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Nikki Zimmerman pictured

with a young cougar.

Each year Safari Clubs International conducts a Sensory Safari at the beginning of our conventions. Pictured here, Nikki Zimmerman gets acquainted with a cougar.

1999 Convention Attractions

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From the Editor: Every year's National Convention is an absolutely unique event. The agenda items, the exhibits, the new friends and business acquaintances: all these give each convention its own character and significance. Some activities lend a luster to the convention in part because they do take place every year and provide helpful fixed points in the whirl of events. In this category are the meetings of the Resolutions Committee and the Board of Directors, the annual banquet, and the many seminars and workshops of the various divisions and committees. Here is a partial list of activities being planned by a number of Federation groups during the 1999 Convention, June 30 through July 6. Presidents of divisions, committee chairpeople, and event presenters have provided the information. The pre-convention agenda will list the locations of all events taking place before convention registration on Thursday, July 1. The convention agenda will contain listings of all events taking place beginning that day.

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Photo of blind professional journalists.

The 1998 Blind Professional Journalists meeting with Bryan Bashin and Liz Campbell at the head table

Blind Professional Journalists

by Deborah Kendrick

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Are you a print or broadcast journalist or studying to become one? Join others in your field to share ideas, techniques, and tricks for getting the story and getting it into print or on the air. Getting the job and getting visual information, managing drivers and readers, and finding the right technology--these and other issues will be discussed by working journalists, both blind and sighted, on Friday, July 2, from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. Convention activities for blind journalists this year will be coordinated by Deborah Kendrick and Bryan Bashin.

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bm990417.jpg (6086 bytes)

[PHOTO/CAPTION: NFB campers playing Simon Says]

NFB Camp: It's More than Child's Play

by Carla McQuillan

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About the Director: NFB Camp is under the direction of Carla McQuillan, the executive director of the Main Street Montessori Association, operating two Montessori schools, a teacher-training program, and parent education classes. Mrs. McQuillan was recognized for her nineteen years of teaching experience in early childhood education when she received the Blind Educator of the Year Award presented by the National Federation of the Blind at our 1996 convention in Anaheim. Carla is also the mother of two children and the President of the National Federation of the Blind of Oregon.

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Camp Staff: Mary Wieczorek, the activities director for NFB Camp, is a long-time employee of Main Street Montessori Association. She has extensive experience planning and expediting programs for children. As in past years, we will be recruiting Head Start teachers from the local area to serve as our Camp Counselors. In addition we will be working with teachers and teens who volunteer at the Atlanta Center for the Visually Impaired. Annie Maxwell is the volunteer coordinator at the Center in Atlanta and is a new member of the NFB of Georgia. For several years now Annie has been organizing a six-week summer camp for blind children in the Atlanta area. She will draw on teachers, speakers, and teens who have worked and volunteered at her summer camp. We are truly blessed to have Annie working on our team this year. As always, we encourage blind teens to volunteer at NFB Camp throughout the week to acquire child-care experience in a positive environment with blind role models.


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Special Activities and Events: This year's convention setting offers a wide range of opportunities to explore areas outside the hotel. As most of you know from reading Monitor articles about the convention, the Marriott is connected to the Peachtree Center Mall. From our perspective this means the freedom to practice a wide range of cane-travel and orientation skills without ever stepping outdoors. The other exciting feature is the proximity of the subway trains, located just below the mall. We will be conducting philosophy discussions to complement the skills training taking place every day. Once again the children will enjoy daily art activities prepared by Corrinne Vieville of the National Federation of the Blind of California. We will feature afternoon matinees of our descriptive video collection. Back by popular demand, we will sing, dance, and play along with blind singer/songwriter Daniel Lamonds of Blind Ambitions. Each day during general sessions children will be encouraged to participate in games and activities both inside the hotel and out in the community. A schedule of NFB Camp activities will be available at the information table at convention. The program just gets better each year!

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Hours of Operation: NFB Camp will be open one half hour before the beginning of sessions and one half hour after sessions adjourn. Children must be picked up during lunch breaks. A late fee of $10 per child will be rigorously collected if children are not picked up from NFB Camp on time. The schedule follows:

Wednesday, June 30, 8:30 - 5:00 (Staggered Breaks for Staff)

Thursday July 1, Camp is Closed

Friday, July 2, 8:30 to 12:00 and 1:00 to 5:30 (This is also the day of our Kids' Trip to the Coca-Cola Museum.)

Saturday, July 3, 9:30 to 12:30 and 1:30 to 5:30

Sunday, July 4, 8:30 to 12:30

Monday, July 5, 8:30 to 12:30 and 1:30 to 5:30 and 6:30 to 10:30 PM

Tuesday, July 6, 8:30 to 12:30 and 1:30 to 5:30

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Many blind and sighted teen-agers at the convention are available for baby-sitting, and we urge parents to consider this option. You may get names and room numbers of teens interested in baby-sitting by contacting Loretta White, coordinator of teen activities. We highly recommend that parents pre-register children for NFB Camp using the form provided in the print issue or by providing the requested information written out on paper along with the correct payment.

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This picture evokes a 1930's-era soda fountain.

The International Lounge at the Coca-Cola Museum.

