January 7, 2020
Motivational speaker and adventurer Randy Pierce shared his story and goal-setting tips to start the new year off right. Randy unexpectedly lost his vision at age 22, but didn't let that slow him down from enjoying sports, running marathons, and climbing mountains.
- 2020 VisionQuest non-profit was founded by Randy Pierce to raise funds for guide dog training, blindness services, and educating young people about "ability awareness."
- Future in Sight, formerly New Hampshire Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired
- Lions Clubs connect individuals with visual impairment to resources, including sighted guides for outdoor activities.
- "See You at the Summit"" by Randy Pierce. Available in paperback and audiobook on Amazon.
- United in Stride connects visually impaired runners with sighted guides.
December 19, 2019
For those of us in colder climates, it can be difficult to keep active during the winter months. This month we shared tips on how to stay active and safe on the snow and ice.
- 2020 Ski for Light in Casper, Wyoming, February 8 - 15, 2020.
- American Blind Skiing Foundation based in Chicago
- Maine Adaptive Sports and Recreation Winter Programs
- USABA 2020 Vermont Winter Ski Festival in Killington, Vermont, February 7 - 10, 2020.
- USABA 2020 Anthem Winter Sports Fest in Breckenridge, Colorado, February 26 - March 1, 2020.
Winter Outerwear for Colder Weather:
November 21, 2019
The holiday season is upon us, and so is the hustle and bustle of shopping. This month we discussed safety tips and shopping tricks for navigating through the stores and websites.
Credit Card Safety
- AT Guys Store. Phone: (269) 216-4798.
- BlindAlive Eyes Free Fitness audio recordings. Free, but they do accept donations. Use a blank USB Flash Drive Lexar and PNY brands or just remove any third-party software.
- The Harbolt Company. Phone: (405) 633-2572.
- NLS for Talking Books
- White Cane Coffee. Phone: (814) 218-2837.
Online Shopping Internationally:
- Lazada available for Southeast Asian countries.
- Shopee available for Southeast Asia and Taiwan.
- Salora available for Southeast Asia, Australia, and New Zealand.
Podcasts and Blogs with Gift Ideas:
- The 2018 Blind Bargains Holiday Shopping Guide
- Tek Talk Stocking Stuffers Part 1 from 11/4/19Show Notes and MP3 audio.
- Tek Talk Stocking Stuffers Part 2 from 11/11/19Show Notes and MP3 audio.
- Gift Ideas for People For Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired from VisionAware
October 17, 2019
This month's conversation was on adapting your favorite card and board games so you can keep playing, no matter your level of vision. We covered tactile games and puzzles, games for your smartphones, and games you can even play with your smart assistant.
Card and Board Games:
- Playing Cards and Games from MaxiAids
- Uno Braille from Target
- Giant Uno Cards from Amazon
- Giant Jenga from Amazon
- Plastic Dice (2) with Raised Dots from the Braille Superstore
- Braille Playing Cards from the Braille Superstore
- Lou's Extra-Large Print Playing Cards
Online Games and Smartphone Game Apps:
- Blindfold Games for iPhone, iPhone or iPod
- Blind Games from Omninet - free computer games for sighted, vision-impaired and blind players.
- GMA Games - free computer games, including dice-rolling program
- BlindGames.com offers 40 free accessible games
Games to play with your smart assistant:
- Amazon Echo: Magic Room - say, "Alexa, play Magic Room."
- Amazon Echo: Escape the Room - say, "Alexa, play Escape the Room."
- Amazon Echo: Uno Braille Tutorial - say, "Alexa, open Uno Braille."
- Google Home: Caste Master - say, "Hey Google, open Castle Master."
Articles and other Resources:
- Article onMattel and NFB release Uno Braille
- New from Blind Abilities: "Focus on Fitness" with some great tips for getting started with fitness at home.
- Tech It Out: Accessible Games discussion from March 2019
- Blindfold Games review on AppleVis
September 19, 2019
This month we heard from Director of Development and Paralympian Pam McGonigle on the United States Association of Blind Athletes (USABA). We talked about the USABA program, various sports and recreational activities, and how to get started on your fitness goals, no matter your fitness level.
- United States Association of Blind Athletes (USABA)
- Achilles International pairs guides with runners
- October 5 is National Blind Sports Day. Local events will include goalball, tandem biking, walking, running and more.
- Tech It Out discussion related to health and fitness apps and gadgets.
- National Fitness Challenge
- National Fitness Challenge is based on guidelines from the Center for Disease Control
- InTandem Cycling Group in New York City welcomes blind stokers.
August 15, 2019
Get up and explore the trail! How do you navigate the wonderful world of outdoor parks and take advantage of all Mother Nature has to offer? This month we shared ways to prepare and adaptations to consider for your visit to a national park near you.
National Park Services resources:
- National Park Services home page: Search for parks by state.
- NPS brochures available as braille ready files (BRFs)
- Golden Access Pass is a National Park Pass for those with disabilities. There is a $10 processing fee.
- All In! Accessibility in the National Park Services (PDF)
- Nature for the Blind is a database on braille and sensory trails in the US.
- Free White Cane Program through the National Federation for the Blind
- Orientation and Mobility Specialists (O&M) assessment for white cane needs. Call your local or state agency for the blind to get connected to an O&M teacher.
