Thank you to the American Council of the Blind - www.acb.org

Fore-Sight

The Newsletter of the ARIZONA COUNCIL OF THE BLIND INC.

Volume 16, Issue 2 Fall 1999

White Cane Safety Day
October 15, 1999 10:00 till 2:00.
Carl T. Hayden VA Medical Center
650 E. Indian School Road
Ambulatory Care Clinic
Enter off of 3rd Street and Indian School Road
Sponsored by: Blinded Veterans Association Northern Arizona Regional Group Carl T. Hayden VA Med. Center
Please attend!
Refreshments are provided!

President Clinton asked to take up the white cane
As a part of White Cane Safety Day, the ACB has asked President Clinton to put on the blindfold, pick up a white cane, and try to cross a busy Washington street. This would attract major media attention to white cane and pedestrian safety issues across the nation. Let's see what happens!

From the President's Desk
Dan Martinez, AzCB President

The AzCB does and will continue to work with others, not to enhance our political image by taking credit for the results, not to increase sales of our products and services, not to manipulate our members into being indebted to us. We will continue to work with others so each individual in our society has access to equal opportunities. We are a part of society and participate in it fully.

I have often used the term "blindness community" to mean those people in our nation, state or city who are blind. Yet, in fact there is no "blindness community" there are only persons in the community who are blind. We are not separate, segregated or an entity unto ourselves. We are part of society. If issues that are specific to blindness are to get a hearing or consideration in competition with all of the other issues of society, it is necessary to organize towards that end.

There are organized groups for and of blind persons. In terms of consumer groups there are basically two groups of the blind. Statistically however 97 percent of those who are blind do not belong to consumer groups. So it would be easy to say that the un-represented group is the majority group in blindness. It would also be easy to say that when an organized group says they are the all-encompassing "blind" speaking, it is political rhetoric more than fact. It is a whisper pretending to be a roar. It is also clear that issues of blindness are not isolated to those who are blind, instead includes those who are blind, family members, educators, rehabilitation and medical professionals and others, some of whom are also organized. With collaboration among these organized groups and inclusion of individuals, those that do not belong to organize groups, there will exist a powerful voice in blindness issues. We all gain from the synergy generated by that kind of interaction. This is the reason we encourage and participate in coalitions.

One could conclude that when we work with other groups, we would have to make compromises. This is not the case, and the one thing we will never do is compromise our core values. To take actions which are contrary to our center is something we cannot and will not do. Yet, developing win/win relationships is not a matter of making compromises, rather it is a matter of defining points of agreement and collectively working on those agreed upon goals.

The AzCB does and will continue to work with others.

Talking Signs demo
On September 14th, the U.S. Senate was given a demonstration of the Talking Signs technology. There have been many concerns about pedestrian safety issues. This demonstration brings our concerns to light and could have a very positive influence in effecting change. Our thanks goes to Senators Wyden and McCain for their co-sponsorship of this event.

Iron's in the Fire
By Gail Irons, Vice Pres. AzCB

Cross-Country Skiing
Why bring up skiing at this time of year? First of all, the thought of snow is a welcome one to us desert dwellers, especially in the hot months. Second, if you want to participate in the Sierra Regional Ski for Light weekend next March, it's none too soon to be applying and saving up your money. I participated for the first time in 1998 and may go back in 2000. I had a wonderful time. The event is held at the Tahoe-Donner, northeast of Sacramento, CA. The participants are delightful people, from the organizers to the sighted guides, to the veteran visually impaired, to us novices. The food was great too! There were three of us Arizonans involved last year. There's room for lots more.

The cost for lodging, food and ski equipment for 2 full days plus breakfast the third day is $145. You have to get to Sacramento on your own. If you choose to arrive on Friday night, you must also pay for lodging at LaQuinta for that extra night. Applications and a $40 deposit are due by January 15th, 2000.
Contact:
Betsy Rowell
SRSFL
9608 Mira Del Rio Dr.
Sacramento, CA 95827
(916) 362-5557
Betsy@unlimited.net

Maricopa Club of the Blind
There will be no meeting for the month of October. The next meeting will be held in November. The meeting day has changed to the second Wednesday of the month due to scheduling conflicts at the Center for the Blind, 3100 E. Roosevelt, Phoenix.

American Council of the Blind's Thirteen Principles of Consumer Cooperation

These principles help to define what a positive partnership between organizations in service to people who are blind and consumers involves. They are based on mutual respect and trust. The Arizona Council of the Blind values these principles and is pleased to share them with everyone.

