Monitor Miniatures

Picture of Abraham Nemeth

Abraham Nemeth

Honored:

Federationist Dr. Abraham Nemeth, creator of the Nemeth Braille Code for mathematic and scientific notation used by blind students in performing arithmetical computations and mathematical problem-solving, received the American Foundation for the Blind's 1999 Migel Medal. The award was presented at a ceremony and reception on November 4 at the Chicago Marriott Downtown.

Dr. Nemeth holds a bachelor's degree from Brooklyn College and a master's degree and doctorate from Columbia University. He taught at Manhattan College and Manhattanville College in Purchase, New York. Blind from birth, Dr. Nemeth is a retired professor of mathematics at the University of Detroit. During his thirty-year career, he was instrumental in launching the institution's graduate program in computer science. He is a long-time Federationist and served as chair of the Michigan Commission for the Blind from 1991 to 1993.

In an AFB press release, Susan Jay Spungin, Foundation Vice President for Education and International Programs, said: "Abe Nemeth's determination to pursue his love of math and science despite the lack of Braille materials in these fields led to the creation of the Nemeth Code. Braille users around the country are no longer limited in their choice of careers, and for that, we are honored to present Abe with the Migel Medal."

Federationists join in congratulating Dr. Nemeth.

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Blind Workers Have Comparable Rates for Occupational Injuries and Illnesses:

We recently received an interesting press release from National Industries for the Blind. In significant part, here it is:

The Future Trends and Research Committee of the General Council of Industries for the Blind (GCIB), a coalition of eighty-nine non-profit organizations associated with National Industries for the Blind (NIB), recently released a study on occupational injuries and illnesses among workers who are blind. The study debunks the commonly held belief that workers with disabilities have a higher incidence rate than the national average. Thirty-eight NIB-associated non-profit agencies (NPA's) representing 64.3 percent of total employees participated in the study, which incorporated data from 1995 through 1997. At least 75 percent of the direct labor operations of all NPA employees are performed by people who are blind.

Results of the study include:

* Incidence rates of injuries and illnesses with NPA's decreased by 30 percent between 1995 and 1997, while the national average rates reported by OSHA increased by 5.5 percent during the same period. The incidence of injuries and illnesses within NPA's is either comparable with or lower than the weighted national average rates, particularly during 1996 and 1997.

* The experience factor used by insurance carriers to determine insurance rates for NPA's varied between a low of 0.88 and a high of 0.96 over the three-year period, indicating that the insurance carriers generally recognize that the NPA's have marginally lower incidence rates than for-profit industry. As the incidence rate comparison for 1997 indicates, the actual experience factor used by insurance carriers should have been even lower.

* During 1997 the Workers Compensation Insurance as a percentage of payroll dollars paid by NPA's as a group was 3.27, which compares favorably with the 3.88 national average.

The study findings clearly indicate, that given the proper tools, working conditions, and safety devices, blind workers can achieve the same rates of injuries and illnesses as their sighted counterparts performing similar operations or still lower rates. Anecdotal information collected from several NPA's suggests that the rates of injuries and illnesses for the blind employees are even lower than for their sighted employees.

A summary of the report, "Incidence of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses Among Workers Who Are Blind," is available on the NIB Web site, <www.nib.org>. For a free copy of the summary or the full report, please contact National Industries for the Blind, 1901 North Beauregard Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22322, (703) 998-0770; fax (703) 998-9053, e-mail <nib.org>. Braille and large print copies are also available.

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New Publication on Adaptive Technology:

We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

AccessWorld, Technology for Consumers with Visual Impairments: call to reserve your subscription today. Beginning January, 2000, there will be a comprehensive resource for obtaining the latest information on adaptive technology and visual impairment. Clearly written text provides a wealth of information on new products available, current techniques, new books and videos, practical tips on using adaptive technology, reports from the field, and more. You'll receive six issues a year in your choice of on-line, print, audio cassette, or Braille format containing helpful and valuable information on recent technology for the home and office for $29.95 a year.

Features include Product Evaluations, New Product Announcements, Question and Answer column, Calendar of Events, On-the-Job Profiles, Conference Reports, Book and Video Reviews, Surveys, Trainer's Corner, Beyond Computers, Reader's Corner. To subscribe or for more information, please contact AFB Press, 11 Penn Plaza, Suite 300, New York, New York 10001, Telephone, (212) 502-7651, Fax (212) 502-7774, e-mail <cboston@afb.net>. Visit our Web site at <http://www.afb.org>.

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For Sale:

We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

Telesensory CCTV for sale. Contact Thelma Richman, 13800 Derrickson Avenue, Ocean City, Maryland 21842, or call (410) 250-5831.

