Sunday, April 28, 2013

Money Reader

This weekend, I had the privilege of attending New Jersey's Division of Parent's of Blind Children Conference: When I Grow Up. I met many incredible families and VI professionals who had much valuable information to share.

Today I would like to share an Apple application that I had the opportunity to experience at the conference.

For years, individuals with visual impairment have had their own ways of insuring they received the correct change when in the community. Some always used their credit card or wrote checks to avoid the need for change. Others requested their change in all $1 dollar bills so that they could count their change back to themselves.

Now, with the LookTel Money Reader Application, individuals with visual impairment can easily determine if they received the correct change. The LookTell Money Reader uses an Apple devices's camera to instantly identify currency and speak its value. 

When looking for a video of the application to share, I found that LookTel has an entire line of awesome applications for Individuals with Visual Impairment. Check them out and let us know what you think! LookTel Demo

Monday, April 22, 2013

Fun Ways to Teach Braille to Partially Sighted Students

As a TVI or a parent of a Braille reader who is partially sighted, you may find that it can often be difficult to convince your child/student to read Braille. Below are some games/activities I use to make Braille fun for students who are partially sighted.


Players: 2-4 
Twister Board
Twister Spinner
High Contrast Tape
24 BINGO Chips or Math Counters

How to Make TWINGO:
1. Use black tape to box off 4 Braille cells on a Twister Board. (The picture above shows 1/2 of a TWINGO Board)
2. Put at least 25 BINGO chips or Math counters in a zip lock bag.

How to Play TWINGO:
1. The teacher/parent assigns each player a contraction and a section of the TWINGO board. 
2. The teacher/parent spins the spinner and calls out the color it landed on.
3. If a player need that color to build their contraction, they should put a chip/counter on their board.
4. The teacher/parent should continue calling colors until a player is able to build their contraction. The first player to build his or her contraction calls out TWINGO and wins.

Mega Braille Slam

Players: Unlimited
Black Paper
White Paper
2 Buckets
12 Wiffle Balls

How to Make Mega Braille Slam:
1. Glue 12 white circles onto the black paper to make 2 Braille Cells.
2. Put a cross of Velcro on each circle. (This picture shows just a square of Velcro. I found that a square was not enough and expanded the  squares to crosses that run the length and width of the circle.)
3. Put a strip of Velcro around each ball.
4. Attach the entire board to the wall.
5. Put all the balls in a bucket.

How to Play Mega Braille Slam:
1. The teacher/parent assigns  player 1 a contraction. 
2. The student throws each ball in attempt to make that contraction.
3. If the student makes the contraction before running out of balls, he or she receives 2 points. If the student does not make their contraction, he or she may place the balls on the board to form the contraction. If they get it correct, he or she receives 1 point.
4.  Steps 1-3 are repeated for each player.
5. You may play as many rounds as you like.
6. The player with the most points at the end of the game wins.

Braille Dots

Which Braille games or activities do you enjoy to play with your student or child who is partially sighted?