Braille Monitor                                                 December 2012

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News from the Federation Family

The Blackhawk Chapter of the NFB of Illinois held elections at its October 13, 2012, meeting. Elected were president, Lois Montgomery; vice president, Patrick Olson; treasurer, Jean Rauschenbach; secretary, John Tebockhorst; and board members Donna Miles, Bob Gardner, and Mark Claybourne.

Hours of Operation in the Independence Market:
Please note that due to staff changes in the NFB Independence Market we are able to accept calls only Monday through Friday from 1:00 to 5:00 Eastern Time. We welcome visitors to the Independence Market from 9:00 to 4:00 and encourage you to stop by in the mornings so that we may better serve our phone customers in the afternoons.

Jessica Victoria Bachicha: Engaging Audiences through Song and Story:
Jessica’s album, Christmas Presence, offers reflections on Pope Benedict XVI’s encyclical Spe Salvi and invites listeners to hear well-beloved and lesser-known Christmas carols on a deeper level. Through song and spoken word, begin to unwrap the great gift that is Christmas. Experience the wonder of its meaning, mystery, and mirth. To buy Christmas Presence, go to iTunes or

The NFB of Ohio conducted elections at its closing convention session on November 4, 2012. The following were elected to two-year terms: president, Eric Duffy; first vice president, Richard Payne; second vice president, Barbara Fohl; secretary, Shelbi Hindel; treasurer, Sherry Ruth; and board members, Bruce Peters and Crystal McClain. Barbara Pierce was elected to complete the final year of Richard Payne’s board term.

2013 NFB Scholarships
The National Federation of the Blind is now accepting applications to our national scholarship program, which recognizes achievement by blind scholars, for freshmen beginning college this fall on up through grad school level.  Thirty top students will receive scholarships, ranging in value from $3,000 to $12,000, along with a trip to our national convention in Orlando this July!  Applications must be received by March 31, 2013. To apply or learn more, please visit

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.

New Scholarship Offered by Oracle
The Oracle Scholarship for Excellence in Computer Science -- Oracle seeks to hire the best and brightest talent to build our products, basing our employment decisions only on merit, experience, and potential. We offer an optimized and fully integrated stack of business hardware and software systems. With more than 390,000 customers—including 100 of the Fortune 100—and with deployments across a wide variety of industries in more than 145 countries around the globe, we recognize the significant impact that our products and technologies can have on people with disabilities. This scholarship for $3000 is for a student in the field of Computer Science, Computer Engineering, User Experience, or related field.  It will be made available through the 2013 National Federation of the Blind Scholarship Program. For further information or to apply, go to

Global Explorers Applications Being Accepted:
We are currently accepting applications for two leadership-focused, adventure-filled travel expeditions. This 2012-2013 season we will be uniting fifteen- to twenty-one-year-old students who are blind, visually impaired, and sighted on two incredible Leading the Way Program expeditions. The first is the Rim to River expedition, where students will take part in engaging service and cultural immersion and then have the unique opportunity of rafting the Colorado River through the majestic Grand Canyon. The second is the Peruvian Highlands expedition, where students will experience the magic of the Quechua culture and hike through the Andes exploring Inca ruins, ending at the infamous Machu Picchu. The Leading the Way Program was developed in partnership with world-renowned blind adventurer Erik Weihenmayer.

For more information and to apply, visit: < leading_the_way>. Applications are due November 30, 2012. To nominate a student please visit: <>.

Blind and Visually Impaired Runners Hit the Pavement at the California International Marathon:
In partnership with VSP® Vision Care, the United States Association of Blind Athletes (USABA) is pleased to host the fourth annual USABA Marathon National Championship, which will be held in conjunction with the California International Marathon (CIM) on December 2, 2012, in Sacramento, California. Mark Lucas, USABA executive director, said, “The city of Sacramento and the race organizers exceeded all expectations of last year’s race, ensuring that USABA had a quality competition and event. We look forward to another outstanding race.”

In 2007 a small group of passionate athletes and volunteers helped create the first USABA Marathon National Championship, and today this event has become one of the premier distance running destinations for runners who are blind and visually impaired. The course provides runners and their guides a very fast, point-to-point, net-downhill marathon with a spectacular finish in front of the California State Capitol. The California International Marathon is certified and sanctioned by USA Track & Field and is a Boston Marathon qualifier and an Olympic Marathon Trials qualifier.

Currently USABA has seventeen blind or visually impaired runners from the United States and three runners from other countries signed up to finish a full marathon as well as five relay teams, including two military teams. These numbers far exceed past years and goals for this year’s marathon, and in the years to come USABA and VSP Vision Care expect growing participation. Richard Hunter, Blinded USMC veteran stated, “The USABA Marathon National Championship, sponsored by VSP Vision Care, is the highlight of the year for many athletes. It is great to be able to get to know other runners with vision loss. With the assistance of over forty sighted guides, we are able to inspire, educate, and change the public’s perception of those with vision loss.”

