Future Reflections         Fall 2009

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Braille Readers Are Leaders Contest
Sponsored by the National Association to Promote the Use of Braille (NAPUB), the National Organization of Parents of Blind Children (NOPBC), and the National Federation of the Blind Jernigan Institute
(410) 659-9314, Ext. 2510
[email protected]

Contest Dates: November 1, 2009 to January 4, 2010 (Louis Braille's birth date)
Deadline for Registration Forms, Entry Forms, and Reading Lists: January 22, 2010

Blind and visually impaired students who read Braille and are enrolled in kindergarten through grade 12 are invited to compete for cash prizes and more in the 27th annual Braille Readers Are Leaders Contest. All students who register by December 1 will receive a contest T-shirt.

To take part in the contest, a student counts the number of Braille pages read during the period from November 1, 2009, through January 4, 2010. A parent, teacher, or librarian must serve as a certifying authority. Students who join the contest after the opening date may count pages read on and after November 1. Prizes are awarded in the following categories: grades K-1, 2-3, 4-5, 6-8, 9-12, and Most Improved. Additional prizes are awarded to dual print/Braille readers, delayed Braille readers, and students who use Braille to help them perform a community service. Twelve contestants will win a trip to the 2010 NFB national convention in Dallas, Texas, to be held July 2-9.

Braille Readers Are Leaders Contest 2009-2010

Fax: (410) 659-5129, email: [email protected], or mail to: National Federation of the Blind, Braille Readers Are Leaders Contest, 200 East Wells Street, Baltimore, MD 21230

Deadline: Friday, January 22, 2010

Last Name _____________________________ First Name _____________________________
DOB _____/ _____/ _______ (MM/DD/YYYY)                                Grade _________________
Parent(s) Name _______________________________________________________________
Address ______________________________________________________________________
City ______________________________ State __________________ ZIP ______________
Phone ___________________________ Email ______________________________________

(Teachers, librarians, and parents may serve as certifying authorities.)
Name _______________________________________________________________________
Address _____________________________________________________________________
City ___________________________ State _______________________ ZIP ______________
Position:           Parent               Teacher                   Librarian                  Other ___________________
Preferred Contact Type:
 Phone ___________________________    Email _________________________________

Please send certificate, ribbon, and other awards or prizes to:      
 STUDENT at home address            

 This student is a dual print-Braille or a former print reader.
If you checked the box above, then please list the approximate date or grade in which the student began to learn Braille and use Braille.
Began to learn Braille _______________
Began to use Braille for reading _______________________
Comments ___________________________________________________________________

This student attends:
 Public school             Private school            Homeschool            
 A specialized school for the blind
School Name __________________________________________________________________
School City __________________________________ School State ____________________
Superintendent/Principal ______________________________________________________

This year, EVERY participant who registers in advance for the contest will get a T-shirt!
What T-shirt size is required?  Child Medium (10-12)                    Child Large (14-16)
             Adult Medium (38-40)          Adult Large (42-44)              Adult Extra Large (46+)

Twelve students will win an 8-day, 7-night trip for themselves and a parent or other adult chaperone to attend the 2010 NFB National Convention in Dallas, Texas, from July 2-9, 2010. More information is available at www.nfb.org/BRAL.
Will the student be competing for a trip to the NFB National Convention?            Yes    No

The Braille Leaders Community Service Awards recognize the efforts of students in grades 6-12 who have read a minimum of 500 Braille pages.  The application and requirements can be found on the main Braille Readers Are Leaders page at www.nfb.org/BRAL.
Are you submitting a Braille Leaders Community Service Awards application?    Yes    No 

The Twin Vision® Awards have been established to recognize the efforts of students who are former print readers or use some combination of print and Braille in their academic and/or leisure reading activities.
Are you submitting a Twin Vision® Awards application?     Yes    No

The 2010 Jennifer Baker Awards have been established to recognize the efforts of delayed Braille readers or other students who have additional disabilities or have overcome other obstacles to achieve Braille literacy. The application and requirements are enclosed and can be found on the main Braille Readers Are Leaders page at www.nfb.org/BRAL.
Are you submitting a 2010 Jennifer Baker Awards application?     Yes    No 

