From the President's Desk
Dan Martinez, AzCB President
I want to remind you of a few events taking place around the valley (the Phoenix area). I invite you to participate in the activities that interest you. I also invite you to take full advantage of these activities to have a chance to interact with other people who are blind.
This is a new activity.
The Peoria Arrowhead Lions Club is sponsoring an afternoon of bowling for bowler who are blind at Brunswick Mission Bell Lanes 17210 N. 59th Avenue Glendale on October 26, 2000 beginning at 12:00 noon We want to find the people that are interested in this leisure activity as so as possible Anyone that wants to take part in this enjoyable afternoon, please call now Al Butchino at 623 815 8519
2000 Mayor's Commission on Disability Issues JOB FAIR "Ability Counts" will be presented In partnership with the Arizona Department of Economic Security Rehabilitation Service Administration on Tuesday, Oct. 10th from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Phoenix Civic Plaza South, Tucson Room Third and Jefferson streets. This is fantastic opportunity for job seekers with disabilities to meet with perspective employers. If you are actively looking for employment, this is an event you can not afford to miss and do bring your resume. If you are just curious about what is available in the job market for people with disabilities, that has various skills, educational and employment experience backgrounds then do come to this job fair. There is no admission fee for this event.
White Cane Day You are invited to attend this year exciting White Cane Day. The Carl T. Hayden VA Medical Center and the Blinded Veterans Association is hosting the local celebration of this national event on Friday October 13th 2000. This heavily attended event will be presented in the lobby of the Ambulatory Care Clinic off of the Third Street and Indian School Road entrance of the Veterans Hospital in Phoenix. There is no admission fee for this great opportunity to become more aware of the services and products available to people who are blind or visually impaired. Please contact Hazel Powell of the Blinded Veterans Association at 602 277 5551 ext. 6607 or ext. 7776 on Mondays or Fridays if you have any questions or suggestions.
Local Members Speak Up During the National Convention ACB passed a strong resolution opposing Rehabilitation Services Administration's Commissioner Schroeder's proposed rule change which, if put into effect, would not recognize NIB-associated agencies as employment outcomes. Employees of Arizona Industries for the Blind, one of our state's NIB associated shops, wrote letter to Commissioner Schroeder opposing the rule change. Here is the text of one of the letters written by an AIB employee and active AzCB member Bob Hickman.
I disagree with proposed rule changes establishing shelter employment outcomes as unsuccessful for Vocational Rehabilitation clients, because my own experience has been positive.
I am a person who is blind employed by Arizona Industries for the Blind, AIB, a so called sheltered workshop. I am currently, in my probationary employment period, earning an income at the federal minimum wage and I will participate in a good benefits program, health insurance, paid sick leave, vacation pay, retirement, etc., when I have finished my probation. The compensation I receive is as good or better than I would receive in my community for the same job in a competitive position.
At AIB, I enjoy working with other people who are blind. Working with others who are blind provides me with social and moral support not usually present in a "integrated" environment I work for an employer that is concerned and takes action to create an enabling work site. Again, this is not the case for most employers.
I chose sheltered employment as my desired employment outcome when I worked with my local state vocational rehabilitation unit. My choice was based on significant amounts of information my VR councilor and I shared with one another and information from the consumer groups ABIL, Arizona Bridge to Independent Living and People First of Arizona.
From my experiences, the Rehabilitation Services Administration's proposed rules that designates sheltered employment as unsuccessful has very negative effects. It could chill a clients ability to maximize his or her full earning potential. It eliminates the client's ability to take full advantage of natural supports essential in building success. And, it destroys the good faith relationship between councilor and client by violating the precept of informed choice.
FCC Adopts Rules for Enhanced Accessibility
Through an initiative by the American Council of the Blind, the Federal Communications Commission adopted video description rules to make television more accessible to persons with visual disabilities. Commencing with the calendar quarter April to June 2002
Broadcasters affiliated with ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC networks in the top 25 television markets will be required to provide a minimum of 50 hours per calendar quarter of described prime time or children's programming.
