Saturday, March 30, 2013

TapTapSee App

Logo of TapTapSee App
Just got an email from the Ai Squared Blog telling us about TapTapSee, a new app designed for the blind and visually impaired that can be used to identify what's in front of you. You point the device at the object, double tap when the object is in focus, and within seconds, VoiceOver tells you what it is.

My husband, Bill, tried it on our cat and it said, "Picture 1 is a black cat." Then he tried it on our dog and it said "Picture 2 is a white puppy." Actually, she's white and black. On a photograph in a frame on a shelf, it said it was "a couple's photo." When he took a picture of me, it said, "Picture 3 is a woman using laptop."

He tried it on a can of SpotNot, a pair of binoculars, a package of sun-dried tomatoes, a banana, a pill container, and a remote control and the app correctly identified all of them.  You can even go back one photo and hear it again if you miss it. All in all, we were pretty impressed.

This is a free app that is compatible with iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. You can download it at this link: TapTapSee.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Attention: Blind Veterans and Veterans with Visual Impairments in Tulsa Area

A new support group has just formed for blind and visually impaired veterans in the Tulsa area. The group meets at 2:30 p.m., the first and third Tuesday of each month in the Boomer-Sooner Room at the VA Center located on 41st Street between Memorial and Mingo.

For more information, contact Richard Davidson at 918-628-2556.

Plan Ahead!

2013 Convention A Great Deal for You

Let's make a deal!!!  You come to the 2013 Conference and Convention of the Oklahoma Council of the Blind at the Wyndham Gardens Hotel in Oklahoma City on September 20-22 and the Convention Committee promises to have great deals for you throughout the convention!

The theme is DEAL:  Development, Empowerment, Advocacy and Leadership.  You must be empowered to learn how to advocate, develop strategies and take leadership.  Doing all that is empowering to the max!

American Council of the Blind CEO Melanie Brunson will join us for the weekend.

Friday during the day everyone is invited to participate in a special employment seminar, with presentations from Ms. Brunson, Doug Ross who was responsible for finding cool jobs for blind people and other employment-related speakers.  Topics on Friday will empower counselors and consumers to work with clients and others to learn how to navigate while looking for and retaining employment.

The Visual Services Consumer Advisory Committee will also meet on Friday afternoon.  So, the deal is there is a lot to choose from on Friday.

Then the action begins Friday night with a special surprise.  It wouldn't be a surprise if I spilled the beans, now would it?

Sleeping rooms at the Wyndham Gardens Hotel are only $81 plus tax up to four people in the room.  Can't beat a deal like that in this economy.  When making your reservations, (405) 685-4000, please let the staff you are with OCB so you will get the special rate!

Details on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday agenda will be forthcoming, and we're lining up speakers and our special friend and auctioneer Pat Kelly plans to join us on Saturday night.  So, you know what that means . shopping for those special deals . so, don't go to the casino and lose to the dealer, instead, save up those pennys and take advantage of some good deals at the auction.

And the deal of the century is that registration for five meals hasn't gone up . It's still $80.  Can't beat a deal like that!!!!  The Heartland Council of the Blind generously plans to provide food on Friday night and whet your taste buds for four great meals at the hotel throughout the weekend!

So, can we cut you in on this great deal?  Want to help plan the convention? Have any suggestions for exhibitors?  Let the Convention Committee in on your ideas!  

Vicky Golightly,

OCB Secretary and Convention Committee Member

Julie Brantley, 2013 Conference and Convention Chairman

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Let NLS Know What You Think - Survey

TCB members and friends, this is just one way to let your opinions be known about a service that a lot of us already use. Let NLS know what you think.


The Library of Congress National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS) is conducting a survey to understand how to better serve the needs of readers of talking books and braille. Take the survey now to let your opinions be heard and help us better serve you! You do not have to be a current NLS reader to take the survey. The survey should take no longer than 25 minutes. It will be used to improve services to current readers and to find out what services readers of talking books and braille are looking for. 

If you are not currently using NLS, let us know what services you want and how we can add you to our list of NLS readers. If you are a current NLS reader, let us know what we are doing well, where we can improve, and what new services you would like NLS to offer. 

You can take the survey in one of two ways - take the survey anytime online at (www.libraryofcongresssurvey.comor call in to schedule a time to take the survey over the phone by calling 866-545-1618. Your answers to the survey questions will be kept confidential. Your responses will not be linked to you individually. Survey responses will only be reported at an aggregate level, meaning we will combine your responses with those of others who are similar to you. 

Please take the survey only once.

NLS Mobile Applications

NLS is in the process of developing applications to enable the download and reading of its books using commercial mobile devices. Two versions are being developed independently-one for Apple iOS devices (iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad) and one for Google Android devices.  

Some features are outlined below. 

The applications will:

  • Play NLS digital talking books (ANSI/NISO Z39.96-2002)
  • Communicate with Bluetooth-connected refreshable braille displays for reading NLS braille (BRF) files 
  • Download books directly from BARD 
  • Accept books loaded from a connected computer (e.g., iTunes files)
  • Be free, but require a BARD account to be activated and to download books
  • Employ the accessibility features native to the devices, such as Talkback and Brailleback on Android and Voiceover on iOS
The iOS application is at the internal testing stage. The NLS Engineering Section is evaluating this working version without all of its final features. NLS plans to have the Beta version, with corrections and enhanced functionality, available for selected Beta testers to evaluate in several weeks. The iOS version is expected to be available to patrons in late spring.

The Android application will only be available on Android 4.2 "Jelly Bean" and later versions because of poor accessibility support on earlier versions. The application is expected to be available to patrons on the Android market in late summer. 

Richard J. Smith, Director

Disabilities Awareness Day

By now you all know that the DRS People with Disabilities Awareness Day is April 3 at the Capitol from noon to 4:30.  We know we should visit our legislators and wear green and be seen.

What you might not know is that the group that has the most representatives will be recognized at the event.  So, when you register, let it be known you are coming representing OCB.

Contact Cathy Martin at 405 951-3478 to register and tell her that you would like to register as an OCB member.  The group with the most members in attendance will be recognized.  I repeat this twice because we want to do anything and everything to bring OCB and what we stand for into the lime light. 

Vicky Golightly

Accessible Tax Forms

U.S. taxpayers can find "Accessible Forms & Publications" from the Internal Revenue Service.