The Braille Monitor                                                                                                April 2005

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News from the Federation Family

Braille Book Flea Market at Convention:

Donate your gently used but no longer needed Braille books to the 2005 Braille Book Flea Market sponsored by the National Organization of Parents of Blind Children and the National Association to Promote the Use of Braille. Books should be in good condition. Cookbooks, Twin Vision® books and other books suitable for children are badly needed.

The address in Louisville where you can send the Braille Books you wish to donate for this summer's event is UPS, 6716 Grade Lane, Suite 903, Louisville, Kentucky 40213, attention Shawntay Jordan. Begin your search through the boxes in your basement or spare room and ship them to UPS as soon as possible.

If you have any questions about the type of material we are looking for, please contact Peggy Chong at (515) 277-1288 or email <[email protected]>.

Ruth Anne Schaefer
Ruth Anne Schaefer, June 16, 1925 to January 23, 2005

In Memoriam:

Steve Benson, who was the president of the NFB of Illinois for very many years, wrote to report the following: With great sorrow I tell you of the death, January 23, 2005, of Ruth Anne Schaefer. Ruth Anne, along with her husband Allen, met and joined the Federation in 1968. Their involvement in the Illinois affiliate began in 1970. Ruth Anne served as NFB of Illinois treasurer from 1974 to 1982. She served as treasurer of the Prairie State Chapter for over twenty years. But Ruth's involvement in the National Federation of the Blind far exceeded the limits of time. Ruth Anne and Allen Schaefer were an inseparable team, a dynamic, tireless force for change in the lives of people. I always took enormous comfort in their being on our side whenever we initiated effort to improve the quality of life for blind Illinoisans.

Ruth Anne Schaefer was always ready to help. She drove tens of thousands of miles, helping to build chapters, move initiatives through the general assembly, and provide information and encouragement to hundreds of blind people. Ruth Anne and Allen Schaefer along with Rami Rabby, Peter Grunwald, Steve Hastalis, and a few other stalwarts helped build a strong, effective affiliate in Illinois that achieved the implementation of key legislation. She and Allen distributed hundreds of thousands of pieces of Federation literature. Ruth Anne understood our mission and our philosophy as well or better than many who are totally blind.

Ruth Anne had a strong identity all her own and opinions she wasn't afraid to share. She was an outstanding teacher and a consummate musician. As the daughter of parents who were both ministers and evangelists, Ruth sang with the Billy Graham Crusades and in other major church choral ensembles. Ruth will also be remembered for her great sense of humor and her ready laugh.

It was my pleasure in 1979 to present Allen and Ruth Anne Schaefer the Gwendolyn Williams Award for their enduring service to our Illinois affiliate. This award is the highest honor the NFB of Illinois can bestow. Ruth Anne Schaefer will be deeply missed, but she will not be soon forgotten by those who knew her and valued the work she did on our behalf. Our condolences go to Allen, who has asked that memorial gifts be sent to the National Federation of the Blind in tribute to this special Federationist.


The Austin Chapter of the National Federation of the Blind of Texas elected officers at its January meeting to serve a one-year term. Elected were president, Jim Shaffer; first vice president, Margaret (Cokie) Craig; second vice president, Angela Wolf; secretary, Norma Gonzales Baker; treasurer, Mike Marshall; and board members, Diane Yoder and Kevin Daniel.

A Girl's Best Friend is Back:

Barbara Cheadle writes to say that the National Organization of Parents of Blind Children (NOPBC) is pleased to announce that the delightful book A Girl's Best Friend, (ages eight to twelve) by award-winning author Harriet May Savitz has been reissued and is once again available for sale online at <>. An original Apple Paperback/Scholastic Book, A Girl's Best Friend is an engaging book with a realistic blind char-acter. For that alone I am happy to see it back. But I have another reason to be glad: the author has arranged for a portion of the proceeds from the re-issued book to be donated to the National Organization of Parents of Blind Children, a division of the National Federation of the Blind. What a deal! With one purchase you can give an entertaining gift, educate a child about blindness, and help fund the work of the NOPBC.

Personally I plan to buy several copies as gifts for my niece and nephews and other special children in my life. Here is an excerpt of a description of the book written by Peggy Chong, who reviewed the book in 1997 for Future Reflections and the Minnesota Bulletin: "The story centers on Laurie, a twelve-year-old blind girl and her dog. No, not her guide dog, the family dog, who is getting old and may have to be put to sleep. Laurie is a normal twelve-year-old, with all the problems, hopes, and dreams of any child that age. ... Laurie uses a white cane, writes letters to her grandmother (with her slate and stylus), roller skates, and walks her dog, just like the other kids in her neighborhood. She also has problems in her new school with a substitute teacher who does not understand how to treat a blind student... . The book shows how, for those who are blind, attitudes about blindness play an important part in the success of everything in life. Laurie has to work through her own attitudes about herself when others treat her differently because she is blind... . I plan to give each of my nieces a copy of the book for Christmas. It will help the younger members of our family grow up with a better philosophy about blind people."

