Braille Monitor                                                 April 2011

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News from the Federation Family

Braille Book Fair/Flea Market:
Donate your gently used but no longer needed Braille books to the 2011 Braille Book Fair/Flea Market sponsored by the National Organization of Parents of Blind Children and the National Association to Promote the Use of Braille. Books should be in good condition. Cookbooks, books about sports, children’s print-Braille picture books, and all books suitable for children and youth are especially needed. Children are so hungry for their very own books that every year, despite generous donations, most of our books for young children are gone in less than an hour. So begin your search through the boxes in your basement and spare room and get those books shipped to Braille Book Fair, UPS/ Attention: Bessie Graham, 8901 Atlantic Avenue, Orlando, Florida 32824.

After many years of organizing this successful event, Peggy Chong has stepped down, and this year’s coordinator is Barbara Cheadle. If you have any questions, you may contact Barbara at (410) 747-3472 or email her at <[email protected]>. This year’s event is slated to take place on Tuesday, July 1, from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m.


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.

New Books and Free Books from Seedlings Braille Books for Children:
Seedlings Braille Books for Children is pleased to announce that we have recently added thirty-three new books to our catalog, bringing our total number of low-cost titles available in Braille to 1,125. These books range from Print-Braille-&-Picture Books for toddlers and preschoolers like Curious George at the Park and Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes, to short chapter books like American Girls: Changes for Kirsten and Magic Tree House #35: Night of the New Magicians, to larger novels for teens and tweens like How to Train Your Dragon: Book 1 and Newbery Award winner The Graveyard Book.

We have also added an inspiring nonfiction book called Winter’s Tail: How One Little Dolphin Learned to Swim Again, which is being made into a movie. To view a list of all the new books, please go to <>. To read about all 1,125 titles, go to <> and click on "Order Our Books & Gifts."

If you would like to receive a print copy of the 2011 Seedlings catalog by mail, send your name and address to <[email protected]> or call (800) 777-8552, or download the text file version right now from our Website: <>. Also don’t forget to register for Seedlings’ 2011 Book Angel Program, which is open to visually-impaired children who live in the US and Canada. Through this program each child can receive two free Seedlings books each year (list four books from our catalog, and we will send two of them.) If you haven't registered yet in 2011, just fill out the online form right now by going to <> and clicking on “Book Angel Program.”

Seedlings Braille Books for Children is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing the opportunity for literacy by providing high-quality, low-cost children's literature in Braille. Volunteers, grants, and donations make it possible for us to offer our books at a fraction of the production cost, and we have not raised prices for over twenty-five years.

Seedlings’ 2011 Book Angel Program:
Register your VI child to receive two free books. Seedlings' Book Angel Program is back again this year thanks to the generosity of our supporters, people who understand the importance and power of reading and who want to share the gift of reading with blind children. This program has been a huge success, bringing much joy to young Braille readers. The children love receiving two free books that they can read and re-read to their hearts’ content. It is also a great way to introduce Braille to VI toddlers and preschoolers who may become Braille readers. Just sign them up for some of our print-and-Braille books, and they will be able to enjoy reading time with their sighted parents and siblings while picking up important pre-reading skills.

The Book Angel Program is open to visually impaired children who live in the US and Canada. Book Angel orders will be filled when your child's name is selected and as time and materials allow. The books will be shipped Free Matter for the Blind.

To register, fill out our online form by clicking <> and then on "Book Angel Program." You can also use the registration form in the 2011 Seedlings Catalog and fax it to (734) 427-8552 or mail it to Seedlings, PO Box 51924, Livonia, Michigan 48151-5924. Please let us know if you would like us to send you our catalog with over 1,100 book titles.

Prodigy Diabetes Care, LLC: Listening to Patient Needs So They Can Hear:
When major players in the medical industry failed to acknowledge the needs of blind and low-vision diabetics, Prodigy Diabetes Care, LLC, a high tech engineering and design company located in Charlotte, North Carolina, stepped up to give the blind diabetic a voice. Prodigy® has developed an innovative line of accessible blood glucose monitoring systems and, at the request of the National Federation of the Blind, reintroduced a simple method to fill insulin syringes. These devices are not only affordable, but provide total independence and accessibility for all diabetics, especially those with low vision or vision loss.

Prodigy’s vision originates from the company’s president and top executives, who themselves or members of their families suffer from diabetes and diabetic retinopathy. They understand the needs and concerns of those affected by the disease and have set out to address those needs in collaboration with and at the request of the NFB.

Diabetic retinopathy has been recognized as the leading cause of new blindness in Americans under the age of seventy-four. In addition, diabetes is associated with several other visual impairments such as cataracts, glaucoma, anterior ischemic optic neuropathy, retinal vascular occlusive disease, and age-related macular degeneration. In collaboration with the NFB, Prodigy created the first stand-alone, talking, no coding meter on the market providing accessibility for any diabetic who suffers from low vision or vision loss. With these conditions in mind and a focus on the needs of the blind and low vision diabetic, Prodigy developed the Prodigy Autocode®, Prodigy Voice®, and Prodigy Count-a-dose®.

The Prodigy Autocode is an audible, multilingual meter that requires no coding. The Prodigy Voice, designed with feedback from NFB staff members, is fully audible from set-up to testing, has raised imprinted buttons for easy navigation, features a repeat button to replay last message or test result, and requires no coding. The Prodigy Count-a-dose provides an easy and accurate method of filling insulin syringes by measuring one unit of insulin at a time, allowing better control of insulin therapy. Each increment measured is indicated by a distinct click.

Not only does Prodigy develop medical devices that offer the blind diabetic the same conveniences and features available to other diabetics, but the Prodigy Voice instruction manual, packaging, company Website (, and even customer support are accessible to the low-vision and blind market. The instruction manual is available on an audio CD, in Braille, or on the Website. The Website has been awarded Gold-Level National Federation of the Blind Nonvisual Accessibility Web Certification for being compatible with the screen-reading software used by blind people to make the words of the Website audible. The meter’s packaging features Braille labels, and the colors and fonts are designed to be clearly visible to those with vision impairments.

As the growing diabetic community continues to suffer from related diabetic complications, Prodigy’s innovative devices enable all patients freedom and accessibility in their diabetes management. The Prodigy Voice is the only meter to be awarded Access Plus (A+) Honors from the NFB, making the Prodigy Voice the clear choice in blood glucose meters. The Prodigy Voice allows total independence for all blind and low-vision diabetics. To receive additional information on Prodigy Diabetes Care, LLC, and its products, visit <> or call (800) 243-2636.

Philadelphia Insurance Improves Website to Benefit People with Disabilities:
Philadelphia Insurance Companies (PHLY), the leading property and casualty insurance company for non-profits and other niche markets, announced today upgrades to its Website that increase accessibility to people with disabilities. These upgrades to make it possible for policyholders, business partners, and anyone with sensory, physical, or speech-related disabilities to access information that otherwise would be unavailable. While not legally required, the company made changes to to demonstrate its belief in being a good corporate citizen. The site has been designed to be consistent with federal guidelines under Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act. To learn more about the improvements, visit <>.


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.

Recorder Needed:
I am looking for an AIWA four-track cassette player/recorder with am/fm and recording capabilities. Please email or call to negotiate a price: email <[email protected]>, phone (706) 375-9500.

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.