Future Reflections March/ April 1983, Vol. 2 No. 2

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WHAT IS THE BRAILLE MONITER AND WHY SHOULD I READ IT?

As I was reviewing past issues of Future Reflections and considering the kind of information we need to include in upcoming issues, it dawned on me that we have done our readers a grave disservice. We have not let you know about, or given you the opportunity to obtain, what I consider to be the single best source of information about blindness. Oh yes, we have mentioned it in several articles, but considering its' significance in the field of blindness that just isn't enough.

I am speaking, of course, about the Braille Monitor. The Braille Monitor is the regular monthly publication of the National Federation of the Blind. It is written from the perspective of the organized blind. The Braille Monitor is available in print or on disc to members and non-members alike. That tells you what it is, now why should you read it?

As I mentioned before, it is undoubtedly the single best source of information about blindness and anything affecting the blind that exists today. The Braille Monitor can help you keep current on events and legislation affecting the blind. More than that, the Braille Monitor is an expression of the collective thoughts, feelings, problems, accomplishments and aspirations of thousands of blind people across the country. It is very helpful and important for parents of blind children to study and understand this perspective. Unlike parents of black youngsters, for example, we cannot know first-hand the kind of prejudice and misunderstanding our children will face as they grow to adulthood. In fact, we may not even realize that prejudice and discrimination against the blind even exists. After all, our own experiences with blindness have often been limited or negative in nature.

If you are like most parents I know, you have probably determined that the best way to learn about blindness is from other blind people. The Braille Monitor can help you do that as it effectively answers such questions as:

What is the source of the biggest problems my child will face because of blindness?

What is happening at the local, state and national levels to help educate the public about blindness and improve opportunities for blind persons?

Where can you get a Brailler repaired?

What legislation affecting the blind is being considered in congress?

What can we do to promote better laws regarding the blind?

Why does the largest organization of the blind (the NFB) oppose special buzzers for the blind on sub-way cars and at street crossings?

Where can you purchase special aids, appliances and adapted games for the blind?

What kinds of jobs and careers are blind people pursuing?

What can you do if you have been discriminated against because of blindness?

Why is there conflict among organizations of and for the blind?

In a sense, the Braille Monitor and Future Reflections are complimentary publications. The topics covered in Future Reflections are often best understood if the reader is also familiar with the contents of their most current Braille Monitor.

Examples of this are the past Future Reflections articles that dealt with such topics as: legislation (specifically PL-94-142), Braille, college, jobs and the article in this issue about NAPVI (see page 15). The Braille Monitor deals with each of these topics, as well as others, from the larger view and from an historical perspective that is not always possible or desirable in the pages of Future Reflections. After all, it does not make sense to duplicate what the Braille Monitor already does so well. Let's take the example of the NAPVI article in this issue. Although it was written to stand on its own, there is some history and background that would make the events and issues described more understandable. You can get that history and background by reading the Braille Monitor and other NFB literature.

Some titles from a recent Braille Monitor issue futher demonstrates the scope of this publication. Consider these*.

"Legislation Launched in the 98th Congress: A Report on the March on Washington"

"Blind T.V. Crew Has Feel for the Work"

"Organized Blind Active in Distributing Voter Information in State of Washington"

"Boarding a Bus"

"American Foundation for the Blind Engages in More Questionable Practices"

Now that you know the "what" and the "why," here is how you may subscribe to the Braille Monitor. Just fill out and mail in the following form: