The Braille Monitor                                                                                               _July 1997

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New Chapters:

The NFB of Ohio is proud to announce the births of three new chapters in the past several months. In December the NFB of Greater Summit County was organized in Akron. Its officers are Bruce Peters, President; Marilyn Donehey, Vice President; Ford Pingstock, Treasurer; and Sharon Ohnmeiss, Acting Secretary. In March we organized the NFB of Muskingum County with officers Chris Carroll, President; Al Pauley, Vice President; Karen Barnett, Secretary; and Beth Duvall, Treasurer. Then in May we went to New Philadelphia and helped a group establish the NFB of Tuscarawas County with the following officers: Carl Russo, President; Dale Short, Vice President; Lori Allman, Secretary; and Peg Weaver, Treasurer. All of these chapters have hit the ground running and are already active and productive participants in the organized blind movement.

Exciting New Book Available:

We are pleased to announce the August publication of an important new book for parents of blind children. It is titled The Bridge to Braille, and it is co-authored by National Organization of Parents of Blind Children leader Carol Castellano and Braille teacher Dawn Kosman. The book includes 191 pages of solid advice and clear illustrations, including Braille dots in ink demonstrating important concepts and information. The appendices include step-by-step instructions on learning to write using the slate and stylus. Because of the book's spiral binding, it can lie flat for easy reference and clear photocopying. Here is the press release we received:

When her first child was three years old, The Bridge to Braille co-author Carol Castellano wondered how she would teach her daughter the alphabet. If her child had been sighted, she would have begun helping her recognize letters and numbers, but what was a parent to do when the child was blind? Castellano knew the importance of early literacy experiences for children, but could such experiences be translated into a meaningful form for a blind child?

When her daughter was in kindergarten at the local public school, new questions came up. How do you form capital letters in Braille? How do you write 2 + 2? The other children in the class, all of them sighted, had page after page of colorful worksheets which provided practice in reading readiness, counting, adding, and subtracting. Was there a way for a blind child to take part in this learning?

Castellano began collecting answers for the questions that arose, as she problem-solved with her daughter's classroom and Braille teachers. At last she and Braille teacher Dawn Kosman put the information together in a book,

The Bridge to Braille: Reading and School Success for the Young Blind Child. Chapters like "Setting the Stage for Success," "Adapting Materials," "Doing Math in Braille," "Independence in the Classroom," and "Using Technology" show parents and teachers how to guide blind children from early literacy experiences all the way to full participation in the classroom. The book demystifies the education of blind children, authors say, and enables parents and teachers to give ordinary help with schoolwork to children who happen to be blind.

The Bridge to Braille book

IMAGE/CAPTION: This graphic shows the front cover and
spiral binding of a book. The visible text reads
The Bridge to Braille: Reading and School Success for the Young Blind

Carol Castellano, Dawn Kosman
Illustrated by Lynne Cucco

A graphic image of a bridge appears above the title, imprints of a child's hands appear beneath the title with an author's name superimposed on each hand.
CAPTION: The newest book in the National Federation of the Blind collection.

The Bridge to Braille is published by the National Organization of Parents of Blind Children (NOPBC), an organization dedicated to creating a climate of opportunity for blind children at home, in school, and in the community.

A division of the National Federation of the Blind, NOPBC provides information, resources, and support to parents and teachers of blind children and fosters contact and partnership with blind adults. The Bridge to Braille costs $12.95 and can be ordered from NOPBC, 1800 Johnson Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21230, (410) 659-9314. Check or money order should be made out to NOPBC.

For further information, contact Carol Castellano, 23 Alexander Ave., Madison, New Jersey 07940, (201) 377-0976.

Free Internet Lists:

We recently received the following announcement from Peter Scialli:

There is now a free listserv for those interested in learning more about Retino Blastoma. RB is a congenital cancer of the retina that causes blindness and other problems for those born with it and for their families. Everyone with a serious interest in Retino Blastoma is invited to join the list. To subscribe, send a message to [email protected] In the body of the message enter the text "subscribe R-Blastoma."

The other free mailing list is called Scantalk. This is a list for those interested in the subject of scanning, optical character recognition, and other reading technologies used by people who are blind. To subscribe send mail to [email protected] In the body of the message include the phrase, "subscribe Scantalk."

