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THE ADVOCATE - SPRING/SUMMER 2003 EDITION

Table of Contents


President's Notebook

By John Oliveira

It is time again for another column and I would like to talk about Association of Blind Citizens successes. I am continually amazed by the level of requests being submitted, almost on a daily basis, for The Assistive Technology Fund. This program is truly having an impact in the blind community. Many of the requests we are receiving are the result of denials by rehab agencies. ABC is proud to have this fund as another option to blind individuals who are trying to use technology to improve themselves.

The number of applicants seeking assistance from our educational scholarship program has increased in excess of the number of scholarships awarded and funds available. The decision of who is awarded these scholarships is always difficult because the applicants are all so deserving. We know that these individuals are resourceful and will find success in all that they do.

ABC is again sponsoring camp opportunities for children around the country and we continue to receive thank you notes and photographs of these children. These camps give blind children an opportunity to be exposed to activities that they may never be able to do in their home community. It also allows these blind children to meet and form relationships with others and these relationships often times last for many years.

Regarding Braille literacy, we are sponsoring the production of 1000 Braille copies of the latest Harry Potter adventure. We are so proud to be able to bring this wonderful literature to children and adults alike. The Braille literacy among the blind in this country is extremely low and we hope that our project will put books into children's hands at an affordable cost so that this trend can be reversed.

The Association of Blind Citizens Renegades, the hardest working beep ball team in the country, is gearing up for the 2003 beep ball season. With the addition of an extremely knowledgeable and energetic coach, new volunteers and the addition of first year players, coupled with the return of many of our veteran players and volunteers, ABC is providing a successful competitive recreation project for blind athletes. The Renegades kicked off the season in fine fashion by handing a five to nothing defeat to a team comprised of Lions Club members and their families. The fund raising event was a great opportunity to conduct public education and allowed ABC to raise some much needed funds to support the ABC Renegades. You can see our beep ball team in action on June 14th in Bolingbrook, Illinois and June 21 in Brockton, MA and on July 30th in Denver, Colorado. If your organization or company has a softball team and you would like to play the ABC Renegades in a fundraising event please contact me.

Turning to indoor recreation opportunities, ABC was proud to sponsor an online card tournament. Players from around the country played a variety of card games and used chips to keep track of points scored. The player with the highest score for the weekend received a $200 gift certificate and several others received an online subscription to the web site. We had nearly 200 individuals register for this event. As many of you know, accessible online games for the blind are few and, using speech programs, the players were able to tell what hands they were playing and what their opponent was playing. The players were also able to text chat with each other. Many of you enjoy playing cards and other online games with your friends and family. ABC felt that sponsoring this event would create a great opportunity for the blind community to play cards on a weekend evening, but would also support the entrepreneur's efforts in making online games available to the blind community. The participants had a great time and are looking forward to ABC sponsoring another event.

Several day or overnight excursions are being planned for late summer and fall, so keep watching your email for details.

I have received many comments on how simple it is to apply for ABC programs. It pleases me that the few restrictions that we have implemented are not barriers for the individuals applying to our programs. Certain restrictions have to be in place to allow our programs to operate efficiently and to facilitate streamlined program management. The numbers of visitors to our web site continues to increase and that is a great sign that the word is reaching the blind community around the country. We receive thousands of visitors to our web site and they often leave me messages through the email link. You can help us to continue to spread the word by telling your friends about ABC or referring our website to them by clicking the link on our home page. You will notice that the web address is now blindcitizens.org and soon all associated program email addresses will reflect that change.

In closing, I again ask you make a contribution to help keep our programs alive and growing. We do not receive income from membership dues we count on you to determine your level of membership and donate accordingly. We know that it is difficult to help every organization you would like in this tough economy. However, we hope when you sit down to determine your charitable giving, you will remember all of the lives we at ABC have enriched through our programs. Please help us continue to serve our community with your generous donation. Remember, you can also apply your donation to your Visa or MasterCard by using the accessible link on the website home page.


Reminder!

In Focus, ABC's monthly interview and information radio show is available on demand at www.blindcitizens.org. You can hear the show at your convenience by visiting our web site at anytime. The show can also be heard on the Massachusetts Radio Reading Network on the second Thursday of the month at 8 PM eastern time. You can listen to the show live on Tic's worldwide live Internet stream at www.ticnetwork.com. You can also hear a rebroadcast of In focus on ACBRadio.org. Join ABC's president and host for an interview with individuals or companies that are of interest to the blind and visually impaired community.


Dollars and Resources for Scholars.

by Linda H. Bolle

Note: This document contains two parts: Part I: Fellowships, Grants, and Scholarships, and Part II: The HEATH Resource Center

Part I: Fellowships, Grants, and Scholarships

The American Association of University Women (AAUW) Education Foundation

One of the world's largest sources of funding exclusively for graduate women, the AAUW Educational Foundation supports aspiring scholars around the globe, teachers and activists in local communities, women at critical stages of their careers, and those pursuing professions where women are underrepresented.

