The Braille Monitor April 2005
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From the Editor: Every year's national convention is an absolutely unique event. The agenda items, the exhibits, the new friends and business acquaintances: all these give each convention its own character and significance. Some activities lend a luster to the convention in part because they do take place every year and provide helpful fixed points in the whirl of events. In this category are the meetings of the Resolutions
Committee and the board of directors, the annual banquet, and the many seminars and workshops of the various divisions and committees. Here is a partial list of activities being planned by a number of Federation groups during the 2005 convention, July 2 through July 8. Presidents of divisions, committee chairpeople, and event presenters have provided the information. The preconvention agenda will list the locations of all events taking place before convention registration on Sunday, July 3. The convention agenda will contain listings of all events taking place beginning that day.
by Shawn Mayo
You can't miss this one! Enjoy great music and singing; catch up with old friends; and hear President Maurer sing at BLIND, Incorporated's karaoke night. Whether you form a group, sing solo, or cheer on fellow Federationists, you will want to be part of this fun-filled night on Saturday, July 2, from 8:00 p.m. to midnight. And, if that's not enough, come find out what song the BLIND, Incorporated, staff and students will sing this year.Meet current students and alumni as they share their experiences from training. There will be a cash bar and many door prizes. Admission is only $5. Song lists will be available in Braille that night. It will be the happening place to be!
For nearly forty years providers of rehabilitation and human services across the United States, Canada, and Europe have been seeking accreditation through the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF). CARF accredits only those programs that meet and maintain the rigorous standards it has established, adding value for consumers and other stakeholders throughout the process.
CARF's mission is to promote the quality, value, and optimal outcomes of services through accreditation that centers on enhancing the lives of the persons receiving those services. CARF believes that customers should have access to services of the highest quality, which produces valued results, and customers must be directly involved in determining whether an organization meets the standards for quality and accountability to which it subscribes. Therefore input from consumers and advocates is invaluable to CARF whenever standards are developed or revised.
In 1998 CARF was approached by the Veterans Healthcare Administration to develop standards that would be appropriate for accrediting the ten blind rehabilitation centers operated by the Veterans Administration. Since that time community service providers have expressed growing interest in developing standards for organizations in the civilian sector as well.
CARF is firmly committed to maintaining an open dialogue with stakeholders for the services it accredits and believes it is essential that consumers, advocates, providers, and funders have a strong voice in designing the standards that will ultimately be approved for use by organizations serving those who are blind. With that in mind, what better place to come for input than the National Federation of the Blind?
CARF will be sponsoring an event at the national convention in Louisville for just this purpose. Federationists will have an opportunity to attend a focus group on July 5, meet CARF staff, learn about the accreditation process, ask critical questions, make suggestions, and give advice. CARF needs and encourages input from the organized blind as it moves forward to develop and revise standards of quality and accountability for blind rehabilitation services.
The focus group (Comprehensive Blind Rehabilitation Services, Blueprints for Quality) will discuss the accreditation process offered by CARF and the value of applying CARF standards to comprehensive blind rehabilitation services in the public and private sector. CARF is soliciting input from the organized blind regarding your expectations for quality and accountability. The focus group will take place from 8:30 to 10:30 Tuesday evening, July 5. Consult your convention agenda for the location.
We invite you to an evening at the Colorado Center for the Blind Open House on Wednesday, July 6, from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. Take Charge. Challenge Yourself. The staff and students at the Colorado Center for the Blind invite you to discover what good training can do for you.
We look forward to seeing you on Wednesday, July 6, at our open house.
The Committee on Promotion, Evaluation, and Advancement of Technology will meet on Monday, July 4, from 7:30 to 10:00 p.m. to receive brief presentations from manufacturers and sellers of devices marketed to the blind. Presenters will be encouraged to describe briefly the products they offer and to let audience members know where they are located in the exhibit hall and, if they wish, how they can be contacted in their hotel suites. Questions and comments about this technology will also be taken from the audience as time permits.
To secure a slot on the agenda or to make suggestions for other committee business, contact Gary Wunder by sending email to <[email protected]> or by calling (573) 874-1774.
In an effort to reach out to other organizations, the National Federation of the Blind has formed a cooperative agreement with the American Red Cross, which was announced at last year's national convention. As a part of this effort we have decided to organize a blood drive at the national convention if interest warrants the effort. We will need from thirty to forty people to make this a success.
If you would be interested in making a donation of blood on Wednesday, July 6 (tour day), sometime between 1:00 and 6:00 p.m., please contact me by email at <[email protected]> or telephone (573) 874-1774.
