The Braille Monitor                                                                                               January, 2004

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News from the Federation Family


In the December 2003 print edition we accidentally omitted the final reference listed in the article, "A Few Notes on Buying a Computer," by Curtis Chong and Steven Booth. Here it is:

Kurzweil Educational Systems, 14 Crosby Drive, Bedford, Massachusetts 01730, Telephone: (800) 894-5374; fax: (781) 276-0650; email: <[email protected]>; Web site: <>. Kurzweil 1000 is available at $995.

We regret the omission.

Ideas for Chapters:

Paul Price, president of the North San Diego Chapter of the NFB of California, writes to pass along the following excellent ideas:

When holding a chapter meeting and playing the presidential release, my chapter uses an inexpensive set of computer speakers to enhance the volume and quality of tape playback.

Here is a fundraising idea: when holding candy sales in front of grocery stores, we enlist the local Boy or Girl Scout troop to help us sell. We put a sign up behind our table stating "The National Federation of the Blind is helping the Boy or Girl Scouts to earn their community service badges." As a bonus, most of these kids do not know how to take no for an answer. They will follow people all the way across a parking lot to make a sale.

If you have a good idea to pass along to other chapters, send it to the editor at <[email protected]>, and we will publish it in an upcoming issue.

In Memoriam:

Arie Gamliel
Arie Gamliel

Those who go back many years in the Federation family will remember Arie and Nurit Gamliel, who were active members before they moved to Israel, where Arie continued to work for the welfare of blind people and to espouse the philosophy of the NFB. When Arie died suddenly, we asked David Stayer to write a brief tribute to Arie. Here it is:

On November 30, 2003, Arie Gamliel died in Israel. Arie lived a full life. He was a true Federationist, having been active in our New York affiliate. He was a past president of our New York City chapter, a New York state officer, and a founder of the NFB Human Services Division. Arie had many interests which he pursued with enthusiasm. The Gamliels attended many NFB conventions, the most recent being Philadelphia in 2001. Arie was the kind of person you immediately liked. Arie and Nurit first met our family in 1976. The Gamliels and the Stayers have been extremely close ever since. Whenever the Gamliels visited the United States, they always visited our home before returning to Israel. We prayed, sang, ate, shopped, walked the streets of several cities, and worked to better the lives of the blind together.

Arie was intellectually gifted as well as fluent in Hebrew and English. Part of his legacy to the international blind community is his Brailling and proofreading of prayer books in Hebrew. He leaves behind his wife Nurit and twin sons to carry on his legacy. Truly we have all lost a brother.


The National Federation of the Blind of Greater Long Island has elected officers for the coming two years. They are president, David Stayer; first vice president, Christine Faltz; second vice president, George Dominguez; treasurer, JoAnn Madsgard; recording secretary, Loraine Stayer; corresponding secretary, Sara S. Berger; and board members Brad Greenspan and Melissa Resnick.

Whozit Ties Available from the NFB of New Jersey:

Look sharp, be sharp: purchase your silk Whozit tie for the Grand Opening, Washington Seminar, NFB meetings, and other dress occasions. These are embroidered Whozit ties in full Whozit colors. Tie colors are black, burgundy, gray, blue, and beige. Prices are $30 per tie or two ties for $50. Add $3 for shipping.

All proceeds will go toward the New Jersey state scholarship fund. To order, contact Joe Ruffalo, (973) 759-3622, email <[email protected]>.

Note: Many additional items can be embroidered with the Whozit logo. You name it, and we can embroider it. Just ask.

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.

National Exhibits by Blind Artists—
Thirtieth Anniversary Exhibit:

Call for legally blind artists for a juried exhibition, fall 2004, at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Slides are due by February 27, 2004. Send slides to NEBA, 919 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19107. Call for prospectus, (800) 222-1754, Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, or anytime (215) 925-3213 (voice mail).

Advice about Tactile Maps Requested:

Sylvie Kashdan is gathering information to help in a project for getting tactile maps made for the Seattle metropolitan area. She is especially interested in learning about the impressions that blind and visually impaired people have of tactile maps of other metropolitan areas. She would appreciate hearing from blind people who have used or examined the new tactile New York City transit maps. She would like to know their impressions of these maps, including how easy they find the maps to understand, how useful they find them, and whatever else people think important to note about the maps. She would also appreciate knowing about other tactile maps that people have found useful. Please write to her in Braille or print at 810

A Hiawatha Place South, Seattle, Washington 98144, or email her at <[email protected]>.

