Wednesday, October 31, 2012

News Release: Social Security

Logo: Social Security

News Release

 Social Security Announces 1.7 Percent Benefit Increase for 2013

Monthly Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for nearly 62 million Americans will increase 1.7 percent in 2013, the Social Security Administration announced today.
The 1.7 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) will begin with benefits that more than 56 million Social Security beneficiaries receive in January 2013.  Increased payments to more than 8 million SSI beneficiaries will begin on December 31, 2012.

Some other changes that take effect in January of each year are based on the increase in average wages.  Based on that increase, the maximum amount of earnings subject to the Social Security tax (taxable maximum) will increase to $113,700 from $110,100.  Of the estimated 163 million workers who will pay Social Security taxes in 2013, nearly 10 million will pay higher taxes as a result of the increase in the taxable maximum.

Information about Medicare changes for 2013, when announced, will be available <> .  For some beneficiaries, their Social Security increase may be partially or completely offset by increases in Medicare premiums. 

The Social Security Act provides for how the COLA is calculated.  To read more, please visit

Monday, October 22, 2012

MacForTheBlind for Visually Impaired using Apple Products is a place specifically for blind people who are either users or potential users of Macintosh computers or iOS devices, such as the iPhone, iPad or iPod. I am a blind individual who has used the Mac ever since VoiceOver became available in OS 10.4 Tiger, and I own a Mac Mini, Mac Book Pro laptop computer, and both an iPhone 4S and iPad 3rd generation. In addition, I am an Authorized Apple Business Affiliate, and as an Apple Certified Support Professional for Mac OS X Lion, I offer training and technical support for individuals, agencies and organizations on the mac and all iDevices, as well as offering assistive technology consulting.
Photo of Boy, Girl, iPhone, and Other Mac Products seeks to do the following:
1.      Provide information and answers to common questions about VoiceOver on the Mac or iOS devices.
2.      Make available “how to” posts, tips and tricks, and other basic tutorials on a variety of Mac and iOS related subjects, such as software and apps.
3.      Provide resources, links to podcasts, and other useful links to other Mac related sites in our community.
4.      Offer help for common and even not so common technical support issues on the Mac or iDevices.
5.      Make available opportunities for training with VoiceOver on either the Mac or on iOS devices.
6.      Offer training and demonstration videos and/or podcasts.
7.      Offer advertisement opportunities for developers and other companies.

Overall, our hope is to provide another location for technical support and education for both veteran users and new users alike. We are quite aware that there are a growing number of sites out there that attempt to do this, and we do not seek to compete or detract from them. As the community of blind users of the Mac platform and iDevices continues to grow, additional resources for us all will only help everyone.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Blind boy, 7, become jazz sensation . . .

Jose Andre Montano Baina is a rising star in Bolivia's music scene although he's blind and only seven-years-old. .

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

In the News: Help for the Blind and Visually Impaired

In the news: iPhone app, tactile pavements, braille fashion, sports and digitizing books.

Fleksy: A mobile keyboard app for the blind that the sighted will love too. Type your message in the general area of the correct letters and its prediction engine will correct your typing mistakes.

Photo of Fleksy mobile keyboard app.
Tactile pavements - embossed bars that help the blind and visually impaired move around in shopping centers, airports and hospitals. Unfortunately, they are only in Japan. When will we get them here?

Photo of tactile pavements in train station.
Not really news, but I thought this one was fun. A t-shirt designer who is using braille designs on clothes: Canadian Raised Braille Fashions.

Photo of t-shirts made with braille designs. 
Blind archer set world record in London 2012 olympics - from July 2012. Don't say "I can't do it!"

Photo of blind archer in front of target. 
Google ruling on digitizing books - federal judge concluded that digitizing books in order to enhance research and provide access for the blind and visually impaired is lawful.
Photo of e-book reader and books.

TCB's White Cane Awareness Walk Made Channel Six!

KOTV Channel 6 in Tulsa aired the Tulsa Council of the Blind White Cane Awareness Walk last night on the 10 pm news. News reporter Lacie Lowry followed us down Peoria while twenty-two blind and sighted individuals followed Representative Jeannie McDaniel and Senator Brian Crain as they took turns walking blindfolded and using a white cane. I believe they got the picture about some of the issues facing blind and visually impaired persons who travel the streets of Tulsa. They also got to experience the kinds of information received when using a cane.

Julie Bailey
TCB President

Photo of News Reporter Lacie Lowry interviewing
TCB President, Julie Bailey

Photo of TCB Members gathering
 for the White Cane Awareness Walk

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Monthly Meeting and Dinner - October 12, 2012

Our October meeting will be held from 6:00-7:30 pm, on October 12, 2012. at the West Tulsa Free Will Baptist Church in the Family Life Center (2332 S. Nogales Ave, Tulsa, OK. 

  • Welcome by President Julie Bailey
  • Secretary’s Report Allison F.
  • Treasurer’s Report – Jesse M. 
  • Old Business: White Cane Safety Day Walk – Julie Bailey
  • New Business:
  • Discussion of October 20th Strategic planning meeting  Julie Bailey
  • Reading of Nominated Slate of 2013 TCB Officers – Joe Fallin
  • Committee to plan annual Christmas Party – Julie Bailey
  • Come at 5:30 for dinner. Cost of dinner is $5.00 each (plus tip, if you can).