Blind Bargains

10 Things We Learned at #nfb10

The National Federation of the Blind Convention in Dallas was the highlight for nearly 2,500 attendees this past week. And while we could only do and see so much, there were certainly some things we learned from this year's conference. Here's our list for 2010.

Dean Blazie believes there may be a full-page refreshable braille display in a few years. This is what he considers as the holy grail of braille displays.

In the exhibit hall, iBills were selling like hotcakes, Perkins Products was showing the cheapest 80-cell braille display ever in the United States at $3,900, and amatures loved to try their hand at the accessible Audio Dart Master.

People generally loved the hotel staff, but often fainted after seeing their check at the Media Grill + Bar.

Michael Hingson, a 9-11 survivor who told his story to a packed general session, will soon write a book telling his story along with the stories of blindness which symbolize courage and fortitude. A form is available for people to sign to encourage publishers to pick up the book. To those in attendance while he gave his presentation, you felt like you were there.

ABiSee are the inventors of "accessible digital reading." David Dowd, vice-president of sales and marketing for ABiSee made this claim during an exhibitor presentation at the Promotion , Evaluation, and Advancement of Technology Committee meeting. We think a man named Kurzweil may have something to say about this.

Twitter really showed its true power at a national blindness convention for the first time as attendees and nonattendees alike were able to follow multiple sessions at once, as well as stay on top of upcoming proceedings.

Construction can be loud. Very loud. One thing those who didn't attend the convention avoided were the sounds of construction throughout the atrium lobby which reverberated up to the nearby guest rooms.

Gary Wunder will take over as the new editor of the Braille Monitor, replacing Dan Frye who is moving on to a new position after a few short months at the helm.

Tim Cordes, a blind doctor from Wisconsin, put to rest one of the remaining myths about blindness and explained how he successfully performed many medical operations and procedures without sight while working for the University of Wisconsin Health s Psychiatric Institute and Clinic. He even wrote a computer program to identify proteins and their composition by sound.

Finally, From Anil Lewis, at the end of his scholarship presentation at the banquet, three words. "Blind man driving."

To see what else was talked about at the convention, search for #nfb10 on Twitter. We'll see you in Orlando.

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Category: Miscellaneous

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J.J. Meddaugh is an experienced technology writer and computer enthusiast. He is a graduate of Western Michigan University with a major in telecommunications management and a minor in business. When not writing for Blind Bargains, he enjoys travel, playing the keyboard, and meeting new people.

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