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.
New Group in Garland
Peacemakers Club of Garland, Texas is a new meet-up group organized by Theresa Foredice. The group will be for learning new things like assistive technology, blindness resources, listening to speakers, dining out, concerts, movies, and anything else we can think of for fun!
There will be a meeting on March 17, 2016 at 7 p.m. at the Outback Steakhouse in Mesquite. The address is 3903 Towne Crossing Blvd, Mesquite, TX 75150; phone (972) 686-0555. I hope that the blind community will come out and celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with me! Come and bring a friend!
For more information, contact Theresa at (972) 802-7849, or e-mail[email protected].
New York State School Reunion
The Alumni Association of the New York State School for the Blind will hold its annual reunion from June 9-12 at the Clarion Hotel in Batavia. The Clarion is located at 8250 Park Rd., Batavia, NY 14020-1275; phone (585) 344-2100. Room rates are $87 for standard rooms and $107 for suites.
This year’s get-together will feature our second Braille and Large Print Read-a-Thon, a Jeopardy contest and our legendary banquet. You don’t want to miss our 2016 gathering!
To register, contact Chet Smalley, 541 W. Gore Rd., Erie, PA 16509-2329; phone (814) 866-3949. E-mail any registration-related questions to[email protected]. The registration deadline is May 1.
For more information about the alumni association, contact Diane Scalzi, 21621 Briarcliff St., Saint Clair Shores, MI 48082-1299; phone (586) 337-5226, or e-mail [email protected].
APH Has New President
The American Printing House for the Blind (APH) recently announced that Dr. Craig Meador would be its next president. A former teacher and educational leader for blind and visually impaired children, Craig has served as APH’s Vice President of Educational Services and Product Development since May 2015. Craig began as president on Jan. 1, succeeding Dr. Tuck Tinsley III, who is retiring after 27 years.
BANA Honors Darleen Bogart
The Braille Authority of North America (BANA) recently presented its Braille Excellence Award to Darleen Bogart.
The 2015 Braille Excellence Award is presented in recognition of Darleen’s enormous contribution, not only to BANA and to North America, but to braille in a wider, global sense over several decades. Her extraordinary service and quiet leadership have helped braille remain viable and reliable while she has also been a leader in moving it forward and expanding its availability worldwide.
Darleen is the longest-standing member of the BANA board and has served as its chair as well as the leader of numerous BANA committees. Darleen’s international contributions are vast, especially in the development of Unified English Braille (UEB). She was a member of the planning committee for the first two international meetings on English braille, 1982 and 1988, and served as host in Canada for the founding meeting of ICEB in 1991. Perhaps her most notable service has been her steadfast leadership as chair of the UEB Development Project from 1991 through its acceptance by ICEB in 2004.
BANA created its Braille Excellence Award in honor of Louis Braille’s 200th birthday and awarded it for the first time in 2009. The award recognizes people or organizations that have developed or contributed to a code, have developed code materials or software that supports codes, and/or who represent the highest standards of braille production.
Braille Pictured Greeting Cards
Shadows in the Dark offers a line of braille pictured greeting cards, as well as other braille services. As of Jan. 1, 2016, you can save an additional 20% off using the following discount code during checkout atwww.shadowsinthedark.com: 6ba9b7bb21.
Greeting cards include anniversary, birthday, Christmas, Easter, Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, get well, good luck, graduation, Halloween, Memorial Day, newborn, New Year’s, retirement, St. Patrick’s Day, sympathy, thank you, Thanksgiving, Valentine’s Day, and wedding. Braille playing cards are available for a multitude of games, including Phase 10, pinochle, bridge, Scrabble Slam!, Yahtzee, Uno, Skip Bo, and more.
The company also produces braille announcements, business cards, invitations, and playing cards, and has a wide variety of gift items for sale.
For more information, contact Shadows in the Dark, Attn: Philip W. Myers, 22627 Mathis Rd., San Antonio, TX 78264; phone (210) 376-0017; e-mail[email protected], or visit the web site mentioned above.
MagWin Screen Reader
MagWin is an affordable, portable screen magnifier and reader. Available on a thumb drive, it is completely mobile. If you would like to be a beta tester, and get some extra beta program perks, send an e-mail to [email protected]. This version features a new user interface, increased performance, and compatibility with Windows 10. For more information, visitwww.getmagwin.com/.
F123 Access: A New Tool for Web Accessibility
F123 Access is a software program that reformats web pages to make them more accessible and convenient for people who are blind who use screen-reading software. It is a Mozilla Firefox extension that can correct accessibility problems. Instead of making the accessibility corrections on the server, the fixes are made on your computer. F123 Access can correct a number of HTML mistakes automatically.
F123 Access is free. In addition to the automatic fixes available for the web in general, there are also reformatted versions of WhatsApp, Facebook, and YouTube. For more information, visit https://F123Access.com/intro_en.
Georgia Teen Wins National Award
Evan Barnard, age 17, of Johns Creek, Ga., has been named a national winner of the 2015 Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes. Each year, the Barron Prize celebrates 25 inspiring, public-spirited young people from across North America who have made a significant positive difference to people and our planet.
Barnard has created braille nature trails to improve access to the outdoors for adults and children who are visually impaired. His trails include guide ropes and braille signage. Evan began his work five years ago, when he joined forces with the Nature Conservancy to repair a vandalized braille trail in Rome, Ga.
After leading a trail walk for members of the Georgia Council of the Blind, he realized that walking outdoors on a trail was a special and rare experience for them, and resolved to build more braille trails. He arranged for donated materials and rallied support from a cadre of volunteers, including dozens from his high school and from Home Depot. He also asked members of the Georgia Council of the Blind to help with trail design. He recently completed a second braille trail in Buford, Ga.