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General Colorado Center Information Independence Training Program Youth Services

Meanwhile, down in the gym, a dozen blind students were dissecting dog sharks! @ArapahoeCC

Deya and Alma examine their Shark

These Denver high school students, Deya and Alma were two of the dozen middle school to college prep students who experienced all the sensory data of a spiny dog shark when they opened one up today at the Center.

Well, except for taste.

Thanks again to Arapahoe Community College’s Biology Professor Terry Harrison for leading these blind students through a meaningful lesson about anatomy – a lesson with the side benefit of learning that vision isn’t the only sense with which to do real science!

Terry Harrison with the 2019 Shark Dissection Group

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Cane Travel Independence Training Program Youth Services

We’re open today, and sharks are on for tomorrow! The #BombCyclone has blown on by!

It was a relatively calm morning after yesterday’s Bomb Cyclone, with 8 to 12 inches of snow and extreme winds blowing the flakes sideways and into drifts. Admittedly we had to skate our way into the Center before eight this morning, climbing over ice boulders thrown onto the sidewalk along Prince Street by snowplows, but we are here. We are grateful not to be among the nearly 80,000 customers in the Metro area without power this morning.

And we are on for tomorrow’s shark dissection with Arapahoe Community College’s Terry Harrison. We’re plowing and digging and de-icing our way out in plenty of time for that! And the sharks come frozen anyway!

WHY DOES A SHARK GROW NEW TEETH?

Usually, a shark’s mouth has several rows of teeth, therefore when they lose one because of struggling with prey or just because they are renewing it, the correspondent tooth from the row behind it goes forward to fill the space in the jaw.

Sharks grow new teeth continually throughout their lives, and some may produce as many as 30,000 in their life. That’s an estimate.

Shark Facts and Information

Two sets of blue gloved hands exploring a shark from either side of the table

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Youth Services

It’s slimy, it’s smelly, it’s SCIENCE! Shark Dissection coming March 15

Terry Harrison showing a student various organs inside a shark

The annual shark dissection at the Colorado Center for the Blind with Arapahoe Community College Biology/Anatomy Professor Terry Harrison will be held:

Friday, March 15, 2019
9:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Colorado Center for the Blind
2233 W. Shepperd Ave.
Littleton, CO 80120

Here’s a great accessible STEM activity for blind students Grades 6 and older. Parents and teachers are welcome as participants or observers.

Teachers/Parents, please RSVP, so we can plan for enough sharks and pizzas (no anchovies)!

Contact Brent Batron for further info at 303-778-1130, x222 or [email protected].

See you on March 15!

The annual shark dissection at the Colorado Center for the Blind with Arapahoe Community College Biology/Anatomy Professor Terry Harrison will be held:

Friday, March 15, 2019
9:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Colorado Center for the Blind
2233 W. Shepperd Ave.
Littleton, CO 80120

Here’s a great accessible STEM activity for blind students Grades 6 and older. Parents and teachers are welcome as participants or observers.

Teachers/Parents, please RSVP, so we can plan for enough sharks and pizzas (no anchovies)!

Contact Brent Batron for further info at 303-778-1130, x222 or [email protected]

See you on March 15!

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Youth Services

Announcing Our 2019 Summer Youth Programs

For 2019, we’ll offer our long-standing summer youth programs, including Confidence Camp/BELL and our 8-week residential program for high school and college-aged youth. But we’ll also offer shorter-term and more focused “modules”, describe below. For more information on our 2019 Summer Youth Programs, contact Martin Becerra-Miranda at 303-778-1130, ext. 2223, or [email protected].

Summer Students work with the LabQuest
Izzy and Vanessa L. take measurements with the LabQuest

Confidence Camp/BELL Academy

Dates: June 10 through June 21
Ages: 5 to 10
Location: Colorado Center for the Blind

Program Description

This two-week day program will be filled with learning, challenge and fun. Your child will meet competent blind role models who will work with the kids on cooking, cleaning, Braille, independent travel and technology. The kids will learn how to take the bus and use the light rail. They’ll have fun swimming, rock climbing, making a tactile art piece and going on exciting field trips.

No Limits to Learning

Dates: June 7 to August 2
Ages: 14 to 21
Location: Colorado Center for the Blind

Program Description

This eight-week residential program will change your life. You will live in an apartment with other students and a staff member. Learn about the world of work and meet blind people who work in all kinds of jobs. Challenge yourself through our program by participating in rock climbing, goalball, white water rafting and much more. Build your core skills in Braille, technology, home management and cane travel. Attend the convention of the National Federation of the Blind in Las Vegas, Nevada. Expand your skill set in STEM fields with hands-on experiments using accessible, nonvisual tools and strategies. College coming up soon? Learn what it takes to be successful, including how to navigate the unfamiliar new landscape of higher education. You will learn that being blind will not limit you from pursuing your dreams.

