LBPH Inside the Beltway: a Newsletter
Biennial customer survey: Every two years, each Regional LBPH conducts a survey of its patrons to help assess what we are doing and plan for the future. We seek as broad participation as possible, so please take a few minutes to complete this 10-question survey before September 25.
Please help us help you by participating!
NLS News: Kurt Cylke, Director of the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, retired February 28. He led NLS for 38 years, including overseeing the transition to digital services. Ruth Scovill, Director of Technology Policy at Library of Congress, has been named Interim Director.
Pam Stovall, Associate Director of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library, died June 26. Pam was a good friend to Adaptive Services and is sadly missed.
Welcome our new NFB Newsline Administrator for DC! Kathy Gosselin, an LBPH patron and member of the D.C. blind community, took a few minutes from her new job to answer a few questions:
How long have you used Newsline?
“Since May of 1996. I have found it a great resource for local, national and international information. When I was working on my M.A. in International Affairs, it was great for articles on South Africa, my focus. It has 300 publications, and great search features to help find articles of interest.”
How does the search feature work?
“You use a touch-tone phone to choose what you would like to read. The instructions and introductory tutorial are very clear and easy to follow.”
Are there features besides newspapers and magazines?
“Yes, the local information channel has news and announcements of upcoming events of interest to the blind community in the D.C. Metro area. There’s also a job search feature with all kinds of jobs nationwide—you can focus right in on types of work and your location. You can access Target’s weekly sale circulars. Then, when you’re ready to take a break, you can check the TV Guide listings.”
What does an administrator do?
“I assist people in signing up and using the service, and I’m always happy to answer questions. I update the local information channel. I also make sure our records are accurate, so I’ll be calling users for current information and to see if they have questions.”
How can people get in touch?
“Call me at 202-442-4365 or e-mail me at email@example.com. Talking to users is my favorite part of the job!”
Two Programs in Celebration of Deaf Awareness Week—Monday, September 19, Carolyn McCaskill & Ceil Lucas, (co-authors with two others) of The Hidden Treasure of Black ASL, will discuss their research on this unique variety of ASL. Tuesday, September 20, Dr. Deborah Pichler, Associate Professor of Linguistics at Gallaudet University, will speak on “Growing Up Bilingual in Speech & Sign.” Both programs are in the Great Hall at MLK Library, 6 to 8 p.m. Voice and ASL interpreters will be at both programs.
Starbucks & Braille—Did you know Starbucks offers menus in Braille? And, in cooperation with National Braille Press, Onward: How Starbucks Fought for Its Life Without Losing Its Soul, by CEO Howard Schultz, is available as a free eBraille download.
Washington Volunteer Readers for the Blind (WVRB) has been busy recording the following books:
Resistance: by Owen Sheers. Set in Wales during World War II.
Miss Rhythm, autobiography of Ruth Brown, Rhythm & Blues Legend.
The Sublime Engine: A Biography of the Human Heart, by Stephen & Thomas Amidon. The human heart as it appears in literature, art and religion.
Lives and Letters, by Robert Gottlieb. Profiles of writers, performers and public figures, many written for The New Yorker and Vanity Fair magazines.
Contact us at 202-727-2142 if you would like to borrow a book on cassette.
New Described Videos: We are adding more general release films with audio description tracks to our collection. The menu to select and play the descriptive track is not accessible, so a sighted person will have to start the DVD--better yet, enjoy the movie together! A few of the new titles for children and adults include: Alice in Wonderland; Despicable Me; Eat, Pray, Love; Julie & Julia; Secretariat; Social Network; and Tangled. For a complete list, please call 202-727-2142, or visit www.dclibrary.org/services/lbph and look under “DC Regional…” for “Descriptive Video Collection.”
DC VIP Teens met weekly for five months last spring to explore careers and future educational opportunities; build advocacy, adaptive technology and social skills; learn about community resources and more, ending with a celebration at historic Ben’s Chili Bowl. This was a partnership among Friends of DC-LBPH; Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind; D.C. Public Schools and the library. Plans are underway for the fall semester series to begin in September.
www.DCtransition.org is a new online clearinghouse for local secondary transition resources. Connect with programs, schools and activities that will help you take charge of your future. Be inspired by success stories of D.C. youth and young adults making the transition into adulthood. Find answers to your questions about transitioning to employment, education and independence. Make an investment in your future…Check it out!
Braille Book Club—The DC Regional LBPH and Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind continue their partnership in a book club for Braille readers grades 1-6. We normally meet from 11 a.m. to noon the first Saturday of each month. (Dates may change because of holidays.) New friends are waiting to welcome you!
