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The Braille Monitor,  October 2001 EditionThis is a line.

Monitor Miniatures



In the August-September, 2001, issue of the Braille Monitor, the article titled "2001 Convention Roundup," incorrectly reported that a tape recording demonstrating a talking set-top box from America Online was played during the Friday afternoon session.  We apologize for the error. The audience actually heard on tape a prototype of talking software showing the way a program guide used with the AOL TV set-top box (which currently does not talk) would sound and function if the software could be made to run in the box.


Whom Do You Hang out with?:

            When we think about who we know that might be in a position to make a capital campaign gift to help build the National Research and Training Institute for the Blind, it's easy to assume that we don't know the sort of people who could help. But Mike Jacqubouis of Maine is President of his local Lions Club, and, when asked, they made a gift of $1,000. Jason Ewell of Ohio was a college student when his father's Lions Club made a pledge of $25,000. Charlie Brown, Kiwanis; Don Capps, Rotary; and Joe Ruffalo, Lions and Knights of Columbus, are all members of the national Board of Directors and personally active in service organizations.

            Are you a member of a civic organization that makes grants to charities? Do you have a close friend or family member who is? Such groups are willing contributors to causes that their members support. Vince Connelly, who works on our capital campaign, needs to know what contacts we have. Don't put it off; contact him today with useful information. His phone number is (410) 659-9314, ext. 368, and his e-mail is <[email protected]>. You can help.


For Sale:

            We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

            I have a never-used HP 6350 scanner with automatic document feeder. Asking $400. Also available is a Braille Blazer Braille embosser. It is three years old but has been very rarely used, so it is still in excellent condition. Included are the carrying case, cables, and manual in Braille. I am asking 1200 dollars or best offer. If interested in either of these items, contact Alicia Richards at (303) 758‑2904, or e‑mail me at <[email protected]>.


New Service:

            We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

            The Word Proclaimed Daily Readings are the only source for professionally recorded Catholic daily and Sunday Scripture readings from the Lectionary on cassette tapes, one month at a time. Heartfelt vocal expression brings Scripture to Life. Dedicated to a visually impaired grandmother, the tapes also provide an opening prayer and a brief thought for the day, followed by chimes which indicate the end of the recordings for that day. The suggested fee is $9.50 per month, which includes free shipping and handling. To the extent that we are able, upon request, reduced fees are available for the blind and visually impaired. Call (888) 203‑0697, or write to The Word Proclaimed, 9042 Meade Street, Box N, Westminster, Colorado 80031‑3112.


Using the Materials Center Efficiently:

            Mrs. Dawn Neubeck, Materials Center Manager at the National Center for the Blind, recently wrote the following notice in response to a request that she explain how best to order literature or aids from her department:

            The staff in the Materials Center would like to make sure that your orders are processed in a timely and efficient manner. However, at times we have more orders than staff to process them. Here are some tips on how to order so that we can provide the best service possible.

            E‑mail-‑You can e-mail orders to <[email protected]>. We check our e‑mail several times a day. Just remember to provide your name, address, apartment number or building number, telephone number, and credit card information--including expiration date.

            Telephone-‑We are always happy to serve you over the phone. Please bear with us if we don't answer right away. That just means that we are helping someone else. Our phone volume increases as the day wears on, so calling in the morning is helpful. Our phone number is (410) 659‑9314, ext. 216.

            Snail mail-‑You can always jot down on paper what it is you     would like to order and send it to National Federation of the Blind, Attention: Materials Center, 1800 Johnson Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21230. Please include a check or money order for the amount owed. Checks should be made payable to the National Federation of the Blind.

            Future outlook-‑We are working on providing the ability to order online. Watch for that announcement in the next couple of months.

            We hope that this is helpful information, and we look forward to providing friendly service and timely delivery.


Cassette Holders for Sale:

            We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

            Avoid the dreaded cassette avalanche. The NFB of Illinois has the perfect remedy for falling audio cassettes. For a mere $3 each you can have your very own attractive, compact white vinyl cassette holder that accommodates a dozen cassettes. Our cassette holders come complete with clear sleeves front and back for print labels and ample space on the spine for Braille labels. Send a check or money order, made payable to the NFB of Illinois, in the amount of $3 for each cassette holder, to Stephen O. Benson, NFB of Illinois, 7020 N. Tahoma, Chicago, Illinois 60646.


