The Braille Monitor                                                                              August/September 2005



A number of divisions conducted elections at the 2005 convention. Here are the election results we have received:

National Organization of Blind Educators

The National Organization of Blind Educators elected the following officers: president, Sheila Koenig (Minnesota); first vice president, Priscilla McKinley (California); second vice president, J. Webster Smith (Ohio); secretary, Mary Jo Thorpe (Maryland); treasurer, Cheralyn Creer (Utah); and board members, David Ticchi (Massachusetts) and Carolyn Brock (Oregon).

The Diabetes Action Network

At the 2005 Diabetes Action Network annual meeting Paul Price was reelected as DAN president. Tragically, Paul unexpectedly died a few days later. (See the In Memoriam Miniature in this issue.) First vice president Lois Williams of course succeeds to the post of division president. So for the next year the Diabetes Action Network board will be president, Lois Williams (Alabama); vice president, Sandie Addy (Arizona); treasurer, Joy Stigile (California); secretary, Joyce Kane(Connecticut); and board members Ed Bryant (Missouri), Josie Armantrout (Minnesota), and Mike Freeman (Washington).

National Association Of The Blind In Communities Of Faith

The board of directors was elected to serve from 2005 to 2007. Elected were president, Tom Anderson (Colorado); vice president, Pam Provost (Illinois); secretary, Linda Mentink (Nebraska); and treasurer, Sam Gleese (Mississippi).

Human Services Division

Elected were Melissa Riccobono (Maryland), president; David Stayer (New York), first vice president; Rick Brown (Florida), second vice president; Laurel Henry (Florida), secretary; J.D. Townsend (Florida), treasurer; and Yolanda Garcia (Texas), Meleah Jensen (Louisiana), and Cheryl Orgas (Wisconsin), board members.

Writers Division

Jeff Treptow (Arizona) was elected to an additional board position.

National Organization of the Senior Blind

The National Organization of the Senior Blind (NOSB) elected new officers at the national convention. Elected were Judy Sanders (Minnesota), president; Ray McGeorge (Colorado), first vice president; Roy Hobley (Nebraska), second vice president; Jim Willows (California), secretary; Paul Dressell (Ohio), treasurer; and Don Gilmore (Illinois) and Christine Hall (New Mexico), board members.

National Association of Blind Merchants:

At the regular meeting of the National Association of Blind Merchants, the following board members were re-elected: Mark Harris (Texas), Lynn Reynolds (New Jersey), Charlie Allen (Kentucky), and Kim Williams (Tennessee).

National Association of Blind Lawyers

The National Association of Blind Lawyers elected the following officers to fill two-year terms: president, Scott LaBarre (Colorado); first vice president, Charles Brown (Virginia); second vice president, Bennett Prows (Washington); secretary, Raymond Wayne (New York); treasurer, Lawrence Povinelli (Virginia); and board members, Noel Nightingale (Washington), Mildred Rivera (Maryland), Ruth Swenson (Arizona), and Anthony Thomas (Illinois).

The Science and Engineering Division

The Science and Engineering Division filled the open treasurer’s position by electing Ronit Ovadia (Illinois).

National Organization of Parents of Blind Children

Returning to the NOPBC board are Maria Garcia (New York), Maria Jones (Kentucky), Debby Brackett (Florida), and Barbara Mathews (California). New board members elected are Kevin Harris (Maryland), and Carrie Gilmer (Minnesota).

National Association to Promote the Use of Braille

NAPUB returned the same officers for another term of service. They are president, Nadine Jacobson (Minnesota); first vice president, Robert S. Jaquiss (Louisiana); second vice president, Linda Mentink (Nebraska); secretary, Jennifer Dunnam (Minnesota); and treasurer, Warren Figueiredo (Louisiana).

In Memoriam:

Paul  Price
Paul Price

Nancy Burns, president of the National Federation of the Blind of California provided the following recollection of Federation leader Paul Price, who died immediately following the convention:

Californians and other Federationists throughout the nation were shocked and saddened by the news of the death of Paul Price. After returning from the 2005 convention, he succumbed to a massive heart attack on Monday morning, July 11. He is survived by his wife Bobbi, a daughter, and two sons.

