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Fall Issue September 2007

The official publication of the American Council of the Blind of Oregon
Published Quarterly
Edited by John A. Fleming

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Kae Madera
Phone: 503-282-0804 (home)
971-221-8260 (cell)

A message from the Editor:

I have often heard there is "nothing permanent but change." I have also heard that "if you always do what you have always done you will always get what you have always gotten."

Change is inevitable and there is change in the air for the Stylus. As far back as I can remember, which is not very far back in the scheme of things, only about 12 years, we have only published the Stylus in large print, on cassette tape, and more recently, Email, and on the ACB of Oregon's Web page. When I first came on board with ACB of Oregon, the Stylus was only put out in large print and on cassette tape. The addition of Email and the Web page has been a welcome change for many of you. There is more change coming.

As we move farther into the Twenty First Century cassette tapes and the equipment used to record, duplicate and play them get older and older. It will not be long before these machines start to wear out and eventually stop working all together. Here in lies the problem. It is becoming harder and harder if not impossible to replace these machines and for that matter it is becoming almost impossible to buy cassette tapes to record on.

The next change for the Stylus will be the fazing out of cassette tapes and changing to Compact Disks (CD). These CD’s will play on any standard CD player or on your computer.

I do understand that for many of you computers are still a mystery and not a part of your lives. We do not expect you to change to CD over night, but we do expect you to change to CD in the future. I do hope you in turn will try and understand why this change is inevitable and must happen some time soon. As the machines we use to record and duplicate the cassette tapes ware out they will be replaced with equipment that can record and duplicate CD's. Jerry Delaunty has assured me OPB's accessible Information Network (formerly Golden Hours) will continue to record and duplicate the Stylus for us. As in the past they will also put the duplicated tapes or CD's in envelopes and mail them. It will be OPB's volunteers that will do the recording and envelope stuffing for the recorded version of the Stylus. It is my hope to start producing a limited number of CD versions of the Stylus for the Spring or Summer 2008 issue. I will be bringing this up to the Board at the pre convention board meeting in Grants Pass this October. The way we will make this change is yet to be worked out but I am sure that with the help of the Board and you, the membership, we can make the change work smoothly and painlessly for all concerned. If you have any ideas that may help please let a board member or me know and we will take them into consideration.

I look forward to seeing you all in Grants Pass this October and working together to make the Stylus a newsletter we can all be proud of.

Thanks and Blue Skies to you all.

John A. Fleming
Stylus Editor

A Message from the President:

As I write this message, I am preparing to leave for New Jersey to learn how to travel and work with Bailey, my Seeing Eye dog--who has been learning how to work on the right, rather than the traditional left side where most guides work. This switch was necessary because my left shoulder is not able to withstand the rigors of dog handling anymore due to injury. We have been apart since March, and I'm counting the days until I can also learn how to work from the right; I've been told, that it's rather like learning how to drive on the wrong side of the road--but after almost thirty years of handling a guide dog on the left, it will be a new experience for me indeed. I will be leaving August 31, and returning home September 20, to be ready for our upcoming convention in October.

Speaking of the convention, the folks in Grants Pass have been busily preparing for you to come and visit and attend our convention. You'll hear more about it as you read the stylus, and I sincerely hope to see all of you in the beautiful Rove Valley. Our convention dates are October 19, 20, and 21st and we look forward to seeing all of you.

We rejoice that the legislature has passed a bill which would create a Board of directors for the School for the Blind, and School for the Deaf. The Board of Directors of the School for the Blind and deaf will be appointed by the Governor; representatives from the staff, parents, business, education, Commission for the Blind, and the National Federation of the Blind of Oregon, and the American Council of the Blind will serve on this Board. I have submitted my name, because this Board will oversee the future of the school, and this is something which is very close to my heart. I will be able to tell you more at the convention.

I would like to thank those of you who were able to attend the American Council of the Blind National convention in Minnesota; I especially thank James Edwards for so ably representing us, and hope that he was able to enjoy himself and gain a fresh insight into the workings of the American Council of the Blind. He had assistance from several Oregonians, notably, John and Darian Fleming, and Ted and Charlotte Noddin. We will be hearing from James at the convention. We have new leadership at the National level, and look forward to the continued progress of our organization.

