Braille Monitor December 1986
**Perhaps a Word Wasn't Enough:
In a recent issue of the Monitor (it was either August-September or October; we don't want to take the time to look it up) we carried a miniature entitled "A Word to the Wise." It suggested (maybe too gently) that those who want items carried in the "Monitor Miniatures" section should study the format and submit the copy in such a way that it could be run without rewrite or editing. Apparently the message needs reinforcement. Specifically, if material is subfnitted which is longer than the ordinary miniature, it will have to be rewritten or not carried. This means that (unless it is of extreme urgency or catches the fancy of the editor) it will automatically move to the bottom of the list if something else of proper length and equal interest is available. Likewise, readers will observe that we often say with respect to a miniature: "We have been asked to carry the following announcement," or something similar. This is done to indicate that we are not necessarily advocating or supporting whatever is being sold or pushed or announced--not that we are against it but just that it should not be attributed to us. If you really want something carried (after all, it's free advertising), you should be willing to study the pattern and format of the column. Usually we will eliminate what some would call "self serving language"--claims such as "our machine is super fast"; "this is the world's greatest"; et cetera. Again, you should study the format. If whatever it is is really that good, submit a full-scale article about it and we will consider carrying it. The "Miniature" column is not the place for editorials-- except, of course, ours. Also (and this may appear to be simply repeating what we said about length, but we don't think so) in the "Miniature" column we will always eliminate a sentence such as: "The speakers were interesting, and everybody had a good time." Maybe they were, and maybe everybody did--but a miniature (despite the length of this one--after all, editors take license) must be straight to the point and concise. Finally, as we said before, literacy is a plus. The bottom line is this: A miniature must be interesting. Otherwise, it won't be read. In short: brevity, attribution when indicated, no exaggerated claims, proper format, something to say, and literacy. A big order? Yes. But, then, that's the way we are. Just trying to avoid a little work and get the mag read. That, too, is a big order.
"Dennis and Dorothy Neely of the Gateway City Chapter of the NFB of St. Louis, Missouri, are proud to announce the arrival of their daughter Alicia Meggin, born July 30, 1986, at 11:42 p.m., weighing six pounds, ten ounces, nineteen and three-quarter inches long. Alicia's parents and brother Dennis, Jr., are doing fine."
Del Gray writes: My sister is blind and is in need of a Perkins Brailler. We are trying to find a used one. If you know of any, could you please write us at: Judy Cave, Route 1, Box 1794, Holts Summit, Missouri 85043.
WordPerfect is a word processing program widely available for general use.
If a sighted person wants to learn to use WordPerfect, he or she can study a print manual. FlipTrack Learning Systems has now issued an announcement which says in part:
"FlipTrack Learning Systems has introduced a self-study audiocassette course to teach both beginning and advanced use of WordPerfect software on an IBM PC or compatible computer. In 4 audiocassette lessons of about 2 hours each, How to Use WordPerfect enables the blind or visually impaired computer user to work 'hands on' with the WordPerfect program itself--to create, edit, print and merge-print a wide variety of documents. FlipTrack's course assumes that the user has a computer, the WordPerfect software and a way to 'read' onscreen text through voice synthesization, magnification or Braille output. How to Use WordPerfect sells for $89. For more information about this or more than 20 other audio-based computer courses, write FlipTrack Learning Systems, a division of Mosaic Media, Inc., 999 Main Street, Glen Ellyn, Illinois 60137. Or call 800-222-FLIP (In Illinois 312-790 1117)."
**To Inform the Public:
Being a member of the National Federation of the Blind means different things to different people. To Ken Rust of Minnesota it means sending a letter to a newspaper. The following article appeared in the September 7, 1986, Minneapolis Star and Tribune: "BLIND JOB HUNTERS: The difficulties Jim Mastro has experienced in his quest for employment (article, August 31 points out a problem that is familiar to many blind job-seekers. The national unemployment rate for the blind is approximately 70 percent. This statistic is rarely mentioned in the media.
"As long as some employers maintain their present attitudes and misconceptions about blind applicants, a large number of talented people will continue to be overlooked in the job market. No longer are the blind forced to stand on street corners with tin cups. Many of us are lawyers, accountants, computer programmers, and teachers. Isn't it time for employers to look at our qualifications for employment, rather than our physical disabilities?--Ken Rust, Metro Chapter, National Federation of the Blind, Minneapolis."
We have been asked to carry the following announcement: LITUANUS, an English language quarterly publication pertaining to Lithuanians and their heritage, is now available on cassette. The annual subscription rate is $20. Remit all payments to Gintautas Burba, 30 Snell Street, Brockton, Massachusetts 02401.
