Monitor Miniatures

 

Reminder to Those Submitting Monitor Miniatures:

It's always a good idea to proofread Monitor Miniature submissions carefully. Several times recently we have been asked to run corrections because the contact information provided to us included typographical errors.

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Corrections:

The December, 1999, issue included our periodic report of how much further the National Accreditation Council for Agencies Serving the Blind and Visually Handicapped (NAC) has declined in recent years. The map demonstrating how few states still have either one or more than one NAC-accredited agency contains an error. Maryland was shown as a NAC-free environment; unfortunately, the Maryland School for the Blind is still NAC-accredited. Therefore, Maryland should have been depicted as shaded.

On the other hand, the recorded, Braille, and e-mail editions failed to list California among the states having rid themselves entirely of NAC. We apologize, particularly to California, for the errors.

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Elected:

At its October 23, 1999, state convention, the NFB of Maine elected new officers. They are Connie Leblond, President; Michael Jucubouis, First Vice President; John Batron, Second Vice President; Robbie McIninch, Secretary; Robert Leblond, Treasurer; and Diana Knox and Rob Whitney, Board Members.

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For Sale:

We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

Voyager CCTV Model VR2A, in excellent condition, asking $1,000 plus shipping or best offer. Contact Barry DeGardner, (612) 786-1372, e-mail: <barryd@coolmail.net>.

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Items Wanted:

We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

Moinuddin Chowdhury of the Bangladesh Society for Disabled writes to request that items be donated to this nonprofit organization, which is registered by the Social Services Department and Affairs Bureau under the Prime Minister's Office, Peoples Republic of Bangladesh.

Donations are needed of Braille books, magazines, papers, and other materials in good condition in English; Perkins Braillers, slates and styluses; cassette recorders; Braille and talking watches; talking calculators; white canes; and Braille paper. The receipt of your gift will be acknowledged. Send items marked "Non-commercial, Free Matter for the Blind" to Bangladesh Society for Disabled, 25, Central Road, Dhanmondi, Dhaka-1205; phone: 506059, 864427, fax: 88-02-865189.

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In Memoriam:

Ed and Toni Eames recently sent us a tribute to Stanley Doran:

Stan Doran made a difference. Born in 1921 and raised on a farm in Ohio, Stan grew up with a love of and respect for animals. His dream of joining the Army Air Corps during World War II was thwarted by his limited vision. But in honor of that dream, when he established a guide dog school in Columbus, Ohio, in 1947, he called it Pilot Dogs. Recognizing the advantage of working in a city, Stan located his facility in the heart of Columbus. Pilot is the only guide dog school in which students can walk out of the training center and be exposed immediately to sidewalks, pedestrians, and traffic.

During his stewardship Stan developed many innovative programs. When a breeder donated a litter of collie puppies, he placed them in the homes of blind youngsters. After a year of puppy raising and socialization, the dogs were returned to Pilot for professional guide dog training. Subsequently the youngsters were trained with the dogs they had raised.

Realizing that blind people need to use escalators in public areas, Stan initiated a safe method of escalator training. His concept has been adopted by the other guide dog schools in the United States.

After leaving Pilot Dogs, Stan initiated the first radio reading service in Ohio. Blind Columbus residents obtained access to newspapers, magazines, and special programs devoted to blindness issues.

Having firmly established the Central Ohio Radio Reading Service, Stan moved on to his next major venture. Although the Newsreel, a cassette magazine, was started in 1957 to provide a vehicle for Stan to stay in touch with Pilot Dog graduates, it evolved into a national and international mechanism for blind people to share ideas and experiences with each other. Stan shepherded this organization from a Pilot Dog alumni group to its current status as an international, membership-driven, consumer support group. Newly blind individuals can learn from those who have been living with blindness for years and have developed a whole range of coping mechanisms. This monthly tape newsletter with three hours of listening per issue covers a wide range of topics including cooking, recipes, new technology, parenting skills, adaptive techniques, and of course guide dog issues. Since contributions are submitted on cassette by subscriber members, readers get to know the voices of their fellow Newsreelers.

