Here and There, edited by Sue Lichtenfels

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.


The American Council of the Blind of Ohio seeks an executive director to oversee the organization's daily operations, work closely with its elected officials to craft and implement budgets, policies, and short- and long-term plans for the organization, and supervise a small staff. He/she disseminates information about the organization to the press and the general public, including current and prospective members.

The salary ranges from $25,000 to $40,000; benefits are negotiable. The closing date is Sept. 15, 2011. For more information, visit and select the link labeled "executive director position opening."


Effective Aug. 15, Social Security field offices nationwide will close to the public 30 minutes early each day. For example, a field office that is usually open to the public Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. will close daily at 3:30 p.m. Anyone wishing to apply for benefits, sign up for direct deposit, replace a Medicare card, obtain a proof of income letter or inform us of a change of address or telephone number may do so at or by calling toll-free, 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778).


For most people, the clock changes just twice a year, for Daylight Saving Time. But for someone with Non-24-Hour Sleep-Wake Disorder (N24HWD, or Non-24), their internal body clock changes every day.

In the U.S. alone, it is estimated that approximately 65,000 to 95,000 people suffer from Non-24, a sleep disorder in which a person's sleep period can advance by about 15 minutes each night. Patients suffering from Non-24 experience severe insomnia and excessive daytime sleepiness, which often interferes with social, family and work obligations. Non-24 is most common in the totally blind who lack light perception, and affects more than 50 percent of this population. Sighted people can experience similar sleep or circadian rhythm disorders as well, in the form of jet lag or from night shift work.

Vanda Pharmaceuticals Inc. recently launched to promote awareness and support for those who may suffer from Non-24. People can access helpful information and research articles, listen to interviews with medical experts, and learn about clinical trials on the site. If you or someone you know might be affected, please call 1-888-389-7033 or e-mail to learn about an ongoing clinical research study that is evaluating a new investigational treatment for this type of sleep problem. Don't delay – the deadline is coming up soon!


The Service Club for the Blind of St. Louis, Mo., has a store that sells products specifically for blind and visually impaired people, including folding canes (4-section and 6-section, and adjustable), 8 1/2 x 11 braille paper (punched and non-punched), slates and styli, signature guides, notebooks, braille greeting cards, bold-line paper, 20/20 pens, games, household cleaning items, and much more. If you're in the St. Louis area, visit the store at 3719 Watson Rd., St. Louis, MO 63109. If not, you may reach them via phone at (314) 647-3306, or via e-mail,


The 2011 NCAA college football schedule in braille will be available again this
year with 120 division 1-A and some requested division 1-AA teams, along with the results of the 2010-2011 bowls, the top 25 teams in the AP final polls, the 2011 preseason poll, 2011-2012 bowl schedule, and much more. For more information, contact Allen H. Gillis at (256) 734-4047, or e-mail him,


Lori Kirsop offers braille tutoring and braille transcription services. She will teach via phone or Skype, based on the student's preference. For her qualifications and rates, visit her web site at or call (623) 293-0401.


Need a cassette player, or want to convert your cassettes into MP3 files? The Vermont Country Store has cassette tape players, both personal size and desktop size, and machines that will convert cassettes into MP3. For more information, call the store at (802) 776-5731, or visit


Shinano Kenshi Corporation has released firmware version 5.0 for the Plextalk Pocket digital player/recorder. The upgrade is available for free download from The firmware gives improved support for books, podcasts, web radio streaming, Microsoft Word's .docx format, BrailleNet, and Internet Archive. For more information, visit


The i-vu is a compact, portable electronic magnifier available through Clarity. Printed text and photos can be enlarged 5-20 times their normal size on the 2-foot ALCD screen. Added features, including freeze frame and inverse mode, can enhance the view further. It runs on a rechargeable battery with a three-hour life. Additional information on this product is available at


The 14th Accessing Higher Ground: Accessible Media, Web and Technology Conference for Education, for Businesses, for Web and Media Designers conference will be held Nov. 14-18, 2011 at the Westin Hotel in Westminster, Colo. Accessing Higher Ground focuses on the implementation and benefits of assistive technology in the university and college setting for people with sensory, physical and learning disabilities. Other topics include legal and policy issues, including ADA and 508 compliance, and making campus media and information resources -- including web pages and library resources -- accessible. For registration info and conference details, visit If you have questions about the program or registration, contact Howard Kramer via e-mail,, or at (303) 492-8672.


Lisa Salinger is a rehabilitation teacher with 12 years of experience. She offers training in screen readers, braille notetakers, portable talking book players, PDA's, Apple iPod and iPhone, and computer concepts. Additionally, she can either guide you through maintaining your computer, or she can connect remotely and do this. Lisa's web site,, includes several free podcasts covering various technology-related topics. She offers a money-back guarantee if she cannot help fix a problem. For additional information, e-mail or call (570) 955-3547.


Access First offers a four-week training program for individuals interested in learning the necessary concepts and skills to qualify for jobs in sales. The Success in Professional Sales Series (SIPS) can be taken either in person or via accessible online podcasts. Core training is followed by a 120-hour paid internship and up to four months of assistance to find employment. For additional information regarding class schedules, registration, and potential careers in sales, visit; e-mail; or call (412) 452-9700.


Shapely-CAL is a new book published by Creative Adaptations for Learning (CAL). It's a book of poetry in both large print and braille that uses textured illustrations to teach children about many of the shapes in their world. The book is for ages 4-10. To learn more, visit or call 1-800-548-7323.


AFB Press has recently released a revised edition of "Reach Out and Teach: Helping Your Child Who Is Visually Impaired Learn and Grow." This book focuses on the developmental needs of young children with visual impairments, from birth to school age. It has been updated and rewritten to reflect the concerns of today's families and professionals, and includes the latest research on learning during infancy and early childhood. New and expanded information sections include: the role of the brain in vision and the role of brain plasticity in learning; the implications of Project PRISM, the only federally funded longitudinal study of young blind/visually impaired children; natural environments in early intervention; the interdependence of different developmental domains; IDEA as it applies to early intervention, IEPs and the transition to elementary school; conditions that cause visual impairment; the vision exam and vision tests for infants; skills children with visual impairments need to succeed in preschool and in kindergarten; explanations of common terms and glossary; and considerations about assistive technology and other tools. For more information, call AFB Press at (304) 710-3027.