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The Braille Monitor,  December 2001 EditionThis is a line.

Monitor Miniatures

Roland and Pam Allen
Roland and Pam Allen

Wedding Bells:

We are delighted to announce that on November 17, 2001, Roland Allen, O & M instructor at Louisiana Tech University, and Pam Dubel, President of the NFB of Louisiana and Director of the Louisiana Center for the Blind, were married at Our Lady of Good Counsel Church in New Orleans, Louisiana. A reception followed the service, and the next morning friends and family joined the newlyweds for a jazz brunch cruise on the Cajun Queen. Many Federationists attended the wedding, and several took part in the ceremony. Congratulations and best wishes to the newlyweds.


On June 1, 2001, the Greater Brockton Chapter of the National Federation of the Blind of Massachusetts conducted its biennial election. The new officers are Arthur Otto, President; Brandy Rose, Vice President; Sandy Cassidy, Secretary; James Daley, Treasurer; David Keller, Sergeant at Arms; and Richard Downes and Mary Szczerba, Board Members.

For Sale:

We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

I am asking $3,000 or best offer for a Juliet Braille embosser. It is only one year old, prints up to fifty-six characters on a line, and prints single-side or interpoint pages. It uses continuous tractor-feed paper. I have used it very little, and it operates beautifully.

I also have a HumanWare Braille window display, eighty-cell board, which I am willing to sell for $7,500. Negotiable. It is only one year old and has been used very little.

Contact me by e-mail, <[email protected]>, or call me using Texas Relay System, my interpreter for the hearing-impaired: (800) 735‑2988. Ask for (210) 694‑0774.

Gloria Mills Hicks
Gloria Mills Hicks


We recently received a press release about NFB of Florida leader Gloria Mills Hicks. Here it is:

On Tuesday, October 16, 2001, Florida Governor Jeb Bush presented Gloria Mills Hicks of Tampa as the previous week's Points of Light Award recipient. The Award, which was presented at the Governor's Mansion in Tallahassee, recognizes exemplary volunteer and community service throughout the state.

"We are very fortunate to have Gloria...as an advocate for disabled services in the State of Florida," Governor Bush said. "Through her efforts persons who would otherwise be isolated in their homes now have county door‑to‑door service and improved local bus service in Hillsborough County."

Gloria, a tax professional and owner of IReScue Tax Planning and Consulting, does business as Gloria Mills. She is a member of the State Board of Directors of the National Federation of the Blind of Florida and President of the Tampa Bay Chapter. She is the Governor‑appointed Business and Industry Representative on the Florida Division of Blind Services Rehabilitation Council. She is recognized as a voice for the disabled community in Hillsborough County.

She tirelessly advocates for accessible transportation for all, working closely with HARTline, Tampa's local transit service, to ensure compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Gloria chairs the HARTline Citizens Advocacy Committee and is active on the Paratransit Advisory Committee and the HARTplus Task Force. She has also served as a board member, chairperson, and current executive committee member for Florida Alliance for Assistive Services and Technology (FAAST), is a member of the Task Force for Voting Accessibility, and is Legislative Chairperson for the National Federation of the Blind of Florida.

In 1997 Gloria founded an advocacy group called Save Our Rapid Transit (SORT) to advocate for and prevent reduction in local bus services. Through SORT she has successfully advocated for additional routes and sensitivity training for drivers and has pushed for the implementation of the ADA-mandated door‑to‑door paratransit service.

Born legally blind, Mills is a role model for advocacy and achievement to many. She is a successful business owner and has served as Public Policy Liaison for the National Organization for Women Business Owners. In addition to hiring and training several young people with disabilities in her office, she also serves as a mentor for interns who have a disability.

The Governor's Points of Light Award, sponsored by Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises, recognizes a Florida resident or organization that demonstrates exemplary service to the community. Award recipients are announced weekly.

