by Sarah Blake

The announcement of products and services in this column is not an endorsement 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 held responsible for the reliability of products and services mentioned.

To submit items for this column, you may e-mail Sarah Blake at [email protected], or call ACB at 1-800-424-8666 and leave a message in mailbox 26. Please remember that postal regulations prohibit us from including advertisements, and that we need information two months ahead of actual publication dates.


The 16th annual Insights Art Exhibition is calling for submissions. Work by legally blind artists in all mediums except video will be considered. The show will run in August 2005 at the San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery at City Hall. Cash prizes will be awarded. The submission deadline is May 2, 2005. To receive an application by mail, contact Sarah Millett, exhibition coordinator, at (415) 431-1481 ext. 286, or visit


This year Proyecto Visión is bringing its annual Bridges to Employment Conference for Latinos with Disabilities to the South. The conference will take place June 1-3 in Raleigh, N.C. at the Sheraton Raleigh Capital Center Hotel. Providing a vast array of job connections and technology training opportunities, the conference is a national forum about issues concerning Latinos with disabilities. Bridges to Employment is organized by the World Institute on Disability (WID) through Proyecto Visión, a National Technical Assistance Center established to connect Latinos with disabilities to the world of employment.

In addition, this year the American Express Foundation has funded a day-long Latino Disability Empowerment Forum that will precede the conference. The forum will take place on June 1 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Sheraton Raleigh Capital Center Hotel is offering conference attendees a room rate of $109 per night (for reservations made before April 30). Call the Sheraton Raleigh Capital Center Hotel at (800) 325-3535 or (919) 834- 9900 for reservations, mentioning you are with the Bridges to Employment conference.

The $150 conference fee includes the welcome reception, continental breakfasts, all conference sessions and materials, and the closing luncheon. Scholarships are available for unemployed or low-income Latinos with disabilities to cover the conference registration fee. Scholarship awards are based on financial need and strength of the application. Call (866) 367- 5361 toll-free for scholarship information, or visit to register to attend and/or apply for a scholarship online. CONFERENCE ON ASSISTANCE ANIMALS

There will be a summit on the Healing Power of the Human-Animal Bond: Companion Animals and Society from June 2-5 in Hollywood, Calif. The conference will be held at the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel. The highlighted themes include: understanding the roles of service/emotional support animals; animals and human health; accommodation issues for disabled animal guardians (housing, public, legal assistance) and the evolution of human- animal support services (HASS) organizations. Additional topics include: community and education, cultural attitudes toward animals, innovative animal assisted therapy programs, and more. To register online, visit For more information, contact Andrea Brooks at (415) 241-1465.


Shop from the comfort of your home for Mother's Day or any occasion. Visit and browse through a selection of over 4,000 products! Just a few ideas for Mom -- the Dreams nightshirt, kitchen grip oven mitts, a delicate glass "Mom" vase and red rose, or a beautiful sterling silver beaded bracelet. You can browse through our selection of glass and crystal items, wall and garden plaques, scented candles, perfumes, jewelry, silk flowers, and much, much more. Visit the Mother's Day Department at or call (713) 876-6971. Braille Forum readers can save 15 percent off their orders! If shopping on-line, use the coupon code "ACB" at check-out. If shopping by phone, just mention you saw it in "The Braille Forum." All purchases at Blind Mice Mart benefit the Mouse Hole Scholarship Program.


All graduating 2005 visually impaired high school students and sighted high school students of visually impaired parents are encouraged to submit an essay for consideration for the awards. Three scholarships are offered: $500, $400, and $250. For the details, visit and select the link for Mouse Hole Scholarships. You may also call Dale Campbell at (713) 876-6971, or e-mail [email protected] Entries will be accepted until May 15, 2005.


Applications are now being accepted until June 1 for the Second Annual Kurzweil 3000 Software Awards. The awards recognize students, teachers, and schools who have shown a commitment to learning or an excellence in teaching students, including those with learning disabilities. In addition to the three existing awards, Kurzweil Educational Systems has added a fourth award, Innovator of the Year, for educators currently using Kurzweil 3000 who have developed an innovative or unique use for the software. All award winners will receive complimentary license(s) of Kurzweil 3000 for individual or classroom use, as well as complimentary support services. Application forms and details can be downloaded from the Kurzweil Educational Systems Web site at and must be submitted by June 1, 2005.


The U.S. Department of Education's Federal Student Aid (FSA) office has a variety of information resources available for blind and visually impaired students enrolled in education beyond high school. The Student Aid Audio Guide contains an overview of the department's federal student aid programs including eligibility criteria, application procedures, loan repayment options, and deferment and cancellation provisions. The guide also provides information on non-federal sources of aid. Students can listen to the guide online at, or request it on compact disc by calling 1-800-433-3243.


Top Tech Tidbits for Thursday is a concise and free summary of the week's news on adaptive technology, technology in general as it relates to the blind, and Internet audio. Each newsletter contains from 7-20 news items, and most items are three sentences or shorter in length. Subscriber addresses are not used for any purpose other than distribution of the free newsletter. To subscribe, send a blank message to tttt- [email protected] Readers can see a sample copy by sending a blank message to [email protected]


Do you have a product or service to offer? Do you have something you want to buy, sell or trade? Subscriptions to "Connections" are free, and your first ad is free. "Connections" is available via e-mail, on computer disk, and on cassette. To place an ad, make your check or money order payable to Meagan Green and send it to Connections, 1410 Westfall Place, Stayton, OR 97383. To request the newsletter, send your name, address and preferred format to Meagan Green at the above address. For more information, visit


Braille documents can now be shared with sighted colleagues, teachers, friends or family. The Pro Ink Attachment (PIA) prints the corresponding ink characters above or alongside the braille embossing. The PIA also allows for images to be embossed and printed. Anything that appears on the computer screen can quickly be made into a raised, printed image on paper.

Attaching the PIA instantly transforms the ViewPlus Pro Braille printer into a high-speed embossing printer, creating the only compact integrated solution for high volume braille and ink production. For more information, call your local ViewPlus dealer, or contact ViewPlus directly via e-mail, [email protected], or phone at (541) 754-4002.


Play Piano Today offers online music lessons and information free as well as for purchase. The site uses Flash and is fairly accessible using JAWS. For a guide to the information available, visit


GW Micro sponsors the audio description of "Blind Justice," a new drama on ABC television. The first program aired on March 8.

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