Future Reflections Winter/Spring 1998, Vol. 17 No. 1


Image of a horn with a banner saying 'Hear Ye! Hear Ye!'
Hear Ye! Hear Ye!

Broken Braille Watches
Not long ago I received the following letter from one of our regular readers, Lydia Schuck of Michigan:

Dear Mrs. Cheadle,
Once again, Future Reflections is loaded with useful information. NFB materials are the most useful things we receive, and we get lots of mail!! I wonder if Future Reflections and the Braille Monitor could both be used to help parents of blind children in the following way: I'd like to give my 4-year-old a no-longer-in-service Braille watch. Could [the Braille Monitor and Future Reflections] run a notice for blind adults to send out-of-service watches to me, and a notice for parents who want a non-functioning Braille watch for a child to send me an address so I could forward watches on to families? If you think this is not too crazy an idea, I'd like your help!

Here's Lydia's announcement:

Parents: If you would like a non-functioning Braille watch as a plaything for your child, please send your child's name and address to Lydia Schuck, 1981 Eden Road, Mason, Michigan 48854.

Accessible Web Page
Here's a notice from one of our parent leaders in the National Organization of Parents of Blind Children (NOPBC). Debbie Day chairs the NOPBC Network on Homeschooling. My 9-year-old daughter and I put up a most popular Web page called Brianna's Name THAT Book! It has the most wonderful links to a variety of recommended reading lists, and a fun game testing your knowledge of juvenile literature. Brianna has chosen passages from a variety of excellent books in a wide variety of categories (Newberry Award Winners, Fantasy, Humor, Historical Fiction, Biographies, etc.) The game is played by trying to guess the title and author from the passage given. Once the child is ready to guess, he clicks a link that takes him to a page which gives the title, author, and brief description of the book.

The site has received many awards including the Homeschool Top 5% Website Award, and it has also been named as one of the 50 Great Sites on the Internet by the American Library Association. After creating a very graphical site, we worked diligently to create a text-only site for blind kids. It can be found at [http://www.az.com/~dday/bookstext.html]

Abacus Attack
This announcement comes from Robin Adler of Pennsylvania:

We would be grateful if you could print this announcement of a new product which would be of interest to your readers in your "Hear Ye!" section of Future Reflections.

Abacus Attack is a new educational game for blind and visually impaired students. Players roll Braille dice and move their playing pieces around a magnetic Braille and large-print game board answering math questions divided by grade levels (1-6). Computations may be done with the optional abacus or any math device of your choice. Play with two to six players including sighted friends and family. Compact, easy to store, and carry. To order a game without an abacus, send check for $70.00 plus $10.00 shipping and handling to: Mostly Mobility, 7100 Route 183, Bethel, PA 19507. Add $15.00 to the total for an abacus. Allow six weeks for delivery. For more information call (717) 581-0994 or e-mail [Rhejadler@aol.com]

Software/Hardware for Young Blind Kids
This announcement request came to my e-mail address:

I develop software and hardware for kids with special needs. If you have read Closing The Gap, or gone to any technology conferences, you have heard the name R. J. Cooper. I have been doing this for 14 years. Here are 3 items that I am excited about:

1. Spell-A-Word, a large print, talking, spelling program, designed for kids ages 5 to ten. It also works great for older kids who are functioning at a younger developmental age. I have put several special features into Spell-A-Word specifically for blind children. The program really holds their hands, so to speak, during the spelling process. It is a delight to see children really work at getting it right.
2. IntelliKeys large membrane keyboard, is a great touch-sensitive device for entering text into a computer, especially programs like Spell-A-Word. The keys on IntelliKeys can be 1" tall, with big bold letters on them.
3. Tactile Overlays for IntelliKeys provide a way for blind children to interact with text-oriented software. Through a unique collaboration with persons at the VISIONS Lab at Purdue University, I am able to make available IntelliKeys overlays with highly textured letters and Braille cells, appropriate for young children.