The American Council of the Blind of Oregon is holding elections at the convention in October. Should you be interested in seeking any of our officer positions, please contact Darian Slayton-Fleming our Nominating Committee Chairman. The positions are: President, First and Second vice-President, Secretary, and Treasurer.

In closing, I would like to encourage all of us to be open to continued growth as we move into 2008. As the summer draws to a close, and we feel the tang of fall in the air, and see the brilliance of autumn, may we be willing to participate in activities which would enhance our local chapters, and help our communities. Just as seasons change annually, our lives change as well. I have decided not to seek another term as President of the American Council of the Blind of Oregon. I look forward to serving in other capacities and look forward to working with our new President to make the American Council of the Blind of Oregon a place where blind and visually impaired individuals can find independence, dignity and self-worth. It has been an honor to be a part of the Council, and I have come to appreciate everyone who has made this organization vital and strong. Sometimes, it is easy to think that you are not important, and that your ideas and thoughts don't matter, but they do. Each one of you has something vital to contribute, whether it's time, or something more tangible. I look forward to continuing to see the growth of our organization, and my deepest appreciation to you as the membership cannot be expressed enough.

Kae Madera President

Membership month
By Joan Hill

November is membership month for ACB of Oregon. It is time to invite new members, call friends you have not seen for a while and to pay your annual dues for 2008. We are 245 members strong and we hope everyone will work to increase that number.

All membership dues need to be paid before January 15, 2008. You can join a local chapter or become a member “at Large” according to our bylaws rules. This will allow all chapter treasurers to mail their state dues to reach me by January 31, 2008. Please note the new date, which is a month earlier than last year. If you are joining as an “at Large” member you need to send your check for $ 5 directly to me. Your check should be made out to ACB of Oregon. Your check should be sent to: Joan Hill, 4332 Meadows Drive, Klamath Falls, OR 97603. If you have any questions you can contact me at (541) 882-9967 or email at:

ACB of Oregon Elections: To Be Held at the 2007 State Convention
By Darian Slayton Fleming

Elections are to be held for the offices of president; first vice-president; second vice-president; secretary and treasurer At the ACB of Oregon State convention in Grant’s Pass, Oregon. President Kae Madera has appointed me to chair the nominating committee. Other members on this year’s committee are Kevin Bird from the Rogue Valley Chapter and Flo Dugan from the Willamette Chapter.

The nominating committee will accept nominations for these offices until October 12, 2007. This will allow the committee a week to confer and to prepare the nominating slate. The nominating slate will be read at the convention prior to elections. Nominations will also be accepted from the floor of the convention. Elections will follow.

You may contact any member of the committee to submit your nominations. Contact information for committee members is listed at the end of this article.

Please realize that people must have given you permission to nominate them. They must be willing to run. So you must ask them before submitting their names.

Candidates who are nominated must be regular, voting members, in good standing, of ACB of Oregon chapters. To be a member in good standing, candidates must have belonged to a chapter for at least 360 days and have paid their dues by February 15, 2007.

To date, the following nominations have been submitted. Many of them have entered information about themselves in this issue of “The Stylus.”

President, James Edwards; first vice-president, Joan Hill; Bev Rushing; second vice-president, Gregg Welch; Joan Hill; Charlotte Noddin; secretary, Jan Chance; Treasurer, Bob Rushing.

Please submit your nominations no later than October 12 to any of the following members of the nominating committee: Darian Slayton Fleming, 12820 NE Prescott Dr., Portland, OR 97230, (503) 253-9543 (home), (503) 522-3272 (cell),; Kevin Bird, (541) 582-0094,; Flo Dugan, (503) 585-4340.

Candidate’s Corner:

Candidate for President
By James Edwards

To The Members of A.C.B. of Oregon, It's time once again to elect officers to serve on your state board. I have been nominated, and accepted the nomination, to have my name placed on the ballot for state president. I am doing so because I believe in the good works of this organization. I also believe we have a lot of room from growth, and I have some ideas I would like to see implemented in the future.

