Braille Monitor                                     March 2017

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News from the Federation Family

Braille Book Fair 2017:
Calling all Braille readers, teachers, and parents!

It's that time again: Time to sort through all those boxes of Braille books and donate those gently used but no longer needed Braille books to the 2017 Braille Book Fair sponsored by the National Organization of Parents of Blind Children.

Our primary goal is to get more Braille books into the hands of children, youth, and beginning adult readers, so

Children are so hungry for their very own books that every year, despite generous donations of books, most of our books for young children are gone in less than an hour. So, begin your search through the boxes in your basement and spare room and get those books shipped to: 2017 Braille Book Fair, National Federation of the Blind, 200 East Wells Street at Jernigan Place, Baltimore, MD 21230.

Please note that you are shipping the books FREE MATTER FOR THE BLIND; you do not need to pay shipping cost for Braille items. Hand write, stamp or affix a label to the upper right hand corner of the box stating: FREE MATTER FOR THE BLIND. Take your package(s) to your local post office. There is no shipping fee for Free Matter for the Blind when mailed through the post office.

Blindness: Learning In New Dimensions (BLIND) Inc.
Post-secondary Readiness Empowerment Program (PREP) 2017
Learning+Recreation+Friends+Job=A Great Summer

Apply today to PREP 2017, a summer program for all blind/low vision high school students!
When: June 11-August 5, 2017
Where: BLIND Inc.: 100 East 22nd St., Minneapolis, Minnesota 55404
Application deadline: April 15, 2017   
What: This exciting 8-week summer program is designed to prepare students to reach their personal, academic, and professional goals as they transition to adulthood.  The PREP curriculum empowers blind youth as they learn the alternative techniques of blindness and develops the self-confidence needed to become successful adults!

Instruction: The core classes include Braille reading and writing, independent cane travel, adaptive technology, career exploration, and home management, which includes cooking, cleaning, personal care, and daily living skills. Students also participate in regularly-scheduled discussion groups designed to build confidence and learn from blind peers and adults. PREP students live with fellow students and adult counselors in modern apartments with free Wi-Fi. Counselors and instructors serve as successful and positive role models. Students shop for groceries, prepare meals, and clean their apartments as part of their home and personal management training, while using public transportation on a daily basis. They begin to learn how to live independently while still in a supportive environment. Students develop problem-solving skills needed to take care of themselves and determine their own future!

Getting A Job: This program includes a three-week paid internship experience. Students will utilize the skills they have developed while earning minimum wage, working approximately 20 hours per week in local businesses and agencies.

National Convention: In July, PREP 2017 students will enjoy the exciting opportunity by accompanying BLIND Inc. staff and adult students as we travel to Orlando, Florida, to attend the week-long National Federation of the Blind convention. During this convention, our PREP students will join hundreds of other high school and college students from around the country when attending the National Association of Blind Students meeting. Students will also attend other meetings and seminars, learn about new groundbreaking technology, and get involved in social and recreational activities. This annual convention is packed full of great learning opportunities and fun experiences.

Other Activities: Throughout the summer, the PREP students will also participate in a variety of fun activities, including going to Wild Mountain Water Park, camping, rock climbing, shopping at various malls, and much more. Don’t worry; there will be plenty of time to hang out with old and new friends!

Contact Michell Gip, youth services coordinator, at 612-872-0100, ext. 231, or email [email protected] for more information or an application. We can assist you to work with your local vocational rehabilitation agency to attend the program.

Information about our summer programs can also be found at

Apply today to ensure your space in this program! Applications are due by April 15.

The Central Florida Chapter of the NFB of Florida elected the following officers at their November meeting to serve a two-year term: president, Sherri Brun; vice president, Marilyn Baldwin; secretary, Jerry Heichelbeck; treasurer, James Evans; board members, Paulette Williams, Dan Weiner, and Don Wilkerson.

The following members were elected for one-year terms at the Treasure State (Montana) At-Large Chapter meeting on February 9, 2017: president, Rik James; vice president, Travis Moses; secretary, Joy Breslauer; treasurer, Linda Hurlock.

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.

BlindSquare Friends, Tell Your Story:
The folks at BlindSquare are launching a contest intended to bring voice and reward to BlindSquare friends.

BlindSquare often hears stories from NFB friends and others, either about discovering new and important benefits of BlindSquare or simply to tell how wonderful this technology is and how it has changed their lives. The transformation of dependence to independence, the elevation from movement-of-self to joyful steps, the evolution of travel from planned routes to the freedom of choice—all are wonderful and, for us all, very encouraging.

BlindSquare would like to provide a way to capture these stories more formally—this contest is the first step. BlindSquare will also provide awards for those who told their stories well. This won't necessarily be measured in volume or fancy prose but perhaps the simple capture of a happy result.

If you want to participate or help promote this fun contest, check out BlindSquare My Story Contest at
viewform. The form will gather teacher/sponsor information for the hundreds of BlindSquare friends under the age of eighteen. Contest ends April 1.

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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