The Braille Monitor                                                                                                  March 2005

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News from the Federation Family

Kevan Worley, president of the National Association of Blind Merchants, presents the BLAST Gold Star Award to Allen Harris.   At BLAST we teach strategies and inspire attitudes that make it possible to reach for the stars.  In 2004, at the Orlando BLAST, we proudly recognized two leaders in Randolph-Sheppard and in work with the blind: Allen Harris, director of the Iowa Department for the Blind, and Terry Smith, director of Tennessee Services for the Blind.  Both received BLAST Gold Stars, symbolic of theur dedication to progressive advocacy on behalf of the blind in business.
Kevan Worley, president of the National Association of Blind Merchants, presents the BLAST Gold Star Award to Allen Harris. At BLAST we teach strategies and inspire attitudes that make it possible to reach for the stars. In 2004, at the Orlando BLAST, we proudly recognized two leaders in Randolph-Sheppard and in work with the blind: Allen Harris, director of the Iowa Department for the Blind, and Terry Smith, director of Tennessee Services for the Blind. Both received BLAST Gold Stars, symbolic of their dedication to progressive advocacy on behalf of the blind in business.

BLAST: An Annual Business and Leadership Experience for the Blind in Business:

Business Leadership and Superior Training (BLAST), is not just for blind managers operating businesses in the Randolph-Sheppard program. It is a dynamic three days of curriculum targeted to meet the specific needs of blind retailers. If you are in sales, vending, network marketing, food services, or convenient store operations or own virtually any business, you should join us in Denver, April 12 to 15 for a Mile-High BLAST.� At BLAST we inspire blind merchants to reach for the stars, and we provide targeted information to help make your adventure in business a successful and fulfilling one. Teaching customer service, best practices, marketing, team-building, and leadership skills, BLAST teaches blind managers and their teams how best to schedule, direct, maximize, and control labor and its cost.

• Solving Problems Through Leadership, Assertiveness, Creativity and Fun. Learn how to stress less, embrace change, have more fun, be a hero to your employees and customers, and make greater profit. Only one national trainer can teach us all of this in one dynamic, three-hour seminar--Michael Angelo Caruso.

• The Customer Service Advantage, available on CD at <>, was written and developed by John Marx. John will lead and facilitate breakouts at BLAST.

Pictured here (left to right) are Joe Cordova, Kevan Worley, Terry Smith, and Jim Gashel.  Terry Smith holds his Gold Star.
Pictured here (left to right) are Joe Cordova, Kevan Worley, Terry Smith, and Jim Gashel. Terry Smith holds his Gold Star.

• Enjoy a leadership breakfast featuring the inspiring story of NFB national board member and founder of the Colorado Center for the Blind Diane McGeorge and her perspective on leadership. • An insightful luncheon address from former commissioner of the Rehabilitation Services Administration, Fred Schroeder.

• Director of Strategic Initiatives for the National Federation of the Blind James Gashel will teach a not-to-be-missed seminar, the Basics of the Randolph-Sheppard Act, a Survey.

• In or out of the Randolph-Sheppard program, blind women are significantly under-represented in small business. Only 23 percent of Randolph-Sheppard managers are women. Rex Havens uses his laugh-out-loud but cutting humor when he says, "Everything I Know, I Learned from My Wife," presented by the Women's Issues Forum of the National Association of Blind Merchants, because 23 percent isn't good enough.

Integrating a positive attitude on blindness with twenty-first-century principles of business and leadership will educate and inspire all who attend this dynamic and diverse event to ignite a passion for service and success and BLAST toward personal satisfaction and greater profit.

You still have time to join friends and colleagues, make new contacts, and build partnerships at BLAST. To learn more about the tradeshow; the training; the entertaining networking receptions; the leadership breakfast; the luncheon featuring an address by Dr. Fred Schroeder; the Women's Issues Forum; and, did we mention, the trip to one of Colorado's gaming towns or a night of theater in the Mile-High City, go to <>, or call the Merchant Message Line at (877) 521-8363, or email <[email protected]>.

Rooms are still available at only $69 singles and doubles or $79 triples and quads--an incredibly low room rate at the luxurious Adam's Mark Hotel, 1550 Court Place downtown Denver, just off the always-exciting 16th Street pedestrian mall. The Adam's Mark Hotel is a beautiful facility. It was the site of the 1989 NFB National Convention, though not an Adam's Mark Hotel property at that time. It has been substantially remodeled. Call (800) 444-2326 and inform the agent that you are booking for BLAST with the National Association of Blind Merchants.

