Letter to the Editor

The contents of this column reflect the letters we had received by the time we went to press, Aug. 6, 2014.  Letters are limited to 300 words or fewer.  All submissions must include the author's name and location.  Opinions expressed are those of the authors.
 
Matilda Ziegler Magazine Discontinued
 
Editor’s Note: We received the following letter at the office, after receiving many questions from Ziegler readers. We hope it answers your questions.
 
July 25, 2014
 
As you are aware, the Matilda Ziegler Magazine for the Blind has been suspended for the past several months pending a review by the board of directors of The E. Matilda Ziegler Foundation for the Blind. Considerable time was spent evaluating its substance, breadth of distribution, and readers' responses.
 
With heavy heart, the directors voted to discontinue the weekly magazine and use the foundation's resources solely for scientific research through grants to highly innovative medical researchers who are making important advances in vision research.
 
We've come a long way from when my great-grandmother, Electa Matilda Ziegler, founded the magazine in 1907 with the goal of producing reading material for the blind "as much as possible like that published for the seeing."  Raised-type books of the era were expensive, and the freely circulated magazine helped to fill an information void.
 
Today's blind and those with visual impairment can obtain books and magazines in braille, on cassette, and on a cartridge from the National Library Service. Radio, television, Internet, and commercially produced audio books have all become accessible, and provide resources that could not have been imagined in 1907.
 
Your emails and letters show that we've touched the lives of thousands of blind and vision impaired people. The Matilda Ziegler Magazine for the Blind was once described by Helen Keller as a "godsend," and Mark Twain described it as "one of the noblest benefactions of his lifetime." We hope to realize a medical breakthrough that will be worthy of the same praise.
 
On behalf of the E. Matilda Ziegler Foundation Board, I sincerely thank you for your loyal readership over our many years.
 
Cynthia Ziegler Brighton
President