Gloria Whipple, Changing Attitudes About Blindness:

Maria Bradford, one of the leaders of the NFB of Washington, writes as follows: for the past two years Gloria Whipple, a member of the National Federation of the Blind of Washington's Spokane chapter, has pursued her goal to acquire her G.E.D. and go on to college to prepare for a position as an office assistant. Although she faced some obstacles, Gloria overcame them and proved that she could meet the challenge. During her graduation ceremony she was one of three students asked to speak.

This is how the Spokane Spokesman Review of June 14, 2001, told the story:

Graduation Opens a Brand New Life

by Jonathan Brunt

After thirty years woman earns GED, proves doubters wrong.

Gloria Whipple felt stupid and unmotivated for much of her life. But almost thirty years after giving up on her education, she has a new outlook.

Whipple and 619 others earned General Educational Development (GED) certificates (high school completion diplomas) or English-as-a-second-language certificates at a ceremony Wednesday night at Spokane Community College. Whipple was picked as one of the three student speakers.

"It's hard to describe," Whipple said after the ceremony, clutching her diploma. "I feel like I'm worth something. I feel like I'm still waking up from a dream. I didn't think I'd ever get here."

Whipple, forty-nine, has spent the past two years earning her development certificate at the Adult Education Center at the Institute for Extended Learning.

Whipple was born three months early and without sight. She went to a state boarding school for the blind in Vancouver, Washington, when she was five and stayed there until she was twenty-one when she quit in the tenth grade.

"At that time I didn't give a hoot if I passed or not," she said.

Whipple hasn't worked much since she left school and has received support from welfare. She said she developed an alcohol problem but kicked that eight years ago.

"I like to keep busy now that I've had the chance to see what it is like," Whipple said. "It's changed my life completely around, knowing that I don't have to be dependent on the state."

Whipple, who has been married for twenty-eight years, plans to enroll at Spokane Falls Community College and pursue a career in secretarial work.

Her desire to change her life came after joining Change Point, a counseling and training program for women sponsored by the Community Colleges of Spokane.

When she signed up for classes, Whipple was teamed with Marion Bagley, the center's disability support services coordinator. Bagley would read texts and questions to Whipple and write Whipple's answers. She also led her to classes�and through Wednesday's ceremony.

"After about two weeks I knew she had what it took to get to tonight," Bagley said. "She was determined to do what she had to do."

When Whipple crossed the stage led by Bagley to get her diploma, her face went from expressionless to an ear-to-ear grin. As she paused to get her photo taken by a professional photographer, Marion kissed her on the cheek.

"I was told at the school (for the blind) and by my family that I wouldn't make it," Whipple said. "It's nice to know that you've proven them wrong."


For Sale:

�We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

Signs handcrafted by Allen Golabek
Signs hand-crafted by Allen Golabek

Custom handcrafted wooden engraved signs are great gifts for the holidays, birthdays, or any time of year. We can engrave people's last names, pet names, business names, house numbers, and children's names. In fact we can custom make any creative idea.

These signs made of cedar wood are created by A G Originals. The engraved block letters are easy to identify by touch and can be custom painted in any color to match building, house, garage, etc. The signs are one inch thick and six inches in height. The length depends on the number of letters. The signs are decoratively routered on the top edge, and the ends of the board can be cut in any one of three styles. The first is a standard square cut on each end. The second is a rounded edge on each end. The most popular style is the third, a 45-degree miter cut on each end. All signs are finished with a hand-rubbed tongue oil for a smooth, shiny finish.

Each sign is created by blind craftsman Allan Golabek and is crafted for outdoor use. The signs do not rot; they weather, giving them a rustic look. They have a great cedar smell and look fantastic. Two counter-sunk holes and screws are included for easy hanging.

The cost of these decorative signs is usually $55, including shipping and handling in the continental U S. Prices may vary depending on size. Please make checks payable to Allan Golabek and send to him at 70 Greenwood Avenue, Bethel, Connecticut. 06801.

