Braille Monitor                                                 April 2012

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News from the Federation Family

Braille Book Fair 2012:
Calling all Braille readers! It’s that time again: time to sort through all those boxes of Braille books in your basement or spare room and donate those gently used but no longer needed Braille books to the 2012 Braille Book Fair sponsored by the National Organization of Parents of Blind Children and the National Association to Promote the Use of Braille. Our primary goal is to get more Braille books into the hands of children, youth, and beginning adult readers, so here’s what we need most: books in good condition, print-Braille picture storybooks, and leisure reading (fiction or nonfiction) books. Cookbooks are always in demand, as are books about sports. Children are so hungry for their very own books that every year, despite generous donations, most of our books for young children are gone in less than an hour. So begin your search through the boxes in your basement and spare room and get those books shipped to Braille Book Fair, Vanessa Pena, 10155 Monroe, Dallas, TX 75229.

This year's coordinator is Barbara Cheadle. If you have any questions, you may contact her at (410) 747-3472 or email her at <[email protected]>. This year's event is slated to take place on Monday, July 2. Check your agenda for the time and room.

Department of Affiliate Action Invites Chapter Leaders to the 2012 Back to Basics Seminar:
Back to Basics is planned for Monday, July 2, from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. This session will introduce fresh new ideas to make your chapter meetings exciting, informative, and philosophically strong. The session will feature presentations from some of our most inspiring Federation leaders, live demonstrations, plenty of audience participation, and a special recognition for chapter presidents. It is not too soon to place Back to Basics on your 2012 convention calendar.

Requests for Accommodations Based on Disability:
The convention of the National Federation of the Blind is intended to be accessible, especially to blind people. Materials are offered in accessible formats, and other nonvisual aids are provided. If you require specific accommodations based on your disability other than the blindness-related accommodations routinely provided by the Federation in order to participate fully and equally in the convention, let us know as soon as possible. Because of the size and complexity of this convention as well as the need to plan for additional human and other resources, requests for specific accommodations must be submitted no later than May 31, 2012. In order to make a request, 1) preregister for the convention by visiting <>; and 2) send your request for specific accommodations in writing to the attention of Mark Riccobono by email at <[email protected]>. Be sure to include your name, the dates you plan to be at the convention, information on the best method of following up with you, and your specific request.

New CD Available:
JW Smith’s cover photoAs many Federationists know, in addition to being the Ohio affiliate president, JW Smith loves to sing and play music. Over the past several years many of us have enjoyed his gospel CDs. Now he writes to tell us about his latest project. This is what he says:

The CD is entitled 24 Hours with Dr. Feelgood, and it is my first secular recording. It includes classic renditions of the Ray Charles version of “America the Beautiful,” James Brown’s “I Feel Good,” and the song “It’s so Hard to Say Goodbye,” most recently popularized by the group Boyz II Men. The other thirteen selections are all original compositions, including my own instrumental composition, appropriately entitled “24 Hours”; a musical tribute to a friend who has cerebral palsy but continues to run five miles a day, entitled “Running Man”; and a ballad entitled “Make Me Smile.” In short, there is something on this recording for everyone, including a country music rendition entitled “Meet You on the Moon.”

I would like to let my Federation family know how you can get copies. You can email me at <[email protected]>, or call me at (740) 707-5114 and make arrangements for me to mail you a copy or send you an MP3 file electronically. You can go to iTunes or and download it. You can also visit the Ohio table at the national convention in Dallas or find me in our delegation and purchase the CD. All proceeds from sales at the convention will go to the Ohio affiliate. The cost of the CD is $10. I hope you enjoy listening to this CD as much as I enjoyed making it. I believe that it is my best work to date.

Showcasing Your Talent:
Do you like to do crafts? Are you an artist? Have you created some type of art that you are proud of? Enter your creation in your local county or state fair. I teach the alternative skills of blindness in home management, and that includes teaching clients new crafts. Over the past three years I have encouraged clients at the Nebraska Center for the Blind to enter the crafts they have made in our local fairs. Whether they bring home a ribbon or not, their confidence soars just because of completing a project and learning a new craft.

If you would like to learn new crafts, join the National Federation of the Blind Krafters Division. For more information call or e-mail Cindy Zimmer at (402) 435-6628 or <[email protected]> or Joyce Kane, president of the Krafters Division, at (203) 378-8928, <[email protected]>.

