Monitor Miniatures


Meet the Amazing Parrot Plus:

     Would you benefit from a little more organization to your

life? The Parrot Plus may be the answer. No larger than a remote

control and operated by four AAA batteries, the Parrot Plus

combines six and a half minutes of recorded memo space, a

telephone directory that finds listings you have previously

recorded and can dial the phone, a calendar with reminder beep

that works even when the unit is turned off, a clock with alarm,

and a four-function calculator. All functions are activated by

using voice and a telephone-type keypad of numbers. The Parrot

Plus can be set to operate in French, Spanish, Italian, Dutch,

and Chinese, as well as English. A Japanese version is in

     Originally created for sighted users, the Parrot Plus comes

with a cassette tape of instructions that teach a blind user how

to use each of the functions. Removing out-of-date memos,

calendar reminders, or phone listings and their associated

information is simple and quick.
     Once you try the Parrot Plus, you'll wonder how you managed

without it. The NFB's Materials Center sells the Parrot Plus for

$200. Write to Materials Center, National Federation of the

Blind, 1800 Johnson Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21230, or call

(410) 659-9314 between 12:30 and 5:00 p.m. EST.


Attention Students:

     Shawn Mayo, President of the National Association of Blind

Students (NABS), has asked us to pass along the following

     Saturday, January 30, 1999, marks the tenth anniversary of

the annual NABS Student Seminar held in conjunction with the

Federation's Washington Seminar. This year's agenda provides

opportunities to hear thought-provoking presentations and to

interact with blind students from across the country. The day's

events will culminate in an evening banquet, with a keynote

address delivered by President Maurer that no one will want to

miss. Be sure to arrive at the Student Seminar in time to mingle

with other blind students and Federation leaders at the student

party, held on Friday evening from 8:00 p.m. until we get closed


Assistance Needed:

     Khalid Zakaria Ayd. writes from Egypt to express interest in

establishing correspondence with Braille Monitor readers. He

prefers Braille but can use tape. He is interested in blindness

issues and likes to read Braille books and magazines and to

listen to shortwave radio. He is a university student and is

totally blind. He and his blind friends are also in need of a

Spanish-English Braille dictionary, a Braille watch, a Perkins

Brailler, and a typewriter. All but the last of these could be

sent Free-Matter-for-the-Blind. His address is Khalif Zakaria

Ayd., Postal #32873, Ezbet Abu Yusif, Shatanouf, Ashmoun,

Monofia, Arab Republic of Egypt.


NFB Key Chains for Sale:

     The Greater Summit County Chapter of the NFB of Ohio is

selling two-inch solid-metal tactile NFB key chains. Many

Federationists snapped them up at the convention last summer, and

now the chapter offers them to Monitor readers at the same great

price. Choose among antiqued gold, blackened silver, or pewter

finishes. All key chains have a lifetime guarantee and are made

in the USA. The NFB logo depicting the triangle inside a circle

with the letters "NFB" appears in print on one side and in

Braille on the other. The words "Security," "Equality," and

"Opportunity" also appear on the print side. All logo key chains

include a split ring on a short chain. The cost is only $10 each

plus $1 for shipping and handling. Order today by sending a check

or money order for $11 to Greater Summit County Chapter, 991

Young Avenue, Barberton, Ohio 44203. If you have questions,

please call Everett Gavel at (330) 745-6414 between 9:00 and

11:00 p.m., EST. Be sure to indicate the finish you want.

Quantity discounts are available for chapters that would like to

use the key chains in their own fund-raising events. Offer ends

March 1, 1999.


For Sale:

     We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

     Beautiful Things: this is Our-Co's first full-color catalog

featuring Braille bead necklaces and sponge-painted and screen

printed apparel for both children and adults. For more

information call (732) 805-1912 or fax (732) 805-3088. Our-Co

Industries is a division of the New Jersey Association of the

Deaf-Blind, a non-profit organization specializing in meeting the

needs of individuals who are deaf, blind, or deaf-blind, and

developmentally disabled.


