The Braille Forum, March 2000

THE
Braille Forum
Vol. XXXVIII March 2000 No. 9
Published By
The American Council of the Blind
THE AMERICAN COUNCIL OF THE BLIND STRIVES TO INCREASE THE INDEPENDENCE, SECURITY, EQUALITY OF OPPORTUNITY, AND QUALITY OF LIFE FOR ALL BLIND AND VISUALLY IMPAIRED PEOPLE.
Paul Edwards, President
Charles H. Crawford, Executive Director
Penny Reeder, Editor
Sharon Lovering, Editorial Assistant
National Office:
1155 15th St. N.W.
Suite 1004
Washington, DC 20005
(202) 467-5081
Fax: (202) 467-5085
Web Site: http://www.acb.org
Paul Edwards' voice pager: (888) 895-8553

THE BRAILLE FORUM is available in braille, large print, half- speed four-track cassette tape and computer disk. Subscription requests, address changes, and items intended for publication should be sent to: Penny Reeder, THE BRAILLE FORUM, 1155 15th St. N.W., Suite 1004, Washington, DC 20005. Submission deadlines are the first of the month.

Those much-needed contributions, which are tax-deductible, can be sent to Patricia Beattie at the same address. If you wish to remember a relative or friend by sharing in the council's continuing work, the national office has printed cards available to acknowledge contributions made by loved ones in memory of deceased people.

Anyone wishing to remember the American Council of the Blind in his/her Last Will and Testament may do so by including a special paragraph for that purpose. If your wishes are complex, you may contact the ACB National Office.

For the latest in legislative and governmental news, call the "Washington Connection" toll-free at (800) 424-8666, 6 p.m. to midnight Eastern time Monday through Friday.

Copyright 2000
American Council of the Blind

TABLE OF CONTENTS

President's Message: When Is Truth A Lie?, by Paul Edwards
Editorial: The Bottom of the Digital Divide, by Penny Reeder
What If?, by Charlie Crawford
SDAB Leads the Way in Preserving Separate State Agency for the Blind in South Dakota, by Charles S.P. Hodge
After the Winds of Winter, Kentucky Blooms, by Jerry Annunzio and Carla Ruschival
First-Timer's Contest Offers You the Opportunity to Come to the Convention in Louisville!, by Penny Reeder
ACB, RSVA and NELDS Win Crucial Initial Victory in NISH Litigation, by Charles S.P. Hodge
Coping
Affiliate News
One Ringy-Dingy, Two Ringy-Dingys: A New Path to Online Independence May Be Dawning!, by Penny Reeder
Adobe Acrobat: A Very Useful Toolkit for People Who Use Screen Magnification, by Charles Lott
In Memoriam: Frederic T. Neumann
Minnesota Loses Two Blind Leaders and Mentors
Here and There, by Elizabeth M. Lennon
High Tech Swap Shop
Strategies for Membership Growth, by Ardis Bazyn
*****

PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE:
WHEN IS TRUTH A LIE?
by Paul Edwards

On February 9th, Congress held a hearing to examine the degree to which the Americans with Disabilities Act should apply to the Internet. At this point I have very little information about that hearing itself, though it is my understanding that we were well represented there by individuals quite capable of refuting many of the more egregious arguments being introduced on this subject. My real point in writing this article is to suggest that we must be very careful in this election year to be certain that our needs are well articulated and clear. The fear-mongers are out in force. They are interested in doing precisely what their kind did before the passage of the ADA. At that point, they portrayed the ADA as so expensive that it would force every small business in the country to shut its doors. Now they are portraying the Internet in the same terms. The difference is that this time they are wrapping their lies in the Constitution. They dare to suggest that creating access to the Internet is a violation of the First Amendment of the Constitution in that the accessibility changes will, in effect, control the content of web sites. What is being said about the Internet is no different from what state governments and the media have attempted to convey about the ADA. States are using the fairly specious claim that Congress exceeded its authority to make laws within states when it imposed obligations on state governments. As a result, with infinite regret and crocodile tears and with no disrespect to people with disabilities, they are reluctantly obliged to use the ADA as a means to assure that the big, bad federal government is not allowed to exceed the narrow range of influence the original framers of the Constitution intended. Is there any real difference in these tactics from those employed by Nazi Germany against the Jews, the gypsies, and people with disabilities? They were protecting the country from vagrants, assuring the Aryan race equal access to free enterprise, and making certain that the race was not polluted by bad genes. The people of Germany knew better then. Americans know better now. The question is, will we stand quietly by as minorities did then and allow the gains we have made to be taken back for reasons that are as specious as they are inaccurate? Franklin Roosevelt extended federal responsibility far further than the ADA does and clearly placed obligations on state governments that are far more onerous than those imposed by the ADA. Will states next claim that Medicaid is unconstitutional? When will their virtue lose its virulence? Will it happen when all who are poor or unemployed have been so isolated and disadvantaged that they, like us, will be unable to expect their rights to be recognized? In a society where unemployment is soon likely to be less than 4 percent, we cannot allow people to forget that seven out of every 10 employable people with disabilities have never worked. The median income of people with disabilities is less than half of that of the general population; and it was not until a mere decade ago that there was a clear and unequivocal recognition that we people with disabilities have the right to fully participate in our own society. And now, there is a real danger that all the gains we have made will evaporate under the guise of fairness and constitutional rectitude. Programs like vocational rehabilitation are under attack because they segregate people with disabilities. Independent living centers will certainly be next. After all, the argument may go, disabled people asked to be mainstreamed. So let them use one-stops whether they are accessible or not. How have we as people with disabilities responded to the real threats to our civil rights that are emerging? Essentially, we have done the same thing that other oppressed groups have done in the past. We have been silent, fearing that our voices raised in protest will cause those with the power to take even more away. There is not a single disability group that does not recognize that the Americans with Disabilities Act is just a first step. It does not at one stroke repeal discrimination! In spite of this, the majority of the disability community is content to seek very minimal changes in the ADA. Phrases like, "don't rock the boat;" "don't risk Congress' taking away what we have already earned;" and "we must make do with the little we have accomplished and be proud of that," are the norm. This must stop! Perhaps it is time that newspapers get sued for not carrying stories that indicate that the inappropriate ADA cases are thrown out of court. Perhaps it is time that we say to states and Congress that the few gains the ADA has won us are not enough! Perhaps it is time that we demand that society be accountable for the discrimination that is still rife in every town and city in this great country. We must not be afraid to tell our truth! Right is on our side and we must not be unwilling to fight every abrogation of our rights as it occurs. If the ADA is deemed unconstitutional, we must pass state ADAs. We must push the envelope further rather than retreating. Every step that we take backwards from our rights will be ground that those who oppose civil rights will be quick to take from us. As president of the American Council of the Blind, I want to assure anyone who reads this that, until 96 percent of blind people are working, until our income is the same as that of the average American, until we can read everything others can, I will not retreat and neither will the ACB. As a citizen and a rational human being, I will also oppose anyone who uses morality and fear to blunt the truth because our society is too ashamed to face that truth! *****


