LEAP Transition Resource Fair

The Iowa Department for the Blind (IDB) and the Iowa City Community School District present a resource fair for students K-12, parents, teachers, and service providers featuring exhibitors, informative sessions, and family activities. The fair offers information about services and resources available to assist low vision and blind students navigate their school careers and prepare for post-secondary education and/or employment.


  • Information sessions:
    • Session 1 — 10:00-11:00 am
      “Introduction to IDB Services – Vocational Rehabilitation, the Orientation Center, the Iowa Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, the Library’s Instructional Materials Center, and the Aids & Devices Store” –  Learn what services are offered by the Iowa Department for the Blind and how they can help low vision and blind transition-age students during their school years.
      “Converting Text to Audio —  How to Scan Books”  with Enrique Mejia, Rehabilitation Technology Specialist
      Blind and low vision students starting college may suddenly realize they no longer have a TVI to take care of ordering their accessible study materials for them. The responsibility of being prepared for classes falls primarily on students themselves. They need to have the skills to find and get access to information. One important skill is the ability to scan materials. This session will cover just a few of the tools, inexpensive and sometimes free, that are available to students.
    • 11:00 am – Exhibits open until 3:00 pm
    • Session 2 — 11:10 am – 12:00 pm
      “Early Intervention in Low Vision and Blind Students Lives” with Julie Aufdenkamp, Transition Specialist
      This session will address the crucial question of:  “What should the expectations be for children who are blind or low vision?”
    • 12:00-1:15 pm  Lunch (you may bring your own or find options nearby in the area),  exhibits remain open
    • Session 3 — 1:15 pm – 2:00 pm
      Vocational Rehabilitation – “Today’s Learners Become Tomorrow’s Earners” with Julie Aufdenkamp,  Transition Specialist
      “Vocational Rehabilitation from the Iowa Department for the Blind doesn’t start until my child/student graduates from high school… right?” Wrong! Session participants will learn what VR is and why early connections are important.
    • Session 4 — 2:15- 3:00 pm
      The Orientation Center – “Nonvisual Skills and Independence” with Nami Wallace, Orientation Center Instructor
      An in-depth look at the Orientation Center, it’s philosophy of learning, what classes are offered, the use of learning shades, and how attending the Center fits into a student’s overall development.
  • Exhibitors and resource tables focusing on transition services, tech vendors, advocacy groups

Where:  The Commons and Room 118, The Kirkwood Regional Center at the University of Iowa, 2301 Oakdale Blvd, Coralville, IA  Link to Google maps and directions

Free and open to the public, students of all ages welcome

U.S. Currency Reader Program

Currency ReaderThe United State Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) is providing currency readers, free of charge, to eligible blind and visually impaired individuals.
The reader, called iBill® Currency Identifier, provides a convenient means for blind or visually impaired individuals to identify all Federal Reserve notes (U.S. currency) in circulation.  It uses a single AAA battery, which is included, and denominates the note in one of three modes: a clear natural voice, a pattern of tones, or a pattern of vibrations for privacy.  The vibration mode also assists people who are deaf and blind.
The U.S. Currency Reader Program is a component of the BEP’s initiative to provide meaningful access to Federal Reserve notes.  Currency readers became widely available to all U.S. citizens, or persons legally residing in the U.S. who are blind or visually impaired, on January 2, 2015.
Additional information about the U.S. Currency Reader Program can be found on the Bureau of Engraving and Printing website, http://www.bep.gov/uscurrencyreaderpgm.html
Interested individuals can download the application from the BEP’s website at http://www.bep.gov/uscurrencyreaderform.html.
It must be filled out completely, signed by a competent authority that can certify eligibility, and returned to the mailing address provided on the form.
Also, please feel free to contact the library with any questions, 515-281-1323. 

Reading and Technology

BARDDid you know you can read books from BARD (Braille and Audio Reading Download) on your smart phone or tablet? It’s like having a book in your pocket!  Download the BARD app from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store and start reading today.

BARD is a web-based service that provides access to thousands of special-format books, magazines, and music scores provided by the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS).

If you need to set up a BARD account, please contact the library.

Celebrate Teen Tech Week and download a book today!

Teen Tech Week – Twist Fate Challenge

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As part of Teen Tech Week™, YALSA is teaming up with the Connected Learning Alliance, Deviant Art, National Writing Project, and Wattpad for the Twist Fate Challenge.

The goal of the challenge is to get young people (ages 13-17) to tell stories about what happens when a hero becomes a villain, or a villain a hero (through writing, video, digital art, animation, etc.) and sharing them across the Deviant Art and Wattpad platforms.

The challenge takes place March 6 – April 6.

Try your hand at creative writing! What hero would you turn into a villain? Or what villain would you make a hero?

Books for Teen Tech Week

Teen Tech Week is under way!  TTW2016 Logo2Try one of these technology related books from the library.

10 Inventors Who Changed the World   DB70684

Computing: A Concise History   DB75267, BR19587

The People’s Platform: Taking Back Power and Culture in the Digital Age   DB79227

Future Imperfect: Technology and Freedom in an Uncertain World    DB71442

The Digital Person: Technology and Privacy in the Information Age   BR16095

100 Greatest Science Inventions of All Time   DB64790

Create It At Your Library – Teen Tech Week

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Teen Tech Week is a national initiative sponsored by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA). This week draws attention to the importance and availability of various technologies in libraries as well as the importance of digital literacy. Besides offering technologies such as audiobooks, 3D printers, databases, computers with internet access and more, libraries also have librarians with expertise in using many of these resources effectively. This year during Teen Tech Week, YALSA’s twitter account will be taken over each day by an organization who will share out information, news and resources of interest to those working to build digital literacy skills in teens. Topics may range from connected learning, makerspaces and making, learning labs, web literacy, digital skills, practical tips for using digital tools, and more. Follow @yalsa for the latest info! Or #TTW16 to see the conversation

Watch our blog for posts throughout the week on great books, activites, apps and more at your library!