The Braille Monitor                                                                                         November, 2003


Monitor Miniatures

News from the Federation Family

In Memoriam:

Edmund Beck
Edmund Beck

Richard Gaffney, president of the NFB of Rhode Island, recently wrote:

I am sorry to announce that on Wednesday, August 6, 2003, a former president and dedicated, longtime member of the NFB of Rhode Island, Edmund Beck, passed away. Ed worked very hard in the legislative area both locally and nationally. He worked for passage of many pieces of legislation sponsored by the NFB of Rhode Island, including in more recent times our Braille bill. Ed advocated with former Senator John Chafee on the necessity for change in the copyright laws so that blind people could have books faster in an accessible format. As a result, in 1996 President Clinton signed into law the Chafee Amendment.

Ed was the president of our affiliate from 1977 to 1978 and 1980 to 1984. He did a lot to promote our organization everywhere he went. He was a true Federationist. Although he lost his sight later in life, he learned Braille and developed good mobility skills. He was always on the go until he became ill five years ago. All of us will miss him sorely.

Recorded Book Available:

Federationist Jim Omvig's important book, Freedom for the Blind: The Secret Is Empowerment, is now available from the National Library Service. Its number is RC 55216. To order, call your cooperating library.

Business, Leadership, and Superior Training Conference, 2004:

Kevan Worley, president of the National Association of Blind Merchants, makes the following announcement:

Mark your 2004 calendar for our spring conference scheduled April 13 to 16 at the Rosen Plaza Hotel, across from Pointe Orlando, Orlando, Florida. Travel to Orlando for a truly rewarding experience and receive unbelievably low room rates good from Sunday, April 11, through Saturday, April 17. You can visit with merchants, agency partners, and suppliers, and even give yourself time to relax and enjoy all that Orlando has to offer (City Walk, Universal Studios, Disney World, California Adventure, and more). Conference activities BLAST off on Tuesday afternoon, April 13, and conclude midday Friday, April 16. So, if you wish, you could travel to sunny Orlando on Sunday, April 11, and stay through Saturday night, April 17, and experience a great Business, Leadership, And Superior Training conference, BLAST `04, and mini vacation.

We will be in meetings Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. We are planning receptions, a leadership breakfast, and a luncheon banquet--a first-class training agenda. Those who attended our Nashville BLAST say that they gained much from the innovative, interactive, and informative training. We are working now to develop the training curriculum for BLAST `04. Your suggestions are welcome and appreciated. The goal of the BLAST '04 Spring Conference is to target training to meet the specific needs of blind entrepreneurs and our agency partners.

This year registration is $150 and will cover all conference activities and training materials. Those who register before March 1 will pay only $100, a $50 discount for early registration. Checks should be made payable to National Association of Blind Merchants and sent to PMB #196, 18121-C E. Hampden Avenue, Aurora, Colorado 80013.

The Rosen Plaza Hotel offers luxurious lodging at low rates: $80 for single, double, triple, and quad per night all week long. All rates quoted are net per room, per night, plus the current 12.5 percent tax. The Rosen Plaza Hotel is one mile from Universal Orlando and Sea World, and five minutes from Wet 'n Wild. It is across the street from Pointe Orlando--a seventeen-acre entertainment and shopping complex, home of FAO Schwartz and over seventy other stores.

For hotel reservations call The Rosen Plaza Hotel at (800) 627-8258. Tell the agent you are booking at the group rate for the National Association of Blind Merchants. Make your reservations now. For further information and to offer your suggestions, contact Kevan Worley, president, National Association of Blind Merchants, at (303) 306-7122, or email <>. Make plans now to join us in Orlando. It's going to be a BLAST!

New Chapter:

The Appalachian Trail Chapter of the National Federation of the Blind of Maryland was organized at a luncheon meeting held at Richardsons' Restaurant in Hagerstown on August 9, 2003. Current plans call for this chapter to serve Hagerstown, Fredrick, and surrounding areas. In Maryland the historic Appalachian Trail makes its way through the heart of this area. The following chapter officers were elected: Alan McGinley, president; Dan Barnhart, vice president; Danielle Shives, secretary; Rick French, treasurer; Becky McGinley and Sherrie Shives, board members. This chapter was organized through the efforts of Jennifer Kennedy and Richie Flores, NFB Corps volunteers working in Maryland this summer.

