by Ellen Ringlein
The National Federation of the Blind Independence Market is the conduit through which our organization distributes our empowering literature to our members, friends, and the general public. As a service we also operate a blindness products store, which sells mostly low-tech items, designed to enhance the everyday independence of blind individuals.
Here are a few items available from the Independence Market which would make great gifts for a blind person on your list. During the holidays many of us spend time with family and friends, so games make fun gifts. Our offerings range from a variety of Brailled card games like UNO, Skip-Bo, Phase 10, Quiddler, and Five Crowns to board games like Checkers, Chess, Dominoes, Backgammon, Tic-Tac-Toe and more. Perhaps our new, popular Micro-Speak Plus Talking Digital Voice Recorder, the PenFriend 2 audio labeling system, a Color Identifier, a Talking Tape Measure, the inTACT Sketchpad and Eraser, a 2018 Large Print Planner, or a Braille or talking watch might be just the thing. Of course, the Bradley Timepiece was created for both blind and sighted users alike; in fact it has won a design award. Anyone wearing this fashionable timepiece is bound to garner compliments.
Perhaps you are shopping for a sighted family member or friend. We have some more items that may be of interest. The Louis Braille Silver Dollar may appeal to coin collectors. The US Mint honored Louis Braille with the release of this commemorative proof coin, which shows the word Braille in standard-sized tactile Braille among other images. Someone interested in biography, history, or travel may enjoy Crooked Paths Made Straight by Dr. Isabelle Grant, in which the author, a blind school teacher and longtime member of the NFB, describes her 1959 solo journey around the world. Someone who has a closer relationship with the NFB may enjoy The Power of Love: How Kenneth Jernigan Changed the World edited by Ramona Walhof. This collection contains essays by longtime Federationists and others whose lives were touched through Dr. Jernigan's work with the National Federation of the Blind.
We have items to fit any budget, and our staff will be glad to assist with more gift ideas. If you would like to obtain a gift from the Independence Market but aren't sure what your family member or friend could use the most, you may wish to consider purchasing an Independence Market gift certificate instead.
For more information about the products and literature available from the Independence Market visit us online at https://nfb.org/independence-market. Our catalog and supplement are available for download as Microsoft Word and BRF files. You may also request a catalog in Braille or in print by contacting us using email at [email protected] or by phone at (410) 659-9314, extension 2216, Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM eastern time. Our staff will be glad to assist.