Agencies Serving People who are Blind:
1. Makes its information available to consumers in a media, which can be read and used. Preferably, the information is made available in the media of choice for each consumer.
2. Hires people who are blind and provides equal opportunity for upward mobility.
3. Requires agency computers and other information systems to be accessible to and usable by blind employees and consumers as appropriate to their business needs.
4. Insures that offices of the state agencies are accessible to consumers, both in terms of transportation and the built environment.
5. Establishes policies and practices requiring its counselors to engage in good faith negotiations with consumers as to mutual expectations within the context of consumer choice and responsibilities and provides competency-based counselor training for this purpose.
6. Insures that information about consumer organizations is available in a balanced and non-prejudicial environment. The agency also makes these materials available in accessible media and with sufficient frequency without favoring one organization over others; so as to allow consumers to know about and make their own choices as to what to do with the information.
7. Shares information on important topics such as budget and program development in sufficient time to allow consumers to properly assess and productively react to it.
8. Adamantly avoids any actions that would have the effect of chilling the personal decision of employees to join any consumer organization of their choice and to conduct themselves accordingly
9. Conducts its training and its business with other entities involving the views of a balanced spectrum of consumer organizations.
10. Director and appropriate staff attend and participate in state meetings of consumer organizations.
11. Director and appropriate staff meet with the leadership of consumer organizations on a sufficiently frequent basis to maintain productive dialog and input.
12. Supports consumer initiatives where it is lawful and without conflict of interest for it to do so.
13. Advances by making appropriate changes as a result of consumer input

Internet Information
See our web site for links to the following:
Talking Caller ID Web Site, the last link in the Vendor section.
The Federal Transit Administration, ADA/FTA

Web News Notes from the National Office

Braille Forum
Check out the latest issue of The Braille Forum for articles on:
ACB Director, Charlie Crawford's internet radio broadcast ACB meeting with the Rehabilitation Services Administration Commissioner
Plans for the ACB 2000 Convention
New faces at the ACB office
ACB's efforts to assist Congress with assistive technology
ACB's test results on Electronic Shopping

AzCB Annual Convention
Our year 2000 convention will be held at the First Congregational Church at 2nd and Roosevelt on May 6, 2000. See our next issue of Fore~Sight for more details.

If you are looking for work in the area of technical jobs, insurance professionals, financial services, sales and marketing, or customer service, and if you are blind or visually impaired and looking for work, make this call. E.S.P. 602-331-1470 We are your link to the future.

The World Wide Web
By Tom Belsan

In the survey sent out with the last issue of the Foresight one of the areas of interest indicated by Arizona Council members is communications. One interesting and exciting way of communicating in our increasingly computer driven world is through the use of the internet. The AzCB has a Web Page at http://aztec.asu.edu/azcb and this location is a good starting point for both learning more about the Arizona Council and about other issues of interest to people who are blind and Visually Impaired. If you use the World Wide Web (WWW), go to the AzCB site and take a look at what we have. Then send a note to the Web Page and tell us what you like and or dislike about the page. The Arizona Council would also like to get all the e-mail addresses of interested persons who would like to get information about the AzCB sent to their e-mail address. Please send a message to us with your address on the Web and we will get an e-mail list started. If you are not on the WWW please let us know if you are interested in learning more about how the Web works and how you might get in on the fun and communications.

Just call or send us a regular mail (snail mail) and we will find ways to help you move into the new century on the Web.
If "why", is your first reaction to the question about getting on the Web. Access to information and services is the answer. If you would like to pay your bills online, learn about new things quickly, be able to do research on your own, communicate with others with similar interests, read newspapers from around the world, play games, download new software, or just be better informed about anything, then you want to learn more about the World Wide Web.
Let the Arizona Council and its Web Page help you. Send us e-mail, snail mail, or give us a call.

Regards, Tom Belsan - KB7NRG
Send e-mail to tbelsan@aztec.asu.edu

Why should I be a member?

Help AzCB continue our work to improve the social, cultural and economic levels of people who are blind or visually impaired by renewing your membership in the Arizona Council of the Blind for the year 2000.

This year we have made great strides in improving the rehabilitation systems in Arizona through are participation in the Total Quality Management process. This year we also successfully partnered with all other organization for and of the blind to increase the state budget for independent living services.

We are the voice of reason in matters of blindness and visual impairment.

Please renew your membership and ask your friends and family members, whether they are blind or not, to join us as we move into the New Year, New Century and the New Millennium.

Thank you,
Dan M. Martinez
P resident: Arizona Council of the Blind

How to Join

Membership in the Arizona Council of the Blind is an adventure we want you to share. We hope you will get involved.

Remember, membership in the Arizona Council of the Blind gives you a voice in our state and also gives you membership in the American Council of the Blind, which includes a subscription to the Braille Forum. Come, take our hand and join our adventure.
Please complete the information on the back page of this newsletter, detach and mail in an envelope, along with your $5 annual calendar year member-ship fee. Please make your check or money order for $5 payable to the Arizona Council of the Blind and mail to the following address:
Arizona Council of the Blind, Inc.P.O.
Box 23492
Phoenix, AZ 85063

Next Issue of Fore~Sight
Information you would like to share through the next newsletter should be sent to:
AzCB, Inc.
P.O. Box 23492
Phoenix, AZ 85063-3492
Attn: Editor
>Arizona Council of the Blind Home Page.
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