Since conducting this drive is dependent on having enough volunteers, please let me know as soon as you can if you are willing to donate. Thank you on behalf of all the people we can help.
Are you going to the national convention in Louisville this summer? If so and if you are at least eighteen, please consider helping as a buddy at the annual Braille carnival on Saturday, July 2. This year the carnival has been moved to the afternoon, which will allow us to conduct a training workshop in the morning for all buddies and others who wish to volunteer to work with children at the convention. The training workshop will be from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. The carnival will start with registration at 1:30 p.m., and carnival activities last from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m.
This is a great opportunity to work with children while their parents attend meetings. The Braille carnival features many unique and fun Braille-related activities for children ages five and up including blind and sighted kids, nonBraille readers, advanced Braille readers, and nonreaders. Carnival buddies are responsible for supervising and guiding children as they go from station to station. There is plenty of help even if you are still working on your own Braille-reading skills.
If you can help or have questions, please contact Melissa Riccobono at <[email protected]>, or call (410) 235-3073. Your help is greatly appreciated. More details will follow for those who are interested in helping at the Braille carnival.
The Deaf-Blind Division will meet on Sunday evening, July 3, and Wednesday evening, July 6. On Sunday the program will focus on issues of technology and developments in service for the deaf-blind. Wednesday evening will be the division's business meeting.
If you are planning to attend and need interpreter services, please let us know so that we can meet your needs. Notify President Robert Eschbach by May 15. Call him at (520) 836-3689, or email him at <[email protected]>.
At this year's annual convention our Diabetes Action Network will conduct its seminar and business meeting on Monday, July 4, from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Our keynote speaker will be podiatrist Kenneth Rehm, DPM, who will discuss the diabetic foot, his exclusive specialty. We will leave plenty of time for your questions.
This seminar is free and open to the public. Its room location will be posted in the agenda (provided when you register for the convention).
Geordi's Engineers will gather for a 7:00 a.m. breakfast meeting during the convention, day and restaurant to be announced on Miss Rovig's hotel voicemail in Galt House East (please do not call past 10:00 p.m.). In addition to an interest in science fiction, we are intensely interested in the depiction of blind people in today's media, whether in books, magazines, cartoons, advertisements, movies, toys, blogs, or whatever else the public observes, such as the series about a blind detective, Blind Justice (debuted March 8, 2005), and the accident-prone three blind mice in the Shrek movies. All interested Federationists are welcome to debate merits and demerits over breakfast.
In accord with long standing tradition, the first meeting of the 2005 convention will be the emergency preparedness seminar conducted by the NFB Ham Radio Group. The seminar will be held at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday, July 2. We will discuss frequencies to be used during the convention, especially those to be used in event of an emergency call out during convention. We will also discuss the architectural features of the convention hotels and other information that NFB hams need to know if an emergency response is necessary.
Any Louisville hams willing to do a little frequency scouting before the
convention are asked to contact Curtis Willoughby, KA0VBA, (303) 424-7373, <[email protected]>. The annual business meeting of the NFB Ham Radio Group will be held at noon on Thursday, July 7. Hope to see you there.
The Ham Radio Group has a service project to serve the Federation by handling the distribution of special FM receivers to allow hearing impaired conventioneers to hear a signal directly from the public address system, which is much easier to understand than the sound that normal hearing aids pick up in a meeting. These are the same receivers that allow Spanish speakers who do not understand English fluently to hear a Spanish translation of the convention and the banquet.
We will take some time at the emergency preparedness seminar to prepare for this project as well. It is important that all group members willing to help come to the seminar.
The Healthcare Professionals Division will meet Monday, July 4, from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. for its general and business meeting. The program will include a presentation: Cardio- and Cerebro-Vascular Accidents. Are you at risk for these heart and brain vascular time-bombs as you age? If you know and manage your risk factors and are aware of signs and symptoms and preventive practices, you can increase the length and quality of your life. The Medical Society of
Kentucky has been invited to provide a speaker, and we will also review life-saving tips in cases of emergency and current trends in management for recovery. The primary presenter is Abio Sokari, MD, PhD, FRSH (London).
Dues are $5 per person. For further information contact Dianne Hemphill, second vice president, (785) 296-2717, email <[email protected]>; or Abio Sokari, president, (913) 831-7636, email <[email protected]>.
The National Federation of the Blind Human Services Division will meet on July 4 for our annual seminar and business meeting. Registration will begin at 1:30 p.m., and the seminar and business meeting will be held from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m.
The Human Services Division was formed in order to allow blind psychologists, social workers, counselors, other human service workers, and those interested in human-service fields to network, ask questions, and share techniques with one another. We will discuss techniques blind human-service workers use in order to get the job done.
