edited by Sue Lichtenfels
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 [email protected], 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.
** Illinois School Reunion
The Illinois School for the Visually Impaired Alumni will have a school reunion May 24-27 at the Route 66 Hotel in Springfield, Ill. Reservations can be made now by calling 1-888-707-8366 or (217) 529-6626 in Illinois and asking for the ISVI block of rooms. You can also contact Melissa at the hotel by e-mail, [email protected]. Room rates are $66 per night plus tax. The banquet will be held in the ISVI dining room Saturday afternoon; tickets are $30 each. We will have buses to take people to and from the banquet. Alumni dues are $15. For more information, contact Howard Thomas at (217) 787-5403 or e-mail him, [email protected].
** Maine Summer Camp
Camp Lawroweld is a Christian summer camp for blind and visually impaired individuals ages 9 to 90. The 2012 session will be held July 22-29 in Weld, Maine. Located on Lake Webb, the camp offers archery, a rock climbing wall, arts and crafts, water skiing, swimming, canoeing, sailing, boat rides, nature walks, talent show, daily sing-alongs, adapted field games such as kickball and beep baseball, campfire, a variety of outings (including a dinner at a local restaurant and a trip to a local country store for ice cream), and Bible study. Campers must be independent with daily living and mobility, or they must bring a personal care assistant. Cost for camp is $75 for blind/visually impaired and $100 for personal assistants. Campers are responsible for their own transportation, although a charter bus will be run from Boston, Mass. and Portsmouth, N.H. for a small fee. To request a camp application, call (207) 797-3760. Additional information is available by contacting Jennifer Hawkins at (603) 498-3278 or by visiting the camp web site, www.lawroweld.org.
** Accessible Museum Tours
The American Museum of Natural History welcomes visitors who are blind or visually impaired by offering Science Sense tours. These specially designed programs include verbal descriptions and touchable exhibits. Science Sense tours are free with general museum admission; however, space limitations mean reservations are required. Upcoming tours include: Saturday, May 19th, 10 a.m. -- Beyond Planet Earth: The Future of Space Exploration; Wednesday, June 13th, 2:30 p.m. -- Ocean Life; Sunday, July 15th, 10 a.m. -- Minerals and Gems; and Wednesday, August 15th, 2:30 p.m.-- Hall of the Universe. For more information, or to register for a tour, call (212) 313-7565 or e-mail [email protected].
** Increased Usability for Sprint Customers
Sprint now offers a free version of Code Factory's Mobile Accessibility software for customers who are visually impaired. The software, called Wireless Accessibility, can be installed at no cost on Android 2.1+ phones on the Sprint, Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile USA networks with specific service plans. The software uses touch-screen navigation and input along with synthesized speech read-back to provide users access to all call functions, web browsing, e-mail, contacts, alarms, texting, GPS, calendar and basic phone functions. For more information, visit http://newsroom.sprint.com/article_display.cfm?article_id=2194.
** New E-Book Accessibility
Christopher Toth, a blind software developer, has designed QRead, an e-reader for the blind. It gives individuals using screen readers access to both PDF and ePub formatted books and documents. The software enables users to: open and tab between an unlimited number of books; insert an unlimited number of bookmarks; skim through a text by percentage; and search for specific passages with its "Find" feature. QRead works with JAWS for Windows, Window-Eyes, Super Nova, System Access, and NVDA. For more information, visit https://q-continuum.net/.
** Radio Program Seeks Guest
Janae Miller, a woman with both vision and hearing impairments, hosts an Internet radio program called "Out of Sight, Out of Mind." The show, which airs Saturday mornings at 9, features special guests who discuss issues facing people with disabilities and encourage acceptance of people with disabilities in the community at large. Sample topics include living independently, dating, education, accommodations, raising children with a disability or special needs, raising children as a person with a disability or special needs, public policy, etc. The radio web site is www.talktainmentradio.com. To reach the show while it's on air, call 1-877-932-9766. Janae seeks individuals to be regular or once-monthly guests on the program. If you'd like to be a guest, contact her at [email protected] or (614) 499-2814.
** Learning & Listening
Stephanie Pieck, a blind teacher and musician, has been teaching piano to blind and sighted children and adults since 1994. She is offering to teach blind students via braille correspondence courses and advise blind musicians how to make the most of their musical style. She also has available several CDs of relaxation and healing music that she has composed. Stephanie can be reached by e-mailing [email protected] or by calling (518) 464-0484.
** Ainds and Devices Needed
David Van Der Molen will be traveling to Rwanda in early 2013 to teach a grade 2 braille class and to offer his help with some assistive technology needs. He seeks donations of braille and large print books, braille paper, white canes, slates and styluses, abacuses, a braille display, a Perkins brailler, and a braille embosser to be used during his trip. Items should be in good condition. Dave is collecting items now because he will ship them to Rwanda in preparation for his visit. If you wish to donate any items, contact Dave during evenings or weekends at (519) 669-1456 or e-mail him, [email protected].
** Barrier-free Park
Morgan's Wonderland is a fully accessible amusement park which sits on 25 acres northeast of San Antonio, Tex. The park includes wheelchair-accessible rides; the Sensory Village, which is a cluster of themed spaces such as an auto fix-it shop, grocery store and TV station that offer sensory stimulation through colors, lights, sounds and textures; the Sand Circle, designed so even folks in wheelchairs can play in the sand; an amphitheater; the Garden Sanctuary; a picnic area, and an 8-acre fishing lake. Other accessibility elements include braille signage, a 3-D model of the park, and 18 wheelchair-accessible restrooms. Admission for people with disabilities is free; the cost for family, friends, caregivers, and the general public is nominal. For more information about the park's attractions or hours of operation, visit www.MorgansWonderland.com.
** Seeking Bio of Louis Braille
Ibrahim Umar Abdulkarim is interested in receiving the biography of Louis Braille in braille and in print. He would also like a Book Port. Send to: Ibrahim Umar Abdulkarim, PO Box 5426, Kano, Kano State 700001, Nigeria.