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The Braille Monitor – October 2000 Edition


Monitor Miniatures


Paul Gabias in academic regalia receives an honorary doctorate.
Paul Gabias in academic regalia
receives an honorary doctorate.

In Jerry Piat's recipe for cocoa in the July issue, we listed one of the ingredients as a 32-ounce packet of sweetener. It should have read 32 packets of sweetener. We regret the error.


Oriano Belusic and Rick Driver of the Canadian Federation of the Blind recently sent us a notice that Dr. Paul Gabias was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Victoria on April 7, 2000. This is what they said:

In 1999 members of the Canadian Federation of the Blind nominated Dr. Paul Gabias for an honorary doctorate. The University of Victoria Millennium honorary degrees recognized outstanding individuals whose contributions reach into and have implications for society in the twenty-first century. Dr. Gabias, a member of the Canadian Federation of the Blind, was one of a select group of recipients that included such luminaries as Louise Arbour; Maude Barlow; Helen Caldicott; and Her Excellency, the Right Honorable Adrienne Clarkson, Governor General of Canada. This achievement sent a positive message to a wide public about the potential and abilities of blind people.

The week-long Millennium Festival was a celebration of achievement and included concerts, art exhibits, and social events. Dr. Gabias and his guests attended a formal banquet at Government House hosted by the Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia. The week's festivities closed with a luncheon hosted by the Canadian Federation of the Blind, attended by thirty Federationists, family, and friends from as far away as Quebec and Ohio.

Dr. Paul Gabias was born and raised in Montreal and is fluent in both English and French. He graduated cum laude from Concordia University and received his Ph.D. in experimental psychology from New York University in 1988. Having worked in Wisconsin, Nevada, Colorado, and New Brunswick, he is now a professor at Okanagan University College in Kelowna, where he lives with his wife Mary Ellen and their four children.

He has served as President of the National Association of Guide Dog Users, a division of the National Federation of the Blind in the U.S., and has successfully trained six dog guides, three for himself and three for others. Paul has a passionate commitment to the blind movement in Canada. He has faced discrimination with strength and resilience, having been evicted from a theater and threatened with eviction from his home simply because he had a guide dog. With the support of his friends and colleagues of the National Federation of the Blind, he won the case and has continued to fight tirelessly for the equality and civil rights of blind people.

In the words of NFB President Dr. Marc Maurer, "Dr. Gabias is one of the most aggressive advocates for the rights and interests of blind people and an authority in research on tactile understanding." Paul knows firsthand the empowerment of collective action. Having attended his first convention in New York in 1973, he was deeply impressed by the NFB's positive attitude toward blindness and sought to share this liberating philosophy with his fellow Canadians. He has introduced hundreds of Canadians to Federationism and been a leader in the organized blind movement in Canada.

Help Needed:

Longtime Federationist Dr. Ron Ferguson has written with the following request:

For research purposes I am looking for back issues of Outlook for the Blind, New Outlook for the Blind, and Journal of Visual Impairment and Blindness from the beginning of publication to 1985. If you have complete sets for any year or years that you would like to sell, please contact Dr. Ronald J. Ferguson, 1019 Lay Boulevard, Kalamazoo, Michigan 49001, phone (616) 344.5699, e-mail rjferg@juno.com.

For Sale:

We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

Perkins Brailler in good condition, asking $300 or best offer. If interested, contact Robert Schafer at (256) 350-9723 or e-mail rschafer@hiwaay.net.

New Chapter:

On June 10, 2000, sixteen people met in Greensboro, North Carolina, to form the Guilford County Chapter of the National Federation of the Blind of North Carolina. The officers are Dottie Neely, President; Jerry Moton, Vice President; Franklin Ellis, Secretary/Treasurer; and Foy Flowers and David Wallace, Board Members.