Please join us for this informative seminar. Dues are $5. If you have any questions, contact Melissa Riccobono, president, National Federation of the Blind Human Services Division, by phone at (410) 235-3073, or by email at <[email protected]>.
For the past several years the staff of the International Braille and Technology Center has organized, presented, and hosted technology seminars at our convention. This year in Louisville this popular tradition continues, but with a twist.
The IBTC experts and many Federationists have observed the proliferation of high-tech consumer devices over the past few years. These devices have put a technology spin on the old truism about all work and no play. They have also caused much difficulty when blind people wish to upgrade electronic systems or purchase new appliances for our homes.
The IBTC is constantly asked whether blind people can access MP3 players, DVD players, home theater equipment, and all the other goodies found in the big box stores. The Galt House will be the place to find some answers, beginning July 2, when the doors of the Inclusive Home Showcase open for the first time. This is one part of a larger strategy to increase our access to consumer devices such as DVD players and household appliances with new electronic controls.
In the Inclusive Home Showcase you will be able to examine for yourself examples from all categories of consumer devices and appliances that other blind people have found useable. You will also find information about choosing useable devices for yourself.
In addition to spending time in the Inclusive Home Showcase, you are invited to attend any of four seminars on Saturday, July 2. Consult your preconvention agenda for room locations and final details. We have designed these ninety-minute presentations to highlight several specific consumer devices as well as addressing some more traditional technology topics.
Session 1: 8:30 to 10:00 a.m.
Cell Phones For All? Accessible cell phones are a reality. This seminar will provide demonstrations of current cell phone technology and allow participants to ask questions about accessible phones.
Session 2: 10:30 a.m.to 12:00 noon
PDF Survival Training. What can you do when you face those three dreaded letters, "PDF"? Believe it or not, several techniques and programs can ease the pain of poorly formatted documents. Learn what you will need and how to cope.
Session 3: 1:00 to 2:30 p.m.
Notetakers and MP3 Players. Do more than plan your day. Did you know that notetakers can play music files, access Bookshare, and support Audible.com? Curious about whether any MP3 players are accessible? This seminar will demonstrate and discuss many interesting features of notetakers for the blind and off-the-shelf MP3 players which we may be able to use.
Session 4: 3:00 to 4:30 p.m.
To Mac or not to Mac? If successful, the availability of a no-cost screen reader on every new Macintosh computer could provide a serious alternative to Windows. And if it isn't successful, then what? Learn from the IBTC experts what the Mac can and cannot do.
Job Exchange Committee
Staying Alive in 2005
by Dave Hyde
All questions are simple, once you know the answers. On the other hand, the answers make no sense without the questions. The Staying Alive in 2005 employment seminar will take place July 2, beginning at 1:30 p.m. at the Galt House in Louisville. If you are looking for a job, are looking for a better job, or think you could learn things to help you do yours better, this seminar is for you. Topics include:
We'll also look at how to set up your own office, have a chance to chat one on one with our division leaders, and learn how to get into interesting and lucrative careers.
On Wednesday, July 6, there will be a seminar starting at 1:30 p.m. to work with you on writing the résumé you need to get a job. We know that proper attitude and training are important, but you need to have the proper tools to open the door before you can walk through it. If you plan to attend this portion, be sure to bring your current résumé or notes from which the writers can work with you. When you leave, you could be taking the tools for your next job.
Who should attend: those with a real interest in getting a job and a willingness to put out effort during the next twelve months to get it, and those who can help by mentoring other members of our Federation family and commit the time necessary to help them get a job.
For further information contact Fatos Floyd, NFB Job Exchange Committee chair and director, Nebraska Orientation Center for the Blind, (402) 471-8120, <[email protected]>; Buna Dahal, employment specialist, Colorado Center for the Blind, (303) 778-1130, extension 224, <[email protected]>; or Dave Hyde, professional development coordinator, Wisconsin Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired, (608) 758-6152, <[email protected]>.
Louisiana Center for the Blind Players Present:
A Path We did Not Know
by Jerry Whittle
On Monday, July 4, the Louisiana Center for the Blind players present "A Path We Did Not Know," an original play by Jerry Whittle. Bill Mann, Federation leader, is hired to direct a traditional training center for the blind. As he tries to make changes, he encounters many difficulties in applying NFB philosophy. The Center almost blows its lid. Tickets are $5. Two performances will take place that evening. All proceeds support the summer training program for blind children at the Louisiana Center for the Blind.
The National Association of the Blind in Communities of Faith will hold its annual eeting on Monday, July 4. Registration will begin at 12:30 p.m., and the meeting will be called to order at 1:00 p.m.
