The start of each article is marked with an asterisk. Using the find/replace feature of your word processor, type in the asterisk (shift plus numeral eight) then hit enter to jump between articles.
01 Music History
02 interesting facts
03 Top 10 Student Loan Tips for Recent Graduatesand Not So Recent Too!
04 Trivia for the Week
05 Audio Description Comes to Amazon Prime
05 SEE3D – Teenagers Expand the Visual World for People Who Are Blind
06 Google in the Classroom – Chromebooks and G Suite Apps
07 Review of Microsoft OneNote for students with low vision and dysgraphia
08 How to properly back up your computer
09 blocking edge in windows ten
10 How to properly back up your computer
11 the availability of 4 GB up to 16 GB blank cartridges for the nls players now from Perkins School Library
12 Ziplining is also known by other names such as an inclined strong, flying fox, and Tyrolean
13 When the Storms Rage and the Winds Blow
14 Kari Jobe – I Am Not Alone (Live)
Articles start next
*1. Music History, September 8th: On this Date in Music History
1952, After Atlantic Records bought Ray Charles’ contract from Swingtime, Charles recorded his first session for Atlantic, cutting four songs. Over the next seven years, he would record such classics as ‘Mess Around,’ ‘I Got a Woman,’ ‘Hallelujah, I Love Her So’ and ‘What’d I Say.’
1956, Eddie Cochran signed a one year contract with Liberty Records, Cochran went on to give Liberty three top 40 hits over the next several years including ‘Summertime Blues,’ ‘Twenty Flight Rock’ and ‘C’mon Everybody’.
1957, Reet Petite’ by Jackie Wilson was released for the first time, it became a UK No. 1, 29 years later. During a 1975 benefit concert, Wilson collapsed on-stage from a heart attack and subsequently fell into a coma that persisted for nearly nine years until his death in 1984.
1968, The Beatles performed ‘Hey Jude’ on the UK television show ‘Frost On Sunday’ in front of an invited audience. The song was the first single from The Beatles’ record label Apple Records and at over seven minutes in length, ‘Hey Jude’ was, at the time, the longest single ever to top the British charts.
It also spent nine weeks as No.1 in the United States-the longest run at the top of the American charts for a Beatles’ single.
appeared at Raventlow Parken, Nykobing, Falster, Denmark supported by The Beatnicks and The Ladybirds, (who were a all girl topless go-go dancing outfit).
This was the group’s third ever live gig.
1971, The Tams were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘Hey Girl Don’t Bother Me’, a reissue of a 1964 US hit.
Gaye started a two week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘Let’s Get It On’, his second US No.1, only reached No.31 in the UK.
Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and
The Beach Boys
all appeared at the New York ‘Summersault ’74’ at Roosevelt Raceway in
1977, Guitarist Jimmy McCulloch left Wings to help re-form the
McCulloch had played with
band on the Venus and Mars and Wings At the Speed of Sound albums, as well
as on the Wings Over America tour. He died two years later at the age of 26.
Drummer Joe English also left Wings at this time, joining Sea Level.
scored their eighth UK No.1 album when ‘In Through The Out Door’ went to
the top of the charts for two weeks. The eighth studio album by Zeppelin,
their final album of entirely new material.
had his first UK No.1 with ‘I Just Called To Say I Love You’. Taken from
the film ‘The Woman In Red’, it was 18 years after Wonder’s chart debut in
The song stayed at No.1 for six weeks.
1990, Jon Bon Jovi went to No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘Blaze Of
Glory’, a No.2 in the UK. The track appeared in the motion picture Young
for which it was originally recorded.
and Courtney Love appeared on stage together at a show in Hollywood. They
performed a song they wrote together ‘Penny Royal Tea’.
1997, Derek Taylor the publicist for
died aged 67. Taylor had been responsible for many of the legends
surrounding their career and had also worked with
The Beach Boys
and The Byrds. In 1967 he helped organise the
Monterey Pop Festival
together with Lou Adler and John Philips. He helped launch the Beatles
Anthology trilogy in the 90’s.
1997, 29 years after the band first formed, Led Zeppelin released
‘Whole Lotta Love’,
their first ever single in the UK. The track recorded in 1969 and featured
on the bands second album was issued to promote their re-issued back
1999, Sean Puffy Combes and his bodyguard Paul Offered both pleaded guilty
to harassment in a New York Court. The pair faced charges of assaulting
company executive Steve Stoute with a champagne bottle a chair and a
2002, Iron Maiden singer Bruce Dickinson started his new job as an airline
pilot. The heavy metal singer qualified as a £35,000 – a year first officer
with Gatwick based airline Astraeus who took holidaymakers to Portugal and
performed the first interactive concert when his performance was beamed
live into 21 cinemas from Warsaw to Edinburgh. Members of the audience
to Bowie via microphones linked to ISDN lines and took requests for songs
frontman Robert Plant was guest of honour at the unveiling of a statue of
15th century rebel leader Owain Glyndwr at Pennal church, near Machynlleth
Wales. Plant, who owns a farmhouse in the area had donated money towards a
bronze sculpture of the Welsh prince.
2005, Rod Stewart was ordered to pay a Las Vegas casino $2m (£1.1m) for
missing a New Year concert in 2000. Stewart had said he was unable to play
Rio hotel and casino because his voice disappeared after an operation to
remove a cancerous thyroid tumour. The singer said his voice only recovered
time to begin a world tour in June 2001 and he had since performed 150
2005, A charity album featuring some of the biggest bands in the UK was
thought to be the fastest ever produced.
