Braille Monitor                                                     October 2007

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News from the Federation Family

Appointed:

We recently received the following press release from the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services:

Steve SheltonShelton Appointed New Commissioner for State Disability Agency

Steve Shelton of Edmond was recently appointed to the Commission for Rehabilitation Services by Speaker of the Oklahoma House of Representatives Lance Cargill. The Commission is the governing board for the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services (DRS), which serves over 180,000 Oklahomans with disabilities each year through vocational rehabilitation, employment, and educational programs as well as the determination of medical eligibility for disability benefits.

An information technology professional with thirty years experience in the banking industry, Shelton has not allowed blindness caused by retinitis pigmentosa to prevent him from reaching his career objectives. After spending his childhood in Tulsa, Shelton graduated from East Central University in Ada with a bachelor of science degree in mathematics. He and his wife Barbara returned to Tulsa, where he began his career as a computer programmer. In 1985 Shelton accepted a job transfer and moved his wife and three sons to the Oklahoma City area. His family currently resides in Edmond.

Now a senior computer systems analyst and programmer with Fidelity National Information Services, Commissioner Shelton has devoted countless hours and resources to help people with disabilities achieve their full potential and improve their quality of life. “As a former client I know how critical DRS’s assistance is to thousands of Oklahomans with disabilities,” Commissioner Shelton said. “We have finite resources, so our funding must be equitably spent to meet the needs of Oklahomans with different disabilities.”

Shelton was elected to four terms as president of the Oklahoma affiliate of the National Federation of the Blind. He served eleven years on that national organization’s scholarship committee, which awarded over $1 million to deserving students with visual disabilities. The new commissioner completed two appointments to the Oklahoma Rehabilitation Council, volunteered with Boy Scout Troop #479, and currently serves as a deacon at First Presbyterian Church in Edmond.

“Commissioner Shelton’s experience as a former client and his success in the business world bring a unique perspective to the leadership of the agency,” Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services Director Linda Parker said. “We have worked well with him for many years through advisory councils and consumer organizations, where his insight into disability issues, positive attitude, and analytical approach are appreciated and respected.”

Elected:

On June 6, 2007, the Springfield Chapter of the NFB of Massachusetts held its elections for the 2007-08 board. Elected were Bob Baran, president; Kristina Constant, vice president; Basil Maurice, treasurer; Heather Doray, secretary; Bill Braese and Ryan Scott, board members; Janice Frost, trustee; and Horace Edwards, Sergeant at arms.

Whozit Slate Cases for Sale:

Support the Sligo Creek Chapter of the National Federation of the Blind of Maryland and get your unique handmade NFB Whozit slate cases. They are hand-stitched plastic canvas, with the letters “NFB” and the Whozit on the front. The backs can be done in plaid, diamonds, diagonal stripes, or a dot pattern. All Whozits are given a white cane whether or not they are sketched in black or white. Support the NFB and get your own slate case for only $15. You have many colors to choose from.

For more information contact Terry Powers at <powerst@mail.nih.gov> or call (301) 496-8584, eastern time, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. To order write in Braille, please, to 18120 Chalet Drive, Apartment 103, Germantown, Maryland 20874. Be sure to include contact information. Thank you for your order.


In Memoriam:

Larry A. McKeever, April 18, 1930, to September 4, 2007It is with great sadness that we report the death of Larry McKeever on the evening of September 4, 2007. His wife Mariam and his stepdaughters were with him at the hospice facility where he had been living for some weeks.

Beginning in the midsixties, Larry worked for a time for the Iowa Commission for the Blind, where among other duties he oversaw technical production in the library, including literature recording. After he left the commission, he and Mariam opened Des Moines’ first recording studio and talent agency in 1968. That same year he became the voice of the Braille Monitor, and he continued recording the Monitor and our national conventions until the late eighties, when the NFB established its own recording studio in Baltimore.

For many years, beginning in 1973, the McKeevers owned and operated Charlie’s Showplace, a dinner theater, in Des Moines, Iowa, in addition to producing audio advertising spots and doing other professional recording business. For a time Larry even recorded some books for the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped.