Kids' Trip: Coca-Cola was created in Atlanta in 1886. This year participants in Kids' Trip will be touring World of Coca-Cola Atlanta, located in a three-story pavilion adjacent to the one-of-a-kind shopping area, Underground Atlanta. Experiences at the museum will include a tribute to bottling; the largest collection of Coca-Cola memorabilia ever assembled; a replica of a 1930's soda fountain, where we will see how Coke was prepared and served before the invention of modern equipment; and complimentary drinks.

The charge is $10 per child to cover transportation, lunch, and the entrance fee. Children may bring extra spending money for souvenirs or shopping in Underground Atlanta. We will gather at 11:30 a.m. in the National Federation of the Blind Camp rooms on July 2, and we will be returning at 4:30. To insure your child's space for this trip, please register by May 30, 1999.

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Registration for both National Federation of the Blind Camp and the Kids' Trip should be made using the forms which appear in the print edition or by providing in writing the information requested on the forms. Send completed forms or required information together with your check (made payable to NOPBC) to the National Federation of the Blind of Oregon, NFB Camp, 5005 Main Street, Springfield, Oregon 97478. For more information call Carla McQuillan at (541) 726-6924.

 

 

NFB Camp Pre-Registration Form

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Child(ren) Name(s)

_______________________________________________________Age ______

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_______________________________________________________Age ______

_______________________________________________________Age ______

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Parent/Guardian _________________________________________________________________

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Home Address _________________________________________________________________

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_________________________________________________________________

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Home Phone ( ___ )_______________ Work Phone ( ____ ) ___________

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Amount Enclosed

Rates:

First Child (full week) $60 ______

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Additional Siblings (full week) $30 each ______

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Daily rate per child $15 each per day ______

Banquet $10 per child ______

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Total Enclosed ______

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Make checks payable to NOPBC. Send this form with payment to Carla McQuillan, National Federation of the Blind of Oregon, 5005 Main Street, Springfield, Oregon 97478, (541) 726-6924

 

 

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Registration for 1999 Kids' Trip

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Child(ren) Name(s) __________________________________________________ Age __________

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Parent/Guardian _________________________________________________

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Phone # _______________

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Address _________________________________________________________

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Amount Enclosed ($10 per child) $__________

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Is your child blind? [ ] yes [ ] no (If more than one child is being registered, indicate which child is blind.)

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Does your child have special needs? (List the special needs, and indicate which child if registering more than one.)

 

 

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The Committee on Associates

by Tom Stevens

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The Committee on Associates will meet on Friday evening, July 2, at 7 p.m. We will review the final standings for the 1999 enrollment year, present awards, and see if we can gain consensus for goals for the year 2000. Recruiters are welcome, but so are those who are interested in making an impact on the misconceptions which bug all of us.

We will hold a short workshop at noon on July 3. Just as at the committee meeting, a guest speaker will be featured. Come one and all.

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Photo of the audience at a Deaf-Blind Division seminar.

Audience members at a Deaf-Blind Division seminar

Deaf-Blind Division

by Joe Naulty

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This year the Deaf-Blind Division will again staff a convention table in the exhibit hall. We will have T-shirts, document bags, new specialty items, literature, and resource information on deaf-blind issues.

On Wednesday, June 30, the subject "Training Interpreters to Work Effectively with Persons Who are Deaf-Blind" will be presented by Mark J. Myers, Project Director, and Elaine Ducharme, Consumer Facilitator, National Interpreter Education Project, Northwestern Connecticut Community-Technical College.

On Friday, July 2, Susan Brooke Lascek, Regional Representative for the Helen Keller National Center, will speak on the subject, "Overview of Deaf-Blind Issues, Specifically Relating to Blind Persons Who Lose Their Hearing Later in Life."

On Sunday, July 4, the Deaf-Blind general business meeting will include reports from Board Members and committee chairpersons. A guest speaker will be announced.

Deaf-Blind Division members and guests are requested to communicate their individual interpreting requirements for the three meetings directly to the Deaf-Blind National Treasurer, Kimberly Johnson. Kimberly will be coordinating interpreting services; she will also be accepting 1999 membership dues, which are $5 annually. Contact Kimberly Johnson at 4060 South Grant Street, Englewood, Colorado 90110, (330) 761-2795. You may also communicate with Division President Joseph B. Naulty, 11943 Suellen Circle, Wellington, Florida 33414, (561) 753-4700.

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Diabetes Action Network

by Ed Bryant

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At the 1999 convention of the National Federation of the Blind, our Diabetes Action Network will conduct its annual seminar and business meeting on Friday, July 2, from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. We are working on getting a podiatrist as our keynote speaker to cover diabetic foot care. An open panel discussion will follow this presentation, covering all aspects of diabetes (including talking glucose monitors). Once again we will have our Make-the-President-Pay diabetes quiz game, and President Bryant says he will give a nice donation to the Division for each right answer! Our seminar is free and open to the public.

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The Evaluation and Promotion of Technology Committee

by Jim Willows

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The NFB's Evaluation and Promotion of Technology Committee will meet at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 1. As usual we will hear brief presentations by vendors of technological products for the blind. They will tell us about their product lines and emphasize new developments. We will again begin the meeting with presentations of new technology soon to be announced as products for blind users. We ask our speakers to make their talks understandable by the less technically oriented members of the audience. This has made our meeting popular with convention attendees who want a general overview of the technology being displayed at our convention.

