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Fore-Sight

The Newsletter of the ARIZONA COUNCIL OF THE BLIND INC.

Vol 18 No 4

Spring 2003

2003 AzCB CONVENTION ISSUE!

  • Go to From the President's Desk
  • Go to Membership Memo
  • Indiana Dog Protection Bill
  • New Braille Terminology
  • Talking Thermostat
  • DVS Movies Come to Phoenix
  • HISTORY Repeats Itself
  • BOARD MEMBERS NEEDED
  • Bobbing Along With Bob
  • 2003 Convention Ready to GO
  • Convention Hotel Information
  • Friday Convention Program
  • Saturday Convention Program
  • Sunday Convention Program
  • Foundation for Blind Children Friday Program
  • Foundation for Blind Children Saturday Program
  • Convention Registration Form
  • Go to Arizona contact information.

    From the President's Desk
    Daniel M. Martinez

    A great challenge lies before you and I, and we need to apply creative ways to solve it. The roots of the problem are tied to the decreased Arizona State budget. As the legislature struggles to reduce expenditures in order to bring the state budget into balance, it is human service that gets the ax. Among the potential cuts is Independent Living training funds for individuals who are blind. The Joint Legislative Budget Committee projects funding to be zero for fiscal year 2004.

    Zero funding means that there would be a decreased opportunity for people who are blind to receive needed training in adaptive blindness skills. Adaptive skills allow people who are blind to more fully participate in all aspects of life. The group most effected by this reduction in services are people over the age of fifty-five.

    Our challenge then is to assure that Independent Living (IL) training is available for people who need it.

    One way to retain IL is to persuade the legislature to continue to fund services. The arguments for continued funding are quite compelling. State dollars leverage federal and community contributions at ratio of about one to nine. In other words, for every one dollar the state spends for IL it realizes over nine dollars in matching funds from their community partners and from the federal government. This is quite a bargain. But, if the state does not spend their one-dollar, they don't get the nine matching dollars. This is a huge loss. Further, the state could incur greater costs in providing assisted living care. If people can not take care of themselves because they lack independent living skills, it may result in the need for someone to take care of them at a tremendous cost. So, we know that keeping people independent is the most effective cost containment practice available.

    There may be other ways to keep IL services available, this is thinking outside the box. We, the AzCB, in partnership with other consumers and providers of blindness services could enter into a third party funding agreement with rehabilitation services. Our third party funding could leverage dollars at that aforementioned one to nine ratio. While this would mean we would have to do vigorous fund raising, the result, needed independent live training, would be worth the effort.

    If you support these ideas or if have other creative ideas for continued blindness services provision, please contact us at (602) 273-1510

    Membership
    by Tom Belsan

    I was privileged to attend the American Council of the Blind Mid-Year meeting in Pittsburgh February 14 through February 17.  The meetings were very interesting and informative but one presentation struck an old and sore chord in my heart.  The representatives from Washington and Florida talked about the many affiliated groups around their States that help to make their organizations f=more supportive and influential.  For years I have been trying to get more involvement from around Arizona but have failed.  I would like to see small groups of people in many places join together and meet and affiliate with the Arizona Council of the Blind.  I know there are groups of visually impaired persons who meet to share and support each other.  These groups could increase their function-ality and help to their members by affiliating with other blind people and receiving the information distributed through both the American and Arizona Councils of the Blind.

    Please join us and increase our influence in the State.

    BILL PROTECTS SERVICE DOGS

    February 4, 2003
    Reske bill to toughen penalties for harming animals endorsed by committee

    INDIANAPOLIS -- An Indiana House committee today passed legislation authored by State Rep. Scott Reske (D-Pendleton) to increase penalties for anyone who seriously injures or kills a law enforcement animal. The bill would also allow equivalent penalties for the harm of service animals, such as seeing eye dogs, hearing dogs, and other trained animals used by the disabled.

    "Basically, this bill states that hurting these valuable animals is very wrong and we are going to come after people who harm them," said Reske.

    The Courts and Criminal Code Committee passed House Bill 1077, which would increase the penalty for harming a law enforcement or service animal from a Class A Misdemeanor to a Class D Felony and a Class C Felony if the harming actions resulted in death.

