The Braille Monitor                                                                                       December 2002

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Monitor Miniatures

News from the Federation Family

Elected:

On Sunday, October 13, 2002, the NFB of Indiana elected the following officers and board members to two-year terms: Ron Brown, president; Pam Schnurr, first vice president; Paul Howard, second vice president; Diane Graves, secretary; Tami Dodd‑Jones, treasurer; and Tammy Hollingsworth and Mike Dixon, board members.

Newsletter Available:

The NFB Vigilant, the publication of the NFB of Virginia, is available to anyone by e-mail, print, or tape. Those wishing to subscribe to our quarterly publication should contact the editor at NFB Vigilant, 3880 University Drive, Fairfax, Virginia 22030, or e-mail <nfbvigilant@hotmail.com>. Please let us know which format you prefer. Our newsletter is also available on the Web at <www.nfbv.org>.

Elected:

On October 20, 2002, at the annual convention of the NFB of Illinois, the following officers were elected: president, Cathy Randall; first vice president, Lois Montgomery; second vice president, Patti Gregory‑Chang; secretary, Debbie Kent Stein; treasurer, Kelly Doty; and board members, Steve Handschu and Carmen Dennis.

Elected:

The NFB of Washington elected the following at its recent convention: Noel Nightingale, president; Mike Freeman, first vice president; Rita Szantay, second vice president; Kaye Kipp, secretary; Gary Mackenstadt, treasurer; and Kyle Parrish, Ben Prows, and Doug Johnson, board members. Doug is filling the last year of Dan Frye's term. Dan just left the state to take a job in New Zealand.

Elected:

The NFB of New Hampshire elected new officers at its convention on November 17, 2002. Elected to serve new terms are John Parker, president; Bruce Gillis, first vice president; Ed Meskys, second vice president; Donald Little, secretary; Lucille Lynch, treasurer; and Charlie Coy, board member.

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.

Second NFB Orientation and Mobility Conference:

Jim Omvig, president of the National Blindness Professional Certification Board, announces that a second O&M conference will be held in Washington, D.C., in conjunction with the NFB'S 2003 Washington seminar. The first conference, held in Louisville last July, was a resounding success, and we want to keep up the momentum.

The O&M conference will be held on Sunday afternoon, February 2, 2003. It will begin at 1:00 p.m. and end promptly at 4:00 to give seminar attendees time to prepare for the Great Gathering-In at 5:00. The conference is being planned jointly by Christine Brown, NOMC, from the University of Michigan and Edward Bell, NOMC, from the University of Arkansas. If you have suggestions or questions, please contact Christine by e-mail at <cbrown1472@aol.com> or Eddie Bell at <ebell@uark.edu>.

If you are an O&M instructor or if you are interested in nonvisual, structured‑discovery learning and performance‑based certification, please join us. Additional information will be provided in upcoming issues of the Monitor.

New Catalog:

If you have someone on your holiday gift list who loves cooking, knitting, crocheting, or gardening, the new 2002/2003 Horizons for the Blind products catalog is just the ticket. Cooks will especially enjoy several new Betty Crocker cookbooks along with Miss Jackie's Cookbook, written by a blind cook. The needlework crowd will enjoy new additions to our catalog, including "Holiday Coasters" and "Knitting from the Top Down." How about a collection of 1,112 Down‑to‑Earth Garden Secrets? We've even got a book on the art of Origami. With the holidays fast approaching, our holiday crafts and learn‑how books may be just what you need to get ready. To order this free catalog, telephone (815) 444-8800 (voice/TDD); Fax (815) 444-8830; e-mail <mail@horizons-blind.org>. Please specify whether you prefer Braille, large print, or cassette.

Singles Discussion Group by Phone:

If you are blind and single and would like to have meaningful discussions about singles‑related topics, join our new telephone conference exclusively for singles. It is held every evening at 10:00 p.m. EST. We will have different topics each evening about being blind and single and offer tips, advice, and support to each other regarding various situations in dating and relationships.

Callers will be asked to identify and introduce themselves and participate by describing themselves, telling about their physical and personality characteristics, their age group, their home city, and the qualities they possess and are seeking in someone else. Callers are welcome to suggest any singles-related topic they wish to discuss. If moderator Kathy Perillo is not able to be present all the time, callers can carry on the singles-related discussions on their own.

The phone number to call is (561) 939‑1800, and the room number is 746, which represents the first three letters of the word "singles." If you are the first caller, please press 1 to create the room after punching in the 746 room number. Then wait for others to call in. The only cost for this service is the long-distance charge for calling Boca Raton, Florida.

Attention Information Technology Professionals:

Lift is a nonprofit company that recruits, qualifies, trains, and hires information technology professionals who have physical disabilities and places them with major corporations. Johnson & Johnson and Verizon Wireless are two of more than eighty corporate clients that Lift has served. If you are interested in more information about Lift, visit its Web site at <www.lift-inc.org> or call Lift at (908) 707‑9840 or (800) 552‑5438.

Looking for Old-Time Radio and Other Services?

