Braille Monitor                                             October 2015

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News from the Federation Family

Wilbur Webb Dies:
We are saddened to announce the passing of our longtime leader Wilbur Webb on August 5. Wilbur had been a dedicated Federationist since the New York Affiliate was chartered in 1956. He helped build the Syracuse Chapter and was a staunch advocate for changing lives of the blind.

Wilbur participated in many NAC rallies. He was fond of telling the story of helping carry the NAC coffin through the streets of New York City in the late 1960s. He also helped remove the barriers that prevented blind people from attending college in the SUNY system simply because they could not pass the physical exam which included an eye test. Wilbur was the only person most of us know that actually knew and worked for our founder, Dr. tenBroek. He was instrumental in growing the Federation in New York, and he also went to other states to promote the NFB. He was a pioneer.

He will be missed, but his legacy lives on because his efforts will continue to positively affect the lives of all blind people in New York.

Science and Engineering Division 2015 STEM Conference Scholarship:
The Science and Engineering Division of the National Federation of the Blind is proud to announce that it is now taking applications for the 2015 STEM conference stipend award. All applications must be submitted by December 1, 2015. The award includes up to $2,000 towards attending a technical conference in the fields of science, technology, engineering, or mathematics. The winner of the award will attend a conference and submit receipts to the science division for reimbursement.

The science division is excited to share the accomplishments of blind scientists with other blind people. The science division asks that when submitting receipts the winner also provide an approximately 500 word essay describing the conference experience and what was learned. We will share this information on the science and engineering division listserv. The stipend award also includes up to $500 toward costs of attending the next NFB convention after attending the STEM conference.

The science division would like to send a worthy candidate to a STEM conference of their choosing. The science division also invites the selected candidate to attend the science division meeting and make a ten minute presentation on the candidate's interest in science and what was learned at the conference.

A candidate is eligible if he or she is legally blind and attending a full time college or graduate program in a STEM field in the US in the fall of 2015. A candidate is also eligible if he or she is legally blind and has received a bachelors or graduate degree in a STEM field in the spring of 2013 or later and is currently living in the US. The science division welcomes both blind students that are working toward a STEM degree and blind new STEM professionals to apply. Email your application to John Miller at [email protected]. The application should include: proof of legal blindness, college transcripts, a personal essay, and a contact phone number. The personal essay should be no more than 500 words, describe your interest in science, and describe the blindness techniques you use in performing scientific work. The essay should also list the conference you wish to attend and the dates of the conference. If you do not know the exact conference at the time of application, then please describe the field of the conference and some candidate conferences that you are considering. You need not present at the conference in order to receive the STEM conference stipend.

As part of the application process the science division may contact you to discuss your application. The STEM stipend will be awarded by January 15, 2015. The STEM stipend is a great opportunity for personal growth in a field of science.

Buffalo Chapter Elections:
The National Federation of the Blind of New York, Buffalo Chapter, held its elections in May. Elected are Michael P. Robinson, President; Christian Minkler, vice president; Margo Downey, secretary; Jessica Snyder, treasurer; and board members Julie Phillipson; Angie Robinson; and Linda Kaminski.

Web Accessibility Training Day:
The National Federation of the Blind Center of Excellence in Nonvisual Access to Commerce, Public Information, and Education (CENA) and the Maryland Technology Assistance Program are proud to announce that we will be hosting another Web Accessibility Training Day on November 4, 2015.

This year we are expanding both the technical and the policy tracks to pack more content that fits your needs into the day. Whether you are wondering how to implement accessibility in education, curious about the Section 508 update, or wanting to learn more about how to test for web accessibility, we’ve got you covered.

The registration fee will be $100, and the event will be held at the NFB Jernigan Institute at 200 East Wells Street at Jernigan Place, Baltimore, MD 21230

For more information, please visit <>, or contact Clara Van Gerven at <[email protected]>.
Come learn with us!

New Novel:
If you would like a print autographed copy of Jerry Whittle’s baseball romance, Slingshot, or his novel, Standing with Better Angels, about a blind minister who works in the New Orleans’ French Quarter, please send a check or money order for $20 (includes shipping) to 506 University Blvd., Ruston, LA 71270. These and other books by Jerry are available as Kindle editions at <>. Ten percent of sales are donated to 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.

The 2016 Ski for Light International Week:
The forty-first annual Ski for Light (SFL) International Week will take place from Sunday, January 24 through Saturday, January 30, 2016. Note that the traditional Sunday to Sunday SFL week has been shortened by one day to a Sunday to Saturday event for 2016.

The 2016 Ski for Light event will take place in Northwest Lower Michigan on the grounds of Shanty Creek Resorts in Bellaire, Michigan. Located just forty-five minutes from the Traverse City airport, Shanty Creek Resorts is a 4,500 acre complex containing three housing and entertainment villages, both cross-country and downhill ski trails, a tubing hill, several swimming pools and hot tubs, a fitness center and spa, and much more.

Applications are requested by November 1. Late applications can only be considered on a space-available basis. Full details about the event and the accessible online application, which can be completed on the Ski for Light website, can be found at <>.

If you are a novice and want to learn how to cross-country ski, or if you have skied before and just want to be matched with an experienced guide and meet new friends for a wonderful week of fun in the snow, this is the event for you!

In addition to finding more details on the SFL website, information about the event can be obtained by contacting Bob Hartt at <[email protected]>.

A Message of Hope from Unity:
Unity Message of Hope® is an outreach program sharing the assurance of God’s love and grace by providing free spiritual materials to a variety of audiences including individuals who are visually impaired. The program provides a virtual library of downloadable Braille (.brf file) Unity publications, available free of charge and accessible on a computer with Braille translation software, Braille notetaker, or digital talking book player. For more information visit <>, call Message of Hope toll-free at (866) 421-3066, or email us at <[email protected]>.

Envision Seeking Blind Employees:
Envision is proud to be a leading employer of individuals who are blind or visually impaired. At Envision we focus on ability, not disability. Each Envision employee comes to work driven by a sense of purpose in what they do, and they see their purpose in action through the employment opportunities, programs, and services which their work with Envision helps fuel. Each Envision employee has different roles and responsibilities, but everyone works toward the same mission: to improve the quality of life and provide inspiration for the blind and visually impaired through employment, outreach, rehabilitation, education, and research.

For more information or to apply for an open position, please visit us at <>. We look forward to hearing from you.

Donations Needed for Bangladesh Library:
The Louis Braille Memorial Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped provides free services for all ages of blind, deaf, deaf-blind, and other physically handicapped people in Bangladesh. They are looking for donations of any used Braille materials, print books, large print books, magazines, or journals of any type, including religious materials. They are also looking for white canes, talking watches, talking calculators, Perkins Braillers, Braille writing paper, Braille slates and boards, laptops, computers, printer paper, or a copy machine.

Donations can be mailed through the post office with “Free Matter For the Blind and Physically Handicapped” on the label. Ship to: Ms. Afroza Mili, Librarian, Louis Braille Memorial Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, Plot # 11/1 Road # 06 Block # E Section # 12 Pallabi, Mirpur Dhaka-1216 Bangladesh. Example label below:



 NAME: ------------------------------------------
 ORGANIZATION NAME:--------------------------------------
 MAILING ADDRESS:---------------------------------------------------------
Ms. Afroza Mili
Plot # 11/1, Road # 06, Block # E, Section # 12, Pallabi,
Mirpur, Dhaka – 1216, Bangladesh.

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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