[Colorado-talk] NFB Imagineering Our Future: "No need for greed, we want to read!"

Mark Riccobono JerniganInstitute at nfb.org
Fri May 1 01:21:37 UTC 2009

Imagineering Our Future

      Issue 12
April 30, 2009

In this issue:

    * Message from the Executive Director
    * What's New
    * Education
    * Braille Initiative
    * Straight Talk About Vision Loss
    * Technology Talk
    * From the Jacobus tenBroek Library
    * Independence Market
    * Parent Outreach
    * Spotlight on the Imagination Fund
    * NFB Calendar
    * Citation


    Message from the Executive Director

    When the Federation was founded in 1940, one 
pillar of the work of the organization was to 
raise expectations among the blind themselves and 
fortify them with knowledge, because knowledge is 
power.  In founding the NFB Jernigan Institute, 
the Federation took this to the next level by 
creating an information center that will drive 
innovation and disseminate knowledge in ways 
previously unimagined.  Despite the achievements 
we have made since 1940 and the explosion of 
opportunities that have come from the programs of 
our Jernigan Institute, we still spend 
considerable time protecting the right of the 
blind to have access to knowledge.
    As you will see in this month’s issue of our 
e-newsletter, we are hard at work disseminating 
knowledge and protecting the right of the blind 
to have access to more of it.  Our success in the 
past has brought us to where we are today, but it 
is clear that there is more work to be done.  We 
are on the verge of significantly closing the 
knowledge gap that has faced the blind for 
decades­a gap that is not a result of blindness 
but rather a result of the inaccessibility of 
popular avenues for disseminating 
knowledge.  With programs that empower blind 
people, the stimulation of technologies to access 
information, and advocacy that teaches the public 
about the opportunities that come from 
considering nonvisual accessibility in the 
sharing of knowledge, the NFB Jernigan Institute 
is closing the information gap.  Now, more than 
ever before, the blind are on the verge of having 
equality of opportunity in accessing critical sources of knowledge.
    If you have not already pledged your support 
to our petition to ensure the reading rights of 
people with print disabilities­the right to 
knowledge­I now invite you to do so.  Knowledge 
is power, and you can make a difference by 
your name to the list of thousands who believe 
that blindness should not stop one from having access to that knowledge.

    Graphic: Signature of Mark Riccobono
    Mark A. Riccobono, Executive Director, NFB Jernigan Institute


    Featured NFB News

    Photo: Kindle 2 NY protest

Allow Everyone Access to E-books

In February of this year, Amazon, Inc. released a 
new version of its e-book reader. The Kindle 2 
includes a feature that allows downloaded e-books 
to be read aloud using text-to-speech technology. 
The Authors Guild has objected to this feature, 
and under pressure from the Guild, Amazon has 
announced that it will give authors and 
publishers the ability to disable the 
text-to-speech function on any or all of their 
e-books available for the Kindle 2. Naturally, 
this is a blow to blind people and others with 
print disabilities who can benefit from the 
text-to-speech feature and who would love to be 
able to purchase books and start reading them 
immediately for the first time in history.

The Authors Guild’s proposed solution was that to 
read their books with text-to-speech we must 
either submit to a special registration system or 
pay extra, because it believes these e-books are 
licensed only for visual display.  For this 
reason the National Federation of the Blind has 
joined with other organizations representing 
people who cannot use print effectively to fight 
the Authors Guild.  The resulting 
Rights Coalition now includes over thirty 
organizations of the blind, people with dyslexia, 
people with learning or processing issues, 
seniors losing vision, people with spinal cord 
injuries, people recovering from strokes, and 
many others for whom the addition of 
text-to-speech on the Kindle 2 promised for the 
first time easy, mainstream access to over 
270,000 books, magazines, and newspapers.
The Reading Rights Coalition, led by the NFB, 
kicked off a public education campaign on April 7 
with an informational protest in front of the 
Guild’s headquarters in New York City.  Next the 
Coalition participated in the Los Angeles Times 
Festival of Books, the largest book fair in the 
world, which took place on the University of 
California at Los Angeles campus April 25-26. The 
coalition table in the festival’s exhibit area 
provided the reading and publishing communities 
with information about our concerns.
We will continue and increase public pressure on 
the Authors Guild until it reverses its 
stance.  Help us by signing this 
petition to allow everyone access to e-books.



