the year in which the United States elected its first African-American president, with the one of the highest recorded turnouts in American voting history. Continue reading
Braille coin and Braille Readers are Leaders banner
President, National Federation of the Blind Braille Reader
Hall of Fame Quarterback
Braille Reader Continue reading
November 20, 2008, 4:30 PM
Well here we are day 8, the final day of in-home training. Time sure flies! It’s a sad day, and it’s a happy day. It’s a sad time because it will be the end of our time together with Todd. Todd lived up to his reputation of being the best. As I said before I have never trained with Todd although he was the one who trained Roselle. I could not have asked for a better person to help Africa and I begin our journey together.
On the other hand, it is a happy day because of all that Todd has done to prepare Africa and because of all the work that Todd, Africa, and I have had the pleasure of accomplishing together over the past 8 days. Todd has helped lay a great foundation which will allow Africa and me to have many great adventures and wonderful travel experiences for many years to come. Continue reading
November 19, 2008, 9:09 PM
Thus far my work and bonding with Africa have been progressing well. Already we have had many adventures. Yesterday Todd informed me that today our first route was to be the infamous “independent route”. It is a route that is considered “independent” because the trainer does not walk with the student and dog. Usually, the student is told their starting location and then, when dropped off, they are asked to make their way to the Guide Dog lounge.
The route is not overly challenging to anyone who has good mobility skills. In a training center where blind people are learning to walk as blind people they will travel many independent routes including some where no instructor is observing them. These are true independent routes where blind people are expected to gain confidence in their own ability to travel from place to place. Continue reading
Tuesday , November 18, 2008, 7:54 PM
Today was one of the most extremely informative, if not most fun, times during the training and formation of a guide dog team. Today we did traffic checks.
One of the most important jobs a guide dog must perform is watching for traffic whether it is moving, standing still waiting for a light to change, or whether an individual car might be blocking our path. Any pedestrian should always be alert to the traffic around them. For those of us who choose to use a guide dog the dog can help us a great deal to address the issues regarding traffic. Here are a few scenarios. Continue reading