Future Reflections Fall 1990, Vol. 9 No. 3

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Hear Ye! Hear Ye!

Braille Materials for Youth

From the Editor: One of the problems the NFB Braille Contest has highlighted is the continuing shortage of Braille materials for children and youth. Every year parents and teachers tell us how difficult it is to get enough Braille material for these voracious readers.

One under-utilized source of Braille materials for older students (about age 12 and up) is our very own NFB literature. We currently publish and distribute, free of charge, well over 400 articles -- most of which are available in Braille. Although I can't think of a single one of these articles which I wouldn't want my blind seventh grader to read (yes, at one time or another I have read all of them), many are obviously more suitable for, or more entertaining to, blind youth than others. W

ith this in mind, I recently reviewed the literature and developed a selected list of titles from our NFB literature list which I believed would be interesting to blind youth. Because my primary purpose was to find materials for blind youth to read for the Braille contest, I only selected material which is available in Braille. (This was not much help in sifting out titles since about 95% of our free literature is Brailled.) I then asked myself these questions as I reviewed each title: Would, in my opinion, bund youth find the article entertaining? and would the article stand by itself? (Some of our literature deals with issues which are not easily understood unless you read several related articles.) I then divided the titles which I had selected into seven categories for greater ease of selection. The categories are: Careers, Personal Experiences, Alternative Techniques, Fiction, Blindness: Issues and Current Events, Blindness: An Historical Perspective, and Miscellaneous.

I think this list will be useful if it accomplishes these two goals: 1. Give blind youth more options in Braille materials to read for the contest, for pleasure, and for information. 2. Encourage blind youth to read our other literature and learn more about the National Federation of the Blind and our goals and aspirations for the blind of their generation.

To get your copy of the Selected NFB Braille Literature for Blind Youth, write to: Parents of Blind Children Division, Barbara Cheadle, President; 1800 Johnson Street, Baltimore, Maryland, 21230; (301) 659-9314.

Tactile Learning Concepts

Barbara Aiello, president of Kids on the Block, Inc., shared some information with me about a new product which creates instant raised lines using special paper and special felt markers in eight assorted colors. This product was not developed especially for blind children, yet it obviously has implications forblind children and for blind parents of sighted children as well. Here is the information as it was given to me:

TactilLine Paper™ and TactilLiner Pens™ provide teachers an inexpensive, easy and creative way to develop 3-dimensional materials. Art and recreational activities can be enhanced and created. Student interest level will be raised as the excitement of a new concept is introduced and used. TactilLine Paper is offset printable and can be used in a copy machine. Activity lessons and materials can be easily prepared with little effort. Features: instant raised illustrations, safe non-toxic markers, 3-dimensional writing, reinforcement of word and letter recognition, assorted marker colors, offset printable, sensory and kinesthetic, and copy machine usable. For more information write or call: Tactile Learning Concepts, 12079 Starcrest Drive, San Antonio, Texas 78240; 1-800-633-3018.

Braille Evangelical Materials

We have been asked to print the following information:
At Eyes of Faith Ministries we care that blind children have the same spiritual advantages as sighted children. Currently we are the only fundamental, evangelical Braille ministry with its primary emphasis on reaching youth. We can help with: Christian textbooks transcribed into Braille for any blind student attending a Christian school or being home-schooled by a parent, and for blind parents desiring to help their children. We provide: Brailled Christian literature, such as stories, biographies and devotional books written especially for young people; Brailled preschool stories blind parents can use for bedtime reading (some include pictures); The Mailbox Club correspondence course in Braille; Braille tracts and other supplemental materials. Write to Eyes of Faith or give us a call...we want to help. If we don't have what you need, we may know who does. Eyes of Faith Ministries, 47316 Riverside Road, Newberry Springs, California 92365; (619) 2573174.

Magnetic Game Boards

We have been asked to carry the following announcement from R.E.B. Magnetics:
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. In the past year we have filled numerous orders for state schools for the blind, commissions for the blind, retail outlets for the blind and visually impaired, as well as numerous individuals. 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 boards. The 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 backpack. * Games are not recommended for children under five years of age. *Low vision games are not 3-dimensional but utilize contrasting colors for playing ease. For more information about the games and prices, call or write: R.E.B. Magnetics, 3321 Mt. Pleasant Road, Kelso, Washington 98626; (206) 636-4693.

