Braille Monitor                                                             March 2007

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News from the Federation Family

Elected:
The East Valley Chapter of the NFB of Arizona conducted elections in January. Here are the results: president, Mark Feliz; first vice president, Mary Hartle-Smith; second vice president, Ruth Swenson; secretary, Connie Ryan; treasurer, Tom O'Brien; and board members, Carol Scharlat and Mike Smith.

Elected:
On January 13, 2007, the following people were elected to the board of the Des Moines Chapter of the National Federation of the Blind of Iowa: president, April Enderton; vice president, Al Bickel; secretary, Cindy Ray; treasurer, Roger Erpelding; and board members, Joy Harris, Rich Ring, and Tiffany Bickel.

In Memoriam:
Patti McGahan, August 26, 1951, to December 31, 2006With deep sorrow we must report the sudden death of Patti Brown McGahan on December 31, 2006, following a catastrophic stroke on December 30. Miss Patti began working at the Louisiana Center for the Blind in September of 1990. Initially she served as program supervisor, but after 2000 she served as the director of the LCB Career Center/Special Projects.

Patti was also responsible for many outreach and fundraising projects, including grant writing. She also handled facilities management, including supervising maintenance and landscaping, decorating the building, monitoring building upkeep, etc. She was multitalented. A gifted writer, she created many brochures, promotional materials, and grants for the center. She was conscientious and always eager to help anywhere, from writing a grant to cleaning up after an event. She was dedicated to the Federation cause and worked tirelessly to help spread our message. In her patient, kind, and gentle way, Patti could move mountains. Her outstanding judgment and attention to detail were invaluable. She often handled problems without being asked. She had a gift for addressing what needed to be done and dealing with every problem with grace and diplomacy. Patti did not seek the spotlight or claim credit. She recognized that life holds more important rewards. We can be quite certain that she is now reaping those rewards, but she will be deeply missed by all those who knew and loved her.

Open Call for NFB Performing Artists:
The Performing Arts Division invites interested NFB members and other blind or visually impaired artists to submit recorded music and poetry and short story readings for our first-ever “Sound in Sight” compilation CD. The professionally pressed disc will be sold as a fundraiser for the division and will be distributed to many national press and radio contacts. Offerings in all genres are welcome.

Preference will be given to high-quality recordings of original tracks. If your contribution is selected, we ask that you donate $5 to help offset the cost of assembling the album. Tracks will be subject to a simple, nonexclusive licensing agreement. No copyrights or publishing rights will change hands. The postmark deadline is April 1, 2007. Please keep your submissions under five minutes in length. Send your best material on nonreturnable CDs or cassettes to “Sound in Sight,” c/o Brooke Fox, P.O. Box 4203, New York, New York 10163. For more information visit <http://padnfb.starcitynet.com>. If you are interested in connecting with NFB Performing Arts members to help record your tracks or prefer sending your tracks to us by uploading to an FTP, contact PAD President Dennis Holston at (917) 903-5650 or <Dholston@nyc.rr.com>.

Where the Blind Work:
The National Federation of the Blind Writers Division is creating a new, accessible, easy-to-use resource covering the various types of employment that blind people are engaged in and the way they do their jobs. This new resource is called "Where the Blind Work," and it will be hosted on the NFB Jernigan Institute Web pages. The format will be unique among existing resources; we never have enough good information on the employability of the blind.

The target audiences who will benefit from this resource are:

• blind people looking for a first job or hoping to change careers;
• employers wondering if blind people are employable in their companies;
• professionals guiding career development for their blind consumers;
• parents wondering what employment is possible for their blind children;
• members of the general public interested in learning about the human potential to live and work successfully with blindness.

To accomplish this goal we are collecting as many employment descriptions with the widest range of jobs possible, not stopping with one example of each. Not only do we all not like doing the same thing, but we wouldn't all do any job the same way. Additionally, to make this resource tool as effective and user-friendly as possible, the structure of each entry must follow the same format. In this way readers can be assured that, in moving from description to description, they will know where to find specific information, and gathering the information being sought will not be difficult.