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Human Services Division

by Doug Elliott

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This year the NFB Human Services Division will meet at 1:00 p.m. on Friday, July 2. As usual we will hear from an interesting, thought-provoking keynote speaker. Two speeches will be given by blind human-services authorities. At least two panels of people working as blind therapists in social work, psychology, or vocational rehabilitation will stimulate group discussion with thoughtful presentations. Time permitting, we will conduct role plays with audience participation to help describe and solve problems. This is an election year. Please come ready to vote for your favorite candidates. I look forward to seeing you in Atlanta.

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Richard Ring Pictured demonstrating

Windows.

Richard Ring demonstrates Windows 98 to a group of Federationists.

An Introduction to Windows 98 and the Internet

by Richard Ring

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Windows 98 has replaced MS-DOS as the operating system of choice in the workplace and at home. For the sighted this has been for the most part a welcome change. No more complex command lines to remember. Instead all the sighted user need do is point and click the mouse, and programs run, files are moved, and the World Wide Web is accessed. But what about those of us who are blind? Can a blind person become a productive and efficient user of Windows 98? The answer is, yes! If you want to begin to understand how to accomplish this, an Introduction to Windows 98 and the Internet is a seminar you should attend. It will take place on Wednesday, June 30, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Curtis Chong, director of Technology for the National Federation of the Blind, and Richard Ring, supervisor of the International Braille and Technology Center for the Blind, will host this seminar. What makes this presentation unique is its approach to teaching Windows 98. When sighted people attempt to teach blind people Windows 98, they often find it difficult to get beyond the point-and-click mentality. They are more interested in the physical layout of the screen than the best way to access the items and objects on display. We will show you how to navigate in Windows 98 using the keyboard, how to create shortcuts to your favorite programs, how to work with popular Windows applications, what it is like to surf the Web in Windows, and more.

Sometimes you just have to use the mouse pointer to access certain functions within a Windows application. However, screen readers provide a way for a blind person to manipulate the mouse pointer from the keyboard. This way a blind user can access programs that are not keyboard-friendly. We'll even show you how sounds generated by Windows 98 can serve as valuable cues, as well as providing a bit of entertainment.

Many blind people have expressed grave concerns about how well they can learn to work in Windows 98. What holds true for blindness in general is true for Windows 98. Given the proper training, a blind person can not only learn to use Windows but enjoy doing so. Though we cannot promise you that when you leave this seminar you will be a Windows expert, we can assure you that you will come away knowing that Windows need not be an obstacle to success. Join us and discover, as we already have, that blind people do Windows!

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The Louisiana Center for the Blind Players

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Long Ago When Freedom Rang is the title of this year's original play by Jerry Whittle. Two performances will take place on Friday evening, July 2. The play is the story of a Vietnam War veteran who loses everything in order to find himself. Proceeds from ticket sales will benefit the Louisiana Center.

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Blind Merchants Association

by Donald Morris

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On Wednesday, June 30, the Blind Merchants Association and the National Buyers Group will cosponsor a huge food show featuring scores of manufacturers and hundreds of products. The time of the show will probably be 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., but check the pre-convention agenda for the exact time and place. The National Buyers Group will bring you many, many special offers, deals, and discounts. Be sure to attend this national show to learn how to take advantage of these special opportunities.

Once again the Blind Merchants Association will have a $1,000 raffle to be drawn at the banquet. One dollar tickets can be purchased from any member of the Blind Merchants Association or at the Merchants booth in the exhibit hall. Contact Wayne Shevlin at (919) 847-3470 for raffle tickets to sell.

Attention vendors: please contact Joe and Laura Van Lent at (515) 243-6843 to learn the time slot you will be assigned to work. Many slots are available; please call and volunteer so you can have the time slot you want.

As noted above, the Blind Merchants Association will again be present in the exhibit hall passing out free soft drinks, selling snack packs, and providing corsages and boutonnieres for the banquet at a truly modest cost.

The snack packs contain an assortment of munchies--candy, chips, and snacks. A nearly $20 value for $5. Vendors, contact Don Hudson, (303) 447-1615, to let him know the items you will be donating for the snack packs. Either bring your items to Atlanta by June 30, or ship them in advance to Kim Williams, 2806 Igou Ferry Road, Soddy-Daisy, Tennessee 37379, or call (423) 842-7582 or (423) 843-7298. Ship via UPS to arrive no later than June 25, 1999. Kim says to mark your shipment "signature not required for delivery."

Finally, our annual business meeting will occur from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. (unless we finish sooner) on Friday, July 2, 1999. I look forward to seeing you all in Atlanta--come early, stay late.

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Mock Trial

by Scott LaBarre

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The National Association of Blind Lawyers will sponsor the Second Annual Mock Trial at the 1999 Convention. This trial will reenact an old Federation case. Federation lawyers will be pitted against each other, arguing the merits of the two positions. We will revisit the 1986 Kevan Worley Case, which tackled the issue of whether a blind man had the right to refuse society's charity to the blind when that charity was being forced upon him. This case was tried to a jury and won by the Federation. See your favorite Federation lawyers strut their legal stuff.

The audience will serve as the jury. This year's trial promises to be as entertaining and thought-provoking as last year's. A nominal charge of $5 for the trial will benefit the National Association of Blind Lawyers. The trial will take place on Thursday afternoon, July 1, at 4:30 p.m. somewhere in the convention hotel. Consult the convention agenda for the exact place.

