Thursday, April 30, 2009

Disney World Gives Blind Guests Tool to Get Greater Enjoyment During Park Visits

Always an innovator, Walt Disney World has introduced a unique service designed to give blind visitors an opportunity to experience its theme park like never before. The “audio description” service, as it is known, gives visually impaired guests a spoken description of what is happening as they move through rides and attractions. The visitor carries an electronic hand-held device loaded with a series of messages that are cued by a series of remote infrared sensors.
The service will initially be available at attractions such as the Magic Kingdom's Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean and will eventually be expanded out to cover outdoor areas in Disney’s theme parks.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Parlante en Espanol – Spanish Talking Products for the Blind

Do you have any Spanish-speaking friends or relatives who are blind or have low vision? MaxiAids has a complete range of Spanish Talking Products to improve lives and encourage greater independence among the visually impaired Spanish-speaking community.

Among the numerous Spanish talking offerings are Watches, Clocks and Timers, Thermometers (both Air Temperature and Clinical), a Tire Pressure Gauge, Holy Bible, a Personal Electronic Organizer, Scales (Kitchen and Bath), Calculators, Talking Dictionary and a Talking Tape Measure

To find out more, simply click on one of the highlighted items above, click on Spanish Talking Products or visit and type “Spanish” in the search box on the upper right.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Magnifico Plus Portable Screen Magnifier Makes PDA's & GPS's Accessible to Those with Low Vision

As PDA's, GPS's and other handheld electronic devices have become a necessity to many people over the past few years, at the same time they are getting smaller. Even people with the best eyesight can have difficulty seeing the small screens and keys, especially by the end of a busy day.

Enter Magnifico Plus, a small screen magnifier that promises to reduce eyestrain and fatigue for all users of PDA's and GPS units, and to make these devices accessible to those with low vision. It has quickly become popular among pilots and boaters who appreciate the clarity it gives them in viewing electronic navigational devices.
The Magnifico Plus is essentially a magnifying lens attached to 2 arms that pivot and telescope to allow the user to position and focus the lens to meet their individual needs. This assembly is mounted on a base plate on which the electronic device is placed. It can be used with a PDA, GPS, iPod, Blackberry, or virtually any small-screen device.

The Magnifico Plus measures 5" long x 3-3/4" wide and folds flat against the device when not in use. The 2-3/4" wide x 4-3/8" long lens provides 2x-plus magnifying power (varies slightly depending on the exact distance from the lens to the device after focusing.)
Maxi-Aids the exclusive distributor of Magnifico Plus. For more information or to order, go to Magnifico Plus

Monday, April 27, 2009

How Much Do You Know About Osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis (also known as degenerative arthritis) is one of over one hundred types of arthritis and rheumatic diseases affecting millions of people in the United States. Although characterized by joint pain and stiffness that can prevent movement and affect a person’s ability to move, osteoarthritis can often be managed and a healthy, active lifestyle maintained.

Georgia-based healthcare network MCG Health offers a quiz to test your knowledge of osteoarthritis. Click Osteoarthritis Quiz to take it. To view Maxi-Aids’ assistive products for the arthritic, go to Arthritis Aids at

Friday, April 24, 2009

Read All About It… Find Books with Deaf Characters and Themes Plus ASL Educational Books and DVD's

If you’ve ever wondered why more books aren’t written with deaf characters or you simply have had difficulty locating them, look no further!

HearMore carries a wide range of books for and about the deaf, including everything from fiction with deaf characters (for children, teens and adults) to deaf Hispanic-themed books. Marlee Matlin’s Nobody's Perfect and Deaf Child Crossing are among the great reading choices for teens, while the new I Am Deaf is geared towards children ages 4-7. An entire category dedicated to hearing loss includes non-fiction books on cochlear implants and parenting deaf and hard of hearing children.

Also available are an extensive range of educational products on American Sign Language, including American Sign Language: The Easy Way. DVDs, videos, books, dictionaries, flashcards and complete ASL learning systems offer countless learning options to the deaf, their family members, ASL educators and anyone interested in learning signing.

Click HearMore Books, Videos and DVDs with Deaf Themes to see all of the choices!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

National Technical Institute for the Deaf at RIT Getting $64.2 Million in Federal Funding

The National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID) at Rochester Institute of Technology will be receiving an allocation of $64.2 million in federal funds for the 2009 fiscal year, according to a recent NTID news release.

NTID was created in Congress in 1965 to increase education and employment opportunities for deaf and hard-of-hearing students in technical fields, and it continues to be funded through the Education of the Deaf Act.

An impressive 1,450 students, including around 1,300 who are deaf or hard of hearing, are enrolled at NTID this year. The balance are either sign language interpreting students or are studying for careers working with deaf or hard of hearing students. The federal funding as well as numerous scholarships that have been established result in much lower tuition for NTID students - about a third of the tuition hearing RIT students pay.

To read the full news release, click on the link below:

NTID Receiving $64.2 Million in Federal Funding

All You Need to Know About Diabetes

Being diagnosed with Diabetes can be a difficult and overwhelming time. There are so many questions to be addressed. Here’s a great tool that can guide you through the first steps and help make the learning process easier.

My Pocket Doctor: Reference Guide & Journal

My Pocket Doctor: Diabetic Reference Guide and Journal is a must-have comprehensive reference and self-care guide for the newly diagnosed Diabetic. Written by an Endocrinologist, a Registered Dietitian and a Certified Diabetes Educator, it gives practical advice and information for those recently diagnosed with diabetes. It would make a great gift for a friend, family member or yourself. For maximum accessibility for the blind and those with low vision, it’s also available as a Braille book and on CD.

