Braille Monitor April 1986
The state of Washington, Department of Social and Health Services, issued a release concerning Job Opportunities for the Blind and a career fair. The release reported in part as follows:
In celebration of its 100th anniversary, the Washington State School for the Blind presented the Second Bi-Annual Career Fiar for the Visually Impaired. This two-day event in conjunction with Job Opportunities for the Blind, was held March 21-22, 1986, at the Washington State School for the Blind campus in Vancouver, Washington. Featured keynote speaker was former student Michael Mandel, who is a successful composer, arranger, and professional musician living in New York City. Mr. Mandel composes music for portions of NBC's "Another World." Twenty-five additionally successfully employed former students of WSSB were also on hand to discuss their careers with visually impaired junior high and senior high school students from Washington, Oregon, and British Columbia. The careers represented were: computer systems programmer, social worker, mechanic, teacher, medical transcriber, businessman and entrepreneur, electrical engineer, attorney, teacher aide, piano technician, machine shop worker, beautician, physical therapist, editor, airport pager, public relations worker, masseuse, tax service representative, darkroom technician, drug and alcohol counselor, waitress, radio station owner, announcer, and engineer. On Saturday Job Opportunities for the Blind seminar presented a panel of employed visually impaired adults who discussed their successful job techniques.
We have been asked to carry the following announcement:
The Illinois School for the Visually Impaired in Jacksonville, Illinois, is holding its biannual reunion/meeting from May 29 through June 1, 1986. All graduates and past students are invited and encouraged to attend. For further information contact: Le Anne Mayne, 312764-1767; or Carmen (Sepeda) Dennis, 4701 North Springfield, Chicago, Illinois 60625, 312-583-9144.
In a recent news release Associated Services for the Blind of Philadelphia announced that B.T. Kimbrough joined their staff December 1, 1985, as Director of Services. They state that, "In addition to directing the establishment of several new programs, he is responsible for supervising the activities of ASB's radio reading, recording, rehabilitation, and social services." As Federationists know, Kimbrough has for many years been, in one way or another, associated with Dialogue Magazine--shaping its editorial views, writing articles, and providing other assistance. More recently he was associated with Triformation Braille Services.
In late fall of 1985 Alaska had another first. The Alaska Information Radio Reading and Education Services was established. This radio reading service is operated by the National Federation of the Blind of Alaska and is another evidence of the dynamic programs which are being built in the state.
**To Open The Door:
As Federationists know, Gertrude Van Tassel Ward is a woman of firm convictions. She says what she thinks, and she usually thinks clearly. Here are her comments about the airline controversy:
"When I read that the emergency exit door on a plane must be unfastened and thrown out of the way, I was surprised and a bit shocked. You realize that only with a demonstration and practice would anybody be able efficiently to open doors like that in an emergency. No wonder the airline personnel are worried about it. They can worry a damned lot more and insist on a safer designed door. Yes, the blind would be in danger, but so would the sighted, who would be in the same boat and just as unable to open the door fast enough. Next I suppose they will tell us that everyone should carry a personal fire extinguisher aboard: 'just for your own safety!'"
The National Federation of the Blind says that it seeks security, equality, and opportunity for the blind. Commenting on equality, Jamal Mazrui says:
"'Equality' means social equality. It means being accepted as equals by the sighted--neither pitied as victims nor applauded as heroes simply because we are living with blindness. It means being regarded as normal people, having as just one of many characteristics the fact that we cannot see."
Shelly Bruns writes:
The NFB chapter of Lincoln, Nebraska, would like to announce its new Board Members just elected January 18. President, Michael Floyd; First Vice President, Gary Doty; Second Vice President, Brad Loos; Secretary, Shelly Bruns; Treasurer, Aloma Bouma; and Board positions to be held by Barbara Walker and Cheryl Slobaszewski.
