Monitor Miniatures

Braille for China Again:

We carried a notice in the February, 1998, issue which invited readers to consider donating complete Braille materials in good condition for use by blind people in China who are studying English. Larry Campbell, who asked us to post that request, reports that the response has been gratifying. He has also had some questions. He wishes to clarify several matters. First, the materials should be shipped directly to China, not to Larry. Materials may be mailed "free matter for the blind" using the same U.S. Postal specifications that you would use in mailing such materials here. Materials for overseas shipment should be placed in strong, compact cardboard boxes and should not exceed twelve pounds. Seal boxes with strong, clear tape. Boxes should be labelled as follows:

1. In the upper left corner place a small label with the sender's return address.

2. In the upper right corner, where postage is normally attached, print "FREE MATTER FOR THE BLIND."

3. In the center, using a larger label than the return-address label, print the full address of the China Braille Press.

4. At the bottom center write "By sea mail."

Larry tells us that the most welcome materials are novels, current-event and other popular-interest magazines such as Reader's Digest, National Geographic, etc., and basic books and periodicals on access technology. Several groups are already providing Bibles and other religious materials, so general literature is what is needed.

Materials should be mailed directly to:

Foreign Language Department

China Braille Press

39 Chengnei Street


Beijing, China 100072

In Memoriam:

Thelda Borisch, a member of the National Federation of the Blind of Missouri, recently wrote to report that on Thursday, November 6, 1997, a long-time Federationist, Rhoda Dower, lost her fight against cancer. She was a charter member of the St. Louis Chapter. She lived a year and seven months after the death of her husband John Dower, who was also a charter member of the Missouri affiliate. John and Rhoda provided a lot of support and understanding to Federationists. I met them about fifteen years ago. They taught me much about the National Federation of the Blind. Many people will miss Rhoda.

Cook Books and Patterns Wanted:

We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

Since I can no longer read Braille, I am interested in hearing from anyone who has cook books and knitting patterns on audio tape. Please contact Rose Dalley, 1 Hubbard Street, Montpelier, Vermont 05602, or call (802) 223-1673.

Instructional Music Tapes Available:

We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

Tapes on piano teaching, theory, and transcription and accompaniment tapes for instrumental and voice with individual attention are available. Dictated audio cassette tapes of many types (mostly keyboard) of music (classical, pops, show tunes, hymns, or old favorites; beginners to advanced) can be ordered by contacting Jeanine Linster, 409 30-1/4 Road, Grand Junction, Colorado 81504, (970) 434-8639. No Braille please.

Convention Lunch Link:

Would you like to meet someone new at the NFB Convention in Dallas? Maybe you are looking for a friendship or a bit of romance. What better way to get acquainted than over lunch? The NFB of Maryland can help you link up with that special someone. We'll leave lunch to you.

Don't miss out on the fun. Join the Lunch Link today. Here's how it works. You answer a series of questions about yourself and the type of person you are looking for. The questionnaire is available in large print and Braille. It is quick and easy to do. Then we put your information into our computer, which will find the best match. We will share your name and state affiliate with that person and vice versa. Your name may be shared with up to three additional people. The service is confidential.

Why stand in long lines in Dallas to get your questionnaire? Request one today by contacting Lynn Mattioli, 817 Park Avenue, Apartment 7, Baltimore, Maryland 21210, or call (410) 625-0076. Be sure to tell us which format you prefer (large print or Braille). Once you have circled your answers, return it to the above address with your payment of $5 per submission. (Make checks payable to the NFB of Maryland.)

You can also get a questionnaire at our table in the Exhibit Hall on Sunday, July 5, and Monday, July 6. The deadline for joining the Lunch Link is 5:00 p.m. on Monday. Monday night the computer will do its magic. You must return to the Exhibit Hall on Tuesday, July 7, to pick up the name of your match (which will be in a sealed envelope). We will only give you this information in person.