Kaiser Chiefs, Antony and the Johnsons, The Magic Numbers, The Coral, Bloc
Party and Gorillaz were among those who recorded tracks for ‘Help: A Day in
the Life.’ The whole 22-track album was made available for download from
the War Child website the following day.
2007, Foxy Brown was sent to jail for a year in New York for violating her
probation terms after she travelled outside New York without the court’s
and had missed anger management classes. The rapper (real name Inga
Marchand), was arrested for allegedly assaulting a neighbour and in October
was put on probation for allegedly assaulting two nail salon workers in
2007, A commemorative plaque dedicated to Don Arden and the Small Faces was
unveiled at 52-55 Carnaby Street, London, Arden’s former offices. Arden
notoriety in Britain for his aggressive, sometimes illegal business tactics
and looked after the career’s of Small Faces, the Move, the Electric Light
He was the father of Sharon Osbourne (and father-in-law of
2011, Jury selection began for the involuntary manslaughter trial of
doctor, Conrad Murray. Prospective jurors were asked to fill out a 30-page
questionnaire to determining their level of knowledge of the case and any
views about Jackson or Murray.
2016, Jamaican singer, songwriter and producer, Prince Buster died in a
hospital in Miami, Florida, after suffering heart problems. The first
to have a top 20 hit in the UK, Prince Buster defined the sound of ska in
the 1960s before going on to inspire the Two Tone movement of the late ’70s.
contributed by Alan Dicey
*2) Interesting Facts
Splenda was an insecticide that became a sweetener when an assistant misheard an order to “test” it as “taste” it.
A stick of chewing gum costs five cents to buy but 17 cents to clean off the pavement.
Second Street is the most common street name in the USA. First Street is the third most common.
The Green Zone Golf Club is on the border of Finland and Sweden: half the holes are in one country and half in the other.
Bruce Lee was Hong Kong’s 1958 cha-cha dance champion.
The nectar of citrus plants contains caffeine to attract bees.
*3) Top 10 Student Loan Tips for Recent Graduates—
and Not So Recent, Too!
Whether you just graduated, are taking a break from school, or have already started repaying your student loans, these tips will help you keep your student loan debt under control.
By “under control” I mean avoiding fees and extra interest costs, keeping your payments affordable, protecting your credit rating and paying those loans in full as quickly as possible. If you’re having trouble finding a job or keeping up with your payments, there’s important information here for you, too.
1. Know your loans. It’s important to keep track of the lender, balance and repayment status for each of your student loans. These details determine your options for loan repayment and forgiveness. If you’re not sure, ask your lender or visit NSLDS.ed.gov. You can log in and see the loan amounts, lender(s), and repayment status for all of your federal loans. If some of your loans aren’t listed, they’re probably private (non-federal) loans. For those, try to find a recent billing
statement or the original paperwork that you signed. Contact your school if you can’t locate any records.
2. Know your grace period. Different loans have different grace periods. A grace period is the time between leaving school before you must make your first payment. It’s six months for federal Stafford loans, but nine months for federal Perkins loans. For federal parent or PLUS loans, it depends on when the loans were issued (see details). The grace periods for private student loans vary, so consult your paperwork or contact your lender to find out. Don’t miss your first
3. Stay in touch with your lender. Whenever you move or change your phone
number or email address, tell your lender right away. If your lender needs to contact you and your information isn’t current, it can end up costing you a bundle.
Open and read every piece of mail?paper or electronic?that you receive about your student loans. If you’re getting unwanted calls from your lender or a collection agency, don’t stick your head in the sand. Talk to your lender. Lenders are supposed to work with borrowers to resolve problems, and collection agencies have to follow certain rules. Ignoring bills or serious problems can lead to default,
which has severe, long-term consequences (see Tip 6 for more aboutdefault).
4. Pick the right repayment option. When your federal loans come due, your loan payments will automatically be based on a standard 10-year repayment plan,
although there will be no prepayment penalty if you speed the repayment process by doubling up on payments or paying down big chunks of the principal ahead of
If the standard payment is going to be difficult for you to cover, there are other options, and you can change plans down the line if you want or need to. Extending your repayment period beyond 10 years can lower your monthly payments, but you’ll end up paying more interest?often a lot more?over the life of the loan. You will live to regret that decision.
One option is the Income-Based Repayment (IBR) program. It can cap your
monthly payments at a reasonable percentage of your income each year, and forgive any debt remaining after 25 years of affordable and on-time payments. Forgiveness may be available after just 10 years of these payments for borrowers in the public and nonprofit sectors (see Tip 10). To find out more about Income-Based Repayment and how it might work for you, visit IBRinfo.org.
Private loans are not eligible for IBR or the other federal loan payment plans, deferments, forbearances or forgiveness programs. However, the lender may offer some type of forbearance, typically for a fee. Read your original private loan paperwork carefully and then talk to the lender about what repayment options you may have.
5. Don’t panic. If you’re having trouble making payments because of
unemployment, health problems or other unexpected financial challenges,
remember that you have options for managing your federal student loans. There are legitimate ways to temporarily postpone your federal loan payments, such as deferments and forbearance. Just keep in mind that the interest will continue to accrue and be added to the principal amount, even though your payments may have been suspended.
For example, an unemployment deferment might be the right choice for you if you’re having trouble finding work right now. But beware: interest accrues on all types of loans during forbearances, and on some types of loans during deferment, increasing your total debt, so ask your lender about making interest-only payments
if you can afford it. If you expect your income to be lower than you’d hoped for more than a few months, check out Income-Based Repayment. Your required payment in IBR can be as little as $0 when your income is very low. Refer back to Tip 4 for more about IBR and other repayment options.
