Affiliate News

California Council Scholarships

Applications for the California Council of the Blind's scholarships for the 2014-2015 academic year are now being accepted.  Applications can be filled out online and accessed directly by visiting
All legally blind students who are California residents attending, or planning to attend, an accredited private or public college or university or career preparation school in your state are eligible to apply.  Scholarships are awarded to beginning students as well as those at all other levels through advanced work in graduate school.
The deadline for applications is 5 p.m. Pacific time Friday, May 30, 2014.  Applicants should be advised that supporting documentation requested in the application form must also be received by this closing date. Transcripts may be submitted later but not beyond 5 p.m. Pacific time Friday, July 18, 2014.  Application online is strongly suggested.  Hard copies of the application form are available by calling toll free 1-800-221-6359 or (916) 441-2100, by an e-mail request to, or by mail to California Council of the Blind, Executive Offices, 1303 J St., Suite 400, Sacramento, CA 95814-2900.

ACB of Ohio Scholarships

The American Council of the Blind of Ohio offers five scholarships each academic year. Applications may be downloaded from, or requested by calling (614) 221-6688 or 1-800-835-2226.
Scholarships available are:

  • $2,000 Max Edelman Scholarship: offered to a legally blind undergraduate student in any field of study
  • $2,000 David Newmeyer Scholarship: offered to a legally blind undergraduate student in any field of study
  • $2,500 Joann Fischer Scholarship: offered to a legally blind graduate student in any field of study
  • $2,500 Linwood Walker Scholarship: offered to a legally blind graduate student in a service-related field (e.g., teaching, health, public administration, etc.)
  • Nola Webb-McKinney Scholarship: offered to a blind or sighted graduate or undergraduate student pursuing a degree in a blindness-related area (e.g., special education, rehabilitation, teaching or counseling, orientation and mobility, or concentrating in programs serving people who are blind or visually impaired)

To be eligible for a scholarship, you must:

  • Be an Ohio resident or attend an Ohio school in a two-year or more post-secondary degree program;
  • Be legally blind (except the Nola Webb-McKinney Scholarship);
  • Have a 3.0 or higher GPA on a 4.0 scale; and
  • Be willing to attend the 2014 ACBO convention's Saturday workshops.

Past scholarship recipients may re-apply. A current scholarship application must be completed each year to be considered. Applicants must provide three letters of reference, an official transcript, and a current eye report.  Completed applications must be postmarked no later than Aug. 1, 2014. Send your completed application to: ACB Ohio Scholarship Committee, 601 Richards Rd., Columbus, OH 43214-3743.  If you have questions, or need more information, contact Vicky Prahin, scholarship committee chair, by phone at (614) 268-0380.

Booklet of Braille Contractions

The Jenny Beck Chapter of the Braille Revival League has produced a booklet containing all the braille contractions, and a note on Unified English Braille.  It is spiral bound, and brailled on 8 1/2" by 11" paper, and is available with either paper or plastic covers.
If you would like to purchase one of these booklets, the costs are as follows: paper covers, $7; plastic covers, $9. There will be a $1 mailing charge.
To get one of your own, send a check made out to the Braille Revival League to: May Davis, 133 W. Ashland St., Doylestown, PA 18901.

Teachers' Features for the 2014 Convention

You might recall that the theme for AABT's convention last year in Columbus was "Touching the Universe." This year, we are bringing our program back to earth.  The theme for our 2014 convention, to be held in conjunction with the ACB national conference and convention in Las Vegas, will be "Education around the World." We hope that you will enjoy the activities that we are planning for this year.
We kick off convention week with the annual AABT breakfast, program and business meeting, which will take place Sunday morning, July 13, from 8 to 11 a.m.  The title of our program will be the same as our convention theme, "Education around the World." Panelists from various countries will tell us how students who are blind or visually impaired are educated in their countries.  After this very interesting program, we will hold our business meeting, and you will have the opportunity to help shape the future of AABT.
On Tuesday, July 15, we will take a field trip to the Nevada Blind Children's Foundation for an exciting tour.  Since Nevada has no schools for the blind, this state-of-the-art facility fills many needs for children who are blind or visually impaired in the state. They have a library which includes braille and electronic books and descriptive videos, a technology lab and even a horizontal rock climbing wall.  Some of the services that they provide to Nevada's blind children include after-school tutoring to assist with blindness-specific skills and homework, braille literacy and socialization, technology assistance, holiday parties, a summer camp, and recreational activities, such as beep baseball, goalball, showdown (a cross between air hockey and table tennis), yoga classes, tandem bike-riding, and rock climbing.  It sounds like we will have a fun afternoon!
Wednesday, July 16, will also be a very busy day for AABT.  First, we will collaborate with Library Users of America (LUA) and the Braille Revival League (BRL) for a joint session beginning at 1:15 p.m.  In keeping with our international theme, one of the highlights of this session will be a presentation by Rosemary Mahoney, author of the book, "For the Benefit of Those Who See: Dispatches from the World of the Blind," available from National Braille Press.  In this book, she recounts her experiences interviewing, then working with Sabriye Tenberken, founder of Braille Without Borders.  She will tell us how she helped a school for the blind in Tibet.  Another speaker during this session will be a talking book narrator.  Stay tuned to find out who it will be! After this session, we will join Friends-In-Art (FIA) for a sing-along titled "Songs around the World." Tune up your voice and get ready to join in the singing!
We hope you will consider sharing part of your convention week with us.

IVIE Convention Preview

Whether you are thinking about starting your own business or you are a seasoned business owner, the Independent Visually Impaired Entrepreneurs (IVIE) has an exciting program lineup for you at this year's ACB national conference and convention in Las Vegas!
We start our week on Sunday evening, July 13 after the general session by joining the Randolph-Sheppard Vendors of America (RSVA) for a mixer.  Come and relax, mingle and make new friends.  On Monday, July 14 from 7 to 8:15 a.m., we will hold the annual IVIE breakfast and business meeting.  Bring a big appetite, lots of energy and your creative ideas for IVIE!
Our annual luncheon and program will be held on Wednesday, July 16 from 12:15 to 2:30 p.m.  This year's program topic will be "Entrepreneurship for Newbies and Experts." We will begin our program with a presentation that will help you to decide whether entrepreneurship is for you.  From there, our presentation will advance to taking your business to the next level.  There will be plenty of tips and tricks from those who know, and there will be lots to learn, whether you are a would-be entrepreneur or an experienced business owner.
We conclude our week's activities on Thursday, July 17 from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. with the IVIE Business Expo.  Here, blind and visually impaired business owners will showcase their products and services and answer your questions.  Since ACB exhibits will be closed on Thursday, we hope more people will come to the expo this year.  Browsing is free.  However, if you would like to have a booth at the IVIE Business Expo, you must reserve it in advance. The cost will be $10 for IVIE members and $25 for non-members, with the option of applying $15 of this cost toward annual IVIE dues.  IVIE's calendar year runs from July 1st to June 30; so, this would be an excellent time to pay your dues.  You can reserve your expo booth and/or pay your annual dues online by visiting IVIE's secure web site, Or you can make a check payable to IVIE and send it to Ardis Bazyn, 2121 Scott Rd. Apt. 105, Burbank, CA 91504.  Please designate whether your check is for annual dues, an expo booth or both.  If you are submitting your dues, be sure to fill out and include the IVIE membership form, which can be found on our web site.
If you save time for IVIE activities during your busy convention week this year, it's a sure bet that you will benefit from it.  If you have any questions about IVIE or the program offerings at this year's convention, visit the IVIE web site,, or call me at (724) 941-8184.  Hope to see you in Vegas!