News from the Federation Family
National Association of Guide Dog Users Launches Innovative Mobile App:
The National Association of Guide Dog Users Inc., a strong and proud division of the National Federation of the Blind and the nation's leading service animal advocacy organization, is excited to announce the release of the NAGDU Guide and Service Dog Advocacy and Information mobile app. This new iOS app provides comprehensive information about the rights and responsibilities of service animal users under state and federal law. This app contains the entire text of the implementing regulations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) concerning service animals, along with the complete texts of every state law about the rights of access for the disabled. Also included in this app is specific guidance concerning service animals in settings in which those of us who use guide and service dogs experience the most challenges, such as airlines, restaurants, hotels, taxicabs, and health-care facilities. In addition, those who face discrimination because of their service dog can use the app to call a special advocate trained to resolve such issues. The app is provided for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch users free of charge as a public service by the National Association of Guide Dog Users. You can find the app by going to <https://appsto.re/us/F8jO2.i> or by simply searching for "NAGDU" in the Apple app store.
This mobile app grew out of the NAGDU Information and Advocacy Hotline, which currently fields nearly 1,100 calls per year. We believe that having the information in text format in our pockets will help resolve access issues before they escalate to the level of needing intervention. If you do need help, the National Association of Guide Dog Users and the National Federation of the Blind are here to help.
Future plans for the app include creating an Android version, adding more industry-specific guidance, including more information about the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) and the Fair Housing Act (FHA), and adding a feature that will sort state laws based upon one’s current location. We are also seeking input from users about other features that will enhance the app's function and effectiveness. You can offer your input by sending a message to <[email protected]>.
Newel Perry Inducted into APH Hall of Fame:
In May of 2014, Dr. Newel Perry (1873-1961) was inducted into the American Printing House for the Blind’s (APH) Hall of Fame. This high distinction is awarded to leaders and legends in the blindness field, and Dr. Perry’s admittance to this elite group has been long overdue. Fans of the history of the National Federation of the Blind may know him as the mentor of our founder, Dr. Jacobus tenBroek, but his impact on the American disability rights movement extends far beyond that.
Among his many accomplishments, Perry was the first blind graduate of the University of California at Berkeley (1896), earned a doctorate in mathematics at the University of Munich (1902), and successfully lobbied the New York state legislature to sign into law the first bill appropriating reader funds for blind college students (1906). In his capacity as a teacher at the California School for the Blind (1912-1947), he tutored the best and brightest students and is credited with preparing seventy-eight graduates to find work in a variety of fields during a time period when most blind people were considered unemployable.
Perhaps most importantly, however, Dr. Perry founded the California Council of the Blind in 1934 and encouraged the young tenBroek to found the first national organization of the blind in 1940, giving blind people everywhere the power of collective action to advocate for their rights. Established to honor his memory in 1955, the NFB bestows the Newel Perry Award on individuals, sighted or blind, who have demonstrated courageous leadership and outstanding service in the blindness field by working in partnership with the National Federation of the Blind.
For more information on the life and work of Newel Perry, the APH has published an extensive biography at <http://www.aph.org/hall/bios/perry.html>. Also in 1961, tenBroek eulogized his mentor and life-long friend in a speech called “Newel Perry: Teacher of Youth and Leader of Men,” which is available at <https://nfb.org/Images/nfb/Publications/speeches/ NewellPerryTeacherOfYouthLeaderOfMen.html>.
The National Association of Blind Office Professionals (NABOP) is pleased to announce the following officers for 2014-2016 term: president, Lisa Hall (OH); vice president, Nancy Coffman (NE); secretary: Joanne Jordan (VA); and treasurer, Debbie Brown (MD).
Anyone wishing to learn more about our division can contact Lisa Hall at 7001 Hamilton Avenue, Unit 2, Cincinnati, Ohio 45231-5262; or call (513) 931-7070 or cell (513) 550-5155; or email at <[email protected]>. To become a member send $5 to Debbie Brown, 11923 Parklawn Drive, Apartment 104, Rockville, MD 20852; or contact her by phone at (301) 881-1892; or by email at <[email protected]>.