Update on Literary Braille Competency test:

     We recently received the following notice:

     The American Printing House for the Blind (APH) of

Louisville, Kentucky, and the National Library Service for the

Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS), Library of Congress, have

entered into a cooperative agreement to work on the revision and

ongoing maintenance of the National Literary Braille Competency

Test (NLBCT), Frank Kurt Cylke, NLS director, recently announced.
     NLS has been administering the test for teachers of Braille

to children and adults since May, 1994. It is currently being

revised as part of a validation study conducted by Human Research

Resources Organization (HumRRO), Alexandria, Virginia.
     Mr. Cylke said, "We look forward to working with the

Research and Development staff at APH on this project. APH has

long been a leader in the development of materials for the

education of blind children and adults. Its staff has expertise

in testing and test production that will complement the NLS

expertise in the literary Braille code and in the certification

     During the next two years APH will participate with NLS in

organizing two committees to facilitate the revision process and

to manage and maintain the testing program over time. The

Administrative Issues Committee (AIC) will oversee administration

of the test and recommend policies and procedures associated with

the testing program. The Test Development Committee (TDC) will

develop and maintain the test (e.g., introduce new test forms as

needed). The Administrative Issues Committee will have members

from the American Council of the Blind (ACB), the Association for

Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired

(AER), and the National Federation of the Blind (NFB). The TDC

will include a representative group of teachers.
     The American Printing House will further assist the effort

by producing the print and Braille test materials. For additional

information contact Mary Lou Stark, Head, Braille Development

Section, National Library Service for the Blind and Physically

Handicapped, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C., 20542; phone

(202) 707-9302 or (800) 424-8567; fax (202) 707-0712; e-mail

<[email protected]>.


Braille and Audiobooks Available:

     We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

     We are a company which offers over 1,000 Braille and audio

books for very affordable prices, and we also will transcribe any

pocketbook onto cassette for a nominal fee. We have written over

twenty speech-friendly computer games and utilities for children

and adults, which all work very well on talking computers. For

more information please visit our Web site at

<www.ncf.carleton.ca/~dr100> or write us for a free audio

cassette or computer disk catalog or send $5 for a Braille or

print price list. The address is I Can See Books, 88 Captain

Morgans Boulevard, Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada V9R 6R1. To

request an e-mail catalog, contact Danny Faris, President, at

<[email protected]>.

Photo of Careen Bradbury

		 Careen Bradbury

The Last Word about Magoo:

     Careen Bradbury, Assistant Editor of Viewpoint, the

publication of the National Federation of the Blind of the United

Kingdom and member of the organization's Executive Council,

reports that the group discussed the following motion from its

Executive Council at its recent annual delegate conference, held

in Liverpool, England. As approved, the resolution reads: "This

annual delegate conference instructs the Executive Council to

encourage the media to portray disabled people in a positive

     This resolution came about as a direct result of the Magoo

struggle. Bradbury reports that the film has been screened once

only in Glasgow and that about twenty people paid to watch it.

She concludes her note with the comment that "It seems that

movie-goers just stay away from the old creep, who I feel sure

will trouble us no more."


For Sale:

     We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

     Mindfold is a mask impervious to light, even direct

sunlight. It is used as a training aid, in airplanes, in

dentists' offices, for meditation, for seminars, for sleep

studies, by night workers, and by computer professionals. The

mask is held away from the eyes by foam padding with cutouts

creating total darkness even with eyes open. Mindfold consists of

a durable plastic lens; high-density, soft foam; and an

adjustable elastic strap. Mindfold's pricing is quantity-based.

Each price includes shipping and handling. For quantities of one

to 1,000, the cost is $6.50 per unit. For 1,001 and above, the

cost is $5.75 per unit. Call toll-free to place an order (888)

705-3805. Contact Mindfold, Inc., 8043 East 7th Street, Tucson,

Arizona 85710, or call (520) 885-3700, fax (505) 298-9157.

