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 2000 Convention, July 2 through 8. 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 Monday, July 3. The convention agenda will contain listings of all events taking place beginning that day.
The Agricultural and Equestrian Interest Group
by Fred Chambers
Do you like animals? Do you enjoy eating foods fresh from the garden? Ever wondered about running a ranch of your own? Then you're welcome to join the Agriculture and Equestrian Interest Group! Come share your stories with us at our meeting on the evening of Tuesday, July 4. Get advice from the pros, and get the inside scoop on government programs helping the blind start careers in agriculture.
Simply contact us in any format: e-mail, <[email protected]>, telephone (760) 505‑8500, mail to Agricultural & Equestrian Interest Group, 3510 Bedford Circle, Carlsbad, California 92008.
Contact us right away. We can help match you with compatible roommates, and invite you to join any Atlanta farm tours!
The Blind Merchants Association
by Donald Morris
Once again the Blind erchants 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, where we will be 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.
Finally, our annual business meeting will occur from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, July 4. Sheldon Berman, CPA, a Partner in Rosen, Sapperstein & Friedlander, Chartered (management consultants and certified public accountants), will speak to us about tax strategies and estate planning. I look forward to seeing you all in Atlanta--come early, stay late.
Blind Professional Journalists
by Liz Campbell and Bryan Bashin
The Blind Professional Journalists group is planning an exciting, informative meeting at convention that you don't want to miss. Our meeting will take place Tuesday, July 4, from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. Consult your convention agenda for our meeting
If you are a student interested in pursuing a career in either print or broadcast journalism or if you want to make a career change, this meeting is an excellent opportunity to meet blind people who are working journalists. We will have interesting speakers and discussion topics, so please come and learn.
Make sure to check upcoming issues of the Braille Monitor for announcements concerning other journalism‑related activities during Convention. We have some exciting possibilities, including a tour of CNN and a dinner for those involved in the Blind Professional Journalists group.
If you have additional questions, please feel free to call Elizabeth Campbell evenings at (817) 738‑0350 or Bryan Bashin at (916) 441‑4096.
Four NFB campers play in the
tent they have constructed in the NFB
Catherine Jacobson works on a puzzle in NFB
Camp while new friends help and look on.
NFB Camp: It's More than Child's Play
by Carla McQuillan
During convention week children between the ages of six weeks and twelve years are invited to join in the fun and festivities of NFB Camp. It offers more than just child care. It is an opportunity for our blind and sighted children to meet and develop lifelong friendships. Our activities schedule is filled with games, crafts, and special performances designed to entertain, educate, and delight. If you are interested in this year's program, please complete and return the registration form below. Registration by June 15 is required for participation in NFB Camp.
About the staff: NFB Camp is organized and supervised by Carla McQuillan. Carla is the Executive Director of Main Street Montessori Association, operating two schools, parent education courses, and a teacher training program. Carla is the mother of two children, the President of the National Federation of the Blind of Oregon, and a Member of the Board of Directors of the National Federation of the Blind. Michelle Ros is this year's activities director for NFB Camp. Michelle is a Montessori teacher employed by Main Street Montessori Association. Carla and Michelle will supervise a staff of experienced teachers recruited from Head Start, Catholic Schools, and Montessori programs in the Atlanta area.
Activities and Special Events: The children are divided into groups according to age: infants and toddlers, preschoolers, and school-aged children. Each camp room is equipped with a variety of age-appropriate toys, games, and books. In addition, there will be daily art projects prepared by Corrine Vieville, an NFB member and former scholarship winner. We will sing, dance, and play instruments with blind singer/songwriter Daniel Lamonds. The Atlanta Center for Puppetry Arts is providing the Puppet Trunk, a trunkload of puppets and props for the children's own shows. The National Association of Guide Dog Users will be making a presentation, blind teens will come in to read stories in Braille, and the children will make excursions to the mall for ice cream and snacks.
Banquet Night: NFB Camp will provide dinner and a show during the banquet. The Center for Puppetry Arts is sending over a troupe of puppeteers to perform "Folk Tales from Around the World." The pizza party begins at 7:00 p.m. and the puppet show at 7:30 p.m. The cost for the banquet activities is included in the weekly fee for camp, or $15 per child for those attending part time. Camp is for children twelve and under.
