HERE AND THERE
edited by Sue Lichtenfels

The announcement of products and services in this column does not represent an endorsement by the American Council of the Blind, its officers, or staff. Listings are free of charge for the benefit of our readers. The Braille Forum cannot be held responsible for the reliability of the products and services mentioned. To submit items for this column, send a message to [email protected], or phone the national office at 1-800-424-8666, and leave a message in Sharon Lovering’s mailbox. Information must be received at least two months ahead of publication date.

SHARE SERVICE DOG STORIES

Kathy Nimmer, a blind high school English teacher and writer from Indiana, has launched an international effort to gather true stories of people with disabilities and their service dogs, to be included in an anthology. The project, entitled "Two Plus Four Equals One," will celebrate what happens when two hands plus four paws combine for one magical union. The web site, www.servicedogstories.com, has been set up to promote the project, receive submissions, gather contact information from individuals who have worked with service dogs in any capacity, and field inquiries about the book. The book will include non-fiction stories, anecdotes, tributes and poetry. Explanations and samples of the four genres can be found on the web site. Story submissions will be accepted for consideration through Sept. 30, 2009. Contact Kathy directly with questions or suggestions at [email protected]

BIBLE CONFERENCE

The 2009 Bartimaeus Bible Conference will be held Sept. 14-18 at Redwood Glen Camp near Loma Mar, Calif., 50 miles south of San Francisco. The featured speaker is pastor and seminary professor David K. Spurbeck. Mornings and evenings are devoted to Bible study, music and discussion. Afternoons will be occupied with a hike through San Mateo County Memorial Park, a picnic on the beach, and a trip to Pescadero to shop at a fruit stand and the nationally famous Old Country Bakery. Cost for 4 nights double occupancy and 11 meals is $250 per camper. Call ahead to make arrangements for bus station, airport, and train depot transfers to the camp. Limited camperships may be available. Reservations and requests for assistance with a campership should be accompanied by a non-refundable $30 check sent to: Bartimaeus Alliance of the Blind, Inc., P.O. Box 572, South San Francisco, CA 94083-0572. For additional information, contact Grant Metcalf at (650) 589-6890, e-mail [email protected], or visit www.bartimaeus.us.

HADLEY PARTNERS WITH UTAH STATE UNIVERSITY

The Hadley School for the Blind is partnering with Utah State University (USU) to offer four college-level courses in blindness studies starting in the fall of 2009. Credits can be used toward associate's, bachelor's or master's degrees. The courses will include: Introduction to Blindness and Visual Impairment, The Human Eye and Visual System, Introduction to Braille, and The Role of Paraeducators with Individuals who are Blind or Visually Impaired. Two additional courses, Introduction to Multiple Disabilities and Introduction to Low Vision, will be available in spring 2010. To learn more about enrolling in USU/Hadley, please contact Linda Alsop at [email protected] or (435) 797-5598. To take courses on a non-credit basis, contact Fran Payne at [email protected] or (435) 797-5591.

LARGE TYPE COOKBOOK

Maxine Turkington, a visually impaired woman in the UK, has created a cookbook for people with low vision. “Cooking for VIPs, A Cookery Book for the Visually Impaired," is printed in 18-point bold type, and contains 128 recipes plus tips on how VIPs can organize a kitchen. The spiral-bound cookbook costs $22.50 plus $5 shipping. Orders take approximately 2-3 weeks. A fund-raising program is available for charitable organizations. For more information, or to order, contact Maxine at Tips4Vips, 11 Alliance Court, Hills Avenue, Cambridge CB1 7XE, United Kingdom; phone 011-44-1223-246712; e-mail [email protected] Maxine’s web site, www.tips4vips.co.uk, contains audio-described tips and downloadable recipes.

CHRISTIAN MAGAZINE

The Circle of Love Christian magazine is a 90-minute monthly cassette which features Christian music, games, memory verses, testimonies, recognition of prayer requests and birthdays/anniversaries plus much, much more. The Circle of Love will be celebrating 30 years of publication this year! For a sample issue, write: Circle of Love Tape Ministry, 5028 S. Duck Creek Rd., Cleveland, TX 77328, or call 1-866-251-5165, enter mailbox 7128# and leave a clear message with name, address and phone number.

RFB&D EXPANDS SERVICES

Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic (RFB&D) now offers all of its more than 50,000 textbooks on-line in AudioPlus DAISY format. They feature full navigation, bookmarking and the variable speed control of DAISY-accessible audio books. Downloaded books can be played on a PC, transferred to the memory of a specialized DAISY player or burned to a CD to be played with a DAISY CD player. For complete technical requirements and specifications, visit www.rfbd.org/audioplus. Additionally, all RFB&D members now have direct access to 24/7 member service support online or on the phone. This service includes full membership and program support, book catalog support, technical support with equipment operation and audio book download support for all RFB&D products.

COMPUTER TRAINING AT HOME OR OFFICE

The CarrollTech web site offers accessible distance learning computer courses that can be taken on your own computer and at your own pace. Courses are available on JAWS, ZoomText, MAGic and Window-Eyes with Outlook, Excel, and Power Point. A Duxbury course and other software utilities are available for teachers of the visually impaired. A beginner course for JAWS users is available for trainers to use as an on-line curriculum. Users can try the first two lessons of any course for free. If you wish to continue, each course will cost $150. For more information, or to try a course, register at www.carrolltech.org. For questions, e-mail [email protected]

JVIB INDIVIDUAL SUBSCRIPTION 

The Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness (JVIB) is now available for individuals to subscribe. For over 100 years, JVIB has been a source for the latest in cutting-edge research, best practices, technology, and news in the visual impairment field. Individuals can receive 12 print issues per year and access to 10 years of online archives for $65. A one-year online-only subscription costs $25. To learn more, or purchase a subscription, visit www.afb.org/jvibspecial.asp.