Many of you know me, as I have served on the board for several years, first as a district representative, and, for the last four years as First Vice President. It has certainly been a learning experience for me, sometimes a little rough, but well worth the education.


I hope, in your eyes as a member, I meet those qualifications, and you will consider voting for me in October.

It has always been my policy to encourage all members to "GET INVOLVED IN YOUR ORGANIZATION!" All the board positions accept the district representatives are open for nominations, so if you think you can help our organization by serving on the board, please, get yourself nominated. Give us a chance to vote for you. YOU may be just what this organization needs!

Thank you, James Edwards

First Vice President

Joan Hill, Candidate for 1st Vice-president
By Joan Hill

. I want to thank all of you for your support in the past and hope you will elect me to the position of First Vice-president. The experiences as membership chairperson for 5 years and 2nd vice-president for 4 years have prepared me for the challenges of being 1st vice-president.

One of the highlights of the last two years was my trip to Washington, DC to represent ACB of Oregon. It was a unique experience to talk to all of the Oregon legislators and tell them about our activities and concerns. As 2nd Vice-President of ACB O, I have had a busy four years including attending the national convention in Las Vegas. That convention was not only informative but great fun. . The membership job involved keeping track of the whereabouts of all 245 of you. By using email messages, I have tried to keep members informed about important events.

It has been fun being part of Klamath chapter and working hard to educate the community about blind issues. “Buttons” and I also belong to the Guide Dog Users of Oregon group.

I hope you will support my candidacy for 1st vice-president.

Charlotte Noddin, nominated for Second Vice President
By Charlotte Noddin

"I served on the board as a district representative when Kay Madera was president for the first time, then I was elected as first vice president and served in that position for eight years. I Help get ACBO back in the black and I sponsored the first time program for four years. I feel that the organization has lost ground the past two years and need some workers back on the board."

Gregg Welch, Candidate for Second Vice President
Telephone interview By John A. Fleming

Gregg is 58 years old. He has lived in Portland all of his life. He was a case-manager for Adult and Family Services for the State of Oregon for ten years until his eye site forced him to retire in 1984. Before that he was a bookkeeper for a construction and architectural firm. Currently Gregg, with the help of his wife Carolyn, runs his own business Helping with disability clames appeals.

He has served as a committee and board member of his local neighborhood association. Gregg has also been on the board of Parents Without Partners here in Portland. He has served as a member of the Student Advisory Committee for Guide Dogs for the Blind. Currently he is president of the Multnomah Chapter of ACB of Oregon. During Gregg’s presidency he formed fund raising and membership committees and both have been well received and successful. He helped formed the Pedestrian safety Alliance, a committee working on Pedestrian issues here in the Portland area.

Gregg would be a welcomed new face on the board of ACB of Oregon bringing with him new ideas, enthusiasm and energy. A vote for Gregg Welch would be a vote for the future of ACB of Oregon.

Jan Chance, nominated for Secretary
By Jan Chance

Hello Everyone, Just wanted to let everyone know I am running for ACB of O Secretary again. I have really enjoyed the last two years as Secretary and would like the opportunity to serve the ACB of O Membership in that capacity again.

The Grants Pass Chapter is really hard at work preparing a great Convention this year. Hope to see you all there in October.

Jan Chance

Chapter Reports:

Rogue Valley Chapter
By Ron Whelchel

Our Chapter was part of the "Boatnik Parade" again this year during Memorial Day weekend. We had two vehicles in the Parade with banners to identify us as The American Council of The Blind of Oregon. One vehicle was a large red truck with bales of hay for people to sit on. This truck was provided and driven by Phil Restuccia, a friend of Kevin and Dianne Bird. The other vehicle was a restored 1956 Ford Thunderbird That belongs to one of our members, George Ekstom. Carol Whelchel with George as a passenger drove this entry. We also had Members walking and some of them had the Opportunity to demonstrate the use of the Guide Dog and The White Cane. In addition Sharon Watson, one of our Members and head of the local "Guide Dog Puppy Raisers", had a number of her group with their Puppies. As always the Puppies were a great addition.

