A Newsletter of the Wisconsin Regional Library for the Blind & Physically Handicapped

(Winter 2000, Volume 18 Number 3)


The National Library Service will complete the conversion of magazines from flexible-disc to cassette format in 2001. The following magazines will be produced only on cassettes, beginning with the first issue of 2001:

American Heritage
Analog Science Fiction
Contemporary Soundtrack: A Review of Pop, Jazz, Rock, and Country
Diabetes Forecast
The Musical Mainstream
The Nation
National Geographic
National Review
Quarterly Music Magazine
Talking Book Topics
U.S. News and World Report

This change was announced at the national consumer conventions in early July. NLS will notify patrons of this conversion in the September-October and succeeding issues of Talking Book Topics and Braille Book Review. Also, NLS announced the change in format in the above listed magazines starting in October 2000 through the end of the year. This is the final phase in the conversion of magazines from flexible-disc to cassette. Beginning with the January 2001 issue dates, all magazines will be in either cassette or braille format.


The AARP has published 118-page book by Patricia Baron Pollak of Cornell University on "Livable Communities." It provides residents, organizations, and local governments with a tool to assess a community's "liveability." Numerous studies confirm that as people age, they want to remain in their home communities. However, these same studies also show that people often find "aging in place" difficult because the available services and physical environment of the community are not able to accommodate their particular needs. Using information derived from surveys of older people's concerns about their communities, the Guide focuses on eight areas: public transportation; driving; walking; housing; shopping; and municipal features, services, and leisure facilities. The guide is designed for individuals, organizations, and public officials to use as they look at the need to develop local community services that will support the ability of older people to continue to live independently!


If readers have any difficulty accessing Newsline for the Blind, please phone the Regional Library at 1-800-242-8822 for help. We have available both a large print copy of the instructions as well as the Newsline Menu Options list available to send you.


SYNTHA-VOICE COMPUTERS INC. of Stoney Creek, Ontario is pleased to announce the availability of the world's first fully interactive reading and writing enhancement tool for individuals with dyslexia, a learning disability, or those with a reading comprehension difficulty. VOCATE 2000 provides you with clear speech output through a variety of optional software-based speech programs to your sound card directly from within Microsoft Windows and Windows applications. VOCATE 2000 reads as you navigate with the keyboard or mouse, using both visual and verbal feedback to focus your attention on where you are, and what you are hearing. The speed of the speech, pronunciation, pause between words, and much more is fully adjustable.

VOCATE 2000 is compatible with Windows 95, 98, Millennium, NT Version 4, and Windows 2000. It can be run on a stand-alone PC, or be installed on a network for simultaneous access by multiple users. For pricing information, a free fully functional demo of VOCATE 2000, and additional information, contact: SYNTHA-VOICE COMPUTERS INC., 800-304 Queenston Rd., Stoney Creek, ON, Canada L8G 1A7 Tel: 800-263-4540; fax:905-662-0568. [Syntha-Voice is out of business, as of December 2002.]

[Story about James Langevin omitted for copyright reasons; see: <http://cgi.cnn.com/2000/ALLPOLITICS/stories/11/13/quadriplegiclawmaker.ap/>


The following web sites are recommended as resources for more information regarding federal agency resources for employment of people with disabilities:
http://www.firstgov.gov/ (federal agency resources on a variety of topics for families and individuals);
http://www.workers.gov/ (links for work related information for individuals and families); and
[link no longer active, December 2002] (disability resources for individuals and families related to work).

Centax Books has published a Large Print Cookbook which is designed for the visually impaired. Printed with super-sized print, the Large Print Cookbook, was written by avVisually impaired orthopedic surgeon who loves to cook. Dr. Kunkel suffers from macular degeneration. His resulting low level of vision has made it impossible for him and countless thousands like him to read standard cookbooks or even standard large-print cookbooks. As a result he has developed his own highly readable cookbook. These traditional classics, family favorites to special occasion recipes will appeal to both novice and experienced cooks alike. The extra-large-print format has 30-point type, compared to 18-24 point in other large print books. Recipe titles are 36-point type. The very readable type and the clear and simple methods will delight the increasing number of cooks with low vision. For further information, write to Large Print Cookbook, c/o Centax Books, 1150 8th Avenue, Regina, SK, S4R 1C9 Canada or FAX 1-800-823-6829.

US Dept of Education has issued guidance on public schools' teaching of braille (essentially do it unless you can show it would be inappropriate). The info is available online at: [link no longer active, December 2002]. It's a huge document and it will take a long time to download. In essence, the guidance says braille should be taught to any child whose visual impairment is serious enough for the child to fall under Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Schools are not permitted to deny braille instruction because of shortages of trained personnel, availability of large print and audio taped materials, or the amount of time it will take to teach a child braille. Schools must also consider purchasing assistive technology for the child's home, must consider the full range of assistive technology that may be appropriate for the child, including personal computers with speech output. Students should also be taught other skills, such as using cassette recordings including those with compressed speech output, optical scanners with speech output and reader services. Orientation and mobility training must be given. All this must begin as early as possible in a child's education, and evaluated and updated regularly.

Once more it's time for us to survey you, and find out how we're doing. Please take the time to complete and return the enclosed survey, either by mail or e-mail. Thank you.

Wisconsin Regional Library for the Blind & Physically Handicapped Survey of Readers

Name (Optional)_________________________________________________

Telephone (Optional)____________________________________________

Computer Access (Please check your response):

Do you have access to a computer? YES_____NO_____

If so, where?
Public Library_____

If not, do you expect to purchase a computer?
Within the next 6 months_____
1-3 years_____

Do you have access to the Internet? YES_____NO_____

Do you have an e-mail address? YES_____NO_____

If so, what is it?______________________________________________

Have you ever used e-mail to submit book requests? YES_____NO_____


Have you used Newsline? YES_____NO_____

Have you encountered any problems? YES NO

If so, what?_______________________________________________________

Reading Interests:

Are there any authors, genres, or subjects you feel are under-represented in our collection? YES_____NO_____

If yes, please make your suggestions here:

Staff Service:

Have you phoned or e-mailed the Regional library in the past year? YES_____NO_____

Have you left a message on voicemail for staff? YES_____NO_____

Are your calls returned promptly? YES_____NO_____

Do we need to phone you regarding:
Address change?_____
reading interest change?____
machine problem?_____
magazine info?_____
service needs?_____

Thank you for completing this survey.

BULLETIN BOARD is published four times a year by the Wisconsin Regional Library for the Blind & Physically Handicapped. It is available in large print, Braille, and audio-cassette editions. The Wisconsin Regional Library makes no recommendations or endorsements concerning any products or services which may appear in this publication.

Wisconsin Regional Library for the Blind & Physically Handicapped
813 West Wells Street
Milwaukee, WI 53233-1436
1-414-286-3045 (in Milwaukee)
1-800-242-8822 (in Wisconsin)
1-414-286-3548 (TDD)
1-414-286-3102 (FAX)
cpirtl@mpl.org or mvalan@mpl.org (e-mail)

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