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.


Rebecca Hein offers a free five-session course for writers, "The Music of Writing." Classes are conducted via conference call lasting 90-120 minutes each. Class size is limited to five and registration closes for the next course on July 31. To register, call Rebecca at 1-888-921-9595 or e-mail her at [email protected]. Put "The Music of Writing" in the e-mail subject field and follow up your message with a phone call. A $10 refundable deposit is required to complete the registration process.


Morgan Park is collecting recipes to compile in a "No Measure Cookbook" to be used as a fundraiser for the Pennsylvania Council of the Blind. These recipes are unique because they require no measuring spoons or measuring cups. For example, one box of this, two eggs, a can of that, and a handful of those. If you have recipes that meet the “no measure” requirement, please e-mail them to Morgan at [email protected] or call her at (814) 598-5048. She hopes to have 200 recipes by Aug. 1.


The South Dakota School for the Blind and Visually Impaired will be celebrating 110 years of educating students who are blind or visually impaired with an all-school reunion Aug. 6-8, 2010. For more information, contact Dawn LaMee at SDSBVI, 423 17th Ave. SE, Aberdeen, SD 57401, phone (605) 626-2580 or toll-free 1-888-275-3814, or e-mail [email protected].


Disabilities at Work (DAW) Radio is a new program airing on the VoiceAmerica Business Channel. The program debuted on April 14 and airs every Wednesday at noon Eastern. This Internet talk radio show focuses on topics and guests who are of interest to people who are disabled, their advocates, and their employers. Potential program content will include: companies who go beyond compliance to employ people with disabilities; service organizations who work in this field; discussions with individuals who are supportive of disability employment efforts; and people with disabilities who have interesting stories related to employment. DAW producers welcome your ideas for potential guests, topics, or sponsors. Contact the program by e-mailing [email protected] or by visiting


Congratulations to Charlie Wilks, a blind 14-year-old who recently shot his first turkey ever. With assistance from two experienced turkey hunters/guides, Charlie bagged a 24-pound gobbler on his grandfather's land in northwest Missouri. Like most youth hunters, Charlie began this hobby by attending a hunter's safety course. His very first hunting success was during deer season when his grandfather helped Charlie shoot a big buck.


Looking for the new digital talking-book cartridges? Or do you need a USB cable that's compatible with the new NLS players? One resource for those is Adaptive Technology, a division of the Perkins School for the Blind. Their pricing is as follows: 1 GB cartridge, $14.95; USB cable, $3.95; combo of one each, $17.95. For more information, e-mail [email protected], call (978) 462-3817, or visit


Every one of the more than 18,000 Bank of America's ATMs in the United States is now a Talking ATM. These machines provide audible instructions for users in both English and Spanish. Likewise, every Bank of America ATM that is equipped to accept deposits now has deposit imaging functionality. This means items (a stack of up to 40 monetary bills or 10 checks) can be inserted directly into the ATM without having to fill out deposit slips or stuff envelopes. The machine can automatically calculate the deposit and confirm the amount immediately. To locate a Bank of America ATM, visit


AdaptiveVoice recently released its C-Desk 1.5, which is software that makes computer applications accessible to people with vision loss. It provides both screen enlargement and screen-reading capability. With it, users can access simplified applications including e-mail, word processing, Skype, OCR scanning, contacts lists, and more. A free demo of the software is available at


The Assistive Technology Industry Association (ATIA) and the Accessibility Interoperability Alliance (AIA) have merged. AIA is now a new technical and engineering division within ATIA. The goal of this newest division is to address the incompatibility and frequent functional conflicts between assistive technology and information technology products.


Tiger Braille embossers now offer an accessory that allows ink printing onto brailled documents. With the InkConnect, documents produced on Tiger's elite line of printers can include print for sighted readers as well as braille or tactile graphics for visually impaired readers. For more details about this product, visit or e-mail [email protected].