Who should fill out an employment description form? First, our definition of a blind person is someone who functions with a significant visual deficit noticeably different from the norm and requiring alternative techniques to carry out the duties of the job. Second, we are looking for people who are now or have in the past been employed. So you can fill out forms for any or all of the jobs you have ever held.

Please email completed forms to Robert Leslie Newman at <newmanrl@cox.net>.

Once we receive descriptions, members of the Writers Division will edit them for clarity and categorize them into career groupings.

Employment Description Form

Guideline 1--The total length of a completed form cannot exceed 1,000 words.
Guideline 2--The employment description must follow these five questions:

1. What are your name and job title?
Note: If you are willing to be contacted, consider registering with NFB LINK; this innovative program pairs people seeking information or advice of various kinds with experienced Federationists.

2. What are your job duties?
Note: Describe the basic tasks anyone would be required to carry out in this job; specialized blindness alternatives are addressed in the next question.

3. To what extent are you blind, and what special adaptations do you use on the job?
Note: Consider naming your eye condition. Otherwise briefly describe it in your own words. Describe the adaptations you use, from the common-sense things you do to the formal low-vision or nonvisual alternative methods and equipment you use to perform your job duties.

4. What qualifications are required to enter this job?
Note: List prior experience needed; special training, education, or certificates required; etc. Mention where you see your employment path leading from here.

5. What influences have helped you be successful?
Note: Did you have a mentor? Has participation in a consumer organization aided you? If so, explain.

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.

NFB to Manage National Braille Transcribing and Proofreading Certification Program:

On January 4, 2007, the NFB circulated the following press release:

The National Federation of the Blind, the nation's largest consumer organization of the blind and the leading promoter of Braille literacy in America, announced today that the NFB has been awarded a contract by the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped of the Library of Congress (NLS) to conduct that agency's National Braille Transcribing and Proofreading Certification Program. The announcement comes on the anniversary of the birth of Louis Braille (1809-1852), the French inventor of the reading and writing system universally accepted as the most effective literacy tool for blind persons.

The contract from NLS was awarded to the National Federation of the Blind Jernigan Institute, the only research and training facility for the blind operated by the blind, which will conduct all administrative functions of the certification program, including the recruitment, training, and evaluation of those wishing to become certified Braille transcribers and proofreaders.

Dr. Betsy Zaborowski, executive director of the National Federation of the Blind Jernigan Institute, said: "We are pleased and proud to have the opportunity to work with NLS to implement this critically important program. We are dedicated to significantly increasing the number of qualified Braille transcribers and proofreaders, thus making Braille literature, instructional materials, and musical scores more available to the blind of America."

Marc Maurer, president of the National Federation of the Blind, said: "The National Federation of the Blind continues to be committed to increasing awareness of and proficiency in Braille. The implementation of the Braille transcriber and proofreader certification program is the latest manifestation of this commitment, which has also included the passage of important legislation mandating Braille instruction for blind children and the passage just this past summer of legislation authorizing the minting of a commemorative coin in honor of Louis Braille. Research has consistently shown that knowledge of Braille is critical to blind people’s becoming equal participants in the workplace and in their communities. The dedicated professionals at our Jernigan Institute will work tirelessly to make sure that materials in Braille become more widely available to blind Americans of all ages, interests, and disciplines."

AARP Publications Now Accessible to All Blind and Low-Vision People in the United States:
The NFB and the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) have partnered to make all AARP publications available on NFB-NEWSLINE®. Users can now enjoy AARP the Magazine, AARP Bulletin, and AARP Segunda Juventud, AARP’s bilingual magazine.

White House Internships Available:
The White House Internship Program offers an excellent opportunity to serve our president and explore public service. We are seeking exceptional candidates to apply for this highly competitive program. In addition to typical office duties, interns attend weekly lectures and tours and complete an intern service project. Interns may serve a term in the fall, spring, or summer. Every candidate must be a United States citizen, enrolled in a college or university, and at least eighteen years of age.
An application and additional information about the program can be found at <http://www.whitehouse.gov/government/wh-intern.html>. Strong applications exhibit:

Applications should be submitted to Karen Race, deputy director and intern coordinator, White House Personnel, at <intern_application@whitehouse.gov> on or before the following deadlines:

If you have questions, contact Karen Race at (202) 456-5979 [Voice/Relay] or at <intern_application@whitehouse.gov>.

