Braille Monitor                                               January 2014

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News from the Federation Family

Blindmath Gems:
Al Maneki writes as follows:

For almost ten years the NFB has maintained the Blindmath listserv, a lively exchange of worldwide postings on all topics mathematical. The Blindmath archives are now ginormous. Finding anything of substance in them can be a daunting task except for the most database-savvy users. Therefore, in cooperation with the NFB Jernigan Institute, I have spent the last three years combing through the Blindmath archives looking for and compiling the most interesting and relevant postings. We have put this compilation on the NFB’s website. Postings have been placed in different categories that simplify user searches. Currently I have finished searching the archives through 2011. What has happened too often before is that, rather than searching the archives first, people in need of math-related information have simply posted their questions on Blindmath. This has resulted in repetitive queries with sometimes tired, old answers. Now, before posting your question, please go to <>. If you don’t find what you are looking for there, feel free to post your question to Blindmath. It’s possible that your question has already been answered, and I simply failed to select your query. Let me apologize here in advance for any failure or shortcoming on my part in my selection of postings. If you have comments or questions about Blindmath Gems, please contact me at <[email protected]>. This is a special email address I have created for Blindmath questions. For all other communications with me, please use <[email protected]>.

At its fall convention the NFB of the District of Columbia conducted elections with the following results: president, Shawn Callaway; first vice president, Libra Robinson; second vice president, Margaret Williams; secretary, Gail Snider; treasurer, Lamont Wright; and at-large board members, Robert Ashe and Eric Smith. Shawn Callaway has appointed Oliver Washington to fill Gail Snider’s unexpired board position.

The affiliate also established a new Community Services Division, the first in the nation. Officers are president, Libra Robinson; first vice president, Oliver Washington; second vice president, Conrad Perry; secretary, Gail Snider; treasurer, Jason Manchester; and board members, Dana Hinnant and Shirley Jordan.

The Snake River Valley Chapter of the National Federation of the Blind of Idaho recently had its elections and the results are as follows: president, Vickie Bateman; first vice president, Sandy Streeter; second vice president, Lynn Kneip; secretary, Carla Teczon; treasurer, Kevin Pirnie; and board members Jason Bernert and Katy Pirnie.

At our state convention the following persons were elected to the board of the NFB of Pennsylvania: president, Jim Antonacci; first vice president, Lynn Heitz; second vice president, Connie Schwarzfeld; secretary, Harriet Go; treasurer, Antoinette Whaley; and board members,  Emily Angelcyk, Denice Brown and Thomas Brown. Those continuing to serve as directors from last year are James Baxter, Kirk Hunger, and Michelle McManus.

National Center for Blind Youth in Science Recently Funded by a Grant from the National Science Foundation:
The NFB recently received funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to develop, implement, and evaluate the National Center for Blind Youth in Science (NCBYS), a three-year, full-scale development project to increase informal learning opportunities for blind youth in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).The NFB will collaborate with six science centers from across the country and the affiliates in which those science centers reside to conduct two-day, multi-age, regional STEM programs for blind youth, parents of blind children, and teachers. Additionally, the NFB and museum personnel will collaborate to improve the accessibility of exhibits and programming at each of the museum sites so that blind patrons may be afforded the same learning opportunities as sighted patrons.

We are excited about this opportunity to expand our work in informal STEM education to include the museum and science center settings. Talented professionals from across the country will come together to facilitate the programming that comprises the NCBYS initiative. Senior team members include Mark Riccobono, principal investigator; Christine Reich, co-principal investigator; Natalie Shaheen, project director; Dr. Tiffany Wild, researcher; and Dr. Joe Heimlich, evaluator. It will undoubtedly be an exciting three years of growth in learning opportunities for the blind in STEM. To learn more about the project and to stay up to date, visit the project webpage at <> and follow <@NFBScience> on Twitter.

The 2013 Meet the Blind Month Report:
This year's Meet the Blind Month events ranged from a fundraiser bus trip to Utah/Las Vegas, a read-a-thon, and a statewide Girl Scout event (which taught girls about diversity) to signing the White Cane Proclamation, hosting information tables, and using Who's Whozit presentations to educate students. Not only were there a variety of events this year, but with the assistance of eleven affiliates, we also raised a total of $9,780.01. It is great to see that our members are actively engaging the local community. We can't wait to see how we expand upon Meet the Blind Month next year.

As always we value your feedback. If you have any suggestions for next year, please contact Ilana Posner at (410) 659-9314, extension 2283, or at <[email protected]>.

Milt Taylor Elected Second Vice District Governor:
Milt Taylor, the father of seven children and seventeen grandchildren, has been a member of the National Federation of the Blind since 1971 and has served in many leadership positions, including affiliate president. Milt has also been a member of Lions International since 1979. He has also served in leadership roles in local clubs, including president. His service and leadership opportunities are taking him to new horizons.

Taylor has been serving as zone chair in district 28T of Lions International and this past November was elected as second vice district governor. In 2015 he will become the district governor. He will also be on the board of trustees of the Utah Lions Foundation. Taylor considers it a real honor to serve in the largest global service club in the world. There are over 1,350,000 members and 46,000+ Lions Clubs in 208 countries.

“It is my belief that I will be able to provide service for the NFB in ways that I would not have been able to do in the past. In this position I will be able to set an example for Lions that blind people can function in society and in leadership roles as well as the sighted. I look forward to making a difference by helping to change attitudes about blindness in this country and throughout the world.