To place an order, e-mail me at <[email protected]>. Specify engraved name, color of letters, and style of cut. For more information call (203) 743-9238.

Braille bracelet and ring, custom made by Designs in Braille
Braille bracelet and ring, custom made by Designs in Braille

Elegant Braille Jewelry Now Available:

We have been asked to carry the following announcement:Designs in Braille has created a line of beautiful, tactilely satisfying custom jewelry personalized with your choice of name, word, or short phrase. Made of sterling silver with raised eighteen-karat gold accurate Braille cells, this jewelry can be worn every day or kept for more formal occasions. Some people have even had Designs in Braille create their wedding bands. Pieces are available in any precious metal, including gold and platinum, and the assortment of jewelry includes rings, I.D. bracelets, and necklaces, as well as key-chains and cuff links. Each item is engraved with the translation of the Braille on the reverse side, and most pieces can be engraved with medic alert information if necessary. For more information call (908) 930-8883 or visit the Web site at <www.designsinbraille.com>.


We recently received the following announcement:

Four Received 2001 Neuharth Free Spirit Award: Weihenmayer, Randall, Woods, and Yeager share $1 million prize.

The Freedom Forum has presented its second Al Neuharth Free Spirit Award of $1 million to four winners:

* Erik Weihenmayer, the first blind person to reach the summit of Mount Everest, as he did last May 25.

* Alice Randall, controversial author of the 2001 best‑selling novel The Wind Done Gone.

* Donald Woods, courageous South African anti‑apartheid journalist, who died in August.

* Brigadier General Charles E. Chuck Yeager, combat pilot, test pilot, and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Charles L. Overby, chairman and chief executive officer of The Freedom Forum, said, "These four individuals embody the essence of free spirit: each has achieved great things in his or her own way, and none has accepted the status quo."

The Al Neuharth Free Spirit Award is given annually to honor an individual or individuals who have demonstrated an abundance of free spirit, either through a single significant act or through a lifetime of achievement. The $1 million award, which will be shared equally among the four winners, was presented at the Free Spirit Award dinner held on November 9 at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington. Weihenmayer, Randall, Yeager, and Wendy Woods, Donald Woods's widow, were present to accept the awards at the dinner. Congratulations to all the winners, but especially to our own Erik Weihenmayer.

For Sale:

We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

For Sale: Standard Perkins Brailler in fine condition. Asking $500. Call (831) 372‑4131 or e-mail <[email protected]>.

Creative Contribution:

The NFB of Ohio just completed its annual convention. We raised several thousand dollars for the capital campaign, but the most creative contribution by far was the pledge arranged by Michelle Napier, granddaughter of NFB of Ohio leader Ken Velkovich. Michelle is a junior at Seton High School in Cincinnati. The students wear uniforms, and every Friday they have the option of wearing street clothes instead as long as they contribute a dollar to the approved charity of the week. Michelle took information to school about our capital campaign and had it approved as a charity. So January 25, 2002, the students of Seton High School will contribute about $800 to building our new institute. Thanks and congratulations to Michelle and her fellow students.

Custom Braille Transcription Service Available:

We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

VISION Community Services, a division of the Massachusetts Association for the Blind, offers custom Braille transcription. We produce a wide range of documents designed to meet the needs of the Braille-reading public. Recent work includes menus, financial statements, user's guides for consumer electronics, presentation hand-outs, and hymnals. While VCS specializes in shorter documents in order to reduce turnaround time, we also produce some larger documents. All documents are formatted to meet individual customer needs.

If you wish to have any documents transcribed into Braille or if you have any questions, please contact Bob Hachey, Braille Program Supervisor, Vision Community Services, 23A Elm Street, Watertown, Massachusetts 02472, Phone: (617) 972-9109, e-mail: <[email protected]>.