ASL Story Hour—Saturdays, Oct. 1, Nov. 5 and Dec. 3, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., in the Children’s Room at MLK Library, Gallaudet University students sign stories, children’s librarians lead crafts, ASL interpreters and therapy dogs from People Animals Love work together. For more information, call Janice Rosen on ASL video phone at 202-559-5368, or on 866-570-7364 via voice video relay service, or e-mail Janice.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ongoing Adaptive Services Programs
Restructuring JAWS Training—Our Adaptive Technology Training Program has been so successful that we must make a change in order to accommodate more people. This new plan offers several benefits to students: a clearly defined goal, a sense of accomplishment when that goal has been reached, a certificate of accomplishment for your portfolio and an opportunity to collaborate with peers.
Classes will be offered in eight-week sessions. The curriculum will cover basic computer skills with the JAWS screen reader: Using the Internet, creating an e-mail address, and writing and editing a Microsoft Word document. After the eight-week session is completed, students will receive a certificate of completion from Adaptive Services. Four groups will meet weekly, on Thursday and Friday, mornings and afternoons, with up to four students in each group.
Fall classes begin October 6-7. Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis, so call Chris Corrigan at 202-727-2143 soon. When the first session is filled, we will start a waiting list for the January session.
ASL Classes—Adaptive Services offers free classes in American Sign Language several times each week. Classes are structured in eight-week sessions, so the schedule is updated regularly. Call 202-727-2142, or e-mail Janice.email@example.com for days, times and places.
Games Night Changes in September—Adaptive Services hosts a monthly Games Night for blind and low-vision gamers. Our games feature braille and/or large print and include Bingo, Scrabble, cards, trivia, Chess and computer word games. This is a fun, interactive way to promote knowledge, literacy and community for people of all ages. Beginning September 27, we will shift to the fourth Tuesday of the month at 6:15 p.m. For more information, please call Chris Corrigan at 202-727-2143 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org .
Tech Talk Tuesday—first Tuesday of each month, 6 p.m.: adaptive technology vendors lead discussion and training on advanced technology.
WebAccessibilityDC Meetup—third Tuesday of each month, 6:30 p.m.: informal presentations and networking around web accessibility. Meet the professionals, and let them know what you look for in accessible websites!
Saturday Technology Sessions—Sessions focus on adaptive technology for personal use, job hunting, and other important information. They meet first and third Saturdays, with program from 1 to 3 p.m. and networking from 3 to 4 p.m. Sessions resume on September 17. To join the e-mail list for reminders and topics of upcoming programs, please call 202-727-2142.
Where the Action Is—In July, the DC Regional LBPH circulated 1,379 Talking Books to our patrons: 970 DBs (53%); 409 BARD downloads (22%) and 451 RCs (25%). Three-fourths of our circulation is now digital, so if you haven’t tried the Digital Player, now is the time!
BARD Help Reminders—Patrons using IE9 may have noticed changes from earlier versions. This prompts us to remind BARD users of the “Additional Links” on the BARD Main Page. Scroll down below “Find Books” and “Find Magazines,” to see Instructions, Frequently Asked Questions and a link to subscribe to the BARD ListServe. Please note that the ListServ is for communication among users, so responses are from fellow users. NLS Staff monitor the ListServe to identify trends in comments and concerns and remove inappropriate content, but rarely respond to specific questions.
Cartridges for BARD Books--Some patrons have found thumb drives that work with their NLS digital players, but performance can be unpredictable, and may result in various problems. We encourage BARD users with an NLS player to use blank cartridges designed specifically for this player. You will need both a cartridge and a special USB cable to attach it to your computer. (If you only use DBs by mail, there is no need for this.)
There are now four sources where you can buy cartridges and cables:
1. American Printing House for the Blind, Inc. (APH), www.APH.org 1839 Frankfort Avenue, P.O. Box 6085, Louisville, KY 40206-0085; 800-223-1839 (Toll-free customer service in the U.S. and Canada) or email@example.com 2GB Cartridge: $12, USB Cable: $5, Free Shipping
2. Perkins Products, www.perkinsproducts.org 175 North Beacon Street, Watertown, MA 02472; 617-972 7308 or FAX 617-926 2027, Talking Book Accessories section firstname.lastname@example.org 1GB Cartridge: $10.99, 2GB Cartridge: $11.99, USB Cable: $5, Free Shipping
3. Howell Mobility Products, www.howellmobility.com, 717 Louis Avenue, Royal Oak, MI 48067-4603; 248-548-1788 or FAX 248-548-1788 (call first) email@example.com, 2GB Cartridge: $11, USB Cable: $3
Howell notes: "Shipping and handling rates for small cable and cartridge orders are less than our normal rates. Within the US, add $3 for up to 10 items. For over 10 items, add 5% of your order, $7 minimum.”