Through support from the Research to Prevent Blindness (RPB) charitable foundation, scientists at the University of Louisville's Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences continue to explore treatments for common eye diseases such as retinitis pigmentosa (RP) and age-related macular degeneration (AMD). One study includes implanting a retinal prosthesis beneath the retina of a pig and recording the visual response. Researchers have also induced certain stem cells to become retinal cells to see if, once implanted, they can repair or grow new retinal tissue.


Do you suffer from migraines with piercing pain? Do they last for hours? Ojocion Ingram has developed her own home remedy that gets her up and out in 40 minutes most of the time. If you would like to try it, she'll send you her pamphlet (or read it to you) in exchange for a 25- to 50-word statement of your results. Please call her at (415) 846-2027 and leave your name and mailing address. Be sure to speak slowly and clearly. Or you may send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to Ojocion Ingram, P.O. Box 330426, San Francisco, CA 94133-0426.


There is a new book available for children with disabilities and their parents. "Your Treasure Hunt: Disabilities and Finding Your Gold" by Katherine Schneider discusses the various challenges and obstacles that children with disabilities face throughout their life's journey. It offers constructive ways for dealing with these frustrating situations and techniques for building positive self-image. The hard-cover book consists of 32 full-color pages, and includes a resource section of helpful web sites and other books for parents and caregivers. Search for ISBN 1-59298-320-9 on It is also available through


Byron Smith, a member of the ACB of Indiana, offers several braille books to a good home. These books/booklets include: Business Planning Guide; The Constitution of the United States; Here Is New York by E.B. White; Four Gospels of The Holy Bible, American Standard Revised Version; The iPod Experience: Gaining Access to the iPod Shuffle by Anna Dresner; Learning WordPerfect 6.0 Using A Screen-Access Program by Kathleen Beaver; a small volume of scripture passages; Shop Online The Lazy Way by Richard Seltzer; tipping guide; Touch The Stars II Revised Edition by Noreen Grice; Using The Accessible iPod by Anna Dresner; and WordPerfect 6.0 DOS Quick Reference. To request an item or learn more about any of them, e-mail [email protected] or call (812) 339-5400.


National Braille Press has released an updated version of, "Google It! A Guide to the World's Most Popular Search Engine," by Jonathan Mosen with Anna Dresner. This second edition is a tutorial of how to use Google for much more than just searches. The book covers: tracking packages, converting currency, finding the latest news, translating text, and Google apps for mobile phones. It's available in one braille volume, text, or eBraille for $14.

NBP also offers "From Head to Toe," by Eric Carle. This print/braille board book teaches children ages 4-8 about body parts and simple movements. Using the fun actions of animals, the book inspires readers to get up and demonstrate how they can move too. The book is available in contracted and uncontracted braille for $7.99.

You can learn more about both of these books by visiting or by calling 1-800-548-7323. Or write to: National Braille Press, 88 St. Stephen Street, Boston, MA 02115-4302.


The Friends Community List is a new social network designed for the blind and visually impaired to talk to each other by sending messages, going on forums, and much more. It is somewhat like Facebook. Sighted people can also join the service. It is a free service that launched on March 18. To check it out, visit


The City Café is a general-interest e-mail chat list which often includes topics of the week, articles of possible interest to members and sometimes questions of the day to bring about discussion. The list also tries to share job leads and tips for job seekers. The tone of the discussions is family-friendly and fun. Current members are both sighted and visually impaired. To join this e-mail list, send a blank message to [email protected]. If you have any problems subscribing to the list, send a message to the list owner at [email protected].


Handmade items for sale! We have holiday hats and scarves for Christmas and Easter, as well as plain hats and scarves in many colors. Also available are plastic canvas tissue box covers. Other items are available too. Call Henry at (203) 909-2778.


Jywanza Maye has recently become a consultant for Scentsy, a line of flameless, wickless, fragrant candle-like ceramic warmers. Scentsy Warmers are a decorative, safer alternative to traditional candles, and use a low-watt bulb to melt a special wax slowly while maximizing fragrance time. Available in 80 fragrances and a variety of styles and colors. Jywanza invites you to visit his web site at To discuss product selection, contact Jywanza at (347) 878-6293.

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