Cable systems and satellite systems, with 50,000 or more subscribers will be required to provide video description for the same amount and type of programming on each of any of the top five national nonbroadcast networks they carried.
Sixty (60) days after notice is published in the Federal Register, any broadcast station, cable or satellite system that provides local emergency information as part of a regularly scheduled newscast, or one that interrupts regularly scheduled program, will be required to make the critical details accessible to persons with visual disabilities in the affected area.
New National Group Forming
Join with your fellow "workshop" employees from across the nation in enhancing the work setting for people who are blind. Become a member of ABIDE.
ABIDE is a national membership organization, a candidate for special interest affiliation with the American Council of the Blind. Its members are blind and sighted individuals who are dedicated to assuring that industries workers who are blind have a voice in issues that affect them. ABIDE is open to all current and former employees of National Industries for the Blind and its associated agencies.
Get the word out: Associated Blind for Industrial Development and Equality (ABIDE)
ABIDE, because the time has come for workers who are blind to be treated with the dignity and respect due them as equal partners in the businesses they propel. ABIDE, because the time for workers who are blind to take a more active role in developing the industrial setting to be more enabling and empowering, is now.
o become a member or for more information contact:
Irons in the Fire
Gail Irons, V. Pres.
Two of your Board members - Ruth Druding and I - attended Lions' Camp Tatiyee, near Show Low, July 16-21. The weather was fairly nice: rather warm most afternoons (around 90), but pleasantly cool mornings and evenings. The food was very good - esp. the pork roast dinner.
Daytime activity options included time in the heated indoor pool; walks; crafts; games (e.g., bingo, cards); go-carts; horseshoes; nature presentations - by a forest ranger who showed us assorted antlers and demonstrated elk calls, an Apache who works with buckskin and beads, and the president of the Show Low Audubon Society talking about birds. Evenings included a campfire sing-along (with s'mores), a talent show, a trip to Hon Dah Casino, and a dance.
Overall we enjoyed our sojourn. However, the staff has some work to do on allowing (and ideally, encouraging) capable campers to be as independent as possible. Apparently the earlier sessions were for children or multiply disabled adults, with whom the counselors were appropriately required to be very vigilant. Some of us found their over-protectiveness annoying.
The good news is that camp director Pam Swanson, a special education teacher, is open to input, and it was clear that some of the recommendations from previous years have been implemented.
In past years, one session was dedicated to blind visually impaired adults. Because so few applied this year, the majority of participants were sighted wheelchair users. We had less than a dozen visually impaired campers - from Sun City, Tucson, Flagstaff, Glendale, and Phoenix. The usual Yuma contingent did not make it this time, at least in part because of the transportation problem. Ruth and I were fortunate that her husband, Dr. Edwin Druding (our Fore-Sight editor) served as our driver; that took most of 2 days of his valuable time, since he had to make the roundtrip twice. Arranging transportation is the knottiest challenge for most prospective campers. On one hand, since there is no charge for attending camp, it seems reasonable that participants pay their travel expenses. This is probably feasible for some people. (One bus line charges $80 roundtrip between Phoenix and Show Low.) On the other hand, having to arrange transportation is a significant obstacle for many people, not only because of the expense but also because of the intricacies and uncertainties of making connections, whether via private or public means. Logistics alone can be daunting. If you are thinking about attending camp, you may want to contact your local Lions Clubs well in advance of next summer to urge them to assist with transportation, for you and for others in your area.
To get on the spring mailing list for an application for next summer call 602-275-2604, or write to: Camp Director, c/o LFA (Lions Foundation of Arizona), 1016 N. 32nd St., Ste. 5, Phoenix, AZ 85008
Bobbing Along with Bob
Chairman, Public Relations
Hi everybody! If Gayle Irons can have her Irons in the fire, perhaps our hard-working newsletter editor will permit me to do a little bobbing and weaving from time to time with a column also. I'm not sure just where we will end up, but here goes.