Picture of a line of Music Division members waiting to register.
Music Division members stand in line to register.

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[PHOTO/CAPTION: Music Division members stand in line to register.]

Music Division

by Linda Mentink

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The Music Division will again conduct its Showcase of Talent at this year's convention. It will take place on Saturday evening, July 3. If you would like to participate in the Showcase, here are the guidelines: 1) Sign up no later than noon, Saturday. 2) Perform only one number, taking no more than four minutes to perform. 3) If you are using a taped accompaniment, be sure that the tape is cued up properly. Do not sing along with a vocal artist; you will be stopped immediately. 4) If you need live accompaniment, make your arrangements before the Showcase begins.

Children who plan to participate will be invited to perform first. The Showcase will be limited to two hours, about twenty-four performers. Come help us enjoy music.

The Music Division's annual meeting will take place Thursday evening, July 1. We are still working on agenda details, but you won't want to miss the meeting. This is not an election year, but, if you are serious about music, we hope to see you at Music Division events in Atlanta. Remember that division dues are $5 and may be paid any time before the meeting. Treasurer Ben Snow's address is 358 Orange Street, Apartment 409, New Haven, Connecticut 06511.

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National Association of the Blind in Communities of Faith

by Robert Parrish

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It is hard to believe that another NFB convention is around the corner. With this in mind the leaders of the National Association of the Blind in Communities of Faith are making plans for our annual meeting. The theme for this year's seminar is "Religion and Attitude."

The date is July 2. As usual, the time and location will be given at the convention. We are hopeful that we will have Dr. Elizabeth Browne as our main seminar speaker. As you will recall from the February, 1998, Braille Monitor, Dr. Browne is a professor of theology at Loyola University in Chicago and author of the book Disabled Disciple. A panel discussion, including audience participation, will follow her address.

In addition to the seminar, we will conduct a breakfast meeting to discuss what people have done and can do locally to strengthen our division. We will also be selling raffle tickets again this year. Tickets will be $4 each. The first prize will be $50. The winning tickets will be drawn during the convention.

As president of the NABICF, I invite you to participate in our convention activities, and I look forward to seeing you in Atlanta.

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National Association of Blind Educators

by Mary Willows

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The National Association of Blind Educators will meet on Friday, July 2, 1999, from 1:00 to 5:00 P.M. Teachers from all over the country will gather to share tips on techniques as well as support for each other with solid advice. Some of the topics which will be discussed will be readers vs. aides to accomplish everyday paperwork tasks; technology in and out of the classroom; and pulling your own weight on the playground.

This year we will hear from a recently retired teacher and department head who has seen and done it all when it comes to managing students, parents and colleagues. Allen Harris will tell us everything we ever wanted to know about teaching but were afraid to ask.

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The National Association of Blind Entrepreneurs

by Connie Leblond

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The National Association of Blind Entrepreneurs (NABE) will hold its annual division meeting in 1999 with increased momentum and enthusiasm. Agenda topics will include the right technology for blind business owners, mapping the future of this division, accounts of success by on-the-move blind business owners and much more. The networking of blind people, the sharing of resources, the collective action of this group of creative individuals have only just begun to be tapped. Your attendance is welcome and encouraged. We are changing what it means to be blind one business at a time.

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National Association of Guide Dog Users

by Gigi Firth

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The National Association of Guide Dog Users (NAGDU) will conduct two meetings this year. The first one is the usual business meeting, which is scheduled on Wednesday, June 30, from 7 to 10 p.m. The second is the seminar "A Guide Dog In Your Life," to be held Saturday, July 3, from 7 to 10 p.m. The evening schedule was decided upon to allow members and other interested people to attend other activities with as little conflict as possible. Some of the topics to be discussed at these meetings are puppy-raiser contact, abuse and changing abuse laws, progress of the Hawaii suit, school updates, and a report on their activities from Ed and Toni Eames. We will also discuss what it's really like to have a guide dog, how you know if a guide dog is right for you, what preparation you need before going into class for a dog, how you know when it's time to call an instructor, and how you can best introduce a guide dog into your family.

Veterinary assistance and help with getting and applying flea-control medication will also be available. As before, Ed and Toni are heading the Canine Concerns Committee. This committee will procure the veterinary assistance and maintain the dog relief areas.

We hope to see anyone interested in working with or living with a guide dog at the meetings this year. Cane users who might wish to get a guide dog are encouraged to attend since some of the topics are aimed at this group.

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National Association of Blind Lawyers

by Scott LaBarre

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As the hot and humid days of our Atlanta Convention draw near, activity in the National Association of Blind Lawyers is beginning to heat up. First, I would like to invite all of you to join us in Atlanta to take part in the largest meeting of blind lawyers and legal professionals held anywhere in the country. The National Association of Blind Lawyers will meet Friday, July 2, 1999, from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Marriott Marquis in downtown Atlanta as part of the fifty-ninth annual Convention of the National Federation of the Blind.

