by Cynthia Hawkins
Welcome to our new Here and There editor, Cynthia Hawkins! Cynthia is divorced and lives in Tampa Bay, Fla. with her teenage son and guide dog. She is an attorney and full-time law professor at Stetson University College of Law. Her legal specialties are legal ethics and family law generally – with a focus on adoption law and policy. She is the author of three legal textbooks and dozens of law review articles and encyclopedia entries.
Cynthia has low vision. She is active in the Pinellas County Council of the Blind (PCB) as chair of the Constitution & Bylaws Committee. She also serves as the membership secretary for the Guide Dog Users of Florida (GDUF); an executive board member of the American Association of Visually Impaired Attorneys (AAVIA); and a director on the executive board of the Guide Dog Users, Inc. (GDUI).
In her spare time, Cynthia enjoys reading books on BARD (mostly mysteries and historical fiction). Cynthia was born and raised in Washington, D.C. She has traced her paternal lineage back to the 1600s. After a great deal of research, she discovered the original land grant received by her English ancestor for land in colonial Maryland. Cynthia’s father held his portion of the family land until the 1970s. She is looking forward to editing the Here and There column.
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.
BANA Elects New Officers at Fall Meeting
The Braille Authority of North America (BANA) held its fall meeting in Cincinnati, Ohio. The meeting was hosted by Clovernook Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired. During the meeting, the board reviewed reports from its general and technical committees and acted upon their recommendations. The board continued its strategic implementation activities, and reviewed the steps that have been completed, as well as established the 2020 budget and elected officers for 2020.
The elected officers are:
Chair: Tamara Rorie (National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled)
Vice Chair: Mary Nelle McLennan (Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired)
Secretary: Dawn Gross (Alternate Text Production Center of the California Community Colleges)
Treasurer: Jessica Rivera (Associated Services for the Blind)
Immediate Past Chair: Jennifer Dunnam (National Federation of the Blind).
The board thanked Jennifer Dunnam for her outstanding leadership and commitment to BANA throughout her five-year tenure as chair.
Danette Johnson, the recently appointed representative for Hadley, was welcomed as a new board member.
BANA’s next meeting will be held March 19-21, 2020 in Baltimore, Md.
Want to learn more about BANA’s work? Sign up for BANA-Announce, a one-way email list that disseminates news and information. To join this list, send a blank email message to [email protected] and follow the directions in the confirmation email that will be sent in response. You can also follow BANA on Facebook and Twitter.
Visit Denver Enhances Its Accessibility
VISIT DENVER has launched a newly enhanced website feature that caters to the needs of people with visual, auditory and cognitive disabilities. Created by AudioEye, the technology works through a special badge and toolbar placed on the site that allows disabled users to customize the site based on their needs.
Users who are colorblind may use the color options to change text colors for improved visibility, while those who have dyslexia can opt for a custom font designed to increase comprehension. Check it out for yourself at https://www.denver.org/.
Envision Dallas Lighthouse Has New Executive Director
Envision recently announced that it has named David Stupay as executive director of Envision Dallas Lighthouse for the Blind, which provides services for more than 150,000 people who are blind or visually impaired in 11 north Texas counties (Collin, Cooke, Dallas, Denton, Ellis, Fannin, Grayson, Hunt, Kaufman, Navarro, and Rockwall). Stupay joins the organization with a focus on expanding employment, programs and services for people with vision loss in the Dallas area.
Stupay has amassed a strong track record for growing and developing new revenue streams, increasing individual giving, launching new programs and improving quality in all aspects of operations. Most recently, he served as president and CEO of Heartspring, a Wichita-based provider of services to children with special needs and their families.
What’s New at NBP?
Newly available is “Touch and Feel Dinosaur,” a print-and-braille board book in uncontracted braille for ages 4 to 8.
Also new is “Never Touch a Shark!” by Rosie Greening and Stuart Lynch. It’s available in uncontracted UEB for ages baby through preschool. The book features silicone textures for children to explore on every spread, allowing them to (safely) touch shark replicas.
“Mouse House,” by John Burningham, is a whimsical story about home, hope, and the wisdom of children. It’s now available in contracted braille (UEB) for ages 4 to 8.
Now available is Tedd Arnold’s “Shoo, Fly Guy!” It’s available in contracted UEB for preschoolers on up. In it, you’ll discover what Fly Guy’s favorite food is.
Can’t get enough of the daily quotations? Now there’s “Wednesday Morning Quotations - Volume 2,” compiled by K. Wilson. It’s available in one spiral-bound braille booklet, and features quotes from Benjamin Disraeli, Deepak Chopra, Mahatma Gandhi, and many others.
Over in the cooking section is “One-Pan Dinners,” available in one hard-copy braille volume or as a BRF file. This edition has 120 super-easy meals you can make in a single skillet, pot, or sheet pan. Try cauliflower cheddar soup, spiced pork chops with braised greens, and more!
For more information, contact NBP, 88 St. Stephen Street, Boston, MA 02115-4302; phone toll-free 1-800-548-7323, or visit https://www.nbp.org/ic/nbp/publications/index.html.
Be My Eyes, Clearblue Partnership
Clearblue is partnering with Be My Eyes, a free app to assist visually impaired people across the globe. Through this partnership, visually impaired women can now understand their Clearblue pregnancy results in a safe, private manner.
Behind this partnership is Sumaira Latif, P&G’s Company Accessibility Leader, who is a visually impaired woman. Her personal experience of being denied assistance to read her test inspired Clearblue to help the nearly four million women in America (and more across the globe) who have vision impairments.