edited by Sharon Strzalkowski
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.
Uber recently launched Uber Health, a program that will partner with healthcare organizations to provide reliable, comfortable transportation for patients. The program allows healthcare professionals to order rides for patients going to and from the care they need.
Over 100 healthcare organizations in the U.S, including hospitals, clinics, rehab centers, senior care facilities, home care centers, and physical therapy centers are already using Uber Health as a part of the beta program, including Adams Clinical, Blood Centers of the Pacific, Georgetown Home Care, LifeBridge Health, MedStar Health, Manhattan Women’s Health, NYU Perlmutter Cancer Center, Pro Staff Physical Therapy, ProActive Work Health Services, Project Open Hand, Renown Health, Thundermist Health Center and Yale New Haven Health.
New from National Braille Press
“The Prince and the Porker” by Peter Bently and David Roberts is one of NBP’s newest offerings. It is available in contracted braille (UEB) for ages 3 to 8, and tells the story of Pignatius in a funny reimagining of Mark Twain’s “The Prince and the Pauper.” Pignatius lets his greed get the best of him one day when he sees fresh-baked pastries cooling on a tray. Check this book out to learn what happens next!
Every class has at least one kid who causes lots of trouble. “Weekend with Wendell” is a story about just such a person. When Wendell comes to stay with Sophie and her parents for the weekend, he wrecks her toys, messes up the house, and even gives her a new hairdo. Read to find out what happens when Sophie turns the tables on Wendell!
“Getting Ready for College Begins in Third Grade” by Carol Castellano guides parents and teachers on how to work toward an independent future for their blind/visually impaired child. It’s available in print and as a BRF. This book includes chapters on high expectations, academics, independent living skills, independent movement and travel, social interaction and social skills, daily living, and self-advocacy. It also gives parents the information they need to prepare their child for an independent life.
Craving a real-life adventure? Check out “Rescue and Jessica: A Life-Changing Friendship,” by Jessica Kensky and Patrick Downes. This book, too, is in contracted UEB, for ages 5 to 12. It’s based on a real-life partnership. Rescue wants to be a Seeing Eye dog, but he’s better suited to being a service dog. Then he meets Jessica, a girl whose life is turning out differently than she’d imagined, too. Rescue helps Jessica see her way forward. An endnote from the authors tells more about the training and extraordinary abilities of service dogs, particularly their real-life best friend and black lab, Rescue.
In the health section, newly available is “Blueprint for Men’s Health: A Guide to a Healthy Lifestyle.” It is available in braille (two volumes), and includes three tactile graphics. There is a BRF version, but it does not include the graphics. Are you aware that, on average, men have a shorter life expectancy than women? More than half of the premature deaths among men are preventable – but you can’t prevent a problem if you don’t know it exists. This book talks about the health issues men face, from diabetes and cancer to prostate health, addiction and substance abuse issues, and the factors that increase your risk. It also tells you how to recognize symptoms, and gives you some practical prevention and treatment strategies.
For more information on any of these books, contact National Braille Press, 88 St. Stephen St., Boston, MA 02115-4302; phone 1-800-548-7323, or visit www.nbp.org/ic/nbp/publications/index.html.
Computer Training Book
“Making Computers Fun” by Dan Thompson is an introduction to computer basics using NVDA and magnification. The package includes a guide in print (or braille upon request) and a DVD containing all materials. The guide has five sections, with 30 lessons. Section one orients you to the computer, keyboard, and helps you learn to adjust the font size and type on your screen. Section two covers Microsoft Word 2010, while section three covers Outlook 2010. Section four discusses use of the Internet, and section five discusses archiving personal communication, recipes, music, etc.
Dan is currently working on presenting the same information using “Dictation Bridge,” a dictation software produced by NV Access. For more information, contact Dan Thompson via email, email@example.com, or by phone, (217) 473-4434.
New Treatment in the Works for Dry Eye
Ocugen, Inc., recently announced positive results from its Phase 2 clinical trial of OCU310, a novel combination of brimondine tartrate and a corticosteroid, loteprednol etabonate, being developed as a treatment for dry eye disease. The randomized, multi-center, double-blinded, placebo-controlled study met its primary endpoint of tolerability over a 12-week period. The study results also showed meaningful improvements across a number of endpoints related to the signs and symptoms of dry eye disease when compared to a placebo. Ocugen aims to advance OCU310 into Phase 3 clinical studies in the third quarter of 2018.
Prague Museum Uses VR in a New Way
How many times have you heard the phrase, “No touching!” in a museum or elsewhere? The National Gallery of Prague launched “Touching Masterpieces,” a campaign that lets blind and visually impaired people touch iconic sculptures in virtual space.
Created with help from Geometry Prague and NeuroDigital, in collaboration with the Leontinka Foundation for the blind and visually impaired, the virtual reality experience features haptic Avatar VR gloves, specially adapted for this campaign, that let the blind “touch” work like Michelangelo’s David, Venus de Milo and the bust of Nefertiti.
Club Platinum Train Express
Want to chat with others, but don’t have a computer? Check out the Club Platinum Train Express, (712) 432-5198. There are a number of chat rooms available, as well as games such as trivia, etc. You can also make prayer requests and participate in many different activities, including karaoke. Club Platinum Train Express also has a Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/groups/545065135559051/.