By Gary Wunder Editor's Note: Despite the proliferation of digital publications, the National Federation of the Blind's Braille Monitor remains our flagship publication. It is still published in print, large print, and most importantly in Braille. In a day where many gather news from online sources, the Braille Monitor remains relevant by providing in-depth stories on issues related to Blindness and by documenting the history of the National Federation of the Blind. With the Federation's recent 82nd Anniversary on November 16, 2022, the Voice of the Nation's Blind Blog thought it would be interesting to look back at the history of the Braille Monitor. The following article, a Brief History of the Braille Monitor, appeared in the Braille Monitor January 2011, and was originally from a speech given by Gary Wunder on October 30, 2010, at the National Federation of the Blind of Colorado Convention. We hope you find Gary's article interesting.
By Valerie Yingling Can both federal employees and members of the public with disabilities avail themselves of the full panoply of rights and remedies provided, either explicitly or implicitly, by Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, 29 U.S.C. § 794d, including the right to file a civil action for injunctive relief?1
by Schulzman Walter Shannon McCann (aka Schulz) My name is Schulzman Walter Shannon McCann, but most people call me Schulz or “Good Boy.” I’m a seven-year-old black lab and for about five years, I was a Seeing Eye dog. So many people think that just because guide dog handlers are blind, we, the dogs, do all of the work. That’s inaccurate. I was an equal partner with my mom. (She named herself that; not all handlers do.) She knew where to go and how to navigate things such as traffic. I got us where we needed to be, safely. It took both of us working in tandem to be a successful team. We trained at the Seeing Eye which is a guide-dog-training school. There are many schools around the world. There are also programs designed by handlers who train their own dogs.
The following article originally appeared in the Blind American, November 1962. By Kenneth Jernigan
by Liz Wisecarver Finally, we were back together again for the National Convention of the National Federation of the Blind in New Orleans. There were over 2,500 participants in-person and over 1,000 joining in virtually! Many of us, myself included, dusted off our cane-travel skills and had to remember how to prepare for a week packed with exhilarating presentations, social outings, and opportunities to network with blind people from across the country. Thankfully, it was not too difficult to get back in the swing of things and enjoy everything national convention had to offer.
By Karl Belanger The Orbit Writer came on the market in 2020 as an inexpensive Braille input keyboard for use with smartphones and computers. The Hable One is another Braille input keyboard, designed specifically for smartphones. Unlike the Orbit Writer, the Hable has keys arranged to make it easier to hold and type. If you have used Braille input on your phone in the screen away mode, the keyboard closely mimics that arrangement. The Hable is a solid little device that works well for both typing in Braille and controlling the phone. At $350 it’s a bit on the expensive side, but it certainly feels sturdy and may certainly be worth it if you do a lot of Braille input on the go.
By Justin Young I have been a member of the National Federation of the Blind since 2009 when I was involved in the New York Association of Blind Students. I have always had a passion for legislative and advocacy work. I have held several leadership roles in the New York affiliate since 2017, and I was excited to be asked to join the national staff as a government affairs specialist in late January 2022. Some of our legislative priorities that I work on include the Medical Device Nonvisual Accessibility Act and the Transformation to Competitive Integrated Employment Act, which I gave a few updates on during the 2022 National Convention.
By Gary Wunder When I came to the Federation, the Braille Monitor was the way folks across the nation talked. There was no live presidential release, no Voice of the Nation’s Blind, no Imagineering Our Future.
by Rachel Kuntz