Don't miss out on your link. Join the Lunch Link today. You have nothing to lose but the problem of wondering whom you will be dining with in Dallas.

Wall Gardens:

We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

Now everyone can grow vegetables, herbs, and flowers with a space-saving new gardening technology, the Living Wallgarden. This containerized system substitutes an artificial growing medium for soil, allowing both novice and experienced gardeners to garden with ease and independence without the need for soil preparation or weeding. The Living Wallgarden comes in various sizes, can be used indoors or outside, and occupies a fraction of the space of traditional growing systems. The containers come complete with growing medium, fertilizer, and easy-to-follow instructions. All you supply are the plants. Everyone with an interest in gardening is invited to visit the Living Wallgarden Web site at where you can learn about this new gardening resource. You can also contact Harv Robinson, Living Wallgarden Company, 9727 Williams Road, Diamond, Ohio 44412, (330) 654-9507.

Vintage Radio Programs:

We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

Audio Treasures produces cassette tapes of great old radio programs such as "Jack Benny," "The Shadow," "Suspense," "Gunsmoke," "Lone Ranger," "X Minus One," "Lux Radio Theatre," famous news and sports broadcasts, plus other old favorites. To order a free catalog call toll free, (888) 723-4642. For more information or to place an order, contact Michael Yale, Audio Treasures, 27 Cann Street, Huntsville, Ontario, Canada P1H 1K7.

Help Needed in Bangladesh:

We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

Used books; magazines; journals; and materials and equipment such as Perkins Braillers, cassette recorders, Talking-Book player/recorders, talking watches and calculators, white canes, spectacles, frames, or any other used materials for the disabled are requested by the FIMA Institute for Disabled Society (FIDS). FIDS is a voluntary organization serving the blind, deaf-blind, partially-sighted, and physically handicapped. Send your donation to FIMA Institute for Disabled Society, 12, E 5/6, P.O. Box-8104, Mirpur, Dhaka-1216, Bangladesh. If you donate money, send by postal money order and inform FIDS of the money order number and sending date.

Fund-raising Idea:

We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

The Chocolate Experience, Inc., which manufactures chocolate

Braille greeting cards, has recently done a Brailled Easter bunny

and Brailled chocolate heart. These items make great fund-

raisers. For more information on products contact Judy Geva at

(800) 669-6665. In New York only, call (718) 461-1873. Our e-mail

address is

[email protected]

Fast Track for Tenor from Tuscany:

NFB of Michigan member Sunny Emerson passes along the following notice she found in The Independent, United Kingdom, May 19, 1997, about an Italian tenor with truly Federation ideas and, according to her, a spectacular voice. Here it is:

Andrea Bocelli, the blind Tuscan tenor, was a complete unknown until recently. Since being discovered by Luciano Pavarotti in 1992, Bocelli, thirty-eight, has taken master classes with the maestro. He has sung for the Pope and with Pavarotti, Bryan Adams, and Bryan Ferry. He was born with a visual defect, and at the age of twelve he lost his sight completely after an accident playing football. Bocelli is adamant that for him his blindness was in no way a tragedy. "The tragedy is that people continue to make a fuss out of something which they consider tragic, not I." He is scheduled to appear on the Rosie O'Donnell Show on March 31. Available CD's are Romanza and Viaggio Italiano.

Letter from Liverpool:

We recently received the following letter from a reader in Liverpool. Perhaps someone can help. Here it is:

I have enjoyed reading the Monitor in Braille sent to me by a friend in the Irish Republic. I would like to read the journal on a regular basis. I would be happy to swap journals in Braille with any American Federationist. I am totally blind and work in the tourist industry guiding visitors (many from the U.S.) around public buildings in my city. I was fascinated by the description of your July convention, and the journal is full of information. Those interested in swapping journals should contact Stephen Binns, 7 Trispen Road, Liverpool, L116ND, United Kingdom.