The theme for this year's meeting will be "Let your light shine." A panel of Federationists who are reaching out to others in a variety of settings will discuss their experiences. We also plan to have a report about the publication of the book Experiencing God, a brief presidential report, and elections for all board positions. A brief board meeting may follow adjournment.
The National Association of the Blind in Communities of Faith will again coordinate the devotional services that take place from Tuesday, July 5, through Friday, July 8. Devotions will be held an hour before the morning session each day. Please contact me if you would like to preach or sing at these services. My home address is 5628 South Fox Circle, Apartment A, Littleton, Colorado 80120. My home phone number is (303) 794-5006. My work address is 2233 West Shepperd Avenue, Littleton, Colorado 80120, and my work phone is (303) 778-1130, ext. 220. My email address is <[email protected]>.
The National Association of Blind Entrepreneurs announces that its annual seminar and conference of small business owners and others seeking information on starting and developing businesses will be held on July 2 at the NFB convention in Louisville. Our divisional meeting will be held later in the week. Hope to see you there.
Each year the National Association of Blind Lawyers (NABL) conducts its annual meeting at the convention of the National Federation of the Blind, and this year is no different. We will meet on Monday, July 4, at the Galt House from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m., exact room to be announced. The purpose of our annual meeting and seminar is multifaceted.
We will examine emerging trends in the law that affect blind people and
others with disabilities. We will discuss how to practice law most effectively as a blind or visually impaired legal professional. We will have an update on the ways legal research companies are making their products accessible with screen readers and other assistive technology used by blind lawyers. Undoubtedly we will hear from local law schools and bar associations about their outreach efforts to blind and visually impaired students and legal professionals. Because our agenda covers substantive areas of the law and addresses the practice of law itself, many of our members have applied for and received continuing legal education credits for our seminar.
At the conclusion of the seminar we will host a reception for NABL members and seminar participants to promote networking and fellowship within our membership. If you are a lawyer, legal professional, or law student or are interested in law, the NABL meeting in Louisville on July 4 is the place to be.
The National Association of Blind Lawyers will sponsor its eighth annual mock trial at the 2005 NFB convention. This trial will reenact a Federation case. Federation lawyers will be pitted against each other, arguing the merits of the two positions. Although the matter has not been firmly decided, we will very likely revisit an employment discrimination case in which a blind factory worker was fired because of his blindness. See your favorite Federation lawyers strut their legal stuff.
You, the audience, will serve as the jury. This year's trial promises to be just as entertaining and thought-provoking as past trials. A nominal charge of $5 per person will benefit the National Association of Blind Lawyers. The trial will take place on Sunday afternoon, July 3, at 4:30 p.m. somewhere in the Galt House. Consult the convention agenda for the exact place.
The National Association of Blind Merchants would like to thank our loyal snack pack customers over the past eight years. The snack pack has not only been a lot of fun and a great fundraiser for our division, but it has also helped many conventioneers on tight budgets to snack pretty well. Last year we had a scare. You may recall that I wrote in this space, "We regret to say that we will be unable to provide snack packs, but we are working on an exciting alternative." As many satiated Federationists can attest, we were able to make the snack pack available after all. At this writing we're not sure about our traditional snack packs for only $5, filled with a grab bag of snacks, salty or sweet, but don't count us out. So come to our table in the exhibit hall, enjoy a small, cool drink, buy a raffle ticket for a chance to win $1,000, and prepare to be surprised and delighted by our latest entrepreneurial venture.
The annual meeting of the National Association of Blind Merchants will take place Monday afternoon, July 4, at 1:30 p.m. Check the convention agenda for location. This year registration for our division meeting will begin approximately thirty minutes after adjournment of the board of directors meeting. If you are involved in the Randolph-Sheppard program or operate a similar business, you won't want to miss this merchants' meeting. On Wednesday, July 6, from 7:00 until 8:30 p.m., we invite you to our fifth annual Randolph-Sheppard reception.
Socialize, network, and learn more about Randolph-Sheppard opportunities. Check the convention agenda for location.
The National Association of Blind Musicians will hold its annual showcase of talent on Tuesday evening, July 5. It is our fundraiser, and it is very well attended. Admission is $5.00 at the door. If you wish to participate, please follow these guidelines: (1) Sign up by noon on the day of the showcase. (2) Perform one number, no longer than four minutes. (3) If you are using a taped accompaniment, please have it cued up. Do not sing with the artist; you will be cut off while performing. (4) If you need an accompanist, please make arrangements before the showcase. If you wish to register for the showcase before the convention, contact Linda Mentink, 1865 42nd Avenue, Columbus, Nebraska 68601, (402) 563-8138, <[email protected]>.
