The Braille Monitor                                                                                        October, 2003

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News from the Federation Family


The North San Diego County Chapter of the NFB of California elected new officers at its April, 2003, meeting. Elected were Paul Price, president; Dave Faiman, first vice president; Keiko Phelps, second vice president; Karma Rios, secretary; and Glenn Levine and Beth Kats, board members.

New Chapter:

Larry Streeter, president of the NFB of Idaho, reports that the affiliate has just organized the Snake River Valley Chapter. The officers are Vickie Bateman, president; Kevin Pirnie, first vice president; Randy Bloxham, second vice president; Katie Pirnie, secretary; and Colleen McFadden, treasurer. Congratulations to this new member of the Federation family.

Braille Coins for Sale:

Braille coin
Braille coin

The Cincinnati chapter and the Ohio NAPUB Division are selling Louis Braille coins. These unique coins have the words "Louis Braille 1809" (the year of Braille's birth) in Braille on one side and a picture of hands reading Braille and the words "Braille Opens Doors" in print on the reverse side. These attractive coins, which can serve as key chains, are ideal for affiliates or chapters to use in promoting Braille Literacy Week in early January. The Louis Braille coins sell for $5 each and will be mailed free matter. To order, send payment to Paul Dressell, 2714 Ruberg Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45211, (513) 481‑7662. Make checks payable to NFB of Cincinnati and mail to the above address.



On Friday, June 20, 2003, Bill Palmer, director of the Washington State rehabilitation agency, circulated the following exciting announcement:

Noel Nightingale
Noel Nightingale

Please join me in congratulating Noel Nightingale on the news of her appointment as the Regional Commissioner for the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA). The Department of Services for the Blind will miss her smile, her commitment to serving blind people, her philosophy of high expectations for the people we serve, her intelligence, her legal background and training, and her stimulus for finding ways to improve services to our customers. Fortunately she will be in a position to serve our agency as the regional commissioner of our federal partner agency. It is comforting to know that we will have a friend in charge of Region X of the RSA. We have had a very positive and productive relationship with the Region X RSA Office, and it is reassuring to know that Noel is joining their team. Noel will begin her new job on July 14, 2003. This is a great promotional opportunity and important new challenge for Noel.

Congratulations and best wishes to Noel Nightingale.

Bill Palmer, Executive Director

Department of Services for the Blind

Until this appointment Noel served as president of the NFB of Washington and as a member of the NFB's board of directors. Before she assumed her Region X duties, Noel resigned both positions. Mike Freeman is now president of the Washington affiliate.

You Never Know:

Susan Jones
Susan Jones

Susan Blandina Jones is an active Federationist who takes her responsibility to help educate the public and to serve as a role model seriously. The story she tells here is the very essence of Federationism at work in the world. This is what she says:

Quizno's Sub Shop on the southwest corner of Ohio and Delaware in downtown Indianapolis is a great place to get a wonderful sandwich, and not just for culinary reasons, although they are substantial. I'll tell you why in a minute.

I have been a frequenter of the China King, a little hole‑in‑the‑wall on Delaware, south of Ohio Street, for about a year now. The food is good, and they are nice people. One day, thinking that I had reached the China King, I opened the door and smelled‑‑Italian! I asked and was told that I was at Quizno's Sub Shop. That day my mouth was set on Chinese, and I didn't want to be disloyal to my friends, so I made a prompt exit and continued the thirty feet or so to the Chinese place.

Today, again looking for the China King, I happened into the sub shop, and thought I ought to be fair and give them a try. Besides, the space had a cool, fresh feeling. A very nice Indian woman told me what was on the menu and took my order. When we had completed the transaction, she said she hoped I wouldn't mind if she asked me a personal question: How did I deal with my money? Had I been blind all my life? Then she went on to tell me about her niece, age 7, who goes to the Indiana School for the Blind. "I would love it," she said, "if she could meet you. My sister, her mother, would love to meet you too. She's kind of worried about when her daughter hits puberty, etc."

