Accessible Assistive Technology Resources Bridges Blog Independent Living Resources

Tips and Tools for Cooking with Low or No Vision

Looking for something to do with your summer? See below for some helpful nonvisual cooking tips. You can build your skills and make some yummy food at the same time!

General Cooking Tips

  • When learning to crack an egg, try cracking it against the counter rather than against a bowl. This will prevent shattering.
  • You can use kitchen utensils like forks to test the doneness of whatever you are cooking. This can help you learn about the texture and firmness of foods so that you can understand how they feel when they are done cooking. You could also consider getting a pair of silicone gloves, which are heat resistant and can help you determine the doneness of hot items. This way, you can still use your hands, but you can avoid burns.
  • When first learning to flip items, it is helpful to keep the food as stable as possible while you are trying to master the flipping motion. First, slide your spatula under the item you want to flip. Then, with your other hand, find the top of the item using a fork or another spatula. You can then lift the spatula and be confident that the food will not fall off your spatula because the utensil on top will provide steadiness. Then, quickly remove the utensil that you are using for stabilization, and flip your spatula so that the bottom of it is facing upward.
  • Labeling your spices can help you keep your kitchen organized and accessible to you. You have your choice of labeling systems, from making your own Braille or large print labels, or creating audio labels with a scanning device or app such as the PenFriend.

Tips for Using Measuring Cups and Spoons

With just a few nonvisual tips, you can measure properly with no trouble at all – even liquids.

  • Measuring Solids: When you are trying to accurately measure solids, like flour or sugar, dip the measuring cup or spoon into the container and scoop. Then, hold the measuring device above the container and feel the ingredient inside the measuring device. Is it below the top? Then dip the device back into the container and add some more. Is it too much? You can use the flat side of a butter knife or your hand to brush across the top of the measuring device to clear the excess ingredient off the top. Doing this process above the container will ensure that you save any excess ingredients, and will also reduce spills on the counter, making your cleanup easier.
  • Measuring Liquids: When measuring liquids, like olive oil or vanilla, you can use your fingers placed over the top edge of the measuring device to gauge how much liquid is present. You can hold the measuring device over a bowl as you pour it into the measuring device. That way, if you spill by mistake, the ingredient will go into the bowl and can be funneled back into the original bottle. This will help you save ingredients and also ease cleanup.

Where to Buy Accessible Kitchen Items

Whether you use large print, Braille, contrast, audio, or all of the above, there are a variety of websites you can browse to find accessible measuring devices. You can also find other accessible cooking tools, like talking meat thermometers and food scales. Enjoy browsing these websites for fun and accessible kitchen gadgets:

Contact us

Follow the Bridges Helpdesk Facebook page for more transition tips, and please contact the Free Helpdesk for Maryland Blind/Low Vision Transition Students, Families, and Educators anytime using:

This unique project is being coordinated through The IMAGE Center of Maryland, a center for independent living in Towson, and it is funded by a grant from the Maryland Department of Education Division of Special Education/Early Intervention Services.

Blog Live Chat

I AM: Monday, July 26, 2021

We’re celebrating the anniversary of one of the greatest disability movements of all time! The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, or ADA, is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination based on disability. It affords similar protections against discrimination against Americans with disabilities as the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which made discrimination based on race, religion, sex, national origin, and other characteristics illegal, and later sexual orientation. In addition, unlike the Civil Rights Act, the ADA also requires covered employers to provide reasonable accommodations to employees with disabilities and imposes accessibility requirements on public accommodations.

Recording of the Independence Amplified Maryland event from July 26, 2021.

Don’t forget to visit our registration website to donate to support these events or register for upcoming calls!

Accessible Assistive Technology Resources Bridges Blog Recreation Resources

Enjoy the Tokyo Summer Olympic Games with Audio Description

Looking for something to do with your summer? Get ready for the Tokyo Olympic Games (still called the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games), and you may enjoy them with audio description through NBC SAP!

What is SAP?

This year, NBC will broadcast the Summer Olympics using Second Audio Program (SAP). SAP is the name of the mode that your TV or cable box must be in so that you can access the audio description of any given channel. Once this mode is enabled, you will be able to enjoy vivid audio descriptions spoken in real-time for the Opening Ceremony and all events that follow throughout the duration of the Summer Olympics.

How Do I Use SAP?

The way you enable SAP depends on your cable or satellite TV provider. Many cable providers have voice guidance that allows the user to independently navigate the menus of their Television, so it is likely that most individuals will be able to turn on the SAP feature without sighted assistance. Review more specific information pertinent to your provider here.

Join the ACB for Audio Description for the Olympics Opening Ceremony

On the final day of this year’s American Council of the Blind (ACB) convention, you may join the ACB for a nationwide Summer Olympics Opening Ceremony watch party! On Friday, July 23, from 6:00 PM-7:45 PM, you may tune in for a Summer Olympics pre-show where you can enjoy interviews with past and present Paralympians and NBC personnel responsible for broadcasting the event. Then at 8 PM, you will be able to enjoy the Summer Olympics Opening Ceremony with audio description.

If you did not register for the convention, you may still listen in by tuning in to ACB Radio, which you can connect to using a variety of methods:

Contact us

Follow the Bridges Helpdesk Facebook page for more transition tips, and please contact the Free Helpdesk for Maryland Blind/Low Vision Transition Students, Families, and Educators anytime using:

This unique project is being coordinated through The IMAGE Center of Maryland, a center for independent living in Towson, and it is funded by a grant from the Maryland Department of Education Division of Special Education/Early Intervention Services.