For Sale:

We have been asked to carry the following announcement: New Acucheck Voice Mate blood glucose monitoring system has speech and will read insulin bottles. Complete with comfort curve test strips, soft click pin, and lancets. Count-a-dose syringe-filling device, carrying case, and other accessories. Asking $700 or best offer. Contact Kathleen McGrew, (503) 763-0935, P.O. Box 7314, Salem, Oregon 97303.

New Baby:

Michael and Alice Gosse with new daughter Caroline
Michael and Alice Gosse with
new daughter Caroline.

On June 16, 2000, at 2:46 p.m., Caroline Victoria Gosse was born to Alice and Michael Gosse. She weighed in at seven pounds, fifteen ounces, and measured twenty inches long. The Gosses are active members of the Maryland affiliate; at different times both Mom (Alice Kassel) and Dad (Dr. Michael Gosse) have worked at the National Center, and Michael is a 1985 NFB Scholarship winner. Congratulations to the Gosse family.

Harvard Business Review Subscriptions:

Vision Community Services, a Division of the Massachusetts Association for the Blind, offers Talking Book subscriptions for the Harvard Business Review. The subscription rate is $75 per year, four-track format, two tapes per issue, six bimonthly issues per year. Personal checks, money orders, and credit cards accepted. Back issues are available. Contact Robert Pierson at the recording studio to place your order. Phone (617) 972-9117, (800) 852-3029 (in Massachusetts only), fax: (617) 926-1412, or e-mail: studio@mablind.org.

Tina Ektermanis and Kevan Worley at Greeley County membership drive.
Tina Ektermanis and Kevan Worley
at Greeley County membership drive.


New Chapter:

The Northern Colorado Chapter of the NFB of Colorado was organized on March 24, 2000, and met on April 22 to approve a constitution and elect officers. The new officers are Tina Ektermanis, President; Melissa Green, Vice President; Donna Stringer, Treasurer; Vick Bernheard, Secretary; and Rita Ronquillo, Board Member. Two days later, on March 26, the following story appeared in the Greeley Tribune:


State Group for the Blind Looks into Local Chapter

by Sarah Langbein

When Tabitha Wyatt gave birth in 1995 to her daughter Ashley, everything was perfect. But in the months that followed Tabitha realized something was wrong with her daughter. Ashley's eyes did not follow people or objects.

At Ashley's four-month checkup the doctor diagnosed her as legally blind. Now four years old, Ashley is growing up like any other child. She plays, she smiles, and she asks a lot of questions.

Ashley and her mother attended a National Federation of the Blind luncheon on Saturday, where organizers gauged community response to the possibility of forming a local chapter. The sixty people who attended voted unanimously to do so.

Kevan Worley, the first vice president of the Colorado NFB, was happy with the turnout at the luncheon. "There must be a need in the Weld County area," Worley said.

Ashley and others attended the meeting to connect with other blind people. "It's good to know there are other people you can talk to in Greeley," Wyatt said.

Unlike Ashley, Jim Ramos lost his sight later in life. Two years ago Ramos lost his sight because of diabetes. His blindness forced him to quit his job and rely on friends and family to get around. He also is unable to read Braille because his fingertips are not sensitive enough, another result of the diabetes.

"I used to love to read the newspaper when I got off work," he said.

It is moments like these that make Ramos discouraged with his disability. His sister, Bea, hopes that other blind people can help motivate him and teach him. "We're trying to help him gain back his self-confidence," she said.

The purpose of the NFB is to give people hope and let them know that with proper training and a positive outlook they can compete in today's society. "It's not a tragedy to be blind," Worley said.

Piano by Ear:

We have been asked to carry the following announcement: Piano Course II for the visually impaired is ready. In this course you will learn the scales and cadences for the keys of D, A, E, F, B, and Bb; how to build major and minor chords and major scales; four new songs in four new keys in two different levels; and the principles of playing the piano by ear. To order, call (912) 249-0628; write Piano by Ear, 704 Habersham Road, Valdosta, Georgia 31602; or e-mail: bilbrown@mciworld.com.