I told her I would be delighted to meet her blind niece and her parents and would give them all the encouragement I could. Then she told me that she remembered the day I had poked my head in to ask where the Chinese shop was. "I was kind of disappointed," she admitted.

I told her that I was very glad I'd come back and how much I had enjoyed the delicious sub she had served me. "I will be back," I promised, "and bring my blind friends too."


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 their two-year terms: Karen Mayry, president; Paul Schliesman, treasurer; and Verlin Cavier and Bob Riibe, board members.

New Baby:

Rosulian Julia Jocums Stracks
Rosulian Julia Jocums Stracks

Kristen Jocums and Dr. Mark Stracks, both NFB scholarship winners, report with joy that Rosulian Julia Jocums Stracks was born in Altoona, Pennsylvania, on July 28, 2003, at 9:12 p.m. She weighed seven pounds, seven ounces and measured nineteen inches long. She is named after her great grandmothers Rose, Sue, Lillian, and Julia. Mom, Dad, and baby are doing well. Congratulations to the Stracks family.




Pampered Chef Fundraising Idea:

We recently received the following notice about a fundraising opportunity using a line of kitchen products that I have always found to be of excellent quality. Here it is:

I would like to suggest an idea for the consideration of NFB chapters hoping to raise funds to finance their activities. I have worked with the Pampered Chef for sixteen months and really love my work. The Pampered Chef offers two types of fundraisers for organizations: (1) the standard kitchen or catalog show in which people gather orders, submit them to the Pampered Chef, and receive a check from the company in lieu of free products or discounted purchases which in a typical show go to the host. Your chapter chooses a contact person to be the host, and all orders are shipped to one person, saving customers the shipping costs. People ordering items pay only $2.75 in shipping, no matter how much they buy. Your chapter receives 10 percent of all your sales for orders up to $600 and 15 percent of sales if orders are above $600. Another way to receive money from the show is for people to conduct catalog or kitchen shows. Each booking nets your chapter $3. So you receive your percentage plus $3 per booking;

(2) the other method is a product fundraiser, in which you sell ten products from the catalog (preselected), keep 40 percent of all sales, and send the rest (including tax and shipping) to the Pampered Chef. They in turn send you the items ordered from that specific order form.

Chapters deciding to do either of these fundraisers will need a consultant through whom to place orders, since online ordering is not a part of company policy. I would be happy to serve as a consultant to any chapter wishing to conduct either of these fundraisers, or, if you know a consultant in your area, please mention that you read about this and would like to participate. These fundraisers occur year‑round and are easy and can be a lot of fun. If anyone wishes to contact me about this opportunity or has further questions about what we offer (I serve all states), please contact Shelley Alongi at <[email protected]>. Good luck and have a pampered day!


The National Federation of the Blind of Greater Springfield, Massachusetts, elected the following officers at its June, 2003, meeting: president, Bob Baran; vice president, Cindy Hess; treasurer, Basil Maurice; secretary, Heather Doray; sergeant-at-arms, Elsie Rivera; trustee, Virginia Dansereau; and board members, Kristina Constant and Bill Braese.

New Chapter:

At its June, 2003 meeting, the new Honolulu Chapter of the NFB of Hawaii elected officers. They are Virgil Stinnett, president; Chris Cerna, vice president; Lea Grupen, secretary; Stan Young, treasurer; and Yolanda Phelan and Monty Anderson, board members.

Seventy-fifth Birthday Celebration:

Standing together for this picture are Governor Robert E. McNair, Betty Capps,Don Capps,Marc Maurer, and NFB of South Carolina Preident Parnell Diggs.
Standing together for this picture are (left to right) Governor Robert E. McNair, Betty Capps, Don Capps, Marc Maurer, and NFB of South Carolina President Parnell Diggs.

On August 30, 2003, the senior member of the NFB board of directors, Dr. Donald C. Capps, turned seventy-five. On September 18, despite Hurricane Isabel, 150 friends and admirers gathered for a buffet dinner at Seawell's in Columbia to celebrate the occasion and pay tribute to both Don and his wife Betty.

