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 E-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.
Breast Cancer Awareness Month
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. On the first Tuesday of each month the ACB Women’s Concerns Committee hosts a conference call support group meeting for women who have been diagnosed with or who are survivors of breast cancer. The meeting allows women to talk about their concerns and questions in a caring and sharing environment. The calls begin at 8 p.m. Eastern time and last for approximately 90 minutes. For more information, contact Lori Scharff at [email protected] or (516) 887-1336, or Linda Porelle at [email protected] or (415) 586-2622.
Get ‘Em While They Last!
National Braille Press is clearing out its Primary Phonics books for ages 4-7. The books are in large print, uncontracted braille, and contracted braille, all on the same page! Each set contains 10 illustrated storybooks in a carrying case. These books, published by Educators Publishing Service, have provided the first reading experience for millions of students.
Set One is already sold out. Set Two covers vowel digraphs (ie, oe, ee, oa, ai, ea); long vowels with silent-e; and sight words. Set Three goes over initial consonant blends; final consonant blends; compound words; two-syllable words; twin consonants; consonant digraph ck; consonant x; sight words; and plural -s. Set Four covers controlled vowels; initial consonant blends; final consonant blends; consonant digraphs (sh, ch, wh, th); vowel digraphs (ie, oe, ee, oa, ai, ea, ee); silent-e; sight words; short vowel sounds; and using phonics to read decodable, connected text.
Get a set while supplies last!
NBP also has available “The Other Way to Listen” by Byrd Baylor and Peter Parnall. It is a print/braille edition, with the braille being in contracted form, for ages 5 to 9.
When you know “the other way to listen,” you can hear wildflower seeds bursting open. You can hear rocks murmuring and hills singing, and it seems like the most natural thing in the world. It takes a lot of practice, and you can’t be in a hurry.
For more information about this book, visit www.nbp.org/ic/nbp/BC1408-LISTEN.html, or call 1-800-548-7323 or (617) 266-6160 ext. 520. To view all of NBP’s offerings, visit https://www.nbp.org/ic/nbp/publications
Job Opening at HIMS
HIMS Inc. is looking for an inside sales/customer service representative for its braille products. Candidates should be high-energy, well-organized, capable of multi-tasking, and possess a strong work ethic. The position is based at HIMS Inc. in Austin, Tex.
Duties and responsibilities include providing pre- and post-sales customer service to dealers, new and current customers; providing company and product information that qualifies customers for products; responding to incoming sales department e-mails, providing price quotations, referring customers to appropriate dealers, etc.; assisting in identifying shipping priorities based on dealer and customer calls and e-mails; reporting customer contact information to the marketing department; providing content for the dealer newsletter, web site changes and content, product brochures, and similar marketing materials; identifying and communicating customer sales and marketing opportunities, and customer feedback and concerns to the management team; and writing a daily customer service report. Responsibilities also include occasional travel to attend national and regional industry conferences to staff exhibit booth or travel with dealers to visit accounts; initiating calls and e-mails to K-12 schools, colleges and universities, departments of rehabilitation, Veterans Administration and other federal government agencies, non-profit service and support organizations, etc.; assisting the sales management team to contact prospective demonstration sites, client referral agencies, potential resellers, and set up appointments for their nationwide travel schedule; calling and e-mailing to help launch new products with promotional campaigns to key accounts nationwide; and helping train dealers and resellers on new and current products, features and options. New responsibilities will be added as the market develops and company grows.
Requirements: Applicants must have 3 to 5 years of work experience in inside sales and customer service, call center or related experience providing telephone and e-mail pre- and post-sales service and support; experience selling to and supporting K-12 schools, and state and federal government agencies desired. Experience with educational, medical or computer products a plus. Candidates must have excellent professional and friendly customer service telephone skills, as well as effective verbal and written communication skills to speak with and e-mail dealers and customers. Must have knowledge of Microsoft Word, Excel, and Outlook. AA degree, BA/BS degree preferred.
To apply, send your resume to [email protected].
Florida Hospital Uses Talking Menus to Aid Visually Impaired
South Miami Hospital is conducting a pilot program that provides patients with a hand-held wireless device that enables them to order meals in English, Spanish or French developed by a Florida technology company, Taylannas, Inc. (Visit www.taylannas.com for more information.) The unit speaks to patients and displays text in their chosen language and is designed to serve visually impaired, elderly, and non-English-speaking patients.