The book has been Brailled and recorded by the Library of Congress Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped system. Copies, therefore, should still be available through your regional library for the blind. My library had the title listed as Girl's Best Friend, but it was the same book.

Title: A Girl's Best Friend. Price: $8.95. Size: 5-by-8. Pages: 114. ISBN: 0-595-33944-1 Published: December 2004. For international orders, call 00-1-402-323-7800.


The following Oregon affiliate members were elected to its board of directors at the state convention, November 5 to 7, 2004: president, Carla McQuillan; first vice president, Chris Morse; second vice president, Joyce Green; secretary, Jim Jackson; treasurer, Elizabeth Rousseau-Rooney; and board members, Jerry Hathaway and Bill Scott. Frank Lowells and Celyn Brown are serving continuing terms.

The Inclusive Home Initiative
A Showcase and Resource:

We all know the challenge of finding accessible home appliances and electronics. Manufacturers are quickly replacing buttons and knobs with touch screens and visual menus. Finding an accessible oven or washing machine takes extraordinary effort, and that old standby, Consumer Reports, is useless here. Where can a blind consumer turn for help?

The National Federation of the Blind Inclusive Home Initiative will provide the resources you need to learn about the accessibility of various makes and models of home appliances and electronics. With your help we will gather experiences and survey most major types of appliances and electronics--washing machines, ovens, VCRs, etc--and make available the information to help guide you through the aisles of your local appliance store. We will even tell you which stores stock the most accessible products.

The Inclusive Home Initiative will consist of two parts: the Inclusive Home Showcase, a display of nonvisually accessible products at national convention in Louisville, which will then become a permanent exhibit at the NFB Jernigan Institute in Baltimore; and the Inclusive Home Resource, a Web-based center of information, including articles and ratings of various products. We are not trying to replace Consumer Reports but to provide the critical next step in ratings information that blind people need to make informed purchases.

Automatic teller machines and cell phones were once considered beyond accessibility. The National Federation of the Blind changed that misconception forever. The same can be true for household goods and electronics. This effort will take time, but meanwhile we will begin by sharing information about the devices that work well for us today.

Ultimately we hope to raise awareness of the accessibility issue among manufacturers. It is not enough to have sleek-looking products with whiz-bang controls; operating them nonvisually should also be possible. Don't miss the Inclusive Home Showcase in Louisville.


Three new officers were elected at the NFB of Pennsylvania's convention in November. Those elected to serve as members of the board of directors were Harriet Go, Kristen Jocums, and Cary Supalo.


At its twelfth annual convention on November 20, 2004, the NFB of Puerto Rico reelected Alpidio Rolón Garcia, president; Lydia Usero Quiñones, first vice president; Carmen León Bosque, second vice president; Vasthi Pérez Jiménez, secretary; Ana Casilda Rodriguez, treasurer; and Eduardo González, Gerardo Martinez, Vladimir Ortiz, and Gladys Franco Garcia, board members.

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.

Mouse Hole Scholarships Available:

The 2005 Mouse Hole Scholarships are now open. Visually impaired students and sighted students with visually impaired parents who will be entering college in the fall are encouraged to apply.

Three scholarships are offered: $500, $400, and $250. For details visit <> and click on the link "Mouse Hole Scholarships." You may also call Dale Campbell at (713) 876-6971 or email <[email protected]>. Entries will be accepted until May 15, 2005.

New Radio Station:

CJoy Radio is a new Christian Internet radio station for the blind and physically handicapped, now live-streaming twenty-four hours a day. For links contact <[email protected]> and follow the instructions you receive.

Attention Those Interested in Piano Technology:

The Emil Fries School of Piano Tuning and Technology is seeking new students for the 2005-2006 school year. The career of piano technology was established when Claude Montal began developing it at the Paris Institute for the Blind in 1830. Since then hundreds of blind people have taken up this noble profession. The career involves tuning, repairing, and servicing all makes, styles, and sizes of pianos. To be successful, the technician must be able to navigate independently in the community and in unfamiliar locales. The ability to work with people effectively and sell service work is essential. Technicians work with instruments in schools, churches, music stores, and the home. Some technicians with highly developed piano technology skills may work for concert artists.

Piano technicians work with a large variety of tools, some of which are specialized for the trade and others commonly-used woodworking tools. The piano-playing mechanism requires very precise adjustments to perform at its highest level. The reconditioning of old and worn parts requires use of a variety of adhesives to replace wooden, felt, and leather parts. To accomplish this, the technician must order and maintain an inventory of parts and supplies.

