The Braille Monitor                                                                               August/September, 2003

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Convention Miniatures

News from the Federation Family


A number of divisions conducted elections during the 2003 convention. Here are the election results we have been told about:

National Association of the Blind in Communities of Faith

Elected to serve two-year terms were Tom Anderson, president; Linda Mentink, vice president; Pam Provost, secretary; and Sam Gleese, treasurer.

National Organization of Blind Educators

The officers elected were president, Sheila Koenig; vice president, Priscilla McKinley; second vice president, J.W. Smith; secretary, Caroline Rounds; treasurer, Cheralyn Creer; and board members, Carolyn Brock and David Ticchi.

National Association of Blind Entrepreneurs

Elected this year were president, Jim Bonerbo; vice president, Barbara Esposito; secretary, Robert Jaquiss; and treasurer, Nick Gupta.

National Association of Blind Piano Technicians

Those elected were president, Don Mitchell; first vice president, Richard Bennett; second vice president, Ron Poire; secretary, Albert Sanchez; and treasurer, Connie Ryan.

Human Services Division

The newly elected officers are president, Melissa Riccobono; first vice president, Marie Kouthoofd; second vice president, David Stayer; secretary, Deb Delorey; treasurer, J.D. Townsend; and board members, Julie Deden and Ruth Stewart.

National Organization of the Senior Blind

This year's officers are president, Judy Sanders; first vice president, Ray McGeorge; second vice president, Roy Hobley; secretary, Christine Hall; treasurer, Paul Dressell; and board members Clayton Hyde and Don Gilmore.

Performing Arts Division

The elected officers are president, Adrienne Snow; vice president, Angela Bradley; secretary, Cheryl Fischer; treasurer, Dennis Holsten; and board member, Jane Elder.

National Association to Promote the Use of Braille

The NAPUB officers elected were president, Nadine Jacobson; first vice president, Robert S. Jaquiss; second vice president, Linda Mentink; secretary, Jennifer Dunnam; and treasurer, Warren Figueiredo.

Diabetes Action Network

Those elected were president, Paul Price; first vice president, Eric Woods; second vice president, Sandy Addy; treasurer, Bruce Peters; secretary, Lois Williams; and board members, Ed Bryant, Joyce Kane, and Josie Armantrout.

National Association of Blind Merchants

At its annual meeting the National Association of Blind Merchants elected five members to its board of directors: Nick Gacos of New Jersey and Kim Williams of Tennessee were re-elected to two-year terms. Also elected to serve two-year terms were Mark Harris of Texas and Lynn Reynolds of New Jersey. Raj Mehta of Georgia was elected to a one-year term.

Writers Division

The following officers were elected: Tom Stevens (Missouri), president; Lori Stayer (New York), vice president; John TeBockhorst (Iowa), secretary; Helen Stevens (Missouri), treasurer; and Jerry Whittle (Louisiana), Robert Newman (Nebraska), Jane Lansaw (Nebraska), and Melba Urban (Iowa), board members.

Congratulations to all these division officers.

Affiliate Web Sites:

Gary Wunder, who chairs a new NFB committee charged with assisting affiliate and division Web masters, provided the following brief report:

As the benefits of having information available electronically have become evident and the new tools for the Internet have made putting up and getting down information easier, more and more of our affiliates have created Web sites to spread the news about the work of the Federation. For the first time we held a meeting of NFB Web masters this year, which drew a larger crowd than we had anticipated. We forgot how many of our divisions and local chapters have or want to have a presence on the Web. The room was crowded and more than a bit hot, but that did nothing to deter those interested in spreading our message about blindness to everyone who owns a computer.

Accessibility is a big issue these days, so the group dedicated itself to ensuring that all NFB Web sites are as accessible as they can be. The certification we offer to businesses and organizations who want to ensure that their sites are accessible to the blind will also be offered to our affiliates. Software for creating good, accessible sites will also be available, and the group pledged itself to develop strategies for the most effective deployment of our message. Our state and chapter sites will have enough consistency that people coming to NFB sites will recognize who we are, and enough individuality to allow each state to bring its own flavor to the Internet-surfing experience.