Loss in the Florida Federation Family:

Jim Bowen
Jim Bowen

Dan Hicks, president of the NFB of Florida, sent us the following sad notice just as this issue was going to press:

With great sadness I must report that Jim Bowen, president of the Jacksonville Chapter of the National Federation of the Blind of Florida, has died. He apparently passed away on Saturday morning, October 4, 2003, at about 1:00 a.m. The cause of death appears to have been a heart attack or blood clot. One of his sons was present and administered CPR. Jim was then taken to Memorial Hospital but never regained consciousness.

 Jim Bowen and his wife Beth were founding members of the Florida affiliate. Beth served as state president and on the NFB board of directors in the 1970's and 1980's. Jim was always there to help and support her--no job too large or too small, too important or too humble. All who knew him were impressed by his energy and commitment.

Jim and Beth Bowen were the first Florida Federation members I ever met. It is hard to overstate Jim and Beth's importance to the affiliate over the years.

 It is with this kind of spirit that Jim had been anticipating the upcoming 2004 convention of the NFBF in Jacksonville. He had big plans for this convention; I know that the leaders and members of our affiliate will not let him or Beth down.

 I spoke with Jim several times recently. He expressed his excitement about the upcoming convention and about his involvement in local politics. We talked about other things also, since Jim was a man with many interests and a great sense of humor.

 Please keep the Bowens in your hearts, prayers, and thoughts. The convention and the work of the Federation will go on, but we will all deeply miss Jim Bowen.


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.

Pennsylvania College of Optometry Scholarships:

The Pennsylvania College of Optometry, Department of Graduate Studies in Vision Impairment, is seeking people who are blind or visually impaired and interested in receiving a master's degree or certification in education of children and youth with visual and multiple impairments, rehabilitation, orientation and mobility, or low vision rehabilitation. The programs encompass a mixture of classroom, laboratory, clinical, research, and field-based learning geared toward meeting professional preparation needs in the field of vision impairment. Rolling admissions and scholarships are available. For further information contact Sharon Jackson at (215) 780-1363 or <>. You can also visit <> and click on Academic Programs.

Audio Outdoor Magazines Available:

Audio America Outdoor Magazine is a general interest outdoor magazine for individuals and families who have varied outdoor interests but limited time to enjoy them. This magazine includes wildlife profiles, heritage stories, interviews with outdoor authorities, and original music and poetry.

Outdoor Sportsman Audio Magazine is a fast-paced magazine for serious outdoor enthusiasts featuring more technical information, e.g., interviews with industry professionals, gear and equipment reviews, outdoor heritage, conservation stories, outdoor sounds, and additional information.

These quarterly magazines are distributed by America Outdoor Audio Magazine (AOAM) distributors. For more information call (888) 840-1129. The Web site is <>, email <>.

New ADA Impact Report Now Available:

"The Impact of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) on the Employment of Individuals Who Are Blind or Have Severe Visual Impairments, Part I: Elements of the ADA Accommodation Request Process" is available. This report, the first of three, examines the impact of the ADA accommodation request process on the employment opportunities of people with severe visual impairments. The monograph includes an extensive literature review of attempts to evaluate the ADA and a qualitative interview study of the accommodation request process from three perspectives: people with severe visual impairments, rehabilitation professionals, and employers. A draft of a survey that will be modified and used for the second phase of the project is also included. The report can be purchased for $20 from the Mississippi State University Rehabilitation Research and Training Center (MSU-RRTC) by contacting Kelly Schaefer (662) 325-7825; email <>.

Book Port Available:

Book Port™ is a flexible book-reading device consisting of a small, portable unit with a keypad and earphones, plus accompanying software. It features both text-to-speech capabilities and digital audio support. This means you may read electronic files (with synthetic speech) or digital recorded books (with human speech). You can even use it as a recorder to make notes about the material you read. For more information visit the APH Web site <> or call (800) 223-1839 to order. You may also contact Roberta Williams at extension 357 or email <>.