This career offers financial rewards commensurate with the amount of work the technician does. Our training program is a twenty-month course in piano tuning and repair for both blind and sighted men and women interested in a career that supports music and the arts. Our school is located in Vancouver, Washington. We have been training students for fifty-five years and have had students from all over the world in addition to the United States and Canada.

All full-time instructors are blind or visually impaired, and blind students work alongside sighted students as equals in all ways. Students live in apartments in the community. Scholarships and other financial aid are available.

Hundreds of blind men and women enjoy total financial independence in this rewarding and challenging career. More than 4,000 sighted and blind people operate tuning and repair piano service businesses. Contact us by email or telephone to learn about this rewarding career: email <[email protected]> or phone (360) 693-1511. Or you may consult our Web site, <>.

Mother's Day Gift Ideas:

Mother's Day is May 8. Shop from the comfort of your home for Mother's Day or any occasion. Visit and browse through a selection of over 4,000 products. Just a few ideas for Mom:  The Dreams nightshirt, Kitchen Grip Oven Mitts, a delicate glass Mom vase and red rose, or a beautiful sterling silver beaded bracelet. You can browse through our selection of glass and crystal items, wall and garden plaques, scented candles, perfumes, jewelry, silk flowers, and much more.

Visit the Mother's Day department at <>, or, if you don't have access to the Internet, call (713) 876-6971, and we will be glad to assist you. Braille Monitor readers can save 15 percent off orders. If shopping online, use the coupon code "NFB" at checkout. If shopping by phone, mention you saw this in the Braille Monitor.

Accepting Art for Exhibit:

The sixteenth annual Insights Art Exhibition calls for submissions. Work by legally blind artists in all media except video will be considered. The show will run in August 2005 at the San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery at City Hall. Cash prizes will be awarded. Submission deadline is Monday, May 2, 2005. To receive an application by mail, contact Sarah Millett, exhibition coordinator, at (415) 431-1481, ext. 286 or visit the presenter's (San Francisco LightHouse) Web site to download an application at <>

Wellness Seminars During Convention:

Paul Gabias, Ph.D., LL.D., and Mary Ellen Gabias, longtime leaders in the National Federation of the Blind, write to say that the Gabias Wellness Center is part of a large network of wellness consultants in thirty-five countries affiliated with Nikken, a Japanese multinational giant in the wellness and direct sales industry. Nikken's goal is to create 10,000 healthy millionaires and to be in 100 countries by the year 2010. At the moment over sixty wellness consultants in North America are associated with the Gabias Wellness Center. Eleven are blind, nine of whom are members of the National Federation of the Blind. By the year 2010 the goal for the Gabias Wellness Center is to have 15,000 wellness consultants associated with the Center. We plan to create six healthy millionaires. Two will be blind.

Part of the impetus for this tremendous growth comes from some alarming statistics. In the United States in 2003, over 108,000 people died in the hospital while on prescribed medication. In addition, in 2003 over 250,000 people died while taking medication prescribed by their doctors. Recently some pharmaceutical companies have been under investigation for misrepresenting test results on drugs they are currently marketing. They have also been under investigation for price fixing and bribing medical scientists and healthcare professionals.

Even though the United States spends more on healthcare than all other countries combined, the United States is the leader in degenerative diseases. To no one's surprise, people are looking for alternatives, and by the year 2010 wellness will grow into a trillion-dollar industry. Indeed many people say that they feel under pressure and too much stress. More and more people know that excess stress has been linked to cancer, heart attacks, strokes, and many auto-immune diseases. People are looking for a way out, and they prefer to avoid drugs or surgery.

The Gabias Wellness Center has a solution for you. We offer training to increase effectiveness in five areas of life: healthy body, mind, family, society, and finances. If you want to increase your health, protect yourself from disease, and help others do the same, we are offering you two free wellness seminars at the convention.

The first will be held on Saturday, July 2, between 6:30 and 10:00 p.m. The same wellness seminar will also be held Wednesday, July 6, between 1:00 and 5:00 p.m. Each seminar will begin with a wellness preview, which will last about an hour. The preview will highlight the Nikken product technologies and their benefits. During the preview and afterwards there will be plenty of time for testimonies, personal interactions, and product demonstrations. The last hour of each presentation will concentrate on business and training issues and what makes working with Nikken stand out in a trillion-dollar industry.

To reserve your place at either seminar, call the Gabias Wellness Center toll-free at (866) 218-2953. If you were referred by a Nikken wellness consultant, please let us know the name of the consultant. Everyone is welcome.

The Washington Center (TWC) Internship Program for Students with Disabilities:

Top Ten Reasons to Come to Washington, D.C., this fall:

10. A third of all TWC alums with disabilities have been offered employment, second internships, or longer mentoring relationships as a direct result of their internships.

