Braille Monitor                                                     November 2007

(back) (contents)


Monitor Miniatures

News from the Federation Family

We regret to report that in the convention issue we omitted the name of Christine Brown from the list of March for Independence Medallion winners. Everyone who worked to raise $1,000 or more should most certainly have been given credit, and we regret the oversight.

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 emailing her at <> or Lisa Bonderson at <>. 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.

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 thirteen 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 to Lasher Hall, 43 West Union, Athens, Ohio 45701. No personal checks please.

The New Lakes Region Chapter of the NFB of New Hampshire conducted elections on September 23, 2007. The new officers are Ed Meskys, president; John Parker, vice president; and Jane Flanders, secretary. Sandy Meskys remains treasurer.

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.

Ski for Light 2008:
Do you cross country ski? Do you want to learn? If you are a visually impaired adult who would like to spend a week skiing or learning to ski, join us in Bend, Oregon, for the thirty-third annual Ski for Light International Week, February 10 to 17, 2008.

Each year nearly three hundred skiers and guides gather together for a week of recreational skiing, fun, friendship, and fellowship. Skiers and guides come from all over the U.S. and various other countries and from a wide variety of occupations and interests. Visually and mobility-impaired skiers are matched with sighted guides and ski together for the week, working to develop skills and techniques.

In 2008 we will stay at the Riverhouse Hotel in Bend, Oregon, a small but vibrant city near Redmond, Oregon, and we will ski on nearby Mount Bachelor. The center there has fifty-six kilometers of Nordic trails and an alpine ski area. Last season there were 398 inches of snow, so we expect to have fantastic ski conditions.

Visit the Ski for Light Webpage at <> for more information. The cost for the week is $775 double occupancy and includes meals, ski passes, and transportation to the ski area. For more information contact Dave Thomas at (303) 298-0672 or <>, or Lynda Boose, VIP applications coordinator at (906) 370-7541 or <>.

Telephone Voice Service Available:
Jim Black is the owner of the Ultimate System, which he explains is set up to allow blind people to communicate by voice in a community forum. Several other systems on the market do the same thing; however, the monitoring and control of the system set this one apart. Mr. Black closely monitors the content of the Ultimate System and maintains some simple ground rules for control and order so that everyone can enjoy the services. Other features include voicemail; community bulletin boards; news, weather, and information; live radio stations; conference chatrooms; and much more. The partner carrier also provides local access numbers throughout the U.S. and Canada which are included in the service fee. This system also allows members to take advantage of contests that earn prizes. The cost of the service is $5 a month for all the features mentioned. The owner is not making money with this service. To sign up or to ask questions or tour the system, call (603) 580-9403.

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 $55 for labor (flat rate), plus parts. Because of 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 $400. The cost of this insurance ($5.50) 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 <>.

Hadley School for the Blind Launches New Program for Blindness Professionals:
In January 2008 The Hadley School for the Blind will launch the Hadley School for Professional Studies (HSPS). The program consists of twenty-four distance education courses, twenty of which offer continuing education units. A modest tuition ranging from $99 to $139 will be charged for most courses. The tuition, a new policy for Hadley, will cover a portion of the cost of each course and allow the school to continue to meet the needs of its professional students. Courses for visually impaired students and their families will continue to be offered free of charge.

Since 1997 the number of Hadley professional students has grown from three hundred to three thousand served annually. This growth is due in part to the dwindling number of continuing education courses for professionals in the field and recertification requirements.
Enrollment in HSPS begins January 7 and will be conducted online only at <>. Students currently enrolled in Hadley’s professional education program may complete their current courses tuition-free but will need to complete a new application for courses they enroll in after December 20, 2007. Tuition may be paid by VISA, MasterCard, or money order in U.S. funds. For information on HSPS policies and procedures, visit <>, email <>, or call (800) 323-4238 (U.S., Puerto Rico, Canada) or (847) 446-8111.

Invitation to Participate in a Research Study:
Blind people are invited to participate in a survey on built environments’ influences on people’s activities.

Funded by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, U.S. Department of Education, a research team from the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Universal Design and the Built Environment at the State University of New York at Buffalo is conducting online surveys examining how designed environments affect individuals’ activities. The environments being studied are public buildings, streets, and residences. Although the study is interested in everyone’s experiences, it is especially interested in the experiences of individuals with various sight conditions. Their participation is very important to the goal of this study to identify environmental design features that are usable by everyone.

If you think you might be interested in participating or would just like additional information, go to the research study’s Website at <>. The surveys will be available online through January 2008.

Change What It Means to Be Blind:
The Institute on Blindness at Louisiana Tech University is looking for people seeking a meaningful and rewarding career in the field of blindness. We offer competitive scholarships to qualified applicants for the MA in educational psychology with concentration in orientation and mobility (O&M), the MA in teaching blind students (TBS), and the MS in curriculum and instruction with cognate in teaching blind students.

Are you looking for an exciting opportunity? We invite anyone who would like to teach cane travel or Braille to blind children or adults to apply for our programs. Contact us today to find out more: Professional Development and Research Institute on Blindness, (318) 257-4554, <>, a partnership with the Louisiana Center for the Blind.

Assistance for Macedonian Students Needed:
I am a teacher of English working in a school for the blind in Macedonia. Because teaching and learning resources here are not easy to come by, I would welcome any books, magazines, games, or other items designed to help teachers and students of English. I would also welcome any blindness items in good condition, such as white canes or anything else that is no longer needed but that others could use. To send these items, you can use Free Matter for the Blind, but please consult with the post office first about the requirements for sending such items abroad. My address is Adrijana Prokopenko, bul. Jane Sandanski, 43 5 / 6, 1000-Skopje, Macedonia. Thank you.

Monitor Mart

The notice in this section has 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 product for sale.

For Sale:
Braille Note mPower BT-32, Version 7.2, with SMA upgrades. Unit has Braille keyboard with 32-cell display. Comes with all accessories and manuals in original packing plus wireless network card, wired Ethernet card, RJ-45, and storage cards. Service contract expires January 31, 2008. Asking $4,000 or best offer. Contact Harold Snider at <> or at (301) 460-4142.

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.

The Quiet Car Song
Written by Sandy Halverson
To the tune of “Found a Peanut”
I was walking down the sidewalk
Thinking of what I would eat
When I got up to the restaurant
And the friends I was to meet.

I was so close I could smell it.
Didn't have to go that far
When my life was quickly altered
By that sneaky quiet car.

I approached my destination
When my cane broke at my feet.
Never heard the car approaching--
I was lying in the street.

Heard the siren of the ambulance
As it carried me away.
Lost my hunger in the ER.
Guess we'll meet another day.


(back) (contents)