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News from the Federation Family
AER/NFB Low-Vision Workshop:
The Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired (AER) and the National Federation of the Blind Jernigan Institute will collaborate in a one-and-a-half-day workshop on November 4 to 5, 2004, at the NFB Jernigan Institute in Baltimore.
Attention professionals who work with blind people or those with low vision. Be a part of this exciting event. This groundbreaking seminar is co-directed by the new NFB Jernigan Institute and AER and AER's Low Vision Division. Keynote speakers are Robert Massof, Ph.D., director, Lions Vision Research and Rehabilitation Center, Wilmer Eye Institute, Johns Hopkins University; and Betsy Zaborowski, Psy.D., executive director, National Federation of the Blind Jernigan Institute.
Presentations will focus on practical, hands-on exposure to nonvisual technology and methods helpful to low vision individuals that can complement the many visual augmentation methods available. Registration will be limited to one hundred attendees.
Presenters of breakout sessions will represent a broad spectrum of expertise and will design their one-hour presentations to be fast moving and informative. Participants will rotate through all breakout sessions and have sufficient time to browse through the exhibit area. For more detailed descriptions of breakout sessions, go to <http://www.nfb.org/nfbrti/bridge_sem.htm>.
Exhibits of both visual and nonvisual solutions will be available during the continental breakfasts, lunch, breaks, and networking social on Thursday evening, November 4. Registration is $95 per registrant, which includes all sessions, materials, continental breakfast both days, lunch on Thursday, and breaks. Tours of the NFB International Braille and Technology Center for the Blind will be available immediately following the conclusion of the conference on Friday, November 5, at 12:00 noon.
For additional information and to register, send an email expressing your interest to <[email protected]>. Please use the phrase "Low Vision Workshop" in the subject line of your message. Additional registration and exhibitor information can be found on the AER Web site.
Exhibitors should contact James Deremeik at the Lions Vision Research and Rehabilitation Center, Wilmer Eye Institute, Johns Hopkins University, telephone (410) 502-6431 or email <[email protected]>.
Discounted hotel reservations are available at the Tremont Plaza Hotel in downtown Baltimore. Transportation to and from this hotel will be provided.
Sam Gleese, president of the NFB of Mississippi, reports that on May 29, 2004, Gwen Stokes of Jackson, first vice president of the NFB of Mississippi, and Dr. Ronald J. Byrd of Roundrock, Texas, were married at the St. Peter's Baptist Church in Jackson, Mississippi. Gwen also serves as president of the Jackson Chapter. The couple will continue to live and work in Jackson.
Judith Tunell Accessible Trail Opens in Phoenix:
The following excerpts from the Arizona Business Gazette of May 13, 2004, were written by Luci Scott:
Judith Tunell stands at the entrance of the hiking trail named to honor her.
At one point Judith Tunell was running her own business and zipping along California highways in her Mercedes. But she had lupus, and twenty years ago it cost her her sight. The day after the birth of her second son, she went blind and began to lose her hearing.
"I had a baby, and the next day I couldn't walk down the hall," she said. "It has been a long climb back."
In 1989 she moved to Phoenix, and in 1995 she was appointed to the Phoenix Mayor's Commission on Disability Issues, for which she was an active chairwoman from 1997 to 1999.
Now she is being honored by having a hiking trail named for her, the Judith Tunell Accessible Trail in South Mountain Park Preserve.
The trail is two half-mile loops on stabilized granite and contains interpretive signs, water fountains, benches, tree ramadas, and a bridge over a wash. Half of it has a moderate grade, and the other more challenging loop has a maximum grade of 8.5 percent... Although the trail has been in use since fall, the dedication and naming ceremony is scheduled for Saturday [May 15] at the South Mountain Environmental Education Center, 10409 S. Central Avenue. The dedication is from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. ... Folks who don't drive need to use Dial-a-Ride because city buses do not go to South Mountain Park.
Mary Jernigan, May 2, 1920 to July 31, 2004.
