The Braille Monitor                                                                                         December, 2003


Monitor Miniatures

News from the Federation Family


In the article "Suggestions from the IBTC Holiday Elves" in the October issue, the Web site address for Book Share should have been <>.

Also, the list of officers we provided for the Writers Division in the August/September issue should have indicated that Jerry Whittle is second vice president. We regret the errors.


The NFB of Wisconsin conducted elections at its convention in October. The board of directors for the 2003-04 year is as follows: Dan Wenzel, president; William Meeker, first vice president; Tony Olivero, second vice president; Linda Mentink, secretary; Larry Sebranek, treasurer; and Nevzat Adil, Elizabeth Buhrke, Michael Huckaby, and Kathleen Sebranek, board members.

Candy Wreaths for Sale:

The NFB of South Dakota has Christmas candy wreaths for sale. They are made of two pounds of mixed Brach's candy tied to a five-inch ring with curly ribbon. Volunteers from the South Dakota affiliate made 250. They make a nice gift to be used as a wreath or candle ring. Cost is $10 each plus shipping. To order, call (605) 348-8418 or (605) 388-0429 or email to <>.


Mike Freeman reports that following the Washington affiliate's convention in late October, the officers are now Mike Freeman, president; Ben Prows, first vice president; Rita Szantay, second vice president; Kaye Kipp, secretary; and Gary Mackenstadt, treasurer. The other members of the board of directors are now Doug Johnson, Maria Bradford, Kyle Parrish, and Kris Lawrence.


Scott White writes to report that on October 27, 2003, the Richmond Area Federation of the Blind, NFB of Virginia elected the following officers and board members for a one-year term. President, Scott White; first vice president, Marshall Jordan; second vice president, Bert Shankle; treasurer, Anna Arrington; secretary, Susan Pollard; and board members Charlene Rogers, Doris Key, and Roger Newman.

Tom Davis
Tom Davis

In Memoriam:

As we were going to press, we learned that Kathy Davis, first vice president of the NFB of Florida, lost her dear husband Tom to Lou Gehrig's Disease on Sunday, November 9, 2003. Tom had fought gallantly against ALS, and Kathy was beside him every step of the way. She has our deepest sympathy in her loss.






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.

Electronic Books Available:

John J. Dragona writes to say the following:

Original novels are now available on PC-formatted diskettes at prices much lower than you would pay in book stores. With eBooks already riding the wave of the future, there is no longer any reason for bulky paper books or cassette tapes that must be returned to the library. Moreover, they can be easily read with a voice synthesizer. For descriptions of the books in our current and growing list, email <>.

Announcement from NFB and Pulse Data HumanWare:

The NFB and Pulse Data HumanWare announce a 5 percent discount on selected Pulse Data blindness-related products, including the BrailleNote, for members of the NFB. In addition, Pulse Data also announces that the BrailleNote, one of the market's most advanced notetakers for the blind, has updated its global positioning satellite (GPS) technology to include maps.

The BrailleNote added GPS support last year. With the addition of maps the power of GPS systems has now been fully adapted to meet the needs of the blind. Blind people can now receive comprehensive location and points-of-interest information in real time, for example, knowing the next street crossing while riding on a bus, finding walking directions to a restaurant, or giving driving directions to a taxi driver.

The virtual tour function allows blind users to explore and familiarize themselves with any area or neighborhood from the comfort of home. Like sighted people, blind people can now plan trips before leaving home using a BrailleNote.

About the size of a print textbook, the BrailleNote family of products uses the Windows CE operating system to support specialized hardware and software technology. The device includes either a Braille or conventional Qwerty keyboard and speech output or speech output with a Braille display.

Pen Friends Wanted:

Levon Baboyan lives in Russia near Moscow. He is forty-five and graduated from the Kerevan School for the Blind and the Moscow State University, where he studied law. He now works as a law consultant in a small plant run by the all-Russian Society for the Blind. He speaks Armenian, Russian, and English and takes a keen interest in the life of Armenian communities in the United States and Europe. He is very eager to correspond with Armenians or those who are in touch with Armenians. He can correspond in English, Armenian, or Russian. His interests include reading, listening to music (particularly classical), and playing chess. His address is 52-15 Sverdlov Street, Podolsk City, Moscow Region, Russia 142118.

