Braille Monitor                                               October 2013

(back) (contents)

Monitor Miniatures

News from the Federation Family

First Annual Bid for Equality Online Auction:

It is time to get ready to celebrate the holidays and reflect on your accomplishments over the past year. This year you can enjoy the holidays and continue to contribute to the National Federation of the Blind’s (NFB) powerful cause by joining us in our first annual Bid for Equality online auction. This exciting new online auction features several unique packages from our extremely dedicated affiliates. The items range from paintings and gift baskets with unique state-specific items to helicopter tours, airline tickets, and weekend get-aways. What a great way to show the special people in your life that you care, while supporting the NFB at the same time! Get excited, the auction will begin on Black Friday, November 29, 2013, and conclude on Giving Tuesday, December 3, 2013.

The future is in your bid. We appreciate your support.

Please contact Ilana Posner at the National Office at (410) 659-9314, extension 2283, for more information about the Bid for Equality online auction or with any questions.

Another Kernel Book in the Works:
Starting in 1991, the NFB began producing paperbacks of less than one hundred pages relating the experiences of blind people in their own words. The goal was to create something small enough that people would carry it and interesting enough that they would read it. We have published thirty of these, and, to commemorate our upcoming seventy-fifth anniversary, we are going to publish another.

So what is a Kernel book? As Dr. Jernigan said in the first one: "We wanted to go to the very heart of blindness, trying to show our readers what it's really like; and, for that matter, what it isn't like." He went on to explain that many times we are asked about our lives as blind people, but, in the short conversations we have on the bus or while boarding an airplane, we usually can’t do a very good job of explaining it. The Kernel Book gives us this opportunity. To understand the Kernel Book series, look at the thirty we have at <>. Then think about your story, think about the part the NFB has played in your life, and think about writing your story or an anecdote about how the Federation has shaped your outlook for our seventy-fifth anniversary Kernel Book.

Submissions should be sent to Gary Wunder at 3910 Tropical Lane, Columbia, MO 65202 or sent by email to <[email protected]>. This is a wonderful opportunity to explain what it means to be blind, the challenges we face each day, and the way we overcome them. Be a part of history, and tell us about your life.

Where the Blind Work:

The Jernigan Institute, the Employment Committee, and the Writers' Division have a joint project, and we need your help. We are building an employment resource of job descriptions and how the blind compete within them. Where the Blind Work is a great informational resource to assist youth to plan for future employment and for adults hoping to change jobs or careers. We would be happy to accept a description of your present job, one you had recently, or both.

The collection of descriptions is divided into twelve categories: Administrative and Office Careers; Business/Entrepreneurial Careers; Computer Specialists; Customer Service; Education Careers; Financial Careers; Government Careers; Human Services; Law Enforcement and Legal Careers; Media, Marketing, and Public Relations; Medical Careers; and Vocational Jobs.

Your description must be fewer than 1,000 words and must follow the five-question format below. When completed, please email them to <[email protected] >:

(* indicates a required field.)

1. Personal information:
*Industry in which you work (example: financial services)
*Job title
Your street address (work or home)
City, state, zip code
Phone number (work, home, or cell)
Email (work or home)
*2. Please explain what any worker would do on this job. (Specialized blindness alternatives will appear in the next question.)
*3. To what extent are you blind, and what special adaptations do you use on the job? (Give the medical term for your blindness and extent of limitation; list the type and name of any special low- or high-technology equipment or procedure you use to perform your job duties, describing where and how you use it.)
*4. Please let us know of any required special training, education, certificates, or experience needed for this job.
*5. Please tell us about anyone or anything that aided you to be successful.

Note: To aid in the construction of your description, read several of the earlier postings from the Where the Blind Work page: < >.

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.

Maps of Kansas Available:

The Princeton Braillists have recently completed a volume of maps of Kansas. This single volume includes an overview of the state, followed by individual maps showing cities, rivers, counties, highways, farm and mineral products, and yearly precipitation. A more detailed map shows the vicinity of Kansas City.

The package comprises eleven maps, forty-two pages total. The price is six dollars, and we use shipping by free mail where eligible. To order, please send check or purchase order to the Princeton Braillists, 76 Leabrook Lane, Princeton, NJ 08540. For further information contact Ruth Bogia, (215) 357-7715, or Nancy Amick, (609) 924-5207.

Former NLS Librarians Nussbaum and Lewis Receive ASCLA Awards:

Ruth J. Nussbaum, retired reference librarian, National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS), Library of Congress, and Jill Lewis, retired director of the Maryland Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (MDLBPH), an NLS network regional library, are recipients of two Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies (ASCLA) awards.

ASCLA, a division of the American Library Association, selected Nussbaum for the 2013 Cathleen Bourdon Service Award and Lewis for the 2013 Francis Joseph Campbell Award, which recognizes a person or institution that has made an outstanding contribution to the advancement of library service for the blind and physically handicapped.

The Cathleen Bourdon Service Award, formerly the ASCLA Service Award, was renamed in 2007 in honor of the departing ASCLA executive director Cathleen Bourdon. It is presented to an ASCLA individual  member for exceptional service and sustained leadership to the division. This includes participation in activities that have enhanced the stature, reputation, and overall strength of ASCLA and have also cultivated the division’s relationship with other appropriate organizations, institutions, or government agencies.