Seminar Tapes Now Available!

Tapes of the 1990 Annual Parents Seminar, sponsored by the Parents of Blind Children Division of the National Federation of the Blind, are now available! The theme for the annual conference, which was held in Dallas, Texas, this past summer, was "Who are the Professionals, and What Should They Do?" Topics covered at the day-long seminar included (among others): "The Role of Technology," "The Role of the Medical Profession," and a discussion of what happens (or should happen) "In the Classroom." The four cassette set was recorded at standard speed (17/8 ips) and is available for $8.00 from: NFB Materials Center, 1800 Johnson Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21230; (301) 6599314.

LaLeche League

Judy Jones of Washington called and asked that we print the following information:
Judy Jones Brailles and tapes material published by the LaLeche League, an organization which provides support and information to mothers who choose to breast-feed then infants. The materials also cover other topics related to child-care and nutrition. The Brailled and taped materials are given out on a loan basis, and although anyone is welcome to borrow them, parents are given top priority. For more information, you may write (Braille or tape is preferred) or call: Judy Jones, 8019 South Alaska, Tacoma, Washington 98408; (206) 535-4628.

Use the Library

Charlynn Pyne, Children's Librarian at the Library of Congress, Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, called my attention to a little booklet called Helping Your Child Use the Library. Published by the U.S. Department of Education, this booklet can be obtained by sending your request and $0.50 to: Department of Education, Department 465V, Consumer Information Center, Pueblo, Colorado 81009.

Save Those Cards

We have been asked to carry the following announcement:
We are a Children's Fund that sends many books, school supplies, etc. overseas to needy children. We have several blind and visually handicapped children whom we help with tape recorders, special corning eyeglasses, etc. We also send these children and their teachers embossed and raised greeting cards. When you receive greeting cards with raised and embossed pictures, please cut off the greeting side and mail the picture side to: Norma Gaines, Eilat Children's Fund, 2207 Arden Road, Baltimore, Maryland 21209; (301) 542-3501.

Braille Publications

We have been asked to print the following information:
We now have the following publications in Braille for blind parents and for parents of blind children: Emergency Information teaches children what to do in dangerous situations and leaves space for emergency phone numbers ($0.50). Safe Kids Are No Accident is a must for blind parents wishing to protect their children from accidents ($4.00). How to Crimeproof Your Home is published by the U.S. Government to prevent burglaries ($3.50). More Money for your House teaches you how to prepare your house for resale ($2.00). SearsIKenmore Microwave OvenManual contains general instructions for setting up, safety instructions, and specific instructions for Kenmore Microwave Ovens ($6.00). An updated catalogue, which includes new prices for large-print material as well as many other new Braille materials, is also available from: TFB Publications, John Dragona, 238 75th Street, North Bergen, New Jersey 07047; (201) 662-0956.

Computer Fact Sheet

The Library of Congress, National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped publishes a fact sheet about computer technology called: "Computer Technology for Handicapped Persons--Some Questions and Answers". "It includes information for the person just beginning to explore computer technology, as well as for experienced users.'The fact sheet is available free of charge from: Reference Section, National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, Library of Congress, Washington D.C.20542.

Text to Braille

Editor's Note: This information about NFBTRANS, a text-to-Braille translation program, appeared in the Blind Floridian, the newsletter of the National Federation of the Blind of Florida. I use NFBTRANS every time I need Braille materials, and not only does it produce good quality Braille, but it truly is easy to use. NFBTRANS is marketed through: Roudley Associates, Inc., Post Office Box 608, Owings Mills, Maryland 21117-1-800-333-7049; and American Printing House for the Blind, 1839 Frankfort Avenue, Post Office Box 6085, Louisville, Kentucky- (502) 895-2405.

