Braille Monitor                                             January 2015

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News from the Federation Family

The NFB of Arizona's East Valley Chapter held their elections and the following people were elected: president, Megan Homrighausen; first vice president, Mark Feliz; second vice president, Debra Smith; secretary, Jenny Kasl; treasurer, Carol Scharlat; board position one, Connie Ryan; board position two, Patrick Hamblin.

Independence Market Corner:
If you have left it to the last minute to get a Braille or large print 2015 calendar, the NFB Independence Market can help. The following 2015 calendars and planners are available for ordering:

2015 American Action Fund Braille Calendar
This popular comb-bound, pocket-sized Braille calendar measures 6 by 6-1/2 inches. Each calendar page includes the days of the month and lists major holidays. A page for personal notes is in the back. This calendar is available free of charge.

2015 Large Print Calendar
This spiral-bound, large-print appointment calendar measures 8-1/2 by 11 inches with inside pockets. Each month is displayed on two facing pages and features two-inch blocks for each day of the month. The months are tabbed and include a section for monthly notes as well as a three month calendar overview. The calendar costs $10.00 plus shipping and handling.

2015 Large Print Planner
This organizer designed with low vision professionals in mind features easy-to-read large print. The spiral-bound 154-page planner with a black leatherette cover measures 8-1/2 by 11 inches. All calendar views are spread over two pages and include current and upcoming year at-a-glance views as well as twelve monthly and fifty-three weekly views. Pages for names and addresses, notes, and personal information are also included. The calendar costs $20.00 plus shipping and handling.

New! 2015 Large Print Wall Calendar
When fully opened this monthly wall calendar measures 22 by 17 inches. The daily boxes are 2-1/4 inch squares, and the numbers marking the date are 3/4 inch tall. The date markers are in the top right corner. At the bottom there are four lines for notes in between small versions of the previous and next month calendars. The calendar also includes an overview for the previous year and next year. The calendar costs $10.00 plus shipping and handling.

Products, including the items listed above, may be ordered from the NFB Independence Market. For more information visit us online at <>, or contact us by email at <[email protected]> or by phone at (410) 659-9314, extension 2216.

Blind Teacher Honored by Local Television Station:
Joe Grover is a blind teacher in the Caldwell, Idaho, Public Elementary Schools. In November he was selected by KBTV Channel 7 as the Seven's Hero. This TV station chooses a hero each week for doing community service of some kind. Joe supervises a group of boys called Guys and Ties who meet at lunch time. They are learning formal and adult behaviors and seem to be quite pleased about it. Of course, this is because Joe has the skill to help the kids enjoy what they are learning. Joe says, “It is a pretty cool program. I'm also very pleased that the focus was on the work I do instead of a blind guy doing the work.” Joe Grover is also the newly elected vice president of our brand new Canyon County Chapter of the NFB of Idaho.

The Fairfax chapter of the NFB of Virginia elected the following officers for the upcoming year: president, John Bailey; vice president, Cathy Schroeder; treasurer, Beverly Coney; secretary, Carolena Garrison; and board members, Ashley Bramlett and Jessica Diaz. John Bailey was elected as our chapter representative for the state board; Carolena Garrison was elected as the alternate board representative.

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.

Blind Children and Teens with Recurrent Sleep Problems Needed for Clinical Research Study and Survey:
Parents or guardians of children and teens who are blind with recurring sleeping or napping problems are needed to participate in a survey and/or take part in a clinical research study. The treatment being studied for children is approved for use in adults. For each completed survey, $24 will be donated (up to a total of $50,000) to organizations that support people who are blind.

Eligible volunteers who take part in the clinical research study will be compensated for their time and will receive all study-related investigational medication and medical evaluation at no cost.

Nighttime and daytime sleep problems occur in some individuals who are totally blind. This may be caused by the lack of light needed to reset the body clock. Survey participants need to be parents or guardians of children who are: less than eighteen years old, blind, and having recurrent trouble sleeping at night or daytime sleepiness or napping.

If you are interested, please call toll free at (844) 361-2424 Monday through Friday between 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM Eastern Time, email us at <[email protected]>, or contact us online at <>.

Outreach Ministry Offers Downloadable Braille Publications:
Unity Message of Hope, a nondenominational ministry serving people who are blind or visually impaired, has 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. For more information call Message of Hope toll-free at (866) 421-3066, or send email to <[email protected]>. To download Unity books in .brf format, log on to: <>.

Message of Hope also offers Daily Word, a nondenominational daily devotional publication, free of charge in Braille, on CD, or by email. For more information call (866) 421-3066 or send email to <[email protected]>.

A Notice to All SSA Employees with a Disability:
Any disabled employee working for the Social Security Administration who was employed from January of 2003 to present and who applied for a promotion and was not granted it may be eligible for a settlement. Disabled employees seeking to file claims must meet the following class criteria: all current and former employees with a targeted disability as defined by the Social Security Administration, who applied for and made a best qualified (BQ) list for promotion, and were not selected at any time after August 22, 2003 and up to October 30, 2014. All claims must be submitted before February 23, 2015. While SSA is trying to locate affected SSA employees, both current and former, we need to get the word out to ensure that no affected person loses any right to a claim they are entitled to.

The settlement also calls for complete overhaul of SSA’s reasonable accommodation (RA) system to make key individuals accountable for all approvals/denials of RA requests. The settlement also calls for more career development for disabled employees and training for disabled employees as well as management.

More information about the settlement and a claim form can be found at <>.

Resources in Alabama Handbook Available:
I have created a screen-reader-friendly “Alabama Resource Handbook” containing resources pertaining to the blind and visually impaired for use by consumers and professionals. This handbook is for the residents of Alabama and includes the many organizations for the blind and visually impaired covering areas such as employment, housing, transportation, and more.

The handbook includes contact information on the local, regional, and national level. For more information on pricing and formats please contact Insightful Publications by email at <[email protected]> or contact me by phone at (808) 747-1006.

Hadley to Offer Free UEB Course:
The Hadley School for the Blind is pleased to offer a new “Transitioning to Unified English Braille” course for professionals beginning in January 2015. The course will be available in print and Braille (online version is in development). Thanks to the American Printing House for the Blind (APH), this professional course will be tuition-free through the end of calendar year 2015.

“As the use of technology in education increases, Braille becomes more and more important for students who are blind,” says APH President Tuck Tinsley. “This course, `Transitioning to Unified English Braille,’ the first of two courses to be developed by Hadley focusing on the new Braille code, will meet a critical need in our field’s transition to UEB. Students, teachers, parents, administrators, university professors, pre-service teachers, transcribers, and others can be well prepared for the January 2016 UEB implementation date.”

The six-lesson course provides a structured approach to learning the difference between EBAE (English Braille American Edition) and Unified English Braille (UEB). Abundant examples and exercises will help students progress easily and transition to the new code. Prerequisites include strong contracted reading and writing skills in EBAE or SEB (Standard English Braille).

“Hadley is proud to be at the forefront of providing training on UEB,” says Hadley President Chuck Young. “Teaching the teachers Braille—to support their visually impaired clients and students—is central to our mission of promoting independent living through lifelong learning for people who are blind or visually impaired.”

“Transitioning to Unified English Braille” also will be offered to students in Hadley’s Adult Continuing Education/High School Program and Family Education Program without charge on an ongoing basis.

To pre-enroll in this “Transitioning to Unified English Braille” course due out in January, please contact Student Services at (800) 526-9909 or by email at <[email protected]>. You may also visit <>.

For more information about the American Printing House for the Blind, visit <>.

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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