6. Stay out of trouble. Ignoring your student loans has serious consequences that can last a lifetime. Not paying can lead to delinquency and default. For federal loans, default kicks in after nine months of non-payment. When you default, your total loan balance becomes due, your credit score is ruined, the total amount you owe increases dramatically, and the government can garnish your wages and seize your tax refunds and eventually your Social Security benefits if you default on a federal loan.
For private loans, default can happen much more quickly and can put anyone who cosigned for your loan at risk as well. Talk to your lender right away if you’re in danger of default. You can also find helpful information at StudentLoanBorrowerAssistance.org.
7. Lower the principal. When you make a federal student loan payment, it covers any late fees first, then interest, and finally the principal. If you can afford to pay more than your required monthly payment?even occasionally?you can lower your principal, which reduces the amount of interest you have to pay over the life of the loan. Include a written request to your lender to make sure that the extra amount is applied to your principal. Otherwise, it will automatically be applied to future payments instead. Keep copies for your records and check back to be sure the overpayment was applied correctly.
8. Pay off the most expensive loans first. If you’re considering paying off one or more of your loans ahead of schedule or trying to reduce the principal, start with the one that has the highest interest rate. If you have private loans in addition to federal loans, start with your private loans, since they almost always have higher
interest rates and lack the flexible repayment options and other protections of federal loans.
9. To consolidate or not to consolidate. A consolidation loan combines multiple loans into one for a single monthly payment and one fixed interest rate. If this is appealing, make sure you know all of the pros and cons first, before you consolidate. You can consolidate your federal student loans through the Direct Loan program, and this calculator can help you figure out what your interest rate
would be.For private consolidation loans, shop around carefully for a low or fixed interest rate if you can find one, and read all the fine print.
Never consolidate federal loans into a private student loan (or even a home equity or other non-student loan), or you’ll lose all the repayment options and borrower benefits?like unemployment deferments and loan forgiveness programs?that come with federal loans.
10. Loan forgiveness. There are various programs that will forgive all or some of your federal student loans if you work in certain fields or for certain types of employers. Public Service Loan Forgiveness is a fairly new federal program that forgives any student debt remaining after 10 years of qualifying payments for people in government, nonprofit and other public service jobs. Find out more at
IBRinfo.org. There are other federal loan forgiveness options available for teachers, nurses, Ameri-Corps and PeaceCorps volunteers, and other professions, as well as some state, school and private programs (see some examples).
Author: Mary Hunt on 09/08/17
*4) Trivia for the Week
1. Before becoming a successful film director, Rob Reiner played Michael Stivic on what classic sitcom?
a. Happy Days
(answer: Robert Reiner enjoyed success in the entertainment industry as an actor, a writer and a director. As an actor, Reiner first came to national prominence with the role of Michael Stivic on All in the Family. He was the live-in son-in-law of the series’ lead character, Archie Bunker, who frequently called him “Meathead”. He went on to explore the world behind the camera with films like Stand By Me, When Harry Met Sally, The Princess Bride, and A Few Good Men. Rob Reiner is the son of comedic genius Carl Reiner.)
*5) Audio Description Comes to Amazon Prime
In the July 2015 issue of AccessWorld , we took a look at the audio description feature that had just recently been added to many shows in the Netflix lineup. Audio description is an additional audio track that describes visual and unspoken aspects of a movie or TV show. Audio description is provided primarily so that people with visual impairments can gain a better understanding of what is going on onscreen.
When it first launched, some subscribers had difficulty getting the audio description feature to work on their various devices, but Netflix quickly worked to solve all existing problems. When that July 2015 AccessWorld article was written, there were 87 shows on Netflix containing audio description.
One year later, we took a look at how far Netflix had come with implementation of audio description on their network.
The number of programs containing an audio description track had jumped from 87 to over 150, and accessibility to the service had improved dramatically across all devices used by the blind community. Today, according to the list available from the American Council of the Blind’s Audio Description Project , there are currently around 445 audio-described programs on Netflix.
Shortly after Netflix began offering audio-described content, Apple started offering movies with audio description in the iTunes Store . Along with the ability to filter search results in order to only see content with audio descriptions, iTunes makes it quite easy to determine whether a movie includes an audio description track by simply looking at the details of the movie provided in the Store, just like you would to see if a show had closed captioning.
With Netflix and Apple both providing audio-described content with their movies, the blind community began to ask other providers when they planned to do likewise. The most recent content provider to step up to the plate has been Amazon.
On June 9 of this year, the American Council of the Blind and Amazon announced that Amazon Prime was offering 117 movies and 10 TV series with audio description. The ACB’s Audio Description Project (ADP) now links to a page on Amazon that shows all content with audio description.
As of this writing, there are 133 titles available. Many are free with your Prime membership, while others must be rented or purchased. Titles are sorted by heading for easy navigation with a screen reader, and links are provided to watch programs, rent or purchase them, or add them to a watch list for later viewing. The ADP also offers its own page with an alphabetized listing of Amazon programs with audio description .
How to Access Audio-Described Content On Amazon Prime
For this article, I tested one documentary, 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi, available to watch for free with my Amazon Prime subscription. I tested Amazon Prime’s audio description feature using a Windows 10 computer running JAWS version 18 and the latest version of the Firefox browser, a Mac running Safari, and an iPhone 6 running the latest version of iOS 10. I did not test the feature using an Amazon tablet, or an Android device, and audio description is not yet available on the Apple TV, according to the information found on ADP’s Amazon page.