Our Annual June Picnic received a good turnout and was a lot of fun. Once again Dianne Bird, with the assistance of Laurie Whelchel, conducted a great "Penny Auction" and was able to raise $293.00.

Once again a reminder about the Convention on October 19,20 and21. As previously mentioned we are planning a short town-tour on Friday afternoon with a stop at the "Bear Hotel". Here is a little information about this facility: This facility is a large industrial-type building owned by Evergreen Federal Bank and was used a few years ago to store the first in a series of large fiberglass bears which a placed around town in the Summer. This is quite an attraction for the tourists who like to take pictures of themselves with the Bears. Local Artists have decorated all of the 50 Bears and Cubs with a variety of themes. The Christmas theme at the facility this year will be "The Bears Invite Their Friends For Christmas" and will include another 26 metal sculptures of various animals one of which is an elk that is 11 feet tall. Also, there are 45 "Nutcracker Soldiers" which are about 9 feet tall. There are 19 5 feet by 6 feet fiber optic Christmas Cards that also play music. All of these are placed around town at Christmas time. Along with the above there are a number of other items that have been used for various projects and everything can be seen or touched. Evergreen Bank will assign one of their employees to conduct the Tour.

A note for you Guide Dog users attending this years Convention. Sharon Watson said the Grants Pass and Medford "puppy raisers" are planning to be at the Convention. They want to set-up a small "dog spa". They plan to assist with the guide dogs by walking them and doing a "brush/groom" at the spa area. They can also help some of the people attending the convention if they need assistance.

That’s all for now from The Valley of The Rogue.

Southwestern Chapter News
By Carrie Kokel

What a great summer!!! We had an awesome picnic at Sunset Beach. We had about 70 attendees, a penny auction, music from the “Old Time Fiddlers”, and great food. We had barbecued chicken and pork kabobs with lots of desserts and side dishes. What a great time with old friends and new ones.

A sad note for our chapter – Teresa Brown, a long-time associate member of our chapter is leaving us. During the past several months she lost both of her parents; now she is moving to Florida to be nearer her brother. We will greatly miss Teresa’s help with calling members and organizing potlucks. As a symbol of our appreciation, our chapter presented her with an Outstanding Service Award. Teresa – thanks for the many years of service to our chapter.

We are having our next meeting September 8th. We will be making plans to help members go to the convention in October.

Reedsport Chapter
By James Edwards

It has been a busy summer for all of us here on the coast. Some of us have spent our time fishing and crabbing, visiting with relatives, working around our homes, traveling, or just plain taking life easy.

Our meetings will resume in a couple of weeks, and we are looking forward to seeing each other again and catching up on what we all did for the summer. We are hoping for a year of growth and good fortune in our chapter, and we wish all chapters the same.

Multnomah Chapter News
By Patty Bessant

Summer is ebbing away and thoughts of getting back to productive endeavors drift into our responsible selves. We are focusing on a goal of combining business and pleasure at meetings. With this in mind, we will meet at a restaurant, recognize birthdays and investigate avenues that will lead us toward interesting projects. Increasing membership is a priority.

Our summer gathering took place at a pleasant restaurant with a deck and much greenery providing more privacy. We all enjoyed ourselves.

Please remember the talking microwave-six tickets for $5 and one ticket for $1. Proceeds will benefit ACB National, the ACB of Oregon and the Multnomah Chapter. The drawing will occur at State Convention. How about taking a chance on a truly useful item?

Willamette Chapter
By Bob Johnson

We do not meet during the summer but do have many activities to keep us busy. Our July picnic and the August garage sale are our biggest fundraisers.

Our July picnic coincided with the state board meeting and several of the board members attended the picnic. Plenty of food and the penny auction brought in $150.00 thanks to some spirited bidding by several board members. Jerry Delaunay helped our treasury immensely. I think John Fleming, James Edwards and the Chance's all took home auction items. We had so much fun that I wouldn't mind the picnic and board meeting every year.