EDITORIAL:
THE BOTTOM OF THE DIGITAL DIVIDE
by Penny Reeder

On February 2, President Clinton spoke to the students of Washington, DC's Ballou High School about the so-called "digital divide," and steps the Clinton administration and its legislative, business, and community partners are taking to bridge -- and ultimately, eliminate -- that separation. The experience of attending the president's speech was quite a moving one. We were in the gym at Ballou High School. Twelve hundred students -- mostly African-American kids who live in Washington, DC's southeast quadrant, in neighborhoods which bear more resemblance to impoverished third-world countries than to the northern and western sections of the federal city which are familiar to tourists and suburban commuters -- listened and cheered as the president presented a picture of inclusion and hope. Corporate executives, including Steve Case from America Online, and Ballouūs principal, the manager of their computer center, who is a former Ballou student himself, and president Bill Clinton, explained to them that their status on the wrong side of the digital divide is not a secret to the comfortable and powerful people on the other -- computer-savvy, Internet-literate -- side of that divide. The president said that his administration is introducing a proposed budget and pursuing business partnerships that can eliminate the inequities that still exist, and bring the prosperity and the inclusion which the information revolution offers to affluent Americans, to the homes and communities on the less prosperous, more despondent sides of the digital divide. Charlie Crawford, his guide dog Ruthie, and I sat in the section of the gym where members of the Student Government Association and their advisors were seated, just in front of the marching band, and to the right of the stage where President Clinton was standing. "I am so proud of my students, every one of them, and of our school," Sharon Bean, a special education teacher, told me. "We are very honored that the president has chosen our school for this announcement." There seemed to be no doubters in the audience. The kids sat in rapt attention. Their community leaders, Anthony A. Williams, the mayor of Washington, DC; Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, who represents them in the House of Representatives; business leaders, including David Sterling, president of EpicLearning.com, a company which provides computer training classes in the city; and Darnell Curley, Ballou alumnus and coordinator of the school's computer training center, were there to confirm that the promises of the World Wide Web and the "dot-coms" springing up -- even in their neighborhoods -- are real promises. The technology of the 21st century may level the playing field for every American, bridging the gaps between haves and have-nots, offering hope and jobs and equity which have eluded these kids, their parents, and their communities for decades. I was pleased to be there. I was moved by Darnell Curley's story about how computer technology had allowed him to graduate from high school, get a good job, and support himself and his younger brothers and sisters. I applauded along with the kids and their teachers when David Sterling from EpicLearning.com told them how pleased he was to be able to teach them and their parents and grandparents the computer skills which will offer good-paying jobs and career paths reaching to fulfilling and prosperous futures. Steve Case, CEO of America Online, described the Power-Up community computing centers which his company and others are opening all over the country. "These community centers," he said, "are a place to learn, a place to go after school, a place to have fun. Within weeks there will be a Power-Up Center at Ballou High School!" Case said that by the end of the year there will be 250 Power-Up sites across the country, and eventually, thousands of sites -- urban, rural, and suburban -- where adults and children can gather to learn, to share skills and energy, and to jump over that digital divide with expertise and confidence. I loved the excitement and the enthusiasm. The majorettes were dancing and clapping, the drummers were pounding and enthusiastically spreading the word. The kids were justifiably proud of Darnell Curley, and their principal, and their school. The adults in the gym were justifiably proud of the kids and hopeful about the future the president was describing. Yet, as one of several disabled members of the audience, I kept having to push away my nagging doubts -- my fears that everyone might make it across the bridge to the other side of that digital divide except people like me! There are about 12 million Americans who are so visually impaired that they are categorized as legally blind. Unless we can obtain and use various assistive technologies which make our computers speak, or display text in enlarged fonts or braille, reading the electronically generated text and graphics on computer screens is either impossible for us, or so fatiguing that the effort is hardly worthwhile! "Just point and click," television and radio commercials tell us, "and you can buy groceries, invest in the market, do your homework, e-mail your teachers and your friends, purchase the latest gadgets and gizmos, learn if the medications you're taking can coexist safely, one with another, preview a video, read the newspaper, visit the library..." "Point and click. Point and click -- It's easy, it's fun, everyone can do it!" But how many blind people do you know who can? Will Steve Case's Power-Up community centers have computers that talk, or trainers who can teach visually impaired people how to use them? It's simple, it's fun, it's all possible! The president and the CEOs told the kids and the nation. "We want to invest in you," they said. "We can bridge the digital divide. We need a national crusade, and we're prepared to wage one!" Sounds good. But does the "you" include us? As I write this column, I am gearing up to attend a hearing to examine whether the Americans with Disabilities Act really meant that even the Internet must be accessible to people like me! Apparently, some members of the House of Representatives are worried that the act of bringing people with sensory impairments to the other side of the digital divide will impede commerce! The dot-coms are sending the markets into the stratosphere. America is experiencing the longest uninterrupted period of prosperity we have ever known -- in our entire history! Yet the House Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on the Constitution wonders, do we have to include people with visual impairments in this particular aspect of public accommodation, in this prosperity, in this information revolution? Steve Case, who assured the kids at Ballou that America Online can include them in the jobs and careers and hopes for a better life which are a sub-text of the information revolution, is being sued by blind people who cannot access the graphical user interface which makes AOL so popular among the point-and- click generation. When Case was addressing the African-American students of Ballou, did he remember that four out of every 1,000 of them probably have visual impairments serious enough to make reading a computer screen without some kind of assistive technology an impossibility? I applaud the president's commitment to bridging the technological and economic gaps in the America of the 21st century! I wish I could have just sat there in the audience, enjoying the ambience, the excitement, the kids, the promise of better days to come for everyone -- without that nagging, insistent doubt in the back of my head. I wish the members of the House Subcommittee on the Constitution weren't so threatened by my specific accessibility needs that they feel compelled to question my mandated right to the public accommodation of the Internet. But I am resigned to my role of nagging squeaky wheel! Thank you, Mr. President, Mr. Case, Mr. Sterling. Thank you for your commitment and your resolve to do the right thing. While you're at it, please don't forget those of us at the very bottom of that digital divide -- those of us for whom the promises of the information revolution will be meaningless unless the leaders of government, business, and our communities exercise the will to make the technology accessible to us. Please remember that access for people who are blind means assistive technology, specialized training, and thought and forethought about web design. Don't leave us out when you bridge the digital divide. We want to experience the freedom, the prosperity, the jobs, the inclusion that the information revolution promises. We have our guide dogs and our white canes and our fingertips at the ready. Don't leave those of us at the bottom of the digital divide behind. We, too, are ready and eager to cross that bridge. *****


WHAT IF?
by Charlie Crawford

As I read through my many electronic-mail messages this morning, I saw two messages which described the events in Washington concerning a hearing in which the accessibility of the Internet was put at risk. ACB, NFB, AFB, and our many partners responded to the threat with a great line-up of witnesses to make the technical, user, and legal cases for our access. In addition, the room was filled with blind folks to demonstrate our concern. What if we had not been there? Three weeks ago a gathering of legislative, consumer, and non-profit providers met to discuss the whole issue of the sub- minimum wage which is still paid to blind and other disabled folks in many industrial workshops around the nation. The objective was to encourage the forward movement of legislation to free blind folks from being paid less than the minimum wage. But you can bet there were many other concerns from many other people in the disability community circulating in that meeting room. Currently, the status of this issue is being worked out with a goal of allocating sufficient time for all workshops to come up to minimum wage. Whether this strategy or some version of it is ultimately successful, what if we had not been there? Today I will be going over to a meeting here in Austin, Texas, to continue working on accessible intersection design, while Melanie Brunson, Julie Carroll and Ken Stewart work on other areas of pedestrian safety to insure that the federal requirements for public ways in the future really do get to our specific issues. What if we were not here? I could go on and on about this stuff, but the wonderful thing about having our American Council of the Blind is that we are there when blind folks need to have our issues raised and worked through. Whether we live in New York or Los Angeles or Idaho or Georgia, there are affiliates, individual members, and the national ACB to keep the ball rolling. We are truly blessed to have so many wonderful members and I for one shudder to think: What if you were not there along with the rest of us as we keep building a better world for people who are blind? I often encourage people to tell the story of ACB, and, as I think about it, I know it's the story of you and me and all of us being where we need to be to help each other. Thanks to all of you for being there. See you in Louisville! *****


SDAB LEADS THE WAY IN PRESERVING
SEPARATE STATE AGENCY FOR THE BLIND IN SOUTH DAKOTA
by Charles S.P. Hodge

In the fall of 1997, William Janklow, the popular Republican governor of South Dakota, appointed a new cabinet secretary, John Jones, to fill a vacancy to head the South Dakota Department of Human Services. That department had always contained both the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, which administers the general rehab program, and the separate Division of Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired (DSBVI). Jones had no background or experience in dealing with specialized populations or disabled people; rather, his professional reputation was primarily as a businessman and management consultant. During the following April, the new secretary attended the meeting of the DSBVI advisory board. Toward the end of the meeting, he amazed those in attendance by suggesting -- out of the blue -- that certain aspects of the rehabilitation program for the deaf and hard of hearing should be shifted to DSBVI to create a Division for the Sensory Impaired. Secretary Jones and the Director of DSBVI, Grady Kickul, then urged the board to approve this new proposal even though board members had had no prior notice of the proposal and had had no meaningful opportunity to review, digest, and comment intelligently upon the proposal's merits or shortcomings. Under pressure from the secretary and the director of DSBVI, the board by a narrowly divided vote approved the proposal. However, the leadership of the South Dakota Association of the Blind (SDAB), which is the American Council of the Blind's South Dakota affiliate, went to work and rallied many blind people who then attended public hearings conducted during June of 1998 to speak out against the proposal. Faced with the nearly unanimous opposition of the blindness community -- including a very strongly worded resolution adopted at the 1998 state convention of SDAB -- Secretary Jones announced in the fall of 1998 that he was withdrawing his proposal. This first go-round with Jones was unfortunately only a harbinger of bad things to come in 1999. Throughout the fall and winter and into 1999, at several public meetings, vigilant members of SDAB -- sensing that Jones might not be finished with reorganization proposals which could have a negative impact on blind South Dakotans -- asked specific questions of DSBVI Director Grady Kickul regarding any other reorganization plans which might be afoot. Although we can now see, because of our knowledge of subsequent events, that Kickul must have known of such intentions, he responded cravenly and falsely on several documented occasions that he knew of no such reorganization plans. Then, on April 8, 1999, in a pre-emptive strike designed to thwart any and all opposition, Jones held joint meetings of the staffs of DSBVI and the general rehab division at several sites throughout the state where he announced his intention to submit to the federal Rehabilitation Services Administration amendments to the South Dakota state rehabilitation plan which would disestablish DSBVI, merge it into the general rehabilitation division, and result in one consolidated, umbrella Division of Vocational Rehabilitation within the Department of Human Services. While some verbal assurances were made that current counselors working in the program for the blind would be allowed to retain their blindness-only caseloads for some unspecified period of time, the merger proposal was presented as a "done deal," and the staffs of both divisions were warned in no uncertain terms that they would be expected, at worst, to stay silent and not oppose Jones' amended state plan. This not-too- thinly-veiled threat directed primarily at DSBVI's current blind employees had the effect of silencing some of the most knowledgeable and articulate blind advocates in the state who just happen to work for DSBVI. Once again, Jones and Kickul were attempting to pull a fast one on the blind community of South Dakota! Little time was available for the blind community to coordinate a response. Three public hearings on the proposed state rehabilitation plan amendments were scheduled immediately -- to be held within a matter of three or four weeks, in Rapid City, Aberdeen and Sioux Falls. The leadership of the South Dakota Association of the Blind, under this most trying of circumstances, did a magnificent job in turning out blind people, family members, friends and professionals to speak against the proposed state plan amendments. Nonetheless, SDAB could not have won the battle by itself. Blind people from every corner of the state, including members of the National Federation of the Blind of South Dakota (NFBSD), testified at the public hearings. Their testimony reflected the nearly unanimous opposition in the blindness community to Jones' and Kickul's proposed state plan amendments. In June of 1999, two momentous events occurred. First, SDAB co-president Dawn Flewwellin had the initiative to gain an audience face-to-face with Governor Janklow. At the meeting with the governor, despite defending Jones' proposed state rehabilitation plan amendments, Janklow agreed to listen carefully to and consider the views of the representatives present from both SDAB and NFBSD. The blind advocates from both major consumer organizations voiced their continuing unified objections to merging DSBVI into the general rehabilitation agency. While not yielding any ground specifically, the governor indicated that he and Jones would want to talk further with the leadership of the blind community. The second important event took place at the DSBVI advisory board meeting in June 1999. Persuaded by the personal and emotional appeals of two SDAB members, chairwoman Linda Bifford and board member Lou Brush (who happens to be Flewwellin's father), the state rehabilitation advisory council for the blind voted unanimously to oppose Jones' state rehabilitation plan amendments. Because of the expanded powers granted to rehabilitation advisory councils in the 1998 amendments to the Rehabilitation Act, this vote of disapproval by the rehabilitation advisory council for the blind dealt the proposed amendments a virtual veto blow. Despite this critical vote by the advisory council, Janklow, Jones and Kickul forged ahead, submitting their proposed state rehabilitation plan amendments to the federal Rehabilitation Services Administration's regional office in Denver, Colo., on August 1, 1999. While we are not privy to direct evidence of the following -- and thus must make an educated guess -- as to what happened, the officers of SDAB and I believe that RSA Commissioner Fred Schroeder and/or his Denver regional office communicated with the governor, and indicated that, in light of the disapproval of the designated rehabilitation advisory council for the blind, and the nearly unanimous opposition among blind citizens of South Dakota, reflected irrefutably in the records of the public hearings, RSA was not likely to review and analyze the South Dakota submission favorably. While we have no direct evidence of this fact, we do know that RSA's SDAB officers were aware that the NFBSD had retained legal counsel, and we believe that the NFBSD may well have threatened to bring state and/or federal court actions in order to block or forestall the proposed state rehabilitation plan amendments. In any event, shortly before the end of August 1999, Jones announced that the state of South Dakota had withdrawn its proposed state rehabilitation plan amendments and would be submitting only technical state plan amendments. The separate status of the Division of Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired was, therefore, preserved. This dramatic turn-about and victory against tremendous political odds proves that blind people working together can win major political victories. While SDAB and its elected leadership played a pivotal and, I believe, key role in spearheading the actions necessary to win this important battle, there is no doubt whatsoever that the willingness of SDAB's officers to reach out and work with the NFBSD was also crucial in tipping the scales toward victory for the blind of South Dakota. The ACB members in South Dakota don't mind sharing the credit for this momentous and monumental victory against all political odds. Unfortunately, however, SDAB cannot sit back and rest on its laurels. Smarting from losing his reorganization objectives for the second time, Jones rewarded his loyal lieutenant, Kickul, by promoting him to the vacant position of director of the larger Division of Vocational Rehabilitation. Despite Governor Janklow's personal assurances that Jones and Kickul would be contacting the leadership of the blind community to continue a constructive dialogue, when both were invited to attend and participate in the 1999 SDAB state convention, which was scheduled to be held at Brookings in mid-September, both men found at the very last minute that their personal schedules were so crowded that it was impossible for either one of them to attend or participate in the SDAB convention. An outside observer has to wonder how sincere are the stated intentions of these state officials to continue a constructive dialogue with the blind constituency in South Dakota. Then Jones appointed Patty Warkenthien, a young woman with no professional rehabilitation experience or expertise in working with people who are blind, to be the director of DSBVI. Apparently, Janklow, Jones, and Kickul have decided that if the blind insist on having their own separate agency, then they will give us what we want, but out of sheer spite and vengeance, it will only be a bureaucratic backwater with no effective leadership. So it seems that it will be up to the blind citizenry of South Dakota to educate Warkenthien and help her to deliver quality services for the blind out of their agency, even if the leadership in state government is bound and determined to teach those uppity blind folks a lesson or two. With grit, cooperation, unity and determination, the blind community of South Dakota, I predict, will continue to succeed in overcoming any challenges Jones and his lieutenants place in their way. *****


