Monday, January 27, 2014

National Certification in Literary Braille

Thanks to Eric Guillory for forwarding this:

If you have not yet taken the NCLB test, or if you need to recertify, we have a great opportunity for you to take it in Baton Rouge immediately prior to the NFB of Louisiana State Convention.  Please see the details below, and spread the information far and wide.  A flyer is attached.
Distinguish yourself among teachers of the blind and visually impaired!  Don't miss this unique opportunity to take this nationally-recognized exam!
The National Certification in Literary Braille (NCLB) test will be administered by the National Blindness Professional Certification Board (NBPCB) immediately prior to the
NFB of Louisiana State Convention on Friday, March 14, 2014 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Crown Plaza Hotel, 4728 Constitution Avenue, Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Deadline for Registration is March 4
Please go to our website,, for more information and to register for this important test. If you have any questions or wish to inquire about future testing possibilities in your area, please contact us at
Laura Bostick, MAEd, NCLB
Instructor, Professional Development
and Research Institute on Blindness
Louisiana Tech University
P.O. Box 3158
Ruston, LA 71272

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Growning Up Fisher

There's a new TV show coming up next month after the Olympics about a boy who feels he is being replaced by his blind dad's new guide dog. Here's a blurb about it. Below that is a link to a preview.

It's not every family that's brought closer together by divorce, but then again, the Fishers aren't exactly typical. Take Mel Fisher (J.K. Simmons, "The Closer," "Law & Order"), for example. Whether it's chopping down trees, showing his daughter how to drive or playing football with his son, he's never let the fact that he's blind slow him down.

Then there's Joyce Fisher (Jenna Elfman, "1600 Penn," "Dharma and Greg"), possibly the only mom in Pasadena to smoke a pipe. For her, divorce is like a second coming of age, a chance to be the teen she never was. Just ask '80s-obsessed teenage daughter Katie (Ava Deluca-Verley, "Southland"), whose clothes Joyce is always borrowing (that is, when she's not tagging along with Katie to the mall).

At the center of all this is Henry (Eli Baker), the Fisher's 11-year-old son. Having always been his dad's eyes, ears and wingman, Henry's less than thrilled when Mel shows up with Elvis, a guide dog... which is also how Henry learns about the pending divorce. Awkward. While reluctant of the changes this "big ball of fur" would bring, it's through the adult Henry's voice-over (Jason Bateman, "Arrested Development") that we find out his parent's split would "allow all of us to finally discover... who we needed to be."

The half-hour comedy is executive produced by DJ Nash ("Up All Night," "Guys with Kids"), Bateman and Jim Garavente. The pilot episode is directed by David Schwimmer ("Little Britain," "Run Fat Boy Run"). "Growing Up Fisher" is a production of Universal Television and Aggregate Films.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Free Audio Books Monday: Famous People in History, Northanger Abbey, and The Call of the Wild

Sent from my Samsung smartphone on AT&T

Free Resource - December 16th, 2013
Free Resource of the Day

Sorry this was supposed to arrive in your inbox on Friday, but we'll give it to you Monday instead. Three free audio books!
Famous People in History, Northanger Abbey, and The Call of the Wild
Get three free audio books on M4B download from Naxos AudioBooks. Naxos has converted each and every one of their titles to the bookmarkable M4B format, and to introduce the format they're offering these three titles. Famous People in History tells the stories of nine people who've changed the world from Christopher Columbus to Anne Frank. Northanger Abbey is an abridged version of Jane Austen's first novel to be published. It tells the tale of a country clergyman's daughter who is fond of reading Gothic novels and eagerly anticipates her invitation to Northanger Abbey. The Call of the Wild follows the dog Buck who is sent to Alaska to become a sled dog where he quickly learns how to survive the cold winter nights. It is an unabridged recording available for download. Enjoy these free downloads from the best audio publisher of classic literature Naxos AudioBooks.
Famous People in History, Northanger Abbey, and The Call of the Wild

Deal of the Day

Download Meryl Streep's performance of Colm Toibin's acclaimed portrait of Mary for only $7.96!
The Testament of Mary
Meryl Streep's performance of Colm Toibin's acclaimed portrait of Mary is hailed by the New York Times Book Review as "an ideal audiobook," presenting the three-time Academy Award-winner in "yet another great role."
Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, Colm Toibin's The Testament of Mary presents Mary as a solitary older woman still seeking to understand the events that become the narrative of the New Testament and the foundation of Christianity. In the ancient town of Ephesus, Mary lives alone, years after her son's crucifixion. She has no interest in collaborating with the authors of the Gospel. They are her keepers, providing her with food and shelter and visiting her regularly. She does not agree that her son is the Son of God; nor that his death was "worth it"; nor that the "group of misfits he gathered around him, men who could not look a woman in the eye," were holy disciples. This woman who we know from centuries of paintings and scripture as the docile, loving, silent, long-suffering, obedient, worshipful mother of Christ becomes a tragic heroine with the relentless eloquence of Electra or Medea or Antigone, in a portrait so vivid and convincing that our image of Mary will be forever transformed.
Now Meryl Streep brings Toibin's tour de force of imagination and language to unforgettable life with "simplicity, honesty, [and] a clarity that draws us into the emotional landscape of the book through the beauty of the writing," writes Charles Isherwood in the New York Times Book Review. "Streep has an impressive ability to crest the structurally intricate sent­ences Toibin has fashioned, which sometimes have the flowing, rhythmic cadences of certain passages in the Bible itself," Isherwood writes of her performance. "Streep's voice is familiar to generations of moviegoers, but its beauty as an instrument can be appreciated in this context as it often cannot be in films.…Toibin's exquisite book [is] rendered by Streep with all its detached, quiet, consoling humanity intact."
Listen to a free sample of: The Testament of Mary

