News from the Federation Family
Betty Woodward, president of the NFB of Connecticut, recently wrote to President Maurer as follows:
It is with regret that I tell you of the death of James (Jimmy) A'Hearn on Sunday, April 26. He died peacefully at Yale‑New Haven Hospital after a long illness. Jim served as president of the Danbury Area Chapter for several years as well as vice president of the Connecticut affiliate.
At the service Jim's daughter Kathleen read a letter from his niece, a letter that described Jim as rich according to the dictionary definition-‑valued, magnificent, significant, meaningful, sweet-‑just to name a few of Jim's qualities. He suffered much and is now at peace. He and his wife Pat met at an NFB convention many years ago. Jim will be missed by all.
Left to right first row: Georgia governor Sonny Perdue; Al Tyler; Leo Healey; Diane Healey; Stephanie Scott; Anil Lewis, NFB of Georgia president; Robert Smith; second row: Anne Parker; Cheryl Hodge; Jerry Williams; Lewis Wallach; Louise Pearson; Raj Mehta; Shirley Pittman; third row: Franklin Halsey; Ernie Sledge; Paivy Ballayan; and Wayne High
Randolph-Sheppard Day in Georgia:
Stephanie Scott, one of the leaders of the Georgia affiliate, reports that on February 18, 2003, the NFB of Georgia conducted its first annual Randolph-Sheppard Day at the State Capitol with state legislators present. The governor issued a proclamation for the event, and vendors were able to make friends and educate legislators about the Randolph-Sheppard program in the state. Congratulations to everyone who worked hard on this effort.
On Saturday, April 26, 2003, the National Federation of the Blind of South Dakota held its annual convention in Rapid City. The program was excellent, and the convention was well attended. Elections were held with the following results: Glenn Crosby, vice president; Mike Klimisch, secretary; and Wayne Lyons and Peg Halverson, board members. The following officers and board members continue to serve two-year terms: Karen Mayry, president; Paul Schliesman, treasurer; and Verlin Cavier and Bob Riibe, board members.
On April 12, 2003, the National Federation of the Blind of Washington, Pierce County Chapter conducted elections. The following officers were elected: Chris Jones, president; Neil Vosburgh, vice president; Barbara Johnson, secretary; and George Miller, treasurer.
Members of the Arizona affiliate are saddened to report the death on April 30, 2003, of Wayne Sohl, the father of Jim Sohl, husband of NFB of Arizona president Ruth Swenson.
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.
John J. Boyer operates the Godtouches Internet Ministry, which is specifically meant for people with disabilities. There are prayers, poems, Bible quotations, stories, and much more. He offers pastoral counseling and discussion of spiritual matters. You can reach him at <[email protected]>. The Web site is <http://www.godtouches.org>.
One Down, Forty-Nine to Go:
For about two years now members of the NFB have been delighted to know that the National Blindness Professional Certification Board (NBPCB) is evaluating and certifying orientation and mobility professionals. Those who pass this rigorous certification process receive National Orientation and Mobility Certification and can use the NOMC denomination following their names. Because this is a new certification board, efforts are now being made to include its certification in regulations and laws where certifying bodies are listed by name.
We are pleased to report that in April Kentucky became the first state to list NBPCB certification in its revised regulations for school-based Medicaid services. The regulations were issued by the Department for Medicaid Services, Division of Medicaid Services for Maternal and Children's Health. The regulation is 907 KAR 1:715, School-Based Health Services (as Amended at ARRS, April 8, 2003). The relevant section reads as follows:
(8) Orientation and mobility services shall be provided by an orientation and mobility specialist certified by the
(a) Academy for Certification of Vision Rehabilitation and Education Professionals (ACVREP); or (b) National Blindness Professional Certification Board (NBPCB).
Congratulations to the NFB of Kentucky and to the Kentucky Cabinet for Health Services for including this demanding new certification body in its list.
Here are the results of the election in the Greater Seattle Chapter of the NFB of Washington: Kris Lawrence, president; Jacob Struiksma, first vice president; Josie Armantrout, second vice president; Doug Johnson, treasurer; Kay Burrows, secretary; and Rita Szantey and Robert Guyette, board members.