Larry was a consummate professional in his field and was devoted to the National Federation of the Blind. He generously offered his talents to the organization through the years. When he was not able to relocate to Baltimore to run the NFB recording studio, he helped to set it up anyway and trained one of his actors, Jim Shelby, who became the first NFB employee to read our material and run the studio. During other transition periods he also stepped in to read the Monitor and help hire talent. Until the 2006 convention Larry continued to attend conventions and assist first Dr. Jernigan and then Mrs. Jernigan in her suite. He also read several state newsletters, and, until he was unable to continue doing so early this spring, he was fast, efficient, and accurate in his reading. All those who knew Larry will miss his resonant voice and infectious laugh. He was a good friend and a loyal Federationist, and we will miss him deeply.

Attention Those Interested in Establishing a New Crafters Division:

Be part of this new division and help make it interesting and useful to others who want to enjoy the crafts you love. Only you can create the treasures your family and friends can pass on as keepsakes.

This division will be a place where you can find other folks interested in a variety of crafting skills and a place to share your knowledge and experience in working with others, sharing your creative ideas, and learning how to do something new. Whether you are newly visually impaired and want to know if you can still crochet, you would like to learn how to quilt, you want to find another visually impaired person who uses a knitting machine, you do wonderful woodworking creations and want to know where you can sell your items, or you would like to wholesale your hand-crafted items and need contacts to have people display your creations at trade shows, this division will be a great resource.

Please email Joyce Kane at <Blindhands@aol.com>. Include your full name, state, email address, the crafts you do, and crafts you would like to learn. Be sure to mention whether you will be coming to the 2008 convention in Dallas. If you have questions, call Joyce at (203) 378-8928, weekends or evenings up to 10:00 p.m. eastern time.

In Memoriam:

Dan Ryles, July 16, 1974, to July 7, 2007Sadly we must report the unexpected death on July 7, 2007, of Dan Ryles, oldest child of Dr. Ruby and Dwayne Ryles. Dan was living and working in Charlotte, North Carolina, at the time of his sudden illness and death. Dan’s blindness was the impetus for Ruby’s passionate commitment to the education of blind children. With his mother’s support Dan became a strong advocate for and dedicated user of Braille. Many of us felt that we knew Dan and the entire Ryles family through Kernel Book stories like “Mean like my Mom” and Ruby’s articles in Future Reflections.

The family is establishing a memorial scholarship fund in Dan’s memory. Not all the details have yet been worked out, but contributions to the Dan Ryles Braille Literacy Scholarship Fund can be sent to the Louisiana Center for the Blind, c/o Dan Ryles Memorial, 101 South Trenton Street, Ruston, Louisiana 71270. For further information call LCB at (318) 251-2891.
We all join the Ryles family in grieving the loss of this wonderful and courageous young man.

NFB Lions Roar:

The NFB Lions, an informal group, invites all members of the National Federation of the Blind who are members of a local Lions or Leo Club to join the email list that has been established to exchange ideas and share projects you have been involved with in your Club. The purpose of our group is to coordinate efforts of NFB members with Lions nationally. Our first goal is to get to know each other. Our second goal is to try to send similar signals to the various Lions Clubs about the NFB and perhaps identify some projects that are bigger than one club or district.

To join the mailing list, send a blank message to <nfb-lions-request@nfbnet.org>. In the subject field write the word "subscribe" without the quotation marks. You can also join the mailing list by going to <http://www.nfbnet.org> and looking for the NFB-Lions mailing list. You will then be sent to a page with a form to be completed; when you have done this, click on the Submit button. You will be sent a confirming message when you have completed the process successfully.

If you have questions about the NFB Lions, you may contact either of the co-chairs of this group, Lion Milton Ota, (808) 734-0612 home, (808) 295-2528 cell, email <mota@hawaii.rr.com>; or Lion Ramona Walhof, (208) 343-1377, or email <rwnfbi@qwest.net>.

The Louis Braille medallionGift Idea:

Looking for a unique and inexpensive gift for those you want to remember this holiday season? It could be the butcher, the baker, or this year even the candlestick maker. The Cincinnati Chapter still has our widely acclaimed Louis Braille key-ring medallions for sale at $5 each. One side includes Louis Braille's name in Braille along with the year of his birth; the other side shows fingers reading Braille with a print inscription, "Braille opens doors." Checks or money orders should be sent to Paul Dressell, 2714 Ruberg Avenue, Cincinnati, Ohio 45211-8118. Email enquiries to <pmd@pobox.com>.

