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, send a message to [email protected], or call ACB at 1-800-424-8666. Please remember that postal regulations prohibit us from including advertisements, and that we need information two months ahead of actual publication dates.


NISH recently named nine new members to its board of directors. They are: Kay DeBow, co-founder and executive vice president of the National Black Chamber of Commerce, Washington, D.C.; John Daniels, partner, Quarles & Brady, Milwaukee, Wis.; Mary Ann Greenawalt, owner and president of B&B Specialty Foods, Bloomfield Hills, Mich.; Adrian Guglielmo, CEO and founder of Diversity Partners, Inc., New York, N.Y.; Juan Carlos Iturregui, director, Quinn Gillespie & Associates, Washington, D.C.; Frank Johnson, chief of Change Management Business Systems Modernization for the Defense Supply Center, Philadelphia; Jean Johnson, president and CEO, LegalWATCH, Houston, Tex.; Thomas Miller, who has been involved with the JWOD program for 12 years in Rapid City, S.D.; and Patricia Szervo, retired lawyer, McLean, Va.


The 2005 NCAA college football schedule in braille will be available again this year with 119 division 1-A and some requested division 1-AA teams. Included will be the results of the 2004-2005 bowls, the top 25 teams in the AP final polls, the 2005-2006 bowl schedule and much more. Each schedule costs $10. To receive one, make your check payable to Allen H. Gillis and send it to him at 302 Schaeffel Road, Cullman, AL 35055. If you have questions, call him at (256) 734-4047, or e-mail [email protected]


Join over 300 active adults for a cross-country skiing vacation at the 31st annual Ski for Light International Week, Jan. 29-Feb. 5, 2006 in Granby, Colo. Participants will stay at the Inn at Silver Creek and ski each day at nearby Snow Mountain Ranch.

Ski for Light pairs visually and mobility impaired skiers with sighted instructor/guides. The skiers set the pace, asking their guides to assist with skills, technique, endurance or simply enjoying the outdoors.

Those interested in attending may contact Lynda Boose at (906) 370- 7541 or [email protected] You may also apply online at The application deadline is Nov. 1, 2005.


Carmela's Gourmet, owned by blind entrepreneur Carmela Cantisani, is offering six gourmet salad dressings at the special price of $25 (including shipping), or five 6-packs for $100 (including shipping). We will donate $5 for the sale of each 6-pack to the ACB. Great as gifts, these award-winning dressings are made with all-natural ingredients, no sugar, low sodium and are cholesterol-free. The flavors currently available are: vinaigrette authentique, balsamic vinaigrette, low-fat Proven‡ale vinaigrette, low-fat California Caesar, low-fat roasted garlic fantasy, and low-fat Mediterranean Mystique Vinaigrette. To order, please send your check to Carmela's Gourmet, 415 English Ave., Monterey, CA 93940. For more information, visit Please mention the ACB offer when placing your order.


Ever wanted to participate in a support group, and felt you didn't have the time? Now there's a solution: the Party Line talking cassette support group. For your free sample copy, write to: Sanford Rosenthal, 3360 NE 33rd St., Apt. #4, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33308.


The Getting In Touch with Literacy Conference will be held in Denver, Colo., Dec. 1-4, 2005. Literacy for individuals of all ages with visual impairments is an area of increasing interest. At one time, the subject was just one of many diverse topics discussed at general conferences, but for the past 14 years, a group of professionals and individuals with visual impairments has organized a conference devoted specifically to this topic. For more information about the conference and for registration information, visit, or call Tanni Anthony at (303) 866-6681.


In an effort to enhance the positive image of visually impaired people, Ann Morris Bliss is co-authoring an anthology of poems and short fiction which portrays visually impaired people in an uplifting, inspirational manner and depicts contemporary images of blind people. Our goal is to circulate this book widely as a benefit to the general population and those losing their vision. The works must say something constructive or helpful about what it is to be visually impaired. There are many ways a visually impaired person can benefit society at large, and we aim to feature them in our practical spiritual book of poetry and prose. Please e-mail all personal submissions, including screenplays, plays, radio and television scripts, and references to other literary works, to [email protected] and to Cheri Langdell at [email protected] If necessary, you may mail them to Ann Morris Bliss at 551 Hosner Mountain Rd., Stormville, NY 12582. Choice of materials for the book is the sole discretion of the authors.


"Blindness Basics" is an interactive, tuition-free web course that allows a person to apply knowledge of the blindness field to real-life situations. The course is open to students in the professional education program and acts as an orientation for anyone working within a blindness organization. For more information, call (800) 526-9909 or enroll online at


Are you always on the lookout for fresh new ways to introduce folks to braille? Could you use a great new fund-raising idea? Check out the Braille Alphabet Buttons. Each two-inch button is so different, so unique, and just so cool that sighted and blind people alike can't help but notice them! The buttons easily pin to your shirt or jacket, and feature all 26 letters of the braille alphabet embossed in perfect, raised dots. The words "The Braille Alphabet" appear in a stylish font behind the actual braille letters for the benefit of print readers. To order a five-pack of buttons for $9.95, visit or call 1-800-987-1231.


IVEOT allows pictures to be labeled with audio tags, making them more interactive and inclusive for the reader. Different components of an image can be individually labeled with speaking tags in IVEOT. By navigating with a mouse or keyboard, one can hear the labels assigned to each part of a diagram or image, enhancing comprehension beyond use of vision alone.

For blind people as well as sighted tactile/kinesthetic (touch) learners, IVEOT has an optional hardware component, called the IVEOT Touchpad. Tactile printouts can be placed on the IVEOT Touchpad to provide an alternative display of images on the computer screen. Users can then read printouts through a combination of sight and touch, receiving audio feedback as they explore the image.

The IVEOT Creator software and IVEOT Touchpad can be purchased separately or as a set. The IVEOT Viewer is also available as a free download to enable easy sharing of files made in the IVEOT Creator software. Call your local ViewPlus distributor, contact ViewPlus directly via e-mail at [email protected], call (541) 754-4002, or visit for more details.


Right after we transcribed a popular book for girls several years ago called "The Period Book," we started looking for an equivalent book for boys that speaks specifically to their private concerns. We've found it. Written by the same author, "What's Going on Down There?" reassures boys that there are a lot of different ways to describe normal when discussing puberty, and that each person experiences changes on his own timetable. Facts about puberty, sex, and sexually transmitted diseases -- even what happens to girls during puberty -- are presented clearly and completely. Because it's written specifically for boys, the information considers all the worries, fears, and questions that boys might find difficult to ask.

The book balances information about being a sexual person with that of being a responsible person. The chapter "Girls Are Changing Too" offers detailed information not typically presented in books for males. Other standout chapters include "Is This Normal?" and "What If?" -- both in question-and-answer format. And in "If I'd Known Then What I Know Now!," several adult men offer insights and different perspectives on puberty.

This is an outstanding and informative book for boys who want to know what's going on with their bodies. To read more about this book or place an order online, go to: To place an order by phone, call 1-800-548-7323 or (617) 266-6160 extension 20.


Almost 55 years after introducing the Perkins Brailler and manufacturing hundreds of thousands of machines in classic gray, Howe Press is now introducing braillers in two new colors: metallic slate blue and bright jade green. For more information or to place an order, visit; call (617) 972-7308; or e-mail [email protected]

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