Although Stan retired from his Newsreel position a couple of years before his death, he remained an active member of the board and still spent many hours in the Newsreel office. He received recognition from numerous local, state, and national organizations: the J. C. Penney Golden Rule Award, Dialogue Magazine Founders Award, Columbus Area Leadership Award, and the American Institute for Public Service's Jefferson Award. In 1957 the state of Kentucky named him a Kentucky Colonel. In 1992 he was inducted into the National Hall of Fame for Persons with Disabilities.

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Research Assistance Needed:

We have been asked to carry the following request:

I am a Ph.D. student with a visual impairment. For my dissertation I want to interview adults with visual impairments concerning their requests, successful or not, for any kind of print-access accommodation made over the past few years. This includes requests for Braille, large print, audio, or digital formatting; readers; or barrier removal for access to printed material. These requests can have been made to employers, schools, banks, stores, restaurants, libraries, utility or phone companies, or any government agency. I especially want to learn about additional efforts made if a request was not fulfilled, such as additional discussions or negotiation or an appeal to another source.

To tell your stories, contact me by phone, e-mail, or U.S. mail. Give a phone number and the best time to reach you. I will call you back for the interview. Only U.S. residents over eighteen, please. You may end the interview at any time or decline to answer any questions you do not want to answer. Your name will not be published. Please contact John Frank, Rehabilitation Counseling Department, Syracuse University, 259 Huntington Hall, Syracuse, New York 13244-2340, (315) 476-1142, e-mail: <jjfrank@syr.edu>.

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Attention Those Interested in Issues of Religious Faith:

The National Association of the Blind in Communities of Faith, an NFB division, is updating its membership list. If you are a current member or if you wish to become a member, please send your name, address, phone number, religious faith or denomination, and preferred reading format to Maureen Pranghofer, 4910 Dawnview Terrace, Golden Valley, Minnesota 55422, or e-mail <maureen@winternet.com>.

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Elected:

The Southwest Georgia Chapter of the NFB of Georgia elected new officers. They are Max Parker, President; Sandra Ausburn, Vice President; Sheila Gear, Secretary; Blanche Griffin, Treasurer; and Dorothy Goodley and Agnes Wise, Board Members.

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E-mail by Telephone:

We are reprinting the following announcement since part of a phone number was incorrect in the original notice:

Send and receive e-mail by telephone with Mail-Call. This service provides a simple way for anyone to send and receive e-mail messages without using a computer. All you need is an e-mail address and access to a telephone. If you don't have an e-mail address, Mail-Call will provide one for you free. It gives access to the system all day, every day.

Mail-Call delivers a user's e-mail in an easy-to-understand computer voice with user control of voice and rate of speech. You can reply to any message just by speaking your reply message into the phone. You can also send your message to a fax machine. A free demonstration of Mail-Call service is available by calling (888) 462-4348. When the system answers and asks for an account number, just press the pound key on your telephone to hear the system demo.

Mail-Call service is available anywhere in the United States for $.30 a minute. Mail-Call does not require a contract or monthly minimums. You pay only for the actual minutes you use. Service is billed monthly to the user's credit card. To set up a user account, call (800) 299-4722 or visit the Web site: <www.mail-call.com>.

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Seeking Coworkers and Friends:

President Maurer writes the following:

Edgar Sammons, who worked in a shop in Asheville, North Carolina, during World War II, would like to find co-workers who were there when he was. He would also like to have pen pals who could write in Braille or communicate on a standard two-track cassette tape. I have never met Edgar Sammons, but I have read enough of his letters to know that he is a man of spirit and that he would be a good friend. His address is 2365 Cold Springs Road, Mountain City, Tennessee 37683.

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Elected:

At its state convention in November the NFB of Pennsylvania elected new officers. They are Jim Antonacci, President; Judy Jobes, First Vice President; Earl Jackson, Second Vice President; Connie Johnson, Secretary; Chuck Morgenstern, Treasurer; and Gus Jasper, Rod Powell, Mike Wolk, Lisa Mattioli, Ted Young, and Lois Holmes, Board Members.

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Subscription E-mail List Available:

We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

Do you want to keep abreast of the latest developments in access technology but lack the time or inclination to sift through hundreds of messages on e-mail lists? Do you sometimes delete messages because you are unwilling to read through extraneous headers and advertisements? If the answer to either of these questions is yes, this list is for you.