  • 1. American Fellowships support women doctoral candidates completing dissertations and scholars seeking funds for postdoctoral research leave or for preparing completed research for publication. Applicants must be US citizens or permanent residents. One-year postdoctoral research leave fellowships, dissertation fellowships, and summer/short-term research publication grants are offered.
  • 2. Career Development Grants support women who hold a bachelor's degree and who are preparing to advance their careers, change careers, or re-enter the work Force.
  • 3. Community Action Grants provide seed money to individual women, AAUW branches and AAUW state organizations, as well as local community-based nonprofit organizations for innovative programs or non-degree research projects that promote education and equity for women and girls.
  • 4. Eleanor Roosevelt Teacher Fellowships provide professional development opportunities for women public school teachers; improve girls' learning opportunities, especially in math, science, and technology; and promote equity and long-term change in classrooms, schools, and school Systems.
  • 5. International Fellowships are awarded for full-time graduate or postgraduate study or research to women who are not US citizens or permanent residents. Supplemental grants support community-based projects in the fellow's home Country.
  • 6. Selected Professions Fellowships are awarded to women who are US citizens or permanent residents and who intend to pursue a full-time course of study (during the fellowship year) in designated degree programs where women's participation traditionally has been Low.
  • 7. University Scholar-in-Residence, located at a college or university, undertakes and disseminates research on gender and equity for women and girls.

For more information, visit: http://www.aauw.org/fga/fellowships_grants/index.cfm

The American Educational Research Association (AERA)

The American Educational Research Association (AERA) is pleased to announce that the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), and the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) will continue their support for the AERA Grants Program for another year. The goals of this research and training program are:
(1) To enhance the capability of the US research community to use large-scale data bases to conduct studies that are relevant to educational policy and practice; and
(2) To strengthen communications between the US educational research community and government staff. The AERA Grants Program invites proposals for quantitative education policy and practice research using large-scale, nationally- representative data sets such as those sponsored by NCES and NSF. Minority researchers are strongly encouraged to apply.

For more information, visit: http://www.aera.net/grantsprogram/

The American Psychological Association (APA)

The Science Directorate of the American Psychological Association sponsors an annual competition for dissertation research funding. The purpose of the Dissertation Research Award program is to assist science-oriented doctoral students of psychology with research costs. In 2003, the Science Directorate will grant this $1000 award to approximately 50 students whose dissertation research reflects excellence in scientific psychology.

Additionally, the Directorate is pleased to announce that it will administer on behalf of the American Psychological Foundation the fifth annual APF/Todd E. Husted Memorial Award. This is a single award in the amount of $1,000 for the dissertation research that indicates the most potential to contribute toward the development and improvement of mental illness services for those with severe and persistent mental illness. Applicants for the Husted Award must meet the same eligibility requirements as the Dissertation Research Awards. A panel of experts on the serious mental illnesses will select the awardee.

For more information, visit: http://www.apa.org/science/dissinfo.html

The Association for Women in Science (AWIS) Education Foundation

Each spring, the AWIS Educational Foundation offers graduate and undergraduate awards in the amount of $1,000.

Graduate Awards

About 5-10 AWIS graduate fellowships in the amount of $1,000 are awarded each year. The four memorial awards are:

  • (1) Amy Lutz Rechel Award, for an outstanding graduate student in the field of plant biology
  • (2) Luise Meyer-Schutzmeister Award, for an outstanding graduate student in physics
  • (3) Ruth Satter Award, for an outstanding graduate student who interrupted her education for at least three years to raise a family
  • (4) the Diane H. Russell Award, for an outstanding graduate student in the field of biochemistry or pharmacology.

In addition, Gail Naughton has established an award for an outstanding graduate student. AWIS may also award Citations of Merit ($300).

Undergraduate Awards

About 2-5 AWIS undergraduate scholarships are awarded to high school seniors each year, including the Gail Naughton Award. In addition, Citations of Merit ($300) and Recognition Awards ($100) may be given.
For more information, visit: http://www.awis.org/r_educationmain.html

The Business and Professional Women (BPW) Foundation

The BPW Foundation created the Career Advancement Scholarship Program to award financial assistance to disadvantaged women who want to further their education. Scholarships are provided to women who wish to advance in their career, or will soon enter or re-enter the workforce.
For more information visit: http://www.bpwusa.org/content/BPWFoundation/Scholarships/scholarships_introtext.htm

The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation/Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellowships

Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellowships are designed to encourage original and significant study of ethical or religious values in all fields of the humanities and social sciences. In addition to topics in religious studies or in ethics (philosophical or religious), dissertations might consider the ethical implications of foreign policy, the values influencing political decisions, the moral codes of other cultures, and religious or ethical issues reflected in history or literature.

Winners will receive $17,000 for 12 months of full-time dissertation writing. Approximately 33 non-renewable fellowships will be awarded from among more than 400 applications. Graduate schools will be asked to waive tuition for Newcombe Fellows.

For more information visit: http://www.woodrow.org/newcombe/

National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Research Service Award (NRSA)

The NRSA Pre-doctoral Fellowship for Students with Disabilities will provide up to five years of support for research training leading to the Ph.D. (or equivalent research degree), or the combined M.D./PhD. degree (or other combined professional research doctoral degrees) in the biomedical or behavioral sciences. The intent of this Pre-doctoral Fellowship Program is to encourage students with disabilities to seek graduate degrees and thus further the goal of increasing the number of scientists with disabilities who are prepared to pursue careers in biomedical and behavioral research.

For more information visit: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PA-00-068.html

The Spencer Foundation

The Spencer Foundation has as its primary mission, by the intent of its founder, "to investigate ways in which education can be improved, around the world." To achieve this goal, the Foundation is committed to supporting high quality investigation of education through its research programs and to strengthening and renewing the educational research community through fellowship programs and related activities. The Foundation defines education broadly to include all the situations and institutions in which education proceeds, across the entire life span. An important expectation of the Foundation is that the activities it supports, taken together over the years, will contribute significantly to the enhancement of educational opportunity for all people.

For more information visit: http://www.virtual-u.org/spencer.html
You may also contact the foundation via US Mail at: 875 North Michigan Avenue, 39th Floor, Chicago, IL 60611, or via telephone at: (312) 337-7000

The Ann and Erlo van Waveren Foundation

The Ann and Erlo van Waveren Foundation fosters the knowledge of Jungian and Jungian-related psychology. It encourages new developments within this field and will consider funding projects related to any area which interested Carl Gustav Jung - from psychology to myth, history, folklore, spirituality and other areas. It will accept requests involving research, work for publication or broadcast of any sort, and public programming. It will look at applications from all parts of the world, as long as they are written in English.

The Foundation does not, as a rule, make grants exceeding ten thousand dollars, or repeat grants. Applicants may be private persons or institutions. It does not give grants to defray tuitions or any other education-related expenses, including living costs. The Foundation does not support research projects at the undergraduate level.

All applications will be reviewed by the Board of Trustees of the Foundation. The Board meets four times a year. Its decisions are final.

For more information visit: http://www.vanwaverenfoundation.org/

Part II: The HEATH Resource Center

Do you know about the HEATH Resource Center?
The HEATH Resource Center of The George Washington University, Graduate School of Education and Human Development, is the national clearinghouse on postsecondary education for individuals with disabilities. Support from the US Department of Education enables the clearinghouse to serve as an information exchange about educational support services, policies, procedures, adaptations, and opportunities at American campuses, vocational-technical schools, and other postsecondary training entities.

HEATH participates in national conferences, training sessions, and workshops; develops training modules; publishes resource papers, fact sheets, directories, and web site information; and fosters a network of professionals in the arena of disability issues.

In operation since 1984, HEATH was acquired by The George Washington University on October 1, 2001, and responds annually to thousands of electronic, mail, and telephone inquiries. HEATH resource papers, fact sheets, guides, and directories focus on topics such as accessibility, career, development, classroom and laboratory adaptations, financial aid, independent living, transition resources, training and postsecondary education, vocational education, and rehabilitation. HEATH is one of three clearinghouses authorized by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) to provide specialized educational information to people with disabilities, their families, and the professionals who work with them.

The clearinghouse gathers and disseminates this information to help people with disabilities reach their full potential through postsecondary education and training.

HEATH Resource Center Publications

Resource Papers

HEATH Resource Papers closely examine a broad range of topics on postsecondary education and disability. Each paper is designed to be a stand-alone reference, complete with pertinent discussion and a detailed listing of related publications, web sites, and organizations. Here is a sampling of available resource papers:

  • 1. Students with Disabilities and Higher Education: A Disconnect in Expectations and Realities (2003)
  • 2. Financial Aid for Students with Disabilities 2003
  • 3. Students Who Are Blind/Visually Impaired in Postsecondary Education
  • 4. Career Planning and Employment Strategies for Postsecondary Students with Disabilities
  • 5. Distance Learning and Adults with Disabilities
These and other resource papers can be accessed on line at: http://www.heath.gwu.edu/ResourceGuides.htm

HEATH Resource Directory

HEATH's biennial directory is an annotated listing of more than 180 organizations that can be contacted for specific types of information and includes a toll-free directory. The Resource Directory is available via the Adobe Acrobat Reader: http://www.heath.gwu.edu/bookstore/pdf/heath_resource_directory.pdf

Fact Sheets

Fact sheets offer concise overviews of timely issues and topics related to postsecondary education and disability. Here is a sampling of available fact sheets:

  • 1. Lowtech Assistive Technology: Changing Roles and Paradigms in Rehabilitation (2002)
  • 2. Community Colleges and Students with Disabilities
  • 3. Self-Determination: Assuming Control of Your Plans for Postsecondary Education (2002)
These and other fact sheets can be accessed on line at:
http://www.heath.gwu.edu/FactSheets.htm

Newsletter

Information from HEATH, HEATH's quarterly newsletter, offers timely features about new publications, campus programs, pending legislation, and other current topics of concern for individuals with disabilities.

Here is a sampling of the contents of the most recent (December 2002) newsletter:
December 2002

  • Postsecondary Students with Disabilities: Recent Data From The National Postsecondary Student Aid Survey
  • Adult Language/Learning Disability: Issues and Resources
  • Parenting Postsecondary Students with Disabilities: Becoming the Mentor, Advocate, and Guide Your Young Adult Needs
  • New Resources
  • Did You Know?
Newsletter article reprints are available on line at:
http://www.heath.gwu.edu/Templates/Newsletter/NewsletterArchives.htm.

For more information, visit the HEATH Resource Center's home page at:
Http://www.heath.gwu.edu/

In addition to Publications, the home page contains links to Frequently Asked Questions, Featured Resources, Calendar of Events, Student Voices, and Links to other web sites.

You may also contact the HEATH Resource Center by US Mail, Voice/TTY, Fax, or E-mail at:
The George Washington University
HEATH Resource Center
2121 K Street, NW Suite 220
Washington, DC 20037
Voice/TTY: 202.973.0904 or Toll Free 1.800.544.3284
Fax: 202.973.0908
E-mail: askheath@heath.gwu.edu

Please circulate this newsletter to your friends.


Diabetes therapy bears fruit

June 5, 2003

Diabetes researchers have found more evidence that aggressive treatment can prevent - and sometimes reverse - the ravages of the disease. Two new studies, one adding to previous research and the other upending prior assumptions, appear in the June 5 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

More than 110 million people around the world have diabetes, most of whom (75 - 80 percent) have Type 2 diabetes, in which the body's ability to produce insulin is hampered but not completely destroyed. In the case of type 1 diabetes, which comprises about 20 - 25 percent of all cases, the body's immune system attacks the insulin-producing cells so the body can't produce the essential hormone at all. Either type of diabetes can cause blindness, kidney failure, amputations, heart disease and stroke.