We will discuss many exciting topics on that afternoon. Speaking from their expertise, lawyers will give an update on the current status of laws affecting the blind. We will hear reports on various advocacy matters in which the Federation has been involved throughout the last year. We expect that officials from the American Bar Association, Georgia Bar Association, and Atlanta Bar Association will address the group about what's new and exciting in the organized bar of Georgia. Experienced practitioners will offer strategies on how best to conduct various types of cases. We will share strategies and techniques for securing the best possible jobs in the legal field. We expect to hear from West Group representatives about the latest developments in West Law and how the blind can access this important research tool. This and much, much more will take place at our annual meeting in Atlanta.

As NABL President I am also pleased to announce that we will be hosting our second annual reception after the NABL meeting for blind lawyers, law students, and legal professionals. This reception will give us the opportunity to get to know each other and share ideas. Blind law students will be able to learn how their predecessors did it. Practicing professionals will learn new tips from their colleagues.

With our regular meeting, the mock trial, and the reception the National Association of Blind Lawyers plans to be busy in Atlanta. Make your plans now and join us in the Home of the Braves and those Dirty Birds.

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National Association of Blind Secretaries and Transcribers

by Lisa Hall

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The National Association of Blind Secretaries and Transcribers is scheduled to meet on June 30 with registration beginning at 6:30 p.m. and the meeting beginning at 7:00 p.m. We are planning a couple of exciting things on the agenda. Anyone wishing to be a member can contact Lisa Hall, 9110 Broadway, Apt. J102, San Antonio, Texas 78217; Phone: (210) 829-4571; e-mail: <lehtex@concentric.net>.

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National Association of Blind Students

by Shawn Mayo

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The National Association of Blind Students is ready to take over Atlanta! This year's seminar will take a look at the history of the organized blind movement through some of our favorite songs, address what issues blind students currently face, and present speakers and panels that lead to thought-provoking discussion. Whether you are a student in the classroom or a student of life, you won't want to miss this year's seminar on Thursday, July 1, from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m.

As students we also know how to have a good time. So get your poker face ready, and come join the National Association of Blind Students at Monte Carlo night on Sunday, July 4, from 8:00 p.m. to Midnight. Card games of all types will be played, and good fun will be had by all. Cash prizes are given to the first-, second-, and third-place winners. You will also find us at the NOPBC's Braille carnival. And be sure not to miss out on the student parties.

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NFB Amateur Radio Group

by D. Curtis Willoughby

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In accordance with long-standing tradition, again in 1999 the first meeting of the NFB convention will be the Emergency Preparedness Seminar conducted by the NFB Ham Radio Group. The seminar will be held at 7:30 a.m. on Wednesday, June 30. We will discuss frequencies to be used during the convention, especially those to be used in the event of an emergency call-out.

We will also discuss the architectural features of the convention hotels and other information that NFB hams must know about if an emergency response is necessary. The annual business meeting of the NFB Ham Radio Group will be held at noon on Monday, July 5.

Any Atlanta hams who would be willing to do a little frequency scouting before the convention are asked to contact Curtis, KA0VBA, phone (303) 424-7373, e-mail, <ka0vba@dimensional.com>.

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National Federation of the Blind in Computer Science

Computers, the Web, and More!

by Curtis Chong

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If you want to talk about computers, the World Wide Web, strategies blind people can use to deal with technological change in the workplace, and more, come and join the National Federation of the Blind in Computer Science (NFBCS) at its annual meeting on Friday, July 2, from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Registration will begin at 12:30. Here is what we know about the agenda so far.

Dr. James Thatcher from the IBM Special Needs Systems group will be talking about the work being done by IBM to promote accessibility. Dr. Thatcher is a long-time favorite at NFBCS meetings. His talk is particularly timely in light of the tremendous amount of publicity we have been seeing regarding a new program called the IBM Home Page Reader.

We are organizing a panel of blind computer users to talk about technological change in the workplace. They will discuss the challenges brought about by changes and upgrades in software used by their employers and the strategies which have worked well to enable them to adapt to the changes.

Speaking of adapting to change and learning new technology, we will hear from Project Assist, a program which develops tutorials designed to teach you how to run an application such as a word processor, spreadsheet, or data base software with specific screen access programs.

There has been a flurry of activity surrounding a new and improved Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, including a mandate for the Federal Access Board to develop standards around procuring accessible electronic and information technology. The standards promulgated by the Board could have far-reaching effects upon all kinds of technology; the Federal Government is a very large purchaser of such things as computers, software, and other electronic equipment. Therefore it seems appropriate for us to hear from Dr. Gregg Vanderheiden, who directs the Trace Center operated out of the University of Wisconsin at Madison. Dr. Vanderheiden is a strong champion of accessibility to technologies (both current and future) by people with disabilities. The Trace Center has done a lot of ground-breaking work in the area of access to electronic public information kiosks and other technologies.

If our plans come to fruition, we will once again hear from Microsoft about the work it has done and continues to do to ensure access to its systems and programs. A lot of work has been done by Microsoft, and many promises have been made. But have we, as blind computer users, seen the results of this work on the computers we must use at work, not to mention at home?

We are also trying to line up a presentation from the Web Access Initiative of the World Wide Web Consortium. This is an effort to ensure that future developments in the World Wide Web do not push people with disabilities off the information superhighway. If this body does its work correctly, we have a very good chance of enjoying full access to all of the mountains of information available to us on the Web.

Last but not least, this is a year for electing new officers and board members in the National Federation of the Blind in Computer Science. But you have to be a member of NFBCS to vote. Membership dues in NFBCS are $5 per year.