New Chapter:

On July 26, 2000, the Suburban South Fulton Chapter of the National Federation of the Blind of Georgia came into being. The Chapter includes the cities of East Point, College Park, Hapeville, and other communities in the southern suburbs of Atlanta. The following officers were elected: Stephanie Scott, President; Larry Parks, First Vice President; Gail Taylor, Second Vice President; Debbie Hill, Treasurer; Dina Parks, Secretary; and Mohammed Javed and Beverly Lindsey, Board Members.

New Braille Maps Available:

We have been asked to carry the following announcement: Maps of the British Isles: These maps cover England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and the Republic of Ireland. The two over-all maps show boundaries, bodies of water, mountains, hills, and regions. For each country there is a map showing major cities, towns of particular interest, and major rivers. In addition a map for each country shows the counties or political regions. Two more maps show points of interest in the Greater London area and a simplified view of London's major attractions. General information about the most popular London sites is also included. Maps of the British Isles contains eleven maps. In general, key letters are used to label cities and regions on the maps. These key letters are identified on the key pages preceding each map. The booklet is provided in Brailon, bound with cardboard covers, and shipped in a multi-ring binder. Cost is $10.

Maps of the Bible Lands (Old Testament): This set of twenty-five maps is intended for serious students of the Bible or of ancient Near Eastern history. The maps are detailed, and no descriptive background material is included. Familiarity with the subject material and some tactile experience is recommended. The maps cover the ancient world, including geography, centers of power circa 1350 B.C., cities; Abraham and the Patriarchs; Egypt, Sinai, and the Exodus; physical features of Canaan and surroundings; early Israelite presence in Canaan; Kingdoms of Saul, David, Solomon, Israel, and Judah; Assyrian, Babylonian, and Persian empires; Alexander the Great; Seleucid Kingdom and the Maccabees. Generally key letters are used to label cities and areas on the maps. These key letters are identified on key pages preceding each map. The maps frequently have foldout sections and sometimes appear on facing pages. A general index of almost 600 place names is included.

Maps of the Bible Lands contains twenty-five maps and accompanying key pages, plus an index, and is bound in two volumes with a total of ninety-six Brailon pages. The volumes are bound with cardboard covers and multi- ring binders. They cost $22.

The above map prices include shipping by free mail unless other arrangements are made. Other maps are available, including Maps of Individual United States; Basic Human Anatomy; Atlas of North and South America; Atlas of the Middle East; Maps of Russia and Its Former Republics; and Maps of Morocco. Call or write to request details. Please send check or purchase order to the Princeton Braillists, 28-B Portsmouth Street, Whiting, New Jersey 08759 (UPDATED ADDRESS). Credit cards and fax service are not available. Please allow four to six weeks for delivery. For further information please call (732) 350-3708 or (609) 924-5207.

New Catalog Available:

We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

The new 2000-2001 Jett Enterprises catalog is now available on 3.5-inch computer disk, on cassette tape, or at the Web site http://www.jettenenterprises.com. Call (800) 275-5553 between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Pacific Time, to get your copy. In addition to specific products for the blind and visually impaired, kitchenware, jewelry, electronics, better health products, and more are available. Free gift tags and instructional tapes are available upon request.


At its May 19 convention the NFB of Georgia elected McArthur Jarrett, President; Wayne High, First Vice President; Max Parker, Second Vice President; JoAnn King, Treasurer; Stephanie L. Scott, Secretary; and Gladys Taylor, Dorothy Goodley, Robert J. Smith, Roger Womble, Lucy Palmer, and Tyrone Palmer, Board Members.

Free Computer:

We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

If you are blind, you may have a free computer by learning how to use it. First you must know the keyboard or complete a touch-typing course. This can be done by obtaining the book, Touch Typing in Ten Easy Lessons from your Talking Book library, by taking a free, home-study typing course from the Hadley School for the Blind, or by going to a local high school or community college.

