Here and There

edited by Sharon Strzalkowski
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 ACB 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.
Want to Win a Fitbit?
We all know it’s important to eat healthy, get a good night’s sleep, carve out some quiet time, and get in some physical activity. But it can be hard to break free from old habits. If you’re looking for some motivation, check out Anna Dresner’s new book, “Ten Thousand Steps, Cane Not Included: A Guide to Fitness Tech for Blind Users.” It’s available in braille (one volume), BRF, Word and DAISY.
In this book, Anna takes you on a tour of some great options for weaving meditation and exercise into your daily routine and for improving the quality of your sleep. She covers a wide spectrum of available resources so that whether you’re just starting out or a fitness fan looking for something new, there’s something in this book for you. And she has tested these resources so that she can give you a firsthand account of how they work. Whether it’s accessible audio programs, apps, or fitness trackers, she has put them through their paces to see what they can do for you.
So, if you’ve been meaning to get more active but just needed a push to get started, check out this book. Need more motivation? Everyone who gets this book by July 31, 2017 will be automatically entered to win one of three wearable Fitbits (a Fitbit Flex 2) to help you track your activity and exercise.
For more information, contact National Braille Press, 1-800-548-7323, or visit
TheReImage Story Contest
TheReImage is an online campaign to re-create the image of people with vision loss while establishing new possibilities. With the sighted world as the audience for this project, TheReImage uses written stories and audio pieces about and by people with vision loss to demonstrate that regardless of our vision level, as people, we are more alike than different. Therefore, our human and life experiences are the focus of these stories rather than our vision loss. In other words, the stories are not about how we lost our vision or what great resources are available to us, but about our experiences with raising children, owning a home, taking a trip, enjoying the outdoors, working at a job, spending time with friends, dealing with family issues, managing a household, relaxing with a favorite hobby, getting an education, planning a wedding, hiking a mountain, sailing into the sunset, and more. While previously published stories may be considered for TheReImage, original material is given greater consideration.
TheReImage is holding a contest for stories submitted between July 1 and Nov. 1, 2017. Entries will be judged on how well they exemplify TheReImage mission, story-telling ability, originality and writing skill. Stories should not exceed 1,500 words. Visit to review the submission guidelines and previously published stories. Monetary prizes of $100, $50 and $25 will be awarded to first-, second- and third-place winners, respectively. The winning stories and other entries that fit with TheReImage mission will be published on the web site.
While Nov. 1 is the deadline for contest entries, TheReImage seeks content on an ongoing basis to keep the website fresh. Stories and story ideas can be emailed to, submitted via the website, or sent in your preferred format to TheReImage, P.O. Box 13019, Harrisburg, PA 17110.
Eye See, You See …
A set of snap-together glasses designed by students at Rice University lets people with diabetes see into the future and know that without proper care, the future does not look good. The glasses, developed by the Eye See You See team, will help doctors show patients how their vision could deteriorate over time due to diabetic retinopathy, an eye disease that can result from uncontrolled diabetes and lead to blindness. They hope the tool will encourage patients to follow their doctors’ protocols.
The lenses show them how retinopathy progressively damages a patient’s vision. The four stages illustrated by the lenses start with macular edema, which is seen as single dot in the center of your vision. By the final lens, very little can be seen through a mottled — but mostly black — pattern.
Though the glasses are geared specifically to low-resource settings like those served by the Rice 360˚ Institute for Global Health, they hope anyone who works with patients with diabetes will find them helpful.
BANA Welcomes New Member
The Braille Authority of North America (BANA) held its spring meeting March 12-14 in San Francisco, Calif. The meeting was hosted by the California Transcribers and Educators of the Blind and Visually Impaired (CTEBVI).
During the meeting, BANA’s board reviewed committee reports and acted on the committees’ recommendations. The board welcomed Vivian Seki, the new representative from the Hadley Institute for the Blind and Visually Impaired, and approved the application for full membership of the Accessibility Solutions and Research Center (AMAC) in Atlanta, Ga. It also discussed an updated strategic plan.
The fall board meeting will be held Nov. 1-4 in Winnetka, Ill.
Now Available from National Braille Press
National Braille Press has some new books in the technology section. One is “Microsoft Outlook Keystroke Compendium,” available in braille, BRF, and Word. It covers Outlook 2016, Outlook 2013, Outlook 2010, and Outlook 2007. In it, you’ll learn how to use Outlook to manage email, set and assign tasks, schedule meetings, and more, all using keyboard shortcuts (U.S keyboards only).
Also available is “Android Commands and Settings: A Reference Guide for Eyes-Free Users” by Ana Garza, available in braille, BRF and Word. This reference guide of Android commands with brief explanations assumes you already know how to use Android, but may occasionally need help remembering an accessibility command or setting.
If you have a Mac with the new Sierra operating system, this book’s for you! “The Mac Sierra Operating System: A Brief Overview of What’s New” by Janet Ingber is available in braille, BRF, Word and DAISY.
Got the new iPhone with iOS 10? Check out “Getting Started with the iPhone and iOS 10: Step-by-Step Instructions for Blind Users” by Anna Dresner. It, too, is available in braille, BRF, Word, ASCII text, and DAISY. It’s NBP’s new edition of the iPhone tutorial.
And in the magazine section, there are a couple of special offers available. “Syndicated Columnists Weekly” is now free for one year for new subscribers only! Also available is “Our Special Magazine,” written and edited especially for blind women. It covers career issues, fashion, parenting, cooking, crafts, travel, fiction, and health. If you would like to subscribe to either magazine for the first time, call (617) 266-6160 extension 520.
Over in the children’s section, newly available is “Besos for Baby: A Little Book of Kisses” by Jen Arena. It’s a print-braille board book in English and Spanish. Everybody has a kiss for the baby, from Mom and Dad to the family dog and cat. The book uses simple Spanish words, and is a gem to read aloud to your little ones. Also available is “Sweet Dreams/Dulces Sueños.”
New in non-fiction is “No Barriers: A Blind Man’s Journey to Kayak the Grand Canyon” by Erik Weihenmayer and Buddy Levy. It’s available as a downloadable BRF (7 volumes). Hardcover print and audio editions are available through Amazon. Erik was the first blind person to summit Mount Everest. Since then, he’s led expeditions around the world with blind Tibetan teenagers, helped injured soldiers climb their way home from war, adopted a son from Nepal, and faced the most terrifying reach of his life: to solo kayak the whitewater of the Grand Canyon.
Is there a cook in your life who could use some new recipes? Check out “Fast & Fresh Salads” by Kate Sherwood, available in braille (1 volume) or BRF. Kate is the healthy cook of, and she has created these recipes so that you can love salads as much as she does. What’s her secret? Fresh, quality ingredients with different colors and textures, and well-balanced salad dressings. The recipes were created to meet NutritionAction’s healthy standards. Each one lists its nutritional information, so you can find one that meets your needs.
For more information, contact National Braille Press, 1-800-548-7323, or visit
Does Your Brailler Need Fixing?
Paul Nelson repairs Perkins braillers. Repairs are $65 plus cost of parts. Call him at (405) 640-9706.