Athletes can expect a first-class experience and are afforded the opportunity to take part in a pre-race pasta banquet, logistics assistance, pre- and post-race support, and awards. Thanks to the support of VSP Vision Care and private donors, USABA is providing funding to offset expenses for USABA members. Funding will be made available to select North American runners as well as a limited number of international runners.

USABA would like to thank VSP Vision Care for sponsoring the 2012 USABA Marathon National Championship as well as the following donors for their support: Schermer, Bechtold and Roger Eyecare, Rocky and Kim Camp, Every Man Jack, and Folsom Lake Lions Club. For more information about USABA please visit <> and for more information about VSP Vision Care visit <>.

Attention Treasure Hunt Fans:
Register ASAP for the DailyConnection first annual Treasure Hunt Contest by midnight, January 16, 2013. A very cool prize awaits the best trivia buff and riddle solving contestant who can figure out the final clue to win. Make sure to drop into the Welcome Room, #1, from noon to 6:00 p.m. Eastern to ask Sweet P or Katy about contest rules and details. Have you been looking to join a women’s support group? Renee invites you to call DailyConnection at: (712) 432-6448 to join her in Room “Talk” or #8255 Tuesday nights starting at 9:00 p.m. Eastern, or sports fans can stop by Room #1 to talk sports or any hot topic of your choice with TJ evenings from 7:00 to 11:00 p.m. Drop into Room 3 and talk technology with Liz, or, if you are an insomniac, come to Room 5 to hang out with Jen and her Night Owls.

Do you like playing trivia or audio games? Then you will definitely want to sign up for the upcoming Skunk Tournament, and don’t forget our Treasure Hunt. If you have questions, call Daily Connection at (443) 732-0341 or email <[email protected]>. Visit us at <>.

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.

Braille Embosser for Sale:
I have a Basic S. Index Braille embosser for sale. It has been updated to work smoothly with Microsoft Office 2007. It includes Winbraille software. All this will work smoothly with Windows XP; however, operating it with a Windows 7 computer requires downloading a new driver from the Index website because Winbraille does not work with Windows 7. This machine embosses on one side of the page and uses continuous-feed paper. It works with paper which is either 8 1/2 by 11 or 11 by 11 1/2 inches. I am selling this printer/embosser for $1,500. Please call me at (540) 899-7747 or email me at <[email protected]>.

For Sale:
I am selling a Freedom Scientific PAC Mate. The unit comes with two batteries but no charger. It came from the estate of a blind person, so I know nothing more about it. Freedom Scientific says that it can provide a charger for about $40. This unit has a Perkins-Brailler-style keyboard and only a couple other switches. I am asking $75 including shipping, or I would consider trading for something taking up space at your place.

I am also selling a new Perkins Brailler. It's still shrink wrapped in its original box. This is the older steel machine, not the newer plastic model. I’m asking $500. For more information contact me at <[email protected]>, or call (734) 658-2919.

Textbook for Sale:
I have a Braille text book for sale entitled A People and a Nation: A History of the United States, seventh edition, volume 2. The author is Mary Beth Norton. The book was published by Houghton Mifflin Company. The ISBN number is 0–618–39177–7. If interested in this thirty-volume book, you may reach Latrice at (336) 722-9018. Please do not call before 9:00 a.m.

Laptop for Sale:
I have an HP laptop computer with four gigabytes of memory that is one year old. It has Windows 7 and is in excellent condition. I paid $1,300 for it and am asking $200 plus shipping. Please call Donna Webb at (501) 313-9408.

For Sale:
I have a barely used PAC Mate BX420 with a twenty-cell Braille display and GPS. I’m asking $900. The unit comes with two carrying cases, a power supply/charger, a socket WIFI card, and a USB cable. I am hard of hearing as well as low vision, so please contact me using email by writing to <[email protected]> or by using the Video Relay Service by calling (858) 368-4194.

Items for Sale:
(1) Pac Mate Omni QX440 $2,900. The unit is one year old and in good condition. The price includes all accessories.

(2) Eye-Pal $700. If interested in any of these products, please email <[email protected]> or call (806) 886-1340.

Pen Friends for Sale:
My name is Jonathan, and I am offering two Pen Friends for sale. A Pen Friend is a device with which one records one's voice by placing the pen on a sticker that is required for playback, similar to a feature of the ID Mate. I wish to sell these for $175 each. One has never been used; all contents are still in their plastic box. The other I did try once or twice but is still in like-new condition with all contents in the original plastic box. Some stickers on the sheet have been used. I have no use for these and would like to help someone in need of one or both of these; they are beneficial for keeping track of prescriptions, seasonings, or spices, et cetera. If interested, contact me at <[email protected]>.

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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