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The Braille Monitor – December, 2000 Edition

 

Monitor Miniatures

Braille- and Speech-Access to Telephone LCDs:

According to Curtis Chong, Director of the NFB's Technology Department, the following press release may be of significant interest to some of our readers. BrailleStream-LCD is a software product designed to create new jobs for blind people in offices and businesses where using a high-tech digital telephone with an LCD display is a prerequisite of the job. Here is the release:

Adaptive Innovations, a division of Trango Software Corporation, a leading product developer and provider of call-center solutions, announces release of BrailleStream-LCD 1.1, the first assistive technology solution for offices using digital business telephones that present call data in an LCD window of the telephone set. BrailleStream-LCD has been designed to assist the visually impaired by processing the data in the LCD window and providing the information directly to a voice synthesizer or Braille display by tightly integrating with JAWS® for Windows® (JFW) the screen reader software produced by Henter-Joyce, a division of Freedom Scientific. For those with low vision a screen-magnification program like MAGic Screen Magnification Software, also by Henter-Joyce, can be used to provide the necessary information in large-format text. BrailleStream-LCD offers businesses the ability to hire the visually impaired for positions in which receiving data from high-tech digital telephones is a prerequisite of the job, as well as a cost-effective means of becoming FCC-, 508-, and ADA-compliant.

BrailleStream-LCD was developed in response to the large number of requests received from individuals and companies for a product that would provide information from the LCD display on a digital business telephone to blind and visually impaired employees in a useable form. BrailleStream-LCD was developed to integrate with JAWS and create new employment opportunities for visually impaired people who depend on using today's high-technology digital telephones with visual display LCD windows.

BrailleStream-LCD may also be used with screen-magnification software to provide this information to people with low vision. Unlike optical solutions that require adding unrelated technology to the mix, BrailleStream-LCD integrates with the actual telephone technology and offers a transparent and seamless method of providing the data shown in the telephone LCD display to a blind or visually impaired user.

In addition BrailleStream-LCD provides needed information while allowing the user to continue working in any computer application with virtually no impact on productivity. BrailleStream-LCD is compatible with most mainstream telephone sets found in business today, including Nortel, Siemens, Lucent, NEC, Inter-Tel, Norstar, etc. BrailleStream-LCD creates FCC-, 508-, and ADA-compliance in the workplace.

Visit our Web site at <http://www.adaptiveinno.com> for more details.

Contact John Cook, Director of Sales and Marketing, Adaptive Innovations, Phone (905) 737-6388 ext. 1139, e-mail <Jcook@trangosoft.com>, <http://www.adaptiveinno.com>.

Adaptive Innovations is located at 45 Vogell Rd., Suite 201, Richmond Hill, Ontario L4B 3P6.

Two Publications about IEPs Available on Disk:

Barbara Cheadle, President of the National Organization of Parents of Blind Children, reports that limited quantities of two publications about the Individualized Education Program (IEP) are now available in plain text files on a 3 1/2-inch floppy disk. The publications are "Questions Often Asked by Parents About Special Education Services" (LG1, 4th Edition, September 1999) and "Individualized Education Programs" (LG2, 4th Edition, September 1999). Both documents are published and distributed in print by the National Information Center for Children and Youth with Disabilities (NICHCY). The publications are reviewed by the U.S. Office of Special Education Programs for consistency with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act Amendments of 1997, Public Law 105-17, and the final implementing regulations published March 12, 1999. To get these two publications on one computer disk, send shipping and handling costs of $5 to NFB Materials Center, 1800 Johnson Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21230. Checks should be made payable to the National Federation of the Blind or NFB. For more information contact Barbara Cheadle at the NFB office at (410) 659-9314 ext. 360.

In Memoriam:

Joan lederman, November 27, 1929, to October 25, 2000
Joan Lederman, November 27,
1929, to October 25, 2000

Joan Lederman, who died October 25, 2000, was one of the most respected and influential figures among blind people in Australia. After completing a university arts degree majoring in government and social theory, she accepted an appointment as manager of Braille production at the Royal Blind Society--a position she held for twenty-two years until she retired in October of 1993. She played a unique role in the recent history of Braille. She was the first Chair of the Australian Braille Authority, founded in 1982, and she was elected unopposed as Chair of the Australian Braille Authority again in 1994.

Her zeal for Braille and for the right of blind people to have equal access to information led Joan to involvement in all aspects of Braille-code development: she played a key role in the development of the Australian Braille Mathematics Notation, and she was Australia's representative on the international committee with overall responsibility for the Unified Braille Code (UBC) project. Joan was elected president of the International Council on English Braille in 1995.