The National Association of Blind Office Professionals (NABOP) will hold its annual meeting in Louisville on Saturday evening, July 2, with registration beginning at 6:30 p.m. and the meeting beginning at 7:00 p.m. Consult the preconvention agenda for room location. Are you looking for work in an office setting? Are you uncertain about what office professions you should pursue to make your living or to help others in office settings? Would you like to learn what alternative techniques blind people use to perform successfully in their jobs? Have you always wondered what technologies are available to help organize your documents, schedules, contacts, and other data? Have you always wondered what training materials are available to learn to use the computer fully? Would you like to network with other blind office professionals? If you say yes to any of these questions, please join us for fellowship and learning opportunities. The agenda for our meeting is being put together, and suggestions are welcome.
This year our division will share a booth with several other NFB divisions to provide information and alternative techniques about the way blind people perform their jobs in their chosen professions. A couple of volunteers will be needed on Saturday afternoon, July 2, to staff the booth. If you can help, notify Lisa Hall for more information. See Dave Hyde's Job Exchange Committee announcement for more details about the job fair and seminar.
Division membership dues are $5 a year and can be paid in advance before arriving at the convention. Send dues to Debbie Brown, treasurer, 11923 Parklawn Drive, Apartment 104; Rockville, Maryland 20852, or call her at (301) 881-1892. You can contact her by email at <[email protected]>.
For more information about NABOP, contact Lisa Hall, president, 9110 Broadway, apartment J-102, San Antonio, Texas 78217, (210) 829-4571, or email <[email protected]>. I look forward to seeing everyone in Louisville.
The National Association of Blind Piano Technicians will hold its annual meeting on Monday, July 4, from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. Consult your convention agenda for room location. We invite everyone to attend our meeting and learn about the opportunities for financial independence and success through tuning and servicing pianos. Also stop by the blind piano technicians booth in the exhibit hall to talk about piano technology. Hope to see you there.
The National Association of Blind Rehabilitation Professionals meeting will take place Monday, July 4, from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. We will deal with issues affecting rehabilitation services for the blind and professional growth for rehab workers.
The National Association of Blind Students will conduct its annual meeting on Sunday, July 3, from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m. at the NFB convention. Registration of $5 will begin at 6:00 p.m. We will also be hosting Monte Carlo Night on Wednesday, July 5, from 8:00 p.m. until midnight. Monte Carlo Night is a fundraiser for the student division, and this year it will be bigger and better than ever. Come support the students and have fun at the same time. For more information contact Angela Wolf, president, (512) 417-8190, <[email protected]>.
The National Association of Guide Dog Users (NAGDU) will conduct its business meeting on Sunday, July 3. Registration begins at 6:30 p.m., and the business meeting begins at 7:00 p.m. On Tuesday evening, July 5, The Informed Choice Seminar will begin at 7:00 p.m. Programs for both meetings are currently being established.
Jenna Altman (NE) and Daniel Davis (NC), both NFB Campers, play with a ball in the park at the 2004 convention
During convention week children six weeks through ten years of age are invited to join in the fun and festivities of NFB Camp. NFB Camp offers more than just childcare; it is an opportunity for our blind and sighted children to meet and develop lifelong friendships. Our activity schedule is filled with games, crafts, and special performances designed to entertain, educate, and delight. If you are interested in this year's program, please complete and return the registration form provided at the end of this notice. Preregistration with payment on or before June 15 is mandatory for participation in NFB Camp. Space is limited, and each year some families have to be turned away.
About the Staff: NFB Camp is organized and supervised by Carla McQuillan, the executive director of Main Street Montessori Association, operating three schools, parent education courses, and a teacher-training program. Carla is the mother of two children, president of the National Federation of the Blind of Oregon, and a member of the board of directors of the National Federation of the Blind.
Allison McQuillan, camp worker and teacher since 1998, will be our activities director again this year. Over the years we have recruited professional childcare workers from the local community to staff NFB Camp. Recently we have determined that recruiting from our Federation families results in having workers with healthy philosophy and attitudes about our blind children. Carla and Allison will be supervising camp workers and all related activities.
Activities and Special Events: The children are divided into groups according to age: infants and toddlers, preschoolers, and school-aged children. Each camp is equipped with a variety of age-appropriate toys, games, and books, and we will have daily art projects. In addition, school-aged children will have the opportunity to sign up for half-day trips to area attractions. Some of the planned events include a trip to the Louisville Slugger Museum and a tour of Slugger Field. We will also take a field trip along the Ohio River Walk. Dates, times, additional fees, and sign-up sheets for field trips will be available at NFB Camp. Space for special events is limited to enrolled NFB Campers only, on a first-come, first-served basis. On the final day of NFB Camp we will conduct a big toy sale--brand new toys at bargain prices.
