********** 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 production.
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 Removing out-of-date memos, calendar reminders, or phone listings and their associated information is simple and quick.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 announcement:
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 down!
********** 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 process."
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@example.com>. ********** 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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>. **********
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 way."
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. **********
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- 0923. ********** 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 <hhhollingsworth@IBM.net>. ********** Correction: 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@example.com> (work) and <firstname.lastname@example.org> (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@example.com>. ********** 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 02726. ********** 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. ********** Elected: 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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>. ********** 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) 594-9977. ********** 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@example.com>. ********** 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.