John Taylor
John Taylor

John Taylor Dies:

From the President: On October 8, 2003, John Taylor died of heart failure at the age of eighty. Although in recent years his influence in the field of work with the blind had diminished, at one time John Taylor served as chief of the Washington office of the National Federation of the Blind and director of field operations for the Iowa Commission for the Blind. When he was working as a member of the Federation team, Mr. Taylor's contributions were substantial.

Online Literacy Survey:

Highly literate blind or visually impaired adults are invited to complete an online survey of their literacy learning and technology use. The online survey is one component of a research study on emergent literacy in young children with visual impairments, called Project Emerge, based at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The purpose of the survey is to learn more about the factors that contributed to literacy learning success in individuals who, prior to the age of six years, experienced severe visual impairment that affected the ability to read.

For this survey participants should be twenty-one years of age or older and have completed a four-year college degree. The results of this survey will increase our knowledge and understanding of early learning experiences, environments, and technologies that are most likely to support literacy learning for young children with visual impairments or blindness. Families and teachers of young children with visual impairments or blindness will then be able to use the information to promote early literacy.

The online survey will take about forty-five minutes to complete and can be found at <>. For more information contact Allen Stutts at <> or call the project's toll-free number (888) 718-7303. Dr. Deborah Hatton and Dr. Karen Erickson are the principal investigators of the project.

Charlie Crawford
Charlie Crawford

Charlie Crawford Is Out:

From the President: Charlie Crawford, who has been the executive director of the American Council of the Blind, resigned on October 17, 2003. Rumors of the resignation had been circulating for several weeks. Charlie said in an email announcement that he had irreconcilable differences with Chris Gray, president of the American Council of the Blind. Apparently Charlie couldn't get along with the president. This is not astonishing since Charlie has had trouble getting along with a lot of people. Maybe with Charlie out of the picture the cooperation that is frequently espoused will have a greater chance of survival. Maybe the ACB will stop its practice of fighting for the sake of saying it has done so.

Outline Maps of the World:

Outline Maps of the World is a single volume of seventy-nine pages. It contains thirty-three maps showing political boundaries, capital cities, and surrounding bodies of water. The maps are divided into five sections: North and South America, Europe, Asia and Australia, Africa, and the Polar Regions.

An index at the end of the volume lists countries and islands and indicates the page number of the map on which they appear. Maps are generally labeled with key letters that are identified in the Brailled key pages preceding the map.

Some of these maps have appeared in our earlier publications. However, the maps of Arctic regions, Antarctica, Africa, Southeast Asia, Indonesia, Australia and New Zealand, and Russia are new, and the other maps have been reworked.

Outline Maps of the World is bound with cardboard covers and a multiring binder. The cost is $19. Shipping is free-matter unless other arrangements are made. Please send check or purchase order to the Princeton Braillists, 76 Leabrook Lane, Princeton, New Jersey 08540; phone, (609) 924-5207 or (215) 357-7715.

Favorite Recipes Available:

A collection of over 200 mouth-watering recipes compiled by the members of the East Bay Center for the Blind, a nonprofit organization in Berkeley, California, is available in Braille (two volumes with easy wipe-off covers) or large print for a donation of $25 plus $3 shipping and handling. This is an excellent Christmas gift. To order a copy, send check or money order in the amount of $28 made payable to East Bay Center for the Blind, Inc., 2928 Adeline St., Berkeley, California 94703. For additional information call (510) 843-6935.

Inquiry about the Game Showdown:

John Jarboe, elementary principal at the Arkansas School for the Blind, wishes to know if the game Showdown is played anywhere in the United States. It's sometimes called table tennis for the visually impaired and is popular in Europe. Anyone with information for Mr. Jarboe can contact him at <>.

Brailler Repair:

The Selective Doctor, Inc., is a repair service for all IBM typewriters and Perkins Braillewriters. 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.

The cost to repair a manual Perkins Brailler is $50 for labor (flat rate), plus parts. Due to technical complexity the cost to repair an electric Perkins Brailler is $60 for labor (flat rate), plus parts. The Brailler will be shipped back to you by U.S. mail, free matter for the blind and insured for $600. The cost of this insurance ($7.20) will be added to your invoice. This listed insurance charge may fluctuate due to rate changes by the postal service.