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Honored:

Betty Niceley, President of the National Federation of the Blind of Kentucky, reports that on September 29, 1999, Ms. Inam Shalati of Louisville, Kentucky, received the Belle of Louisville Award from the Spirit of Jefferson Foundation for her efforts as a volunteer in working with blind and blind multiply handicapped children who are learning to read Braille. She was one of ten individuals chosen from 125 nominees.

Inam is blind and uses a walker. She relates well and is an excellent role model to these children as she demonstrates her ability to deal with public transportation and the public in general despite the extra demands of cerebral palsy. She travels by public transportation to many schools to meet with children of elementary and pre-school ages. She shares with them her love of reading Braille as they learn to appreciate literacy. It is worth mentioning that Inam has read, if not all, then nearly all the NFB literature available in Braille. Inam is a member of the NFB of Greater Louisville.

This year has been especially fruitful for Inam. In addition to the Belle of Louisville Award, she has won the prestigious Volunteer Vision Assistant Award for Jefferson County, an award for volunteer work, given by the Kentucky Board of Education, and an award for volunteer work at the Kentucky School for the Blind. Congratulations, Inam, and well done!

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E-Mail by Telephone:

We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

Send and receive e-mail by telephone with Mail-Call. This service provides a simple way for anyone to send and receive e-mail messages without using a computer. All you need is an e-mail address and access to a telephone. If you don't have an e-mail address, Mail-Call will provide one for you free. Mail-Call has a toll-free access number that gives access to the system all day, every day.

Mail-Call delivers a user's e-mail in an easy-to-understand computer voice with user control of voice and rate of speech. You can reply to any message just by speaking your reply message into the phone. You can also send your message to a fax machine. A free demonstration of Mail-Call service is available by calling (888) 462-4348. When the system answers and asks for an account number, just press the pound key on your telephone to hear the system demo.

Mail-Call service is available anywhere in the United States for $.30 a minute. Mail-Call does not require a contract or monthly minimums. You pay only for the actual minutes you use. There is a one-time set-up fee of $2.50. The service is billed monthly to the user's credit card. To set up a user account, call (900) 299-4722, or visit the Web site, <www.mail-call.com>.

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Attention Would-Be Typists:

We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

I Can See Books presents Talking Typing Teacher (TTT), designed to help teach you to type or increase your typing speed. TTT has built-in speech, so speech-output devices are not required. In most cases you don't even need a sound card. You do need an IBM-compatible computer (386 or faster), 2.5 MB of disk space, MS-DOS 4.0 or higher, and a 16-bit sound card (optional).

For more information, contact I Can See Books, 88 Captain Morgans Boulevard, Nanaimo, British Columbia, V9R 6R1 Canada, phone (250) 753-3096, or e-mail <dr100@ncf.ca>, Web site: <www.ncf.ca/~dr100>.

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Web-Braille on the Internet:

We recently received the following information of interest to Braille readers:

Braille readers can now read books on the Internet thanks to a technological breakthrough by the Library of Congress called Web-Braille. Readers now have access to more than 2,700 electronic Braille books recently placed on the Internet for the use of eligible Braille readers by the Library's National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS). Web-Braille materials can be made available only to eligible users who are residents of the U.S. or American citizens living abroad. For further information contact Robert E. Fistick, Head, Publications and Media Section, National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, the Library of Congress, 1291 Taylor Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20542, (202) 707-9279 or e-mail <rfis@loc.gov>.

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Elected:

John TeBockhorst, newly elected secretary of the Writers Division, reports the following results of the July 2, 1999, election during the NFB Convention in Atlanta. The new officers are Tom Stevens, President; Lori Stayer, First Vice President; Jerry Whittle, Second Vice President; John TeBockhorst, Secretary; Helen Stevens, Treasurer; and Patricia Morrow, Martha Young, Alma Hinkle, and Toby Longface, Board Members.

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Attention Those Interested in Acting:

At next year's convention in Atlanta we will conduct a meeting for all those interested in forming an actors division. You are encouraged to memorize a monologue to be performed at the meeting, and information will be provided about acting companies looking for blind actors. Bring your ideas and be ready to make your premiere. Please contact Angela Sasser, 2610 Whitis Avenue, No. 1, Austin, Texas 78705, (512) 495-1010.

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Elected:

The River City Chapter of the NFB of California elected the following new officers: Debbie Bacon, President; Nathanael Wales, First Vice President; Bryan Bashin, Second Vice President; Jean Glick, Treasurer; and Ellen Paxon, Dennis Russak, and Chris Foster, Board Members.

