Braille Monitor July 1986
**Active New Chapter:
In October of 1985 the Greater Flint Chapter of the National Federation of the Blind of Michigan came into being. Since that time a great deal of constructive activity has occurred. Joan Taeckens, Chapter President, is the focus and the spearhead of the new chapter's vitality, but there is every indication that a great many blind and sighted persons in the area are pooling their interest and know-how to build a strong local affiliate. The group has participated in helping develop "The Talking Newspaper," which is a unique concept involving dialing a number on the phone to have any part of the newspaper read. The chapter was represented at the March on Washington in February and has received sustained favorable publicity in the local press.
**National Radio Club:
We have been asked to carry the following announcement:
The DX Audio Service is the National Radio Club's books for the blind version of DX News, the magazine of the National Radio Club. The National Radio Club is the world's largest and oldest All Medium Wave DX Club.
The DX Audio Service features information on station call letter changes, new stations, changes in stations, formats, networks, DX tips, and news about DX'ing.
The DX Audio Service is available by subscription only. The cost for a one year subscription is $25 if the member keeps all the tapes sent to them or $12 if the member returns the tape each month for the next edition. Back issues are also available for $3 to members, $5 to nonmembers. For information on the DX Audio Service you can write to Fred Vobbe, 706 MacKenzie Avenue, Lima, Ohio 45805-1835. For . a sample copy of the DX Audio Service send $3 to the National Radio Club, Post Office Box 24, Cambridge, Wisconsin 53523-0024.
**Diseases of the Macula:
The National Association for Visually Handicapped, 22 West 21st Street, New York, New York 10010, 212-889-3141, announces the availability of its publication "Diseases of the Macula." Produced in 18-point type, the first copy of the booklet is free upon request, and each copy thereafter costs $1.00.
Ruth Whelan, President of the National Federation of the Blind of Delaware, has undergone foot surgery. At the time this is being written, she is recovering nicely at Kent General Hospital in Dover, Delaware. As Federationists would expect, Ruth is continuing her Federation activities from her hospital bed. By the time this reaches you, we hope that she will be fully recovered.
**Music Lending Library:
We have been asked to carry the following announcement:
VOICES announces a new stereo music lending library for the blind and physically handicapped. Annotated music programs are recorded on C-60 and C-90 cassette tapes at 1-7/8 ips. Audio programs are suitable for all age groups and interest areas. (No Braille music available.) Music catalogs are not available at this time, but lending library patrons indicate their interest areas on an extensive request form. Library loans are issued from over 4,000 master tapes. Free pre-addressed mailing cartons are provided. Postage is via Free Matter for the Blind. Stereo music lending library services are now available by a nominal membership fee of $12 per year. A membership fee entitles s patron to borrow two stereo tapes at a urr.e. When one tape is returned, another loan is immediately issued by mail. Eligibility criteria are a certifiable print-handicapped status, an active talking book affiliation, or use of radio reading service as a consumer. VOICES also loans a mini carousel music lending library consisting of 48 stereo tapes in a compact carrying case on a rental fee basis of $150 for six months. for more information on music library services, contact VOICES at P.O. Box 837, Bethel, Maine 04217-0837."
**Blinded American Veterans Foundation:
As recently reported in the DAV (Disabled American Veterans) Magazine, "Three Vietnam veterans who think more can be done to help their fellow visually impaired veterans have launched a project to see that help is available. "According to John Fales, president of the Blinded American Veterans Foundation and a Marine Corps combat veteran who was blinded in Vietnam, the foundation was started 'to insure veterans with sensory disabilities such as visual impairment receive maximum opportunity for rehabilitation, training, and employment, thereby reducing the need for government support.'
"Fales, a public affairs officer for ACTION, the national volunteer agency, joined with two VA employees in starting the project. Other directors are Dennis Wyant, director of the VA's Vocational Rehabilitation program, and Don Garner, the VA's director for Blind Rehabilitation.
"Fales said the foundation is not intended as a substitute for already established veterans' service organizations, but as an adjunct to them.
According to the foundation's articles of incorporation, its other purposes include: promote education for the general public, federal agencies, the U.S. Congress, and state and local governments, regarding the difficulties faced by veterans with sensory disabilities; support medical research on sensory disabilities conducted by the proper agencies and/or, when possible, by this foundation; promote research in the area of sensory disabilities prosthetics and sensory aids; research issues of importance to veterans with sensory disabilities; support the establishment of a Veterans Sensory Disabilities Service Organization; and develop and maintain a list of volunteers interested in assisting veterans with communication disabilities. "If you 'd like to know more information about the Blinded American Veterans Foundation, you may write: Blinded American Veterans Foundation, P.O. Box 65900, Washington, D.C. 20035-5900."