Join the NFB of Arizona on a Cruise:
We are excited to announce that we are ready to take reservations for our fundraiser cruise--traveling as a group, enjoying good company, and savoring the food and much more while raising money for the organization we all deeply care about! The Arizona affiliate will be selling tickets for a prize of a cruise package for two, the drawing to take place at the NFB of Arizona convention banquet in September. We will announce further details of the drawing quite soon. Royal Caribbean International will contribute $50 per cabin as the base fundraiser for this trip.

Please join us on a seven-night Western Caribbean cruise, departing from New Orleans, Louisiana, January 5, 2013. We will visit the beautiful ports of Cozumel, Mexico; George Town, Grand Cayman; and Falmouth, Jamaica. Come with us to explore the destinations and have fun on the Navigator of the Seas. Follow the link below to read information about the ship and details of the itinerary.


Our travel agent, Anahit LaBarre, is ready to assist you and to answer any questions you have. Prices listed below are per person, based on double occupancy, cruise only; include all taxes, fees, and gratuities; and may vary a little depending on which deck the cabin is on. Optional shore excursions and insurance are available. Royal Caribbean International reserves the right to charge a fuel supplement if fuel prices go up significantly.

Here are the cost details:

1. Inside cabins start at $769 per person;
2. Ocean View cabins start at $959 per person;
3. Balcony cabins start at $1,049 per person;
4. Junior suites are $1,399 per person.

Contact Anahit LaBarre for additional details. She can be reached at <[email protected]> or (720) 334-3652.

Take a moment to read the important information below:
A minimum deposit of $50 per person is due by May 20, 2012. Payment plans can be arranged. A total deposit of $250 per person is due by August 10, 2012, and the final payment is due by October 20, 2012.

Suites are limited and are subject to availability. They require full deposit at the time of booking. The same applies to accessible cabins and those with third and fourth passengers. We strongly encourage everyone to make reservations as soon as possible, since these types of cabins are limited and cannot be held for the group without a full deposit.

Attention Current or Would-Be Office Professionals:
Lisa Hall, president of the National Association of Blind Office Professionals (NABOP), announces the next division meeting, scheduled for June 30, 2012, in Dallas, Texas, at the Hilton Anatole Hotel. Registration begins at 6:30 p.m., and the meeting begins at 7:00 and ends around 10:00. This meeting is for anyone working in an office as a medical transcriber, Braille transcriber, Braille proofreader, telephone operator, receptionist, clerk of any kind, hotel reservationist, or other such fields. This year the group plans to have a Braille proofreader workshop, which will help anyone learn by hands-on experience what it’s like to work as a Braille proofreader. Handouts will be primarily in print and Braille for the benefit of Braille readers and sighted transcribers and anyone who expresses interest in improving Braille skills. Mary Donahue and Lisa Hall will lead the session and will provide information about what it takes to become certified as a Braille proofreader or Braille transcriber. Other agenda items are being worked on, but plans are not complete at this writing. Come one and all for this great gathering and learn from others how to solve problems in an office environment.

If you plan to attend this seminar, let us know by June 15, 2012, so that enough copies of the handouts can be made. Send correspondence to Lisa Hall, 7001 Hamilton Avenue, Unit 2, Cincinnati, OH 45231-5262; home phone (513) 931-7070; cell phone (513) 550-5155; email <[email protected]>. You can also contact the vice president, Mary Donahue, at 8800 Starcrest Drive, Apartment 226, San Antonio, Texas 78217; home phone (210) 826-9579; cell phone (210) 445-6356; email <[email protected]>. Membership dues are $5 and can be paid in advance by sending to treasurer, Debbie Brown at 11923 Parklawn Drive, Apartment 104, Rockville, Maryland 20852; home phone (301) 881-1892; email <[email protected]>.

Stacy Cervenka and Gregory DeWall with their wedding partyWedding Bells:
Stacy Cervenka and Gregory DeWall were married on Saturday, October 29, 2011, in Burr Ridge, Illinois. Stacy and Greg are both longtime members of the Federation, and the wedding was attended by many NFB friends. Stacy is currently earning her master's degree in rehabilitation counseling from Texas Tech University, and Greg is a rehabilitation instructor in the Senior Impact Project at the Sacramento Society for the Blind.


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.

Teachers Fly Experiments on NASA Reduced-Gravity Flights:
The OfficialWire PR News Bureau published the following story on February 14, 2012, in Houston, Texas.