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Vacancy:

We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

The Philomatheon Society of the Blind in Canton, Ohio, has vacancies for legally blind people who are in need of a boarding home. For more information call (330) 453-9157 or (330) 453-0045. You may also contact Jerry Dessecker, President of the Philomatheon Society of the Blind, 2810 West Tuscarawas Street, Canton, Ohio 44708.

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Writers Division Contest:

The NFB Writers Division announces its poetry and fiction contests for 1999-2000. The postmark deadline for entries is May 1, 2000. A $5 fee must accompany each entry. Checks should be made payable to the NFB Writers Division. Please include a stamped, self-addressed envelope and a cover page with your name, address, and phone number. A three-line bio is optional but useful. Entries must be typed. The contest is open to members of the Writers Division, whether blind or sighted, and to legally blind non-members. Entrants must be eighteen or over.

Poetry: Send previously unpublished poetry to Lori Stayer, 2704 Beach Drive, Merrick, New York 11566. Poems may be up to thirty-six lines.

Fiction: Send previously unpublished fiction, typed, double- spaced, of up to 3,000 words (approximately twelve typed pages), to Tom Stevens, 1203 S. Fairview Road, Columbia, Missouri 65203.

Entrants are asked not to submit contest entries elsewhere while the contest is running or for six months after it ends, if the entry wins. Prizes are $50, $40, $25, and $15 for each contest. Winning entries may be published in Slate and Style.

Caution: entries must be postmarked by the contest deadline. Please do not send your first draft. Proofread your work. Why lose a contest because of spelling errors or faded ribbons? Winners will be notified separately. Otherwise, winning entries will be announced in the Summer, 2000, issue of Slate and Style.

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Students' Writing Contest:

The National Federation of the Blind Writers Division is sponsoring two contests for students, open to legally blind students under the age of eighteen. Older students are invited to enter the adult contests. Both contests opened September 1, 1999. The contest deadline is May 1, 2000. Entries must be postmarked by the deadline date.

Entries must be accompanied by a cover sheet, including name, address, and phone number of the student; the title of the piece; and the student's age and grade, as well as a $3 entry fee per poem or story. Students may enter as often as they like. Work must be unpublished, typed, and double-spaced. A self-addressed, stamped envelope must accompany each entry. Prizes are $30, $20, and $10 in each contest.

Fiction: Send your story, up to 3,000 words, to Tom Stevens, 1203 S. Fairview Road, Columbia, Missouri 65203. A short bio, about three lines, must be included. Be sure to include the entry fee.

Poetry: Poems up to thirty-six lines will be accepted for this contest. Send your poetry, bio, and entry fee to NFB Writers Division, in care of Loraine Stayer, 2704 Beach Drive, Merrick, New York 11566. There is no limit on the subject for poems or stories.

Note: if a student prefers to write his or her story in Braille, it must be accompanied by a typed copy.

For more information call Loraine Stayer at 516) 868-8718 or email: <LoriStay@aol.com>. Make all checks out to the NFB Writers Division. Please distribute this contest notice to local schools, local organizations of Parents of Blind Children and your library for the blind.

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Gourmet Salad Dressings Available:

We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

The perfect gift for any occasion--a gift pack representing a San Francisco cable car, containing three bottles of Carmela's Gourmet award-winning salad dressings and one jar of chocolate sauce is available for $20, including shipping and handling. Three dollars per gift pack will be donated to the National Federation of the Blind. For Braille readers these salad dressings are labeled in Braille. You may send your check to Carmela's Gourmet, 415 English Avenue, Monterey, California 93940.

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Braille Fortune Cookies:

We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

Lucky Touch Fortune Cookie Company, a student-operated business, specializes in Braille fortune cookies. You can customize an order to fit your event, e.g., birthdays, anniversaries, conventions, seminars, holidays. Special orders require three months notice. Contact Lucky Touch Advisor, Judith Lesner, at (510) 794-3800, or California School for the Blind, 500 Walnut Avenue, Fremont, California 94536.

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Elected:

The NFB of Florida elected new officers at its state convention in September. They are Wayne Davis, President; Dan Hicks, First Vice President; Kathy Davis, Second Vice President; Gloria Mills-Hicks, Secretary; Donna Evans, Treasurer; and Jim Elsworth, Brenda Gillis, and Barry Feazell, Board Members.

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Braille Resource for Children:

We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

The Braille Institute in Los Angeles has introduced a new program that provides Braille classics to children for their personal enjoyment. For more information contact the Braille Institute, 741 North Vermont Avenue, Los Angeles, California 90029-3594, (323) 663-1111, fax: (323) 666-5881.

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NFB PLEDGE

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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.