Come, pay your dues, and participate in the technologically enlightening discussions at the NFB in Computer Science meeting. Remember the date and time: Friday, July 2, 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., at the National Federation of the Blind convention in Atlanta.

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NFB NET Training Seminar

by David Andrews

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At one time it was necessary to make a long distance telephone call to reach NFB NET, the official bulletin board service (BBS) of the National Federation of the Blind, unless you were lucky enough to live in the same city in which the BBS was located. This is no longer the case, thanks to the Internet.

It is now possible to reach the BBS through Telnet or FTP or by using a standard Web browser such as Microsoft Internet Explorer, Netscape, Lynx, PW Webspeak, or IBM's Home Page reader. NFB Net also hosts a large number of listservs or mailing lists. See the Braille Monitor, March, 1999.

The 1999 NFB NET Training Seminar will build on the information provided by Mr. Chong and Mr. Ring in the Windows 98/Internet training Seminar, which will be held earlier the same day and teach you how to access NFB NET on the Internet, using all of the methods just mentioned.

So, if you want to learn how to use NFB NET using the Internet from anywhere in the world, attend the 1999 NFB Net Training Seminar. It will be held on Wednesday, June 30, from 2:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m. See the pre-convention agenda for location.

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Picture of Dr. Jernigan surrounded

by a group of teenagers at the 1998 convention.

Federation teens gather 'round to talk with Dr. Jernigan on the platform
before a session of the 1998 convention.

National Organization of Parents of Blind Children

by Barbara Cheadle

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For an increasing number of families and educators of blind children the National Federation of the Blind Convention has gradually become the place to be over the 4th of July. Although the events scheduled and sponsored by the National Organization of Parents of Blind Children are their primary attraction, more and more parents and teachers have come to understand and appreciate the relevance of the entire NFB convention program to their blind children and students. That is why we do not schedule the entire week with parent workshops or programs. It is important for parents, children, youth, and teachers to have sufficient free time to prowl the exhibit hall, attend the NFB Board meeting, sit in on the NFB Resolutions Committee, take in a play performed by blind actors, compete in the Music Division's Showcase of Talent, see a NEWSLINE(R) Network demonstration, or take part in one or more of the numerous division or committee meetings, e.g., the National Association of Blind Students, the National Association to Promote the Use of Braille, the Science and Engineering Division, the National Association of Blind Piano Tuners, and the National Association of Guide Dog Users.

So, as you look at the following parent workshop schedule, please remember that there is much, much more to experience at an NFB National Convention, and make your travel plans accordingly.

Wednesday, June 30: Note: pre-convention agendas with details on time and location of the following activities (and others) will be available Tuesday night and Wednesday morning at NFB information tables in the hotel lobby and in the NFB Presidential Suite.

* National Seminar for Parents and Teachers of Blind Children: All-day seminar (registration at 8:00 a.m., sessions from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.) with a general seminar session in the morning and small-group workshops in the afternoon. Two of our seminar and workshop speakers will present some exciting information about computer technology for preschool through high school kids. Fee: $10 per person.

* NFB Camp for Kids: The main attraction will be the Kenneth Jernigan Braille Carnival. In honor of Dr. Kenneth Jernigan, all of the activities at this special carnival--games, prizes, competitions, demonstrations, etc.--will have a Braille theme. But don't worry, you don't have to know Braille to enjoy the carnival. In fact there will be activities for any child, blind or sighted, between the ages of four and twelve. The fee for this NFB Camp- and NOPBC-sponsored activity is $5 per child, lunch included. NFB Camp workers and volunteers will supervise the children throughout all activities, so parents may participate fully in the seminar for parents.

Child Care: NFB Camp, under Carla McQuillan's directorship, will provide child care all day for infants and toddlers. Children registered for NFB Camp for the week pay no additional fee: others are asked to contribute $15 per child for the day. There is no additional fee for children receiving child care before and after the Kenneth Jernigan Braille Carnival.

* Discovery Day of Fun, Friends, and Fitting In: all-day activity for youth (blind and sighted) ages twelve to eighteen (or senior in high school). Conducted in the hotel simultaneously with the parents seminar. Fee: $15 per teen (includes lunch). Loretta White of Maryland will coordinate these activities. Loretta White will also coordinate a Teen Room, where teens can congregate during free hours to snack, talk, play games, watch movies, or just hang out. The room will be located next to Loretta's hotel room and will be supervised by adults at all times. Loretta will post and distribute a schedule to teens on Wednesday, June 30. Parents looking for baby sitters to hire might want to drop by the room to locate interested teens.

* Family Hospitality: Relax and chat with other parents, teachers, and blind adults while the kids roam and play around the tables (6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.). Snacks or light kid-friendly fare will be provided (donations requested). To add to the fun, door prizes will be awarded throughout the evening.

* Youth Convention Orientation: Get acquainted with the hotel the fun way--a scavenger hunt. Two sessions: Kids' Scavenger Hunt (ages nine through twelve), 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.; Teen Scavenger Hunt (ages thirteen through eighteen), 9:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Basic rules: Rule one--Have fun! Rule two--Everyone who participates must wear a sleepshade (blindfold). Rule three--Have fun! Rule four--Everyone who participates must carry a white cane. Sleepshades and canes will be available for loan during the activity.) Rule five--Please stay with your age group. Part of the purpose of this activity is to give kids and teens a chance to meet new people and make friends within their age groups. Rules six through ten--Have fun!