• Your Food Plan & Dining Out
• Testing and Blood Glucose Log
• Travel Guidelines
• Measures 6 ½ x 3 5/8, 48 pages
• Includes protective poly-vinyl carry sleeve

For more information or or order:

My Pocket Doctor: Reference Guide & Journal

Visit for more diabetic products.

University in India to Offer Free Education to the Blind

The Panjab University (PU) in India announced this week that it will provide free education to blind students beginning with the next academic session. Naval Kishore, the university’s Dean of Students’ Welfare said in an interview that the decision was made in order to fulfill their commitment towards the visually impaired students.

The university will not only cover tuition costs, but will also pay for housing and provide food at discounted rates for the blind students. Click the link below for the full story:
Free Education for the Blind

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Maxi-Aids Product News: Embrace Bilingual Talking Blood Glucose Monitor with Voice Guidance Helps Blind and Low Vision Diabetics

Maxi-Aids’ many diabetic customers, and especially those who are blind or visually impaired, will want to check out the Embrace Bilingual (English/Spanish) Talking Blood Glucose Monitoring System, which gives accurate test results in only 6 seconds! You’ll love this incredibly lightweight and portable monitor that measures around 4” x 2” x ¾” thick and weighs only 2.3 oz.

With Embrace, you may have results announced in either English or Spanish. Plus, this model provides maximum accessibility to blind and low vision users by offering voice guidance to talk you through the testing procedure. (Note: The talking feature can be turned off if not wanted.) Embrace requires a smaller blood sample and offers alternate site testing (fingertip, palm or forearm), so you can expect faster, easier testing with less pain. It stores 300 test results with date and time stamp and features 7,14 and 30-day averaging and test results can be downloaded to your PC via USB connection and available software.

A large display makes seeing results easier and an auto power-off after 2 minutes preserves battery life. The Embrace uses 2 AAA batteries, which are included. The complete kit includes the monitor, Lancing device, Ten lancets, Quick reference guide, Instructions in both English and Spanish, Log Book and Zippered storage/carrying case.

For more information visit or follow this link directly to the item:

Embrace Bilingual Talking Blood Glucose Monitor

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Hearing Mother/Deaf Son Team Margie and Luke Make the Final Four on The Amazing Race

For anyone who may have missed this week’s episode of The Amazing Race, Margie and Luke have survived another week and are now among the final four teams left in the competition. This after the competitive nature of two teams (Margie & Luke and sisters Kisha & Jen) got the better of them, resulting in some physical jostling followed by name-calling. In the end, both of these teams advanced, as stuntmen brothers Mark and Michael were eliminated. The remaining weeks should be interesting.

Luke and Margie have proven to be an interesting team to watch in action over the course of the competition. Luke has been deaf since birth and his hearing mother Margie became his link to the hearing world. They use a combination of American Sign Language and their own sort of short hand sign language to communicate.

According to their official bio on the CBS website, one of the most moving moments they shared previous to the competition was when Luke surprised his mother by delivering a valedictorian speech at his graduation ceremony from Colorado School for the Deaf and Blind.

After the many moments of joy, stress and sheer emotion the viewing public has witnessed over the past months, it seems clear that teaming up to compete on The Amazing Race is sure to be among Margie and Luke’s most lasting and satisfying memories.

The Amazing Race airs Sundays at 8:00 pm EST on CBS. For more information about Margie and Luke, go to Margie and Luke Biographies for The Amazing Race

Monday, April 20, 2009

US Department of Education Awards Northern Illinois University $200,000 Grant for Blind and Visually Impaired Services

Amidst seemingly endless reports over the past months of cutbacks in both the public and private sectors comes welcome news from the office of Congressman Bill Foster of Illinois. In a news release last week, it was announced that the Department of Education has awarded Northern Illinois University a $200,000 grant to improve its services for the blind and visually impaired.

The grant, which is targeted to personnel development, will allow NIU professors to recruit and train teachers of blind and visually impaired children. In addition to benefitting to the blind and low vision community, Program Director Gaylen Kapperman points out that this grant is also a potential opportunity for those who have lost their jobs and are looking for a new career.

Follow the attached link for the full story:

NIU Receives $200,000 Federal Grant

Friday, April 17, 2009

Texas Man Lobbies for Visual Smoke Alarm Law for Deaf Tenants After Losing Wife and Two Kids in Fire

Four years after his wife and two of their four children died in an apartment fire, Tyrus Burks was in Austin last week supporting a bill named in honor of his wife. The Sephra Burks Bill, written by Dallas Senator Royce West, would require landlords to install smoke alarms equipped with visual alerts if they are requested by a hearing impaired tenant.
The bill further specifies that the smoke alarms be placed in highly visible locations, including bedrooms. In the case of the Burks family, there was a visual smoke alarm, but building management had installed it in a stairwell.

To read the full story, click this link:

Thursday, April 16, 2009

April Winner Chosen for Maxi-Aids $10,000 Keep That Catalog Contest

Congratulations to Debra S. from Kentucky, winner of the Maxi-Aids 'Keep That Catalog' Contest for the month of April. Debra has been using Maxi-Aids as a resource in her efforts to provide solutions to people with special needs. She works with a non-profit organization operating in eastern and central Kentucky that helps individuals with disabilities live more active, independent lives and provides support to them and their families.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Maxi-Aids Blog... Bringing News, Information & Product Updates to the Special Needs Communities

In our ongoing efforts to serve the blind, low vision, deaf, hard of hearing, diabetic and arthritic, as well as those with mobility challenges and other special needs, Maxi-Aids Products for Independent Living will be using this blog as a means of presenting interesting, relevant, timely news and product updates. Check back often to see what's happening ...