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, 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.


Karen A. Keninger, former head of the Iowa Department for the Blind, has been appointed as the new director of the National Library Service. She has been active on the national level for several years, including serving on the Digital Long-Term Planning Group and its successor Digital Transition Advisory Committee; chairing the Consortium of User Libraries for six years; and being elected 2012 president of the National Council of State Agencies for the Blind.


The Fellowship for Leadership Development, sponsored by NIB, is a salaried program that combines business-focused, on-the-job experience with professional development activities. Legally blind individuals who have an undergraduate degree, work experience and passion for business are invited to apply.  Fellows are selected based on experience, academic achievement and personal interviews. 

For additional information and an application, go to the NIB web site and visit the Business Leaders Program pages.  For a direct link to the Fellowship page, go to Make sure you read the FAQs before applying.  If you have questions, contact Karen Pal, NIB Business Leaders Program, at or (703) 310-0515.


Just Us Blind Girls will hold its 12th annual Blind Women's Conference on Saturday, May 19, in West Palm Beach, Fla. This year's theme is I'm Every Woman -- Mind, Body, and Soul. The conference will include information, networking, vendors, and social opportunities. Registration includes conference materials, T-shirt, Saturday lunch and banquet, and two breakfasts. Room reservations ($69 per night for up to four occupants) can be made at the Holiday Inn Palm Beach Airport Hotel & Conference Center by calling (561) 659-3880. For more information, e-mail, or call the live chat line on Mondays and Wednesdays at 6 p.m. Eastern at (218) 548-2869 and use pass code 151515#.


The Foundation Fighting Blindness will hold its national conference, Visions 2012, June 28-July 1 at the Hyatt Regency Minneapolis. The weekend will include discussion with research experts, coping sessions for dealing with low vision, a vendor area, and a keynote presentation by Eric Weihenmayer. Additional details are available at


The Jewish Guild for the Blind recently announced the winners of its scholarships.  They are: Tomas R. Cacicedo, Coral Gables, Fla.; Reid Robert Creviston, Brentwood, Tenn.; Joseph Andrew Esposito, Armonk, N.Y.; Daniel Gillen, New York, N.Y.; Thomas Kozlowski, Hillsborough, N.J.; Zachary Robert McCormick, Tulsa, Okla.; Mary Margaret McLaughlin, Plymouth Meeting, Pa.; Chelsea Marks, Seaford, N.Y.; Christina Murdoch, North Wales, Pa.; Emily Pennington, Cincinnati, Ohio; Siobhan Rigby, Richmond, Va.; and Daniel James Solomon, Belle Harbor, N.Y.


Bring your brailler back to life!  The Selective Doctor, Inc. specializes in the repair of Perkins braillers.  Repairs cost $60 for labor, plus the cost of the parts.  You can send your brailler to: The Selective Doctor, Inc., PO Box 571, Manchester, MD 21102 via U.S. mail.  Free matter shipping is accepted.  You should insure your brailler, too.  The company will add the cost of insurance to your invoice.  For more information, call (410) 668-1143 or e-mail  Or you may visit the web site,


The Hadley School for the Blind offers a new course for sighted or partially sighted individuals who want to learn about braille music via large print instruction. "Braille Music Basics" is designed for those who want to transcribe print music into braille, teach braille music to students, or simply support a braille music learner. The prerequisite for this five-lesson course is completion of the class, "Braille Music Diagnostic," which assesses the student's ability to read print music at an elementary level, as well as visually read and produce uncontracted braille. The new course was written by Ruth Rozen, a musician and braille music transcriber. For more information, visit; call 1-800-526-9909; or e-mail


Tech Optics International offers a new magnification product. The Task Vision 2.5x Loupe Near Telescope is worn like a pair of glasses. Each telescope has a fine focus that can be adjusted for distances from 10-17 inches. The lenses are distortion-free and color-chromatic. For more information, call 1-800-678-4277 or visit


The 6dot Braille Labeler is a new tool for embossing braille onto 1/2-inch Dymo tape.  The labeler is handheld, works on four AA batteries and uses the six-key set-up for inputting the information to be embossed. Other features include a built-in cutter for separating the label, 1-pound ergonomic design, and USB port for using it with a qwerty keyboard. For more information, call 1-877-507-6368 or visit

MyInfo911 now offers an Emergency Key Tag ID Card to make sure individuals with special medical needs get the appropriate medical attention if involved in a car accident. The key tag includes the Quick Response (QR) code specific to that individual. First responders need only to scan the QR into a smart phone to gain access to the tag holder's medical history. The next of kin of the cardholder is also alerted when the code is scanned. Learn more about this and other products at


ZoomText 10.0.1 has recently been released with a number of improvements. It now works in the following languages: Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Norwegian, Slovak, Spanish and Swedish. The camera features have been modified for easier use, the support for iTunes and Java has been improved, and many bugs have been fixed. For more information, contact Ai Squared at 1-800-859-0270 or visit


"How Can You Give Up That Adorable Puppy?" is the title of a new book by long-time puppy raiser Ray Rebmann. Ray's family is currently raising its ninth puppy for The Seeing Eye. The book tells of the family's many experiences with puppy-raising and shares how they have developed as trainers and people by way of those experiences. For more information, visit