The Braille Monitor                                                                        November 2005


Monitor Miniatures

News from the Federation Family

Celebrating Twenty Years of Excellence:

The Louisiana Center for the Blind is a recognizable landmark on South Trenton Street, and its buildings and carefully manicured grounds are reminiscent of New Orleans.
The Louisiana Center for the Blind is a recognizable landmark on South Trenton Street, and its buildings and carefully manicured grounds are reminiscent of New Orleans.

During October the Louisiana Center for the Blind had planned to celebrate its twenty years of hard work and life-changing programming serving blind children, teens, and adults. Hurricane Katrina forced postponement of the celebration until next year. Yet party or no, the twentieth anniversary should still be noted. Here is the brief history prepared by the LCB staff for the Ruston Chamber of Commerce:

On October 1, 1985, the Louisiana Center for the Blind (LCB) opened its doors in a little house on Bonner Street (now the home of Christian Community Action) with five staff members and five students. The goal was to establish a novel training program for the blind of Louisiana, but, as word and reputation grew, it quickly attracted the attention of individuals from across the nation, then the globe. As the Bonner Street location filled to capacity, the first of many expansions took place when the center purchased its present training site at 101 South Trenton. During an expansion of this location in 1995, the Hinton Feed and Seed store was purchased and now houses an industrial arts woodshop; 401 West Louisiana (formerly the old Kappa Sigma fraternity), purchased in 1999, houses the Career Center. Current students live in an apartment complex on East Mississippi, and summer programs for blind children and teens are held in an adjacent complex called the Education Center. During its twenty-year existence the center has served over 800 adults in its primary program and hundreds of children and seniors in outreach programs.

Louisiana Center for the Blind Director Pam Allen and Connie Connolly of Ruston, one of the original five students to attend the center, is a member of the board of directors and at eighty-two remains active in community affairs.
Louisiana Center for the Blind Director Pam Allen and Connie Connolly of Ruston, one of the original five students to attend the center, is a member of the board of directors and at eighty-two remains active in community affairs.

When asked why a training center of national importance has remained in Ruston, Pam Allen, executive director of the center, explains that the community has always supported the positive philosophy and spirit of independence instilled among students, and countless businesses continue to offer employment opportunities. Equally important, the Ruston community has come to understand the importance of dispelling misconceptions about blindness. The Louisiana Center for the Blind welcomes visitors and extends an invitation to the community to tour the center as it celebrates its twentieth anniversary during the month of October.

We commend the LCB staff, students, and alumni for being our hands and heart at this difficult time on the Gulf Coast and for helping to blaze the trail in changing what it means to be blind everywhere. Congratulations to you for twenty years of outstanding service to blind people. We look forward to cheering your accomplishments in the future.

New Chapter:

The Westchester Chapter of the NFB of New York had its first meeting on September 17, 2005. The following officers were elected: president, James R. Bonerbo; vice president, David Halston; secretary-treasurer, Ed White; corresponding secretary, Susan Swift; director/publicity, Richard Sweeney; and director-at-large, William Messing. Congratulations to this new member of the Federation family.


The NFB of Arizona elected the following board of directors at its September 11, 2005, election: president, Bob Kresmer; first vice president, Vicki Hodges; second vice president, Marc Schmidt; secretary, Arielle Silverman; treasurer, Donna Silba; and at-large members of the board of directors, Sandy Addy, Bob Eschbach, Samira Farwaneh, Mark Feliz, Allison Hilliker, and Fred Rockwell.


Dr. Abraham Nemeth displays his plaque at the Hall of Fame induction
Dr. Abraham Nemeth displays his plaque at the Hall of Fame induction ceremony.

On Friday, October 14, 2005, Bill English (superintendent, Wisconsin School for the Visually Handicapped), William Hadley (founder of the Hadley School for the Blind), Abraham Nemeth (creator of the Nemeth code), and J. Max Woolly (superintendent, Arkansas School for the Blind) were inducted into the Hall of Fame for Leaders and Legends of the Blindness Field at the American Printing House for the Blind. Dr. Nemeth is of course a longtime member of the National Federation of the Blind. Here is the brief biography of him that appears on the APH Web site:

Abraham Nemeth is a lifelong professor of mathematics who created a unique and revolutionary Braille code that is used worldwide for mathematical and scientific notation. As a professor Dr. Nemeth inaugurated the Graduate Department of Computer Science at the University of Detroit and as an inventor developed a program to convert a computer into a scientific calculator. Among his many awards are the Migel Medal of the American Foundation for the Blind; the Creative Use of Braille Award from the American Printing House for the Blind; and the Exemplary Advocate Award of the Council for Exceptional Children, Division on Visual Impairments.

The Hall of Fame was established and opened in 2002 with the induction of thirty-two people, including Kenneth Jernigan. Congratulations to Dr. Nemeth.

Did You Know?

The NFB maintains a low-traffic email list that carries nothing but announcements of general interest in the blindness field and the Federation family. To subscribe to nfb-announce, you can go either to <> to subscribe from the Web page, or you can do it by email by sending a message to <[email protected]> and writing the word "subscribe" in the subject line.

Memorial Celebrations for Mrs. tenBroek:

A family ice cream social to which Hazel tenBroek's relatives and friends were invited took place as a memorial to her on October 30, 2005, at Manor Care in Overland Park, Kansas, where Mrs. tenBroek had lived for the past several years. Another memorial at which her Federation family will celebrate her life and contribution to our movement will take place during the 2006 NFB convention in Dallas.

A Holiday Gift Idea with Fundraising Potential:

Carmela's Gourmet, owned by blind entrepreneur Carmela Cantisani, is offering her six gourmet salad dressings at the special wholesale price of $25 (including shipping within the continental U.S.). You can also order a $25 gift certificate to give as a holiday gift. Carmela's Gourmet will donate $5 from each $25 purchase to the NFB Imagination Fund.

These award-winning dressings are made with all natural ingredients, no sugar, and low sodium and are cholesterol free. The flavors currently available are the Vinaigrette Authentique, the Balsamic Vinaigrette, the Low Fat Provençale Vinaigrette, the Low Fat California Caesar, the Low Fat Roasted Garlic Fantasy, and the Low Fat Mediterranean Mystique Vinaigrette. To order the dressings or the gift certificate, please send your check to Carmela's Gourmet, 415 English Avenue, Monterey, California 93940, phone (831) 373-6291. If you wish more information, please visit <>. Please mention the Braille Monitor when placing your order.

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.

New Braille Instructional Books for Adults Available:

Sandy Price has written two Braille instruction books for adults who struggle to learn Braille. Made up of easy words and simple sentences, they are designed to help a person quickly learn uncontracted Braille. Both books are double spaced, and the first portion of each book adds extra spacing between the letters. The Easy Jumbo Book is excellent for diabetics or those with poor tactual perception. She has been successful in teaching jumbo Braille to many who were not able to read standard Braille. Once people have learned to read jumbo Braille, they can make their own labels using a jumbo slate and stylus, a great tool for increasing independence.
The Simple Standard Book is similar to the jumbo book, but it is written in standard Braille. Additional words, sentences, and reading material have been added to this book. Both books are thirty-five pages and are spiral-bound with thick, sturdy covers. Please contact Sandy Price if you would like to order a book or receive free sample pages from either book. Prices: jumbo $26.95, standard $24.95, and print manuals $5. (Shipping costs vary according to weight and ZIP code.)

To order, contact Sandy Price, Braille Instructor, Virginia Rehabilitation Center for the Blind and Vision Impaired, email <[email protected]>, phone (804) 550-3733.

BVI Women's Health Project:

Researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School hope to survey 12,000 blind and visually impaired women in order to identify risk factors associated with certain health disorders, such as breast cancer and sleep problems. The results of the survey will help both blind and sighted women make more informed lifestyle choices. The survey is open to all women aged eighteen or over who are legally blind. All participants will be entered to win one of many prizes. You could be one of fifty winners to receive a subscription to either of National Braille Press's Our Special or Syndicated Columnists Weekly magazines. Two winners will receive a gift certificate worth $250 to spend with EnableMart. Finally, one grand prize winner will be awarded a roundtrip airline fare to anywhere in the continental U.S. courtesy of EnableMart.

You can register for and complete the survey in the convenience of your own home using our rigorously tested Section 508-compliant Web site at <>. The Web site also includes a tutorial on completing forms written by expert screen-access users. The survey may also be completed in Braille, by audiotape, in large print, or over the phone. If you would like more information or if you have questions, please email Erin at <[email protected]> or call (888) 828-4294 (888-8 BVIBWH). To visit our partners go to <> and <>.

Link to Life logo

Link to Life Personal Emergency Response Services:

As a pioneering provider in personal response services, Link to Life is proud to be known as "The Company that Saves Lives." Subscribers simply touch a portable help button to connect with the response center whenever they need assistance. Skilled operators will assess the situation and summon appropriate help--a friend or nearby relative for minor problems or emergency response personnel in more serious situations. We will notify loved ones when an emergency has occurred. Services can be tailored to address subscribers' individual needs. For more information call (800) 848-9399 or visit <>.

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 Delphi Multimedia 440 40-cell Braille display with status cells, touch cursor strip, and serial and parallel interfaces. Asking $1,000 or best offer.

Thomas Braille Embosser from Enabling Technologies, excellent condition. Asking $1,000 or best offer. Please contact Gilbert at <[email protected]>.

Donation Needed:

Joseph Colvin has urgent need of a stand-alone reading machine to help with mail and other printed material. He is on disability and cannot afford to purchase even a secondhand piece of technology. If you could pass along a used free-standing machine, contact him at <[email protected]>. His address is 300 South Wayne Avenue, Apartment 621, Waynesboro, Virginia 22980, his phone number is (540) 241-5233.

For Sale:

Telesensory/Xerox Reading Edge self-contained, free-standing reading machine. Latest model, used very little. Two years old. A bit slower than the newest technology, but far more reliable and easier to use than all of the latest machines of its type. Originally cost close to $3,500, but will sell at best offer over $1,400 plus shipping and insurance. For more details and information about the features that still put the Reading Edge at the top of the heap, call Howard Edelman at (626) 798-9226 or email <[email protected]>.

For Sale:

Five-month-old VoiceNote by Humanware, like new with transferable warranty, technical support, all accessories, and documentation. Assistive-technology loan fund applicable. Asking $1,100. Contact Steve at (517) 347-7046. Please speak slowly and clearly if leaving a message.

NFB Pledge

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.