Future Reflections        Convention Issue 2013

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Touch of Genius Prize for Innovation
National Braille Press
88 St. Stephen St.
Boston, MA 02115
Contact: Kimberley Ballard, (617) 266-6160, Ext. 437
[email protected]
Application Deadline: January 9, 2014

The Touch of Genius Prize for Innovation was developed to inspire an innovator to continue the promotion of Braille literacy for blind and deaf-blind people worldwide. Twenty thousand dollars will be granted for professional software and apps, educational software and apps, gaming software or apps that promote tactile and Braille learning, and Braille or tactile-related hardware. Whatever your idea—whether a tactile-based technology project, a viable Braille teaching software, a way to inspire preschool Braille learners through tactile hardware, or Braille hardware for the community—NBP wants to hear from you. The Touch of Genius Prize has attracted innovators from all over the world in the fields of education, technology, engineering, tactile graphics, and general literacy. The prize offers a direct and compelling incentive for researchers, teachers, and to support literacy efforts for blind people. The prize is provided through the generosity of the Gibney Family Foundation, which supports nonprofit organizations that are dedicated to assisting the blind and those who are otherwise challenged.


National Federation of the Blind 2014 Scholarship Program
[email protected]
NFB Scholarship Program
200 East Wells Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21230
(410) 659-9314, extension 2415
Deadline: March 31, 2014

Are you a legally blind college student living in the United States or Puerto Rico? This annual program offers 30 scholarships worth from $3,000 to $12,000 to eligible students, from high school seniors beginning their freshman year in the fall semester of 2014, up through grad students working on their PhD.  These merit scholarships are based on academic excellence, community service, and leadership. In addition to the money, each winner will receive assistance to attend the summer 2014 NFB National Convention in Orlando, Florida, providing an excellent opportunity for high-level networking with active blind persons in many different professions and occupations.  To apply, read the rules and the submission checklist, complete the official 2014 Scholarship Application Form (online or in print), supply all required documents, and request and complete one interview by an NFB affiliate president (unless the president requests a later date). Applications are accepted for five months, from November 1, 2013, to the deadline.

Learning Ally Scholastic Achievement Awards
Learning Ally
20 Roszel Rd.
Princeton, NJ 08540
Contact: (800) 221-4792
Application Deadline:  March 1, 2014

Each year Learning Ally presents scholarships to college and graduate students who are blind or have learning disabilities. Nine Mary P. Oenslager Scholastic Achievement Awards are given to Learning Ally members who are legally blind. Three Top Winners each will receive $6,000, three Special Honors Winners will each receive $3,000, and three Honors Winners will receive $1,000 each. Learning Ally offers six Marion Huber Learning Through Listening Awards to students with learning disabilities. The William L. Ritchie LTL Award in the amount of $1,000 is presented to a student in the Washington DC metropolitan area who is legally blind or has learning disabilities. Applications for all of these awards can be submitted online or by mail.


One Stop Shopping Initiative for NASA Internships, Fellowships, and Scholarships (OSSI: Nifs)
FAQs: <https://intern.nasa.gov/ossi/web/faq/index.cfm?sub_action=>view>
Online Summer Session Application: <http://intern.nasa.gov>
Ages: Sixteen and up
Deadline: May 31, 2014

The National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA) offers a variety of internship opportunities for high school and college students year round. Interns may work for six to eight weeks at any of the numerous NASA facilities throughout the country. NASA is committed to diversity, and students with disabilities are encouraged to apply. The OSSI Summer Session application period is open from November 1, 2013, through May 31, 2014. Applications for year-round internships may be submitted at any time.

Leading the Way
Contact: Janie Welsh, [email protected]
Ages: Fifteen to nineteen
Application Deadline: November 22, 2013

Developed in partnership with renowned blind mountaineer Erik Weihenmayer, Leading the Way unites students of mixed abilities on incredible adventures. Participants learn the adaptive skills necessary to fulfill their roles as members of a diverse team striving to reach a common goal. In the summer of 2014 Leading the Way Sound Academy will take students who are blind, visually impaired, or sighted on an unforgettable rafting adventure on the Colorado River through Grand Canyon National Park. Another program, Leading the Way Grand Canyon, will be available to students who are deaf, hard of hearing, or hearing-abled.


2014 NFB Youth Writing Contest
Contact: Robert Leslie Newman
504 S. 57th St.
Omaha, NE 68106
[email protected]
Deadline: April 1, 2014

The NFB Writers Division is again holding a writing contest to promote Braille literacy and excellence in creative writing. Entries will be judged on creativity and quality of Braille. Submissions must be written in contracted Braille unless the student has yet to learn the full system. There are categories for fiction and poetry at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. Cash prizes of $30, $20, and $10 will be awarded in each category. Fiction entries may not exceed one thousand words, and poetry may not exceed twenty lines. Entries must be accompanied by a cover letter with the student's name, address, phone, email address, school, and grade. Each entrant must provide an electronic copy of the cover letter and story or poem. Send the hardcopy and electronic versions to Robert Leslie Newman at the mailing address and email address above, respectively.