Business Opportunity Available:

            We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

            Do you want to have a business of your own without selling products that no one really needs? We will get you started in your own biz for under 10 bucks a month. Dream your dream, and we help you make it a reality. No paperwork involved!

            Call Sean at (248) 931‑0899 or contact me ASAP at <[email protected]>.


For Sale:

            We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

            Accu-Check Advantage(TM) blood glucose monitor and voice unit, new, never used. Catalog price $495.50, asking $300. For information call Aaron Lewis at (860) 278-9727 or (860) 279-7886.


Affordable Patterns on Audio Tape for Knitting and Crocheting:

            We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

            We can supply affordable patterns on cassette tape for knitting and crocheting. Material is recorded by knowledgeable reader with row‑by‑row guidance. Select from pattern library, or send your favorite pattern. Call Janet at (215) 412-0466 or e-mail <[email protected]>.


For Sale:

            We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

            Alva Braille Terminal, Model 380, 80‑cell Braille display (plus status cells). Works out of the box with Jaws for Windows. Rarely used, perfect condition. Includes cover; carrying case; and all software, cables, and manuals. For more information please see <http://www.humanware.com/E/E1/e1a.html>.

            Asking $7,995 or best offer. Contact Loren Mikola, Bellevue, Washington, USA, day phone: (425) 705‑3394, evening phone: (425) 558‑0131, e‑mail: <[email protected]>.


Looking for a Violin:

            We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

            Frank Fabian is a seventy-six-year-old musician who is currently playing a cracked violin. He does not have the resources to buy a new instrument and hopes that someone may have one that is not being used. He is happy to pay for the shipping. Contact Frank at 13706 Rybak Ave, Garfield Heights, Ohio 44125, or call (216) 475-5636.


E-Friends Program Now Available

            We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

            The e-Friends is a global e-mail pen-pals network that the NFB, along with Sylvan Learning Systems, Inc., and its division Wall Street Institute, are making available to you: a value-added service at no cost to you or to the Federation.

            It provides opportunities to correspond and network in English by e-mail with professional and working adult students, initially from Spain. But we expect the program to be operational in over twenty countries by 2002.

            What to Do:

1. In order to learn more about the program and to register, please visit the e-Friends Website at <www.WSI-e-Friends.com>. You can also access this site from the NFB Website home page.

2. Once on that site, please click the "join here" button to initiate the registration process. Completing the process will take only a few minutes. The information sought includes:

a) Your profile: some demographic information, occupation field, work status, interests, the number of international people you want to correspond with, and your password.

b) Definition of the selection criteria for the people you want to communicate with: remember that the more open you are in your selections, the faster we will find e-Friends for you.

c) Option to create a free e-mail account: you have the option to use your existing e-mail account or, if desired, to create a free Web mail account. A sample of the e-mail address will be <[email protected]>, where X corresponds to the user name you define.

d) Review and acceptance of the terms and conditions of use (agreement).

e) Ending the process: once you have accepted the agreement, the system will assign a login name and will display a screen with additional information about what happens next. We encourage you to print that screen for your records. You will use the login and your password to access the Members section of the e-Friends Website.

            Once the system identifies the people who best meet your profile and selection criteria, you will receive a message at the e-mail address you have selected (your own or the newly created one at our site) with your new e-Friend(s) contact information. At that point you can initiate the interaction, or maybe your new e-Friend(s) will send you a message first. We encourage you to send and reply to messages from your new e-Friends as quickly as possible.

            For issues concerning functionality, connectivity, community conduct, etc., please contact us at <[email protected]>. Note: this information is posted in the "CONTACT US" button of the e-Friends Website. We hope you enjoy your interaction with your e-Friends from Spain.



            The phone number listed in the June issue of the Monitor in the Miniature section about Louis Scrivani's weightless workout tapes was incorrect. It should have read (732) 381-7955.


Specialized Literature Available:

            We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

            Triangle Braille Services (TBS) is a small, nonprofit, volunteer‑run organization that produces lesbian and gay literature in Braille for purchase at affordable prices. Our latest catalogue includes forty-three nonfiction, fiction, and poetry titles not otherwise available in alternate formats. To request a free catalogue in Braille, on computer disk, or via e-mail, contact Triangle Braille Services, P. O. Box 50606, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55405; phone: (612) 822‑0549; e-mail: <[email protected]>; Web address: <http://www.concentric.net/~jenshar/tbs/>.


