1998 Convention Attractions

From the Editor: Every year's National Convention is an absolutely unique event. The agenda items, the exhibits, the new friends and business acquaintances: all these give each convention its own character and significance. Some activities lend a luster to the convention in part because they do take place every year and provide helpful fixed points in the whirl of events. In this category are the meetings of the Resolutions Committee and the Board of Directors, the annual banquet, and the many seminars and workshops of the various divisions and committees. Here is a partial list of activities being planned by a number of Federation groups during the 1998 Convention, July 4 through 11. Presidents of divisions, committee chairpeople, and event presenters have provided the information. The pre-convention agenda will list the locations of all events taking place before convention registration on Sunday, July 5. The convention agenda will contain listings of all events taking place after that time.

Blind Industrial Workers of America

by Primo Foianini

The Blind Industrial Workers of America will conduct a split cash drawing at this year's convention. The group will gather on Monday afternoon, July 6, for its annual meeting.

Blind Professional Journalists

by Elizabeth Campbell

If you are interested in journalism, you don't want to miss the Blind Professional Journalists meeting planned during our convention at the Hyatt Regency DFW. We will meet Monday afternoon, July 6. Please see the convention agenda for the time and location of our meeting. We had a wonderful turnout in New Orleans during the 1997 National Federation of the Blind convention, and I look forward to another good session in Dallas.

Come meet professionals who are working in the field and

bring your questions. That is what journalism is all about. For

more information contact Elizabeth Campbell, (817) 738-0350

evenings after 6 p.m., CDT. You may also send e-mail to

[email protected]

Children are riding seven horses in a line
The children visited a dude ranch at the Dallas Convention in 1993.  The youngsters this year will undoubtedly have just as good a time.

Child Care Information

by Carla McQuillan

NFB Camp in the Wild, Wild West: It's more than just child's play. Throughout our National Convention NFB Camp provides activities and programs for children under twelve. Although it is generally referred to as Child Care, the participants in NFB Camp will tell you otherwise. It is a tremendous opportunity to instill Federation philosophy in the camp counselors, the parents, and the children—blind and sighted alike. Advanced registration is required to ensure that the number of camp counselors is sufficient for the safety and happiness of the children. Both blind and sighted children will enjoy the action-packed schedule that awaits them in Dallas this summer. Call or write today to register.

NFB Camp is under the direction of Carla McQuillan, the owner and operator of Children's Choice Montessori School and Child Care Center in Springfield, Oregon. With eighteen years of teaching experience in early childhood education, Mrs. McQuillan received the NFB's Blind Educator of the Year award at our 1996 convention in Anaheim. Carla is also the mother of two children and the President of the National Federation of the Blind of Oregon.

The team supervisor and activities director are employees of Children's Choice Montessori School. Both have extensive experience planning and expediting programs for children. In addition, we will recruit private and public school teachers in the Dallas/Fort Worth area to serve as counselors. All of these individuals have CPR and First Aid certification, criminal record checks, and the education and experience to handle large groups of children with ease.

There will be daily performances by blind musician/singer/songwriter Daniel Lamond. Other featured activities will include presentations by various blind professionals to spark the children's interest; stories read in Braille by blind adults; and a guest appearance by Peggy Elliott, who will share tales of her blind cat Sheriff. Throughout the week we will be taking the children on walking tours of the airport, hotel, and local shops.

NFB Camp will be open one half hour before the beginning of sessions and one half hour after sessions adjourn. Children must be picked up during lunch breaks. The schedule follows:

Saturday, July 4, during the seminar for Parents of Blind


Sunday, July 5, no NFB camp

Monday, July 6, during afternoon committee meetings (Kids'

Trip Day)

Tuesday, July 7, during general sessions

Wednesday, July 8, during morning general sessions (no camp

during afternoon tours)

Thursday, July 9, during general sessions and banquet

Friday, July 10, during general sessions

We will serve dinner during the banquet. A late fee of $10

per child will be rigorously enforced if children are not picked up from camp on time. Please fill out the pre-registration form below or provide all the requested information in a letter and mail it today.

NFB Camp Pre-Registration Form

Child(ren) Name(s)

_______________________________________________________Age ______

_______________________________________________________Age ______

_______________________________________________________Age ______


Home Address



Home Phone ( ___ )_______________ Work Phone ( ____ ) ___________

Amount Enclosed Rates:

First Child (full week) $60 ______

Additional Siblings (full week) $30 each ______ #

Daily rate per child $15 each per day ______ #

children ______ # days

Banquet $10 per child ______ #


Total Enclosed ______

Make checks payable to NOPBC. Send this form with payment to:

Carla McQuillan

National Federation of the Blind of Oregon

5005 Main Street

Springfield, Oregon 97478

(541) 726-6924

1998 National Convention Activities

Kids' Trip to Wagon Wheel Ranch

Ages: five to twelve

Cost: $20 per child (includes lunch)

Check-in: 10:30 a.m. in the NOPBC meeting room

In keeping with our Wild, Wild West theme, we have scheduled a trip to one of the many dude ranches in the Dallas area. On Monday, July 6, children between the ages of five and twelve are invited to visit the Wagon Wheel Ranch for a true Texas-style adventure.

