by Sharon Lovering and 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.


The United States Association of Blind Athletes is holding its national high school goalball championships in St. Augustine, Fla., Oct. 21- 22. Games, meals and lodging will be at the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind. The team registration deadline is Sept. 30! Contact tournament director Mike Lege at (904) 827-2591, or e-mail him, [email protected]


Do you want to know what bills President Bush has signed? You can find out by calling the executive clerk's office at (202) 456-2226.


Christine Szostak, a graduate student at the California School of Professional Psychology, Alliant International University in Fresno, is conducting a study about body image perceptions and visual impairment. If you are interested in participating, are 18 to 89 years of age, and have 20/200 to 20/400 or 20/1000 or worse visual acuity, please contact me within two weeks of receiving this message.

For the purposes of this study, you will be asked to answer questions anonymously regarding body image and self-view. The study will take 45 minutes to one hour of your time. All materials will be provided in alternate formats for your convenience. All participants are invited to enter a drawing with a chance to win $100, which will take place after all of the data has been collected.

Contact Christine at (559) 291-7990, or e-mail [email protected]


Seedlings Braille Books For Children's 2006 catalog is now available! It offers over 650 low-cost children's books in braille, including more than 60 new titles to help children ages 0-14 get excited about reading. Seedlings' books allow blind and sighted family members to read together!

Free services from Seedlings include Anna's Book Angel Project and the Rose Project. You can register your child to win a free braille book through Anna's Book Angel Project. Information is available online at Blind parents may also register to win a book to read to their children, and updated wish lists are being accepted from previous registrants! With the Rose Project, Seedlings provides free World Book Encyclopedia articles in braille for children in grades 1-12, courtesy of a generous grant from Teammates for Kids Foundation. Order an article online at

For more information, or a free catalog, please contact Seedlings, P.O. Box 51924, Livonia, MI 48151-5924; phone 1-800-777-8552; e-mail [email protected]; or visit the web site,


Beginning this month, the "Cooking in the Dark" show will be airing weekly on ACB Radio. There is also an e-mail listserv available from the ACB Radio web site.


"The Easy Jumbo Book" and "The Simple Standard Book" are two new braille instruction books for adults who struggle with learning braille. Each book is 35 pages, single-side only, and double-spaced. They were designed to help a person quickly learn uncontracted braille. Great for teachers who need easier instruction books or jumbo braille for their students. Instructions and print manuals are available, too. For more information or to order books, contact Sandy Price at [email protected]


National Industries for the Blind (NIB) now has a new headquarters location. Please make a note of the new address and new main phone number: 1310 Braddock Place, Alexandria, VA 22314-1648; phone (703) 310-0500.


HumanWare recently released the new version of the BrailleNote, the BrailleNote mPower. Key new features include: expanded on-board storage to 128 megabytes; two USB host ports and one USB client port; stereo sound when using headphones; support for listening to Internet radio; an audio recorder that can use an external microphone or its own built-in one; built-in Bluetooth for connections with cell phones, keyboards and other computers; and a fast Intel X-scale processor. It also has a suite of applications that operate with Microsoft Windows CE that are written especially for the use of blind people. For more information, visit or call 1-800-433-8317.


Norman "Topsy" Taylor, age 84, of Browns Mills, N.J., died on May 21, 2005. He was a first sergeant in the U.S. Army, Battery A, 197th AAA-AW, specially trained for the invasion of D-Day, and landed on Omaha Beach June 6, 1944. Survivors include his wife, Caroline M. Taylor; daughter Jane Taylor; son Edwin Taylor; several grandchildren, nieces and nephews. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Alzheimer's Foundation of America, 322 8th Ave., 6th Fl., New York, NY 10001, or the American Heart Association, National Center, 7272 Greenville Avenue, Dallas, TX 75231.


Braille Institute Library Services of Los Angeles recently received the Network Library of the Year Award from the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, Library of Congress. The library received a check for $1,000 and a plaque commemorating the library's excellence, innovation and special achievements in providing service to blind and physically disabled individuals. By expanding partnerships with government agencies, volunteers, other libraries and its patrons, Braille Institute implemented 15 new programs in the past year, including the Golden Seniors Program, recognizing patrons who are 100 years of age or older and directing attention to their unique interests; a summer reading program, in partnership with the Los Angeles Zoo, for children from birth to 17; and a Spanish-language addition to the library's Telephone Reader program. It also formed four book clubs and provided student internships.


Four individuals were recently inducted into the Hall of Fame: Leaders and Legends of the Blindness Field. They are: William H. "Bill" English, former superintendent of the Wisconsin School for the Visually Handicapped; the late William A. Hadley, founder of the Hadley School for the Blind; Abraham Nemeth, creator of the Nemeth Code; and the late J. Max Woolly, former teacher, principal and superintendent of the Arkansas School for the Blind.


The U.S. Olympic Committee named the women's national goalball team the Team of the Month for May 2005. Team members were: Jennifer Armbruster (Colorado Springs), Asya Miller (Battle Creek, Mich.), Nicole Buck (Paw Paw, Mich.), Lindsay Sloan (Wauconda, Ill.), and Jaclyn Barnes (Vernon Hills, Ill.).

In other recent sports news, the city of Kalamazoo, Mich. is now home to two national championship teams. The Western Michigan University Wrecking Crew (men) and the Kalamazoo Chaos (women) claimed titles in late June at the U.S. Association of Blind Athletes National Goalball Championships. Silver medal teams were the New Jersey Thunder (men) and the Colorado Bandits (women); bronze medalists were the Pennsylvania Association of Blind Athletes Venom (men) and the Illinois Tsunami (women).


A new book, "Stickler -- The Elusive Syndrome," was recently made available by Stickler Involved People. It costs $28.50. Send your requests to Stickler Involved People, 15 Angelina, Augusta, KS 67010; phone (316) 775-2993, or e-mail [email protected]

Stickler is also sponsoring Kim Barwise in her project to produce a 30-minute documentary about Stickler syndrome. If you wish to donate, send your check or money order to Stickler Involved People at the address above. For more information, contact Kim Barwise via e-mail, [email protected]


The U.S. Blind Horseshoe Pitchers Association provides resource material and assists blind and visually impaired individuals in finding a place to pitch horseshoes in their area. For more information, contact Dennis R. Wyant, National President, U.S. Blind Horseshoe Pitchers Association, 395 Baytree Dr., Melbourne, FL 32940; phone (321) 757-6824, or visit


The Jewish Guild for the Blind recently awarded scholarships to four outstanding high-school graduates. The winners were: Skylar Covich, Thomas Joseph "TJ" Olsen, Kerri Regan and Hetal Shah.


The American Foundation for the Blind awarded 11 scholarships this year, totaling $17,000. The winners are: Daniel J. Furton of Lansing, Mich., attending Michigan State University; Francisco Chavez of Mt. Holly, N.C., attending college in North Carolina; Katharine Ball of Grosse Pointe Woods, Mich., attending New York University; Angela C. Winfield of Newburgh, N.Y., attending Cornell University Law School; Blake Cole Billings of Flint, Texas, attending Texas Christian University; Jessica Hall of Winter Park, Fla., attending Stetson University; Angela Mosley of Puryear, Tenn., attending Murray State University; Greg Beaulieu of Austin, Texas, attending University of Texas at Austin; Eric Hicks of Tallahassee, Fla., attending University of Florida; Suzanne Kamel of Plano, Texas, attending University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; and Brittany Swedelius of Billings, Mont., attending Western Michigan University.


For those of us who have ever lost a contact, broken our glasses, experienced our aging parents' macular degeneration, or have been in the company of someone who just can't see something, "The Way I See It" is a path down memory lane. Through her own recollections, the author reminds us of moments when we, too, have bumped into life. Fortunately, she adds a few words of wisdom to help us get through it the next time around. "The Way I See It" is a compilation of 21 depictions of the author "bumping" into life, i.e., experiencing life with low vision. Each scenario describes an adventure (or misadventure) in the author's life, categorized by daily activities, holidays, seasons, and travel, ending with a suggestion or two prefaced with the phrase "the way I see it."

