Braille Monitor                          August/September 2018

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News from the Federation Family

Join The Blind History Lady Mailing List:

One of the 2018 Bolotin Award winners, Peggy Chong, The Blind History Lady, invites all of you to sign up for her monthly emails celebrating our blind American ancestors. Just send an email to [email protected] asking to be added to her list. Then look for her emails at the beginning of each month, and enjoy the stories of those who paved the way before us. Also visit her website at to learn about The Blind History Lady’s activities and other published works.

Large Print Calendars Available:

The 2019 EZ2See® Weekly Calendar is now available. This is the most low-vision-friendly weekly calendar available on the market. It is designed specifically for those with low vision or who need the space to write big. Many of its helpful design features are found nowhere else. That’s because it is designed by a low-vision person.

Federationist Edward Cohen started making and selling the EZ2See® Weekly Calendar in 2015 after being frustrated by the absence of a weekly calendar that met his needs. Unique features include:

The product sells for $21.95 on the website. Visit the website to see it and place your order. Shipping is by Free Matter. Don’t buy online? No problem, email [email protected] to learn how to buy with a check.

National Federation of the Blind CAREER Mentoring program:

Blind and low-vision youth need exposure to positive blind role models who demonstrate a genuine belief in them and in their natural abilities. Here is a wonderful opportunity for you to give back to the next generation and to help them achieve their full potential.

We are actively recruiting successful independent blind or low-vision adults. Go to, and sign up to become a mentor.

Through guidance and example, you can help raise expectations and teach blind youth the practical strategies of how to access resources and to acquire skills for success.

If you are willing to share your life experiences, to teach tips and tools for living independently, and to assist blind youth to become better self-advocates, the National Federation of the Blind CAREER Mentoring Program offers you a golden opportunity to give back.

Our NFB CAREER Mentoring Program provides a framework of training and support that will empower you to be a successful mentor to an aspiring blind or low-vision youth. We will host several fun educational activities that allow the mentor/mentee relationships to grow. If you do not feel you have the time, remember that in many instances a phone call, an email, or a text may be a life-changing interaction.

In addition to having the opportunity to positively affect the life of a young blind person, you will also be able to improve your own skills and to expand your personal/professional networks.

For more information, check out the article in the April issue of the Braille Monitor, entitled "Changing Attitudes Regarding Education, Employment, and Rehabilitation through the National Federation of the Blind CAREER Mentoring Program:"

NABM Announces Nationally Acclaimed Mark Gungor Will be Featured at BLAST:

The National Association of Blind Merchants is excited to announce that Mark Gungor, one of the nation’s most sought after experts on communication and relationships, will be one of the keynote speakers at BLAST (Business Leadership and Superior Training). Do men and women really see the world through different eyes? Do they communicate differently? Are men really able to retreat into their “nothing box” and think about absolutely nothing? For answers to these and other burning questions, you will want to be at this year’s BLAST Conference. Prepare yourself to learn a little and laugh a lot when nationally acclaimed speaker and author Mark Gungor presents “The Tale of Two Brains” at BLAST.

Mark is a sought-after keynote speaker on the corporate circuit and thousands attend his workshops and seminars each year. His candid and comedic approach uses unforgettable illustrations to teach proven principles that are guaranteed to strengthen and enhance communication and relationships. Mark’s speaking is refreshing and free of textbook psychological lingo. His goal is to help people get it right and to get along.

Register now to attend BLAST November 13 through 16 at the fabulous Hyatt Regency Hill Country in San Antonio, Texas. It is shaping up to be a spectacular event that you won’t want to miss. It starts with a full day of staff training which is being cosponsored by the National Council of State Agencies for the Blind on Tuesday, November 13. SLA [State Licensing Agency] staff will want to arrive on Monday. The conference will also feature our all-encompassing trade show on Thursday afternoon, and there will be an old fashioned Texas BBQ Thursday evening. We conclude on Friday morning with some relevant Randolph-Sheppard programming.

So don’t miss out on this Texas-size blowout of an event. Go to and register today.

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.

Hear Ye, Hear Ye!

Did you know that the American Action Fund for Blind Children and Adults produces over 12,000 Braille calendars each year? These pocket-sized calendars are given free to any blind or deaf-blind person in the United States.

Each calendar is embossed with the days of the week, the date, and all of the major national and religious holidays. You will love how quick and easy it is to use, not to mention the convenient size of the calendar.

If you or someone you know needs a 2019 Braille calendar, please feel free to complete the short online application at If you do not have access to the online form, you can send an email to [email protected] or call 410-659-9315 to request the calendars as well.

Eight Popular Kids' Books are Now in UEB from Seedlings:

Seedlings Braille Books for Children has added eight more titles to its collection of books in Unified English Braille. Four titles are brand-new: They are Wishtree, for independent readers ages eight to twelve; Just Critters Who Care and Finding Dory: Big Fish, Little Fish, for beginning readers; and Grumpy Bird for babies and preschoolers. The other four are titles for independent readers that have been converted from the old code: Where the Sidewalk Ends, Indian in the Cupboard, Don't Sweat the Small Stuff for Teens, and Where the Red Fern Grows. This brings to 428 the number of low-cost books in UEB Seedlings offers. Order at

Keep watching our website as we are adding more UEB every month!
The Experience of a Lifetime Awaits You at Ski for Light International Week 2019:

The forty-fourth annual Ski for Light International Week will take place from Sunday, January 27 through Sunday, February 3, 2019, in Granby, Colorado. Ski for Light, an all-volunteer nonprofit, organizes an annual, week-long event where blind and mobility-impaired adults are taught the basics of cross-country skiing. The event attracts more than 250 skiers, guides, and volunteers from throughout the United States, as well as international participants. During the Ski for Light week, each skier with a disability is paired with an experienced sighted cross-country skier who acts as ski instructor and on-snow guide.

Participants in the forty-fourth annual Ski for Light International Week will ski and stay at Snow Mountain Ranch, part of the YMCA of the Rockies, located near Winter Park. Single rooms, doubles, triples, and quads are available. In addition to skiing on one hundred kilometers of wide and wonderfully groomed Nordic trails, participants will have the opportunity to hone their auditory laser rifle skills in a biathlon experience facilitated by the United States Association of Blind Athletes, compete in the Olav Pedersen Race/Rally, and enjoy many off-snow activities.

“I discovered Ski for Light at the 2012 event, and my life changed. Through skiing and the opportunities to work with other Ski for Light enthusiasts, I began to imagine what was possible and spent less time and energy dwelling on what I could no longer do after experiencing vision loss,” wrote skier Tim McCorcle.

If you have never before attended what many have called “the experience of a lifetime,” please consider participating in the Ski for Light 2019 International Week.

Registration forms and pricing for skiers, guides, and volunteers are now available at You can also visit to view a brief, narrated video introduction to Ski for Light. For other questions regarding the program, contact Visually Impaired Participant Recruitment Coordinator Melinda Hollands at [email protected] or call her at 231-590-0986.

Hope to ski with you in Colorado!

Braille Calendars Available:

I am starting to make Braille calendars for 2019. Each calendar is six dollars. One third of the profit from each will go toward helping me attend the NFB convention next year, one third will go toward the NFB, and one third will go to help the hungry around the world. If you are interested, feel free to email me at: [email protected].

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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