Nelson Mandela Audio & Video
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Nelson Mandela Audio & Video
Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, politician, and philanthropist who served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999. He was the first black South African to hold the office, and the first elected in a fully representative democratic election. His government focused on dismantling the legacy of apartheid through tackling institutionalized racism, poverty, and inequality, and fostering racial reconciliation. Politically an African nationalist and democratic socialist, he served as President of the African National Congress (ANC) from 1991 to 1997. He was the recipient of the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize.
Learn more about Nelson Mandela with this list of audio & video learning resources. We feature many free resources including his 1993 Nobel Peace Prize Speech and numerous speeches from Over 30 Nelson Mandela Videos on C-SPAN. To learn Mandela's story, you can watch documentaries about him such as the PBS FRONTLINE documentary The Long Walk of Nelson Mandela. also features audio downloads of Mandela's speeches and audio books. We feature Nelson Mandela's autobiography on audio download, both abridged and unabridged editions: Long Walk to Freedom (Abridged) and bLong Walk to Freedom (Unabridged). We also offer his award-winning collection Nelson Mandela's Favorite African Folktales, read by an all-star cast. From the Gordon Skene Sound Collection, we feature audio downloads of Mandela's Address Upon Release from Prison, Victory Address, and Inaugural Address. Enjoy these audio & video resources of Nelson Mandela.
Nelson Mandela Audio & Video

350 NAXOS AudioBooks Downloads

Over 350 NAXOS AudioBooks Downloads is pleased to feature NAXOS AudioBooks into our expanding catalog of downloadable MP3 audio titles. NAXOS AudioBooks is one of the finest publishers of classic literature offering exceptional narrations with classical music interludes from the Naxos Records catalog. They feature both abridged and unabridged editions of timeless classics, and they also offer some of the best contemporary literature. We're currently offering almost all their catalog on MP3 download:
Over 350 NAXOS AudioBooks Downloads
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Louis Braille

 Somewhere among my "teacher stuff" I have a book about Louis Braille. I think it was published by The American Prinitng House for the Blnd but I can't remember. 

At any rate here's another version from the AFB on their web site for kids called "Braille Bug." I like this version as well. Happy Birthday Louis Braille!

[ Source Link: ]

Louis Braille (1809-1852)
Six dots. Six bumps. Six bumps in different patterns, like constellations, spreading out over the page. What are they? Numbers, letters, words. Who made this code? None other than Louis Braille, a French 12-year-old, who was also blind. And his work changed the world of reading and writing, forever.
Louis was from a small town called Coupvray, near Paris—he was born on January 4 in 1809. Louis became blind by accident, when he was 3 years old. Deep in his Dad's harness workshop, Louis tried to be like his Dad, but it went very wrong; he grabbed an awl, a sharp tool for making holes, and the tool slid and hurt his eye. The wound got infected, and the infection spread, and soon, Louis was blind in both eyes.
All of a sudden, Louis needed a new way to learn. He stayed at his old school for two more years, but he couldn't learn everything just by listening. Things were looking up when Louis got a scholarship to the Royal Institution for Blind Youth in Paris, when he was 10. But even there, most of the teachers just talked at the students. The library had 14 huge books with raised letters that were very hard to read. Louis was impatient.
Then in 1821, a former soldier named Charles Barbier visited the school. Barbier shared his invention called "night writing," a code of 12 raised dots that let soldiers share top-secret information on the battlefield without even having to speak. Unfortunately, the code was too hard for the soldiers, but not for 12-year-old Louis!
Louis trimmed Barbier's 12 dots into 6, ironed out the system by the time he was 15, then published the first-ever braille book in 1829. But did he stop there? No way! In 1837, he added symbols for math and music. But since the public was skeptical, blind students had to study braille on their own. Even at the Royal Institution, where Louis taught after he graduated, braille wasn't taught until after his death. Braille began to spread worldwide in 1868, when a group of British men, now known as the Royal National Institute for the Blind, took up the cause.
Now practically every country in the world uses braille. Braille books have double-sided pages, which saves a lot of space. Braille signs help blind people get around in public spaces. And, most important, blind people can communicate independently, without needing print.
Louis proved that if you have the motivation, you can do incredible things.