Braille Monitor                                    April 2018

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News from the Federation Family

Blindness Summer Transition Youth Learning Experience
Blindness: Learning In New Dimensions (BLIND) Inc. presents Summer Transition Youth Learning Experience (STYLE) 2018. Spend part of your summer in STYLE!

The STYLE program offers three separate, five-day, theme-based educational/recreational programs. All of our programs are delivered by blind role models. STYLE students will learn skills, gain confidence, and have fun! Attend one, two, or all three sessions! Day programming and residential options are available.

Session 1: July 23 to 27: Fitness, Fun, and Friends:
Get fit, have fun, compete! Students will participate in individual and group recreational activities. Learn about proper nutrition while preparing healthy meals. Activities may include rock climbing, goalball, water sports, self-defense, etc.! Have fun while being active and hanging out with new and old friends.

Session 2: July 30 to August 3: Tech Trek:
Students will explore the world of assistive technology. Computers, smartphones, tablets, etc. are the tools which will help students achieve success. Learn to effectively and efficiently use assistive technology in school, at work, and at home. Sign up for your Tech Trek adventure today!

Session 3: August 6 to August 10: Career Quest:
What jobs can blind people do? Where do you want to work? Students will explore jobs held by blind people and learn what those jobs truly entail. Learn what skills are needed to reach your vocational goals. Topics include résumé building, interview skills, soft skills, finding jobs, qualifications/experience, and more!

Contact Michell Gip, youth services coordinator, at (612) 872-0100, Ext. 231, or [email protected] for more information or an application. We can assist you to work with your local vocational rehabilitation agency to attend the program. The first review of applications will occur on April 30, 2018. Apply today to ensure your space in this program!

Attention Blind and Low-Vision Students!
Are you or do you know a blind or low-vision teen who wants to spend their summer learning, meeting new people, and having a great adventure? Join the National Federation of the Blind at our NFB EQ program. NFB EQ is a jam-packed week of fun and learning.

Participants spend each day engaged in activities designed to strengthen their knowledge of engineering as well as their problem-solving abilities. In the evenings, participants hang out with the twenty-nine other teen participants while exploring the local community and participating in various recreational activities. Throughout the week, participants will forge new friendships while increasing their engineering knowledge, problem-solving abilities, self-confidence, and independence.

To learn more and to apply, visit

The Specs:

Who: Thirty blind and low vision teens currently enrolled in grades 9-12 in the United States.

What: A weeklong summer engineering program for blind and low vision teens.

When: Participants will travel to Baltimore on July 29 and travel back home on August 4.

Where: The National Federation of the Blind Jernigan Institute in Baltimore, Maryland.

Why: To meet new people, learn new things, and have an exciting adventure!

How: Apply Now! Applications are due May 1, 2018.

How Much: There is no registration fee for this program. Visit our frequently asked questions web page for more details:
Additional Information:

What are people saying about EQ?
“NFB EQ gave me more confidence to keep doing what I want—no one can stop me! The program opened my eyes to even more options in the field [of engineering], and it gave me some confidence that I can do some mechanical stuff that I didn’t think I could do before.” – Michael, Texas

“At the program, I learned that there is accessible equipment—I can use equipment that is close to what sighted people use, like Braille rulers and click rules. At school, the tools for measuring in science aren’t always accessible to me.” – Lilly, Alaska

“I increased my drawing skills at NFB EQ. The tactile drawing board helped me because I could feel what I drew. Visualizations also have gotten easier [going from drawing to model to prototype]. In engineering, you have to picture an idea in your mind and then draw it before you can build it. When you draw it, you can really see how it's going to come together.” – Trey, Kentucky

“I am amazed at how the people involved in organizing this program made everything so easy for us. From organizing logistics to making sure the schedule was running smoothly for the students—the whole event was very successful. The staff’s warmth and attention to detail really eased my mind and made me feel good about leaving my son at the program for the week.” – Mark (father), North Carolina

"I was looking for a rigorous, highly academic science program that promoted and modeled independence, and the National Federation of the Blind was offering everything I was looking for. Still, I was hesitant. What if it wasn’t a good use of my students’ resources, or what if they weren’t safe? My fears were unwarranted, from start to finish. NFB made the health, safety, academic rigor, social experiences, and general well-being of our students paramount. Every detail was professionally planned and handled, ensuring that every moment, for every student, was as meaningful as it could possibly be.” – Laura (teacher of the visually impaired), Kentucky


Send them to: [email protected]; call (410) 659-9314, extension 2418; or mail to National Federation of the Blind, 200 East Wells Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21230.

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1712887. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

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.