NFB Camp will be open during general convention sessions, division and committee meeting day, and banquet evening. Plenty of teens are always available to babysit during evening and lunch-time meetings. The schedule this year will be as follows:
Sunday, July 2, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (you are responsible for lunch)
Monday, July 3, Camp is closed
Tuesday, July 4, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (you are responsible for lunch)
Wednesday, July 5, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Thursday, July 6, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Friday, July 7, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.; 1:30 to 5:30 p.m.; and banquet
Saturday, July 8, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 to 5:30 p.m.
These times may vary, depending on the timing of the actual convention sessions. NFB Camp will open thirty minutes before the beginning gavel and close thirty minutes after session recess.
Fees: for the entire week (including banquet), first child, $80, second child, $60. By the day (does not include banquet), each child, $20, banquet, $15.
NFB Camp Pre-registration Form
Return no later than June 15, 2000
Please print or type:
City, State, Zip ________________________________________________
Include description of any disabilities we should know about.
Include description of any disabilities we should know about.
Include description of any disabilities we should know about.
Include description of any disabilities we should know about.
$80 first child, $60 siblings (includes banquet) $_________
$20 per child per day, # of days _____ $_________
Banquet Fee: $15 per child $_________
Total Due $_________
Completed pre-registration form and fee must be received by June 15, 2000.
Make checks payable to NFB of Oregon and mail to National Federation of the Blind of Oregon, 5005 Main Street, Springfield, Oregon 97478, (541) 726-6924.
The Committee on Associates
by Tom Stevens
The Associates Committee will meet on the evening of July 4 as listed in the convention agenda. We will give attention to the results of the 2000 contest year. This program has existed since 1979. I heard the first proposal at the National Board meeting in a room at the Iowa Commission for the Blind in Des Moines that year. I was an observer. Everyone in the room pledged to get a few associates. My pledge was two, and I met it. I climbed progressively, learning from my associates that they were curious, impressed, and often quite glad to be invited to participate. I also learned that they had a far more positive perspective as a result of becoming members-at-large.
Each of us has the opportunity to influence those around us regarding their perception of blindness. I submit that it is our obligation to do so. If we do not, then we simply encourage the existing misconceptions to continue. In fact, we have absolutely no reason to complain. Keep in mind that prevention is a wonderfully economical tool.
Numerous folks tell me that they forget about recruiting associates. But do we forget to stop at a stop light? So, let's come to the committee meeting armed with the knowledge that we've done our share--no, lots more. And to those who do, I for one express appreciation. By the way, be sure to get your associates ribbon early.
by Jerry Whittle
We invite all state affiliate newsletter editors and other interested people to attend this informative meeting. Brainstorming new ideas, laying out your newsletter, using the best font possible, and writing with good grammar and punctuation are just some of the topics we will discuss Tuesday evening, July 4, at 8:00 p.m. If you have an interest in preparing good publications for the organization, don't miss it.
Jaime Fradera and Doug
Trimbel talk using a
by Joseph Naulty
Two Deaf-Blind Division meetings will take place at convention this year, and each will be three hours in length. The first will be on Sunday, July 2, from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m. The second will be on Wednesday, July 5, from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m. Registration will begin at 6:30.
Here is what you can expect to find.
* Susan Brooks Lascek, regional representative of the Helen Keller National Center
* Keynote speaker: Sandra L.H. Davenport, M.D., medical geneticist, specializing in deaf-blindness, Minneapolis, Minnesota
* Elaine Ducharme, consumer facilitator, Northwestern Connecticut Community Technical College, Winstead, Connecticut
* Annual general business meeting
Since this is an even‑numbered year, elections will be held for the entire board.
* Several panel discussions, including perspectives on deaf‑blindness from three members of the NFB Board of Directors and higher education and the deaf‑blind
* Presentation on medical information in alternative formats.
Again this year we are pleased to offer FM systems (receivers only) to those who may need them during general sessions and the annual banquet; however, we would like to announce some changes from last year's procedures. This year we will ask everyone to provide the following information as well as a $25 deposit, which will be returned to you upon return of the FM unit in good working condition, at or before the conclusion of the final convention general session.
