Braille Monitor                                                 November 2012

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News from the Federation Family

National Federation of the Blind Scholarships Available:
From the Editor: Patti Chang chairs the National Federation of the Blind’s scholarship committee. Here is what she has to say about the 2013 scholarship program:
Are you a student in need of money? If so, you should visit <www.nfb.org/scholarships> soon. The National Federation of the Blind annually awards thirty scholarships based on merit. Applications can be submitted anytime after October 31 and will be accepted until March 31. Last year we awarded more than $122,000 in academic scholarships to blind students across the country. You can't win if you don't apply.

Elected:
The National Federation of the Blind of Iowa held its annual convention September 28 to 30. The following people were elected: president, Michael D. Barber; first vice president, April Enderton; second vice president, Darrel Kirby; secretary, Scott Van Gorp; treasurer, Curtis Chong; and board members, Tai Blas, Ted Hart, Miranda Morse, and Donna Prime.

The affiliate also formed a Diabetes Action Network division and elected the following: president, Sandra Ryan; vice president, Michael Stout; secretary, Janice Borgwardt; treasurer, Mary L. McGeek; and board members, Bitrus Gwamna and Heidi Van Gorp.

Earn a Graduate Degree:
The Institute on Blindness in Ruston, Louisiana, is looking for people seeking a meaningful and rewarding career in the blindness field. We are offering a limited number of scholarships to qualified applicants for the master of arts in industrial/organizational psychology with concentration in orientation and mobility (O&M), the master of arts in teaching blind students (TBS), and the master of education in teaching blind students.

Louisiana Tech University offers the only programs in the country founded on a philosophy of personal empowerment from the perspective of blind people. We invite all qualified candidates with positive attitudes about blindness who would like to teach cane travel or Braille to blind children or adults to apply for our programs. We are also interested in speaking with anyone who may want to pursue a career teaching in the blindness field in any capacity. The Institute on Blindness does not discriminate against any applicants and actively recruits people who are blind, sighted, and of diverse backgrounds.

Contact us today to find out more about earning your master’s degree. The Professional Development and Research Institute on Blindness can be contacted at (318) 257-4554; email us at <ebell@latech.edu>, or visit our website at <www.pdrib.com>. You can change what it means to be blind.

Adult Braille Readers Are Leaders Contest Begins:
It’s time to start reading. The reading period for the annual Braille Readers Are Leaders contest for adults begins November 1. Registration for the contest is now open. You can register at <www.nfb.org/BRAL> now through the end of the contest, January 4, 2013.

The contest is for adults who read Braille. There are categories for all levels of Braille readers, from beginners to experts. Participants read for prizes, practice, and pleasure. Whether you love the competition or are spurred on simply because it’s a great way to promote and refine your Braille skills, this contest is for you.

For more information check the website, <www.nfb.org/BRAL>. There you will find all the forms and reading logs you will need to participate. If you still have questions, contact the Braille Readers Are Leaders team at (410) 659-9314, extension 2312, or email us at <BrailleReadersAreLeaders@nfb.org>. Put your fingers to the paper and start recording what you are reading today. Braille rocks!

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.

Hadley Diploma or Credit Transfers from Hadley:
Each year students who would not have been able to graduate from high school otherwise receive high school diplomas from the Hadley School for the Blind. Students as young as eighteen and those well into their seventies have received diplomas through our school. Frustration with local schools’ not offering quality vision services or accessible course formats, difficulties passing the state-required exit exam for graduation, inability to travel long distances, or simply losing interest in high school are some of the reasons our students have given for pursuing the Hadley diploma. Our diploma program allows these students to accomplish their lifelong goal of earning a diploma at home at their own pace.

