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By By Mary Gail Hare | The Baltimore Sun | December 14, 2009
The fairly typical letters to Santa asked for popular toys and games or "a puppy with small paws." One writer hoped to pin down Santa's exact arrival time at his home so they could chat. But these are no ordinary letters to the North Pole. Some were written with a few typos in Braille by young blind children or dictated to their parents. They were rerouted to the National Federation of the Blind in Baltimore, whose staff has replied to each one in Braille. The agency is answering letters from blind children, mailing them personalized replies in Braille and a translation in print so other family members can read along.
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NEWS
By Mary Gail Hare and Mary Gail Hare , mary.gail.hare@baltsun.com | December 14, 2009
The fairly typical letters to Santa asked for popular toys and games or "a puppy with small paws." One writer hoped to pin down Santa's exact arrival time at his home so they could chat. But these are no ordinary letters to the North Pole. Some were written with a few typos in Braille by young blind children or dictated to their parents. They were rerouted to the National Federation of the Blind in Baltimore, whose staff has replied to each one in Braille. The agency is answering letters from blind children, mailing them personalized replies in Braille and a translation in print so other family members can read along.
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FEATURES
By John Dorsey and John Dorsey,SUN ART CRITIC | May 11, 1998
Christopher French's paintings don't read well, but they look well.French, on of three artists in School 33's current main gallery art show, combines texts written in Braille with abstract painting. The texts come from writers such as Diderot and Goethe and deal with abstract, somewhat philosophical ideas (perfection demands concealment, for example).All of this sounds pretentious on paper, but when one encounters the paintings, they make a great deal of sense. For one thing, they're beautiful.
NEWS
By Liz Bowie and Liz Bowie,liz.bowie@baltsun.com | July 30, 2009
The National Federation of the Blind filed a complaint with state education officials yesterday alleging that blind children in Baltimore are graduating from public schools as functional illiterates because they are not being offered the proper training and technology at their schools. At a news conference at the national headquarters in South Baltimore, Denzel Ferges said he graduated in June from Mergenthaler Vocational-Technical High School but will need to get further training in Braille and technology to be able to continue his education and realize his goals of becoming a physical-education specialist and opening a recording studio.
NEWS
By Robert A. Erlandson and Robert A. Erlandson,Staff Writer | June 17, 1993
For Debbie Grubb, her eight days in the jury box were like a return to grad school seminars: Listen carefully, take copious notes, absorb as much as possible and be prepared to discuss it afterward.For Baltimore County, however, the Lutherville woman's service on the panel was a judicial breakthrough. She was the county's first blind juror.Although at least three other visually impaired people have been called for jury duty, Mrs. Grubb was the first actually chosen for a trial, said Jury Commissioner Nancy Tilton.
NEWS
By Ernest F. Imhoff and Ernest F. Imhoff,SUN STAFF | February 9, 1999
The raised dots and flat areas of his Braille page take Jeremy R. Lincicome through the hills and plains of the stories he loves. He may be revisiting his favorite book, "Aliens for Breakfast." He may be reading about a hospital in a book by television's Mister Rogers. Or his fingers may be telling him about Stevie Wonder.Jeremy, an 11-year-old fifth-grader, is the only blind student at Johnnycake Elementary School in Baltimore County and one of about 200 visually impaired students learning Braille in Maryland.
NEWS
By Liz Bowie and Liz Bowie,liz.bowie@baltsun.com | July 30, 2009
The National Federation of the Blind filed a complaint with state education officials yesterday alleging that blind children in Baltimore are graduating from public schools as functional illiterates because they are not being offered the proper training and technology at their schools. At a news conference at the national headquarters in South Baltimore, Denzel Ferges said he graduated in June from Mergenthaler Vocational-Technical High School but will need to get further training in Braille and technology to be able to continue his education and realize his goals of becoming a physical-education specialist and opening a recording studio.
NEWS
By Martha Woodall and Martha Woodall,KNIGHT RIDDER/TRIBUNE | May 10, 2001
PHILADELPHIA - Scott Stoffel, who is majoring in electrical and computer engineering at Temple University, had no trouble coming up with a topic for his required senior design project. He was studying engineering because he wanted to learn how to develop a small electronic communication device to help blind and deaf people who have trouble deciphering the tiny raised dots of Braille with their fingers. People like him. So Stoffel, 32, who is legally blind and deaf, invented what he calls a computer-automated palm Braille system to expand the communication options for the estimated 100,000 people in the United States who are deaf and blind.
NEWS
By DAVID P. GREISMAN and DAVID P. GREISMAN,SUN REPORTER | June 18, 2006
As Christopher Nusbaum reads Polar Bears Past Bedtime, his right hand moves from left to right on the page, his middle finger running over the Braille characters. For Christopher, 8, of Taneytown, who has been blind since birth, reading is a passion. He has finished four books in the past week and is a half-year ahead in reading level. Next weekend in Los Angeles, Christopher will get to demonstrate his skills in the competitive setting of the Braille Challenge, an academic contest that will test him and 11 other first- and second-graders on spelling, reading comprehension and proofreading.