AFTER THE WINDS OF WINTER,
KENTUCKY BLOOMS
by Jerry Annunzio and Carla Ruschival

The first winter winds blew across the corner of Fourth Street and River Road in Louisville. Kentucky had weathered its driest fall ever. So my first experiences of Louisville in December were cold and dry. As I got out of the cab between the two giant towers and under the third floor walkway that connects the towers, a feeling came through that there is a great deal more to know about this place than the weather -- something more than even Daniel Boone or George Rogers Clark had discovered years before. I wondered what this town, or even the state, might have that ACB convention attendees would want to see. After only two and a half days and more than a dozen people later, Kentucky bloomed for me, with a garden full of sights, sounds, smells, textures and exciting things to do. The people in the state of Kentucky, the city of Louisville and in the towers at Fourth and River are ready to show you Kentucky 2000. All who come to Louisville for the ACB convention July 1-8, 2000 will have the opportunity to experience: Churchill Downs, the site of the Kentucky Derby; the Louisville Slugger Museum; Locust Grove, where you can experience history; the American Printing House for the Blind; the Kentucky School for the Blind; the Ohio river boats; Derby Pie; Hot Brown ... and on it goes with more and more wonderful, exciting things to do. (Editor's Note: If you would like to know how to use the paratransit system while you attend the convention in Louisville, call (502) 561-5250. Verification of your eligibility for paratransit is a requirement for use of the Louisville paratransit system. The tours described below include transportation. There is no need to call paratransit for any of these tours.) A Day of Kentucky Spirits: The Pre-Convention Tour Kentucky 2000 will provide you with a unique opportunity to explore new and interesting places, and participate in events unlike those you may have experienced in other ACB convention cities. The pre-convention tour package will offer two separate day-long tours, which will allow you more individual choice, less cost, and more fun. Because you can stay in the Galt House while participating in the pre-convention tours, you won't have to spend extra money or move into another hotel for just one night. The first tour will take place on June 30th in the popular Bardstown area, which is known for its "Bourbon Row," and such delectable names as Jim Beam, Heaven Hill, and Four Roses. Those are the first kinds of spirits you will encounter! For those with a less liquid appetite, we offer a tour of Stephen Foster's "My Old Kentucky Home." This tour will introduce you to a second kind of spirit -- the spirit of the past! The tour of the distilleries will stimulate all of your senses. As you move from the quiet country setting to the sound of the distilling process, to the smell of the corn mixture cooking and the taste of the bourbon balls, your senses will be stimulated to the max. As you stand in the middle of more than a million gallons of whiskey aging in huge barns, guides will explain the history of the area, the distilling process and share the secrets of Kentucky bourbon! As you travel from the "sweet limestone wells" that supply the water that initiates the distilling process through the gentle rolling bluegrass hills you will come to historic Federal Hill and the house called "My Old Kentucky Home." The house that Stephen Foster made famous is set in a park of lush Kentucky bluegrass under a canopy of 100-year-old trees laced with fragrant gardens. The past will come alive as you tour the house and grounds which were Stephen Foster's inspiration. Beautiful southern belles escorted by their handsome gentlemen, all dressed in period costume, will open each of the rooms. As you hear the stories of who did what to whom in which rooms, you will be able to touch many of the actual artifacts of the stories being told. This experience may be a once-in-a- lifetime opportunity to touch a real piece of history. (You might even feel the spirit of one or more of the alleged ethereal residents standing next to you as you tour the house and grounds.) As the sun sets and the day cools, the tour will take you to a performance of the play "The Stephen Foster Story," where you will hear songs such as "I Dream of Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair," "Camptown Races," "Oh Suzannah" and many more. This wonderful pre-convention tour will provide a full day of spirits -- both past and present! And, for those of you who like to eat, we are planning a good old Kentucky down-home cookin' lunch and dinner. Come experience a day with the Kentucky spirits! A Day at the Races When you hear, "And they're off," you know you are at the races. "The Days at the Races" will be Saturday and Sunday, July 1 and 2, 2000. Come spend an exciting day under the twin spires of the world-famous Churchill Downs, the racetrack made famous by the Kentucky Derby. We will be in an area called "The Skye Terrace," which is known during the Derby as "Millionaires Row." It is a long room enclosed on the track side with sliding glass doors. Just outside the glass doors is a large open-air balcony which looks over the track. So you may stay in an air-conditioned area and listen to all that is happening outside over the sound system. Or you may go outside to be a part of the excitement. Since you are on Millionaires Row, why not have it all and do both? These days at the races will be memorable experiences. Don't miss this opportunity! Each day, there will be a sit-down served lunch included. Watch future issues of "The Braille Forum" for details and registration information for these exciting tours. We will see you in Kentucky! *****


FIRST-TIMER'S CONTEST OFFERS YOU THE OPPORTUNITY
TO COME TO THE CONVENTION IN LOUISVILLE!
by Penny Reeder

Are you an active member of ACB? Do you belong to a state or special-interest affiliate? Would you like to come to the ACB convention in Louisville? If you can answer any of these questions affirmatively, and if you have never before attended a national ACB convention, then apply to the First-Timer's Contest, and the Durward McDaniel Membership Development and Retention Fund may pay your way to Louisville. In 1994, the ACB board of directors established the Durward McDaniel Fund to honor McDaniel who was so passionately committed to the blindness movement which ACB represents. Each year, the fund allows two members of the American Council of the Blind, one from each side of the Mississippi River, to experience the camaraderie and empowerment that a national convention can provide. If you have been wishing for a windfall that might allow you to come to Louisville, submit your letters of application. ACB welcomes the opportunity to reward deserving members in this way, and to give you the experiences and opportunities which only a national convention can afford. Here's how to apply: Write us a letter. Address it to: First Timer's Contest American Council of the Blind 1155 15th Street NW Suite 1004 Washington, DC 20005 Tell us, in your letter, about yourself and about your commitment to the American Council of the Blind. Talk about the activities which you have participated in, about your reasons for belonging, and for wanting to attend the national convention. Ask the president of your affiliate to write, or to designate a representative, to write a separate letter on your behalf. This letter should give the selection committee some additional sense of your accomplishments and involvement in activities relevant to the work of ACB and its affiliates. All materials submitted on your behalf must be received by the selection committee no later than May 15, 2000. As the McDaniel Membership Development and Retention Fund grows, through accrual and donations, ACB hopes to be able to acknowledge the contributions and dedication of more of its members by sponsoring their convention attendance, and to fund other special programs which will increase membership and reward service and commitment. At the moment, however, we must limit our sponsorship to only two deserving members. If you have never before experienced the friendship and excitement which are the hallmarks of ACB national conventions, take advantage of this opportunity, and submit your letters of application as soon as possible. Remember, your letters must be received no later than May 15, 2000. *****


