Archive for September, 2009

Humanware introduces the new Victor Reader Stream Library Edition

In the United States, the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS) is offering digital books and magazines through Internet download. In addition, the old cassette books and magazines are gradually being replaced by the new digital book cartridges that will be mailed to library patrons. Digital book cartridges are about the same size as a single cassette but the entire book fits on only one cartridge. There is no need to manage multiple cassettes or change sides anymore! NLS will provide free digital book cartridge players to all patrons over the next several years. Readers who want to experience the benefits of the new digital books right away may consider purchasing the Victor Reader Stream book player from HumanWare. This is a pocket size player capable of playing both the download digital books and the new book cartridges. The new Victor Reader Stream Library Edition is so easy to use, it is ideal to play the new NLS book cartridges…. READ PRESS RELEASE

Go, Marcus, go: Blindness, cerebral palsy can’t hold back 7th-grade cross country runner

By Teri Maddox © Belleville News-Democrat, Illinois — Marcus Boyer may not be the fastest runner at Collinsville Middle School, but he’s a rock star to members of his cross country team. Several gathered around the legally blind student — who also has cerebral palsy on his right side — after a competition at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville last week. They patted him on the back and congratulated him for finishing the 2.1-mile race, which included a relatively steep hill at the end that gave him trouble…. READ ARTICLE

Judge tosses lawyer’s suit against credit card company

By Shannon P. Duffy © The Delaware County Daily Times, Pennsylvania — PHILADELPHIA — A blind lawyer from Broomall, who claims a prostitute racked up more than $14,000 in fake charges on his Discover credit card, has vowed to appeal now that a federal judge has tossed out his lawsuit. U.S. District Judge Edmund V. Ludwig ruled that because the hiring of a prostitute is an illegal act in Pennsylvania, the lawyer’s decision to pay the prostitute with his credit card had effectively voided the credit-card agreement. In the suit, attorney John F. Peoples, 60, testified that he hired the prostitute nearly two dozen times in 2007 and that she told him her fee was $275…. READ ARTICLE

Jury commissioner asks potential juror with a service dog to prove his disability

By Erin Sullivan © Baltimore City Paper — On Sept. 14, Ned Humphrey loaded his dog Haku into his car, drove downtown, and reported in for jury duty. Humphrey, a Charles Village resident, has worked with Haku, a 6-year-old Korean jindo, as his medical service dog since 2003. To date, Humphrey says, he’s taken Haku everywhere–they’ve traveled all over the country and even overseas, and he says that only a motel owner has ever given him trouble over the dog. Still, Humphrey says that when he got his summons, he called the Jury Commissioner’s office to let them know he’d be happy to come, but would bring his service dog with him. Humphrey says that Jury Commissioner Nancy Dennis told him that no one had ever made such a request before, and that if he wanted to bring Haku, he would need to bring a doctor’s letter explaining his disability and proving the need for the dog…. READ ARTICLE

N.J. teachers show Kenyan educators ways to work with blind students

By Brent Johnson © The Star-Ledger, Newark, New Jersey — Lillian Rankel and Marilyn Winograd boarded a plane last month armed with eight 70-pound suitcases. Packed inside was a horde of specialized science equipment: beakers with Braille numbers, talking thermometers that read measurements in electronic voices. The New Jersey teachers were headed for Kenya. Their mission: to teach teachers in the impoverished African county how to better educate blind students — without upheaving the curriculum…. READ ARTICLE

New Device Finds Early Signs of Eye Disease in Preemies

© — Tell-tale signs of a condition that can blind premature babies are being seen for the first time using a new handheld device in a study at Duke University Medical Center. The technology, developed in part by Duke biomedical engineers, uses spectral domain optical coherence tomography (SD OCT) to create a 3-D picture of the back of the eye. “This new tool is changing the way we identify eye conditions in infants,” says Cynthia Toth, MD, an ophthalmologist at the Duke Eye Center, who is leading the study that appears online this month in the journal Ophthalmology. Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) is one of the most common causes of vision loss in children, affecting about 16,000 babies each year, according to the National Eye Institute…. READ ARTICLE

NCD National Summit on Disability Policy 2010: Delegate Application Form Due by October 15, 2009

The deadline for submitting an application form for consideration as a National Summit delegate is rapidly approaching. The NCD Selection Committee will invite delegates that include the full range of expertise and diversity. Space is limited so not all registrants can be accepted. Delegate invitations will be distributed starting in January 2010. There are limited Scholarship Funds available: If selected, consumer delegates (those individuals not affiliated with an organization) will have the option of requesting scholarship funds to cover hotel accommodations and meal per diem. Details will be provided in the invitation letter. Application due by October 15, 2009. The application can be found at

Rwanda: Polish Minister Unveils School for the Blind

©, Kigali — The visiting Foreign Affairs Minister of Poland, Radoslaw Sikorski, has officially opened a school for visually impaired children funded by the Polish Government at Kibeho, Nyaruguru District in the Southern Province. The Educational Institute for Blind Children which cost about US$1.3m is the biggest project under the Polish assistance programme on the continent and will be accommodating over 100 blind children below 15 at a time, at Primary education level…. READ ARTICLE

Nearly blind woman’s world grows darker as the medical bills pile higher

By Lane DeGregory © St. Petersburg Times, Florida — After her husband leaves for work and her daughters board their school buses, Monique Zimmerman-Stein feels her way down the cluttered hall into the kitchen, trying not to trip over the cats. She struggles to rinse the dishes, to mop the sticky floor. She tries to picture what her girls must look like now that they’re 10 and 13. She hasn’t been able to see their faces in two years…. READ ARTICLE

Access for all

By Devon Haynie © The Journal Gazette, Fort Wayne, Indiana — Linda Scribner’s co-workers at the League of the Blind and Disabled are accustomed to hearing two voices in her office. The first voice – Scribner’s – is animated, direct and quick to turn into a laugh. The other voice – one that speaks through her computer speakers – is predictable, stilted and flat. Scribner is legally blind, but that hasn’t kept her from joining the workforce…. READ ARTICLE