    "It costs close to $12,000 to purchase and train a law enforcement dog, and even more for a service dog," said Reske. "That doesn't even begin to include the investment that is put into the dog and the relationships that are developed. You can't put a price on what these animals mean to society." HB 1077 will proceed to the House floor for further consideration.

    U.. & Canada Adopt New Braille Terminology
    Contributed by Anne Johnson

    The Braille Authority of North America (BANA) announces a change in terminology to what has been traditionally known as "grade 1" and "grade 2" braille. These categories will now be referred to as "uncontracted" and "contracted" braille respectively.

    The change is being made at the request of many in the blindness field. People often confuse grades of Braille with first and second grades in elementary school. BANA believes that the change to more accurately descriptive language will increase awareness and improve the overall understanding of how Braille is learned, read, written and transcribed.

    BANA urges all organizations, agencies, teacher training programs, Braille production facilities, software developers, professionals in the field of blindness and Braille readers to incorporate this terminology into writing, publications, presentations and general practice. The ultimate goal is to enhance understanding and more accurately reflect what Braille truly is--a versatile and effective reading and writing system for people of all ages who are blind and visually impaired.

    Talking THERMOSTAT
    By Tom Belsan

    I heard about a Talking Thermostat on one of the e-mail lists that I monitor.  After doing a little research I found Fred Rhodes who had all the information I needed about the unit.  Fred sent me a PDF file of Customer Information. Contact me for specific dealers. 602/273-1510

    GOOD NEWS FOR MOVIE GOERS

    AMC Mesa Grand First Theater in Arizona to Install Access Systems for Movie Fans with Hearing or Vision Loss DAREDEVIL Debuts with Closed Captioning and Descriptive Narration Boston, MA.  February 14, 2003.  WGBH, Boston's public broadcaster and a pioneer in developing access technologies, is proud and excited to announce that the AMC Mesa Grand theater in Mesa, AZ is the latest movie cineplex in the U.S. to install Rear Window Captioning and DVS Theatrical systems for movie fans who are deaf, hard of hearing, blind or visually impaired.  These systems enable audiences with hearing or vision loss to enjoy feature films with their families and friends the day and date of a film's general release in theaters, and during regular showtimes.

    The first film to play with closed captions and descriptions at the AMC Mesa Grand is DAREDEVIL, a film about a blind superhero, starring Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner.  DAREDEVIL is rated PG-13 and distributed by Twentieth Century Fox Corporation which funded the captioning and description.

    How the MoPix systems work Rear Window Captioning - The patented Rear Window® Captioning System displays reversed captions on a light-emitting diode (LED) text display which is mounted in the rear of a theater. Deaf and hard-of-hearing patrons use transparent acrylic panels attached to their seats to reflect the captions so that they appear superimposed on the movie screen. The reflective panels are portable and adjustable, enabling the caption user to sit anywhere in the theater. The Rear Window System was co-developed by WGBH and Rufus Butler Seder of Boston, Mass.

    DVS Theatrical

    DVS Theatrical® delivers descriptive narration via infrared or FM listening systems, enabling blind and visually impaired moviegoers to hear the descriptive narration on headsets without disturbing other audience members.

    The descriptions provide narrated information about key visual elements such as actions, settings, and scene changes, making movies more meaningful to people with vision loss.

    Rear Window reflectors and DVS Theatrical headsets are available at the theater's customer service desk.  Theaters purchase a limited number of each, so it is a good idea to arrive about 30 minutes before show time to pick up the device and to avoid last minute lines and delays at the box office.

    Since late 1997 when the MoPix systems debuted in a first-run theater in the Los Angeles area, 84 films have been released with access features.  In 2003, more than 50 films are scheduled to be released with closed captioning and description.  Participating studios include Buena Vista Pictures, DreamWorks, MGM, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox Films, Warner Bros. Pictures and Miramax.

    Systems installed across North America Select first-run theaters in the US and Canada have installed these innovative access systems.  Participating theater chains in addition to AMC include:  Loews Cineplex, National Amusements, Mann's, Crown Theaters and Famous Players theaters, the largest theater chain in Canada.  Systems are also installed at Disneyland, Walt Disney World, Epcot and national park visitors centers such as Pearl Harbor.

