Braille Monitor                                                                                                   July 2004

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News from the Federation Family

Elected:

The North San Diego County Chapter of the NFB of California recently elected new officers. They are Paul Price, president; Dave Faiman, first vice president; Beth Kats, second vice president; Karmalynne Rios, secretary; Shirley Bailiff, treasurer; and Denise Bravell and Eleanor Sass, board members.

At its convention April 23 and 24, 2004, the NFB of South Dakota conducted elections. After many years of faithful service, Karen Mayry was unable to stand for election as president. This was a sad moment for everyone in the affiliate, and every state official who addressed the convention made a special point of paying tribute to Karen and explaining her impact on their lives and the quality of her service to the blind community. These tributes were deeply felt and gratefully received by those present.

Elected this year were Bob Brown, president; Bob Riibe, secretary; and Deb Nefler, treasurer.

American Diabetes Association Annual Expo:

Kristina Lawrence, president of the Seattle Chapter of the NFB of Washington, reports as follows:

On May 15, 2004, the National Federation of the Blind of Washington staffed an information booth at the annual Diabetes Expo conducted by the American Diabetes Association. Volunteers from the Sno-King Chapter (Gary Mackenstadt, Denise Mackenstadt, and Chris Micelli) and Seattle Chapter (Kay Burrows, Jessiaca Evans, and Kris Lawrence) handed out copies of the Voice of the Diabetic, numerous Kernel Books, and general information about the NFB.

The Expo opened at 9:00 a.m. and ended at 4:00 p.m. Attendees were nurses, doctors, those dealing with diabetes, other medical professionals, and the general public. The Expo offered many kid-friendly activities, which brought in entire families. About three thousand people attended the Expo.

Many of the medical professionals were gathering information for patients who were becoming blind. Others were collecting information for friends and family members. One young child picked up a Kernel Book just because it had a picture of a dog on the cover. I was amazed at the number of people who had never heard of the NFB.

We also spoke with people who were losing their sight. One couple stood out from the rest. The woman had been a nurse in the critical care field for thirty years. Due to complications her vision became drastically restricted fairly quickly. She expressed her fear that she would fall down the stairs whenever she left home and her feelings of helplessness as the things she loved seemed to be slipping out of her reach. She has a cane but doesn't use it when her husband is with her. We talked for a long time. We gave her Kernel Books and other literature. But, most important, she said that she would like to be contacted so that she could join a chapter of the NFBW.

Those who volunteered at the booth all agree that it was a great experience. Not only did we get our literature into the hands of people who need it, but we showed by example that the National Federation of the Blind of Washington is changing what it means to be blind.

The Snack Pack Is Back:

From Kevan Worley: In the April issue we explained that, due to circumstances beyond our control, the National Association of Blind Merchants would be unable to sell our popular Snack Packs at the upcoming national convention in Atlanta. But wait, hold everything, our hosts at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis have agreed to allow us to sell our traditional twenty-item goody bag after all. Stop by the National Association of Blind Merchants booth anytime the exhibit hall is open to purchase your snack pack for only $5.

In Brief

Notices and information in this section may be of interest to Monitor readers. We are not responsible for the accuracy of the information; we have edited only for space and clarity.

Audio Darts Tournament:

The Harold Schlegel Audio Dart Tournament will be held the weekend of October 8 to 10, 2004, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The tournament will begin with 301 singles on Friday evening at 7:30 p.m., earlier if possible. The events Saturday will be 501 doubles, 301 doubles, and count-up. Sunday's events will be 501 and 301 triples, both luck-of-the-draw. The Saturday and Sunday events will start at 8:30 a.m. When possible, afternoon and evening events will be moved forward for more efficient time management. The total prize money will be $4,550.

Registration for all six events is $75 or $15 per individual event. To register for the tournament, mail your name, contact information, and registration payment to Louis Wassermann, 2503 Silver Oak Drive, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15220 by no later than October 1, 2004. No refunds will be available unless substantiated emergencies occur. For additional information or questions, call Joe Wassermann at (412) 687-5166. The tournament will be held at the Best Western located at 3401 Boulevard of the Allies in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. For overnight accommodations phone the hotel directly at (412) 683-6100. The room rate is $80 a night plus 14 percent tax for up to four occupants. Reservations must be made by September 17 in order to guarantee this great rate. Come one and all to have fun for the weekend.

Learning Music by Ear:

This summer learn to play a musical instrument without using music or Braille. Bill Brown has introductory courses for the guitar, piano, bass, banjo, and drums that teach the basics using only CD's or tapes. This is the easiest way to learn your favorite instrument quickly. The courses are available through the National Library Service, or purchase your own copy for $39 by calling Bill Brown at (229) 249-0628. To order online or to obtain information on other teaching materials, go to <www.musicvi.com>.

Position Available:

Director of Blind Services, E.H. Gentry Technical Facility, Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind.

Position Requirements:

• Minimum of masters degree in rehabilitation and/or education

• Experience as administrator preferred

• Knowledge of blindness and rehabilitation process

• Ability to communicate effectively orally and in writing

• Knowledge of program and curriculum development in rehabilitation services for the blind and visually impaired

• Knowledge of various methodologies of residential rehabilitation programs for the blind and visually impaired

• Must demonstrate competency in reading and writing Braille by scoring 80 percent or better on AIDB Braille Skills Assessment

• Inventory within the first thirty months of employment

• The successful applicant must submit to a criminal history background information check including, but not limited to, FBI and ABI record repositories

Performance Responsibilities:

• Direct center-based and community rehabilitation program for the blind or visually impaired

• Develop and implement a core curriculum, which builds confidence and independence and leads to employment

• Maintain positive relationship with organizations of the blind

• Research latest strategies for services leading to independence and employment

• Work closely with Director of AIDB Field Services.

• Supervise all staff who serve persons who are blind or visually impaired

• Evaluate personnel

• Improve professional competence of staff through in-service education and training activities

• Maintain relationship in and participate in the affairs of professional societies, vocational rehabilitation conferences, and consumer groups for persons who are blind or visually impaired

• Work in partnership with Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired

• Perform other duties as assigned

Salary: $37,711 to $66,484 (Scale A1 Rank 04)

Submit applications to P.O. Box 698, Talladega, Alabama 35161.

Deadline for application: open until filled

R 995 Position ID #403105

Update on Utah:

In the May 2004 issue we reported on recent events surrounding the Utah Schools for the Deaf and Blind (USDB). On May 19, 2004, a memo from several state education officials was circulated to USDB administrators, teachers, parents, legislators, and other interested parties. In it a number of decisions were announced. Here is the section of the memo of most interest to members of the blindness community beyond the borders of Utah:

During the past week Dr. Lee Robinson submitted his resignation as superintendent of USDB, effective immediately.  Dr. Robinson has been appointed as the director of blind services in the Northern Region to take the place of Dorothy Smith, who is retiring at the end of June.  The human resources department at the Utah State Office of Education is working with the human resources department at the USDB to immediately publicize the position opening of superintendent of the Utah Schools for the Deaf and Blind.  It is the intention of the Utah State Office of Education that applications will be accepted for a period of thirty days or until the position is filled by a qualified candidate.

Linda Rutledge, who has been serving as assistant superintendent at USDB, has been named as the interim superintendent of the USDB by the Utah State Board of Education while a search is conducted to find the new superintendent.  She has been authorized to perform all the duties of the superintendent during the interim period.  She will work with program directors and finance personnel to develop budgets for the 2004-2005 school year.  She will also work with the USDB Education Association in contract negotiations for the coming year.  These efforts will be performed under the supervision of the Utah State Office of Education and Karl Wilson, state director of special education.

Natural History Newsletter Available:

NHEST (Natural History Education, Science, and Technology) <www.nhest.org> is a nonprofit organization that provides educational and recreational opportunities for blind and visually impaired people of all ages. Sign up for our free newsletter, WilderNHEST News, about the outdoors, science, technology, what NHEST offers and much more. Send a blank email with the word "Subscribe" in the subject line to Chrissy Laws at <cjlaws@mfx.net>.

Monitor Mart

The notices in this section have been edited for clarity, but we can pass along only the information we were given. We are not responsible for the accuracy of the statements made or the quality of the products for sale.

Keyboard for Sale:

This is a Korg Triton Classic Pro, 76 keys. It has a sequencer and a sampler. It also has 64 polyphony note voicing. It does have a touch screen, but you can still use the buttons to get to different sounds. It is also compatible with JAWS, especially for sequencing and sampling. Asking $1,600 or best offer. Email <Rickcorey00@hotmail.com>, or call his home phone (203) 729-1508 or his cell phone (203) 525-5887. Call the home phone number before 9:00 p.m. EDT, or leave a message any time on the cell phone.

For Sale:

• 1 DoubleTalk Lite Synthesizer--In excellent condition; asking $195 or best offer

• 1 Blazie disk drive--rarely used and in excellent condition; asking $395 or best offer

• Kurzweil Reading Edge with 2.0 and 3.0 software modules with carrying case and cables. Speaks with DEC talk Synthesizer; needs minor repair; asking $2,500 or best offer

• Optelec 20/20 CC-TV--In excellent condition; asking $1,800 or best offer

• HP 4P large scanner--rarely used--in excellent condition; asking $195 or best offer

For above prices I will ship anywhere in the U.S.A., accepting money orders only. Call Rose after 9:00 p.m. at (678) 249-5251 or email <carlbrown@worldnet.att.net>.

For Sale:

Telesensory Atlas 610 Video Magnifier with 20-inch color monitor and autofocus camera. Magnifies from four to fifty times. It has both true-color and custom-color modes. There is a transferable two-year warranty that expires in July of 2005--the machine was purchased in July of 2003 and used until December of 2003. It was purchased for $2,995 and is now selling for $2,595. We are asking $1,900 or best offer. Contact Chris and Ann Clark, (703) 768-6680.

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NFB PLEDGE

I pledge to participate actively in the efforts of the National Federation of the Blind to achieve equality, opportunity, and security for the blind; to support the policies and programs of the Federation; and to abide by its constitution.

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