Last updated 31 August 2020 22:00 BST
Useful Contact Information for Blindness Organisations
- Calibre Audio Library
- 01296 432339
- The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association
- 0118 983 5555
- RNIB Helpline, for the National Library Service and support with all aspects of sight loss
- 0303 123 9999
- Thomas Pocklington Trust
- 0208 995 0880
- Torch Trust
- 01858 438260
- VI Talk: a UK Charitable Incorporated Organization (CIO) supporting blind and partially sighted people, their families and friends, and anyone who works in the field of visual impairment. You can find them on Facebook, Twitter, Audioboom, the Sonata player and I Blink Radio. They also have a bimonthly newsletter and a website.
- 0161 298 8255
Republic of Ireland
- ChildVision, National Education Centre for Blind Children
- 01 8373635 or visit their Facebook page for daily updates RE COVID-19 and information for families
- Fighting Blindness
- Visit website for more information
- Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind (IGDB)
- Visit website for more information
- National Council for the Blind of Ireland (NCBI)
- 01 8307033
Free Courses, Tutorials and Webinars
All of these resources are blindness-specific unless otherwise specified.
- AbilityNet Live
- American Printing House for the Blind #AtHomeWithAPH Webinars
- Bookshare Webinars
- DAISY Consortium Webinars
- Dolphin Webinars
- Hadley Instructional Videos
- Meet Me Accessibly – A Guide to Zoom Cloud Meetings from a Blindness Perspective. Free audio book download from Jonathan Mosen.
- National Federation of the Blind of Pennsylvania Webinar Archive
- Technology Association of Visually Impaired People offering Free Webinars
- Let’s Play! a completely free and comprehensive classical guitar curriculum for people with visual impairments by Jeremy Coleman, Austin Classical Guitar & TSBVI.
Health and Wellbeing
Disclaimer: check with your doctor to find out if you have any contra-indications to exercise or if there are any reasons to modify your workout.
- Exercises you can do at home to stay strong
- Exercises that can be done from seated position
- 15 minute strength and balance workout
- 60 minute strength, balance and flexibility workout with warm up and cool down
- 30-Minute Yoga Class for the Visually Impaired. Youtube video via Yoga With Ness.
- Angel Eyes Fitness and Nutrition. Offering online classes via Zoom.
- Blind Alive
- Blind Ambitions Events
- Ask Alexa to “Open Body Coach”.
- Lolo, especially their cycling app
- Metro Blind Sport Audio Exercise Programmes
Please note that the accessibility of these courses cannot be guaranteed:
Libraries and Reading
See also: More EBook Sources from Bookshare
- Audible Stories, free audio books for children
- Bookshare >li>National American Space Agency History Books
- National Braille Press Digital Downloads
- Project Gutenberg
- Calibre Audio Library
- RNIB National Library Service for hard copy publications
- RNIB Reading Services for online access to DAISY and electronic braille
- Scotish Braille Press braille book giveaway
- Seeing Ear National Accessible Library
- Torch Trust
Entertainment and Community
- American Council of the Blind Community Conference Calls
- ACB Radio
- List of Streamable Theatre Performances
- Mushroom FM
- RNIB Connect Radio
- The Tactile Times
The BBC has announced measures to provide a virtual church service. Other core religious programming is also set to continue.
- Sunday Worship on BBC 1
- Sunday Worship on BBC Radio 4
- Songs Of Praise on BBC 1
- Choral Evensong on BBC Radio 3
- Prayer for the Day on BBC Radio 4
- The Daily Service on BBC Radio 4 Longwave and DAB
Bible-based publications are available on their website in over 800 languages. These include music and movies as well as audio (mp3), Screen Reader (RTF) and Notetaker (BRL) formats. Also, their free JW Library app is compatible with assistive readers.
For further information, email [email protected] or telephone Maggie Brown on 07804 204867.
A wide range of accessible Christian literature is available for purchase in braille, large print and audio, including leading Christian magazines and bible reading notes. The Torch lending library is also continuing to operate during the current crisis.
For more information, email [email protected] or telephone client services on 01858 438260.
Information for Blind Artists
Significant grants are available from Artscouncil England. For further information please see the links below:
- Arts Council England: Responding to the COVID-19 Emergency
- Arts Council England: Diversity and our Emergency Response
Carla Savage and Terry-Ann Saurmann, regular contributors to our conference calls, have asked us to share the following information. The Braillists Foundation disclaims any liability for issues which may arise as a consequence of taking advantage of these resources:
We are involved in several WhatsApp chat groups that specifically discuss low tech and high tech technology, artificial intelligence devices, and games. All such groups are specifically directed toward the interests of and use by persons who are blind or visually impaired. While these chat groups accommodate both voice and text messaging, the majority of messages are posted via voice.
Regarding the chat groups to which Carla and I belong, interested people wishing to join must be invited/added to the group of interest by an Administrator of the group in question, For security reasons. The only requirement is a cell phone number given to the admin who would then add said person to the group, because a cell phone is necessary in order to use the application.
As a standard practice, all WhatsApp messages are encrypted. If the user has a good Wi-Fi or data connection, the voice messages are as clear as the microphone from which they are recorded. If voice messages are recorded from either an Android or iPhone, the quality of the recordings are usually very clear. In contrast, If a Bluetooth headset or earpiece is used, the quality of the recorded messages are determined by the version of Bluetooth used by the head set or earpiece and the quality of its microphone. The WhatsApp application can be downloaded free of charge from either the AppStore or the Google Play Store.
One such chat group that might be of interest to some members of the Braillists group is called “Eyes On Health.” Owned and Moderated by a gentleman named Matthew, it is a “forum to discuss healthy ideas, recipes, exercises and such. Physical health leads to good mental health.” In recent weeks, a major topic of discussion has been the ways in which the Apple watch and IPhone are of help to users who are tracking their health data.
Another such WhatsApp chat group that might be of interest to some members of the Braillists group is called “Braille Displays and Keyboards,” owned and Moderated by a gentleman named Paul, and also moderated by Carla. This WhatsApp chat group discusses Braille displays and keyboards that can be paired with Smart Phones and how they can be used, including their stand alone capabilities. This also includes note takers and using these devices with computers as well as tablets and other products.
In addition, we know about the following:
Press Statements and Organisation Responses
- American Foundation for the Blind Event Cancellation FAQ
- As I Am: Explainer: COVID-19 and Changes to Work
- BBC sets out plan to inform, educate and entertain during unprecedented times
- Dolphin Computer Access Ltd Response to Coronavirus
- Guide Dogs for the Blind Association Response to Coronavirus
- Hartgen Consultancy: Product Discounts in Testing Times
- International Council on English Braille for information on their postponed General Assembly (now W/C 19 October 2020)
- Microphthalmia, Anophthalmia and Coloboma Support Response to Coronavirus
- National Federation of the Blind Response to COVID-19
- NFB of Colorado Response to Coronavirus
- RNIB response to Coronavirus
- Sight Advice FAQ on Coronavirus
- Sight and Sound Technology Ltd Response to Coronavirus
- Thomas Pocklington Trust Response to Coronavirus
- Thomas Pocklington Trust Hub closure
- Visionary Response to Coronavirus
- Visual Impairment: Education and Welfare (VIEW) Information on Coronavirus
- Vocaleyes: The Interval
- Wales Council of the Blind Information on Coronavirus
- World Blind Union Status of General Assembly
- RNIB campaign for priority access to online supermarket deliveries for blind and partially sighted people
- World Blind Union Calls for Accessible and Inclusive Services on Coronavirus
- Accessible COVID-19 Statistics Tracker from Tyler Littlefield
- BBC Advice on Social Distancing and Self-Isolation
- Double Tap Coronavirus advice for blind and partially sighted people
- Free JAWS, ZoomText and Fusion (UK)
- JAWS Scripts and NVDA Add-Ons from Doug Lee, including for many popular chat applications
- JAWS Scripts for Zoom from Briam Hartgen
- National Federation of the Blind advice for accessible remote learning
- Resources from the Royal College of Ophthalmologists
- The Woodland Trust: Birdsong Page
Talking Compass from Chris Norman
You can view the web version here.
You can get the source code and install it on your own phone using Flutter here. You’ll need the beta version of Flutter to run.
If people want to use the app, Chris is more than happy to work with them over NVDA remote to install it. Email [email protected] or call 07886 897080.