 Picture of Georgia Kitchen

		Georgia Kitchen

Cookbook in the Making:

     The Jacobus tenBroek Memorial Fund Committee is planning a

cookbook and seeks recipes from members and their friends that

are both elegant and simple to prepare. We want recipes from all

food categories--desserts, main dishes, sugar-free, vegetarian,

salt free, dishes using convenience foods, etc. The book will be

published in print and Braille. All contributions should be

elegant, simple, relatively quick to prepare, and contain common

ingredients found in most pantries. We can accept recipes with

one to three less-common ingredients that would need to be

purchased. Send your recipes to Georgia Kitchen, Cookbook

Coordinator, 2809 Lapeer Road, Flint, Michigan 48503.


For Sale:

     We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

     Perkins Brailler with case and keys, brand new, never used.

Asking $400 or best offer. Call Frances Horwitz at (215) 745-



World Series Baseball Game:

     We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

     The 1998 baseball season is over, and Version 13 of the

award-winning World Series Baseball Game and Information System

is ready to be mailed. The big news about Version 13 is that it

comes with 124 additional teams, including the 1998 pennant

winners and Mark McGwire's 1998 St. Louis Cardinals. This makes a

total of 262 teams, including every pennant winner since 1901,

many All-Star teams, Negro teams, Japanese teams, etc. Every

major-league franchise is represented. The game is being played

by sight-impaired baseball fans of all ages in forty-eight states

on IBM-compatible computers with screen readers and synthesizers.

There are also nine updated information programs and a 1,000-

question quiz. There are many improvements, most suggested by

users of the game. Baseball action during the game is described

in the words of many of the famous radio and TV announcers. The

price is still the same as when the game was first introduced in

1986, only $15 to new users, $5 for upgrades. Send your check to

Harry Hollingsworth, 692 Sheraton Drive, Akron, Ohio 44319 or

call (330) 644-2421, or e-mail <[email protected]>.



     The contact information for ordering the new cassette tape

recording of the Cane Raisers singing NFB songs was incorrectly

listed in the August/September issue. Lloyd Rasmussen's telephone

number is (301) 946-8345. His e-mail addresses are <[email protected]>

(work) and <[email protected]> (home). The cost of the tape is $5.


Correspondence Wanted:

     We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

     My name is George, and I live in Sheffield, Yorkshire,

England. I would like to communicate on a regular basis by

cassette tape with readers of the Braille Monitor. I am seventy-

eight years of age, fairly healthy, partially sighted (I can

still see a little), and a widower. I unfortunately lost my wife

nearly two years ago. If there is anyone from the age of fifty

upwards who would like to communicate with me, I should be very,

very pleased indeed. I will answer all people who respond to this

request by return tape. Contact George W. Sutton, 21 Luterel

Drive, Swallowsnest, Sheffield, Yorkshire S26 4SY.


For Sale:

     We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

     I have a Romeo RB-25 Braille printer, just over one year

old. It has printed fewer than 100 pages. Price does not include

warranty. If interested, contact Tonia Trapp at work (505)

843-7535, home (505) 266-4016, or e-mail

<[email protected]>.


Braille Bible Available:

     I have a New World Testament Bible to give away. It is

almost brand new and is in eighteen Braille volumes. If anyone is

interested, please contact me in writing (Braille or print).

Enclose your telephone number so that I can contact you. Send to

Priscilla A. Ferris, 55 Delaware Avenue, Somerset, Massachusetts



Audiobooks Available:

     We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

     A number of instructional and educational audio books of

interest are available from BFI AudioBooks at (800) 260-7717.