Diane McGeorge submits the following:
A new project is now in progress, which is being handled by the NFB of Colorado. It grew out of a conversation between Ray McGeorge and President Jernigan last November at the National Board Meeting. While we were talking about the teaching of math to blind students, it became apparent that many at the meeting had no idea what a Taylor slate was or how it had been used. Then followed a discussion of other lost forms of teaching the blind such as Moon Type, New York Point, and the like. Ray decided we needed to establish some type of museum which would contain samples of reading and writing materials, as well as other bygone tools and outdated technology. It will take time, and your help will be needed. For example, are there any Federationists who might still have an old Taylor slate, a cube slate, or how about one of the old Lavender Braillers once used and no longer in circulation? When Ray first started thinking about it, his initial reaction was somber. After all, he learned math on the Taylor slate, and Fred Schroeder had never seen one. But if you stop to think, the original talking calculator produced by Sharp is a fine example of a teaching tool no longer available for use. How many of you have ever seen one? So search your basements and attics, and help us build a worthwhile museum. Maybe it can earn a place of distinction at the National Center for the Blind in Baltimore. Send items to: Ray McGeorge, National Federation of the Blind of Colorado, 2232 South Broadway, Denver, Colorado 80210.
We have been asked to carry the following announcement: "A country music cassette tape is available. Introducing Ray Stoer. This tape features thirteen country songs. The price is $8.50, prepaid orders only. Make checks payable to: Raymond Rokita, 308 VanBuren, #192-E, Jackson, Michigan 49201."
**Braille Book Project:
Diane McGeorge writes: "Many Federationists know about the project operated by the NFB of Colorado in conjunction with the Telephone Pioneers and Federationists from across the country in which discarded Braille and large print textbooks are collected and then repackaged for mailing to libraries and schools throughout the world. While talking recently with Lou Parker, the chairman of the Telephone Pioneers committee which handles the bulk of the mailing of the materials, it was brought to my attention that we could use donations of styluses and slates if people have extra ones they do not need or perhaps no longer use. We have received a number of requests for those, as well as old reel to reel tape players. The tape players should be sent in good condition if possible, since we have no way to repair them. And while you are gathering up those types of things, if you have Braille editions of the Monitor, please do send those. We want to spread our philosophy throughout the world, and how better to do it than to mail the Monitor to schools and libraries? Please send your materials to NFB of Denver Braille Book Project, 2232 South Broadway, Denver, Colorado 80210.
We have received the following letter in the National Office from Michael and Gloria Taylor of Utah:
Dear Federation Friends: We are writing this note to inform by way of Braille Monitor that our daughter Aleesha Taylor, born on July 24, 1985, returned to live with her Heavenly Father on February 6, 1986, due to complications resulting from a liver disease. During her 6-1/2 months on earth she brought much happiness to all who knew her. Parents are Michael and Gloria Taylor from Salt Lake City, Utah. We'll see you all in Kansas City for the 1986 convention.
**Braille Business Cards:
Marilyn Baldwin, Secretary of the Central Florida Chapter, sends us the following item:
King Travel Services, located in Orlando, Florida, is looking for an individual or business that would be able to produce Braille business cards. Interested parties please contact Leni King, President, King Travel Services, 4126 John Young Parkway, Orlando, Florida 32804; 305-297-1125.
Insight is the newsletter of the National Federation of the Blind of South Dakota. The following item appears in the January, 1986, edition:
White Cane Day was celebrated in a new way by the Black Hills Chapter of Rapid City, South Dakota. They sponsored a White Cane day poster contest in the Rapid City elementary schools. Over 200 students participated. Cash prizes were offered for first-place winners. Second and third place winners received a McDonald's coupon book for free ice cream plus a certificate of participation for entering the contest. In fact, all students received certificates of participation. Information was provided to the teachers regarding the contest plus data obtained from Questions Kids Ask About Blindness. The contest was a great success. Parents and students were presented the ribbons, cash, and coupon books, plus information about the NFB of South Dakota, at an awards ceremony held in the Rapid City Library. Following the awards posters were on display in the Rapid City Library children's section, andin store windows around Rapid City.
Betty Kendall writes:
"On August 16, 1985, Omega Federation and Mutual Federation of the Blind, the two Cleveland Chapters of the NFB, had their first meeting as the NFB of Cleveland. The officers elected at that time are as follows: Charles Davis, President; Annette Anderson, Vice President; Betty Kendall, Recording Secretary; Dock King, Corresponding Secretary; Edna Hood, Treasurer; Board Members Margaret Knall, Vivien Simpkins, John Black, and Knovilla Dews. The officers were installed by our state president, Barbara Pierce. At the state convention in Springfield, Ohio, in October, 1985, we received our charter for the NFB of Cleveland."