Friday, January 21, 2011

January items of Interest from the LCB

Greetings Colleagues-

Below, please find several items of interest including:

  • a reminder of the February 9 Braille Challenge in Baton Rouge
  • SPBH gets a name change
  • the second annual NFB LAW Program
  • The annual youth and adult writing contests sponsored by the Writers' Division of the NFB
  • Summer internship opportunity with the Dept. of defense

I hope that everyone had a fantastic holiday break and that 2011 has started positively. Please do not hesitate to contact me regarding any of the following information and/or about our summer programs and outreach services.

The Time to Sign Up Is Now

Greetings Everyone,

Louisiana School for the Visually Impaired and The Louisiana Center for the Blind are excited to announce the 2011 Louisiana Regional Braille Challenge. The event will take place on Wednesday, February 9, 2011 on the LSDVI campus located at 2888 Brightside Drive in Baton Rouge. The event is slated to begin at 9:00 a.m. and conclude at approximately 3:00 p.m. The Braille Challenge consists of a series of tests designed to evaluate one's proficiency in interpreting and utilizing the literary Braille code.

Students in grades 1-12 are eligible to participate in the event. Please visit for more comprehensive information about the contest (i.e., sample tests etc).

Though the thought of taking Braille exams may seem less than enjoyable to students, it should be noted that they are eligible to receive prizes and that for students who do extremely well, there is an opportunity to travel to Los Angeles to take part in the Braille Challenge finals during the summer. Louisiana has sent students to L.A. in the recent past, and we hope to do so again this year.

For questions, or to sign your student up for the Challenge, please contact Phil Templet at LSVI via email at
or Patricia Geiss via e-mail at

We hope to see you and your student in Baton Rouge for a day of fun and competition!


Emma Schroth, children and Teen Services Librarian for the State Library, informed us that as of December 10, 2010, the Services for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (SBPH) has changed its name to the Talking Book and Braille Library (TBBL). The new name is meant to reflect what the agency does rather than simply who it serves; it also highlights the critical importance of Braille literacy.

The National Federation of the Blind Announces the 2011 NFB Leadership and Advocacy in Washington, D.C., (LAW) Program
Engaging the Voice of America's Blind Youth

April 8-12, 2011

This four-day experience will provide blind and low-vision students in grades six to nine, or ages twelve to sixteen, with a unique opportunity to explore the inner workings of our country's government, its history, and its culture, while staying at the headquarters for the National Federation of the Blind in Baltimore, Maryland. In addition to learning about grassroots legislation efforts, how resolutions are passed, and how blindness legislation is created, participants will become familiar with advocacy work for blind individuals and available resources for blind students and adults. Highlights of the program include: visits to historical sites in Washington, D.C., meetings with influential government leaders, presentations by prominent leaders from the largest blindness advocacy group in the country, a tour of the National Federation of the Blind national headquarters, and opportunities to interact with technology from the International Braille and Technology Center, the largest lab of Braille and speech products for the blind.

Twenty-four students will be accepted for the LAW program. All accepted students must be accompanied by a parent/guardian, teacher, or blind/low-vision mentor from their home state. There will be a $250 fee per student/chaperone pair. Transportation, room, and board will be provided for students and chaperones.

Apply now by going to

Applications are due by February 1, 2011. For more information, contact Treva Olivero, Education Program Specialist, at (410) 659-9314, extension 2295, or by e-mail at <>


The annual youth and adult writing contests sponsored by the Writers' Division of the NFB, will open January 1st and close April 1st.

Adult contests, poetry, fiction and non-fiction, are open to all entrants eighteen years and over.

The youth contests are all about Braille and all poetry and fiction entries are required to be submitted in Braille. The age groups are divided into three categories: first through sixth grades, seventh and eighth grades, and ninth through twelfth grades.

Prizes for contest winners range up to $100 for adult categories and up to $25 for youth categories.

All contest winners will be announced at the Writers' Division business meeting during the NFB national convention to be held in Orlando, Florida, the first week of July, 2011. In addition, shortly after convention, a list of winners will appear on the Writers' Division Website,

First, second, and third place winners in each category will appear in the summer and fall issues of the Writers' Division magazine, "Slate and Style."

For additional contest details and submission guidelines, go to the Writers' Division Website,

Robert Leslie Newman, President
NFB Writers' Division
Division Website



Are you a 10th through 12th grade student interested in Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM)? Are you interested in making some money over the summer? You can apply to have a paid internship with the Department of Defense. Visit: for more information.

If you are interested in information about STEM follow @NFBScience on Twitter and visit



Natalie L. Shaheen, MEd
Education Program Specialist
Jernigan Institute
Phone: (410) 659-9314 x2293

Eric Guillory, Director of Youth Services
Louisiana Center for the Blind
101 South Trenton Street
Ruston, LA 71270
Phone: 800-234-4166
Fax: 318-251-0109

Sorry for posting this so late. I had it stored for a couple of weeks. ~K

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