The Braille Monitor                                                                                       October 2002

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News from the Federation Family


In the June issue we incorrectly identified the secretary of the new Flatirons Chapter of the NFB of Colorado. The secretary is actually Robin Smithtro. We regret the error.

New Chapter:

The Visually Impaired Persons of Sequim, National Federation of the Blind of Washington, adopted a constitution on Friday, June 21, 2002. The new chapter officers are Kyle Parrish, president; LeRoy Carlson, vice president; Margaret Carlson, secretary; Millie Gersenson, treasurer; and John Scolvield and Bette Oliver, board members. Congratulations to these new members of the Federation family.

National Training Conference for Merchant Vendors, Program Staff, and Corporate Partners:

Get out your 2003 calendar and mark the dates of the National Association of Blind Merchants spring conference, Business, Leadership, and Superior Training II (BLAST II). It is scheduled for April 22 to 25 at the Doubletree Hotel Nashville, in downtown Nashville, Tennessee. Travel to Nashville for a truly rewarding experience, and receive unbelievably low room rates which are good from Saturday, April 19, through Saturday, April 26. This means you can visit with merchants, agency partners, and suppliers and even give yourself time to relax and enjoy the musical spirit that Nashville has to offer. Conference activities blast off on Tuesday evening, April 22 and conclude midday Friday, April 25. So, if you wish, you can travel to Music City USA on Saturday, April 19, and leave Sunday, April 27, after experiencing a great minivacation and Business, Leadership, and Superior Training.

We will be in meetings Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. We are planning receptions, a leadership breakfast, and a luncheon banquet. Also we are developing a first-class training agenda. Those who attended our Las Vegas BLAST say that they gained much from the innovative, interactive, and informative training. We are working now to develop the training curriculum for BLAST II. Your suggestions are welcome and appreciated. The goal of the BLAST II spring conference is to target training to meet the specific needs of blind entrepreneurs and our agency partners.

This year registration is $130 and will cover all conference activities and training materials. Those who register prior to April 1, 2003, will pay only $100. Checks should be sent to 18121-C E. Hampden Avenue PMB No. 196, Aurora, Colorado 80013.

The Doubletree Hotel Nashville offers luxurious lodging at tremendously low rates. The rates start at $79 singles and doubles, $99 triples, and $119 quad per night all week long. The Doubletree Hotel is located in downtown Nashville with easy access to the historic Second Avenue entertainment district, as well as the Nashville State Capitol and the Country Music Hall of Fame. With its wonderful array of musical entertainment Nashville can be fun for the whole family. All rates quoted are net per room, per night, plus the current 14.25 percent tax.

For hotel reservations call Doubletree Hotel Nashville at (615) 244-8200. Inform the agent that you are booking for the group rate for the National Association of Blind Merchants. Make your reservations now. Tennessee Business Enterprise (TBE) is regarded as one of the best programs in the country. They and our Federation Merchants are excited that BLAST II is coming to Nashville. BLAST II is a National Training Conference for you. We want your input and ideas as we develop the specifics of this high-caliber conference. For further information and to offer your suggestions, contact Kevan Worley, President, National Association of Blind Merchants at (720) 859-6784, e-mail <[email protected]>. Y'all come! It's going to be a BLAST.

NFB-I Potato Cookbook:

Does your family love potatoes? Are you looking for new ways to prepare and serve them? The NFB of Idaho has compiled and produced the Idaho Potato Cookbook, a collection of more than 100 recipes with information about potatoes and their history, notes about blindness, pictures, and a place for the cook to make his or her own notes. The book is available in either Braille or large print at a cost of $15 per copy. Contact NFB-I, 1301 S. Capitol Boulevard, Suite C, Boise, Idaho 83706; phone (208) 343-1377 or fax (208) 336-5333. Checks should be made payable to NFB-I. There is no cost for shipping to blind people. Besides your own copy, you may wish to give this cookbook as a Christmas gift or on other occasions.

New Baby:

Caroline leans over to kiss baby Meghan sitting i n Alice's lap while proud daddy Michael looks on.
Caroline leans to kiss baby Meghan sitting in Alice's lap while proud daddy Michael looks on.