"English Braille American Edition 1994, Revised 2002" Now Available:

The Braille Authority of North America (BANA) announces that "English Braille American Edition 1994, Revised 2002" is available in Braille (# 5-35932-00) and print (# 7-35932-00) for $20 U.S. from the American Printing House for the Blind, 1839 Frankfort Avenue, Louisville, Kentucky 40206-0085. English Braille American Edition is the code book which gives the rules for contracted Braille.

A compendium of the changes to "English Braille American Edition 1994" from 1995 to 2002 is available for downloading in Braille and print formats on the BANA Web site at <>. For those unable to access the Web site, Braille and print hardcopy may be obtained without charge by writing to Eileen Curran, BANA chairperson, National Braille Press, 88 St. Stephen Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02115; phone (617) 266-6160, ext. 17; toll-free (888) 965-8965, ext. 17; email <>.

Ann Morris Catalog Available:

The 2004 Ann Morris Enterprises, Inc., product catalog is now available in large print or four-track cassette free of charge; Braille is $12. Downloads are available from <> or at <>. New items include a talking TV remote, talking sign, light gathering magnifier, two color identifiers, and much more. Contact Ann Morris, 551 Hosner Mountain Road, Stormville, New York 12582 or call (800) 454-3175.

Alaska Cruise:

Sue Slater is a blind travel agent working from home. She has arranged a seven-night round-trip cruise from Seattle to Alaska through the Inside Passage-Hubbard Glacier on the Holland America's brand new ship Oosterdam. She handles everything: all booking arrangements, meetings, a cocktail party for the group, volunteers to help with check-in and check-out on the ship and to go on tours or shopping in ports of call, and Braille and large-print cruise materials.

The dates are June 12 to June 19, 2004. Pre- and post-hotel packages in Seattle are available. Onboard cabins begin at $1,200; price includes all port charges, taxes, and gratuities.

The Saturday-to-Saturday itinerary is as follows:

Saturday: leave Seattle at 5 p.m.

Sunday: at sea

Monday: Juno 1 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Tuesday: Hubbard Glacier all day

Wednesday: Sitka 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Thursday: Ketchekan 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Friday: Victoria 8 p.m. to 12 a.m.

Saturday: arrive in Seattle at 7 a.m.

A deposit of $350 is required at time of booking. Final payment is not due until seventy-five days before sailing. To book a cabin or to get more information, call Sue at (314) 726-6893, or email her at <>.

First Blindness Web Site in India:

The Shruti Information Centre of Delhi, India, has launched its Shruti Web site <>. It is dedicated to the print-disabled of India and is aimed at vision-impaired professionals and students in higher education. It is fully accessible and, for ease of direct access, has ten sub-portals.

The Web site's first division, Text Resources, lists reading materials for the blind, including audio books, Braille, electronic texts, and magazines in special media. The second division, Information Resources, offers data on concessions and opportunities and directories of blind schools; museums; computer courses; organizations of, for, and relevant to the blind; eye hospitals; eye banks; and low-vision clinics. It also has a section on aids and appliances, a Who's Who for the blindness field (with international and Indian entries) and a glossary covering general terms and those from the world of computers and ophthalmology.

The third division comprises two online magazines to help make the blind community in India more active. Shruti Magazine, intended for adults, reports news and developments in the blindness field. It also focuses on one or more major issues important for the print‑disabled. There is an audio special using a recording of an eminent figure from the blindness field. The inaugural issue features George Abraham and how he came to transform blind cricket from a backyard pastime at blind schools into a world sport. Shruti Junior, meant for young readers, aims at developing a love of reading through stories, folk tales, fairy tales, and interesting features.

For further information write to the Web Master, Professor Vinod Sena, at <> or <>.

Audio Services Available from R.O.F. Studios:

Looking for Christmas gifts or audio services? Interested in old-time radio? Over 300 one-hour programs, digitally mastered and denoised for Radio Reading Service broadcast. To cover material cost and handling, we ask for a donation of $5 for each one-hour show or 5 shows for $20.

We also offer Top 40s songs on CD by the year, from 1937 through 1965. Any single year $5 or your choice of five different years for $20. The real deal: all twenty-nine CDs for $100.

We will restore your records, eight-tracks, and reel-to-reel tapes and put them on CD. Want to know more about us or place an order? Visit <> or call us in Colorado at (720) 334-1482.

