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.


National Disability Employment Awareness Month is celebrated every October. This year's theme is Americans with Disabilities: Ready for the Global Workforce. A poster is available which brings attention to the contributions workers with disabilities make to the American workplace. To request a free copy of the poster, e-mail [email protected] and specify your choice of size, either 20" x 30" or 10" x 15". You can also download a PDF version from


Global Explorers is now accepting applications for its summer 2007 programs. There are two exciting programs being offered for blind, visually impaired, and sighted high school students: Leading the Way 2007: A Blind and Sighted Journey with Erik Weihenmayer, and Sounds of the Amazon 2007: Explore the Peruvian Rainforest in Surround Sound. We are seeking very capable, mature and confident students who feel that this experience will help their personal growth and discovery. Application materials for both programs are due Oct. 15.

You can find more information about the programs and digital versions of the applications on the web site, Click under the left side menu for "Disabled Student Programs." To obtain a braille copy of the application or flyers, call Global Explorers at 1-888-359-3801.


USArtists: American Fine Art Show will be held Oct. 20-22, 2006 at the 33rd Street Armory in Philadelphia. To navigate the crowds, hour-long docent tours can be booked in advance. General admission to USArtists is $15 and includes a full-color show catalog with more than 55 images of American fine art. Seniors and students with ID pay $12; groups of six or more that have registered in advance, $12. Pennsylvania Academy members with member tickets and children 12 and under are admitted free. Show times are 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. For more information, call (215) 972-2042 or visit

Other shows this fall include: "Treasures: From the Silk Road to the Santa Fe Trail," which runs Oct. 27-29, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show, Nov. 2-5. For more information on the "Treasures" show, contact or [email protected] To learn more about the craft show, contact or [email protected]


Do you enjoy cross-country skiing or snowshoeing? Have you always wanted to learn? Sierra Regional Ski for Light is now accepting applications for its 2007 ski season.

The schedule includes three one-day trips (open to children and adults), January 6 and 20, and February 10, and the 15th annual three-day event (adults only), March 10-12, 2007.

Skiing will be at the Tahoe/Donner Cross Country Ski Resort in Truckee, Calif. Each skier is matched with a trained guide. Skiers at all levels are welcome, from beginning to advanced.

For more information, go to You may also contact Cindy Quintana, ski coordinator, at (510) 483-2948 or e-mail [email protected] SRSFL looks forward to seeing you on the snow!


Are you a visually impaired adult who cross-country skis or is interested in learning? If your answer is yes, then join 300+ active adults from across the U.S. and around the world for our 32nd annual Ski for Light International Week!

While primarily recreational, Ski for Light attracts cross-country skiers from beginners to advanced competitors. Skiers and guides come from every adult age group and occupation. You will be paired with a sighted instructor/guide who will assist with skills, technique, endurance or simply enjoying the outdoors. After a day of skiing, join in on any number of organized activities, or simply relax and enjoy the facilities and the company of fellow participants.

The 2007 Ski for Light event will be held from Jan. 21-28, 2007, in the White Mountains of northern New Hampshire. We will stay at the North Conway Grand Hotel in North Conway and ski at Great Glen Trails in the Pinkham Notch section of the town of Gorham. More information about the event and online applications are available now at

The total cost for the week, which includes all meals and ground transportation, is $975 single occupancy, $725 per person double-occupancy; there are no triples at the hotel this year. For additional information, call Dave Thomas at (303) 298-0672 or e-mail [email protected], or Lynda Boose, [email protected] or (906) 370-7541.


Helping Hands for the Blind and The Accessible World Symposiums have formed a partnership to produce the first online symposium on diabetes, to be held Wednesday, November 8, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Pacific time. Speakers will include Gretchen Becker, the author of "Living with Type 2 Diabetes;" Dr. Bernard Mahaver, an endocrinologist who will discuss the various drugs in use to control diabetes; and Dr. Anne Williams, a noted diabetic educator who will discuss research and trends in diabetic care. The program will be followed by a question-and-answer period. To participate in this interactive online event, you will need a computer running Windows, an Internet connection, speakers, a microphone and a sound card. Agencies serving blind and visually impaired people in the U.S. will be providing computers and space to enable blind people who are not computer literate or do not have a computer at home to participate. To access the online conference room, go to and select the Auditorium link.