I also make another program for young blind children named Find The Buttons, intended to introduce the mouse.
For more information, you may click here [http://www.rjcooper.com/blind]

Tactile Pictures
We've been asked to print the following product information:

There is now an easy and fast way to make tactile graphics. Any image can be drawn or photocopied onto a special paper called capsule paper and then processed by Pictures in a Flash (PIAF). High quality tactile graphics can be made in minutes, and it's easy to make Braille directly on the graphic! Ideal for the classroom, home use, and in the office—wherever you need to make graphical information tactile. PIAF is being used by and for people who are blind all around the world. For more information contact: In USA—Humanware, Inc., 6254 King Road, Loomis, CA 95650; (800) 722-3393; e-mail [info@humanware.com]; Fax (916) 625-7269.=20 In Canada—Aroga Technologies, Ltd., 1611 Welch Street, North Vancouver, British Columbia V7P 3G9; (604) 986-7999 or (800) 561-6222; Fax: (604) 968-7070; e-mail [bob@aroga.com]

Lending Library for Blind Children

The Kenneth Jernigan Library for Blind Children is possibly the oldest and largest private lending library for blind children in this country. A service of the American Action Fund for Blind Children and Adults, individuals, teachers, and schools are qualified to use this library. The collection contains Twin Vision® (print/Braille) books for younger readers, and straight Braille for advanced readers or upper-grade students. Titles in the "straight" Braille category include many of the classics. Books are selected by computer using the grade level and other information supplied on the application. However, specific titles may also be requested or reserved. Mailings usually consist of at least four titles, but schools and teachers may request additional books. Circulation of books is based on a "turn-around" system. A new set of titles are mailed out after the previous set of books have been returned and checked back into the library system. A complete record is maintained of all titles sent to the subscriber, thus assuring no duplication of future mailings. To request an application for this FREE library service, contact: American Action Fund for Blind Children and Adults, Library Application, 1800 Johnson Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21230. Phone: (410) 659-9315. (Note: The completed application is to be mailed to the California office where the books are stored and from which they are shipped. The administrative office is in Baltimore.)

Summer Music Institute
We have been asked to distribute the following information:

The Music and Arts Center for the Handicapped is now accepting applications for its 1998 Summer Institute for Blind Musicians to be held July 12-31. This residential program is for blind college-bound high school students who expect to pursue a career in music.

The Summer Institute will be held on the campus of the University of Bridgeport in Connecticut. Students will live in a dormitory, have meals in the college dining hall, and use the recreation center and other university facilities. Field trips to the seashore and area cultural events will add to the experience.

To be eligible, a student should have good academic standing, be proficient on an instrument, and be reasonably independent. The program cost is $2,500 for room, board, and tuition. For local students not requiring room and board, the cost in $1,500 for tuition alone. Some scholarship assistance is available. A complete application including teacher recommendations and an audition tape must be received by May 15, 1998. Enrollment is limited to 15 students.
For applications or more information contact: Music and Arts Center for the Handicapped, 600 University Avenue, Bridgeport, CT 06601. Phone: (203) 366-3300; Fax (203) 368-2847; e-mail [102730.163@compuserve.com]

We have been asked to disseminate the following information:

In spring, 1998, OpticalTouch Systems will release Baroque Art in the Seventeenth Century, the first in a ground breaking multivolume art history series for people who are blind and visually impaired. Developed by Art Education for the Blind, Inc. Art History through Touch and Sound: A Multisensory Guide for the Blind and Visually Impaired is the result of nine years of research, development, and testing. This innovative audiobook series spans the history of art from prehistoric through contemporary, including some 600 tactile diagrams illustrating major monuments in the history of art. Each volume of Art History Through Touch and Sound comprises a bound book of tactile diagrams and a companion audio narrative. The diagrams utilize a lexicon of seven standardized patterns, enabling the reader to acquire a familiarity with the tactile vocabulary. Color and black-and-white photographs of the works accompany the tactile illustrations. Image captions—which include attribution, date, media, dimensions, and location or custodian of the work—are provided in both large print and Braille. Additionally, interpretive sound-compositions offer alternative ways of understanding a work of visual art's thematic essence or compositional dynamic. Each volume includes art-appreciation activities and a short bibliography. All volumes undergo extensive clinical trials with blind advisors for content, clarity, and accuracy.

Art History Through Touch and Sound A Multisensory Guide for the Blind and Visually Impaired
Baroque Art in the Seventeenth Century

* Publication: Spring, 1998
* Authors for this volume: Art Education for the Blind & Paula L. Gerson, Ph.D.
* Illustrator: Teresa Kardoulias
* Type: 18-point Helvetica & transparent Braille
* Illustrations: 29 tactile diagrams; 19 photographs
* Audio running time: about 9 hours
* Price for this volume: $149.95
* ISBN: 1-890116-00-9
* To Order: 212-334-3700
* Publicity: Kyoko Tokunaga, (212) 334-3700

New Name
The following name change was announced in the March, 1998, issue of Wagon Trails.