ACB, RSVA AND NELDS
WIN CRUCIAL INITIAL VICTORY IN NISH LITIGATION
by Charles S.P. Hodge

On February 1, Judge Gerald Bruce Lee of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia issued an opinion in the NISH court case challenging the validity of the Randolph-Sheppard Act and its priority in favor of licensed blind vendors. In a 12-page opinion, Judge Lee grants the petitions for intervention as parties defendant, which were filed by ACB, RSVA and NELDS, along with the NFB, the elected committee of blind vendors in Virginia, (VFVC), the Texas Commission for the Blind and the Oklahoma state licensing agency. At first glance, I find the court to have determined that the petitioning intervenors all are advocacy organizations with members who are licensed Randolph-Sheppard blind vendors. Since these members could potentially be deprived of the opportunity to bid for and obtain locations in troop feeding facilities on military bases if NISH's lawsuit were to succeed, Judge Lee finds that the petitioning intervenors have direct standing and interest in the subject matter of this litigation. The court noted that the Texas Commission for the Blind and the Oklahoma state licensing agency -- in their capacity as Randolph-Sheppard state licensing agencies -- have a justifiably heightened direct interest in this litigation. The only clinker in the court's opinion is that the court orders all of the intervenors to confer and to choose one joint lead counsel in order to file one response to NISH's previously filed motion for summary judgment and to file a single potential cross motion for summary judgment on behalf of all of the defendants. Under the so-called "rocket docket" in the Eastern District of Virginia, this joint response must be submitted within 11 days of the court's order. So this places considerable pressure on the defendants to cooperate with one another to select their joint lead counsel, and to prepare and submit their joint response to NISH's motion for summary judgment -- under very tight time deadlines. Nevertheless, this initial victory for ACB, RSVA and NELDS is very good news which we can all celebrate! As this issue went to press, the organizations and their attorneys who have resolved to counter this very serious threat to the Randolph-Sheppard priority had already met via conference call to map out their strategies and maneuvers. Count on "The Braille Forum" to keep you informed on this very important case and its ramifications. *****


COPING BOILING WATER

Do you ever heat water to the boiling point in your microwave? Take note! We heard a story about a 26-year-old man who wanted to have a cup of coffee. He heated the water in his microwave. When he brought the cup out, he looked into it, and all of the water in the cup blew up into his face. The accident may have caused him to lose partial sight in his left eye. The emergency-room doctor stated that this is not the first such case he has seen, and that water (alone) should never be heated in a microwave oven. If you do need to heat water in your microwave, put in a tea bag, a wooden stir stick, or something else (not metal), to diffuse the energy. A much safer course of action may be to boil water on top of your stove in a tea kettle. (Received via forwarded e-mail from Will Mincey) LIGHT SWITCHES You know those annoying lights which have two wall-mounted switches, one at the top and one at the bottom of the stairs, or one by the front door and one in a hallway? The way to tell if the light is on is this: if both switches are either up or down, the light is on. You know it is off when one of the switches is up, and the other is down. It doesn't matter which ones. I have found this information helpful as a totally blind person living alone who leaves lights on for reasons of safety. (Reprinted from the Silicon Valley Council of the Blind newsletter, January 2000.) *****


AFFILIATE NEWS

EMPOWERMENT IS KEY
Make plans now to attend the Mississippi Council of the Blind convention April 14-16 at the Ramada Inn Southwest, 1525 Ellis Ave. in Jackson. The festivities begin on Friday night with the pre-convention board meeting. A buffet supper and entertainment will follow. The program includes such speakers as Steven Kuusisto, Mark Smith, and many others. Local service providers will update you on local goings-on. There will be an awards banquet one day, and a scholarship breakfast on Sunday morning. Call (601) 944-1150 or (800) 265-9399 to reserve your room. If you have any problems or questions, ask to speak with Pat Henley. Pre-registration for the convention, $35, must be received by April 10. At-the-door registration costs $45. If you register for only the business meeting, it costs $5. If you wish to register for separate events, their costs are: Friday night buffet and entertainment, $5; Saturday luncheon, $10; awards banquet, $15; scholarship breakfast, $10. If you have questions regarding the convention, call Donna Smith-Whitty at (601) 371- 0616.

TEXAS CONVENTION
The ACB of Texas state convention will be held in Austin this year, June 2-4. The hotel is the Holiday Inn South, 3401 I-35 South; phone (512) 448-2444. The theme is "Moving Forward in the New Millennium." *****


ONE RINGY-DINGY, TWO RINGY-DINGYS:
A NEW PATH TO ONLINE INDEPENDENCE MAY BE DAWNING!
by Penny Reeder

Imagine leaning back in your easy chair in front of the tube, wondering what might be playing on Ted Turner's audio-described classic movie TV channel, picking up your portable phone and dialing a number which connects you to the "www.direct-tv" online web site. There, you browse through the listings for the evening and learn that the classic movie for this evening is your spouse's favorite. So, using the same phone, you go to the online menu at the web page of your favorite Chinese restaurant, and you place an order for a delectable dinner for two. Then, you go to "www.finewines.com" to see what the daily specials are, make a selection, place your order, and call your wife at her office to tell her to hurry home for your date! While you wait for the doorbell to ring with delivery-persons from the Chinese restaurant and finewines.com on the other side, you check out the progress of your financial investments at "e- trade.com," and you visit your child's elementary school home page, where you learn that his book report is due in three days and that he got an A on his math test yesterday. You order some doggie treats for your faithful pooch, and you check on the contents of your checking account and make a deposit into your savings. You register to vote in your state's upcoming primary election, and you go to the NLS web page to read "Talking Book Topics." Keep imagining now. You have accomplished all this by just dialing your phone and listening to the very pleasant synthesized voice of everypath, a telephone-accessed Internet browser which allows you to access hundreds of informative World Wide Web sites to find exactly the information you seek quickly and efficiently, without even turning on your personal computer. Imagine accessing the World Wide Web with a tool that's as simple and intuitive as your telephone! All of this may sound too good to be true, but it may be just around the corner! On Thursday, January 6, 2000, Charlie Crawford and I met with representatives from a telephone-accessed web browser called everypath. Everypath is a company based in Silicon Valley, Calif., which is developing a telephone interface to the World Wide Web. Unlike other service providers who have promised similar telephone-based interfaces to the Internet, everypath seems to be approaching the mechanics of web access from a couple of interesting perspectives. They are identifying organizations and companies who want to make their online information available to people who may not have the time or the wherewithal to access it with computers. And they are attempting to identify the kinds of information that these sorts of consumers will want to access. Getting to the essential information Their engineers have developed technology which can identify and isolate the essential information which a visitor might want from a web site, and present that information via a clear and understandable synthesized "Real (computer) Voice," which a user can access with voice or keypad commands on a standard telephone! Joe Griffin, vice president of corporate development, describes the product which his company can bring to a consumer as a kind of "Reader's Digest" for every connected site. "We focus on the tasks that people want to accomplish, and on the information that pertains to those tasks," he says. What kinds of information would visually impaired users like to obtain? When representatives from everypath went to visit the Federal Communications Commission to find out exactly what technical specifications might apply to them, the folks at the FCC told them, with a certain degree of enthusiasm, that their product might be a natural fit for the needs of many Americans with disabilities -- especially people who are visually impaired. When everypath asked how they could find out what visually impaired people might need, the FCC sent them to Charlie Crawford and the American Council of the Blind! So, they came to talk to ACB, to find out what kinds of web sites our members might be interested in accessing. They demonstrated their system on an ordinary speaker-phone in the ACB national office's conference room. In response to a voice command, the web browser connected to an "E-Trading" service, and read the stock market quotations regarding a particular commodity. One of everypath's chief engineers described an anticipated capability for buying, selling, or getting more detailed information about particular stocks, and he told us how one of their staff members recently purchased an airline ticket from an E-fare site which she had accessed via everypath. Griffin says that the company anticipates establishing a connection with 200 web sites by the end of the year. Already, everypath is working with an online stock-market and trading site. They have talked to airlines and to department stores, and to telecommunications service providers. They anticipate making their voice-interfaced dial-in service available via cellular phones, pagers, and other portable telecommunications devices, some of which may still reside in the imaginations of their inventors. While the company is working with web content providers now, its services will not be available to the general public until April 2000. Stay tuned to "The Braille Forum" to find out where this exciting accessible service may lead. We may be at the dawn of the kind of access to information which visually impaired people have only dared to include on their wish lists until now. *****


