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 [email protected], 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.
McNeil Consumer Healthcare Division of McNEIL-PPC, Inc., the makers of TYLENOL®, just opened its 24th annual TYLENOL® Future Care Scholarship program.
The 2014 TYLENOL® Future Care Scholarship program will award a total of $250,000 in scholarship funds to 40 undergraduate or graduate students pursuing an education in healthcare. Scholarship recipients will receive awards of $5,000 or $10,000 to help them manage the rising costs of education and be poised to enter dynamic and compelling occupations as nurse practitioners, pharmacists, dentists or family doctors.
Winners will be selected based on their leadership qualities, academic performance, and community involvement. To be eligible, students must have completed at least one year of undergraduate or graduate study by the spring of 2014 at an accredited two- or four-year college, university, or vocational/technical school.
Applications are available online at www.Tylenol.com/Scholarship, and must be received by June 30, 2014. Decisions will be made in July, and awards will be distributed to selected students in August 2014.
There’s more good news! This year, in addition to the Future Care Scholarship, the makers of TYLENOL® have partnered with Rite Aid to give students pursuing a college degree the chance to win a $500 gift card to put toward textbooks for the upcoming semester. One winner will be randomly selected each day in June, beginning June 2nd. For more information, visit www.riteaid.com/tylenolbooks.
Searchable Jobs Board
Enable America has launched a new dynamic and searchable online jobs board: EnableAmerica.jobs. This web site provides the latest information on more than a million job opportunities from employers nationwide that are committed to building diversity in their workplace by including people with disabilities, disabled veterans and wounded warriors. New features allow users to easily tailor their search to occupation, location, and company, making the site a powerful tool for job seekers. Companies that have joined Enable America as employment partners include Eaton Corporation, Price Waterhouse Coopers, Lenovo, Duke Energy, Northwestern Mutual, EDM Americas, Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina, and VASTEC.
New Faces on the Access Board
The U.S. Access Board unanimously elected Michael K. Yudin of the U.S. Department of Education as its new chair on March 12. As Acting Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, Yudin serves as the Secretary of Education's principal adviser on special education, vocational rehabilitation, and disability and rehabilitation research.
Sachin Dev Pavithran was elected vice chair of the board. Pavithran, from Logan, Utah, is program director of the Utah Assistive Technology Program at Utah State University's Center for Persons with Disabilities. Previously, he served in a variety of other roles at the center, including program coordinator and disability policy analyst.
President Barack Obama named Patrick D. Cannon to the U.S. Access Board and reappointed board members Howard A. Rosenblum and Deborah A. Ryan.
Patrick Cannon, of Lansing, Mich., was director of the Michigan Commission for the Blind from 1997 to 2012. He was also president of the National Council of State Agencies for the Blind and served as director of the Michigan Commission on Disability Concerns for 10 years. Cannon previously served as a member of the Access Board from 1995 to 2003, including a term as its chair.
Howard Rosenblum, who joined the board in 2010, is chief executive officer of the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) in Silver Spring, Md. Previously, he was an attorney at Equip for Equality, the designated protection and advocacy entity in Illinois, from 2002 to 2011. Rosenblum is the co-founder and former chairman of the Midwest Center on Law.
Deborah Ryan of Boston, who was first appointed to the board by President Obama in 2011, is the founder and director of Deborah A. Ryan & Associates, a consulting firm specializing in ensuring compliance with state and federal accessibility requirements. Before creating her firm in 2002, Ryan served for over 25 years at the Massachusetts Architectural Access Board, including 15 years as its executive director. The MAAB develops and enforces state requirements for accessible buildings and facilities. She is also a member of the Boston Society of Architects Access Committee.
AccessaMed Prescription Labeling
In 2011, AccessaMed created the Digital Audio Label, which gives blind and visually impaired people and senior citizens the information they need: which medication they are taking and the dosage. The Digital Audio Label is a 2” tall by 1” wide device that permanently adheres to prescription bottles or packages. By pressing the button on the label, the embedded speaker provides a clear verbal description of the prescription details as prepared by the pharmacist, up to 400 times. For more information, visit www.accessamed.com, call (360) 696-5955, or e-mail [email protected].
