The Braille Monitor                                                                      _______    December 1997

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Monitor Miniatures

Spanish Language NFB Publications Available:

The National Federation of the Blind's Materials Center now carries several publications and articles in Spanish on 2-track cassette. Available are "Blindness: Handicap or Characteristic"; "A Definition of Blindness"; "Blindness: A Left-Handed Dissertation"; What Color Is the Sun?; The Freedom Bell; combination cassette of "Blindness: Handicap or Characteristic" and "Blindness: A Left-Handed Dissertation"; the 1997 NFB Banquet Address, "The Day After Civil Rights"; and the 1990 NFB Banquet Address, "The Federation At Fifty." As with all Kernel Books, there is a minor charge--the Spanish versions on 2-track cassette cost $5 each. To order any or all of the cassettes, contact the Materials Center, 1800 Johnson Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21230, or call (410) 659-9314, Monday through Friday between the hours of 12:30 and 5:00 p.m. EST.

For Sale:

We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

I have the following items for sale:

PCMCIA Keynote Gold voice card, $850; German Braille writer, $100; Index Basic D interpoint Braille printer (under warranty until April, 1998), $3,000. All prices negotiable; make an offer. Contact Sharon Klug, 4951 Collett Little Road, Lot 59, Fort Worth, Texas 76119, (817) 561-4616.

New Chapters:

Allen Harris, President of the National Federation of the Blind of Michigan, reports that two new chapters were organized in the state during the fall. On September 20, 1997, a group gathered to create the Kalamazoo Chapter. John Czrneki is its President. On October 4 the Western Michigan Chapter of the NFB of Michigan was organized. The President is Darren Warren. Congratulations to both these new chapters and to the Michigan affiliate.

For Sale:

We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

I have a Braille 'n Speak 640 and the disk drive that goes with it, both with carrying cases. They are in excellent condition. I also have the cables and manuals for both. Asking $800 for everything. Please contact Mrs. Lillian Scott at (410) 298-4527 or (410) 298-2302.

Silk Flower Arrangements:

John TeBockhorst, who with his brother Tom is an active Federationist, has asked us to carry the following announcement:

For an alternative to fresh flowers, try silk flower arrangements for all occasions. A new company, Send Our Silks (SOS), offers eleven products in its catalogue, ranging in price from $15 to $40 including shipping and handling. SOS ships anywhere, using United Parcel Service. Call toll free (888) SOS-7760, fax (319) 322-3299, or Web site: Credit card orders, checks, or money orders are acceptable.

Piano Tuning Training:

We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

Piano tuning and related technologies have been viable vocations for blind men for over 150 years. In the last twenty-five years both men and women--most of them sighted--have been flocking to the profession. Now visually impaired men and women can learn the art and craft of piano technology at the Emil Fries Institute of Piano Tuning and Technology.

If you would like to learn more about this business opportunity and how you can receive the training necessary to start your own piano-tuning and service business, please contact the Emil Fries Institute of Piano Tuning & Technology, 2510 E. Evergreen Boulevard, Vancouver, Washington 98661, phone (360) 693-1511, Fax (360) 693-6891, e-mail [email protected]

Fellowship Available in Rehabilitation Research:

We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

The Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Blindness and Low Vision at Mississippi State University (MSU) offers the Anne Sullivan Macy fellowship for a doctoral student interested in pursuing a career in rehabilitation research in the area of blindness or low vision. The amount of the fellowship is $700 per month plus tuition beginning in August, 1998. All applicants must be accepted into the doctoral program in the Department of Counselor Education and Educational Psychology at MSU. The deadline for applying to the Graduate School is March 1, 1998. Send all inquiries to J. Elton Moore, Director, Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Blindness and Low Vision, P.O. Drawer 6189, Mississippi State, MS 39762, (601) 325-2001, fax (601) 325-8989, TDD: (601) 325-8693, or e-mail: [email protected]

Tutorials Available:

We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

Introducing a new service providing specially designed cassette tutorials on using computer software. A few are also available in large print, in Braille, and on computer disk. Subjects covered include DOS, Windows(R) 3.1, Windows 95(R), most phases of the Internet, Microsoft Word(R), WordPerfect(R), Telecommunication programs, and a seminar on running your own home business. Free shipping and handling are offered as a special introduction. Contact John Harden, Hear and Know, 1741 Decree Avenue, West Columbia, South Carolina 29169, or call (803) 796-4887 or e-mail to [email protected]

Computer Baseball Game:

We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

Version 12 of the World Series Baseball game and Information System is now available. Played on IBM-compatible computers with screen readers and synthesizers, Version 12 comes with 139 teams, including the 1997 pennant winners and all-star teams. There are two baseball games and ten information programs. The cost is still $15 to new users, $5 for updates. Send checks to Harry Hollingsworth, 692 S. Sheraton Drive, Akron, Ohio 44319 or call (330) 644-2421.

$50 bill
              $50 bill
Redesigned U.S. Currency:

Based on recommendations from the National Academy of Sciences, the U.S. Government is redesigning U.S. currency to make it easier to read and to reduce the chances of counterfeiting. The new $50 bill was issued in October, 1997; the $20 note is scheduled for release in 1998. The Series 1996 $50 bill, and all redesigned currency to follow, will be notably different from any other previously issued by the U.S. Treasury.

These notes will incorporate a new feature--a large, dark numeral on a light background--making it easier to identify. The low-vision feature will become standard in the design of future denominations of U.S. currency and will not result in any devaluation or recall.

Special Offer:

We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

The holidays have arrived, and so has the Reading Technology difference. From now until the end of January, 1998, receive a free HP 5P scanner or WindowEyes screen-reading software with the purchase of a fully loaded Arkenclone system, including at least an Arkenclone computer, Double Talk or DECtalk hardware synthesizer, and Open Book 3.5 OCR software. This offer must accompany your order. Orders must be prepaid, no post office boxes please. Call (619) 685-7323 or (619) 685-READ.

Accessible Science Fiction Publications Available:

We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

Ed Meskys, longtime Federation leader in New Hampshire, points out that another Federation was founded in 1940--the National Fantasy Fan Federation (N3F). This is a correspondence and service organization for SF and fantasy fans, which is making a major effort to make its services accessible to blind members. Its principal publications (the National Fantasy Fan and Tightbeam) are available on cassette and computer disk respectively, and most bureau heads will make their services available in accessible format. Their blind services bureau will circulate magazines about SF fanzines and SF books not otherwise available to blind members. Give the organization a try by sending $18 (one year's dues) to William Center, 1920 Division Street, Murphyboro, Illinois 62966-2320. Make checks payable to Mr. Center. The N3F has about 500 members and engages in many interesting projects.

Alexander Scourby Reading Available on the Internet:

We have been asked to carry the following announcement:Alexander Scourby was the first to record the Bible back in the forties. Now this legendary recording is available on the Internet, along with a large-print edition of the King James translation of the Bible. This recording is also available as commercial software. The Internet address is:

Braille Transcription Available:

We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

Ferguson Industries, a division of the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind, is now producing Braille. We will Braille documents in standard English for $.60 a sheet of double-sided copy on computer-sized Braille paper. There is a setup fee, and binding is extra. For further information contact Ferguson Industries at (617) 727-9840, or call their consultant, Rich Wood, at (508) 668-5412.

Happy Ending:

In the July, 1997, issue of the Braille Monitor we reported on the struggle Loretta and Joe White have had getting the instructional services their daughter Niki was entitled to. They eventually filed a complaint with the Office for Civil Rights, Department of Education, which brought the school district to heel pretty quickly as measured in bureaucratic time. The National Federation of the Blind supported the Whites every step of the way. Here is the letter Loretta White wrote to President Maurer on September 20:

Dear Mr. Maurer,

At long last we have reached a settlement with Anne Arundel County for the compensatory education owed to our daughter Niki. And finally the county has paid up in the amount of $12,500. Please accept our heartfelt thanks for your help. Without the help of the National Federation of the Blind, we would never have been able to receive compensation for the education services the county failed to provide over the course of three years.

Since there is no gag order, I hope the Federation will be able to use our experience to help other families in similar circumstances.

Again, please accept our thanks.


Loretta and Joseph White