Parent gives her young son a cane lesson

The NFB Jernigan Institute is holding an 
and Blueprints Early Childhood Conference in 
collaboration with the National Organization of 
Parents of Blind Children and various 
professionals in the early childhood field from 
across the Mid-Atlantic region. This two-day 
conference (May 8-9, 2009) will bring together 
families of blind children and early childhood 
service providers, teachers, and professionals in 
order to disseminate the NFB's approach to best 
practices in early childhood education for blind children.
Families of blind and low vision children ages 
birth to seven who live in the Mid-Atlantic 
region are encouraged to attend.  Families who 
live outside of the area are also welcome to 
attend, but should be aware that some of the 
exhibits and information will be region-specific. 
Families can choose among a variety of breakout 
sessions on topics such as early movement, 
literacy, and active learning. Families will also 
be able to consult with early childhood 
professionals. Children are encouraged to attend 
with their parents as there will be activities 
with young blind children in mind.
To attend please complete and submit the 
registration form.  For more information 
<mailto:mthorpe at nfb.org>e-mail Mary Jo Thorpe, 
Education Programs Specialist, NFB Jernigan 
Institute; call (410) 659-9314, ext. 2407; or 
visit the 
and Blueprints page.


Braille Initiative

Photo: Louis Braille Bicentennial Silver Dollar

It has been just about a month since the 
historical launch of the Louis Braille 
Bicentennial Silver Dollar. Here are some interesting updates:

~ Coins have been selling at a rate of about 144 per hour.
~ At this rate, coins will sell out in 86 days.
So what do these numbers mean? If you were to 
think of each coin's $10 surcharge as 
representing the difference we have made in the 
Braille education of one child, we have already 
changed the lives of more than 100,000 children!
Every coin sold truly helps us to end the Braille 
literacy crisis. (For background information, see 
Braille Literacy Crisis in America: Facing the 
Truth, Reversing the Trend, Empowering the 
Blind.) To purchase your coin and be a part of 
the change, please visit the 
Mint Web site or call 1-800-USA-Mint.
Enjoy the video that premiered at the launch of 
the Louis Braille Bicentennial Silver Dollar on 
March 26, 2009, 
Braille Means to Me.
For more information about Braille, the 2009 
Louis Braille Bicentennial Siver Dollar, and the 
NFB's other Braille literacy efforts, please 
join the 
campaign mailing list, or follow on the social 
networking site 


Straight Talk About Vision Loss

The KnfbReader Mobile
Photo: KnfbReader Mobile
Talk About Vision Loss team presents Straight 
Talk About Vision Loss 
25.  The National Federation of the Blind is the 
only national distributor of the 
Mobile and its related products, and our 
interview is with Michael Hingson, who is leading 
this effort. In addition to reading documents 
anywhere, the device can identify U.S. currency, 
translate from foreign languages, and store and 
transfer files. The Reader is easy to use­it 
takes a photo of the print, then character 
recognition software, in conjunction with high 
quality text-to-speech, reads the writing aloud. 
There is financing help available through a low 
interest loan program. This portable reading 
device was developed through a joint venture 
between Kurzweil Technologies and the National Federation of the Blind.


Product and Access Technology Talk

Last Friday, the Access Technology team hosted 
visitors in the International Braille and 
Technology Center for the Blind who were in town 
for the American Society for Engineering 
2009 Mid-Atlantic Conference. Anne Taylor, NFB 
Jernigan Institute's Director of Access 
Technology, also presented to the plenary session 
of this conference on Saturday on the importance 
of considering accessibility in the technology design process.
The team has added some more updates on the 
Access Technology Blog from the California State 
University at Northridge’s annual Technology & 
Persons with Disabilities Conference: 
in Los Angeles Demonstrations 
Accessibility Wizard 
with Serotek and Peter Cantisani 
Taylor talks to GW Micro, Enabling Technologies, 
and Nuance 
Taylor interviewing Gareth Collins from Dolphin Computers at CSUN
On the Access Technology tips page, HumanWare 
contributed a tip on the new update for the 
Reader Stream: Bookmark Alert.  Dolphin Computers 
also shared some of their 


 From the tenBroek Library

Ari Ne'eman address the Symposium
Photo: Ari Ne'eman gives Keynote Address
The 2009 
tenBroek Disability Law Symposium, New 
Perspectives on Disability Law Advancing the 
Right to Live in the World, took place in the 
Jernigan Institute on April 17, 2009. Over ninety 
people from throughout the United States and 
Canada attended, and Mr. Hamou Bouakkaz, 
Technical Advisor to the Mayor of Paris, also 
participated as part of a United States 
Department of State sponsored tour of the 
Jernigan Institute.  A total of fifty-seven 
academic, advocacy, and governmental 
organizations were represented including Stiehm 
Law Office; Jacksonville Area Legal Aid, Inc.; 
Wellesley College; Department of Homeland 
Security; D.C. Office of Human Rights; 
Westchester Independent Living Center; and Women Embracing Abilities Now.