When you pick up your FM system, we will be asking you for (1) name of hotel in which you are staying and room number; (2) your state, name, postal mailing address, and home phone number; (3) cash or certified check in the amount of $25. Certified checks must be made payable to the National Federation of the Blind, Deaf‑Blind Division. Time and place of equipment checkout and return will be announced.
If you currently have your own equipment, please make sure your unit can be set to channel 36 because this is the broadcast frequency we will be using during general sessions and the banquet. If you have listening equipment but it is not currently able to receive channel 36, please contact Kimberly Johnson, Treasurer of the division, at (303) 765‑1307 or (800) 401‑0632. She will be able to provide you with information about possible funding sources for the needed crystal.
Questions or suggestions regarding the deaf-blind convention program should be directed to Joseph Naulty, President, Deaf-Blind Division, 11943 Suellen Circle, Wellington, Florida 33414, (561) 753-4700, or e-mail: <[email protected]>.
As we prepare for the 2000 National Convention, it is also time to remind everyone that $5 annual dues should be mailed to Ms. Kimberly Johnson, Treasurer, Deaf-Blind Division, Colorado Center for the Blind, 1830 South Acoma Street, Denver, Colorado 80223.
For additional information, please see our Web page at<http://www.nfb‑db.org>, or send E‑mail to <[email protected]‑db.org>.
You can also contact Maurice Mines, First Vice President of the division, at <[email protected]‑db.org>.
Diabetes Action Network
by Ed Bryant
At the 2000 convention of the National Federation of the Blind in Atlanta, Georgia, our Diabetes Action Network will conduct its seminar and business meeting on Monday, July 3, from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. We will hear a presentation about a new talking device providing information on any prescription medication (insulin included).
Our keynote speaker will be dietitian and diabetes educator Brooks Kent, RD, CDE, who will discuss all phases of the healthy diabetic diet (healthy for non‑diabetics too). We will also hear from blind diabetic Bernadette Jacobs, who will share views of life, diabetes, and a humorous bus ride. An open panel discussion on diabetics in the workplace will also spark your interest.
Once again we will have our Make-the-President-Pay diabetes quiz game, and President Ed Bryant says he will give a nice donation to the Division for each right answer. Our seminar is free and open to the public. Its location will be posted in the agenda (provided when you register).
Human Services Division
by Doug Elliott
The Human Services Division will meet Tuesday afternoon, July 4. Many interesting discussions have occurred on the Human Services listserv this year. A number of questions have related to rehabilitation and to resources and information about psychotropic and other drugs commonly used by practitioners in the human services field. Some states are now licensing social workers and psychologists to prescribe these drugs.
As a result of these discussions, we will have a keynote speaker named Anthony Cobb, who worked in Iowa as a rehabilitation specialist under Dr. Jernigan and currently works at the National Center for the Blind as the director of Job Opportunities for the Blind. He helps blind people find jobs and at the same time works with staff at agencies serving the blind so that they do not feel their territory is being invaded. Tony will be an exciting and dynamic keynote speaker. Be there at 1:30 p.m., Tuesday, July 4, to hear the beginning of Tony's presentation.
Dr. Mark Stracks, a former NFB scholarship winner and tenBroek Fellow, will be presenting on new medications in the field of psychiatry. He is currently interning as a psychiatrist in Salt Lake City, Utah. We will have plenty of time for questions to Dr. Stracks and plenty of time for him to answer.
Sharon Omvig is a long‑time member of the National Federation of the Blind and worked for Dr. Jernigan when he was director of the Commission for the Blind in Iowa. She will be talking about how a person who has not lost his or her sight can still use the NFB message to enlighten himself or herself and also others who are blind. Many agency workers are sighted but do not know how to treat their blind clients as equals.
We will have many more guest speakers. Our meeting will be packed with information and good attitudes about blindness from the very first minute to the very last one. Don't miss any of them! Note: Please register so the division has your name and address; however, please note that no registration fees will be charged this year.
by Richard Ring
Are you one of those people who have thought about getting online but didn't know quite how to do it? Are your friends sending and receiving e-mail, surfing the Web, shopping online, and listening to Real Audio while you stand on the sidelines wishing that you knew how to put all of this stuff together? Do you want to learn more about shopping on the Internet at such well-known sites as amazon.com? If you answered any of these questions with a resounding "Yes!" then you will want to come to the Internet Seminar which will be held during the 2000 National Federation of the Blind convention in Atlanta.