You pay a one-time $30 fee to cover the packing and other costs. Then you can receive a 386 or 486 CPU, monitor, and keyboard if you will demonstrate your interest by reading the provided recorded tutorials and practicing on DOS, WordPerfect, and the screen reader commands. If you lose interest, return all materials so that another person can receive them.

You obtain your own screen-enlargement, Braille, or voice-access equipment and pay shipping and packing charges as your responsibility. Your state rehabilitation program may purchase the screen reader, modem, printer, and other equipment for you. Consult with your counselor. If you want to start learning about computer reading; writing; games; e-mail; and keeping your financial, tax, and insurance records, here is your chance. Keep in mind that it is a lot of work and frustration.

Check Mate Plus will offer free, through me, a DOS-based voice- friendly, easy-to-use double entry bookkeeping system that has a quick and easy amortization table that will compute the answers to mortgage and loan questions. It has full documentation and is for IBM-compatible computers only. If interested, call, write, fax, or e-mail. Correspondence will be sent free matter. Contact Robert Langford, Ph.D., President, Texas Center for the Physically Impaired, 11330 Quail Run, Dallas, Texas 75238, phone (214) 340-6328, fax (214) 340-0870, e-mail: Robert.Langford@NTPCUG.org.

Arts Contests:

The New York State Parents of Blind Children and the Long Island Chapter of the National Federation of the Blind announce a Braille-writing contest and a talent tape contest. Details are as follows:

1. We are charging a $5 entry fee for each submission in both contests.

a. The Braille-writing contest is open to legally blind students seventeen and under. We prefer entries written with a Braillewriter or slate and stylus since Braille-writing competency is part of what will be judged. Poems, stories, and essays on any topic are welcome, not to exceed ten large (11-by-11.5) Braille pages. We will award a cash prize of at least $25 each for one poem, one story, and one essay.

b. The talent tape contest is open to any legally blind individual of any age. Submissions should be on high-quality audiocassettes and should not exceed fifteen minutes. Sing; play an instrument; do both. Do a dramatic reading of original or another's work. Demonstrate your talent. There will be one cash prize of at least $25 for the tape that demands to be heard over and over. Again, you may enter as many times as you like for a fee of $5 per entry, one performance per cassette. Cassettes will be returned if a cassette mailer with address label is provided.

2. The entrant's name, age, address, phone number, and e-mail address should be in Braille at the end of Brailled entries and should be stated at the end of all cassettes submitted. In the latter case information should be spelled.

3. The deadline for both contests is April 30, 2001.

4. Decisions of the judges are final. Judges will be a joint committee of the NYSPBC and NFB of Greater Long Island.

5. Winners will be contacted by phone no later than June 30.

6. With the authors' consent, entries may eventually be published by NYSPBC and NFB of Greater Long island and sold in an anthology for fund- raising purposes. Send your submissions to Christine Faltz, NYSPBC, 28 Silver Birch Road, Merrick, New York 11566.

Survey Participants Needed:

We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

Through the Looking Glass, a nonprofit organization serving parents with disabilities and their families, is seeking help from parents who are blind or visually impaired and their adolescent children (ages eleven to seventeen) in order to design a national survey of such families. If interested, you would be asked to participate in a brief (fifteen- to thirty-minute) telephone interview. Through the Looking Glass is offering to pay you $10 for your time. Your teen would also be offered $10 for participating. To find out more about this project, please contact Connie Conley-Jung, Ph.D. at (800) 644-2666, extension 130, or e-mail her at connie_jung@lookingglass.org.

For Sale:

We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

I have an Optacon that I wish to sell. It is twenty-four years old but in excellent condition. Please contact Brad Barrows for further information at 31 Knollwood Road, East Hartford, Connecticut 06118, phone (860) 568- 3463, e-mail: brad4lisa@aol.com.

