Orbit 20 Braille Display

The American Printing House for the Blind is no longer selling the Orbit 20 Braille display. However, people in the United States can purchase the device from the manufacturer, Orbit Research. There are no U.S. distributors at this time.

The Orbit 20 sells for $599.00. For more information, visit http://www.orbitresearch.com/product/orbit-reader-20/, call 888-606-7248, or e-mail sales@orbitresearch.com.

Low Vision Expo in Austin on May 4th

Northwest Hills Eye Care is presenting the first ever low vision awareness expo in Austin on Saturday, May 4th. Attendees will hear presentations by experts in the field of vision impairment and have an opportunity to meet with exhibitors who provide resources and technology related to low vision and blindness.

This event will be from 9 am to 2 pm at the Austin Jewish Community Center, located at 7300 Hart Lane.

To RSVP for this event, or for more information, contact Regina at 512-328-0555, or e-mail Regina@nwhillseyecare.com

Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo is coming and many people in the US like to celebrate by having a get together with plenty of guacamole and beer. That’s great! It would also be good if people knew a little bit more about what they are celebrating. If you ask around, the most frequent answer is “Mexican independence?” Nope. Actually, May 5th celebrates the Battle of Puebla. A historical episode in which the Mexican army (headed by liberal President Benito Juárez) squashed the French army’s attempts (under Napoleon III) to occupy Mexico. So there. Now you can eat guacamole to your heart’s content and also sound super-smart when asked “What are we celebrating again?”.

CINCO DE MAYO: A MEXICAN HOLIDAY ABOUT UNITY AND PRIDE BY JAMES GARCIA. DB 61994

Discusses the historical events of May 5, 1862, when Mexico defeated the powerful French at the Battle of Puebla and the growing popularity of celebrating this date. Includes suggestions for planning a Cinco de Mayo fiesta. For grades 3-6. 2003.

FIESTA!: CINCO DE MAYO BY JUNE BEHRENS. DB 36792

Cinco de Mayo is a very important holiday for Mexican-Americans. On May 5, 1862, the Mexican army defeated the French army. This victory ended the efforts of foreign powers to invade North America. The author describes the Cinco de Mayo holiday and its celebration.

MEXICO: A HISTORY by ROBERT RYAL MILLER. DB 34427

Beginning with a description of the early Indian cultures, Miller, a scholar of Mexican and Latin American history, outlines the Spanish takeover, the various rulers over the centuries, the war with the United States, the Revolution, and the birth of modern Mexico. He highlights the accompanying changes in the shape of the country and the makeup of the population.

OXFORD HISTORY OF MEXICO EDITED BY WILLIAM H. BEEZLEY & MICHAEL C. MEYER. DB 90978

A narrative history of Mexico, beginning with the empire of the Aztecs and carrying through to the early twenty-first century. Includes discussions of religion, technology, ethnicity, ecology, and the many events, institutions, and individuals that have shaped the modern nation. 2010.

MAY 2019 BOOK CLUB TITLE ANNOUNCED!

Please join us on Thursday, May 23 at 7 pm (Central Time) for our Book Club discussion of GOD SAVE TEXAS: A JOURNEY INTO THE SOUL OF THE LONE STAR STATE, by Lawrence Wright.

We host our Book Club meetings via toll free conference call.  All you need to participate is a telephone!

To RSVP, please call the Talking Book Program at 1-800-252-9605; or email us attbp.ral@tsl.texas.gov.  RSVP preferred by May 2.

GOD SAVE TEXAS: A JOURNEY INTO THE SOUL OF THE LONE STAR STATE is available by mail in digital cartridge.  It is also available to download on BARD.

Please indicate if you would like us to mail you the digital cartridge, or if you prefer to download it from BARD.

We request that everyone remember the following:

  • Keep external distractions to a minimum.
  • Be courteous.  Try not to interrupt or talk over others.
  • Give everyone a chance to talk.
  • Be respectful of differing opinions.
  • Keep discussion points concise and relevant to the book.
  • If you feel comfortable doing so, preface your comments with your first name.
Book cover for God Save Texas: A Journey Into the Soul of the Lone Star State by Lawrence Wright

An examination of the history, culture, demographics, economics, and politics ofTexas in the early twenty-first century, along with personal reflections by the author of The Looming Tower (DB 63287). Unrated.  Commercial audiobook.  2018.  DB 90876.

We look forward to having you join us on Thursday, May 23!