Thursday, July 1: This is the best day to register for the Convention and visit the exhibit hall. The registration fee in the past has been $10 per person and is required. The special room rates are contingent upon registration. You will receive a Convention agenda when you register.

* Conversation with Lilli Nielsen, Ph.D.: A two- or three-hour drop-in discussion and question-and-answer session. Inventor of the Little Room and developer of the Active Learning philosophy, Dr. Nielsen is known worldwide for her work with blind and multiply handicapped children. In recent years parents and teachers have discovered that her work also has implications for blind children who do not have additional disabilities. Location and time to be announced.

Katie Wilson pictured demonstrating cane travel.

Katie Watson of Wisconsin demonstrates cane travel to other children and parents.

* Cane Walk: This activity is directed by Joe Cutter, Pediatric Orientation and Mobility Specialist, with the assistance of student teachers from the Louisiana Tech University/Louisiana Center for the Blind O & M master's program. Parents, teachers, and blind children team up with instructors (most of them blind) and go on a cane walk throughout the hotel. Parents and teachers too have the option of using a cane and sleepshades. This Cane Walk is designed for the student who is relatively new to cane travel and for parents who need tips on how to help their children be more independent travelers. Age of child: toddler through high school teens (parents of infants may come, too). No fees, two sessions: 9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Groups will gather outside the NFB convention registration room to begin the walk.

* Youth Hang Out: NOPBC and Blind Industries and Services of Maryland (BISM) Rehabilitation Program are again co-sponsoring a gathering place where youth (blind and sighted) ages twelve through eighteen can hang out, meet other kids, and become familiar with the NFB, the hotel, and the ins and outs of an NFB Convention. Time: 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Check the NFB Convention Agenda for room location. Rosemary Lerdahl, Director of the BISM Rehabilitation Program, will coordinate the teen room. Basic Rules: Rule one--no parents allowed! (parents, don't worry--adult volunteer counselors will be present at all times). Rule two--Have fun! (now you know the reason for rule one). Rule three--No younger siblings below the age limit! (there may be unusual exceptions, but we really want to keep this activity for teens only!). Rules four through ten--Have fun!

Friday, July 2:

* Annual Meeting of the National Organization of Parents of Blind Children, 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. State Parent Division reports, door prizes, a presentation by the 1999 Educator of Blind Children Award winner, reports on new programs and initiatives for blind children: these are some of the exciting program items on the NOPBC agenda. We also have Dr. Lilli Nielsen from Denmark, who will give a presentation.

* Kids' Field Trip: Trip to the Coca-Cola Museum--see NFB Camp section for details. Volunteers under NFB Camp Director Carla McQuillan will accompany children on the trip, leaving parents free to attend the NOPBC meeting. NFB Camp Child Care services in the hotel will also be available during the NOPBC meeting for children too young for the trip or those who choose not to go on the trip.

Saturday, July 3:

* NOPBC Board Meeting: The newly elected NOPBC Board will meet from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m., NOPBC members are welcome to observe.

* IEP Workshop: One of the first (and still the most popular) of the workshops conducted by the NOPBC at the NFB National Convention. Time: 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Marty Greiser, Second Vice President of the NOPBC, will moderate the workshop this year.

Sunday, July 4:

* Afternoon workshops for parents: Two or three years ago NOPBC began to schedule some workshops during the Convention's free afternoon. These workshops are generally less formal and more in-depth, intensive, and longer than the workshops on parent seminar day. Exact topics for these workshops have yet to be confirmed, but here are a few under serious consideration: Canes and Kids: Joe Cutter, Pediatric Orientation and Mobility Specialist. Joe has been conducting outstanding workshops for the NOPBC for several years. We hope to have him back again this year. Also under consideration is a technology workshop, exact title and focus yet to be determined. Workshops will be scheduled between 2:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.

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National Organization of the Senior Blind

by Christine Hall

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The National Organization of the Senior Blind will be holding its annual meeting at the NFB National Convention in Atlanta on Thursday, July 1, 1999, from 6:00 to 10:00 p.m. At the time of this writing in January, the Board of Directors is planning an informative and stimulating agenda. We are pleased to announce that our new National Organization of the Senior Blind division brochure is hot off the press and will be available at the National Convention. Please come and join us. We will be registering new and old members and collecting dues of $5. We look forward to seeing you in Atlanta. For further information regarding the senior division contact Christine Hall, President, at (505) 268-3895.

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The National Association of Blind Piano Tuners

by Don Mitchell

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The National Association of Blind Piano Tuners will meet on Friday evening, July 2, 1999, at 7:00 p.m. Check your convention agenda for location. I look forward to seeing many of you this year. I am planning a visit to the Yamaha piano factory on the morning of Wednesday, July 7. If you wish to make this trip, please let me know and plan your return from the convention for Wednesday afternoon or evening. Send e-mail to <dsmitch@pacifier.com> or phone (360) 696-1985.