America’s Long-Term Care Crisis
In the next two decades, an aging population, fewer family caregivers, increasingly limited personal financial resources, and growing strains on federal, state, and family budgets will create an unsustainable demand for long-term care. Over the past 20 years, policy makers have debated different solutions, but have failed to reach consensus on a sustainable means of financing and delivering long-term services and supports (LTSS). Failure to find that consensus well before the baby boom generation begins to need long-term services and supports will strain our long-term care safety-net to the breaking point. The Bipartisan Policy Center’s (BPC) Health Project announced today a new initiative to find a politically viable and fiscally sustainable path forward to improve the financing and delivery of LTSS for America’s aging population and working-age Americans with disabilities.
BPC’s new Long-Term Care Initiative (LTCI) is led by former Senate Majority Leaders Tom Daschle and Bill Frist, former White House and Congressional Budget Office Director Dr. Alice Rivlin and newly appointed BPC Senior Fellow and former Secretary of Health and Human Services Tommy Thompson.
The co-chairs of the new initiative released a white paper, “America’s Long-Term Care Crisis: Challenges in Financing and Delivery.” The paper identifies the major challenges to the financing and delivery of long-term services and supports for seniors and individuals with disabilities under 65, including:
- The population needing long-term care is expected to double between now and 2050.
- Significant diversity in populations will need long-term care and will require a wide range of assistance and types of services.
- Medicaid, a safety net program, covers the cost of the majority of paid LTSS, at well over $100 billion annually. As the baby boom generation ages, this amount is projected to grow rapidly at a time when federal and state budgets will be stretched.
- Limited options are available for individuals and families seeking to prepare for potential LTSS costs, and the private long-term care insurance market remains small relative to public programs as a source of LTSS financing.
The BPC initiative will work to find a policy pathway that addresses the nation’s current and projected need for long-term care. It will focus on integrating and emphasizing the role of long-term care within organized systems of care delivery and payment, and exploring sustainable approaches for financing at the individual, family, state, and national levels. A final report of LTCI policy recommendations, accompanied by a quantitative analysis of budget and distributional impacts, will be released later this year.
Perkins CEO Named
Perkins recently announced that Dave Power of Newton has been selected as its chief executive officer and president. As a successful operating executive and business strategist for more than 25 years, and the founder and current president of Power Strategy, Inc., Dave brings an informed viewpoint and innovative approach that will take Perkins and its various business ventures to the next level.
He will oversee all five divisions of Perkins' – Perkins School for the Blind, Perkins Products, Perkins Library, Perkins International and Perkins eLearning. He will work with educational leader Dorinda Rife to promote the mission of Perkins School for the Blind while also finding ways to improve what we do across all areas and target new populations who need our services.
New Dean of Research at Salus University
Dr. Mitchell Scheiman has been named interim dean of research at Salus University. Scheiman has served as the associate dean of clinical research and director of the university’s Pennsylvania College of Optometry Pediatric/Binocular Vision programs. He has been recognized nationally for his leadership in binocular vision.
NCOD Thanks Claudia Gordon
The National Council on Disability (NCD) thanks Claudia Gordon, Esq., for her service as the White House's Public Engagement Advisor for the Disability Community in the Office of Public Engagement. Gordon served in the position from July 2013 until March 28th, 2014. Gordon is returning to the Department of Labor, where she'll resume her role as special assistant to the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs Director Patricia A. Shiu.
Wounded Warrior Program Celebrates 10 Years
The U.S. Army Wounded Warrior Program (AW2) celebrated its 10th anniversary in April. Established in 2004 as the Disabled Soldier Support System (DS3), AW2 plays a strategic and tactical role in executing the Army’s Warrior Care and Transition Program (WCTP) under the Warrior Transition Command (WTC). The AW2 model of personalized support extends through a corps of more than 200 AW2 advocates at Army and Veterans Affairs facilities throughout the country. The advocates work with each soldier to anticipate challenges, identify programs and benefits and ensure continuity of care throughout the recovery and transition process.