Want top forties by the year? For only $5 a CD or less if you buy in bulk, R.O.F. Studios can help you. We have CD's of the top pop hits from 1937 through 1963. We can also restore your records, eight‑tracks, and reel‑to‑reel tapes and put them on CD. Interested in old-time radio? We have it. Want to know what programs we have? Visit <www.rofstudios.com> or call (720) 334-1482

Holiday Special:

Save $10 on the purchase of an Accessible Games Eight Pack or Accessible Games Eight Pack on CD‑ROM. In the spirit of the holiday season, we have taken $10 off the purchase price of our very popular packages, the Accessible Games Eight Pack and Accessible Games Eight Pack on CD‑ROM, effective November 10, 2002, through December 31, 2002. Visit our Web site and download fully functional fifteen-day trial versions of all games and evaluate them free of charge. Then, when you are ready, return to our Web site to order one of these packages online, by phone, or by mail.

The original Accessible Games Eight Pack, and Accessible Games Eight Pack on CD‑ROM are for JFW and Window‑Eyes users. These games interface directly to the JFW and Window‑Eyes screen readers, which makes them completely accessible to visually impaired gamers. The games each contain a copy of the Eloquence speech engine, which makes them accessible to everyone, even those with no screen reader at all.

All of these packages contain the following eight games: Accessible Battleship, Accessible BlackJack, Accessible FreeCell, Accessible Memory, Accessible Simon, Accessible Word Play, Accessible Word Scramble, and Accessible Yahtzee.

The Accessible Games Eight Pack is normally priced at $59 U.S., but purchase this package before December 31, 2002, and pay only $49. The Accessible Games Eight Pack on CD‑ROM is normally $69 U.S., but before December 31 pay only $59, which includes the shipping and handling fees for sending the CD-ROM to you. The Accessible Games SV Eight Pack with Eloquence speech engine normally costs $79, but before December 31 pay only $69. The Accessible Games SV Eight Pack on CD‑ROM with Eloquence speech engine is normally $89, but before December 31 pay only $79, which includes shipping and handling.

Visit our Web site at <http://www.GamesForTheBlind.com>. If you have any questions, send them to <support@gamesfortheblind.com>.

New Version of ZForm Poker:

ZForm announces the release of version 1.1 of its flagship product, ZForm Poker, which offers new features. The upgrade can be downloaded from ZForm's Web site <www.zform.com>.

Foremost among the new features is complete integration with the Window-Eyes screen-reading program from GW Micro, adding to ZForm Poker's existing integration with the Jaws for Windows screen reader from Freedom Scientific.

"One of the goals of ZForm is to make games that are equally accessible to the blind, visually impaired, and fully sighted," noted Jeremie Spitzer, ZForm's cofounder and CEO.

Version 1.1 of ZForm Poker also boasts significantly upgraded audio. The Wild West ambience is enhanced, complete with saloon background activity and dialogue. Starting with version 1.1, two versions of the game are now available for download. One is optimized for shorter download times, while the other is larger and includes additional ambient audio. The audio in both versions is improved over that in version 1.0.

Also new for 1.1 are several usability features. The Away From Keyboard mode lets players hold a seat at a table while attending to other tasks. An enhanced review mode allows more flexibility in reviewing prior game activity. Players can now keep track of how long they've been playing and how many chips they've won or lost in the current poker session. Ability to change the speech rate on the fly helps players keep up with those fast-paced hands, and the ability to ignore all chat lets players who are in it strictly for the gold hear game-related messages only.

"I didn't think it could get much better than 1.0," remarked one customer. "Then I played 1.1 and was impressed all over again." ZForm Poker 1.1 can be downloaded at <http://games.zform.com/download/index.html>. New customers can sign up for a fifteen-day free trial by browsing to <http://www.zform.com> and clicking on "Sign up for a Free Trial of ZForm Poker."

2003 Calendars Available:

Visually Unique is ready to ship its 2003 large-print daily appointment calendar. The font size of the day and date on each page is 35 point, and the font size of the time of the day is 26 point. The characters and lines are bold and spaced three-quarters of an inch apart, allowing you to write large enough for easy reading. Each weekday is divided into half-hour segments for detailed time management, and the pages fit in a standard three-ring binder (not included). The calendar costs $37.50.

The 2003 large-print monthly calendar is bound with a cardboard-grade paper cover and features a 1-3/4-inch square with a 26-point font number for each day, leaving plenty of space for you to write. When open, the 11-by-17-inch page displays the entire month, plus a column for notes. It costs $7.50.

The large-print check register also features a cardboard-grade paper cover and has room for 280 entries. It costs $7.50. All Visually Unique products are on heavyweight laser print paper, which allows you to use a bold line pen without showing through, and then have three holes drilled for your convenience.

You will be impressed with these three unique large-print products. Call or write for a brochure that describes them more completely and provides sample pages of each product. Prices above include shipping and handling. Mail checks or purchase orders to Visually Unique, P.O. Box 816074, Dallas, Texas 75381-6074 or call (972) 416-5568 for more information.

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:

Little-used VersaPoint Embosser in good condition. We have just not used it enough, so we are selling. Priced to move, only $480, negotiable. E-mail Jay Curren at <c23sym@yahoo.com>.

For Sale:

Kurzweil Personal Reader model 7315 with version 2.2 software. Contains both flatbed and handheld scanners. Also includes all Braille and cassette manuals. Asking $1,500 or best offer. Contact Nancy at (216) 696‑5747.

For Sale:

PowerBraille 40 Braille Display in very good working condition. I don't use it enough, so am selling. Asking $1,400 (very negotiable). Just e-mail Joe Victor at <jvic5@usa.com>.

NFB PLEDGE

I pledge to participate actively in the efforts 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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