Past and present studies

Both of the new studies look specifically at type 1 diabetes but, as an accompanying editorial points out, results of type 1 diabetes trials can, with certain limitations, be extended to type 2 diabetes.

About a decade ago, the landmark Diabetes Control and Complications Trial (DCCT) found people with type 1 diabetes who tightly controlled their blood glucose levels reduced the risk of eye, nerve and kidney complications by 35 percent to 76 percent. The study participants were too young, however, to assess the affect on atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries due to plaque buildup.

The new trial, the Epidemiology of Diabetes Interventions and Complications (EDIC) study, presents the good news that intensive diabetes management can also reduce the risk of atherosclerosis in people with type 1 diabetes.

Study methodology

The EDIC trial involved 1 229 patients with type 1 diabetes who had also been in the earlier DCCT trial. They were divided into two groups: 611 who received conventional treatment and 618 who received intensive management. The researchers used ultrasound to measure the thickness of the wall of the participant's carotid arteries at the beginning of the trial and, again, after five years. The carotid arteries, located in the neck, carry blood from the heart to the brain.

"We're measuring the innermost layer and then the next layer in. Those are the layers that are characteristically affected by atherosclerosis, and it presages the development of vascular disease," explains study author Dr David Nathan.

After five years, the thickness was significantly less in the diabetics who had followed an aggressive glucose-management campaign during the earlier trial.

Slower progression of vascular disease

"The group that was treated intensively had a slower rate of progression," says Nathan, director of the Diabetes Center at Massachusetts General Hospital and a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. "It appears that the advantage of therapy aimed at keeping blood glucose levels as close to the non-diabetic range as possible benefits not only diabetes-specific complications, but also cardiovascular diseases."

Nathan was quick to add that, so far, the regimen didn't decrease heart attacks or strokes. But the atherosclerosis measurement is "a well-recognized surrogate marker" of disease, and "we were able to make a difference... You need to apply this therapy as early as possible, and continue to apply it."

Researchers look at microalbuminuria levels

The second study looked at microalbuminuria, or the presence of protein in the urine, which is the earliest sign of kidney disease. Until now, conventional wisdom held that kidney disease was inevitable in people who had microalbuminuria. The best you could do was slow the progression of a disease that would eventually lead, in one-third of patients, to end-stage renal disease and dialysis or a transplant.

This study has found that diabetics can do better than just slow down the disease. "In the early stages, it looks like the disease process can be reversed if patients do the optimal things," says study author Dr Bruce Perkins, a fellow in endocrinology at the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston. "The important finding was that it does look like there is a mechanism where the kidney can heal itself and, in fact, it seems to do it quite often."

The researchers authors looked at 386 patients with type 1 diabetes and with microalbuminuria that had been present for two years. The subjects were followed for an additional six years. At the end of that time, 58 percent of the participants no longer had any protein leakage.

"People who do reverse tend to have the lowest blood sugars, lowest blood pressure and, most importantly, the lowest cholesterol levels," Perkins says. "It seems likely that aggressive treatment is necessary to reverse microalbuminuria."

Screening is critical

The first message, then, is that screening is critical. "Someone with diabetes shouldn't allow years to go by without being screened for microalbuminuria because if it's identified early, if we do the right things, it can be reversed," Perkins says.

Physicians and patients alike should perhaps also pay more attention to cholesterol levels, including the possibility of taking cholesterol-lowering drugs, although this should first be studied in a clinical trial. That's the good immediate news.

Targets for new drugs?

In the longer term, the findings may help identify targets for new drugs. A priority is to figure out how the kidney manages to repair itself even after early initial damage. Perkins and his colleagues believe a different part of the kidney's filtering structure, the tubules, may be more central than originally thought.

"This is a fundamentally important thing because it changes the way we think about understanding kidney disease and also finding treatments for it," Perkins says. - (HealthScout News)


Do you have an interesting hobby? Do you have the latest high tech gadgets on the market? Articles relating to hobbies and interests or product reviews are welcome. The submission deadline for our Fall Winter edition is November 1, 2003.


Book Review, by Cheryl Cumings

Title: Unbought and Unbossed

Author: Shirley Chisholm

Book number: RC 054553

Shirley Chisholm was a name I had heard mentioned but to my chagrin I really did not know much about her. I knew that she was the first black woman to get elected to the House of Representatives. I also knew that she had run for President in the early 1970's. This fact, depending on who related it, was sometimes communicated as a joke. Now that I had this book in hand, I wanted to know the truth about who was this woman called Shirley Chisholm...

"Unbought and Unbossed" is a little book which is full of the personal experiences of an extraordinary woman and her country, the United States of America. In the life of Shirley Chisholm is embodied the American dream.

Shirley's parents immigrated to the U.S., from Barbados and British Guiana. They met, married and raised a family. In her recounting of her families' experiences we learn of the lives of immigrants in New York. We also learn of the difficult choices people were sometimes forced to make.

During the Depression Shirley's parents realized they could not provide for their children as they would like. As a result, Shirley and her sister were taken to live with her grandmother and cousins in Barbados. At the time, the family thought this would be for a few months but it turned out to be several years.

Representative Chisholm could have presented this time away from her parents as a wholly negative experience. Instead, she tells us of her time in Barbados and describes it as a period in which her fundamental character was developed.

Unlike other autobiographies I have read, this one neither seeks to exonerate the writer nor to sugar coat past events. It is a straight forward telling of Representative Chisholms' family life, educational background and involvement in politics.

As I read this book, I reflected on the sentiment which is sometimes expressed which says, "...he who does not know his past is bound to repeat its mistakes."