On Saturday, July 31, 2004, Mary Jernigan, widow of our beloved leader Kenneth Jernigan's only brother Lloyd, died quietly in Michigan. Many Federationists will remember Mary's unassuming but supportive presence at her late husband's side during conventions in recent years. She will be missed.
The Metro Chapter of the NFB of Minnesota held its annual elections during its April meeting. The results are as follows: Jennifer Dunnam, president; Pat Barrett, first vice president; Sheila Koenig, second vice president; Charlotte Czarnecki, secretary; and Sharon Monthei, treasurer.
Special Technology Offer:
Roger Behm is treasurer of both the Rock County Chapter of the NFB of Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Merchants Division. He would like to help raise money for the national organization and also offer a special price on a limited number of VoiceNote QT (qwerty keyboard) and BT (Brailler keyboard) PDA's to NFB members while supplies last.
Want to save $100 while buying the rock-solid screen reader Window‑Eyes Professional and also contribute $100 to the National Federation of the Blind? Contact Adaptive Information Systems and identify yourself as an NFB member. Say that you want the Window‑Eyes Professional special for $695. For every copy of Window‑Eyes Professional sold to an NFB member for $695, $100 will be contributed to the NFB national organization. This is an ongoing offer until further notice. So want to save $100 and give $100 to the NFB? Call Adaptive Information Systems at (877) 792‑4768.
New VoiceNote QT or BT PDA notetakers and so much more from Pulse Data and Adaptive Information Systems. Cost is $1,744, including shipping UPS ground, insured, anywhere in the lower forty-eight United States. The quantity is limited; only six left. These are new, still in the box. They have the latest version of Keysoft and all accessories, but when they are gone, they are gone. So don't delay; save $600 off list price; call (877) 792‑4768. Contact Adaptive Information Systems president, Roger A. Behm, 1611 Clover Lane, Janesville, Wisconsin 53545‑1388; email <[email protected]>.
Olegario Cantos VII, known to his friends as Olie, was a 1991 NFB scholarship winner and is a past president of the National Association of Blind Students. We recently received a press release announcing a new position for Olie. Here is the relevant part of the release:
General Counsel Olie Cantos
Named to High-Level Government Post
WASHINGTON, D.C. (August
6)‑‑At an event hosted yesterday by the U.S. Department of Justice
commemorating the Americans with Disabilities Act, Deputy Assistant Attorney
General Loretta King announced the selection of Olie Cantos, general counsel
and director of programs for the 90,000‑member American Association of
People with Disabilities (AAPD) as special assistant to Assistant Attorney General
for Civil Rights R. Alexander Acosta. Cantos is to begin service in his new
post on Monday, August 9.
Among other duties Cantos will play a key role in strengthening national outreach efforts to disability organizations, expanding the list of jurisdictions under Project Civic Access, and increasing the number of state building codes to become ADA certified.
Since June 2001 Cantos has served as international coordinator of Disability Mentoring Day (DMD), whose purpose is to enhance meaningful internship and employment opportunities through job shadowing and hands‑on career exploration. Under his leadership, the program quadrupled in size and scope. Having just 1,600 mentees in the District of Columbia and thirty-two states in 2001, DMD grew to encompass participation by more than six thousand mentees from all fifty states, three territories, and seventeen foreign countries on five continents. Collaboration with employers from the private, governmental, and nonprofit sectors skyrocketed from 250 in 2001 to almost a thousand in 2003. His efforts led to an expansion of local coordinators from just seventy in 2001 to almost triple that number today.
Cantos said, "Working closely with the assistant attorney general for civil rights to continue to advance equality of opportunity and full societal participation by all Americans with disabilities is a charge I will take very seriously, and I will devote myself to giving this all the energy that I've got."
A Paradigm Shift?