Dean Stanzel, April 6, 1944, to June 21, 2007In Memoriam:

We are deeply sorry to report the death of Dean Stanzel of Kansas on June 21. Susie Stanzel, the president of the NFB of Kansas for many years, and Dean were married for thirty-two years until his death after a long illness. Dean was a devoted husband and father. He faithfully worked in convention registration and at the PAC table, beginning when President Maurer chaired the PAC Committee. Dean was a dedicated Federationist who believed that, whenever possible, blind people should take charge of whatever needed to be done, so he was loath to assume leadership. It took thirty years to persuade him to accept election to an NFB of Kansas board position, but once elected, he served faithfully. Dean will be deeply missed. We extend heartfelt condolences to Susie and their daughters.

Tupperware Catalogs and Fundraising Brochures in Alternative Formats Available:

NFB of Kentucky leader Tonia Boyd-Gatton is a blind Tupperware consultant in Louisville who offers free Tupperware catalogs and fundraising brochures on cassette and in Braille. Regardless of where you live in the U.S., she will mail the catalog to you, submit your order, and have your products shipped directly to you. She can also help you and your local chapter or division with a Tupperware fundraiser, in which your organization will earn 40 percent of sales and will not lose any money. If you'd like to request a catalog in print, in Braille, or on cassette or if you would like to learn more about this fundraising opportunity, please contact her by phone at (502) 594-2810 or by email at <tonton@insightbb.com>. You can also shop on her Website: <www.my.tupperware.com/tonton>.

First Call for Washington Seminar:

Circle the dates of the 2008 Washington Seminar, Monday, January 28, to Thursday, January 31. Once again this year we will be headquartered at the Holiday Inn Capitol, 550 C Street SW. The great gathering in will take place at 5:00 p.m. Monday, and we will conduct briefings Tuesday and Wednesday evenings to share information and ask questions. As usual, several divisions will undoubtedly conduct meetings and seminars in conjunction with the Washington Seminar, but we do not yet have the details of these.

We do have the information for making room reservations. The room rate for one to four in a room is $144 a night plus 14.5 percent tax. Reservations should be made before December 27 with Diane McGeorge, who is again in charge of seminar arrangements. You can reach her by calling (303) 778-1130, ext. 219. You can also make reservations by mailing her at <rmcgeorge@comcast.net> or Lisa Bonderson at <lbonderson@cocenter.org>. If you wish to make arrangements for any group activity at the hotel during the Washington Seminar, email Lisa for a copy of the form you must complete and submit by December 27. Consult the NFB Website and later issues of the Braille Monitor for further seminar details as the fall unfolds.

Are We There Yet?

Joyce Green, treasurer of the NFB of Oregon, recently sent the following little meditation:

This morning I was walking through my neighborhood on my way to church. I had passed one house and was in front of the next one when a father and his son (perhaps ten years old) exited the first house. The little boy caught sight of me and asked his father, “What is that on the lady’s head?” I awaited the father’s answer, hoping I had not been the target of a passing pigeon.

The father replied, “She is wearing a rain bonnet to keep her hair dry.”

Yes, it was a rainy day, and though it was not raining at the moment, the tree branches, saturated from a very recent downpour, drooped much lower than usual, forcing me to double over to creep beneath them.

The little boy had chosen not to focus on my white cane, which is the usual curiosity-arousing object, but rather on my rain bonnet, which was perhaps new to him. My heart swelled with hope and gratitude, knowing that, like children in the back seat of a car anxious to arrive at their destination, we as blind people are inching our way toward our destination of equality in today’s society.

Wedding Bells:

On July 7, 2007, NFB of New York member and parent division leader Christine Faltz and Gary Grassman were married in Port Jefferson Station, New York. The bride’s eleven-year-old daughter, Samantha Flax, served as maid of honor, and her eight-year-old son, Braden Flax escorted his mother down the aisle. Christine is a licensed New York attorney and certified English language arts teacher who currently teaches pregnant and parenting teens in the New York City Department of Education’s Alternative Programs and High Schools District. Congratulations to the entire family.

Mary Anne ParksIn Memoriam:

With deep sadness we report the sudden death of Mary Anne Parks, one of the promising young leaders in the NFB of Georgia. Mary Anne was a 2006 NFB scholarship winner, a member of the Georgia board of directors, and secretary of the NFB Performing Arts Division. She was working on a master’s in public policy and was part of an AmeriCorps team when she was killed in an automobile accident on August 25. She was a generous mentor in several programs and a warm friend to many. Her loss will be deeply felt by many, many people.

