The Northampton Arts Council works to support and nurture the arts in the city of Northampton. The Council awards grants twice each year to artists and arts groups from both state and locally-raised funds, and seeks to improve public awareness of the arts. Its' goals include maintaining and preserving the rich and diverse cultural heritage of Northampton, programming such annual events of interest to the community as First Night Northampton and Transperformance.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Accessing Portable Apple and Android Devices

WHAT: Accessing Portable Apple and Android Devices
WHEN: November 9, 2018 at 1 PM
WHERE: Community Room, Forbes Library, 20 West St, Northampton MA

When Apple introduced the iPad in 2010, it had no features to make it accessible to individuals with vision, hearing, motor and like challenges. Since that first iPad, Apple has made enormous strides in supporting access in all their devices. As a result, other manufactures were pressed to offer similar access. This class will focus on enlarged text, spoken output and fine motor access. Bring your interest and, if you have one, your device and lots of questions.

Forbes Library is offering a series of free classes on assistive technology and related topics on the second Friday of each month from 1-2:30PM. Assistive technology helps people with challenges like low vision, hearing loss, or fine motor problems. All classes will take place in the library's Community Room and will be taught by Rick Ely.

The classes do not require pre-registration and will be demonstrations with time for question and answers. Participants will have the opportunity to sign up for one on one or small group tutoring for hands-on instruction related to the topics covered in each class.

In the Community Room at Forbes Library

WHAT: Discovering Audio Description in the Theater, on your TV, Tablet or Phone
WHEN: December 14, 2018
Have you ever watched a movie or TV and wished you could see more? What kind of amulet is that warlock wearing? What is the make of that car? Who is she kissing! This two-hour class will give a brief overview of Audio Description, what it is and how it is created. We will examine the growing numbers of theatrical film releases, television programs and shows from streaming services like Netflix that are now providing audio description. We will review the ways you can find the described content you want to see and hear. On the way out of the library, how about checking out an audio described DVD? We have a great collection.

WHAT: Enlarged Screen or Speech: Access to your PC
WHEN: January 11, 2019
When I took a class in eye physiology, my professor taught that if you are lucky to live long enough, you will lose vision. Does that mean you will have to give up Facebook, email, Wikipedia or goofy cat videos? “NO!” Learn about screen magnifiers and screen readers that will speak the text on your display. This class will introduce some simple ways to make your PC easier to see. We will learn to use Windows Magnifier, already part of your Windows system, and NVDA, a free screen reader. With them you can be quite sure you can keep using your computer.

WHAT: Advanced Read Again: for Those Wanting a University Size Library and Tools to Work with Text You Find There
WHEN: February 8, 2019
We will explore two sources of accessible e-books, and apps for working with them: Project Gutenberg and BookShare. Project Gutenberg offers about 57,000 items in its free collection. The BookShare collection offers roughly 655,000 titles. BookShare serves individuals for whom reading print books is a significant challenge. It is available to folks with low vision or blindness, learning disability or physical challenges like fine motor coordination. (Students in the U.S. have free access. Others pay a modest registration and annual fee.)

About the instructor:
Dr. Rick Ely lost much of his vision at age twelve to non-specific macular degeneration. For some time, he taught English and film study at Northfield Mount Hermon School and also served as campus dean. His doctoral studies at Harvard’s School of Education led him to research computer access for individuals with a vision loss. Since then, he has worked at the WGBH National Center for Accessible Media, Perkins School and the Carroll Center. This year he resumed running his own consulting business, En-Vision. Rick is a certified TVI in both Massachusetts and New Hampshire. He lives in Florence, MA.

About the series:
Funding for the series is provided by the Michele Aldrich Accessibility Fund. Classes are free of charge and open to the public. Classes will be held at the Forbes Library, 20 West Street, Northampton, MA 01060.

Forbes Library is committed to providing universal access to all of our events. For questions about accessibility or to request accommodations please contact Molly Moss at 413-587-1017 or Please let us know at least two weeks before the event if you require any special accommodations.

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