Our Garage sale was a huge success thanks to donation from the local Lions, chapter members and Ted and Charlotte Noddin and Bev Rushing; s mother. We cleared $344.00 and will use this money to help chapter members attend the October convention. Setting up this sale is a lot of work but the rewards make it all worthwhile.

We will have elections in November and several board members who have served the maximum terms will watch as a new board takes us on a new and different cruise. It is always good to have exciting and original input to keep a chapter healthy and happy. I am looking forward to setting back and watching this happen.

Most everyone knows my guide, Fellow. I have had to retire him due to allergies and old age. He just didn't want to work anymore. Back to the cane until November when I go to see my new guide and am really anxious to see what he/she will look like. I asked for at least four feet and a tail. I thought that would be a good start.

With the start of a new school year we will continue to assist the school for the Blind in both dorm and scholastic awards on a monthly basis. Several of our chapter (Bob & Bev Rushing, Geri Hallisy and myself) sit on the AVI board and will keep the entire state updated on the situation concerning the combining of the blind and deaf schools now pending ong the state senate and house level. There will be more hearings in the future and we will need the rooms packed to show our support for keeping the schools separate.

Our chapter has always been very active at both local and state level and we hope the new state board will remember that the welcome mat is always out for meetings in our area. I have served my three terms and will step down in January. But I truly believe whoever steps forward will carry our chapter onward and upward into the future.

I leave as president wishing both ours and the new state board best wishes and the knowledge that I will always be willing to help whenever and wherever needed. Twelve years, at both state and local level is a long time and I want to sit back, relax and see my grandchildren more often. Hope to see all our friends at the convention in October!!!

Blind Customers Take Action against the Cell Phone Industry
August 2, 2007
Washington, DC

Blind and visually impaired customers are taking legal action against the cell phone industry in an effort to improve cell phone accessibility. This week, 11 customers from across the country filed complaints with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which enforces Section 255, the law that requires phones to be designed to be accessible for people with disabilities. Complaints were filed against both the cell phone carriers and manufacturers.

"These complaints illustrate a market failure on the part of the Cell phone industry to address accessibility," said Paul Schroeder, VP, Programs and Policy Group at the American Foundation for the Blind. "While some companies have taken steps, consumers with vision loss have few good options for accessibility, and almost no reliable information about accessibility."

There is a growing need for accessible phones given the increasing rates of vision loss. Experts predict that by 2030, rates of severe vision loss will double along with the country's aging population. For people with vision loss, finding a cell phone with a readable screen or with voice output of essential features like menus or text messages is almost impossible. Some companies like AT&T, have taken the lead on providing accessible phones. But too often the handsets and services are not designed to be user- friendly for those who are blind or visually impaired. Earlier this month, AFB initiated a campaign called 255 Action to help people with vision loss understand access requirements, and if necessary, file complaints. As part of that campaign, AFB sent letters to leading cell phone service providers and manufacturers asking what they are doing to meet the needs of people with vision loss. Frequent complaints from blind and visually impaired cell phone customers include:* cell phones do not provide for audio output of information displayed on the screen; * The visual displays on most phones are hard to read; * Numeric and control keys are not easy to distinguish by touch; and * product manuals or phone bills are not available in Braille, large print, or other formats they can read. * The complaints filed with the FCC came from customers in Florida, Georgia, Colorado, California, and West Virginia.

