Monitor Miniatures


If you receive the print edition of the Braille Monitor, please look carefully at the page numbering of the January/February issue. We would appreciate your notifying the National Center, (410) 659-9314, if you find missing pages or duplicates. We will replace flawed issues to those who return their copies. We very much regret any inconvenience you may have experienced.

Photo of Al Maneki
                   Al Maneki


Al Maneki is a leader in the NFB of Maryland. We recently received the following information from the U.S. Department of Defense:

On October 19, 1998, during its eighteenth Annual Awards Ceremony, the Department of Defense presented Al Maneki with the Outstanding Employee with a Disability award.

The field in which Dr. Maneki works, cryptographic mathematics, requires a strong technical foundation in theoretical mathematics. Analysts spend much of their time reading, writing, and publishing. Due to his degenerative eye disease, Dr. Maneki relies on computer-assisted tools to stay current in his special area.

Dr. Maneki received his doctorate from the Illinois Institute of Technology. He has been the first co-worker with a disability for many National Security Agency employees. His can-do attitude puts people at ease and helps make him a welcome team member. In his spare time he is active in the National Federation of the Blind of Maryland.

Marching Together in White Cane Week:

On May 16, 1998, fifty Federationists and their friends gathered to take part in a Walk for Independence in Philadelphia. A representative from the city presented and read a proclamation declaring May 16 to 22 as White Cane Week. Then the enthusiastic walkers set off to educate the public and raise funds for the affiliate. Here is the letter Jim Antonacci wrote about the event to President Maurer:

July 27, 1998

Dear President Maurer:

On Saturday, May 16, 1998, The National Federation of the Blind of Pennsylvania held our first Walk For Independence. The Walk was sponsored jointly by the Greater Philadelphia Chapter and the Keystone Chapter. Our objectives were to increase the awareness of city officials and the general public about the NFB and to use the event as a vehicle through which both Philadelphia-based chapters and members of the Parents of Blind Children could work together cooperatively to raise funds for the state affiliate by soliciting sponsors who contributed based on the number of blocks walked.

I am pleased to report that these objectives were achieved. Participation in the planning and execution of the event went smoothly. The fifty people who participated represented equally the memberships of the chapters and division. We noted that walking the entire distance with their canes were our oldest Pennsylvania Federationist, who was eighty-eight years of age, and our youngest Federationist, who was six. The proclamation awarded by the City of Philadelphia is the first of its kind for some years. We hope that the funds raised this year will be only a start in our ability to fund the NFB of Pennsylvania.


Jim Antonacci, Secretary

NFB of Pennsylvania


A number of affiliates have conducted elections during recent months. Here are the results reported by several:

The NFB of Rhode Island elected officers at its October 24 convention. They are Barry Humphries, President; Richard Gaffney, Vice President; Mary Jane Fry, Recording Secretary; Kenneth Bryant, Treasurer; and Angelina Tiexeira, George Harrington, Adrina Baligian, and Catherine Gaffney, Board Members.

On Sunday, November 8, 1998, the NFB of Connecticut elected the following officers: Betty Woodward, President; Jeff Dittel, First Vice President; Mark Tardif, Second Vice President; Frank Holzli, Secretary; Bruce Woodward, Treasurer; and Carolyn Dodd, Tom Barretta, John Padilla, and Louis Pape, Members of the Board of Directors.

At the twenty-second annual convention of the National Federation of the Blind of New Jersey, the following officers and board members were elected: Joseph Ruffalo, President; Ever Lee Hairston, First Vice President; Tracey Hall, Second Vice President; Jerilynn Higgins, Secretary; Gloria Lewis, Treasurer; and Betty Hightower, Jerry Moreno, David Mostello, and Ryan Stevens, Board Members.

The NFB of California recently elected Jim Willows, President; Nancy Burns, First Vice President; Maria Morais, Second Vice President; Jana Littrell, Secretary; and Ellen Paxon, Treasurer. Elected to the Board of Directors were Bryan Bashin, Donovan Cooper, Geraldine Croom, and Paul Carver.

