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Paul Harvey Befriends Federation
The following was reprinted from the November 1988 issue of The Months News, the NFB of Illinois newsletter. The following was taken from Presidential Release 140. President Maurer included the following excerpt from a Paul Harvey news broadcast aired soon after Mr. Harvey attended and addressed the National Federation of the Blind national convention in Chicago on July 7,1988.
Paul Harvey: "I had quite an experience this past week, and I want to share part of it with you. The National Federation of the Blind with vigorous leadership is helping its members better to understand their job opportunities and their legal rights. And helping the rest of us to recognize how selective we have become in our concerns.
Americans somehow imagine that the good neighbor philosophy obligates us to assist those farthest from home, often to the neglect of the neighbor right next door. We weep crocodile tears over discrimination in South Africa, yet we applaud sheltered workshops in our own country where blind people are allowed to make brooms for a dollar an hour. Now that's selective indignation.
Americans in their courts make much to-do about civil rights for every race, every religion, and sex, and yet, will allow blind Americans only back-of-the-bus seating on airliners..."
Paul Harvey's address will be reprinted in full in an upcoming issue of The Braille Monitor.
Blind Visitors Opened My Eyes
This item also come from the November 1988 issue of the The Month's News.
It is clear that our national convention impacts more people than those who register at the convention. The following article appeared in the July 29,1988, issue of Chicago Sun-Times in the "Letter" section, written by Joseph Adlesick of Brighton Park.
As a staff member of the recent "Taste of Chicago" I learned that our group was to be headquartered at the Hyatt Regency Chicago. At the check-in I encountered a large group from the National Federation of the Blind who were holding their convention at the hotel. The next ten days were to be an educational experience that I will never forget.
You learn never to stand in the path of a blind person wielding a cane. A rap on your ankle teaches you to allow them the right- of-way. Cane wavers are of three groups, the first being the timid type, mostly women, who scan the area in front of them in a gentle manner almost imitating a mine-detector sweep. The second type swings the cane in a half circle as if he were opening a path for a truck. My favorite is the "Zorro" type who must have had fencing lessons.
If you are the only sighted person on an elevator, you learn to call out the floors as the elevator makes its stops. The floor buttons are in braille, but there is nothing to indicate to a blind person the floor at which the car is stopped.
Which brings us to Seeing Eye dogs. These animals are finely trained but have no sense of humor when you step on their tails in crowded elevators.
So, to all the blind conventioneers who attended the event, you were a pleasure to be with, and we hope you bring your meeting back to Chicago. And yes, my ankles have healed.
We have been asked to pass this information on to you.
Thank you for your interest in our magnetic board games thoughtfully designed for the blind and visually impaired, yet equally playable with the "sighted". We have a smaller version of checkers and backgammon available thanks to requests from the community. And we have redesigned our Tic-tac-toe and Tic-tac-plus games. Parents, teachers, therapists, and counselors continue to find endless teaching and socialization values in our games. And most important, they have been field-tested to make sure they are FUN as well as functional. The games designed for the blind have 3-dimensional game boards. All the games have enlarged and visually contrasting pieces. Because the games are magnetic, the game pieces stay put on the board. Magnetic pieces, convenient sizes, and sheer light weight of these games make them extremely portable for travel. Most sizes will easily fit into almost any briefcase, purse, or back pack.
For more information contact: Presents to Go, P. O. Box 5034, 6111 Riverside Drive, Vancouver, WA 98668; (206) 695-7590.
AT & T Touches Everyone
This information comes from National Braille Press. Phone lovers will applaud the arrival of two new Braille publications: The Area Code Handbook and the AT&T Consumer Resource Guide. Both booklets are available, free of charge, from National Braille Press, thanks to a col- laborative effort with AT&T.
The Area Code Handbook contains the most recent area codes, listed by city and state, which is quite handy since many states recently changed their codes. The AT&T Con sumer Resource Guide contains a multitude of useful tips, including the best times to call at the lowest rates; where to call for phone repairs; how to reach the AT&T National Special Needs Center for help with long distance service or telephone equipment for people with disabilities; and other services offered by AT&T.
Both free booklets are available from National Braille Press, Inc., 88 St. Stephen St., Boston, MA 02115, or by call- ing (617) 266-6160.
This information is reprinted from the NLS Braille Book Review.
Expectations, the annual Braille anthology of current children's literature published by Braille Institute, is avail- able free to blind children in grades three through six.
This year's volume, marking the 40th anniversary of the publication, contains ten complete books, excerpts from three others, and one poem. There are also embossed pages illustrating four of the stories and a "scratch-and-sniff' page. To receive a free copy or for more inforation, contact Douglas Menville, Braille Institute, 741 North Vermont Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90029, (213) 663-1111.
Assistive Technology Act
This information comes the TSI Focus on Technology bulletin.
Signed by President Reagan on August 19, the Technology-related Assistance for Individuals with Disability Act will help fund states to identify and evaluate technologyneeds, provide devices and services, disseminate informa- tion, improve awareness and outreach, aid community- based organizations, and collect data.
The Education Department Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services (OSERS) hopes to make the first state grants during fiscal 1989 after issuing the regulations.
Oakmont Visual Aids Workshop
It was brought to my attention that a group of volunteers in California produces and distributes a number of educa- tional aids for blind children. They distribute these aids free to professionals working with visually handicapped children. Some of the items they make available are: Braille Cell Locator, Alphabet and Numeral Cards (raised letters, regular and enlarged Braille symbols), Dolch Word List Cards, Phonics Cards for Partially-Sighted, Readiness Books (Fabric Matching, Geometric Shapes Matching, etc.), and a variety of mathematical study aids.
A note which appears on the Oakmont order form states: "We survive to serve you through tax-deductible donations. This way we make no charge for these items, but welcome your donations. If you sincerely desire to start a workshop similar to ours, or if you have a group in your area who would like to do so, please contact us. We have detailed instructions available and within reasonable distance would be happy to come and personally help."
You may request an order form or more information from: Oakmont Visual Aids Workshop, 6637 Oakmont Drive, Santa Rosa, CA 95405.
Braille 'n Speak, Your Pocket Pal
This information appeared in the Fall 1988 issue of The Braille Spectator, the NFB of Maryland newsletter.
One of a kind: An exciting new talking device with a Braille keyboard that's affordable, compact but very power- ful--it fits in your pocket and goes where you go--and easy to use for blind and visually impaired people. Braille 'n Speak is a quality computer priced under $1,000. As a talk- ing computer, Braille 'n Speak has a built-in speech syn- thesizer that clearly speaks the Braille text stored in its memory. No longer than one-third the size of a standard sheet of stationery and just one inch thick, Braille 'n Speak is more powerful than many larger personal computers. In short, Braille'n Speak can increase the productivity and in- dependence of visually impaired and blind people. Blazie Engineering, 2818 College View Drive, Churchville, MD 21028; (301) 879-5504.