    Learn about captioned and described films

    WGBH sends e-mail postings every week (either late Thurs or early Fri) to consumers, organizations and listservs which contain information about accessible films, theater locations and showtimes for the coming week. These updates also include a short news section about new installations and films that are "coming soon" with cc and dvs.  People can sign up to receive this weekly posting by visiting www.mopix.org, and linking to "Sign me up to receive updates about accessible films!"  The same Web site also has information about how these systems were developed, more information on how the work, films, locations and showtimes and contact information for theater chains and Hollywood studios to advocate for more accessible films and to provide direct feedback on their films and theaters.

    For more information, visit http://access.wgbh.org.

    HISTORY Repeats Itself
    By Dr Frank Kells, Resident Historian

    The following are lyrics from a song I wrote 50 years ago during the Korean War. It was timely then, getting published with considerable exposureand unfortunately seems that we are about to make it timely once again. The song is titled Please, Bring My Daddy Home.

    I just tucked my little one snuggly into bed.
    One more day of play was done for that sleepyhead.
    We had said our nightly prayer and I was at the door.
    But something kept me standing there, I turned to look once more.
    Suddenly that little one was kneeling by the bed.
    It seemed the prayer was not quite done, not all had yet been said.
    No one knew I was there, I didn't say a word.
    But here's the little private prayer that I just overheard:
    I saw my Mommy cry today because my Daddy's far away.
    I hope that God will hear me pray PLEASE BRING MY DADDY HOME.
    My Mommy says it has to be-he went to fight for you and me
    It's very hard for me to see-
    PLEASE CAN'T YOU BRING HIM HOME?
    He said the world is sick inside, and that is why he had to go.
    I guess it's why my Mommy cried, 'cause we miss him so.
    I'm praying hard with all my might Please keep my Daddy safe tonight, And when he's made this world alright,
    PLEASE BRING MY DADDY HOME. [Editor's note- This appeared in the Arizona Republic Feb 18, 2003 and printed with permission]

    BOARD MEMBERS NEEDED

    The Board of Directors of the Arizona Council of the Blind is seeking a few good members to serve on the board. Six officers and directors positions will need to be filled during the Council's 32nd convention. Directors serve 4 years and officers 2 years. Board meetings are held the second Saturday of each month at St Joseph Hospital Cafeteria room from 10am till noon. Persons interested in serving should call Barbara McDonald (602/285-0269) or Bob Williams (602/938-7776). Remember, it is OK to place your own name in nomination.

    BOBBING ALONG WITH BOB
    By Robert Williams

    The AzCB Federal Credit Union held its annual dinner meeting on February 28 in the social hall of Central United Methodist Church. Credit Union manager, Stan Hanshaw and wife Nancy did a great job in getting 38 members to turn out in spite of the rainy weather. The speaker for the 2nd year was President and CEO of Arizona Credit Union League Gary Plank. He is also 2nd vice=president of the World Council of Credit Unions consisting of over 120,000,000 members in 90 countries around the world.

    Richard Bailey, AzFCU President did a masterful job of presiding while Board members Dr. Frank Kells, Steve Dunham and Fred Kent along with Dr Edwin Druding provided many jokes from their treasury of humor.Food was quite tasty and door prizes again furnished by Nancy Hanshaw, Steve Dunham and Fred Kent were plentiful.

    Gary Plank reported that bankruptcies in recent years among credit unions has been a problem. Arizona credit unions gained about 200,000 members last year and its total is about 1.3 million share-holders. Stan Hanshaw reported only one loss of $160.00 in spite of over $90,000 in loans. The credit union paid one percent dividend and received the next to the highest possible rating from the National Credit Union Administration on its annual audit. The loan committee consisting of Jill Schramm, Chairperson, Pearl Bailey, Buster Schramm, Betty Whedon and Rita Peralta were reelected to another one year term. Dan Martinez, AzCB President, spoke inspiringly about blindness and self-worth. Pearl Bailey shared some personal experience about the late John VanLandingham, a blind lawyer-judge-representative who had a vision for a credit union to serve the blind

    Dr Edwin Druding and wife shared information regarding the upcoming annual state convention.

    If you are interested in joining the AzCB Federal Credit Union all you need is a $25 share. You do not need to be blind or visually Impaired to be a member, just contact Stan Hanshaw at 602/273-1510 Tues, Wed or Thu from 10am to 2pm.