Key milestones in AW2’s history include:
- April 2004: Established the Disabled Soldier Support System (DS3)
- November 2005: Name changed to U.S. Army Wounded Warrior Program (AW2)
- June 2006: First AW2 Symposium. The seven total symposiums resulted in real change (i.e., VA Caregiver Stipend, expanded TSGLI coverage, financial counseling for AW2 soldiers, Special Compensation for Assistance with Activities of Daily Living)
- April 2007: Warrior Transition Units established
- November 2008: Assumed Recovery Coordination Program mission for Army
- April 2009: Moved under U.S. Army Medical Command (MEDCOM)
- September 2009: Established AW2 Community Support Network (now WTC Community Support Network with 300 organizations)
- October 2009: Warrior Transition Command (WTC) established and AW2 integrated into WTC structure
- February 2011: Wounded Warrior Federal Employment Conference
- February 2012: Wounded Warrior Employment Conference (expanded to include private sector employers)
- 2013: Conducted online symposium to gather feedback on improving warrior care from soldiers and families
- 2014: Regional staff trainings (planned) on resilience, lessons learned, VA integration and continuity of services
Today, the WCTP provides personalized support to more than 24,000 soldiers and veterans throughout the recovery and transition process.
Do you feel lucky? If so, the Governor Morehead School Alumni Association’s Lucky 365 fundraiser is right up your alley! Proceeds from this endeavor will help the alumni association continue funding awards and scholarships, education and technology, and the Envisioning Youth Empowerment (EYE) retreat programs. First prize is $1,000; second prize, $500; and third prize, $250.
If you’d like to get a ticket, or several, contact Lawrence Carter, (919) 856-0034; Douglas Davis, (202) 744-4666; Fred McEachern, (919) 821-4808; or Ricky Scott, (919) 673-8300.
You do not need to be present to win. The drawing will be held on Saturday, Aug. 2, 2014 at the alumni luncheon.
Science Sense Tours
New York's Museum of Natural History offers Science Sense tours to visitors who are blind or partially sighted. Specially trained tour guides highlight specific themes and exhibition halls, engaging participants through extensive verbal descriptions and touchable objects. Science Sense tours are available to individuals or groups, and are free with museum admission. Space is limited; 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 [email protected].
Wednesday, July 16th, 2:30 p.m.: Mexico and Central America. Explore the cultures of the Olmec, Aztec and Maya. Discover their beliefs, gods, and myths in the Hall of Mexico and Central America.
Saturday, August 16, 10 a.m.: The Changing Seasons. Learn what causes weather, the change of seasons and its impact on different areas of North America in the The David S. and Ruth L. Gottesman Hall of Planet Earth, The Hall of North American Forests, and the Bernard Family Hall of North American Mammals.
Getting Started with the iPhone
"Getting Started with the iPhone and iOS 7: An Introduction for Blind Users" by Anna Dresner is available from National Braille Press in braille, e-braille (BRF), Word, and DAISY formats. If you like step-by-step tutorials, you'll appreciate the detailed way in which you're guided through setting up your phone, loading and backing up music, contacts, etc., using the built-in apps, and buying more. If you prefer to look up the commands you need, check out appendix 1, which lists every gesture and button on the phone in an organized manner so you can find the one you need. Other appendices include troubleshooting tips and a list of resources to help you learn more. Most of the book is also relevant for iPod Touch users. (iPad screen layouts, on the other hand, are different enough that many of the details described will not apply.)
Want to learn more? Visit www.nbp.org/ic/nbp/IPHONE-IOS7.html to preview the table of contents. Or write to NBP, 88 St. Stephen St., Boston, MA 02115-4302, or call toll-free, 1-800-548-7323.
OnlineCourses.com offers free online courses on the web to any devices of the users’ choice. The site is developed to be optimized for mobile devices, which will allow users to take courses anywhere. Students can explore the courses, create unique programs and track their progress. The site feature courses from institutions such as Yale, MIT, Stanford, and Harvard. For more information, visit www.onlinecourses.com, or send an e-mail message to [email protected].
Newsreel Magazine is a two-way audio magazine by and for the blind and visually impaired. Subscribers share ways to make daily living skills much easier without vision. For a free three-month introductory subscription, or for more information, contact Newsreel at (614) 469-0700 or toll-free, 1-888-723-8737, or e-mail [email protected]. Newsreel Magazine is available in 4-track cassette, MP3 CD and MP3 download.
Are your brailler keys sluggish or sticking? Does it need a tune-up? Bring your brailler back to life! The Selective Doctor, Inc. specializes in the repair of Perkins braillers. Send your brailler to The Selective Doctor, Inc., PO Box 571, Manchester, MD 21102 via U.S. mail. The company accepts free matter shipping. Be sure to insure your brailler! If you need more information, call the company at (410) 668-1143 or e-mail [email protected]. Or you may check the web site, www.selectivedoctor.com.