Titles include 60 Minutes Towards Computer Literacy, Internet

Explained, Short and Sweet, Cat Lovers Only, and Self-Publishing

in Audio and Making Money from the Start, as well as cassettes on

fund-raising skills and ones for kids that teach how to deal with

your own anger and how to resolve conflicts through sensitivity

to the other person's feelings. For a complete list and more

information ask for a catalog. A percentage of the proceeds from

these sales go to the National Federation of the Blind. Contact

Julian Padowicz, BFI AudioBooks, 1397 Hope Street, Stamford,

Connecticut 06907. The Web site is <www.eldarco.com/audiobooks>.

The telephone/fax number is (203) 968-2255.


Great News from Clovernook:

     Most people who know anything at all about the blindness

field in the United States have heard of Clovernook. For ninety-

five years the agency has provided a number of services and

programs to blind and multiply handicapped people in Cincinnati,

Ohio. It is best known as one of the largest Braille production

houses in the country, printing Braille books, magazines, and

other publications for use across the country. On July 16, 1998,

Marvin Kramer, President of Clovernook Center for the Blind,

issued the following self-explanatory memo:


     At its June 18, 1998, meeting the Board of Trustees voted to

accept management's recommendation that Clovernook change its

policy on minimum wage. Effective with the paycheck of July 17,

1998, all regular employees in production jobs will be paid at

least minimum wage, currently $5.15 per hour. We will continue to

track production as always, and individuals will be paid their

piece rate when that exceeds minimum wage.
     This decision did not come easily, and it represents a major

departure from Clovernook's long-standing practices which permit

us to pay sub-minimum wages under our Department of Labor

Sheltered Workshop certificate.
     The underlying rationale for this decision is that it is in

keeping with our mission of promoting independence and fostering

the highest quality of life. Clovernook advocates throughout the

community that people with visual impairments deserve an

opportunity to work and compete with their sighted peers. By

embracing this philosophy of paying at least minimum wage, we are

practicing what we ask others to do. Clovernook's expectation

that employees make a daily effort to be productive and meet the

needs of our customers will be more important than ever.
     The new minimum wage rate does not apply to individuals in

trainee status (i.e., individuals whose employment at Clovernook

is provided through a contractual or purchase-of-service

arrangement with an outside third party). Their employment status

is characterized by its training nature, and services are

designed to develop skills, work ethic, and productivity.


     That is what the memo said, and Mr. Kramer and Clovernook

have been as good as their word. This is a giant step forward,

not least because the decision was made for the right reasons.

Congratulations to Clovernook and to its hard-working employees.



     On October 18, 1998, at the annual convention of the

National Federation of the Blind of Wisconsin, officers and

members of the Board of Directors were elected. Those now serving

are Mark A. Riccobono, President; Jim McCarthy, First Vice

President; Bill Meeker, Second Vice President; Brad Dunse,

Treasurer; Linda Mentink, Secretary; and Board Members, Amanda

Durik and Patty Zimmerman.


For Sale:

     We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

     We have for sale a Papenmeier 2D-lite refreshable Braille

display with Windots software. This equipment has had fewer than

thirty hours of use. Windots version is current. Comes with all

documentation, travel case, and shipping to your location. In

addition our center will install the software on your computer if

you wish, at no additional charge.
     Asking $6,000. Contact Brad Hodges, Assistive Technology and

Assessment Center, University of Wisconsin-Stout, Room 101 VRB,

Menomonie, Wisconsin 54751, phone: (800) 228-5457.


Call for Papers:

     We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

     The 9th Interdisciplinary Conference on Blind and Visually

Impaired Children, "Here's Lookin' at You Kid 2," will take place

September 22 to 25, 1999, hosted by the Alberta/NWT Division of

the Canadian National Institute for the Blind. Presenters from

across Canada and North America will bring the latest in

research, educational practices, technological innovation and

rehabilitation strategies to some 600 delegates at the Calgary

Convention Center.
     Keynote speakers include Stephen Kuusisto, author of Planet

of the Blind; Terry Kelly, an accomplished musician from Nova

Scotia; renowned children's author, Jean Little; Dr. Raymond

Buncic from Toronto's Sick Children's Hospital; and Dr. Cay

Holbrook from the University of British Columbia.
     In addition to announcing the conference, this notice is