ADOBE ACROBAT: A VERY USEFUL TOOLKIT
FOR PEOPLE WHO USE SCREEN MAGNIFICATION
by Charles Lott

We're all familiar with Adobe's Acrobat Reader. Most of us have either downloaded it as a freebie from the World Wide Web, or else we've come to know it through its inclusion with various applications which use its portable document format (PDF) for their online documentation. On the other hand, not quite so many of us are familiar with the complete Acrobat package, although it is readily available at software dealers across the country. The latest version of the complete Acrobat package, Acrobat 4.0, has a number of very nice features for creating and distributing PDF documents. Best of all, it appears to be quite compatible with Window-Eyes (GW-Micro). I have not tested it with JFW (Henter-Joyce) because I have not had time to create a script for it; thus, I don't know how well that reader and Acrobat would get along. Both of the above-mentioned screen readers will handle PDF documents in the Acrobat Reader, provided, of course, that the user has downloaded and installed the Acrobat Access plug-in, which is downloadable from Adobe's web site (access.adobe.com) as Accs4.exe. The Access plug-in converts PDF documents on-screen to ASCII text, which most good screen readers can readily handle. Incidentally, it would be very useful indeed if Adobe would include the Access plug-in on its Acrobat CD. That way complete compatibility would be right there in one convenient spot, thus eliminating the need to download the plug-in. Acrobat 4.0 not only creates PDF files from other documents, including graphic images, but it also provides utilities for making bookmarks, thumbnail sketches and annotations of text documents. With Acrobat you can also edit or touch up PDF documents with tools from the provided tools palette. Window- Eyes will navigate through the bookmarks of documents containing them with either its cursor keys or the mouse. As a matter of fact, Window-Eyes 3.1 includes set files for Acrobat, which were created in August 1999. There is, however, one regrettable drawback. While the items on the tools palette can readily be labeled in Window-Eyes, the tools are not compatible with screen readers because they cannot be used in Access (ASCII) mode. As we have already seen, PDF documents cannot be read by a screen reader without converting them to ASCII text. Thus many of the functions of Acrobat will not be possible for the totally blind. Hopefully, someone will find a way of getting a screen reader to read native PDF files. If that can ever be done, Acrobat will become even more useful to blind users. Partially sighted users will find most of the Acrobat editing tools quite usable. Another useful feature of the Acrobat system is its interface with Microsoft Office 95, 97 and 2000. Microsoft Word and PowerPoint in all three versions of the suite provide menu items which allow you to create PDF documents from within these applications. Documents from other applications can be converted to PDF either by dragging them to the Acrobat Distiller and dropping them there or by opening them from within Acrobat. In addition Acrobat comes with support for a number of foreign languages, including Asian and Near-Eastern languages. Users will find getting started reasonably simple, because Adobe has included ample online documentation in PDF format. The documentation includes the Getting Started Guide, the User Guide and the Adobe Acrobat Tour, a movie which presents an overview of the application. All in all I would consider Acrobat 4.0 to be a highly worthwhile addition to your software collection, especially if you work within a system where a lot of document sharing goes on and portability is the watchword. For further information about Acrobat 4.0, call Adobe toll-free at (800) 272- 3623, or contact your nearest software reseller. *****


IN MEMORIAM:
FREDERIC T. NEUMANN
April 13, 1917-January 13, 1999

(Editor's Note: The American Council of the Blind would like to thank Mrs. Betty Jane Petersen-Neumann, personal representative of the late Fred Neumann. In his will, Fred named the American Council of the Blind as a beneficiary. Thanks to his generosity, ACB will be able to continue working on urgent legislative issues of concern to blind people.) Frederic T. "Fred" Neumann, 90, of Lansing, Mich., died January 13, 1999. He was born April 13, 1917, the son of Frederic J. and Edythe Traver Neumann. He was educated at the New York Institute for the Education of the Blind and in the Wappingers Falls Public Schools. He received his bachelor of arts degree summa cum laude from Hobart College, Geneva, N.Y., his master of arts degree from Teachers College Columbia University, and did postgraduate work at Michigan State and Wayne State universities. He was a Phi Beta Kappa scholar. Neumann taught at the New York Institute for the Education of the Blind before moving to Michigan to teach at the Michigan School for the Blind in 1944. He taught high school mathematics and social studies, wrote and published many articles in professional periodicals and journals and was well-known for his outstanding instruction in mental math procedures. He lectured on the psychology of the blind, teaching techniques and educational philosophy pertaining to the blind at Teachers College Columbia University, University of Michigan, Eastern Michigan University and Michigan State University. He also taught personality development classes for the Lansing Public School District's adult education department. He retired from the Michigan School for the Blind in 1977. During his career he was active in many professional organizations and held offices in the local MEA, AAIB, CEC and MSEA. He was a member of the American Council of the Blind, the Michigan Association of the Blind and Visually Impaired, and a strong supporter of WKAR Radio Talking Book of East Lansing. He was a member of South Baptist Church, the Friendly Bible Class, and the Super Senior group of the church. He is survived by his wife, Betty Jane Petersen-Neumann; stepmother, Katherine Neumann of Poughkeepsie, N.Y.; brother-in- law Donald J. (Jo) Petersen of Highland Heights, Ohio; several nieces, nephews, cousins and many friends. *****


MINNESOTA LOSES TWO BLIND LEADERS AND MENTORS

(Editor's Note: The following memorial pieces are based on articles which appeared in the January 2000 "Minnesota Memo.") In Memoriam: Carl Rauer 1907-1999 by Bert Morlock I met Carl Rauer and his constant companion, wife Lorraine, in 1975, when we were both members of the Minnesota Sports Blind Club (the blind bowling league of St. Paul). Carl always opened his home to the league for parties at the beginning and the end of the season. Carl was a charter member of the American Council of the Blind of Minnesota (ACBM), joining in the early 1970s. He was ACBM's link to Minnesota's capital for many years. He was involved with membership, calling delinquent members to remind them of their dues payment, and to see if they wanted to stay with ACBM. Carl Rauer was born October 30, 1907 (he wanted to be here for his very first Halloween Party -- even though only a day old!). He attended Sacred Heart School in St. Paul for eight years of elementary education and then went to Commercial High at Sacred Heart, but did not complete his education to earn a high school diploma. Always determined to obtain his high school diploma, Carl pursued that goal in 1989 when he enrolled in the GED program. On May 19, 1990, Carl was one of the graduates at Johnson High School. This achievement was accomplished when Carl was 82! Recently, Carl authored an account of the reasons ACBM and NFB could never get together and speak as one voice for the blind. Here is an excerpt from that account: "...Very often, this question is asked: why can't the organizations of the blind work together? The divergence goes back to 1961. Shortly after the second World War, the National Federation was organized, with independent, local affiliates in most states, including Minnesota. By the late '50s, the officers had become entrenched because they had no term limits, and were re-elected year after year, and they had become dictatorial. At the 1961 convention, five or six state affiliates pulled out of the National Federation of the Blind, and became the nucleus of the American Council of the Blind, which was organized on a democratic basis. The reason for the rift was, and still is, a matter of philosophy, as indicated above." My relationship with Carl Rauer firmed up into a partnership when, in 1991, he asked if I would help him learn to use the computer and reading scanner. I told him if he purchased all equipment identical to mine, I would work with him. At that time the equipment and software he needed cost $7,000. He purchased the equipment with his personal funds and we were off and running. Over the phone for the next year for a minimum of three or four hours per week while both of us were sitting in front of our keyboards, Carl learned from me and I learned from him. He re-taught me patience. He read manuals and practiced during the days and we worked with new things in the evenings. Carl learned our lessons well. Afterwards, he wrote to legislators and whomever else needed to be addressed. He used his scanner to read printed material, and yes, letters he received back from legislators. Carl's accomplishments were well summed up by Chuck Hamilton, Director of the Business Enterprises Program in a letter he wrote when he was unable to attend the celebration of Carl's 90th birthday. Chuck wrote: "...Few people reach this milestone. More importantly, however, is that few people are so energized by the issues of the day as you are. Few people would take on the daunting task of learning the complex technology you have over the last 10 years. I salute you! You have remained involved in issues affecting blind persons, and traveled to the capitol to support and express your views. While you and I may disagree over certain issues, I respect your involvement, enthusiasm and tenacity. You are a role model for others who are blind and sighted, and show others that neither blindness nor the aging process need stop one's impact on the affairs of the community..." Carl, we all from ACBM say goodbye, and we will see you sometime. Carl is probably looking down on us all. (Remember, in heaven, we will all be able to see better than we do now.) . . . . These thoughts were recently contributed to "The Minnesota Memo" by Carl Rauer: Consider the postage stamp. It insures success by its ability to stick to one thing until it gets where it has to go. The Lord gave you two ends, one for sitting and one for thinking. Your success depends on which you use. Heads you win, tails you lose. A discussion is the exchange of information. An argument is the exchange of ignorance. . . . . In Memoriam: Milo Gilliland by Bert Morlock The American Council of the Blind of Minnesota and the entire blind community lost a long-time advocate on August 28, 1999. Milo Gilliland was 84 years of age at the time of his death. Milo was born in Minneapolis and graduated from Roosevelt High School and the University of Minnesota. He worked as a rehabilitation counselor for Services for the Blind in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Milo moved to Virginia, Minn. in 1953 to operate a stand in the post office that was licensed by the Business Enterprises Program that is a part of the Minnesota Services for the Blind. He moved back to the Twin Cities in 1964 and retired from the program in 1989. Milo was an active individual in the blind community. He was the first editor of the "Memo" for the American Council of the Blind of Minnesota. He served on the ACBM board, the United Blind board, and the Operator's Management Committee for the Business Enterprises Program. He also served on the Minneapolis Society for the Blind board and was very active in square dancing. Milo was an excellent writer. When he took on an issue he wrote with intensity and emotion. Through his writings he made contributions to the American Council of the Blind, the United Blind, and the Operator Management Committee of the Business Enterprises Program. Thank you, Milo, for using your gift of writing to benefit the blind community. Milo, too, had a great sense of humor. I reminded him many times of the time he was on the Constitutional Committee for the United Blind. At one of the meetings he introduced a change to the bylaws. This resulted in a half-hour heated discussion at the end of which he asked for the president's permission to speak. When he was granted the floor he announced he would like to be the very first member to vote against his suggestion. After that, he and I often laughed when I told him he was the only person I knew that had introduced a bylaw change and was the first to vote against it. After the death of his first wife, Grace Ellen, Milo married Tillie in 1974. Tillie has told me that part of the marriage contract required Milo to participate in bowling! He took the bowling contract so seriously that, in subsequent years, he and Tillie attended 12 bowling tournaments. Milo and Tillie enjoyed traveling. After marrying they attended 10 ACB national conventions. I will remember Milo for the humor he brought to the blind community, and his interest and willingness to actively participate in the issues of the blind of the day. May he serve as an example to all of us as we become older -- to participate actively in improving the quality of life of people who are blind. *****


HERE AND THERE
by Elizabeth M. Lennon

The announcement of new products and services in this column should not be considered an endorsement of those products and services by the American Council of the Blind, its staff or elected officials. Products and services are listed free of charge for the benefit of our readers. "The Braille Forum" cannot be responsible for the reliability of products or services mentioned.

