Braille Monitor January 2008
News from the Federation Family
Charles “Chaz” Cheadle, son of John and Barbara Cheadle, NFB staff members
and longtime Federation leaders, married Emily May Nugent of Fort Montgomery,
New York, on Saturday, October 27, 2007. Although rain prevented the ceremony
from taking place outside on the shores of the Hudson River as originally planned,
family and friends still made it a festive occasion as they gathered for the
ceremony in the nearby home of Emily’s parents, Ed and Patricia Nugent. Chaz’s
brother, the Reverend John E. (Cheadle) Rich of Cincinnati, Ohio, officiated.
The couple met in the spring of 2006 when they both served as crew members on
the ship, the Mystic Whaler. Chaz had been hired as the cook for a
crew of fifteen, and Emily was serving as one of the ship’s educators for the
environmental programs the ship offered to elementary school children as it
sailed up and down the Hudson. The couple lives in Alexandria, Virginia. Emily
just finished two years as an AmeriCorps volunteer, and Chaz commutes to Washington,
D.C., where he works as the director of academic programming for the Capitol
Area Living Classrooms Foundation, a nonprofit organization that provides environmental
educational programming in natural settings. Congratulations to all the Cheadles.
The National Federation of the Blind of New Hampshire conducted elections at
its November 9, 2007, convention. The following officers and board members were
elected: Marie Johnson, president; Gil Vickery, first vice president; Judy Leavitt,
second vice president; Ed Meskys, secretary; Lucille Lynch, treasurer; and board
members Julie Clark, Wayne Harvey, Donald Little, John Parker, and Stephen Yerardi.
With deep regret we must report the death on November 9, 2007, of Bryan McGeorge
from complications of diabetes. Bryan was the only living son of NFB leaders
Diane and Ray McGeorge of Colorado. Diane and Ray have expressed their heartfelt
gratitude for the love and support extended to them by members of the Federation
family during these recent sad weeks. Our deep sympathy goes out to the McGeorges.
On November 4, 2007, the National Federation of the Blind of Iowa at its convention
in Des Moines, elected four new members to the NFB of Iowa board. They are April
Enderton, Deb Kelly, Laine Steward, and Patti Westphal. At the banquet the night
before, three charters were presented to the presidents of two new chapters
and the president of the newly formed parents of blind children division.
NOPBC Anniversary Committee Needs Your Help:
We are proud to announce that the National Organization of Parents of Blind Children will be celebrating its twenty-fifth anniversary at the 2008 NFB national convention in Dallas. As we plan for this event, we are trying to contact families, professionals, NFB members, and others who have participated in the organization for their memories and stories about the ways the NOPBC affected them. We are also seeking photographs of parents and children from past NFB conventions for a picture board.
Can you help us? If you have been involved in past NOPBC convention programs
or in your state division of the parents of blind children organization, we
would like to talk to you about your experiences. Please contact Julie Hunter
by email <[email protected]>, or by phone at (800) 401-4632, ext. 216.
Leave a message, and your call will be returned.
At its November 2007 meeting, the Fairfax County Chapter of the NFB of Virginia held its elections. The officers elected were John Bailey, president; Cathy Schroeder, vice president; Carrie Schroeder, treasurer; Carolyn Ranker, secretary; and Halla Cooper and Annette Carr board members.
The year 2008 will be the tenth one of the chapter’s existence. Members report
that they have nothing to look back on but success powered by belief in themselves
and the potential inherent in everyone. This is the chapter that keeps raising
the bar on what can be done by blind people who believe in themselves.
Many of us were shocked to learn that we had lost a dear friend, colleague, and fellow Federationist, when Rosemary Lerdahl died suddenly of a heart attack on November 29, 2007. In her long career working with the blind, Rosemary's gentle, caring spirit touched many lives and helped countless blind people come to terms with their blindness and develop greater independence. Rosemary gained her empathy from her personal experience with blindness--she was born blind, but had much of her vision restored by surgery in her midteens. After graduating from the University of Nebraska, she began working at Nebraska Services for the Visually Impaired (NSVI). Rosemary learned about the Federation and embraced its philosophy when the new director of NSVI, Dr. James Nyman, a Federationist, sent his staff to Iowa in the midseventies to learn about the innovative blindness training Dr. Kenneth Jernigan had developed in that state.