Odin Mobile Partnership:
The NFB is excited to announce that we have formed a partnership with Odin Mobile, a wireless provider that is 100 percent dedicated to providing cellular service to people who are blind and visually impaired. This partnership will bring you additional choice as you look to fulfill your mobile communications needs.

Odin Mobile offers a variety of cellular phones, including basic mobile phones with built-in accessibility features that allow blind people to text message, access contacts, and perform other basic tasks, as well as smartphones such as the Nexus 4 from Google that offer the latest in Android accessibility. With monthly airtime rates as low as $10 per month, Odin Mobile has plans to fit various budgets and needs.

Perhaps best of all, when you mention that you are an NFB member, you will receive a special 5 percent discount on Odin Mobile talk and text plans. The NFB will receive a percentage of the revenue that Odin Mobile generates from NFB members, so you help the NFB as well. Odin Mobile is committed to supporting NFB members and their mobile communications needs. So the next time you need to buy a new cell phone or subscribe to a new service provider, be sure to check out Odin Mobile at <>, or call them at (855) 217-9459.

Provide Feedback Regarding Your Travel Experience:
The NFB is committed to removing barriers and promoting equality for blind travelers. In light of the Department of Transportation’s recent and insufficient application of the Air Carrier Access Act to self-service kiosks and airline websites, the need for advocacy amid the travel industry is increasingly apparent.

Member feedback regarding individual travel experiences is central to this effort. The NFB, therefore, encourages all members to complete a brief online travel survey at <>. Your feedback provides the NFB with essential accessibility data that help drive collective advocacy efforts and guide the engagement of travel industry leaders.

In order to provide a truly accurate picture of accessibility at travel centers across the nation, we ask that members complete the survey each time they travel. Please take time to share your travel experiences, both positive and negative, using the survey. For additional information please contact Valerie Yingling, paralegal at the NFB, at <[email protected]>, or by phone at (410) 659-9314, extension 2440.

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.

Call and Sign Up to Learn More about Non-24 and Vanda Will Donate to the NFB:
Our friends at Vanda Pharmaceuticals are running a campaign to raise awareness of non-24 hour disorder and raise funds for the National Federation of the Blind at the same time. Non-24-hour disorder (Non-24) is a serious circadian rhythm disorder that causes significant nighttime sleep problems and a wide range of daytime difficulties, including an overwhelming urge to sleep during the day. According to Vanda, non-24 affects nearly 70 percent of people who are totally blind. Sign up to learn more about non-24-hour disorder by calling (855) 856-2424, and a portion of $24, divided among several other blindness organizations, will be donated to the NFB. Even better, every time you share the program with someone you know and he or she signs up, Vanda will make another $24 donation. Sign up and spread the word.

Disability Employment PSA Discussion Guide Now Available:
The Campaign for Disability Employment (CDE) recently announced the availability of a discussion guide to accompany the “Because” public service announcement (PSA) distributed earlier this year.

The “Because” PSA has a simple but significant message—that youth with disabilities, like all youth, should grow up expecting to work and succeed, and parents, educators and other adults of influence in their lives should reinforce this expectation at every turn. The new discussion guide—which comes with a DVD containing the PSA—can be used to facilitate a conversation about this important topic among adults or youth in a variety of settings. Free of charge, it is available in both English and Spanish.

The CDE is funded by the US Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP). To order a “Because” discussion guide, as well as associated posters and other materials, visit ODEP’s publications order webpage at < CampaignForDisabilityEmployment.htm>. To learn more about the CDE, visit the CDE website.

Unity Literature Available from Message of Hope:
Message of Hope is a Unity outreach program. Funded solely by donations, Message of Hope shares the assurance of God's love and grace by providing free spiritual materials to those in need. Unity extends support to individuals in various care settings and to those experiencing hardship. Message of Hope also serves persons with blindness or visual impairments, offering free spiritual resources in Braille, on CD, in digital format, and through an online Braille library.

Chaplains, administrators, and volunteers often contact Unity to request spiritual materials that will inspire hope and encouragement in those they serve. After an application process, Message of Hope offers nondenominational spiritual materials, at no cost, in English and Spanish.

Unity's Message of Hope ministry serving the blind and visually impaired has the following products and services available free of charge: Daily Word in Braille, bimonthly; Daily Word on CD, bimonthly; a virtual library of downloadable Braille (.brf file) Unity publications, available free of charge to anyone with access to a computer, Braille notetaker or digital talking book player at <> and link to the online Braille library; an audiobook lending library which contains Unity publications on audiocassette and CD; and a hardcopy Braille book lending library (Unity publications in Braille).

For more information, call (866) 421-3066 or send email to <[email protected]>. Visit the Message of Hope Facebook page at <> to stay updated on new books and other materials. Visit the Message of Hope website 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.

For Sale or Trade:
I have four Braille displays for sale or trade. All four of these displays are in excellent condition. Prices include shipping to Canada and the US, and all come with AC adapters. I will entertain offers to trade for a BrailleNote Apex or Braille Sense U2 having a QWERTY or Perkins keyboard. The first display is a Braille Edge 40, about eight months old, and used very little. I'm including a carrying case from Executive Products Inc., and I'm asking $1,800. The second display is an Alva BC640 with carrying case, and I'm asking $1,575. The third display is an Alva Satellite 44, along with the foam pads for a keyboard to rest on. I'm asking $475. The fourth display is a PowerBraille 81, for which I'm asking $250.

I accept PayPal payments, money orders, or cashier’s checks, and I will accept non-certified checks, which must clear before I will ship. I can be reached at <[email protected]> or (519) 669-1456.

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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