SCHOLARSHIPS
The Blinded Veterans Association is offering 16 scholarships as part of its Kathern F. Gruber Scholarship Program for the 2000-01 academic year. There will be eight scholarships of $2,000 each, and eight of $1,000 each available. The scholarship committee will choose 16 recipients and four alternates. Only dependent children and spouses of blinded veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces are eligible for the scholarships. The veteran must be legally blind; blindness may be service-connected or non-service-connected. To be eligible for the scholarship, an applicant must have been accepted for admission, or already be enrolled, as a full-time student in an accredited institution of higher education, or business, secretarial or vocational training school. Applications must be received no later than Friday, April 14. To request one, write to: The Kathern F. Gruber Scholarship Program, Blinded Veterans Association, 477 H St. NW, Washington, DC 20001-2694, or phone (202) 371-8880.

ANOTHER SCHOLARSHIP
Friends-In-Art wishes to announce the second annual scholarship for students in the arts. Any visually impaired student who is planning to, or is currently majoring in the arts, such as music, drama, graphic arts or related fields, is eligible to apply for this $1,000 scholarship. Application forms can be obtained from the president of FIA, Michael Mandel, 400 W. 43rd St., Apt. 20-L, New York, NY 10036. Send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to him before April 15, 2000 in order to receive the form and details about the scholarship.

MORE SCHOLARSHIPS
The New York State Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired has scholarships available. To be considered for a scholarship, you must send in: an application narrative that demonstrates your need and intent (special consideration will be given to people who will work in rural or underserved areas of New York state and/or bilingual skills); three letters of recommendation; copies of letters of acceptance or application (pending) from a college or university for a course of study in orientation and mobility, rehabilitation teaching or teacher of the visually impaired; proof of current AER membership (photocopy of current membership card is acceptable); statement of financial resources (including grants, scholarships, agency support, household income {copy of 1999 tax return should be submitted} and expenses); and your contact information, including address, daytime phone number and e-mail address. Checks will be sent to the college or university to be placed in the recipientūs account. All documentation must be received by the chair of the scholarship committee on or before May 26, 2000 in order for the person to be considered as a candidate for the award year. Send your applications to: Anne Hersee, 2130 Angling Road, Corfu, NY 14036-9652, or e-mail [email protected] E-mail copies need not be followed by hard copies.

BOWL-A-THON
Seedlings Braille Books for Children invites you to participate in the annual "Bowl Where You Are" Bowl-a-Thon. When? Your choice. Where? Your choice. Seedlings is a tax-exempt non-profit organization dedicated to providing low-cost braille books for blind children. Every $10 earned during this bowling event will create one more book and will help strike out illiteracy! Last year, bowlers raised more than $20,000. Select a specific date, time and place to bowl for Seedlings. Use a pledge form to obtain sponsors before you bowl. Contact Seedlings for a form at (800) 777-8552. Sponsors may pledge a certain number of cents per pin (3 cents or 5 cents per pin, for example); the minimum is a penny per pin. Or they may pledge a flat amount (a donation of $10 or $20, for example). Seedlings hopes each bowler will raise at least $25. Bowlers should collect their own pledges and send them to Seedlings Braille Books for Children, P.O. Box 51924, Livonia, MI 48151-5924. Each bowler who turns in $100 or more will be given a free Seedlings mug or T-shirt. Bowlers who turn in $150 or more will be given their choice of a free Seedlings tote bag, sweatshirt or braille keychain. Make checks payable to Seedlings Braille Books for Children. If you live in the Detroit metropolitan area, join Seedlings at the Cloverlanes Bowl in Livonia on Sunday, March 26 at 12:30 for the fun at the 13th annual Seedlings Bowl-a-Thon.

ART COMPETITION
The American Printing House for the Blind is looking for visually impaired or blind artists of all ages to contribute art work for its ninth annual international art competition. Artists may enter artwork created in any medium, including (but not limited to) painting, drawing, printmaking, fiber, metal or wood. Entry forms and art pieces must arrive at APH no later than April 1. To request a copy of the entry form and competition rules, call toll- free (800) 223-1839, or e-mail [email protected]

CURE FOR CABIN FEVER
Have you been thinking about giving the Mail-Call e-mail-by- phone service a try? Well, during March and April, you can sign up with Mail-Call and pay no registration fee. In addition, your first 10 minutes will be free! This offer will apply to the first 200 ACB members who sign up, so hurry to your telephone, or PC, and let e-mail spirit you away from the winds of March and the raindrops of April. Call Mail-Call at (800) 299-4722. A representative will sign you up and answer your questions. You'll need to give that person ACB's identification number, which is ACB6299. If there's no one available to take your call, leave a message in Mail-Call's voice mail and a registrar will call you back. Or you can register online. Go to http://www.mail-call.com and follow the link to the secure sign-up page. When you click "submit," if any of your information is missing or incomplete, someone from Mail-Call will telephone you to complete the registration.

SAYIT 2000
FutureForms, a division of Pummill Business Forms, Inc., recently introduced SayIt 2000, a new assistive technology software which enables visually impaired people to fill out forms online. The program is designed to scan the user's PC to determine if a screen reader is present and active. If a screen reader is active, the software will decipher the form on the screen for the user. If no screen reader is active, the software will remain quiet and allow the user to complete the form. For more information, visit http://www.futureforms.com, or call (800) 748-0235.

WWW.JWOD.COM
A new web site was launched recently to make it easier for federal employees to buy a multitude of business products and related supplies right from their desks, with next-day delivery for the most frequently used items. This site, http://www.jwod.com, features products made by blind or severely disabled people under the Javits-Wagner-O'Day program. It provides federal customers with convenient one-stop shopping. In addition to online orders, federal or commercial customers may order by phone, (877) 438-5963, or by fax, (877) 329-5963. Customers may also use authorized commercial distributors for JWOD products (listed at http://www.jwod.gov/splydist.htm), or visit military base supply centers operated by JWOD-participating non-profit agencies on many installations.

DOOR STOP ALARMS
Brett Davis Company sells door stop alarms. You place it in back of your door, and when someone attempts to enter your home, the door presses on the door stop, which activates a loud alarm. The sound frightens off the intruder, and alerts you to dial 911. It comes ready to use, with batteries. You can take it on vacations, in your hotel or motel room, or wherever you wish. Each alarm costs $29.95 plus $5 shipping and handling. To order, contact the Brett Davis Company, 776 Corydon Ave., Suite 712, Winnipeg Manitoba R3M 0Y1, Canada.

HABITAT HOUSES
Lions Clubs International and Habitat for Humanity International have launched a three-year partnership to build homes for individuals and families with visual impairment or serious physical or mental disabilities. Between 2000 and 2003, these clubsū partnership will enable local Lions clubs and Habitat affiliates to build low-cost homes for people with disabilities. If you wish to be considered for this program, contact your local Lions Club or Habitat for Humanity office. Applications will be reviewed on March 31. In Jefferson County, Ky., homes are being built in the downtown Louisville area. People in that area who wish to obtain more information about qualifications, contact Louisville Habitat for Humanity at (502) 583-6599 before April 1.

NTN ON THE NET
Narrative Television Network's TV and movie programming is now available worldwide on the Internet, http://www.narrativetv.com. The programming is available free of charge, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Users can enjoy programs on demand. For more information, visit the web site, or contact Jim Stovall at (918) 627-1000.

GRAPH READER
Centaurian Systems LLC, a Michigan-based software development company, recently developed a graph reader for the visually impaired. It describes the graph and labels its parts, as well as interprets the information by telling a visually impaired user what kind of graph is being described. It can read more than 17 different graphs, including bar, 3D bar, area, pie, line and scatter graphs. Centaurian plans to include its graph reader with every new system it develops. For more information, call Steve Timmer at (517) 381-9611 or e-mail him at [email protected]

NEW AWARDS
The American Printing House for the Blind recently awarded the first Virgil Zickel Awards to three individuals who have contributed innovative ideas for products now produced by APH. Nancy Rinker worked with APH to produce a prototype of her idea for a new reading easel for visually impaired students. The GrandStand Reading Easel is a bright yellow, lightweight, portable and inexpensive aid for large print readers. It has an adjustable shelf that can be raised and lowered as needed to accommodate different size books. Rinker has taught at the Virginia School for the Deaf and Blind in Staunton for 31 years, and is an itinerant teacher in the Staunton school system. Marcia Gevers developed the MasterPlan Calendar designed to fit low-vision needs. It is written in large, bold print and includes month-at-a-glance and weekly planning pages. It fits in a three- ring binder which allows for flexibility in adding and subtracting pages. Gevers is a rehabilitation teacher for the Indiana Department of Services for the Blind. Alex Snow suggested a new type of binder that would make it possible to manage braille paper more efficiently. The result is the three-hole Floppy Braille Binder. Before the introduction of this soft-cover binder, 11 by 11.5-inch braille paper was held in a 19-hole hard-cover binder that Alex and others found difficult to manage. Snow is a 12-year-old blind student in the seventh grade at Newtown Middle School in Newtown, Conn. To order any of these items, call APH at (800) 223-1839.

ADAPTIVEWARE
AdaptiveWare is a mail-order business specifically tailored to the needs of blind and visually impaired computer users. Products sold include custom-built computers, scanners, screen readers, speech synthesizers and braille embossers, as well as such products as the Road Runner and Aria. For more information, or a free catalog, contact AdaptiveWare at 2700 Lakeland Dr., Nashville, TN 37214; phone (615) 884-8904 or toll-free (800) 470-7482.