Hands-on Audio Software Training Adapted for the Blind Available:

We recently received the following press release, which we pass along to those who may be interested:

OneOnOne Computer Training and Ellis Enterprises have collaborated to offer the leading hands-on audio software training with fully adaptive formatting for the blind and visually impaired. This joint effort becomes the first and only training resource in the United States to be in full compliance with 1992 requirements calling for a full range of adaptive PC training for the blind. It uses an interactive audio format that allows learners to work live in the actual software without the need to use simulation. The adaptation process for each OneOnOne course, beginning with Windows 95, which is now available, involves adding audio segments that teach keystroke alternatives to mouse commands and provide sound board interfacing.

In addition to courses for Windows 95 and Windows 3.1, adaptive training will be available for Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, WordPerfect, and even the Internet. "The Internet is opening up tremendous channels of communications, learning and business opportunities for the blind and visually impaired," explained Mike Ellis, founder of Ellis Enterprises in Lansing, Michigan. "Having learned computing from OneOnOne's tapes myself in the days before the graphical user interface came along, I took it as a personal challenge to put vision-impaired computer users back in the game," Ellis said. For further information contact Ellis Enterprises, 5035 Geraldine Drive, Lansing, Michigan 48917, fax (517) 321-0770, phone (888) 888-9533, or e-mail: [email protected] or visit

Wedding Bells:

We are delighted to report that Lauren Lynn Beach Eckery and James Walter Merryfield were married at 2:00 p.m. on May 24, 1997, at Mount Vernon Gardens in Omaha, Nebraska.

Lauren Eckery is one of the leaders of the NFB of Nebraska and often appears in these pages. Congratulations and our very best wishes to the Merryfields.

Talking Caller ID Available:

We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

How many times have you hurried to the phone only to discover that it was someone you didn't want to talk to? CIDney, the talking caller ID unit, has a voice. CIDney provides convenience and security because it tells you who is calling before you answer the phone. All models available will announce the phone number and/or name of the caller over its own built-in speaker. With most models you can record the name of the caller with your own voice (e.g., "It's Mom calling.") CIDney will also log the caller's name and number and the time of the call so you always know who called, when they called, and how to reach them.

CIDney is affordable, starting at $59.95, installs in seconds, never needs batteries, and is easy to use.

The four models available boast a variety of features including voice announcement over built-in speaker or cordless phone; bilingual (English/Spanish) feature; LED that displays name, number, and time of call; call-log storage; two-phone-line feature (perfect for small businesses); call waiting compatibility; integrated message center for leaving outgoing messages for specific callers; and more.

All products work with caller ID services available in the U.S. and Canada and come with a oneİyear limited warranty. For more information or to order CIDney, contact Full Life Products, P.O. Box 490, Mirror Lake, New Hampshire 03853-0490, or call toll free (888) 888-4153 or (603) 569 2240.

Hank LaBonne



We are very pleased to report that Hank LaBonne, Past President of the NFB of Louisiana and President of the Chattanooga Chapter of the NFB of Tennessee, has won the Jefferson Award for outstanding public service benefiting local communities. Hank is the Tennessee recipient of this nationally recognized honor presented by the American Institute for Public Service in Washington, D.C. Hank will receive a bronze medallion and a trip to the nation's capital. On June 20 a gold on silver medallion and a prize of $1,000 will be awarded in the United States Supreme Court Chambers to one of the state recipients.

The President of the Visually Impaired Training and Learning Center (VITAL) Board, Susan Rousch nominated Hank to receive this honor because of his dedicated service to the blind and visually impaired in the Chattanooga area. Hank helped found the VITAL Center, serves on its Board, and volunteers teaching Braille two days a week at the Center. He was also instrumental in establishing the Chattanooga NEWSLINE for the Blind service, the first in Tennessee, through a joint effort with Tennessee Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired.

Hank is retired from the music business and is active in his church. He teaches Braille to adults and children and can be found babyİsitting and performing other needed tasks for his friends. Congratulations to Hank LaBonne.


We recently received a Miniature correction provided by Diane Croft, Director of Marketing, National Braille Press. The original notice appeared in the June issue. The price for The AltaVista Search Revolution is $17.99, not $18.99 as previously advertised. You can order this publication from National Braille Press, 88 St. Stephen Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, (617) 266-6160, fax (617) 437-0456.