We have been contacted by Mrs. Esther Molat, Stratford 36C-CV, West Palm Beach, Florida 33417; (305) 686-6685. Mrs. Molat says that she has invented an electronic game playing machine--which, among other things, is used by blind persons in playing bingo. For further information contact Mrs. Molat.
We have been asked to carry the following announcement:
"Trifon nation Braille Service, Inc., is seeking sighted certified Braille transcribers to work at their Braille production facility in Stuart, Florida. Immediate openings. Salary negotiable. Please call (305) 286-8366 or write to TBS, Inc., 3142 S. E. Jay Street, Stuart, Florida 33497."
**Rhode Island Convention: Catherine Gaffney writes:
"On Saturday, September 27, 1986, the NFB of Rhode Island had its annual convention and banquet at the Holiday Inn in downtown Providence. One of the highlights of the day was a mini JOB seminar. Other speakers included a representative from the Regional Library, someone from a local parents group for blind children, someone speaking on new programs for the elderly blind, and a representative from the Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation. The two crowning events of the banquet were the very moving keynote address by Diane McGeorge and the announcement from a representative of the Rhode Island State Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired that as of December 31, 1986, they would no longer be affiliated with NAC. Elections were also held and officers for the next two years are: President, Richard Gaffney; First Vice President, Barry Humphries; Second Vice President, Ruth McGarrity; Treasurer, Kenneth Brackett; Recording Secretary, Mary Jane Fry; Corresponding Secretary, Cathy Gaffney; Sergeant at Arms, Tom McGarrity; and two board positions held by Howard Applegate and Grayce Grout."
From South Dakota comes the following: "The National Federation of the Blind, Black Hills Chapter, will sponsor a White Cane Day Poster Contest in the Rapid City Elementary Schools. Students will learn about Braille, the use of a long white cane, and dog guides; and they will also learn that blind persons participate fully in life. Prizes will be presented to the top 36 winners at the Rapid City Public Library on Friday, October 10, 1986, at 4:00 p.m. The public is invited to join us."
We have been asked to carry the following announcement:
That time of year is here again. Why not give that special friend or loved one the best. Give a gift of old fashioned rhyme. MATTERS OF THE HEART, by Marita Lyn Labron, a book of poems that "Says It All," full of heartfelt passion and compassion. Print and cassette copies are $8.00 each; Braille copies are $20.00 each. Make your check or money order payable to Mary Walker. Send your request to Marita Lyn Tabron, P.O. Box 497446, Chicago, Illinois 60649."
Deanna Morss, the former President of the NFB of Wyoming, now lives in California. She has asked us to carry the following announcement:
"Reader service available for most college textbooks excluding technical books such as math, biology, chemistry, etc. Student must provide tapes and print copy of textbook to be read. Fee is $4.00 per hour. Fast, dependable service. For more information contact Deanna Morss, 3050 S. Bristol #15H, Santa Ana, California 92704; phone (714) 751-7504."
**Accessories for Perkins Brailler: We have been asked to carry the following announcement:
"October 20, 1988--Howe Press today announced the introduction of three new products, all designed to enhance the use and flexibility of its Perkins Brailler. Each product was developed as a result of consumer needs and requests. A 'Soft-side carry case' with handles, shoulder strap and inside pocket is now available for $39.50. This item was designed to free up the user's hands. The shape matches the Brailler and it is navy blue with gray trim. Also available is a 'print copy holder' for the Brailler which attaches to the handle. At $29.50 this simple but strong device places written material at eye level, facilitating the transcription process. Finally, an exciting product which makes the preparation of Dyrno Tape far easier. Howe Press has finalized the design of a 'Dyrno Tape Holder,' which inserts into the Perkins Brailler and securely holds the plastic tape during Brailling. This unit retails for $15.95. Interested individuals should contact Howe Press, 175 North Beacon Street, Watertown, Massachusetts 02172; (617) 924-3490, regarding purchasing information."
Tandy Way of Tampa, Florida, writes: "I am not a commercial distributor, just an individual selling some highly demanded but rare items from my home. For sale: 'CompuServe Information Users Guide ' latest edition. Gives you an in depth study of how to use your time wisely on the data base. Available on cassette NLS format 4-track $25.00. Notch cutters for notching the reverse side of your disks for use with Apple and other computers with single-sided drive heads $12.00. A series of tapes of the tutorial variety called 'a different approach." These tapes are for the IBM compatible computers. Subjects include: the proper way to set up a hard drive, $15.00; the power of the batch files and MS DOS, $15.00; and programming in basic, a 3-tape series, $45.00. Packages of 10 disks double sided double density, $12.00. All the above include shipping. Make checks payable to Mr. Tandy Way, 8909 Pepper mill Court, Tampa, Florida 33634. Phone after 6:00 p.m. week nights, any time weekends (813) 885-7182."