Paul served in several capacities within the NFB. He was president of the NFB’s Diabetes Action Network (DAN). Paul was immediate past president of the NFBC North San Diego County chapter and was a member of the NFBC board of directors. Paul and his wife had recently relocated to the Boise area.

During the 2005 convention Paul chaired the DAN division meeting and marshaled throughout the convention. He was a true friend, a mentor, and a support for many of us. He will be deeply missed.

Volunteers Needed:

Do you know anyone who admires you and the way you deal with blindness? Do you have a friend or family member who is grateful to the NFB for what you have made of your life? Do you know ten such people? If so, you can be an imaginator. Our 2005 campaign is now well started, but you still have time to join it and do what you can to change what it means to be blind. Invite your friends and family to imagine a future filled with opportunity. Contact the National Center for the Blind today for Imagination Fund brochures (<> or (410) 659-9314, ext. 2408). Then speak to your contacts or write them a letter. In your own words explain how the Federation is changing lives and offering hope to blind people. Enclose a brochure, or hand one to those you can talk to face-to-face. Ask them to give you their contributions to support our work so that you can pass them along to the correct person. In this way you will let them know that you are interested in their decisions to help.

We need your help in both raising funds and identifying others within and outside the organization who are willing to ask their friends to contribute to our innovative effort to help blind Americans to fulfill their potential. This year’s campaign ends December 1, so join us today.

Volunteer for NFB LINK:

This new grassroots program seeks to connect people to a wealth of resources in the blindness community through online mentoring and community outreach. Information on a variety of vocational, educational, and recreational interests is available through this innovative program based on the collective experience of hundreds of successful blind people. NFB LINK is founded on a positive philosophy about blindness, emphasizing high expectations, independence, and personal achievement.

We are currently identifying those who would like to serve as volunteer mentors for the NFB LINK program. Mentors determine their degree of involvement and decide on their areas of mentorship. We are seeking mentors in over one hundred fields of interest. If you would like to become a mentor, contact Rosy Carranza at (410) 659-9314, extension 2283 or email <>.

NFB Bracelets for Sale:

While the supply lasts, you can buy one of the new NFB cause bracelets from the Materials Center. The cost is $5 each. If you would like twenty-five or more, the cost is $2 each. Batches of 500 or more cost only $1 each, but the supply is limited. Order your bracelet today. Make checks payable to the National Federation of the Blind and write “NFB bracelet” in the memo line. Contact the Materials Center, 1800 Johnson Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21230, or order by email using a credit card at <>.

In Memoriam:

Dr. Russell Smith addressing the convention.
Dr. Russell Smith addressing the convention

We report with deep sadness the deaths on Sunday, August 7, 2005, of Dr. Russell Smith, founder of Pulse Data International, and his wife Marian D'Eve, when their Cessna 182 crashed into the sea off North Canterbury, New Zealand, as they were returning to their home in Christchurch. Within the last year Pulse Data International and VisuAide of Canada merged to form the HumanWare Group, which markets Braille and speech technology, screen-reading software, and video-magnification solutions.

Dr. Smith had just attended the NFB convention and endeared himself to Federationists by his steady presence and attention during convention sessions. His death has been a severe shock to his many friends and colleagues around the world. He will be deeply missed.

T-Shirts and Sweatshirts for Sale:

At the convention the NFB of Illinois was selling T-shirts and sweatshirts. They have the Braille letters “NFB” and in print “BLIND IS NOT A 4-LETTER WORD THANKS TO THE NFB” on the front. T-shirts are available in red, royal blue, and jade green. Sweatshirts are available in red, royal blue, and black. All shirts come in small, medium, large, and extra-large. The lettering on all shirts is in white puffed paint. Cost of the T-shirts is $10 plus $2.50 for shipping and handling. Sweatshirts are $20 plus $5 shipping and handling. Please send orders and checks or money orders payable to NFBI to Kelly Doty, Treasurer NFBI, 1433 Ashland Street, #403, Des Plaines, Illinois 60016. If you have questions, call (847) 390-1738 or email <>.