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, send a message to [email protected], or call ACB at 1-800-424-8666. Please remember that postal regulations prohibit us from including advertisements, and that we need information two months ahead of actual publication dates.


Are you an individual who is blind, excels at your job, and sets high goals for yourself? Do you want to gain the skills and experience necessary to take your career to the next level? Would you like both on-the-job and classroom experience dedicated to teaching the fundamentals of business leadership?

If you answered yes to all of these questions, the Fellowship for Leadership Development sponsored by National Industries for the Blind (NIB) may be for you. The fellowship is a two-year program that combines on-the- job experience with formal management training. Fellows are blind individuals who demonstrate leadership competencies and a high potential to succeed and prosper in a management position. At the completion of the fellowship, successful fellows will be placed in professional managerial positions within NIB and the network of NIB-associated agencies. NIB is now accepting applications for a new fellowship to begin in January 2006. For more information, please visit or call Kathy Gallagher, NIB's Senior Human Resources Specialist, at (703) 578-8343.


Wells B. Kormann, 51, died April 29, 2005 of cancer. He was chief of the materials development division at the National Library Service for the Blind; his responsibilities included the development of a new digital talking book. He also played an important role in the expansion of a national volunteer project in which engineers from Telephone Pioneers of America and General Electric Elfuns repair playback machines and other equipment distributed to blind, visually impaired and physically disabled people. Survivors include his wife of 27 years, Catherine Buckley; their three children, Roger, Andrew and Claire; his parents, John and Elsa Kormann; a brother, Matthew; and a sister, Andrea.

William F. Reckert, 77, died April 1, 2005 of congestive heart failure. He spent more than 50 years as a transcriber for Justice Department investigations, including the Watergate special prosecution team. His job title was "closed microphone reporter." Reckert was the individual who discovered the infamous 18 -minute gap as he typed the June 20, 1972 secret recording of an Oval Office conversation between then-President Richard Nixon and chief of staff H.R. Haldeman.


The National TEE Tournament for Blinded Veterans will be held Sept. 13-15, 2005 in Coralville, Iowa. Participation is open to male and female U.S. veterans who are legally blind. For more information, or to register, call (319) 339-7104.


Verizon was recently named the Private Sector Employer of the Year by "Careers and the disAbled" magazine. Verizon's Cheryl Mongell was named one of 10 Employees of the Year.


Asheville Industries for the Blind is seeking individuals willing to work in Asheville, N.C. Contact Randy Buckner at (828) 258-2332 between 7:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. Eastern.


Disability Rights Advocates is a non-profit law center in Oakland, Calif., dedicated to protecting and advancing the civil rights of people with disabilities. DRA is investigating complaints it has received from blind law students and graduates who have been denied accommodations in the form of electronic formats on the Multistate Bar Exam (MBE) and the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam (MPRE). If you have experienced difficulty obtaining accommodations such as electronic versions of the MBE or MPRE , please contact Mazen M. Basrawi, Disability Rights Advocates, 449 15th Street, Suite 303, Oakland, CA 94612; phone (510) 451-8644.


Representatives from Guide Dogs for the Blind's Human Resource Department will be on hand at the ACB convention on July 8 to interview attendees who may be interested in future employment with Guide Dogs for the Blind, located north of San Francisco. We want to widen our pool of candidates for future open positions with our organization. If interested, e-mail [email protected] or call Theresa Duncan at 1-800-295-4050 x4171 to book a 20- to 30-minute appointment. Bring your resume if possible!


"Dialogue" magazine publishes articles, personal essays, interviews, news and resources on all aspects of living with a vision impairment. It is seeking submissions in 2005 for issues that focus on low vision, careers, assistive technology, and parents and children. If you have tips and experiences to share on coping with sight loss, participating in traditional and distance education programs, succeeding in a career, being self- employed, taking full advantage of high and low-tech tools and devices, or raising a child who has a vision impairment, "Dialogue" would like to hear from you. Request the writer's guidelines and a sample copy of the magazine in one of the following formats: large print, braille, cassette, computer diskette, or e-mail. Queries, article submissions, and items for the resource column are all welcome. Contact "Dialogue" at Blindskills, Inc., P.O. Box 5181, Salem, OR 97304-0181; phone 1-800-860- 4224; e-mail [email protected]; or visit


"Families Connecting with Families!" is the theme for a conference for families of blind and visually impaired children to be held at the Galt House in Louisville, Ky., August 12-14. The conference is co-sponsored by the American Printing House for the Blind, the National Association for Parents of Children with Visual Impairments, and the Hadley School for the Blind. Suites are $85 a night; regular rooms are $77 a night, plus tax. The $100 registration fee includes a reception on Friday night, lunch on Saturday, family activities on Saturday night, and a brunch on Sunday. Child care and activities based on the children's ages and needs will be provided.