Sworn In:

Joanne Wilson swears in Allen Harris as Director of the Iowa Department for the Blind
Joanne Wilson swears in Allen Harris as Director of the Iowa Department for the Blind.

Blind Iowans from across the state joined staff members of the Iowa Department for the Blind and the Commission for the Blind, the agency's governing body, in witnessing the formal swearing-in of Allen Harris as director of the Iowa Department for the Blind in a ceremony held on October 23, 2001, in the agency's assembly room. Joanne Wilson, Commissioner of the Rehabilitation Services Administration and a native of Iowa, performed the swearing-in duties and then provided Harris with a copy of the oath in print and Braille for display in his office.

Wilson attended the Iowa Orientation and Adjustment Center for the Blind before entering Iowa State University and in late August was sworn in herself as the highest federal official serving disabled persons. She was honored by the Commission for the Blind with a Distinguished Alumna Award bestowed by Commission member Bob Martin and also by Tom Andre, Dean of the College of Education at Iowa State University, which granted Wilson her bachelor's degree in education. Andre showered Wilson with Iowa State memorabilia to Wilson's delight and the audience's amusement.

Wilson reminisced with the audience, saying that in the very building in which she was standing she had learned about herself and blindness through the teaching of Dr. Kenneth Jernigan, then director of the Iowa agency, and explained how she took those teachings with her into her job as a teacher in the Ames public schools; her founding of the Louisiana Center for the Blind, which provides adjustment training to blind people; and her current position at RSA.

Allen Harris presided over the festivities and welcomed many guests to Iowa and to the reception that followed the ceremonies. Dr. Doug Burleigh, regional commissioner of RSA for the region including Iowa, also attended the ceremony. Dr. Marc Maurer, President of the National Federation of the Blind and also a graduate of the Iowa program, joined Wilson and Burleigh in welcoming Harris to Iowa. Dr. Maurer challenged Harris to serve the blind of Iowa creatively and effectively, according to the standard set by Dr. Jernigan.

For Sale:

We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

Alva Braille Terminal 380 80‑cell (plus status cells) refreshable Braille display very rarely used, new condition. See <http://www.humanware.com/E/E1/e1a.html> for more information. Includes parallel connector cable, Braille manual, and padded soft‑sided case.

List: $9,995. I am asking $6,500, or make me a reasonable offer. Contact Loren Mikola, Bellevue, Washington, day phone (425) 705‑3394, evening phone (425) 558‑0131, cell phone (425) 269‑1013, e‑mail <[email protected]>.

For Sale:

We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

CCTV nineteen-inch screen C-Tec, works perfectly, excellent condition, $600. Contact Hyman Easton, 320 E. Shore Road, Great Neck, New York 11023, (516) 487-7882.

Audio Edition of New Publication Available:

We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

On August 24, 2001, Jim Gashel received the following letter from the Department of Health and Human Services. Here in part is what it said:

Dear Mr. Gashel,

The purpose of this letter is to introduce you to a free audio edition of a new publication developed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, formerly the Health Care Financing Administration. Protecting Your Health Insurance Coverage relates to the health insurance protections of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA).

HIPAA was designed to improve the portability of private health insurance coverage in the group and individual markets for employees and their dependents. HIPAA created valuable�though limited�protections for millions of Americans (including those with pre-existing medical conditions) who change jobs, become self-employed, or lose their jobs. The law provides better access to health coverage; prohibits discrimination against employees and dependents based on health status; guarantees availability of coverage in the small group market; improves availability of individual health coverage; and establishes renewability of health insurance coverage in both group and individual markets.

Although most HIPAA provisions took effect in 1997, many consumers and employers are still not aware of the rights they have under the law. Since several of its most important rights must be exercised within a short timeframe, the agency is requesting your assistance in publicizing the availability of Audio Publication HCFA#10199RE. To order, call (800) 633-4227.