Hymns Plus Volume 2 Now Available:

Dr. J. Webster Smith is first vice president of the National Federation of the Blind of Ohio. His new CD, entitled “Hymns Plus, Volume 2,” is now available featuring 13 songs, including "Precious Lord," "Lord I Want to Be a Christian," "Yes, God Is Real," and "Peace in the Valley." These are just a few of the thirteen vocal selections and one instrumental arrangement of "Go Tell It on the Mountain." The CD also includes four oratorical pieces highlighted by "The Art of Storytelling" and "The Ultimate Love Letter." Fans of J.W.’s previous work will be interested to know that he considers these eighty minutes of inspiration and contemplation to be the best work he has yet done.

This CD sells for $10, including shipping and handling, and can be ordered by sending Dr. Smith a money order at Lasher Hall, 43 West Union, Athens, Ohio 45701. No personal checks please.

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.


Need a Webmaster?

Are you in need of a Website or a Webmaster to create it? I use the Macromedia program Dreamweaver. For samples of my work go to <http://www.angelfire.com/electronic2/accessible/> or <http://dolphinpress.biz>. For rates and information contact Christine at <konawebsite@gmail.com>. When you contact me, please mention how you learned about my service.

In Memoriam:

We are sorry to report the death of Ralph Sanders, who was active at one time in the National Federation of the Blind and served as its president from 1977 to 1978. We have no details about his death except that his body was discovered on Wednesday, July 18, 2007, in Las Vegas, Nevada, where he was living. Although Ralph Sanders ceased to be a member of the Federation in the 1980s, and although he sometimes expressed the view after he left the organization that the Federation did not represent the blind well, he did make valuable contributions to the organization in the period of his early participation. Ralph Sanders was often forceful and energetic. Unfortunately he did not steadfastly maintain the purposes he had espoused early in his career in work with the blind. He became controversial almost everywhere he went, and in the midst of this controversiality he lost the joy that he had once known. Because of the good that he did, we remember him, and we regret his death.

Help Make Cell Phones and Other Wireless Technologies More Usable and Useful:

The Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center for Wireless Technology (Wireless RERC) invites you to take part in its survey of user needs. The purpose of the survey is to learn about how people with disabilities use cell phones and other wireless products. This information is used to help wireless companies understand how to make their products easier to use for people of all ages and abilities.
You can take the survey online at <www.wirelessrerc.org>. To request a print copy of the survey or to complete it over the phone, please contact Lynne Broderick, 2020 Peachtree Road, NW, Atlanta, Georgia 30309; voice (404) 367-1348; toll-free (800) 582-6360; email <wirelessrerc@shepherd.org>.

Sleep Study Participants Needed:

Are you totally blind and searching for an extraordinary experience? Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston is currently evaluating the way light and behavior influence sleep and wakefulness under real-world and laboratory conditions in totally blind men and women. The research study consists of living in our sleep lab for twenty-one or thirty-four days across two visits. You will also be asked to collect information while living at home before and after each visit. The results of the research study may help to develop potential therapies to treat sleep-wake disturbances related to jetlag, shift-work, and visual impairment.

You may be eligible to participate in this study if you are totally blind and between the ages of eighteen and seventy, have no light perception, and take no prescription medications. We will cover all travel expenses for Boston and non-Boston residents. Individuals who participate in the study could earn up to $9,300. For more information contact Joe or Lisa at (888) 828-4294. You can also email Joe at <jhull@partners.org>.

Full-Page Slate Available:

Future Aids: the Braille Superstore has produced the first-ever full-page Braille-writing slate for use with standard North American letter-sized paper. It lets you Braille twenty-five lines with twenty-eight characters per line on a sheet of 8.5-by-11-inch Braille paper. (When using our new, full-sized slate to take notes, you no longer have to move the slate down the page every four lines.) Our full-page slate is made of durable plastic, has Braille line numbers embossed down the right side, and comes with a stylus. To order yours for $19.95, call (800) 987-1231, or visit <www.braillebookstore.com>.

