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Monitor Miniatures

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The Personal Organizer That Does It All:

Parrot Plus v3 is the third generation of Parrot pocket-size, voice-activated and -operated Organizers. It weighs 5.3 ounces and is .7 inches thick.

It uses the latest digital data storage and speech-recognition technologies to provide a talking organizer with a wide range of features. You can retrieve phone numbers and addresses by speaking a name and perform speak-to-dial functions from most phones. It also features a digital note taker, a vocal appointment book with reminder, a talking alarm clock, and a talking calculator.

Parrot Plus v3 is specifically adapted to the blind and visually impaired. It now has the following improvements:

* The default mode is set to accessibility. You don't have to go to the Control Panel to activate spoken menus and prompts when you get started the first time.

* All functions are spoken as you select them.

* The Control Panel options and settings all speak.

* Double clicking on the side click from the Control Panel speaks the amount of free memory.

* All digits are spoken as you type them in

* In the Calculator function operators and numbers are spoken as you type them.

Parrot Plus v3 is powered by four AAA batteries for a few months. No charger required. Parrot Plus v3 still costs only $200 from the NFB's Materials Center. Our entire supply of Parrot Plus units has been up-graded to version 3. According to those who have used it, it is an immensely helpful organizer. Get yours while the supply lasts.

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Simply Talker Screen-Reader Available:

We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

Econonet International's Simply Talker 98 Screen Access for Windows 95 and Windows 98 has never been so affordable. This screen reader has a Smart-Tracking feature that reads with a human-like voice what the user is doing on the screen. It allows access to the Windows 95/98 desktop and provides ample support for thirty-two-bit applications using Microsoft's Active Accessibility API. It also enables access to the Internet with its very own talking Web browser, Simply Web 98.

Simply Talker 98 includes a U.S. English software speech synthesizer, which works through your existing sound card. A hardware synthesizer can also be used. Program requires 486 or better IBM-compatible computer, sixteen-megabyte RAM, Windows 95 or 98, and a sixteen-bit sound card or an SSIL/SAPI compliant synthesizer. Simply Web 98 requires Microsoft's Internet Explorer 3.02 or higher. Price: $50.

In addition to the U.S. English synthesizer, the International version includes one of the following ETI-Eloquence software synthesizers: French, Castilian Spanish, Mexican Spanish, German, Italian, and UK English. Price: $75.

For more information visit our Web site at <http://www.econointl.com/>.

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New Web Browser:

We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

EconoNet International announces the release of its free talking Web browser, Simply Web 98, which can be used in stand-alone mode because it includes a software synthesizer. It can also be used with a screen reader since it is speech friendly. It is 100% accessible when used in conjunction with our screen reader, Simply Talker 98. This Web browser uses Internet Explorer 3.02 or greater. However, optimum performance and accessibility are achieved when using it with Internet Explorer 4.01. If you have installed or purchased our latest screen reader, Simply Talker 98, you do not need to download and install this Web browser because it comes bundled with the program.

For more information or to download a copy of your free talking Web browser, go to <http://www.econointl.com/>, and follow the link that points to Simply Web 98.

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Elected:

The Capital Chapter of the NFB of Pennsylvania recently elected new officers. They are Fred Leader, President; Jerry Handel, Vice President; Cindy Handel, Secretary; Ann Leader, Treasurer; and Chris Boone, Norma Flinchbaugh, and Nick Peters, Board Members.

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Stamps Labeled in Braille:

We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

As members of the community that's the home of the Alabama School for the Blind, we at the Talladega, Alabama, Post Office take great pride in offering a new service to all sight-impaired customers. We are now selling stamps by mail with Braille labeling. Each book or coil comes with a Braille label attached indicating the value of the stamps and the number of stamps purchased. We also offer, free of charge, a retail products list printed in Braille. This list includes padded mailing bags, manila envelopes, mailing tape, etc. To order a free retail products list or to order stamps with Braille labeling, send a check or money order to Stamps with Braille, 127 East Street, North, Talladega, Alabama 35160-9998.

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Elected:

During the January, 1999, meeting of the Seattle Chapter of the NFB of Washington annual elections were conducted. The new officers are Dan Frye, President; Rita Szantay, First Vice President; Stephanie Yates, Second Vice President; Renee West, Secretary; Gary Deeter, Treasurer; and Ben Prows and Yelana Semenyuk, Board Members.

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Photo of Bruce Gardner pinning

a U.S. flag lapel pin on Gus ortiz's collar.
NFB of Arizona President Bruce Gardner (left) pins a U.S. flag lapel pin on Gus Ortiz's collar (right).

New American Citizen:

We are delighted to pass along the following report from Bruce Gardner, President of the NFB of Arizona:

Gustavo (Gus) Ortiz of Chandler, Arizona, was sworn in as a new American citizen on February 5, 1999. Gus is an active member of the NFB of Arizona's East Valley Chapter. He attended his first National Convention in 1996 in Anaheim, and he has come to each one since. Gus will be starting training in the Business Enterprises Program soon. Congratulations, Gus.

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Elected:

The Columbia Chapter of the NFB of Missouri has elected new officers for 1999. They are Debbie Houchen, President; Bill Neal, Vice President; Carol Coulter, Treasurer; Tom Stevens, Secretary; and June Homan, Historian.

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For Sale:

We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

Braille 'n Speak 640 for sale, carrying case, charger, and connecting cable, no flash. Asking $700, negotiable. Call Kathy, (617) 969-3496, between 6:00 and 9:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time.

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International Music Competitions:

We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

Czech Blind United announces the eighth International Competition of the Blind and Partially Sighted Music Composers and the ninth International Competition of the Blind and Partially Sighted Musicians.

The music composers competition is open to living blind and partially sighted music composers from all countries of the world. There is no age limit. In order to be accepted, compositions should be submitted by October 15, 1999, International White Cane Day. The competition for musicians is open to any blind or partially sighted musician between sixteen and twenty-three years of age. The preliminary registration form must be submitted no later than May 31, 1999, and the completed, obligatory registration form should be submitted no later than October 31, 1999. For detailed information regarding both competitions, contact SONS (Czech Blind United), Competition Secretariat, Karlinske namesti 12, 186 03 Praha 8, Czech Republic, phone +420 2 2427 7393, fax +420 2 2481 8398, e-mail <sons_zahr@braillnet.cz>. [The "e" of namesti needs a breve mark over it, but I could not find a Control-V command for it in WP.]

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Elected:

At its November 20, 1998, meeting, the Johnson County Chapter of the NFB of Kansas elected new officers. They are Carol Clark, President; Susie Stanzel, Vice President; John Thompson, Treasurer; Jeff Frye, Recording Secretary; and Don Payne, Corresponding Secretary.

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Business Reference in Braille and Large Print:

We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

The American Institute of Small Business announces the availability of its best-selling two-volume set of books entitled How to Set Up Your Own Small Business, in both Braille and large print. The new text is like an encyclopedia for starting and operating a small business.

The book contains examples and case studies. Subjects include choosing the right business, financing and where to go for funding, writing the business plan, advertising, public relations, site selection, franchising, legal considerations, bookkeeping, computer applications, sources of supply, sales and sales forecasting, home-based business, and more.

For information write or call the American Institute of Small Business, 7515 Wayzata Boulevard, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55426, (800) 328-2906.

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For Sale:

We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

DecTalk Express, hardly used, comes complete with driver software, $600 or best offer. Also for sale, JAWS for Windows 3.1, hardly used, comes with manuals, $400 or best offer. Contact Paul Amirian at <hkr@flash.net>.

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Goin' Fishing:

We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

The Helen Keller Fishing Club is now scheduling trips aboard boats for the 1999 season from ports along the North and South Shores of Long Island. The club is entering its fifty-first season and is the only deep-sea fishing club in the United States for men and women who are blind, visually impaired, or deaf-blind.

If you are interested in accompanying this unique club for a day of fishing and relaxation or want more information on becoming a member, contact Walter Bach at Helen Keller Services for the Blind, 57 Willoughby Street, Brooklyn, New York 11201, or call (718) 522-2122.

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For Sale:

We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

I am selling a Fast Charge Braille 'n Speak 640 for $800 and a Fast Charge Disk Drive for $200. The Braille 'n Speak contains the July, 1996, software revision. Both items are in great condition and come with a full array of hardware and software accessories, as well as the $50 Blazie Checkbook Program--no extra charge. Moreover, if you make your purchase during the month of April, I'll arrange to have the Braille 'n Speak updated on my nickel. You won't find another deal like this anywhere, so get it while it's hot. For more information contact Jason Farrar at 2711 Wilton Drive, Cambria, California 93428, Phone: (805) 927-0193, E-mail: <jfarrar@thegrid.net>.