also a call for papers. Potential presenters are asked to submit

abstracts no longer than 200 words and a current vita. All

abstracts must be received by February 28, 1999. Notification of

acceptance will be by March 15, 1999. Accepted presenters will be

asked to submit the full text of their presentations.
     To submit a presentation proposal or for further

information, contact Sonja Kolacz, CNIB Calgary, 15 Colonel Baker

Place, Calgary, AB, T2E 4Z3, Phone (403) 266-8831, fax (403) 265-

5029, e-mail <[email protected]>.


Cassette Storage Albums Available:

     Steve Benson, President of the NFB of Illinois, asks us to

carry the following announcement:
     The holidays have arrived, and so too, inevitably, have more

cassettes. These audio gems seem to multiply exponentially.

Before you know it, dozens of cassettes will be scattered all

over your living space.
     Here's the perfect solution for cassette chaos. Capture and

keep your precious cassettes in attractive white vinyl cassette

albums, offered to you by the NFB of Illinois. Each album

accommodates twelve cassettes. The album's spine is wide enough

for a Braille label, and the front, back, and spine also have

sleeves for print labels. These cassette albums are perfect for a

year's subscription of the Braille Monitor. They fit nicely into

your favorite bookshelf.
     Each album is $3. Send your check or money order (payable to

the NFB of Illinois) to Steven O. Benson, 7020 N. Tahoma,

Chicago, Illinois 60646. If you have questions, please call (773)



Exhibits by Blind Artists:

     We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

     National Exhibits by Blind Artists 25th Anniversary Exhibit

will take place at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Fall, 1999.

Artwork by legally blind artists is eligible for the juried show.

Slides are due by January 21, 1999, to be sent to NEBA, 919

Walnut Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19107. For more

information call (800) 222-1754, Monday through Friday, E.S.T.


Position Available:

     We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

     Blazie Engineering seeks motivated individuals for its

technical support staff at Blazie headquarters in Forest Hill,

Maryland. Applicants must possess the following: 1) complete

working knowledge of at least one Blazie Engineering note taker

product; 2) excellent written and oral communication; 3) problem-

solving skills; 4) interest and talent in helping others; 5)

ability to test and analyze new software and hardware.
     Benefits include medical and dental plan, tuition

reimbursement, equipment loan, 401K plan, and paid vacation.

Salary commensurate with experience. Mail, fax, or e-mail a

resume to Frank Irzyk, Director of Marketing, Blazie Engineering,

105 East Jarrettsville Road, Forest Hill, Maryland 21050, fax

(410) 836-5040, <[email protected]>.


Road Runner Is Here:

     We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

ShrinkWrap Computer Products is pleased to announce an exciting

new product called the Road Runner. This is a tiny text-reading

device which permits you to store up to 3,000 pages of text in

discrete files for easy reading on the go. The unit is somewhat

smaller than an audio cassette and has a telephone-style keypad

for control. It produces clear synthetic speech through a pair of

supplied headphones, or you can attach it to amplified computer-

style speakers for reading aloud. Road Runner will let you store

up to several complete books as well as other shorter documents.

While reading, you are able to adjust the volume, rate, and voice

continuously. Road Runner will remember where you left off in

each document and return you to that spot automatically. It also

permits up to ten independent bookmarks per document and provides

searching capability and a sleep timer. To use the Road Runner,

you will need a PC-compatible computer from which to transfer the

text you have scanned, acquired from RFB&D or borrowed from

friends or the Internet. Road Runner comes with headphones, two

AA batteries, a nine-pin serial cable, and a taped instruction

guide. The cost of Road Runner is $349 plus shipping. For more

information contact ShrinkWrap Computer Products at (703)

620-4642 or toll-free at (800) 377-0774.


                           NFB PLEDGE


     I pledge to participate actively in the effort 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.