Salad Dressings Available:
Carmela Cantisani, of Carmela's Gourmet, is proud to announce that some of her gourmet salad dressings are now sold nationwide in the gourmet section of Safeway, Vons, Domenics, Randall's, and Ralph's. These dressings are ideal not only for the gourmet palate, but also for those with dietary restrictions. They are made with all natural ingredients, no sugar, and low sodium and are cholesterol-free. The flavors currently sold are Vinaigrette Authentique, Balsamic Vinaigrette, Low-Fat Provençale Vinaigrette, and Low-Fat Mediterranean Mystique Vinaigrette. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of these products is donated to organizations of the blind. If you wish to receive more information, you may e‑mail us at <[email protected]>.
Now you can learn to play the piano, guitar, bass guitar, or five-string banjo without music or any written notation. Bill Brown has created introductory courses for all of these instruments in an all-audio format using tapes or CDs. Once you have completed the introductory course, hundreds of other songs are taught on tape and CD for continued learning.
The courses can be purchased from the publisher for only $39 each, or you can check them out through the National Library Service. For more information or to place an order, call Valdosta Music and Publishing at (229) 249-0628.
New Art Book Available:
AFB Press is pleased to announce the publication of Art Beyond Sight: A Resource Guide to Art, Creativity, and Visual Impairment (AFB Press, February 2003, $69.95), a must‑have resource for any library, museum, or center that serves the art community and the general public, including people who are blind or visually impaired. This beautiful volume is of vital interest to anyone who works with visually impaired individuals or who has an interest in art and its expression and meaning.
Based on more than a decade of collaboration among educators, teachers, visually impaired students, psychologists, museum professionals, and art enthusiasts, Art Beyond Sight explores the total human experience of artistry, from the initial motivation to draw to the intricacies of our five senses that help us to understand what objects look like even when they can't be seen. The sense of touch can convey vivid forms and relationships, and the spoken word can describe any item as if it were in plain view. Included in this book are 218 black‑and‑white photos and illustrations, 59 color photos, and research that is presented to readers in a stimulating, insightful, and comprehensive manner.
The readership of Art Beyond Sight is not limited to any one audience. With its reproducible pages, this comprehensive guide to art and visual impairment walks you through widely diverse personal perspectives and practical experiences, thought‑provoking theories and research, and applicable learning tools.
This book is available in both print and ASCII formats. For more information consult the AFB Web site, <www.afb.org>.
Assistive Technology Information Resource Available:
Selecting appropriate assistive technology (AT) that will meet user needs is challenging even for knowledgeable consumers and professionals in the field. For consumers who are purchasing AT products on their own, this task can be even more difficult. Most available information consists of literature created by manufacturers with only general product descriptions provided. It is difficult to find user feedback on the way AT products have performed in actual use.
Tech Connections has developed a resource called the AT Connection that will help to make AT user information more readily available to interested people. The AT Connection is a Web‑based forum where AT users confidentially post product reviews and exchange information with both consumers and professionals in rehabilitation and education. There is no cost or commitment for use of this resource. The AT Connection is not associated directly with manufacturers or suppliers of assistive technology products. The AT Connection is supported by Tech Connections, which is funded through a grant from the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR).
The AT Connection is an exchange of information that can benefit consumers and professionals who would like to learn more about the experiences of others in using a broad range of AT products. The overall effectiveness of this service will depend on the contributions and involvement of AT users across the country. Posting a product review to the AT Users Forum is easy. You are invited to use any part of the AT Connection. For more information go to the Tech Connections Web site at <www.techconnections.org/forum/index.cfm>.
Tactile Atlas of East Asia Available:
Atlas of East Asia covers China, Taiwan, Mongolia, North and South Korea, and Japan in two volumes of tactile maps and Braille information. China and Japan both present a considerable challenge due to the density of the population and their size.
For China the approach is to show a series of maps of identical size, each treating a specific feature--population, rivers, mountains, natural regions--and then to present two enlarged fold-out maps of coastal China and western China. Additional maps provide further enlargements of three densely populated coastal regions and Hong Kong. A map and some descriptive material are included on the Forbidden City and Tian'anmen Square in Beijing.
Japan is first shown as an overall map. Subsequent maps divide the island chain into three main parts. Further enlargements are made of three heavily populated areas on Honshu Island. A map and brief descriptive material are included for Tokyo.