What about students currently enrolled in local schools? What do we offer to help keep them in school and on track with their sighted peers? We offer visually impaired teenagers who want to graduate from their home schools the ability to transfer high school credits to a local high school. This little-known program has helped many blind and visually impaired teens graduate with their peers. Here are three ways that blind and visually impaired teens have used our high school courses to help them cross that home-school stage at graduation:

* Transfer Credits--The local school considers many factors when allowing a transfer of credit from another school. The local school typically selects courses that are not available through its curriculum. In addition it considers the student's abilities and disabilities and his or her individual schedule for completion. It carefully considers how students can use their time productively to reach their graduation goals, such as during the summer months when some courses may not be available. The Hadley High School Program works well for these students since Hadley enrollment is open year round. The local school is required to approve the course(s) taken prior to submitting the Hadley enrollment application to apply. Courses in the areas of history, math, science, and electives are all taken by these students, and they are counted for credit at the local school.

* Preparatory Work--Students who need to brush up on some skills or want to learn the basics can take courses such as basic English skills 1 and 2, prealgebra, or technology courses. Those who want to improve their communication skills may take Braille, keyboarding, or effective listening. Most students take these courses during the summer. This way, when they start a similar course in the fall, they already know the basics and are able to excel. Some even take these courses during the school year while attending their local school. They may transfer these credits if the local school approves the course. Sometimes this allows students to take more advanced courses at their home schools after taking a basic course with us.

* Home School Opportunities--Many parents choose to homeschool their children. They may want some help teaching some of the high school curriculum or wish to provide a variety of learning experiences. The student who is blind or visually impaired may choose to take a self-paced course with Hadley. Parents and the Hadley instructors strive to ensure that high school students have the opportunity to learn, comprehend, and master the tools they need to succeed. We are very proud of our high school courses and the graduates who have taken advantage of them. The courses meet the DETC and NCA accreditation standards, are self-paced, and are taught by our well-credentialed instructors. Courses are available on DTB, online, in large print, or in Braille. All high school courses are tuition-free and are open to anyone who is age fourteen or over and legally blind.

For more information or to enroll, visit <http://www.hadley.edu> or contact Hadley High School Coordinator and Director of Student Services Karen Woodfork at <woodfork@hadley.edu> or (800) 323-4238.

Braille Magazines Needed:
The director of the rehabilitation center for the blind in Sofia, Bulgaria, Jordan Mladenov, has contacted us with the following request. “We are organizing English language courses for our blind and partially sighted customers. We have textbooks and teaching materials in Braille, but we need some Braille magazines in English so that our advanced students will have access to more Braille literature. We invite your readers to send us magazines they don't need any more. We are very interested in reading National Geographic, Readers Digest, and other magazines. We would be very happy if you could help us solve this problem.”

Braille magazines can be sent to Jordan Mladenov, Center for Social Rehabilitation and Integration for Visually Impaired People, Ul. "Tsar Simeon" 110, 1202, Sofia, Bulgaria. For more information contact him at email <rehcentre@gmail.com>, or Skype reh_center_sofia.

Remote and In-Person Assistive Technology Training Available:
Blind Access Training supplies quality training to individuals, state agencies, and other institutions for PC-based assistive technology, web design, and Apple products. Our main office is in Washington state. We also have satellite offices and team members in other locations around the world.

Along with providing assistive technology, web design, and Apple products training, Blind Access Training also provides guidance and mentoring for blind and visually impaired individuals. All of our team members are blind or visually impaired and have faced a variety of challenges as a result of their disabilities. They have worked hard to become respected members of their communities and are eager to share their knowledge by mentoring other blind people. We hope to become the leading resource to the blindness community as well as to professionals serving the blind in assistive technology.

If you would like more information or would like to sign up for training, call us at (877) 774-7670 and press option 1. To read more about us, visit our home page at <http://www.blindaccesstraining.com/>.

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.

Brailler for Sale:
Perkins Brailler, standard, brand new condition, in original packaging. Includes dust cover and manual. This Brailler has been used four times. It is in excellent condition. I thought I would use it, but I found that I don’t really need it. It retails for $750. I’m asking only $550. PayPal® available. Call Deanne at (619) 600-2501, or email <papersforme@gmail.com>.


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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