Braille Monitor                                                                               July 2006


Monitor Miniatures

News from the Federation Family

Tribute from President Bush:

On May 11, 2006, President George W. Bush was the first sitting president of the United States to address the graduating class of a community college. He spoke to the graduates of Gulf Coast Community College. During his remarks he referred to Kendrick Kennedy, a member of the class and a member of the 2005 NFB scholarship class. This is what President Bush said:

Earlier today I met one of your classmates who represents the character necessary for the Gulf Coast to succeed. Kendrick Kennedy grew up here in Biloxi. He's a proud graduate of Biloxi High. At age thirty, an illness caused Kendrick to go blind, and eventually he lost his job. So he decided to come to this college. He recorded each of his lectures on tape and scanned his books into a computer program provided by the school that reads them aloud. When the hurricane hit, Kendrick opened his home to family members in need, and he returned to school as soon as possible.

Today this good man is graduating at the top of his class, and he hopes to attend law school one day. [applause] Here is what Kendrick said: "I'd be dawgoned if I was going to let Hurricane Katrina stop me." [laughter and applause] "I thought, ‘You started school when you were blind, and you can overcome this hurricane.''" Kendrick is right--and today we honor his inspiring example. [applause]

Congratulations and good luck to Kendrick Kennedy, president of the Gulf Coast Chapter and a member of the board of directors of the NFB of Mississippi.

Attention Those Interested in Editing:

The time has come to begin looking for an associate editor for the Braille Monitor. If you are a knowledgeable member of the NFB, have a good grasp of grammar and punctuation, write well, and are committed to improving the lives of blind people, you may be the person we are looking for. Send letters of inquiry, including your resumé and a writing sample, to Barbara Pierce, National Federation of the Blind, 1800 Johnson Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21230. If you have questions, call her at (440) 775-2216, or email her at <>.

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.

Braille 2006 NCAA College Football Schedule:

Available again this year with 119 Division 1A and some requested Division 1AA teams. Included will be the results of the 2005-2006 bowls, the AP top twenty-five final polls, the 2006-2007 bowl schedule, and much more.
The cost of this year's schedule is $10. Make checks payable to Allen H. Gillis and send to him at 302 Schaeffel Road, Cullman, Alabama 35055; phone (256) 734-4047; email <>.

An Opportunity to Cruise:

VIEW International Foundation is partnering with Cruise Planners and Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines to offer a seven-night, eight-day cruise in the western Caribbean aboard the Legend of the Seas January 6 to 13, 2007.


Day 1--Tampa, Florida, board the Legend of the Seas
Day 2 at sea
Day 3--George Town, Cayman Islands
Day 4--Costa Maya, Mexico
Day 5--Belize
Day 6--Cozumel, Yucatan, Mexico
Day 7 at sea
Day 8--Tampa, Florida

Stateroom Types Available and their Prices
Ocean View $899.00 per person
Interior $809.00 per person

Prices include the cruise, all port charges, taxes, government fees, and prepaid gratuities valued at $70 per person; third and fourth passenger rates are not guaranteed until deposit is made. A deposit of $250 per person is required to hold space.

Royal Caribbean can accommodate most special needs for its blind guests. Accommodations include Braille and large-print menus, service animals allowed onboard (a four-foot-by-four-foot wooden box with cypress mulch is provided), Braille and tactile signage, Braille elevator buttons and audio call signals, daily cruise compasses available in large print and Braille, cruise services directories available in Braille, and early boarding available for orientation tours. Other needs can also be accommodated such as special diet, accessibility with wheelchairs, and dialysis. You'll need to talk to our travel agent Sue for details (see below), and we'll arrange to have your needs handled by Royal Caribbean's special needs department.

Each port of call has a variety of tours available. These should be booked in advance at an additional cost. Have you ever wondered what a sea turtle feels like? How about a dolphin? Have you ever been to a Mayan temple or a coastal town in Mexico? These and other touching experiences await you.

For more information click on the link <>. Scroll down the page until you see "VIEW International." Click on that link and use the login ID of "view2007" to get you into our secured Web site for information and registration for this exciting vacation. We expect and invite your questions. Please call Susan Yanaros at Cruise Planners anytime, (800) 847-3460. Let's talk soon.
The mission of VIEW International Foundation is to make the world more accessible. Currently VIEW seeks to accomplish its mission by creating tactile books and three-dimensional models and facilitating hands-on experiences. There is no better way to learn about this part of our world than to experience it firsthand. For more information about View International Foundation contact Robert Jaquiss, executive director, phone (318) 396-1853; email <>.

BSC Games:

BSC Games, a subdivision of LLC, specializes in creating accessible computer games for the blind or visually impaired. The company's owner, Justin Daubenmire, who is blind, oversees all the work of the company's dedicated programmers, sound engineers, content writers, sales support, technical support, technical writers, marketing, and beta testers--all of whom are blind or visually impaired. Daubenmire's deep respect and personal identification with this community fuels his desire to bring games to the visually impaired.

Currently BSC Games offers three action-packed arcade games, several educational games, and several freeware games. Troopanum 2.0, Pipe2 Blast Chamber, and Hunter are the company's hottest titles. Each game comes with accessible game documentation, a simple keyboard interface to play the game, optional joystick or gamepad support, a set of rich stereo sound effects, fully produced music, ability to post your score across the Internet to the company's top ten score charts for worldwide competition, and the ability to play the games at three levels of difficulty: easy, normal, or insane.

For more information on BSC Games, visit the company's Web site at <>, or phone the sales office at (559) 224-2436 Monday through Friday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., PDT, or reach them by email at <>.