Henry Maunel 'Hank' LaBonne, 

March 26, 1932, to December 27, 1998
       Henry Manuel "Hank" LaBonne,
March 26, 1932, to December 27, 1998

In Memoriam:

Harold Snider reports the following sad news.

Hank LaBonne was a Cajun born in New Orleans, Louisiana. He was educated at the Louisiana School for the Blind in Baton Rouge and was active in its alumni association. After graduation Hank went into the music business, travelling the southeastern states with bands from New Orleans. He played piano and sang. During the early 1970's he entered the Randolph-Sheppard Vending Program in Louisiana, managing vending facilities in New Orleans and Baton Rouge. He joined the National Federation of the Blind when its Louisiana affiliate was re-organized in 1975 and helped host our National Convention held in New Orleans in 1977. He moved to Chattanooga, Tennessee, in the early 1980's after having served as president of the Louisiana affiliate for several years. In Chattanooga he became president of the Chattanooga Chapter and served on the Board of the state affiliate until his death. He received the distinguished Thomas Jefferson Award for Community Service in 1997, which was presented in Washington, D.C. He was quick to embrace the newest innovations to help blind people in his community by initiating one of the first local NEWSLINEŽ Centers through the service-delivery agency on whose board he served for many years.

Hank liked nothing better than to party with his friends. Many Federationists will remember gatherings in his room during Washington Seminars and National Conventions. Hank loved life and loved people. He was well-known in the Chattanooga area for teaching Braille and the alternative techniques of blindness to many blind children. He clearly understood the value of literacy for the blind. Hank's death was widely reported on radio and television and in the newspapers in both Chattanooga and New Orleans, where he is buried. We will deeply miss this wonderful man who was our friend.


At the time of this writing the Job Opportunities for the Blind Targeted Jobs Initiative program has hit the ground running. The JOB program is a little more than six months old. Ten people successfully completed the technology training program at the National Center for the Blind before year's end. Of those ten, three began new jobs in late December and early January.

Darlene Barker has taken a position with Blazie Engineering. Maurice Peret of West Virginia has taken an instructor position at Blind Industries and Services of Maryland. Joyce Porter from Washington, D.C., has taken a position with our affiliate in Texas to work on a JOB grant that the NFB of Texas has received to do job development.

Congratulations to all three!

Audio Darts Tournament:

We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

Audio Darts of Pittsburgh will hold its second Harold Schlegel Darts Tournament during the weekend of March 26 to 28, 1999. This tournament will be held at the Best Western Motel, 3401 Boulevard of the Allies, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. For room registrations call (412) 683-6100. The first event will be at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, and the tournament should conclude at 5:00 p.m. on Sunday. The cost of the entire tournament will be $65. Please make all checks payable to Audio Darts of Pittsburgh and mail to Louis Wassermann, 2503 Silver Oak Drive, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15220. For more information call Lois Briggs (412) 366-2630, Harold Schlegel (412) 921-0172, or Joe Wassermann (412)


Braille Sterling Designs Available:

We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

Kim Christiansen, the designer of the Braille jewelry many of us have grown to love, has announced he is now out of hibernation and ready to fill orders once again. The latest addition to his line is an adorable miniature book pin cast in pewter. Available in shiny pewter or 18K gold electroplate, it is one by one-and-one-eighth by one-eighth. "Read for Fun" is on the cover in Braille and on the spine in print. The pin sells for $20. The combination signing and Braille "I Love You," hand pin, and other pieces are available by calling Kim's new phone number, (603) 643-4096, or mail to P.O. Box 583, Hanover, New Hampshire 03755.

Correspondents Wanted:

We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

I want to correspond with those who share an interest in old-time radio, playing Trivia, American pop culture, sitcoms and comedy, spectator sports and wrestling, most kinds of pop music from 1955 to the present, listening to BBC and American music shows, and trading songs on tape. I also enjoy Tom Leykis, bowling, fishing, miniature golfing, and playing sports like those. Contact Joe M., 20401 Soledad Cyn. Rd., Sp. 522, Canyon Country, California 91351-2556.