General Arrangements: NFB Camp will be open during general convention sessions, division and committee meeting day, and the evening of the banquet. Plenty of teens are always available to baby-sit during evening and luncheon meetings. Please use the NFB Camp registration form. Completed form and fees must be received on or before June 15.
NFB Campers play a circle game
NFB Camp will be open during general convention sessions, division and committee meeting day, and the evening of the banquet. Times listed are the opening and closing times of NFB Camp. Children are not accepted earlier than the times listed, and a late fee of $10 will be assessed for all late pick-ups. NFB Camp provides morning and afternoon snacks. You are responsible for providing lunch for your child(ren) every day.
Date NFB Camp Hours
Saturday, July 2 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
Sunday, July 3 Camp is closed
Monday, July 4 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
Tuesday, July 5 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. and 1:30-5:30 p.m.
Wednesday, July 6 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Thursday, July 7 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., 1:30-5:30 p.m., and 6:30 p.m.-adjournment of banquet
Friday, July 8 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. and 1:30-5:30 p.m.
These times may vary, depending on the timing of the actual convention sessions. NFB Camp will open thirty minutes before the beginning gavel and close thirty minutes after sessions recess.
Parent's Name ____________________________________________________
City__________________ State______ Zip________ Phone _______________
_____________________________________ Age_______ Date of Birth______
_____________________________________ Age_______ Date of Birth______
_____________________________________ Age_______ Date of Birth______
Include description of any disabilities/allergies we should know about:
Who, other than parents, is allowed to pick up your child(ren)?
Per week: $80 first child, $60 siblings
Number of Children_______ $________________ (Does not include banquet)
Per day: $20 per child Number of Days_________ x $20 $_________
Banquet: $15 per child Number of children_______ x $15 $_________
Total Due $_________
checks payable to NFB Camp. Return form to National Federation of the Blind
of Oregon, 5005 Main Street, Springfield, Oregon 97478.
Phone (541) 726-6924
The 2005 meeting of the National Federation of the Blind in Computer Science will take place on Monday, July 4, from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. The actual location of the meeting is specified in the convention agenda, provided when one registers for the convention.
People who regularly browse the Web know about the Portable Document Format (PDF). This format, developed by Adobe Systems, allows a document to be viewed on a wide variety of computers while maintaining the document's original appearance. For the blind, PDF has often added to the frustration and difficulty we experience when visiting various Web sites. Over the years Adobe Systems has worked to improve the accessibility of its PDF-reading software. However, this work has produced mixed results. Therefore we will be discussing some of the functions and features of the Adobe Reader software with technical experts from Adobe, who can supply us with information that we hope will make PDF documents easier for us to use and read.
Another program item at our 2005 meeting will be an in-depth discussion of screen access technology as it pertains to thin clients such as Citrix. Citrix, for those of you who may not know, is software that runs on your local computer, enabling it to connect to a remote machine where the real applications, (e.g., Word, Outlook Express, and Internet Explorer) actually run. More and more organizations are offering remote access to their systems and networks with Citrix because of its ability to run powerful applications remotely without having to use a hefty processor. Citrix is also useful as a means of providing secure access to a corporate network; only screen images travel across the connection as opposed to real, textual information. Until a couple of years ago Citrix was largely inaccessible to the blind. Now three major vendors of screen-reading technology offer access to the Citrix environment: Dolphin Systems, Freedom Scientific, and GW Micro. We will hear from each of these companies to learn about their solutions.
Another topic under consideration is training--specifically the training that is offered today by an organization called the Access Technology Institute. Training in the use of technology--especially computer technology--is vital as blind people compete for high-paying jobs in the twenty-first century. Equally vital is the availability of well-trained and competent technology trainers of the blind who can transfer knowledge and skills to the thousands of blind men and women who are preparing to obtain gainful employment. The Access Technology Institute offers a series of books and training courses that help to fulfill these needs, and CathyAnne Murtha, the Institute's founder, is reputed to be a brilliant and highly capable teacher.
For more information about the 2005 meeting of the NFB in Computer Science, contact Curtis Chong, president, NFB in Computer Science, by email at <[email protected]> or by telephone at (515) 277-1288. We look forward to seeing everyone in Louisville.
The NFB in Judaism will meet for dinner and fellowship on Sunday, July 3, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. In order to arrange for food, those who are having dinner must contact me by email <[email protected]> or by phone at (516) 868-8718 no later than June 1.
