We are delighted to report that on Sunday, June 3, President Maurer’s birthday, Elizabeth Lee joined the Riccobono family at 9:21 a.m. She weighed exactly seven pounds and was 19 3/4 inches long. Parents Melissa and Mark and big brother Austin and big sister Oriana are all doing well and are very proud of the newest member of the NFB of Maryland. Congratulations to the entire Riccobono family.
Guide Dog Association Launches Innovative Hotline:
The National Association of Guide Dog Users (NAGDU)--the leader in service animal policy and advocacy--sponsors an innovative public service, the NAGDU Information and Advocacy Hotline, It not only offers information about the training and use of guide dogs and the legal rights of those who use service animals, it offers the option to speak with an advocate trained to mediate discrimination issues.
“Most access problems are the result of a lack of information,” says Michael Hingson, the Association’s vice president, who serves as project manager for the hotline. “This hotline is an invaluable resource for accurate information.”
The NAGDU Education and Advocacy Hotline currently offers general information about service animals under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and specific guidance concerning restaurants, taxicabs, and health care facilities. Future plans for the hotline include summaries of each of the state laws concerning service animals, more industry-specific information, and guidance in a variety of languages, such as Mandarin and Arabic. The hotline is available any time by calling, toll-free, (888) NAGDU411, (888) 624-3841.
The NAGDU Education and Advocacy Hotline was created by a grant from the NFB Imagination Fund and contributions from the California and Florida Associations of Guide Dog Users. The National Association of Guide Dog Users is a division of the NFB. NAGDU conducts public awareness campaigns on issues of guide dog use, provides advocacy support for guide dog handlers who face discrimination, supports sound policy and effective legislation to protect the rights of service animal users, offers educational programs to school and civic organizations, and functions as an integral part of the National Federation of the Blind. For more information about NAGDU and to support its work, visit its website at <http://www.nagdu.org > or send an email message to <email@example.com >.
The Rev. Frank Lee, past president of the National Federation of the Blind of Alabama, a former member of the national board of directors, and a longtime member of the Federation, died on May 9, 2012. Though his calling was to preach, his leadership in the NFB was characterized not by preaching but by quietly setting an example. In the Associates Program, in which all of us were encouraged to reach out to attract new members and a monetary donation, Frank did not exhort; instead, he was the top recruiter in 1987, signing up 228 members-at-large in that year and over one hundred and eighty the year before.
Frank served on the national board from 1984 to 1988 and as president of the National Federation of the Blind of Alabama from 2008 to 2010. He is best known in the Alabama affiliate for his stellar service as the treasurer, where his integrity and judgment won him term after term. His quiet, unassuming manner assured that when he spoke he was heard with interest and respect.
Idaho Cycles for Independence:
The following report came to us from Ramona Walhof, a longtime leader of the NFB of Idaho:
The Cycle for Independence is the largest fundraiser of the NFB of Idaho. Run by the Treasure Valley Chapter, it has three routes: ten-mile, twenty-five-mile, and metric century or sixty-three-mile. This year we had about 480 riders, about the same as last year, but we had more sponsors, largely due to the work of our new chairman, Mary Symms Pollot.
It was a beautiful day, and the cycling community in Southwest Idaho is wonderful. We always enjoy lunch--hamburgers and hot dogs prepared by the Boise Capital Lions. The Voice of Idaho ham radio club handles communications between home base and water stops. We always have a dozen or more blind people riding on the back of tandem bikes, and this year a bunch of them rode the twenty-five-mile route, including me for the first time. With Mary chairing the ride, I got to ride this year, which is much more fun.
We found four new blind people this year. One volunteered on the food line, and the other three rode on the backs of tandem bikes. People see our flyers, find us online, and see our notices on websites, but word of mouth is the best way to reach out. This was our fourteenth year, and the bike ride has done the NFBI a lot of good. Riders and volunteers received free bike socks, orange and green. We have a few left for five dollars each just in case anybody wants bike socks displaying the NFB logo. This event happens every year the weekend before Memorial Day weekend. Come join us next year; you'll love it!
Shawn Callaway, president of the NFB of the District of Columbia, reports the death on June 4, 2012, of Joie Stuart, who had been a Federation leader for forty years. At the time of her death she was first vice president of the D.C. affiliate. Her passion was working with blind children in Washington’s public schools. She will be sorely missed.
In the June issue the Capital Chapter of the NFB of Pennsylvania was omitted from the report of service to area elementary schools.
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.
Atlas of Western Africa Now Available:
This fourth and final volume of maps of Africa covers fourteen countries: Senegal, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Côte d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Nigeria, Cameroon, and Equatorial Guinea. Each country has an introductory section in Braille of facts and general information followed by a full-page tactile map. The maps show cities, towns, rivers, and mountains in eighty-four pages and fifteen maps. Price is $14; shipping by Free Matter where eligible. Also available at $14 each: Atlas of Southern Africa, Atlas of Eastern and Central Africa, and Atlas of Northern Africa. To order, send check or purchase order to the Princeton Braillists, 76 Leabrook Lane, Princeton, NJ 08540; phone (215) 357-7715 (Ruth Bogia); (609) 924-5207 (Nancy Amick); <mysite.verizon.net/resvqbxe/princetonbraillists>. Sorry, credit card and fax service are not available.
