edited by Cynthia Hawkins
The announcement of products and services in this column does not represent an endorsement by the American Council of the Blind, its officers, or staff. Listings are free of charge for the benefit of our readers. “The ACB E-Forum” cannot be held responsible for the reliability of the products and services mentioned. To submit items for this column, send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org, or phone the national office at 1-800-424-8666, and leave a message in Sharon Lovering’s mailbox. Information must be received at least two months ahead of publication date.
Illinois Alumni Reunion
The Illinois School for the Visually Impaired will hold its alumni reunion May 28th through 31st at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, 3000 Dirksen Pkwy., Springfield, IL 62703. Room rates are $100 per night plus tax. To get the room rate, use the code SV1. Dues and banquet combined are $65; dues only are $30. The deadline is May 4, 2020. Make checks payable to ISVI and send to Ron TerHark, 13 Westview Box 144, Franklin, IL 62638-4906. Email email@example.com or call him at (217) 494-8553 for more information.
Lighthouse’s New President & CEO
Calvin Roberts MD, Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, Eye Care at Bausch Health Companies and Clinical Professor of Ophthalmology at Weill Cornell Medical College, has been elected president and CEO of Lighthouse Guild. As a practicing ophthalmologist from 1982 to 2008, Dr. Roberts performed more than 10,000 cataract surgeries as well as 5,000 refractive and other corneal surgeries.
Ask My Buddy
Ask My Buddy is a new personal alert network that works through the Amazon Alexa system. If you have fallen, or need help, Ask My Buddy lets you immediately alert someone in your personal alert network that you need them to check on you. You can alert just one contact, or all of your friends or family, with just one command. Say, “Alexa, Ask My Buddy to alert YourContact” or “Alexa, Ask My Buddy to alert everyone,” and Ask My Buddy will immediately send an alert, notifying them to check on you right away. Alerts will be sent by text message/SMS, an email, and even by telephone call. For more information, or assistance with the system, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit https://www.askmybuddy.net/. For hands-on demonstrations and how-to videos, go to https://www.youtube.com/AskMyBuddy.
Saffron Extract May Lower the Risk of Glaucoma
A new animal study in Spain suggests affronEYE® saffron could help prevent the onset of glaucoma. The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory characteristics of this potent saffron extract, developed by Pharmactive Biotech Products, S.L., demonstrated an ability to protect retinal cells from damage and death and reduce intraocular hypertension — a key aspect of glaucoma development. AffronEYE is all-natural, water-soluble, non-GMO, and has not been irradiated. The ingredient also carries kosher, halal, and organic certifications.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in the world and has stricken more 60 million people worldwide. For more information, visit http://pharmactive.eu/en/affroneye-2/.
Quilling Cards – with Braille!
Greeting card company Quilling Card now offers cards with braille. The cards, which also feature tactile designs made of quilled paper, include birthday, good luck, celebrate, best wishes, congratulations, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, baby, graduation, sympathy, thank you, and more.
What is quilling? It’s the art of rolling, coiling, and shaping 1/8 inch wide strips of paper to create a cohesive three-dimensional design.
The development of this collection has been a very special project for Quilling Card co-founder, Huong Wolf. Having built a certified Fair Trade workshop in her home country of Vietnam —where all of the Quilling Card designs are handcrafted — she has spent many years focusing on providing employment opportunities for those who are disadvantaged or have disabilities. This has included the training and employment of over a dozen deaf artisans who directly inspired Huong’s vision of connecting the deaf to the blind through the hands and sense of touch.
Creating braille from quilled paper is something that has never been done before. The company collaborated with staff at Perkins School for the Blind in Watertown, Mass. Developing the braille card collection took over a year and involved substantial research, extensive testing and meticulous design work to develop a successful translation.
For more information, contact Quilling Card at (508) 405-2888, or send email to email@example.com. Or write to them at 47 Mellen St., Framingham, MA 01702.
New from National Braille Press
Newly available from National Braille Press is “What’s New in iOS 13: A Guide for Blind Users” by Anna Dresner. It comes in braille (2 volumes), as well as BRF, DAISY, and Word. The book covers updating from a previous operating system; setting up a new device; VoiceOver; new controls, commands, and privacy features; and more.
New in the children’s section is “Sit-In: How Four Friends Stood Up by Sitting Down,” by Andrea Davis Pinkney and Brian Pinkney. It’s available in braille for ages 6 to 10. This picture book is a celebration of the momentous 1960 Woolworth’s lunch counter sit-in, when four college students staged a peaceful protest that became a defining moment in the struggle for racial equality and the growing civil rights movement. The book concludes with a civil rights timeline and an update on the aftermath of the lunch-counter struggle.
For more information on either book, contact National Braille Press at 1-800-548-7323, or visit https://www.nbp.org/ic/nbp/publications/index.html.
Guitar Chords Dictionary
Giancarlo Facoetti – an Italian software engineer and guitar teacher – has created an accessible Guitar Chords Dictionary. It translates chord diagrams used for guitar lessons into text-based instructions for use with a screen reader. Each entry includes an MP3 audio file. The tool is free. To access the dictionary, go to https://www.fachords.com/guitar-chord/c/maj/textual/.
Accessible Board Game App
The classic board game Snakes and Ladders is now an accessible app. Created by UNAR Labs, the app is free and available only at the Apple app store.
Books on Kindle
Deb Weiner has co-written several books that now appear on Amazon Kindle: “Stress-Free Cooking,” by her and John Wright; “The One,” and “The Grand Game.”