Amazon Prime Discount Available:
Amazon is extending an Amazon Prime discount to Medicaid and EBT recipients. The cost is $5.99/month or $40/year, normally $12.99/month or $99/year. Applicants must upload a scan of their Medicaid card.

This offer has all the benefits except the ability to extend the Prime membership to Household Members. Benefits include Prime Video (a service similar to Netflix); two-day free shipping; and Amazon Now, a service available in places where Amazon has a warehouse and can fill an order within two hours. To learn more about the service and to apply go to

Share Your Story:
The American Printing House for the Blind (APH) in Louisville, Kentucky, kicked off its 160th Anniversary Celebration with an open house on their founding day, January 23. As part of this celebration, APH announced a National Writing Contest. Students and adults who are blind or visually impaired as well as professionals in the field are invited to share their stories about the impact of APH products on their lives, as well as celebrating their personal success stories. Categories, word count, and topics are as follows:
Grades 3 through 5 (Maximum 250 words)
Official Topic:

The American Printing House for the Blind provides specialized tools and materials for people who are blind and visually impaired to learn and to live independently. Write a letter to APH telling us about either 

Grades 6 through 8 (Maximum 500 words)
Official Topic:

Louis Braille, a Frenchman, invented the Braille code of tactile reading and writing in 1821. He died in 1852—six years before APH was founded in 1858. Write a letter to Louis and tell him either 

Grades 9 through 12 (Maximum 750 words)
Official Topic:

Think about the career or vocation you would like to pursue as an adult. Write an essay about how your strengths and interests will help you in this work. What person (or people) have empowered you to succeed? What APH product(s) has best prepared you for work in this area, and what product(s) will you use to become successful in this career or vocation?

Adult Consumers (Maximum 1,000 words)
Official Topic:

APH has celebrated many milestones since it was founded in 1858. For example: in 1883 a new building was constructed; in 1932 Standard English Braille became the only tactile reading and writing system produced by APH; in 1974 cassette tapes were introduced in the Talking Book program; and in 2003 Book Port was offered for sale. Write an essay about significant milestones in your life. What factors helped you to accomplish remarkable things and to overcome challenges? What APH product(s) have empowered you along the way?

Professionals (Maximum 1,000 words)
Official Topic:

Write an essay about the most creative, unique way you have used an APH product (or products). What is the product and what did it help you (or a student or adult you worked with) accomplish? 

Cash prizes will be awarded to first, second, and third places in each category. The deadline for all entries is June 1, 2018. For additional information about rules, eligibility, and evaluation criteria, as well as official entry forms, please visit the contest website at Questions? Contact Nancy Lacewell at [email protected] or (502) 899-2339, or Lauren Hicks at [email protected] or (502) 895-2405.

For the purposes of this contest, visual impairment is defined as corrected visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the better eye, or a visual field limited to twenty degrees or less. This includes those who function at the federal definition of blindness (FDB), described above, due to brain injury or dysfunction.

Braille Calendars Available:
I am selling handmade Braille calendars. They are Brailled on larger Braille pages, and there is space on each page to make your own notes and mark events, just like sighted people do on print calendars. These are also good practice for children and adults learning to read and write Braille or use a calendar and allow teachers and parents to create activities using tactile markings.

I’m creating these calendars using a Brailler, so there is no set price. I will discuss with each individual to determine price based on what they can afford. I will also Braille recipes, words of songs, poems, stories, and other things that are not under copyright, except computer and music Braille. Whatever money I get will be used to help me attend the NFB convention and help others as well. If you are interested, please email me at [email protected].

State Resource Handbooks Available for Purchase:
I have created thirty-four screen-reader-friendly resource handbooks containing resources pertaining to the blind and visually impaired for use by consumers and professionals. This handbook is for the residents of specific states and includes the many organizations for the blind and visually impaired covering areas such as employment, housing, transportation, and more. Currently the handbooks are for Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Texas, Oregon, Ohio, Nevada, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, North Dakota, North Carolina, Utah, and Wisconsin.

These state resource handbooks are not available in the following formats: Braille hard copy, audio, CD, and National Library Service cartridge.

The handbooks include contact information on the local, regional, and national level. For more information on pricing, formats, and order form please contact Insightful Publications by email at in[email protected], by phone at (808) 747-1006, or by visiting

Monitor Mart

The notices in this section have been edited for clarity, but we can pass along only the information we were given. We are not responsible for the accuracy of the statements made or the quality of the products for sale.

Braille Watch Wanted:
I am looking for a Braille watch that has a spring and must be wound. If someone has one for sale, please call Eftyhios Scordas at (331) 245-8037.

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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