It will come as no suprise that my fondest memories of Emerson involve his deep commitment and endless energy which he devoted to the National Federation of the Blind. In the early eighties I asked him to chair a Braille Action Committee for our Kentucky affiliate, and he accepted the challenge. This led to the 1986 opening of the Braille Service Center, which he directed for the eight years the project was in existence. He was one of the pioneers of the National Association to Promote the Use of Braille (NAPUB) which was organized in 1984, and he served for a number of years, first as its treasure and the as its second vice-president. When Kentucky organized a division of NAPUB in 1986, Emerson was its first president, a position he held until 1994.
For many years, Emerson had dreamed that one day there would be a facility dedicated to braille research, and his dream was finally realized in 1992 when he was a co-founder of the Braille Research Center which had its beginning at the American Printing House for the Blind. Emerson served as consultant for the Center until it moved from APH to the National Center for the Blind in Baltimore and opened there on June 1, 1995. He then served as Associate Director and later Director of the Braille Research Center until January of 1997. He continued in the role of consultant, as well as a moving inspiration for the BRC until his death.
In 1987 the NFB of Kentucky presented Emerson with the Susan B. Rarick Award for unselfish dedication to the work of the Federation . He received in 1993 the Distinguished Blind Educator of the Year Award from the National Federation of the Blind.
The Louis Braille Memorial Award for significant contributions to braille or tactile communication research was established in 1997 by the Board of Directors of the Braille Research Center. Nominations for this award were solicted from all over the world, and the selection was made by the Center's Council of research Fellows. No one was suprised when this most prestigious award was presented to Emerson Foulke on July 3, 1997.
The National Federation of the Blind of Kentucky celebrated its fiftieth anniversary in 1997 and initiated a scholarship program to commemorate the occasion. The affiliate felt it most approprate to name the mew project the Emerson Foulke Scholarship Program. By so doing, Kentuckians could honor a true scholar and an outstanding Federationist.
In the next issue of this newsletter, we shall be giving complete details about our 1998 state convention which will be held the weekend of September 11, 12, and 13 at the Executive Inn in Owensboro, Kentucky. It is shaping up to be a great one.
Right on the heels of the newspaper artical came his appearance on the national television show, Sixty Minutes. Those of us who know Tim would gladly vote for him to receive an Oscar for that permormance. He was careful to point out the importance of low tech items such as the Say When, a liquid level indicator which buzzes to let its blind user know his cup or glass is full. This item is also a brainchild of Tim's.
Tim has been called by some the Thomas Edison of the blind world, but we are pleased simply to call him our friend in Federationist.
There have been as many as 225 web page hits in one day. This lets us know how much the page is being utilized. We have the potential to offer many nice features. David and I are always looking for new links, or other interesting info to add to this page. There are many links which will give the user easy access to numerous well known web sites. On behalf of the Computer Users Division , I welcome you to this new level of communication. Computers are here to stay, and members of our Computer Users Division hope you will join us in planning to enjoy the changing faces of technology. We welcome any comments or suggestions, so feel free to contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Noverber was an especially busy time for students around the state. At the University of Louisville, student division members, Roger Abercrombie, Eric Ament, Aaron Howell, Glen White, Nancy Williams and I held a Walk-a thon on the Saturday before Thanksgiving.
Also in November, Murray State students Melanie Crowe and Anthony Cole held a bake sale on their university campus.
In December and January, students from all over the state helped to sell print /braille calendars from the American Printing House for the Blind.
Fund raising isn't all we've been up to, though. During our Christmas break, several students from the Louisville area got togather at State President Betty Niceley's house for fun and fellowship. This proved to be a great opportunity for all of us to learn more about NFB.
In early February, Michelle Lauer and I were honored to be apart of the Kentucky delegation attending the Washington Seminar. We both found this to be a most memorable experiance.
In March while Nhu Nguyen of Vanderbelt was back at home in Louisville on Spring Break; she joind Roger Abercrombie, Blen White, and me in speaking with blind and visually impared high school students about college.
Now that it is April, we are anxiously preparing for finals. However, we are planning one more fund raising event in May or June. We are also all eager to plan a weekend to get together an catch upwith all of the friends we made at last year's State Convention.