New Address:

We have been asked to carry the following announcement: Ann Morris Enterprises, Inc., has moved. The new address is 551 Hosner Mountain Road, Stormville, New York 12582, phone (800) 454-3175, fax (845) 226-2793, e-mail: annmor@webspan.net. The shopping cart Web page is www.annmorris.com. The 2001 catalog will be released this fall. If you are not already on the mailing list, call or write for a free copy in large print, cassette, disk, or e-mail. Braille is available for $10. New items include VCR Co-Pilot, talking tape measure, talking pedometer, new talking watches, microwave accessories, and more. To subscribe to the announce-only e-mail list, send a blank e-mail to annmorris-subscribe@egroups.com.


Suzanne Waters, First Vice President of the Keystone Chapter of the National Federation of the Blind of Pennsylvania, reports the following: The Hadley School for the Blind has chosen Martha Moser of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, as Student of the Year. Martha has excelled in a wide variety of Hadley courses and also successfully graduated from a local adjustment-to- blindness program. She is employed by the Philadelphia School District as a librarian and plans to use her newly acquired knowledge in the workplace and in her work with the Keystone Chapter of the National Federation of the Blind of Pennsylvania. Congratulations, Martha.

Research Opportunity:

We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

There is a lack of literature and scientific study of the committed relationships of visually impaired people. Research is now being conducted in order to begin filling that void. Your help is needed in order to learn more about this important, yet overlooked area of our lives. If you are currently in a committed relationship (married or otherwise) that has a duration of six months or more and are interested in filling out a relatively short questionnaire, please contact the researcher, Jeannine Hays, in one of the following ways: Jeannine Hays, Department of Behavioral Sciences, Purdue University Calumet, Hammond, Indiana 46323; phone (219) 989-2027; e-mail: jmhays@hotmail.com ; Web site where the questionnaire can be filled out online: http://www.geocities.com/jh_research.

Brailler Repair:

We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

J & B Brailler Repair Service specializes in the speedy repair and return of all Perkins Braillers. If you are tired of sending your Brailler out to be fixed and not getting it back for three or more months, then contact Joey Pattison, P.O. Box 674, High Rolls, New Mexico 88325, (505) 682-2562. A $150 flat fee covers cleaning, all parts, return shipping, and tax. We also guarantee thirty-day return or 50 percent off.


Stephanie Scott, Secretary of the NFB of Georgia, reports the June 17 election results of the Northwest Georgia Chapter. The new officers are Patrice Kelly, President; William Wright, First Vice President; Diana Mills, Treasurer; and Tonia Clayton, Secretary.

Hoping to Pass Along and to Buy:

We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

Free and in Braille: The fourth edition of the CPM (Certificate of Purchasing Management) Study Guide. This text presents basic purchasing concepts and fundamentals encompassing four specific modules. I will ship free matter for the blind. Contact Justin McDevitt, phone after 5:00 p.m. Central Standard Time, (612) 823-0405, or e-mail: Jusliz@earthlink.net. Also looking to buy an AM-FM stereo, single-cassette player (Aiwa or Sharp brand), in good working condition.

New Catalog Available:

We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

Seedlings Braille Books for Children announces its 2001 catalog, available in print and Braille, with over 400 low-cost children's books. Seedlings provides print-Braille-and-picture books for toddlers and preschoolers, allowing early exposure to words through the tactile page as sighted family members read the print. The Seedlings print-and-Braille books are wonderful learning tools for beginning readers and allow parents to participate in the early reading process. The Seedlings Braille-only books offer popular and classic literature for older, independent Braille readers. Blind parents and grandparents of sighted children also benefit from Seedlings. Browse the catalog and order online at The new and improved Web site is Bobby-compliant and accessible for the visually impaired. For more information or to order a free catalog, call toll-free (800) 777-8552, e-mail: seedlink@aol.com or visit the Web site listed above.

For Sale:

We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

Almost new (one-month old) See-More Simplicity twenty-inch Inline CCD black and white reading system, includes twenty-inch JVC color TV. Originally cost $1,795, will accept best offer. If interested, contact Muriel Beil, (516) 481-9016, 378 Howard Avenue, Franklin Square, New York 11010-3341.

