Here and There 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 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 info@acb.org, 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.

Hadley Introduces New eBay Module

The Hadley School for the Blind has introduced a new module, Selling on eBay, as part of its Forsythe Center for Entrepreneurship (FCE). Selling on eBay is a short, one-lesson module that introduces students to eBay by identifying how it works, how to register, and how to set up a seller account, as well as how to purchase an item off eBay. Another module, Learning to Sell on the eBay Web Site, provides an opportunity to start a new business or to expand a current business into the online environment.
 
For more information, or to register, visit www.hadley.edu/fce.

Guide Doggie Coloring Book

"Guide Doggie: Learn How Guide Dogs Help the Blind in This Coloring Book" is a new coloring book, and a great way to introduce children to the world of a guide dog. Help educate your child while they have fun with Guide Doggie! Meet Guide Doggie when he is a puppy, then follow him on his adventures during guide dog training. Learn what a guide dog does during the day, including the chores he completes for his handlers. Your child will learn how guide dogs help the blind live more independently, and how dogs can be heroes too! With narration of the book done by a guide dog, each page is an educational adventure for all ages. Bonus games include a word search, a crossword puzzle, and word jumbles based on the story. To get your copy of "Guide Doggie," send an e-mail message to info@danielsaynuk.com. Or you may obtain "Guide Doggie" online at Amazon.com.

Blind American Idol Finalist

Since captivating the nation as a finalist on American Idol, Scott Macintyre has continued to move audiences to laughter, tears, and standing ovations all over the world.  As an acclaimed singer-songwriter, he has toured in arenas across North America, headlined concerts in Japan, Austria, England, Canada, and the U.S., and written and released his latest CD "Heartstrings," which debuted at number 18 on the iTunes Pop Album Chart.  He has performed with many notable acts, including Alice Cooper, Jason Mraz, and Queen, and his original song "Christmas Angel" received national radio play and became one of the top holiday indie singles of 2010.  In his new book "By Faith, Not By Sight," he powerfully demonstrates that no obstacle is too great to overcome. Visit him online at www.scottmacintyre.com and follow him on Twitter (@ScottDMacIntyre).

Message of Hope

Unity's Message of Hope ministry, serving the blind and visually impaired, has the following products and services available free of charge:

  1. Daily Word in braille -- bimonthly, one braille volume;
  2. Daily Word on CD. 2 CDs, bimonthly;
  3. A virtual library of downloadable braille Unity publications, available free of charge to anyone with access to a computer, braille notetaker or digital talking book player;
  4. An audiobook lending library. Contains Unity publications on audiocassette and CD;
  5. Hard-copy braille book lending library. Unity publications in braille.

Visit the Message of Hope web site at www.unity.org/messageofhope/, e-mail message-of-hope@unityonline.org, or call 1-866-421-3066 for information about these publications.  Visit the Message of Hope Facebook page at www.facebook.com/messageofhope to stay updated.

Circle of Love

Circle of Love Ministries has launched a web site, www.circleministries.com. The site includes a downloadable sample issue of "Circle of Love" magazine, as well as links to subscribe to the magazine.  Another link tells about Camp Siloam.  There's also a page of resources for blind computer users. Visit www.circleministries.com, or send a message to info@circleministries.com, for more information.

Blind Ambitions

"Blind Ambitions Magazine" is the newest magazine on the block.  For more information on how you can receive your free copy, send an e-mail to christine.chaikin@blindambitionsgroups.org with the subject line reading "how can I receive a free copy of Blind Ambitions Magazine?" (without the quotes).

Yismehu

Are you ready to jump into Jewish learning, maybe even Hebrew? Yismehu connects meaningful Jewish learning with students eager to learn — even though they happen to be visually impaired or blind. Students of every age and religious background receive free instructional materials in braille or large print, as well as a one-to-one student-teacher relationship. For more information, visit www.yismehu.org, contact Joan Myles at (503) 391-7754, or e-mail her, director@yismehu.org.

Computer Training

Blind Access Training offers one-on-one training for blind or visually impaired individuals who are looking for training in the use of a screen reader, web design or Apple products.  Training is provided via Skype, or talking communities over the telephone, or in person, depending on the client's location.  For more information, visit www.BlindAccessTraining.com or call 1-877-774-7670 and press 1 to speak with Kimsan Song.