Gale P. Arden, Director

Private Health Insurance Group

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

New Braille Book:

We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

The Louis Braille Center has Brailled the new book, To Love This Life�Quotations by Helen Keller ($12). This book includes a foreword by former President Jimmy Carter and a preface by Keller Johnson-Thompson, great-grandniece of Helen Keller. Many of these quotations come from unpublished letters and speeches by Helen Keller sharing reflective ideas on the meaning of life and being a human being. The LBC Brailled version of To Love This Life is 114 pages, including thirteen pages of introductory information.

To order, contact the Louis Braille Center, 320 Dayton Street, Suite 125, Edmonds, Washington 98020-3590. Phone (425) 776-4042 (V/TTY). E-mail <[email protected]>. A complete catalog is available in large print, in Braille, or on the Web site, <www.louisbraillecenter.org>.

Free Braille Book Available:

We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

Keeping Your Child Safer in the World: Tips for Children, Teens, and Parents is now available in one Braille volume from National Braille Press (NBP).

Thanks to a grant from NCMEC, the Braille book is free. One in five children who go online regularly is approached by strangers for sex. The fact that children can be approached by predators online is a reality�our children must be educated to deal with these experiences.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, a national clearinghouse and resource center, has just compiled a number of informational brochures on teen and child safety into this volume. Topics covered include:

‑ Parental Tips to Help Keep Your Children Safer

‑ Child Safety in Amusement Parks

‑ Online Safety for Teens and Preteens

‑ Safety Tips for Halloween

‑ When Your Child is Flying Unaccompanied

‑ Babysitters and Daycare

- and much more.

See a full table of contents at <www.nbp.org/safeconts.html>. To order this free book, contact National Braille Press, 88 St. Stephen Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02115‑4302, or call (800) 548‑7323 toll-free or (617) 266‑6160, ext. 20. You may also e-mail orders to <[email protected]>.

Reminder about North American Van Lines:

For some years now the National Federation of the Blind and North American Van Lines have had an agreement that we should all remember when moving or moving storage is in our plans. NFB members and friends who notify North American Van Lines that they want the discount will receive a 35 percent discount on moving costs and a 25 percent discount on moving storage costs. The NFB will also receive a 2-percent donation from North American Van Lines on all the business NFB members and friends give the company. The person to contact is Cindy Rupples, and her telephone number is (800) 625‑4221.

For Sale:

We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

I have for sale a Braille Lite 18, September 2000 revision, hardly used. Asking $2,000 or best offer. Please contact Eric Woods, 4319 S. Galapago Street, Englewood, Colorado 80110, phone: (303) 789-7689, e-mail: <ewoods@ccb‑denver.org>.

Emergency Weather Information by E-Mail:

The Emergency E‑Mail Network is a free service that provides weather and natural-disaster information in all fifty states through both e‑mail and pager. Users register by county so that they can receive the appropriate local warnings from local emergency management agencies. Users can receive warnings about hurricanes, tornadoes, other severe weather, evacuations, health emergencies, and natural disasters.

To sign up for this free service, visit <http://www.emergencyemailnetwork.com/>.

For Sale:

We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

For sale, A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens with an introductory sketch by May Lamberton Becker, embossed in five Braille volumes, this edition published in 1942, and the American Printing House date on it is 1955. It's in excellent condition, no dust. I'm asking $150 for it.

I also have a Language Master made by the Franklin Mint. This is an electronic dictionary and thesaurus with carrying case, user's manual, and four AAA batteries installed. You can play word games to expand your vocabulary or find unknown letters in a word. It has a �say" key, which you can press to say each word, and it's great for those with good usable low vision. Since mine is only 4 percent, I can't use it effectively. It was bought for $250 new, has been little used, and is in perfect condition. I'm hoping to get $50 for it.

In order of contact preference, my phone is (816) 254‑9670; e-mail, <[email protected]>. My address is 2600 N. Hub Drive, Apt. 314A, Independence, Missouri 64055.


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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