Each country has an introductory page of facts followed by the map or maps. Places on the map are generally labeled with key letters taken from the corresponding place-name. The key letters are identified in key pages that precede each map. The maps are detailed, and some experience with tactile drawings is recommended.
Atlas of East Asia contains twenty-six maps, 106 pages total. It is bound with cardboard covers and a multi-ring binder. The cost is $21. Shipping is by free mail unless other arrangements are made. Please send check or purchase order to the Princeton Braillists, 76 Leabrook Lane, Princeton, New Jersey 08540. Credit card and fax service are not available. Please allow four weeks for delivery. For further information call (215) 357-7715 or (609) 924-5207.
National Church Conference of the Blind:
The National Church Conference of the Blind (NCCB) will conduct its annual Bible conference this year in Colorado Springs. It will be at the Ramada Inn North, 3125 Sinton Road, Colorado Springs, Colorado 80907. You may call (719) 633-5541. Make your own reservations, but be sure to mention NCCB to receive the conference rate. The price will include free breakfast every morning. The dates are September 21 through September 25, 2003. The conference begins Sunday evening with a message and then a fellowship hour. The conference will include Bible teaching and workshops. One evening will be set aside for a talent show and one day for tours. A tour of Focus on the Family headquarters is a possibility. The conference ends Thursday evening with a banquet and a special program. Come join us and find out how God's word applies to us today and how we can be better equipped as His disciples for service. For more information contact Reheba Dunn, membership chairman, NCCB, P.O. Box 196, Grover, Colorado 80729.
Studio Recording Software Available:
Studio RecorderÔ, a powerful new tool from the American Printing House for the Blind (APH), includes features not found in audio recording and editing programs designed primarily for music production.
Engineers at professional and volunteer recording studios, teachers, parents, and blind consumers interested in digital audio editing will like Studio Recorder.
"This is the greatest thing since sliced bread," says Roger Smith, entrepreneur and former teacher of the visually impaired; "It's really good." As an experienced recording studio user who is familiar with similar programs, Roger says that Studio Recorder is much easier and "some of the special features are outstanding."
Studio Recorder was originally written by APH for internal use as a tool to create direct-to-digital audio masters produced for the National Library Service's Talking Book program. It contains many features that make recording, editing, and proofreading audio books easy. It has:
· the ability to speed up playback with no pitch distortion,
· three levels of phrase detection,
· index tone generation and removal,
· instant open on large files,
· instant cut, copy, paste, and delete,
· intercom functionality,
· simple user interface,
· accessibility for blind and visually impaired users,
· multiple-user marks and notes,
· external controller support.
The software is the result of extensive field-testing and modifications based on users' suggestions. Testing began in APH studios in July 2000. Field-testing began in June 2002 with an early prototype of the new consumer-based software. Test participants included sighted narrators and monitors, parents of blind children, blind and low vision audio engineers (both professional and amateur), and sighted engineers for a state-sponsored recording studio. Results were so impressive that the decision was made to offer Studio Recorder to the public.
Ralph Merkel, writer and producer at the University of Louisville, Department of Television and New Media, has recently produced a program for the Rauch Planetarium using Studio Recorder. He has found it "incredibly easy to use, even for people who are not computer savvy." He particularly likes the feature that allows a user to pause and restart and then continue adding to the wave file, something you cannot do with most similar software.
Studio Recorder is available now. To order, visit the APH Web site <www.aph.org> or call (800) 223-1839.
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.
Alva 4400 Delphi Multimedia with 40‑cell display and status cells, touch cursor strip, and serial and parallel interface. Asking $3,500 or best offer. Contact Gilbert at <[email protected]>.
Seven-year-old Braille Blazer in good condition for sale. Asking $850. Call (513)522‑2459, or e‑mail <[email protected]>.
In good working condition Compaq Presario 5170 with 350 MHZ processor, 256K of RAM, 10-gig hard drive, floppy drive, CD drive, and 100 MB zip drive. Comes with Windows 98SE, Corel Version 8, MS 2000 Office Pro, Norton 2002, Quicken 2001, JFW 3.7U, Open Book Ruby, and Curio firewall. Also has 17-inch CRT color monitor and surge protector. Asking $500 or best offer. Price does not include shipping. Also have Roadrunner text player in excellent working condition. Comes with case and headphones. Asking $150 or best offer. Call (541) 752-3890 between 9:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m., Pacific Time.
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.