- UniDescription is an effort to make the NPS brochures more accessible with audio descriptions of various monuments and national parks.
- Craig Phillips, TVI and O&M specialist retired out of Kansas School for the Blind (email@example.com) developed maps to work with the Trekker Breeze GPS for Tallgrass National Prairie Preserve in Kansas in 2016.
- Achilles International running group pairs sighted runners with blind runners.
- "How I Got My Running Mojo Back After Sight Loss", article highlighting runner Jessica Loomer
- 9 Tips to Making the Most of a National Park Trip
- "The NPS (National Park Service) Accessibility Task Force determined that "lack of access for visitors with disabilities could result in $3.6 billion annually in lost revenue to parks, partners, concessioners, and gateway communities."
- "...the National Park Service conservatively estimates that a minimum of 28 million visitors with disabilities from all over the world visit national parks annually."
- Quotes from"Outdoors for all: How national parks are addressing accessibility challenges"
- Trevor Thomas, The Blind Hiker is a long distance hiker who hiked the Appalachian Trail in 2008.
- Randy Pierce, hiker and endurance athlete
July 18, 2019
This month we talked about all things water! We first talked water safety and navigating pool and beach areas. Then we discussed how to adapt and access your favorite water sports, from swimming to kayaking.
- Top 10 water aerobic fitness tips from Samir Becic, Health Fitness Revolution and author of the book ReSYNC Your Life
- The Blind Captain website- the first blind paddler to kayak solo from Asia to Europe
- United States Association of Blind Athletes (USABA) has a section on Swimming
- US Coast Guard Recreational Boating Safety Tips
- "Breaking Blind" video titled, "How a Blind Person Canoes."
- Encyclopedia of Sports Recreation for People with Visual Impairments by Andrew Leibs.Water entries include, kayaking and canoeing, rowing, sailing, scuba diving, surfing, swimming, triathlon, and water skiing
- SailBlind.com provides blind and visually impaired persons with an opportunity to learn the art and science of sailing
- Sense the Wind, documentary into competitive blind sailing.
June 20, 2019
In this discussion we looked at returning to favorite recreational activities, fitness for beginners, baby steps, and next steps.
This month we talked about fitness baby steps.
- MOBALE (Maine Organization for Blind Athletic and Leadership Education) Summer Sports Camp is a starting point for younger, transition-age athletes in New England
- Blind to Billionaire: Getting Started with Fitness; 5 tips that can be done at home (YouTube)
- AT3 State Directory; National Assistive Technology Act Technical Assistance and Training Center. There are opportunities for funding or low interest loans for assistive technology. This article on AT lending and funding shares how some exercise equipment is rightfully considered assistive technology.
- Kirstyn shares her poetic thoughts on getting started with a tandem cycle
- Yoga resources: Video from Montreal Association for the Blind Mackay Rehabilitation Center and Marty Klein's Blind Yoga Flow (YouTube). He sells a 5 CD pack on yoga for beginners who are blind or visually impaired.
- Acoustic Shooting; see the section on crossbow and black powder shooting.
- Eyes Free Fitness ® (Blind Alive); free, accessible fitness for all. Download these and put on a talking book player to get a fitness program started in your own home. Background information from AccessWorld. Lisa recommended the Chair Yoga and Gentle Workout audios as great places to get started with the series.
- Another series of article for beginners include Exercise Does a Body Good from TheBlindPerspective.com
- Golf resources:United States Blind Golf Association (USBGA), or check out Chapter 15 of the Encyclopedia of Sports Recreation for People with Visual Impairments by Andrew Leibs. Available through Bookshare and NLS Talking Books, and covers a wide variety of adapted sports.
May 16, 2019
For our first discussion, we were joined by Michael Robertson, founder of Shared Vision Quest and an avid cyclist who is visually impaired. He shared his story about biking cross country. Then the group asked questions and shared their biking tips and experiences.
May is National Bike Month and includes Bike to Work Day. Our guest speaker was Michael Robertson who founded the non-profit Shared Vision Quest. In addition to Michael?s trip across the country from Cape Flattery, Washington to Lubec, Maine, he mentioned the Trek Across Maine cycling event. Massachusetts Eye and Ear (Mass. Eye and Ear) assisted with some of the fundraising for the trip on a custom Carver road bike from Bath Cycle and Ski.
Other resources mentioned during the discussion:
- Rails-to-Trails resource for locating biking and walking trails converted from unused railroad beds.
- Tips for cyclists who are blind or visually impaired on VisionAware.org site.
- Adventure Cycling for route planning.
- Dee mentioned Blind Stokers Club for connecting tandem cyclists, stokers with captains or pilots and the Tennessee Paracycling Open and the United States Association of Blind Athletes (USABA).
- TriState Adaptive Sports Association in Memphis Tennessee is starting a tandem cycling group.
- Marty mentioned Wisconsin-based Blind Outdoor Leisure Development (BOLD) as a resource with programming that includes tandem biking. Also mentioned Elroy-Sparta State Trail and Glacial Drumlin State Trail, WI.
- Michael mentioned Maine Organization for Blind Athletic and Leadership Education (MOBALE).
Content shared during discussions is for general information purposes only. We encourage you to thoroughly consider if any resource or suggestion is a good fit for you. The inclusion of links does not imply a recommendation or endorsement. The opinions expressed by the participants are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Hadley.