For more information, or a registration packet, contact NAPVI, 1-800- 562-6265. To register online, go to

Make your room reservations at the Galt House by calling 1-800-843- 4258 by July 18, 2005 and mention the APH National Family Conference and date.


GW Micro recently announced the launch of its new Window-Eyes Lease- to-Own program. The program will allow customers to pay for Window-Eyes in monthly installments while they're using it. In the lease-to-own program, a customer can purchase a one-month LTO copy of Window-Eyes for $50. They then purchase additional licenses for $100 per month for 9 or 11 months. At the end of the payment schedule, the customer will receive a full working version of Window-Eyes.

GW Micro offers two different plans. LTO Plus includes a copy of Window-Eyes and a single upgrade for $950; LTO Premium includes a copy of Window-Eyes and a full software maintenance agreement (three upgrades) for $1,150. If a customer misses a payment, or decides he no longer wants to participate, Window-Eyes will convert to a 30-minute demo version of the software, which will allow customers to renew it at a later date. More information, including FAQ and policies, is available on the web at or by calling (260) 489-3671.


Jump into the world of computers for just $75! MarvelSoft Corp. recently released version 2.0 of its Talking Toolbox product. Designed exclusively for blind people, Talking Toolbox is a self-voicing program that runs on any Windows machine. The software reads everything shown on the screen aloud using human and synthetic speech, which you can listen to on your computer's speakers or headphones. The Toolbox lets you independently send and receive e-mail, plan your week with its electronic calendar, and enjoy an easy-to-use word processor. An address book, calculator, alarm clock, and CD player are also built into the toolbox, making it a must-have for blind kids, adults and seniors alike.

Talking Toolbox costs just $74.95! For more information, please visit or call 1-800-987-1231.


Volunteer Braillists and Tapists, Inc. has over 1,700 titles for adults and children in its braille library, including cookbooks, knitting books, print/braille books, several publications on diabetes and cancer, and leisure reading. We also provide transcription of a wide variety of materials for schools, businesses and individuals upon request. For more information, contact Volunteer Braillists and Tapists at 517 N. Segoe Rd. #200, Madison, WI 53705, or call (608) 233-0222 Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Central time, or e-mail [email protected]. To view the catalog online, visit


The Book of Common Prayer is now available on CD in Microsoft Word format. The text is in 18-point type, and the document can be used for preparing worship materials or read on the computer. To order, send a self-addressed, stamped 6x9-inch envelope (using three 37-cent stamps) to Ann Vahlen at 1900 6th Avenue, Apt. 513, Rock Island, IL 61201.


The National Institute on Aging (NIA) and the National Library of Medicine (NLM) have developed the NIH SeniorHealth web site, This interactive site was designed specifically with the needs of older adults in mind, and includes large-print materials, relevant information, and features that are easy to use. It includes user- friendly information, frequently asked questions, and other resources to help seniors with low vision learn more about maintaining an active and independent lifestyle.


Mari Bull, a blind psychologist in southern California, works with adult clients on the phone. They pay for sessions by check or credit card. She offers a free 15-minute introductory session so potential clients can interview her. Call her toll-free at 1-888-627-4285. If you get the voice mail, leave your name, number, and a convenient time to call you, and the time zone you are calling from.


Sprint now offers up to 10 free directory assistance calls per month for wireless customers who are blind, visually impaired or physically disabled. As a part of this offer, Sprint will also provide free Voice Command (SM) service. Sprint PCS Voice Command is a voice-activated dialing platform that helps customers with disabilities by reducing keypad use and reliance on handset display information. Voice Command works hand-in-hand with directory assistance: once you've requested a phone number, you have the option to save it in your Voice Command directory, so you don't have to call 411 again for the same number. For more details about this offer, or to obtain an application for this program, contact Sprint Customer Care at (888) 211-4727, or visit

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