Braille Monitor

Vol. 66, No. 5               May 2023

Gary Wunder, Editor

Distributed by email, in inkprint, in Braille, and on USB flash drive, by the
National Federation of the Blind

Mark Riccobono, President

telephone: 410-659-9314
email address: [email protected]
website address: http://www.nfb.org
NFBnet.org: http://www.nfbnet.org
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Letters to the President, address changes, subscription requests, and orders for NFB literature should be sent to the national office. Articles for the Monitor and letters to the editor may also be sent to the national office or may be emailed to [email protected].

Monitor subscriptions cost the Federation about forty dollars per year. Members are invited,
and nonmembers are requested, to cover the subscription cost. Donations should be
made payable to National Federation of the Blind and sent to:

National Federation of the Blind
200 East Wells Street at Jernigan Place
Baltimore, Maryland 21230-4998


ISSN 0006-8829

Each issue is recorded on a thumb drive (also called a memory stick or USB flash drive). You can read this audio edition using a computer or a National Library Service digital player. The NLS machine has two slots--the familiar book-cartridge slot just above the retractable carrying handle and a second slot located on the right side near the headphone jack. This smaller slot is used to play thumb drives. Remove the protective rubber pad covering this slot and insert the thumb drive. It will insert only in one position. If you encounter resistance, flip the drive over and try again. (Note: If the cartridge slot is not empty when you insert the thumb drive, the digital player will ignore the thumb drive.) Once the thumb drive is inserted, the player buttons will function as usual for reading digital materials. If you remove the thumb drive to use the player for cartridges, when you insert it again, reading should resume at the point you stopped.

You can transfer the recording of each issue from the thumb drive to your computer or preserve it on the thumb drive. However, because thumb drives can be used hundreds of times, we would appreciate their return in order to stretch our funding. Please use the return envelope enclosed with the drive when you return the device.

Convention Bulletin 2023 Hilton Americas-Houston Convention Center Hotel

There are plenty of reasons one might travel to Houston, Texas, the fourth most populous city in the United States. One might visit for the nearly three-week-long Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. The city’s vibrant arts scene boasts the largest concentration of theater seats outside of New York City. And no Houston resident would let a visitor forget that the city is home to the 2022 World Series Champion Houston Astros. There is little question that Houston has a great deal going for it. The city’s real draw, however, is that it will play host to the National Federation of the Blind’s 2023 National Convention.

It has now been more than fifty years since the largest gathering of the organized blind last convened in Houston, Texas, and our return in 2023 will be an event not to be missed. The Hilton Americas-Houston hotel (1600 Lamar Street, Houston, TX 77010) will serve as our convention headquarters hotel. Situated in the heart of downtown Houston across the street from the beautiful twelve-acre Discovery Green Park, the Hilton Americas is an ideal location for our annual event. Ballrooms, breakout space, and sleeping rooms are all stacked in the same tower housed on a single city block, simplifying navigation and minimizing travel distances. In-room internet is complimentary to all attendees as is access to the health club and swimming pool on the 22nd floor. There are several dining options on the hotel’s lobby level (including a Starbucks for those of you requiring a caffeine fix) and many more choices within easy walking distance from the Hilton’s front door.

The nightly rate at the Hilton Americas-Houston is $119 for singles, doubles, triples, and quads. In addition, the sales tax rate is 8.25 percent, and the hotel occupancy tax rate is 17 percent. To book your room for the 2023 convention, call 1-800-236-2905 after January 1 and ask for the “NFB Convention” block. For each room, the hotel will take a deposit of the first night’s room rate and taxes and will require a credit card or a personal check. If you use a credit card, the deposit will be charged against your card immediately. If a reservation is cancelled before Monday, June 1, 2023, half of the deposit will be returned. Otherwise refunds will not be made.
We have also secured overflow space at the wonderful Marriott Marquis Houston. The Marriott is only a three-block walk directly across Discovery Green, or attendees can walk entirely indoors through the George R. Brown convention center, connecting both hotels on the second level. You will find many of the same amenities at the Marriott as well as a Texas-shaped lazy river pool. The room rate at the Marriott Marquis is also $119 per night for singles, doubles, triples, and quads. To book a room, call 1-877-622-3056 after January 1. Again, ask for the “NFB Convention” block. Similarly, the same deposit and cancellation policies apply.

The 2023 convention of the National Federation of the Blind will be a truly exciting and memorable event, with an unparalleled program and rededication to the goals and work of our movement. A wide range of seminars for parents of blind children, technology enthusiasts, job seekers, and other groups will kick the week off on Saturday, July 1. Convention registration and registration packet pick-up will also open on Saturday. Breakout sessions continue on Sunday along with committee meetings. Monday, July 3, will kick off with the annual meeting, open to all, of the Board of Directors of the National Federation of the Blind. National division meetings will follow the board meeting that afternoon and evening. General convention sessions will begin on Tuesday, July 4, and continue through the afternoon of Thursday, July 6. Convention ends on a high note with the banquet Thursday evening so be sure to pack your fancy clothes. The fall of the gavel at the close of banquet will signal convention’s adjournment.

Remember that as usual we need door prizes from state affiliates, local chapters, and individuals. Once again prizes should be small in size but large in value. Cash, of course, is always appropriate and welcome. As a rule, we ask that prizes of all kinds have a value of at least $25 and not include alcohol. Drawings will occur steadily throughout the convention sessions, and you can anticipate a Texas-sized grand prize to be drawn at the banquet. You may bring door prizes with you to convention or send them in advance to the National Federation of the Blind of Texas at 1600 E Highway 6, Suite 215, Alvin, TX 77511.

The best collection of exhibits featuring new technology; meetings of our special interest groups, committees, and divisions; the most stimulating and provocative program items of any meeting of the blind in the world; the chance to renew friendships in our Federation family; and the unparalleled opportunity to be where the real action is and where decisions are being made—all of these mean you will not want to miss being a part of the 2023 National Convention. To assure yourself a room in the headquarters hotel at convention rates, make your reservations early. We plan to see you in Houston in July.


Vol. 66, No. 5                      May 2023

Illustration: From a Dream to Really Riding in an Autonomous Vehicle (HTML)

A Welcome to Nebraska and Some Inspiration for Us All (HTML)
by Shane Buresh, Amy Buresh, and Jeremy Fifield

A Heart-felt Apology and a Chance to Start Again (HTML)
by Shir Ekerling

After the Miracle: The Political Crusades of Helen Keller by Max Wallace (HTML)
Reviewed by Gary Wunder

Pedaling for Those Who May Think They Are Alone (HTML)
by Gary Wunder

We Need Your Help (HTML)

Going My Way: Driving Accessibility through Innovative Autonomous Transportation (HTML)
by Michelle Peacock

More about the Dynamic 2023 Convention (HTML)
by Norma Crosby

#NFB23 Give $20 Drawing—Aira Provides Challenge Grant (HTML)

Resolution Reminders (HTML)
by Donald Porterfield

How the Medical Device Nonvisual Accessibility Act Has Turned Me into an Impassioned Advocate (HTML)
by Debbie Wunder

Back to Notre Dame (HTML)
An Address Delivered by Marc Maurer

Monitor Miniatures (HTML)

Complete Braille Monitor

Complete Braille Monitor (Zipped Word Version)

Complete Braille Monitor (Braille Version) Coming Soon!

Complete Braille Monitor Audio File (Zipped MP3 Version) Coming Soon!

Complete DAISY Audio File (Zipped MP3 Version) Coming Soon!

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