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.

Job Accommodations Request Survey

Individuals aged 50 or older who need job accommodations are being sought for a study by researchers at the Florida State University. You are invited to share your perceptions of factors related to accommodation requests by answering a few questions about yourself, your organization (if applicable), and your abilities and emotions in the process. This survey will take about 20-30 minutes.
To take the survey online, visit
The first 100 participants completing the survey will have a 1-in-4 chance of winning a $25 gift certificate; and the rest of the respondents completing the survey will have a 1-in-4 chance of winning a $10 gift certificate. This survey will help service providers and employers learn more about how to improve the job accommodation process for older workers.
If you have any questions about the research study or need an alternative survey format, please contact Dr. Shengli Dong by e-mail at

Disaster Preparedness Survey

On Oct. 13, the UN International Day for Disaster Reduction will focus on the issues surrounding some one billion of the world's people who live with disabilities and disaster risks. Since, for the most part, people with disabilities have no significant representation in the planning and decision-making processes to reduce these risks or build resilience, the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) is conducting a survey to ascertain the needs of people living with disabilities and disasters. To take the survey, go to

Goalball Teams Come Up Big

At the International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA) 2013 Pan American Games held July 9-15 in Colorado Springs, Colo., the USA women's national goalball team won the gold medal and the men's team won the silver medal.  Women's team members are Jen Armbruster (Portland, Ore.), Lisa Czechowski (Tucson, Ariz.), Jordan Gist (Fargo, N.D.), Asya Miller (Portland, Ore.), Amanda Dennis (Peachtree, Ga.) and Cathy Morgan (Logan, Utah). The men's team features Joe Hamilton (Sacramento, Calif.), Andy Jenks (Wilmington, Del.), John Kusku (Warren, Mich.), Donte' Mickens (Delray Beach, Fla.), Matt Simpson (Colorado Springs, Colo.) and Daryl Walker (Jacksonville, Fla.). Both teams cemented spots in the IBSA 2014 World Goalball Championships in Finland by finishing in the top two. The teams hope to do well in Finland and move on to the Paralympics in 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
But it wasn't just the adults who did well at the games.  The USA boys' national team won the silver medal in the IBSA 2013 World Youth Championships, and the USA girls' team received the bronze.


Congratulations to Bonnie Granger of McKees Rocks, Pa., and Zelda Gebhard of Edgeley, N.D.! They were the winners of the drawing for the Kurzweil 1000 software donated by Universal Low Vision Aids, in coordination with Cambium Learning Technologies. The drawing was held at the convention in Columbus, Ohio.

Science Sense Tours

The American Museum of Natural History offers Science Sense Tours to visitors who are blind or visually impaired.  Tours are free with museum admission. Science Sense tours are available to individuals or groups. Space is limited and advance registration is required. Programs may be subject to change. For additional information, or to register for a Science Sense tour, call (212) 313-7565 or e-mail
Wednesday, Sept. 18th, 2:30 p.m.: Biodiversity. Discover the wide range and variety of life on Earth, and learn how every species is interconnected, how they evolved, what purpose they serve, and why their preservation is necessary for maintaining our environment.
Sunday, Oct. 20th, 10 a.m.: Minerals and Gems. Examine the collection of minerals specimens collected from around the world and gems of all shapes, sizes and colors.
Wednesday, Nov. 13th, 2:30 p.m.: Something Old, Something New. Explore the oldest and the newest in the animal, vegetable, and mineral kingdoms.
Saturday, December 14th, 10 a.m.: Human Origins. Where did we come from? How did we get here? Who are we? And what makes us human? Explore these questions in the Spitzer Hall of Human Origins and the Sackler Educational Laboratory.

Ski for Light is Alaska Bound

The 39th annual Ski for Light International week will be held in Anchorage, Alaska from Feb. 23-March 2, 2014.  Join more than 200 active blind and sighted adults from across the U.S. and around the world who pair up for what many have called the experience of a lifetime.
Participants will stay in downtown Anchorage at the Hilton Hotel and Conference Center and ski at nearby Kincaid Park. Kincaid Park is a world-class facility that has 60 kilometers of wonderfully groomed cross-country trails. A highlight of the week will be the ceremonial start of the Iditarod Sled Dog race on March 1 in downtown Anchorage.
Applications are due Nov. 1, and a partial financial stipend may be requested when completing the application. For more information, visit the web site, If you do not have computer access or need more information, please contact the visually impaired participant application coordinator, Lynda Boose, at (906) 370-7541 or via e-mail,