We will gather at 10:30 in the NOPBC business meeting room. The busses will take us to Wagon Wheel, where we will enjoy a cookout with hot dogs, drinks, chips, and a relish tray. After lunch we'll spend some time at the petting zoo and finish the day with a hay ride for the younger children and horseback riding for the older ones. The children will return at 4:30 and may be picked up in the NFB Camp rooms.

As always, there will be a host of blind adults to serve as role models for the children on the trip. Registration and payment must be received no later than June 10, 1998. Send the form below or a letter including all necessary information with your payment to:

Carla McQuillan

National Federation of the Blind of Oregon

5005 Main Street

Springfield, Oregon 97478

Don't delay—space is limited.

Registration for 1998 Kids' Trip

Child(ren) Name(s)

__________________________________________________ Age __________

Parent/Guardian _________________________________________________

Phone # _______________

Address _________________________________________________________

Amount Enclosed $__________

Is your child blind? [ ] yes [ ] no (If more than one child is being registered, indicate which child is blind.)

Does your child have special needs? (List the special needs, and indicate which child if registering more than one.)

Campers' curriculum and other information regarding activities for children and youth during Convention will be available at the information table when you arrive at the Hyatt Regency DFW in July.

The Committee on Associates

by Tom Stevens

The Committee on Associates will meet as scheduled in the agenda, most likely Monday evening, July 6.

We'll talk about final results for 1998 and discuss what can make this program grow. So saddle up Ole Dobbin and head for Dallas. Remember to get your ribbons quickly so that you can wear them during the entire convention. They look a lot better on your shirt than they do in an envelope.

The Committee on Associates, with co-chairpersons Karen Mayry, Frank Lee, and Tom Stevens, stands ready even now to answer your questions. For first contact, call chairman Tom at (573) 445-6091.

We use the Committee meeting to hear inspirational talks, to recognize every successful Associate recruiter—from one up—and to share techniques. It is a highly encouraging time; and one meets people with the same conviction: That this is the most under-used program in the Federation. For confirmation of that, just come to our meeting, get to know some of our fine folks, and help us gear up for the 1999 contest year.

Volunteers and deaf-blind people are

picturede working with the Tellatouch

Deaf-blind people and volunteers work with the Tellatouch during an NFB convention.

Deaf-Blind Division

by Joe Naulty

The Deaf-Blind Division will conduct three evening seminars during the 1998 National Convention. The first will take place Saturday, July 4, from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. Welcome and opening remarks will be delivered by Joseph B. Naulty, Deaf-Blind Division President. The guest speaker will be Harry Anderson, President of the American Association of Deaf-Blind, from St. Augustine, Florida. His topic is "The World of Deaf-Blind."

Monday, July 6 from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. will be annual reports from committee chairpersons and Board Members. The guest speaker will be Martha Bagley, the National Representative for Senior Deaf-Blind of the Helen Keller National Center in Dallas. She will discuss the topic, "Deaf-Blind Issues Affecting the Senior Population."

Wednesday, July 8, from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. will be the Deaf-Blind Division annual business meeting, which includes membership reports, business issues, fund-raising reports, goal-setting for 1998-1999, and the bi-annual election of officers and Board Members. The guest speaker for this seminar is still to be announced.

Diabetes Action Network

by Ed Bryant

At the 1998 annual convention of the National Federation of the Blind in Dallas, Texas, our Diabetes Action Network will conduct two seminars. We are still making arrangements at this time. The first will be on Sunday, July 5, from 1:30 to 3:00 p.m. There our speaker will be an exercise physiologist who will discuss diabetes and exercise. On Monday, July 6, we will have our second seminar, starting at 6:30 p.m. Our keynote speaker will be a physician who will discuss kidney transplantation. Both seminars are free and open to the public.

The location for the Sunday seminar will be posted in the pre-convention agenda, available in the hotel lobby. The location for our Monday seminar and business meeting will be listed in the regular agenda, available at registration. Come join us! It will be fun and enlightening.

Announcing the National Association of Blind Entrepreneurs

by Connie Leblond

At the 1997 convention in New Orleans interested Federationists attended an organizing meeting. The Board of Directors of the National Federation of the Blind has now officially approved this new division. The officers are Connie Leblond, President; Ted Young, First Vice President; Sharon Gold, Second Vice President; Peter Donahue, Secretary; Paul McIntire, Treasurer; and Board Members Marie Cobb, Lynda West, Jeremiah Beasley, and Jim Skelton.