Perkins Braillewriter Repair:

Paul Jackanin is a factory-trained and qualified Perkins Braillewriter repair person. He uses only factory parts, and his turnaround time for most repairs is three to five days. A cleaning and basic repair is $65, which does not include return shipping. He also buys broken or unwanted Perkins Braillers, and he has an extensive inventory of Perkins Braillers for sale, including standard, jumbo, and electric, starting at $325. Please call for more information: (718) 749-3774.

2008 CTEVH Conference Ready to Go:

The forty-ninth annual CTEVH Conference will be here before you know it. The upcoming conference will be held at the Los Angeles Airport Marriott from February 28 to March 2. The Ready To Go theme encompasses the spirit of this year’s conference, which will aim to provide attendees with the tools and motivation they need to hit the ground running in 2008. At the conference you will learn about the latest trends in software and new federal procedures; hear about the latest research; explore topics of interest to administrators, related professionals, and parents; and learn about the latest teaching methods and tools. If you’re ready to explore the dozens of workshops available and meet other professionals and volunteers who share the goal of improving the education of students with visual impairments, then the 2008 CTEVH Conference is for you. Registration packets will be mailed by November 1, or you can register online at <www.ctevh.org/conference.htm> after January 17. To receive additional information or to request a registration packet, please call Christy Cutting, conference registrar, at (702) 293-7625 or email <conferenceregistrar@ctevh.org>.

The Blind and Visually Impaired Voter’s Guide to Voting:

The Blind and Visually Impaired Voter’s Guide to Voting has been prepared as part of the NFB’s nonvisual election technology project. The guide explains why it is important for blind citizens to vote and how to register to vote. It is available as a Word, text, Duxbury, or audio file on the NFB Website, www.nfb.org, by typing “Blind Voter’s Guide” in the Search box. Funding for the nonvisual election technology project has been provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services through a Help America Vote Act (HAVA) grant. For additional information please contact Lou Ann Blake, HAVA project manager, by telephone at (410) 659-9314, extension 2221, or by email at <lblake@nfb.org>.

Senior Site, New AFB Website:

A major public health issue is brewing in America. Over the next two decades rates of vision loss from diseases like age-related macular degeneration are expected to double as the nation’s seventy-eight million baby boomers reach retirement age. To help prepare for this dramatic increase in the number of Americans with vision loss and to help the 6.5 million Americans over sixty-five currently experiencing age-related vision loss, the American Foundation for the Blind has created a virtual vision center that encourages older adults to live independently and productively with vision loss.

Available using a prominent link on AFB’s home page <www.afb.org/seniorsite>, AFB Senior Site focuses on common sense and daily living solutions to help seniors with vision loss better adjust to their changing eyesight. It will also connect seniors and family members to local services and spotlight the wide range of assistive living products available to people losing vision.

The site has five main sections: Understanding Vision Loss, Finding Help and Support, Daily Living, Changing Your Home, and Fitness and Fun. Visitors to the site will also find inspiring video testimonials from seniors who aren’t letting their vision loss slow them down, as well as sections on exercise and travel and recreational opportunities for people with vision loss. In the near future Senior Site will also contain message boards, blogs, and support group links designed to foster a sense of community among seniors with vision loss and family members.

Like the rest of the AFB Website, Senior Site is designed with adjustable text, color, and contrast to make it accessible to those with low vision. The site also meets Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, so blind or low-vision users can navigate the site using voice browser technology. Please send your comments and ideas for additional content to <seniorsite@afb.net>.

News from Braille Institute:

Sign-ups begin in October for the 2008 Braille ChallengeTM preliminary round. Registration forms will be available beginning October 15, 2007, either online at <www.braillechallenge.org> or by calling (800) BRAILLE. With more and more schools and agencies across the United States and Canada participating each year, the Braille Challenge has grown into a truly national effort to highlight the importance of Braille literacy. Now in its seventh year, the Challenge continues to bring students, teachers, families, and entire communities together to celebrate this essential skill.

By last March more than 325 contestants from thirty-two states and six Canadian provinces had taken the Challenge. Past finalists earned a three-day trip to Los Angeles last June, where they vied for top honors, savings bonds, and adaptive technology prizes provided by Freedom Scientific. This year’s preliminary contest period will run from January 1 to March 7, 2008, and is open to all Braille readers from first grade through high school. Preliminary contest packets must be ordered by December 14, 2007, and completed contests returned to Braille Institute by March 7, 2008. The final round will be held once again in Los Angeles, on June 28, 2008.