Curtis Chong, Director of Technology for the National Federation of the Blind, and Richard Ring, Supervisor of the Federation's International Braille and Technology Center, both nationally- and internationally-recognized experts on technology for the blind, will talk about the Internet: how to get online, what to look for when selecting an Internet Service Provider (ISP), what works well with screen access technology on the Internet and what doesn't. In addition, the subject of online shopping will be discussed at length by Rick Fox, a technology consultant who has trained many people to shop on the Internet.
The date of the seminar is Sunday, July 2. The time is 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. The room location will be listed in your pre‑convention agenda.
This is an excellent opportunity for those of you who want to learn more about how a blind person can go online or how a blind person can benefit from the Internet. It should be emphasized that the seminar will cover a lot of very basic topics. This is not a seminar for skilled Internet surfers who have all the answers and only want an opportunity to swap information with fellow Internet surfers. Rather, it is intended for those who have not yet jumped into the fast-paced world of the Internet but who would if only they could be shown how.
The specific information that blind people want and need to get online is often hard to find. We promise that you will find it at the Internet Seminar on Sunday, July 2.
The Louisiana Center Play
The Eloquence of Courage
by Jerry Whittle
The Louisiana Center for the Blind Players present a play about Louis Braille and his lifelong struggle with tuberculosis. Louis must overcome many obstacles in order to keep his Braille code alive. Admission $5. All proceeds from this play go to the summer training program for blind children at the Louisiana Center for the Blind. Tuesday evening, July 4, is the date; consult the convention agenda for curtain times.
Come experience the hospitality of the Louisiana Center for the Blind. Following the play's final performance at nine o'clock, everyone is invited to celebrate with LCB students and staff members. Aside from the festivities, we will be on hand to answer any questions about the training we offer at our Center in Ruston, Louisiana. We hope to see you there.
The Masonic Square Club
by Harold Snider
The Square Club is a group of men and women within the NFB who are involved in Freemasonry. They may be members of any Masonic organization. For the past several years Square Club members have met for breakfast at National Conventions. This year's breakfast will take place at 8:00 a.m. on Wednesday, July 5, in a private meeting room at the Marriott Marquis Hotel. The exact location will be announced in the convention agenda. The cost of the breakfast is $25 per person. Payment will be collected at the breakfast. Reservations are required in order to attend this event.
Reservations must be made by June 30 in order to participate. There are no exceptions to this requirement. Contact Harold Snider at (301) 460‑4142, 3224 Beret Lane, Silver Spring, Maryland 20906, e‑mail <[email protected]> to make your reservation. Cancellations must also be received by June 30.
by Scott LaBarre
The National Association of Blind Lawyers will sponsor the third Annual Mock Trial at the 2000 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 Louisiana Dance Hall Case from the late 1980’'s in which four Federationists were arrested because they insisted upon using their canes and travelling on their own inside a local dance hall. This case was never tried to a jury because the criminal charges were dropped, but the mock trial will assume that the case eventually went the whole route. See your favorite Federation lawyers strut their legal stuff.
You, the audience, will serve as the Jury. This year's trial promises to be as entertaining and thought-provoking as the past trials. A nominal charge of $5 per person will benefit the National Association of Blind Lawyers. The trial will take place on Monday afternoon, July 3, at 4:30 p.m. somewhere in the convention hotel. Consult the convention agenda for the exact place.
Jennifer White sings a song
at the Showcase of Talent.
by Linda Mentink
The Music Division will again conduct its Showcase of Talent at this year's convention. It will take place on Wednesday evening, July 5. If you would like to participate in the Showcase, here are the guidelines: 1) Sign up no later than noon, Wednesday, July 5. 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 Monday evening, July 3. We are still working on agenda details, but you won't want to miss the meeting. This is an election year, so come and make your presence felt. 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.
National Association of the Blind
in Communities of Faith
by Robert Parrish
Believe it or not, it is time to plan for another convention. The National Association of the Blind in Communities of Faith (NABICF) is excited to be a part of it. As in recent years, the division will host a seminar for those who struggle with issues concerning religion and the blind. Several insightful speakers will be a part of our seminar, including Linda Mentink, President of the Music Division.