This division will provide information to blind individuals on starting a business, expanding existing businesses, and networking between blind entrepreneurs that will open doors to opportunities. Membership in the division is $5 annually. We are now accepting membership dues, which will also put you on a listserv being created by Ted Young. Please send your name, address, phone number, and e-mail address with membership dues to Mrs. Connie Leblond, 15 May Street, Portland, Maine 04102. You may also e-mail her at [email protected] Please be certain to include as much information about your business as you are willing to share.

Whether you currently operate a business or are doing research that will result in your operating a business, we want to hear from you. This new NFB division will assist entrepreneurs in changing what it means to be blind. See you all in Texas, where we will hold our first meeting.

Human Services Division

by Doug Elliott

Blind human services professionals from a wide variety of vocational and academic positions will gather in Dallas in conjunction with the convention of the National Federation of the Blind to discuss their work and their lives as blind professionals. Our meeting will take place on Monday afternoon, July 6, 1998. Registration will open at 1:00 p.m., and this year's exciting program will commence at 1:30 p.m. We will also be discussing our listservs and their potential for serving us in our professions between conventions. You all come to share experience, wisdom, and fun at this year's Human Services Division meeting in Dallas.

An Introduction to Windows 95

A Seminar

by Richard Ring

Windows 95 has replaced MS/DOS as the operating system of choice in the workplace and at home. For the sighted this has been a welcomed change for the most part—no more complex command lines to remember. Instead all the sighted user need do is point and click the mouse, and programs run, files are moved, and the World Wide Web magically opens. But what about those of us who are blind? Can a blind person become a productive and efficient user of Windows 95? The answer is "yes!"

If you want to understand how to accomplish this, An Introduction to Windows 95 is a seminar you should attend. It will take place on Saturday, July 4, from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the National Federation of the Blind Convention in Dallas.

This seminar will be hosted by members of the staff of the Technology Department at the National Center for the Blind. What makes this seminar unique is its approach to teaching Windows 95. Often when sighted people attempt to teach the blind Windows 95, they find it difficult to get away from a point-and-click mentality. They seem to be more interested in the physical or visual layout of the screen than how to access the items and objects on the screen. We will show you how to navigate in Windows 95 using the keyboard. We will show you how to create shortcuts to your favorite programs, how to work with popular Windows applications, what it is like to surf the Web in Windows, and more.

Sometimes it is necessary to use the mouse pointer to access certain functions within a Windows application. Screen-reading systems for the blind provide a way for a blind person to manipulate the mouse pointer from the keyboard. In this way even programs that are not keyboard-friendly can be used. We'll even show you how sounds generated by Windows 95 can serve as valuable cues as well as providing a bit of entertainment.

Many blind people have expressed grave concerns about how well they can learn to work in Windows 95. What holds true when it comes to blindness itself remains true when it comes to Windows 95: given the proper training and opportunity, a blind person can not only learn to use Windows but enjoy doing so! Though we cannot promise you that when you leave this seminar you will be a Windows expert, we can assure you that you will come away knowing that Windows need not be an obstacle to success. Join us and discover, as we already have, that blind people do Windows!

Job Opportunities for the Blind

1998 National Job Seminar

by Lorraine Rovig

Can ordinary blind Americans get hired for ordinary normal jobs? How? Once hired, how do they perform them? Listeners have called JOB's annual seminar "riveting" and "exhilarating." Blind Americans searching for work and other interested persons are invited to the 1998 National JOB seminar sponsored by the National Federation of the Blind and the U.S. Department of Labor. This free national employment seminar will take place Saturday afternoon, on the 4th of July, from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m., in the Hyatt Regency DFW.

In this year's lively three hours, Lee Kerr of Arizona will talk about his customer service job for Sears and about training other blind people to join the staff. Susan Schaffer (MS-CCC), a totally blind certified speech language pathologist, will talk about the techniques she used to get through college and to succeed in her chosen field. We will hear an update from Rami Rabby on his job as a United States Foreign Service officer. He is now posted to our embassy in Lima, Peru.

Do you have a generic liberal arts degree? Veronica Smith is working as a paralegal at a state agency. She'll describe what she does and how she was trained on the job. Do you hate the thought of working indoors in an office or a factory? Last year the panel of speakers from Nebraska's state agency for the blind told us about assisting a blind client to become a trucker. This year Chad Bell himself will tell his story. (No, sorry, he won't arrive at the Hyatt in his eighteen-wheeler.) These fascinating and educational real-life tales, along with many more, will fill the three-hour job seminar.

Remember, at the end of the seminar the mike is open for any employment-related announcements. JOB invites employers in the crowd to give notice of job openings, blind job seekers to give an oral mini-resume, and agencies with programs for blind job seekers to entice students by describing their offerings.