The National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped recently received two distinguished Blue Pencil Awards from the National Association of Government Communicators. "Blind Justice: Jacobus tenBroek and the Vision of Equality" received the Award of Excellence, and the public service announcement "A Good Book Is Worth Sharing" received first place. "Blind Justice" focuses on the life of Jacobus tenBroek. The PSA features ACB members Bud and Billie Jean Keith of Arlington enjoying a recorded book over coffee.


The U.S. Association of Blind Athletes and the Cornea Research Foundation of America have joined forces to promote the book "Celebration of Light," written by Dr. Francis Price Jr., president of the Cornea Research Foundation. It is a collection of inspirational and informative stories of people who are blind and visually impaired, and features Trischa Zorn, the most decorated Paralympic athlete in the history of disabled sport. The book costs $20, and is available from Authorhouse, 1-888-519-5121 or All proceeds go to the Cornea Research Foundation of America.


Kim Charlson has been named the 2006 Outstanding Alumna by the University of North Texas School of Library and Information Sciences Alumni Society. Charlson is known nationally and internationally for her expertise in information access and library services to the disabled. She is currently director of the Braille and Talking Book Library at the Perkins School for the Blind in Watertown, Mass.


In September, Dr. Robert J. Winn, past president of the Hadley School for the Blind, received the prestigious Douglas C. MacFarland Award from the Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired. Dr. Winn pioneered parent curriculum internationally through the Hadley School for the Blind; he retired in 2001 after serving 19 years as president.


GDUI and HumanWare have partnered to provide guide dog users with easier access to GPS technology. On July 1, 2006, HumanWare began deducting $100 from the price of each Trekker or Trekker/Maestro sold to a GDUI member living in the United States and donating an additional $100 to GDUI. This opportunity is only available until June 30, 2007. GDUI members interested in purchasing the Trekker or the Trekker/Maestro should call 1-888-858-1008.


Oasis Blind Support Association is an Ethiopian-based organization working to reduce the problems of people who are visually impaired. Some of its work has focused on HIV/AIDS awareness, tutorial classes, financial support and advocacy. Oasis' major objective is to create a library for blind students. The organization seeks financial and material contributions such as books, tables, chairs, computers, blank CDs and audio cassettes. Contact Oasis, P.O. Box 1766 Code 1250, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; e-mail [email protected]


Discussions in this on-line group will focus on books, technology, hot topics, and general subjects that pertain to people with disabilities. To join this group, send an e-mail message to [email protected]


Danney Yates has created an e-mail group called "BlindConnect" for people who are blind or experiencing sight loss. Its purpose is to offer a forum for discussion of victories, defeats, good days, bad days, and to give or receive encouragement in dealing with the daily stressors of blindness. To subscribe, send a blank e-mail message to BlindConnect- [email protected]


Knitted and crocheted items for sale. For more information, please contact Patie Sawyer at (775) 786-1429.


The fully accessible online version of Texas Hold'em is now up and running at AllinPlay. The game works with all major screen readers and magnifiers, including JAWS, Window-Eyes, ZoomText and Dolphin Supernova. It allows up to eight players to come together and enjoy a friendly game or a high-stakes battle with virtual chips. To try the game, visit


HumanWare recently released Maestro 2.0, an enhanced version of the mainstream PDA for the visually impaired. Its functions include a Wi-Fi e-mail manager, a media player for music and audio books, and a task manager. All information is sent to the user in audio form. Maestro users can organize their appointments and address books, consult and edit text documents, record voice notes, read books, organize e-mail, and listen to music. For more information, visit, or call 1-800-722- 3393.


The Beaver County Council of the Blind in Pennsylvania is raffling off a football autographed by both Joe Namath and Joe Montana. Send $3 per chance to Bernie Joyce at 6090 Tuscarawas Rd., Industry, PA 15052 or call (724) 495-7524. The drawing will be held on Dec. 15, 2006.


Christina Hanley and Anna Dolan are seeking assistance in helping the 82 blind students attending the Mekele Blind Boarding School in northern Ethiopia. The school is in need of instructional materials, braille paper, slates, braille writers and general financial contributions. Contact these women regarding your resources at [email protected]


There is now an online forum for blind computer users, as well as diabetics. It's called The Lights Out Forum, and can be found at The site is founded by a blind diabetic who wanted to create a place where people can both find support and give support to others.


Sanford Rosenthal hosts a weekly Sunday night teleconference for writers with disabilities. Whether you are accomplished or just thinking about writing, it is available at no charge. To register, call Sanford with your complete contact information, (954) 537-7557, or e-mail it to him, [email protected]

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