Seeking Materials for Students

I am an English teacher from Macedonia.  My students would welcome blindness-related items and materials like magazines and books in all formats, games and other useful learning materials and items. We are also starting an early childhood program in our school soon and items for this group of children would be also welcomed. My postal address is: Adrijana Prokopenko, bul. Jane Sandanski, 43. 5 / 6, 1000 – Skopje, Macedonia. My e-mail address is adrijana.prokopenko@gmail.com. Please write to me in braille, 2-track tape or by e-mail before sending anything to me.

Creative Hands Co-Op

The Creative Hands for the Blind/Multipurpose Cooperative Society is a group formed by the blind, visually impaired, and a few sighted members for the purpose of inclusion and integration in Nigeria as well as in the world as a whole. This two-year-old organization has received support from the United States African Development Fund to expand entrepreneurial and capacity-building ventures. The group currently produces nylon crafts such as bags, sandals, belts, purses, and palm slippers for men and women. The grant from USADF will also enhance braille and audio book production around the country. The group seeks opportunities to sell its crafts and production services to individuals and organizations in the U.S. To learn more about this project and its offerings, or to invite the group to showcase its crafts, call Mr. Samson Ogowewo at +2348051989995 or e-mail creativehandscooperative@yahoo.com.

Seeking Materials

The Louis Braille Memorial Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped in Bangladesh seeks donations of gently used books and magazines, including religious material in braille, large print, or regular print; white canes; braille embossers; computers; writing guides; talking and braille watches, and Perkins braillers. The library welcomes the donation of braille paper as well as educational materials and equipment. Send all items free matter for the blind to Plot # 11/1, Road # 06, Block # E, Mirpur-12, Dhaka-1216, Bangladesh. For more information, contact the library by e-mail using louisbraillememoriallibrary@gmail.com.

The Daily Connection

DailyConnection is a phone-based chat system which offers free chat rooms, audio books, bulletin boards, podcasts, voice mail, conferences and friendly conversation. Examples of the thematic chat rooms include Cara's Friday Morning Coffee Clutch; the Night Owl Room; Those Were the Days Room; and the hospitality room. Participants must be over age 18. To join this new community, call (231) 732-7141. DailyConnection is seeking hosts for additional chat rooms. Inquire about this paid opportunity by pressing 6 at the main menu and leaving a message for T.J., or by e-mailing DailyConnection@comcast.net.

Blindspace

Blindspace is a social network for the blind and visually impaired. With Blindspace, you get no struggle, no clogged news feeds, no "juggling," and best of all, no inaccessibility! And if you find something that isn't accessible, just let our support team know, and we will do our best to get it fixed!   You can make new friends and keep in touch with old ones, and much more. Membership is free; you get a customizable profile, customizable user/board settings, the ability to post messages in a shoutbox or on someone's profile, add friends, create foe list, chat and individual message, 24/7  access to our support team, and more. Visit Blindspace at www.blindspacecommunity.co.cc.

Gamers Wanted 

The Gamer's List is an e-mail discussion group for blind and visually impaired people to chat about accessible games. To subscribe to the list, send a blank e-mail to gamers-subscribe@topica.com. For questions about the list, contact Hunter Parker at hunter.parker61@gmail.com.

Special-Interest Websites

Tanis Hooker runs two web sites that may be of interest. The first, The Sports Zone, offers sports-related news, scores, and a blog at www.thesportszone.110mb.com. The second site is HT Zone. It includes podcasts of interviews, technology demonstrations, and more at www.htzone.110mb.com.

Blind Singles List

There is a new e-mail discussion list for single Christians who are blind, visually impaired, or sighted. The purpose of the list is to share devotions and prayers, while offering opportunity for fellowship and lasting friendships. To subscribe, send a blank e-mail to blind-christian-singles-subscribe@yahoogroups.com.

New Singles Group

Adrijana Prokopenko is considering starting a discussion group for heterosexual blind and visually impaired singles. If you would like to participate in such a group, e-mail her at adrijana.prokopenko@gmail.com. Please include some information about yourself, including gender, age, occupation, hobbies and interests.

Disabled Dating

Enablelove.com is a free dating site for people with different disabilities. It is blind-friendly. Visit www.enablelove.com to join.