Alumni Reunion:

We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

The first official alumni reunion at Lions World Services for the Blind (LWSB) in Little Rock, Arkansas, will be held the weekend of September 19 to 20, 1997. The rehabilitation center for adults who are blind or visually impaired was formerly known as Arkansas Enterprises for the Blind (AEB).

All alumni and former staff members are welcomed back to LWSB to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the Center.The alumni committee is planning a weekend of exploring the campus, food, fellowship, and visiting with former classmates and instructors. The events will take place at the Holiday Inn Airport Hotel and at LWSB. It will be a special gathering for all alumni, spouses, and other guests.

Early bird registration at LWSB is encouraged before September 1. Hotel reservations should be made direct to the Holiday Inn Airport (501) 490-1000. For the itinerary and registration forms, contact Elise White, LWSB, 2811 Fair Park Blvd., Little Rock, Arkansas 72204, (800) 248-0734, e-mail address is [email protected]

LWSB Web site on the Internet gives details of the alumni weekend:


Shannon Ramsay is a blind high school junior who lives in Los Gatos, California. We reprinted an article about Shannon in the June, 1996, issue of the Braille Monitor. Shannon is an active member of the National Federation of the Blind of California and a bright and energetic student. We recently received additional proof of Shannon's contribution to her community. This spring Shannon received first a state scholarship award from Discover Card and then a national award. The notifying correspondence said in part:

The Tribute Awards are given by Discover Card in cooperation with the American Association of School Administrators (AASA). They are unique in that they honor students who not only achieve in school, but have outstanding accomplishments in the community and in their personal lives. In recognition of those achievements and in addition to your $2,500 state award, we are pleased to inform you that you have also won a $20,000 national award, for a total of $22,500. The Discover Card Tribute Awards recognize the outstanding achievements of high school juniors in the U.S. and in overseas schools. An awards ceremony recognizing your accomplishments as well as those of the eight other national winners will be held in Washington, D.C., from June 23 through 25.

Shannon Ramsey

PHOTO/CAPTION: Shannon Ramsay

A video crew spent several days following Shannon around her school and community preparing a short presentation about her, which will be shown at the awards ceremony at the Corcoran Gallery in Washington. Shannon has received a remarkable honor, and the Federation family joins Shannon's friends and family in congratulating her.


In the April, 1997, issue of the Braille Monitor the zip code for the Zeigler Magazine was incorrect. Here is the correct address: Zeigler Magazine, 80 8th Avenue, Room 1304, New York, New York 10011, (212) 242-0263. We regret the error.


David Collins, Secretary of the Tidewater Chapter of the NFB of Virginia, reports the April 19, 1997, election of officers. They are Marion Sanders, President; Bill Parker, First Vice President; Stuart Prost, Second Vice President; David Collins, Secretary; Willard Nichols, Treasurer; and Ella Herbert and Charles King, Board members.

Ministry to the Deaf-Blind:

We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

Floyd Rhoads is the administrator of a Christian ministry trying to reach the deaf-blind for the Lord Jesus Christ. The name of this ministry is Outreach with the Blind and Deaf-Blind.

We are trying to provide Braille scriptures with the New English Deaf Testament in sixteen volumes, printed with computer Braille on one side of the page. This comes in Grade I and II Braille.

We provide a daily devotion written for the deaf. It is transcribed into Braille for the blind and deaf-blind. Our spiritual name is Deaf/Blind Evangelism. We also provide a newsletter called Eyes and Ears with articles of the ministry and other news semiannually.

If you are interested in any of our services, please call or write. If you do not need our services, please keep us in prayer and help us with the Lord's work in any way you can. Contact Deaf/Blind Evangelism, 4143 Edmondson Avenue, Indianapolis, Indiana 46226, (317) 549-3433.

Attention Braille Music Transcribers and Readers:

We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

Do you want to get up-to-date on the latest Braille music signs and rules that have recently been adopted as the new international standard by sixteen countries? Then you need the New International Manual of Braille Music Notation, published in 1996 in a print edition (282 pages, by SVB Amsterdam) and a Braille edition (3 volumes, by Braille Press Zurich). Previously available only by special foreign order, both editions are now available from a U.S. distributor, Opus Technologies of San Diego, California.

