As we went to press, we learned that our dear friend and colleague, Ray McGeorge, died peacefully after a short illness, on Friday morning, June 18. As a young husband and father Ray served as president of the Colorado affiliate. Later he regained much of his vision, and, when his wife Diane began to exert leadership in the Denver chapter and Colorado affiliate, he was always to be found at her side supporting her and in his quiet way working and encouraging everyone around him.
In later life Ray again became blind and was a role model for older students at the Colorado Center for the Blind, where he taught classes and inspired seniors to get back into life and enjoy themselves. NFB events and activities without Ray’s humor and steady good sense are almost inconceivable. In our shared grief we embrace Diane, their grandson Michael, and Ray’s hundreds of friends at this time of sorrow and loss. We will all deeply miss our brother and friend Ray McGeorge.
On May 8, 2010, the National Federation of the Blind of South Dakota elected the following officers during its state convention in Mitchell: Ken Rollman, president; Kathleen Nelson, second vice president; Wayne Lyons, treasurer; and board members, George Nelson, Wayne Erickson, and Sue Fioch.
If you didn't have an opportunity to examine and purchase T-shirts from the NFB's Deaf-Blind Division during convention, you are invited to contact Burnell Brown at <[email protected]> for additional details about remaining colors and sizes.
In January 2010 the National Federation of the Blind River Valley Chapter of Fort Smith, Arkansas, elected the following officers: Gary Hall, president; Dava Kelly, vice president; Darlene Worley, secretary; Della Plum, treasurer; and board members, Neda Denadle and Freddy Wilky.
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.
Handmade Bath and Body Products:
Are you looking for a way to treat yourself or to give a gift to someone special? Find whatever you're looking for in my extensive line of custom-made soaps, bath salts, shower gel, hand soap, shampoo, bubble bath, lotion, body splash, lip balm, and scented jar candles. In soaps I have shea butter, olive oil, and goat's milk, all of which are good for the skin. I have molds in flower, animal, nautical, fantasy, and basic shapes. My bath products come in four- or eight-ounce bottles. Scents range from floral (rose, lavender, or honeysuckle) to fruit flavors and other edible varieties. I also have a selection of flavored lip balms. Candles are eight-ounce jars and have a burn time of up to fifty hours. Prices are affordable, ranging from $2 to $7 per item. For further information, write to <[email protected]> or call (952) 236-7517.
Materials Needed in Malawi:
Stephanie Pieck collects four- and two-track commercial audio cassettes and Braille and large-print books and magazines. She also collects Braille and large-print children's picture books, slates, folding canes, games, and educational materials. She forwards these materials to a bishop in Malawi, Africa, to distribute to blind adults and children. Stephanie also teaches Braille correspondence music courses, and she has composed music recorded on CDs for sale. For further information about either of these initiatives, contact Stephanie at 1371 Kings Road, Schenectady, New York 12303; (518) 464-0484; <www.themusicsuite.net>
Honorary Degree Awarded:
Salus University honored Mr. Lawrence F. Campbell, president of the International Council for Education of People with Visual Impairments (ICEVI) with the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters at its commencement on May 23 at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia. Introduced by his friend and colleague Dr. Kathleen M. Huebner, associate dean of the College of Education and Rehabilitation, Mr. Campbell spoke to the graduates about his first experience with a person with a visual impairment. He told the audience about Mrs. Harrison of Jamaica, a blind woman who was a prisoner in her own home, dependent upon the kindness of her neighbors for food and water. At the time Mr. Campbell was a new graduate and an inexperienced Peace Corps volunteer, but, as he worked with Mrs. Harrison on his own time, together they taught each other. Mr. Campbell spoke to the graduates about how his experience in Jamaica changed the direction of his life, convincing him to work with people who had visual impairments, something he had not considered before meeting Mrs. Harrison, who today is the owner of three stores in Jamaica and has enjoyed an independent life for many years.
Since his Peace Corps service Mr. Campbell went on to earn a master of education degree in special education and is regarded as a valuable resource among those who work with blind and multiply impaired people. In addition to being its president, Mr. Campbell is currently chairperson of the ICEVI Global Task Force on Education for All Children with Visual Impairment and a member of the executive committee of the World Blind Union. A founding member of Vision Alliance, a consortium of three global umbrella organizations for prevention, education, and rehabilitation of the blind and visually impaired, Mr. Campbell also has significantly increased collaboration and recognition by intergovernmental organizations (e.g., UNESCO, UNICEF, WHO) and international nongovernment organizations.
Best Math Tool:
The following brief reference to our own Dr. Abraham Nemeth appeared in the June-July issue of Reader's Digest on pages 124 and 125. It appeared as part of a series on the best Americans. Here is the story:
Abraham Nemeth loved his high school math classes. But, born blind, he couldn’t read the textbooks—at the time there was no Braille code for numerical equations. His guidance counselor suggested he study psychology instead.
After he graduated from college and grad school, though, his handicap made it difficult for him to find a job in his chosen field. “My wife told me maybe I’d be happier as an unemployed mathematician than as an unemployed psychologist,” he says. So Nemeth returned to school as a doctoral student in mathematics with an emphasis in topology—and improvised a method for capturing equations as he listened to lectures. Today the Nemeth Code is a universal math and science writing system for the blind.