Sudoku Game Board Available:
If you have been looking for an efficient way to do Sudoku puzzles tactilely, the following product may be of interest to you. It is a box with a nine-square-by-nine-square grid that fits on the top surface. A drawer with compartments for eighty-one double-sided tiles as well as tiny thinking tiles slides into the box. It is relatively easy to label both sides of the game tiles in Braille. A dot six can be added to the number on the red side of each tile in order to identify immediately the numbers provided at the beginning of any puzzle. Here is the information about how to order the game board:

Sudoku Game Board makes it fun and easy to play this challenging game anywhere. The mahogany-finished board has tile storage and comes with mini thinking tiles to help you solve puzzles. Includes one hundred pre-printed puzzle inserts so you can easily set up a new game. Use this board with any Sudoku puzzle. The box measures 10.5 inches square, so it’s easy to use on your desk, lap, or coffee table. Go to <www.brookstone.com> and order sku #548529. The cost is $40 plus shipping. Have fun.


Tactile Map of Hawaii Available:
The Princeton Braillists announce a new publication, Maps of the State of Hawaii. In addition to overall maps of the state of Hawaii, this volume includes detailed maps of the eight major islands. Each island has introductory information followed by one or more key pages and a full-page map. A general view of the city of Honolulu and of Pearl Harbor is included in the maps of the island of Oahu.

Places on the maps are generally labeled with two key letters taken from the corresponding place name. These key letters are identified in key pages that precede each map. The maps were originally created by hand in metal foil; the thermoform copies are sharp and clear. The maps are detailed, and some experience with tactile drawings is recommended. Maps of the State of Hawaii contains ten maps, fifty-five pages total. It is bound with cardboard covers and a multi-ring binder. Cost is $11; shipping is by Free Matter for the Blind where eligible. A number of other atlases and maps are available from the Princeton Braillists. For further information call (215) 357-7715 (Ruth Bogia) or (609) 924-5207 (Nancy Amick). 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.

Marking Kit for Diva Induction Cooktops Available:
Diva de Provence has introduced a tactile marking kit for its induction cooktops. “Diva’s capacitive touch controls are perfectly suited for integrating the tactile markings,” says Amir H. Girgis, managing director for Diva de Provence. “The safety benefits of cooking with induction enable all Americans to enjoy the entire epicurean experience.”

The tactile marking kit can be used with the Diva Induction cooktop and includes your choice of raised letters or Braille symbols as well as 3M Bumpons™ to help indicate the burners. Incorporating the tactile markings on the cooktop is easy. They are placed under the controls, which are activated effortlessly when a finger is slid upward over the control.

Available in three models (DDP-2, DDP-4, and DDP-5), Diva Induction cooktops use electromagnetic energy to heat the cookware only. The cooking surface remains cool to the touch, providing the safest cooking surface on the market and virtually eliminating the danger of burns. Additionally, Diva Induction cooktops deliver over 25,000 BTUs, making it the fastest, most precise and energy-efficient cooking method available.

For more information on Diva Induction or the other revolutionary cooking instruments from Diva de Provence, visit its Web site at <www.divainduction.com>, or call (888) 852-8604. Toronto-based Diva de Provence is North America’s French cooking connection to professional-grade European-styled cooking equipment.

Scholarships Available:
The Blinded Veterans Association (BVA) will award three scholarships of $2,000 and three of $1,000 for the 2007-2008 academic year. The scholarship committee will choose six recipients and three alternates. Only dependent children and spouses of blinded veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces are eligible for the scholarships. Completed applications and supporting materials must be returned to the BVA no later than Monday, April 16, 2007. Applications may be obtained from the Kathern F. Gruber Scholarship Program, Blinded Veterans Association, 477 H. Street, N.W., Washington, D.C., 20001-2694. For additional information contact the scholarship coordinator, (202) 371-8880 or email <bva@bva.org>.

Brailler Repair:
The Selective Doctor, Inc., is a repair service for all IBM typewriters and Perkins Braillewriters. Located in Baltimore, the service has done work for the Maryland School for the Blind and a number of other organizations in Maryland. They accept Perkins Braillers sent to them from around the country.

