by Sarah Blake

The announcement of products and services in this column is not an endorsement by the American Council of the Blind, its staff, or elected officials. Products and services are listed free of charge for the benefit of our readers. "The Braille Forum" cannot be held responsible for the reliability of products and services mentioned.

To submit items for this column, you may e-mail Sarah Blake at [email protected], or call ACB at 1-800-424-8666 and leave a message in mailbox 26. Please remember that postal regulations prohibit us from including advertisements, and that we need information two months ahead of actual publication dates.


Due to health issues, Sarah Blake is resigning as editor of the ever- popular "Here and There" column. Would you like to take on the challenge? Please send a resume and cover letter to Sharon Lovering, Acting Editor, The Braille Forum, American Council of the Blind, 1155 15th Street NW, Suite 1004, Washington, DC 20005. Applications should be postmarked no later than June 15, 2005.

E-mailed applications are also acceptable. If you attach files, please do so in MS Word or WordPerfect 5.1 formats. If you are uncomfortable with attachments, you may paste your resume and cover letter directly into your message. E-mail to: [email protected].


The 19th annual Candle in the Window conference will be held Aug. 24- 28 at Lions Camp Crescendo, just outside of Louisville, Ky. This year's theme is "The Leadership Connection: Confidently Influencing People in Our Lives." In addition to presentations and stimulating discussions, there will be plenty of time for swimming, hiking, eating, singing, quiet reflection, and just plain "hanging out." And we might even get to ride paddle boats around the lake!

The cost of the conference is $150 ($15 discount if we receive a $35 non-refundable deposit by August 1). Limited scholarships and payment plans are available.

For more information, contact Peter Altschul at (202) 234-5243, e-mail [email protected]; or Kathy Szinnyey at (502) 895-0866, e-mail [email protected].


Want to save $100 and own Window-Eyes Professional and in doing so, also contribute $100 to the American Council of the Blind? Contact Adaptive Information Systems, identify yourself as an ACB member and ask for the Window-Eyes Professional special for $695. For every copy of Window-Eyes Professional sold to an ACB member, $100 will be contributed to the ACB national office. This is an ongoing offer. For more information, call 1-877- 792-4768.


The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) announced that the fourth VISTA Conference will be held from May 6-7, 2006 in Bonn, Germany. One of the main goals of the conference is to bridge the gap between theory and practice and to encourage interdisciplinary discussion. The theme of this year's conference will be "Classification -- Solutions for the Future." In 2003, the IPC developed a classification strategy with the intention to support and coordinate the ongoing development of accurate, reliable, consistent and credible sport-focused classification systems and their implementation. This conference will provide an ideal environment in which to discuss how science can contribute to the field of classification in the future.

Athletes, coaches, trainers, classifiers, researchers, students and representatives of National Paralympic Committees (NPCs) and International Paralympic Sport Federations (IPSFs) are encouraged to submit abstracts for oral presentations that are pertinent to the conference theme. All abstracts submitted will undergo a peer review by the sports scientific committee. The submission deadline is Aug. 1, 2005. Authors must submit the abstract electronically, accompanied by an abstract submission form.

For further information, please contact Miriam Wilkens, IPC Media and Communication Director, at 011-49-228-2907-180, e-mail [email protected], or visit


Young artists with disabilities, ages 16 to 25, are asked to submit artwork in the form of slides for consideration in a touring exhibit that will debut at the S. Dillon Ripley Center, Smithsonian Institution. As in the past, artists are encouraged to work from a theme. This year's theme, "Shifting Gears," challenges artists to reflect on a pivotal moment in life that led to a greater understanding of themselves in relation to their art and/or their disability. Finalists will be selected on aesthetic merit alone by a distinguished jury panel.

Applicants are eligible for a total of $60,000 in cash awards. Fifteen finalists will be chosen and the grand prize finalist will receive $20,000 - - the largest award presented to a young artist in the United States. Finalists will be honored at an awards ceremony on Capitol Hill during late September 2005.

All entries must be postmarked no later than July 15, 2005. All applicants will be notified by Aug. 26, 2005. Visit the VSA Arts web site,, or call 1-800-933-8721 extension 387 for further information.


Charlotte Williams performs basic cleaning and repair for Perkins braillers at a cost of $30 for cleaning and $30 for most repairs. For more information, send e-mail to Charlotte at [email protected].


People who are blind or severely visually impaired and their families and friends who want to share the ride on a tandem bicycle no longer have to buy one. They can buy half a tandem instead.

The CycleMorph Tandem Adapter is a new bicycle accessory that switches a mountain bike back and forth between single and tandem bicycle modes in five minutes with no tools. It is manufactured and sold by Tandem Adapter LLC, an Austin, Texas company. For more information, call (512) 443-9459 or visit


Cambium Learning, Inc., an education company serving the unique needs of the nation's at-risk, minority and special student populations with learning tools, services and technologies, recently signed an agreement to acquire Kurzweil Educational Systems , Inc.


The sixth book in the Harry Potter series -- "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" -- will be released this summer. In celebration, National Braille Press is giving you the chance to pre-order the braille book at a big discount: only $17.99 (it's the same price if you pre-order the print version on NBP will charge your credit card now if you pre-order. We'll send out the braille books as soon as they're ready, in late August; and we'll send the PortaBook version as soon as it's ready in late July. And on July 16th, the date the print book goes on sale, the price will jump back up to the print price of $29.99. Order now and save! We've also lowered the prices of the first five Harry Potter novels to reflect the actual paperback book prices. They're all available in either braille or PortaBook versions. You can order the whole set for only $40!

To read more about the upcoming book or place an order, visit our web site,, or send payment to NBP, 88 St. Stephen Street, Boston, MA 02115-4302. To charge your order, call (800) 548- 7323 or (617) 266-6160 ext. 20 outside the U.S. and Canada. Fax an order to (617) 437-0456. Please note that a $5 processing fee will be added to all purchase orders; no charge if prepaid.


Experience a new kind of science fiction/action adventure entertainment: GraphicAudio. GraphicAudio is a virtual movie in your mind. It is intense images generated by full-cast action, 3-D sound effects and original music. GraphicAudio is also fun stuff you can download from the Internet -- like ring tones from the actual stories. These unabridged, vivid series intended for mature audiences include "Deathlands," "Outlanders," "Stonyman" and "The Executioner." Coming this fall, also in GraphicAudio: the "Deathstalker" series. You can get GraphicAudio from Potomac Talking Book Services, either as a single purchase or for a subscription, in two formats: four-track tape and MP3 CD. For a free GraphicAudio catalog on cassette, please call 1-877-848-4354 or e-mail [email protected]. Convention attendees, look for the free catalog on cassette in your program bags.

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