**White Cane Celebration:
State and local affiliates should consider whether they are taking full advantage of the opportunities for public education afforded by White Cane Safety Day. The following announcement was released by the Des Moines Chapter of the National Federation of the Blind of Iowa:
To all area blind children and their families:
The Des Moines Chapter of the National Federation of the 31ind of Iowa would like to invite you to participate in this year's White Cane Safety Day Celebration, sponsored by our chapter.
White Cane Safety Day is a day on which we as blind people celebrate the freedom to go where we wish, with the aid of white cane or dog guide, and the freedom to work in occupations of our own choosing. We also take advantage of this opportunity to remind sighted people of the pedestrian laws and equal access laws that protect the right of blind people to enjoy these freedoms. October 12-18, Olmstead Center, Drake University: Posters done by the winners of this year's White Cane Safety Day Poster Contest will be displayed in the exhibition area, first floor. October 15, 6th & Walnut Streets, downtown Des Moines: Des Moines Metro Transit Authority drivers and staff will ride city buses to the Capitol and Drake's Olmstead Center blindfolded, with white canes. 6th & Locust Streets, downtown, at noon--Des Moines police officers and cadets will travel the intersection blindfolded with canes. Visit by the NFBI mystery creature. October 18, Southridge Mall: White Cane Obstacle Course for the public--try your luck! Also, videos, Braille writing demonstration, a live band with blind musicians, the NFBI mystery creature, and other surprises.
Please come and enjoy yourselves. Meet with our members, and learn more about adult blind people. We would be glad to have you be our guests.
**Ohio State School for the Blind:
Franklin B. Walter, Ohio Superintendent of Public Instruction, writes:
"The Ohio Department of Education is celebrating the Year of Reflections: A Bicentennial Celebration of Public Education. The year 1987 marks the 150th anniversary of the Ohio State School for the Blind. This institution was the first residential school of its kind to be established in the United States with public funds. One of its alumni, Samuel Bacon, was instrumental in establishing similar schools in four other states."
President Maurer reports that he recently received a call from Arie Gamliel in Jerusalem. Arie and Nurit are the proud parents of twin boys born at 8:05 and 6:07 p.m., Jerusalem time, October 27, 1986. President Maurer says that Arie did not know how long the twins were, but he said that one is dark and the other fair. They weighed approximately four pounds each. Their names are Uziah and Gil'ad. Congratulations and much joy to the house of Gamliel--now doubled in size.
**Stays Mainly in the Plain:
At the 1985 NFB convention Jennifer Kellogg of New Mexico was awarded the American Brotherhood for the Blind scholarship in the amount of $6,000. Her plans were to work toward a degree in government with the hope of joining the diplomatic corps of the United States. In furtherance of this goal she has been studying abroad. On a card to Dr. Jernigan postmarked October 7, 1986, Jennifer said:
"Hello from Spain! I'm studying at the University of Alicante for the fall semester. I'm having a wonderful time. I'm living with a family. They 're terrific. My Spanish is getting better every day. I'm studying hard and, of course, spending plenty of time at the beach."
**Large Print Torahs:
The Jewish Braille Institute of America, 100 East 30th Street, New York, New York 10016; (212) 889-2525, has produced a large print English edition of the Torah, the five books of Moses. It is available without cost from the Jewish Braille Institute. A Hebrew large print Torah is currently being typeset in Israel and will be available soon from the Institute.
Jim Willows, one of the leaders of the NFB of California, writes:
Alice Preston, a long-time member of the Federation, died after a short illness in early September. Alice was living in Cincinnati, Ohio, at the time of her death. Alice was most active in the NFB of California during the decades of the sixties, seventies, and eighties. She held many offices and chaired several important committees during that era. Those of us who knew her remember Alice's enthusiasm and cheerful determination in all of her activities. Alice was a source of strength to many of us through the chaotic year of 1978. She was less active after leaving California, but she continued to live Federationism until her passing.
Pat Estes writes: On August 23, 1986, the National Federation of the Blind of Maine met in convention in Auburn. We were very pleased to have our new National President, Mr. Marc Maurer, as our keynote speaker. We enjoyed his address and found his cross examination of various agency heads quite stimulating. According to our state constitution, the following board members were elected: Pat Estes, President; Connie Leblond, Vice President; Mike Jacobois, Secretary; Jeanne Hume, Treasurer; Debbie Brown, Michelle Swift, and Sandy Sanbourne as Board Members.
Anthony Cobb and Marie Thaler were married November 15, 1986, in Baltimore, Maryland. In true Federation style they attended the meeting of the Baltimore Chapter of the National Federation of the Blind earlier in the day and then celebrated their wedding ceremony in the evening. Congratulations to the newlyweds.