The Braille Challenge program was developed by Braille Institute of America in Los Angeles to motivate school-age blind children to continue their study of Braille. It’s not only fun, it also raises awareness about the importance of Braille skills to a blind student’s academic success and future employability. Contestants are divided into five age groups and asked to complete a series of exercises demonstrating their proficiency in Braille reading and writing, reading speed and comprehension, spelling, proofreading, and use of tactile graphics.

The use of standard materials for this contest will help researchers examine the development of literacy skills for students who are highly effective Braille users. Individual teachers and agency administrators who choose to host their own full-day Braille Challenge event will be given detailed instructions on how to proctor the contest, and Braille Institute will provide all the necessary support, including an instructional handbook, templates to create marketing materials, and the Brailled contest forms themselves. Once the contests are completed, they will be scored by volunteer transcribers and proofreaders from guilds and agencies across the country, and all scores will be tallied and ranked to determine the top sixty finalists eligible to advance to the final round in Los Angeles.

Last spring seventeen schools and blind service agencies from across the U.S. and Canada independently hosted their own preliminary Braille Challenge events. Groups of as many as forty blind or visually impaired students gathered to test their Braille skills at preliminary contests held in Wisconsin, Colorado, Iowa, Idaho, Massachusetts, Missouri, Texas, Utah, Washington, Georgia, North Carolina, Nebraska, Tennessee, Northern and Southern California, and Alberta, Canada. Several preliminary events for 2008 are already scheduled; for more information on dates and other details, check our Website. For more information on the Braille Challenge, call (800) BRAILLE or visit our Website at <www.braillechallenge.org>. Parents are also welcome to contact us for information on how their children can participate in this exciting event.

Resources for Blind and Visually Impaired Students Available:

Federal Student Aid, an office of the U.S. Department of Education, has a variety of resources available to help blind and visually impaired students fund their education beyond high school.

· Funding Education Beyond High School: Audio Highlights
Formerly called the Student Aid Audio Guide, this new audio release introduces students to resources such as Websites and both Braille and print publications that will help them decide what to study, what school is right for them, what to look for—and look out for—in financing their education, what career choices to make, and much more.

Audio Highlights also provides information on nonfederal sources of aid. Students can listen to Audio Highlights online at <www.FederalStudentAid.ed.gov/audio>. Audio Highlights is available on compact disc. For more information, students can call our Federal Student Aid Information Center (FSAIC) toll-free at (800) 433-3243.

The following Federal Student Aid print publications are available in Braille and may be ordered by calling the FSAIC:

Students use the FAFSA to apply for the Department’s federal student aid programs. Although the Braille FAFSA cannot be submitted, students may use it as a guide when they apply on paper, or they can use the Braille FAFSA on the Web Worksheet as a guide when they apply online at <www.fafsa.ed.gov>.

This publication is a comprehensive and user-friendly resource that can be used at every stage of the student’s financial aid lifecycle. The guide describes the three major types of federal student aid available—grants, loans, and work-study—and explains how to apply for them. The guide also includes sources of nonfederal aid. The guide is available online at <www.FederalStudentAid.ed.gov/guide>.

The Braille Bookmark contains the new Federal Student Aid Gateway Web address: <www.FederalStudentAid.ed.gov>. Students can use this site to find information on applying for aid and locating information about their federal student loan history. The bookmark also contains our toll-free FSAIC number: (800) 433-3243. Students can call that number if they have general questions about federal student aid or would like to order publications. TTY users can call (800) 730-8913.

Verbal Imaging and Touch Tours Available:

The Rubin Museum of Art, a cultural and educational institution dedicated to the art of the Himalayas, is now offering verbal imaging and touch tours for partially sighted and blind audiences. Free with museum admission, tours are one hour in length and take visitors on a journey that weaves together the culture, history, religion, and arts of the Himalayas. Group and individual tours offered. Please book two weeks in advance by calling Emilie Dufour for reservations at (212) 620-5000, ext. 345, or email at <reservations@rmanyc.org>.