For Sale:

            We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

            AI Com Corp text-to-speech synthesizer, external basic Braille printer. Never used and still in original box. Includes manuals and software, $2,500 or best offer.

            Artic Technologies Transport 615 Business Vision and WinVision. Useable in Windows 95. Upgradeable to Windows 98 or Millennium, $400 or best offer.

            Artic Technologies 215 Symphonix Version 4.1 useable for DOS and Windows 3.1, $200 or best offer. Both include software, hardware, and manuals. Will ship free matter.

            If interested in the above items, contact Frances Campione at (517) 694-1231 or e-mail <[email protected]>.


Atlas of Eastern Europe Now Available:

            We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

            "Atlas of Eastern Europe" is a one-volume set of tactile maps covering nineteen countries including Western Russia up to the Ural Mountains. Overall maps as well as maps of each individual country are included. The maps have considerable detail, and some experience with tactile maps is recommended.

            Countries included are Poland, Czech Republic, Slovak Republic, Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Yugoslavia, Albania, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Romania, Moldova, Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, and Western Russia.

            Each country has an introductory page of facts followed by a full-page map of that country showing physical features, cities, and towns of both political and historic importance. A few maps have fold-out sections. To maximize the amount of information on the map, key letters have been used for labelling cities and special features. The key letters are identified on the key pages that precede each map.

            "Atlas of Eastern Europe" is bound with cardboard covers and a multi-ring binder. Cost is $16. Shipping is by free mail unless other arrangements are made. Please send check or purchase order to the Princeton Braillists, 28-B Portsmouth Street, Whiting, New Jersey 08759.

            Credit card and fax service are not available. Please allow four to six weeks for delivery. For further information call (732) 350-3708 or (609) 924-5207.


For Sale:

            We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

            Jumbo electric Braille writer, $300, includes one large box of Braille paper.

            Accu Check talking glucose monitor, $50.

            Contact Mary Morrison, 506 East 50th Street, Apartment 219, Boise, Idaho 83714; or call (208) 375-6399.


Ron Ferguson
Ron Ferguson

New Book:

Dr. Ron Ferguson is a trained historian and now a faculty member associated with the Louisiana Tech/Louisiana Center graduate programs. He has just published a new book, which will be of interest to many. Sheila Koenig, an English teacher in Minnesota, wrote the following description:

            We Know Who We Are: A History of the Blind in Challenging Educational and Socially Constructed Policies (A Study in policy Archaeology), written by longtime Federationist Ronald J. Ferguson, is a recently published book documenting the efforts of the National Federation of the Blind to expose and challenge oppressive and custodial policies created by professionals in the blindness field.

            In the introduction Ferguson explains his purpose for undertaking this research: "My interest in the struggles blind people face and the injustices they have encountered in the educational system in the United States flows from a broader concern I have for social justice for marginalized people . . . . After hearing about repeated incidents of discrimination and injustice directed toward blind persons over the course of several years, I began to give serious consideration to investigating the history of the blind in order to try to understand better this treatment of blind persons. My interest in this topic grew as I read firsthand accounts from blind persons of their treatment by government officials, rehabilitation counselors, and the general public. I discovered in my research monographs and articles that concentrate on vocational and rehabilitation issues related to the blind from the perspective of the blind. I had not found, however, any books which deal with the history of the education of the blind from the perspective of the blind. Thus I recognized there was an opportunity to make a contribution in this area by writing on the history of education of blind people from their own perspective."

            The theoretical methodology used in this book is new to the blindness field. Ferguson explains, "Policy archaeology is a recent development in educational policy studies that provides a methodology for analyzing educational and social policy that goes beyond the traditional policy studies framework, which is restrictive, since it accepts or presumes a commitment to the larger liberal world view in which it exists . . . this methodology argues for a different approach to policy studies, one that opens up new territory, one that establishes a new problematic, and thus one that serves to alter and expand the policy studies area. Policy archaeology is useful to my research because it expands the analysis of educational policy studies by asking questions that promote the investigation of groups and issues that have traditionally been ignored or taken for granted by policy researchers."

