Braille Monitor                                                    April 2009

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News from the Federation Family

The Shoreline Chapter of the NFB of Connecticut recently conducted elections with the following results: president, Al Daniels; vice president, Melanie Tolley; secretary, Nora Tomporowski; and treasurer, Stuart Ennever.

Officer elections in the Westchester Chapter of the NFB of New York took place in January 2009. Elected were president, Dennis Holston; vice president, Jim Bonerbo; secretary/treasurer, Ed White; and board member, Richard Sweenni. If anybody lives in the Westchester area and wants to join the chapter, contact the chapter president, Dennis Holston at (212) 933-0688 or <[email protected]>.

Attention Diabetics:
My name is Bernadette M. Jacobs. I have been a member of the National Federation of the Blind for many years. As we all know, blind people have a right to use accessible glucose-monitoring meters. If you or someone you know has been denied the right to an accessible meter, you should notify the NFB. I am a consultant with Diagnostic Devices, Inc., (DDI), makers of the New Prodigy Voice, the very newest of the talking glucose monitoring systems for blind and visually impaired diabetics. Independent monitoring of one's blood sugars is vital and of utmost importance in diabetes management. We of the NFB are well aware that many, many blind diabetic patients do not have meters they can use independently because insurance companies, brokers, and managed care facilities either do not have these meters on their formularies or simply do not consider us in network.

DDI and the NFB are currently working with insurance companies and other managed care facilities to make the New Prodigy Voice available to anyone who needs a talking meter that he or she can use completely independently. After all, independence is what we're all about.

I cordially invite anyone who needs a talking glucose monitoring system and more options to contact Charlie Brown at <[email protected]> or (410) 659-9314, ext. 2206. You can reach me, Bernadette M. Jacobs, home phone (410) 455-5311; email <[email protected]>; 1501 Langford Road, Gwynn Oak, Maryland 21207-4958. For anyone who doesn't have computer access, I read contracted Braille. Also for those with limited long distance, you can call me, and I'll be happy to call you back.

The National Federation of the Blind of Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, held elections on January 17, 2009. Elected were: president, Jerry Moreno; vice president, Laurancene Murphy; secretary, Laverne Gallant; treasurer, Jeremiah Z. Rogers; and board members, Muriel Brown and Mary O’Daniel.

Diabetic Volunteers Needed at Convention:
Dr. Anne Williams of Case Western Reserve University will be conducting a study at the convention this summer. The Jernigan Institute has approved the study, so we urge those who can help to volunteer to do so. Here is the information:

If you are attending the 2009 NFB convention and you have had diabetes for more than one year, you are invited to participate in a research study about the accuracy of dosing with an insulin pen, after receiving detailed instructions. For this study I need to recruit forty blind people with diabetes and forty sighted people with diabetes.

The study will involve the following steps:

1. Before the convention I will call you and ask you several questions to make sure you meet the requirements of the study.
2. At the convention you will need to sign an informed consent form.
3. You will be given an appointment time to come to the study room. All blind people in this study will listen to a recording of audio instructions in the use of an insulin pen, and sighted people in this study will look at visual instructions. All will have a chance to handle a pen and pen supplies and may take as much time with the instructions, pens, and supplies as they wish until they feel confident that they know how to use the pen.
4. Each person will be asked to deliver ten specific doses of insulin into an injection ball–a rubber ball commonly used to teach insulin injections.
5. A research assistant will weigh the injection ball immediately before and immediately after delivery of the insulin to find out exactly how much insulin was delivered. The assistant will keep a record of all doses delivered.

Please note: If you participate in this study, you will not inject insulin into yourself. You will only learn how to use a pen and inject doses into an injection ball. You will receive no direct benefits for participating in the study. As a way of thanking you for your time and participation in the feasibility study, you will receive a $10 gift certificate for Wal-Mart after you complete steps one to five outlined above. If you do not complete steps one to five, you will not receive the gift card. You may decide that you do not want to participate in this study for any reason at all, and you do not need to explain your reason. This would not affect you negatively in any way. In particular, your decision would not affect your relationship with the NFB, with Case Western Reserve University, or with the researcher, Ann Williams. Are you willing to participate in this study? Or do you have further questions about it? If so, please contact the researcher: Ann S. Williams, PhD, RN, CDE, email <[email protected]>; Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio 44106; phone (216) 368-1704.

Announcing Exclusive T-Mobile Discounts for NFB Members
The NFB has established a partnership with T-Mobile to provide discounted wireless mobile service and equipment to NFB members. NFB members are entitled to a 10 percent discount on any T-Mobile rate plan plus special discounts on wireless handsets. For a limited time a $100 T-Mobile service credit is also available when activating service with the knfbReader software and Nokia N82 handset. The credit will be applied within sixty days of the service start date. For information on the N82 promotion, contact Vince Tranavitch at (717) 858-0287 or <[email protected]>. The N82 service credit program is available only through the NFB national account manager, Vince Tranavitch.

For information about standard T-Mobile service and the NFB discount, access the T-Mobile NFB discount link on the NFB Website or call (866) 464-8662 and mention promo code 9737TMOFAV. Existing T-Mobile customers should call (877) 453-8824 and mention promo code 9737TMOFAV to have the NFB discount added to your account.

Beginnings and Blueprints Early Childhood Conference May 8-9, 2009:
The NFB Jernigan Institute will be holding a Beginnings and Blueprints Early Childhood conference this May for families of blind children ages birth to seven. This conference is intended to serve families from the Mid-Atlantic states, but other interested individuals are welcome to attend. This conference will be packed with informative breakout sessions, exciting presentations, and exhibits designed to equip parents with the tools they need to help build a successful future for their children full of high expectations. To learn more or to register online, visit <>. If you have questions, please contact Mary Jo Thorpe, education programs specialist at the NFB Jernigan Institute, (410) 659-9314, ext. 2407, or by email at <[email protected]>.

Vets’ Membership Drive
Join the National Association of Blind Veterans now, before our Detroit convention, and, if you are one of the first hundred,  receive the following for just $20 plus handling: 2009 dues paid in full, 2009 membership package, and a three-button official NABV polo shirt with  logo (sizes available: medium, large, x-large, and xx-large). Send your check or money order for $20.00 plus $6.50 shipping by U.S. Postal Service. Total $26.50 to Dwight Sayer, 259 Regal Downs Circle, Winter Garden, Florida 34787. Don’t forget to include the size shirt you want. Y’all come and join the most happening division in the NFB.

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.

Invest in Your Future:
According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation, obtaining a high school diploma has never been more important. Their report, “Education at a Glance,” indicates that 44 percent of adults without high school degrees in the United States have low incomes, making half of the country’s median income or less. What does this mean for people who are visually impaired? Only 45 percent of blind or severely visually impaired Americans have completed high school, compared to 80 percent of sighted Americans. Many blind or visually impaired adults do not finish high school because of the lack of special resources, including special education teachers or Braille instruction. In a challenged economy the investment of learning for personal growth is not only an intelligent choice, it can also help boost earning potential.

Why not take advantage of The Hadley School for the Blind’s tuition-free distance education? Students can supplement existing high school credits and receive a diploma from their own high school or matriculate through Hadley, a certified state of Illinois high school program.

Students have a one-on-one relationship with their instructors and can study in the comfort of their homes at their own pace. One of the great advantages of Hadley is that it offers blindness-specific courses not always available locally. Course materials are available in the student’s preferred medium: Braille, large print, audio, or Internet. To enroll, students must be over the age of fourteen, have at least an eighth grade education, and submit an eye report to Hadley’s Student Services Department.

Hadley also offers courses to help students become better prepared for employment. Through its Adult Continuing Education program, Hadley offers instruction on a variety of employment topics, including job searches, the Microsoft Office suite, and business writing. All courses for students who are blind or visually impaired are free of charge.

If you are interested in our high school program or employment-related courses, call Hadley’s Student Services Department at (800) 526-9909, or visit us on the Web at <>.

Attention New York School for the Blind Alumni:
The Alumni Association of the New York State School for the Blind will hold its annual reunion at the Holiday Inn in Batavia from June 12 to June 14. Many people arrive on Thursday, June 11, and the special room rates will apply for that night. Rooms are $70 for a regular room, $90 for a suite. If dues are sent to the treasurer before May 1, New York state tax does not have to be paid. We have two scholarships of $200 each for anyone who has never attended Alumni  (or has not attended in a long time) and feels the need. These must be applied for with one of our officers before April 1. We are tentatively planning an extra excursion on the Erie Canal for Sunday afternoon, and the room rates will also then apply for Sunday night. For details about whom to contact, for what, and by when, please phone Tim Hendel (256) 650-5212.

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:
Used electronic music instrument. No visual displays or menus, just knobs, switches, and sliders. 1983 analog synthesizer by Yamaha, model CS01, battery or AC power, designed so you can wear it like a guitar, has built-in speaker and three octaves of mini keys with selection of total of eight-octave range of sound, plus breath control input, also pitch-bend and modulation wheels and glissando footage and waveform selectors, plus traditional VCO, VCA, VCF, ADSR architecture. Asking $350, including shipping. Contact Steve Waltke, (517) 347-7046. If you leave a message, speak your contact information slowly and clearly to accommodate my hearing deficit.

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.


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