Employment Archive
Contest: <http://blindhow.com/posts/41#content>
Contact: Mike Harvey, [email protected]
Submission Deadline: March 30, 2014

BlindHow will hold a drawing for an iPad Mini at the state convention of the NFB of Utah in May 2014. If you are blind and working anywhere in the world, you may enter by submitting a post on the BlindHow website, telling about your job and how you do it. It is BlindHow's mission to educate the blind and sighted public about the capabilities of blind people by demonstrating how the blind succeed in the workforce. The posts on the website will be available to anyone who wants to learn about the kinds of jobs blind people do. You need not be an NFB member or present to win.


NFB 2014 Washington Seminar
Location: Holiday Inn Capitol, Washington DC
Hotel Reservations: [email protected]
January 27 – 30, 2014

The National Federation of the Blind's 2014 Washington Seminar will be held on Monday, January 27, through January 30, 2014. As in previous years, it will be held at the Holiday Inn Capitol at 550 C Street SW, Washington DC 20024. The Great Gathering In will begin Monday afternoon at 5:00 p.m. in the Columbia Room on the first floor of the Holiday Inn Capitol and will adjourn at 7:00 p.m. Legislative appointments should be made for Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday in the Senate and House office buildings. Meetings for NFB members to review the legislative progress and provide guidance will occur Tuesday and Wednesday evenings. Room rates at the Holiday Inn Capitol are $177 for single, double, triple, or quad rooms with a 14.5% tax per night.  Please do not contact the hotel to make your reservations.  To make your reservation, you may call (303) 778-1130, extension 219, or you may email Lisa Bonderson at [email protected]. Room reservations must be made by December 17, 2013. If you wish to have room space for meetings prior to or during the seminar, please have those requests in to Lisa Bonderson by December 17, 2013.

AFB Leadership Conference
Location: New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge
Hotel Reservations: (888) 436-3759
February 27-March 1, 2014
Registration is now open for "Your Bridge to the Future," the 2014 leadership conference sponsored by the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB). Sessions will focus on technology, leadership, employment, education, orientation and mobility, and rehabilitation.


Douglas Society
Douglas College
New Brunswick, NJ

In October 2013, Carol Castellano, author, advocate, teacher, and cofounder of Parents of Blind children-New Jersey, was inducted into the Douglas Society. Induction into the society is the highest honor that Douglas College, Carol's alma mater, bestows upon an alumna. Carol serves as director of programs for the National Organization of Parents of Blind Children (NOPBC), and she is president emerita of both the NOPBC and POBC-NJ. She is the author of four books and numerous articles about the education of blind children. Her books include Making It Work: Educating the Blind/Visually Impaired Student in the Regular School and Getting Ready for College Begins in Third Grade: Working toward an Independent Future for Your Young Blind Child.

"Electro Man" Stamp
(800) 234-8672

In September 2013, the United Nations recognized the work of six artists with disabilities in a series of stamps called "Breaking Barriers, Opening Doors." One stamp features "Electro Man," a photograph by Pete Eckert, a blind photographer from Sacramento, California. UN stamps can be used to post letters from United Nations offices in New York, Geneva, and Vienna.


Dr. Abraham Nemeth (1918-2013)

On October 2, 2013, the blind community lost a gifted thinker and powerful ally with the passing of Dr. Abraham Nemeth. He died at his home in Southfield, Michigan, at the age of ninety-four. Dr. Nemeth invented the Nemeth Braille Code for Mathematics and Scientific Notation and was a lifelong champion of Braille. NFB President Marc Maurer stated, "Dr. Nemeth had a great mind and a wonderful sense of humor. His invention of the Braille code that bears his name has enabled many blind people to learn, work, and excel in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, and his tireless Braille advocacy work undoubtedly changed countless lives. He will be sorely missed, and his contributions will be valued by generations to come." His book is available as an ebook at <www.brailleauthority.org/mathscience/nemeth1972.pdf>.

Dr. Lilli Nielsen (1926 – 2013)

Dr. Lilli Nielsen, a pioneer in the teaching of blind and multiply disabled children, died on June 24, 2013, in Kolding, Denmark. She worked as a preschool teacher, a psychologist, and a teacher of blind students. She is best known for developing Active Learning, a teaching method that encourages children to move and explore on their own. She developed numerous pieces of equipment for working with young blind children, including the Little Room and the Resonance Board. Among her books are Space and Self, The Comprehending Hand, and Are You Blind? Her books and equipment are available at <www.lilliworks.com>.

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