Division building will once again be emphasized at our seminar. If this division is to develop, and I firmly believe that it will, we must bring together a core group of people in each state to discuss problems that the blind have in church and synagogues and to communicate with various leaders about them. It could be that you are one such leader.
The theme of the NABICF seminar for this year is leading the way into the twenty-first century. I hope to see you at the seminar. Please check the convention agenda for time and location.
I am very excited about a new thing that NABICF will be doing at this year's convention. The division will be conducting a survey. Like many of you, I have personal thoughts about how blind people are portrayed in the religious world. Also like many of you, I have wondered if religion has sometimes harmed us more than helped us. Doing our own survey will help put such questions into perspective as well as confirm many of our instincts. The results of the survey will be compiled and sent to various religious leaders around the country. We hope that this survey will serve as a tool to educate those in the religious world about who we really are and to guide them about how to include more of us in that world. I encourage you to stop by the NABICF table in the exhibit hall during the convention and fill out a survey. You do not have to be a part of a church or religious community to fill out the survey.
Also, as in past years, we will conduct a raffle to raise money for the division. I hope that you will participate. The amount of the prize will be announced at convention.
National Organization of Blind Educators
by Mary Willows
The National Organization of Blind Educators will meet on Tuesday, July 4, at 1:00 p.m. Speakers will include leaders in the field of education who are blind. We will share tips on techniques for running a smoothly operating classroom. The philosophy of the National Federation of the Blind is an integral part of success for every new and veteran teacher. If you have any questions about teaching, please plan to attend our meeting this year in Atlanta.
The National Association of Blind Entrepreneurs
by Connie Leblond
The National Association of Blind Entrepreneurs (NABE) will hold its annual division meeting on Tuesday, July 4, from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. Atlanta will be a great place to meet and discuss strategies for successful business-building. We will set goals and review the past year, noting our accomplishments.
Those looking to network with others who have successful businesses should plan to attend. Those thinking about starting their own businesses will have an opportunity to ask pertinent questions and formulate plans for their next steps.
Our greatest assets are one another. This division was established to assist blind people in their endeavors to be self‑employed. Your participation will ensure that this will occur. See you all in Atlanta.
National Association of Blind Lawyers
by Scott LaBarre
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 Tuesday, July 4, 2000, from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Marriott Marquis in downtown Atlanta as part of the sixtieth 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 the nation and of Georgia. Experienced practitioners will offer strategies on how best to conduct various types of cases.
We will share strategies and techniques about how to secure the best possible job in the legal field. We expect to hear from on-line legal research company representatives about the latest developments in on-line research and how the blind can access this important research tool. We will have a discussion about the Constitutional challenges being brought by states against the ADA, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, IDEA, and other similar federal laws. 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 third 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 Hotlanta.
National Association of Blind Secretaries and Transcribers
by Lisa Hall
The National Association of Blind Secretaries and Transcribers, a Division of the National Federation of the Blind, will hold its annual meeting on Sunday, July 2, 2000, with registration beginning at 6:30 p.m. and meeting beginning at 7:00 p.m. Please consult your pre-convention agenda for location. At this writing, plans are being made to invite several speakers to talk about topics of interest to blind people in various office jobs such as customer service training, medical transcription training, problems members may be having on their jobs, etc.
This year is an election year, so please think about people who would be good leaders of this organization. The current officers are Lisa Hall, President, Texas; Janet Triplett, Vice President, Oklahoma; Mary Donahue, Secretary, Texas; and Carol Clark, Treasurer, Kansas. Anyone wanting more information may contact Lisa Hall at 9110 Broadway, Apt. J102, San Antonio, Texas 78217, phone (210) 829‑4571, e-mail <[email protected]>.
I also want to announce that for several months now we have had an Internet listserv. I would like to see more traffic on this list.
The list name is <nabstalk>, and the digest name is <nabst‑d.>. To subscribe to the list, write to <[email protected]> and in the body of the message write the following: subscribe nabstalk, or subscribe nabst‑d. I am serving as moderator on this list, and David Andrews is the list owner. See you in Atlanta or on the Internet.