RUFF WEAR
Ruff Wear, a manufacturer of gear for dogs on the go, recently upgraded its web site, http://www.ruffwear.com and improved its accessibility for the visually impaired. Through a series of changes, the web site now complies with the W3C guidelines and is Bobby compliant. For more information, or a catalog, call toll- free (888) 783-3932, or visit the web site listed above.

KIDABILITY
According to the Gallup Youth Survey, only 46 percent of youths say that schoolmates with disabilities feel only "somewhat welcome" and another 17 percent say that they "don't feel too welcome." KidAbility is a newly released video created to provide an opportunity to understand and improve the lives and conditions of individuals. It was made for general audiences. It costs $89 plus $6.75 shipping and handling from Program Development Associates, P.O. Box 2038, Syracuse, N.Y. 13220; phone (800) 543-2119.

BUY, SELL OR TRADE
BST is a new electronic list that formed recently. Do you have an item you'd like to turn into cash? Are you starting a new home business and want to let others know about it? Or are you looking for an item, such as a braille printer? BST is the list for you. It welcomes "buy, sell or trade" items, and even welcomes your reviews of new products. All ads sent to the list are the responsibility of a sender. Ads must include the name of the sender, a full description of the item(s), the asking price or a price range you're willing to pay, and your e-mail address. Do not make your deal on the list. When buying or selling, contact the advertiser directly. Only contact the person who placed the ad youūre interested in. The list owner reserves the right to remove any person at any time for displaying any type of bad manners or any other abuse of the list or its subscribers. To subscribe, send a blank e-mail message to BST- [email protected]

INDEPENDENT LIVING
The American Association of Retired Persons will celebrate Independent Living Week May 1-7, 2000. During this week, volunteers from across the country will be helping older people remain independent in their homes. Many people are unaware that making simple changes in homes can help people remain in charge and maintain their independence. AARP has four publications available especially for the week: "Tools and Gadgets for Independent Living" (D17035), which lists ACB as a resource for finding assistive technology; "How Well Does Your Home Meet Your Needs?" (D16270), which helps you identify problem areas in your home; "Home Safe Home: How to Prevent Falls in the Home" (D16598), which provides a checklist for preventing falls in your home; and "100 Simple Ways to Make A Difference" (D16685), which provides 100 ideas to help aging family members, friends and neighbors to continue living on their own. To order these brochures, write to AARP Fulfillment, 601 E St. NW, Washington, DC 20049. Allow four to six weeks for delivery. Be certain to include the title(s) and stock number(s) with your order, as well as your name and address.

SEEKING RECIPES
Eva Kurtz, 715 SW Fillmore #1, Topeka, KS 66606, is looking for the recipes from the ADA Forecaster from "A Cookbook for Diabetics" by Maude Behrman, edited by Leonard Louis Levinson. She specifically needs volumes 1, 4 and 5. If you have any of these to spare, please send them to her.

LITERACY PACKET
The Braille Revival League recently released its 2000 special edition braille literacy packet, which contains numerous resources for conducting a variety of braille literacy activities during the year. It includes information on the history of braille, recommendations for possible projects, a sample proclamation, a special set of posters, information about the league, a bibliography of books about Louis Braille, an updated Internet resource list of braille-related web sites and eūmail lists, and other information. Also included in the packet is an IBM-compatible 3.5-inch diskette which contains ASCII, WordPerfect 5.1, Microsoft Word and braille-translated files of all documents in the packet. If you or your organization would like to receive a packet, send a $5 check to cover the cost of production and mailing to: Braille Revival League, Attn: Kim Charlson, 57 Grandview Ave., Watertown, MA 02472-1634; phone (617) 926-9198.

KURZWEIL HONORED
Ray Kurzweil received the National Medal of Technology on March 14 from President Clinton. The citation reads: "For pioneering and innovative achievements in computer science that have overcome barriers for and enriched the lives of disabled persons and of all Americans, including developing the first print-to-speech reading machine for the blind, the first commercially marketed large vocabulary speech recognition technology, and the ground-breaking Kurzweil 250 computer music keyboard." The National Medal of Technology is the nation's highest honor in technology. It was enacted by Congress in 1980 and has been awarded by the President of the United States each year since 1985. It is awarded to several individuals (and/or groups of individuals) each year. In most years, a company has also been honored. There are no categories specified in the award. Previous winners include: Kenneth L. Thompson and Dennis M. Ritchie, for the UNIX operating system and the C programming language; Vinton Gray Cerf and Robert E. Kahn, for the TCP/IP protocol on which the Internet is based; Edward R. McCracken, pioneer in 3D visual graphics; and AT&T Bell Labs for contributions to electronic communications. *****


HIGH TECH SWAP SHOP

FOR SALE: DECtalk PC1 internal synthesizer long card, $500. Megadots braille translation software version 2.0 with latest update August 1999, $300. HP Deskjet 500 printer, $75. No personal checks please. If you're interested in any of these items, contact Denise Avant between 7 and 10 p.m. Central time Monday-Friday, or during the day on weekends, at (773) 325-1117.

FOR SALE: One Braille Blazer from Blazie. Never used; mint condition. Asking $800 or best offer. One Braille 'n Speak with 20-cell refreshable braille display; used less than 10 hours. Asking $1,200 or best offer. One Alva Braille Terminal model 380 80-cell refreshable braille display terminal. Hardly used. Works with popular screen access software, including JAWS for Windows. Asking $7,000 or best offer. (Note that this price is a 50 percent discount on the new price.) Contact Loren Mikola at (425) 705-3394 (work) or (425) 558-0131 (home), or via e-mail at [email protected]

FOR SALE: Telesensory CCTV model CH3A. Asking $1,200 or best offer. Call Phyllis Burson at (301) 588-5191.

FOR SALE: Kurzweil Reading Edge, complete with the latest upgrade card, braille user's manual and shipping box. Will ship and insure the unit within the United States at no additional charge. Asking $2,000. Contact Rod at (253) 274-0897, or via e- mail at [email protected]

FOR SALE: IBM computer with ZoomText, JAWS, Windows 95, and a Lexmark color printer. Asking $1,200. Call Rosemir at (787) 821-1003.

FOR SALE: Juliet classic interpoint braille embosser, recently updated with the latest features, including enhanced braille graphics and dynamic braille scaling (prints sizes micro to jumbo). Like new. Selling for $2,000 plus buyer's shipping preference. Only used sporadically. Inquiries preferred from serious buyers who are experienced equipment users. Send typed or braille letters to Constance Griesmer, 836 Santa Barbara St. #C, Pasadena, CA 91101-1233; phone (626) 793-9684 weekdays 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Pacific, or on weekends.

FOR SALE: Electric Perkins brailler, $350. Standard Perkins brailler, including soft pad, $225. Disk drive for Versabraille, $50. Best offers accepted. Write a braille letter to Eileen Wuest, 34 Kelly Ct., Lancaster, NY 14086.

WANTED: Old DOS-based speech synthesizer with drivers and screen-reading program for 386 computer. Contact Emily Phillips at Very Special Arts of Missouri via e-mail, [email protected] or phone (816) 531-2688.

WANTED: Color Test color identifier. Anyone who has one to sell, contact Tamara Rorie at (404) 298-8771.

WANTED: Games in braille or large print, or games that talk, at reasonable cost or donated. Contact Robert Albanese at P.O. Box 43, Lake Placid, FL 33862, or phone him at (863) 465-6955.

WANTED: Braille 'n Speak in good condition, with all parts. Contact George Roderick at (207) 623-1550, or write to him at 9 Hancock St., Augusta, ME 04330.

WANTED: A cassette duplicating machine in good condition. Call Gerald Clark at (810) 984-8725. *****