In addition, Opus Technologies has created and is now shipping an interactive multimedia CD-ROM edition of the manual. The CD-ROM lets you access the complete text of the manual, including all the examples in music and Braille notation. Audio playback of the music has been added, along with detailed listings which explain the meaning of every Braille sign used in each example. Hyperlinks makes it very easy to navigate through the text. You can access index entries alphabetically or by Braille sign, quickly search the entire manual for specific words or Braille signs, and print or emboss any topic. And as a bonus for those wanting to learn Braille music from step one, included is a CD-ROM edition of Bettye Krolick's How to Read Braille Music, the classic introductory text for learning Braille music.

Prices are $249 for the CD-ROM, $79 for the Braille or print edition, and $299 for the CD-ROM bundled with the Braille or print edition. You'll need a multimedia PC with a CD-ROM drive and sound card, Windows 95, and appropriate screen access hardware and software. Contact Opus Technologies, 13333 Thunderhead Street, San Diego, California 92129, Phone/Fax (619) 538-9401, email: [email protected], website:


The National Federation of the Blind of South Dakota recently elected officers at its state convention. The new officers are Karen Mayry, President; Eileen Tscharner, Vice President; Denise Jones, Secretary, and Ken Rollman, Treasurer. Board members are Tina Blatter, Peggy Klimisch, and Minnie Erickson.

For Sale:

We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

For sale, 486 IBM-compatible computer with a 200 megabyte hard drive and 5.25- and 3.5-inch disk drives. Also Windows 3.X with 8 meg of memory and many expansion slots. This computer is good for a blind person using many peripherals such as the Openbook, a Braille display, and two parallel printers. A 2400 modem is included. Price is $600.

Also, Blazie original disk drive to be used with the Braille Lite and Braille 'n Speak. Price $250.

American Heritage Dictionary (cassette), rarely used. Price, $25.

You may contact Denise Avant, 3410 N. Lake Shore Drive, Apt. 4L-M, Chicago, Illinois 0657, (773) 325-1117, between 7:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. Central Time. You may also e-mail at [email protected]

Window-Eyes 2.0 Now Available:

We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

GW Micro, a leader in adaptive products for people who are blind or visually impaired, has released version 2.0 of its Windows screen-reading software, Window-Eyes. Window Eyes 2.0 operates in Windows 95 as well as Windows 3.1 and 3.11. The current $495 price will hold through July 31, 1997, after which time it will increase.

If you don't have a Windows screen reader or you are tired of fighting with your current one, please download the free demo at For more information check out GW Micro's Web site at or call (219) 489 3671.


The National Federation of the Blind of Oklahoma elected new officers at its April state convention. They are Steve Shelton, President; Nannette Murrin, First Vice President; Ron Miller, Second Vice President; Ron Burns, Secretary; and Joe Triplett, Treasurer. The new Board members are Cordelia Sanders, Sue Lee, Janet Triplett, and Audrey Burns.

For Sale:

We have been asked to carry the following announcement: Selling an Optacon Model R1D in very good condition.

Please call Roueida Salame at (514) 731-3175.

Audio Business Digest Service:

We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

Newstrack Executive Tape Service is the Listener's Digest of business information. For over seventeen years, thousands of executives, business owners, investors, entrepreneurs, and other professionals have listened to this powerful business tool. In every issue Newstrack editors review over 100 top business publications and special sources. They select the best sixteen articles on management, sales, marketing, finance, business strategy, and much more. Since no one has the time to read every important business article, Newstrack has become the ultimate time-saving source in this age of information overload.

Newstrack is available on both audiotape and CD. You have a choice of two versions: the small business issue is produced once a month at a cost of $149 per year on audio cassette; the regular full subscription is produced twice a month and costs just $299 per year on cassette. We also offer the transcripts of each article available by e-mail, on 3.5-inch disk, or in hard copy format.

To order, call toll-free (800) 334-5771. Mention this notice and receive a 15 percent discount off the regular subscription price. Our subscriptions come with a money-back guarantee. If you are dissatisfied at any time for any reason, just call and we'll promptly refund the unused portion of your subscription. So start letting us at Newstrack do your business reading for you today.