Nussbaum worked as a reference librarian at NLS from 1987 to 2012. An ASCLA member since 1990, she has been chair of the Librarians Serving Special Populations Section of ASCLA, a member of the Century Scholarship committee, a representative to the ASCLA Board of Directors, chair of the Francis Joseph Campbell Award Committee, a member of the ASCLA Awards Committee, and representative to the ASCLA board. Nussbaum also served as an ALA councilor-at-large from 2004 to 2007 and has long been involved in the American Indian Library Association. She has made significant contributions to professional documents and guidelines, including accessibility policies for both ALA and ASCLA, fact sheets, bibliographies, and other publications addressing library services for people with disabilities.

The Francis Joseph Campbell Award was named after Campbell (1832 to 1914), an American who lost his sight at the age of five. He was the music director at the Wisconsin School for the Blind and the Perkins Institution for the Blind and was also instrumental in the founding of the Royal National College for the Blind.

The award, which consists of a citation and medal, is presented to a library or person who has made an outstanding contribution to the advancement of library service for the blind and physically handicapped. This contribution may take the form of an imaginative and constructive program in a particular library; a recognized contribution to the national library program for blind persons; creative participation in library associations or organizations that advance reading for the blind; a significant publication or writing in the field; imaginative contribution to library administration, reference, circulation, selection, acquisitions, or technical services; or any activity of recognized importance.

Lewis served as the director of the MDLBPH from 2003 to 2012. Under her leadership the library developed partnerships that provided a community center for library users with print disabilities. The center includes adaptive technology, cultural programs, and an interactive children’s reading center. She previously worked as a reference librarian for NLS, where she conducted a study of educational reading services for individuals with print disabilities and prepared publications for the Reference Section. In 2012 Lewis was awarded the Distinguished Service Award from the National Federation of the Blind of Maryland and presented with a Governor’s Citation for Outstanding Service. She has been active within ALA and ASCLA since the 1990s and serves on the board of the Montgomery County Public Library in Maryland.

Both women were presented their awards during the ALA 2013 Conference at the ASCLA/COSLA reception on Saturday, June 29, at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place in Chicago.

NLS administers the Braille and Talking-Book Program, a free library service available to US residents and American citizens living abroad whose low vision, blindness, or disability makes reading a regular printed page difficult. Through its national network of regional libraries, NLS mails books and magazines in digital audio and Braille formats, as well as digital audio equipment, directly to enrollees at no cost. Selected materials are also available online for download, and music instructional materials are available in large print, Braille, and recorded formats. For more information visit <> or call 1-888-NLS-READ (1-888-657-7323).

Tape Discussion List Available:

Cassette tapes may have been invented in the 1960s, but people still use them, even today, especially the blind and visually impaired. Though Braille is very useful and popular among the blind, audio books are also prevalent and useful. Though the Digital Talking Books program exists, there is still an audience among blind audio book listeners for cassette tapes. Did you tape fans ever want a discussion list to talk about tapes with other tape users, especially blind ones? Well, that's Prosomawi Media's latest endeavor: TapeVille.

So what is TapeVille? Simply put, it is a blind-accessible forum where people who like tapes chat with other people who like tapes. All cassette-related topics are allowed, including the conversion of cassettes into digital format. Send an email to <[email protected]> with the word “subscribe” in either the subject or the body of the email. If you ever decide to leave TapeVille, do the same, just replace the word "subscribe" with "unsubscribe," though we really hope you don't.

When you're ready to introduce yourself, post a tape question, tape information, tape news, etc., send an email to <[email protected]> with your message.

HAI Describe—Live Audio Description in NYC:

If you like Broadway and Off Broadway shows, but have crossed them off the list because of a visual impairment, you’re going to love this. Check out Describe from the Healing Arts Initiative.

The Healing Arts Initiative (HAI) is a New York City non-profit committed to making art and culture accessible to blind and visually impaired residents and visitors. Describe is a service offered by HAI that provides live professional description services to blind theater-goers. Trained describers speak live through a small ear-piece and offer blow-by-blow description of stage settings, live action, costumes and scenery.

Anyone interested in getting more information on HAI’s Live Describe program can call or email to be added to our mailing list and learn about upcoming performances. If you would like to learn more or be added to our mailing list, please send an email with your contact information to <[email protected]> or call (212) 575-7660 and ask about our Describe program. You can also visit us on the web at <>, like us on Facebook at <>, or follow us on Twitter <@hai_nyc>.

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 Permobil C300 model power wheelchair for sale. The seat depth is seventeen inches, back to front; the seat is fourteen inches wide. The seat can be raised or lowered. The system has a caretaker control box on the back, with the same control on the front left side, plus a joy stick. It also has a laser locator that sounds an alarm when it detects obstacles in front of or behind the chair.

The chair is about five years old, but has been used only about ten times, all inside the house. It is in excellent condition, and the gel battery has been replaced once. I am asking $1,500 or best offer, and transportation of the chair must be covered by the new owner. For more details call Carol (610) 734-1037, or email <[email protected]>

For Sale:

I am selling a HIMS Braille Sense Plus qwerty notetaker. It is rarely used and comes with original packing materials, manuals, and a leather carrying case. The unit is in like-new condition and comes with the latest version 8.0 firmware and a 32 gig flash drive already installed. I am asking $2,000. Contact John by phone at (903) 285-2519.  

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.

Media Share

Facebook Share

(back) (contents)