What employment is possible for a blind American? What would you like to do? Whether you are looking for work or wish to change jobs, this seminar is for you. On Independence Day come listen in person. Ask our speakers directly those questions that you have always wanted to ask.

Tapes of JOB seminars from previous years are free from JOB/NFB, 1800 Johnson Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21230, telephone: (800) 638-7518, 12:30 to 5:00 p.m. EDT). Or ask for the JOB Sample Pack to receive a copy of The JOB Recorded Bulletin and the JOB Application Form. All JOB services are free.

Image of Lorraine Rovig with Federationists
Lorraine Rovig, Director of the J.O.B. program, looks on as Federationists
exchange ideas at a networking breakfast.

JOB Networking Breakfasts

by Lorraine Rovig

Are you a blind person looking for work or an employed blind person who wishes to share what you know or a professional in the blindness field looking for new ideas? Every morning of convention, in the main restaurant of the Hyatt Regency DFW, JOB invites you to network about employment. Seating takes place from 6:45 to 7:00 a.m. and breakfast is BYOB (Buy Your Own Breakfast). Please don't interrupt the conversations by being late. The conversation facilitators listed for each breakfast are experts in that topic.



Never been to a full NFB National Convention before? We'll help you learn how to take full advantage of our networking and meetings. Wayne and Carmen Davis, Florida; Joseph and Judy Ruffalo, New Jersey; Jerry & Madeline Moreno, New Jersey.

Not a breakfast:

THE 1998 NATIONAL JOB SEMINAR, 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. Independence Day. Join JOB at our annual seminar designed specifically for the blind job seeker. Free!


THE SUNDAY FIRST-TIMERS BREAKFAST (A second chance for first timers) Bob Ray, Iowa; Jerry and Madeline Moreno, New Jersey.


What problems do you have in your job search? Brain-storming is our specialty at the daily generic breakfast. Loraine and David Stayer, New York.


Blind teachers share NFB teaching techniques for using long canes.

Louisiana Center for the Blind instructors.


Brad Greenspan, New York.

Not a breakfast:

NEW JOB IN A NEW PLACE (a JOB Walking Workshop) Russell Anderson and Ron Burzese, travel instructors, BLIND, Inc. (Details TBA at 1998 National JOB Seminar)



Wayne and Carmen Davis, Florida.


Private breakfast room—Ask John Miller, BS&E President, how to make your reservation.

<[email protected]




Mary Donahue, Texas.



Steve Shelton, Oklahoma; Michael and Fatos Floyd, Nebraska;

Richard Fox, DeWitt and Associates, New Jersey.



Mrs. tenBroek, California; Bob Ray, Iowa; Susie Stanzel, Kansas.


Art for money! Thomas Barretta, Connecticut.


Colorado Center for the Blind, Service Representative Training (SRT) program.

I DO WINDOWS (again)--A JOB NETWORKING BREAKFAST Steve Shelton, Oklahoma; Michael and Fatos Floyd, Nebraska;

Richard Fox, DeWitt and Associates, New Jersey.



Peggy and Curtis Chong, Maryland.

WRITING FOR MONEY: A JOB Networking Breakfast Deborah Kent Stein, Illinois; Elizabeth Campbell, Texas;

Bryan Bashin, California.


Special for JOB Field Service Network Volunteers—Miss Rovig.


(New—for rangers, farmers, gardeners, sports/athletics workers, animal caretakers, window washers, etc.) Eric Woods, Shop Teacher, Colorado Center for the Blind, Colorado; Chad Bell, Nebraska.



Whom do you need to find? What do you need to know to help you get a job? Ask before convention ends. Miss Rovig, JOB.


Are you teaching computer access to blind children or adults? Do you want to? Colorado Center for the Blind and Louisiana Center for the Blind teachers.


Connie Leblond, Maine; Bob Ray, Iowa.



By JOB invitation only. A sharing of the best ideas of the past year. Lorraine Rovig, Director, JOB.

Louisiana Center for the Blind Players Production

The Sky is Blue and Black is the title of this year's original play, written by Jerry Whittle and performed by the Louisiana Center for the Blind Players. Performances will be Monday evening, July 6.

The Merchants Division

by Charles Allen

Having conducted a daylong workshop during the recent Washington Seminar, the Merchants Division plans no seminar during the National Convention, only the usual division meeting. However, we will sell flowers for the banquet, tickets for a $1,000 drawing, and snack packs, and we will give away soft drinks. We will announce the raffle winner at the banquet.

Mock Trial

by Scott LaBarre

For the first time the National Association of Blind Lawyers

will sponsor a mock trial at the 1998 Convention. This trial will

re-enact an old Federation case. Federation lawyers will be

pitted against each other arguing the merits of the two positions. At present we believe we will revisit the 1986 Jacobson case, which explored the right of blind people to sit in emergency exit rows. This case was tried to a jury and won by the Federation. See your favorite Federation lawyers strut their legal stuff.

There will be a nominal charge for the trial. All funds will benefit the National Association of Blind Lawyers. The trial will take place on Sunday afternoon, July 5, at 4:30 p.m. somewhere in the convention hotel. Consult the convention agenda for the exact place

Image of Lauren Ross singing into a microphone

Lauren Ross of California sings at the 1996 Showcase of Talent.

Music Division

by Linda Mentink

The Music Division will again conduct its Showcase of Talent at this year's convention. It will take place on Tuesday evening, July 7. If you would like to participate in the Showcase, here are the guidelines: 1) Sign up no later than noon, Tuesday. 2) Perform only one number, taking no more than four minutes to perform. 3) If you are using a taped accompaniment, be sure that the tape is cued up properly. Do not sing along with a vocal artist; you will be stopped immediately. 4) If you need live accompaniment, make your arrangements before the Showcase begins.

Children who plan to participate will be invited to perform first. The Showcase will be limited to two hours, about twenty-four performers. Come help us enjoy music.

The Music Division's annual meeting is expected to include an update on music Braille from a representative of the National Library Service. Remember that 1998 is an election year. The current officers are President, Linda Mentink (Wisconsin); First Vice President, Mary Brunoli (Connecticut); Second Vice President, Denise Bravell (California); Secretary, Linda Milliner (California); and Treasurer, Ben Snow (Connecticut). Division dues are $5 and may be paid any time before the meeting. Ben Snow's address is 358 Orange Street, Apartment 409, New Haven, Connecticut 06511.

National Association of the Blind in Communities of Faith

by Robert Parrish

The National Association of the Blind in Communities of Faith (NABICF) is a new division this year even though we have been meeting at convention for several years. We will conduct a seminar this summer at the Hyatt Regency DFW, on Monday, July 6. The theme is "Being Lights in the World of Religion." This seminar promises to be the best we have yet had and will include such speakers as Ehab Yamini, who is a leader in the Islamic tradition, and Leroy Delafosse, who is the executive director of Lutheran Braille Workers, Inc. Priscilla Ferris, a member of the NFB Board of Directors, and Agnes Allen, an active Roman Catholic lay leader,will share with us what they have done in their home communities as members of this division. As a result of their exciting work, others will have opportunities to serve as division leaders in their state affiliates.

In addition to all of this, I will make a report of what we have done as a division during the past year. I believe you will see that as a new division our progress has been steady and sure. We are truly on the cutting edge in our religious communities and have great potential for making significant progress.

What more could one want from this division? All right, how about a raffle? During the course of the 1998 convention our division will be selling raffle tickets for $2 apiece to raise money for its upkeep and endeavors. The lucky person whose ticket is drawn at the annual banquet will win $300.

Everyone is invited to participate in our seminar and raffle-ticket sale. NABICF hopes to help make the 1998 convention of the National Federation of the Blind the most rewarding and exciting convention ever.

National Association of Blind Educators

by Bonnie Peterson

The National Association of Blind Educators (NABE) is the largest organization of blind educational professionals in the country. We will hold our annual meeting on Monday, July 6, from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. as part of the convention of the National Federation of the Blind.

Join us as established classroom teachers, college professors, and educational consultants discuss many exciting topics. Dr. Floyd Matson, Professor of Communication at the University of Hawaii and author of Walking Alone and Marching Together: A History of the Organized Blind Movement in the United States 1940-1990, will discuss how his life was significantly influenced by a blind educator, Jacobus tenBroek, the founder and first President of the National Federation of the Blind, a college professor, and a prolific writer. We will also hear from Dr. Fredric K. Schroeder, Commissioner of the Rehabilitation Services Administration and Past President of NABE.

Everyone in the field of education, students planning to enter the profession, and anyone interested in improving personal skills and sharing techniques and ideas related to education are welcome. We recognize that we are all both students and teachers of life and the Federation.

National Association of Blind Lawyers

by Scott LaBarre

As the hot days of summer draw even closer, activity in the National Association of Blind Lawyers also begins to heat up. First, I would like to invite all of you to join us in Dallas to take part in the largest meeting of blind lawyers and legal professionals held anywhere in the country. The National Association of Blind Lawyers will meet Monday, July 6, 1998, from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency DFW, as part of the fifty-eighth annual Convention of the National Federation of the Blind.

We will discuss many exciting topics on that afternoon. Speaking from their expertise, lawyers will give an update on the current status of laws affecting the blind. We will hear reports on various advocacy matters in which the Federation has been involved throughout the last year. We expect that officials from the American Bar Association and Texas Bar Association will address the group. Experienced practitioners will offer strategies on how best to conduct various types of cases. We expect to hear from a blind judge who was recently appointed to the Federal Bench. This and much more will take place at our annual meeting in Dallas.