QUOTES FROM FCC FILINGS Problems Purchasing Equipment "In November 2006, I asked for assistance in identifying and purchasing a new telephone. The agent was completely uninformed regarding available phones with built-in accessibility features for a Blind user. Indeed, the representative did not even understand what features a Blind user would need in purchasing a phone." Melissa Green, Greeley, CO Phones Features Are Inaccessible "I cannot text message, surf the Internet, or use the phonebook. Additionally, the numbers displayed on the keypad are too small for me to read, thus I have to use the voice recognition feature to call contacts in my phonebook. This poses some limitations, because I can only program in ten names, yet I have many more contacts than this amount.” Douglas Brooks, Winston, GA "Even after setting my phone's level of brightness to the highest level, I still have to use a closed circuit television (cctv) to read the text displayed. This magnification device is quite large, encompassing a television set with a similar sized stand. This defeats the "mobile" aspect of my phone, since I have to wait until I am at home to enter contacts in the phonebook, change settings, etc."Richard Rueda, Union City, CA. Documentation Is Inaccessible "Upon receiving my phone, I was given an inaccessible print manual explaining how to use the phone. However, because I am totally Blind, I cannot read the text on the instruction manual. My phone's instruction manual is in a pdf file, which I have difficulty accessing with my computer's screen reading software because graphical representations are used to instruct a person on how to use the phone.” George Roberts, Orlando, FL Phones With Access Software Cost More "In order to access the features of the MotorolaQ, I had to make an additional out-of-pocket purchase of Mobile Speaks (a screen reader) to access the cell phone features. While this phone is more accessible than the Katana with my add-on software, it was quite expensive, and I would not have purchased it if my previous phone was accessible. Being Blind forced me to stretch my budget to the limits in order to have access to my cell phone's features."Tony Claive, Winter Park, FL Customer Service Is Inadequate and Accessibility Features/Information are Unavailable "I went to my local Sprint store, and explained that I was legally blind and looking for an accessible cell phone. The salesperson did let me know about getting my bill in large print format. Sprint's representatives were unable to provide me with a description of the accessibility and compatibility features of their phones.” Dennis Wyant, Melbourne, FL

Media Contact: Adrianna Montague-Gray AFB Communications 212-502-7675

Press Release at DocumentID=3596

EDITORS NOTE: To file your complaint at the FCC about an inaccessible cell phone, use FCC online form at (Tips: You must name a company in 2a; Put zeroes in the boxes if you don't have the company phone number; describe your concern in answer to Question 2f and you should ask for a remedy). For further information on accessible telecommunications and technology, please contact AAPD staffer Jenifer Simpson at

SOURCE: American Foundation for the Blind.

Coalition of Organizations for Accessible Technology

The recently established Coalition of Organizations for Accessible Technology (COAT) is a consortium of over 100 national, regional and community-based organizations committed to promoting dramatically expanded access for people with disabilities to state-of-the-art telecommunications and video programming.

technologies and services. The American Council of the Blind along with AFB were among the founding members of COAT and actively participate on its steering committee.

The principal objective of COAT is to affect positive policy change to ensure that people with disabilities, especially those with sensory disabilities such as vision and hearing loss, can be full beneficiaries of the telecommunications and video programming revolution. The policy platform of COAT includes an extensive array of objectives. For additional details about the COAT policy agenda, visit

However, four major goals of the agenda are of particular interest to people with vision loss and those who serve them-- . Accessible User Interfaces. All devices with the capacity to receive or display television or other video programming must be designed to allow no visual and other alternative control of all device features. Video Description. The mandate on broadcasters and others to provide at least a minimal amount of description accompanying their television programming, a mandate overturned by a wrongly-decided federal court of appeals ruling, must be restored, and the Federal Communications Commission must also promulgate regulations to guarantee appropriate descriptive access to emergency information. Equipment Availability. The existing Universal Service Fund should be tapped to provide equipment meeting the unique and profoundly under met needs of people with deaf-blindness.

. Internet-Based Telecommunications. Every effort must be made to ensure that the current requirements of law mandating access to traditional telecommunications equipment and services (such as cell phones and standard office telephone systems) are strengthened and fully extended to newer telecommunications technologies that use the Internet, such as voice over Internet protocol (VOIP).