4. Vistas, Braille Institute, www.brailleinstitute.org, 741 North Vermont Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90029, 323-663-1111, Ext. 1245 or FAX 323-663-0867, 2GB Cartridge (order #21601): $15.95, USB Cable (order #2141): $7.95, Shipping charge $8 per order.
Downloading books to a cartridge entails essentially the same process as downloading to a flash drive. For more information, try the BARD FAQ: https://nlsbard.loc.gov/NLS/FAQ.html
Updates & Reminders
Adaptive Services hours—Monday and Tuesday, noon to 9 p.m., and Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The rest of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library is also open 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Saturday. No DC Public Libraries will be open Sundays effective October 1.
Overdues—RC’s go out for three months, DB’s and DVS’s for one. Overdue material on your record can prevent requested items from going out to you. Be a “good neighbor” to others who are waiting by making these items available, just as you would want others to do for you. We are increasing the maximum number of DBs to five for people who do not have a history of overdue books, videos or DVDs.
OOPS!—We sometimes receive cases with the wrong DB or no DB inside. This delays your next book going out because we cannot check in an incomplete book. It also delays the book becoming available to the next user, and sometimes the DB is lost completely. Keeping track of DBs is especially important because they cost about 20 times as much as a cassette to replace! After you have read your digital books, please send them back in their correct cases so others can enjoy them, too.
Your Time Is Important—Instead of waiting for books, they can be waiting for you! If you prefer to pick up your books at the library, it is important for us to know one business day ahead. Our books are on a different floor, and we don’t always have someone available to retrieve them.
Help Keep Us Up-to-Date—It is essential that we have a current mailing address and telephone for every patron. If you change your address, phone or e-mail, please call 202-727-2142, or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Closing an LBPH Account—If you or a family member is closing an account, players and Talking Books can be mailed to the library as Free Matter for the Blind or Handicapped, or you can drop them off at Adaptive Services at the MLK Library. All players and materials are the property of the Federal Government and must be returned, even non-working players. We repair them or salvage repair parts for other players.
From a Patron
My Experiences at the Carroll Center for the Blind
By Jeannette C. Martin
Vision loss can be depressing. Such darkness or near darkness is frightening. Due to misunderstandings of blindness, it is also a very lonely existence. Everything changes, especially living independently. With vision loss, everything—and I do mean everything—takes twice as long to accomplish. Not to mention a sharp decline in your confidence level.
The Carroll Center, a place of restoration, is on a beautiful campus in Newton, Massachusetts, and teaches every facet of independent living. Every student, low vision or no vision, wears occluders (sleep shades). As soon as you set foot on the campus, you realize you are not alone. Every student is either totally or legally blind. All are dealing with the same issue: blindness, whether from birth or due to genetics, accident or disease.
The Carroll Center is like college life. We were responsible for ourselves and our personal belongings. The first two weeks of instruction were closely monitored. The nurse came to the dorm every morning to make sure every student was up, dressed and well enough to attend class. Then we were escorted to the main building. Breakfast was 7:15 to 8:15 a.m. After breakfast, we went to the lobby, where our instructors met us. Classes were small, two to four students. The 12-week Independent Living Class is focused on eight areas, described below. All were taught occluded.
Fencing uses other senses; balance, audio and direction. Every student had a face mask, chest protection and a foil. Advancing, retreating and lunging were basic moves. Listening to your opponent’s movement guides direct contact with your foil and one point. Each match has a five point maximum. The student with most match points remains to fence with the next student.
Case Management is usually one-on-one. Its main object is to guide adjustment to class/dorm life and any other problems or concerns.
Personal Management teaches core skills of independent living. This class has no more than three students, who learn kitchen safety (cooking included), sewing, cleaning, ironing, laundry, use of cooking utensils, dry and liquid measurements, table settings and eating skills, as well as ways to label clothing, food, (frozen and canned), shampoo, conditioner, seasonings, etc.
Counseling is very personal in nature. It gives the student a chance to vent, cry or just unload. Loss of vision brings a cadre of loss unimagined.
Health Management assists and instructs the student to be aware of closer attention to medications and dosage, timely health screenings and other bodily changes due to aging and disease.
Low Vision class is for students with little usable vision. Students are encouraged to experiment with various types of magnifying tools, including Closed Circuit Television (CCTV)—desk top and portable—as well as handheld telescopic monocular/binocular devices for indoors and out.
Communication Skills assists the student with modifications such as talking calculators, writing guides, raised lines checkbook, voice recorders, computer training, typing and reliance on screen-reading devises.