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Dr. Betsy Zaborowski


It was recently announced that Dr. Betsy Zaborowski, a long-time leader in the NFB's Human Services Division and now a member of the staff at the National Center for the Blind, has been selected as one of Maryland's Top 100 Women for 1998. The reception will take place at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall on March 25, 1998 at 5:00 p.m. The honor comes as recognition of her many professional and civic accomplishments. The award program is sponsored by the Daily Record, Baltimore's most influential business publication.


The St. Louis Chapter of the NFB of Missouri recently elected the following new officers: Kerry Smith, President; John Ford, Vice President; Susan Ford, Secretary; Delores Watson, Treasurer; Rhonda Dycus, Corresponding Secretary; and Thelda Borisch, Board Member-at-Large.

Perkins Brailler Repairs Available:

We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

The Selective Doctor, Inc., is a repair service for all IBM typewriters and Perkins Braille Writers. Located in Baltimore, the service has done work for the Maryland School for the Blind and a number of other organizations in Maryland. They accept Perkins Braillers sent to them from around the country. They advertise top quality service at yesterday's prices. They also request a phone call before shipment of Braillers and ask that equipment be insured in the mail. For more information contact the Selective Doctor, Inc., P.O. Box 28432, Baltimore, Maryland 21234, or call (410) 668-1143.

Soundman Now Available:

President Maurer writes: The National Federation of the Blind is now distributing the Soundman, a tape recorder with AM/FM radio, television bands, and The Weather Channel. The Soundman sells for $165. It is also available from the Myna Corporation, 239 Western Avenue, Building A2I, Essex, Massachusetts, 01929-1102, or telephone 508-768-9000.

I like to keep a tape recorder in my bedroom. For some time now I have been looking for a television receiver that I could also keep there. However, I didn't want several machines. I was hoping to find a single unit that would give me both a tape recorder and the audio bands of a television. I hoped that I would be able not only to listen to library books and other recordings, but to record some of the material broadcast on television and radio. Consequently, when the Soundman became available, I decided to try it. As I said earlier, the Soundman also brought me the Weather Channel, a part of broadcasting that I had missed.

One evening, as I was scanning the dial with the Soundman, I came upon a familiar voice. It did not sound like a public broadcast. Rather it seemed much more like a private phone call. As I listened, it became clear to me that I was hearing a telephone conversation between my thirteen-year-old son David Maurer and a girl. I invited David to step around to my room. When he arrived, I asked him if he was on the phone, and he said that he was using the portable. I invited him to say something into the phone, and his voice came out of the radio. The Soundman was picking up the broadcast from our portable phone. David and I were both astonished.

I have used the Soundman myself for several weeks now. It is about a foot long, about eight inches high, and about three inches thick. It can be operated on house current or on batteries. I prefer to operate it on batteries, because I can carry it with me wherever I am in the house or, for that matter, anywhere else.

I don't know whether the Soundman will pick up your children's conversations or not. But I do think it is a good machine and that you should know about it.

Cassette Religious Magazine Available:

We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

The Circle of Love is a monthly Christian ninety-minute tape magazine, which features songs, poetry, Bible games, testimonies, helpful information, Scripture memorization, pen pals, and many other features. Yearly subscriptions are $20 to keep the magazine and $15 to receive it on a read-and-return basis. For a free sample, write Circle of Love, 1002 Johnson Street, Pasadena, Texas 77506-4618, or call toll-free (800) 555-9205, enter mailbox 5384, and press the star key. Be sure to speak clearly and spell any unusual street and city names.

Audio Business Digest Service:

We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

Newstrack Executive Tape Service is the Listener's Digest of business information. For over seventeen years executives, business owners, investors, entrepreneurs, and other professionals have listened to this business tool. In every issue Newstrack editors review over 100 top business publications and special sources. They select the best sixteen articles on management, sales, marketing, finance, business strategy, and much more. Since no one has the time to read every important business article, Newstrack is a time-saving source in this age of information overload.