Teen Blog

July 2021 Newsletter

News from IMAGE Teen and Young Adult Programs


Long term Connect participants Elizabeth Handley, Patrick Hagen and Rachel Day sitting on a sofa smiling at a previous Connect Program event.

Long term connections through Connect

Did you know that the Connect program is one of our longest running programs at The IMAGE Center?

Designed to forge new relationships and connections among teens and young adults the Connect program provides the opportunity for participants to build new friendships and grow skills to increase communication while exploring activities that promote independence and recreation.

Long term participants of the Connect program can even apply to become a Peer Mentor of the program taking on new roles that encourage leadership and advocacy.

The best testament to the success of the Connect program, however, resides in the long term friendships that have developed over the years. It is not uncommon for our program participants to develop lasting friendships outside of Connect, in fact, this is one of the founding goals of the program. Some of our most shy, most apprehensive participants have went on to build social networks both inside and outside the comfort of the Connect program.

We look forward to encouraging your child to step outside of their comfort zone this summer and develop connections that could last for years to come!

This summer’s Connect program will alternate biweekly between both virtual and in person experiences. This means that students can choose to participate in Connect in person, virtually or a hybrid of both options combined based on their personal preference.

Its not to late to register for this summers Connect session!

See below for registration information.We encourage our families to take note of our updated reopening plan for teen and young adult services. Questions can be directed to Jessica Leone, Director for Teen and Young Adult services

Updated for all teen and young adult summer programming through September 30, 2021.

The IMAGE Center is acting to keep staff and consumers safe to minimize the spread of COVID-19.

COVID-19 Coronavirus Reopening Plan

Here’s how we’re doing our part:

  • Follow our Leaders. We follow all State guidance related to education-based activities, including reopening actions and face covering requirements on the State of Maryland for reopening advisements and Governor’s orders.
  • Flexible scheduling. All activities will operate on a hybrid schedule, offering both virtual and in-person learning opportunities.
  • Reduce contamination risk. Food and water will NOT be provided during programming at this time.

Before you join us in person, please:

  1. Monitor your health and interactions. Join us online instead if you have:
    1. Cough, shortness of breath, fever, or any other symptoms of COVID-19.
    2. Recent exposure to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.
  2. Prepare and pack. Bring a backpack with items you will need for the duration of the program including: water, a snack, beach towel, sunscreen and writing or communication device. FOOD AND WATER WILL NOT BE PROVIDED.
  3. Mask up. All non-vaccinated participants and family members, please wear a mask during check-in, program transitions, and checkout. IMAGE Center staff will advise when there is an option to remove masks for outdoor programs.
  4. Take precaution. Hand sanitation will be provided for check-in, transitions and check-out.
  5. Respect personal space. Activities will be designed with respect for social distancing and mindful spacing.
  6. Talk about it. Please contact us at  if you have any questions or concerns.

Peer Mentor Spotlight

Connect program participant in a hugging embrace with previous Peer Mentor Karissa Phillips at a Connect event.

Applications for Peer Mentorship for the summer session of the Connect program are now closed.

Interested in applying for Peer Mentorship?

Applications will reopen for the Fall session of Connect in September.

Questions? Email Jessica Leone at

Upcoming Events

The Connect Program Registration is still open!

Connect Program painting ceramics
  • July 27th (in person)
  • August 10th (virtual)
  • August 24th (in person)
  • September 14th (virtual)
  • September 28th (in person)

Program registration $100

*Registrants will have the ability to specify their desire to participate in virtual only, in person only or a combination of all virtual and in person sessions during registration.

The Connect Program is a program that empowers teens and young adults with disabilities to step outside of their comfort zone, make connections with their community, build social experiences and recognize and achieve skills needed for increased independence in adulthood. These skills include money management, time management, social and communication skills, personal hygiene, meal planning and decision making skills just to name a few.

Contact learn more.
Register here

PreETS Self Awareness and Self Advocacy Training Program

Kids notes about what self advocacy is and understanding rights and responsibilities

Monday and Wednesday sessions available. Email for additional registration information.

The Self Awareness & Self Advocacy Training program through DORS is a five week program utilizing curriculum designed to empower teens with disabilities to explore areas of self awareness and promote the importance of self advocacy to enhance the overall independence and vocational opportunity of each student. During this program students will work with professional staff from The IMAGE Center to begin to engage in curriculum addressing Self Awareness & Advocacy, Disclosing Disability, Rights, Future Outlook, Transition Outlook and Utilizing Resource.
Contact learn more.

Save the Date

2021 Solutions Awards Dinner

Date: Thursday, September 30, 2021, 5:30 – 9:00pm
Venue: Vollmer Center, Cylburn Arboretum
4915 Greenspring Avenue Baltimore, MD 21215
(near Sinai Hospital)
This year’s theme: 10th Year Anniversary: Building Momentum / Fostering Safety

Support Youth Programs at The IMAGE Center

Help kids stay connected this summer.

$100 – Sponsor a student for a 6 week program.

$50 – Sponsor a student for a 3 week program.

$25 – Sponsor program materials for a student’s program participation

Sponsor a student today!

Visit and click on teen blog to learn more about our sponsor a student campaign.
Blog Live Chat

I AM: Monday, July 19, 2021

Speakers: Lee Shahay, Mid-Atlantic Horticultural Therapy Network, and Bonita Condon, Montgomery County Maryland Master Gardener

Learn more about making gardening accessible to you. These experienced speakers share tips, tools, and best practices on how people with different disabilities can garden. From raised beds to adaptive tools to indoor and outdoor gardening of veggies and flowers, we cover it all!

Recording of the Independence Amplified Maryland event from July 7, 2021.

Don’t forget to visit our registration website to donate to support these events or register for upcoming calls!

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