edited by Sue Lichtenfels
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 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 York State School Reunion
Anyone who attended classes at the New York State School for the Blind is invited to join the alumni association for its annual reunion June 10-12. The reunion will take place in Batavia, N.Y. For additional details, contact John Harden by e-mail, [email protected], or by visiting www.p12.nysed.gov/specialed/nyssb/alumni.html.
Call for Nominations
National Braille Press is seeking nominations for the 2011 Touch of Genius Prize for Innovation. The award honors efforts to promote tactile literacy through the invention of new technology, the creation of unique teaching methods, or the development of an innovative product. This year's Touch of Genius recipient will win $20,000. Nominations are due by Sept. 1. More information and a list of past winners are available at www.touchofgeniusprize.org.
Come and join a number of ACB members on a cruise to Alaska. We still have some space available! The Alaska cruise will depart from Seattle on Sept. 6 and return Sept. 13; the ship is the Carnival Spirit. You will cruise Tracy Arm Fjord and visit the ports of Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan, and Victoria, British Columbia. Rates include the 7-day cruise, port charges, taxes, and gratuities. For more information, call Dave Kronk at (618) 409-0143 or e-mail him at [email protected].
Braille Air Conditioner
Just in time for summer, Haier America offers the braille MagnaClik remote control air conditioner with several models. The buttons on this remote control are labeled in braille. This remote also features a magnet which can attach it to any metal surface. Visit the Haier America web site at www.haier.com to learn which models offer this accessible remote.
Oral Hull Summer Camps
The Oral Hull Foundation is a camp for the blind located in the foothills of Mt. Hood, Ore. With average summer temperatures in the 80s, the park offers a variety of relaxing activities and outdoor adventures. Openings are still available for several of its summer sessions: Session 2, Adult Adventure II, July 25-31; Session 3, Friends and Alumni, Aug. 5-11; Session 4, Moderate Adventure Camp, Aug. 15-22; and Session 5, Family Camp, Aug. 25-28. Prices vary for each session but some financial assistance is available for Oregon residents. For an application, visit www.oralhull.org, e-mail [email protected], or call (503) 668-6195.
Mississippi State University's Research and Training Center on Blindness and Low Vision (MSU-RTC), is seeking either a Ph.D. graduate student or a post-doctoral candidate for the position of Anne Sullivan Macy Scholar beginning in the fall of 2011 or spring of 2012. While blind or visually impaired candidates are preferred, individuals with sight who have extensive experience in the blindness field should apply. Candidates must have or be pursuing their Ph.D. in one of the social science fields. The position includes salary, benefits, and tuition waiver. The scholar will participate in ongoing applied research, will have opportunities to participate in knowledge translation activities with organizations of and for the blind, and will attend training conferences. To learn more, or to apply for the position, visit www.blind.msstate.edu. Interested applicants are encouraged to contact Dr. Michele C. McDonnall, MSU-RTC Interim Director, at (662) 325-2001 or via e-mail at [email protected].
Accessibility Agreement in Eye Care
A new agreement between the Equal Rights Center and Eye Care Centers of America (ECCA) aims to insure people with disabilities have access to optometric services at the more than 500 ECCA sites across the country. As part of the agreement, the ECCA will remove all physical barriers to its locations, install more accessible eye exam equipment, provide more accessible exam rooms, and offer disability awareness training to its staff. For more information on the Equal Rights Center's work, visit www.equalrightscenter.org.
Free Fire Safty Publication
"Home Fire Safety for People Who Are Blind/Low Vision" is a free publication from Fire Protection Publications at Oklahoma State University. Bulk quantities of the large print, regular print and Spanish version of this publication are available free to organizations of and for the blind. Contact [email protected].
Blind Mice Mart offers hundreds of described movies for free download to people who are visually impaired. The movies are MP3 format, and require an Internet connection to download and Windows Media Player to hear. For a list of available movies, or to begin downloading them, go to www.blindmicemart.com/assets/product_images/movies2.html.
Assistance Dog Grants
The Planet Dog Foundation opened 2011 by donating $5,000 to each of five service dog organizations across the U.S. Grants were awarded to: All Breed Canine Search and Rescue; Assistance Dogs of America, Inc.; East Coast Assistance Dogs; Paws for Friendship, and the Sherman Health Foundation. Two percent of all sales from Planet Dog products are donated to fund the Planet Dog Foundation, allowing it to have awarded nearly $1 million in support over the last five years.
Bressler Prize Awarded
The Jewish Guild for the Blind has awarded Constance L. Cepko, Ph.D., the 2011 Alfred W. Bressler Prize in Vision Science. Dr. Cepko has been active in two promising research projects on retinal degeneration. Both studies have discovered treatments to slow down the deterioration of vision in mice with retinitis pigmentosa.