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Dr. Nemeth reads
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Exceptional Children and the
American Foundation for the
Blind — is a bust of Louis Braille
on his piano, from the American
Printing House for the Blind.
"That way when I play the
piano, the two of us can see eye-
to-eye:' Dr. Nemeth joked.
Also near his piano is a copy of
the Braille music dictionary.
"When the American Printing
House for the Blind learned I had
written it, they asked for it," he
said. "So I wrapped all 160-170
sheets in bubble wrap and rubber
bands and mailed it to them in a
cardboard box. Some time later I
saw it listed in a catalogue so I
wrote to them for a copy. When it
came, it arrived with a bill, which
my wife sent back with a note she
wrote with a felt-tipped marker
that said: 'Paid in full."
In addition to music and math,
Braille and audiotapes allow Dr.
Nemeth to pursue other interests.
He subscribes to Braille publica-
tions of Kiplinger's Personal
Finance, PC World, Science News
and the Jewish Braille Review.
Although he prefers Braille to
tapes, he also listens to audio
books, sometimes in Yiddish, the
language of his childhood home.
puter programs into Braille.
Having had no children of his
own, Dr. Nemeth, who was wid-
owed twice, remains close with
the children, grandchildren and
great-grandchildren of his sec-
ond wife, Edna.
Enjoying travel, he has vaca-
tioned to London and Israel and
continues a longtime speaking
tour, being booked through next
April to address a group of
Braille transcribers in Florida. He
spent this past weekend in
Louisville, being inducted into
the Hall of Fame for Leaders and
Legends of the Blindness Field by
the American Printing House for
"He is an incredible human
being with a lot of extraordinary
talent," Lam said. "He has a lot of
In between editing the
Artscroll siddur, presenting talks,
accepting awards and working on
the Nemeth Uniform Braille
System, Dr. Nemeth, asks, "So
why did I retire?"
"As a mathematician, I was
able to figure out that work takes
the whole day;' he answered.
But he's not complaining. Dr.
Nemeth's talents and commit-
ment to the Jewish blind have
kept his retirement busy ... and
very productive. ❑
In Dr. Nemeth's Southfield apart-
ment are many ordinary and
some extraordinary sights.
"Most of what is there is not
modified in any way:' he said.
"The light switches are where
they should be, the cold water is
cold and the piano is in the living
room. In the kitchen, though, the
microwave has Braille labels and
I put little convex, rubber buttons
on the oven and toaster oven to
know what temperature is set!'
And on his desk is a computer
that houses programs including
Mathspeak, with software he cre-
ated for oral communication of
mathematical text. Attached to
the computer is a refreshable
Braille display that turns com-
Sources Of Help
•JBI International in New
York provides free Braille and
large-print texts and audio-
tapes : (800) 433-1531.
•Jewish Heritage for the
Blind in New York offers serv-
ices and resources including
large-print and Braille tran-
scribed materials, assistance
with b'nai mitzvah training for
blind individuals and social
programming. (718) 338-0500
• Jewish Guild for the
Blind in New York offers sup-
port for visually impaired,
blind and multi-disabled indi-
October 20 2005 jrN