Orientation Center's Michael J. Higgins Retires:

We have been asked to post the following request: After thirty-three years Mike Higgins, a mobility teacher at the Orientation Center for the Blind in Albany, California, retired at the end of August, 2000. Mike taught thousands of Californians the fine points of good, independent travel. He would love to hear from his students and former colleagues. Please send your thoughts and stories in the format of your choice to Orientation Center for the Blind, Attention: Diane Smith, 400 Adams Street, Albany, California 94706, Fax (510) 525-4922, e-mail: mcole@rehab.cahwnet.gov.

In Memoriam:

Jennica Ferguson, April 15, 1982, to September 1, 2000.
Jennica Ferguson
April 15, 1982, to September 1, 2000

On Friday, September 1, 2000, Jennica Ferguson died after a two-year battle with cancer. She was eighteen at the time of her death, but in her all-too-brief life she had a profound effect on many people. Before she was ten, her family had found members of the NFB to coach her with her Braille 'n Speak and to give her tips on cane travel. She grumbled that her cane didn't talk to her the way it should. But she soon got the hang of it. Summers at BLIND, Inc. Buddy program and later experience working with other NFB programs helped to shape her into the poised, confident young woman she became. Of course the chief forces in that process were her family, her parents Ron and Jan and her twin Aaron, and her radiant Christian faith. Wherever Jennica found herself, she was vitally involved with what was going on, regardless of her health. As recently as the 2000 Washington Seminar, Jennica took an active part in student division and Michigan affiliate activities. During the first semester of her senior year, she compiled a straight A average, despite surgery and radiation therapy. Jennica's eighteen years were a gift and an example to everyone privileged to know her. May she rest in peace, and may we find the courage and inspiration to move forward in the work of the National Federation of the Blind as she would want us to do.

NAGDU Notice:

Liz Campbell, one of the leaders of the NFB of Texas and of the Blind Professional Journalists group, is pleased to announce that she was recently appointed to edit Harness Up, the publication of the National Association of Guide Dog Users. The newsletter, which is published twice a year, contains informative articles on dog guide issues. She welcomes contributions, particularly articles that focus on experiences with your dogs, humorous or otherwise. She also wants to include information about canine health, grooming tips, and the like. The deadline for sending articles is November 15. Please send materials to Elizabeth Campbell in plain-text format by e-mail at the following addresses: liz@star-telegram.com or liz@dfw.com. You may also send articles on computer disk in plain-text format to Elizabeth Campbell, 3805 Harley Avenue, Fort Worth, Texas 76107.

Newly Appointed:

Noel Nightingale
Noel Nightingale

Noel Nightingale, President of the NFB of Washington and a member of the Board of Directors of the National Federation of the Blind, was recently appointed as the Blindness Skills Development Director for the Washington State Department of Services for the Blind. She will be responsible for the agency's training center, independent living program, and child and family program. She will be an Assistant Director and will report to the Director, Bill Palmer. Mr. Palmer has distinguished himself by making a point of listening to and being prepared to learn from consumers since he took the position of agency director. Congratulations both to Noel and to the agency director who hired her.


The Diabetes Action Network of the National Federation of the Blind held its annual election on July 2, 2000, in Atlanta. The newly elected officers are Ed Bryant, President; Eric Woods, First Vice President; Sandie Addy, Second Vice President; Bruce Peters, Treasurer; Sally York, Secretary; and Gisela Distel, Paul Price, and Dawnelle Cruze, Board Members-at-large.

New Listserv for Blind Parents:

Barbara Cheadle passes along the following good news: I am pleased to be able to announce a new list for blind parents, the Blind Parent Mailing List. It is sponsored by the Committee on Parental Concerns and the National Federation of the Blind.

Its purpose is to create a forum for blind parents to share their experiences. Topics may include but are not limited to solving logistical problems (such as how to manage a couple of wiggly toddlers at a shopping mall when you need one hand for your cane and the other to carry packages), emotional issues such as dealing with the public, handling a child's embarrassment about blindness, etc. Parents are also encouraged to share resources, such as arranging the exchange of print/Braille books. Occasional posts on topics of interest to blind people and to members of the National Federation of the Blind will also appear.