Dale, Special Assistant to President Obama for 
Disability Policy, headed the list of leading 
national and international advocates and scholars 
who made presentations at the 2009 
symposium.  Other presenters included Assistant 
Attorney General Maura Healey, Commonwealth of 
Massachusetts; Professor Gerard Quinn, National 
University of Ireland, Galway; Christine Griffin, 
United States Equal Employmeent Opportunity 
Commission; and Samuel Bagenstos, Visiting 
Professor at UCLA School of 
Ne'eman, Founding President of the Autistic 
Self-Advocacy Network, was the luncheon keynote speaker.
Go to the 
tenBroek Disability Law Symposium Web page to 
hear recordings of the 2009 symposium sessions.


Independence Market

Braille Is Beautiful program
Photo: Braille Is Beautiful full set

Braille Is Beautiful Kits Available from the NFB Independence Market

During this year of celebrating Louis Braille's 
birth and accomplishments, we have updated the 
Braille Is Beautiful Program to make it even 
easier to share the message of the power of Braille with sighted children.
This innovative diversity awareness program uses 
the beauty of Braille to build a bridge of 
understanding between sighted and blind 
children.  It teaches sighted students how to 
read and write the Braille alphabet code. As they 
discover how much fun it is to read and write 
Braille "bumps," they come to respect and 
appreciate the way blind children learn, and 
ultimately accept them as friends and equals in 
the classroom. The program targets sighted 
children in grades four through six, but it can 
be adapted for younger or older youth. It can be 
used in the classroom and with youth clubs, 
service organizations, and individual students. 
No previous experience with Braille or blindness 
is required to successfully teach the material. 
The program comes in different kits to fit 
different budgets and instructional needs.
The following kits are now available for ordering 
from the NFB Independence Market: 
Guide Economy Kit, 
Kit, and 
Program Kit.


Parent Outreach

Just out­a special issue of Future Reflections, 
the quarterly publication for parents and 
teachers of blind children published by the 
NFB.  According to editor Barbara Cheadle, in 
Celebration of Braille" you'll find: "inspiring 
stories that celebrate the impact Braille has had 
in the lives of ordinary people, exciting 
articles that describe a few of the innovative 
programs that bring the beauty and versatility of 
Braille into the lives of both blind and sighted 
children, informative articles with practical 
tips and strategies about how to use Braille more 
effectively, rousing calls-to-action from Braille 
advocates, and some fun facts about Braille that 
readers can easily share with family and 
friends."  Take a look and celebrate Braille!


Spotlight on the Imagination Fund

Photo: Kids on blind-built bikes
Photo: Kids on blind-built bikes

“I got a new bike! And it was built by a blind man.”

In this space we usually spotlight the one of the 
projects conducted by Federation chapters and 
affiliates around the country with support from 
the Imagination Fund.  The projects that receive 
funding exemplify our NFB esprit and imagination, 
help spread our positive message, and increase 
the possibilities in blind people’s lives.  In 
like spirit, a team building session was held 
this month in Indianapolis. Several hundred blind 
entrepreneurs attending business leadership 
training worked together to assemble dozens of 
bikes and then gave them to children from the 
local boys and girls club. Leading the way with 
his customary energy and enthusiasm was Kevan 
Worley, the vigorous chairman of our Imagination 
Fund and  president of the sponsoring 
organization, the National Association of Blind 
Merchants.  Read how the blind gave back to the 
community through the 
Fund provides support for the outreach efforts of 
local Federation chapters and affiliates 
throughout the United States as well as the 
research, technology, and education programs and 
initiatives of the NFB Jernigan Institute. The 
Imagination Fund was established January 2004 
with the Grand Opening of our NFB research and training institute.

There's a new way to make change with a dollar

The need for NFB Jernigan Institute programs, 
increased Braille literacy, and exciting 
affiliate programs has never been greater. Now 
more than ever, we need the help of every member 
and your friends. This year the Imagination Fund 
is introducing the Every Member, Every Friend 
Match Campaign. Simply pledge a single dollar 
each day for the months April through July 2009. 
Your $1 a day commitment plus a friend’s matching 
$1 a day over the course of only four months will 
total $240 to support the outreach efforts of 
local Federation chapters and affiliates 
throughout the United States and the research, 
technology, and education programs and 
initiatives of the NFB Jernigan Institute.
Plus we'll give you March for Independence 
merchandise when your friends or family members 
match your promise!  While March for Independence 
T-shirts are only available to Marchers if they 
raise $250, participants in the Every Member, 
Every Friend Match Campaign will earn a T-shirt 
for $240 when a friend matches a participant's $1 
a day commitment (a $10 discount).  And the 
benefits increase with the matches!  Participants 
who get 3 matches will receive this year’s March 
for Independence $500 prize (a $20 
discount).  Those who get 7 matches or more will 
receive the top prize, the medallion awarded to 
Marchers who raise $1,000 or more (a $40 discount).
Please visit the 
Member, Every Friend page to learn how you can 
educate your friends and make your promises to 
help end the Braille literacy crisis today.