We recently received the following little meditation from Mary Ellen Gabias, who is a longtime Federation leader, now living in Canada. Here it is:
For me the single most annoying stereotype about blindness is the notion that at any given time we do not know where we are. A well-intentioned stranger once informed me that I was in Kelowna, British Columbia. Another person let me know that I was outside, rather than inside. I am heartened by their desire to be of service, and I strive to respond to that helpful intention rather than to their ignorant assumptions. Yet I always cringe inwardly. How would any blind person fare when asking such a person for access to opportunity (a job or civic participation) or any activity that involved moving around?
But in the last three or four months I've had several experiences which give me hope. Our home is located at a corner where three streets come together. Ours is a fairly quiet residential street, but one of the others is the main road leading down from the hills northeast of us, and the third is the main east‑west highway through town. Tourists and newcomers find this confusing and often pull into our street to look at their maps and try to sort things out. With increasing frequency, strangers have called me away from what I was doing outside to ask for directions. My blindness has not been an issue; they have assumed that I could tell them what they needed to know.
Giving directions to a stranger is a small matter. Compared to the problem of a 70-percent-plus unemployment rate, it's undramatic. We will need a torrent of education to erode the stone barrier of misconception. But each time we are perceived as people who can give help rather than people who need it, a drop of education erodes a little more ignorance.
The Visually Impaired Persons of Sequim [pronounced Squim], Clallam County Chapter of the National Federation of the Blind of Washington recently elected the following officers and board members: president, Roy Tackett; vice president, Kyle Parrish; secretary, Ella May Parrish; treasurer, Millie Gersenson; and board members Alice Mitchell, Janet Summerour, Richard Fleck, and Blanche Spencer.
Anil Lewis is president of the National Federation of the Blind of Georgia and a member of the national board of directors. We recently received the following press release:
Disability Rights Advocate Anil Lewis Receives Award
from ABA Commission on Mental and Physical Disability Law
The American Bar Association's Commission on Mental and Physical Disability Law presented the 2004 Paul G. Hearne Award to Anil Lewis, chair of the board of directors of the Disability Law and Policy Center of Georgia. ABA President Dennis W. Archer presented the award to Lewis during a ceremony at the Omni Hotel on Monday, August 9, during the ABA annual meeting. The award is presented in conjunction with the National Organization on Disability, and includes a $1,000 award from Aetna.
Lewis's vision, effective communication, and persistence resulted in Georgia being the first state to make accessible voting machines available to individuals with disabilities in every polling precinct for the 2002 elections. In 2004 Lewis was instrumental in securing the unanimous passage in the Georgia House of Representatives of legislation bringing to Georgia NEWSLINE, an audio service that enables people with print disabilities to access newspapers via telephone.
The Disability Law and Policy Center of Georgia uses a variety of methods to influence and enforce disability policy. In 2003 the center prevailed in an Americans with Disabilities Act lawsuit against Atlanta's rapid transit system, a nationally significant case that requires transit systems to make their Web sites accessible to the disabled.
Lewis was born in 1964 in Atlanta. He is the third of four children; both his older brother and sister became legally blind at an early age due to retinitis pigmentosa. Early in his life Lewis was labeled "educable mentally retarded," but as the first member of his family to attend a four‑year college, he excelled academically and received many awards, including numerous college scholarships. Although he was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa as a nine‑year‑old, his vision was reasonably unaffected until he was twenty-five.
Paul G. Hearne, for whom the award was named, was born with a connective tissue disorder that physically limited his growth and restricted his movement. Yet through tenacity, intelligence, and initiative, he created opportunities for himself and others and proved a leader for all people with disabilities. Hearne's life was marked by many pioneering endeavors in the legal and disability communities. He served as the director of Just One Break, Inc., the nation's first private job placement agency for people with disabilities; the National Council on Disability; the Dole Foundation for Employment of People with Disabilities; the International Center for the Disabled; the Very Special Arts International Fund; and the Osteogenesis Imperfecta Foundation.
The Paul G. Hearne award is presented each year to an individual or organization that has performed exemplary service in furthering the rights, dignity, and access to justice for some fifty-four million Americans with disabilities.