The last meeting we had at our 2014 convention was great. All participants at our meeting learned what was new in technology and training opportunities. We hope to see everyone next year in Orlando, Florida, in July 2015.
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.
National Braille Press Invites You to Apply for the Opportunity to Win up to $20,000:
Louis Braille was an innovator—and this award seeks to identify and inspire future innovation. Potentially the award process will inspire new strategic directions for National Braille Press. The project must demonstrate some aspect of tactile literacy for blind people and promote Braille literacy or access to information. The Louis Braille Touch of Genius Prize for Innovation was developed to inspire innovators to continue the promotion of Braille literacy for blind and deaf-blind people worldwide.
The award is open to individuals, groups of individuals, or companies who have developed an innovative and accessible product in one of the following categories: professional software and apps, educational software and apps, gaming software or apps that promote tactile and Braille learning, and Braille or tactile-related hardware.
Applications must be received by January 7, 2015. For more information and to download the application, please visit <www.touchofgeniusprize.org> or contact Ximena Ojopi at (617) 266-6160, extension 412.
The Touch of Genius Prize for Innovation is provided through support from National Braille Press and The Gibney Family Foundation.
Computers for the Blind Announces Twenty-Fifth Anniversary:
Computers for the Blind (CFTB), which was formerly The Texas Center for the Visually Challenged, is a volunteer organization devoted to providing computers to persons who are blind or visually impaired. It is our hope that each person who is visually impaired may experience the information age in a positive and productive manner. We believe technology opens new worlds and creates opportunity for greater personal freedom.
Computers for the Blind has partnered with Goodshop.com to help do more for our cause. Along with helping save you money with online deals to stores like Dell, HP, and Tech Armor, Goodshop will also make a donation for every purchase you make. It doesn't get much easier than that!
A licensed copy of MAGic, which retails for $395, is now included in Computers for the Blind desktops and laptops. The desktops are available for $110 and the laptops are $160. The computers also include the following:
The minimum configuration for our Pentium 4 Dual Core 2GHz refurbished computers is:
If consumers want to upgrade, they can obtain the following from Freedom Scientific after obtaining a computer: MAGic with Speech, MAGic keyboard and two SMA upgrades for $199 (which is about a 50 percent discount); or a licensed version of JAWS Home version for $716 (a 20 percent discount). Please note that these discounts are only available to consumers and not to state agencies. We do, however, accept purchase orders for our computers.
Finally, thank you for sharing the news about the computers for $20 for SSI recipients. We received hundreds of calls, and these are no longer available. However, we intend to write a much larger grant next year and will let you know if it is approved.
New Fiction by Blind Author:
The Soul and the Seed is the first book in an intense new urban fantasy/contemporary dystopian series. The story centers around Aranka, a girl who describes herself as "relatively normal" until those who hold true power in today's society decide she is a threat. The United States and the rest of the modern world is dominated by a clandestine power that usurps the wills and emotions of individuals, but very few people know the truth. From the outside Aranka's world appears to be today's world. And yet she is imprisoned and forced to watch as her friends are killed one by one, all because they are different in a small physical way and because they can't be easily controlled. It is only a matter of time before it is her turn to die.
The Soul and the Seed, called "terrifyingly taut tension" by reviewers, can be found at: <http://www.amazon.com/Soul-Seed-Kyrennei-Book-One-ebook/dp/B00MQ99F0Y/ ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1408634384&sr=1-2&keywords=The+Soul+and+the+Seed>.
The Soul and the Seed is a gripping tale for adventure, science fiction, and fantasy readers. It is also a story with high emotional impact and deep themes about physical differences and social exclusion. The author, Arie Farnam is a legally blind writer who grew up in eastern Oregon and moved to Europe "primarily for the public transportation." In 2000, she became the first successful international conflict correspondent with a significant physical disability. While reporting from Bosnia, Kosovo, Macedonia, and the Ukraine among other international crisis areas for The Christian Science Monitor and Business Week, Farnam also directed two documentary films The Eye of the Storm (in Kazakhstan) and Walls (in the Czech Republic). Along with writing and publishing The Soul and the Seed independently, she also photographed and designed the cover. She is a former NFB scholarship winner and her documentary films were assisted by an equipment grant from the Oregon Commission for the Blind.
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.