LET’S ALL STAY SAFE BUT LET’S ALSO STAY HAPPY!
XRCVC’s Recreational Resources and Safety Guidelines for Persons with Blindness and Low Vision Compilation for COVID 19 Lockdown times
Wherever you are reading this from, these are exceptional times for all of us. Whether on our phones, computers, or television screens, we are being bombarded with lots of information about Covid-19. So we thought we would give you something different to mull over. And act upon if you’d like.
Appended below are suggestions and tips on how visually impaired persons can productively make use of these unusual circumstances.
These are divided into the following categories: Recreational Resources: Books | Audio-Visual Entertainment | Gaming.
Plus, there are sections like Staying Safe, Important Telephone Numbers, et cetera.
In case there’s a demand from a substantial number, we would be happy to schedule an online training as well, on, for instance, specific games you would like to play but don’t know how to access, or audio-visual entertainment. Those interested please contact us on email@example.com
Read. Watch. Play. Enjoy. Stay busy. Stay happy. Stay safe.
Wishing you the best always,
The XRCVC Team
Sugamya Pustakalaya (Website)
This website is run by the Daisy Forum of India DFI. It is India's largest online library for blind and print disabled persons. Books are available in 16 different languages. All types of books are available such as textbook, reference book, competitive exam book etc. One can download audiobooks as well as DAISY, epub, brf formats. Prior registration is mandatory for downloading books from this sight.
Apple Books (App)
Apple is offering a “Stay at home” ebooks catalog through its Apple Books service (via 9to5Mac). The collection includes numerous well-known novels, as well as a bevy of educational stories for children.
Check the Apple Books app’s home page.
Internet Archive is a non-profit library of millions of free books, movies, software, music, websites, and more.
Audible (App & Website)
Audible requires a monthly membership of Rs. 199 which provides one book free every month. You cannot buy from the app, but you must go to the website. Since it is an Amazon company, Prime members get exclusive 90-day free trial.
It can be accessed on www.audible.in or on the phone apps for iOS and Android. Audible can also be even used via the Amazon Echo device.
Bookshare is an online library of digital books for people with print disabilities. By requiring individuals to register as members and provide a Proof of Disability, it ensures that only qualified individuals use the service.
Google Play Books (App)
Google has several free ebook titles in the Play Store. While many of them are public domain titles you can get just about anywhere, it’s a simple way to read classics right on your Android device. That said, there are plenty of modern offerings available too, and Google is also giving away many educational books for free right now.
Juggernaut (App & Website)
Juggernaut is a platform to find and read high quality, affordable books and to submit your writing.
Kiddie Records Weekly (Website)
This was initiated in 2005 as a one-year project to celebrate the golden age of children’s records, roughly from the midforties through the early fifties. Many of these recordings were Hollywood productions featuring celebrities and composers. The mission of Kiddie Records Weekly is to share these audiobooks with today’s generation of online listeners.
The Kindle app has plenty of free titles in its ebook store. If you’ve never used the service before, you can get 30 days free. Post that, it requires a monthly subscription of Rs 199. E-books are available in various languages. You can read any Kindle book using the Kindle app on Android, iOS, and PC.
Library Genesis Project (Website)
Library Genesis is a resource that gives free access to millions of books as ebooks. Fiction, fantasy, crime, science fiction, romance, thriller, textbooks, academic works, graphic novels, comics are available in epub, pdf, mobi and many other formats.
LibriVox maintains a loose and open structure and is powered by volunteers. The books are read by volunteers from around the world. Users can listen to the books on their computers, iPods or other mobile devices. Volunteers record chapters of books which are released back onto the net for free. All the audio is in the public domain, so that they may be used for any purpose.
Project Gutenberg (Website)
Project Gutenberg offers over 45000 free e-books which one can choose to read online, or on e-pub players, Kindle etc.. The website breaks down its extensive collection of books by human and computer-generated narration.
Storynory is a website that features audio stories for children and adults. Read by professional actors, there are books and poems by classic authors. Stories range from classic fairy tales to original stories. One can listen to the stories on the website or download them to the phone or iPad using a podcasting app.
Storytel (App & Website)
With Storytel, you can read and listen to as many books as you like. Download books offline, and listen to several books continuously, similar to an actual library. The first month is free, followed by a membership fee of Rs. 299 per month with access to audiobooks in Hindi, Marathi and other Indian languages which are professionally read.
- Equip Your World, 2014
Internet Archive is a non-profit library of millions of free books, movies, software, music, websites, and more.