On Monday, July 4, the National Organization of Blind Educators (NOBE) will conduct its annual meeting from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Registration begins at 1:00 p.m. NOBE is a network of blind teachers and those interested in careers in education. Our meeting will offer an opportunity to meet blind people teaching at various grade levels and in various content areas.
Many questions arise as people contemplate and realize their dreams of teaching: How will potential employers react to a blind applicant? How does a blind person manage students in a classroom? How does one accomplish the daily duties as well as the "other duties as assigned" for which teachers are contracted? During our seminar, successful blind teachers will discuss such questions. Seminar participants will also meet in small groups specific to grade level and content areas of interest. In this way we can create a network of mentors extending beyond our meeting.
Education is a profession rich in possibility. As we continue to take on additional roles, both inside and outside the classroom, we must continue to develop the alternative techniques essential to our success. Whether you are currently teaching or are interested in the education profession, we invite you to our seminar on July 4 in Louisville.
Organization of the Senior Blind
by Judy Sanders
Do you wonder what you will do during your retirement? Are you worried about being bored? Come to the meeting of the National Organization of the Senior Blind (NOSB) to hear from some very energetic, active people who will tell us about their busy lives. Our headliner will be Art Schreiber, president of the NFB of New Mexico. If we are not all tired after listening to him, we will no doubt go on forever. Other Federationists will share their activities and ideas for retirement. Other surprises are being planned; as usual we will have a full agenda.
Our meeting will begin and end with our not-so-silent auction. To make it a success, we need your assistance. First of all we need donated items to sell. Baked goods, jewelry, books on tape, and gift certificates are always welcome. Then we need you to come bid on the items we have collected. Come early and see how it works. When: Sunday, July 3; registration and silent auction begin at 6:15 p.m.
Last year we stayed up later than the students; so if you can keep up, we'll see you there. Have questions or ideas? Call Judy Sanders at (612) 375-1625, or email her at <[email protected]>.
As NFB director of outreach programs I am offering a planned giving seminar, "Charitable Estate Planning and Gifts Strategies," Wednesday, July 6, from 1:30 to 3:00 p.m. We will provide information on various planned giving opportunities, legal implications, and impact on personal taxes. A panel of experts will be available for a question-and-answer session. Everyone with an interest in these topics is welcome.
by Ivan Weich
The Public Employees Division will meet on Sunday, July 3, at 7:00 p.m. Questions about the division should be directed to Ivan Weich at (360) 782-9575.
Father Gregory Paul, C.P., plans to be with us again at this year's convention and will celebrate Mass on Sunday morning, July 3, at 6:30. The room assignment will be listed in the preconvention agenda.
An outreach seminar, "Social Security and Supplemental Security Income: What Applicants, Advocates, and Recipients Should Know," will take place Wednesday afternoon, July 6. The purpose of this seminar, conducted by the National Federation of the Blind with the assistance of the Social Security Administration, is to share information on Social Security and Supplemental Security Income benefits for the blind. This will include any recent changes affecting blind participants of these programs.
Seminar presenters will be Jim McCarthy, director of governmental affairs for the National Federation of the Blind, and his wife Terri Uttermohlen, first vice president of the Greater Baltimore Chapter of the NFB of Maryland and a liaison employed by Virginia Commonwealth University to provide training and technical assistance to work incentives specialists as part of a nationwide project. Social Security representatives will make helpful publications available to attendees and share useful information about communicating with the Social Security Administration.
Attention NFB Veterans: We will be holding a veterans celebration ceremony at this year's national convention. If you are a veteran and are planning to attend the Louisville convention, we need your contact information: name, address, telephone, and email address if applicable. Please send this information to Dwight D. Sayer at <[email protected]>, and in the subject line place the words "veterans nfb info." If you are mailing the information, send it to 259 Regal Downs Circle, Winter Garden, Florida 34787.
If you will not be in Louisville, please send your contact information anyway but indicate that you will not be at convention. We are attempting to create a veterans' data base, so we need information from every veteran in the NFB. If you have a loved one in the armed forces now serving anywhere in the world, we would also like to know about him or her.
On Sunday, July 3, Webmasters from NFB affiliates and divisions will gather from 7:30 to 10:00 p.m. to strategize about how we can most effectively use the technological marvel known as the Worldwide Web to distribute the message of the Federation. In addition to discussing what information our pages should contain, we'll also talk about accessibility, visual appeal, and the tools available to create Web pages easily.
To add your suggestions for other topics, write to Gary Wunder at <[email protected]> or call him at (573) 874-1774.
The Writers Division will conduct its annual meeting on Monday afternoon, July 4. The program will feature several interesting topics. On Saturday afternoon, July 2, the division will host a poetry and short story reading. Obscenity and pornography will not be accepted. Those wishing to participate should present themselves at the division meeting as indicated in the preconvention agenda. The meeting will begin at approximately 1:30 p.m. and continue until all readers have read or 3:30 p.m., whichever comes first. Join us; be a writer and a reader.
The National Organization of Parents of Blind Children (NOPBC) is proud to sponsor programs for families and teachers of blind children at the 2005 convention of the National Federation of the Blind, Saturday, July 2, through Friday, July 8.
Did you know that one of the technology priorities of the NFB Jernigan Institute is promoting the development of a car that blind people can drive? Fantastic as it may seem, it is entirely possible that today's generation of blind children will one day have the opportunity to operate a vehicle. But blind kids don't have to wait to experience being in the driver's seat. After all, the term is metaphorical, not literal. When we say someone is in the driver's seat, we mean that the person is in charge, has power to choose a course of action and make it happen. Choices, power, control, action, movement, travel--the phrase connotes all these things. In short, "in the driver's seat" means everything that is the opposite of the words historically and universally associated with blind-ness--words like "passive," "immobile," "limited," and "powerless."
Fortunately not everyone believes that those words accurately describe blind people anymore (if they ever did). In fact, thanks in large part to the work of the National Federation of the Blind, a great many people in our country and around the world have come to believe that blind people can lead normal lives. For over sixty-five years, the NFB has been chipping away at these crusty, false, stereotypical notions about blindness and replacing them with words like "normal," "okay," "respectable," and "competent." At the 2005 NFB convention the NOPBC will help parents, kids, and teachers expand their vocabulary about blindness as we take a journey together to explore just what it means for blind kids to be in the driver's seat.
Our journey begins on Saturday, July 2, and ends on Friday, July 8. NOPBC has events scheduled the first five of those days, and on the last two days, Thursday and Friday, we continue our journey in learning about blindness as we watch President Marc Maurer and other blind leaders lead discussions about technology, legislation, and other matters critically important to the future of our blind children. As usual NOPBC will also announce the big winner of our 50/50 raffle on banquet night (Thursday), and we will participate in the discussions and reports about the year's progress on Friday, the final day of the convention.
So to help you plan your trip, here's a brief description and schedule--a map, if you will--of the NOPBC-sponsored convention events:
President Marc Maurer sits on the floor to talk with kids about blindness
On Saturday, July 2, the NOPBC kicks off the convention with a full day of activities for the entire family. The day's events (all of which take place in the Galt House) include
1. Traveling Solo: Focus on the School Years. When, where, and how should blind and partially sighted kids start traveling by themselves?
2. Exploration: Focus on the Early Years, ages zero to eight. When is the trip, not the destination, the goal of movement and travel?
3. Braille: The Passport to the World, two sessions: one for novice parents, "Beginning Braille for Parents," and one for parents with advanced knowledge about Braille, "Formatting and Producing Braille: What Every Parent and Teacher Should Know."
4. Cruising the Internet and Other Technology Travels. Two sessions of this workshop will be presented by the Indiana School for the Blind COGS Club, including demonstrations of technology and questions and answers from a blind student panel.
5. Active Learning for the Blind, Multiply-Disabled Child
1. Puzzles, Brainteasers, and Fun Things to do with Math.
2. Art is for Everyone.
3. So You Think You Would Like to Run a Meeting?--Microphone and speaker etiquette and techniques for aspiring blind speakers and leaders.
Fees: $35, two adults plus children. $15 one adult (no children). $25 one adult plus children. This fee includes a bag lunch hosted by NOPBC leaders in their East Tower Suites. It will also help defray the cost of workshop materials.
We will send 2005 NOPBC preregistration packet information by mail, fax, or email. When you request a packet, please give us your name and a phone number, tell us where and how to send you the packet, and tell us if you are a parent of a blind child, a family member, a teacher, a blind adult, etc. Contact us at NOPBC, 1800 Johnson Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21230; email: <[email protected]> or <[email protected]>; fax: (410) 659-5129; phone: (410) 659-9314, extension 2360 or 2361. If you reach a voice mail message, you are invited to leave your request, including your name and address. Please be sure to leave a phone number so we can call you back if we have any questions about the spelling of your name, etc.
Information and a preregistration form will also be available on the NOPBC Web page at <http://nfb.org/nopbc.htm>. We cannot accept credit cards.
Mail checks and completed preregistration forms to: Sandy Taboada, NOPBC Treasurer, 6960 South Fieldgate Court, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70808-5455; email: [email protected]
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