             Because the research challenges many of the fundamental assumptions held in the blindness field, this book may create some controversy. With such a potential one could ask, why write the book? According to the author the answer to that question is, "The blind have long been oppressed by the socially constructed beliefs about blindness. They have been stereotyped and discriminated against for too long. Through the contribution of Michel Foucault's writings there is a powerful theoretical model that can expose and demystify the insidious force of socially constructed beliefs about the blind, which have held them captive in the blindness system."


Ferguson, Ronald J. We Know Who We Are: A History of the Blind in Challenging Educational and Socially Constructed Policies (A Study in Policy Archaeology). San Francisco: Caddo Gap Press, 2001. pp. xv, 216, $24.95 in paper.


For Sale:

            We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

            I have several items for sale. All are in excellent condition, and all prices do not include shipping.

            * Two Index Basic D Braille printers, barely used. Asking $3,000 each or best offer. The Braille printers produce excellent Braille at 80 characters a second. Can hold three sizes of Braille paper, cards, or plastic. They can also produce signage.

            * Alva 340 40-cell Braille display with case. Works with either Windows or DOS and will work with JAWS for Windows. Asking $4,500 or best offer.

            * Arkenstone Hot Reader scanner with a working card. Works with DOS only. Asking $90 or best offer.

            Serious offers only; no installment payments. If interested, call Marie Caputo at (860) 871-8224 or e-mail <[email protected]>.



            The NFB Writers' Division held election of new officers at the National Convention. They are Tom Stevens, President; Lori Stayer, First Vice President; Jerry Whittle, Second Vice President; John TeBockhorst, Secretary; Helen Stevens, Treasurer; and Jim Portillo, Robert Newman, Melba Urban, and Amy Mason, Board Members.


Optacon Accessories Available:

            We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

            I no longer have an Optacon but have the following items which I would love to give to anyone who could make good use of them: Braille manual for Optacon RIB and RIC, Braille manual for F3A typewriter lens module, CRT lens module model F1A (cathode ray tube lens for reading text on computer monitor), Typewriter lens module model F3A, plus Smith Corona 2200 (Coronamatic top cover).

            Contact Tom MacMahon, phone: 3397-3630 or fax: 3397-3631, e-mail: <[email protected]>, who lives in Brisbane, Australia, and will arrange postage Free Matter for the Blind to anywhere it is in force.


New Catalog Available:

            We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

            If someone is on your holiday gift list who loves cooking, knitting, crocheting, or tatting, the new Horizons for the Blind products catalog is just the ticket. Cooks will especially find our new, seven-volume Recipes from Boxes, Bottles, Cans, and Jars a most welcome addition to the kitchen, while the crocheting crowd will enjoy our new Cro-Hook Instructions. With the holidays fast approaching, our holiday crafts and learn-how books may be just what you'll need to get ready. To order this free catalog, telephone (815) 444-8800 (voice/TDD); fax: (815) 444-8830; e-mail: <[email protected]>. Please specify whether you prefer Braille, large print, or audio cassette.


For Sale:

            We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

            I wish to sell a CAPtek Digi Voice Scientific Calculator. It is designed for use by high school and college students for higher math, engineering, physics, and other science applications. Hardly used. Interested parties can call Dorothy Piel at (201) 599-1860.



            During the April, 2001, meeting of the Potomac Chapter of the NFB of Virginia, elections were held with the following result: Lawrence Povinelli, President; Seville Allen, First Vice President; Robert McDonald, Second Vice President; Mary Ann Kessler, Corresponding Secretary; Albert Sanchez, Recording Secretary; Bob Hartt, Treasurer; and Joann McSorley, Melissa Resnick, and Jeannie Wood, Board Members.


Attention Young Scientists, Engineers, and Medical Professionals or Researchers:

            We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

            AZIZA Productions Inc., a film and video production company, is looking for people with disabilities working or conducting research in fields of science, engineering, and medicine to be featured in a television documentary on science and disability.

            Candidates must meet the following qualifications:

            a. Be a scientist or professional with a physical or learning disability, working in science, engineering, or medicine.

            b. Be a pioneer in his or her field.

            c. Be between the ages of twenty-two and thirty-five.