Among the tributes was a statement placed in the Congressional Record by South Carolina member of Congress Joe Wilson. It reviewed Don's life of service to the blind of the state and listed his many honors. President Maurer presented Don a Louis Braille medal in gold, one of only 300 struck by the Mint of France. The South Carolina House and Senate both passed resolutions, and the governor proclaimed September 18 as Don and Betty Capps Day. President Maurer keynoted the event, and Governor Robert McNair, who was governor of the state in 1963 when the commission for the blind was established, also spoke. All in all, the celebration was memorable. Congratulations to both Don and Betty Capps.

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.

Book Available:

Jalil Mortazavi, journalist and former radio talk show host, has written a witty and informative book. Using humor and in some places sarcasm, Jalil describes some of the difficulties he faced being totally blind and, to add an extra element of trouble, not having English as his native language as he attended college and made a life and career for himself in the Boston area. This book provides hope and inspiration to people throughout the blind and visually impaired community as well as to anyone working with or close to blind or visually impaired people.

This book is available in print, in Braille, or on cassette. Contact Maryann at (850) 425‑5250 or by e-mail at <[email protected]>.

Electronic Books:

John J. Dragona writes to say: Original novels are now available on PC-formatted diskettes at prices much lower than you would pay in book stores. With eBooks already riding the wave of the future, there is no longer any reason for bulky paper books or cassette tapes that must be returned to your lending library. And they can be easily read with a voice synthesizer. For descriptions of the books in our current, growing list, e‑mail <[email protected]>.

2004 Jett Enterprises Catalog Available:

Jett Enterprises announces the September 1 arrival of its 2004 catalog. Not only do they have products for the blind and visually impaired, they carry guide dog and pet items, jewelry, kitchenware, and gifts for all occasions. 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., Pacific Time. For an e‑mail catalog send your name to <[email protected]>. Visit their Web site <>. To order a Braille catalogue, send $10 to Jett Enterprises, 2710 Golondrina Way, Palm Springs, California 92264. A $5 credit will be given on the first Braille catalog order.

Post-Summit Update:

The 2003 NAC map.   The solidly filled-in states have more than one NAC-accredited agency.  Those with cross-hatching have only one, and those that are completely fill-free enjoy a NAC-free environment
The 2003 NAC map. The solidly filled-in states have more than one NAC-accredited agency. Those with cross-hatching have only one, and those that are completely fill-free enjoy a NAC-free environment

December 13 and 14, 2002, The National Accreditation Council for Agencies Serving the Blind and Visually Impaired (NAC) conducted what it characterized as a summit to determine the future of accreditation in the blindness field. The most important item on the agenda was actually an effort to reinvigorate NAC, but ten months later NAC has lost still more ground. Here are the lists of states having more than one NAC-accredited agency, those with only one NAC agency, and those free of NAC's incursions:

* States with more than one NAC: Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Michigan, and Ohio

* States with one NAC: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Indiana, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Missouri, New Hampshire, New York, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, and Washington

* States with no NAC: Alaska, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming

 As you can see, this last list continues to grow. We who advocate the virtues of a NAC-free environment might do well to encourage yet another summit. From our point of view the last one certainly seems to have been a success.

Home Business Opportunity:

Large international organization affiliated with giant Japanese company seeks representatives. For screening interviews call Paul Gabias toll-free at (877) 769‑7612.

Resignation Announced:

Ruby Ryles
Ruby Ryles

Dr. Jo Ann Dauzat, Dean of the College of Education at Louisiana Tech University, regrets to announce the resignation of Dr. Ruby Ryles from the university.

"We in the College of Education, and particularly the Institute on Blindness, appreciate the years of service Dr. Ryles has given to the academic programs aimed at improving the lives of blind people in Louisiana and across the nation. Dr. Ryles was instrumental in creating the unique and high-quality program in collaboration with the Louisiana Center for the Blind. She will be sorely missed by her colleagues, students, and friends. Dr. Ryles has our best wishes as she pursues her career in other venues."