At its November 19, 1998, meeting, the Cincinnati Chapter of the National Federation of the Blind of Ohio elected the following officers: Ken Velkovich, President; Bill Innis, Vice President; Bernie Dressell, Secretary; Paul Dressell, Treasurer;

Judy Cook, three-year Trustee; Elias Coorey, two-year trustee; and Margaret Stinnett, one-year Trustee.

Photo of Mary Main, Bruce 

Woodward, and NFB of Connecticut President Betty Woodward
From left to right are Mary Main, Bruce Woodward,
and NFB of Connecticut President Betty Woodward.
The picture was taken at the 1998 picnic of the Danbury Chapter.

In Memoriam:

Bruce Woodward, Treasurer of the NFB of Connecticut, writes as follows in celebration of the life of a remarkable woman:

Mary Main was a very special person to me and to many others, both in Connecticut and across the country. She died early on the morning of November 8, 1998, at the age of ninety-five. She was surrounded by her loving family. Mary Main was a wonderful friend and comrade in the organized blind movement. She often chatted with Dr. Jernigan on the telephone, and these two enjoyed a special friendship. Her delightful sense of humor, her great instinct for what was right, her complete and intellectual grasp of the philosophy of the Federation, and her ability to get things done were her chief attributes. Business aside, she was a fascinating friend to listen to and share experiences with. Nothing could be finer than to share cocktails and stories with Mary before an NFB banquet. Her life's experiences and her keen observance of human nature were an inspiration.

She was the founder of the Stamford Area Chapter of the NFB of Connecticut. Joe Tolve, a longtime member of the Stamford Chapter, wrote the following testimonial to Mary:

"She taught us to respect ourselves and to contribute to society. With her wise counsel all of us are living greatly enhanced lives. She always recognized our strengths and weaknesses, quickly advising us how to correct whatever difficulty we might be facing. `Believe in yourself,' she told me once, `and you will get that occupation you desire.' She was instrumental in getting me to realize this truth. I got the job that I wanted; I became an active member in our community, a writer of short stories and books; and I learned about computer technology, which I now freely share with newly blind adults—all because of Mary Main's enriching philosophy."

I have not mentioned her early life or her career as a writer or the well-known books she wrote, including Evita. I have spoken only of her as a dear friend devoted to all of us in the National Federation of the Blind. We will miss her and cherish our memories of her.

Summer Music Institute for Young Musicians:

The Summer Music Institute, National Resource Center for Blind Musicians has asked us to carry the following announcement:

The Music and Arts Center for the Handicapped is accepting applications from motivated blind musicians throughout the United States, tenth grade and up, to participate in its fourth Summer Music Institute for blind college-bound musicians. The three-week program, to be held in July at the University of Bridgeport, will provide exposure to music Braille, music composition by computer, keyboard, theory, ensemble, and strategies for independence in a college setting. Enrollment is limited to ten students who will be accepted based on their applications and telephone interviews. Cost of the program (including tuition, room and board, and materials) is $2,000. Partial scholarships are available. Applications must be completed and returned by May 1. Students under the age of fifteen or in need of significant financial help should apply early.

The National Resource Center for Blind Musicians provides information to musicians, students, and teachers on music Braille and accessible music technology. The Center can provide advice about music systems or put people in touch with someone in its national network of blind musicians with experience in a particular aspect of the field.

For an application to the Summer Music Institute or to reach the National Resource Center, contact the Music and Arts Center for the Handicapped, 600 University Avenue, Bridgeport, Connecticut 06601, phone (203) 366-3300, e-mail <>.

Tactile Drawings and Maps Available (UPDATED LIST):

We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

The following maps and supporting information are available from the Princeton Braillists:

Maps of individual U.S. states: each booklet contains introductory information and detailed maps showing cities, rivers and lakes, major highways, physical features, county boundaries, and agricultural and mineral resources. Included are Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island, Vermont, Maine, Florida, and New Jersey. Price per booklet, $6 (shipping by free mail).

Basic Human Anatomy: cross sections of the head and brain, nose-mouth-throat, tooth, respiratory tract, heart, digestive system, villus, urinary tract, kidney, nephron, nerve cell, eye, ear, skin, male and female reproductive systems, and fetus in the womb. Eighteen drawings with keys, thirty-one pages total. Price, $15, including shipping.