Because of her role as a Representative, Shirley Chisholm was present and actively involved in the debates about the legalization of abortion, the separation of church and government and American involvement in the war in Vietnam. Some of these are issues we continue to struggle with today.

In retelling her life story, we are taken into one of the most turbulent and hopeful times in American history. We are introduced to party politics in New York City, the state capital and the Congress. We learn the unvarnished truth of life for African-Americans from the 1940's to the 1970's, when this book was written.

"Unbought and Unbossed" is a book which is appealing on several levels. I would encourage anyone who is interested in history, the life of immigrants, the role of women and the processes of politics to read this book.


Please consider placing the Association of Blind Citizens on your giving list.


Please join us on future ABC events and projects. If you wish to develop an activity or have a project that you would like ABC to assist you with please e-mail John Oliveira at president@blindcitizens.org or visit our web site at www.blindcitizens.org.


Helping guide dogs to make the grade

June 5, 2003

By Hazel Ettienne, The Huddersfield Daily Examiner

PUPPY walker Diana Kaye was convinced her latest charge would never make the grade.

Labrador-cross Sadie had an independent spirit and dominant character which seemed unsuitable for guide dog training. But two years later, the hours of hard work have paid off and Sadie is probably the most photographed dog in Britain as the constant companion of Home Secretary David Blunkett. And Mr. Blunkett was so delighted with his new friend that he made a personal visit to Diana's Honley home during a visit to Huddersfield to thank her for her hard work and determination.

"It is wonderful for puppy walkers like myself to find out how the dogs are getting on and it was lovely of Mr. Blunkett to take time out from his schedule to visit," said Diana, of Field End. "Sadie was a very difficult dog initially. I was convinced she would never be suitable, but Mr. Blunkett said she had taken to the role well and was marvelous at the job."

Sadie was one of a specially-bred litter of dogs, one of which was earmarked for Mr. Blunkett. She is the half sister of his previous much-loved guide dog Lucy, who has now retired.

Mrs. Kaye has worked as a puppy walker for the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association for the past 21 years. "I get them about six weeks old and they stay with me until they are about a year old. I have to give them every experience of life from getting used to people, traffic, public transport, attending church, in fact going anywhere where a blind person may visit."

After puppy walking dogs begin their training at centers around the country. As the Home Secretary's dog, Sadie also had to undergo further specialist training including reacting to bomb threats and demonstrations.

Mrs. Kaye, 50, is a familiar face around Honley village with her charges, although she is taking a break from puppy walking at the moment. But the mother-of-four is still finding time in her hectic schedule - she works as a swimming teacher at the McAlpine Stadium and in Wakefield - to look after guide dogs and other animals when their owners go on holiday. She also has two dogs of her own, Musket, "a guide dog reject" and Toby.

The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association is keen to recruit new puppy walking volunteers from Huddersfield. More information on becoming a puppy walker from the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association's West Yorkshire Office on 0113 275 6326 or 0113 284 4211.


Assistive Technology Fund Awards Grants

The Assistive Technology Fund continues to assist blind people from around the country to obtain adaptive technology products. This last quarter the ATF assisted in the purchse of tens of thousands of dollars in adaptive products. Below you will find the names of individuals that were assited during the prior grant period ending on December 31, 2002. Below you will find a sampling of thank you notes that ABC received from proud grant recipients.

To All That This May Concern:

We want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for helping to meet a need in Hunter's life. We are so grateful to all of ABC's donors and sponsors who have made the purchase of this CCTV possible. It will benefit Hunter greatly throughout his academic endeavors. We are a homeschool family and therefore do not have access to equipment in the public school system. We were trying to get funds through many avenues, i.e. Lions Club, Social Workers, etc. but things seemed to always hit a dead end. It was discouraging at times. We had been trying to get funds for 3 or 4 months. Then we received the call!! The call from John Oliveira that we had been accepted for the grant. We were so happy!! We greatly appreciate your program and the generous people that make it happen for the visually impaired. May God Richly Bless You All.

Sincerely,
Tammy Thomsen
Hunter's mom

Dear Association of Blind Citizens:

Thank you for assisting in paying for my computer. The computer will help me keep my grades up in school. I can now access information on the internet with the help of my Jaws Program. This has opened up a whole new world for me and I am really enjoying it.

My new computer is a wonderful thing to have. I can get e-mail, practice typing, and playing games and makes no messes with ink or game pieces. I can do things like never before. I can also listen to my favorite music without plugging in anything or taking anything out. Thank you for putting in some of your money to help me.

The computer will help me learn things that I don't know yet. My family has helped me learn new ways to access information for my school reports. This is a dream come true for me. I can write my school reports without bothering my parents. I can't wait to watch my first movie on the computer.

Thank you very much for the time you spent and the money you earned to do something nice for me. I knew in my heart I would have a computer someday. I thought that I would have to earn the money myself, and I didn't know how I would do that.

I am very thankful for your kindness towards blind children and adults. You have made a great impact on my life

Thank you so much.
Tiffani Clements
P.S. Photo of me at my new computer to follow in the mail.

Thank you for helping me purchase a computer for my home. Without your help I would not have been able to continue my college education. I hope to put you generous donation to good use. My goal is to put myself through college, and one day plan to open my own business. It is a wonderful opportunity you are providing for visually impaired and blind individuals like myself. On behalf of us all," Thank You."

Sincerely,
Theresa Miller

Dear Mr. Oliveira,

I'm writing to let you know my new Magni-Cam arrived today, March 5th.

It will take a little getting used to the new camera, since it has a couple features that are different from my old, decrepit camera. It's nice to have a camera that doesn't put snow and lines all over the screen whenever it is moved a little or whenever there is too much contrast, such as pictures or text banners. It really makes reading much easier again. My first Magni-Cam lasted nearly nine years to the day, so I anticipate many good years of use from this new one.

