Braille Monitor                          November 2019

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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.

Mike Robinson Joins Xavier Society for the Blind Board of Directors:
Xavier Society for the Blind is pleased to announce that Mike Robinson has joined its Board of Directors. Mr. Robinson is currently the president of the National Federation of the Blind of New York. His interest in working with the NFB stems from his own personal journey as a legally blind individual. Mike was diagnosed with myopic degeneration and cone-rod dystrophy at birth. Born and raised in Tonawanda, New York, he is a graduate of SUNY Delhi, where he received an associate degree in restaurant management.

After graduation, Mike worked in the Randolph-Sheppard Business Enterprise Program, managing stands in the Buffalo and Rochester areas. He also worked in the technical support field as a call center technician, and for the Internal Revenue Service.

Mike’s passion for working with the NFB began in 1988, after attending his first convention. Since then, Mike has been an active, involved member of the National Federation of the Blind. He served as second vice president of NYS for ten years and president of the Buffalo Chapter for eighteen years. Also during that time he was active in the Tonawanda Lions Club, the Knights of Columbus, and served two terms as Faithful Navigator for the Nelson-Baker Assembly. He constantly works to educate the public about blindness and strives to empower all blind persons with the tools and attitudes necessary to “Live the Lives They Want.”

Mike is married to Angie, his wife of thirty years, with whom he shares two sons. He supports the work of Xavier Society for the Blind and its essential purpose of helping those living with blindness and visual impairment to integrate religion and spirituality into their lives.

NLS Remains NLS but with a Name Change:
President Riccobono received this letter from Karen Keninger, the director of NLS. Here is what she said:

Dear President Riccobono,

National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled logoEarlier this year, NLS received approval from the Librarian of Congress to change our name. NLS and the Library of Congress sought input on this change from stakeholder groups and gathered data through various public channels when considering our new moniker. We have been considering a change for some time, and we’re very pleased to see this day arrive.
As of today, October 1, 2019, our name will officially become “National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled,” though we will continue to be referred to by the abbreviation NLS. We are also introducing our new logo, which is in keeping with the new graphic identity the Library of Congress implemented in late 2018.  

With this name change, we intend to address the use of outdated language in our old name and more clearly communicate the breadth of those we serve. In addition, our name emphasizes the patron-centric perspective that is central to the library’s strategic plan.

We are proud to share our new name and graphic identity with you as we feel that the new name, as with all of NLS’s work, rightly puts the emphasis on the people we serve.

Touch of Genius Prize Seeking Applications:
National Braille Press’s Touch of Genius Prize for Innovation is quickly approaching, on January 10th! Please help us spread the word.

The Touch of Genius Prize was developed to inspire entrepreneurs, educators, or inventors to continue the promotion of Braille and tactile literacy for blind and deafblind people worldwide. This prize can be granted for innovative and accessible computer software applications, tactile hardware, or curriculum that promotes Braille and/or tactile literacy. NBP encourages all applicants to think outside the box to what can be used to help improve the lives of blind people.
The winner of this prize will receive up to $10,000, which will help them to continue to innovate in the fields of technology and education for blind people. Frank Gibney and the Gibney Family Foundation helped fund and establish this award in 2007, inspiring people to go beyond what was thought possible.

Full application details and more information can be found at All questions can be directed to my email, [email protected]. Thank you for your support!

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.

Windows Power User Guide Available:
Windows Keyboard Power User Guide is a new book which will make users more proficient in Windows, JAWS, and Word. MP3 and Word versions are available for $15 each, or both for $25. For more information and to order, visit

We also want to make sure you know about “Top Tech Tidbits for Thursday,” a free blindness-oriented adaptive technology newsletter that has been published using email since 2004. If you’d like to join the other 6,000 people who receive it early Thursday mornings, visit and click on the link that says Sign-Up Here to Receive Flying Blind, LLC Publications.
For assistance signing up for the newsletter, questions, or welcome feedback, please email Dean 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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