Assistant Secretary Robert Pasternack Departs:

Robert Pasternack
Robert Pasternack

Those who attended the 2003 NFB convention will remember the appearance made by Assistant Secretary of Education Robert Pasternack. It could certainly be said that we have often succeeded in establishing better rapport with other federal officials. In mid-November we received the following rather cryptic announcement from the Department of Education. It is perhaps more interesting for what it does not say than for what it does, and the tone is certainly cool. Here it is:

U.S. Department of Education
Office of Public Affairs, News Branch
November 18, 2003


On the resignation of Robert H. Pasternack, effective January 2, 2004, as assistant secretary for special education and rehabilitative services a post he has held since August 2001.

"I want to thank Bob for his service to the department and commend him for his work to improve the lives of America's 6.5 million children and youth with disabilities. `No child left behind' means every child and that certainly includes students with disabilities. Bob has been an effective advocate on their behalf, and we wish him well."

In a letter to the president Pasternack said he feels he "can continue to serve children with disabilities and their families in the private sector while at the same time trying my best to achieve the educational goals that you have set for our country."

Washington Center Scholarships for Students with Disabilities:

The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars (TWC) will provide fifty competitive scholarship awards to students with disabilities to study and intern in Washington, D.C., during the 2004 fall academic semester through a partnership with the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP).

The initiative builds on the Department of Labor's ten-year track record of providing summer internships for students with disabilities through the Workforce Recruitment Program (WRP). The new Washington Center initiative will provide young people the break they need to launch successful careers in public service. In addition the programs provide federal agencies access to a pool of highly qualified, diverse candidates to help with their workforce development needs of the future. The new TWC/ODEP partnership of offering internship opportunities in the spring and fall semesters makes student participation in academic internships accessible year-round.

The Washington Center brings together students from all backgrounds to learn about the rich intellectual and cultural diversity of the nation's capital. Applicants should be highly motivated students and recent graduates who are eager to prove their abilities in the workforce.

Students will gain professional work experience in the executive, judicial, and legislative branches of the federal government in Washington, D.C. The Washington Center will complement students' work experience with solid academic training for credit from highly qualified instructors. In addition students will be exposed to community, national, and international leaders through workshops, seminars, lectures, embassy visits, and networking events held throughout the semester.

The Washington Center is currently accepting applications from students with disabilities interested in participating in the fall 2004 program. Application materials and additional information about the program and scholarship award are available by visiting <>. The online application can be downloaded from <>.

For those interested in applying for the fall semester 2004 program, the dates are September 1 to December 18, 2004. The highly competitive deadline for applications is May 3, and the regular deadline is June 14. For more information contact the Washington Center at (202) 336-7600.

Braille Fortune Cookies Available:

Lucky Touch Fortune Cookie Company is a student-operated business specializing in special-order Braille and large-print fortune cookies. The company can customize your order to fit your event, whether it's a birthday, anniversary, convention, holiday, wedding, etc. Place your order by phone. If items are in stock, allow two weeks from the receipt of payment. Customized orders require a week longer. To order, contact Lucky Touch advisor Judith Lesner, (510) 794-3800, extension 300; fax: (510) 794-3813; 500 Walnut Avenue, Fremont, California 94536.

Improved NBP Web Site:

The National Braille Press (NBP) has opened a brand new online store, where you can purchase our many Braille products. The site is accessible, and the address is easy: <>. A help page is available for those who want navigation assistance. Each department at NBP has its own section with links appearing on the home page. To buy Braille books, including children's print/Braille books, go to Our Bookstore. You can also subscribe to the Children's Braille Book Club, read about how the press got started in 1927 (Who We Are), donate to the cause (Ways to Give), take an online tour of the plant (Braille Production Services), check out our new Braille literacy program (ReadBooks!), or discover how NBP is contributing on the education front (Textbooks and Tests). Right now we are featuring a raffle for those who visit the site; the drawing is April 1, 2004. Visit us today.

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:

Braille 'n Speak 2000. Asking $1,000. Includes AC adaptor, Braille and print instructions, and carrying case. Rarely used, has a date book and phone book program. Contact Robert Holt at <[email protected]> or (916) 723-0710.

For Sale:

Five year-old Perkins Brailler with original dust cover is in excellent condition--no broken or loose keys. Priced at $475 payable by Western Union. Price includes shipping within the U.S. If interested, please email Linda at <[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.

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