With more than four hundred thousand members, the American Bar Association is the largest voluntary professional membership organization in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law in a democratic society.
On June 1 NFB of Wisconsin President Dan Wenzel and his wife Jennifer became the parents of Tanner Austin. He weighed eight pounds, ten ounces, and was twenty-one inches long. Big brothers Roland and Stephen are adjusting well to the competition.
Then on July 31 Andrea and Jeremiah Beasley became the parents of Kyle Barton, who weighed in at five pounds, and measured eighteen and an eighth inches long. The Beasleys, including big sister Katrina and new son Kyle, are active members and leaders of the NFB of Colorado.
Congratulations to both families.
NFB of Iowa President Peggy Elliott writes with sadness that after a long illness Verla Kirsch of Clarinda, Iowa, died Thursday, July 22, 2004. Verla served the organization long and faithfully, from hosting in Dr. Jernigan's suite at national conventions to serving as officer and board member of the state affiliate. She was a tireless Associates recruiter for many years, and her willing help and dedication to service will be deeply missed.
Notices and information in this section may be of interest to Monitor readers. We are not responsible for the accuracy of the information; we have edited only for space and clarity.
New Braille Literacy Pins Available:
Four beautiful, colorful Braille literacy pins have been created for Seedlings. By purchasing a pin, you will help raise funds to bring the gift of reading to blind children, and you will help to spread the word about the importance of Braille literacy every time you wear your pin. The pins have phrases printed on them: "Braille for All," "Read to Succeed," Read with Feeling," and "Readers Are in Touch." The cost is $14 plus $1.50 shipping and handling. Seedlings Braille Books for Children's 2005 Catalog is also available. It includes six hundred books, including sixty new titles. To order, contact Seedlings Braille Books for Children, P.O. Box 51924, Livonia, Michigan 48151-5924, or call (800) 777-8552 or fax (734) 427-8552. The Web site is <www.seedlings.org>.
The National Aquarium Opens Its Doors Wider:
The National Aquarium in Baltimore has a new service for visitors who are blind or visually impaired. An audio wireless tour, currently available, allows blind visitors vastly improved access to the aquarium's exhibits. The wireless tour is part of a continuing initiative, along with programs such as Fridays After Five, to make the aquarium and its many resources available to everyone in the community.
For more information contact Hillary Walker, (410) 576-3860 or visit the aquarium Web site at <www.aqua.org>.
New Curriculum at Pennsylvania College of Optometry:
The Pennsylvania College of Optometry, Department of Graduate Studies in Vision Impairment, announces its transition from a quarter system to a semester system and from primarily classroom-based instruction to online instruction with summer residency courses. The college is seeking people interested in receiving a master's degree or certification in education of children and youth with visual and multiple impairments, rehabilitation teaching, orientation and mobility, or low vision rehabilitation. Rolling admissions and scholarships are available.
For further information contact Tina Fitzpatrick at (215) 780-1360 or <[email protected]>. You can also visit the college Web site at <www.pco.edu> and click on Programs (or Academic Programs for JAWS users).
Congratulations to Craig Gildner:
On Friday, August 5, 2004, the Washington Post published the following brief review of a new CD created by Craig Gildner and his band. Cassette readers of the Braille Monitor will recognize Gildner's name as that of the man who, until late June, ran the NFB recording studio and recorded our publications. Here is the review by Mike Joyce that appeared in the Weekend section:
BLUE SKY 5, "Tin Goose Jump" (Groove Juice)
Blue Sky 5, the Baltimore‑Washington swing ensemble, named its debut release after the prototype for the 1947 Tucker Torpedo, "the car of tomorrow, today." Had dashboard CD players been in vogue back then, the music on "Tin Goose Jump" would have made for a perfectly pitched accessory.
