You are here:

Did You Know

Editor's Note: I've listened to both tapes, and I enjoyed them. The tapes are priced at $10 each, or the pair for $15. Send check or money order to: Hazel Trujillo, Box 43049, Miami, FL 33243-0049.

The Harness

The Harness is a magazine written with assistance dog users in mind. It is edited by Devon Wilkins and published each May and November on audio cassette. Copies may also be obtained in regular and large print and on computer diskette in ASCII. To subscribe, send $5 to The Harness, 313 Hurontario Street, Unit C Collingwood, Ontario, L9Y 2M5. Subscribers are asked to include name, address, phone number, their dog's name, breed, and birthday, and whether it is a guide dog, a hearing dog, a special skills dog, or a seizure dog.

Toll-free Postal Code information for Blind People

Anyone identifying him or herself as blind will not be charged when calling the Canada Post Postal Code Information Service. Operators taking the calls on the 1-900 line have been instructed to take the word of the caller about blindness. No special identification number is necessary. Canada Post is trying to link to the existing exemption systems now used by telephone companies. However, it is apparently a complex task.

Anyone having problems using the toll-free postal service can contact the Manager, Mary Oosterholt-Pilon at (613) 734-8159.

Postal Code information can be obtained in English at 1-900-565-2633 or in French at 1-900 565-2634. Information can also be found on the Canada Post Web site at:

Unabridged Audio Books

We recently received a catalogue from Dercum Audio, a company which sells unabridged books on tape. Their ink print catalogue, or any of their recorded material, may be obtained from Dercum Audio, P.O. Box 1425, West Chester, PA 19380, Telephone: (610) 889-2410 or Fax: (610) 889-2412.

Charles Crane Memorial Library (Now the Crane Resource Centre)

The Crane Resource Centre recently announced the publication of The Crane Story. Written by Laurie (Belfontaine) Cowan with a Federal Government Centennial Flame Research Award, the book is a biography of Charles Crane and Paul and Judith Thiele and the development of the Charles Crane Memorial Library, now the Crane Resource Centre at the University of British Columbia. The book is available in print, Braille, and cassette format from the Crane Resource Centre. Laurie Cowan is an active member of the Lower Mainland Chapter of the NFB:AE. Congratulations Laurie!

Harnessing Thoughts

The guide dog-a thinking animal with a skillful mind. What is going on in the mind of a guide dog as it guides along a busy pavement? How does it know to go around ladders, stop at curbs, avoid pedestrians, find doors to shops, and help its owner cross roads safely? These are questions that take us to the very forefront of animal learning, consciousness, and thought.

Harnessing Thought, written by Bruce Johnston, psychology and training consultant to the Guide Dog for the Blind Association of the UK. This book will be of interest to students of psychology and animal behaviour, those with an involvement in animal training, and anyone who just wants to understand how a guide dog does its job. The book is available from The Guide Dog for the Blind Association, in print and in a presentation of three audio cassettes at a cost of approximately $36. Visa is accepted. Reprinted from Viewpoint, official publication of the National Federation of the Blind United Kingdom, February 1997 edition.

Product Designers Seek Input From Blind Consumers.

ITS (Integrated Travel Services) is developing a device called PAL (Personal Access Locator) to help make signage more accessible to blind people (see article in this issue). They have developed a questionnaire concerning product features and would like responses from a wide variety of blind people. The survey is available from Integrated Travel Systems, 21 Cloverhill Road, Etobicoke, Ontario M8Y 1T1. Telephone Dave Senf at: (416) 251-6582 for more information. Please specify preferred format.

Braille Monitor By E-mail

You can now get the National Federation of the Blind (United States) monthly magazine The Braille Monitor shipped each month automatically to your E-mail address. To get on the mailing list contact an electronic message containing the line "subscribe brl-monitor <>. Send your request from the E-mail address where you wish to receive the electronic text (the software will use your return address as the destination address for the Monitor). You will receive an E-mail acknowledgment. For more information, including delivery problems, how to cancel your subscription or change your address, send E-mail to:

Golden Jubilee Celebration

In June 1997, the National Federation of the Blind of the United Kingdom will celebrate its 50th anniversary. Members of the NFB:AE join in congratulating our sister organization on this important milestone in its history.

Canadians interested in knowing more about the situation of the blind in the UK and the on-going work of the NFB of the UK should subscribe to Viewpoint, its bi-monthly magazine which is available in various formats for six UK pounds annually. For further information or to subscribe write: Viewpoint NFB of the UK, Unity House, Smyth Street, Westgate, Wakefield, West Yorkshire WFI 1ER, UK.

The following two items were published in the Summer 1997 edition of the Voice of the Diabetic:

Phone Recording Equipment

Individuals who are blind or otherwise dependent on the tape recorder as a note-taking device know that sometimes it is necessary to record a telephone call. Traditional "phone mikes" for those of us who don't have a brother in the CIA, have been complex, unreliable, with more batteries and suction cups than a four-year-old's Christmas toy, and their recordings have hardly been crystal clear. That has now changed.

Federationist Jerry Maccoux has developed the Phonote, a compact, no-batteries device that greatly simplifies the task of recording your phone conversations. It also gives a loud, clear, undistorted sound, as if the other party were in the room with you. You will need: the device, a tape recorder with an "aux-input" or remote microphone jack, and an extension phone line (which can be as simple as a Y-jack and six-foot phone line running from your modular plug). Plug the second line into the Phonote, the Phonote into your recorder, and you're ready. Please note a number of laws restrict the taping of phone conversations. To be safe, inform the other party a recording is being made.

The Phonote, priced at $12 (plus $3.50 shipping), is available from Phonote, Box 6021, St. Joseph, MO 64506 Telephone: (816) 279-4562 E-mail:

New Music

Voice reader Hazel Trujillo, a singer-songwriter in Miami, Florida (who is also a deejay, classical guitarist, self-defense instructor, diabetes educator, and blind diabetic) announces the availability of her two record albums, "Hazel" and "On Golden Wings". Her romantic music has been played in Central and South America, many Mediterranean countries, and on Miami radio stations.Hazel, the first album, is sung in Spanish, while On Golden Wings is all English, with several instrumentals. Both are her own original material.

Stories About Disabilities Requested

We have received the following announcement from Robin Jutzi of Nipissing University, who is helping the Young People's Press organize a disabilities section. Young People's press is a Canadian "press bureau" to give young persons in Canada a chance to have access to the mainstream press-to give them a chance to present their ideas, in their own way, on their own terms without being controlled or interpreted through the eyes of "adult" journalists. Part of the goal of the project is to give young people (age 16-30) with disabilities a chance to share their perspective and their visions of the world with mainstream society. If you want to write a story or an anecdote, or want to be interviewed for a story, or know of someone who would be an interesting topic of a story, please E-mail: