Braille Monitor                                                   March 2010

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News from the Federation Family

Braille Book Flea Market:
Donate your gently used but no-longer-needed Braille books to the 2010 Braille Book Flea Market, sponsored by the National Organization of Parents of Blind Children and the National Association to Promote the Use of Braille. Books should be in good condition. Cookbooks, Twin-Vision books, and books suitable for children are particularly needed.

In a few months we will have a local address in Texas where you can send the Braille books that you wish to donate. Begin your search through the boxes in your basement and spare room and get them ready for shipping. If you have any questions, contact Peggy Chong at (515) 277-1288 or by email at <peggychong@earthlink.net>.

Elected:
The Cincinnati Chapter of the National Federation of the Blind of Ohio reports the following election results from its meeting of January 25, 2010: Paul Dressell, president; Sheri Albers, vice president; Deborah Kendrick, secretary; and Judy Cook, treasurer.

New Baby:
Angela Wolf, president of our Texas affiliate, and her husband Jay gave birth to a daughter, Abigail Josephine Wolf, on Wednesday, February 3, 2010. The baby weighed three pounds seven ounces and measured 17.25 inches long. Abigail is doing well, but she will remain in the hospital for a few weeks to gain a little more weight. Angela and Jay report that she is absolutely adorable and feisty as everyone who knows her parents would expect.

Braille NFB Pledge Cards:
The National Federation of the Blind of Iowa will once again be giving away our Braille NFB pocket pledges in the exhibit hall at the NFB national convention in Dallas. These pocket-sized pledges, developed by our own Sarah Cranston, will come in handy if you find yourself stumbling through the NFB pledge. If you cannot wait until convention to get yours, you can send an email request to <nfbpocketpledge@gmail.com>, and we will send you one right away. If you want to order these in volume for your chapter or affiliate, please do so, using the email request address given. These pledge cards are free.

Details on Preliminary Legal Victory:
Even though the defendant has decided to appeal this decision, we thought Monitor readers would be interested to read the press release we circulated announcing the judge’s instruction to the National Conference of Bar Examiners.

Federal Judge Orders the National Conference of Bar Examiners to Provide Individualized Testing Accommodations to Blind Law School Graduate

(February 5, 2010): A federal court has ruled that the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE) will cause a blind law school graduate irreparable harm unless it provides her the technology-based testing accommodations she needs to take two exams required to become a member of the State Bar of California. The court issued its ruling in an order granting the law school graduate's motion for preliminary injunction on Thursday, February 4, 2010. The court's ruling allows the plaintiff, Stephanie Enyart, to take the February 2010 Multistate Bar Examination (MBE) and March 2010 Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE) on a laptop computer equipped with the assistive technology software Ms. Enyart relies upon for screen reading (JAWS) and screen magnification (ZoomText).

Dr. Marc Maurer, president of the National Federation of the Blind, said: "The National Federation of the Blind is extremely pleased with the ruling in this case. Law and equity simply do not permit the NCBE to dictate a one-size-fits-all solution for all bar candidates with disabilities. We hope that this ruling will cause the NCBE to think long and hard before it denies the requested accommodations of applicants to take its examinations."

The plaintiff, Stephanie Enyart, said: "A little over a year ago I sent my first request for accommodations on the March 2009 MPRE, and tonight I can go to sleep knowing when and how I can effectively take the exams to fulfill my dreams."

Anna Levine of Disability Rights Advocates, an attorney representing the plaintiff, said: "I hope that our hard-fought victory here will send a message to testing organizations that they need to comply with the ADA and provide each individual test taker with a disability the accommodations that he or she needs to demonstrate his or her actual knowledge, skills, and abilities."

The suit was filed on November 3, 2009, because of the NCBE's refusal, on multiple occasions during the past year, to allow Ms. Enyart to use the same technology on the MBE and MPRE that she has used on university and law school exams and in various jobs and internships. The suit charged that the NCBE violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and California's Unruh Civil Rights Act by denying accommodations on the MBE and the MPRE.

NCBE had argued that it fulfilled its legal obligations to Ms. Enyart by offering alternative accommodations, such as a human reader, notwithstanding evidence that these alternatives did not, in fact, accommodate Ms. Enyart's disability. In rejecting NCBE's argument, the court's ruling paves the way for other individuals prevented from pursuing their professional dreams by high-stakes testing providers who take a rigid approach to disability accommodations.

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.

Brailler Repair:
The Selective Doctor, Inc., is a repair service for all IBM typewriters and Perkins Braillewriters. Located in Baltimore, the service has done work for the Maryland School for the Blind and a number of other organizations in Maryland. They accept Perkins Braillers sent to them from around the country.

The cost to repair a manual Perkins Brailler is $55 for labor (flat rate), plus parts. Because of technical complexity the cost to repair an electric Perkins Brailler is $60 for labor (flat rate), plus parts. The Brailler will be shipped back to you by U.S. mail, Free Matter for the Blind, and insured for $400. The cost of this insurance ($5.70) will be added to your invoice. This listed insurance charge may fluctuate due to rate changes by the postal service.

To mail Braillers using the U.S. Postal Service, send your Brailler(s) to the Selective Doctor, P.O. Box 571, Manchester, Maryland 21102. With your Brailler(s) please include your name and organization (if applicable), shipping and billing addresses, telephone number, and a brief description of your Brailler's needs. Should you require additional information, please call (410) 668-1143, or email <braillerrepair@yahoo.com> or visit our Website at <www.selectivedoctor.com>.

Publication Announcement:
The Glass Diary, an audio book read by the author, Karen A. Myers, is a book of reflections. Megan, like many young girls, had a diary; however, instead of paper with lock and key, hers was made of glass. Because at eight years old she could not see a paper diary, she began confiding in her mirror--her glass diary. The book consists of excerpts from conversations she had with her glass diary from ages eight to eighteen. The $15 price for the CD includes tax, shipping, and handling.

The Way I See It: Bumping into Life with Low Vision, a second book by Karen A. Myers, is a humorous compilation of twenty-one depictions of the author’s bumping into life, i.e., experiencing life with low vision. The audio book, read by the author, is $15, which includes tax, shipping, and handling; the print and ebook editions are $11.95 plus shipping and handling. To order either of these books, visit <karenamyers.com> and click on books.

Stumped on the Job Search?
Looking for employment should be a full-time job, but people often fail to treat a job search with the attention and seriousness it requires. Many job seekers and career changers could benefit from the support and encouragement of others. If you are looking for assistance and solutions to help find employment, instructors and curriculum at the Hadley School for the Blind can assist your effort.
Job seekers are urged to:

Enroll in the Hadley School for the Blind's Finding Employment course. Take advantage of your Hadley instructor's expertise and pick up helpful information as you explore your occupational interests and create a job search action plan. Coursework contains detailed information on ADA requirements, confidentiality, and discrimination. This course can also help you understand the power of networking. Hadley also offers courses on adaptive technology, word processing, and Microsoft Excel. For further information on job-related services provided by the Hadley School for the Blind, visit <www.hadley.edu>.

The NIB Fellowship for Leadership Development:
The Fellowship for Leadership Development sponsored by National Industries for the Blind (NIB), is a salaried, two-year program that combines business-focused, on-the-job experience with formal management training. Legally blind people who have an undergraduate degree, work experience, and passion for business are invited to apply. Fellows are selected on academic achievement, experience, motivation, references, and personal interviews. Fellows who have completed the program have moved to management jobs gaining financial independence and, as business leaders, have added value at all levels of the workplace and society. To learn more about the NIB fellowship and apply, go to <www.nib.org> and click on the link for the Business Leaders program. There you will find a link for the Fellowship for Leadership Development, where you can locate frequently asked questions and the application form. For further information email Sandy Finley with the NIB Business Leaders program at <Fellowship@nib.org> or call her at (703) 310-0506.

NFB Nonvisual Accessibility Web Certification Granted to Target.com
Website Certified as Equally Accessible to Blind and Sighted Users:
The National Federation of the Blind (NFB), the nation’s leading advocate for Internet access by blind Americans, has awarded the Gold Level NFB-NVA Certification to Target.com. The NFB applauds Target’s commitment to ensuring equal access to its Website to blind consumers and commends Target’s leadership in Web accessibility.

Dr. Marc Maurer, president of the National Federation of the Blind, said: “The Internet has become integrated into every aspect of daily living, from working to shopping to entertainment. The blind population, which stands at 1.3 million and is growing as Americans age, must have access to Websites and new Web applications if we are to participate fully in modern society and the information economy. We commend Target for making its Website fully accessible and therefore giving the blind independent access to Target’s valuable information and services.”

Anne Taylor, director of access technology for the National Federation of the Blind, said: “It has been a pleasure working with Target to make its Website accessible to all shoppers. We appreciate the Target.com team’s hard work and congratulate them on achieving Gold Level NFB-NVA Certification.”

Steve Eastman, president of Target.com, said: “We are pleased to offer a simple and convenient online shopping experience for all our guests at Target.com. As our online business has evolved, we have worked with the National Federation of the Blind to significantly improve the experience for guests who require assistive technology, and we will continue to do so as our business grows and new technologies become available.”

The NFB Nonvisual Accessibility Web Certification Program connects Website and application developers with leading experts on blindness and accessibility to ensure that their Internet sites or applications are fully accessible to and usable by blind people employing screen access software. Applicants go through a rigorous evaluation and testing procedure and work with a Web accessibility consultant (WAC) to address any accessibility issues discovered during the evaluation. Once the site or application has addressed all accessibility issues, it is granted the right to display an NFB-NVA seal of approval on its site. Sites are continuously monitored to ensure that they remain compliant with certification criteria. If a site remains accessible, its certification is renewed annually. If accessibility issues arise, the National Federation of the Blind and the WAC will work with the site developers to remedy them.

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.

For Sale:
The following new items are for sale due to lack of space:

All items are as priced or best offer plus shipping and tax. If interested, please call Hisham Ahmed at (925) 805-8205 or send an email inquiry to <Braille.equipment@gmail.com>.

For Sale:
I wish to sell a Reading Edge reading machine. This is a full-size, flatbed scanner-type device. I can ship using UPS. Make an offer. Contact Don Hausz at (631) 580-0303 (day) or (631) 830-5545 (cell). Email <Dynamo173@verizon.net>.

For Sale:
I have for sale one Tiger Cub Junior Braille embosser, purchased in 2004 but never opened, and one refurbished Perkins Braillewriter in good condition. I am asking $3,000 for the embosser and $250 for the Perkins. Those interested in either of these items should email April Davis at <ardavis422@suddenlink.net>.

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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