TALKING HEALTH PRODUCTS

Bay Area Digital has recently published a report entitled "Monitoring and Improving the Health of People with Vision Loss." It contains new information about the next generation of health products for people who are blind or visually impaired. To receive this free report, visit http://healthteller.blinkweb.com.

NIB/USABA PARTNERSHIP

National Industries for the Blind (NIB) and the United States Association of Blind Athletes (USABA) recently established a partnership to support wounded veterans. The two groups will work together to enhance each organization's mission and target initiatives on the promotion of sports and employment opportunities for people who are blind and visually impaired with an emphasis on wounded warriors and veterans who are blind. Goals of this partnership include locating and identifying various professional organizations in the blindness field and making them aware of USABA sports and NIB employment opportunities; identifying and promoting to people who are blind and visually impaired, including wounded warriors, various employment opportunities within NIB's agencies throughout the United States; and promoting USABA sports opportunities and physical wellness activities to the employees of NIB-affiliated agencies. For more information, visit www.nib.org or www.usaba.org.

TIGER BRAILLE PRINTERS

ViewPlus is now offering a new desktop series of Tiger braille printers. Some of their features include: new Tiger braille dot for improved readability; convenient USB connection; sleek, updated design; and ability to print tactile graphics. For more information, contact ViewPlus at 1-866-836-2184; e-mail [email protected]; or visit www.viewplus.com.

BRAILLE TRANSLATION SERVICE

The RoboBraille Service gives blind, visually impaired, and dyslexic people access to give and get written information fast, easy and free of charge. This is an e-mail-based translation service capable of translating documents to and from contracted braille and to synthetic speech. Users submit documents (e.g., text files, Word documents, HTML pages) as e-mail attachments. The translated results are returned to the user via e-mail, typically within a matter of minutes. You can learn more about this service by visiting www.robobraille.org.

BRAILLE GREETING CARDS

Shadows in the Dark offers a variety of braille greeting cards and a selection of gifts. The card selection includes 29 occasions with 24 different tactile graphics. Other than English, languages available include French, German, Spanish, Italian, Norwegian, Portuguese and Dutch. The company offers 10 percent off all orders. For more information, contact Shadows in the Dark at its new address: 22615 Mathis Rd. #1, San Antonio, TX 78264-4802; phone (210) 621-2070; e-mail [email protected]; or visit www.shadowsinthedark.com.

SUZE ORMAN’S ACTION PLAN

National Braille Press (NBP) is now offering “Suze Orman's 2009 Action Plan: Keeping Your Money Safe & Sound." In the book, Suze answers such questions as: Are your savings safe? Should you continue to invest in your retirement account? Should you keep your home if it's worth less than you owe or should you sell it? How do you pay your bills if you've been laid off? This best-seller is available in braille and Portabook for $9.99. You can read the table of contents at www.nbp.org/ic/nbp/ACTION.html. To order this book, send payment to: NBP, 88 St. Stephen Street, Boston, MA 02115-4302; call 1-800-548-7323. ext. 20; or e-mail [email protected]

BOOKS ON DISABILITY

Disabilities Books is an on-line book seller that offers resources for adults with disabilities, families of disabled children, and professionals who work with people who are disabled. One available book is, “You Will Dream New Dreams: Inspiring Personal Stories by Parents of Children with Disabilities.” This is a collection of over 60 short essays by "veteran" parents of children with disabilities who were asked to write the stories they wish they had heard when they received their child's diagnosis. Another sample of their inventory is “Reflections from a Different Journey: What Adults with Disabilities Wish All Parents Knew,” which is a collection of 40 inspiring short essays by successful adults with different disabilities. Essay authors were asked to write about something they wished their own parents had read or been told while they were growing up. To review their entire collection, visit www.disabilitiesbooks.com or call (617) 879-0397.

BOOK HELPS TO PREPARE

I*Manager books are available to help keep families organized and prepared in case of an emergency. The fill-in-the-blanks pages include places for: children's vaccinations and medical histories; doctor, school and bank account numbers; on-line passwords; vehicle, financial and brokerage information; your wishes in case of an emergency, and much more. I*Manager books are available from www.SmartBooksUSA.com.

SOCIAL SITE FOR DISABLED

FriendsLikeMe.org is a new web site for people with disabilities. Users can hang out, meet friends, and if they want, find a special someone. Membership is free. To sign up, visit www.FriendsLikeMe.org.

ON-LINE SPIRITUAL COMMUNITY 

SolaceofSouls.org is a new spiritual outreach which endeavors to be a means of support for those who are interested in their spiritual lives, for those who have great spiritual hunger, and for those who have been alienated, rejected or hurt by their respective faith communities. It provides spiritual healing, spiritual support/exploration, and spiritual direction for those who long to grow in their faith and for those who yearn to be part of a community of loving spiritual fellowship. For information, call Lindy Morelli at (570) 341-5858 or visit www.solaceofsouls.org.


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