Joan joined the National Federation of Blind Citizens of Australia (NFBCA) in 1978, shortly after its founding, and served on its Council from 1979 on, holding the positions of secretary, vice president for policy, and vice president for membership. She was president--so far the only woman to hold that office--of NFBCA from 1986 to 1990. Joan served on the World Blind Union Committee on the Status of Blind Women and on the WBU's Literacy Committee. In 1998 she received the David Blyth Award, a National Award given by Blind Citizens of Australia in recognition of the work of an individual "to improve the quality of life of blind and vision-impaired Australians." She will be missed around the world. We extend our sympathy to her family and many friends.

Elected:

At the 2000 Annual Meeting of the National Organization of Parents of Blind Children the following officers were elected: President, Barbara Cheadle (Maryland); First Vice President, Carol Castellano (New Jersey); Second Vice President, Martin (Marty) Greiser (Montana); Secretary, Christine Faltz (New York); Treasurer, Brunhilda Merk-Adam (Michigan); and Board Members Sally Miller (South Carolina), Tammy Hollingsworth (Indiana), Mark McClain (Ohio), Brad Weatherd (Montana), Samuel Baldwin (Missouri), and Maria Jones (Kentucky).

We were very sad that Julie Hunter, our long-time treasurer, chose to retire from the board this year. She has been an outstanding treasurer with an unusual combination of gifts: excellent organization and attention-to-detail skills with creativity and the capacity to see the big picture. Although she will no longer share her wisdom and deep understanding of NFB philosophy as a member of the NOPBC board, Julie will continue as an active member of NOPBC and as a leader of the parents division in Colorado.

New Baby:

Melissa Williamson of Alabama reports that Abigail Melissa made her appearance in the Williamson family October 19, 2000. She weighed seven pounds, ten ounces, and was nineteen inches long at the time of her birth. Big brothers Sean and Quinn are proud of their baby sister, and the whole family is doing well. Congratulations to the Williamsons.

Conference Announcement:

We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

The Rehabilitation Research and Training Center (RRTC) on Blindness and Low Vision's National Training Conference, "Focus on Self-Employment," will be held in Portland, Oregon, from March 29 to 31, 2001. Sessions will focus on the role of entrepreneurs who are blind or visually impaired, the resources and training that can make them more effective, and the accommodations that can help to make the business competitive and successful. For registration information contact Ms. Stacy Butler at (662) 325-3304 or e-mail <sle2@ra.msstate.edu>.

New Chapter:

We are delighted to report that the Kitsap County Chapter of the NFB of Washington was organized on September 30, 2000. The new officers are Ivan Weich, President; Sharon Maalis, Vice President; and Jessamyn Ladby, Secretary/Treasurer.

For Sale:

We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

Kenwood TS450S ham transceiver with built-in antenna tuner and voice synthesizer. Used no more than six or eight times. Print and taped manuals. Kenwood power supply. Both units $800, including shipping and insurance. Digitech VHM5 (The Vocalist) vocal harmony processor. When programmed, will change a single voice into two or more harmony voices. Like new. Print and taped manuals. $600, including shipping and insurance. Call Ray Howard at (740) 432-2287 or write 61951 High Hill Road, Cambridge, Ohio 43725.

Elected:

The NFB of Washington elected new officers at its recent annual convention. Those newly elected are Noel Nightingale, President; Mark Noble, First Vice President; Mike Freeman, Second Vice President; Renee West, Secretary; Gary Mackenstadt, Treasurer; and Bennett Prows, Judy Jones, and Maria Bradford, Board Members.

Back Issues of Microwave Times Magazine Available:

We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

I have twenty-eight issues of the Microwave Times (1987 to 1991) available in Braille at no charge. This magazine includes practical recipes for the microwave, tips on using the microwave, and easy ways to convert recipes. Send inquiries in Braille to 2655 N.W. Acey Place, Corvallis, Oregon 97330.

James Sanders
James Sanders

Elected:

At the October 5 meeting of the North America/Caribbean Region of the World Blind Union, Marc Maurer stepped down as regional president, citing increased responsibilities within the National Federation of the Blind. James Sanders, Vice President for Canadian National Institute for the Blind, Client Services and Technology, was then elected president, and Susan Spungin, American Foundation for the Blind, Vice President of Education and International Programs, was elected vice president.

NFB PLEDGE

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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