Audio Description Project (Netflix with Audio Description)
The American Council of the Blind maintains a resource called the Audio Description Project, a place where the blind community can find information about audio-described programming whenever and wherever it is available. The project has a page exclusively devoted to Netflix. There, it is possible to view an alphabetized listing of all audio-described programs on Netflix, read more about the agreement reached between the ACB and Netflix, and learn how to enable audio description on all devices that you want to use to watch Netflix.
The Audio Description Project is a great resource for all things related to the subject of available audio-described content, and is updated regularly.
SmrutiGandha (Facebook page)
This page has been created to continue to keep the language of Marathi valued. Classical videos of music & recitation in Marathi are available here.
YouTube is a video sharing service where users can watch, like, share, comment and upload their own videos. The video service can be accessed on PCs, laptops, tablets and via mobile phones.
Audio Game Hub
It is a set of arcade games. Some of them are animal escape, hunt, archery, memory, casino games, blocks etc.
It can be downloaded from the google play store or www.audiogamehub.com
Audiogames, as opposed to video games are computer games who's main output is sound rather than graphics. Using sound, games can have dimensions of atmosphere, and possibilities for gameplay that don't exist with visuals alone, as well as providing games far more accessible to people with all levels of sight. This site exists as a community portal for all things to do with audiogames. Here you will find news, articles, an active community forum and our database of over 500 titles on platforms from Microsoft Windows to iOS.
BG Twenty 20 Cricket
BG Twenty 20 Cricket is a simple simulation of a game of Twenty 20 cricket made accessible especially for blind and vision impaired players. It comes ready to play, just choose two teams and get playing. Once you have played a few games you might want to create your own teams, or edit an existing team to change batting order, batting strength, bowling style and strength. You can do all this with the built-in Team Builder.
It is a cricket game which is dependent on the sound of the ball. It is to be played using headphones. Your finger acts as a bat. One has to complete the specified number of runs. It can be played from school level to international level. One can win the World Cup if one wins the international level. It can be downloaded from the google play store.
This game can be played in single player or dual player mode. It is possible to play with sighted people in dual player mode.
It involves earning gold coins by making products such as wooden logs, grains, meat, salt, leather strips, silver neckless, etc.
GMA Network App
This is an exciting set of card games like Black Jack and Solitaire and two space games – GMA Lander and Trekk2000. The card games are available as one package (GMA Cards), while Lander and Trekk2000 have their own setup files.
You can find these at www.gmagames.com.
Manamon is a turn-based roleplaying game in which you capture various feral monsters you find around the world and use them to help you complete the storyline. It features experimental online gameplay which will allows you to trade and battle your friends to determine which of you is the stronger Manamon Tamer.
Manamon 2, The Eternal Requiem
(Sequel to Manamon)
Manamon 2, like its predecessor, is a turn-based roleplaying game to complete a brand new storyline. It features a new online system which will allow you to trade and battle your friends to determine which of you is the stronger Manamon Tamer, without messing with your router's firewall or sharing your IP address.
QuentinC's playroom is an online network platform used for social communication, but mainly loaded with 32 games and also an option to create a free table to just chat. The games available include 1000 miles, Uno, Blackjack, Scopa, Poker, 99, Reversi, Chess, Quiz party, The Little Exam, Connect 4, Battleship, Dominos, Cribbage, Rummy, Spades, Hearts, Jas, 6 Takes, Farkle etc.
This is a collection of classic board and card games like Monopoly, Uno, Rummy and Black Jack. They can be played only when connected to the internet either between human players or a human player and computer players/bots (except the card game ‘Apples to Apples’ which is about connecting words and ideas with cards, and Rummy) and by all ages except Cards Against Humanity, which is an adult version of Apples to Apples.
Undead Assault is an audio game (games that rely only on audio) based off of the popular Zombies mode found in Call of Duty World at War and the Black Opps series. One can take on ever-increasing hordes of the undead either alone, or as a team, and earn points and occasional bonus items like powerups, extra weapons and more.
VIP Game Zone
This has some fun games more suitable for younger children like Crazy Tennis, Keyboard Crazy, Dog and Cat and Mortal Maze.
Online Learning Resources (Massive Open Online Courses)
A massive open online course is an online course aimed at unlimited participation and open access via the web.
Coursera is an online learning platform that offers massive open online courses, specializations, and degrees. Every course on this platform is taught by instructors from world-class universities and companies. Hundreds of free courses are available with access to on-demand video lectures, homework exercises, and community discussion forums. Paid courses provide additional quizzes and projects as well as a shareable Course Certificate upon completion.
edX hosts online university-level courses in a wide range of disciplines to a worldwide student body, including some courses at no charge. It delivers courses on topics ranging from data and computer science to leadership and communications.
TIPS FOR STAYING SAFE
As far as possible, stay at home.
- Do not step out of the house.
