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Welcome to iBUG Today

 Empowering the Blind Through Accessible Technology

 

iBUG Today, Inc. is a non-profit organization promoting the individual independence, social integration, and educational development of the blind and visually impaired community through accessible technology.  iBUG (iBlind Users Group) endeavors to transform the blind community through accessible technology so they can live extraordinary lives full of independence, productivity, communication and social integration in a world where everything is within the realm of possibility. 


More and more of our community are finding the Apple devices to be useful assistive technology tools in their daily lives.  Whether at home, at work or school, or on the go – the accessibility features of the iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Apple Watch and Apple TV have cleared new pathways for the visually impaired to be more productive, consume online content, stay connected through social media and have fun. 

Please explore our website to learn more about iBUG and for additional information related to our accessibility training.

 

Next iBUG / Apple Workshop

The meeting is open to anyone desiring to become more proficient at using the iOS accessibility features of the iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Apple Watch and Apple TV.       

WHEN:  Saturday, January 26, 2:00 to 4:00 PM (CT)  

WHERE:  

Apple Highland Village (Briefing Room)

4012 Westheimer
Houston, TX  77027

Get more details... 

 

iBUG Receives Dr. Jacob Bolotin Award 2018

iBUG Today was awarded the Dr. Jacob Bolotin Award on July 8, 2018 at the National Federation of the Blind National Convention in Orlando, Florida. Michael McCulloch, president and founder of iBUG Today, accepted the award on behalf of the non-profit organization whose mission is to promote individual independence, social integration and educational development of the blind community through accessible technology training and services.

The Dr. Jacob Bolotin Awards honor individuals and organizations that are a positive force in the lives of blind people and whose work advances the goal of helping transform their dreams into reality.

Dr. Jacob W. Bolotin (1888-1924) was the world’s first physician who was blind from birth. He achieved that goal despite the tremendous challenges faced by blind people in his time. Not only did he realize his own dream, but he also went on to support and inspire many others.

Recipients of the Dr. Jacob Bolotin Awards break down barriers facing blind people in an innovative way; change negative perceptions of blindness and blind people; and push past existing boundaries to inspire blind people to achieve new heights.

The 2018 Dr. Jacob Bolotin Award winners include:

Be My Eyes

  • Developers of Be My Eyes app
  • $25,000 award recipient

Be My Eyes is a free mobile app that connects blind and low-vision users with sighted volunteers for visual assistance through a live video call. 

Peggy Chong

For more than two decades, Peggy Chong has documented empowering stories about blind people on her website, theblindhistorylady.com.

Carol Begay Green

  • Creator of the Navajo Braille code
  • $5,000 award recipient

Carol Begay Green has developed a Navajo Braille code and a plan to teach that code across the entire Navajo Nation.

iBUG Today, Inc.

  • Leaders in technology training
  • $5,000 award recipient

iBUG Today, Inc. is a nonprofit that promotes independence, social integration, and educational development of the blind community through accessible technology training and services. 

Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired of San Francisco

  • Innovators in tactile maps
  • $5,000 award recipient

Tactile Maps Automated Production (or TMAP) at the Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired of San Francisco creates consumer-grade, on-demand tactile maps that give blind people information and self-confidence to travel independently.

Ski for Light

  • Leaders in accessible fitness
  • $5,000 award recipient

Ski for Light connects the blind and sighted communities in the joy of cross country skiing.

The Dr. Jacob Bolotin Awards are funded by the National Federation of the Blind with assistance from the Alfred and Rosalind Perlman Trust, which was created by a bequest left to the Santa Barbara Foundation and the National Federation of the Blind by Jacob Bolotin’s niece-in-law, author Rosalind Perlman.

iBUG is honored to be among such an esteemed group of individuals and organizations that are committed to transforming the lives of blind individuals.  To be recognized by the National Federation of the Blind, a venerable organization that has long championed the cause of the blind, is truly humbling.  iBUG would like to thank the National Federation of the Blind for this award.  iBUG is also very appreciative of the time and efforts of its board members, Sandhya Rao and Belinda Skloss, and its many volunteers without whom this award would not have been possible.  With this recognition and award, iBUG will continue to empower the blind through accessible technology training so that we can all live the lives we want!

Michael accepting the Bolotin Award 2018 from James Daschel, chairman of the Dr. Jacob Bolotin Award committee. Mark Riccobono, president of the National Federation of the Blind standing in the right background (mostly hidden by the podium). photo courtesy of the NFB

The six Bolotin Award 2018 winners: Ski for Light, Be My Eyes, Carol Begay Green, iBUG Today, Peggy Chong, and Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired of San Francisco. phot courtesy of the NFB

  

Check out the Apple Event - September 12, 2018.  New Apple Watch Series 4 and three new iPhone X's (Xs, Xs Max, Xr).


Check out this awesome video of advanced iBUG member, Keith Pevoto  

 

iBUG assists Houston METRO in testing new beacon system for bus and rail stop identification

The iBUG Guy was featured in the business section of the Houston Chronicle on May 29, 2018.  He is part of a beta test team for the Houston Metropolitan Transit Authority's (METRO) new app and beacons system identifying bus and rail stops in the Houston area.  Other iBUG members on the beta test team include Raul Gallegos, Stacie Hardy, George Battiste, Richard Petty and Louis Maher.  See the full article here.

 

iBUG Named Agency of the Month - February 2018

Check it out!  iBUG Today is the featured Agency of the Month on the American Foundation for the Blind's (AFB) VisionAware website.

