[NFBOK-Talk] {Disarmed} National Federation of the Blind Newsletter - The Unexpected and the Ordinary

Jeannie Massay jmassay1 at cox.net
Tue Oct 4 23:07:19 UTC 2016





Imagineering Our Future

  Issue 90

October 2016   

In this issue:

*	Message from the President <> 
*	What's News at the NFB <> 
*	Braille Certification Training Program <> 
*	From the tenBroek Library <> 
*	Education
*	Independence Market <> 
*	Access Technology <> 
*	NFB Calendar <> 
*	Citation <> 


Message from the President

Dear Friends,

The crisp air, smell of decaying leaves, and the presence of pumpkins
everywhere lets us know that autumn has arrived. October has become known as
Meet the Blind Month in the National Federation of the Blind. This is a time
for our members to plan specific programs to get into the community to
increase the positive images of blindness among the general public.

October is a fitting month for Meet the Blind Month because it also has a
feeling of the unexpected. Who might emerge as the unexpected hero to push a
team into the World Series? What might happen in the local or national
political contests? And what will you be for Halloween that will cause a
stir? The unexpected is what we spend a lot of time working on in the
National Federation of the Blind, but for us the unexpected is ordinary. How
do blind people travel, manage a household, keep up on the news of the day,
or do business on the internet? Meet the Blind Month is all about turning
the unexpected into something ordinary.

This Halloween, I encourage you to distribute National Federation of the
Blind Braille alphabet cards with your treats to the ghosts, witches, and
superheroes that pay you a visit. How unexpected would it be for every kid
in the neighborhood to get a taste of Braille? More importantly, how
ordinary will it become when everyone is exposed to the code that blind
people use to live the lives they want?

Thank you for all you do to help teach people about the National Federation
of the Blind. Please share with me your unique approaches to making the
unexpected ordinary during Meet the Blind Month 2016. Together we will
transform dreams into reality.

Happy Meet the Blind Month,


Mark A. Riccobono, President
National Federation of the Blind


What's News at the NFB

AIM HE Legislation Introduced

Congressman Phil Roe (R-TN) and Congressman Joe Courtney (D-CT) introduced
the Accessible Instructional Materials in Higher Education (AIM HE) Act
(H.R. 6122). The AIM HE Act, which is a collaborative initiative of the
National Federation of the Blind, the American Council on Education, the
Association of American Publishers, EducauseR, and the Software and
Information Industry Association, will authorize a purpose-based commission
comprised of persons with disabilities, developers, and manufacturers, as
well as representatives from institutions of higher education. This
commission will develop voluntary accessibility guidelines for instructional
materials used in postsecondary educational programs. Additionally, the
commission will be tasked with developing an annotated list of existing
national and international information technology standards as an additional
resource for institutions of higher education and companies that service the
higher education market. More information about the AIM HE Act can be found
at https://nfb.org/aim_he

Voting Rights in Maryland

The National Federation of the Blind was a key player in securing a victory
for blind voters in the state of Maryland. A blog post with more details can
be found on the NFB website at


Braille Certification Training Program

Under a contract with the National Library Service for the Blind and
Physically Handicapped, Library of Congress (NLS), the National Federation
of the Blind administers the courses leading to NLS certification of Braille
transcribers and proofreaders.

Starting in January 2015, all new students in the literary
transcribing/proofreading courses began learning under the rules of Unified
English Braille (UEB), and students who had been working in the older
version of the course were switched to the new version during the year.

Successful completion of these rigorous courses requires a great deal of
time and effort on the part of the students. We congratulate the following
individuals who earned certification in literary transcribing during the
month of July 2016, achieving certificates under the rules of Unified
English Braille:


Charles William Jenkins, Las Animas


Suzette Yvonne Moore Carter, Port Saint Lucie


Kenneth Eric Gardiner, Alamo
Maurice DeShawn Milner, Alamo
Joshua Perry Nelson, Midway 


Christopher Brown, Bunker Hill
Michael J Coupland, Bunker Hill
Lee E Davis, Bunker Hill
Sean M. Park, Bunker Hill
Micah Dwayne Perryman, Bunker Hill 

North Carolina

Carllous A. Little, Laurinburg


William E. Brown, Grafton
David Wayne Osco, Grafton


Collette Marie Pierce, Gig Harbor


The updating of the Nemeth and music courses to align with UEB is ongoing.
Congratulations to the following students who achieved certification in the
current version of the Nemeth transcribing course during the month of July:

Mathematics (Nemeth) Braille Transcribing


Michael Dennis Chinski, Wilmington


Mitchell Raymond Geioque, Grafton


Clara L. Harris, Gatesville


Music Braille Transcribing 


Eric Nathaniel Marum, Represa

For transcribers and proofreaders who were certified prior to the adoption
of UEB and need to update their credentials, a test was developed to allow
them to earn a letter of proficiency in UEB, which is an add-on credential
to an existing certificate. As of this writing, 175 individuals have earned
this letter of proficiency in Unified English Braille from the Library of


>From the tenBroek Library

Staff from the Jacobus tenBroek Library recently had the opportunity to
represent the National Federation of the Blind at a special meeting
involving more than fifty archivists, librarians, disability historians, and
disability rights activists, held at the University of Texas at Arlington
(UTA) on August 1-2, 2016. The purpose of the meeting, which brought
together representatives from organizations across the country, was to begin
planning for the creation of a national, disability-history archives
consortium. The aim of the consortium is to provide support to its members,
to promote the disability history materials that they preserve, and to
increase their exposure to both researchers in the budding field of
disability studies and to members of the disabled populations that the
collections depict. The assembled group discussed many potential projects,
chief among them the plan to create an integrated, online research portal
that will feature digitized archival materials, links to member institutions
holding disability history collections, and other resources to aid both
researchers and collection donors, all presented with accessibility in mind.

The conference was sponsored by the UTA Libraries, Disability Studies Minor
program, and Department of History, and was made possible in part by a grant
from the National Endowment for the Humanities. To learn more about the
conference and the next steps for building the disability-history archives
consortium, UTA has published a press release that can be accessed at

The tenBroek Library was pleased to be a part of this unique meeting and
looks forward to representing the important role of the National Federation
of the Blind in the history of the disability rights movement as the work of
the consortium progresses.



NFB BELL Academy

The NFB Braille Enrichment for Literacy and Learning (BELL) Academy prepares
blind and low-vision children, ages four through twelve, to grow into
confident and independent blind people who will live the lives they want by
providing Braille and nonvisual skills instruction through fun, hands-on
learning in a day program or residential setting.

In addition to Braille crafts, games, and other engaging projects, children
learn vital independent-living skills, interact with blind adults who serve
as mentors, and enjoy field trips to sites related to the NFB BELL Academy
curriculum. Through these activities and interactions, the children learn
that blindness or low vision does not define them or their future.

NFB BELL Academy changes lives. A rising seventh grader attended NFB BELL
Academy for the first time this summer. She had a Braille teacher in first
and second grades. However, her school thought she could see too well to
continue with Braille, so they terminated her instruction in Braille. Five
years later this bright young lady has been struggling more and more every
year in school. The volume of work has grown, print size has shrunk, and her
persistent headaches have halted any recreational reading and limited her
ability to complete regular school work.

This young lady's parents knew that something needed to change. Her mother
signed her up for NFB BELL Academy and drove four hours each day for two
weeks to provide her daughter the opportunity to learn the skills she needs.
At the end of each day, NFB BELL Academy students share their
accomplishments of the day, which we call "BELL Ringers." On her second day
this young lady, who had not been exposed to any Braille for the past five
years, reflected on the impact of NFB BELL Academy: "I came in yesterday
knowing "a" and I'm leaving today knowing "a" through "t."

This summer, thirty states have offered forty-four NFB BELL Academy sites,
providing more than sixteen thousand hours of instruction to more than three
hundred blind youth.

This fall, the Jernigan Institute will be holding two training seminars to
prepare for NFB BELL Academy next summer. Additionally, we will provide NFB
BELL Academy teacher training via distance education beginning this winter
and continuing through the spring of 2017.


Independence Market

The NFB Independence Market is the conduit through which we distribute our
empowering literature to our members and the general public. We also operate
a blindness products store focusing primarily on low-tech items. As promised
in an earlier issue of Imagineering, here are descriptions of the remaining
products that were new at this year's national convention.

We are test-marketing a carbon fiber Mini Telescoping Cane
with nine sections. This cane is not designed to be someone's main travel
aid, but an emergency backup. The canes are available from 51 to 59 inches,
in two-inch increments, in limited quantities.

Sleepshades are used in training settings to teach nonvisual skills. We have
been asked to find more comfortable sleepshades and we believe we now have
them. The Dream Essentials Black Contoured Sleep Masks
are comfortable, padded, lightweight sleepshades with eye cavities and an
adjustable Velcro strap. Made from soft, breathable polyester fabric, they
are hand washable.

We identified a new source for Free Matter Stamps
and now carry this useful article again. Qualifying large-print (14 point or
larger) and Braille materials may be mailed free of charge via the United
States Postal Service. Use this rubber stamp to print "FREE MATTER FOR THE
BLIND AND PHYS. HANDICAPPED" on your mail. Check with your local post office
or the USPS website to learn more about "Free Matter" mail.