As NABL President I am also pleased to announce that we will be hosting a reception after the NABL meeting for blind lawyers, law students, and legal professionals. This reception will give us the opportunity to get to know each other and share ideas. Blind law students will be able to learn how their predecessors did it. Practicing professionals will learn new tips from their colleagues.

With our regular meeting, the mock trial, and the reception, the National Association of Blind Lawyers plans to be busy in Dallas. Make your plans now and join us in big D.

National Association of Blind Secretaries and Transcribers

by Lisa Hall

The National Association of Blind Secretaries and Transcribers will meet on Saturday, July 4, at the Hyatt Regency DFW. Registration will begin at 6:30 p.m., and the meeting will begin at 7:00. It should be an interesting meeting with lots of information for blind secretaries and transcribers who are not yet on the Internet. I am sure that there will be other topics to discuss such as customer-service-representative training, Braille transcription, etc.

The officers of the National Association of Blind Secretaries and Transcribers are: Lisa Hall, President; Janet Triplett, Vice President; Mary Donahue, Secretary; and Carol Clark, Treasurer.

Those interested in joining the division may send their

names, addresses, phone numbers, e-mail addresses, and dues of $3

to Lisa Hall, National Association of Blind Secretaries and

Transcribers, 9110 Broadway, Apartment J103, San Antonio,Texas

78217. If you have questions or ideas, call (210) 829-4571 or

send e-mail to [email protected]

We are also planning to establish a listserv for e-mail discussion for this division. Perhaps other ideas will come forward at our meeting as well. If you are a secretary or transcriber or are thinking about these professions, plan to join us.

Image of Melody Lindsey, Pam Dubel and 

Roland Allen.

Melody Lindsey (left), Pam Dubel (right), and Roland Allen (seated) enjoy Monte Carlo night.

National Association of Blind Students

by Ana Ugarte

Sunday night, July 5, the National Association of Blind Students will conduct its annual meeting and seminar. Consult the convention agenda for the exact time and place. Wednesday evening, July 8, our annual Monte Carlo night goes western as a saloon night. Come and join us for a night of western entertainment, drawings, and games. If you are a student, thinking about becoming one, or just looking for a good time with interesting people, join the members of NABS at our activities during the convention.

National Association of Guide Dog Users

by Priscilla Ferris

The National Association of Guide Dog Users will conduct a seminar for all guide dog users and other interested persons on Saturday, July 4, at our National Convention in Dallas. Registration will begin at 12:45 p.m. The registration fee is $15. If you wish to register ahead of time and avoid the long, long line, you may send your dues, name and address, and phone number to our Treasurer, Priscilla Ferris, 140 Wood Street, Somerset, Massachusetts 02726. Checks should be made payable to NAGDU. The seminar will begin at 1:30 with welcoming remarks by our President, Dr. Paul Gabias. We are planning a full agenda.

National Association to Promote the Use of Braille

Time to Sing "Ode to the Code"

by Betty Niceley

The National Association to Promote the Use of Braille (NAPUB) has something wonderful in store for you. Since you don't want to miss it, get busy finalizing those plans to be in Dallas at the most exciting event to take place this summer—the NFB National Convention. Of course I am not prejudiced when I tell you that one of the convention's very finest events will take place on Monday evening, July 6, when Napubbers gather for a lively meeting to celebrate Braille and then participate in an evening filled with surprises you will always remember.

A number of ideas are being combined this year to make NAPUB night quite special. Come prepared to share information at the meeting and join the fun afterwards as we enjoy ourselves Texas-style. See you there.

National Federation of the Blind in Computer Science

Java, the Graphical User Interface, and More

by Curtis Chong

If you want to learn about efforts to make Java accessible, if you want to know what Java is, or if you are simply interested in Windows and the graphical user interface (GUI), come to the 1998 meeting of the National Federation of the Blind in Computer Science. All of these issues, and others dealing with computer technology and its use by the blind, will be discussed at the meeting.

Java is a way of distributing intelligent applications over networks such as the Internet. These applications can run on many different computers (referred to as platforms in the trade). The ability to write a single program capable of running on different computers is called platform independence. It has been a long-sought-after commodity. The appeal of Java is that, for the first time, true platform independence may have been achieved. It is very likely that Java applications will become the standard means for people both at work and at home to interact with the computer. Within the next year or so Java probably will be the next accessibility hurdle for the blind. Fortunately, companies such as Sun Microsystems and IBM are working on the problem. We expect to hear from both companies at our meeting. There is talk of a Java-based screen reader. Some of us have even heard about WordPerfect written in Java.

There has been a lot of discussion about Microsoft. Many of the programs we use come from that company. Because we have some real concerns about the company's efforts to make its software truly useful to the blind, we are trying to get someone from senior management to speak at our meeting. It is too early to tell if our efforts will succeed, but whatever happens, we will hear from someone at Microsoft.