The Master's of Education with Certification in Teaching Blind Students Program will remain a part of the Professional Development and Research Institute on Blindness. Questions regarding the TBS program can be directed to the institute's director, Ron Gardner, at (318) 257-4554.

Ron Gardner has appointed Dr. Ron Ferguson as the coordinator of the Orientation and Mobility Program. Any questions about the O&M Program should be directed to Dr. Ferguson at (318) 257-4554 or e-mail at <[email protected]>.

We too regret Ruby Ryles's decision and wish her the very best, knowing that, wherever she goes, blind people will benefit from her involvement.

In Memoriam:

On Friday, June 13, 2003, William Lynch died quietly at his home. Mr. Lynch founded the Chicago Guild for the Blind in 1947 and continued to work closely with it until he retired. He was eighty-four at the time of his death.

VISION Resource List Available:

VISION Community Services, a division of the Massachusetts Association for the Blind (VCS), announces publication of the eighteenth edition of its popular VCS Resource List. More than 100 items, many free of charge, gathered nationwide, are listed. The items are available in a range of formats, including print, large print, Braille, and cassette. Not every item is available in all formats. Web sites are provided for many of the organizations listed.

Categories include eye diseases and conditions, consumer organizations, electronic reading and computer aids, financial resources, large-print resources, Massachusetts agencies/services, recreation resources, resources for children and parents, and a wide range of general brochures. Many of the items on the VCS Resource List have been recorded on cassette for people who can no longer read print and who do not read Braille. All cassettes are two-track.

The VCS Resource List is available in single copies free upon request, in large print, cassette, or on disk. Order from VISION Community Services, 23A Elm Street, Watertown, Massachusetts 02472. Call (617) 923-2790 and leave a message; be sure to specify the format. The list is also available on the Web site at <>.

Adoptive Families Needed for Vision-Impaired Children:

The World Association for Children and Parents (WACAP) is seeking loving adoptive families for beautiful waiting children from around the world. Currently we have fourteen children with various forms of vision impairment that range from mild to significant.

 WACAP has been placing children in loving adoptive homes since 1976. We have adoption programs in six countries, including China, Korea, India, Russia, Thailand, and the United States. Financial assistance is available for the adoption of waiting children. Please contact WACAP's Family Finders Program at (206) 575-4550 or <[email protected]> for more information.

Web Access by Phone:

Philmore Productions Net‑By‑Phone allows access to the Internet using only a touch‑tone phone. Users can send and receive e-mail, browse Web pages, and browse and post to Usenet newsgroups. Information is read to the user with a computerized voice. Our service plans include one for $24.95 per month, which includes five hours per month on our toll‑free number, or $29.95 per month for unlimited time on our Chicago number. For more information visit our Website at <> or call (877) NET‑BY‑PHONE (1‑877‑638‑2974). Contact Phil Scopes, President, Philmore Productions.

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.

Attention Drug Counselors:

I would like to contact anyone who is a drug counselor and has passed the national certification examination. Please send your name and phone number to Marleen O'Neill, 718 Eagle Avenue, Apartment E, Alameda, California 94501-2150, (510) 769-6408, <[email protected]>.

Support Canes Available:

White support canes with rubber tips and red bottoms are available for purchase at $15 each including shipping. The cane can be cut to your size at no extra charge. Allow two weeks for delivery. Contact Stan Novak Company, 79-11 214th Street, Bayside, New York 11364, phone (718) 464-8196, fax (212) 664-4245.

For Sale:

Asking $140, including shipping and handling, for a Braille labeler. Contact Tina Hubley at (207) 448-2719. Her address is 85 Bancroft Road, Apartment 12, Danforth, Maine 04424.

For Sale:

Braille and taped cookbooks, Braille hymnals, Braille music and poetry books, a cassette dictionary, various other Braille books, slates and stylus, abacus, cassette mailers, Braille notebooks, etc., for sale. Please contact Geneva Ann Maiden, 3526 Highway 42 West, Carrollton, Kentucky 41008.

For Sale:

Type 'n Speak, less than one year old, includes everything but the packaging, asking $600. Type 'n Speak, about two years old, voice output can only be used with headphones; would need to contact manufacturer for repairs, but the fees would be minimal, asking $400.