NFBTRANS is an easy-to-use text-to-Braille translation computer tool. It was developed several years ago by the National Federation of the Blind Committee on Research and Development in response to the expressed need of blind people. This computer program is now being used by individuals and institutions including many federal and state agencies serving visually handicapped people across the nation and in foreign countries.
It easily and quickly produces Grade U Braille from text entered using a word processing program such as Wordstar, Word Perfect, Multimate, Sprint, etc.
--It is designed to be easy to use.
--Most operators can start producing Grade II Braille with half an hour's practice.
--There are a number of commands that enable you to format the Braille output for almost any purpose.
--You need a computer, an embosser, and word processing software to use with NFBTRANS.
--It runs on microcomputers that use MS-DOS; one version (special order only) will run on CP/M based microcomputers.
--It will run on the Apple K as long as the computer has a card that will enable it to use the CP/M operating system.
--It needs a Brailling device which can be any embosser or paperless Braille device that uses the Triformation LED120 coding scheme. These include the Triformation Series, the Thiel, the Cranmer Modified Perkins, the Romeo, and the Braillo.
--Its capabilities are updated and enhanced continually and released annually.

Lenses from Corning

This information is reprinted from the VIP Newsletter.

Corning Glare Control™ Lenses, designed by Corning Medical Optics, may be beneficial for certain eye conditions such as cataracts, glaucoma, aphakia/psuedophakia, diabetic retinopathy, and retinitis pigmentosa which cause increased glare sensitivity. The result of extensive research, these lenses filter the short blue wavelengths in the visible spectrum that cause discomfort. Longer wavelengths of lower energy (yellow, orange, and red light) pass through. The improved contrast and reduced glare provided by the lenses often result in sharper vision for wearers. Available in piano and most single vision, bi-focal and trifocal prescriptions. Special prescriptions are also available for low vision patients. For more information contact: Susan Dana, Corning Medical Optics, MP 21-2-2, Corning, New York 14831; or call (607) 974-7823.

Catalogue of Books

We recently received thefollowing press release from Twin Peaks Press:
The Disability Bookshop Catalog, a shop-by-mail bookstore--stocking hard-to-find titles covering a wide range of health topics for the general public and matters of interest to disabled persons--has just published their new catalog. Founder Helen Heckr, a registered nurse and author of several books for disabled persons, says each book has been carefully reviewed for appropriate content, ease of use and type size. The catalog includes books about pain, aging, general medical topics, cooking, resource directories, children's needs, and so forth. Many books are in large or larger type. To receive the catalog send $1.00 for postage and handling to: The Disability Bookshop, P.O. Box 129, Vancouver, Washington 98666. For more information call (206) 694-2462. As an added convenience for the blind and visually impaired and severely disabled, this catalog is available on audio cassette for $3.50 postage and handling.

Family Needed

Debbie Day, our Parents Division Adoption Network chairperson, tells me that a permanent adoptive family is needed for a blind twelve-year-old currently attending the Washington State School for the Blind. Here is information about the situation as given to us by Barbara Knowles, Adoption Services of WACAP:
Tommy arrived in the United States from Calcutta, India, in October, 1987. He was placed with a family for adoption. That placement disrupted one year later. Tommy was placed in a temporary home situation and then in a second foster home on 11-11-88 while a search was made for an adoptive family. The parent to whom Tommy is attached is critically ill. The family is devoting their energy to this family crisis and have made the decision that they will be unable to continue with their plans to adopt Tommy. They have asked WACAP to find a new adoptive home for him. Tommy has been described as delayed socially, currently functioning at about a six-year-old level. However, he has made steady improvements in this area. Tommy is in the fifth grade this year. Last year he made excellent progress in math and increased his skills in reading, writing, and other subjects. His current functioning level is at about a third grade level. He has undergone two cornea transplants and removal of cataracts, but the transplants have not been successful. Tommy has a special interest in music. He is fascinated about taking things apart to discover how they operate. He has always seemed to have a real eagerness to learn.

For more information about Tommy, please contact: Barbara Knowles, Adoption Services of WACAP, Post Office Box 88948, Seattle, Washington 98138; (206) 575-4550.

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