From that time on Rosemary was a staunch Federationist, and the NFB's philosophy shaped her beliefs about blindness and the abilities of blind people. The Nebraska state agency adopted the Iowa approach to blindness training and rehabilitation, and Rosemary played her part in this transformation. She worked in the agency in various capacities and was director of the Orientation and Adjustment Center from 1984 to1988.
Rosemary left Nebraska when Dr. Jernigan invited her to join the National Center staff in Baltimore. She worked as the assistant director for the Job Opportunities for the Blind (JOB) program from 1988 to 1992. In late 1992 Dr. Jernigan encouraged Rosemary to apply for the position of director of the rehabilitation program at Blind Industries and Services of Maryland (BISM) with the hope that she would be able to improve services at that organization. She was hired, and her leadership transformed the BISM rehabilitation program. During her first year she reshaped the adult rehabilitation program into an NFB-style training program similar to the one she had directed in Nebraska. One of the ways she exposed her staff and students to the NFB approach to blindness was to bring everyone to the NFB's national convention every year. Under Rosemary's direction the BISM programs soon began to expand to include services to blind children and youth as well as senior citizens who were experiencing severe vision loss.
Rosemary believed that a key to creating a successful rehabilitation experience
for blind people, aside from teaching them to develop competent blindness skills,
is to enable each person to develop a "gut-level belief that it's okay
to be blind." This conviction informed not only Rosemary's work but also
her personal relationships with blind people. She dedicated herself to improving
the lives of blind people.
We can all find inspiration and encouragement in the way she helped so many overcome fear and learn the skills that lead to self-confidence and success. Her advocacy and influence in the blindness field will be sorely missed.
Rosemary had a keen wit combined with a great sense of humor. She loved to laugh—especially at her own jokes and at her many stories about growing up on the family farm in Nebraska. One of her favorite stories was about her uncle, who was a crop duster by trade. But on the weekends his job was delivering the local newspaper to the many rural homesteads by tossing the newspapers out of his crop duster plane. Rosemary said sometimes the newspaper would end up in the pigsty or on the roof or in the bushes—she never knew just where it would land. When she heard the sound of her uncle’s plane, it was her job to search for the paper, in the pigsty or not.
Rosemary loved sparkly jewelry, getting manicures and pedicures, a good glass of wine with friends, watching every Nebraska college football game every season, and eating vegetarian food. She was an enthusiastic companion who was always ready and willing to go places and try new things. Rose (as some of her friends called her) was truly that rare person who made time to listen and offered sound, logical advice with a bit of humor thrown in for good measure. A better friend could not be found.
Rosemary is survived by her daughter Angela Lerdahl and her nephew Kyle Brinckerhoff.
She will be mourned by her family and by many friends and colleagues across
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.
Maps of Canada and the United States Now Available:
Maps of Canada and the United States is a single volume of seventy-five
pages, including twenty-eight maps. It falls roughly into three sections: four
thematic maps (major cities, land forms, elevation, and climate) of Canada and
the U.S.; six maps of Canada, including enlarged maps of the Maritime Provinces
and the Great Lakes Region; and eighteen maps of the U.S. and its territories,
including four thematic maps (elevation, rivers, mountains, and economy), maps
of Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Guam.
Maps of the states and provinces combine mountains, rivers, and cities on the same map. The maps are much more detailed than those in our Atlas of North and South America. Experience with tactile materials is recommended.
Maps are generally labeled with key letters that are identified in Brailled key pages that precede each map. Five of the maps appear on facing pages, and six appear on foldout pages. Maps were created originally by hand in metal foil; the thermoform copies are sharp and clear.
Maps of Canada and the United States is bound with cardboard covers
and a multi-ring binder. Cost is $20; shipping is by free mail if eligible.
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. A number of other atlases and maps are
also available. For further information visit the Website: <mysite.verizon.net/resvqbxe/princetonbraillists/>
or call (215) 357-7715 or (609) 924-5207.
Braille tutoring available in contracted and uncontracted Braille by telephone,
email, or in person. Instruction in the use of the slate and stylus, Braille
laptops, and Perkins Braillers can be included. Instructor charges $5 an hour.
Clients should contact Edward Zolotarevsky: email <[email protected]> or
telephone (908) 470-1533.