Credit bandleader Craig Gildner for getting the tone right. In addition to adding evocative touches on piano and guitar, Gildner is a capable crooner and a fine tunesmith. He wrote ten of the fifteen compositions, and several of them, including "Say You'll Be Mine" and "What a Thing to Say," summon the past without sounding overly sentimental or conspicuously retro. Mind you, his lyrics aren't always cheery. "How Are You Sleeping These Days?" for instance, concerns "memories of our weekend that brought us to our bleak end," but even this lovesick lament has a certain insinuating charm.
Credit Gildner, too, for surrounding himself with musicians who don't view swing‑era sounds as merely a campy diversion. Tenor saxophonist Tommy Greco and trumpeter Brett Lemley enliven the arrangements (including a few instrumentals) in both robust and subtle ways, while bassist Glen Oliff and drummer James Peachey spend a lot of time generating dance‑hall propulsion. Two guests--the fine singer Cassie Miller and clarinetist‑saxophonist Halley Shoenberg--make the most of their cameos and help round out the ensemble's thoroughly affectionate, finger-snapping take on yesterday.
Nurion-Raycal in Paoli, Pennsylvania, has been developing what it believes to be a revolutionary mobility assistance device for the blind. The LaserCaneTM was conceived and perfected by Nazir Ali, president of Nurion-Raycal. Mr. Ali has spent over twenty years refining his design so that it is now being produced in substantial quantities.
The LaserCaneTM provides audible and tactile warning of obstacles, overhangs, and drop-offs ahead of the user. According to its producer, it greatly enhances the mobility and independence of people for whom guide dogs or other alternatives are not desirable options due to health, expense, or other reasons. The U.S. Veterans Administration recommends it as a primary mobility device, and it has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
One of the LaserCaneTM's many satisfied users nationwide compares the device to a standard white cane with a ten-foot reach, with the added advantages of being able to detect head-height obstacles as well as steps, curbs, and other drop-offs. The developer says that unlike previous laser canes, the LaserCaneTM is sealed so that it can be used in all weather.
Nurion is seeking to develop working relationships with leading providers of service and support to this community in order to make the LaserCaneTM a widely known and available option. The LaserCaneTM is priced at $2,990 each with substantial discounts available for quantity purchases.
For more information contact Nurion-Raycal directly toll-free at (877) LSR-CANE, (877) 577-2263 or visit its Web site <www.nurion.net>.
Attention Young Golfers or Would-Be Golfers:
The Middle Atlantic Blind Golf Association is looking for blind or visually impaired children ages five to eighteen who are interested in learning how to play golf. We will provide each player with a P.G.A. teacher at a golf course near home who will give lessons. This amazing program has been extended from the Middle Atlantic region only to cover the entire United States. The association provides each student with a free golf bag and clubs. Students must provide their own transportation to lessons. The association also sponsors a golf clinic twice a year at the Overbrook School for the Blind; the fall clinic was October 2.
Interested young people should contact Gil Kayson at (215) 884‑6589 or Norman Kritz at (856) 428‑1420. More information about the Junior Blind Golf Program is available at <www.mabga.org>. You can also reach the organization by writing to Mr. Norman J. Kritz, 123 Keats Place, Cherry Hill, New Jersey 08003.
Cross-country Ski Guides Wanted:
The Northeastern Pennsylvania Regional Ski for Light coordinators are recruiting visually impaired and sighted individuals to assist in guiding for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, tobogganing, hiking, and other activities from January 16 through January 23, 2005, at the Vikings Lodge in Sherman, Pennsylvania. The cost for the week is approximately $415 for a double room. Single and triple rooms are available. For an application or further information, contact Barry or Louise Wood at (201) 868-3336.
A Braille Monitor reader recently sent the following reminder to all users of email:
I address this plea to all those who email newsletters, announcements, inspirational or humorous posts, etc., to groups of people. Please, please, use the blind carbon copy (BCC) field for your list of recipient names. All it takes is one recipient with an insecure or, worse, an infected computer to compromise everyone to whom your message has been sent. The entire list of people in the “to” or “cc” fields is vulnerable to receiving the spam and viruses being inflicted on users of the Internet. Because the blind copy list does not appear in each recipient's copy of the message, no one's computer can be damaged because of your message.