Participants Needed for Research Study:

For the past ten years Rami Burstein, Ph.D., associate professor, vice chairman for research, Department of Anesthesia and Critical Care, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Department of Neurobiology, Harvard Medical School, has been studying the pathophysiology of migraine headache and the different ways to treat it. In the course of his work with migraine patients, he became interested in photophobia (eye discomfort in bright light), perhaps the most common symptom associated with these debilitating headaches. Recently his team has discovered the neural network that enables light to make the pain worse, a puzzle no one understands. To examine the validity of their findings in human subjects, they first studied photophobia in blind patients who suffer from migraine. They are now extending the scope of their studies to include photophobia in blind individuals who are not migraine patients and migraine patients who are blind and are not photophobic. In addition, the study is also including individuals with albinism who are and are not migraine patients to determine if they differ. This should help us understand the network of neurons that mediate photophobia better. In the long run a drug may be developed that will specifically block photophobia.

Dr. Burstein would like to interview people between the ages of eighteen and sixty-five who meet any of these criteria:

-Have albinism and either are or are not migraine patients;
-Are blind and photophobic and either are or are not migraine patients;
-Are blind migraine patients but are not photophobic.

Questions to be asked include: Define light sensitivity. Do you experience abnormal visual intolerance to light, or is pain induced by exposure to light? Which light frequency, e.g., blue, red, yellow, green, is most disturbing, and what light intensity, etc.? The interview should take from thirty to sixty minutes.

After the interview Dr. Burstein would like to spend time with individuals in the Boston area, if possible, for further study. They will be treated with the utmost dignity and respect, which is the standard at Harvard Medical School. If you’re interested in participating in the research study, please contact Dr. Burstein at phone (617) 667-0806 or email <rburstei@caregroup.harvard.edu>.

Braille Candy Bars Available for the Holidays:

Sweet Tooth sells a unique item--Braille chocolate bars with a choice of sayings including Happy Birthday, Have a Nice Day, Love You, Thank You, Merry Christmas, and Happy Holidays. The bars weigh four and a half ounces and can be made in milk, dark, or white chocolate and plain or with nuts, Rice Krispies, or peppermint flavoring (usually at the holidays). The bars cost $2.50 each for plain and $2.75 for nuts, Krispie, or peppermint. They are bagged in cellophane and tied with ribbons. All orders are made fresh for each customer. Orders are sent two-day priority by U.S. Postal Service. Shipping is extra.

After the order is made up, the customer will be notified of the exact total cost. Because postage is based on the weight of the package and the distance shipped, the rates vary. Payment is by check or money order only. Make these payable to Judy Davis. As the owner and operator of Sweet Tooth, she oversees all orders. Please allow five to seven days for an order to be processed and mailed. Contact Sweet Tooth by calling or emailing Judy Davis, 32 Vinton Road, Rochester, New York 14622; (585) 544-1853; <judydavis12@rochester.rr.com>.

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.

Hoping to Buy:

David Dahlin is looking for a unique four-track Aiwa Walkman that was modified in California by a blind technician. It records, plays four-track cassette tapes, has a variable-speed rheostat, and has AM/FM stereo as well as pause and fast-forward and reverse. Call him at (706) 375-9500, or (206) 478-5744. You can also email <msrdavidv@comcast.net>.

For Sale:

BrailleSense, 32-cell display. Two years old and in great condition. Comes with all necessary cords, earphones, and battery. Asking $4,200. There is a little wiggle room on negotiating price. If interested, phone (612) 822-6991, or send an email to <cjdavid40@msn.com>.

King James Translation of the Bible in Braille Available:

Richard Sammons has been an NFB member for many years, first in Texas and then in Minnesota, where he organized a chapter in Alexandria a few years ago. He is moving into assisted living and needs to downsize. He has the King James Version of the Bible in Braille to give to someone who would appreciate and use it.

If interested, contact Debra Shea, Douglas County Public Health, 725 Elm Street, Suite 1200, Alexandria, Minnesota 56308; phone (320) 762-2974; email <deb.shea@mail.co.douglas.mn.us>.


The State Department Song

Tune: “Yankee Doodle”
Words by Paul and Mary Ellen Gabias

1. The State Department keeps us out. They say that we’re not able.
They won’t let our readers in to read their secret cables.

(Chorus)
State Department, let us in. We want to serve our nation.
We will fight until we win ‘cause we’re the Federation.

2. They say that we can’t go abroad. They say we’ll be in danger.
They tell us we’ll be attacked by every foreign stranger.
(Chorus)

3. The blind have traveled far and wide to every state and nation.
We can serve in every post and every foreign station.
(Chorus)


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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