To post a message to the Blind Parent mailing list, please send it to blparent@nfbnet.org. Use of this address will automatically post your message to all subscribers to the Blind Parent mailing list on the Internet. At the same time your message will be posted to the Blind Parent discussion area carried on NFB NET, as well as on the Web archives, which can be found at .

To subscribe to the list, send a message to listserv@nfbnet.org. In the body of the message write "subscribe blparent"(speech synthesizer users note that listserv has eight letters, no e on the end, and "blparent" is spelled b l p a r e n t. This list is also available in a Digest format, one composite message a day. To subscribe to this version, write "subscribe parent-d" in the body of a message sent to the listserv address.

To unsubscribe from this list, please send your message to the address listserv@nfbnet.org." Leave the subject blank and write "unsubscribe blparent" in the body of the message. For help with all Listserv commands, send a message with a blank subject to listserv@nfbnet.org, and write "help" in the body of the message. For a list of mailing lists carried on NFB Net, write "index" in the body of a message which should also be sent to listserv@nfbnet.org.

This list is moderated by Deborah Kent. She will handle questions and problems concerning the content of the list. You can reach Deborah at dkent@ripco.com. If you have problems with list operation, you can reach the list owner, David Andrews, at david.andrews@nfbnet.org or dandrews@visi.com. You can also reach the NFB NET BBS on the World Wide Web at http://www.nfbnet.org, by FTP at , or by pointing your Telnet client to or "" You can also call using a conventional modem by dialing (612) 869-4599. Finally, there is an archive of this list on the World Wide Web at .

New Merchants Division in Florida:

Kevan Worley, President of the National Association of Blind Merchants, reports as follows: At the state convention of the National Federation of the Blind of Florida a new division was formed. The Florida Association of Blind Merchants met to discuss the challenges facing the Florida BEP, adopted a constitution, and elected the following officers: President, Paul Prescott; First Vice President, Shirley Smart; Second Vice President, Sally Trayer; Secretary, Bonnie Prescott; and Treasurer, Barry Feazell. The National Association of Blind Merchants provided consultation, a model constitution, and other materials to assist in the formation of our new division. We thank affiliate president Wayne Davis and national board member Sam Gleese for their assistance.

For Sale:

We have been asked to carry the following announcement: I have three items for sale: a Braille Blazer Braille printer which is only a few years old and in excellent, like-new condition. It has printed less than fifty pages. I am asking $400 for it. A Braille 'n Speak 640 with older software but in very good condition for which I am asking $600. A Braille Lite 40 in perfect condition with the latest software upgrade, for which I am asking $4,000. All prices are negotiable. For more information please contact John Whitney at (614) 279-9495 or Tonia Boyd at (502) 894-0450 or by e-mail at t.boyd@mindspring.com.

Birthright Israel:

We have been asked to carry the following announcement: Young Judaea introduces Gesher 2001, a ten-day Birthright Israel trip to Israel for visually impaired Jewish students between the ages of eighteen and twenty-six. This first-timers trip is composed of historical tours and hikes; panel discussions with Israelis of many backgrounds; and other recreational, cultural, and educational programs. Sites include Jerusalem, the Western Wall, Tel Aviv, Masada, and much more. The program will run from January 1 to January 11, 2001. Gesher 2001 is an approved birthright Israel trip, and its participants are eligible for the birthright Israel gift, which covers roundtrip airfare plus ten days of educational programming in Israel. Any Jewish youth eighteen to twenty-six (post high-school) who has never been to Israel on a peer- group educational program is eligible to apply for the Birthright Israel gift. For more information, contact Caren Heller by phone at (212) 303-4587 or by e-mail: gesher@youngjudaea.org.

