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 E-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.
Children’s Book about White Cane Safety Day
How do you celebrate White Cane Day on Oct. 15th? Make sure all your friends and neighbors know about it! Kristin Grender, a TVI and O&M instructor in Wisconsin, has written a storybook for young kids that explains the day, the white cane and why we celebrate it. While the book is cute and easy to read, it also expresses why the white cane is important and how to follow the white cane law. It also teaches another lesson: “Visual impairments do not have to hold you back from success!”
You can find the book on Amazon, https://www.amazon.com/White-Cane-Day-Kristin-Grender/dp/1633186075/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1439848912&sr=8-1. It is also available on Bookpatch at https://www.thebookpatch.com/BookStore/white-cane-day/b6378cc7-8693-4655-a975-4b594fad0841?isbn=9781633186071.
Low Vision Research Initiative
Research to Prevent Blindness (RPB) has launched a new research initiative to address urgent needs in understanding and treating low vision. The $1.2 million, two-pronged initiative involves funding partnerships with Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) and Reader’s Digest Partners for Sight Foundation (RDPFS). Both grants are intended to provide seed funding for high-risk/high-gain, innovative, cutting-edge research which demonstrates out-of-the-box thinking.
The LCIF grant targets damage to the visual system. Some of the issues awardees will be challenged to tackle are: What happens to degraded visual input and how is it processed? What are the adaptive strategies in the visual pathway in response to visual impairment? How does the brain re-organize itself in response to visual system damage? How can the visibility of objects be enhanced?
The RDPFS grant will promote the development of assistive devices for people with low vision. It will focus on mobile and/or wearable innovations that can be implemented on multiple platforms, such as electronic tablets or phones. It will also support environmental adaptations which can improve a visually impaired individual's ability to perform a daily living activity.
Applications for the RDPFS grant are due Oct. 19. Nominations for the LCIF grant are due Dec. 15. Guidelines, application forms and grant contact information are available at www.rpbusa.org/rpb/grants-and-research/grants/low-vision-awards/innovations-in-technology-low-vi/.
TheReImage Seeks Content & Contest Submissions
TheReImage is a new 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 will use written stories and audio pieces about and by people with vision loss to demonstrate that, as people, we are more alike than different. Share your experiences with raising children, owning a home, taking a trip, enjoying the outdoors, working, spending time with friends, dealing with family issues, managing a household, relaxing with a favorite hobby, etc.
All story submissions will be considered for publication. In addition, monetary prizes of $100, $50 and $25 will be awarded to first, second and third place winners respectively for stories submitted by Nov. 1, 2015. Criteria considered for the prizes will be writing skill, writing style, appropriate tone of the article, and originality. All stories selected for publication will appear as we launch our new web site, TheReImage.net. Submission guidelines and sample stories may be found there, too. E-mail your stories to [email protected], or send them to TheReImage, PO Box 13019, Harrisburg, PA 17110.
Ski for Light
The 41st annual Ski for Light (SFL) International Week will take place from Sunday, Jan. 24th through Saturday, Jan. 30th, 2016. It will take place in northwest lower Michigan on the grounds of Shanty Creek Resorts in Bellaire, Mich. Located just 45 minutes from the Traverse City airport, Shanty Creek Resorts is a 4,500-acre complex containing three housing and entertainment villages, both cross-country and downhill ski trails, a tubing hill, several swimming pools and hot tubs, a fitness center and spa, and much more.
If you are a novice and want to learn how to cross-country ski, or if you have skied before and just want to be matched with an experienced guide and meet new friends for a wonderful week of fun in the snow, this is the event for you!
Applications are due Nov. 1. Late applications will be considered on a space-available basis. For more information, or to apply, visit www.sfl.org/event. If you have questions, contact Bob Hartt at [email protected], or by calling (703) 845-3436 between 9 a.m. and 10 p.m. Eastern time.