...So far the legislative session has been a productive one for SDSVH (South Dakota School for the Visually Handicapped). The name change bill has passed both houses of the legislature and awaits the governor's signature ...SDSBVI—South Dakota School for the Blind and Visually Impaired [emphasis added]. This change will become effective July 1, 1998.

Braille Blocks
The Blind Children's Fund, source of the following product, makes many useful products and materials available to parents of young blind children. The following product was announced in their quarterly publication, the VIP Newsletter, which is also available to parents for a small subscription fee:
Braille Blocks: These cubes look like classic alphabet blocks with one colorful difference: One face of each has an impressed letter and corresponding Braille cell in the lower right-hand corner. It's just right for kids with visual disabilities.
Activity Idea: Play a "find the letter I say" game. Put out three blocks. Ask your child to pick the one with the letter or sound you name. 27 blocks: $28.00 plus shipping and handling. For more information contact: Blind Children's Fund, Karla B. Storrer, 311 W. Broadway, Suite 1, Mt. Pleasant, MI 48858; Phone: 989.779.9966; Fax: 989.779.0015; E-mail: bcf@blindchildrensfund.org; Web: www.blindchildrensfund.org

Braille News
The following miscellaneous Braille news appeared in POBC News and Views, the newsletter of the Colorado Parents of Blind Children, a Division of the NFB of Colorado:

New Courses from the Hadley School for the Blind
For adults and youth who are just beginning Braille, three new courses are being offered by the Hadley School. These courses include audiocassette tutorials, sequenced lessons, self-correcting exercises, and teacher support.
Using Raised Markers: A pre-Braille course that introduces the learner to a variety of raised dot markers and how to use them to identify items. Exercises teach students to personalize their environment by labeling appliances, food items, household cleaners, clothing, cosmetics, etc.

Braille Literacy 1: Tactile Readiness for Braille: This course teaches 12 skills of tactile perception. Students will learn the
hand and arm movements associated with good Braille reading. This course presents alternative methods for tracking Braille lines and identifying differences in Braille symbols.

Braille Literacy 2: Learning the Braille Alphabet: Students practice the skills mastered in Braille Literacy 1 as they learn the letters of the Braille alphabet. A 3M Braille labeler is provided. Precise directions for producing labels for daily living are incorporated into the lessons.

For information about these classes, contact the Hadley School for the Blind, 700 Elm St., Winnetka, IL 60093; (847) 446-8111.

Seedlings Braille Books

The 1998 Seedlings catalog is now available. This catalog contains over 300 low-cost Braille books for children. Thirty-eight new titles have been added this year, including preschool print, Braille, and picture books, Newberry Award-winning books, and popular series books. To receive a catalog, write to Seedlings, P. O. Box 51924, Livonia, MI 48151-5924, or call 800-777-8552.

Braille Book Club
The Children's Braille Book Club features a new print Braille title every month! All of our books are for preschool through third-grade readers. There are two ways to join the Club:

Option #1: Enroll in the Club, free of charge, simply by sending us your name and address. Free membership entitles you to
receive monthly notices (please specify print or Braille) which describe the book of that month and how much it costs. You are not obligated to buy; you only order the books you want.

Option #2: Purchase a yearly subscription to the Club for $100 and automatically receive a print Braille book each month. This saves you the hassle of ordering and it saves you money! Essentially, you pay for 11 books and receive the 12th one free. To enroll contact: National Braille Press, Inc., 88 St. Stephen Street, Boston, MA 02115; (800) 548-7323.

Future Reflections the National Federation of the Blind
Magazine for Parents of Blind Children
Mail to:
Future Reflections
1800 Johnson Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21230

New Subscriptions, Renewals, Free Literature, Address Changes, and Membership Dues
[ ] Please send me a FREE Parents Information Packet. This packet of literature includes a paperback size Future Reflections Introductory Issue. It also includes other booklets with resource, educational, and inspirational information about blindness and blind children.
ADDRESS CHANGE: Please attach mailing label with old address, or write in former name/address below.

Name of child_________________________________________
Please check the appropriate boxes:
[ ]Parent(s) [ ]Teacher [ ]Other
[ ]New Subscription [ ]Renewal
[ ]Change of address/name
[ ]$8.00 Family membership in the National Organization of Parents of Blind Children. Membership includes a Future Reflections subscription.
[ ]$15.00 Non-member subscription
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