My thanks once again to you and the Association for your help in enabling me to purchase the Magni-Cam. I'll get photos of me using it as soon as I can, perhaps within the next few days.

Sincerely,
John W. Smith

Grant Recipients:

  • Parastou Sadatmousavi Spring Valley, California
  • Stephen Russell Palo Alto, California
  • Tiffani Clements Ramona, California
  • Paul W George Southfield, Michigan
  • Margie Reis Phoenix, Arizona
  • Peter A. Jackson Damariscotta, Maine
  • Theresa Miller Kenosha, Wisconsin
  • Jeremy Fifield Alliance, Nebraska
  • James A. Erks Waterloo, Iowa
  • Candie Stiles Binghamton, New York
  • Hadi Bargi Rangin Beaverton, Oregon
  • Hunter Thomsen >Denver, North Carolina
  • John W. Smith Hallsville, Missouri
  • Milton H. Weiss Sebastian, Florida
  • Tonia Boyd Louisville, Kentucky
  • Christeen Davis Memphis, Tennessee

If you write for fun or are a professional writer you may submit articles on any topic for publication or republication. Submissions for our Fall Winter edition must be submitted by November 1 2003. Please submit them via email to editor@blindcitizens.org.


This story was first published in the April 2000 issue of Analog Science Fiction and Fact Magazine.

THE TURING TESTERS

By Michael A. Burstein and Joe Lazzaro

The Testing Center was a massive cube of stone and glass, reaching into the sky. It dominated the city center, with wide courtyards and walkways. The guard stood behind half a meter of bullet proof plastic, speaking through an intercom, my first contact on the first day of the job. "Welcome to The Center." Before I could answer, she passed me a plastic badge. It showed my photo and Test scores. "Can't let Flunkers walk in here, you know." She buzzed the door open onto a long white corridor.

Flunkers, people who failed The Test, sent away for re-education. It had been public policy for over fifty years now.

The hall led to a computer room with a middle-aged man sitting behind a perfectly organized desk. He introduced himself as Charlie, offered me real coffee and a comfortable chair, looking old enough to be my father, older than the other Testers I'd trained with. He looked experienced as hell! "Don't expect you'll have much trouble with the equipment, same ones they used in the University sims."

I looked around the room, watching the techs get the computers ready. The testing centers were now in every state capital. When a child reached the age of eighteen, he or she was mandated to take the Test. The civil population dreaded the test, for fear that their children would be stigmatized forever, but it was for the greater good of society.

"So how do you feel, first day on the job?"

"A bit nervous," I said, regretting it immediately.

"You shouldn't. You're good, and you've had lots of practice."

I shook my head. "Only in the sims, with teachers as subjects, no risk."

Charlie came around the desk, and put his hand on my shoulder. "You're in the real world now, son. Better get used to that fast. but you won't be alone.

Let's go!"

Charlie helped me create a password, and showed me how to log into the main computer, loading the program files for the first subject.

Being the new team member, I stayed in the background, and let the others ask the questions, while trying to figure out for myself which was the Real and which was the Artificial. In some cases, the Artificials were very good, but never quite good enough. I was able to spot them every time. I kept quiet, though, and let it appear as if I was just going along with the group consensus.

I have to admit, that as the day went on, I kept thinking that perhaps I'd be the first Turing tester to get them all right. I began daydreaming, thinking that we'd continue getting them all right for weeks, and then months, until finally someone would notice. Then there would be honors, and parades, and more net time, and -- and then there came the one we got wrong. I knew it would happen -- statistically, the success rate is only about 82.5% -- but I just didn't expect it to happen so soon.

To give us credit, it was a tough case. Most of the other ones we had decided in under an hour. But this one took us almost two hours of discussion and debate. I wish I could say that I just went along with the consensus, but for the first time, I argued vociferously. And, as it turned out, for the wrong side.

My side won, by a vote of four to one. Charlie was the only holdout. Once we reached a verdict, we entered our decisions into the main computer.

A loud buzz filled the room, and the computer spoke in a recorded voice. "I'm sorry," it said to the human being sitting in the Test Chamber. "You failed."

I heard the sobbing all the way through the wall. I couldn't handle it. My body shook; And I walked away from the team, to the corner of the room, to be alone. but the crying stayed a long time in my mind.

Charlie came after me. "Upset?"

I nodded at his rhetorical question. "A little." What did he expect? We all lived our comfortable lives. both Charlie and I would be going home to our familiar condominium this evening after work, home to a hot meal, and to the net. but the human subject that we had just passed judgment on would not be sleeping at home tonight. His destiny was a training enclave, a place where he could be reshaped to better fit into society.

Charlie put his hand on my shoulder. "First one you get wrong is always difficult. Just remember it's not your fault. You know the rules. If a person isn't intelligent enough to convince five people that he's human..."

I forced my face to show calm. "I'm all right now. It sort of changes you, the first time."

"It's not so bad," Charlie said.

"What do you mean not so bad? They're banned from the net for five to ten years: no video, no music, no best sellers, no uni-media of any kind, nada! Then they're retested, and half of them flunk out again!"

"They're effectively cut off from civilization," I retorted.

"No they're not. they have all the good, old fashioned bound books they can read."

I kept at him. "That's easy for you to say. You haven't had to go through that."

Charlie looked like a man at the end of his rope. "Now, normally my first reaction to a statement like that is to hurl a barrage of steaming profanity at the offender. But since you're new around here, I'll give you the benefit of the doubt.