 

Weekly iBUG Buzz (conference call) 

Q&A help session on Mondays, 7:30 PM (CT) via conference call: 605-468-8002, access code:  154497# 

Get more details...

 

iBUG JumpStart Mentoring Program

Did you recently get an iPhone or iPad?  Are you ready to throw it against the wall?  Are you frustrated because you cannot seem to perform the most basic tasks?  Or perhaps you have had your iPhone for a while and would like to learn some new feature or app.

There is help!  The iBUG JumpStart Mentoring Program!  The iBUG Today Team will match you with a qualified mentor who can help you accomplish some basic objectives. iBUG JumpStart is intended to introduce you to some basic concepts and gestures that will help you get the most out of your iPhone.  Once you are familiar with the layout of the phone and are able to execute essential commands, you will be on your way to unlocking the awesome power of the iPhone.  As you gain proficiency with the iPhone, the weekly iBUG Buzz Conference Calls on Monday nights and the monthly Face-to-Face meetings at the Apple Store will continue to provide a valuable resource for on-going help and support.

So, for those of you that would like to participate in iBUG JumpStart as either a mentor or mentee, please download the appropriate application form (MS Word format) below, fill out and return to the address indicated on the form. 

For additional questions about the iBUG JumpStart Mentoring program, please contact the program administrator, Sandhya Rao, at sraotx@yahoo.com

Mentee Application        Mentor Application

 

Next iBUG Cafe

WHEN:  Sunday, December 9, 4:00 to this 6:00 PM (CT)  

WHERE:

Cafe Express 
1422 W. Gray
Houston, TX  77019

 

Next VILA Book Club

 

WHEN:  Thursday, December 13, 6:30 to 7:30 PM (CT)

WHERE:

Cafe Express 
1422 W. Gray
Houston, TX  77019

 

FACILITATOR:  Heide Miller

We will be discussing our reading for the month:  

TBD

If you are planning to eat dinner, please order at the counter first and then come to theback room on the left side of the restaurant.  They will bring the food our to you when it is ready. 
 

If you cannot attend in person, there is also a conference call-in number to participate by phone.

Conference Call Info:  605-468-8002, Access Code:  154497#

NOTE: this is not a toll-free call, so it is best to use your cell phone or VOIP.

*** RECOMMENDATION ***

We recommend you use the Free Conference Call HD app in the App Store) to connect to the conference call using your Wi-Fi connection.


iBUG Trekkie Talk (conference call)

Get more details...

 

iBUG Go Texan BBQ - February 18, 2018

 

iBUG at 2016 ACBT Convention and Conference - September 23-25, 2016

 

The iBUG Guy appears on iAccessVO

The iBUG Guy, Michael McCulloch, appeared on the May 21, 2016 edition of the iAcessVO program.  Michael was interviewed by iAccessVO hosts Brian Fischler and Ed Plumacher as he described the resources and services provided by iBUG Today to the blind and visually impaired community.
Listen to the recording of the iAccessVO program here.  Note the iBUG Guy comes on at about 25 minutes into the program. 
 

iBUG at Insight Expo 2018 - April 14, 2018

 

iBUG Buzz Radio Program

Our iBUG Buzz program is hosted on Sight into Sound radio on Wednesdays, 1:30 PM (CT) (rebroadcast Tuesdays, 5:30 PM and Wednesdays, 5:30 AM).  Additionally, the program is archived and available on demand 24/7.  You may listen to the program hosted by Jim Bratten using the special digital receivers from Sight into Sound, iBlink app on your iDevice or via the internet by going to the Sight into Sound website at the following link and selecting the "Tune in Now" or "Listen on Demand" buttons:  http://www.sightintosound.org 

 

The iBUG Guy appears on the Accessible World Tek Talk Program

On Monday, December 1, 2014, the iBUG Guy, Michael McCulloch, appeared on the Accessible World Tek Talk program along with about a dozen other technology based groups.  Dean Martineau who produces the Flying Blind, LLC Top Tech Tidbits newletter, moderated the program discussion as  each group spokesperson described the resources and services they provide.

Listen to a recording of the Tek Talk program here.  Note the iBUG Guy comes on at about 43 minutes into the program. 

  

Subsidy for iPhone through Specialized Telecommunications Assistance Program (STAP) for Texas residents

Contact Ray Wathen: 713-557-4937

Adaptive Communication Devices is now assisting qualified Texas residents obtain an iPhone using the STAP vouchers program.  Please check out their website for further details:  http://adaptivecommunicationdevices.wordpress.com

 

Apple Accessibility Support - for questions about assistive technology on your Apple device 

Phone:  (877) 204-3930

Email:   accessibility@apple.com

  

App Accessibility Issues - contact the app developer

Here is a sample letter that you may use to send an email to an app developer regarding the inaccessibility of their app. 

  

iBUG Road Show

A 90-minute presentation given by several advanced iBUG members that will provide your group or staff an introduction to the iPhone and its accessibility capabilities (currently limited to the Houston area).  Read more...

 

iBUG Guy's Favorite NASA Video

One of The iBUG Guy's favorite composites of video shot by Space Station astronauts.  Even after all these years, he finds it hard to believe that he had the priviilege of helping develop and build this fantastic "flying" machine.  Please enjoy "Walking on Air

 

 

iBUG Guy Receives CARE Award

The iBUG Guy received the CARE Award 2014, presented by the Houston Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities for his outstanding dedicated service to citizens with disabilities in the City of Houston, Texas, September 26, 2014.

 

1 iOS is the operating system of the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch.