Announcement on the Passing of Helen Ziegler Steinkraus

On April 11, 2012 Helen Ziegler Steinkraus, a director of the E. Matilda Ziegler Foundation for the Blind, passed away peacefully at her home after a brief illness. After William Ziegler passed away in June of 2008, Mrs. Steinkraus was the last remaining individual of the third generation of family members who had been running the foundation. The foundation has been run by previous generations all the way back to its inception, when it was started by E. Matilda Ziegler in 1907. Both William and Helen involved their children in the foundation as well, and now the fourth generation of family members will continue on in their legacy to enrich the lives of the visually impaired community.

Mrs. Steinkraus was an intelligent, generous, well-traveled woman with an endless passion for life and enriching the lives of those around her. She is survived by her husband of 51 years, her three sons, and three grandchildren.

E. Matilda Ziegler Foundation Grants to Fidelco

Since we’re still in National Guide Dog Month, I thought it would be appropriate to mention that our governing foundation (The E. Matilda Ziegler Foundation for the Blind, Inc.) contributes yearly to the Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation here in Connecticut.  In fact, since the foundation began issuing grants to Fidelco in 1998, it has given over three hundred thousand dollars so that they can train dogs that will be given to the blind and visually impaired.

To train the dogs, Fidelco gradually increases the size of their training area as their skills progress.  They start them out working in small towns, then they start roaming the small-to-medium sized cities in Connecticut and southern Massachusetts like New Haven, Hartford, and Springfield.  The training culminates with trips to large cities like Boston and New York where they train to use various modes of transportation in the busy city atmosphere.  Fidelco incorporates an in-community placement program so that their clients can remain in their home area with their families while they train with their new dog.  For new placements, the training lasts three weeks; successor placement clients receive two weeks of training.  

Fidelco uses German Shepherds as their exclusive breed and have developed what they call “A breed within a breed” by using select working lines that are brought over from Germany.  They chose this breed for its intelligence and physical structure which lend them to be great guide dogs.

The E. Matilda Ziegler Foundation has always been passionate about contributing to Fidelco and truly appreciates the wonderful program they have in place so that people who are blind or visually impaired can be given the opportunity to live a fulfilling and independent life.

For more information about Fidelco, you can go to

Recent Releases from National Braille Press

To navigate between National Braille Press updates, please use your search or find function to look for the ## symbol.

Windows 7 and Vista Explained: A Guide for Blind and Partially Sighted


By Dr. Sarah Morley Wilkins and Steve Griffiths

In Braille (5 vols.), eBraille (electronic BRF edition), Audio CD, Large Print, or Multimedia CD (Multimedia CD includes eBraille, HTML, and DAISY with full-audio, linked text, and a DAISY player): $45.00

Accompanying computer screen diagrams (tactile/braille or large print): Sold separately for $28.00

Award-winning author Dr. Sarah Morley Wilkins and Steve Griffiths offer this new step-by-step guide on Microsoft Windows 7 and Vista, written specifically for blind users. The fifth book in the “Windows Explained” series from the Royal National Institute for the Blind, this tutorial starts with the basics and guides users through topics such as file

management, troubleshooting, and using the Internet. Written from a non-visual perspective, this guide will also benefit adaptive technology trainers and people supporting users with sight loss. By special arrangement with RNIB, NBP is offering the full range of formats (with American braille) to customers in the United States and Canada only. Read the complete table of contents, or order the book, at:


Sites Unseen: Traveling the World Without Sight

By Wendy David

In braille, eBraille, accessible PDF, and DAISY (text-to-speech audio):


“Every time I leave on another trip,” says David, “blind friends and acquaintances pepper me with questions: ‘How do you get around countries with no public transportation? How do you deal with different types and sizes of currency? How do you travel overseas with a guide dog? Who describes the unique sights to you?'”

In “Sites Unseen,” David helps you decide where to go, when to go, how best to get there, how to find accessible travel websites and social networks; gives tips for navigating busy airports, sleeping overnight on trains, enjoying today’s more comfortable bus lines, selecting a theme-based cruise, using accessible GPS, and more. “There are so many resources out there,” says David. “People just don’t know about them.” With this book, you can travel the world with confidence. Note: The PDF version of this book is fully accessible and hyperlink-enabled. This is our “green” alternative to offering a print

version of the book. You can purchase this and print it out, or read it on your computer.

Order “Sites Unseen” at:


Braille “Love” Pendant

$25 plus shipping and handling

Jewelry designer Kelly Fehr creates jewelry for her braille-reading niece, Emily, with braille in every design! We’ve selected one of our favorite pieces for our customers: a 1.25″ x .25″ piece of pure dark copper with the word “love” on it and a small raised heart at the bottom. The pendant is strung on a 16-inch waxed cotton cord with a lobster clasp. It’s perfect for any loved one. See and order the pendants here:


Also new:

Using the Accessible iPod: iTunes 9 Edition

In Braille, eBraille (CD or download), DAISY (CD or download), or text file, $15.00


Google It! A Guide to the World’s Most Popular Search Engine New 2010

Second Edition! By Jonathan Mosen with Anna Dresner In braille (1 vol.), text or eBraille, $14.00


To order any books, send payment to:

NBP, 88 St. Stephen Street, Boston, MA 02115-4302

Or call and charge it: toll-free (800) 548-7323 or (617) 266-6160 ext 20. Or order any of our books online at

Announcement – Audio Version Download

After hearing that a few of you had some questions about downloading the audio version of the magazine, I wanted to provide some more details that will hopefully guide you through the process a little bit better.

To start, the file is large, so it needs to be a Zip File.  All that means is that the file is compressed to make it smaller and download quicker.  This means that after you download it, you’ll need to “unzip” the file.  The majority of computers come with an unzip utility already, so once the download is finished, you’ll be prompted to unzip the file when you go to open it. If your computer does not have an existing unzip utility, you can download WinZip from  After the audio file is unzipped, the full contents of the file will be accessible.   At that point, you just need to copy and paste the file as you normally would to put it on your media device.

I contacted a very friendly technical service representative at Humanware to ask her some questions about the Victor Reader Stream.  The Stream is a device that I know a lot of you use routinely.  She told me that if you have the Stream Companion software on your computer, that it will take care of all of the unzipping on its own.  According to her, it is the same process that you need to go through to put any NLS book on your Stream.  Simply download it to a folder and point to software to that file and you’re done.  If you do not have the Stream Companion software installed on your computer, you can either install it by using the CD that came with your Victor Reader Stream, or download it from their website at

For those of you using a Braille Note, Book Port or a standard media device, she says that you’ll have to unzip the file and then copy and paste as you normally would have to do.

That wonderful representative is also now also a subscriber to the audio version, so if there are any bugs that I haven’t caught, I’m sure that she will let me know how to fix them.  It’s good to have a contact at this company!

I hope that this helps to clear up some questions.  I know that there might be some of you that are still unsure, so please don’t be shy about asking me how this works.  I want to make this easily available to everyone who wants it and if I can’t answer the question myself, I’ll find someone who can.

Announcement – Audio Version Available Now

After a lot of programming and testing, I’m happy to announce that an audio version of the magazine will finally be available.  The audio version will be a collection of every article from the magazine, grouped by month.  Right now, both April and May are ready and each subsequent audio version will be available at the end of the month.  I’d also like to thank the Association for the Blind of Western Australia for providing us with the DAISY version of the magazine.  They’ve been a fantastic resource for us.

So, onto the good stuff.  The audio version will be in the DAISY file format and will be available in a number of different ways.  You can listen to it directly from our website by going to the “Audio Version” tab at the beginning of the page.  This can be found with the other headline links like “About,” “Events,” etc.  Once you access the page, you’ll be able to choose what month you want to listen to.  Once you select the month, an embedded media player will start playing the magazine immediately.  While using this player, you can press the control key plus the space bar to pause the current article.  To proceed to the next article hold down the control key and the shift key and then press the N key.  To go back to the previous article hold down the control key and the shift key and press the P key. 

There will also be a downloadable file available for those of you who wish to listen to the magazine on a portable media player like a Victor Reader Stream or other DAISY-compatible player.  The download will be made available by email subscription as well.  When you receive the email, it will contain a direct link to a file download that will begin automatically from our website.

I hope that these availability options will allow all of you to access the audio version of the magazine in the way that best suits you.  If you have any questions, please contact me at

To access the Association for the Blind of Western Australia’s website, please go to

A Letter from 2009 Veale Award Winner, Peggy Trail

Letter to the Matilda Ziegler Magazine

By Peggy Trail

April 5, 2010 

To all associated with the Matilda Ziegler Magazine for the Blind:

I would like to sincerely thank Margaret Johnson and all those who cared enough to take the time to support me for the James H. Veale Humanitarian Award.  I was totally surprised and truly mind-boggled.  It seems strange to be recognized for doing something enjoyable when my actions are no different from those of many others.  The experience, however, brought such great joy that I continue to sit here smiling just thinking about what can be accomplished by working together!

Thank you for including me in your activities and making me feel at home during the last several years.  You have convinced me that all people are basically alike with strengths, weaknesses, and a deep desire for respect, acceptance, and love.  More importantly, you have taught me that blindness or any other disability does not have to define who one is or what one accomplishes.  When opportunities seem limited and success unlikely, hang in there.  We exist to make a difference!

Thank you for making a difference in my life, and thanks to the Matilda Ziegler Magazine for the Blind for allowing you to do it.

Peggy Trail

Paragould, Arkansas


Starting on March 30, the Ziegler will be made available to all of our readers on NFB-Newsline®.  The service now offers over 300 newspapers from across the country and is totally free for all of you to use.  What follows is a basic overview of NFB-Newsline® functions to get you started.  We’re going to be making calls to people who have requested a notification about NFB-Newsline®, but if you know anyone who you think would like to listen to our magazine, please let them know.