Please feel free to visit us at <> and follow the links to our affiliate Web sites. We welcome your suggestions for improving the way we present our Federation message. Join us on our NFB-WEB mailing list by going to <> and subscribing.

Braille Flea Market:

Sandy Halverson reports that the UPS-sponsored twentieth anniversary Braille Readers Are Leaders celebration and Braille book flea market took place on Monday, June 30, 2003. After the UPS volunteers transported sixty-five boxes of Braille books to the hotel, several volunteers worked with us to set up the flea market tables. Over two hundred people, at least fifty of whom were children, attended the flea market. Even though many took their books away, UPS volunteers packed and mailed eighty boxes of books to addresses across the country. We raised a little over $1,000 in donations, which will be used for the Braille book flea market we'll conduct next year.

The brief program featured remarks from Dr. Maurer about Braille and a talk about how this contest helped Lora Felty, one of our first contest participants, pursue a career in Braille. Cathy Hicks, the Kentucky School for the Blind librarian, talked about her efforts and success promoting this contest for the last twenty years. Greg Wethington of UPS Employee Relations told us what he and the UPS volunteers had done, not only with this project, but working with the Convention in general. The program convened with a panel titled "Braille Rules" in which Hannah Weatherd, a ten-year-old from Montana; Macy McClain, a thirteen-year-old from Ohio; and Bryce Gitzen, a seven-year-old from Washington state, entertained us with lively presentations which they read in Braille.

We'll soon begin making arrangements for next year's flea market, to be announced later in the Braille Monitor.

John Jell, national sales manager for the Nestle Company; Dan Roach, Nestle Vending Business Manager; Barbara Cheadle, president of the National Organization of Parents of Blind Children; and Kevan Worley, president of the National Association of Blind Merchants, stand together holding a large check replica.
John Jell, national sales manager for the Nestlé Company; Dan Roach, Nestlé Vending Business Manager; Barbara Cheadle, president of the National Organization of Parents of Blind Children; and Kevan Worley, president of the National Association of Blind Merchants, stand together holding a large check replica.

Gift from the Nestlé Company:

Kevan Worley reports that the National Association of Blind Merchants was pleased to highlight a presentation of a $5,000 contribution to the National Organization of Parents of Blind Children from the Nestlé company to support the Braille Readers Are Leaders program. The presentation was made during the Friday morning, July 4, business session.

VoiceNote Drawing:

Even if you missed your chance at the convention, you can still win a brand-new, state-of-the-art Pulse Data notetaker, donated by Adaptive Information Systems. All proceeds go to the National Federation of the Blind of Wisconsin. This prize is valued at over $2,500. It can also be applied to the purchase of a BrailleNote.

For only $5 for one chance or $25 for six chances, you can walk away with the latest and greatest accessible notetaker for blind people on the market today. The drawing for the VoiceNote will be held on Saturday, October 11, 2003, at the state convention of the National Federation of the Blind of Wisconsin in Janesville. The lucky winner does not have to be present to win but will be contacted immediately.

Get your tickets by sending your name, address, telephone number, and e-mail address (optional) in either print or Braille along with the money for the number of tickets you want to buy to National Federation of the Blind of Wisconsin, 1420 West State Street, Janesville, Wisconsin 53546.

For questions regarding the drawing or the features of the VoiceNote, contact Roger Behm, president of Adaptive Information Systems, (608) 758-0933, e-mail <>.

New Cookbook and Word Search Available:

Tami Dodd Jones, who chairs the Jacobus tenBroek Memorial Fund Committee, has sent the following announcement:

The Jacobus tenBroek Memorial Fund Committee has two products for sale. The first is a Braille or large-print word search titled "Fifty-two Jobs." It features jobs held by blind Federationists present and past and other blind people in the news. The cost for either the Braille or large-print version is $1. Those who return their answers by October 31, 2003, will be eligible for a drawing with $50 as its prize.

The other product is our new Braille cookbook entitled The Easy Elegant Elephant Cookbook, which features recipes rated on both how easy and how elegant they are. Despite the title of the book, the first recipe is for elephant stew. Lots of fun! More than fifty other yummy and more practical recipes follow.

