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.
Lighthouse Guild Awards Scholarships
Lighthouse Guild recently named the recipients of its annual scholarships. This year, 10 high school students and one graduate student have been selected as recipients. Lighthouse Guild scholarships of up to $10,000 are based on strong academic accomplishment and merit to help students who are blind attend the college of their choice.
This year’s scholarship recipients (listed with the schools they will be attending) are:
- Brielle Cayer, Middletown, CT (Fordham University)
- Tian Crossnoe, Bentonville, AR (University of Kansas)
- Joseph Luther Fuller, Lawrence, KS (University of Kansas)
- Isaac Heiman, Mukilteo, WA (Western Washington University)
- Trisha Kulkarni, Centerville, OH (Stanford University)
- Jack McPadden, Winchester, MA (Clark University)
- Mausam Mehta, Staunton, VA (University of Virginia)
- Mark Ruoff, Piscataway, NJ (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill)
- Sophia Vilim, Chicago, IL (Villanova University)
- Gillian Ward, North Aurora, IL (Loyola University)
- Mary McLaughlin, Plymouth Meeting, PA (Trinity College Dublin, MBA program)
Since its inception in 2005, Lighthouse Guild’s Scholarship Program has awarded over $2 million in scholarships to outstanding students from 36 states.
Lighthouse Guild also has an award to recognize outstanding teachers based on nominations from students. This year’s Lighthouse Guild Teacher’s Award recipient is Sherry Shuman, from Centerville High School (Ohio). According to Trisha Kulkarni, who will be attending Stanford University in the fall, Mrs. Shuman “was the first teacher who treated me as a student, not as a student who was disabled. Little did I know that would be one of the many firsts that I would experience in her class.”
Eye Exams for Service Dogs a Success
The 11th Annual ACVO/StokesRx National Service Animal Eye Exam Event took place in veterinary clinics nationwide during May. Approximately 7,625 service animals received free screening eye exams.
This year’s event was sponsored by the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists and Stokes Pharmacy, as well as several generous industry sponsors, ophthalmologists, and staff. Participating ophthalmologists volunteered their services, staff, and facilities at no charge to participate in the event.
Link Between Eye Diseases and Alzheimer’s
Researchers have discovered a link between three degenerative eye diseases and Alzheimer's disease. They say their findings could lead to new ways to identify people at high risk for Alzheimer’s. The study involved 3,877 randomly selected patients, aged 65 and older. They were tracked over the course of five years, during which time 792 were diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. Patients with age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy or glaucoma had a 40 to 50 percent greater risk of Alzheimer’s disease than those without the eye conditions, the researchers said.
BANA Board Meeting Results
The Braille Authority of North America (BANA) held its spring 2018 meeting April 9-11. The board reviewed committee reports and acted on the committees’ recommendations. Portions of the Monday and Tuesday meetings were dedicated to further development of BANA’s strategic plan.
The board approved two guidance documents: “Graphing Calculator Guidelines” and a revision of “Guidance for Transcription Using the Nemeth Code within UEB Contexts,” which will be released shortly.
Jessica “Jessi” Rivera, representing Associated Services for the Blind, was elected BANA treasurer. BANA welcomed two new board members, Whitney Gregory from Braille Solutions, Region 4 Educational Service Center, and Tina Seger from Clovernook Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired. Horizons for the Blind also appointed a new board member, Cynthia “Cindy” Skandera.
Holman Prize Winners
The LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired of San Francisco has named Stacy Cervenka, Conchita Hernández and Red Szell as the 2018 winners of the Holman Prize for Blind Ambition. The recipients will use their awards to promote blind empowerment in Mexico, complete a dramatic oceanic triathlon, and develop the first online community for blind travel.
The Holman Prize is named after the 19th century explorer James Holman (known around the world as “the blind traveler”). It aims to launch worthy projects that will change the public’s perceptions of blindness for years to come.
New from National Braille Press
Hot off the presses, and just in time for the new school year, is “Writing Your Way: Composing and Editing on an iPhone or iPad” by Judy Dixon. It’s available in braille (2 volumes) as well as in BRF, Word, and DAISY versions. Most people who have used an iPhone or iPad have done at least some writing on it. But could you write a full-length article or term paper with one? Judy Dixon explores numerous strategies and techniques that can make writing and editing on an iPhone or iPad a breeze. Detailed coverage includes: inputting and editing text directly from your device using the onscreen QWERTY keyboard, braille screen input, handwriting, and dictation; inputting and editing text from external devices, such as hardware keyboards and braille displays; app tours of Notes, Drafts, Voice Dream Writer, Pages, Microsoft Word, and more; and eight appendices with relevant gestures, keyboard commands, and shortcuts.
“UEB Reference Sheets for Math” by Wendy L. Buckley and Sandy Smith is currently available in large print; it will be available in braille/tactile soon. This book organizes common math symbols as transcribed in the UEB code. It covers numbers; arrows; fractions; shapes; Greek letters; miscellaneous symbols; and the signs & symbols of operation, comparison, and grouping.
Recently released is “Space Cat,” by Doug Cushman. It’s available in contracted UEB, for ages 4 to 9. Fasten your seat belts for a fantastic space adventure!
Brand-new in the children’s section is “The Legend of Rock Paper Scissors,” by Drew Daywalt and Adam Rex. This book is available in contracted UEB for ages 4 to 9 (and beyond).
Newly released is “Ada Twist, Scientist,” by Andrea Beaty and David Roberts. It’s available in contracted UEB for ages 5 to 10. Ada has always been curious: Why do roses have thorns? Why are there hairs growing inside your nose? When her house fills with a horrific smell, Ada searches out the source – and it’s not what she expects.
For more information, contact National Braille Press at 1-800-548-7323, or visit www.nbp.org/ic/nbp/publications/index.html.
VFO, Aira Announce Partnership
VFO and Aira recently announced a new collaboration that will equip all VFO customers with free use of the Aira service should they need visual access to a screen while using one of their products, such as the JAWS® Screen Reader. Any VFO product user can download and launch the Aira app to connect with an Aira agent. Go to the iOS App Store or the Google Play Store, search for Aira by Aira Tech Corp, download the app and sign up as a guest at aira.io/app.
Cincinnati Eye Institute Launches Partnership
Cincinnati Eye Institute (CEI) recently announced the launch of CEI Vision Partners (CEIVP), a new management services organization made possible with the support of Revelstoke Capital Partners, a Denver-based private equity firm.
CEI’s management team will lead CEIVP’s operations and will continue to provide extensive resources and capabilities to support CEI’s clinical operations. Doctors and services will remain the same; patients will benefit from even greater access to care as CEI’s operations continue to expand.