Newstrack is available on both audio tape and CD. You have a choice of two versions: the small business issue is produced once a month at a cost of $149 per year on audio cassette; the regular full subscription is produced twice a month and costs $299 per year on cassette. We also offer the transcripts of each article available by e-mail, on 3.5-inch disk, or in hard copy.

To order call toll-free (800) 334-5771. Mention this notice and receive a 15 percent discount off the regular subscription price. Our subscriptions come with a money-back guarantee. If you are dissatisfied at any time for any reason, just call and we'll promptly refund the unused portion of your subscription. So start letting us at Newstrack do your business reading for you today.

Jerry Watkins Dies:

Jeriel R. Watkins, superintendent of the New Mexico School for the Blind from 1973 until his retirement in 1996, died Tuesday, February 10, 1998. He had suffered a brain aneurism two days earlier. Watkins was one of the defendants in a lawsuit brought by fifteen former students who maintained that they had been abused in various ways while students at the New Mexico School for the Visually Impaired. (See the October, 1996, issue of the Braille Monitor.) The case was recently settled.


The Austin Chapter of the National Federation of the Blind of Texas elected the following officers at its January, 1998, meeting: Zena Pearcy, President; Mary Ward, First Vice President;

Wanda Hamm, Second Vice President; Norma Gonzales Baker, Secretary; and Margaret Craig, Treasurer. The new Board Members are Mike Waddles and Jim Portillo.

OSB Alumni Reunion:

We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

The Oklahoma School for the Blind alumni reunion will be

held May 8, 9, and 10, 1998. A newsletter with registration form

was sent out the last week in February. If you are an alum and

have moved or are not on the mailing list, please send your name

and address to Carolyn Patocka, Oklahoma School for the Blind,

3300 Gibson Street, Muskogee, Oklahoma 74403, (918) 682-6641,

fax: (918) 682-1651, e-mail: [email protected]

Braille Teaching Aid:

We recently learned about a Braille instructional tool that could be helpful in teaching Braille to children:

Produced by Dancing Dots, Tack-tiles are small rectangular blocks which show Braille symbols as large raised dots and also show the corresponding print symbol for that Braille character. The blocks snap on to a board much like Lego toys. There are sets for English, Spanish, math, and music Braille. Each set contains 320 Tack-tiles, three large boards, and four smaller boards for students. Each set costs $269 plus shipping.

More from the Braille through Remote Learning Project:

The following notice was recently passed along to us. Braille Monitor readers will remember that Robert Gotwals, who originally sent the note, has been working to develop an Internet course to teach Braille to students and would-be instructors.

This is what he says about a new project:

As a part of the Braille through Remote Learning (BRL) Project, the Shodor Education Foundation, Inc., will be providing some basic instruction in music Braille on the Web. We expect this course, "Specialized Codes," to be available free of charge by early summer. The course will also include Nemeth code, computer Braille codes, etc. This course is the third in a series of novice-to-expert Braille courses being offered over the Net.

As the course instructor and Braillist, I have a special interest in music. I am very active in choral music; play the cello, guitar, and hammered dulcimer; and am currently taking piano lessons and a music theory course at Duke. Therefore I am extremely excited about the Specialized Codes course. I'm also a computational chemist in my real job and am thus eager to develop and offer the instruction in Braille mathematics and other technical codes.

For more information visit We welcome kids and especially parents of blind kids who need any type of Braille instruction.

Writing Guides Available:

We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

Sturdy black pocket check-writing guides are now available with spaces for date, payee, numeric and written amount, plus signature and memo fields. Standard-size checks are held in place for easy writing, and the guides are durable. Cost is $4 each.

Also available are sturdy black credit-card-size signature guides that fit either on a key chain or in your wallet. The template matches the signature line on a standard-size check. The guide is also convenient for signing credit card slips in a store check-out line. Cost is $1.50 each. If both items are purchased, the cost is $5.