I monitor over a dozen e-mail lists and also subscribe to several newsletters and magazines which focus on adaptive technology. For an annual fee of $20, you can receive timely information about new products and resources, updates to your adaptive equipment, and speech-friendly programs. You will also be alerted to changes in vendor contact information and publications and will be informed when new lists of interest become available. You will receive tips about how to improve the performance of your computer and will be alerted to the existence of new viruses which may infect it. Articles which focus on accessibility issues will also be forwarded or referenced. To subscribe, please send a $20 check payable to Amy Ruell and mail to Amy Ruell, 9 Quail Run, Hingham, Massachusetts 02043. If you have questions, e-mail: <aruell@world.std.com>.

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Elected:

The NFB of Puerto Rico recently elected the following affiliate officers: Alpidio Rolon, President; Josť Rodriguez, Secretary; and Luz Repullo, Board Member.

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Attention Those with Access Problems to Shaklee:

Attention: independent Shaklee sales leaders and others in the business. We have encountered access problems with the Shaklee Corporation. We have mentioned to them that the catalog and price list are only in print and have suggested ways of accessing these items using a computer. Our intent is to provide this information in Braille or large print or electronically to people as needed. So far the Shaklee Company has been unresponsive. Of course we want other blind people to be successful in this business and also wish to provide blind customers with the same ease of information access as sighted customers. There are other access issues with the Shaklee Company, but we thought we would start here.

The greater the number of people working on this, the more impact we will have in making a change. If you want to work with us on getting Shaklee moving on this issue, please contact Jean and Franklin Shiner, 27 North Franklin Street, Montpelier, Vermont 05602; (802) 223-7067; e-mail <fshiner@sover.net>.

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Spanish Cassette Magazine Available:

We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

El Club Latino International is a new, bi-monthly, interactive cassette magazine in Spanish. Its purpose is to establish a network of friendship within the blind Hispanic community as well as to offer an outlet for persons of any background with an interest in and knowledge of Spanish. If you have musical talent, wish to discuss technology or problems of blindness, or are searching for love or friendship, send us your recorded message. Each member should try to keep his or her participation under ten minutes so that many people can get in on each tape. Braille letters in Spanish or English are acceptable; however, I prefer recorded messages for inclusion on the club tape.

This project is born out of our love of the Hispanic culture and language; therefore membership is free. However, contributions are welcome. Send all correspondence to Elena Taylor, 111 Belle Vista Court, Winston-Salem, North Carolina 27106, phone (336) 725-6333, or e-mail Eduardo Ramirez at <TLRamirez@Earthlink.net>.

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Toy Guide for Children Available:

We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

The American Foundation for the Blind and the American Toy Institute have released the latest edition of Guide to Toys for Children Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired. The guide is a one-of-a-kind resource containing information about commercially available toys and games. It is useful for adults with visual impairments who wish to participate in play with sighted children. It features 100 new toys with an emphasis on multimedia and interactive toys in a wide price range. An introductory section makes it easier for adults choosing toys to understand the selection criteria used and shows readers how to apply these criteria beyond the products appearing in the guide.

The guide is available free of charge in full-color print or on audio cassette by contacting the American Foundation for the Blind, 11 Penn Plaza, Suite 300, New York, New York 10001, (800) 232-5463 or the American Toy Institute, 1115 Broadway, Suite 400, New York, New York 10010, fax: (212) 633-1429. The guide is also posted on AFB's Web site: <www.afb.org> and ATI's Web site: <www.toy-tma.org>.

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For Sale:

We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

Complete Stories of the Great Operas by Milton Cross, copyright 1947, eleven Braille volumes, good condition. It includes detailed synopses of seventy-two operas with arias, asking $150 or best offer. Please call (816) 254-9670 or write to Norman Yale, 2600 North Hub Drive, Apartment 314A, Independence, Missouri 64055.

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Opportunity:

We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

Are you looking for affordable Internet education? Would you like to make money while learning your computer? Call Nikki Bakkal any time at (877) 689-5486, extension 8130.