When I took the test twenty years ago for the first time, I was a wise-assed collection of attitude and bravado with little or no real knowledge.

Needless to say, I failed the test that day, and was shipped off to the Vermont Enclave."

I was scandalized. "But how did you... get here?"

Charlie broke into a devilish smile. "Legally, folks can take the Test more than once. I passed it the second time."

Author Bios

Michael A. Burstein is an award winning science fiction writer with numerous stories in Analog, Absolute Magnitude, and other science fiction and fact publications. He received the prestigious John W. Campbell award for best writer in 1997, and maintains a web site at http://www.mabfan.com.

Joe Lazzaro is author of "Adaptive Technologies for Learning and Work Environments", a guide that describes how to adapt computers for persons with disabilities, and a freelance writer. His web site is http://www.JoeLazzaro.com
The End


Marketplace

The announcement of new products and services in this column should not be considered an endorsement of those products and services by the Association of Blind Citizens, its staff or elected officials. Products and services are listed free of charge for the benefit of our readers. "The Advocate" cannot be responsible for the reliability of products or services mentioned.

New Web Site

Eyes2eyes.com provides information on personal, medical, employment, safety, and vision issues. It also offers tips for household management and allows individuals to submit recipes and articles. In addition, eyes2eyes has a section that allows people to voice their opinions or post messages to others.

Eyes2eyes is presented in text only format to accommodate those individuals using screen reading software. To encourage visitors to return to eyes2eyes the website will be updated on a weekly basis.

** Attention Blind Parents **

We are two blind mothers that are collecting material to write book about being blind parents. If you're a blind adult with sighted children and you are willing to share your expertise, knowledge and/or stories about your children, contact us at:
www.blindparents.0catch.com/home.html. Download our survey so that your experiences can be used in our soon to be published book. Or you can Email us directly at: blindparents@yahoo.com.

PEOPLE NEEDED FOR STUDY

Hermansky-Pudlak Syndrome (HPS) is a serious genetic disorder. It affects people from many nationalities and is very prevalent in families from northwestern Puerto Rico and their descendants. HPS involves albinism, a bleeding tendency and bruising, and in some cases, a life-threatening lung disease. Doctors at the National Institutes of Health are writing a protocol for a treatment for the pulmonary fibrosis of HPS. Patients will be treated by some of the nation's leading experts at the NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda, Md. There is no cost for the medicine, hospitalization, or doctors' fees.

Eligible people will have a forced vital capacity on pulmonary function tests of below 85 percent. If you have a breathing problem related to Hermansky-Pudlak Syndrome, or if you are albino, have asthma, and suspect you might have this syndrome, please call toll-free (800) 789-9477.

USED CANES NEEDED OVERSEAS

Jeff and Tami Carmer, of California Canes, are assisting with a project to provide used white canes to South Americans. Their contact is willing to do the overseas shipping. If you have any unused mobility canes in any condition, please send them to Manuel Sanchez, 4007 E. Pikes Peak Blvd., Colorado Springs, CO 80909. And if you're in the market for a cane, please contact California Canes, 16263 Walnut Street, Hesperia, CA 92345, phone (866) 332-4883; fax (760) 956-7477, E-mail calif.canes@verizon.net, or visit the web site, www.californiacanes.com.

BRAILLE TRANSLATION SERVICE

The Bartimaeus Group in northern Virginia has been known for its extensive line of assistive technology products, and for providing technical and training services. Now the company offers a Braille transcription service featuring customization, quick turn-around times, and affordable prices. Ask about discounts. Documents such as meeting agendas and training manuals, convention programs and class assignments are easily transcribed into grades 1 or 2 Braille.

Contact Bartimaeus Group at 1481 Chain Bridge Rd., McLean, VA 22101, phone (703) 442-5023, e-mail braille@bartsite.com, or visit the web site, www.bartsite.com.

COOKING WITHOUT LOOKING

WXEL-TV in Palm Beach, Fla., aired the pilot program of "Cooking Without Looking" on January 4. A new audio-described TV program, "Cooking Without Looking" is the first-ever television show created especially for a blind and visually impaired audience. The show will help blind and visually impaired people enjoy the art of cooking while shedding light on issues visually impaired people face when dining out and eating in.

"We wanted to give our blind and visually impaired viewers something very special, something which would entertain, educate and empower," says Lee A. Rowand, Director of Television Programming & Creative Services for WXEL, TV 42. "It does all of that and more. Sighted people will get a lot out of it, too. It's enjoyable for everyone."

Magnifying America, the world's largest retailer of technology and specialty solutions for people who are blind and visually impaired, is the production underwriter of "Cooking Without Looking."

John Palmer, owner of Magnifying America, says, "We are very proud to be involved in the beginning of such a groundbreaking effort.'Cooking Without Looking' will be revolutionary TV a show that will both inspire and educate people who are blind, visually impaired and, yes, even sighted. The show's done with a lot of humor and candor so that everyone will enjoy it."

The show runs from noon to 1 p.m. on Palm Beach's channel 42 (PBS).

LARGE PRINT BOOKS AT LOW PRICES

Toby Press will provide large print books in hard cover and 16-point type very soon, through Barnes & Noble, Amazon.com and better booksellers. Titles will include: "Oliver Twist" and "Great Expectations" by Charles Dickens, for $19.95 each; "The Scarlet Letter" & "House of the Seven Gables," both for $19.95;

"Pride and Prejudice" and "Emma" by Jane Austen, for $19.95 each; and "Collected Poetry by Walt Whitman," for $19.95; "The Sacrifice of Tamar" and "Chains Around the Grass" by Naomi Ragen, for $24.95 each, along with other classics.