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Interactive Training CD for Windows 95:

We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

NavigAide is a fully interactive training CD developed by the Bartimaeus Group to teach visually impaired people the basics of Windows 95. It contains between ten and twelve hours of training and is fully interactive, monitoring the keyboard activity of the user to provide feedback when mistakes are made. Its other major features include a bookmark, a go-to-page feature, variable speeds at which the courses can be played, a page-number command, and more. For more information on NavigAide contact the Bartimaeus group by phone at (703) 442-5023, on the World-Wide Web at <www.bartsite.com>, or by regular mail at Bartimaeus Group, 1481 Chain Bridge Road, Suite 100, McLean, Virginia 22101.

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Halt!:

Monitor readers who have been sending Braille for use abroad to 4433 7th Avenue, Sacramento, California 95820 are requested to stop. The recipients are now overwhelmed with the response and cannot handle more.

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Braille Books and Equipment Needed:

The National Institute for the Disabled of Bhutan seeks items for its library. Readers are encouraged to donate Braille materials in good condition in English with preference to novels, current events, popular magazines and periodicals, children's books, short stories, biographies, autobiographies, and books on Buddhism.

Also needed are Perkins Braillers, cassette recorders, talking book players/recorders, talking watches, talking calculators, slates and styluses, and white canes. The receipt of your gift will be acknowledged. Send items marked non-commercial to The National Institute for the Disabled, Khaling, P.O. Khaling, Bhutan.

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Information Needed:

Kristine Watkins recently wrote with the following inquiry:

Some years ago I bought a very nice little cassette recorder that played NLS-recorded books. I would like to know how to get another. It played and recorded on four tracks and had both speakers and ear phones. It was a truly user-friendly machine. Its most notable characteristic was that it required FIVE AA batteries. If you can identify this machine, please write to Kristine Watkins, 208 Bay Avenue, Cape Charles, Virginia 23310, call (757) 331-3111, or e-mail <kristinewatkins@erols.com>.

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Elected:

The Austin Chapter of the NFB of Texas elected new officers at its January meeting. They are Zena Pearcy, President; Wanda Hamm, First Vice President; Mary Ward, Second Vice President; Norma Gonzales Baker, Secretary; and Margaret (Cokie) Craig, Treasurer. Board Members are Mike Waddles and Diane Domingue.

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Materials Needed:

We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

Fundacion Mundo Opportunidades (World Foundation of Opportunities) collects, refurbishes, and distributes materials for disabled children and adults in Costa Rica. This organization was started in 1998 by the First Lady of Costa Rica, Lorena Clare de Rodriquez. This is a nonprofit organization and will continue to function in succeeding administrations.

Materials needed include canes, slates and styluses, rulers and measuring tapes, abacuses, Braille writers, walkers, Braille paper, and visual aids. Please mail all donations to Despacho De La Primera Dama, Ministerio De La Presidencia, (Fundacion Mundo De Opportunidades) Casa Presidencia, Apartado 520-Zapote, Costa Rica, Central America.

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New Chapter:

The Dane County Chapter of the National Federation of the Blind of Wisconsin was recently re-established. Newly elected officers are President, Jim McCarthy; Vice President, Jodi Cowle; Secretary, Melissa Lehman; and Treasurer, Dave Ballman.

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New Hadley Course Catalog Available:

We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

The Hadley School for the Blind has just published a new edition of its course catalog. Available in large print and Braille and on audiocassette or computer disk, the catalog describes ninety-one courses offered to blind individuals. All courses are offered through distance education and are completely free of charge. Contact The Hadley School for the Blind, 700 Elm Street, Winnetka, Illinois 60093-0299, (847) 446-8111, or fax (847) 446-9916.