To sign up for NFB-Newsline®, you can either contact your state’s Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, or contact the National Federation of the Blind at 1-866-504-7300.

Once signed up, you can call 1-888-882-1629 from any touch-tone phone.  Once you reach the main menu of NFB-Newsline®, you have multiple options.  You can dial:

1 – for NFB-NEWSLINE® announcements

2 – for Your State’s Information Channel

3 – for Newspapers in your state

4 – for Your Favorites

5 – for Newspapers from a different state

6 – to CONTINUE reading where you last left off

7 – for Magazines

8 – for Television Listings


If you require help, and dial 9 for instructions, you’ll find that there are 10 different help sections to choose from.  Once you begin listening to help lessons, you can either press 3 to proceed to the next lesson, or 1 to return to the previous lesson.

When in an article, use these key commands to navigate through NFB-NEWSLINE®:

1 – Return to previous article

2 – Return to beginning of current article

3 – Move to next article

4 – Read previous line

5 – Return to beginning of line

6 – Read next line

7 – Slow down speaking speed

8 – Change speaking voice

9 – Speed up speaking speed

* – Go back one menu

# – Help Mode for the current menu

#,5 – Spell (follow the directions)

#,# – Search for a word or phrase (follow the directions)

#,3 – Hang up

0 – Pause for 1 minute

0,0 – Speech Control: 1 or 3 – Adjust the volume, 4 or 6 – Change the pitch, 7 or 9 Change the speed

If you need help at any time while in an article or TV Listing, press the pound key (#). You will hear NFB-NEWSLINE® say:

“Press the star key to exit Help, Press any other key to learn about its function.” When you press a key, NFB-NEWSLINE® will tell you what that key does within the current feature.

To read about the more advanced controls on NFB-Newsline®, please go to

Peggy Trail – 2009 James H. Veale Humanitarian Award Winner

Last week, I announced that Peggy Trail of Paragould, AR is the 2009 James H. Veale Humanitarian Award winner.  Since I was running short on time, I had to make the announcement a quick one and couldn’t really detail why she had bee chosen as the winner.  However, I would like to highlight a few reasons why she was given this award.

One person wrote that they sincerely appreciated all of her work at the state convention of the Arkansas Council of the Blind, as well as the national convention of the American Council of the Blind.  In both instances, she was said to go above and beyond the call of duty to encourage and assist everyone around her.  She was especially helpful regarding transportation, and would pick up everybody and bring them from building to building instead of leaving them to walk.  She also brought people on a shopping trip during some downtime at the convention.  She is very active at her local senior center as well.

We had another person write in expressing how appreciative they were of her work at the Arkansas School for the Blind Alumni Conventions and the amount of support she gave to everyone around her.

Many other submissions reflected similar experiences, all of which mentioned her kindness, patience, and unwavering willingness to help those who needed it. 

It is because of the resounding opinion of her character by those who have met her that we chose her to win the award.  Thank you for your service, Peggy, and please continue your very successful work within the blindness community.

2009 James H. Veale Humanitarian Award Winner

We are pleased to announce that Peggy Trail of Paragould, AR has won the 2009 James H. Veale Humanitarian Award for her excellent service in the blind community. She received multiple nominations for her work done at the Arkansas Council of the Blind as well as other organizations and events. As the winner, she will receive a monetary prize as well as a letter of recognition from our president.

Congratulations, Peggy, and on behalf of the Matilda Ziegler Publishing Company for the Blind, I’d like to thank you for your efforts to make the lives of blind people better.

We will begin accepting nominations for the 2010 James H. Veale Award in the fall.

Announcement: New Reader’s Forum

Many of you have been requesting that the Reader’s Forum return to the pages of the Ziegler.  With the magazine’s new format, I have been thinking about how that can be done.  What I decided is that I’m going to offer up a weekly topic for discussion and let you guys run with it. 

The old site has been inactive, so any submissions to that site have gone unnoticed.  We have been trying to close the site down, but have been having difficulty with the hosting company, so I apologize if anyone has submitted anything to that site only to never see it show up.

What I propose is that I will submit a new topic for discussion at the beginning of each week.  This week I would like anyone who is interested in participating to write about a recent challenge that you encountered and how you overcame it.  Now, not every weekly topic will surround blind lifestyle, but I’m interested to hear some of your stories in hopes that many of our readers will share similar problems and can benefit from hearing about various solutions that they might not have thought of before.  In essence, you’ll be creating a compilation of tips and tricks for blind living.

You’ll have one week to submit your writing and I’ll review each one sent in.  Depending on how many I receive, I’ll choose the best ten or so to submit the following week.

For anyone interested in participating, you can either comment on this article on the website, or email me your submission at