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Public Employees Division

by John Halverson

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Once again it is almost time for the annual convention of the National Federation of the Blind. The Public Employees Division will meet at 1:30 p.m. Friday, July 2, 1999, at the Marriott Hotel. We are planning an exciting agenda. This year's main topic may be of interest to more than public employees. We plan to have the director of the General Store as a guest speaker. The General Store is not a retail establishment selling everything from groceries to garden supplies. Rather it is a joint venture of the U.S. General Services Administration, other federal agencies, and state and local governments. The General Store offers answers to any government-related question. Subject matter experts are available to research anything of the kind. Let's try to stump them.

We also plan to demonstrate the use of the Internet for federal job exploration and to have updates on Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act. This is the strengthened law which now may make it possible for blind federal employees and recipients of service to sue if they can't effectively use accessible computer and other office equipment.

Contact me if you wish to be on the agenda to talk about your job or if you have any suggestions for further agenda items: John Halverson, President, Public Employees Division, National Federation of the Blind, 403 West 62nd Terrace, Kansas City, Missouri 64113, (816) 361-7813, <johnhal@concentric.net>.

See you in Atlanta.

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Social Security Seminar

by James Gashel

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An outreach seminar (Social Security and Supplemental Security Income: What Applicants, Advocates, and Recipients Should Know) will take place on Sunday afternoon, July 4. The purpose of this seminar, which will be conducted jointly by the National Federation of the Blind and the Social Security Administration, is to provide information on Social Security and Supplemental Security Income benefits for the blind. Seminar presenters will be Jim Gashel, Director of Governmental Affairs for the National Federation of the Blind, and a representative to be announced from the Social Security Administration.

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The Masonic Square Club

by Harold Snider

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Dr. Jernigan often said that "A convention of the NFB is like the meeting of the Scottish clans." That is certainly true if one considers all the endeavors in which Federationists are involved. The Masonic Square Club is an NFB group comprised of those involved in one way or another in Freemasonary or its offshoots. If this includes you, you are invited to attend a breakfast meeting of the Masonic Square Club, which will take place at 7:00 a.m. on Sunday, July 4. Any Master Mason, Scottish Rite Mason, York Rite Mason, or a member of the Tall Cedars or the Blue Grotto, or a Shriner or anyone ever in DeMolay is welcome to attend. Any member of the Eastern Star or the Daughters of the Nile or anyone who was ever a Rainbow Girl is also welcome to attend. The Masonic Square Club also recognizes all Prince Hall Masons. In other words, all Federationists who have ever been affiliated in any way with any Masonic body are welcome to attend the meeting of the Masonic Square Club at convention this year. All Masons are encouraged to bring their wives. Annual membership dues are $10, payable at the breakfast. Those interested in attending this meeting must make reservations with Harold Snider before Friday, July 2. Contact him at (301) 460-4142 or by e-mail at <hsnider@concentric.net>.

It is important that we have a good turnout at this year's meeting because the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Georgia has been invited to speak, along with the Sovereign Grand Inspector General of the Scottish Rite Temple of Georgia and the Imperial Potentate of the Shrine Temple in Atlanta. Other speakers are being considered. We must continue to convince our colleagues in Masonry not to discriminate against us on the ground of blindness.

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What Your Mother Couldn't Tell You

by Barbara Pierce

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For Teens Only: Are you interested in meeting other blind young women? Do you want to learn about fashion, flirting, dating, and other issues faced by blind young women? Do you want to become more assertive, a self-advocate, an action-oriented person? Do you want to learn about tips for putting on make-up, choosing clothes, cooking an elegant meal, or keeping track of your own stuff? Do you want to meet blind role models? Then come to the discussion group on Wednesday, June 30.

For sometime now the Committee on the Status of Blind Women of the North America/Caribbean Region of the World Blind Union has been discussing ways blind adults might help steady the transition for blind kids from childhood to adulthood. Adolescence is hard on everybody, but some of the pressures facing blind teens are unique to their situation. Two years ago blind women gathered to discuss some of these issues in an effort to see how we might help young women move through these difficult years more successfully than many of us did. A number of women are interested in continuing these discussions and developing ways of working personally with groups of teens.

At this year's convention Dr. Sharon Sacks, assistant superintendent of the California School for the Blind, and I will conduct a discussion for young women ages thirteen to eighteen on Wednesday afternoon, June 30, from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. This will be a chance for some honest talk and the exchange of useful information. Dr. Sacks has developed instructional materials for adults working with blind teens and has a good deal of experience working directly with teens themselves.

The pre-convention agenda will list the location of this discussion. It will begin after the lunch provided for teens in the youth program that day. All blind and visually impaired young women between thirteen and eighteen, whether or not they have signed up for the youth activities, are welcome to join this discussion. Preliminary plans are being made for a similar group that afternoon for young men. Consult the pre-convention agenda for information.

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Writers Division

by Tom Stevens

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Best-selling authors, motivational speakers, newspaper reporters, and television anchor men have been among the featured speakers at workshops presented by the Writers Division of the National Federation of the Blind. Our 1999 seminar/workshop will convene at 1:30 p.m. on June 30, 1999, in Atlanta at the convention hotel. Everyone is invited to attend. We will charge a nominal fee of $5, unless we get a speaker of note who desires to be highly paid.

These presentations have been personal, revealing, entertaining, humorous, and somewhat instructional. It is our belief that, whether you are a writer or not, the time spent listening to our speaker will be most pleasing. We always end with a question-and-answer session, so interaction is also a part of our program. Block out the time and prepare for a most stimulating experience with these guests.

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