HERE AND THERE
by Susan 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.

CALL FOR ARTISTS

The San Francisco Lighthouse seeks submissions for its 17th annual Insights Art Exhibition. Work by legally blind artists in all mediums except video will be considered. The show will run in September 2006 at the San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery at City Hall. Cash prizes will be awarded. The submission deadline is May 15, 2006. To receive an application by mail, contact Sarah Millett at (415) 431-1481 ext. 286 or visit the San Francisco Lighthouse web site, www.lighthouse-sf.org.

BRAILLE LITERACY THROUGH THE ARTS

On Saturday, June 3, 2006, several New Jersey blindness organizations will collaborate to sponsor Braille Literacy Through The Arts. The event runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton, N.J. It will provide touch tours of sculpture and other art appreciation activities specially designed for individuals with visual impairments. The event is free and registration is open to all who are blind, visually impaired, or a customer of the New Jersey Library for the Blind. Because of space limitations, preference for individual program events will be given to attendees who are blind or visually impaired. For more information, visit www.njlbh.org/ or call the library at 1-800-792-8322.

BIKE CAMP FOR DISABLED

The 2006 Introduction to Bike Racing Camp will be held June 22-28, 2006 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. Cyclists who are blind and visually impaired who race on tandem bikes with a sighted partner, along with cyclists with cerebral palsy or head injury who use both standard bikes and tricycles, and amputee cyclists who ride single bikes, ages 16 and older are invited to apply for the camp. Cyclists will learn bike handling skills, safe riding techniques, road racing strategies, and how to ride and race on a velodrome. For more information, or to request an application, contact Pam Fernandes at [email protected] or call (781) 449-9563. You may also get the information and applications from the USABA web site, www.usaba.org.

FITNESS PROGRAM FOR THE BLIND

The Out of Sight Health & Fitness Program was designed by Bob Koppenjan, a certified personal trainer for more than 20 years who happens to be blind. The exercise and nutrition program is designed specifically for people who are blind. It is available in braille or large print. Both versions include an audio tape with the exercise portion. The program costs $39.99. For more information, write to DuKo Health International, 175 Irving Place, Rutherford, NJ 07070, or call (201) 507-1510.

SCDORIS FINISHES THE IDITAROD

USABA athlete Rachael Scdoris of Bend, Ore., finished the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in 12 days, 11 hours and 42 minutes, making her the first legally blind athlete to do so. She drove her team into the finishing chute at the famed Burled Arch in Nome at 1:42 a.m. Alaska time on Saturday, March 18. She finished 57th overall, 7th among the rookies, out of 72 teams (not counting the 11 that dropped out).

ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY HELP LINE

The Chicago Lighthouse has established a telephone assistive technology support line. The toll-free number for the new service is 1-888- 825-0080. They will assist with any hardware or software relating to assistive technology as long as the customer is visually impaired or calling on behalf of someone who is visually impaired.

PAC MATE UPGRADE AVAILABLE

Freedom Scientific has released PAC Mate 4.0. Visit the PAC Mate web site for information on all the features, www.freedomscientific.com/fs_downloads/DL_PACmate_40_Update.asp.

IDEA REAUTHORIZATION RESOURCE

There is an online resource for school districts and parents about how the reauthorized Individuals with Disabilities Education Act provides for students with disabilities enrolled in private elementary and secondary schools. A document entitled "Questions and Answers on Serving Children with Disabilities Placed by Their Parents at Private Schools" is available at www.ed.gov/policy/speced/guid/idea/idea2004.html.

LARGE TYPE MAILING KITS

Very Truly Yours makes extra-large label kits to aid seniors and low- vision individuals in sending mailings independently. The kits include bold- type labels, a binder with zippered pockets for each addressee's labels, an easy-grip pen, and a bag for keeping stamps. Contact Very Truly Yours LLC at (717) 334-0330 or www.verytrulyyourspak.com.

WEIGHT LOSS BOOK

"Simple Ways to Control Your Weight" is a new one-volume book available through National Braille Press for $8. NBP has compiled this book by summarizing the basic steps, tips and ideas that can be found in all of the popular diet books. It tells you what all the leading authorities are saying about the best ways to lose weight and keep it off. Order the book at www.nbp.org/ic/nbp/CONTROL.html or call 1-800-548-7323.

NEW DIABETES BOOK IN BRAILLE

Pocket Reference Journals recently published "My Pocket Doctor," a reference guide and journal. It's written by an endocrinologist, a certified diabetes educator, and a registered dietitian, and it's designed to answer any questions that a newly diagnosed diabetic would ask. It is currently available in contracted braille and will soon be available on CD. For more information, contact Pocket Reference Journals directly at www.pocketreferencejournals.com, or call (714) 965-4570.

EASYLINK 12 RELEASED

Optelec US Inc. has launched its newly designed EasyLink 12 refreshable Braille Assistant. It is a wireless braille keyboard with a 12- cell refreshable braille display. The EasyLink 12 gives blind individuals wireless access to their PCs, PDAs and smart phones. It is compatible with all desktop and pocket speech synthesizers. For more information, visit www.optelec.com, or call 1-800-828-1056.

SITE FOR BLIND PROGRAMMERS

At the Blind Programming web site, blind and visually impaired computer programmers can exchange resources, knowledge, and ideas. The site includes an e-mail discussion group, resource materials for most programming languages, speech-friendly tutorials, manuals and documentation, and job/project classifieds. You can check out the site for yourself at www.blindprogramming.com.

FREE AUDIO NEWSPAPER

Audiochronicle.com is a free weekday audio newspaper with customizable content. The web site publishes a number of podcasts in various categories. The news is from AFP and Accent Radio. Two to three hours of fresh content are added each day; that includes weather forecasts for America's 100 largest cities.

KANSAS BRAILLE TRANSCRIPTION INSTITUTE

The Kansas Braille Transcription Institute now has available the newly revised "My Pyramid" in braille with tactile graphics and large print. The institute also offers cleaning and repairing of manual and electric braille writers and embossers. It is looking to contract with certified braille transcribers in all areas of transcription. Contact the Kansas Braille Transcription Institute, 1200 E. Waterman, Wichita, KS 67211, phone (316) 265-9692, or e-mail [email protected]

HUMANWARE APPOINTS NEW CEO

HumanWare has appointed Dr. Richard Mander as its new CEO. Mander worked for 7 years at Apple Computer and spent the last 7 years as a consultant advising technology companies on customer-centered product design and methods for improving product development.

SAY HELLO TO AMIGO

The Amigo is a high-powered video magnifier designed for on-the-go use. Users place the magnifier directly on the printed material for magnification. The Amigo can be used to enlarge price tags, restaurant menus, and product labels. For more information, contact Enhanced Vision at 1-888-811-3161.


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