Cancer Resource Available:
I have a copy of A Helping Hand: The Resource Guide for People with Cancer.
I will be more than happy to give you necessary information regarding treatment
of cancer, support groups, organizations that assist children with cancer, etc.
I am a volunteer for the R.A. Bloch Cancer Foundation. Only cancer survivors
can volunteer. I can give you contact information. I prefer large print or audio
tape requests. Please speak clearly. If you send your request in Braille, someone
can read it to me. Your request will be kept in strict confidence. Send your
request to Karen C. Mahone-Smith, 4433 7th Avenue, Sacramento, California 95820.
Computers for $100:
Computers are once again available to blind people for $100. Join your friends
in using a refurbished computer, 600 MHz or faster. Use your Talking Book playback
machine to listen to an eight-audio-cassette step-by-step tutorial from Bryan
Hartgen on how to use Windows and Window-Eyes. It includes using email and reading
Webpages. The computer comes with a CD drive, sound card, speakers, 56K dial-up
modem, and demo copy of Window-Eyes. A demo copy of the ZoomTech screen-enlargement
program is provided, and a fifty-page tutorial will help the low-vision person
learn or review how to use the mouse to operate the computer. If it works for
you, a full copy of ZoomTech can be sent. Keep track of your tax and insurance
files. Write letters and email to your friends and family. Keep your own recipes
and family genealogy records. An email service, Juno, and a shareware screen
enlargement program are provided. Contact Bob Langford at Texas Center for the
Physically Impaired, 11330 Quail Run, Dallas, Texas 75238; (214) 340-6328 during
CST business hours. His email address is <[email protected]>.
New Generation of Audio-Described Museum Tours Available:
Antenna Audio, the global leader in audio and multimedia interpretation, announces a comprehensive audio tour installation at the George H. W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum in College Station, Texas. The tours, which feature the voices of George Bush, Barbara Bush, and Doro Bush, will be available in English and Spanish, as well as in American Sign Language through a multimedia guide. Additionally, an audio-descriptive version of the tour will be available for visitors who are blind or partially sighted.
The tours were launched in mid-November as part of an extensive restoration project headed by Universal Exhibits in California to enhance the exhibits, attract more visitors, and better describe the President’s historic impact and commitment to public service. Funding for the $8.3 million renovation was provided by the George Bush Presidential Library Foundation.
"We are committed to providing high-quality, accessible programs to our visitors," said Warren Finch, director of the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum. "The sign language guide being created by Antenna Audio and delivered on their XP-vision™ multimedia player will empower our visitors who are deaf or hard of hearing to immerse themselves in a self-guided, interpretive tour." The audio-described tour is available on the same device.
"The George Bush Presidential Library Foundation should be commended for
its vision to offer a suite of accessible tours to its visitors," said
Sarah Dines, managing director--Americas, Antenna Audio. "We are pleased
that they chose to take advantage of our audio-descriptive and sign language
guide capabilities." The XP-vision™ features a touch-screen interface and
displays images, videos, and captioning in addition to audio. It was released
to critical acclaim in Europe earlier this year and more recently at the Walker
Art Center for the Frida Kahlo exhibition, which opened in late October. The
new handheld device and the associated software Content Assembly Tool, or CAT™,
comprise the first hardware and software platform purpose-designed to deliver
interactive audiovisual experiences to mobile museum visitors.
New Music Website:
If you want to learn to play a musical instrument, go to <www.musicfortheblind.com>. This is Bill Brown’s new Website dedicated to beginner music courses just for the visually impaired. At the site you will find courses on CD and cassette for piano, guitar, banjo, sax, ukulele, violin, flute, and more. If you already play an instrument, there are over six hundred song lessons taught in the same all-audio format as the beginner courses. Come to <www.musicfortheblind.com> and see just how easy it is to learn to play your favorite musical instrument. You can also call Bill Brown at Valdosta Music and Publishing, (888) 778-1828.
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.
I have the following items for sale: Everest Interpoint Printer with original packaging. Asking $2,500. PowerBraille 40 in original packaging. Asking $2,000. Together both can be purchased for $4,000. Contact Dr. Bradley Kadel, home phone (910) 213-5225; cell (910) 988-1850; or email <[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.