Big sister Caroline and proud parents Michael and Alice Gosse announce the birth of Meghan Elizabeth Gosse, who was born on May 30, 2002, at 7:10 p.m. She weighed eight pounds, six ounces and measured twenty-and-a-half inches long. Dr. Gosse is a longtime Federation leader and works with the technology department at the National Center for the Blind. Congratulations to the entire Gosse family.


New Chapters in Tennessee:

Jason Ewell writes to report that on Saturday, August 10, 2002, the Volunteer Federation of the Blind, serving the Smokey Mountain region of the NFB of Tennessee, was formed. Elections were held with the following results: president, Suzy Barnes; vice president, Cher Bosch; and secretary/treasurer, Don Bosch.

On Saturday, September 14, 2002, the National Federation of the Blind of Tennessee, North River Chapter was formed and held elections with the following results: president, Rick Williams; vice president, April Jones; secretary, Amanda Jones; treasurer, Bruce Cooper; and board member, Eric Gashel. Congratulations to both these new chapters.

New Chapter:

The NFB of New York is proud to announce the formation of its newest chapter, NFB-Southern Tier New York. The new officers are Elaine Rink, president; Theresa Northrup, vice president; Sally Stiles, secretary; Lori Donguines, treasurer; and Norma Jean Barr and Jason Clark Hansen, board members. While the organizing team was in town, the local newspaper carried a wonderful story about the organizers and the new chapter. Congratulations to all who worked together to bring this new member into the Federation family.

                                                                In Brief

Notices and information in this section may be of interest to Monitor readers. We are not responsible for the accuracy of the information; we have edited only for space and clarity.

New Catalog Available:

Ann Morris Enterprises, Inc., announces the new 2003 product catalog with over 230 items including a talking VCR remote, Braille appointment calendar, Talking Book player with AM/FM radio and large TV/computer monitor magnifiers. Request a free copy in large print, four-track audio cassette, or disk. Braille edition is $12. If you have questions, call (800) 454-3175. Download a copy and visit the store at <>. Join the announce-only list by sending a blank e-mail to <[email protected]>.

Fortieth Anniversary for Choice Magazine Listening:

Choice Magazine Listening, a free nationwide service that provides current outstanding magazine writing on tape, celebrates its fortieth anniversary this year. CML is offered at no cost to any U.S. resident unable to read standard print due to loss of vision or other disability. Six times a year CML selects eight hours of unabridged articles, short stories, and poetry from leading publications such as The New Yorker, Smithsonian, National Geographic, Granta, Sports Illustrated, Foreign Affairs, Gourmet, Time, The Paris Review, Fortune, and many more. The special-speed cassette player required to listen to four-track tapes is also free on permanent loan from the Library of Congress.

Those interested in receiving a free subscription can contact Choice Magazine Listening toll-free, (888) 724-6423; fax (516) 944-6849; or mail to Choice Magazine Listening, 85 Channel Drive, Port Washington, New York 11050; e-mail <[email protected]>. The Web page is <>. CML can also provide information on how to obtain the free special-speed cassette player.

Cruise Ship Sailing Soon:

Don't miss the boat! Limited space is still available for a cruise especially designed for the visually impaired. The Carnival Triumph will be sailing out of Miami on November 30 and returning on December 7, after visiting the exciting ports of Cozumel; Grand Cayman Island; and Ocho Rios, Jamaica. Special activities are being arranged for the group. For more information or to make a booking, e-mail <[email protected]> or call (800) 999‑6101 and ask to speak to Ginger Davis.

2003 Jett Enterprises Catalog:

Jett Enterprises, your one-stop shopping center, announces the arrival of its 2003 catalog. Not only do they have products for the blind and visually impaired, they carry guide dog and pet products, jewelry, kitchenware, and gifts for all occasions. Free gift tags and instructional tapes are available. Personalized service is their first priority.

