Here and There

The announcement of products and services in this column does not represent an endorsement by the American Council of the Blind, its officers, or staff. Listings are free of charge for the benefit of our readers.  "The Braille Forum" cannot be held responsible for the reliability of the products and services mentioned.  To submit items for this column, send a message to, or phone the national office at 1-800-424-8666, and leave a message in Sharon Lovering's mailbox.  Information must be received at least two months ahead of publication date.

Sierra Regional Ski for Light

The 21st annual Sierra Regional Ski For Light (SRSFL) 3-day event will take place March 9-11, 2013 at the Tahoe Donner Cross Country Ski Area in Truckee, Calif.  A bus will depart from Sacramento early Saturday morning, March 12th.  Those coming from out of town will spend Friday night at the Fairfield Inn in Rancho Cordova. We plan to celebrate another fun SRSFL event, so please do come join us – incredible trails, incredible food, and incredible people!  For more information, contact Cindy Quintana at (510) 483-2948, or via e-mail,
There will also be two one-day trips, one on Jan. 12 and one on Feb. 9, 2013.  These will take place at Tahoe Cross Country, Tahoe City, Calif.  For more information, contact Betsy Rowell at (916) 362-5557, or send e-mail to

Update on Non-24

Vanda Pharmaceuticals recently reported that tasimelteon has been shown for the first time to restore daily cortisol rhythms in totally blind patients suffering from Non-24-Hour Disorder (Non-24).  Tasimelteon was previously reported to entrain the 24-hour rhythm of melatonin secretion in patients with Non-24.  This observation was made during a segment of the company's RESET study. 

Audio Description

Cinemark recently announced that it is installing audio description equipment on a rolling basis in its theaters across the United States.  Installation is already well under way, and all of Cinemark's theaters in California already offer audio description (also referred to as video description and descriptive narration). Cinemark will be offering audio description at all of its first-run theaters by mid-2013.

Love Seafood?

If you love seafood, but have trouble with the menus, we've got good news for you!  Red Lobster has begun handing out braille and large-print menus to guests who request one when they arrive at the restaurant.  Check out the newly updated menus in braille and large print at your local Red Lobster!

Next Generation iBill

Orbit Research has recently released its second-generation iBill Talking Money Identifier.  It has a sleek key-fob design with a rounded shape, making it easier to carry in a purse, pocket, or on a lanyard.  It also has an earphone jack for privacy, recessed buttons to prevent accidental activation, and increased volume. For more information, contact Orbit at 1-888-606-7248, or visit

Bath & Body Products

Charlotte offers a wide variety of handmade bath and body products, holiday items and gemstone jewelry. Bath products include soaps in a variety of shapes, shower gel, hand soap, shampoo and conditioner, hair and body spritz, pet spritz, lotion, body butter, bubble bath, bath salts, herbal bath teas, room spray, aroma beads, flavored lip balms, and more. There are several sizes of most products. Holiday items include ornaments, decorations, holiday jewelry and accessories, gift items, etc. She also offers one-of-a-kind handmade gemstone jewelry including bracelets, earrings, pendants, and necklaces. Treat yourself to a great gift or start on your holiday shopping. She accepts PayPal or money orders, and ships priority mail. She can also ship items to another recipient. Contact Charlotte via e-mail,, for more information, or call (952) 300-2188. Or join her Yahoo newsletter by sending a blank e-mail to

Knitters & Crafters Lists

If you're a crafter looking to advertise your wares, or you're looking to buy handmade items, then join the handmade sell and trade newsletter group. Send a blank e-mail to If you love to knit, or just want to learn, come and chat with other like-minded blind and visually impaired people. Send a blank e-mail to

Scentsy Candles

Linda Stewart is a consultant of Scentsy Flameless Candles.  Instead of using a match to light a candle, all you have to do is flip a switch, which turns on a 25-watt light bulb to heat the wax.  There are over 80 fragrances to choose from, and many beautiful candle warmers, too.  The warmers are a safer way to let beautiful fragrances waft through the room.  Room sprays are available in many scents, too. Many of those scents also come in body butters, sachet packs, etc.  Go to, and for best screen reader accessibility, click on "buy" and then go to "join party." Arrow through parties on the site and choose one.  For more information, call (859) 321-5577.

Children's Stories Recorded

Charli Wiggill's classes at Eden College Durban began a project involving reading and recording stories for blind children (ages 4-10) using mobile phones as recording devices. The project is young, but already has over 80 stories on the site in 7 languages (over 50 stories in English). There are stories in English, Afrikaans, Xhosa, Zulu, Arabic, German and Spanish. Soon there will be stories in French, Italian and Greek. We are still trying to find people to read and record a few stories in Swahili. All stories submitted (in ANY language) will be uploaded to the web site.  Visit
We would welcome any correspondence - letters of support to the pupils would be particularly appreciated, as that would convince them of the real-world audience they are supporting and would encourage and motivate them to put more into the project.  Contact Charli Wiggill via e-mail,

Lions & Goldfish

National Braille Press' newest release is "Library Lion," a story for ages 4 and up about a lion that shows up at the local library - and a librarian who has very strict rules, but none about a lion.  The lion is allowed to stay as long as he follows the rules (no running, and you must be quiet in the library). 
NBP has also released "Not Norman: A Goldfish Story."  It's a story about a boy who wants a warm, furry pet that can curl up on his bed at night - not a goldfish named Norman.  Some interesting things happen when the boy tries to trade Norman for a "good" pet.  Eventually he realizes there's no pet he wants more than Norman. 
For more information on either of these titles, contact NBP, 88 Saint Stephen St., Boston, MA 02115-4302, or call 1-800-548-7323.  Or you may go to