The National Association of Blind Piano Tuners
by Don Mitchell
The National Association of Blind Piano Tuners will gather for its annual meeting at the National Convention on Tuesday, July 4, at 7:00 p.m. Please see your convention agenda for room location. For more information, contact Don Mitchell, President, e‑mail <[email protected]> or phone (360) 696‑1985.
National Association to Promote the Use of Braille
by Nadine Jacobson
During this year's National Convention the National Association to Promote the Use of Braille (NAPUB) will meet on Tuesday, July 4, at 7:30 p.m. A portion of our meeting will be devoted to celebrating the life of Betty Niceley by sharing our memories of her and all of the contributions she has made to the advancement of Braille in this country. In addition to the report about the Braille Readers Are Leaders contest, we will hear from several Braille producers.
Betty Niceley was an inspiration to all of us. We plan to continue the wonderful work she started. Please make plans to join us for our annual NAPUB meeting. We look forward to sharing ideas and seeing you there.
Federationists enjoy themselves at the
NABS-sponsored Monte Carlo Night.
National Association of Blind Students
by Shawn Mayo
Students on the National Association of Blind Students listserv have already been talking about and preparing to attend the National Convention. This year's seminar will address issues that blind students currently face and present speakers that lead to thought-provoking discussions. Come see what the talk is all about at the NABS seminar on Monday, July 3, from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m. Registration will open at 6:00 p.m., and the fee is $5.
What do ice cream and Dr. Maurer have in common? Buy a raffle ticket and find out. Dr. Maurer has set aside a specified time on the evening of Thursday, July 6, to converse and eat ice cream with the winners from this NABS-sponsored raffle.
Those who are not eating ice cream with Dr. Maurer should join the National Association of Blind Students from 8:00 p.m. to midnight to face the sharks--card sharks, that is. Card games of all types will be played, and good fun will be had by all. A generous donation has raised the ante to $350 for first prize with cash prizes also going to the second and third place winners.
Students attending the convention for the first time as well as blind teenagers will have the opportunity to be matched with a NABS mentor. NABS is working in conjunction with the National Organization of Parents of Blind Children to establish a mentoring program. Mentoring can take place during the convention or continue throughout the year. So if you would like to ask questions of and spend time with a competent blind student who has a positive attitude about blindness, come sign up at our booth at the NOPBC Family Event Sunday, July 2, from 8:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. You can also come and have fun with us at the Braille Carnival later that day from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
NFB Amateur Radio Group
by D. Curtis Willoughby
In accord with long‑standing tradition, the first meeting of the 2000 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 Sunday, July 2. We will discuss frequencies to be used during the convention, especially those to be used in the event of an emergency call‑out during the convention. We will also discuss those architectural features of the convention hotels and other information that NFB hams need to know if an emergency response is necessary.
Any Atlanta hams willing to do a little frequency scouting before the convention are asked to contact D. Curtis Willoughby, KA0VBA (303) 424‑7373, <[email protected]>.
The annual business meeting of the NFB Ham Radio Group will be held at noon on Friday, July 7.
National Federation of the Blind in Computer Science
by Curtis Chong
This year's meeting of the National Federation of the Blind in Computer Science will be held on Tuesday, July 4, from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Marriott Marquis hotel. The specific room location will be found in the Convention agenda.
The meeting will explore issues and questions on the cutting edge of computer technology and nonvisual access to it. We will hear from Microsoft about the latest work it has done in the area of accessibility. Sun Microsystems will unveil some very promising developments in access to applications using Java, a cross-platform language typically used for developing some Internet-based applications; I am assured that Sun will have something concrete to demonstrate how Java can really work for the blind.
Gregg Vanderheiden, Director of the Trace R&D Center at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Wisconsin, will present the provocative topic: "Where is Technology Going, and Will Accessibility Go Along With It?" We are also hoping to have a presentation on the Linux operating system and a discussion of how the blind can use Linux to do many of the same things we do with Microsoft Windows.
Over the past few months the NFB in Computer Science has been trying to come up with a workable definition of accessible software--especially, software that is accessible to the blind. A committee, chaired by Steve Jacobson of Minnesota, has put together a straw document on the subject, and we want to air the issue of nonvisual access at the meeting to get the thoughts and opinions of everyone present. Those who have ideas about how we should approach the issue of accessible software are more than welcome to participate in the discussion.