- Do not visit neighbours, and friends that live nearby (even in the same complex or building or even on the same floor).
- Do not have children playing out of the house.
- Explain to others that being outdoors is risky and even if the person who went out doesn’t get sick, they may end up bringing the virus back home and infecting others, especially the children and the elderly, since they are more prone to infection with weakened immune systems.
Cover your face when coughing or sneezing.
- It is recommended to not cover your nose and mouth with your hand(s) since you may end up touching someone or something absentmindedly with unclean hands.
- Cough or sneeze into your elbow instead.
- Alternatively, cover your nose and mouth with handkerchief or a tissue when you feel a sneeze or cough coming on. Discard the used tissue appropriately in the garbage bin.
Wash your hands with soap and water.
- Properly cleaning every part of your hands (the entire length of each finger including the thumb, under the nails, along the parts where the fingers join, the palms, the back of the palms, the wrists etc.) may take up to 20 seconds.
- While doing so, ensure that the tap is not left open and running throughout, which would end up wasting water.
(In case of no sighted person at home) Be in touch with neighbours.
- Check with neighbours to find out about home delivery options by the local shops and stores nearby.
- If no home delivery options are feasible, and if there is no other sighted family member/friend living with you, request a sighted neighbour to make your purchases, if possible.
- NOTE: Be sure to stick to only essential items.
- NOTE: Be sure to purchase a sufficient quantity to avoid the number of times one would need to step out.
- While speaking to neighbours, stay near the frame of your main door while speaking, or if possible, call them over the phone to avoid face-to-face interaction.
- This is also a great time to use BE MY EYES. It’s an app that you can download from Google Play Store and it will enable you to get sighted assistance on your phone without needing to call anyone over, thus preventing your exposure.
If forced to step out of the house in case none of the above options are feasible, prepare with the following:
- Wear a mask / handkerchief / dupatta on your face
- Do not step out of the house without a face mask, or at least a well-tied handkerchief or dupatta around your nose and mouth.
- NOTE: More than just a recommendation, this is a necessity since even stores may not permit entry without either of the above.
- Here is a quick guide to wear a mask:
- Hold the mask in one hand such that the open part is facing upward and the nosepiece i.e. the metal strip, if any, is at the fingertips.
Let the head straps hang loose below the hand.
- Bring the mask to your face such that your wrist is positioned under/at your chin, and the nosepiece is up.
Your hand with the mask should be covering your mouth and nose.
- While holding the mask in place, pull the top strap over your head such that it rests high on the back of your head, with the sides resting above your ears.
- Continue to hold the mask in place while pulling the bottom strap over your head and positioning it at the lower part of your head, closer to the neck, with the sides resting below your ears.
- NOTE: If you have long hair, the strap must be positioned beneath your hair.
- Once the mask in in position, use both hands to straighten out the straps in case they are twisted.
- Adjust the position of the mask just that it sits on the lower part of your nose, without irritation to the eyes.
- Using the fingertips of both hands, mould the nosepiece to the shape of your nose by starting at the centre, pushing downward i.e. onto the face.
Gradually move your fingertips outward on both sides of the nosepiece.
- Perform a fit check by placing both hands completely over the mask and without disturbing the position of the mask, exhale sharply.
If air leaks around your nose, adjust the nosepiece, as explained above.
If air leaks at the mask edges, adjust the straps back along the sides of your head.
- Perform a fit check again, if an adjustment is made.
- NOTE: Wear the right size mask, and perform fit check each time you wear a mask.
- Wear hand gloves, or carry hand sanitizer bottles
- Hand gloves may be useful since you would be stepping out to buy essential products that would have been touched by others. In case of no gloves, clean your hands thoroughly with sanitizer after touching any surface or object whether by mistake (such as a pole or wall) or intentionally (such as lift buttons, vegetables).
- Here is a quick guide to wear gloves:
- Take the gloves one at a time. Hold on to the wrist area which has the round elastic i.e. the opening of the glove.
- Blow some air into it to fill the glove and fluff it up by pressing the opening of the glove.
- Slide the glove over the hand, making sure that each finger is in its appropriate slot.
- (With the other hand, check the tips of the fingers, and change the slot, if applicable. If stuck, slightly open the wrist area with the other hand and blow some air into the glove again.)
- Repeat the same for the other hand.
- Wear full-sleeve shirts/kurtas/tops & full-length trousers/pyjamas
- Full-sleeve clothing will prevent skin contact in case strangers come to provide sighted assistance when they see you walking alone.
- If you happen to bump into any surface, the full-sleeve shirts/kurtas/tops & full-length trousers/pyjamas will again avoid direct contact.
