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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.

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Bridges Blog

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.

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Bridges Blog

Summer Reading Programs at the Maryland Library for the Blind and Print Disabled (LBPD)

Looking for something to do with your summer? Why not spend it reading books of your choice to win fun prizes! Check out details for the Maryland Library for the Blind and Print Disabled (LBPD) summer reading program below!

Pick Your Age Group

This year’s summer reading theme is Tails and Tales, so get ready to enjoy tails and tales of all sorts this summer. LBPD has two summer reading programs that pertain to transition-aged youth. No matter which program you belong in, you will be able to tally your points for reading books, attend virtual LBPD activities, earn prizes, and enter raffles for grand prize drawings. 

  • Tweens/Teens Summer Learning: ages 11-17 (final day to earn points is August 6)
  • Adult Summer Reading Program: ages 18 and older (final day to earn points is August 8)

Register and Count Your Points!

Whether you fall into the Teens/Tweens or the adult group, you can register using Beanstack, a completely accessible website where you can track your points, books read, and activities attended.

Click here to register for the Tails and Tales 2021 Summer Reading Program with the Maryland LBPD

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.

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Bridges Blog

Accessible Audio-described Virtual Tours

Looking for something to do with your summer? Read below for some awesome virtual audio-described tours, many of which are taking place today! All tours listed below are featured in the NFB or ACB convention program.

B&O Railroad Museum Tour: Maryland on the Rails – Tuesday, July 6, 12:00 – 1:30 PM

Zoom meeting ID: 957 8137 1847

This virtual tour will examine how before 1827 Maryland became an ideal location for the B&O Railroad, and as a result, how the B&O Railroad has continued to contribute to the robust history of this state.

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Tour – Tuesday July 6, 2:00 – 3:30 PM

Zoom meeting ID: 989 1183 7672

On this virtual tour, you will learn about the nation’s first space flight center that now also has the largest combined organization of scientists and engineers dedicated to increasing knowledge of Earth, the solar system, and the universe via observations from space.

Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Tour – Tuesday July 6, 4:00 – 5:30 PM

Zoom meeting ID: 961 2567 1553

Virtually experience Harriet Tubman’s world through exhibits that chronicle the life of this resourceful woman and the many others that helped her run the Underground Railroad. Most people underestimated her tenacity and strength.

NFB Jernigan Institute Tour – Wednesday July 7, 12:00 – 1:30 PM

Zoom meeting ID: 951 0732 8515

This unique tour will be conducted by Mary Ellen Jernigan and Dr. Marc Maurer, who were involved before there was a Jernigan Institute. They worked with Dr. Jernigan and will share stories about the vision, development, and growth of the NFB National Center for the Blind.

Mammoth Cave Tour – Friday July 16, 4:00 – 5:15 PM

Participate through streaming ACB radio

Explore the wonders and history of this incredible underground world. An audio experience prepared by Mammoth Cave Park. They will be on hand to answer your questions. A virtual journey you won’t soon forget.

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.

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Bridges Blog

KNFB Reader

The fifth in a five-part series: Accessing Visual Information Series.

We are surrounded by visual information, but it’s not always accessible. This month, the Bridges Helpdesk explores tools that put access to that visual information at your fingertips.

In this fifth installment of the series, we learn about KNFB Reader.

What is KNFB Reader?

KNFB Reader is an app which reads print information aloud to users who have print disabilities. The text can also be read using a Braille display. The app has text detection and tactile feedback to help the user ensure that they are capturing all of the text in the photo. It also features highlighting capabilities for those with low vision or other print disabilities for which pinpointing text would be useful.

How Much does KNFB Reader Cost?

KNFB Reader is available for all Apple products, as well as for Android and Windows 10. It is $99.99. Since KNFB Reader can help individuals read school assignments and important work documents, many universities, employers, and VR agencies have been known to purchase this app for individuals.

KNFB Reader Features

KNFB Reader features a variety of useful options, including:

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.

June: Accessing Visual Information Series

Part 1: About Aira

Part 2: Accessing Aira

Part 3: Aira in Action

Part 4: Seeing AI

Part 5: KNFB Reader

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