by Sue Lichtenfels

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 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.


Through the Looking Glass has scholarships available for high school seniors who have parents with disabilities. Students must demonstrate academic and personal achievement; have at least one parent with a disability; graduate from high school in the summer of 2006; and be attending a college or university program in the U.S. Up to 10 separate $1,000 awards will be given out this summer. All application materials must be completed and postmarked by May 1, 2006. Obtain the application by visiting or by calling 1-800-644-2666.


Missouri State University is offering training opportunities for qualified individuals wishing to become trained both as teachers of the visually impaired and orientation and mobility specialists. Over the next four years, they will be offering courses to eligible students through distance education and regional facilitation centers. Qualified candidates may receive scholarship assistance to cover a total of 33 credit hours of course work. For further information, contact: Dr. Chris Craig, Associate Dean, Missouri State University, Hill Hall 300, 901 S. National Ave., Springfield, MO 65897; phone (417) 836-8775; or e-mail [email protected]


The American Printing House for the Blind (APH) invites visually impaired and blind artists of all ages to submit artwork for its 15th annual international art competition, APH InSights 2006. There are two deadlines this year: April 1, 2006 for entries from preschool through high school and April 15, 2006 for entries from adult artists. Artists may enter artwork created in any visual art medium, such as painting, drawing, printmaking, fiber, metal, or wood. Award winners receive a cash prize and a ribbon. They are invited to come to Louisville to receive their awards at the October meeting of APH trustees. Competition rules and entry forms are posted on the APH web site at Artists may also contact APH at 1-800-223-1839, ext. 357 for more information.


The National Resource Center for Blind Musicians is accepting applications for its seminar for blind college-bound musicians, which will be held July 16-22 at the Overbrook School for the Blind in Philadelphia. The institute is designed for serious braille-reading music students preparing for or already in college, ages 17-21. The program tailors instruction to each person's need to develop braille music and theory skills, and to learn to use technology to submit written assignments. Applicants must have already studied some music theory and have the ability to present a polished and pleasing performance. Contact the Resource Center regarding tuition, scholarship criteria, the application, and audition procedure. The deadline for requesting applications is April 15; applications are due by May 10, 2006. Visit, or contact David Goldstein at (203) 366-3300, ext. 229, or e-mail [email protected]


The Jewish Guild for the Blind has created an annual scholarship program for college-bound high-school students who are legally blind. Applications will be accepted from students at the start of their senior year (deadline Sept. 11, 2006), with recipients selected and scholarships awarded later in that academic year. The GuildScholar Program will award 12 to15 scholarships of up to $15,000 each. The next round of scholarships will be awarded for the academic year that starts in September 2007. The GuildScholar application is an online process. To obtain an application, visit, or call 1-800-284-4422.


The American Kennel Club ACE Award honors five dogs each year who have performed an exemplary act or series of acts, whether large or seemingly small, that have significantly benefitted a community or individual. One award is given in each of the following five categories: law enforcement, search and rescue, therapy, service and exemplary companion dog. Each honoree receives a cash award of $1,000, an engraved sterling silver collar medallion and an all-expenses-paid trip for dog and owner to Long Beach, Calif., to be honored at the sixth annual AKC/Eukanuba National Championship in December 2006. Submissions are due by June 15 and should be sent to: Ronald N. Rella, ACE Awards 2006, The American Kennel Club, 260 Madison Avenue, 4th Floor, New York, NY 10016. Contact the AKC for application guidelines by phone, 1-800-533-8069, e-mail [email protected], or on the web at


Imagine paying $60 for two nights lodging, six delicious meals, and membership in an exclusive club! Well, you can do just that by attending the biennial reunion of the Ohio State School for the Blind Alumni Association June 16-18, 2006. Come and renew old friendships and form new ones. For more information, please contact Paul Dressell at (513) 481-7662 or [email protected]


The National Writers Union At-Large Chapter is inviting aspiring writers to join in a telephone conference project workshop. Participants will be able to dial a telephone number at a pre-determined day and time for one hour on a weekly basis. A writer experienced in the field will mentor on writing and publishing. Contact Sanford Rosenthal at [email protected] or (954) 563-9449 to get on the roster.


Are you planning to attend the 2006 conference in Jacksonville? If so, you might just want to extend your stay. Damar Travel & Cruise is organizing a cruise immediately following the convention aboard the Carnival Celebration. From July 15 through 20, the ship will sail from Jacksonville to Key West and then on to Nassau, Bahamas. Prices start at $858 per person. A $100 deposit is required to hold the cabin. Damar will also organize a cruise through Europe with ports including: Rome and Naples, Italy; Dubrovnik, Croatia; Venice, Italy; Sicily, Italy; Barcelona, Spain; Cannes, France; and Livorno, Italy. The ship sails Sept. 28 and returns Oct. 10, 2006. Prices start at $1,725 per person. Contact Dave Kronk at Damar, 1- 800-999-6101, ext. 422 to learn more or to make reservations.


Convention tapes from the 2005 Las Vegas convention are now available! A full set (21 tapes) consists of all the general sessions, the legislative workshop, the diabetes seminar, the breakout sessions, and the banquet. The set costs $35. Separate sessions are available for $6 each. To order, contact Sharon Lovering in the ACB national office, 1-800-424-8666.