Part of the meeting will be devoted to presentations from vendors of screen-access technology for the blind. The purpose of these presentations is to help us understand the problems and successes encountered by the various companies who make the software we need in order to know what is happening on the computer screen. The work of these companies is often more challenging when major players such as Microsoft make significant changes to operating system and application software. In an ideal world these changes should not require us to change our screen-access software. Alas, the world of software and system upgrades is far from ideal.

The meeting itself will take place on Monday, July 6, from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. somewhere in the Hyatt Regency DFW. Check your convention agenda for room location information.

Membership in the NFB in Computer Science costs $5 a year.

For information about the meeting and also to renew your

membership in the organization, contact Curtis Chong, President,

National Federation of the Blind in Computer Science, 1800

Johnson Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21230, Phone (410) 659-9314,

e-mail [email protected]


NFB NET Training Seminar

by David Andrews

No matter where you turn today, you constantly hear about the Internet. This is as true for blind people and our publications as it is for our sighted colleagues, friends, and relatives. Seeing the importance of this trend, NFB NET, the official bulletin board service of the National Federation of the Blind, has made its resources available on the Internet since October of 1996.

It has been possible to Telnet to NFB NET since that time, and we now have over 1,600 users from around the world. This means that, if you have access to the Internet using a shell account or a PPP connection, you can reach NFB NET free from anywhere in the world. If you don't know what any of this means or if you just want to learn more about NFB NET and the different ways to access the service, come to the annual NFB NET training seminar at the 1998 convention of the National Federation of the Blind in Dallas, Texas.

The seminar will be a part of the pre-convention activities and will be held on Saturday, July 4, from 9:00 a.m. until noon. Please check the pre-convention agenda when you arrive in Dallas to find the location and to double-check the time.

We will cover the Telnet process, both from Windows 95 and from DOS. We will demonstrate using a shell account, a DOS client like Nettamer, and one or more Windows 95-based Telnet clients. You will learn how to Telnet to NFB NET; log onto the service; register; read messages and download files, including the Braille Monitor; and more.

Please join us on Saturday, July 4, in Dallas for the annual NFB NET Training Seminar. See you in Dallas.

Image of Joe Cutter and Hailee Linhart

Joe Cutter and Hailee Linhart of Washington demonstrate proper use of the white cane for parents and blind children attending the 1996 cane walk.

National Organization of Parents of Blind Children

by Barbara Cheadle

The theme of the 1998 annual national seminar for parents of blind children is: "A Chance to Belong." Registration begins at 8:00 a.m., Saturday, July 4. The registration fee is $5 per person. The general seminar session will run from 9:00 a.m. to noon. Among the morning presentations will be a discussion of how to promote self-advocacy among children, a panel of children talking about the ten courtesy rules for blind kids, and a special presentation by Dr. Adrienne Asch honoring her father, who was instrumental in helping her get "A Chance to Belong." We are hoping to offer a box lunch at a reasonable price so that those who would like more time to attend concurrent workshops in the afternoon may do so. The workshops will run from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

At 4:30 we invite all seminar participants (and others at the convention) to come back together to enjoy a Cane Parade by the children in NFB Camp. All kids—sighted and blind—among other activities that day will decorate canes and conduct a Cane Parade for parents while their camp counselors give a presentation about what they did that day to learn about how blind people do things so that they too have a chance to belong.

The concurrent workshop topics include the following:

"Giving Blind Kids a Chance to Belong in Sports, Recreation, Music, and the Arts"; "Keeping Up With the World: Helping Blind Kids Speed Up and Keep Up"; "Teaching Braille to the Partially Sighted Student: Rationale and Methodology"; "Technology from a Kid's Point of View" (a panel of blind children and youth discussing and demonstrating the technology they use in school);

"Beginning Braille for Parents"; network meetings for parents of deaf-blind children and for parents of blind, multiply handicapped children; and a viewing of a new NOPBC video about the IEP process.

Instead of a field trip on Saturday, NFB Camp will operate a special session for children ages four or five through twelve on the theme, "A Chance to Belong." (Child care will be provided for younger children and babies.) Children will learn how blind people can use alternative techniques—such as Braille and cane travel—so that they can belong just like everyone else. The children will also have fun and learn through music, crafts, games, stories, and discussions. The regular NFB Camp fees apply for this day.

For teens there will be a special baby-sitting course conducted by Carla McQuillan emphasizing behavior management (disciplining children). We also hope to have a segment on sign language and specific techniques for working with children with different disabilities. This class will not be a repeat of last year's, so teens who attended the baby-sitting course last year are encouraged to attend this one as well. The fee will be $10, including lunch. Participants must be between the ages of twelve and eighteen to take the course. Time: registration--10:00 a.m., class: 10:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. From 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. the teens will have a chance to practice their new skills by assisting in NFB Camp's cane decorating and Cane Parade.