- Carry the White cane
- Plan exactly what needs to be bought and carry currency as required
- If the list of items to be purchased is well thought out, one can take the required currency notes and coins such that the exact change can be given to the shopkeeper. This would prevent any return of cash, further protecting from touching other objects.
- Practice social distancing
- Keep a minimum distance of about one stretched out arm i.e. 2.5-3 feet (although 6 feet is preferred) from others while outdoors.
- Take good advantage of the White Cane to maintain such required gap/distance.
- Stretch your arm pointing about 2-3 steps ahead and hold the cane such that it is appears as an extension of your arm.
- Glide or tap the cane maintaining this stretched position of the arm while moving left to right.
- Avoid using shorelines
- Avoid holding handrails, if possible, but be careful while navigating staircases.
- unfortunately, one would have no choice but to press lift buttons, and use the handles of lift doors to open and close them, as required.
- While shorelines, and other similar landmarks would be helpful, since the only places you would go to would be known to you, try to reduce the number of surfaces being touched either with the cane or with the hands.
- Do not put the cane into your pocket
- Be careful to not fold and put your cane in your pocket or in a bag while at a shop/ store, or even after reaching close to home, as is done quite often.
- Do not touch your face
- Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth while you are still outside the house or else all prior precautions would have been in vain.
- Using Staircase avoid touching the banister
- At a staircase avoid holding the banister as far as possible. Use the cane instead. If you absolutely must use the banister as soon as the staircase is complete sanitize your hands before touching anything else
After returning home from a public place:
- Wash / disinfect objects brought from outside (including shopping bags)
- If living with others, hand over all objects brought from outside (including shopping bags used for bread, milk, vegetables etc.) to a family member as soon as you reach the main door.
- They should be advised to wash the milk packets, vegetables etc. and keep them to dry on a clean cloth before storing them in their respective locations, such as the fridge, shelves, trays etc.
- NOTE: Relevant arrangements may be made before stepping out in the first place.
- Discard your gloves
- After handing over all items, since one is accustomed to the layout of one’s house, as far as possible, try to avoid touching any wall, furniture or any other object after getting back home, and head straight for the bathroom.
- Here is a quick guide to remove gloves:
- With the hand that is less contaminated, pinch the wrist area i.e. the elastic at the opening of the glove of the more contaminated hand.
- Slide off the entire glove such that the glove is turned inside out i.e. the contaminated part is now on the inside.
- Crumple it into the closed fist of the other hand (which still has the glove).
- Now, use a finger or two of the hand without the glove to go underneath the opening of the glove around the fist.
- Drag and pull till this glove is also turned inside out and is off the second hand with the first glove inside it.
- Tie a knot around the wrist area of this second glove to trap all the contaminants inside and dispose off appropriately.
- Discard your mask
- Here is a quick guide to remove a mask:
- Use both hands to pull the bottom strap of the mask over your head towards your face, and continue holding on to it with one hand.
- Use the other hand to pull the top strap over your head.
- Do not touch the front surface of the mask that would be contaminated.
- Discard the mask appropriately.
- Clean your cane
- Clean the cane by washing it with soap and water or sanitizing it thoroughly.
- Wash your clothes
- Ensure that the clothes that were worn outside are washed with detergent immediately (either by hand or in a washing machine).
- Have a bath
- Make sure to bathe entirely. This is especially for ladies who do not tend to wash their hair every time they have a bath.
- NOTE: One can therefore plan their domestic work and chores in an appropriate way such that nothing needs to be done immediately after returning home before having a bath.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily.
- Apart from the usual sweeping and swabbing/mopping of the house, keep all surfaces other than the floor clean too (including tables, desks and kitchen counters, taps, sinks, and toilets, doorknobs and handles, computers and phones).
- Especially ensure cleaning surfaces that have been touched after returning from outside.
- NOTE: Apart from water, use a soap/ detergent/ disinfectant, as applicable. Gel sanitizers, if available, could be used with tissues for electronics.
Refrain from ordering food
- As far as possible, ensure that only home-cooked food is consumed.
- If you stay alone, you have probably already trained and prepared yourself in managing the kitchen.
- Plan well so that you don’t run out of groceries etc.
- In case you do run out, and have no option but to order, look into ready-to-eat meals which can be microwaved or heat up well.
- Ensure that any container or plastic packaging that comes from outside is thoroughly cleaned (as explained above).
- Coronavirus Related
- Central Helpline Number: Toll free: 1075+91-11-23978043
- Maharashtra Helpline Number: 020-26127394
- All India Important Telephone Numbers
- Emergency Response Service: 108
- Police: 100, 103
- Fire Brigade: 101
- Cardiac Ambulance: 1298
- Railways: 139
- Income Tax: 1800-180-1961
- Aadhar: 1800-300-1947