The National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped offers a variety of popular magazines on cassette for people who are visually impaired. The NLS will even loan patrons cassette players. Current publications include: Money, People, National Geographic, Ebony, Good Housekeeping, Sports Illustrated, and more. To find out more, call 1-888- 657-7323.


Dialogue, an international news magazine about the blind, is seeking article submissions for 2006. Potential topics may include: overcoming obstacles, breaking down barriers and discovering how to live well with sight loss; helping people learn key lessons about vision impairment; the benefits of using special aids and devices; specific "how-to"s for accessing computers; strategies for adapting the home environment; finding reliable transportation options; developing educational plans; getting started in careers; launching business ventures; managing diabetes; and participating in sports, travel or leisure pursuits. Request the writer's guidelines, column descriptions and a sample issue of the magazine by contacting Dialogue at Blindskills, Inc., P.O. Box 5181, Salem, OR 97304-0181; phone 1- 800-860-4224; e-mail [email protected]; or visit


The World Institute on Disability has recently released a special issue of its publication, "Disability World." The issue takes a closer look at policies and projects that provide assistance to disabled people through social and economic programs around the world. Read an on-line copy of this issue at For more information, contact Kathy Martinez at [email protected] or call (510) 251-4326.


National Braille Press author Anna Dresner has created a simple way to keep her books up-to-date despite software upgrades, fixes, and new versions. She's created a blog where she posts new information relevant to her books " and Beyond," "Finding eBooks on the Internet," and "The iPod Experience." Visit for the latest updates.


Speak to Me's spring catalog is now available on audio CD and in print. One of its featured items is the True Speech Talking Bible, a new handheld electronic device that fits in your pocket. The complete Bible is read in a clear male voice. Both the King James and the New American Standard versions are available. Request a catalog at 1-800-248-9965 or visit Speak to Me will sponsor its second annual Singing Contest for the Disabled. For details, call (641) 297-4900, ext. 1696.


The surgeon general has developed "My Family Health Portrait," a computerized, information-organizing tool that makes creating a family health history easier and more efficient for both patients and health-care professionals. A new, free web-based version of the tool is now available in Spanish. It organizes a family's health history into a printout that people can then take to their health-care professional to help determine whether they are at higher risk for diseases such as stroke, heart disease, diabetes, and common cancers. The tool allows users to go back and add more information as it becomes available. The Spanish version of the tool is available on the Internet at


"Atlas of Southeast Asia" is a single volume of Braille and tactile maps covering 11 countries: Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Myanmar (formerly Burma), Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Indonesia, East Timor and the Philippines. Each country has an introductory page of facts followed by one or more key pages and a full-page map. Maps show important cities, rivers, mountains and bodies of water. The atlas costs $18 through The Princeton Braillists, 76 Leabrook Lane, Princeton, NJ 08540. Allow four weeks for delivery. For more information, call Ruth Bogia at (215) 357-7715 or Nancy Amick at (609) 924-5207.


The 2005 winners of the National Achievement Awards bestowed by Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic met with first lady Laura Bush as part of their honor. Winners of the Mary P. Oenslager Scholastic Achievement Awards for college seniors who are blind or visually impaired are Kathleen Ernst, Athens, Ga.; Scott MacIntyre, Scottsdale, Ariz.; and Jessica Smith, Dillon, S.C.


The Brennfoerders have Braille and large-print greeting cards available for Easter, birthday and miscellaneous (light bulb with "you light up my life", lighthouse with "darkness comes and goes, but the light in our heart always glows"). Cards cost $1.50 each or 10 for $13. They also have braille card games available: Rook, Uno, pinochle and others. The costs are $2 for a paper deck, $6 for a plastic deck. Game instructions are provided on tape. Call Terry Brennfoerder at (402) 477-5370, or write to him at 1431 Fairfield St., Lincoln, NE 68521.


iBraille, the newest braille editor from Index, makes it possible to format braille documents and do full-scale braille production for the first time on Mac OS X. For information on this technology, contact Sighted Electronics, 69 Woodland Ave., Westwood, NJ 07675, phone 1-800-666-4883. Download the Mac driver at


In honor of its 10th year in business, Shadows in the Dark will offer 10 percent off braille services and gift items for the entirety of 2006. Braille greeting cards are available for 18 occasions: anniversary, birthday, graduation, retirement, wedding, new baby, Christmas, Valentine's Day, Easter, thinking of you, thank you, Father's Day, Mother's Day, New Year's, sympathy, get well, teachers, and friendship. The company also offers braille announcements, invitations, business cards, playing cards and product catalogs. For more information, contact Shadows in the Dark, 4600 Pine Hill Rd., Shreveport, LA 71107-2716, phone (318) 459-1256 or (318) 349-9539; visit, or e-mail [email protected]


Sweet Tooth has chocolate candy braille bars for sale. Each bar measures 4 by 6 1/2 by 1/4 inches and weighs 4 ounces. They come in 6 different sayings: Happy Birthday, Love You, Thank You, Have a Nice Day, Merry Christmas, and Happy Holidays. Each bar has a saying in braille and the greeting in cursive above it. Chocolate selection includes white, milk, and dark. Plain bars cost $2.25 each; bars with rice crisps or nuts cost $2.50 each. Contact Sweet Tooth, 32 Vinton Road, Rochester, NY 14622, phone (585) 544-1853.

E-mail this page to a friend

Printer-Friendly Version

Previous Article

Next Article

Return to Table of Contents

Return to the Braille Forum Index