Braille Monitor                                                   April 2010

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This is the latest accessible bulletin board created by the staff of the Jernigan Institute Education Department.

The casino-themed, interactive bulletin board display in the Betsy Zaborowski Conference Room this quarter focuses on the five elements for success outlined in James Omvig’s book, Freedom for the Blind: The Secret Is Empowerment. The title of the board is Increasing Your Odds for Success. The green background of the board and the black ribbed border suggest a poker table. The center is a 2.5-foot square, protruding two inches from the board and angled so that the corners point toward the centers of the sides of the board. This square is the number five side of a giant die. Each of the five eight-inch felt dots features one element for success discussed in the Omvig book: it is OK to be blind, mastering blindness skills, coping with public attitudes, fitting in, and giving back. The words of each concept in print and Braille and a tactile symbol representing that concept appear on each dot. The title of the board—Increasing Your Odds for Success—runs around the entire perimeter of the die (in shiny red letters) starting at nine o’clock and continuing clockwise. On either side of the die are three hands of jumbo cards turned face down. Each hand features a picture of a successful blind person or people. The cards on the right side, from top to bottom, feature the NFB Training Center directors (Julie Deden, Shawn Mayo, and Pam Allen) receiving the Jacob Bolotin Award at the NFB national convention; NFB President Marc Maurer sitting with children in a circle at national convention; and Mark Riccobono, executive director of the NFB Jernigan Institute, demonstrating how to use a chainsaw. The cards on the left side of the board from top to bottom feature Jim Omvig, author of Freedom for the Blind, giving a speech; Dr. Maurer with a group of young people, using a grill; and Ronza Othman and Jesse Hartle, government programs specialists for the NFB, posing for a picture with former Senator Obama and Senator Durbin of Illinois. Scattered around the hands of cards are real red, white, and blue poker chips.

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