Braille Monitor                                                 October 2010

(back) (contents)

Monitor Miniatures

News from the Federation Family

Janet Campbell, general manager, Audio-Reader/KPR, presents the 2010 C. Stanley Potter Lifetime Achievement Award to David Andrews.David Andrews Honored:

David Andrews, longtime Federationist, manager of virtually all NFB Internet lists, and   chief technology officer for Minnesota State Services for the Blind, received the 2010 C.  Stanley Potter Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Association of Audio Information Services (IAAIS).  He was recognized during the group's conference in Dallas, June 3 to 6. Congratulations to Dave for decades of faithful service to blind people.


In June the Greater Springfield Chapter of the NFB of Massachusetts conducted elections for the year beginning in September. The results were as follows: Robert Baran, president; Kristina Constant, vice president; Basil Maurice, treasurer; Heather Doray, secretary; Janice Frost, sergeant at arms; Sandra Burgess and Marshal Lovett, board members at large; and Carol Maurice, trustee.

In Memoriam:

Wayne Davis, February 7, 1942, to August 31, 2010Labor Day weekend word began filtering around the Federation family that Wayne Davis had died after a long period of ill health. He first came to the attention of people outside Florida when he was elected president after years of unhappiness and disruption in the Florida affiliate. It soon became evident that Wayne had the situation in hand. He was funny and down to earth, and he was not about to put up with anything that did not help blind people and build the Federation. As he began to lose his hearing, Wayne slipped back into private life, but everyone knew that he never stopped living his Federationism. Here is the tribute that current NFB of Florida President Dan Hicks wrote for Wayne:

Losing a longtime member of our NFB of Florida family is always a shock. I knew that Wayne Davis was very ill, but that knowledge does nothing to diminish the loss to all of us who knew and worked with him as a friend and colleague.

Born February 7, 1942, Wayne attended the Tennessee School for the Blind, where one of his instructors was the young Kenneth Jernigan. Music was one of Wayne’s many talents. In his early years he worked with country singer Donna Fargo; the rock group, Boston; and Elvis Presley, among many others.

Wayne served as president of the National Federation of the Blind of Florida for many years, through good times and not so good times. Occasionally Wayne and his streak of stubborn determination were the strongest forces keeping our affiliate together and moving forward. Wayne also proudly served several terms as a member of the NFB national board.

Wayne died on August 31, 2010, after a long struggle with failing health. I hope he knew how much we appreciated him and how much he and his hardworking spirit and infectious laugh will be missed. He was my friend and a friend to many of us. Our thoughts, prayers, and warm wishes go to his wife Carmen and their son David. Rest in peace, Billy Wayne Davis.

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.

Order Chocolate Gifts for the Holidays:

Chocolate is a wonderful idea for gift-giving, and Sweet Tooth can accommodate your needs. Besides Braille chocolate bars and chocolate guide dogs, a complete line of products, including holiday items, mugs filled with chocolate, fudge, suckers, clusters of all kinds, and peanut butter cups are available. Solid chocolate items can be personalized with Braille, and Sweet Tooth has over 250 candy molds to choose from. Price lists are available in print, in Braille, and by email.

The Braille chocolate bars come with a choice of sayings including Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, Happy Birthday, Love You, Have a Nice Day, and Thank You. They weigh 4 1/2 ounces and can be made in milk, dark, or white chocolate. Plain bars are $2.75 each, and bars with nuts, Rice Krispies, or crushed peppermint are $3. Sugar-free bars are available for an additional dollar a bar. All candy items are bagged in cellophane and tied with ribbon.

Shipping and handling is extra and depends on weight and destination. Orders are shipped two-day priority with the U.S. Postal Service. Candy can be shipped from late September to early June. To place an order, contact Sweet Tooth by calling Judy Davis, owner, at (585) 544-1853 or by email at <>. Sweet Tooth’s address is 32 Vinton Road, Rochester, New York 14622. Payment is by check or money order only, made out to Judy Davis. Please allow four to six days turnaround for an order.

Genetics of Age-Related Maculopathy Study:

Dr. Michael Gorin at the Jules Stein Eye Institute at UCLA is conducting a nationwide study of genetic and other risk factors that contribute to the development of age-related macular degeneration (also known as age-related maculopathy). You or members of your family may be eligible to participate in this observational study (this is not a treatment trial). It does not require that you come to UCLA; you can participate through a confidential and secure Website. If you wish to learn more about this study, go to the following Website and read about the study with complete anonymity (and even send questions to the research coordinators):
<>, or call (800) 286-8581 or UCLA IRB Number 08-11-008-02. The expiration date of the study is June 22, 2011.

Library Resources for Ministers and Seminary Students:

Optasia Ministry provides blind and visually impaired people access to a significant free library of Bible study tools designed to meet the needs of pastors and seminary students. We have commentaries, theology, and language tools that allow blind people to access many of the tools of modern scholarship, as well as a number of books for general Christian reading.

Optasia ministry has its roots in the PAC Mate Tom Vos received with the assistance of the Iowa Department for the Blind. Because he is a pastor, he was interested in finding a Bible that would work on this machine. However, he could not find a vendor who could give assurance that it had a Bible that would work well on a notetaker. Tom’s son, who has a master's degree in computer science, took on the challenge. Within a remarkably short time he created scripts for a Bible that work well on the PAC Mate as well as on any desktop or laptop computer.

Since that initial version in 2007 they have improved the Bible formatting and have extended it to fifteen Bible versions. The Optasia Bible format allows easy access with links to books, chapters, and verses of the Bible. With a little practice users can find verses as quickly as sighted people (and may even have an advantage with a small book like Obadiah).