To mail Braillers using the U.S. Postal Service, send your Brailler(s) to the Selective Doctor, P.O. Box 28432, Baltimore, Maryland 21234-8432. If you care to use UPS or Federal Express, please send Braillers to the Selective Doctor, 3014 Linwood Avenue, Baltimore, Maryland 21234-5821. With your Brailler(s) please include your name and organization (if applicable), shipping and billing addresses, telephone number, and a brief description of your Brailler's needs. Should you require additional information, please call (410) 668-1143, or email <>.

Career Track Courses Offered:

The Assistive Technology Center of Sacramento is offering courses in medical billing and accounting. These are the first of the group's Career Track series of classes. The courses can be taken online through its accessible distance-learning program, or at its facility. The Center is an educational facility accredited by the California Department of Education, and all instructors are certified. Currently the courses are offered for JAWS users only. They hope to have Window-Eyes on board soon.

 This endeavor is the first of its kind, and they believe that it will help usher in a new age of career training for blind and visually impaired people. Future courses will include general office and reception, medical transcription, nonemergency dispatch, and Microsoft Office certification.

For more information contact Robert Leblond at (916) 364-8488, or by email at <>.

Monitor Mart

The notices in this section have been edited for clarity, but we can pass along only the information we were given. We are not responsible for the accuracy of the statements made or the quality of the products for sale.

Items for Sale:

1. Alva 4400 Delphi Multimedia with 40-cell display and status cells, touch cursor strip, and serial and parallel interfaces. Asking price is $3,500 or best offer.

2. I have Champion Juicer, the world's finest, 1/3 horse power, 1,725 RPM. It is ideal for preparing freshly made fruit and vegetable juices, nut butters, and more. Asking $125 or best offer.

3. Shrink wrap machine packaging industrial (Babypack 3246, by APS). This is a one-step shrink wrap machine. Easy operation: one operator can complete sealing and shrinking in a continuous operation. Visually observable shrinking to obtain and insure optimal results. Favorable package height capability. Preferable for food packaging applications. Low cost and quick payback of the Babypack makes it affordable and cost-effective for even small businesses. Who can benefit: bakeries, printshops, pharmaceutical and manufacturing, institutional food production, supermarkets. Never used. Original price was $3,500. Asking $2,500 or best offer.

For any of these contact Gilbert at <>.

Alva Satellite 40-Cell Braille Display for Sale:

This display is in very good condition. I am including a power cable, USB cable, and serial cable as well as a carrying case. This unit can run on either AC power or rechargeable batteries. I am asking $2,995, which includes shipping. If interested, please email <>, or call Mike at (415) 474-7006.

Korg Triton 7 Classic Keyboard for Sale:

This instrument features seventy-six keys, a sequencer, and a sampler and has a touch-sensitive screen. With the new Sonar it is compatible with JAWS. Asking $2,000 or best offer. Please contact Ricky Corey at (203) 729-1508, cell phone (203) 525-5887, or email <>.

Braille Printer for Sale:

Enabling Technologies Romeo 25 Braille embosser with case, in good condition. Asking $1,800 or best offer. Call Carlos (785) 608-5302.

For Sale:

Braille 'n Speak 2000, almost never used, in perfect working condition. Comes with leather carrying case, earpiece, twelve-volt charger, Braille and print instructions, and floppy disk. Asking $750, including shipping and insurance. Please contact Betsy at (847) 432-5202 or email <>.

Tanzanian Baskets for Sale:

Juma Bakari writes to say: I have hand-woven baskets for sale. They are good for domestic use. I am asking $50, including shipping. I can be reached at the following address: Juma Bakari, P.O. Box 90387, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, email <>, phone 255-748-604325.


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.


The National Association of Blind Students (NABS)

NABS is a division of the National Federation of the Blind. Established in 1967, NABS is an organization of blind high school, college, and graduate students dedicated to securing equality and opportunity for all blind students. Through advocacy and collective action we work to maintain high standards and expectations of education for blind students across the country as we address relevant issues that face us. Such issues include Disabled Students Services offices, relationships between consumers and state rehabilitation agencies, and validation of standardized gateway tests such as the GRE and LSAT.