Accessing Amazon Prime’s Audio-Described Content On a Windows 10 PC
After pressing Enter on the link found in the title of my documentary, I was easily able to find controls to resume watching the program (I had been watching it earlier) or start from the beginning. Try as I might, after I began playing the program, I was unable to get to the screen I needed to enable audio description. ADP’s Amazon page states that a sighted person must enable this feature once, but that it will stay enabled thereafter. I did not ask my sighted wife to enable the feature for me. I will wait until I can turn on audio description independently before I watch audio-described Amazon content on my PC.
Accessing Amazon Prime’s Audio-Described Content On a Mac
Unfortunately, I had no success accessing audio description on my Mac, either. After I pressed Enter on the title of the documentary, I repeatedly got stuck in a dialog box that kept popping up wanting me to give the program a star rating. I could not seem to get past this dialog in order to start playing the program.
Accessing Amazon Prime’s Audio-Described Content On iOS 10
Using the free Amazon Prime Video app on my iPhone,
I did a search for the title of my documentary. After opening the details page of the program, I was again given the chance to resume watching the program, or start from the beginning. Unfortunately, as was the case with the two other devices I tested, I was unable to determine whether the program was audio-described from reading any of the detailed information available from this page. Because I had enabled audio description on my iPhone previously, the show, complete with audio description track, began playing as soon as I activated the control to begin watching the program from the beginning. When the program began, my phone went into landscape mode. Since I did not quickly begin examining the screen, the video controls disappeared. I had to double-tap the “video” label to get them back. I was able to then swipe right to the “audio and subtitles” option, which stopped playback of the program. “English [Audio Description]” was already selected for me, but I could have easily selected this option had it not already been enabled. Closing this menu of options, or making a selection resumes playback of the program, and closes the menu.
I found the process of enabling audio description and watching content on my iPhone to be quite straightforward. This is how I will watch Amazon Prime’s audio-described content for the foreseeable future.
The Bottom Line
Two years ago, there were no mainstream content providers of television programs and movies that offered audio-described content for people with visual impairments through their online streaming services. Today, Netflix, iTunes, and now Amazon Prime offer this feature. Currently, iTunes is the only service that makes it easy to determine whether or not an audio description track is available in a program simply by looking at the details page of the movie or TV show in question. All of the services do provide access to a list of audio-described content on their site by either allowing for the filtering of search results to show audio-described content, and/or providing a list of that content somewhere on their site.
Although I was unable to access audio description on my PC or Mac, I was able to obtain the content on my iPhone. I would certainly like to see better accessibility across all of my devices, but I consider this a really good start.
If Amazon continues to add audio-described content to their list of programs on a regular basis, and improve accessibility across all devices, blind people will have yet another excellent source of television programs and movies with audio description tracks readily available and easily accessible.
We can only hope that services like Hulu will feel increasing pressure to add audio description to their program lineup.
People with visual impairments, as much as they can, should be encouraged to subscribe to services that offer audio-described content, and encourage others to do so. Also, positive comments on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter will encourage companies like Amazon to continue offering the content that many in the visual impairment community have been requesting for so long.
Amazon Prime costs $99 per year. You can also pay $10.99 per month, or subscribe to the video only plan for $8.99 per month. Many TV shows and movies are available for free with your membership; other programs can be rented or purchased.
The Amazon Prime Video app for iOS is free, and requires that you sign into your Amazon Prime account.
Audio description must be enabled initially when any new device is used to play Amazon Prime’s video content, but the setting is remembered on each device the next time you play content.
*6) Google in the Classroom: Chromebooks and G Suite Apps
by Amy Mason
Amy MasonFrom the Editor: For blind students the proliferation of technology in today’s classrooms can be a blessing or a curse, or a bit of both at once. Fortunately the National Federation of the Blind has developed a partnership with Google to ensure that the company’s increasingly popular hardware and software will not pose barriers for blind students. In this article Amy Mason provides a detailed description of the Chromebook and G Suite, explaining their accessible features and the areas that are not yet fully accessible. Amy is an access technology specialist with the National Federation of the Blind.
Education changes how we use technology, and technology changes how we educate. One of the clearest examples of this reality is the use of Google in the classroom. Within the past decade, Google products and services have transformed how students and teachers interact. In return, the education market has been responsible for changing and educating Google as well.
When the Google Docs Productivity Suite (now called the G Suite) was introduced into education, it was quickly adopted by a large number of schools at the K-12 and postsecondary levels. In response to early concerns raised by blind and low-vision users, the National Federation of the Blind diligently sought to work with Google toward improvements for those users. Google and the National Federation of the Blind jointly recognized a number of needs and opportunities to improve the G Suite’s accessibility. We have been partners ever since, keeping open lines of communication and regularly discussing feedback. Over the past years this collaboration has resulted in significant improvements to the G Suite, Chromebooks, and the ChromeVox screen reader.
Given the major improvements Google has made to the accessibility of its hardware and software, how well will these products meet the needs of your blind child or student? This article is intended to provide you with the information you need as you decide whether to introduce these tools and to help you build a strategy for using them if appropriate.
A few caveats must be considered when a parent or teacher considers including Google’s tools in the education of blind students. Whether or not the school is using the Chromebook, or merely using the G Suite on another platform, it is important to remember that this system may be very different from systems that the blind student has been taught in the past. Keyboard shortcuts, command structure, and other basic screen reader interactions in the G Suite differ from some familiar desktop or web navigation patterns. The student will have to spend some time getting up to speed on how to navigate, edit, and read documents. Students who are introduced to lots of new ways of dealing with technology and are taught how to learn software can further develop confidence in their ability to learn new computer-based skills in the future. However, these differences are likely to make the tools challenging to introduce quickly to students who have not been expected to learn this way in the past.
All of our technology tools are in constant states of growth and evolution, and this change happens faster than many of us are used to. This is especially true for Google’s products, so students inevitably will see changes in the ways the system works over time. On the plus side, this can mean the addition of new features that improve accessibility. However, it also means that at times the student may find that a feature has changed and no longer works in the accustomed manner.
Technology has provided millions of people with a whole new world of access to information, but it isn’t always 100 percent dependable. Issues in the assistive technology, the app, the browser, or the operating system may even cause things to break down from time to time. It’s important to teach students to be flexible and adaptable, and to arm them with best practices for troubleshooting, including being conversant with multiple screen readers. Each student will find his or her preferred options. With a variety of tools available, students can choose alternative paths and keep moving forward when things don’t go as planned.
Finally, I want to add a note for deaf-blind students and others who rely on refreshable Braille displays when using a computer. Although some G Suite apps currently offer partial Braille support, it is not robust enough to be used as the primary mode of interaction. This limitation also presents major problems for students who are in the process of learning Braille. Google is actively working to improve the quality of its support for refreshable Braille. This is a great time for adventurous Braille users and proponents to try the current implementation and provide Google with feedback.
Despite these caveats, the Chromebook and G Suite offer a lot of advantages. There is a definite learning curve, but in most cases it is worthwhile for students and teachers to get up to speed on their features.
Overview of the Chromebook and Chrome Operating System
The Chromebook is a laptop-style computer that runs the Chrome Operating System (ChromeOS). Chromebooks are primarily designed to remain connected to the internet. They run cloud-based apps, usually found and used in the browser, instead of traditional desktop software. Users cannot install programs they would traditionally use with Windows or Mac, including third-party screen readers such as JAWS or NVDA). They must use the accessibility features of ChromeOS, including the ChromeVox screen reader, with these tools in the browser.
Three images of the Chromebook
Chromebook sales now account for more than half of all devices sold to US classrooms. Chromebooks are widely used in both one-to-one device-to-student models and as shared devices across classrooms. *1 It is possible to have multiple user accounts per Chromebook, and settings are saved at the account level. Users can sync settings, bookmarks, browsing histories, apps, Chrome extensions, and more so that any time they sign into their account, on any Chromebook, they will automatically be brought into their customized experience. This is certainly a benefit for blind students, as it is now possible for them to use any Chromebook they are offered and have their accessibility preferences available upon login, without worrying that their own device may be out of commission. Although some local storage is available on the Chromebook, the main intention is to store documents in the cloud, using Google Drive, Google’s cloud storage platform. If the user is logged into her account on any device, she can edit her files from anywhere.
*7) Review of Microsoft OneNote for students with low vision and dysgraphia:
I have used OneNote all through high school and college, and it seems like every update brings more and more exciting features. I have low vision and dysgraphia, which makes traditional note taking difficult. However, OneNote provides many different tools for students to take great notes in class. Here is my review of Microsoft Office OneNote in the classroom.
What is OneNote?
OneNote is a free Microsoft Office software that allows users to create multimedia notebooks filled with text, images, videos, files, and more. It’s much better than taking notes in Microsoft Word because it’s easy to flip through pages and draw on notes using a stylus. The app can be downloaded on Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android, though a (free) Microsoft account is required.
The OneNote interface is very similar to other Microsoft Office products. One of the more unique features is that text can be added anywhere- just click and type. It works amazing with touch screens and the iPad app is compatible with the popular Pencil by FiftyThree stylus, which I use most frequently in my math class.
There are many types of content that can be added to OneNote notebooks. Of course, users can input their own text, just like any word processing software. However, users can also add pictures and videos, audio recordings, graphs, links, files, PDF printouts, and even OCR scans of whiteboards.
OneNote has lots of accessibility features, including large print and high contrast displays, as well as the support of alt text and screen readers. My favorite thing though is the whiteboard camera setting, which allows users to take a picture of a whiteboard, and the software automatically crops the image and turns it into an OCR file, which can be converted into searchable text that works well with screen readers. It’s not perfect though- glare on the whiteboard can cause text to be harder to see or it may not read text correctly. I also use the audio function to record lectures, with instructor permission.
Easy to access
OneNote notebooks sync across devices using a Microsoft account. I have the app downloaded on my laptop, desktop, iPad, and Android phone. I use it on my laptop and iPad the most frequently, though I also review my notes on the other two devices.
Default page settings can be edited in the Microsoft settings section- I set my default text size to Arial, size 22. Users can also change the page color, or choose to add lines or grids to the display. In addition, I change the app color to dark gray to decrease the blue light display.
Because of the point and type interface, it’s easy to create many types of different pages. Normally, I type out all of the information first, and take whiteboard scans while I am in the classroom. I also write out data to convert into charts and add links as need be. After class, I go back and convert data into media, rearranging it so it fits in a logical way, often using audio recordings for reference.
What I’ve used it for
I have used OneNote for many years, especially in college. Here are some examples of notebooks and documents I have created:
Writing notes and adding symbols with a stylus in math class
Taking a picture of the whiteboard in programming class to understand a diagram
Creating an outline with sources inserted for a project in global health
Taking notes from a website for English
Combining my notes and the teacher’s notes in one document for environmental science
How my teachers have reacted
At my first high school, my teachers hated that I would use OneNote, because it seemed so different to them. My second high school embraced technology and I used OneNote in all of my classes, even doing a presentation on the software with two friends. My college professors don’t care what software students use, but I did have one professor that was fascinated with the whiteboard camera feature.
I love using OneNote and it has helped me with keeping large amounts of files organized for my classes, as well as making documents accessible. Every student should be using OneNote.
September 6, 2017
*8) SEE3D: Teenagers Expand the Visual World for People Who Are Blind
As an adult, one of my favorite shopping venues has long been toy stores, or, to be more precise, the section in toy stores where the plush and/or plastic animals and characters reside. Like most blind people, I see with my hands. While using the tactile to translate the visual results in fabulous images delivered to the brain, there are definite limitations on the range of “sight” when touch is required.
I can’t touch a rat, a fox, or a crocodile. Nor would I want to touch them. But three-dimensional replicas fill the void.
SEE3D at the Tech Olympics
Caroline Karbowski, a bright and talented senior at Summit Country Day School in Cincinnati, Ohio, did not yet have any blind friends when she started thinking about the power of 3D printing to deliver visual images into the hands of people who could not see in the conventional way. As a high school junior, she attended a college open house at Xavier University and happened to meet Casandra Jones, a disability services professional who is blind.
She asked Cassandra the probing question, “What images would you like to see?”
The answer, more delightful than profound, was “Mickey Mouse and a Disney castle.”
Caroline found a 3D printer and an online image and the amazing palm-sized model was soon in Cassandra’s hands.
People suggested to Caroline that she meet Haley Thurston, the daughter of the Spanish teacher at Caroline’s school. The same age as Caroline, Haley was immediately enthusiastic. She was also ready with ideas of images she would like to see.
Haley, it turned out, longed to see a map of the world, various geometric shapes, and insects.
Caroline, with her 3D printing, was off and running.
Speaking of running, ideas seem to spark in Caroline’s imagination almost faster than she can catch them, but one idea she caught and tackled was to find some collaborators with more tech experience than her own. She wanted to build a project worthy of competition in the Tech Olympics.
She is not a techie herself, she says, just a person with an idea of how to help blind people see the world. Her tech teacher at Summit and the school Tech Club jumped on board. A website was launched, a plan developed, and a project called SEE3D won second place in Cincinnati’s Tech Olympics. That was February, 2017–history, you might say, but Caroline and See3D have just begun.
Consulting the Experts
Caroline Karbowski has no shortage of intellect or creativity. She told me that she learned the braille alphabet when she had an hour of boredom to fill as a sixth grader, accomplishing the task with a pencil point and encyclopedic image of the six-dot code. She is wise enough, in other words, to realize that to make See3D a truly successful venture, she needs to gather information from experts. To that end, she has traveled with her parents to sources in Ohio, Indiana, Chicago, and New York, and is still gathering information. She has shared information with teachers of the visually impaired, and the information is clearly flowing in both directions.
In Indiana, she was thrilled to see the project of a teacher there who is assembling, piece by piece, a 3D replica of the Indiana School for the Blind and Visually Impaired.
In Chicago, she delighted teacher and students alike with her models of minions!
She gave them minions and butterflies and they gave her some clear plastic labeling sheets, so she could begin making braille labels for all her images.
While Caroline and the half dozen students working with her have created plenty of images for fun, she sees the greatest future for the project in making 3D images with a purpose. In particular, she is focusing on STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) images. Touring thingiverse.com
, a website dedicated to sharing images created for 3D printing, she has downloaded and produced 3D representations of DNA, molecules, myriad shapes, topographical maps, a chameleon, a cell, and more. Besides visiting schools for the blind and talking to professors and teachers involved with the education of blind children, she is contacting blind people one by one as well.
While Caroline maintains that using 3D printers is dramatically less expensive than purchasing science-related kits designed for the blind, producing images still costs money. Her school has a half dozen 3D printers and she has enlisted collaboration from students at other area high schools, but after the success at the Tech Olympics, she launched a GoFundMe page to help purchase supplies. So far, she has used the money to buy filament and plastic labeling paper. Her hope is to purchase a Perkins Brailler, which her friend, Haley, has been teaching her to use.
See3D received a grant of $250 (the Jane Goodall Roots & Shoots grant), and a 3D printing package through the GE Additive Education Program. The latter includes two Polar Cloud-enabled polymer printers, one Polar 3D printer and one XYZprinting printer. It also includes Polar 3D’s STEAMtrax curriculum with a two year license, six rolls of filament for each printer and one of the STEAMtrax module kits, “Tinkering with Turbines.”
Producing the Models
At this point, Caroline and her collaborators are not creating new images, but searching for existing images that will work well for blind people. Her primary source is the Thingiverse website where she invites schools and individuals to browse and request images of interest found there.
The filament used to create the images comes in rolls that resemble dinner plates, and is available in a variety of colors and textures. The filament is threaded, something like spaghetti, into the machine which, as Caroline describes it, functions more like a hot glue gun than a printer.
At present, See3D students are not particular about the colors used for a given model. Rather, to be economical, they are inclined to simply use a color until the roll of filament is used up.
The goal of See3D is to build a collaborative network of high school students who can produce the 3D models for teachers of the visually impaired and blind individuals themselves who request them.
The Bottom Line
Caroline had been given my name by other blind people in Cincinnati and contacted me to ask if I’d like to receive any of the 3D models. After our first conversation, she sent me a Cinderella castle and a butterfly.
The professional nature of the packaging surpassed that of some for-profit companies shipping products to blind and low vision individuals.
On the outside of the package were braille labels, so that I immediately knew it was the package sent by Caroline of See3D. Inside, the models were protectively wrapped. There was a braille letter (Caroline’s grade 2 braille was not perfect, but absolutely clear) along with business cards that bore both print and braille contact information.
The models themselves are delightful. There is something mesmerizing about the butterfly in particular. Each time I pick it up, I find running my fingers over its wings and antennae somewhat irresistible.
If you are blind or have significant low vision, reflect for me on a few questions: Can you confidently describe a Disney castle? A butterfly? Shrek? Or a minion? How about the inner layers of the earth? Or a particular constellation of stars? Do you have a mental image of the face of Abraham Lincoln or Barack Obama?
The sense of touch (or, more precisely in this context, touch translating for sight) can deliver powerful visual images to the brain, but there are countless images all around us that are well beyond the typical three-foot reach of a human being’s arm.
If you would like to request a 3D model for yourself or your students, send your request via email to:
Caroline is about to begin her senior year and she is involved in academics, theater, music, golf, not to mention all of the rigorous planning involved in choosing and getting ready for college, but she is passionate about this project and is recruiting more collaborators to help.
As the project grows, you can read more at the SEE3D website
*9) Disabling Edge in Windows Ten
Recently a friend sent me a small utility that will disable Edge in Windows Ten and has an option to place a shortcut for Internet on the desktop.
This file will require sighted help for a visually impaired computer user.
When activating the program by tapping enter or clicking on it,
There are tw buttons and one checkbox.
The first button is for disabling Edge.
The next button is for reversing that process.
The checkbox ix for placine an Internet Explore shortcuton the desktop.
I am sending this utility along with the extention changed to xxx.
Here is how to save the attachment and change the extention back to exe.
I am using Outlook Ten for this set of directions and Windows Seven as the operating system. The same would apply for a Windows Ten operating system.
1. With this newsletter opened, press shift plus tab to reach the list of attachments in the message.
2. Arrow to the right until reaching “EdgeBlock.xxx”.
3. Press the application key or shift plus 10.
4. Tab to “save as.”
5. Tap enter.
6. Press shift plus tab twice.
6. Navigate to where you wish to put this file and hit enter.
7. Navigate to where you saved the file.
8. Highlight the file just downloaded.
9. Press f2.
10. Press the end of line key.
11. Backspace until reaching the period. Make sure the period stays in the file name.
12. Type in exe and hit enter.
The file extention is now changed back. You may be asked if you aresure about changing this file name. Hit enter on okay.
Now you can run the program.
*10) How to properly back up your computer
by Chaim Gartenberg
Tips, tricks, and hacks for the tech in your life.
If you’re reading this article, there’s a good chance that you don’t regularly back up your computer. And why should you? After all, getting a laptop stolen or having a hard drive crash is the sort of thing that only happens to other people. Your files are fine, right?
Accidents happen, and if they do, you’ll want to be ready
But accidents happen, and if they do, you’ll want to make sure that you’re ready. That means routinely backing up your computer. After all, you really don’t want to be the person who loses their entire thesis a month before it’s due because their computer got stolen in the library, or has to say goodbye to years of family pictures that were all stored on that old computer in the basement that got fried in a power outage or flood.
Fortunately, backing up your computer is easier than ever with the advances in cloud storage and local software. No backup system is ever going to be perfect, and there’s always the chance that something may go wrong, but you should still consider it a critical necessity.
Whether you’re on a Mac or a PC, both major operating systems include pretty robust backup systems built into your computer already, both for a couple folders or your entire computer.
But first, you’ll need an external hard drive. Generally, you want your backup drive to be (at the bare minimum) as big as your internal hard drive, and ideally around one and a half to two times as large. Seagate’s Backup Plus or Western Digital’s My Passport are pretty reliable options that won’t break your budget. And remember, a $70 hard drive now could save priceless files and memories later.
Mac OS X: Time Machine
If you’re on a Mac, then you already have a great backup tool at your fingertips called Time Machine. In fact, there’s probably an icon for it that’s been waiting at the top of your menu bar. Simply take an external drive (see above), plug it into your computer, and open up Time Machine to configure it as a backup drive. Time Machine will more or less handle the rest, backing up individual files, folders, and apps. And if you get a new machine or need to reset your computer completely, OS X will prompt you to provide a Time Machine backup to restore from. Just make sure to be good about plugging in your drive regularly to actually do the backups; a backup that’s three years old is better than nothing, but the more often you back up, the better covered you’ll be in case of an emergency.
Windows 10: File History / Backup and Restore
Microsoft has added integrated backups to Windows 10, and it works pretty much the same way as on a Mac. Plug in your external drive, and navigate over to File History . (You can either search for this in the Start menu, or find it in the Settings app in the “Backups” portion.) There, you’ll be able to select specific folders to back up, and how often you’d like Windows to back things up. Just like on a Mac, though, you’ll need to actually plug in your drive for your files to actually get backed up.
Local backups are good, but much like your actual hard drive, they’re also prone to getting lost, damaged, or stolen. So it’s probably worth investing in some cloud storage options as a backup backup, just in case.
For individual files — like, say, an important copy of a presentation, or your big lab report that’s due next week — the simplest way to back up to the cloud is with providers like Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, or iCloud. All of them allow you to install an app that scans a local folder and keeps everything in it uploaded to the cloud. That way, even if your whole computer gets hosed, you’ll still be able to log in and access it from anywhere.