One other service you can provide your friends and recipients of forwarded posts is to copy the actual text of the message that you wish to send on and drop it into a new message. In this way none of your friends will have to scroll their way through pages of names and email addresses to find the information you thought important enough to send them. Think of the time these simple courtesies would save the emailing public.
The notices in this section have been edited for clarity, but we can pass along only the information we were given. We are not responsible for the accuracy of the statements made or the quality of the products for sale.
Aladdin Classic Telesensory CCTV for Sale:
My mother can no longer use this CCTV, so I would like to sell it to someone who could benefit from using it. We purchased the machine for $1,700, and I am asking $1,200. It is in perfect condition and is just taking up space on my counter. Anyone interested in the machine can contact me by email at <[email protected]‑net.com>, or phone (541) 672‑3404. My address is Bonnie Durick, 4340 Del Rio Road, Roseburg, Oregon 97470.
T-Shirts for Sale:
If ya want it, we got it--new designs at Blind‑Novel‑Tees.
"Can I borrow your car?" hat and T-shirt or "You need not see the stars to reach them" T-shirt.
New products available now; grab yours now while supplies last. Prices as low as $9.95. Check out these and many more designs at <http://www.bntonline.com>, or call in your order to (937) 472-0585 or (937) 456-6611, Monday through Friday, between 9:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. EST. Mastercard and Visa welcome. For more information contact Blind‑Novel‑Tees, P.O. Box 412, Eaton, Ohio 45320.
I have a PowerBraille 40 Braille display, an Enabling Technologies Romeo 25 Braille embosser, and a PowerBraille 80 that need someone to use them. The PowerBraille 40 was used gently for only five months. It is the most popular Braille display and will hook into your computer by serial port or USB port. It works with almost all computers. Asking $1350 or best offer. The embosser has also had little use and needs a good home. Asking $950, negotiable. The PowerBraille 80 is in excellent condition. Asking $2,700, negotiable. Email CJ Sampson at <[email protected]> and leave number or call (801) 367-2559.
Perkins Brailler for Sale:
Asking $450, shipped within the U.S. only. Excellent condition with dust cover. Contact Linda at (973) 202‑1778. If I'm not available, please leave your name and number for me to return the call.
Video Eye power magnification system purchased in 2003 for $1,500. Asking $1,200, including out-of-state shipping. If interested, contact M. Jackson at (207) 725-0868.
Braille Bible Available:
An eighteen-volume English contracted Braille Bible is available free. Interested parties can contact Patty Peacock, <[email protected]> or 10 Stewart Court, Oberlin, Ohio 44074. Shipping will be free matter unless other arrangements are made.
Hewlett Packard Scanjet 6250C flatbed scanner with automatic document feeder. Perfect for scanning books and documents onto your computer to be read by your screen reader. Excellent condition. Includes SCSI and USB cables, software CD, manuals, and Omni Page Pro 11 OCR software. Asking $250 including UPS ground shipping and insurance within the continental United States. For further information contact Bill Porter at (847) 342-7155 after 1:00 p.m. central time.
Webster's New World Dictionary of the American Language in seventy-two Braille volumes. Reasonable offers are welcome. Call Barry Wood at (201) 868-3336.
HumanWare BrailleNote for Sale:
This unit is three years old and has barely been used. Has computer keyboard and refreshable Braille display. Features include word processing, email and Internet access, book reader, scientific calculator, etc. Price is $1,700 or best offer. UPS shipping is included in price. Contact Empish by email at <[email protected]> or call her at (770) 981‑3673.
Braille Music and Cookbooks Available:
Free to anyone interested: Braille music books, mostly gospel, and four Braille cookbooks. Call Sherry Ruth at (440) 324‑4218 or email her at <[email protected]>.
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