Saturday evening as usual the NOPBC will offer a Family Hospitality Night from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Although we don't have a menu yet, the food and drinks provided last year were such a hit that we guarantee food and drinks again this year.

Also Saturday evening will be our annual Teen Convention Orientation and Scavenger Hunt from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m. Youth will be able to meet other teens and learn the layout of the hotel through a scavenger hunt, which will include fun prizes and food. Mildred Rivera of Maryland is chairing this activity.

Sunday, July 5, we will once again sponsor two one-hour sessions of a Cane Walk. From 9:00 to 10:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. kids and parents can get a hands-on cane lesson from volunteers in the NFB. Most of the volunteers are blind, experienced cane users, and many work as professional cane travel instructors. Teachers are invited to come and participate too. Joe Cutter and Arlene Hill will once again coordinate this activity.

Monday, July 6: The big event for kids this day is a field trip to a dude ranch (see Carla McQuillan's section on child care for details). While the kids are off playing, parents can enjoy an afternoon of networking with other parents at the annual meeting of the NOBPC from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m.

Tuesday, July 7: The highly popular IEP Workshop will once again be conducted from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m. This year we encourage every state affiliate to send a representative to this workshop to learn about the new IDEA amendments and how they should be implemented through the IEP process.

Wednesday, July 8: During the free afternoon parents and teachers are encouraged to drop into a movement and cane travel discussion and question-and-answer session conducted between 2:00 and 5:00 p.m. by Joe Cutter. The format is casual, and participants may drop in any time and leave when they like. Also on Wednesday afternoon we are putting together a hands-on workshop on creating tactile materials. More details will be available later.

National Organization of the Senior Blind

by Christine Hall

The annual meeting of the National Organization of the Senior Blind will be held on Monday, July 6, 1998, from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. Members and interested parties, please note the time of the meeting has been changed because we are now a division and no longer a committee. We are planning an interesting and exciting meeting, and at the time of this writing in late January, we plan to have an ophthalmologist from the Dallas area speak to us on aging and vision loss and changes occurring in the provision of health care services. Please plan to arrive on time so dues of $5 can be collected and names and addresses can be obtained for the membership list. We look forward to seeing you in Dallas.

Piano Tuners Division Reorganizes

by Don Mitchell

The Piano Tuners Division of the National Federation of the Blind will re-organize at the National Convention this summer in Dallas/Fort Worth. Don Mitchell of the Clark County Chapter in Washington state has been asked to help re-organize this division. At our meeting we will consider the purpose of this division, develop bylaws, elect officers, and set goals for the division.

Piano tuning is and has been an excellent career choice for both blind and sighted men and women. I hope this division can assist blind piano tuners in finding equality and success in their chosen field and can share this exciting career opportunity with other blind men and women.

Look for the time and place in your convention program. Don Mitchell, the director of instruction and vice president of the Emil Fries School of Piano Tuning and Technology, previously known as the Emil Fries Piano Hospital and Training Center, hopes to greet both tuners and other interested blind persons at this organizational meeting.

Social Security Seminar

by James Gashel

An outreach seminar (Social Security and Supplemental Security Income: What Applicants, Advocates, and Recipients Should Know) will take place on Wednesday afternoon, July 8. The purpose of this seminar, which will be conducted jointly by the National Federation of the Blind and the Social Security Administration, is to provide information on Social Security and Supplemental Security Income benefits for the blind. Seminar presenters will be Jim Gashel, Director of Governmental Affairs for the National Federation of the Blind, and a representative to be announced from the Social Security Administration.

Writers' Division

by Tom Stevens

Writing is the surest way to give something a degree of permanence. The spoken word vanishes in a few seconds, and usually what remains is an idea or a concept.

However, when we write, we offer our views, our knowledge to others. The effectiveness of writing can be seen in the millions of pages which are published each year. One facet of the Writers' Division is to make useful information available to people who would like to write.

In Dallas we plan a workshop for Saturday, July 4, the day preceding registration and resolutions. The program is not yet complete but will begin with registration at 1:15 p.m., and the workshop will conclude by approximately 4:00 p.m. There will be a question-and-answer session, and books authored by presenters may be available. The cost of the workshop will be $10.

We will also conduct the division's annual meeting. In addition to several presentations on various topics, this fast-growing meeting will let you meet some of the division's officers and some of the best of the writers in the National Federation of the Blind. So gear up. Head your cayuse for Dallas and bring along a couple of writing instruments so you can take home some of our information. Division membership for first-timers is $5 and $10 for renewals. Members receive our quarterly magazine, Slate and Style, on tape, in large print, or in Braille. Questions may be directed to Tom Stevens at (573) 445-6091.