Here and There, edited by Sharon Strzalkowski

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 ACB 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.

Piano Technology School Seeks Executive Director

The School of Piano Technology for the Blind is seeking an executive director.  His or her key responsibility is providing leadership to ensure the school has the necessary financial resources to successfully fulfill its mission.  The executive director develops policies and strategies for the organization and holds primary responsibility for their implementation, and is the chief spokesperson for the school. He/she represents the organization and its mission to donors, alumni, state and national agencies for the blind, state vocational rehabilitation departments, foundations and other funding sources, such as media, volunteers and other non-profit organizations. The executive director has overall supervisory responsibility for the entire school staff, including the director of instruction, to whom is delegated the responsibility for the operation, development and implementation and outcomes of the school’s educational programs.
To apply, you must have:

  • Demonstrated experience in fundraising with major donors as well as writing and securing grants, cultivating foundation support, planning and executing fundraising events, and experience in managing donor mail campaigns; 
  • Demonstrated communications skills.  Experience in communicating with board members, donors, employees, alumni, foundations and the media;
  • Experience and ability in financial management, including the development and the maintaining of budgets;
  • Experience overseeing retail operations, including sales, is desired;
  • Demonstrated leadership skills and collaborative management style;
  • Ability and experience to implement and manage strategic plans;
  • Ensures compliance with standards set by accrediting, regulatory, state and federal entities;
  • Contact for student recruitment efforts, both externally (conventions) and internally (prospect visits);
  • Work with the school alumni association, keeping them aware of the school’s accomplishments and needs;
  • Ability to convey the mission of the School of Piano Technology for the Blind and motivate and inspire the community through public interactions;
  • Ability and experience with volunteer recruitment and retention; and
  • Be passionate about helping people overcome disabilities to achieve independence and self-sufficiency.
  • Bachelor’s degree or higher degree preferred.

This position will remain open until a qualified candidate is chosen.  Individuals interested in applying may submit a resume and cover letter addressing how their personal and professional qualifications meet those listed above, to: Search Committee, School of Piano Technology for the Blind, 2510 E. Evergreen Blvd., Vancouver, WA 98661; e-mail
For more information about the School of Piano Technology for the Blind, visit The School of Piano Technology for the Blind is an equal opportunity employer and offers a competitive salary and benefits package, dependent on experience. 

2015 Peanuts "Love Is..." Calendar – and More!

National Braille Press now has available its 2015 print-braille calendar. The 2015 Peanuts calendar celebrates the famous "Love Is ..." series, with a "love is" quote and drawing each month to illustrate the many ways that love can express itself! All your favorite Peanuts characters are here: Linus, Sally, Peppermint Patty, Pigpen, Lucy, Charlie Brown, and — of course — Snoopy!
This wall calendar is 12"x12" (hanging on the wall it's 12" wide and 24" tall). The braille is included on clear plastic labels that go right over the print pages. And it features a sheet of 60 full-color stickers to mark birthdays, appointments, and other important days.
For more information, visit, or call 1-800-548-7323.

NBP also has available “Recipes from my Kitchen: Asian and American Comfort Food” by Christine Ha. It consists of 3 braille volumes, or one braille-ready file (BRF).

After losing her sight in her twenties, Ha had to re-learn to cook without sight. Using adaptive techniques, coupled with years of culinary experience, Christine turns out dishes that speak to the best of Asian and American comfort food. She offers tips on how to create delicious food at home interlaced with a personal narrative bolstered by her background as a gifted writer.  For the full recipe list — there are over 80! — and more information, visit Or call NBP at the number above.

Verizon Wireless’ National Accessibility Customer Service Center

On Oct. 15, 2014, Verizon Wireless unveiled the National Accessibility Customer Service (NACS). Designed to support people with special needs and requirements, the Charleston, South Carolina-based center has approximately 200 dedicated representatives to address individual mobile needs — whether it is providing guidance on device selection, technical support or account transactions.
To reach the NACS, call toll-free 1-888-262-1999; the center is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern. Customers calling after hours will speak with other customer service and technical support representatives. Customers can also utilize the chat services found on

Seeking Computer Teacher

Bob Groff Jr. is seeking a computer teacher to teach him basic Windows XP Home edition commands and NVDA. Call him at (501) 589-7577.

Spelling App for the Visually Impaired

I am a mother of a bright 10-year-old kid who happens to be blind. He is very good at picking up concepts and is a voracious reader.  But I realized his spelling was a little weak. So I decided to make an app for him to help him practice spelling on the go, on an iPad. You can find the app at
I would be really happy if more kids could use and give feedback, and let us know how we could make it better. Send your suggested improvements to