Assistive Technology Group on Facebook

For people who are blind or have low vision, or professionals involved in the visually impaired community, there is a group on Facebook that posts information on computer and assistive technology. You can ask a question, post resources, and / or discuss products and services related to assistive technology for the visually impaired. To join, visit this page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/assistivetechnologyfortheblind/

Xavier Society for the Blind

For more than 100 years, the Xavier Society has been providing Catholic materials in alternative formats to individuals with disabilities. Materials have been available on vinyl record, large print, Braille, cassette, and MP3 format. Now the Xavier Society has added the National Library Service (NLS) digital cartridge to the list of available formats. All Xavier Society materials are available free of charge. For more information, visit http://xaviersocietyfortheblind.org/, call 800-637-9193, or e-mail info@xaviersocietyfortheblind.org

Latin American Fiction on BARD

Gabriel García Marquez and Isabel Allende are not the only major fiction authors Latin America has produced by far, but they are, for the most part, the only ones widely known in the English-speaking world. There are many interesting Latin American authors out there that you can explore and enjoy, and in many cases, the English translation of their work is on BARD.  Want to expand your horizons? Check these Latin American classics out:

INVENTION OF MOREL AND OTHER STORIES by Adolfo Bioy Cásares. DB 50167

In the title novella, first published in 1940, a fugitive from justice escapes to a remote island, where he enters into a dreamlike existence along with other “intruders.” He falls in love and gradually uncovers the eerie secret of his strange new world. Also includes six short stories first published in 1948.

FICCIONES by Jorge Luis Borges. DB 14683

English translation of seventeen brief, carefully wrought fantasies in which the Argentine Nobel Prize winner creates a terrifying and bizarre world.   The collection’s first part, called “The Garden of Forking Paths,” contains eight short stories published in Spanish in 1941. Part two, entitled “Artifices,” has nine stories published in 1944. [BR 11366, 1993]: The introduction by John Sturrock provides background information on Borges and on the stories.

HAPPY FAMILIES: STORIES by Carlos Fuentes. DB 68321

Sixteen stories set in modern-day Mexico. Vignettes depict relationships between spouses, lovers–including a homosexual couple–and parents and children while invoking Tolstoy’s observation about happy and unhappy families. In “Sweethearts” former lovers cross paths unexpectedly on a cruise ship. Translation from Spanish by Edith Grossman. Some strong language. 2008.

BOOK OF LAMENTATIONS by Rosario Castellanos. DB 45081

A tale of social and racial conflict set in the Mexican state of Chiapas in 1930. Describes events that precipitate a Mayan Indian rebellion against the dominant Ladino class. Culminates in a harrowing, redemptive crucifixion of a child. Originally published in 1962. Violence and descriptions of sex.

FEAST OF THE GOAT by Mario Vargas Llosa. DB 56801

Urania Cabral, returning to the Dominican Republic where her father is terminally ill, recalls her youth during the brutal dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo. Called “the Goat” for his depravity with women, Trujillo was the reason for her forty-year estrangement from her father. Strong language and some violence. 2000. Vargas Llosa won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2010.

EDGE OF THE STORM by Agustín Yañez. DB 24909

In a remote Mexican village in the early part of the twentieth century, a puritanical priest and his curate project their own fear of life onto their flock. The clerics ignore the affectionate warnings of another priest and close their eyes to the rumbling of revolution and change.

FAREWELL TO THE SEA: A NOVEL OF CUBA by Reinaldo Arenas. DB 24304

Psychological portrait of contemporary life in Castro’s Cuba, full of shattered hopes and agonizing realities generated by the revolution. A disillusioned young poet retreats to a beach resort with his family to ponder both his country’s future and his own sexual ambiguity. Includes considerable poetry. Strong language and explicit descriptions of sex. 1985.

PARADISO by José Lezama Lima. DB 08039

Highly praised, panoramic novel of a man’s search for his dead father and for an understanding of love and the powers of the mind, psychological and philosophical themes are intricately interwoven. Explicit descriptions of sex. 1974.

WE LOVE GLENDA SO MUCH AND OTHER TALES by Julio Cortázar DB 20793

Ten intriguing stories from the apocalyptic world of the Argentine writer. In the title story, a group of fans of the legendary movie star Glenda Garson, meet at showings of her films and eventually become a fanatically devoted group. In all these tales a violent and unsettling suspense prevails. Some strong language and some descriptions of sex.  1983.

SUN, STONE, AND SHADOWS: TWENTY GREAT MEXICAN SHORT STORIES. DB 68735

Mexican authors born in the first half of the twentieth century write tales that reveal a panorama of Mexican culture and society–past and present, urban and rural, real and unreal. In “What Became of Pampa Hash?” an impoverished Mexican has a torrid love affair. The Big Read selection NEA. 2008.