But if you want the extra level of protection, then it’s worth investing in a subscription to a service like Backblaze , which costs $50 / year (or $5 / month) for unlimited storage of all your files online. It’s not quite as versatile as Dropbox when it comes to just pulling a couple files down from the cloud, but if you need a full-service cloud backup service, it’s hard to beat.
*11) availability of 4 gb up to 16 GB digital cartridges from the Perkins Library
This is a notice about the availability of 4 gb digital cartridges from the Perkins Library
utilizing Amazon Marketplace. Currently in stock are 4 gb cartridges, and coming by the end of
September, Perkins will be offering 8 gb and 16 gb cartridges as well. We are also selling a few other
items to augment the audio reading experience, and links to the Amazon product pages for each
product are below. If you have any issues with the Amazon web pages, please let me know. You can call
the Perkins Library at 617-972-7240 or email firstname.lastname@example.org <mailto:email@example.com>.
> Here are the product links with pricing:
The Perkins Library sells talking book cartridges, accessories and more.
For help and support please refer to Perkins Library Product Support
If you do not have access to Amazon.com, please contact the Perkins Braille and Talking Book library at:
Phone: (617) 972-7240 / (800) 852-3133
To purchase quantities of over 100 of any products, please email Tim McGrath at: Tim.McGrath@Perkins.org
Below are the prices:
4 Gb Cartridges $4.99
8 Gigabyte Cartridges $10.99
16 Gigabyte Cartridges $13.99
*12) Ziplining is also known by other names such as “an inclined strong,” “flying fox,” and “Tyrolean Crossing.”
It can be traced back as far as 1897 when the H.G. Wells novel, “The Invisible Man” referenced “an inclined strong” as part of a Whit-Monday fair.
Ziplines are built with half-inch wide galvanized cable with a break strength in excess of 22,000lbs.
The gravity-fueled conveyance using cables and pulleys threaded between two points was created by workers and residents who needed to quickly transport people and supplies across canyons, rivers, and other impassable areas in remote regions of China, the Costa Rican rainforest, and the Australian Outback.
Zipping pulleys have a break strength in excess of 14,000lbs. Platforms are designed to hold loads of at least 40,000lbs.
There are over 700 zipline courses worldwide.
*13) When the Storms Rage and the Winds Blow
Scripture: “… we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us. We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul …” Hebrews 6:18b-19a (ESV)
The howling, frigid wind whipped and beat the house mercilessly. The old spruce tree bent and screeched against the siding so loudly I couldn’t go back to sleep.
The ferocious storm raging outdoors matched the fierceness of the ones that had been buffeting my family for months. Storm after storm had hit us with no breathing room in between. Our son-in-law’s heart surgery. My father-in-law’s cancer diagnosis. Our daughter totaled one of our cars. Our only other car broke down. My husband’s lingering kidney stone. Bills piling higher and higher. And the list went on …
My heart was tossed back and forth. Would our son-in-law’s heart condition improve? Could my father-in-law’s strength hold up through treatment? Worry battered my weary soul against the rocks of reality. What if Dale needed surgery? How would we pay off this mounting debt
I lay awake pleading with the Lord for safety, reprieve and encouragement. Not from the storm outside my window, but from the one in my heart.
Perhaps my pleading was similar to what Jesus’ disciples did when they were in a boat and a windstorm suddenly came on the lake. As the boat filled with water, they wondered why Jesus continued to sleep and didn’t respond to the raging storm as quickly as they wanted.
The disciples feared the potential outcome of the storm. They pleaded with Jesus to help them — and He did (Luke 8:24, ESV).
He calmed the storm and then asked, “Where is your faith?” (Luke 8:25a, ESV).
I felt that same desperation that night as I called for Jesus’ help with a questioning heart: Why? Why does it have to be so hard Jesus? The storms have been unrelenting. Instead of an answer, I sensed a question in return: Where is your faith?
First comes Hurricane Harvey and if that was not enough, Erma and now Josea`.
The question prompted an honest assessment of where I’d been putting my trust. The depth of my worry revealed I’d misplaced it. When the storms rage and the winds blow, and they will, my faith needs to be in Jesus, not the outcome of my circumstances.
Hebrews 6:18a-19b tells us “… we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us. We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul …”
If we compare ourselves to a ship and the hardships of life to storms, then hope is the anchor that keeps us from being shipwrecked. But an anchor is dependent on two things: the cable that tethers it to the ship, and the solid ground.
The cable connecting us to hope is faith … an assurance of Jesus’ love, goodness and power. Our faith believes He still speaks to storms and with a word, can calm them. Faith is being confident that His promises will carry us through this life safely into an eternity spent with Him. Now that’s hopeful!
And the ground to which our anchors need to be fixed? That is Jesus. He is firm and unchanging. As the waves rise and the winds howl, sometimes it’s tempting to pull away from Him, especially when we ask, Why? But storms are opportunities to dig deeper in to our relationship with Jesus through reading and memorizing Scripture, and praying to and worshipping Him.
The storms will rage, and the winds will blow. But to believe in the middle of it all, to have faith that leads to hope in Jesus, that’s the secret to riding out the storms in life.
Today, if circumstances and worry are tossing you about, cast your anchor of hope into Jesus and pray for the faith to believe His promises are true. He is powerful enough to calm your storms and keep you safe.
Lord, help keep my eyes on You in the middle of the strongest storms. Increase my faith in You, in eternal things and be my hope. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Author: Sharon Glasgow