For a free, easy-to-listen-to catalog on cassette or 3.5 inch computer disk, call (800) 275-5553, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., PST. To order a Braille catalog, send $10 to Jett Enterprises, 3140 Cambridge Court, Palm Springs, California 92264. You will receive a $5 credit on your first order. E‑mail <[email protected]>; Web site <>

Large Print Megillas Eicha Available:

The Jewish Heritage for the Blind is offering free of charge a large-print Megillas Eicha. Please provide the name, address, and telephone number of the person placing the order. If you are ordering the publication for someone else, please provide the name and mailing address of the person to whom the complimentary publication should be sent.

Send your request to the Jewish Heritage for the Blind, 1655 East 24th Street, Brooklyn, New York 11229, toll-free fax (877) 230-2205, e-mail: <[email protected]>. Also available in Braille: laws concerning the three weeks, laws concerning the nine days, and laws of Tisha B'Av. Request these items when you call or write.

Now Available from NLS:

Doris Willoughby holding a copy of the book she wrote with Sharon Monthei.
Doris Willoughby holding a copy of the book she wrote with Sharon Monthei.

Modular Instruction for Independent Travel for Students Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired: Preschool Through High School is now available in Braille and on tape through the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS), Library of Congress. Written by Doris M. Willoughby and Sharon L. Monthei, and published in inkprint by the NFB, this book has proven to be popular and helpful.

Descriptive Video Circulating Library:

Descriptive videos are movies with additional audio information to make it easier for visually impaired watchers to enjoy the movie. For a limited time you can become a subscriber to this circulating library service.

If you like placing a descriptive video into your VCR before sitting back to enjoy a good movie, you can have 175 evenings of pleasure. If you are not yet a subscriber, here is how you do it.

Send a one-time $15 payment made out to Library Users of America/Texas Chapter, Bob Langford. Mail this to 11330 Quail Run, Dallas, Texas 75238. You will receive a partial list of the 175 titles in print and on cassette. Soon you will receive your first movie from your mail carrier. Remove it from the container and place it in your VCR. When finished, rewind and return it to the container. A return label will be provided in the enclosed envelope. Hold the label with the folded corner at the upper right; it will be right side up and facing you. Peel off the backing and place the label on the container. Seal the container with two-inch-wide clear tape and give it to your mail carrier for a free postage return.

A couple of rules: Please return the video within two weeks so that another person can enjoy the movie; failure to return a video or seal the box will forfeit your $15 and disqualify you to enjoy other titles. For a short time we will accept new subscribers. To join, call (214) 340-6328.

Business Opportunity Available:

Are you blind and unemployed? Want to get off SSI or SSDI? Watkins may be the answer for you. By having a Watkins home-based business, you can earn significant income for college, family, vacations, or whatever. Watkins is a 134-year-old direct sales company, specializing in specialty food items, cleaning supplies, health care products, and much more. Also Watkins can provide a great fundraiser for your chapter or affiliate. I am giving a great postconvention special of Watkins world-famous vanilla, cinnamon, and black pepper, regularly valued at over $32, for $22. This special will run through February 1, 2003. For more information call Olivia Ostergaard, Watkins associate, at (559) 226-4557 or e-mail <[email protected]>.

Jim Fruchterman Honored:

We recently received the following news release:

Jim Fruchterman
Jim Fruchterman

Benetech CEO Jim Fruchterman Selected by Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship as One of World's Top Social Entrepreneurs The Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship has announced the annual selection of its top Social Entrepreneurs of the Year for 2003. Jim Fruchterman, president and CEO of the Benetech Initiative, has been selected as one of this year's outstanding individuals. The other U.S. winners were Millard Fuller, the founder of Habitat for Humanity, and Wendy Kopp, founder of Teach for America.

Social entrepreneurs identify practical solutions to social problems by combining innovation, resourcefulness, and opportunity. Deeply committed to generating social value, these entrepreneurs identify new processes, services, products, or unique ways of combining proven practice with innovation, driving through pattern-breaking approaches to seemingly intractable social issues. Most important, they act as social alchemists, converting under-used resources into productive assets by working with and motivating groups of people and communities.