But why stop there? At age ninety-one, retired but still hard at work, he has invented the Nemeth Uniform Braille System. Currently under review, the system could standardize Braille codes across academic disciplines for the first time in the United States. “I’m living proof that it’s better to light a candle than to curse the darkness,” he says.
Pen Pal Wanted:
Kelly Melee, a teacher in a classroom with intellectually disabled students, including some with vision impairment, is eager to find a pen pal to help her develop her skill with the code and to learn more about the lifestyle of the vision impaired. She is currently learning Braille. Interested correspondents should contact her at Kelly Melee, [address removed].
Blind Christian Singles List:
I have recently started a listserv for blind and vision-impaired Christian singles: Christians who are not married because they never have been, are divorced, or are widowed. On this list we will share prayer, fellowship, devotionals, and friendship. If God leads, we might even help one another find the one God meant for us to meet. To subscribe, email <[email protected]>.
School for the Blind in Africa Project:
My daughters, Katie and Kristie, and I are interested in providing assistance to the Pacelli School for the Blind and Visually Impaired, located in Surulere, Lagos, Nigeria. The school serves students in grades K-10, and the school's administrator is Sister Grace Ushie. The school has many needs. My daughters have chosen to gather used white canes and used slates and styluses for the students as their way of helping the school.
My role is to get these items to the Pacelli School. As part of my work assignment, I regularly travel to Nigeria. I can have these items delivered to the school. Please send used white canes and slates and styluses to Katie and Kristie at the address below. I will take the items with me when I travel to Nigeria and have them delivered to the school.
For transporting purposes, telescoping or folding canes are preferred. Because the school serves a wide age range of kids, cane lengths of all sizes can be used. My contact information is Rick Colton, 3881 Silver Spur Circle, Park City, Utah 84098. I can be reached by phone at (435) 649-4835, or by email at <[email protected]>.
NLS Digital Reader Executive Carrying Case Available:
Executive Products has created a new soft form-fitted custom executive NLS/BPH case for the NLS/BPH digital Talking Book player. The case is made of water-resistant, durable Italian faux leather. This case fits snuggly around your unit and has a storage zippered compartment for up to three cartridges and other accessories. It can be secured in the open position by fastening the flap under the unit. In the closed position the pocket/flap protects the keys, covers the cartridge area, covers the power cord area in the rear, and protects the unit. The case enables the user to reach all keys and ports easily. It allows easy access for loading cartridges. The unit can be carried on a comfortable shoulder or hand-carry strap. The unit may be used while walking, sitting, or standing. This case fits both the standard and advanced NLS units.
To order, visit our Website at <www.ExecutiveProductsInc.com>, or email us at <[email protected]>, or call us at (818) 833-8822.
New Book Available:
VIEW International Foundation is pleased to announce the availability of a new book. This is the start of a new series which we are calling the Anne and Alex Explorer Series. The title is Anne and Alex 1996; Book One.
Anne, age seven, is sighted, and Alex, age six, is blind. Anne and Alex are to be adopted by the family of Ben and Mary Walker, who live in Forest Grove, Oregon. Anne and Alex have a series of adventures. They visit real places that their readers could also visit. This series is intended for junior high and above.
The good characters in this series adhere to traditional family values. For more information, to read a few chapters, or have an opportunity to purchase a copy, visit
<http://www.viewinternational.org/viewprojects.html>. Look for the word "Anne" for faster navigation. An electronic copy in various formats is $9.95. If you have questions, contact Robert Jaquiss by email at <[email protected]> or by phone at (318) 396-1853.
Still Fighting Law Examiners:
In our ongoing advocacy for access, the National Federation of the Blind continues to advocate for blind graduates of law schools who regularly find their ability to take the multi-state portion of the bar examination challenged by the National Conference of Bar Examiners, the entity responsible for this part of the examination. The following article, taken from the Associated Press on June 6, 2010, reports on our most recent efforts. Here it is:
Bar Examiners Don't See Eye to Eye with Blind Law Grads
by Scott Broom
Three blind law students are suing over which software they are allowed to use while taking the bar exam. Attorney Daniel F. Goldstein says the accommodations offered by the National Conference of Bar Examiners are "wildly inferior" to the programs used by plaintiffs Timothy Elder, Anne Blackfield, and Michael Witver, who still has some sight.
The Maryland State Board of Law Examiners allowed them to use their preferred software for the state-law sections but deferred to the Wisconsin-based national governing body for the Multistate Bar Examination. The three, who graduated this spring, plan to take the bar exam in July. The suit was filed Wednesday [June 9] in U.S. District Court under the Americans with Disabilities Act. The three lost sight due to degenerative disease and are not proficient at Braille.
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 unopened audiographing calculator software from ViewPlus that has never been registered on any computer. This is fully accessible software for graphic and scientific calculations, and it works on Windows operating systems. The software assists people who are blind or have dyslexia or other learning disabilities. The original price for this product was $295; I am selling it for $250. For further information contact Alfredo Holguin at <[email protected]>
I have a BookSense XT for sale for $400 or best offer. If the buyer mentions this notice in the Braille Monitor, 5 percent of the purchase price will be donated to NFB's general operating fund. The unit is in excellent physical and working order, but, as usual, all sales are final. The unit does not come with any external storage. At the time of this writing, it is running the latest firmware, and, should an upgrade be released between the time of this writing and sale of the unit, it will be installed. For more information contact Jeremiah Z. Rogers at (704) 996-5334 or <[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.