Healthcare Professionals Report:

The following brief report should have appeared in the convention issue. We regret its omission: On Tuesday, July 4, 2000, the Healthcare Professionals Group met and decided to form a new division within the National Federation of the Blind. Many people wanted to begin this new division. With the assistance of Diabetes Action Network President Ed Bryant, Officers and Board Members were elected during the meeting, and goals and objectives were established. The new officers are Dr. Donna Balaski, President; Samantha Shlakman, First Vice President; Laura Havard, Second Vice President; Ruth Heichelbeck, Secretary; Eileen Misrahi, Treasurer; and Richard Condie, Board Member.

Sales Bulletin:

President Maurer announces great sales just before the holidays. A great sale is going on at the National Federation of the Blind Materials Center. Your order can be faxed to (410) 685-5653, mailed to 1800 Johnson Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21230, or called in to (410) 659-9314. Because of heavy demand on staff members at the National Center for the Blind, it has sometimes been easier to get an order to the Materials Center by fax than by phone. We are making an effort to meet the demand, and we regret any delays. The following items have been priced to sell. Some of these items are overstocked; some we have received as distressed merchandise; and some are being distributed to make space for other materials presently on order. In any case, the prices are good!

Listed first is the item price; second is the sale price. Parrot Plus Pocket electronic organizer, $200, $125; Micro Notetaker credit-card-size digital recorder, $12, $2; Spartus Lunar large print alarm clock, $27.50, $15; 12-inch folding Braille ruler, $8.50, $6; ladies' self-winding gold Braille watch with three o' clock opening; $75, $25; men's self-winding gold Braille watch with three o'clock opening, $75, $25; ladies' wind-up gold Braille watch with three o'clock opening, $50, $25; men's wind-up chrome Braille watch with three o'clock opening, $50, $25; Classmate four-track player/recorder desktop model, $200, $180; Talkman III four-track player (without speaker, to be used with earphones only), $95, $25; Talkman III plus four-track player/recorder, $120, $35; Talkman IV four-track and a two-track recorder, $170, $30; Talkman VI with AM/FM radio, four-track player, and a two-track recorder, $190, $80.

Items purchased from the Federation are guaranteed for thirty days. Items being returned must be received at the National Center within thirty days of the date they were shipped to you. Returned merchandise must be in its original packaging and include all instructions, parts, batteries, and the packing slip.

Ashtray Molds Available:

We have been asked to carry the following announcement: The Philomatheon Society of the Blind is closing its doors. Boxes of ten molds for making ceramic ashtrays with the Braille alphabet around the edge are available free upon request. Only thirty of these molds are left. A box of ten weighs about fifty pounds. For more information or to request a set, contact Jerry Dessicker, Philomatheon Society, 2810 West Tuscarawas, Canton, Ohio 44710, (330) 453-9157.

New E-mail Address:

The National Federation of the Blind now has a new e-mail address. It is nfb@nfb.org.

Indisputable Last Words:

Dr. Abraham Nemeth is a blind mathematics professor and a longtime leader in the National Federation of the Blind of Michigan. Here he relates a humorous incident which reminds us that ingrained patterns of thought are hard to break--even when they make no sense at all. This is how he tells the story:

Before coming to Detroit to teach mathematics at the University of Detroit, I lived in New York City well into my young adult years. Since I first lived in Manhattan and then in Brooklyn and since I had friends in other parts of the city, I soon became familiar with the entire subway system, the bus routes, and the trolley car routes throughout the city.

One day I was on an errand in mid-Manhattan. Being familiar with my surroundings, I moved easily from place to place. Two obviously lost young men with western twangs approached me and asked directions to the Museum of Natural History. From their accents it was clear that they were tourists. I proceeded to give them very clear and precise directions to the Museum.

When I finished, the two men hesitated for a moment then took one or two steps away from me, and one said to the other: "We better ask someone else; that man is blind," whereupon I took a step in their direction and, facing them, said: "It is true that I am blind, but I'm not the one who is lost."



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.


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