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Podcast With A Blindness Perspective.

Dec 20, 2017

TVI Toolbox: Success Stories, Tools for Success - SeeingAI App, Meet Wesley Sissen

Blind Abilities presents the TVI Toolbox. Where the collaboration between Teachers, Counselors, Parents, Agencies and the Students themselves help enhance the opportunities for success.

Transitioning from high school to college and the workplace is  a major step and the beginning of lifetime goals and aspirations. As Wesley Sissen, the featured Transition Student in the Success Stories portion of this podcast, puts it very well, “No one has to do it alone.” From the TVI’s to the Agency counselor’s and program specialist, working together along with parents as well, is creating more opportunities and successes for Transition age students.

Sharing experiences through Success Stories, sharing programs that make a positive impact, sharing ideas, findings, upcoming events and the Tools for Success all play a part in making the transition process a natural progression and better understood by all.

In this introductory episode we illustrate the collaboration between TVI’s and State Services for the Blind personnel. In the Tools for Success the FreeIOS Seeing AI app is given an overview. This Swiss Army Knife of an app does OCR, Product Identification, Color detection, light detection and even Hand Writing detection. Microsoft’s accessibility team has done wonders with this new app for the iPhone making it a personal favorite for many in the blindness community.

On The Horizon is a bulletin space for upcoming events, information and resources submitted by listeners and our staff. You can submit to On the Horizon by emailing jessica Hodges.

The Success Stories feature an experience of a Transition Student, whether they are attending college, preparing for college or are now employed, the Success Stories brings a positive and a sharing of the experience of transitioning from high school to college and the work place.

Here are the links to the information we bring to this episode.

Paths To Literacy


Parent Child Institute 2018

The Parent Child Institute(PCI) is open to all Minnesota families with children, birth to 6, who are Blind or Visually Impaired and/or deaf/blind (including children with additional disabilities). Topics will include: advocating for your child, music therapy, pre-braille literacy, Orientation Mobility, sensory needs, and being an active member of the IFSP/IEP process...


Seeing AI App for the iPhone

Seeing AI is a free app that narrates the world around you. Designed for the blind and low vision community, this ongoing research project harnesses the power of AI to open up the visual world and describe nearby people, text and objects.


Optimized for use with VoiceOver, the app enables you to recognize: 

• Short Text - Speaks text as soon as it appears in front of the camera. 

• Documents - Provides audio guidance to capture a printed page, and recognizes the text, along with its original formatting. 

• Products - Scans barcodes, using audio beeps to guide you; hear the name, and package information when available. (works with iPhone 6 and later)

• People - Saves people’s faces so you can recognize them, and get an estimate of their age, gender, and emotions. 

• Scenes (early preview) - Hear an overall description of the scene captured. 

• Currency - Recognizes currency notes. 

• Color - Identifies color. 

• Handwriting - Reads handwritten text. 

• Light - Generates an audible tone corresponding to the brightness in the surroundings. 

• Images in other apps - Just tap “Share” and “Recognize with Seeing AI” to describe images from Mail, Photos, Twitter, and more. 


Seeing AI is built to help you achieve more by leveraging the power of the cloud and artificial intelligence. As the research progresses, more channels may be added. 

Check out tutorials with this YouTube playlist:

Visit for more details


State Services for the Blind

We offer tools and training for employment and for helping seniors remain independent and active. As Minnesota’s accessible reading source we also transcribe books and other materials into alternative formats, including audio and braille. We assist Minnesotans who are blind, DeafBlind, losing vision, or who have another disability that makes it difficult to read print.

I hope you find what you need here. We've also created a Tips for Using Our New Website page.

If you’d like to apply for services, learn more, or have more questions, just give us a call. You’ll find contact information for all of our offices on our contact page, or you can call our main office at 651-539-2300.


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