To purchase either of these products, contact Tami Jones, 403 Milton Street, Valparaiso, Indiana 46385; phone (219) 548-0076; e-mail <>.

Writers Division Report:

The Writers Division conducted its twenty-first annual meeting with Dr. Floyd Matson, noted author and lecturer, as our guest speaker. We also had notable success with a poetry reading session on the Saturday before the convention convened, and we will repeat this in Atlanta in 2004. The division held quite successful short story fiction and poetry writing contests. First-place winner in the short story fiction contest was Christine Faltz of New York, and Bonnie Lannom of New Jersey took second place. In the poetry contest Shelly Alongi of California took first place, and second place went to Rudy Makoul of California. For further details on the contest winners and their writing, see the division's magazine, Slate & Style. Jerry Whittle of Louisiana wrote and produced another superlative play regarding blindness.

Whozit Jewelry Now Available:

Square Whozit pin, gold or silver, $10; gold and enamel, $15
Square Whozit pin, gold or silver, $10; gold and enamel, $15

The last time we ordered new jewelry incorporating the NFB logo was in the early 1970's. Now that Whozit is an active part of Federation life, we have all new sterling silver and gold pins, charms, and earrings. All pins have the reliable, easy-to-use military back, not a pin with safety clasp. The earrings, with French hooks, and charms, which can also be used as pendants by threading a chain through the loop, are in the form of the free-standing Whozit figure. Pins are available in the Whozit outline and a square with Whozit etched in the center. Both the gold outline and gold square pins come in two types: with a brushed gold Whozit or with Whozit in full color. The square sterling pins come only with a brushed silver Whozit or in a silver outline.



Whozit outline pin, gold, $15: silver, $10
Whozit outline pin, gold, $15; silver, $10

Order your Whozit jewelry today. It is stylish and dignified. Place credit-card orders at <>, or send checks to Materials Center, National Federation of the Blind, 1800 Johnson Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21230-4998

Whozit earrings, gold $25; sterling silver, $20
Whozit earrings, gold $25; sterling silver, $20







Whozit charm, gold, $15; silver, $10
Whozit charm, gold, $15; silver, $10


Interest Group Report:

The National Federation of the Blind in Judaism, an NFB interest group, conducted its second annual meeting at this year's convention. The group celebrated the Sabbath and discussed issues of common concern to blind Jews, in particular, continued difficulties with JBI International. Thirty-five people attended the event.

In Memoriam:

With deep regret we must report that on August 17, 2003, Glen Rounds, husband of the 2003 Kenneth Jernigan Memorial Scholarship winner, Caroline Rounds, died unexpectedly. The couple had just celebrated their thirty-second wedding anniversary that day and returned home for the evening when Glen died. We extend deepest sympathy to Caroline and the couple's three adult children.

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.

Attention Those Aging with Hearing and Vision Loss:

Mississippi State University's Rehabilitation Research and Training Center (RRTC) on Blindness and Low Vision, in collaboration with the Helen Keller National Center on Deaf-Blind Youth and Adults and the RRTC for Persons Who are Hard of Hearing or Late Deafened, is currently working on a five-year research project concerning people aging with vision and hearing loss. We attended this year's NFB convention and would like to thank all those who stopped by our booth to learn about the project. We also wanted to have the opportunity to inform those of you who didn't attend the conference about the project and ask for your help.

The project focuses on people who are visually or hearing impaired and experience a secondary onset of hearing or vision loss resulting from aging. Older people who experience both vision and hearing loss are often isolated due to a lack of access to technology, communication systems, and transportation. The primary goals of this project are to determine the needs that exist for this group of people and the best way to address those needs in order to improve the everyday lives of those aging with sensory impairments.

We are recruiting people to participate in this project. If you have experienced both a hearing and vision loss and are fifty-five years or older, we request your participation in our study group. Participation as a study group member would involve completing surveys and possibly participating in an interview. Only a small amount of your time would be required, and your contribution would benefit not only you but others who are aging with vision and hearing loss. Any information you provide us would remain strictly confidential.

If you would like to participate or if you have any questions, please contact B.J. LeJeune or Michele Capella at (800) 675-7782 or e-mail them at <>. Additional information about the project and a study group application form can also be obtained at <>.

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