    2003 CONVENTION READY TO GO!
    by Ruth Druding, Convention Chairperson

    The 32nd Annual state convention is firmed up for May 2-4, 2003 at the Sunshine Hotel and Suites (formerly Quality Inn) at 2nd Ave and Osborn in Phoenix. The program plans to be exciting in conjunction with the Foundation for Blind Children and Az Guide Dogs organizations having integral parts. An invited speaker on Macular Degeneration should spur some interests also. The AzCB has held the registration to $20.00 as it has for over a score of years. That fee covers the attendee's snacks on Friday evening, Continental Breakfast on both Saturday and Sunday, Lunch on Saturday AND THE BANQUET! The special rate for the hotel is $59 +tx. AzCB is also subsidizing $20 per ROOM per night. There is also limited van transportation from Sun City on a first come basis.

    Phoenix folks have the advantage of Dial-A-Ride. Menu choice for the banquet is London Broil or Coconut Chicken or the Vegetarian Plate.

    The convention programs need a bit of clarification. There are two programs running concurrently. One is the AzCB program and the other is the Foundation for Blind Children program. Some of these programs will merge for specific purposes. To avoid confusion, read both and make your selection of presentations that meet your specific needs. Just because the program says Blind Children, does not prevent anyone from attending those sessions. All sessions are open to everyone.

    32nd Annual AzCB STATE CONVENTION
    May 2,3,4, 2003
    Sunshine Inn and Suites
    (Formerly Quality Inn and Suites)
    3600 N 2nd Ave,(at Osborn,) Phoenix AZ
    602/248-0222 or 800/256-1237
    (Ask for the special room rate for AzCB)

    Theme: " Together we win"

    FRIDAY MAY 2, 2003

    3:00 Hotel Check-in
    4:00 Exhibitors set-up Opal
    5:00 On-Site Registration Emerald-Sapphire
    7:00-10:00 Reception Emerald-Sapphire
    Karaoke
    Entertainment

    SATURDAY, May 3rd

    8:00 Registration- Continental Breakfast Emerald-Sapphire

    8:45 Welcome-Dan Martinez
    Housekeeping, Ruth Druding
    Self Introductions, Dr Druding

    9:00 Nomination Committee- Robert Williams
    (Any member interested in seeking an office please see Mr Williams before 10 am today.

    9:10 Cross-Disabilities Issues
    Donna Redford Kruck, ABIL

    9:45 Q&A

    10:00 Panel; The Consumer (15 minutes limit)
    ABIL- Student - Fernando Cruz
    Deaf/Blind - Mike Hinkle
    Parent (Julie Urban or rep)
    Guide Dog - Kevin Chinn
    Blinded Veterans (rep)

    11:15 Q&A

    11:30 LUNCH Emerald-Safire
    Vendors will have opportunity to explain their products during the lunch hour. (See Dr Druding for time schedule for your presentation. Time to be divided)

    12:45-1:15 Group A TRANSPORTATION Emerald-Safire
    Dial-a-Ride
    Para transit

    12:45-2:15 Group B GDUA Business Meeting Room 207 upstairs

    1:15-2:30 Group C Panel; The Providers (15 min each) Emerald-Safire
    Dr. Frank Kells, Moderator
    DES- Ed House
    Center for the Blind, James LaMay
    AIB Dan Martinez
    SILK (rep)
    Ken Jacuzzi
    Q&A

    2:30-3:30 Group D Newly Blinded, Room 207 upstairs
    Ruth Druding, AzCB

    2:30-3:30 Group E Deaf/Blind Room 205 upstairs
    Mike Hinkle, AzCB

    3:30- 5:00 Macular Degeneration Emerald-Safire Guest Speaker, John Householter
    Researcher, Fighting Blindness

    [OPEN THE AIR WALLS FOR BANQUET]

    5:30 Banquet (Emerald-Topaz-Sapphire Room)
    Dr. Frank Kells, Master of Ceremonies
    Phyllis Vogelsang, Kids on the Block Puppets
    Tom Belsan, Awards
    Jay Taska, Distinguished Invited Speaker

    7:30 No Host Mixer (to be announced)

    Sunday, 4th May, 2003

    7:30 am Continental Breakfast (Emerald Room)