First, Dick Bailey reports that the Glendale Adult Center located at 7121 N. 57th Avenue has been selected as one of ten sites around the valley for a state of the art optical system. Optilec Clear View 317 closed circuit television magnification equipment offers legally blind severely visually impaired persons the opportunity to read and write independently. The system is being donated by the Arizona Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired. A dedication unveiling ceremony was held at the adult center on June 13. The value of the optical system is about $3,000. The Glendale Adult Center is open weekdays from 8:00 A.M. to 4:30 P.M., Phone 623-930-2196.
Take time to smell the roses. Dick also reports that tentative plans call for the ground breaking ceremony to be held sometime in October or November for the City of Glendale Elsie McCarthy Memorial tactile sensory garden for Persons who are blind and visually impaired. The botanical garden is being made possible by a $375,000 bequest about 4 years ago. It will reportedly be the only free standing sensory garden in the United States. Its location will be on 1.65 acres already owned by the city accessible by city bus and with spacious wheelchair accessible sidewalks and restrooms. It will be located on the north-east section of 55th Avenue and Orangewood next to the fire station. Dick and Pearl Bailey have served on the garden's planning committee for a number of years. Dick is also on the Glendale Commission on Disabilities. Dick and Pearl, keep up the good work.
Our congratulations to the Arizona Council's youngest active member, Tashaun J. Levels, on entering her senior year at Moon Valley High School. Tashaun is the grand-daughter of AsCB's former longtime treasurer, Arie Levels. She is on the honor roll and her extracurricular activities include treasurer and participating member of the speech and debate teams. She also works part-time as a cashier at Wallmart's 75th Avenue and McDowell store. During her second week Tashan won the storewide Positive Attitude Award.
As a sighted member AZCB and ACB, Tashaun takes much pride in assisting blind and visually impaired members at meetings and related functions and being the youngest active member of the Arizona Council. At Greater Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church she is also the weekly announcements clerk. Tashaun, best wishes for a successful senior year at Moon Valley High!
Don't be surprised if the Valley of the Sun based Harlem Globetrotters extend a contract soon to Tom and Ruth Belsan. Since their retirement last year, they have been doing lots of globetrotting of their own lately. This year their travels have already taken them from Branson, Missouri, to Los Angeles to Louisville, Kentucky and in August to the Handi-Hams annual week long radio workshop at Camp Courage north deep in the pines of northern Minnesota's beautiful lake country. Later this fall they'll be in Hawaii.
Tom retired from his Computer Programmer Development Leader supervisor position with American Express after 20 years. Ruth retired from her position as a registered nurse with Phoenix Regional Medical Center. Prior to his employment with American Express, Tom worked 19 years with a hospital in Illinois, progressing from dark room technician to Computer Systems Programmer. Tom and Ruth moved from Chicago to Phoenix in 1978. After 37 years of marriage and children, Ruth and Tom have earned the right to globetrot wouldn't you say? Thanks, Ruth and Tom, for your many visits to assist me in becoming computer literate.
Kudos to AzCB's treasurer Hal Newsom for developing the language for the Wednesday 7:00 A.M. ad publicizing the "Council" as part of the daily reading of the Arizona Republic newspaper. If you haven't already heard it, listen up next Wednesday. Perhaps the board should consider extending the ad indefinitely.
On Friday, March 3, the AZCB Federal Credit Union held its 29th annual shareholders meeting at the Arizona Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired with record breaking attendance of 41 persons according to credit union Manager Stan Hanshaw. Credit Union Board President Dr. Frank Kells chaired the annual dinner meeting and called it one of the best ever. Special thanks to Stan Hanshaw for his always outstanding job of Dulling the whole thing together and loan committee Chairperson Jill Schramm for overseeing preparation of the tasty dinner. Special thanks also to Mrs. Mary Jane Davis, Jill's 85 year old mother, for the beautiful table settings and to center Director Jim LeMay for consenting to use the facility.
Lee Cales of the Arizona Credit Union League was the speaker. The credit union's annual audit performance rating of 2 by the National Credit Union Administration for calendar year 1999 is next to the highest achievable ratings and means our credit union is doing some things very well. The credit union needs more members, especially blind members. Membership at the end of 1999 stood at 108 while member shares on deposit totaled $148,891.