The cost to repair a manual Perkins Brailler is $50 for labor (flat rate), plus parts. Due to technical complexity, the cost to repair an electric Perkins Brailler is $60 for labor (flat rate), plus parts. The Brailler will be shipped back to you by U.S. mail, Free Matter for the Blind, and insured for $600. The cost of this insurance ($7.20) will be added to your invoice. This listed insurance charge may fluctuate due to rate changes by the postal service.

To mail Braillers using the U.S. Postal Service, send your Brailler(s) to the Selective Doctor, P.O. Box 28432, Baltimore, Maryland 21234-8432. If you care to use UPS or Federal Express, please send Braillers to the Selective Doctor, 3014 Linwood Avenue, Baltimore, Maryland 21234-5821. With your Brailler(s) please include your name and organization (if applicable), shipping and billing addresses, telephone number, and a brief description of your Brailler's needs. Should you require additional information, please call (410) 668-1143, or email <braillerrepair@yahoo.com>. The Web site is <www.selectivedoctor.com>.

Decorative covered wagon with lanternHandmade Decorative Wagons for Sale:
Handcrafted, horse-drawn wooden wagons are available for $19.95, plus $6 shipping and handling. Covered wagons are also available. Wagons are approximately fourteen inches long and can be ordered with miniature logs, firewood, or lanterns. For more information or to place your order, contact self-taught blind craftsman Richard Wiseman, (740) 384-2755, P.O. Box 127, Hamden, Ohio 45634.

 

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.

Reconditioned Braillewriters Available:
Braillewriter Cleaning and Repair Service has two fully reconditioned Perkins Braillers for sale for $300 each plus shipping. Contact Paul Dressell at (513) 481-7662 or email <pmd@pobox.com>.

For Sale:
Roger Behm has two new mPower transplant BrailleNote BT or QT 32 units for sale. They have a one-year warranty on everything, also included are a Keysoft software maintenance agreement, one 128 MB SD card, the new concise Oxford Dictionary-Thesaurus, and he will throw in a new Ambicom wireless CF card as well.

Asking $4,450 for these models plus $45 UPS shipping, insured ground. He accepts Mastercard, Visa, and Paypal. So save over $2,000 over purchasing a new mPower BrailleNote and get your hands on these units. His contact information is Roger Behm, Adaptive Information Systems, Inc., 1611 Clover Lane, Janesville, Wisconsin 53545-1388; phone (608)758-0933; fax (608) 758-7898; toll-free (800) or (877) 792-4768; email <aistech.ameritech.net>, Web page <www.adaptiveinformation.org>.

For Sale:
Dennis Farro is selling the following items:

1. 5100C Scanjet Scanner. This flatbed scanner is in excellent condition and is usable with any OCR-reading software such as Kurzweil or OpenBook. Asking $60.

2. HP Deskjet printer, in excellent condition. Asking $50.

3. Eureka A4, a portable personal notetaker with a six-dot Braille keyboard and voice output. It enables the user to do word processing, develop databases, and even compose music. The unit is in excellent working condition, having been used only two or three times. Comes with Braille and cassette learner’s manuals. Asking $300.

4. Perkins Brailler, used but in very good condition. Asking $200.

If interested in any of these items, contact Dennis Farro at (803) 979-2720, email <dfarro@concentric.net>.

For Sale:
Type ’n Speak notetaker, June 2003 revision. Case, AC adaptor, and tutorial on cassette included. In good working condition. Asking $175, including shipping and handling. If interested, contact Hal at (727) 735-0797. Leave a message, and I will call you back.

For Sale:
Two Braille music piano course books, Volume 1 and 2 by Thelma Dikeman, new, asking $40 each or both for $75. One Braille Music for Piano Beginners by Thelma Dikeman, asking $40. Step by Step Braille reading course, book 1, by Bernard M. Krebs, $30. Braille Bible author card game, $10. Large print Braille deck of cards in a box and case, $10. If interested, contact Karen (218) 729-9299 or Wendy (218) 723-8269.

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.

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