The year, 2000 being an even-numbered one, the NFB in Computer Science will hold an election of its officers and Board members. Our current officers and Board members are President, Curtis Chong (Maryland); Vice President, Steve Jacobson (Minnesota); Secretary, Mike Freeman (Washington State); Treasurer, Susan Stanzel (Kansas); and Board members Lloyd Rasmussen (Maryland), Richard Ring (Maryland), and D. Curtis Willoughby (Colorado).
Membership in the NFB in Computer Science costs $5 per year. For more information about the meeting or to join the division, contact Curtis Chong, President, National Federation of the Blind in Computer Science, 1800 Johnson Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21230. Phone: 410-659-9314. E-mail: <[email protected]>.
NFB NET Training Seminar
by David Andrews
Each year NFB NET, the official bulletin board system of the National Federation of the Blind, continues to expand and add new services. Last year we added access to our large collection of files via FTP or a standard Web browser such as Microsoft Internet Explorer, Netscape, Lynx, and the like. This year is no different. We have added access to our large message base via the World Wide Web. This means that you can use your browser to look at an archive of messages which have been posted to one of our eighteen mailing lists, going back to March of 1999. To learn how to use this Web archive of messages or how to Telnet, FTP, or use your browser to access NFB NET and our mailing lists, attend the 2000 NFB NET training seminar. It will be held on Sunday, July 2, from 9:00 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. See the pre-convention agenda for location.
National Organization of the Senior Blind
by Christine Hall
At the time of this writing, in February, the officers of the National Organization of the Senior Blind are putting together an exciting and informative program, which we think will inspire all of you to become more involved in reaching out to seniors who are experiencing vision loss. Please come and join us on Monday, July 3, 2000, from 6:30 to 10:00 p.m., meeting room to be announced in the convention agenda. Plan to come early since we will be collecting membership dues of $5 along with names and addresses to be placed on the National Organization of the Senior Blind mailing list so you can receive our division newsletter on cassette and other information as it becomes available. For further information contact Christine Hall at (505) 268‑3895 or Ray McGeorge at (303) 765‑1313.
Science and Engineering Division
by John Miller
Come participate in the Science and Engineering Division activities at National Convention in Atlanta. Once again our division meeting appears in the convention agenda so that we may attend both the NFB in Computer Science Meeting and the Science and Engineering Division meeting without missing a jam-packed minute of either one. Learn what we are doing to increase the accessibility of scientific literature in Braille for literature published on the Web. Also, if you have questions about turning in graphing assignments or writing on the chalk board, this meeting will be one you don't want to miss.
The Science and Engineering Division will be presenting an award this year to recognize a person or organization whose efforts have helped the blind succeed in science. With this new award we are challenging developers to remove barriers for the blind in doing science. Contact President John Miller to reserve a place at the Science and Engineering Networking Breakfast at 7:00 a.m. Wednesday, July 5. His e‑mail is <[email protected]>, phone: (858) 587‑3975, address: 8720 Villa La Jolla Drive 118, La Jolla California 92037.
Social Security Seminar
by James Gashel
An outreach seminar (Social Security and Supplemental Security Income: What Applicants, Advocates, and Recipients Should Know) will take place on Thursday afternoon, July 6. 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.
The Writers Division
by Tom Stevens
In 1999 we heard from author and educator Dr. Steven Sheeley of Rome, Georgia, about writing. No, it was not a dry, but an invigorating presentation. This year we will hear from Dr. Ruthann Weaver of the Department of Communications of the University of Georgia at Athens. Ruthann is the daughter of NFB members Billie and Lawson Weaver of Springfield, Missouri, and is in demand nationwide for her lively and potent presentations.
The Writers Division will hold a workshop on July 2 at 1:30 p.m., featuring Dr. Weaver. We will need to recoup the cost, so be ready with your $5 and come. This presentation will be motivational and uplifting. Educator, mother, public speaker, and accomplished writer, Ruthann has the expertise that will help you expand your horizons. Keep in mind that one does not need to be a writer to benefit. Regardless of your interests, you'll find that this presentation, which will also include a question-and-answer session, will be right up your alley.
The division will meet formally on Tuesday afternoon, July 4. Everyone is invited, and several interesting presentations will be made. See the convention agenda for time and place.