The 2009-2010 Braille Readers Are Leaders Competition features a Team of the Year Award.  This award is given to the team that demonstrates the best combination of pages read and team spirit.  A team may consist of as many as five and as few as two participants.  The application and requirements can be found on the main Braille Readers Are Leaders page at www.nfb.org/BRAL.
Are you submitting a Team of the Year award application?              Yes    No

Please note that if you choose to use the electronic version of the form for your reading list submission, you must use the sheet provided on the Braille Readers Are Leaders main page. Please email the completed form to [email protected]

2010 Youth Writing Contest
Sponsored by the Writers' Division of the National Federation of the Blind (NFB)
Contest Deadline: Entries may be submitted between January 1 and April 1, 2010.
Categories: Poetry and Fiction
Prizes: Up to $25 cash and publication in the Writers' Division newsletter, Slate and Style.

For contest details and submission guidelines, visit the Writers' Division Website, <www.nfb-writers-division.org>.


Liberate Us Video Library Project
ATTN: Grace Tiscareño-Sato
22539 Cisneros Drive
Hayward, CA 94541
[email protected]

Two mothers from the San Francisco Bay area have launched an exciting project to promote positive images of blind children and adults. If you have short home videos of your blind child reading Braille, playing the flute, wrestling with siblings, climbing a tree, or engaged in any other activity, ordinary or extraordinary, please submit them for inclusion in the Liberate Us Library. Other ideas for videos to share include public speaking, independent mobility, sports and recreation, or a performance. (Blind adults are invited to submit videos too.)

The collection of videos will become a YouTube channel, taking advantage of a vital communications medium used by millions of people worldwide. Liberate Us will orchestrate a national media outreach campaign to share the video collection so that positive images hit the airwaves while they also are spread online.

Here's your chance to participate in an initiative that can truly break down stereotypes and show the public how real blind people go about their lives. Liberate Us is seeking funding from foundations to produce personal success stories professionally in video, audio, and written formats. Having video examples as a YouTube channel is a critical step in the grant-writing process. Your videos will be instrumental in the awareness campaign and inspirational to families of young blind children. Please join in.

Step One: Upload a one- to three-minute video clip that supports this awareness message at <www.youtube.com>. Here are two sample videos: <www.youtube.com/watch?v=YntKTaa3ciw> and <www.youtube.com/watch?v=JL0d6J0gxl0>. Once your video is uploaded, copy the unique URL in your browser window and continue.

Step Two: Go to <www.babymilagro.org>. Find the "tell us your story" box and describe the video clip--the person, the event, and anything else you want the audience to know. Paste in the unique URL to your YouTube video with your story and send it.

That's it. You can also burn videos to a CD and mail them to the address above. A longer article about this project is posted at <www.liberate-us.org>.


Junior Science Academy 2010
Sponsored by the National Center for Blind Youth in Science (NCBYS)
(410) 659-9314, Ext. 2407
Contact: Mary Jo Hartle: [email protected]

The Junior Science Academy is a four-day program of field trips and hands-on activities to spark students' interest in the physical and earth sciences. Students will learn about alternative techniques that can make science and math more accessible and more fun. In addition, the National Organization of Parents of Blind Children (NOPBC) will sponsor a series of workshops for parents and guardians who accompany participating students.

The program is open to blind and low-vision children ages eight to twelve who are in grades 3-6. Fifteen applicants will be accepted for each of the Academy's two sessions. The sessions will be held at the National Center for the Blind in Baltimore, MD, July 28-August 1 and August 4-8. The program will begin to accept applications in November 2009.


Requiem for the Ziegler

At a time when reading material in Braille was woefully scarce and libraries for the blind were virtually nonexistent, the Matilda Ziegler Magazine for the Blind began publication in March 1907. Produced in Braille and sent free of charge to subscribers around the world, the "Ziegler," as it was affectionately called, was a monthly potpourri of general-interest articles from a wide variety of print publications. It also included columns of news and views on blindness-related topics. In its early decades the Ziegler was among the few information resources available to Braille readers. (Eventually the magazine was also produced in a recorded format.)

Today Braille readers have a vast array of resources at their fingertips. The Ziegler has fulfilled its purpose. Without fanfare the magazine ceases publication of its Braille and recorded versions in November 2009. It will continue in a new incarnation online. (See Odds and Ends.) Thank you to the dedicated founders, supporters, and editors of the Matilda Ziegler Magazine, who helped the blind community take its first crucial steps toward the Age of Information.

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