Atlas of North and South America: three units in four volumes. Maps show boundaries, mountains, rivers and bodies of water, elevation, major cities only, climate, land use, and resources. Each unit is self-contained and can be used alone. Unit 1, Northern North America (Canada and United States); Unit 2, the United States (two volumes); and Unit 3, Middle and South America. Price of four-volume set, $56, including shipping. Individual volumes cost $15, packing and shipping is $4 for one or two volumes.

Atlas of the Middle East: covers seventeen countries, including a page of facts and a full page for each country, twenty-five maps with keys, sixty-nine pages total, $20 including shipping.

Maps of Russia and Its Former Republics: shows boundaries, rivers, and major cities as of 1997, six maps, sixteen pages total, $4, free mail.

Maps of Morocco: seven maps with keys, nineteen pages total, $5, free mail.

Each booklet is bound with cardboard covers and a multi-ring binder. Send check or purchase order to the Princeton Braillists, 28-B Portsmouth Street, Whiting, New Jersey 08759, (732) 350-3708 (UPDATED ADDRESS). Credit card and fax service are not available. Please allow four to six weeks for delivery. For further information call (609) 924-5207.

Jumbo Brailler For Sale:

We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

I purchased a Perkins large cell Braille writer last year. I thought that it would help me to read Braille more easily. Unfortunately, due to the loss of feeling in my fingers, it did not work. I paid $850 from Howe Press and am asking $500. The Braille writer comes with a dust cover and a wooden eraser. I will ship it free matter for the blind. I will accept only money orders, no checks please. I would appreciate all correspondence in large print or on cassette tape with name and address spelled out. Contact Melissa Zeoli, 211 Scituate Vista Drive, Cranston, Rhode Island 02920.

1999 Guide to Toys for Blind Children Now Available:

We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

The American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) and Toy Manufacturers of America (TMA) have released the latest edition of Guide to Toys for Children Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired. The guide is a one-of-a-kind resource for parents, grandparents, and teachers that contains commercially available toys and games appropriate for children of all ages who are blind, have low vision, or have multiple impairments that include visual impairment. It features 100 new toys with an emphasis on multimedia and interactive toys in a wide price range. An introductory section makes it easier for adults choosing toys to understand the selection criteria used and shows readers how to apply these criteria beyond the products appearing in the guide.

Single copies and supplies of the Guide to Toys for Children Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired are available in full-color print or on audio cassette free of charge by contacting American Foundation for the Blind, 11 Penn Plaza, Suite 300, New York, New York 10001, phone (800) 232-5463; or Toy Manufacturers of America, 200 Fifth Avenue, Room 740, New York, New York 10010, fax (212) 633-1429.

Correspondents Wanted:

We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

Alexander Moskovskiy, a visually impaired Russian veterinarian, seeks pen friends. Please e-mail to <>.

Managed Care Consumer Bill of Rights:

We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

The State of New York has recently published the Managed Care Consumer Bill of Rights. It explains consumers' rights to better health care and recent developments in the managed care industry, including Medicare and Medicaid. It focuses on the regulation, quality, benefits, and choices that the average consumer has concerning managed care. The book is available on audio tapes for $25. Contact Richard Kirsch, (518) 465-4600, e-mail <>.

Celebrating Rehabilitation Teaching:

We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

Division 11 (Rehabilitation Teaching Services) of the Association for the Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired will sponsor "Rehabilitation Teaching: The Next Century Conference 1999" July 23-27 in Kalamazoo, Michigan. The conference is planned as a two-day work session and a two-day celebration of the 150th anniversary of rehabilitation teaching. Designed as an opportunity to bring together leaders in the field, the work groups will create documents addressing critical issues in the field of rehabilitation teaching. A poster session depicting the breadth of the profession and vendor exhibits will be featured during the sessions. For more information contact Lisa-Anne Soucy at (914) 831-7199 or <>.

Phone Card Plus With Talking Yellow Pages Now Available:

President Maurer reports that one long-distance telephone service offers a talking yellow pages service. You can dial in to the talking yellow pages service and specify the company you are looking for. Listings in your area will be offered which can be automatically dialed to ask for quotes or do other business. Dr. Maurer dialed in "hot tub" and received twelve listings for local services.

The National Federation of the Blind receives a contribution from Phone Card Plus for each person who signs up for service. The number to use for requesting this service is (800) 365-5737.

For Sale:

We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

I have the following for sale: Alva 20-cell unit, $2,100. Braille 'n Speak 640 with carrying case, adapter, learning tapes, $850. DECtalk Express with external speech synthesizer, $325. Jumbo Brailler just refurbished at Howe Press, no case, $450. Office 97 on CD-Rom, $125. All items listed are in excellent condition, and the prices are negotiable. Contact Isaac Obie, 755 Tremont Street, Apartment 205, Boston, Massachusetts 02118; phone (617) 247-0026, or e-mail to <>.

New Chapter:

Brian Miller, Secretary of the Old Capitol Chapter of the NFB of Iowa, reports that in June of 1998 the Old Capitol Chapter conducted its inaugural meeting as a newly chartered chapter in the Greater Iowa City area. The following officers were elected:

Priscilla McKinley, President; Mickey Fixsen, Vice President;

Brian Miller, Secretary/Treasurer; Loren Schmitt and Paul Snow, Board Members.

Photo of Toni Eames
                   Toni Eames


On October 24, 1998, at a ceremony conducted in Columbus, Ohio, Toni Eames was inducted into the National Hall of Fame (NHF) for Persons with Disabilities. Founded in 1981 by John Clark, Jr., who serves as Executive Director, NHF's goal is to honor outstanding Americans with disabilities for their personal achievements and contributions to humanity. Toni joins previously inducted nationally renowned figures such as Judy Heumann, I. King Jordan, Nell Carney, Ed Roberts, Bree Walker, and Tom Sullivan. Posthumous inductees have been Helen Keller and Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

Toni Eames was selected because of her outstanding career as rehabilitation counselor, author, and lecturer. This career has been supplemented by her advocacy work on behalf of all disabled people, particularly those partnered with guide, hearing, and service dogs. Her role in the creation and development of the International Association of Assistance Dog Partners (IAADP) was an important factor in receiving this honor. Currently she serves as vice president of the Fresno Chapter of the National Federation of the Blind of California and is a member of the Fresno ADA Council and transportation committee.

Along with husband Ed she has co-authored two books, A Guide to Guide Dog Schools and Partners in Independence: a Success Story of Dogs and the Disabled. She has published articles in Mainstream, Ragged Edge, Disability Studies Quarterly, Braille Monitor, Pawtracks, Harness Up, Dialogue, Cats, and Good Dog, as well as writing a regular column for Dog World magazine.

As a team Toni and Ed have lectured at twenty-three of the twenty-seven veterinary schools in this country and will visit the remaining four schools in 1999. Their goal is to educate veterinary students about the needs of disabled clients, particularly those partnered with guide, hearing, and service dogs.

Positions Available:

We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

Clovernook Center in Cincinnati is recruiting for a variety of positions in its production facility. Openings include packers, material handlers, machine operators, and utility personnel. Contact Mike Walsh, Clovernook Center for the Blind, 7000 Hamilton Avenue, Cincinnati, Ohio 45231, (513) 522-3860, an equal opportunity employer.


The Blueridge Chapter of the NFB of Virginia recently held elections with the following results: Woodrow Berry, President;

Stewart Owen, First Vice President; Angela Matney, Second Vice President; Melvin Montgomery, Treasurer; Cathy Owen, Recording Secretary; Gwen Beavers, Corresponding Secretary; and Cleo Mauck, Andrea Montgomery, and Charlie Morris, Board Members.

Blazie Engineering Announces Improved Product Warranty and latest catalogue:

We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

Blazie Engineering announces a new one-year warranty, effective November 1, 1998. Blazie's entire line of portable talking notetakers, including the Braille 'n Speak 2000, Type 'n Speak 2000, Braille Lite 2000, Braille Lite 40, and Type Lite, will be covered under the policy. Also warrantied for one full year are Blazie's disk drive accessory and the Braille Blazer embosser.