How You Can Help . . .
It is important that all organizations which can lend their support to this critical platform of policy objectives make their voices known. To date, organizations within the deafness and hearing loss communities comprise the overwhelming number of COAT affiliated groups. While this is commendable, our community can be a much more visible equal player in this arena. While policy change in Congress and the FCC will be advocated primarily by groups with a consistent Washington presence, ACB affiliates are encouraged to express their general support for the COAT platform by allowing their affiliate's name to be listed in support of the overall agenda. Organizations that do so are welcome, but under no obligation, to have representatives join either in person or via conference call in regularly scheduled meetings open to all COAT-affiliate groups usually held monthly. To Join . . . If your organization can lend its support, please contact me to have your organization's name added to the roster of COAT affiliates. If your agency, school, or membership chapter is associated with one of the representative groups in our field, such as the National Council of Private Agencies for the Blind and Visually Impaired (NCPABVI), the Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired (AER) and others, you are encouraged to work with the leadership of those associations to communicate your group's support.

We will be coordinating with them to list as many individual organizational partners in this effort as possible.

Eric Bridges
Director of Advocacy and Governmental Affairs
American Council of the Blind
Phone: (202) 467-5081, Fax: (202) 467-5085

Surfing the net:

portable battery charger for portable devices

Overview of Google's accessible services Overview of our accessible services< Posted by T.V. Raman, Research Scientist

Sound RTS is a real-time strategy game based on games like Warcraft and Civilization. Bryan Smart has created a recorded introduction and brief tutorial. You can get the tutorial from mp3 and the game site is

ABISee, Inc. sells two reading devices. Zoomex is a portable stand and camera which, attached to a desktop or laptop, can provide either rapid OCR of documents or magnify and display them. ZoomTwix takes Zoomex and adds the ability to act as a cctv.

iZoom Web is a web-based screen magnifier with many features. You can download a free public beta to test it.

Insight Radio is a new bbc radio station directed toward the blind and visually impaired, on fm in Glasgow and online.

Beginning in the fall, ATT Wireless will carry Mobile Speak and Mobile Magnifier from Code Factory in both windows and Symbian versions, a move which should make accessible cell phones easier to come by in the US.

Google has made its scanned books accessible to blind readers; a first step.

I found a lot of the above links from the Technology Center Announcement Email list The Technology Center Announcement Email list is a very informative Email sent out to listers when Winslow Parker finds or hears about some new Technology information he thinks we should know about. I find it very helpful and interesting. Give it a try. To join the Technology Center Announcement Email list send a blank Email to:
Winslow Parker, Adaptive Technology Specialist, Oregon commission for the Blind.
535 SE 12th Avenue, Portland, OR 97214.
Phone: (971(673-1588 ext 31602, FAX: (971) 673-1570.
You can Email him at:

The state of Alabama has chosen to replace a statue of a confederate general with one of Helen Keller.
August 20, 2007
By Ben Evans (AP)

An initiative to put a statue of Helen Keller in the U.S. Capitol is moving forward after a year of delays. labama Gov. Bob Riley, a Republican, and others traveled to Utah this summer to sign off on the final design of the bronze memorial. They said the statue would be completed by fall if things move swiftly." It is absolutely beautiful," Mr. Riley said after the trip in June. The statue depicts the blind and deaf Miss Keller as a child standing by the water pump at her ome in Tuscumbia, Ala., at the moment she solved what she called "the mystery of language," when her teacher spelled out the word water in her hand while pumping water over her other hand. Officials hoped the statue would be finished by June 2006, but the project was delayed as a state committee debated how to best capture Miss Keller's facial expression and how to portray her eyes. Also, a congressional committee that oversees artwork in the Capitol requested minor changes in the original design, said Al Head, executive director of the Alabama State Council on the Arts. The original plan included an extensive narrative about Miss Keller at the base of the base. The congressional committee wanted a simpler style consistent it others in the Capitol, with only basic information such as her name and home state. The committee also asked to remove decorative ivy that the artist depicted growing around the water pump. "This could be in the Capitol for 50 or 100 years, so we want it to be as perfect as possible," Mr. Riley said. Each state has two statues in the Capitol as part of the National Statuary Hall Collection. Miss Keller's statue would be the first of a disabled American and the first of a child, Alabama officials said. The design also includes Braille characters. The monument would replace the one of Jabez Lamar Monroe Curry, a former congressman, Confederate general and professor who was a longtime advocate of free universal education. Curry's statue has been in the Capitol since 1908. The state's other statue, installed in 1925, is of Joseph "Fighting Joe" Wheeler, an officer in the Confederate Army and later the U.S. Army. Mr. Head said the final design has been submitted to Congress, which is in recess until early next month. Once the committee signs off on it, the statue will be sent to the foundry for casting, a process that will take about six weeks. After that, it's a matter of scheduling a public ceremony with congressional leaders, Mr. Head said. The Keller statue, made by renowned sculptor Edward Hlavka, was funded by private donations. The project will cost about $275,000, Mr. Head said.

Ski For Light is coming to Bend Oregon in 2008

Ski for Light is a program of cross-country skiing benefiting blind, visually-impaired, and mobility-impaired individuals and their guides.

The 33rd annual Ski for Light International Week will take place from Sunday February 10 through Sunday February 17, 2008 in central Oregon. We will stay at the Riverhouse Resort Hotel in Bend and ski at nearby Mt. Bachelor.

The total cost of the week is $775 for double- or triple-occupancy or $1,150 for single-occupancy. (Triples are the same price as doubles because the rooms used as triples are actually family suites with kitchen.) This amount includes room, all meals, six days of skiing, round-trip transportation between the Bend/Redmond (RDM) airport and hotel, and daily transportation between the hotel and ski area. All meals are group meals. Cross-country skis, boots, and poles will be provided free of charge to first-time blind/visually-impaired participants. The cost of transportation from home to and from Bend is the responsibility of the participant. Stipends of up to $350, based on financial need, are available for guides and first-time participants.

The application deadline is November 1, 2007. Applications received after the deadline will be considered as space permits. Full payment is due by December 17, 2007. Blind/visually-impaired and mobility-impaired applicants will be notified of their acceptance to SFL 2008 between mid-October and mid-November, with acceptance priority given to first-time applicants. The number of skiers to be accepted at any given point in time will depend on the number of guides who have applied.

Take a look at the web page, it is very good and has a lot more information for those who have not attended before. There is an application on the web page.

Department of Homeland Security Releases New Preparedness Resources For Seniors, People With Disabilities And Pet Owners
Release Date: August 13, 2007
For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary Contact: 202-282-8010

The severe weather experienced this summer in parts of the country, and the continuing threat of terrorism, are reminders of how critical it is for all Americans to prepare for emergencies. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Ready Campaign has released three new demonstration videos designed to highlight the specific steps older Americans, individuals with disabilities and special needs, and pet owners should take to prepare for emergencies.

"These new demonstration videos detail some of the unique steps seniors, people with disabilities and pet owners should take to keep themselves and their families safe and prepared for the unexpected." The videos, available online at , remind individuals to get an emergency supply kit, make a family emergency plan and be informed about the different types of emergencies while considering the unique needs of these individuals, their families and caregivers. The videos recommend seniors include any necessary prescription medications in their emergency supply kits. It encourages Americans with disabilities or special needs to create a personal support network that they can rely on during an emergency. Pet owners are advised to learn which emergency shelters in their area and/or along their evacuation route will allow pets.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security promotes individual emergency preparedness through the Ready Campaign and Citizen Corps. he Ready Campaign is designed to educate and empower Americans to prepare for and respond to emergencies, including natural disasters and potential terrorist attacks. Individuals interested in more information about family and business preparedness can visit or call 1-800-BE-READY to receive free materials. Citizen Corps brings together community, emergency and government leaders to involve community members in emergency preparedness, planning, mitigation, response, and recovery. Through Citizen Corps and its program partners and affiliates, individuals can find training and volunteer opportunities to support first responders in an emergency. Americans can learn more about volunteering by visiting

Editors Note:

In order to produce an interesting, informative and creative newsletter; articles of interest, chapter reports and dates of meetings need to be submitted in a timely manor. The Stylus will come to you quarterly in March, June, September and December. Please submit Materials by the first of February, May, August and November.

End of the Fall 2007 issue of the Stylus
John A. Fleming, Stylus Editor

Copyright © 2001 by The ACB of Oregon/Oregon Council Of The Blind