NEWS
By Jennifer M. Sims and Jennifer M. Sims,SUN STAFF | November 7, 2002
A U.S. District Court judge ruled yesterday that a Towson man's vote be counted as an absentee ballot after Baltimore County election officials refused to let him vote using a Braille template in Tuesday's election. William Poole, blind since age 9, filed a petition in U.S. District Court in Baltimore on Tuesday afternoon, asking that he be allowed to vote using the template, which he designed, so that he could cast a secret ballot. "I thought it would just be declined, and I would have fought the good fight," Poole said.
NEWS
By LIZ F. KAY | March 27, 2009
The U.S. Mint has issued the country's first coin with readable Braille text, to honor Louis Braille. Part of the proceeds from sales of the commemorative bicentennial silver dollar, which will not be in general circulation, will support literacy efforts of the National Federation of the Blind, based in Baltimore, where the coin was unveiled Thursday. The coin features a portrait of Louis Braille on the heads side. On the tails side, a child is shown reading, with the abbreviation for Braille, "BRL," in Braille text above his head.
NEWS
June 24, 2007
Pupil makes finals of Braille Challenge Christopher Nusbaum, a third-grader at Runnymede Elementary School, has qualified for the final round of the Braille Challenge. Christopher traveled to Los Angeles to participate in the event yesterday. The Braille Challenge is a two-stage academic contest designed by the Braille Institute to encourage students to improve their Braille reading and writing skills. Students are grouped according to age and tested in several different competencies.
NEWS
By DAVID P. GREISMAN and DAVID P. GREISMAN,SUN REPORTER | June 18, 2006
As Christopher Nusbaum reads Polar Bears Past Bedtime, his right hand moves from left to right on the page, his middle finger running over the Braille characters. For Christopher, 8, of Taneytown, who has been blind since birth, reading is a passion. He has finished four books in the past week and is a half-year ahead in reading level. Next weekend in Los Angeles, Christopher will get to demonstrate his skills in the competitive setting of the Braille Challenge, an academic contest that will test him and 11 other first- and second-graders on spelling, reading comprehension and proofreading.
NEWS
By CASSANDRA A. FORTIN and CASSANDRA A. FORTIN,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | December 4, 2005
As part of her nighttime ritual, Melinda Taylor checks on her seven daughters. Sometimes she finds one or two of them reading long after bedtime by the glow of a flashlight. And then there are the times when she discovers her oldest daughter, Teisha Collins, reading in darkness. Teisha doesn't need a light to read. She was born with a rare vision impairment that left her with limited peripheral vision and no front vision, so she can only read in Braille. Despite her condition, the Edgewood High School sophomore has excelled academically.
NEWS
August 31, 2004
LET'S SET THE RECORD straight: Baltimore's light-rail system has never been customer friendly, and the Maryland Transit Administration has never been particularly skilled at managing it, either. Even so, it's hard not to be appalled by the dysfunctional duo's latest misadventure, an incident that officials at the National Federation of the Blind call "horrific" and that has spawned a "Freedom Ride" protest of civil disobedience. It all started three weeks ago when an executive with the Baltimore-based National Federation of the Blind and his wife tried to ride light rail.
NEWS
By Kate Shatzkin and Kate Shatzkin,SUN STAFF | January 30, 2004
When it opens a $19.5 million research and training institute in South Baltimore today, the National Federation of the Blind hopes to usher in a new era of empowerment for the blind -- training more teachers of blind children, offering new employment programs and reversing a decline in the use of Braille. The institute, a 170,000- square-foot structure of brick and seafoam glass next to the federation's national headquarters, will house math and science summer camps where blind teen-agers will learn from National Aeronautics and Space Administration scientists.
NEWS
By Larry Carson and Larry Carson,SUN STAFF | November 3, 1996
An experimental, Braille voting device will let blind voters cast secret ballots Tuesday, in Maryland's first attempt to provide a way for some of the state's 2,100 blind people to vote without human assistance.If it works, the system -- developed after complaints from a blind voter about lack of privacy -- will be expanded across Maryland for 1998 state and local elections, said Gene Raynor, administrator of the State Administrative Board of Election Laws.As of Tuesday, any blind Second Congressional District resident in Baltimore County can arrange to vote at the Towson precinct that uses the device by calling the Baltimore County Board of Elections at 887-5700.
BUSINESS
By William Patalon III and William Patalon III,SUN STAFF | October 8, 2003
Although the World Wide Web has put the world at people's fingertips, its full benefits are often denied to those who can't see. "Access to information is one of the principal problems blind people have," said Marc Maurer, president of the Baltimore-based National Federation of the Blind (NFB). "If you are blind - unless you want to stop practicing your profession - you need access to information. But how do you get to know what other people know?" At a news conference yesterday at the federation headquarters, a Reston, Va., technology consultant and representatives from the NFB and General Electric Co. unveiled GE's new Internet site as a leading example of a corporate Web site made more accessible to the blind.
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