Jim Fruchterman, president, CEO, and founder of the Benetech Initiative, is one of the twenty outstanding social entrepreneurs selected by the Schwab Foundation. Benetech is an innovative Silicon Valley nonprofit founded by Fruchterman in 2000 that develops technology projects addressing major social problems in areas such as disability, human rights, literacy, education, and the digital divide. Its first two projects are, an online library that offers accessible digital books to people in the U.S. who are blind or have significant reading disabilities, and the Martus Human Rights Bulletin System, a new technology tool to assist grassroots human rights workers worldwide to collect, safeguard, and disseminate human rights violation information.

Fruchterman founded Benetech's predecessor organization, Arkenstone, in 1989 to provide reading tools for people with disabilities. For over a decade Arkenstone helped over 35,000 individuals in sixty countries to live and work independently. The sale of the Arkenstone business operations in 2000 to a for-profit company provided the initial capital to launch Benetech.

"I am honored to have been selected by the Schwab Foundation," Fruchterman said. "This recognition is a tremendous success for Benetech and a validation of our mission of using technology to help disadvantaged people and communities. I look forward to working with the support of the Schwab Foundation and the other Schwab Social Entrepreneurs to spread this message worldwide in the coming year."

The Schwab Foundation works through a worldwide network of confidential nominators to identify potential Schwab entrepreneurs. This year 136 candidates were submitted for consideration to the 2003 network. All nominated candidates underwent an extensive in-depth process to ensure that the most accomplished were selected. The Foundation selects approximately twenty social entrepreneurs every year. There are five criteria for selection:

* Innovation: has brought about demonstrable, high-impact social change by transforming traditional practice.

* Sustainability: has generated the social conditions and/or institutions needed to sustain the initiative.

* Reach and scope: has spread beyond its initial context and been successfully adapted to other settings.

* Replicability/expandability: aspects of the initiative can continue to be transferred to other regions and are scalable.

* Ethical fibre: the entrepreneur is an individual who can serve as a role model for future social entrepreneurs and the general public.

The Schwab Foundation identifies and supports a global community of stellar social entrepreneurs because their know-how and insights can be shared with others seeking to solve similar problems elsewhere. It uses its leverage to attract the notice of governments and business leaders so that the solutions of social entrepreneurs can be replicated, improved, and expanded, and so that their practical insights can be incorporated into government policy and business initiatives.

Opportunities provided to Schwab entrepreneurs selected to this exclusive network include, among others, participation at events such as the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, and the annual Social Entrepreneurs Summit in Geneva. These venues put them in contact with leading business entrepreneurs, heads of corporations and governments, academic and other thought leaders, and other social entrepreneurs. The Foundation supports Schwab entrepreneurs as they strengthen and expand their organizations, mobilizing financial resources and the vast experience and knowledge of leaders in academia, strategic management and planning, and communications and public relations.

The Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship (<>) seeks to identify, recognize, and disseminate initiatives in social entrepreneurship that have significantly improved people's lives and have the potential to be adapted to other settings. Founded by Klaus and Hilde Schwab in 1998, the Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Geneva, Switzerland. Klaus Schwab is the president and founder of the World Economic Forum. A list of the other 2003 social entrepreneurs will be available at the Foundation Web site.

                                                       Monitor  Mart

The notices in this section have been edited for clarity, but we can pass along only the information we were given. We are not responsible for the accuracy of the statements made or the quality of the products for sale.

For Sale:

Five reconditioned Perkins Braillers with covers and in boxes are available at $499 each from the Alaska Radio Reading Service. Call Trudy or Wanda at (907) 563-2121 or e-mail <[email protected]>.

For Sale:

Joe Castorina has a Perkins Braille writer for sale. It is in excellent condition and has been cleaned recently. He is asking $425 plus shipping. His telephone number is (865) 588-2440.

Windows-Based Pentium Computer for Sale:

You can buy a refurbished computer for $100. Four NLS-speed audio cassettes by Dean Martineau provide a step-by-step tutorial on how to use Windows, including e-mail and reading Web pages. The computer comes with a demo copy of Window Eyes with a two-cassette tutorial. Keep track of your tax and insurance files. Write letters and e-mails to your friends and family. Keep your own recipes and family genealogy records. A free e-mail service, Juno, and a shareware screen-enlargement program are provided. Contact Bob Langford at (214) 340-6328 during business hours, CST, or e-mail <[email protected]>.