Manual Tasks improves dexterity and hand strength in non-visual tasks and encourages creativity using drills, table, band and miter saws for wood projects, including jewelry boxes, serving trays or butterfly and bird houses.
Orientation/Mobility Training teaches travel safety. This class is held on residential streets, major crosswalks, malls, trains and buses. Cane technique and listening skills prepare the student for independent and safe travel.
Two additional classes offered are Technical Skills, which lasts two weeks and improves computer skills, and Job Market Skills, eight weeks, to assist the job seeker in interview skills and dressing for work. Job placements were wide ranging, from basic hospital work to Assistant to the Administrator.
This experience has given me the skills and self-confidence to actively pursue my work and life goals. I am at Adaptive Services almost every day, developing and submitting résumés and portfolios and looking for new openings. Many thanks to D.C. Department of Rehabilitation Services for making this life-changing training possible!
“Inside the Beltway: A Newsletter” is published by the Washington, D.C., Regional Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, in the Adaptive Services Division of the DC Public Library. It is sent to patrons who are registered with us and to other interested parties, and is available in large print, on cassette, and by e-mail. To change your address or format, please contact us by telephone, 202-727-2142 or e-mail: email@example.com. Serena McGuire, Editor & Reader’s Advisor.
3rd Annual Moving Forward Together Secondary Transition Community Forum September 23-24. Spearheaded by SchoolTalk, Inc., the forum helps youth with disabilities make the transition from school to work or further education. Friday programs are designed for middle and high school students; D.C. schools are invited to bring their students, Advanced Registration Required. Saturday programs include workshops, local resources, success stories, interactive programming, networking and community building. For information or to register, see www.dctransition.org, or contact Leila Peterson at 202-907-6887 or Leila.Peterson@schooltalkdc.org.
2011 Mayor’s Annual Disability Awareness Expo will be Saturday, October 8, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library, 901 G St. N.W. Collaboration across D.C. Government agencies helps advance the conversation on equal opportunities and inclusive environments for people with disabilities. The District of Columbia is home to over 116,000 people with disabilities, and this event brings together consumers, caregivers, advocates and government officials to recognize the social and cultural contributions of these citizens. We expect more than 300 individuals to participate. The Expo highlights employment, health, recreation, and services to persons with disabilities, and is free and open to the public. Questions? Contact Christina R. Mitchell, Special Assistant Office of Disability Rights & D.C. Commission on Persons with Disabilities at Direct: 202-481-3877 or Christina.firstname.lastname@example.org
DC Accessibility Camp 3, an annual un-conference, will be October 22, at the MLK Library, from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Un-conferences have no pre-determined program, so no one knows what will happen. Rather, the people who attend gather at the start of the conference to create the program. If you would like to be a part of this event, plan to be here. Contact Patrick Timony at 202-727-1335, or register at the event website, www.accessibilitycampdc.org .
DC Reads—Each year, our Talking Book Club participates in the city-wide reading event sponsored by DC Public Library. This year, DC Reads runs October 15 to November 15. The book, The Other Wes Moore, DB 71647, is the true story of two kids with the same name living in the same decaying city. One grew up to be a Rhodes Scholar, decorated combat veteran, White House Fellow and business leader. The other is serving a life sentence in prison for murder. Come and discuss it on November 10 at 11 a.m.
Holidays, library closed: Monday, Sept. 5 and Monday, Oct. 10.
Regular Events: Schedules change around holidays and vacations. Please call 202-727-2142 for additional information.
Braille Book Club—Kids grades 1-6; 11 a.m.-noon; 9/17, 10/1, 11/5, 12/3.
Game Nights—6:15-8:00 p.m.; fourth Tuesday of the month, 9/27, 10/25, 11/22.
Saturday Sessions—1-4 p.m., first and third Saturdays.
Tech Talk Tuesday—6 p.m., first Tuesdays of the month.
WebAccessibilityDC Meetup—6:30 p.m., third Tuesdays.
ASL Story Hour—11 a.m.-1 p.m., Saturdays, 10/1; 11/5 and 12/3.
Talking Book Club—11 a.m.-1 p.m., second Thursdays of the month.
Two Programs for Deaf Awareness Week—September 19 & 20, 6 to 8 p.m. at MLK Library. See inside for details.
Adaptive Services Division
Room 215, 901 G St. N.W., Washington, DC 20001
Phone: 202-727-2142, e-mail: email@example.com
Adaptive Services Web Page
Mon. & Tues. Noon-9 p.m.; Wed., Thur., Fri. 9:30-5:30
Special Numbers for Hearing Impaired Callers
Video Phone 202-559-5368, Video Relay 866-570-7364
Captel phone 1-877-243-2823, then enter 202-727-2255