It's a good distance from Denver International Airport to the Adam's Mark Hotel downtown Denver, so we have arranged deeply discounted special shuttle services. Look for the BLAST welcome committee when you arrive in the main terminal. Registration is only $160, which includes receptions, training sessions, breakfasts, luncheon, entertaining receptions, all training materials, and some surprises. Registration does not include the mountain town gaming trip, $30 per person, or our evening at the Denver Center for Performing Arts for $50 to benefit the Colorado Center for the Blind. Tickets for those events will be available at the Adam's Mark when you get your BLAST conference packet and name badge.

In a few short years BLAST has grown in size, scope, and significance, providing targeted education and encouragement propelling blind businessmen and women to a whole new level of expectations and achievement. Join us April 12 to 15 in Denver for a Mile-High BLAST.


The National Federation of the Blind of Arizona's Phoenix Chapter conducted an election of officers at its November 6, 2004, meeting. The following officers were elected: president, Vicki Hodges; first vice president, Fred Rockwell; second vice president, Pam Davis; secretary, Tom Johnson; treasurer, Donna Silba; and Arlen Keen and Allison Hilliker, board members.

New Chapter:

On Saturday, October 22, 2004, the West Valley Chapter of the National Federation of the Blind of Arizona was formed. During the first meeting the following officers were elected: president, Marcus Schmidt; vice president, Marvin Rochelle; secretary, Kim Schmidt; and treasurer, Juanita Dominguez.

A Twenty-First-Century Election:

Members of the Fredericksburg Area Chapter of the NFB of Virginia recently used AutoMark voting equipment to conduct their annual election for officers and board members. The results are Michael Kasey, president; Marilee Kenlon, vice president; Angie Matney, secretary; Mark Roane, treasurer; and Reed Smith and Joe Johnson, board members.

The membership was joined by officials from local electoral boards and general registrars. Many positive comments were made about the accessible system by AutoMark.


The National Federation of the Blind of Arizona's Tucson chapter held elections at its November 2004 meeting, and the following people were elected: president, Samira Farwaneh; vice president, Bob Kresmer; secretary, Butch Thomas; treasurer, Jerry Piatt; and Lee Kerr, Michael Zimmit, Janna Payton, and Bob Tullis, board members.


The NFB of Arizona's Prescott Chapter held elections at its November 2004 meeting. The following people were elected: president, Sandie Addy; secretary, Carone Nicholson; treasurer, Diane Barber; and board member, Ann Puskus.


Saturday, February 6, 2005, the Inland Empire chapter of the National Federation of the Blind of Washington held its election. The officers are Maria Bradford, president; Paul Whipple, vice president; John Croy, recording secretary; Judy Croy, treasurer; and Gloria Whipple, corresponding secretary. The board members are Susan Lincoln and Dolores Keyser.

In Brief

Notices and information in this section may be of interest to Monitor readers. We are not responsible for the accuracy of the information; we have edited only for space and clarity.

Christian Camping Session for the Blind:

The 2005 Siloam Camp for the Blind will be held Saturday, May 14, through Saturday, May 21, at the Golden Cross Ranch in New Caney, Texas. It is sponsored by the Gospel Association for the Blind and is the highlight of the year for all those attending it.

The campgrounds are located twenty-five minutes from Houston's Bush Intercontinental Airport. The cost for the camp is $200, which includes all meals and activities.

This year the morning Bible study will be conducted by Dr. Don Forester, who founded the Faith Baptist Church in Fredericksburg, Virginia in 1974 and has been pastor there for thirty years. Dr. Forester was born in Amarillo, Texas, in 1949. He became totally blind at age nine due to detached retinas. Through this experience God called him to preach. The evening preaching services will be conducted by the Rev. George Gray, camp director for the Gospel Association for the Blind.

Activities planned for the week include a shopping trip to WalMart, feeding animals at a petting zoo, two talent nights, swimming each day, a camel ride, games, a hayride, and a campfire. Join us for an exciting time of spiritual refreshment and renewal and making new friends.

Our theme for the week is "As a Christian You Can Make a Difference!" A $25 nonrefundable camp registration fee is required of all campers to receive the camp application and medical form. Your deposit will be deducted from the camp fee for the week. Make checks payable to the Gospel Association for the Blind, and send along with a three-by-five-inch index card containing your name, address, phone number, cell phone number, and email address (if applicable) to the Gospel Association for the Blind, P.O. Box 1162, Bunnell, Florida 32110.

