Future Reflections Winter/Spring 1991

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Editor's Note: For many years blind people dreamed of a time when they could buy (at affordable prices) their own Braille books. In 1984 an important step in this direction was taken when National Braille Press announced its "Children's Braille Book of the Month Club" featuring affordable Print/Braille children's books. Later, in 1986, the National Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS) announced that it would permit Braille book manufacturers producing books under contract to NLS to produce and sell extra copies to individuals at a cost in line with the cost of print books. Now, the American Printing House for the Blind is getting into the act. Here is part of an announcement that was recently published in the APH Slate.

The American Printing House for the Blind (APH) proudly announces the creation of the Century Series, a special selection of Braille books. This series is designed to enable Braille readers to obtain Braille books at the same cost as the original print editions. APH has set aside monies from its Endowment Fund to produce 50 Braille copies of each of 100 titles over the next several years. It is intended that these titles will not conflict with titles produced by the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS) or by any of the other major producers of Braille books. The reading levels and interest levels of these books will range from kindergarten to adult. The first four titles selected for the Century Series are: Mouse Tales, by Beatrix Potter. Four short Stories for children. 1 volume, Catalog number 5-84300-00, price $9.00. My favorite Goodnight Stories, by Linda Yeatman. A collection of 25 retold bedtime stories for children. 1 volume, Catalog number 5-85000-00, price $10.00 Tekway, by William Shatner. A science fiction novel for young adults and up. 2 volumes, Catalog number 6-40100-00, price $18.00.

The City of Gold and Lead, by John Christopher. Science fiction for young adults. 1 volume, Catalog number 5-23250-00, price $4.00.

These Century Series books are available as long as the supply lasts. For more information contact: American Printing House for the Blind, P.O. Box 6085, Louisville, KY 40206-0085. Phone and Fax: (502) 895-2405.


We have been asked to carry the following announcement: Braille Institute's 42nd edition of Expectations, A Braille anthology of the latest children's literature, soon will be available free of charge to English-speaking blind children in grades three through six. This annual volume, produced in grade II Braille, stimulates the imagination of blind children around the world. The theme is an international one, with stories by authors from many countries. Children can receive the book at home or at school. Libraries also can receive copies.

Expectations is supported entirely by donations. Those who would like to receive the 42nd edition or make a donation should write to Douglas Menville, Braille Institute, 741 North Vermont Avenue, Los Angeles, California 90029.


Maryanne Hutchins, a parent from Vermont, is interested in starting an NFB sponsored home-schooling network for parents of blind children. Maryanne states that inability to work out an appropriate IEP with the local school district was the catalyst for her and her husband to begin home-schooling their eleven-year-old blind daughter. The network would be a way for parents to share information about resources, helpful teaching tips, solutions to common problems, and to offer mutual moral support—all within a framework of positive attitudes about blindness. If you are a parent of a blind or partially sighted child and you are successfully home-schooling, or you simply want to explore the possibility, please contact: Maryanne Hutchins, 91 Saybrook, Essex Junction, VT 05452; (802) 879-1413.


We have been asked to print the following announcement: HAVE YOUR SAY! You are invited to participate in a survey being conducted to determine the availability or lack of religious materials in Braille for children. State your opinions and/or needs. Write for a survey form to EYES OF FAITH MINISTRIES Survey, 47316 Riverside, Newberry Springs, CA 92365.


We are very pleased to print the following news release: National Braille Press, Inc., a nonprofit Braille printing and publishing house located in Boston, received the 1990 Literary Market Place Special Award "honoring excellence and innovation in the book publishing industry" at a special dinner ceremony held in the United Nations Delegates' Dining Room on January 22, 1991. This is the first time that a Braille publishing house has received this distinguished award.

National Braille Press is committed to publishing in Braille practical information important to the independent functioning of blind people. For example, Take Charge: A Strategic Guide for Blind Job Seekers, by Rabby and Croft, is a practical self-help manual based on experiences of successful blind job seekers. Take Charge received the 1990 Book Award from the President's Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities. In 1984, NBP established its Children's Braille Book Club. The club produces a new print-and-Braille children's book each month.

DEAF-BLIND MANUAL AVAILABLE ONE STEP AT A TIME: A Manual for Families of Children with Hearing and Vision Impairments is a booklet designed to help parents of the young deaf-blind child—interpret the world to your child, one step at a time. This 37-page guide, written by Sharon Bolton, edited by Kris Strom Williamson, covers the topics: communication, eating, play (including a list of suggested toys), self-care skills (dressing, toilet training, and bedtime), motor development, and general resource information. The booklet was funded by the Association for Persons with Severe Handicaps (TASH), Technical Assistance Project, and is available for $10.00 per copy from: Teaching Research Publications, 345 N. Monmouth Avenue, Monmouth, OR 97361.


Editor's Note: Barbara Pierce, associate editor of the Braille Monitor, recently called to tell me about a nifty handmade toy she had discovered. A woman in her area (Beth Glenn) made a board toy for children who were recuperating from broken bones, or some other ailment which kept them bed-bound but no longer seriously ill. She soon discovered that healthy children enjoyed the toy, too. Mrs. Pierce (who is blind and was once a blind child) took a look at the "Roadboards" and was very excited about its potentiality as an educational toy for blind kids.

Beth Glenn describes the toy as a "original wooden toy with road and parking places for matchbox-sized (about 3") cars." The brightly painted (non-toxic) 18"x26" wooden board is grooved so that the little cars won't slide off and streets and parking areas are easily distinguishable from the sidewalk and lawn areas. Mrs. Pierce immediately saw possibilities in the toy for teaching compass directions and concepts about intersections, parking lots, driveways, gas station islands, and other features in our environment. The board is uncluttered (you add your own toy buildings if you want them) making tactile exploration easy and comprehensible to the blind child.

Here is the information about Roadboards and how to order one:

Roadboards: an original wooden toy with road and parking places for matchbox-sized cars. Features: encourages imagination; is fun for one or more players; rounded corners; no pieces to lose, break, or pick up; washable; bright colors (non-toxic); easy to store (can be hung by strong nylon handle). Models: Roadboard: 18" x 26" $34.00; Tray Roadboard (for hospital bedside trays): 13-1/2" x 30-1/2" $34.00. Roadboards, Beth Glenn, 24426 Bruce Road, Bay Village, OH 44140; (216) 871-9013.


What do you like to do in the summer? Fish? Swim? Sail? Bird-watch? Have you considered sharing these pleasurable leisure time activities with your blind son or daughter, or have you put it off because you didn't think, or didn't know how, a blind person could enjoy it? In fact, many blind persons enjoy these recreational activities. If you and/or your blind son, daughter, or student would like to get more information about these activities, contact the Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS) and request one or more of these free leisure time booklets: FISHING, An Introduction to Fishing for Fun and Food for Blind and Physically Handicapped Individuals; SWIMMING, An Introduction to Swimming, Diving, and SCUBA Diving for Blind and Physically Handicapped Individuals; BIRDING, An Introduction to Ornithological Delights for Blind and Physically Handicapped Individuals; SAILING, An Introduction to the Wonders of Sailing for Blind and Physically Handicapped Individuals. Each is available in print, large print, flexible disc, and Braille. Send your request (please be sure to designate the format desired) to: Reference Section, National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, Washington, D.C. 20542.

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