Module Madness

Want a shorter training program? We offer three different modules throughout the summer that may fit your schedule and your interests. In all three modules, you will live in one of our apartments with other students and a counselor, and you will build your core skills in Braille, Technology, Home Management and Cane Travel classes.

The World of Work

Dates: June 7 to June 21
Ages: 11 to 21
Location: Colorado Center for the Blind

Program Description

Challenge yourself with new experiences! You will travel the Denver Metro area via bus and light rail to meet with blind people who work in a variety of professions. Develop confidence and your own style for networking. Practice your interviewing skills and put together a resume and cover letter.

Challenge and Adventure

Dates: June 21 to June 30
Ages: 11 to 21
Location: Colorado Center for the Blind

Program Description

Run in a 5K race, play goalball and hockey, learn self-defense, go canoeing, whitewater rafting and much more. Prepare delicious foods and learn about maintaining a nutritious diet. On the slower side try yoga, gymnastics and develop an exercise routine.

Cracking the College Code

Dates: July 18 to August 2
Ages: 16 to 21
Location: Colorado Center for the Blind

Program Description

Develop the skills you need to be successful in college as a blind student. Expand your skill set with accessible tools and strategies for chemistry, biology, statistics, robotics and more. Practice self-advocacy and learn how to navigate the unfamiliar new landscape of higher education.

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Events General Colorado Center Information Youth Services

#FAST Friday to Explore the Stars with @AstronomyatACC

Astronomy Event - Telescope and tactile graphics in front of a star filled night sky
Whirling overhead at all times are stars, planets – whole galaxies. Humans have always wondered at them and about them. Blindness is no impediment to curiosity, including in the area of astronomy, nor is their any reason blind people can’t learn much in this field, often thought to be too visual. Some have even become astronomers themselves.

So, with the help of Arapahoe Community College Astronomy Coordinator and Instructor Jennifer Jones this month’s FAST (Fun Activities and Skills Training) Friday program for blind youth will teach about the stars with tactile graphics of constellations, 3D printings of telescopes and, finally, a trip outside to see what is in Friday night’s sky. Members of ACC’s Astronomy Club will be helping out too. We’ll also learn a little about the science of sonification as it applies to studying various astronomical phenomena.

With luck, we can inspire anew generation of blind astronomers!

Oh, and we’ll bring snacks. That’s inspiring … right?

Please note

There’s a change of time (later so as to use the telescope after dark), and change of venue for our April FAST Friday.

Date:
Friday, April 13
Time:
7 p.m.
Place:
Arapahoe Community College
5900 S. Santa Fe Drive, Littleton
Main Building, Room 1040
Directions:
It’s best to enter the Main Building from the north side. The entrance is on College avenue right at the pedestrian crosswalk. Parking is across the street. For bus riders, this is the western end point of Route 66.

Blind Astronomers

Doing a Google search for blind astronomers will turn up some interesting results, though a couple of the links below were already known to this blogger. When you learn just a little about how these blind astronomers do their research, it quickly becomes apparent that astronomy isn’t limited to the visual, but rather that it’s been taught that way, often exclusively that way. Until recently that is. My Google results showed that not all curious blind would-be scientists felt constrained by those teaching limitations.

The 1997 sci-fi movie, Contact featured a blind astronomer, Kent Clark, who was based on the true-life blind astronomer, Kent Cullers, who worked for NASA’s Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI). One of SETI’s projects was to process radio signals from space using the computing power of PCs around the world. if you wanted to help, you invited SETI to use your PC while you weren’t, and early application of crowd-sourcing.

Cullers was blind from birth and is now retired. Wanda Diaz Merced was already an astronomer when she became blind, and her TED Talk, How a Blind Astronomer Found a Way to Hear the Stars won’t be a wasted 11 minutes and 16 seconds out of your life.

There is in fact a Blind Astronomy Guild, with members across this tiny, spinning globe.

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Youth Services

Reminder: FAST Friday Fast Approaching!

Do You Dream in Color? PosterMarch 9 will be Movie Night And our next FAST Friday at the Colorado Center for the Blind – our monthly activity for blind youth and their families. We’ll kick the evening off with pizza, then watch the documentary film, “Do You Dream in Color?” It follows four California high school students who are blind as they strive to follow their dreams. 1 hr 14 min with audio description. Popcorn provided. Discussion will follow.