Send your order with a check or money order plus a self-addressed stamped envelope to the Rev. George Gray, 1002 Johnson Street, Pasadena, Texas 77506-4618.

For Sale:

We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

Type 'n Speak for sale, less than one year old, used only two or three times, includes manual and cables, asking $1,200 or best offer. Contact Ruth King at 112 North Lakewood Avenue, Baltimore, Maryland, 21224, or (410) 732-5331.

Catalog of Braille Books Available:

The Louis Braille Center's 1998 catalog of Braille books features eighteen new titles, including My Life for the Poor by Mother Teresa, $18; You Come Too, poems by Robert Frost, $12; and The Velveteen Rabbit, by Margery Williams, $18. For a free catalog in Braille or print, contact Louis Braille Center, 320 Dayton Street, Suite 125, Edmonds, Washington 98020-3590, phone:

(425) 776-4042, fax: (425) 778-2384, or e-mail:

[email protected]

Religious Materials Available:

We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

Outreach with the Blind and Deaf/Blind offers Bibles and other materials in Braille as well as a lending library. To find out about their services, contact Floyd Rhoads, Outreach with the Blind and Deaf/Blind, Deaf/Blind Evangelism, 4143 Edmondson, Indianapolis, Indiana 46226-5016 or call (317) 549-3433.

New Braille Music Notation Software Available:

Connie Leblond, President of the National Federation of the Blind of Maine, has asked us to carry the following announcement:

Perspectives, total accessibility specialist, is pleased to announce the distribution of Concerto-Braille. This software enables blind and visually impaired users to transcribe Braille music. Features include the production of unlimited Braille pages; free updates; free Lime notator; and current NIFF compatibility: MIDI Scan, Lime, and Encore 5.0. It transcribes melodic lines, lyrics, and piano accompaniment.

For more information on Perspectives' products and services, visit our Web site at: or telephone (207) 772-7305 to request a product and service guide on computer diskette, in print, or in Braille.

For Sale:

We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

I have a Kurzweil Personal Reader model 35 for sale. It has manuals in Braille, on computer disk, and on cassette. It also has a SCSI card and cables. It is in good condition. Asking $2,500 or best offer. Contact Brenda Pride at (850) 455-3994.


We recently received notice from the Greater Seattle Chapter of the NFB of Washington that its new officers are Noel Nightingale, President; Rita Szantay, First Vice President; Mark Noble, Second Vice President; Renee West, Secretary; Gary Deeter, Treasurer; and Bennett Prows and Stephanie Yates, Board Members.

Ann Morris Enterprises 1998 Catalogues Available:

We have been asked to carry the following announcement:

If you have not received your 1998, Volume 12, catalog, it

is time to phone Ann Morris Enterprises, Inc., and request your

copy in large print, cassette, or computer disk. We have over 175

new items including an indoor/outdoor talking thermometer,

talking count-down timer, no-flame lighter, new Aiwa and Sony

modified recorders, and much more. Call (800) 454-3175 today or

e-mail: [email protected]

BANA Elects 1998 Officers:

The Braille Authority of North America (BANA) met in Atlanta, Georgia, on December 8 and 9, 1997. It elected the following new officers: Delores Ferrara-Godzieba, Chairperson;

Betty Niceley, Vice Chairperson; Phyllis Campana, Secretary; and Charlotte Begley, Treasurer. BANA will conduct its spring meeting in Washington, D.C., on April 27 and 28.


On December 20, 1997, the Central Florida Chapter of the NFB of Florida elected new officers. They are Jerry Heichelbeck, President; Sherri Brun, Vice President; Marilyn Baldwin, Secretary; and Ruth Heichelbeck, Treasurer.