NFB Calendar

2009  Year of Louis Braille's Bicentennial, 
launch of the first U.S. coin containing readable 
Braille, and kickoff of the 
Braille Literacy Campaign.  Contact the 
Mint to purchase your own 
Braille Bicentennial Silver Dollar.

April 4, 2009   Thanks to all of our supporters 
Cane Event: Celebrating Braille
Image: Whozit wearing a top hat
Readers are Leaders. The event held in Members 
Hall at NFB headquarters in Baltimore was an 
overwhelming success, and we're already making 
plans for next year!  This event netted over 
$100,000 for the Jernigan Institute Braille Literacy Campaign.

May 8-9, 2009 
and Blueprints Early Childhood Conference, open 
to parents of blind children ages birth to seven. 
Part of NFB Jernigan Institute's 
Childhood Education initiative.

May 10, 2009  Mother's Day!  Honor your mom with 
an NFB e-Card on her special day. She will be 
very proud that you made a donation to Braille 
Literacy and the National Federation of the Blind 
IN HER NAME!  All recipients will be listed on 
the Imagination Fund Web site. Your mom will 
receive her e-card whenever you 

May 15-17, 2009 Future Directions in Braille 
Research Seminar at the NFB Jernigan Institute.

May 30, 
cut-off for 
2009 National Convention. When purchased online 
before May 31st, the pre-registration fee for 
convention is $15 ($20 on-site) and the cost of a 
banquet ticket is $35 ($40 on-site).

June 15-26, 
Enrichment for Literacy and Learning (BELL) program in Wisconsin.

July 3-8, 
2009 National Convention, Marriott at the 
Renaissance Center, Detroit, Michigan.  For 
reservations, write directly to the Detroit 
Marriott Renaissance Center, 100 Renaissance 
Center, Detroit, Michigan 48243, or call 
1-800-266-9432. Information for sponsors, 
exhibitors, and other attendees is 
Available throughout May­discounted 
pre-registration and banquet ticket sales.

July 6, 2009 
City March for Independence, A Walk for 
Opportunity, Detroit, Michigan. 
to participate in the third annual March in 
Detroit.  Hear an 
report on last year's Dallas March.

July 13-24, 
Enrichment for Literacy and Learning (BELL) program in Georgia.

July 26-August 1, 2009 
Youth Slam: A STEM Leadership Academy, University 
of Maryland, College Park.  View a 
about this exciting event!

August 3-15, 
Enrichment for Literacy and Learning (BELL) program in Maryland.



What We Believe

We respect that authors have the right to control 
their content and be paid for their 
work.  Reading a book aloud with text-to-speech 
technology, however, is not a violation of 
copyright.  The Authors Guild’s threatened 
removal of text-to-speech from its books and its 
proposed alternatives­a burdensome registration 
system or extra charge for people with print 
disabilities to read their books­constitutes 
discrimination against people with print 
disabilities, censorship, and is bad business for 
authors and publishers.  We want to pay for and 
read books like everybody else.

from statement of the Reading Rights Coalition, 
comprising over thirty organizations representing 
the 15 million Americans who cannot read print 
because of blindness, dyslexia, spinal cord 
injury, and other print disabilities.
If your organization wants to join the Reading 
Rights Coalition, please use the 
Us form.
View what you can do as an individual to promote 
equal access to books for people with print 
Action Now!

Back to Top
Thank you for reading the NFB Jernigan Institute's Imagineering Our Future.

Mentor Trevor Attenberg leads campers along the nature trail

Photo: Group on white water raft

Support the Jernigan Institute through the 

Photo: Young woman playing flute

Interesting links:

of Straight Talk about Vision Loss videos

Center for Blind Youth in Science

Technology Tips

Photo: Youth practicing martial art



of the Nation's Blind

Photo: Senior couple

Publication archives:

of the Diabetic



Photo: Mom and son take a moment and a hug

Graphic Logo: National Federation of the Blind

Visit us at 

Photo: Blind little girl with cane

Photo: Blind youth reading Braille book

Photo: Blind girl examining model of constellations

Photo: Blind boy with tactile globe

Blind Teens Carry the 2007 Youth March for Independence Banner

Imagine a Future Full of Opportunity


Jernigan Institute, National Federation of the 
Blind, 1800 Johnson Street, Baltimore, MD 21230
(410) 659-9314      Fax (410) 
659-5129      E-mail 
<mailto:JerniganInstitute at nfb.org?subject=Reply%20to%20Imagineering%20Our%20Future>JerniganInstitute at nfb.org 
Visit us at www.nfb.org
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American Institute of Philanthropy logo

The National Federation of the Blind meets the 
rigorous Standards for Charity Accountability set 
forth by the BBB Wise Giving Alliance and is 
Top-Rated by the American Institute of Philanthropy.

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