NABS has a listserv to which we encourage students and parents of blind children to subscribe. Just send a message to <>. Leave the subject line blank, and write, “subscribe nabs-l” in the body of the message. NABS also offers a semi-annual publication, The Student Slate, which contains articles written by blind students about their experiences because of blindness. We invite students to submit articles.

In addition we meet twice a year—at national convention and Washington Seminar. At both the annual meeting and seminar we discuss current issues of concern to blind students and hear from fellow Federationists about their success in academia, which often comes with hard work and a sound Federation philosophy. We invite everyone to join us at these meetings. They are not only insightful but full of energy.

The NABS board consists of nine positions. The offices and the people currently serving are as follows: Angela Wolf, president; Jason Ewell, first vice president; Kimberly Aguillard, second vice president; Allison Hilliker,  secretary; Ryan Strunk, treasurer; and Tony Olivero, Ronit Ovadia, Mary Jo Thorpe, and Tai Tomasi, board members.



The Voice of the Diabetic, entering its seventeenth year of publication, has a current circulation of over 300,000.

Because Diabetes is the largest cause of new blindness among working-age Americans, members of the National Federation of the Blind founded the Diabetes Action Network in July of 1985 to help spread the word about diabetes and blindness. The Network works closely with all NFB affiliates and reaches out to thousands who might not otherwise encounter the Federation and the work we do.  To meet our communications goal, the Network began producing the Voice of the Diabetic in January of 1986.  From its initial print run of 600, the Voice's circulation has exploded so that it now reaches every state and U.S. territory and many foreign countries.

The Voice, produced 4 times a year in standard print and 4-track audiocassette for the blind or visually impaired and on the Web at <>, is offered free as a public service to diabetics, health professionals, family, friends, and anyone else with an interest in the condition. Many individuals and businesses also set out multiple copies in public places such as hospitals, doctors’ offices, and libraries.

Our focus is on living with the condition.  Our articles discuss research, coping tools and strategies, success stories, and individuals whose attitude and achievements can serve as positive inspiration.  We show diabetics that, regardless of complications, they are not alone and do have options.  We stress both accurate information and positive attitude.

Along with articles sent to us by both diabetics and health professionals, every Voice features a selection of diabetes recipes, columns of tidbit articles culled from news releases, diabetes education and exercise advice, and medical questions answered by an insulin-dependent physician.  We try to list the latest studies and trials, especially when they are recruiting diabetic participants.

For more information contact Board members: Paul Price, president, NFB Diabetes Action Network, 13946 Woods Valley Road, Valley Center, CA 92082-7337; (760) 749-2044; <>. Ed Bryant, editor, Voice of the Diabetic, Suite C, 1412 I-70 Drive SW, Columbia, MO 65203-2079; (573) 875-8911; <>; Eric Woods, first vice president, Englewood, Colorado; (303) 789-7689; <>; Sandie Addy, second vice president, Prescott Valley, Arizona; (520) 775-5912; Lois Williams, secretary, Huntsville, Alabama; (256) 852-4143; <>; Bruce Peters, treasurer, Akron, Ohio; (330) 865-8477; <brucepeters@>; Josie Armantrout, Bemidji, MN 56601-2444; (218) 444-6031; <>.

Voice Subscription/Donation Form

To begin receiving the Voice, please check one:

[  ] I would like to become a member of the NFB Diabetes Action Network and receive the Voice of the Diabetic. (Members are entitled to special membership benefits.)

[  ] I would like to receive the Voice of the Diabetic as a nonmember. (Nonmembers are encouraged to pay the institutional rate of $20/one year; $35/two years; $50/three years.)

Send the Voice in (check one):

[  ] Print

[  ] Cassette tape for the blind and physically handicapped (The cassette tape is recorded at slower-than-standard speed of 15/16 IPS.)

[  ] Both

Check this box (optional):

[  ] I would like to make (or add) a tax-deductible contribution of $__________ to the Diabetes Action Network of the National Federation of the Blind.

Please print clearly



City _____________________ State _______________________ Zip _____________

Telephone  ( _____ )  __________________________

Send this form or facsimile to:

Voice of the Diabetic, Suite C, 1412 I-70 Drive SW, Columbia, MO 65203-2079 Telephone: (573) 875-8911; Fax: (573) 875-8902

Please make all checks payable to: National Federation of the Blind