Braille Lite 2000, two years old, three dots on the Braille display do not work; would need to contact manufacturer for repairs, asking $700. Disk drive for notetakers, less than a year old, asking $200 ($175 if purchased with a notetaker).

The above prices are negotiable. Contact Kayla at (877) 237-4087.

For Sale:

Type Lite 40 from Freedom Scientific. Works wonderfully with very nice voice and lots of memory, about 12 megabytes and up to 2 gigabytes possible add-on memory. Can use as a notetaker or forty-cell Braille display. Accessories included. Must sell. Please e-mail James Lumen at <[email protected]>.

For Sale:

Three-year-old Sony VAIO laptop computer with adaptive software for sale. Comes with Windows 98; Microsoft Word; 600 MHZ; 9 gig hard drive; floppy and DVD-ROM drives; and serial, parallel, and 2 USB ports. I am including the Sony VAIO leather carry case and external CD burner (without software).

If interested, call Bill at (973) 429‑1301 or e-mail <[email protected]>.

For Sale:

Brand new PowerBraille 80 in its plastic wrap with one-year warranty‑‑save $4,000. Unisys Corporation purchased this unit for an employee, but a merger forced a layoff, so we are selling to someone who needs it but can't pay full price. Asking $7,850. E-mail CJ Sampson at <[email protected]>.

For Sale:

Linda Rhinehart wishes to sell a Reading Edge used as a stand-alone unit, or with a special cable, not included, it can be used with a computer system to read documents aloud. It scans both typewritten and printed materials and uses a small keyboard. Asking $500. It's in excellent condition and comes with a cassette tutorial. For more information call (717) 632‑4060 or e‑mail <sweet‑[email protected]>.

For Sale:

Type 'n Speak with all attachments, asking $500. Contact Sondra Williams, 315 N. 12th Street, Canon City, Colorado 81212, or call (719) 275-8829.

For Sale:

Brand New Braille Lite Millennium‑20, less than one hour's use. Only one file has ever been saved on the system. Purchased for a child who now has to use a BrailleNote. Make an offer to Al or Heather Stevenson at (706) 364‑6179, Cell, (706) 284‑7735.

For Sale:

APH Color Tester, model #99003, with case, adaptor, and print and cassette instructions. Never used. Asking $350. Please call Larry at (281) 444‑0907 or e-mail <[email protected]>.


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.



The Bridge to Braille

The Bridge to Braille

Reading and School Success for the Young Blind Child

     Carol Castellano                                                                                      Dawn Kosman

Illustrated by Lynne Cucco

The Bridge to Braille is a practical, step-by-step guide that shows parents and teachers how to help blind children progress from early literacy experiences all the way to full participation in the classroom.  This book demystifies the education of blind children and enables parents and teachers to give ordinary help with spelling, homework, reports, and projects to children who happen to be blind.  Topics included in the book:

Adapting Materials                    Beginning Braille Reading                  Doing Math in Braille
A Quick Braille Lesson         
    Braille Writing in the Classroom         Resources
Using Technology                    Independence in the Classroom         About Braille Books

“Now I understand what to do to get my son off to a good start in school.  Parents need this information right from the beginning, when their blind child is a baby.”
- Amy Kaiser
Parent of a blind child

“A much-needed adjunct to the information shared by a busy Braille teacher...The Bridge to Braille should be in the hands of every teacher who is going to have a blind student in class!”
- Debbie DeHaven
First Grade Teacher

The Bridge to Braille is available from:
National Organization of Parents of Blind Children

Order Form

Name______________________________ Phone (     )______________


City_____________ State___________ Zip _________

The Bridge to Braille    Quantity ______ @12.00 +$5.00 (S&H) = __________ (Total Due)
Make check or money order payable to NFB and mail with this form to:
Materials Center, National Center for the Blind
1800 Johnson Street, Baltimore, MD  21230-4998
Phone: (410) 659-9314
E-mail: [email protected]
Web site:

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