More than seventy teachers had an opportunity to experience what it feels like to float in space as they participated in the Reduced-Gravity Education Flight Program at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston last week. The teachers flew aboard an aircraft that flies parabolic flight paths, which create brief periods of weightlessness. It is a key component of NASA's astronaut training protocol. The teachers were selected for the flights through NASA's Teaching from Space and Explorer School Programs.

NASA Associate Administrator for Education and two-time space shuttle astronaut Leland Melvin also participated in some of the flights and shared first-hand with the participants his experiences in astronaut training. "The enthusiasm among our teachers participating in the reduced-gravity flights is contagious," Melvin said. "I know it will add a new dimension to their teaching as they engage their students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics studies."

Also participating in the flights was Mark Riccobono, executive director of the National Federation of the Blind's Jernigan Institute. Riccobono is blind. NASA has worked with the National Federation of the Blind in a variety of capacities during the past ten years to share the excitement and inspiration of the agency's missions and programs with those who are visually impaired. "NASA education is always looking for ways to make our offerings available to the widest audience possible," Melvin said. "Mark Riccobono's flight represents a new chapter in our commitment to sharing the excitement of NASA's mission with the blind community."

The Teaching from Space Program offers educational opportunities that use the unique assets of NASA's human spaceflight mission to engage the education community and create space-related learning opportunities. Teachers used the event to work with their students to propose, design, and build the experiments they took on the flights. Fourteen teams comprising forty teachers from NASA Explorer Schools also participated as part of the 2011 School Recognition Award for their contributions to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, or STEM. They conducted microgravity experiments provided by NASA.

The Reduced-Gravity Education Flight Program continues NASA's investment in U.S. education by helping attract and retain students in STEM disciplines critical to future space exploration. To learn more about NASA's education activities, visit <>.

Help for the Blind of Rwanda:
My name is David Van Der Molen. I'm planning to go to Rwanda in early 2013 for a month to teach grade two Braille and to distribute Braille and large print material along with low-tech equipment to the blind. I will also set up a blind-friendly computer work station at a university. I'm looking for donations of Braille and large-print books, Braille paper, white canes, slates and styluses, abacuses for the blind, a Braille display, a Perkins Brailler, and a Braille embosser. All items need to be in good condition. I will be sending everything to Rwanda in advance of my arrival. That is why I'm asking for these items now.

Please contact me if you are able to contribute any of the above, and we'll work out the arrangements from there. I can be reached by phone evenings and weekends at (519) 669-1456 or by email at <[email protected]>.

NIB Now Accepting Applications for Leadership Development Fellowship:
The Fellowship for Leadership Development, sponsored by National Industries for the Blind (NIB), is a salaried program that combines business-focused, on-the-job experience with professional development activities. Legally blind people with undergraduate degrees, work experience, and a passion for business are invited to apply.

Fellows are selected based on experience, academic achievement, and personal interviews. Fellows who have already completed the program have moved to management jobs, gained financial independence, and as business leaders have added value at all levels of the workplace and society.

For additional information and an application, go to the NIB website and visit the Business Leaders Program pages. For a direct link to the Fellowship page, go to <>. Please carefully read the FAQs before applying. If you have questions, contact Karen Pal, NIB Business Leaders Program, at <[email protected]> or (703) 310-0515.

iPhone Discussions Available:
Every Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. Eastern and Saturday at 6:00 p.m. Eastern there is an iPhone conference. If you are interested in purchasing a phone or would like to talk with other iPhone users, come in and join us. The number to call is (616) 883-2999 followed by the pound sign. The room number is 2428.

Contest for Braille Readers:
The Onkyo Braille essay contest is administered by the National Federation of the Blind for the North America/Caribbean Region of the World Blind Union. Essays must be written in Braille and in English or their author’s native language and must be completely original. Entries should be no fewer than eight hundred words and no more than one thousand words.

The contest is divided into two groups of competitors--one junior group, aged twenty-five and under; and one senior group, aged twenty-six and above. Prizes range from $500 to $2,000. All essays must be received by April 30, 2012. Visit <> for more information and an application.


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:
I have a knfbReader Mobile for sale. The software runs on a T-Mobile 83MP3 phone in perfect condition. I am asking $850. For more information about the phone, software, or price, please contact me by phone at (443) 415-9828.

Help Wanted with Software for the Blind:
My name is Marcia Baran, and I use Dolphin Guide software for the blind on my computer. I don't know a single person who uses Dolphin Guide. I would like to correspond and speak with other users to discuss problems and solutions in using the program. My email address is <[email protected]>, and my cell phone number is (860) 997-2234.


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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