Braille Monitor                                                                                March 1986



Monitor Miniatures


The Columbia Chapter of the National Federation of the Blind of Missouri has elected a slate of officers for 1986. These include: Tom Stevens, President; Ed Bryant, Vice President; Florence Neal, Secretary; Clete Hentges, Treasurer; and June Homan, Board Member.


We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

"VersaNews, a quarterly magazine for VersaBraille users, is beginning its fourth year of publication. It provides a forum for users around the world to exchange tips, VersaBraille applications, and information on Braille and Braille technology of interest to this consumer group. Topics have included bookkeeping with the VersaBraille, interfacing it with computers and other devices, and latest developments in the field of paperless Braille. A "Letters" section encourages subscribers to write about the ways they use their machine and to ask questions. Annual subscriptions in ink print and VersaBraille (not audio) cassette format, $20, $25 for readers outside the U.S. and Canada. Checks should be made payable to VersaNews, and sent c/o David Goldstein, Editor, 87 Sanford Lane, Stamford, Connecticut 06905."

**For Sale:

We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

"Pelco, model 501 low vision CCTV reading aid with 19-inch monitor, system is complete on its own roll-around stand. $1,400, plus $100 packing and shipping. Contact: Mrs. Sam Umans, 2723 Echo Lane, Erie, Pennsylvania 16506; 814-838-9883."


We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

"The Catholic Inquiry for the Blind, 228 North Walnut Street, Lansing, Michigan 48933, is cosponsoring a pilgrimage for the blind to three great shrines in Quebec, Canada: St. Joseph's Oratory; Cape of Our Lady; and St. Anne DeBeaupre. Leaving September 2 and returning September 8, 1986, our package tour will include plane, bus, hotel, and food. Anyone interested can contact us for details, which correspondence can be received and/or sent by Braille or print."


In a news release the Texas Commission for the Blind says:

"Pat D. Westbrook has been named the new executive director of the Texas Commission for the Blind. Meeting at the Dallas/Fort Worth Airport on January 10, 1986, the nine-member Commission announced the selection of Westbrook as the sixth director in the Commission's fifty-four year history. Westbrook replaces John C. Wilson, who resigned the post on January 10 after serving as executive director over three years. Westbrook joined the Commission in 1978 as the state supervisor of staff services. Prior to his selection as executive director, he served as the Commission's deputy director of administration and finance. He has previous administrative and managerial experience with the Governor's Office of Budget and Planning and Criminal Justice Division."


On Sunday, January 6, 1986, the Jefferson City, Missouri, Chapter met and elected the following officers: Rita Lynch, President; Betty Walker, Vice President; Dottie Neely, Secretary; Dick Schell, Treasurer; and Board Members: John Crisp, LaVerne Toebben, and Brian Wekamp.


Chris Boone, President of the National Federation of the Blind of Nebraska, writes as follows:

On Sunday, December 1st, 1985, Althea Gibbs passed away. Those of us who knew her will remember Althea as one of the rare and wonderful people whose enthusiasm for life spilled over to all who surround them. Althea taught second grade for fourteen years in the Omaha public schools, where she distinguished herself as an outstanding educator who earned the respect of both students and colleagues. Last year her blindness and her membership in the organized blind movement caused Althea to become the target for an on-going campaign of public harassment and character defamation by her principal and supervisors. This blatant discrimination only served to make Althea more committed to the work of the National Federation of the Blind.

At the time of her death, Althea Gibbs was the Secretary of the Blind Educators Division of the NFB and one of the budding leaders of the Nebraska affiliate. She was thirty-six years old. We in Nebraska are missing Althea, but her commitment, her strength, and love for life and all that it holds will not be forgotten.


The following article appears in the Fall, 1985, News From Blind Nebraskans, the newsletter of the NFB of Nebraska: Fred and Mary Wurtzel, members of the Lincoln Chapter, along with their two children, Freddie and Maria, are bound for Michigan. In fact, as of this writing, they should be beginning to settle into their new home. Fred, Lincoln District Supervisor for Nebraska Services for the Visually Impaired, was hired as the new Director of the Business Enterprises Program at the Commission for the Blind in Michigan. Fred and Mary are strong and active Federationists, and we will miss their companionship, their energy, and their enthusiasm for the movement. They will be a great asset to our Michigan affiliate, and we in Nebraska wish them well.

**For Sale:

We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

Vlsualtek miniviewer, around 8 years old, good condition. $900. Contact Barbara Mattson at 309 Highland Court Apartments, 144 West Henry Street, Spartanburg, South Carolina 29301; phone: 803-585-7323.

**Distribution at Airport:

The November/December, 1985, Blind Missourian (the newsletter of the NFB of Missouri) reports as follows:

"It was a rainy day--one of many this month, but the spirits of members of the Gateway City Chapter were not at all dampened as we 'moved on' the airport to inform the public about our problems with the airlines. Five members of the Chapter spent a short three hours at Lambert Airport in St. Louis where we found many eager listeners, as well as a few who were not so eager, but had little choice but to listen to us.

Armed with 200 copies of the August September issue of the Braille Monitor, equal numbers of an eyecatching and interest-provoking 'homemade' pamphlet, scores of NFB brochures, and a reasonable amount of Associate forms, we proudly staked our claim just inside the ticket/baggage counter area. Some of our members approached passengers who were waiting in lines with nowhere to go while we offered them literature and information. Others of us 'moved on' to snack bars and cocktail lounges where passengers were obviously trying to find a way to spend idle moments. Travelers-- especially those traveling alone--found it quite appealing to listen to our story and take literature for further study."


As Federationists know, John Halverson is a long-time member and leader in the organized blind movement. For a time he served as President of the NFB of Michigan. More recently he has served as President of the NFB of the District of Columbia. He has been employed by the Federal Office of Civil Rights in Washington, D.C. Now, he has received an important promotion and will be moving to Kansas City. He is now the Deputy Regional Director and Division Director for Civil Rights for Region VII of the Department of Health and Human Services.

** Elected:

The Charlotte, North Carolina, Chapter held elections in November of 1985. The following people were elected: President, Donna Howell; Vice President, Nell Spiedell; Secretary, Ruth Harmon; and Treasurer, Gary Pettengill. LaVerne Gallant was elected to a two-year board position and Hazel Staley for one year of an unexpired term.

**Yamaha Instructions:

We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

"This audio description and explanation of the Yamaha DX-7 is intended especially for the blind musician who must rely on touch, ear, and judgment in lieu of using the LCD visual readouts. Explains the control panel and the applied usage of the 44 switches as used in the play, edit, function, and store modes. Also contains instructions for Braille labeling of the switches and other charts and graphs. Recorded on a C-90 cassette on 4 mono tracks at 15/16 ips speed. Price is $18.00--or $15.00 if a C-90 cassette is supplied. Contact: Charlie Newell, 16 South Main Street, Janes ville, Wisconsin 53545; 608-752-4538."