Owners of all devices sold after October 1, 1998, will benefit from the improved guarantee against manufacturing defects, which represents a more than 400 percent increase in coverage from previous company policy. Those customers after October 1, 1998, ordering an optional service agreement at the time of purchase will receive an additional year of coverage, for a total of two years.

Blazie Engineering also announces publication of its 1999 catalog featuring more than sixty items. Included are the entire family of Blazie's talking notetakers, notetaker software and accessories, Braille embossers, screen-reading software, speech synthesizers, Braille graphics software, Braille translation software, computer accessories, and more. In addition to Blazie Engineering's own products, manufacturers represented include Duxbury Systems, Raised Dot Computing, Henter-Joyce, MicroTalk, Syntha-Voice, Digital, and others.

Blazie's newest products, including the PowerBraille refreshable Braille displays, are this year's standout. An expanded selection of application software written especially for Blazie notetakers includes the new program Book `Em. Book `Em compresses files to nearly half their original size without encoding them, practically doubling available memory. Also new is a spreadsheet program for notetakers called Braille Calc.

Blazie Engineering's 1999 catalog is available free in large print, in Braille, on audiocassette, or online by accessing <>.

For more information about Blazie products or the new warranty, contact Blazie Engineering, 105 East Jarrettsville Road, Forest Hill, Maryland 21050. Telephone (410) 893-9333, or visit its Web site at <>.

Focus Groups at National Convention on Barriers to Employment:

We have been asked to announce the following:

What rehabilitation techniques or reasonable accommodations have been successful for NFB members in getting jobs? What do exemplary service providers use to overcome barriers to employment of the blind? Two focus groups will offer NFB members attending the 1999 National Convention in Atlanta the opportunity to provide answers to these and related questions. Each group, to be conducted during the afternoon or evening of Thursday, July 1, will include eight to ten members. After an introductory explanation and summary of barriers to employment of the blind identified by previous research, group members will brainstorm to identify and develop new techniques for overcoming barriers to employment of the blind. Those interested in participating should contact Lynn W. McBroom, Ph.D., at the Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Blindness and Low Vision, P. O. Box 6189, Mississippi State, Mississippi 39762, or call Dr. McBroom at (601) 325-7828.

Vacancy Announcement:

We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

The Michigan Family Independence Agency (FIA) is currently accepting applications for the Director of the Michigan Commission for the Blind Training Center (MCBTC), located in Kalamazoo, Michigan. This position is classified as a State Division Administrator 17. The salary will be based on pay for performance. The minimum base rate will be $24.57 per hour and the maximum base rate will be $37.70. The position receives direction from the Michigan Commission for the Blind Director.

Selection Criteria:

* Thorough knowledge and understanding of blindness and of the issues facing blind persons in Michigan.

* Knowledge and experience administering a diversified service-delivery program for blind persons, including independent living, employment, and vocational rehabilitation.

* Knowledge and experience supervising administrative functions such as personnel, budget, facility maintenance, clinical services, or capital outlay projects.

* Demonstrated commitment to strategic planning and implementation, as well as the ability to work with all levels of management and lead and serve on management teams.

* Experience networking with community groups, statewide business or governmental organizations, or political leaders to develop mutually beneficial programs.

* Proven leadership qualities and excellent communication skills, including public speaking.

Bachelor's degree in Vocational Rehabilitation is required as well as two years of experience as a professional manager or equivalent experience. Closing date for resumes to be received is March 17, 1999. Interviews are tentatively scheduled for April 1 to 6, 1999.

Michigan FIA is an equal opportunity employer. Interested, eligible applicants should submit a resume to Personnel Services, Attention Leila Frangie, Grand Tower, 235 South Grand Avenue, Suite 710, P.O. Box 30037, Lansing, Michigan 48909.


The Clark County Chapter of the NFB of Washington recently elected new officers. They are Michael Freeman, President; Bob Sellers, Vice President; Don Mitchell, Secretary; and Nancy Martin, Treasurer.