If you need help with transportation cost or the camp fees of $200, the GAB will try to find a sponsor for you. For further information you can call the Gospel Association for the Blind at (386) 586‑5885 from 9:00 a.m. to noon (Eastern Standard Time). For a voicemail message concerning Camp Siloam, just call toll-free (866) 251-5165, enter mailbox 7128, and press the pound key. Come join us for a fun week you will never forget.

Frank Kurt Cylke
Frank Kurt Cylke


Frank Kurt Cylke, director of the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, Library of Congress, was awarded honorary life membership in the World Blind Union (WBU) at the sixth general assembly held in Cape Town, South Africa, December 6 to 10. Mr. Cylke was cited as a founder of the WBU North America/Caribbean Region and for "contributions made over the last many years to promote library services for the blind in the United States and around the world which have been significant and reflect deep commitment to ensuring access to literacy for blind and physically disabled people." William Rowland, WBU president, further commented that Mr. Cylke's "leadership in forming the section of libraries for the blind within the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) has ensured that this international association would be aware of and give priority to the development of services and programs to blind people." Congratulations to Mr. Cylke.

Tactile Maps Available:

Maps of California contains nineteen maps. The initial maps provide an overview of the state. These maps are followed by six maps on specific topics--rivers, cities, mountains, highways, parks, and counties. All the information is combined in subsequent maps of northern, central, and southern California. About 275 cities are shown and are indexed at the end of the volume. Enlarged views of San Francisco, the Los Angeles area, San Diego, and Yosemite National Park are also included. The maps are detailed, and many have fold-out sections or appear on facing pages. Experience with tactile drawings is highly recommended.

Maps of California is a single volume with eighty-four pages and nineteen maps. It is bound with cardboard covers and a multi-ring binder. Cost is $15. Allow four weeks for delivery. Shipping is free mail for the blind unless other arrangements are made. To order, please send check or money order to the Princeton Braillists, 76 Leabrook Lane, Princeton, New Jersey 08540; (215) 357-7715.

Let Braillerman Do It Right:

For the best in Perkins Brailler repair, contact Braillerman, Alan Ackley. He has a complete inventory of factory parts, charges competitive prices, and offers a personal touch that confirms the importance of each customer and Brailler to him. Trained by Howe Press, he has reconditioned more than 3,000 Braillers and become the most trusted name in Brailler repair service. He is a certified Braille transcriber.

For more information, visit <>, or call (515) 288‑3931. Braillers may be shipped to Alan Ackley, 4301 Park Avenue, #540, Des Moines, Iowa 50321‑3452.

Pulse Data International and VisuAide Merge:

New Zealand‑based Pulse Data International and Canadian‑based VisuAide have announced the merger of their companies. The new organization will focus on serving the needs of people with visual impairment. The merged entity will be known as the HumanWare Group.

The HumanWare name has been widely used in North America since it was adopted as the name for Pulse Data's North American subsidiary, based in Concord, California.

HumanWare combines two of the industry's most innovative companies, both recognized as world leaders in their fields. Products such as the SmartView video magnifier and more recently myReader (the world's first low-vision auto‑reader) are redefining the way people look at low vision, while the Victor Reader family of digital Talking Book players has been at the forefront of the industry since its inception. The BrailleNote is one of the best‑known solutions in the notetaker market today, a market that will be expanded with the introduction of Maestro, an HP iPAQ Pocket PC made accessible for the blind and visually impaired by VisuAide using text‑to‑speech technology and a tactile keyboard membrane over the PDA touch screen. Finally, the companies produce the world's only commercialized global-positioning-system‑based orientation solutions for the blind--Trekker and BrailleNote GPS.

Dr. Russell Smith, Pulse Data International's chief executive officer, will head the new organization. Following the merger, VisuAide's current president and CEO, Gilles Pepin, will become president and CEO of HumanWare's Canadian subsidiary. Both Mr. Pepin and Yves Boisjoli, VisuAide's CFO, will become significant shareholders of the HumanWare Group. Pepin will also join the HumanWare Group's board of directors.

With a team of over 200 employees worldwide, HumanWare is one of the largest companies in the low vision and blindness industry. Sales offices are located in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand, while the parent company will be based in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Blind Interpreters and Translators Group:

Liz Conejo Daniels is a Spanish‑English interpreter who also happens to be blind. She and her husband have recently formed a blind interpreters and translators organization and an online forum for discussing issues specific to them. It will provide support and resources for those working in the field.

Anyone who is visually impaired and speaks English as a first or second language is welcome to join. It doesn't matter what the primary language is, as long as you are fluent enough in English so that everyone on the list can communicate easily and effectively.

If you know of any blind interpreters or translators who might be interested in joining, please have them contact the list owner at <BlindInterpreters‑[email protected]>. Feel free to contact Liz at this address if you have any questions.