Attention Artists and Writers:
The Vermont Studio Center is pleased to announce two Creative Access Fellowships for month-long studio residencies to be awarded to artists and writers who are blind or have low vision. Each fellowship, supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, includes a $500 travel stipend. Applications for the Creative Access Fellowships are due October 1, 2012, as part of VSC's fellowship awards deadline for residencies in 2013. For a complete list of the fellowships available with VSC's October 1 application deadline, visit our website: <http://vermontstudiocenter.org/fellowships/>.
Daily Connections by Phone:
Have you or a loved one recently experienced vision loss? If so, you are invited to the DailyConnection, a social network on the phone. It’s primarily for people who are visually impaired, but everyone is welcome. Find good, clean chat with adults who are blind or visually impaired. We understand your challenges and love hearing about your successes. All you need is a phone with a long-distance plan to call (616) 515-2848 and talk to DQ, Denise, or TJ in our welcome room, 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern, or, if you are a little shy, make new friends by leaving a message on the friendship board.
Come meet our room owners, and have some fun while doing it. Bring a cup of coffee or tea and enjoy interesting conversation on every topic imaginable with Sharon in the Early Bird Coffee Klatch (8:00 a.m. in R-8). Visit Liz’s Answerarium to discuss technology or join her women’s support group (8:00 p.m. in R-3). Stop by and say hi to Duane or Tiler, who live on the Navaho Reservation, throughout the day (in R-7). Become one of Jen’s insomniacs united in her Night Owl (10:00 p.m. in R-5). If you journal or write, checkout her weekly Writer’s Corner, or you can join her afternoon Bible study group.
Don’t forget to set up your free voicemail box so you can exchange private messages with your new friends. For questions or further info, call (443) 732-0341, or visit at <http://www.facebook.com/DailyConnectionCommunity>.
A Gift from GW Micro:
Last December GW Micro announced a gift to everyone who is blind or visually impaired in the form of GWConnect (formerly known as GWSkype). This is an accessible program for your PC that is plugged into Skype™ and offers many great features including free voice calls and text chat. After the initial release GW Micro received many feature requests. They have worked hard to add many of the features that customers had been asking for and recently released GWConnect 2.0. Among its many new features and enhancements are the ability to rename contacts, create custom contact groups, send SMS messages, manage multiple live calls, set voicemail greetings, and even set privacy settings from within GWConnect.
GW Micro is able to ship GWConnect free because of the small advertisements that sponsor the program. One of the most common requests GW Micro received after its release is for GWConnect to run ad-free. Among its other numerous enhancements, release 2.0 introduces a method of running without advertisements. While Window-Eyes customers have always enjoyed a commercial-free experience, other users of GWConnect received a short advertisement every thirty minutes. By purchasing an authorization key, for either a monthly or annual fee, users of the program can enjoy an ad-free experience. The cost for a GWConnect activation key is only $4.99 a month or $49 a year. Order by calling the GW Micro Orders Department at (260) 489-3671. Or order online at <www.gwmicro.com/catalog/gw_connect>. Free technical support is available on the GW-Apps email list, which you can sign up for at <http://www.gwmicro.com/lists>.
To download the latest version of GWConnect, as well as to find out more information on all of the new features and enhancements to the program, visit <http://www.gwmicro.com/Apps/gwconnect>. Skype™ is a trademark of Skype Technologies S.A.
Materials for Blind Students Needed:
I am a teacher of English from Macedonia, and my students would welcome blindness-related items and materials like magazines and books in all formats except four-track tape. We can also use games and other useful learning materials. In addition we are also starting an early childhood program in our school, and items for this group of children would be welcomed. My postal address is Adrijana Prokopenko, bul. Jane Sandanski, 43. 5 / 6, 1000–Skopje, Macedonia. My email address is <firstname.lastname@example.org>. Please write to me in Braille, on two-track tape, or by email before sending anything to me so that I can reply and suggest the best way to send materials.
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.
I am looking for a copy of the RSV Bible read by Alexander Scourby. It was recorded in the mid sixties by the American Bible Society and was sold on 16 and 2/3 rpm records. I would like to buy or borrow a copy of this Bible to digitize for use on my computer and the Victor Reader Stream. I can be reached by phone at (701) 281-1374, by email at <email@example.com>, or by mail at 301 4th Street East, Williston, ND 58801. Thank you.
I have a PenFriend Audio Labeler for sale; I bought it as a holiday gift for a friend who didn't want it. It has never been used, and it's still in its box. The labels are still sealed in their wrapping. I would like to sell it for $100. If interested, contact Audrey Joy by calling (212) 614-8764 or by emailing <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
I am selling an Enhanced Vision Machine by Samsung, Acrobatic, LCD. Excellent tool for those with impaired vision from macular degeneration, in excellent condition. Comes in its own carrying case on rollers. Original price was $2,500; asking $900.
Also selling a telephone for hearing and vision impaired by Freedom Spirit. Offers clear sounds amplified, large numbers, adjustable ringtones, memory buttons, and volume levels. Original price was $125. Asking $35. If interested, contact Mary Kay Gray at <email@example.com>.
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.