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Elected:

The Clark County Chapter of the National Federation of the Blind of Washington elected the following officers for the coming year during its December 18, 1999, meeting: Don Mitchell, President; Bob Sellers, Vice President; Mike Freeman, Secretary; and Nancy Martin, Treasurer.

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Notice for Those Making Convention Reservations:

Several people attempting to make convention reservations without a credit card have been told by hotel personnel that it cannot be done. Reservations clerks making such statements are in error. We recommend that you courteously suggest they look a bit further in their instructions to read the arrangements for paying by check. Convention reservations information this year is as follows:

Hotel rates for the 2000 convention are singles, $57; doubles and twins, $59; triples, $61; and quads, $63. Prepare to add tax of 14 percent to the cost of each room. There will be no charge for children in the room with parents as long as no extra bed is requested.

Write directly to Atlanta Marriott Marquis, 265 Peachtree Center Avenue, Atlanta, Georgia 30303, or call (404) 521-0000. Marriott has a national toll-free number, but do not use it. Reservations made through this national number will not be valid. They must be made directly with the hotel. The hotel will want a deposit of $60 or a credit card number. If a credit card is used, the deposit will be charged against your card immediately, just as would be the case with a $60 check. If a reservation is cancelled prior to June 4, 2000, $30 of the $60 deposit will be returned. Otherwise refunds will not be made.

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New Smithsonian Institution Access Brochure Available:

We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

The Smithsonian's Office of Public Affairs has published "Smithsonian Access," a free guide for visitors with disabilities. It provides an overview of accessibility features at the Smithsonian's museums and other public facilities.

"Smithsonian Access" includes information about designated parking, Metro, facility entrances, and visitor services and publications and tells how to arrange for interpreters and special tours for people with disabilities. The sixty-page brochure is illustrated with line drawings of the museums and several maps.

The text of "Smithsonian Access" is also available in alternative formats--large print, computer disk, audio cassette, and Braille.

For copies of the "Smithsonian Access" brochure or to request one of its alternative formats, write to Smithsonian Information, Smithsonian Institution, Room 153, Washington, D.C. 20560-0010; call (202) 357-2700 (voice) or (202) 357-1729 (TTY), Monday through Friday, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., or on weekends from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.; or send an e-mail request to <info@info.si.edu>.

In addition, the contents of the brochure are available on the Smithsonian Institution Web site: <www.si.edu/opa/accessibility/>.

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Attention Those Interested in Acting:

In the November, 1999, "Monitor Miniatures" we carried the following announcement, but the telephone number was incorrect. Here, once again, is the notice, this time with the correct contact information.

At our 2000 convention in Atlanta we will conduct a meeting for all those interested in forming an actors division. You are encouraged to memorize a monologue to be performed at the meeting, and information will be provided about acting companies looking for blind actors. Bring your ideas and be ready to make your premiere. Please contact Angela Sasser, 2610 Whitis Avenue, No. 1, Austin, Texas 78705 or (512) 495-4010.

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Attention Entrepreneurs:

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In September, 1999, the National Association of Blind Entrepreneurs (N.A.B.E.) launched its Web site. The division can be found at <www.nabentre.org>. In January, 2000, the N.A.B.E. launched a new interactive voice conference located on this Web site. To participate, all you need is a computer equipped with a microphone and speakers. To connect to the web site, go to the voice chat link and allow the necessary software to be downloaded. Your voice software will not interfere with your ability to communicate. Those in a voice conference just press and hold the F-9 function key to speak. While only one person can speak at a time, others can hear all comments. We plan to conduct monthly meetings; consult the Web site for times.

Our hope is that in the future we can invite guest speakers from the Small Business Administration, banking institutions, and the NFB staff. Business owners can communicate with one another at no cost in order to develop strategies for success. The voice conference is a great tool which will allow this division to stay on the cutting edge of communication.

Any member in the member directory may request a voice conference with any board member. We encourage participation in both the conference and message areas. See you all on the N.A.B.E. Web site.

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NFB PLEDGE

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I pledge to participate actively in the effort of the National Federation of the Blind to achieve equality, opportunity, and security for the blind; to support the policies and programs of the Federation; and to abide by its constitution.