Braille Monitor                                    February 2018

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Independence Market Corner

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 every-day independence of blind individuals. We introduced some of the products which were newly available from the NFB Independence Market at the 2017 convention and in an earlier Braille Monitor issue. Below we have described the remaining items.

Some folks still appreciate having a separate source for telling the time apart from their smart phone, which may not always be at hand. A Braille watch is especially discrete for checking the time unobtrusively. We have added the Ladies’ Two Tone Montiel Braille Watch to our product offerings. This elegant Swiss-made watch features a gold tone, 3/4 inch face with a chrome bezel and case and a two-tone (silver and gold tone) expansion band. Simply lift the watch crystal, which opens at six o'clock, and touch the hands to tell the time.

We now also carry two more atomic talking watches, which will automatically set the time once the specific time zone has been selected. The time can also be set manually, should the user have trouble receiving the signal. Both watches are black and feature a male voice, in addition to announcing the time and complete date and having an alarm. The Digital Atomic Talking Watch with Top Button and Buckle Band has a digital display and a plastic buckle band. Press the green button on the watch face to hear the time and date announced. The Atomic Talking Watch with Black Face and Expansion Band has a 1-1/8 inch diameter, black face with white hands and numbers and a black case and expansion band. The display on the analog watch face synchronizes to the spoken time announcement when the watch is set. This watch also features an optional hourly announcement. The two setting buttons are recessed, which makes it easy to correctly orient the watch nonvisually.

We also added a couple of talking clocks to our product lineup. The Talking Keychain Clock with Date and Alarm attaches easily to your keyring, belt loop, or handbag with its clip. It announces the time and the date in a male voice and features an alarm. The Loud Talking Desk Clock announces the time in a clear, female voice. The time is also shown on an LCD display with the numbers a little over 1/2-inch tall. Other features include an alarm with snooze option, an hourly announcement, a twelve- or twenty-four-hour cycle, and a high/low volume control.

The Object Locator which includes one pager and three receivers proved rather popular; we sold out at convention. When one of the three buttons on the pager is pressed, the corresponding receiver unit will beep. The pager remote can locate items up to approximately thirty feet away. The three receivers can be turned off to conserve battery life. The pager features a metal keyring, and the receivers can be attached to easily-misplaced items with included loops, lanyards, or double-sided tape.

We also featured a new game called Rummikub. This Rummy-like game uses tiles rather than cards; the tiles are labeled in print and Braille, and we are including the instructions in Braille. The game comes with 106 tiles (two sets of four colors: black, blue, orange, and red, numbered 1 to 13 plus two jokers) and four sturdy racks. Be the first player to eliminate all the tiles from your rack by forming them into sets of runs of sequential numbers of the same color and groups of numbers of the same value. For two to four players, ages eight to adult.

We also started selling a Beeper Box, the replacement unit for the sound source in the beeping Frisbee, as a standalone audible beacon. If you are looking for a continuous sound source, this lightweight, portable beeper box may meet your needs. When turned on, the unit emits three beeps followed by a brief pause before beeping again. The device has many creative uses. Employ it for some mobility training situations, as an accessory for sports and games, or even when bike-riding; your imagination is the limit. You can tuck it into your pocket; attach it to virtually any object with tape, a rubber band, or piece of Velcro.

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 MSWord and BRF files. You may also request a catalog in Braille or in print by contacting us using email at independencemarket@nfb.org or by phone at (410) 659-9314, extension 2216, Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Our staff will be glad to assist.

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