Braille Correspondent Wanted:

Susan Wilder has contacted us requesting the names of blind Braille users who might be interested in corresponding with her. She is sighted and would like to practice her Braille. If you would be interested in exchanging Braille letters every month or so with Ms. Wilder, contact her in Braille at 228 W. Dawn Avenue, Spokane, Washington 99218.

Summer Braille Music Institute:

The National Resource Center for Blind Musicians is accepting applications for its seminar for blind college‑bound musicians, which will be held from July 17 to 23 at the Overbrook School for the Blind in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Designed for the serious student, the program tailors instruction to each person's need to develop Braille music and theory skills and to use technology to submit written music assignments. Applicants must have already studied some music theory, be willing to put effort into Braille music study, and demonstrate a commitment to use the Braille music and computer skills they will learn at the Institute after they return to school. Applicants must also show that they have the independence skills, social readiness, and maturity to be a contributing part of a close‑knit group.

Space is available for six students. Please contact the Resource Center for information on tuition, scholarship availability, and the application procedure. The deadline for requesting applications is April 15, and completed applications must be submitted by May 1. Options for teachers: School teachers interested in learning should contact the Resource Center to explore opportunities to study and help out during the Institute. Appointments can be made to bring younger students for evaluation and guidance.

Visit <>, which is also a music information resource. Contact David Goldstein at (203) 366‑3300, extension 229, or at <[email protected]>.

BANA Election:

The Braille Authority of North America (BANA) held its fall meeting November 4 to 7, 2004, at the Clovernook Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired in Cincinnati, Ohio. The following officers were elected: chairperson, Kim Charlson (Massachusetts); vice chairperson, Warren Figueiredo (Louisiana); secretary, Carol Morrison (California); and treasurer, Sue Reilly (California). Joining the board recently were Judy Dixon (Virginia), Jennifer Dunnam (Minnesota), and Diane Wormsley (Pennsylvania).

Candle in the Window 2005:

Candle in the Window, a small national nonprofit organization building both individual skills and a sense of community among those with visual impairments, welcomes blind people from all walks of life to join us at our nineteenth annual conference entitled "The Leadership Connection: Confidently Influencing People in Our Lives." We aim to address such questions as:

• What is leadership anyway, and what is authority?

• Why do blind people fear or enjoy acting in a leadership role, especially among those who have more sight?

• How can we support ourselves and others to harness our own unique leadership skills, and how can we enhance these skills?

In addition to provocative presentations and stimulating discussions, there will be plenty of time for swimming, hiking, eating, singing, quiet reflection, and just plain hanging out. And we might even get to ride paddle boats around the lake.

The conference will take place from Wednesday, August 24, through the morning of Sunday, August 28, at Lions Camp Crescendo, located just outside of Louisville, Kentucky. The cost is $150 ($15 discount if we receive a $35 nonrefundable deposit by August 1); limited scholarships and payment plans are available.

For additional information contact Peter Altschul at (202) 234-5243, email <[email protected]>, or Kathy Szinnyey at (502) 895-0866, email <[email protected]>.

Monitor Mart

The notices in this section have been edited for clarity, but we can pass along only the information we were given. We are not responsible for the accuracy of the statements made or the quality of the products for sale.

For Sale:

Alva 4400 Delphi Multimedia with 40‑cell display and status cells, touch cursor strip, and serial and parallel interfaces. Asking $2,000 or best offer.

Thomas Braille Embosser from Enabling Technology, in excellent condition. Asking $1,400 or best offer. Contact Gilbert at <[email protected]>.

Tapes Available:

I have a collection of seventy cassette tapes of rock and roll from the 1960's and 1970's, soundtracks, and Christmas cassettes. All I am asking is the cost of shipping to you by Fedex or UPS. Just a sample: the whole Beatle Anthology; Freddy Cannon's 14 Booming Hits; Moods by Neil Diamond; Mike Post TV themes; Good Morning Vietnam; Forrest Gump; Phil Spector's Christmas Album; and Elmo and Patsy. Please call (713) 666‑6512 or email Barbara Shaidnagle at <[email protected]>.

Braille Labeler Needed:

I am looking for a Braille labeler made of metal, not plastic. If you know of anyone who is willing to sell one, please contact Colleen McFadden at (208) 234‑0926 or email <[email protected]>.

Pattern Transcription Available:

I will transcribe any knitting or crochet pattern into Braille. Send the pattern and Braille paper to Linda Hurlock, 312 Clarke, Apartment F, Helena, Montana 59601.



I pledge to participate actively in the efforts 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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