They wanted to share this material with other blind people, so they organized Optasia Ministry as an Iowa nonprofit corporation. Through a special provision of the U. S. Copyright code they distribute these Bibles free to those who are blind. In addition they have a library of over 800 books such as devotional reading, Bible commentaries, and a variety of other Christian resources offered as the Optasia Library. The entire library is free, and they rely on donations to support the cost of the ministry.

If you wish to know more, visit the Website at <>, or email Tom at <>.

Flameless, Fragrant Warmers Available:

Scentsy is a line of flameless, wickless, fragrant candle-like ceramic warmers. They are a decorative, safer alternative to traditional candles and use a low-watt bulb to melt a special wax slowly while maximizing fragrance time. Scentsy candles are safer around animals and children because there is no flame and the melted wax does not get hot enough to burn. Scentsy bars are available in over eighty fragrances, and the warmers are available in a variety of styles and colors. Jywanza Maye invites you to visit the Scentsy Website at <>. To discuss product selection, contact (347) 878-6293.

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 labor cost to repair all Perkins Braillers is $60, 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 ($5.70) 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 571, Manchester, Maryland 21102. 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 <> or visit our Website at <>.

Ski for Light 2011 Invites Applications:

Are you a blind or visually impaired adult who cross-country skis or is interested in learning the sport? If your answer is yes, then join two hundred-fifty-plus active adults from across the U.S. and around the world for our thirty-sixth annual Ski for Light International Week. Ski for Light attracts recreational cross-country skiers from beginners to advanced competitors. Skiers and guides come from every adult age group and occupation. You will be paired with a sighted instructor/guide who will assist with skills, technique, and endurance while describing the countryside and enjoying the trails with you. Two sets of parallel, groomed tracks are set in the snow, with the skier and guide deciding together how far, how long, and on what kind of terrain they will ski. Many attendees report that the confidence, new skills, and friendships they develop is an experience of a lifetime that carries over into increased confidence and independence back home.

The 2011 Ski for Light event will be held from Sunday evening, January 30, through Sunday morning, February 6, 2011, in the Rocky Mountains at Snow Mountain Ranch in Granby, Colorado. Snow Mountain Ranch, near Winter Park, has 100 kilometers of groomed trails. It is rated one of the top Nordic venues in the country and has a variety of other recreational facilities.

New this year will be on-site lodging so all participants can ski directly onto the trails from just outside their rooms. There will also be a more affordable range of ski packages based on the type of accommodations you select (one-, two-, three-, or four-person rooms), with prices starting at $500 per person. All rooms have private bathrooms with daily maid service. Prices also include all meals, round-trip transportation between the Denver airport and the resort, and trail fees. Skis, boots, and poles will be provided free to first-time participants, and partial stipends based on financial need are available for first-timers.

The application deadline is November 1, 2010. Applications received after this date may be considered on a space-available basis. Visit the SFL Website, <> to learn more and to submit your application for a fantastic week of fun. Additional information can also be obtained by contacting the VIP recruitment coordinator, Bob Hartt, <>, (703) 845-3436, or Lynda Boose, VIP application coordinator, <>, (906) 370-7541.

New Tactile Map Atlas from the Princeton Braillists:

This second volume of maps of Africa, Eastern and Central Africa, covers fourteen nations: Eritrea, Djibouti, Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania (including Zanzibar), Rwanda, Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Congo, Central African Republic, Gabon, and Sao Tome and Principe. Each country has an introductory section in Braille of facts and general information followed by a full-page tactile map. The maps show cities, towns, rivers, mountains, and places of special interest. The book is seventy-nine pages, including thirteen maps of individual countries and two overall maps. Price: $14.00; shipping by free mail where eligible.

To order, send check or purchase order to the Princeton Braillists, 76 Leabrook Lane, Princeton, New Jersey 08540. Credit card and fax service are not available. A complete listing of the volumes available from Princeton Braillists can be found on our Website: <>. To contact the Princeton Braillists by phone, call Ruth Bogia at (215) 357-7715 or Nancy Amick at (609) 924-5207.

Christian Material and Services Available:

Message of Hope, a ministry of the Unity School of Christianity, provides the following services free of charge to the blind and visually impaired:
1. Daily Word Magazine on CD and in Braille and the Daily Word Message of the Day by email;
2. Nondenominational spirituality-centered books, pamphlets, and literature through an audio lending library, a hardcopy Braille-book lending library, and email BRF format materials;
3. Follow-up letters of prayer support on cassette or in Braille.

For more information contact Message of Hope at (866) 421-3066 or send email to <>. A transdenominational organization located in Unity Village, Missouri, Unity is dedicated to supporting people of all faiths on their spiritual journeys and to helping them apply positive spiritual principles in their daily lives. Unity is on the Internet at <>.

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.

For Sale:

Judith Lung has a brand new PAC Mate BX with a 20-cell Braille display. It has all the features and accessories needed for an efficient and convenient accessible pocket PC. Asking $2,999 plus shipping for the notetaker. Contact Judith Lung at <>.

For Sale:

Dennis Farro is selling the following items:
1. Brand-new, unused Perkins Brailler--$375
2. Bookport with user guide, USB cable, Braille instruction manual, and batteries, never used--$230
3. Epson cx7800, all-in-one printer/copier/scanner, straight-out-of-the-box--$130
4. Adaptive tech carrying case. This is a soft-pack fabric carrying case measuring 10.5-by-13.5 inches, designed for carrying notetakers and other adaptive equipment. Has a large outside pocket for cables and smaller devices. Comes with a shoulder strap for easy transport--$30

If interested in any of these items, contact Dennis Farro at <> or by telephone at (803) 714-7890.

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.

(back) (contents)