            Forward resume, one-page bio, and full‑length color photograph to AZIZA Productions Inc., PO BOX 1136, Washington, D.C., 20013. For more information, contact Executive Director Aziza Baccouche by e-mail at <[email protected]>.


Gisela Distel, February 14, 1956, to August 3, 2001
Gisela Distel, February 14, 1956, to August 3, 2001

In Memoriam:

Carl Jacobsen, President of the NFB of New York, recently sent the following notice, written by Ray Wayne, affiliate Treasurer. Carl's cover note said that Ray's words express the distress and sense of loss felt by the entire New York affiliate. This is what Ray wrote: On August 3, 2001, Gisela Distel, former President of the National Federation of the Blind of New York State, died due to complications of diabetes. Gisela served as President of the Affiliate's Capital District Chapter from its inception in 1987 until her death. She was elected affiliate First Vice President in 1987 and President in 1991, a position she held for six years. She also served on the Board of Directors of the NFB'S Diabetes Action Network.

            Gisela was a leader, a friend, and an inspiration to all who knew her. She always maintained energy and spirit even while struggling with ongoing medical complications. Her warmth and sense of humor encouraged us all, even at the most difficult times. We are all better off for having known her, and we will miss her deeply.


Remote Visitor Announce and Access System:

            We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

            You no longer need to open the door to unknown visitors. Just install the new Remote Visitor Announce and Access System.

            When someone knocks, push a button on a wireless intercom located conveniently in your house, asking "Who's there?" If the response through the intercom mounted outside the door tells you that you don't want to talk to the person, you can simply thank him or her and do nothing more.

            If it is someone you want to talk to, you push a button on a remote small enough to fit on your key chain, which automatically unlocks the door. When the person leaves, you push a different button on the remote, which automatically relocks the door. An audible signal verifies either that you have unlocked or locked the door. The wireless intercom outside the door should be mounted where it is protected from rain and snow. Two remotes come with the system. In the fall of 2000 we installed the Remote Visitor Announce and Access System in the office door of Easier Ways. We have had no problem, and it has proved invaluable, saving many steps and avoiding situations that might have been unpleasant.

            Installation instructions come with the system. For a detailed copy of these instructions contact Easier Ways, Inc., 2954 Shady Lane, Highlands Ranch, Colorado 80126. Phone: (303) 290-0987, fax: (303) 290-6446, e-mail: <[email protected]>.


For Sale:

            We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

            Have you been looking for an all‑in‑one portable laptop computer with a built‑in Braille display and lots more? Would you like to have a portable unit to take when going to classes, meetings, or traveling for your job? Look no more because your unit is here, the SuperBraille. Here is what you'll get:

1. A laptop Pentium computer with full access to the Internet with Microsoft Office and Excel, running Braille and speech;

2. A Braille terminal when connected to a desktop computer running Braille, and,

3. A text editor/notetaker, scientific and financial calculator, and calendar/clock running Braille.

            You'll get all of this in the SuperBraille, three products in one. My price is $5,000 or best offer. Call Jim at (650) 756‑1333.


New Catalog:

            We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

            Ann Morris Enterprises, Inc., is proud to announce the release of its 2002 product catalog with over 200 new items. These include a price reduction for the Note Teller money identifier, which is only $295 through 2001; a Talking Book/TV radio; a 1160-minute digital recorder; Braille greeting cards; and much more. Call (800) 454-3175 for your free large print, 4-track audio cassette, or disk version. Braille is $10. Visit the Website at <www.annmorris.com> to view new items or download a catalog. You may also contact Ann Morris Enterprises, Inc., at 551 Hosner Mountain Road, Stormville, New York 12582.


Free to Good Home:

            We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

            The complete Bible in Braille, New International Version, is offered free to someone who would appreciate and use it. Contact Rose Dalley at (802) 229-6881 or e-mail: <[email protected]>.


For Sale:

            We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

            A Perkins Braillewriter, which has been serviced and is in top condition. Asking $500, but will dicker. Contact Rose Dalley, 25 Spruce Street, Apt. D-8, Hilltop Apartments, Berlin, Vermont 05602, phone: (802) 229-6881, or e-mail: <[email protected]>.



                                                                  NFB PLEDGE


            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

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