STRATEGIES FOR MEMBERSHIP GROWTH
by Ardis Bazyn

Our affiliates use a number of strategies to invite new members and other interested people to their meetings. If your group has not tried some of these methods, perhaps one or more of the strategies listed below will work for you. Advertise! Publicity works! Even if your members cannot, because of their visual impairments, read newspapers and bulletin boards, their friends and family members can! Nearly all local newspapers contain columns which include information about weekly or monthly events. Make a connection with the editor of such a column, and publicize details about your meetings and special events. While you're at it, don't forget to call local radio-reading services and dial-in telephone newspaper reading services. These organizations often run announcements of special importance to blind listeners, either between programming segments or as a specific choice on a dial-in menu. Local radio stations often run public-service spots or feature community bulletin board announcements. Radio is a very accessible medium for blind people. Having your meetings and special events listed among these announcements is a good way to attract newcomers and new members. Some cable TV stations present a scrolling screen display which lists coming community events. (When you call to have your events included in these listings, you will have a good opportunity to explain that blind people will need to rely on the services of sighted readers unless the station has the sensitivity and foresight to read such announcements aloud!) When you advertise in a newspaper or radio station or reading service, be certain to proofread your announcements so that they will be complete and clear. State the date, day, time, location, any special transportation arrangements or assistance options, and potential cancellation and rescheduling information. Phone Trees Phone trees are a useful low-tech way to notify members and other interested people about upcoming meetings and special events. There are electronic phone-tree programs available for a small monthly fee from local telephone service providers which can distribute pre-recorded messages to lists of phone numbers. Educate When you teach members of the community at large about blindness and the issues that are important to visually impaired people, you have an opportunity to advance the general state of knowledge about the capabilities and needs of people who are blind, and to tell your audience about your affiliate and the American Council of the Blind. Some of our affiliates have sent volunteers to talk to drivers' education classes, schools and service clubs. Members have gotten mayors, county commissioners, governors, and legislators to enact proclamations and to publicize their relevance. Newspapers -- especially the local dailies and weeklies -- are willing to publish news releases and copies of proclamations. A useful strategy for improving awareness about blindness and the capabilities of disabled people, while promoting the benefits and services of your organization, is to write to colleges and universities to offer your services as mentors or consultants to visually impaired students, and to help educate their disabled student services offices or organizations. Network Most people come to their first ACB affiliate meeting because of a personal contact with another member. Inviting a friend or acquaintance to come to a meeting or special event is still the best way to recruit new members. When your group is planning a special event, remember to plan ahead for the publicity which will attract new members! Affiliates have told me that most media companies need at least two weeks notice prior to scheduled events. Printed press releases can be circulated to various media outlets. These news releases can generate additional coverage, including radio and television interviews and features. In addition, highlight upcoming special events in affiliate and chapter newsletters. Contests and Awards Promotion activities which involve winning prizes or receiving special recognition are excellent ways to inform the general public about your affiliates and to attract new members as well. Young school children can be encouraged to write essays, color pictures, or create art works which demonstrate heightened sensitivity to the needs of disabled people, or relate in some positive way to the mission of your organization. Or your affiliate might sponsor contests or special events for blind and visually impaired children. These activities will introduce younger children to older, more experienced, and successful blind people, and can involve participation and membership by their friends and families as well. Scholarships Encourage high school and college students who will be applying for the scholarships which your affiliate offers to come to your meetings and get to know your members. Let students in your communities know that your organizations are interested in learning who they are and in helping them to cope with their visual impairments. Encourage them to talk to your members about the things that are important to them and the ways that your financial assistance is benefitting them. Share Information about ACB Resources Your affiliate may have prepared brochures or lists of community resources which can be very helpful to newcomers and to new members. Lists of resources -- both local and national -- for visually impaired people who may need to know about specialized products and services, health care, education, or transportation can be a godsend to a person who is newly blind, or a family member or friend of a visually impaired person. If your affiliate does not have an up-to-date brochure, or a monthly newsletter, consider writing a brochure or starting a newsletter. Contact doctors, ophthalmologists, and hospitals. Let them know about your organization, and give them a supply of your brochures and/or printed cards to distribute to patients and family members. If medical personnel seem reluctant to distribute your organization's information, tell them that people with all levels of visual impairment can use help and support from time to time, and that your organization is focused broadly enough to be valuable to a wide spectrum of visually impaired people. Chapters sometimes create simple flyers so they have printed materials to distribute when they hold bake sales or other community fund-raising events. These flyers include meeting times and telephone numbers for the affiliate or chapter, as well as listings of advocacy services, and can be valuable tools for spreading the word about your affiliate and ACB. The ACB brochure presents an overview of the national organization and lists all the special-interest affiliates. "The Braille Forum" keeps members, friends and acquaintances up-to-date on issues which are important to people who are blind. The ABCs of ACB is an excellent organizational resource, as are the constitution and resolutions, the ACB web site (http://www.acb.org), and ACB's listservs: ACB-L and ACB- Announce. ACB's newest media offering, ACB-Radio, is a wonderful resource for information about ACB, as well as an entertaining way to participate in a world-wide community of people who share the bond of visual impairment and sensitivity to one another's needs and aspirations. Playing the ACB-Radio station on a laptop computer at chapter or affiliate meetings can acquaint members who may not yet have access to their own personal computers with this newest form of ACB's media outreach. Talk to Other ACB Affiliates Share convention-planning strategies and memories with your friends and acquaintances from other ACB affiliates. When you discover shared interests or local issues which are important to more than one chapter or special-interest affiliate, consider holding joint meetings or common special events. Such shared programs may cut costs for individual organizations and increase overall attendance. Transportation Problems We are all aware of the transportation problems which plague every organization of blind people, and cause apprehension and frustration for each of us individually. Successful strategies which some affiliates have used to solve transportation problems have included contacting local Lions Clubs, church groups, or chapters of AARP, and asking for volunteer drivers. Some affiliates have offered to pay sighted spouses who are willing to drive, or to pay portions of cab fares for members who otherwise would not be able to afford to come. Some towns and cities subsidize accessible vans for elderly and disabled people, and some affiliates have used these modestly priced community transportation services. Holding meetings at restaurants or public buildings which are on accessible public-transit routes is another important component of solving transportation problems. Support Services and Opportunities to Socialize Sponsor supportive services and events which will encourage visually impaired people to come to your get-togethers. Invite speakers from local service organizations, such as the special- needs library in your community, community colleges, county recreation programs, Green Thumb, or the local paratransit provider, to come and tell members about their programs and services. Many chapters set aside a 10-minute "share time" at each meeting, so that members can get to know one another better. Each of your meetings might include a segment during which attendees are encouraged to talk about programs or organizations which have been particularly helpful to them. Sometimes chapters invite members to share their hobbies or special talents, or to exhibit special collections, which can range from tapes of old radio shows to porcelain dolls, salt shakers, shot glasses, or just about anything that is collectible! Meetings at which members or specially invited speakers can share information about acquiring and operating assistive technology are very popular, especially among younger members. The importance of assistive technology is not limited to those who are well-informed about hardware and software, however. We all need to learn to function -- to work, to play, and to get through our days -- in a world which requires an increasing degree of technological sophistication. Chapters and affiliates who can help close the so-called digital divide will attract new members and encourage their "regulars" to attend. We can all use information about grocery delivery services, particularly excellent home-repair services, handy-men (or women!), pet groomers, volunteer readers, transportation providers, and so on. Members will welcome the opportunity to compare notes and to learn from one another. Affiliates may want to incorporate such information into a list of services and resources which can be updated periodically and disseminated in a variety of media to interested members and newcomers. Special events do not need to be elaborate, expensive undertakings. The best events are those which encourage friendly camaraderie. Think about hosting potluck suppers, where members bring their favorite dishes, along with copies of the recipes for making them. Sometimes progressive dinners involve traveling from home to home, eating a different course at each place. Another approach is to travel from table to table, where people share each course with different groups of dinner companions. Our affiliates host box socials; soup suppers; trips to theaters, restaurants, movies, or museums; holiday parties; and summer picnics. These events are successful because they are attended by people who are genuinely happy to spend time with one another, and because planning committees are careful to find adequate transportation and to recruit enough sighted volunteers to make everyone feel comfortable. A favorite event for many chapters is sharing audio-described videos. A group can rent an audio-described videotape, or members may share videos from their personal collections. Other affiliates host game nights, at which all the latest electronic talking games make an appearance, along with more traditional accessible versions of Scrabble, checkers, or chess, and large-print/braille playing cards. Fund-raising events can also encourage new members to participate and first-timers to investigate your organization. Some of our affiliates have experienced great fund-raising success by hosting Stanley or Tupperware parties. More traditional companies can also be encouraged to donate a percentage of sales to your affiliate. Use the Internet to Your Advantage Making listservs and chat rooms available to your members will enhance intra-organizational communication, and give people a way to share experiences, compare notes, ask for and offer advice, and generally, to stay in touch. If your affiliate can make a web page available on the World Wide Web, you will be able to communicate with and inform a large circle of friends, members, and interested people. You can link your site to ACBūs site and make an abundance of resources available to your visitors and supporters. Outreach and Membership Development Awards Reward excellence! You might want to give a certificate to a member who brings in the most first-timers. A certificate may also be in order for members who perform extraordinary services for the organization. Honoring someone with a life membership in ACB will not only be especially gratifying for that person, but will also allow your affiliate to inform everyone in ACB about your good fortune in having that person as a valuable and valued member of your affiliate. You can give writing awards to people whose articles or columns in your newsletters have been especially informative or enjoyable, or whose brochures or pamphlets have improved the quality of life for visually impaired people in your community, in general. Special promotions of awards ceremonies or banquets may energize peripherally involved members or help to bring those shy people among you out of their shells. ACB is a successful, viable, important organization! You would not be a member of your local or special-interest affiliate if you were not convinced that attending meetings, knowing other members, and taking part in service activities enables you to be the kind of person you want to be. Spread the word! Bring newcomers to your meetings, and re-invigorate inactive ones! Membership development is one of the most important activities any affiliate, and any affiliate member, can participate in. Membership committee members are: Deborah Grubb, Ardis Bazyn, Alan Beatty, Ed Bradley, Paulette Monthei, Janis Stanger and Tom Tobin. Terry Pacheco is the national office liaison. Please contact any one of us to share your ideas, compare strategies, and further the important cause, and the growth, of your individual affiliates and the American Council of the Blind.


ACB BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Sanford Alexander
Wichita, KS
Sue Ammeter
Seattle, WA
Ardis Bazyn
Cedar Rapids, IA
Alan Beatty
Fort Collins, CO
John Buckley
Knoxville, TN
Dawn Christensen
Holland, OH
Christopher Gray
San Francisco, CA
Debbie Grubb
Nashville, TN
Sandy Sanderson
Anchorage, AK
M.J. Schmitt
Forest Park, IL

BOARD OF PUBLICATIONS

Kim Charlson, Chairperson
Watertown, MA
Jay Doudna
Rosemont, PA
Winifred Downing
San Francisco, CA
Charles Hodge
Arlington, VA
Jenine Stanley
Columbus, OH
Ex Officio: Laura Oftedahl
Watertown, MA

ACB OFFICERS

PRESIDENT
PAUL EDWARDS
20330 NE 20TH CT.
MIAMI, FL 33179

FIRST VICE PRESIDENT
BRIAN CHARLSON
57 GRANDVIEW AVE.
WATERTOWN, MA 02172

SECOND VICE PRESIDENT
PAMELA SHAW
7601 CRITTENDEN ST. #F-2
PHILADELPHIA, PA 19118

SECRETARY
CYNTHIA TOWERS
556 N. 80TH ST.
SEATTLE, WA 98103

TREASURER
PATRICIA BEATTIE
906 N CHAMBLISS ST
ALEXANDRIA VA 22312

IMMEDIATE PAST PRESIDENT
LeRoy Saunders
2118 NW 21st St.
Oklahoma City, OK 73107

CONTRIBUTING EDITOR
ELIZABETH M. LENNON, Kalamazoo, MI


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