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.
NLS 2013 Collection Development Summary
NLS patrons primed the collection development advisory committee with long lists of books and authors they wanted more of. Staff promised to be attentive to these lists when possible and has already provided a birdsong tutor and “Middlemarch.” Use of single cartridges for series books, particularly in the children’s area or where the series is clearly finished, will be expanded.
An in-house committee of NLS will look at the magazine program in 2014. “Wired” magazine has been added, and the young adult magazine of the quarter program has ceased. Stay tuned for more changes!
In the youth area, NLS will look at more emphasis on providing award-winning books and those used in national summer reading programs.
The possibility of network libraries adding their home-grown collections of digital books to BARD is being rolled out. A small number of classic narrators’ readings of books will be digitized and added to BARD, like Alexander Scourby’s reading of “Charlotte’s Web.”
You may have already noticed a few changes to “Talking Book Topics” and “Braille Book Review,” including: use of abbreviations like “v” for violence in annotations, axing the author and title indexes in each issue and topic headings within sections.
NLS will hire a braille program specialist to look at issues like tactile maps, reference works production and adding some short selections in uncontracted braille for adult braille learners. Careful re-evaluation of braille selection criteria is under way.
A new enhanced search engine for BARD is due out near the end of fiscal year 2014. Some introductory foreign language learning books will be coming soon. NLS invites consumer input; it should be channeled through your network library.
‘12 Steps to Living with Low Vision’
Every year, tens of thousands of Americans experience some degree of vision loss, leaving many wondering how to adjust and proceed with their lives. A new book, “12 Steps to Living with Low Vision,” by ACB member Elena Thomason, promises to be a valuable resource not only for the individual dealing with a vision loss, but also for family members and loved ones.
The 12 steps cover the full range of concerns and questions that can arise from a vision loss, including gaining an understanding of the changes in one’s vision, communicating with doctors, and making changes to one’s personal environment. There are also steps dealing with transportation, adaptive devices, living independently and how to get one’s family involved. The book wraps up with steps on being fully involved in the community, and includes a list of national resources.
For more information, contact [email protected].
Frozen Meals, Frogs and More!
“Healthy Frozen Meals: Cooking Directions & Nutritional Values” is now available in braille, e-braille, and via download from National Braille Press. The average American eats six convenience foods daily, so it's critical to know which bites are the healthiest for you and your family. NBP has tested and brailled 30 of the healthiest meal choices from Lean Cuisine, Healthy Choice, Amy's, and Weight Watchers' Smart Ones. It includes microwave and oven directions as well as nutritional values. To learn more, visitwww.nbp.org/ic/nbp/FROZENMEALS.htm, or call 1-800-548-7323.
NBP also has “Froggy’s Day with Dad” available in contracted braille for ages 2 and up. It’s all about Froggy and his dad, and the time they spend together one Father’s Day playing miniature golf. Froggy learns that mini golf is fun – once he figures out how to face the right way. He even shoots a hole in one! Unfortunately, his next shot hits his dad on the head. All ends well when Froggy presents his dad with a coffee mug he decorated in school: To the Best Dad I Ever Had!
The book includes a 3-page guide on introducing your blind child to miniature golf.
To read more about this book online, visit www.nbp.org/ic/nbp/BC1405-FROGDAD.html. For more information, contact National Braille Press at 1-800-548-7323.
Seeking Camp Bloomfield Alumni
Walter Chavira is looking for alumni from Camp Bloomfield from 1965 through 1973. Contact Walter via e-mail, [email protected].
BrightFocus Monthly Chats
BrightFocus Foundation is a non-profit organization supporting research and providing public education to help eradicate brain and eye diseases, including Alzheimer's disease, macular degeneration, and glaucoma. We are working to save mind and sight.
Our latest resource, BrightFocus Chats, is a free monthly telephone discussion on macular degeneration and low vision. For more information about these discussions, visit
Visitors can also hear previous chats in a number of ways:
- Listen to archived versions online (or read the transcripts):https://www.brightfocus.org/news/multimedia?type=audio&field_disease_tid=All
- Listen to archived versions via the telephone at (773) 572-3164. (Long-distance charges apply.)
Honored for Changing the World
Two 13-year-old girls – Lillian Pravda and Maria Keller – were honored in March with an award for “Most Outstanding Service by an Individual 25 Years or Under” at The Jefferson Awards, America’s most prestigious honor for public service.
Lillian Pravda’s non-profit, Vision for and from Children, has donated more than 24,100 eye surgeries globally. Lillian Pravda was born blind. Through multiple surgeries, she received the gift of sight. At age 9, Lillian dedicated herself to providing that gift of sight to children who otherwise could not afford surgeries. By age 13, she and her non-profit have gotten over 24,100 surgeries donated.
Maria Keller’s non-profit, Read Indeed, has donated more than 1 million books to under-privileged children. She wants to make the world a better place, one book at a time. Maria began Read Indeed when she was 8 years old. Her goal was to distribute 1 million books to kids in need by the time she was 18. She accomplished this goal by age 13. Now she wants to distribute books to all 50 states in the U.S. and every country in the world.
Little League Challenger Division Celebrates 25 Years
In 2014, the Little League Challenger Division is celebrating its 25th anniversary, and Little League celebrates its 75th anniversary. The Challenger Division was founded on June 13, 1989. In addition to the many exciting initiatives honoring Little League’s diamond anniversary, the Challenger Division is commemorating its silver anniversary by recognizing its founding while looking toward the future.
During the first year of the Challenger Division, Ed Beardsley, a Little League volunteer at Edgewood Little League in Connecticut and member of the committee that created the Challenger Division, organized a Challenger Fun Day (now named the Ed Beardsley Challenger Fun Day to remember Beardsley’s commitment to the program). Bringing together children with developmental and physical challenges from communities throughout Connecticut for games and activities, the Challenger Fun Day served as a model for future Jamborees. Today, thousands of Challenger Division players get a chance to come together at Jamborees, including at the Jake Hardison Memorial Challenger Jamboree, held every year in Norfolk, Va. Twenty-five Challenger Jamborees will be held throughout the United States and Canada this year.
In April 2014, at the 26th Little League International Congress, the delegates enacted the creation of the Senior League Challenger Division. This will give the opportunity for leagues to create a program for adults over the age of 18 to continue to play in the Challenger Division. Boys and girls ages 4 to 18, or enrolled in school until 21, will be able to continue to play in the Little League Challenger Division, and, where available, those 15- to 18-year-olds will have the option to play in the division best suited for their needs.
Also at that congress, delegates passed a new rule that allows those eligible to play in the Little League Challenger Division who don’t have a program within their home or school boundaries to register for a league within their district or nearby district.
Since 2001, the Garth Brooks Teammate for Kids Foundation (TFK) has provided considerable support for the Little League Challenger Division. This year, to honor the 75th anniversary of Little League and the greater Williamsport, Pa., community, TFK granted Little League $25,000 to provide financial assistance to Challenger Division programs in Pennsylvania District 12 (Lycoming and Sullivan Counties) to attend the Jake Hardison Memorial Challenger Jamboree. This is in addition to a $150,000 grant from TFK to Little League to support Susquehanna Health System’s creation of a Little League Kids Zone in the Hospitality Inn at Williamsport Region Medical Center.
Acrobat HD-mini is a portable, battery-operated electronic magnifier that lets you see near, far, and in between. The high definition gives you a clear picture on a 13.3” screen. The camera’s auto focus allows objects to be magnified at any distance, and the camera settings are saved for each view. It magnifies from 1.3x to 65x, is compatible with a computer, and is small enough to fit on a table or desk. The device comes with a 2-year warranty. For more information, call 1-888-811-3161, or visit www.enhancedvision.com, and mention promo code 110.
New Audio Game Coming
The first edition of “Inquisitor’s Heartbeat,” the new audio game developed by Rising Pixel and published by TiconBlu, is now available. You can explore up to 35 audio scenarios, search, escape, run away and avoid being discovered by the sentinels … or something even worse than that. The Italian version was released May 23rd; English versions came out in mid-June. Visitwww.audiogame.it for all the latest updates, and to join the mailing list.
Perkins Products Lauded as Business Innovator
Perkins Products received the 2014 New England Innovation Award from the Smaller Business Association of New England (SBANE) on May 7. The honor recognized Perkins Products as a transformative leader in the field, producing innovative technology and accessible products for customers who are blind or visually impaired worldwide.
SBANE received more than 200 nominations for the prestigious awards, and judges selected Perkins Products as the winner in the not-for-profit category.
2014 Carroll Society Awards
The 30th annual Carroll Society Awards, sponsored by The Carroll Center for the Blind and the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind, have recently been announced. The 2014 Blind Employee of the Year Award was given to Michael Cataruzolo, Volunteer Services Program Coordinator, Perkins School for the Blind. In addition, four individuals will be inducted into The Carroll Society: Henry Apfelbaum, Research Associate, Schepens Eye Research Institute; Pamala Fernandez, Cycling Camp Coordinator, United States Association of Blind Athletes; Otoniel Orozco, Reservation Agent, MWRTA The Ride; and Jason Wallenstein, IT Technician, TJX.
Brailler Repair Service
Leonard Kokel’s Certified Braille Service provides general service, minor and major repairs on Perkins Braillers. He also has reconditioned Perkins Braillers available. For more information, contact Leonard at (541) 888-0846 or e-mail[email protected].
Blind Association Needs Help
The Bertemiouse Blind Christian Association works to help more than 700 blind men and women. But it needs your help. Do you have any of the following materials: braille Thermoform machine, a newer version of JAWS, slates and styli, canes, braille paper, braille-and-print embossers, computers (desktop or laptop), or CD duplicators? If so, please contact Tafesse Negash at (717) 688-3045, or e-mail [email protected].