Scholarship Program for Visually Impaired High School Students:

The Jewish Guild for the Blind offers an annual scholarship program for college-bound legally blind high school students. Applications will be accepted from students at the start of their senior year, with recipients selected and scholarships awarded later in that academic year. The program will award twelve to fifteen scholarships of up to $15,000 each. Requirements include completion of the GuildScholar application form online, proof of legal blindness, proof of U. S. citizenship or legal residency, documentation of academic achievement, three letters of recommendation, and a personal statement. Applications and supporting documents must be at the Guild by September 15. Scholarship recipients will be announced by mid-December and scholarships awarded by June 15. The application process is online. The recommendations and personal statement must be submitted electronically as a Microsoft Word document; other supporting information may be submitted in Word, PDF, JPEG, or TIFF format.

To apply for the scholarship, log on to <>. For more information about the scholarship, email questions to <>.

World's Fastest Skier Is Blind:

Readers of the Voice of the Diabetic will recognize the name, Dr. Peter J. Nebergall, who has contributed to that publication for years. He recently sent the following brief news story to the Braille Monitor:

Kevin Alderton from Dartford, Kent, England, is the world's fastest downhill speed skier. He believes he might someday reach 130 mph.

"You have to have a streak of lunacy in you to even attempt something like this," says the thirty-four-year-old former soldier. "I channel my fear into determination, and that's what's going to get me down today."

Kevin set the world record, 100.94 mph, on a course at Les Arcs, in France.

Kevin, who was blinded by a gang attack when he went to help a woman in 1998, has about 4 percent vision. He navigates his courses using a helmet radio and a friend who guides him down the hill--but not from alongside, for who could keep up?

"If I can inspire somebody to do something they would not normally do, my aims have been achieved. I'm not doing this just for fun," he says. Kevin is more than just the world's fastest blind skier; he's the world's fastest skier--period.

(Thanks to BBC Online, 14 April 2006, for the information.)

Pen Friend Wanted:

Juma Bakari Mwishaha is looking for a pen friend. He is thirty-four and a journalist. He writes Braille and is working to improve his English. He reads the Braille Monitor. His hobbies are exchanging letters and ideas with people around the world, listening to news, sports (goalball), and traveling. You can correspond with him by sending letters to Juma Bakari Mwishaha, P.O. Box 90387, Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania.

2006 Dart Tournament:

The sixth biennial Harold Schlegal dart tournament will be hosting its audio dart tournament the weekend of October 6 to 8, 2006. The tournament will take place at the Best Western, 875 Greentree Road, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15220. Reservations must be made by September 18 by calling (412) 922-2707. For further details call Gene Barton at (412) 341-0114 or Joe Wassermann at (412) 687-5166.

Attention Alumni of the Western Pennsylvania School for Blind Children:

The Alumni Association of the Western Pennsylvania School for Blind Children will hold its reunion on the weekend of August 11 to 13, 2006. The reunion will be held at the school in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. For details call JoAnna Berkovic (412) 683-1798.

Interviewees Needed:

I am a graduate student in sociology at Rutgers University conducting an interview study for my dissertation on the visual attribution of sex (maleness and femaleness). I would like to interview a small sample of blind people for the project to explore how sex is attributed when it is not seen. Participation involves a one-to-two-hour interview at a time and place of the respondent's choosing. Interviews will be in person if interviewees live within a two-hour drive of New York City. They will be by instant messaging or email if that is possible or by phone for those who live farther away. If you or someone you know might be interested in participating or hearing more about the study, my contact information is Asia Friedman, phone (917) 554-4782; email <> or <>.

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:

I have a BrailleNote 32 notetaker for sale. It is running Keysoft version 3.06 and Windows operating system 2.12. Asking $2,100 or best offer. I would also be willing to accept payments. Please contact James Konechne by phone at (605) 680-4740 or by email at <>.

For Sale:

Like new Freedom Scientific Braille Lite M20 notetaker with Braille keyboard and twenty-cell, eight-dot Braille display; modem; programmable Whiz Wheels; and speech output. Comes with print and tape manuals, 512MB Compact Flash, carrying case with shoulder strap, AC adapter, and serial port connector cable. Ships in original box. Used only three times; in perfect condition. Retails for $3,700; selling for $2,900 or best offer plus shipping.

Also for sale: brand new Perkins standard Braillewriter with dust cover. Never used; in perfect condition. No manuals or original box. Retails for $640; selling for $400 or best offer plus shipping. Purchase of these items will benefit blind cancer patient.
Contact Erika Rockwell at (804) 662-9793 or <>.

For Sale:

Helping Hands Braille Ministries, Inc., has a gently used PowerBraille 80 refreshable Braille display for sale. It includes the Braille user's guide and all necessary cables and cords for hookup. Asking $5,000 or best offer. This display normally costs about $10,000.
Contact Christina Oakes, email <>; phone (616) 243-0468; cell phone (616) 307-0596.

For Sale:

I am selling the following three items:

1. A Braille Lite 2000. This is an unused, straight-out-of-the-box, two-pound personal organizer, complete with speech output and a forty-cell Braille display. It can do everything from word processing to Internet access and email retrieval. Comes with a multi-volume Braille manual. Asking $1,300.

2. SuperBraille. This is a combination laptop computer and personal notetaker. It is complete with a speech synthesizer and a forty-cell Braille display and hosts such other standard features as floppy drive, CD-ROM, and QWERTY keyboard. Comes with heavy-duty carrying case and online user's manual. Asking $1,000.

3. Eureka 4a. This is a portable notetaking device from Australia. It uses a six-dot Braille keyboard and has synthesized-speech output. Comes with cassette album containing the operations manual. Asking $300.

If you are interested in any of these items, contact Dennis Farro at cell (803) 979-2720, home phone (516) 825-5815, or email <>. Sorry, but I cannot accept installment payments.

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.