Senior Helpline: 211 * City of Jacksonville: 630-CITY

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Macular Degeneration Foundation

The Macular Degeneration Foundation is on organization that seeks to provide information, resources and other forms of support to those who have and will develop Macular Degeneration.

Macular Degeneration is a disease that gradually destroys an individual's central area of vision. It occurs in two forms: wet and dry. It can start small and spread slowly or occur suddenly and quickly lead to complete vision loss. Age related Macular Degeneration is the leading cause of vision loss for Americans 60 years and older.

The Macular Degeneration Foundation's webpage provides an abundance of information including links to the latest news in Macular Degeneration research; alphabetized list of online resources from domestic and foreign sources; a bibliography of recommended titles related to the disease; informative online video presentations and much more. An interesting and interactive feature of the website is the Ansler Grid Eye Test displayed below. Below the grid you will find the instructions for using the grid to assess the quality of your central vision.


1. Wear the glasses you normally wear when reading.

2. View the chart at arms distance and cover one eye. With the uncovered eye, stare at the white dot in the center of the grid.

3. To view the chart at the proper distance, slowly move in toward your monitor until one of the two red ovals FIRST disappears.

4. During the entire test, you should have one eye covered, stare at the center of the grid and only see one red oval.

5. If your eye is functioning properly, you should be able to see the center white dot and the four corners and sides of the grid. The lines should appear to be straight and continuous from top to bottom and side to side.

6. Now test your other eye.

Here is the link to the Macular Degeneration Foundation's

Friday, October 14, 2011

Southside Baptist Church Blind Ministry

On the third Saturday of the months September through May from 12pm to 2pm are the meetings of the Southside Baptist Church Blind Ministry. The group is nondenominational and contains more than 40 members and volunteers. Fellowship, lunch and entertainment are provided. For more information please contact Robert A. Jones at (904) 613-0121 or (904) 330-6285.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Support the Jacksonville Public Library

The Jacksonville Public Library's operating budget is facing cuts totaling 3.5 million dollars. These cuts would result in fewer hours of service at every Jacksonville Public Library location including system wide closures on Mondays as well as a reduction in staff. Such cuts will be especially painful for the Talking Book Library since we will only be able to circulate books and videos to our customers four days a week. We do not yet know how the reduction in staff may effect us.

A final budget has not yet been approved by the Jacksonville City Council; they vote on Thursday September 27th. If you wish to show your support for the Jacksonville Public Library we urge you to contact your city councilperson. If you are unsure of who your City Councilperson is use the following link to determine your precinct and elected officials:

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Safe and Mobile Seniors

Safe and Mobile Seniors is a web based service offered by the Florida Department of Transportation that provides transportation information for anyone 65 years and older living in Florida. It is promoted as a “one stop shop” for drivers and pedestrians who are seeking information regarding the safest most effective way to reach their destinations.
A highly interactive and useful feature of this website for those who don’t have their own transportation is the “Find a Ride” option. After a user selects their home county from the interactive map they are then linked to a webpage that allows a user to select their city and preferred mode of transportation. For instance, a person can input their city as Jacksonville, select fixed route service, select a fixed schedule and finally select ADA Complementary Paratransit Service resulting in a list that includes Jacksonville Transit Authority (JTA), MV Medicaid Transportation, Inc., Amtrak and others. This is just one outcome of a variety of routes, schedules and types of service available.
You can find all of this information at the following address:
It is a very useful website with links to important information for senior citizens in Florida who wish to be informed, independent travelers.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Audio Bible Download

The Aurora Ministries Audio Bibles for the Blind service now offers their materials for download to anyone who receives Talking Books or is certified as having a disability that prohibits them from reading standard or large print. In addition to the complete King James and New King James bible in many different languages the website also offers selected scripture readings, children's devotionals, Christian music and sermons by prominent Christian theologians. The audio files are in mp3 format and download as zipped files. For more information call (941) 748-3031 or visit their website at

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Blind Tunes & Rhapsody Blind

Blind Tunes and Rhapsody Blind are simple programs (scripts) that operate via JAWS for Windows in order to give individuals who are blind or have a visual disability the ability to navigate the iTunes and Rhapsody online music and movie services with greater ease and freedom. A user will be able to search online collections of music and movies, create and access playlists, purchase and download media files and burn those files to a CD or transfer them to a device like an mp3 player. These programs can be downloaded for free and only require that a user have access to JAWS for Windows version 10 through 12 and Microsoft Windows XP, Vista or 7. Mr. John Martyn, who lost his vision in 2008, created these programs in order to make these popular websites "more about the music and less about the navigation". It is important that someone hoping to use either of these programs has had some degree of training in JAWS for Windows and its many hot keys and menus. For more information visit the following websites:
Blind Tunes:
Rhapsody Blind:

Thursday, March 10, 2011

6th Annual NFB Blind Community Picnic


Join us for the 6th annual NFB Blind Community Picnic

Trivia Time with Brandon Tomasello
Activities for children

When: Saturday, April 16th 2011
Where: Cuba Hunter Park & Community Center
4380 Bedford Rd
Jacksonville, FL 32207
Time: 11:00am-4:00pm

This free event is open to the blind, visually impaired, and their immediate families. The deadline for registration is April 2nd, 2011. Please register by calling 904-608-0105.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Digital Talking Book machine now available for institutions

The digital Talking Book Machine is now available to institutions such as nursing homes, hospitals, schools, senior centers, etc. Institutions registered for Talking Book service can receive up to 6 digital Talking Book machines and up to 24 Talking Books on digital cartridge. Just call our office at 630-1999 or email us at to activate your institution's digital service. Those institutions that wish to receive digital Talking Books but have not registered for the service need to call or email us and an application for institutional service will be mailed to you.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

JPL on the Homefront

*This program is available for everyone and not just those affiliated with the military.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Accessible Walt Disney World

The Walt Disney World offers many special accommodations for guests with visual, hearing and physical disabilities. For instance those guests with a visual disability have access to audio descriptions of the resort's many entertainment programs, sporting events, tours and other special events. The audio descriptions are played through a handheld device that can be acquired at the Theme Park Guest Relations office. In addition to the audio descriptions of the resort's attractions, guests with a visual disability also have access to braille guidebooks and braille maps of the resort. Trained service animals are welcome in many areas of the resort. The resort hotels offer rooms and services for guests with disabilities.

For more information about Walt Disney World's accessibility options visit their website at the following address:

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Vision is Priceless Council

The Vision is Priceless Council provides free vision screenings to children and adults in Jacksonville. They are a volunteer non-profit organization committed to the early detection and prevention of eye disease. If a problem is detected a patient is advised to see an eye care professional for further treatment. Some patients may be eligible to receive financial assistance for their treatment through the Cared Vision Network which is a cooperative effort between the Vision is Priceless Council and local eye care professionals who have agreed to provide their services free of charge. The Vision is Priceless Council attends community health fairs and other events to screen adults and travels to day cares, preschools, schools and libraries to screen children. Their website is very informative and includes a schedule of what locations they will be visiting and what events they will be attending: They can be reached at 904-308-2020.