Watch the trailer for “Do You Dream in Color?”

April 13 will be Contact theAstronomy
Constellations! we’ll have Arapahoe Community College Astronomy Instructor Jennifer Jones and her students work with us to understand the night sky, stars, constellations and everything! The evening will feature dozens of tactile graphics and 3D representations. The time will be determined, so stay tuned.

For questions or more information contact Brent Batron at 303-778-1130, x222, or [email protected].

See you in the movies!

Categories
General Colorado Center Information Independence Training Program

Access & #TactileLiteracy: A Day in Our College Prep Class

Access to concepts and information presented in graphical form has long been a challenge for blind college students. In the past couple of decades the surge in digitally-displayed content has, well, gone supernova. Thus, blind college students need to develop basic tactile literacy with two- and thre-dimensional representations that their sighted peers may have learned much more informally through media such as picture books, television, film, or YouTube. Blind people learn how things look best by touch. Descriptions are a stop-gap, but only that. Thus, one aspect of our College Prep class’s goal of preparing our students to be savvy and nimble in gaining access to their studies involves taking a look at the kinds of things colleges may throw in front of them and expect them to be able to interpret.

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Challenge Recreation Independence Training Program

Watch CCB Indoor Skydiving @iFLYDenver featured last night on @CBSDenver!

Leon Free Flying the I Fly Denver Wind Tunnel
I-Fly Denver invited us over on Monday to take flight and learn about the science around wind tunnels and things like force and resistance. There was math involved, just saying.

then we got to experience push and pull full-body, so to speak. Here’s a story from CBS Denver Channel 4 last night:

Skydiving Business Helps Students At Center For The Blind

Thanks to everyone at I-Fly Denver – we had a great time!

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Careers General Colorado Center Information Youth Services

Summer Was Fun, and Especially Our Saturday Science Day!

Trevor with Maggie and Amy assembling robots

Here are a few pics from our Science Saturday way back in July! Studens rotated between three stations – basic chemistry, a station dedicated to weather, and a robotics class using Lego Mindstorms.

With the first serious fall weather this week – misty rain, leaves turning and starting to litter the lawns and sidewalks – it’s kind of fun to think about how hot it was that day out front with the bucket and the hose!

The point of course is to show our students that blind people can do science and – Wow! – it’s even fun!

Ashley working with Keila on edible candle science project
Maggie and Lauren watch as as their experiment produces gas that inflates balloons

 

Ashley simulates how a tornado looks using a bucket and water, with Roland, Faye and Keishawn. Our volunteer Kaylooks on.

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General Colorado Center Information

How many ways can the blind enjoy #Eclipse2017? #ShareLittleton

A Large group of CCB staff and students outside observing the eclipse. Some are wearing eclipse glasses while they listen to a live audio description

Quite a few, it turns out.

Staff and students held an Eclipse Party to celebrate and enjoy the 92 percent coverage of the sun today. Students in Home Management prepared a black bean salsa and cookies to start things off about 10:30 this morning as we took time to learn a little more about the eclipse.

Among our tools was the recently published Getting a Feel for Solar Eclipses, published by NASA. It featured tactile (and colorful) graphics of a solar eclipse and a tactile map of the United States depicting the path of totality.

In addition to this, many downloaded the iOS app Eclipse Soundscapes, which featured rumble maps that vibrated to show the brightest spots of such features as Bailey’s Beads, as well as audio descriptions of the peak event timed to our locale. We broadcast these using a bluetooth speaker. The app was developed by the National Park Service, Science Friday and Brigham Young University-Idaho.

Leon wears eclipse glasses and takes a look as the eclipse gets startedOf course we also obtained 25 pairs of eclipse sunglasses for sighted staff and those of us who have some residual vision and wanted to try and see the event. Sleepshades, usually a requirement for any student with no more than light perception, were not required for the event.

We were all out on the edge of our parking lot, watching and listening as the day grew dimmer and the temperature dropped from about 80 degrees to around 74 degrees.

Over in the shadow of the trees several of the group observed the progress of the eclipse as the sunny spots between the shadows of the leaves slowly grew smaller – a natural version of the pinhole approach of watching an eclipse.

Afterwards, we all went inside and were treated to a pizza lunch by the CCB Student Association.

Oh yeah, it was a real party!

Yolanda and Chip looking at the Eclipse Tactile Graphics
Close up of Eclipse Tactile Graffic
Eclipse Soundscapes App featuring Baily's Beads

 

A view of the sun during the eclipse - lense flairs show the actual eclipse shape
Tree leaf shadows make a natural pin hole eclipse viewer on the CCB flagstone in the front garden