New Division:

We are pleased to report that at its Christmas banquet on December 6, 1997, the NFB of Mississippi created Mississippi NAPUB, a division of the National Association to Promote the Use of Braille. The officers of the new division are Prentice Horton, President; Ella Reed, First Vice President; Gwen Stocks, Second Vice President; James Beard, Secretary; James Prince, Treasurer; and Rhonda White and Octivia Cotten, Board Members.

Business Opportunity:

Jim Blacksten, who is helping to organize a new chapter in the NFB of California, has asked us to carry the following announcement:

Would you like to join an exciting business which is selling new Leading-Edge computer products to blind people and to advertise and sell catalogs with some imported products? If you are a member of the international community, a woman with an interest in business, a college student, or someone who would like to be a distributor and make some extra money, this is the perfect opportunity for you. I am seeking to build a working relationship with a blind person having an interest in the international market and interested in a possible future partnership involving work and some financial investment. Whether you're interested in selling products or helping develop catalogs and promotional materials, I'd like to talk with you. To find out how you can become involved, call Jim Blacksten of Blacksten and Associates, Import Export, at (650) 347-7533.

A Raffle:

The Diabetes Action Network of the National Federation of the Blind provides support and information to thousands of people. Because operating this valuable network and publishing the Voice of the Diabetic cost money, we must generate funds to help cover these expenses. Our Diabetes Action Network has elected to conduct a raffle.

The grand prize will be $500! The winning ticket will be drawn and the winner's name announced on July 9 at the banquet held during the annual convention of the National Federation of the Blind.

Raffle tickets cost $1 each, or a book of six may be purchased for $5. Tickets may be purchased from state representatives of our Diabetes Action Network or by contacting the Voice Editorial Office, 811 Cherry Street, Suite 309, Columbia, Missouri 65201, telephone: (573) 875-8911. Anyone interested in selling tickets should also contact the Voice Editorial Office. Tickets are available now. Names of those who sell fifty tickets or more will be announced in the Voice.

Please make checks payable to the National Federation of the Blind. Money and sold raffle ticket stubs must be mailed to the Voice office no later than June 10, 1998, or they can be personally delivered to Ed Bryant at this year's NFB convention in Dallas.

This raffle is open to anyone age eighteen or older, and the holder of the lucky raffle ticket need not be present to win. Each ticket sold is a donation, helping keep our Diabetes Action Network moving forward.

New Chapter:

NFB of California President Jim Willows recently wrote to say that on a rainy El Nino day, February 21, 1998, some forty Federationists and Federationists-to-be met to reestablish our San Francisco Chapter. This newest chapter of the NFB of California will carry on the great work of our late colleague, Lawrence (Muzzy) Marcelino in the city and Federation he loved. Officers elected are Jim Blacksten, President; David Chittendon, Vice President; Helen Dodge, Secretary; Shannon Dillon, Treasurer; and Adam Linn, Board Member. The NFB of California looks forward to great things from the NFB of San Francisco.


Elizabeth Campbell writes to say:

I am pleased to announce that the following officers were elected to serve one-year terms in the Fort Worth chapter of the National Federation of the Blind of Texas: President, Elizabeth Campbell; Vice President, Gabriel Valentin; Secretary, Geneva Teagarden; Treasurer, Linda Fitzgerald; and Board Member, John Jones. We look forward to an exciting year of planning projects and seeing our chapter grow.

Playing Cards Available:

The Black Hawk County Chapter of the NFB of Iowa is now selling Braille and large-print playing cards. Each card has National Federation of the Blind and the organization's logo printed on the back. The cost of a deck is $6 plus $.50 for shipping and handling. Checks should be made payable to Black Hawk County, NFBI and should be mailed to Loren Wakefield, 722 Denver Street #2, Waterloo, Iowa 50702-2944.


We recently learned that at its February 13, 1998, meeting, the American Council of the Blind's Board of Directors accepted the resignation of long-time ACB Executive Director Oral Miller, effective in September.


I pledge to participate actively in the effort 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.