A dividend of 2 1/2% was paid in January, 2000. In her speech, Lee Cales stated that the AZCB credit union is meeting the needs of its blindness community. The credit union board includes Dr. Frank Kells, President Richard Bailey, Vice President, Fred Kent, Secretary, Stan Hanshaw, Treasurer and directors Jackie DeVincent and Robert L. "Bob" Williams. The Supervisory-committee includes new chairman Patricia Hart, Ron Parker, and former longtime Chairman Steve Dunham. Members of the loan committee include Jill Schramm, Chairman, and members Pearl Bailey, Buster Schramm, Betty Wheadon and Rita Peralta.
The credit union is located at 3124 E. Roosevelt with office hours weekdays Tuesday through Thursday from 10:00 A.M. to 2:00 P.M., tel. 602 273-1510. For more information about the credit union, visit the council's web site of call manager Stan Hanshaw during regular office hours.
ACB 29th ANNUAL STATE CONVENTION The Year 2000 29th annual state convention was held Saturday, May 6, at the First Congregational Church, 1407 N. 2nd St. in Phoenix. The opening preliminaries included prayer by ACB Chaplain Dick Bailey and announcements and comments by convention coordinator Dr. Edwin Druding and president Dan Martinez. Dan's comments focused on the council and some differences in organizations of the blind. He stressed the importance of building communications and relationships with people in order to avoid conflicts.
Craig Warren, Deputy Administrator for Arizona Rehabilitation Administration and RSA Program Manager, Ed House, shared an update concerning blind services in Arizona.
Don Mediate of Arizona Industries for the Blind's sales and marketing division discussed AIB past and future. Denise Thompson, the Executive Director of the Arizona Americans With Disabilities office, spoke about gains by persons with disabilities under ADA since the act was passed in 1990. She called the ADA the widest reaching most significant piece of civil rights legislation for people with disabilities that has been massed to date.
Gail Giselle of the US Small Business Administration discussed the role of SBA in helping people to start and grow businesses. Dan and Jackie Olson of the Foundation Fighting Blindness spoke about the importance of support groups and how to get them started.
A working business session extended the noon luncheon to about 1:30 P.M. Major items included approval of the annual treasurer's report, the approval of a number of revisions to the council's constitution and by-laws and the election of two new directors to the governing board. Constitution and by-law changes will be covered in later editions of the newsletter. New directors include Jan Caddis of Phoenix and Shirley Lubke of Prescott. Welcome aboard Jan and Shirley.
The afternoon session opened with Dr Edwin Druding substituting for his wife, Ruth in a discussion of Macular Degeneration. Harlene Anderson then spoke about being blind and leaving home at age six in 1928 to attend a school for the blind in Montana. Elaine Baldridge brought her audience up to date concerning what is happening in this generation at the Foundation for Blind Children. Jay Taska, a teacher of blind students in Scottsdale Schools discussed teaching blind students from another perspective.
Co-chairpersons Tom and Ruth Belsan presented three $500 scholarships to students whose names were published in the Summer edition of Fore~Sight. Former treasurer, Arie Levels was presented a plaque for eleven years of devoted service in that position from 1988 to 1999. Lu Richards Palladian Players presented "Mixed Emotions" following the banquet dinner.
Charles Ebersole: December 26, 1927 - September 5,2000.
What does that dash in the previous sentence represent? Not merely a passage of time. He touched many lives during those years. He spent many pleasant productive days at the Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired. And, he invested his resources to further the events or to lighten the load of people who are blind. The dash then is of profound significance and represents the impact he had on our lives.
The Arizona Council is still selling See's Candy both bars and boxed.
Call Druding 623-937-1211 to place your order. Bars are $1.00 and boxed are $12.00 per pound.
State Convention 2001
The Arizona Council of the Blind State Convention Program Committee wants suggestions from members as to the presenters, subjects and or issues they would like to see at the next state convention. If you would like to share your opinion call 602 273 1510 and leave a brief message describing what you would like to see.
Arizona Council of the Blind Home Page.
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