Elementary Braille Music Instruction Available:

How to Read Braille Music, by Bettye Krolick, is available in print ($12.95) and Braille ($19.95) from National Braille Press. This book explains the music Braille symbols most frequently found in elementary-through intermediate-level music. It's written at a fifth-grade reading level, so it's suitable for both children and adults.

You can read more about this book and others available from NBP at <>. To order, send payment to NBP, 88 St. Stephen Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02115-4302, or call and charge it toll-free (800) 548-7323 or (617) 266-6160, ext 20. Or email your order to <>.

Foresight Ski Guides:

Foresight founder and president, Mark Davis (right), and his guide ski downhill.
Foresight founder and president, Mark Davis (right), and his guide ski downhill.

Foresight Ski Guides is a nonprofit organization, founded by a blind skier, designed to offer an adventurous and affordable winter sports experience for blind and visually impaired people. With Foresight you will have the opportunity to explore downhill and cross-country skiing and snowshoeing at some of the world's top resorts, including Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, and Keystone.

As a member of Disabled Sports USA and a member school of the Professional Ski Instructors of America, Foresight works hard to develop and maintain the level of expertise needed to provide a safe, professional, and affordable experience for its participants.

For a suggested contribution of $50, Foresight Ski Guides provides all participants with everything needed for a great week, including a trained guide, a lift ticket, transportation from either Denver or Eagle/Vail airport, rental equipment, and lodging assistance. Advanced notice and reservations are required. For details and additional information, log on to <>, or call Mark Davis toll free at (866) 860-0972.

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:

Three-year-old Sony VAIO Notebook Computer in Pristine condition: 650 MHZ, Windows 98 operating system, 9 Gig hard drive, 384-megabyte RAM, CD-ROM and floppy disk drives, 2 USB ports, 1 serial and 1 parallel port, PC card slot, and 56K modem. Battery and power adapter included along with recovery disks from Sony. External ACER CD burner without software is also included. This computer has been adapted for blind user. Asking $1,800 shipped within the USA. Payment through Western Union. Contact Bill at <> with questions. Serious inquiries only.

For Sale:

I have a fairly new Type Lite, purchased last January. It comes with the battery charger, serial port cables, telephone wire and adapter for email, Braille and tape manuals, and soft leather carrying case. Asking $3,995. This unit retails for $5,995. If you are interested, contact Jan at <> or call Bill (305) 987-6954.


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.


Braille Is Beautiful--
A Disability Awareness Program for Sighted Children

This innovative program teaches sighted students how to read and write the Braille alphabet code and increases students sensitivity and understanding of blind persons. The Braille Is Beautiful program targets grades four through six. However, it can also be used effectively with younger or older children, and in community youth programs as well as in the classroom.

Video Set: $50

Option 1: Includes two videos, Jake and the Secret Code (for children) and That the Blind May Read (adults), a 30-page video discussion guide and resource list with instructions on how to demonstrate writing Braille with a slate and stylus (also included in the set), and a Braille alphabet card.

Option 2: A second video of Jake and the Secret Code is substituted for That the Blind May Read.

Curriculum Program: $250|

This program has all the materials needed to instruct a typical classroom of children. It includes the Teacher’s Guide, the Video Set (Option 1), 30 sets of the student instruction book and workbook, a ream of Braille paper, 12 sets of slates and styli, 48 paperback books with real and fictional stories about Braille and living with blindness, 30 Braille alphabet cards, a teacher’s guide on teaching Braille writing with a slate and stylus, and materials and instructions for doing Braille service projects.


Braille Is Beautiful

Ship To______________________________________________________________


City, State_____________________________________________________________

ZIP____________________                  Phone________________________________

Video Set: Option 1 (LPA58V) ____ Option 2 (LPA59V) ____

                                                                   $50   + $9 (s/h) =           _____

Curriculum Program                                     $250 + $30 (s/h) =   _____ (LPA50P)

                                                                    TOTAL ENCLOSED: ___________

          ** Shipping is UPS Ground. Call for other shipping options. **

Please make check or money order payable to NFB and mail with this form to:

Materials Center, National Federation of the Blind
1800 Johnson Street   Baltimore, Maryland 21230-4998
Email:    Phone: (410) 659-9314