Northeast Ohio Deaf-Blind Association
News from NEODBA
July 25th 2012
Angela C. Orlando
In this issue:
1. Upcoming Event: Cedar Point
2. Lorain International Festival
3. Thoughts from a New SSP
4. Dingo at Akron CSD
5. Giving Back to the Deaf-Blind Community
6. New Usher Syndrome Registry
7. HumanWare Releases New Deaf-Blind Communication App
8. Contact Us
Upcoming Event: Cedar Point
Great news for anyone interested in going to Cedar Point with
NEODBA on August 4th! The management has agreed to special
pricing and arrangements for our group.
Tickets: $29.99 -- This is the senior citizen rate. We must
purchase tickets together and confirm arrangements with a certain
In addition, NEODBA will refund $10 to each volunteer as a way to
thank them for their hard work.
Cedar Point will also provide a "free ride" pass for anyone using
a wheelchair and for one volunteer. This pass allows holders to
skip all lines and quickly board the rides.
It is best to bring your own wheelchair. You can rent a
wheelchair at Cedar Point, but they are provided first come first
DB admission: $29.99
Volunteer admission: $19.99
Parking: $12 per car
Wheelchair rental: $25 (you will receive $10 back when you
return the wheelchair.)
You may bring your lunch or buy food at the park. Extra money
will be needed for food, drinks, games and shopping.
Would you like to join us? Please contact Angie at
We are looking for more deaf-blind people! Help spread the word!
If you know of anyone who is deaf-blind, please tell them about
the outing and offer to help them sign up if needed.
NEODBA is going to Cedar Point to celebrate Deaf Awareness Day
Date: Saturday August 4th
Time: 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Location: Cedar Point
1 Cedar Point Drive,
Sandusky, OH 44870
we will help arrange rides and car pooling
RSVP by July 31st
Angela C. Orlando
Lorain International Festival
On June 24th, NEODBA members had a wonder time at the Lorain
International Festival. Our group included four deaf-blind
individuals, five volunteers and two guide dogs. We enjoyed a
boat tour down the Black River, eating a variety of ethnic foods
and shopping for unique multicultural crafts and other items.
NEODBA would like to express special thanks to the volunteers who
made this trip possible: Kara Bull, Laurie Haworth, Allan Payton,
Ann Popplestone and Debbie Schwartz.
Thoughts from a New SSP
by Debbie Schwartz
No two people will ever experience something the exact same way.
I explained to Nick about what I saw on the boat ride; An old
lighthouse, the bridge with a spiral staircase, a boat garage
with ?shelves? to store the boats, the expensive condos and the
?dead? out-of-commission boats, shored up on the land. I
experienced these things through sight and conveyed them to Nick
via tactile signing. Nick processed our surroundings through not
only his sense of touch, but also his imagination. I imagine
this to be not unlike how I process scenic information that I
read in a novel. No two people ever imagine something like that
the same way. Additionally, where I (being me and laden with
estrogen) viewed the lighthouse, spiral staircase and dead boats
as desolate and lonely, Nick viewed them as being totally cool.
Men are from Mars, after all.
Dingo at Akron CSD
I've heard several deaf-blind individuals say they don't like to
play dingo. They complain that the cards are too small or not in
braille, they can't get close enough to see the announcer's
signing or that nobody tells them what is going on. "Dingo is a
game for deaf people. It's not accessible to those of us who are
Anyone who feels that way has obviously never attended the
monthly dingo at Akron Community Services for the Deaf. They are
always ready to meet the needs of anyone with dual sensory loss.
For one thing, they use large cards. People with low vision
should have no trouble reading the cards. If you want to bring
braille cards, that's fine. They are very flexible.
You will know what is happening, because a volunteer will be
assigned to help you. They will interpret in any method you need:
close range sign language, tactile sign language or even
They also strive to make sure you are socially included. It's a
friendly crowd, and they aren't afraid to communicate with people
who are deaf-blind. You'll find a bunch of people wanting to chat
and get to know you.
I promise that you will enjoy the dingo at Akron CSD. I know this
because I attend each month, along with another deaf-blind
gentleman. They provide snacks, drinks and cash prizes. Give it a
try. You'll have a blast.
The Akron CSD dingo is held on the third thursday of each month.
Location: Greenleaf Family Center Community Services for the
580 Grant St.
2012 dingo schedule
5:00 to 7:00 PM
Giving Back to the Deaf-Blind Community
Vol. 3 No. 3 Summer 2012
A Publication of the Helen Keller National Center for Deaf-Blind
Youths and Adults.