9. Students live in beautiful (and yes, parents, very safe) apartment buildings in southern Maryland and northern Virginia, just blocks from the Metro.

8. The Metro. It's beautiful and clean and highly accessible. Check out <>.

7. D.C. has a highly temperate climate. Early fall will be warm and midfall colorful and cool, and we even get a little snow in late fall and early winter.

6. We'll organize your internship on Capitol Hill, with a federal agency (Department of State, Department of Homeland Security, etc.), or within the federal court system (including the Department of Justice).

5. Networking, networking, networking!

4. Lots of great free things to do--from festivals on the Mall to the Smithsonian Museums and TWC activities--there are always things to do and people to do them with.

3. TWC values diversity in all forms.

2. Ninety-percent scholarships are available to undergraduate students with disabilities.

1. Washington is where the country comes together to make a difference.

Come to D.C. and learn about how you can be part of it all. We are accepting applications until May 5 (competitive deadline). For more information check out the new and improved TWC Web site: <>. Our Jaws-accessible site is <>. Or contact J.T. Taransky, internship logistics coordinator, (V/TTY) (202) 457-0046, <aapdjt> (email and IM), <jennyt> (email only), 1629 K Street NW, Suite 503, Washington, D.C. 20006.

Scholarships are available thanks to a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP).

Volunteers Needed for National Survey:

The National Federation of the Blind Jernigan Institute has teamed with researchers at the Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, to launch a nationwide survey entitled, "Health and Sleep in the Visually Impaired." The project is headed by Steven W. Lockley, Ph.D.

The purpose of the study is to survey the health of blind women, especially risk of breast cancer. Previous studies in Europe have suggested that breast cancer risk may be lower in visually impaired women than in the sighted population and lowest in women who are totally blind. The aim of the current research is to find out whether this is the case in the United States and, if breast cancer risk is lower in visually impaired women, to discover the reasons why. Possible factors include changes in hormone levels, sleep and circadian rhythm disorders, reproductive history, and other factors such as smoking, exercise, or alcohol use. If we can understand why visually impaired women have a reduced risk, we hope that this information will be used to help both sighted and blind women make more informed lifestyle choices that may reduce their risk of developing cancer. We will keep participants updated on progress with a yearly newsletter summarizing our findings.

Any legally blind adult female can volunteer to take part, regardless of her health. The study is in two parts, and volunteers can choose to complete either Part 1 alone or both Parts 1 and 2. Part 1 is a survey that asks detailed questions about you and your health. Part 2 is a home-based study in which we will ask you to complete a daily sleep and nap diary for up to eight weeks and collect urine samples for at least two twenty-four to forty-eight-hour periods while living at home. The samples will be measured for hormones to assess the timing of your twenty-four-hour body clock and reproductive function. The survey and any instructions will be provided in the format of your choice including large print, Braille, audiotape, computer disk or CD, email, or oral interview. The survey can also be completed on the Internet. The equipment used to collect the urine samples will be provided and has been specifically adapted for visually impaired people.

If you are attending the NFB national convention and wish to volunteer for the study, you will be able to complete the survey there and also arrange to provide some of the urine samples at the convention. The researchers will be there to complete the surveys, provide instructions, and arrange sample collection. You will be asked to complete the sleep diaries in the weeks leading up to and following the convention.

If you are interested in volunteering for the study or want more information about the study, please call the toll-free number (888) 8-BVI-BWH--(888)

828-4294; go to <>; email <[email protected]>; or write to Erin Evans, Division of Sleep Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, 221 Longwood Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts 02115. Include your contact telephone number, address, or email address.

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:

Like-new Type ‘n Speak with disk drive, serial cable, and carrying case. Asking $800 or best offer. Contact Lerone at <[email protected]> or call (225) 284-5939 or (888) 227-9177.

For Sale:

Speaking Language Master handheld speaking, spelling, Webster's Dictionary, one-and-a-half years old, includes word games and all accessories. Asking $400, includes shipping and handling. Contact Tina Black at <[email protected]> or call (207) 443-2406.

Braille ‘n Speak Developer's Kit Wanted:

This kit contains a C compiler and development environment for the PC. It was manufactured by Softools, sold by Blazie, but has now been discontinued by Freedom Scientific. I am seeking a complete package in good condition with all media and manuals. I will be using it for hobby purposes only, so pricing must be reasonable but can be negotiated. Contact Deborah Norling, (408) 921-5957, <[email protected]>.

For Sale:

Pac Mate BX400 for sale, only a year old, very rarely used, in perfect condition, with memory card, companion CD's, manuals and reference guides, carrying case, adapter, software, maintenance agreements, and all original product information. Price to be negotiated. Email Shelley Richards at <[email protected]> or call (856) 577-3564.



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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