HERE AND THERE
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.

TACTILE STUDY FOR LEARNING STATISTICS

The Computer Center for Visually Impaired People (CCVIP) at Baruch College is conducting a research study that seeks blind or visually impaired college students who will be enrolled in a college-level introductory statistics course over the summer. The study examines a new way of teaching statistics to blind and visually impaired people using a device called the Talking Tactile Tablet, or TTT. This device enables students to learn statistical concepts by touching raised graphs and diagrams with their fingers while simultaneously listening to a recorded text. Using this technique, study participants are learning the same material as their sighted classmates. Participants will receive a $250 honorarium for their service. To participate, or for more information, contact Mr. Chandrika Surajpal, Project Coordinator, by phone, (646) 312-1424, or by e-mail, [email protected]

STUDY OF BARRIERS TO PHYSICAL ACTIVITY

The Department of Kinesiology and Community Health at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is conducting a survey of "Exercise/Physical Activity and Barrier Study for Blind and Visually Impaired Individuals," The study seeks blind or visually impaired individuals between 13 and 85 to complete a survey. Participants receive $5 for completing the survey once and $10 for completing the survey a second time within a week. To learn more, contact research coordinator Marella McMurray by e-mail at [email protected] or [email protected] You may also contact Dr. Miyoung Lee at (217) 265-6726.

TUTORING SERVICES

Portal Tutoring, located in Rochester, N.Y., specializes in assistive technology training, braille instruction, and the use of notetakers and DAISY book players. They offer academic tutoring in writing, history and English literature. Be tutored face-to-face at home or at Portal's office, online or via the telephone. For complete information about Portal Tutoring, visit http://www.portaltutoring.info or call (585) 244-0477 between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. Eastern.

ATTENTION, VISUALLY IMPAIRED FEDERAL EMPLOYEES

Visually Impaired Employee Workforce (VIEW) is an organization of about 150 professional federal employees with various visual impairments. VIEW welcomes former, retired and current federal employees with or without a visual impairment to organize, build a knowledge base, provide a support network and to advocate workplace inaccessibility issues utilizing a community voice. VIEW strives to be an asset by not only raising visually impaired employees' federal workplace issues/concerns but by advocating in a professional, proactive manner presenting viable solutions. VIEW works to be inclusive and develop a common platform by reaching out to all parties to find common ground to achieve consensus. For information about membership in VIEW, contact president Ted Figueroa by phone at (240) 938-6800 or by e-mail, [email protected]

EXPANDED PLAYERS FOR AUDIOPLUS BOOKS

RFB&D's digital books known as AudioPlus recordings have long been used with the Victor Reader products supplied by HumanWare. As of June 2007, the AudioPlus books can now be used with the HumanWare family of BrailleNote mPower, PK and Maestro accessible PDA's. The AudioPlus format allows the reader to move from chapter to chapter, section to section or jump directly to any page.

2008 GLOBAL ADVENTURES

Global Explorers organizes adventures for high school students who are blind or disabled. The 2008 schedule includes hiking the Peruvian Andes, exploring the sounds of the Amazon, rafting in the Grand Canyon, and trekking up Kilimanjaro. These programs emphasize the educational components of science, culture, leadership, and service. For additional details on these programs, visit http://www.globalexplorers.org. To request an application packet, send an e-mail to [email protected]

TALKING RESTAURANT MENUS

Menus That Talk (TM) is a portable, compact device, approximately the size of a DVD case, that speaks to restaurant guests, describing selected food items from the hand-held unit's illuminated buttons. Guests simply press a brailled button corresponding to a menu category such as drinks, appetizers, seafood, etc. and hear brief descriptions of what is available. The device also includes a detachable ear piece for noisy restaurants and patrons with hearing difficulties. Menus That Talk premiered at the National Restaurant Association show in May. For more information about the menus, call (305) 255-9600 or visit http://www.menusthattalk.com.

FIRST BLIND STUDENT GRADUATES FROM EMBRY-RIDDLE

Congratulations to Barry Hyde, who made history on May 7 as the first blind student to graduate from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University's Daytona Beach, Fla., campus. He earned his master of science in aeronautics with specializations in aviation safety and aviation operations. The 35-year-old lost his sight in a serious aircraft accident in 1998 but didn't give up his love for aviation. He later earned ground instructor certificates and enrolled at Embry-Riddle. He carried a 4.0 grade-point average and in April was appointed to Who's Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges.

NEW MEDICAL ALERT DEVICE

AlertOne, the maker of home medical alert devices, has released the first-ever two-way emergency communication transmitter. Users can wear the Clear Call device with a belt clip or on a neck cord. By pushing the alert button, the user can communicate with trained emergency operators to ensure that immediate emergency attention is dispatched. The service costs $34.95 per month. For additional information, visit http://www.alert-1.com.

WEB SITE FOR SPECIAL NEEDS PARENTS

Our Special Kids is a free on-line resource for parents of children with special needs. The site is designed as a virtual waiting room; a safe place where parents can always find information, advice, acceptance -- and other parents like them. The site is available at http://www.ourspecialkids.com.

BOOK FOR BLIND MESSIANIC BELIEVERS

"Who Is Israel? Past, Present, and Future" by Batya Ruth Wootten is now available in braille. Using scripture as her base, Batya explains the church and Israel. She shows that long ago the father divided Israel into two houses, Ephraim (Israel) and Judah. As his "two witnesses" they were sent in two different directions to accomplish two different purposes. Now, in this last day, he wants the two to come together, that they might confirm his truth in the earth. For more information, contact Penny MacPherson at [email protected] To order the six-volume braille copy, send a $62.50 check or money order to Penny MacPherson, 18427 Moorhaven Drive, Spring Hill, FL 34610

WEB SITE DEVELOPER

Christine Chaikin develops and maintains web sites. To learn more about her rates and services, send e-mail to [email protected]


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