For Sale:

Terry Marsh has two items for sale. The first is a Power Braille 40-character display, asking $3,000 or best offer. (It originally sold for $5,000.) Second is a Power Braille 80-character display, asking $7,000 or best offer. (It originally sold for $11,500.) He can be reached during the day on his cell phone, (302) 893-0451, and in the evening at (302) 994-7984.

Rrisconnect Internet Services:

Rrisconnect provides unlimited dial-up and hosting services. Twenty-four-hour-a-day tech support, eight-hour blind tech support. All toll-free calls. Order by calling (888) 538-6648. Dial-up charge is $17.95 a month. Hosting charge is $10 a month.

Go to <> for more details, or call toll-free from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., PST, seven days a week.

For Sale:

I have numerous volumes of piano teaching materials by Jane Bastien, John Smisor, J.W. Schaum, and John Thompson. They are in groups of six books, from primer levels through advanced levels. Some books are designed for children of average age, some are for younger children, and some are designed for adult beginning piano students. I have had to stop teaching for health reasons.

I am selling the print copies of the music books with the Braille copies. I will sell the sets for $200 per set. However, if a piano teacher wants to buy the entire library of teaching materials, I will sell the entire collection for $3,000 or best offer. Some of the books were done at the American Printing House for the Blind. Most of the others were done by various Braille transcribers, some certified, and a few that were not. If interested, contact Janet Cross, (662) 456-4557, 1236 County Road 405, Houston, Mississippi 38851.

Gift Suggestion:

Our Favorite Recipes is a collection of over 200 mouth-watering recipes compiled by the members of the East Bay Center for the Blind, a nonprofit organization in Berkeley, California. The book is available in Braille (two volumes with easy wipe-off covers) or large print for a donation of $25, plus $3 for shipping and handling. For additional information you may call (510) 843-6935. To order a copy, send check or money order in the amount of $28 to East Bay for the Blind, Inc., 2928 Adeline Street, Berkeley, California 94703.

For Sale:

Optacon II in excellent condition, two rechargeable battery packs, unit hardly used; asking $1,000 or best offer. Two Perkins Braillers in good condition, just cleaned and serviced; asking $200 each. All offers considered. Contact Janell Peterson, 303 Harvard Avenue East, Apartment 302, Seattle, Washington 98102, phone (206) 328-4778. Please do not send money before contacting.

Online Store:

Blind-Novel-Tees invites you to check out the new screen-reader-friendly shopping cart and the new line of shirts. You may visit the store at <>. All shirts come in medium through 2X and are $16.95 plus shipping unless noted. To place an order, call (423) 626-2075 between noon and 8:00 p.m. EST (Monday through Friday). MasterCard and VISA welcome. You may contact Rhonda Brantley, owner of Blind-Novel-Tees, at P. O. Box 460, New Tazewell, Tennessee 37824.

Tape Erasing Service:

I have a small number of blank cassettes available to sell for $.50 each. For the same price I can also erase your cassettes. If interested, write in Braille to Mark Oswald, 1701 Laguna Street Apt. 103, Concord, California 94520, phone (925) 674-1264, or e-mail <[email protected]>.

 Send the tapes you want erased Free Matter for the Blind to the address above. Indicate the number of tapes you are sending, and make your check payable to me. I will return the erased tapes the same way.

For Sale:

Lou Dellaport would like to sell a closed-circuit TV. It is an OVAC, purchased in 2001 for $2,000, but he will accept $1,000. It is to be used with a TV monitor. If you have questions, call (303) 758-3449.

For Sale:

Toula McEllen has for sale a Braille Lite 40 and its disk drive, all cables, and Braille and print manuals. The maintenance agreement is transferable and in force through June 15, 2003. Asking $4,500 or best offer. Call Toula at (973) 214‑4210 or e-mail at <[email protected]>.

                                                      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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