For hospitals, the use of a talking menu reduces printing expenses and staff costs. The pioneering technology developed with the advice of dietary management at South Miami Hospital also allows for nearly instant changes in menu content and can provide dieticians with greater control to fine-tune each patient’s nutrition.
Welch Allyn Showcases New Screening Devices
Welch Allyn, Inc. showcased two handheld screening instruments that help promote early detection of vision and hearing problems at the National Association of Community Health Centers' (NACHC) 2014 Community Health Institute and Expo in San Diego.
The Welch Allyn Spot Vision Screener is a new generation of user-friendly vision assessment technology. Spot is a fast, portable, easy-to-use binocular vision screener with wireless communication capabilities designed to screen for refractive error which can be associated with several eye conditions.
The Welch Allyn OAE Hearing Screener is a portable, handheld device that delivers sounds into a child's ear canal and measures the otoacoustic emission (OAE) response produced by outer hair cells in the cochlea. It is designed to detect hearing loss in newborns, infants, toddlers, preschool and school-age children. It does not require patient response. The device features Bluetooth® connectivity that enables automated patient data transfer to data management software.
1Touch Self-Defense Project for the Blind
Have you heard of the 1Touch Self-Defense Project for the Blind? The program was designed for the blind but has proven accessible and beneficial for numerous demographics: deaf, deaf-blind, children, seniors, veterans and people who are multi-disabled.
Others taking the training include martial artists, cops, aerobics instructors, assistant professors, graduate students, human resource assistants, and individuals just interested in self-defense or teaching. The program is not limited in scope. There are many benefits beyond safety that come from the program: greater communication skills, increased confidence and independence, spatial awareness and O&M skills, just to name a few.
For more information, send an e-mail message to [email protected].
Ski for Light to Celebrate 40th Anniversary
The 2015 Ski For Light International week will be held in Granby, Colo. from Sunday, Jan. 25 through Sunday, Feb. 1, 2015. Join over 200 active blind and sighted adults from across the U.S. and around the world.
Participants will stay at The Inn at Silver Creek and ski at nearby Snow Mountain Ranch. The Inn at Silver Creek has more than 200 rooms, an indoor/outdoor swimming pool, both indoor and outdoor hot tubs, and plenty of convention and meeting space. Snow Mountain Ranch, near Winter Park and part of the YMCA of the Rockies, has 100 kilometers of wonderfully groomed trails.
The total cost of the week per person is $850 for triple occupancy, $900 for double occupancy or $1,225 for single occupancy. This includes room and all meals for the entire week, round-trip transportation between the Denver airport and the Inn at Silver Creek, all trail fees, and all afternoon and evening activities. Skis, boots, and poles will be provided free of charge to first-time blind/visually impaired participants. Partial stipends based on financial need are available for guides and first-time and second-time participants.
Applications are due Nov. 1, 2014. Those who apply after Nov. 1 will be accepted only if space permits, with priority given to first-time applicants. For more information, and to submit your application, visit www.sfl.org. If you do not have web access, or need more information, contact Bob Hartt at (703) 845-3436 or via e-mail, [email protected].
Free Music Education Manuals to Visually Impaired Children in NYC
The Melador Book Publishers commends Mayor de Blasio, Chancellor Fariña and Comptroller Stringer on their initiative of July 1st, “New Arts Programs for Thousands of Students,” with an infusion of $23 million.
In support of this initiative, Romanian-born Juilliard graduate David Livianu is offering 2 music educational manuals to every child in the New York City school system, with a special focus on visually impaired children. The 2 manuals are available in printable PDF format: Lesson 1 of 32 (volume 1) “i-Learn Perfect Pitch with Solfege in The Do-C Major Scale” (for beginners, with names of notes written under the music), 76 pages; and Lesson 1 of 32 (volume 2) “i-Learn To Sight-Sing with Solfege in The Do-C Major Scale” (for beginners, with names of notes written under the music), 108 pages. Livianu’s work can be reviewed at www.youtube.com/iLearnMusic4Free. For a copy of the 2 manuals, send a request to [email protected].
Maps of Michigan
The Princeton Braillists recently released “Maps of Michigan,” a single volume including an overview of the state followed by individual maps showing cities, rivers, counties, highways, farm and mineral products, and climate. A more detailed map shows the vicinity of Detroit. The book includes 15 maps, 41 pages total. Shipping by free mail where eligible. For more information, write to The Princeton Braillists, 76 Leabrook Ln., Princeton, N.J. 08540, phone (609) 924-5207, or visit https://www.nbp.org/ic/nbp/publications/maps.html.