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For Sale:

Crystal McClain, President of the parents division of the NFB of Ohio, asks us to carry the following announcement:

The Parents of Blind Children of Ohio offer the following items for sale:

We are accepting orders for rhinestone NFB and guide dog pins. These pins are of high quality and are selling like hotcakes for $8.50 each, which includes shipping. The NFB pin consists of the letters NFB in clear rhinestones. The letters are approximately one-half inch high. The guide dog pins are clear rhinestones that make the outline of a dog's head. The pins are suitable for both men and women to wear to NFB banquets and on other dressy occasions. We also have Cane Walk T-shirts for sale. The shirt has two stick figures on the front (an adult and a child) both using canes. Above the picture in large letters are the words, "Take a Hike!" Under the picture it says "Annual White Cane Walk Sponsored by the Parents Division of Blind Children." The back of the shirt has a cane in a diagonal position with the message: The Long White Cane: a necessary tool for a blind kid to achieve independence, acceptance, safety, and a future! The shirts are available in royal purple with white lettering in the following sizes: youth: 10-12 or 14-16; adult: large, XL, or XXL. We also have bright yellow shirts with white lettering in youth sizes only: youth: 6-8, 10-12, and 14-16. The shirts are $12, including shipping. Send your order and a check made payable to Parents of Blind Children of Ohio, 1070 Twp Rd 181, Bellefontaine, Ohio 43311. For more information call (937) 599-5782 or e-mail <mcclain@loganrec.com>.

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Business Opportunity:

We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

An online shopping center making available electronically the goods and services of such well-known companies as Land's End, L.L. Bean, Hammacher-Schlemmer, Cabella, Rubbermaid, Kellogg, Franklin-Covey, Panasonic, New Balance, Botany, and a host of others. Electronic commerce is growing, and you can become a distributor by signing up now. Contact Kenneth A. Gatteys, Gatteys Enterprises, 5022 Highridge, Garland, Texas 75043, (972) 682-0269.

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Craft Books Available:

We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

I have compiled a wide selection of knitting, crochet, and cooking books at reasonable prices. They include several knitting afghan and blanket books, potpourri, sweaters for both adults and children, wash cloths, several books with hats, gloves, scarves, mittens, slippers, knit and crochet toys, knit and crochet baby shower books and lots more. Among the recipe books are Meals Across the Miles, several three-ingredient cookbooks, Lipton mix cookbook, and cookies galore. I have also started a general section which has to date a book of poetry and also one which is called Kitchen Cupboard Remedies.

If you are interested in any of these or wish to receive a catalog, please write to Marjorie Arnott, 1446 North Coronado Street, Chandler, Arizona 85224-7824, or call (408) 345-8773. You can also find my catalog on my home page at <http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~rowan/marjorie-crafts.html>.

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New York School for the Blind Reunion Announcement:

The Alumni Association of the New York State School for the Blind will hold its annual reunion in Batavia the weekend of June 11 to 13, 1999. We are looking forward to finding new members or people who have not renewed membership for a long time. If you ever went to our school, even if you did not graduate, you are eligible. If you can't come to the reunion, we invite you to join our Association. Dues are $5 per year and allow you to get the annual bulletin. Send checks to Alumni Association NYSSB. For more information contact Sukosh Fearon, 501 Broad Street, Oneida, New York 13421.

We are also producing two lists for alumni association members. One will contain all e-mail addresses for members who are online. The other will contain all ham calls of members. If we get enough participants, we will have Braille copies of each list at the reunion. To be on either list, contact Tim Hendel, 3619 Patton Road, Apartment 15, Huntsville, Alabama 35805, (256) 512-9988, or e-mail <tim@hiwaay.net>.

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Invitation to a Reception and Dance:

Members of the National Federation of the Blind of Kentucky cordially invite you to join us in Louisville for a gala celebration in the Galt House Hotel Ballroom from 7:00 p.m. to midnight on May 8. This wonderful evening is free of charge, except for the cash bar. An orchestra will play big-band music for your listening and dancing pleasure, and free food will be available for your enjoyment. We hope some of our Federation friends will come help us celebrate the successes of outstanding blind individuals and the progress made toward elevating the status of the blind during the twentieth century.

Short tributes will be given by dignitaries from the University of Louisville, the Kentucky School for the Blind, and the American Printing House for the Blind. If you are wondering what triggered this wonderful celebration and why we chose the eighth day of May, Dr. Marc Maurer, our own NFB President, is receiving the degree of Doctor of Laws (Honoris Causa) from the University of Louisville earlier in the day. So naturally we want to celebrate. Y'all come!

For more information call NFB of Kentucky President Betty Niceley after 5:00 p.m. EDT or weekends at (502) 897-2632.

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NFB PLEDGE

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I pledge to participate actively in the effort of the National Federation of the Blind to achieve equality, opportunity, and security for the blind; to support the policies and programs of the Federation; and to abide by its constitution.