    8:00 Non-Denominational Services

    8:45 BREAK

    9:00 Business Meeting
    Minutes
    Treasurer's Report
    Audit Report
    Final Nominating report
    General Election
    By Laws/Resolutions
    Convention 2004
    Site Selection
    Convention Committee
    New Business

    12:00 Adjourn

    REMEMBER!
    BOTH THE PRECEEDING AND THE
    FOLLOWING PROGRAMS ARE OPERATING
    SIMULTANEOUSLY
    YOU MAY ATTEND EITHER
    JUST GO TO THE PROPER ROOM

    FOUNDATION FOR BLIND CHILDREN
    32nd Annual AzCB STATE CONVENTION
    May 2,3,4, 2003
    Sunshine Inn and Suites
    (Formerly Quality Inn and Suites)
    3600 N 2nd Ave,(at Osborn,) Phoenix AZ

    FRIDAY May 2, 2003

    3:00-4:00 Hotel Check-in Emerald-Safire

    4:00-5:00 Hotel Orientation

    5:30 FBCI Kids only Dinner

    7:00-10:00 Reception Join AzCB for an evening of
    Karaoke Entertainment

    SATURDAY May 3, 2003

    9:30 How Do I Get There From Here? TOPAZ
    Members will learn tips for travel from experienced travelers Mike Moran, Chelsea Morrow, Seeing Eye, Inc. Discussion will include tips on cognitive mapping , soliciting information and navigating environments such as college campuses, airports, malls, etc.

    10:30 Choosing your primary mobility tool: TOPAZ
    Cane or Dog
    Mike Moran and Chelsea Morrow, Seeing Eye, Inc

    11:30 LUNCH Emerald-Safire
    Vendors will discuss their products during lunch

    12:45 TRANSPORTATION Emerald-Safire
    Dial-a-Ride - Para Transit

    1:15 NON-VERBAL COMMUNICATION Topaz
    Chelsea Morrow and Mike Moran, Seeing Eye, Inc

    2:15 TRAVEL AIDS Panel (Members TBA) Topaz
    Whether you use a cane or dog, learn how to
    enhance your travel skills by utilizing a variety of methods including the mini-guide, GPS, talking signs, laser canes and much more

    3:30-5:00 Travel Aids Workshop Topaz
    Hands-on demonstration on latest technology as
    Well as an opportunity to work a real live dog guide from Seeing Eye, inc.

    5:30 BANQUET PROGRAM Emerald-Safire-Topaz
    Dr. Frank Kells, Moderator
    Phyllis Vogelsang, Kids On The Block Puppets,
    Tom Belsan, Awards
    Jay Taska, Invited Speaker

    7:30 No Host Mixer

    SUNDAY MAY 4, 2003

    7:30 AM Continental Breakfast Emerald

    8:00 Non-Denominational Services

    8:45 Break

    9:00 Business Meeting
    Minutes
    Treasurers Report
    Audit report
    Final Nominating report/Election
    By Laws
    Convention 2004
    Site/Committee

    12:00 Adjourn

    REGISTRATION

    Last Name______________________ First_________________

    Address_____________________________ City_________Zip______

    Phone__________________

    Do you plan to attend Fri_____ Sat_____ Sun_____

    Need Transportation?_______ Fri_____ Sat____ Sun____

    Can transport someone_____ Fri_____Sat_____ Sun____

    Banquet choice Beef___ Chicken___ Vegetarian____

    Your registration fee includes Fri snacks, Sat and Sun continental breakfast, Sat lunch and Sat Banquet.

    Please fill out separate forms for each person and mail with your check for $20.00 each to:

    AzCB Convention
    3124 E Roosevelt
    Phoenix, AZ 85008

    Note: It is courteous to offer a tip to the driver who volunteers to transport you (Unless this is a paid fare)

    Fore~Sight Newsletter

    NEXT ISSUE OF FORE~SIGHT JUNE 03
    Deadline: May 15th. Mail articles to Fore~Sight Editor,
    7628 N 49 Av, Glendale, AZ 85301-1512 or
    e-mail drdruding@cox.net

    Arizona Council of the Blind, Inc.
    3124 E. Roosevelt
    Phoenix, AZ 85008
    Phone: (602) 273-1510
    Web Site: http://www.azcb.org


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