For more information, contact the Toby Press, P.O. Box 8531, New Milford, CT 06776-8531, phone (203) 830-8508, e-mail sjs@tobypress.com, or visit the web site, www.tobypress.com.

SIMON SAYS ...

The GE Interlogix Simon security system, Electronic House magazine's 2002 Product of the Year, is a good fit for the lifestyle and needs of the visually impaired. Simon provides home security, fire alarm, and environmental monitoring -- all in a sleek, new, low profile unit. The system delivers voice prompts and status messages to the user and describes, in plain English, the location and nature of an alarm. Simon assures users when it is armed properly and notifies them if it isn't.

Visually impaired users also appreciate the home automation capabilities of the Simon system. A dark home may be perfectly comfortable for a blind person, but from a security perspective, it is also inviting to burglars. Simon can be programmed to turn lights on or off on a schedule or in response to sensor activation, giving the home a "lived-in" look -- whether anyone is home or not. The optional Dialog Thermostat interacts with the Simon system to automatically adjust the temperature when no one is home. This provides convenient energy savings without the need to constantly adjust the temperature or try to program a thermostat that might not be designed for visually impaired users.

Simon can be turned off and on using a small, portable keychain touchpad that doesn't require any codes. This comes in handy when children need to interact with the system. Instead of memorizing difficult codes, the user has only to press the lock or unlock button to turn the system on or off.

To learn more about the new Simon system or locate a GE Interlogix Security Pro dealer in your area, call GE Interlogix at (800) 777-1415, ext. 2119.

APPLE UNVEILS NEW BROWSER

At the Macworld Expo, Apple Computer unveiled a new web browser, called Safari. The new browser, which only runs on Mac OS X 10.2 or higher, can read web pages aloud, includes a Google search field, tracks recently visited URLs, and includes a feature to block pop-up ads. Although no one expects Safari to challenge Internet Explorer's dominance of the browser market, Apple's new browser will give existing Apple customers an alternative to Microsoft software.

IT'S EASI!

Earn a certificate in accessible information technology. No need for expensive travel or taking time away from work. Work anywhere and any time. Previous courses have included more than 4,000 participants from more than 36 countries. EASI provides eight online courses in accessible information technology which can be taken separately for continuing education credits; five classes comprise the certificate.

All classes are online, interactive, instructor-led month- long courses: Barrier-free Information Technology; Beginner Barrier-free Web Design; Advanced Barrier-free Web Design; Barrier-free E-learning; Accessible Internet Multimedia; Learning Disabilities and Adaptive Technology; and Train the Trainer. For more information, visit http://www.easi.cc/workshop.htm, or e- mail Norman Coombs, nrcgsh@rit.edu.

OLDER AMERICANS INFORMATION Directory

Sedgwick Press recently published the fourth edition of "Older American Information Directory." This new edition includes more than 12,000 listings addressing physical, biological, psychological, social, political and economic aspects of aging. A brand-new section on assisted living centers and facilities was added, too. The softcover edition costs $165; an annual subscription to the online database, $215; and combination pack (book and online) costs $300. Call Sedgwick Press at (800) 562-2139, or e-mail books@greyhouse.com to order.


Please place the Association of Blind Citizens on your giving list. Donations should be made payable to:
Association of Blind Citizens
PO Box 246
Holbrook MA 02343.


Jan's Tasty Tidbits

LEMON GARLIC CHICKEN

  • 4 chicken breast halves (2 pounds)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves, crushed
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons margarine
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon chicken bouillon granules
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh parsley
  • Remove skin and fat from chicken; rinse; pat dry.
  • In small bowl, mix oregano and pepper; rub all of it into chicken.
  • In skillet on medium heat, brown chicken in margarine.
  • Put in crockpot.
  • Put water, lemon juice, garlic and bouillon in skillet.
  • Stirring over medium heat, bring to boil, loosening browned bits from bottom of pan.
  • Pour over chicken.
  • Cover and cook on High 2-1/2 to 3 hours or on Low 5 to 6 hours until chicken is almost tender.
  • Add parsley and baste chicken. Cover and cook on High 15 to 30 minutes until chicken is tender. Makes 4 servings, 6 points each.
  • Serve with rice pilaf.

LAST-MINUTE LASAGNA

  • 1 26-ounce jar pasta sauce
  • 1 30-ounce bag frozen large cheese ravioli, unthawed
  • 1 10-ounce box frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 1 8-ounce bag shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Coat 13-inch by 9-inch baking dish with cooking spray; spoon in 1/3 sauce.
  • Arrange 12 ravioli on top; scatter spinach over them.
  • Top with half of each cheese.
  • Cover with another layer of ravioli and remaining sauce and cheese.
  • Cover with foil; bake 25 minutes.
  • Uncover and bake 5 to 10 minutes longer or until bubbly. Makes 6 servings, 15 points each.

LEMON GRILLED SALMON

  • 2 teaspoons snipped fresh dill or 3/4 teaspoon dill weed
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon pepper seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, optional
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 to 1-1/2 pound salmon fillet (1)
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped green onion
  • 1 small lemon, thinly sliced
  • 2 onion slices, separated into rings
  • Sprinkle dill, lemon pepper, salt and garlic powder over salmon; put in glass container.
  • Combine next five ingredients; pour over salmon; cover; refrigerate 1 hour, turning once.
  • Drain; discard marinade.
  • Put salmon, skin side down, on grill over medium heat. Arrange lemon and onion slices atop.
  • Cover; cook 15 to 20 minutes or until fish is flaky. Makes 6 servings, 7 points each.

Note: I cooked this on a medium George Foreman grill for about 6 minutes.