As one of 20 people in her family who are legally blind, Dr. Myers shares moments in her daily life. As she says in the beginning of the book, "Similar to Forrest Gump's box of chocolates, life with low vision is like going through a salad bar -- you never know what you're going to get." From hanging mismatched wallpaper and ruining Thanksgiving dinner to using make- up and going to yet another job interview, the author shares the ups and downs of her life's journey.

To order "The Way I See It: Bumping into Life with Low Vision," visit


"The iPod Experience: Gaining Access to the iPod Shuffle" by Anna Dresner is now available in braille or PortaBook for $6. It is a detailed journal as Dresner struggles to make the iPod Shuffle accessible to blind users. Day after day, month after month, she chronicled her mishaps and successes with the iPod Shuffle. Her journey concludes with specific directions on how to make this amazing little music machine work for you! She also includes information on importing music from CDs onto your computer, organizing your music library, and an introduction to listening to podcasts. Order this book on our web site at, or call National Braille Press at (888) 965-8965.


Serotek Corp. recently introduced Key to Freedom Version 2.2, which can plug into any Windows XP or 2000-based computer anywhere and provide instant access through synthesized speech even if the computer is not connected to the Internet. This new version leaves no trace of itself on any system, requires no sighted assistance, and even provides the user with storage space for downloading articles, spreadsheets, music, programs or other files from the Internet, local computer, and even home -- right onto the device itself. If you have any additional questions or would like to place an order, call FreedomBox U.S. at 1-866-202-0520 or in the United Kingdom 08717224574, or visit us online at


The American Foundation for the Blind recently announced that Mark Richert joined the organization as Director of Public Policy on July 7, 2005. A well-known expert in the field of blindness, Richert will head up AFB's Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C.


The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, National Council on Disability, and the U.S. Department of Justice recently released two new publications addressing the issue of accessible mediation. These documents, entitled "Questions and Answers for Mediation Providers: Mediation and the Americans with Disabilities Act" and "Questions and Answers for Parties to Mediation: Mediation and the Americans with Disabilities Act," are available on all three agencies' web sites,, and Both booklets address the obligations of all private and public sector mediation providers.


In addition to employment, AFB offers ACB members a wealth of information on vision loss issues in several formats. For example, later this year, AFB will launch a blog where we will discuss timely issues that affect people with vision loss. Visit us at

AccessWorld : Technology and People with Visual Impairments ( provides people with vision loss, the professionals who serve them, and the technology community with information on mainstream and assistive technology -- and it's free.

AFB eNews ( provides updates on the latest publications on blindness, conferences on vision loss, accessible technologies, advocacy information, and other issues pertaining to vision loss. Subscription is free.

Visit CareerConnect ( to learn about the range and diversity of jobs performed throughout the U.S. and Canada by people like you, seek advice from successfully employed workers with vision loss, and use numerous tools online to help you land the perfect job.

Words from Washington ( keeps you in the loop about legislation that affects people with vision loss.

Blind and sighted children can visit the Braille Bug Web Site for Kids ( to learn about braille through fun games, discuss books on kid-friendly message boards, or tour the Helen Keller Kids Museum Online.


Star Continuous Cards makes and sells braille paper in a variety of sizes and colors. The paper is dust-free and acid-free; the company ships it in a crushproof box. Ready-to-ship braille paper sizes include 12 1/2 by 11-inch, 19-hole punched and non-punched; and 9 1/2 by 11-inch, 19-hole punched, three-hole punched, and unpunched, as well as in six colors. For more information, call 1-800-458-1413, write to Star Continuous Cards, 32 N. Bacton Hill Rd., Frazer, PA 19355, or visit


The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently issued a question-and-answer document on the application of the Americans with Disabilities Act to workers with cancer. It is available on EEOC's web site,

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