Diabetes Action Network Drawing:

The Diabetes Action Network of the National Federation of the Blind provides support and information to thousands of people. Because operating this valuable network and publishing the Voice of the Diabetic cost money, we must generate funds to help cover these expenses. Our Diabetes Action Network will conduct a raffle, which will be coordinated by division treasurer Bruce Peters. The grand prize will be $500! The winning ticket will be drawn and the winner's name announced on July 5, 1999, at the NFB Convention banquet.

Raffle tickets cost $1 each, and a book of six may be purchased for $5. Buy your tickets from state representatives of our Diabetes Action Network or by contacting the Voice Editorial Office, 811 Cherry Street, Suite 309, Columbia, Missouri 65201, telephone (573) 875-8911. Anyone interested in selling tickets should also contact the Voice Editorial Office. Tickets are available now. Names of those who sell fifty tickets or more will be announced in the Voice.

Please make checks payable to the National Federation of the Blind. Money and sold ticket stubs must be mailed to the Voice office no later than June 10, 1999, or delivered personally to project chairman Bruce Peters at this year's NFB convention in Atlanta, Georgia. This raffle is open to anyone age eighteen or older, and the holder of the lucky raffle ticket need not be present to win. Each ticket sold is a donation, helping keep our Diabetes Action Network moving forward.

Snail Mail by E-Mail:

We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

NetGram Incorporated of San Diego, California, announces its patented e-mail to postal mail conversion system known as the E-mail Bridge. The system allows Internet users to send postal letters directly from their e-mail programs without purchasing and installing additional software. The system also includes a full-featured Address Book and Customer-Account pages accessible from the NetGram Web site. Preparing and sending postal mail is as easy as sending an e-mail message.

The E-mail Bridge allows users to create e-mail inboxes on the NetGram server, which represent actual hard-copy destinations. Once a message is sent to the system, NetGram validates the message and prepares it for printing at a NetGram Print Center. The letters are then delivered to the U.S. Postal Service. The cost of sending a single-page postal letter to any recipient in the United States is 89 cents. NetGram sells postage in amounts of $10, $20, and $30 and maintains the postage in the customer's account.

Privacy of the postal address information is guaranteed because NetGram does not release the postal addresses of either senders or recipients to third parties for any reason.

The system is currently in use by international users wishing to send letters to family and friends in the United States and businesses wishing to outsource their document production and delivery. The system is available to Internet users directly from the NetGram Web Site at<>.

Curtis Chong, Director of the NFB's Technology Department, reports that the NetGram Web site requires users to have a Web browser which supports secured sockets, something which Internet Explorer Version 3.02 does not. However, the most current versions of Explorer, Netscape, and Lynx for Unix do; so with relative ease a blind person can do all that is necessary to access the NetGram Web site.


The Northern Hills Chapter of the NFB of South Dakota elected the following new officers: Minni Erickson, President;

Louis Calesso, Vice President; Ariana Calesso, Secretary; and Jessie Nelson, Treasurer.

Photo of Joe Shankle
                     Joe Shankle

In Memoriam:

Seville Allen, First Vice President of the National Federation of the Blind of Virginia, writes with the following deeply distressing news:

Our Virginia affiliate has lost one of its principal leaders. Federationist Joe Shankle died on January 18, 1999. He was on his way to meet Federation friends for dinner three blocks from his home when he was hit by a pickup truck as he crossed a familiar street.

Joe was a cornerstone of our affiliate. A member of our Board of Directors, he generously opened his cafeteria and hosted NFB-V Board meetings, played a key role in building our positive relationship with the Virginia General Assembly, was mentor to many of our successful blind business people, and was a highly respected and familiar figure throughout the Richmond area.

He will be remembered for his dedication and persistence in his work with the Randolph-Sheppard program. He fought for the independence of the facility operators under the program. He was our chief watchdog over Randolph-Sheppard matters and authored related convention resolutions. Joe's persistence resulted in automating many business practices employed by facility operators. His automated spreadsheets for tracking inventory and making required reports are now well-known. Joe was a chief organizer of our Virginia Blind Merchants Association and served as its President throughout most of its fifteen-year history. At the time of his death Joe was a member of the NFB Merchants Division board of Directors. He was President of the Virginia Vendors' Council for more than fifteen years, and after he had completed his time on that Council, he was still sought out for advice on vendor issues.