**Multistate Center Closes:
For a number of years the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped has operated four multistate centers as backup for the regular libraries. These centers have been located in Salt Lake City, Utah; Jacksonville, Florida; Cincinnati, Ohio; and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The centers are repositories of extra Braille, cassette, and talking book records, making these books available to borrowers upon request from regional libraries. In the April 4, 1986, Network Bulletin NLS says:
"Existing and anticipated funding shortages have caused the Library of Congress to reduce the number of multi state centers by one this year. The Multistate Center for the South is being closed at the end of the current contract period, April 30, 1986. The Multistate Center for the Midlands (Cincinnati) will begin providing services to southern libraries, effective May 1, 1986, including all basic services as outlined in the multistate center contract specifications. The name of the MSCM is being changed to Multistate Center for the Midlands and South (MSCM/S)."
A 12-year-old blind girl from Fullerton, Nebraska, properly spelled "anachronous" and then "chalkography" to win the Midwest Spelling Bee Saturday, April 12, 1986, and earn a trip to the national contest May 26-31. Terra Syslo received new life in the contest when, after she had misspelled the word "demiglace," Shelly Filips also misspelled it. Two rounds later Shelly stumbled on the word anachronous, which Terra knew. Terra then properly spelled chalkography to win the title. In addition to her trip to the national contest in Washington, D.C, where she will represent Nebraska and western Iowa, Terra also received a $150 check and a 4-inch black and white television in the contest sponsored by the Omaha World-Herald.
Recently Frank Kurt Cylke, head of the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, sent a letter to volunteer Braillists. It said in part:
"Due to the impact of the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Act on the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped budget, we must eliminate the hand-transcribed Braille book program, effective immediately.
"We are grateful for all your efforts over the years transcribing, proofreading, and binding Braille books for the patrons of the network of cooperating libraries of the National Library Service...
"When the budget improves we will resume producing handcopy books... It is our hope that you will be able to assist at that time. At this time it is projected that our financial position may be normalized in Fiscal Year 1992.
"With appreciation for your tremendous effort, I remain--
Frank Kurt Cylke, Director
National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped"
**Honored and Elected:
Adrienne Asch, a member of the National Federation of the Blind of New York, was recently elected to membership on the board of directors of the National Abortion Rights Action League. In a press release the organization said: "Adrienne Asch, an activist for women's and disability rights of New York, New York, was sworn in as a member of the NARAL Board of Directors on March 22, 1986. Ms. Asch was among ten members elected nationally to serve on NARAL's 30-member Board. The newly elected board members will serve a two year term and attend quarterly board meetings held in Washington, D.C."
Federationist Dennis Polselli, a member of the administrative staff of Framingham State College in Massachusetts, writes:
"I have been nominated to be the editor of the newsletter for the Boston College Housing Association. This is a consortium of all housing officers of the colleges and universities in the Greater Boston area. I am also being considered by students to be their Student Government Advisor next year, and I am being considered by my peers to serve on the union's grievance committee for the Framingham State College Chapter."
Georgia Myers writes:
The Greater Cumberland Chapter of the National Federation of the Blind of Maryland is proud to announce that Ronald Burns, President of the Chapter, was nominated by Allegany Community College for inclusion in the 1986 edition of Who's Who Among Students in American Junior Colleges. Selections are based on decidedly above average academic standing, community service, leadership ability, and potential for continued success.
**The Ways of NAC:
On Friday, April 18, 1986, the following item received wide coverage in the nation's press:
By Scripps Howard News Service
Pittsburgh--A blind man has complained that he's been told his guide dog Bandid can't accompany him to rehabilitation classes offered by the Greater Pittsburgh Guild for the Blind.
Gary Cook, 36, this week filed a complaint with the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission charging the guild had violated his rights by refusing to allow him to bring Bandid, a six-year-old Labrador retriever, to class. State law stipulates that guide dogs must be permitted in restaurants, stores, health care facilities, housing accommodations, and other public places. "A dog is not part of our training program," L. Leon Reid, guild executive director, wrote Cook.
"We say you should be able to get around, totally blind, without any help," said A. D. Fulton, president of the guild's board of directors. He compared the use of a guide dog to a crutch.
Cook said Bandid is no more of a crutch than the canes the blind are taught to use in guild classes. "The choice should be up to the blind person," he said. "I have made the choice to use a dog guide, and the guild should respect my choice by allowing me to use Bandid during rehabilitation." "We expect the occasional restaurant owner, doctor, or landlord who doesn't know the law to refuse admittance to a dog guide," said Catherine McManus, Vice President of the Greater Pittsburgh Chapter of the National Federation of the Blind. "But we expected better treatment at a facility for the blind."
Under date of April 27, 1986, Dick Porter (President of the National Federation of the Blind of West Virginia) writes:
"The West Virginia Division of Vocational Rehabilitation has come up with a tentative plan to consolidate services for the deaf and services for the blind under one single chief of services. During the past week we have flooded both WVDVR Director Earl Wolfe's office and the Governor's office with protest letters. Yesterday I met with the President of the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) and the President of the West Virginia Association of the Deaf (WVAD), and we issued a joint press release. The release was carried on the six o'clock news on Channel 8 here in Charleston, and it went out on both wire services yesterday afternoon. Because of our protest letters, Mr. Wolfe was forced to capitulate. By the way, we got a commitment from the presidents of both the NAD and the WVAD that they would support our single agency; whereas, before we had been getting some opposition from the deaf. Of course, that opposition came from some DVR employees in the deaf unit."