Adding to our assortment of tactual marking aids, we now sell the popular
: clear, round, self-adhesive labels with a raised bump. Use these small,
unobtrusive dots to mark items such as computer keyboards and buttons on
household appliances.

We are now offering the Tactile Low-Vision Timer
, which is equally accessible by blind and low-vision users. This large,
freestanding, sixty-minute timer features raised white numbers on a black
background. Each minute is marked with a raised white line; the five minute
intervals are indicated with longer lines.

We have added the Talking Infrared All-Purpose Thermometer
to our product line. This hand-held talking infrared thermometer can
instantly measure the temperature of hot and cold items without physical
contact. Use it to check the temperature of items bubbling on the stove as
well as to verify your oven, refrigerator, and freezer temperatures. The
scan function can be used to locate a hot burner on a flat cook top stove.
The thermometer measures both in Fahrenheit (-94 to 716 degrees) and
Centigrade (-70 to 380 degrees). The unit features a built-in, talking quick
tutor, and speaks in three languages: English, Spanish, and French. This
thermometer is a versatile tool that can be used all around the home.

If you are looking for an accessible thermostat for your home, the Talking
Thermostat (Vip3000)
should meet your needs. This talking thermostat is designed to be used in
residential settings and can control most twenty-four-volt heating and air
conditioning systems, including the newest multi-stage furnaces, air
conditioners, and heat pump systems. One can easily check the indoor
temperature and the thermostat setting, and adjust the temperature. The
weekday and weekend programs allow one to specify the temperature for
heating and cooling for four different selectable time points during the day
and night. The unit speaks during all aspects of setup. Audio and text-based
instructions on CD are included. Now you can independently control the
temperature in your own home.

Finally, we started carrying a new raised-line coloring book.
I Am a Crayon. What Color Am I? by John Batron is a tactile, Braille, and
large-print coloring and storybook, for blind and sighted family and friends
to share with their young children. The story in large print and
uncontracted Braille includes nine unique tactile pictures.

For more information about the products and literature available from the
NFB Independence Market
, please visit us online or contact us via email at
independencemarket at nfb.org <mailto:mailto:independencemarket at nfb.org>  or by
phone at (410) 659-9314, extension 2216. Our staff will be glad to assist




The National Federation of the Blind applauds NFB of New Jersey member
Anthony Lanzilotti for his recent graduation from Atlantic Cape Community
College and acceptance into the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. Mr.
Lanzilotti's tenacity was key to his success in participating fully and
equally in his college's programs and in securing his degree. During the
course of his attending Atlantic Cape Community College, Mr. Lanzilotti was
a plaintiff alongside the NFB in a lawsuit against the school. The resulting
2015 consent decree
requires the school to ensure accessibility of its website and all
instructional material and educational technology, and to review and revise
its policies for accommodating students with disabilities, thus laying a
framework for success for future blind Atlantic Cape Community College
students. Congratulations, Anthony!   


NFB Calendar

Upcoming Events

September 30-October 2: NFB BELL Academy Training Seminar (Advanced) in
Baltimore, Maryland

October 20-24: NFB BELL Academy Training Seminar (Novice/Intermediate) in
Baltimore, Maryland

September 12-17, 2017: BLAST, Nashville, Tennessee


State Conventions

- October 1-2

- September 30-October 2

- September 30-October 2

- October 7-8

- October 7-9

- October 7-9

- October 7-9

- October 7-9

- October 7-9

District of Columbia
- October 12-15

- October 14-16

Rhode Island
- October 14-15

- October 14-16

- October 21-23

- October 28-30

- October 28-30

- October 28-29

- October 28-30

- October 28-30

New York
- October 28-30

South Carolina
- October 28-30

- October 29

- November 4-6

- November 4-6

- November 4-6

- November 4-6

New Jersey
- November 10-13

- November 11-13

- November 11-13

- November 11-13

- November 11-13

Puerto Rico
- November 19



We have a very personal interest in publicity about us, and we will tell the
story as it truly is. We are a part of this society, and we expect to be
welcomed within it, not made the butt of somebody else's so-called humor.  

- Dr. Marc Maurer "The Power of Belonging
." 2013 NFB National Convention, Orlando, Florida, July 6, 2013.


Thank you for reading the NFB's Imagineering Our Future.

Help make a significant difference in the lives of blind people across the












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Interesting links:

Archive of Straight Talk About Vision Loss videos

National Center for Blind Youth in Science

Access Technology Tips






Access Technology

Voice of the Nation's Blind




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