When he wasn't doing direct Federation work, he was making new plans for his customers at the federal cafeteria in downtown Richmond. He was manager of one of the largest cafeterias in the Randolph-Sheppard program. Joe's Cafeteria, its official name, was designed by Joe. He served between twelve and thirteen hundred lunches a day. He had just completed plans for expanded hours to feed IRS employees as they worked into the evening.

While Joe's talent and skills were well-known within our Federation family, he also had an impact on the rest of his community. An article appearing in the January 20, 1999, Richmond Times Dispatch carried quotations from people whose lives he touched: "...Richmond Circuit Judge Robert W. Duling said Shankle "treated every one of his customers like they were the most important people in the world."

Roger Burgess, district director for the Virginia-West Virginia district of the Internal Revenue Service, said Shankle "positively touched the lives of all of us." "He was a leader for his own staff and an inspiration for them. He stood as a positive example of making the most of life's challenges," Burgess said...."

In addition to his dedication to the Federation and his successful career, Joe was the husband of Federationist Roberta Shankle (known to us as Bert) and father of three children:

Daughter Mitzi Shaw of Richmond and sons Army Specialist Jay Shankle of Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and Jeffrey B. Shankle of Lynchburg.

On January 21, while almost a thousand Federationists, family, and friends gathered at the Mount Vernon Baptist Church to say goodbye to Joe, the Virginia General Assembly House of Delegates passed our Access Technology bill, for which Joe had worked tirelessly. The vote was ninety-seven to zero.

Joe won't be with us as we walk the halls of the General Assembly in the years to come; we will miss his hearty greetings as we gather to do our Federation work. However, we will take his memory along as we continue the work he loved.

Braille and Cassette Books Available:

We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

I Can See Books is a Braille and cassette book store. With 1,000 books listed in our 1999 catalog, we can virtually guarantee that any popular book you wish to read is available in Braille or on audio cassette. Our books are high-quality, low-cost books, many of which have never been produced in alternate format before now.

In addition to providing the books listed in our catalog, we will perform very reasonable transcription services of any pocket book onto audio cassette. We will also produce any article from the World Book Encyclopedia in Braille or on tape, as well as offering over fifteen speech-friendly computer games and utilities, written by our expert computer programmer.

Our catalog is available at our Web site at <> or by e-mail at <>.

If you wish to receive a free cassette or computer disk catalog or wish to purchase a Braille or print price list for $10, please contact us through e-mail or by writing to I Can See Books, 88 Captain Morgans Boulevard, Nanaimo, British Columbia, V9R 6R1 Canada, or call (250) 753-3096.

Full-Time Braille Proofreader Needed:

We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

Braille International, one of the largest producers of Braille in the United States, is seeking a full-time Braille proofreader. He or she must re-locate to Stuart, Florida, for which re-location expenses are negotiable. NLS certification is desirable but not essential since on-the-job training is available.

The job offers good benefits (including medical), starting salary in the range of $7.35 to $8.90 an hour, depending upon certification and experience. Applications and resumes (in Braille) and inquiries should be addressed to Mr. Geoffrey Bull, Braille International, Inc., 3290 SE Slater Street, Stuart, Florida 34997, telephone (800) 336-3142, 7:30 to 4:00 (EST).

Tours Available:

We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

The following tours planned and conducted to be enjoyable by blind people are now available:

(1) Washington, Mt. Vernon, and Monticello: Cherry Blossoms and Presidents (April 5-12); (2) Little Italy and Gourmet Dining in New York (May 20-25); (3) California, the Land of the Lotus Eaters: San Diego to Los Angeles (June 24-July 3); (4) The Gold Coast of Historic Long Island (early September); and (5) Treasures of Hawaii: Paradise Islands (Mid-October).

Contact Robert Wilhelm, The Campanian Society, Inc., Box 167, Oxford, Ohio 45056, phone (513) 524-4846, fax (513) 523-0276, e-mail to <>, Web site <>.


I pledge to participate actively in the efforts 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.