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Advocacy Resources Bridges Blog Information Resources Series: Jumping Into January 2023

Jumping Into January

The Bridges Helpdesk Returns and is Growing!

2022 is over, and it’s time to jump into 2023! Join us as we explore revamped and new resources to help you on your Transition journey – through school and beyond!

  • January 3: The Bridges Helpdesk Returns and is Growing!
  • January 10: JAWS Screen Reading Software Offers Even More in 2023!
  • January 17: Resources from the Maryland Library for the Blind!
  • January 24: Technology and Tools Available for Free at APH!
  • January 31: Changes to AIRA’s On-Demand Visual Interpretation Services

In this first installment of our “Jumping Into January” series, we share updates about us, the Free Bridges Helpdesk.

Where Have We Been?

In August 2022, our grant funding was put on hold. As a result, we were forced to temporarily suspend our operations.

Now, we are back and so eager to work with you! Please reach out to us anytime!

What is Staying the Same?

The Bridges Helpdesk provides ready access to accurate and up-to-date information tailored to the needs of Maryland blind/low vision transition-age youth, their families, their educators and service providers, and their community allies. We still provide individual support as well as relevant resources and guidance to help you decide which bridges you need and how you want to build them.

We also still offer dedicated blind adults and blindness education experts who are at your service. We remain prepared to answer a wide variety of questions and are eager to invest the time to ensure that you get thorough and helpful answers.

And, as evidenced by this post, Transition Tip Tuesdays are back!

What is Different?

We are growing and transforming into a “technical assistance center.” Technical Assistance Centers provide high-quality and directed information and support to help stakeholders solve problems and grow in understanding and their abilities to address future obstacles. In addition to the Bridges Helpdesk and Transition Tip Tuesdays, we are developing a searchable and accessible Maryland Bridges Technical Assistance Center Resource Library. We will also be providing administrative support to the Maryland Blind/Low Vision Steering Committee, a group comprising national advisors, state and local stakeholders and service providers (representation from each LEA/PA) in the field of blind/low vision education.

Our Bridges Helpdesk represents an important area of technical assistance: intensive, sustained TA support. Transition Tip Tuesdays. Our upcoming searchable and accessible Bridges Resource Library provide universal, general TA support for blind/low vision transition-age youth and their support systems. Our provision of administrative support to the Maryland Blind/Low Vision Steering Committee represents targeted and specialized TA support to this group of educators and service providers of Maryland’s blind/low vision transition-age youth.

What Does This Mean?

Our growth from a Helpdesk to a Technical Assistance Center means we can serve our existing stakeholders (Maryland’s blind/low vision transition-age youth, their families, their educators and service providers, and their community allies) better and that we can reach out to even more stakeholders.

In other words, you can still rely on the Helpdesk’s prompt and thorough responses to inquiries and, once the Resource Library goes live, all stakeholders will have a one-stop-shop for resources, information, and support.

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:

Voice mail: Call (443) 320-4003, leave a voice mail message, and we will return your call

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.

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