Former HKNc student, Angela Orlando, along with her SSP Kara
Bull, joined many others in the Columbus area who walked to raise
funds for the Ohio Association of the Deaf-Blind. Angela is the
co-founder and director of the Northeast Ohio Deaf-Blind
Association, and Kara is the SSP coordinator. The walk-a-thon was
only one mile but it was a big goal for Angela, who has a rare
genetic disorder called PHARC (polyneuropathy, hearing loss,
ataxia, retinitis pigmentosa, and cataracts). The funds raised by
the walk will assist in further developing the SSP Pilot Program
in Ohio. In a recent article in the Kent Patch, Angela said, "I
am totally deaf, blind and physically impaired. Most people would
never consider that I can do a walk-a-thon. But I'm determined to
succeed, even if it takes me longer than others."
New Usher Syndrome Registry
The Usher Syndrome Registry is now Live! There are a number of
potential treatments for Usher syndrome nearing clinical trial.
We need to better understand the normal progression of the
disease and identify candidates for clinical trials. The Usher
syndrome registry is the solution to those problems.
We seek to voluntarily register everyone in the world with Usher
syndrome. The registry is secure and meets HIPAA regulations for
confidentiality. By registering you will be ensured of receiving
the latest information on clinical trials and the latest
treatment advances. Your participation is critical. You ARE the
Please consider registering today at www.usher-registry.org.
Just as important, please share this information with anyone you
know with Usher syndrome or any organizations in contact with
people with Usher syndrome.
Thanks for your help in this important endeavor.
Mark Dunning, Executive Director
HumanWare Releases New Deaf-Blind Communication App
New HumanWare iPhone app will get deaf-blind and sighted people
Montreal, July 12, 2012 - HumanWare, in partnership with Institut
Nazareth et Louis-Braille (INLB), has unveiled the HumanWare
Communicator, the first multilingual face-to-face conversation
app for deaf-blind people. This unique app will help deaf-blind
individuals communicate on an everyday basis by connecting a
HumanWare Braille device (BrailleNote Apex or Brailliant) with an
iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. Now a deaf-blind person can use
Bluetooth connectivity to pair their HumanWare Braille device to
an iPhone, iPod, or iPad. In the absence of an interpreter, the
HumanWare Communicator app then facilitates a conversation. The
deaf-blind person converses through the Braille device and hands
his or her tethered Apple device to the sighted person who uses
the touch screen keyboard to respond. The face-to-face
conversation appears in real time on both the refreshable Braille
display and the iOS devices' screen.
HumanWare is the leader in digital communication for deaf-blind
people, introducing DBC, the first portable face-to-face chat
solution in 2008. The system combined the simplicity and
portability of the popular BrailleNote with a companion visual
interface running on a cell phone. For the first time, a
deaf-blind person had portability and independence when having a
face-to-face conversation, and since a familiar cell phone
keyboard was used, the sighted individual had a very small
learning curve to engage in a conversation.
"With the popularity and inclusion of assistive technology
features in Apple's iOS devices, HumanWare has received a high
demand to bring the face-to-face concept of the popular
Deaf-Blind Communicator to the popular Apple devices. "The
HumanWare Communicator app breaks everyday face to face
communication down to its simplest form and will get everyone
talking," says Greg Stilson, HumanWare product manager.
In 2000, HumanWare introduced the first BrailleNote. In 2005,
the BrailleNote mPower was launched bringing USB connectivity and
increased speed and efficiency to this range of productivity
tools. Launched in December of 2009, the BrailleNote Apex, with a
completely redesigned look, while maintaining the successful
ergonomic design of past BrailleNotes, saw HumanWare pack the
most powerful BrailleNote into the thinnest package available.
The HumanWare Communicator app will be available for standard
download from Apple's app store at the end of July 2012. This app
marks a major step forward in using mainstream technology to
bring everyday communication to the deaf-blind population.
Find out more about HumanWare Deaf-Blind communication solutions
Note from Angela: The HumanWare communication app can be used
with any type or brand of braille display. You do not need a
HumanWare braille display to use the app.
Send us a story or comment. Would you like to be interviewed for
a future issue of News from NEODBA? We want to hear from our
members and volunteers.
Angela C. Orlando, director
Kara Bull, SSP coordinator
Nicholas Abrahamson, technology specialist
Judy Groner, co-founder
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