The ACB E-Forum, June 2015

Downloadable versions available here.

The ACB E-Forum
Volume LIII June 2015 No. 12
 
Published by
the American Council of the Blind
 
Be A Part of ACB
 
The American Council of the Blind (TM) is a membership organization made up of more than 70 state and special-interest affiliates.  To join, contact the national office at 1-800-424-8666.
 
Contribute to Our Work
 
Those much-needed contributions, which are tax-deductible, can be sent to Attn: Treasurer, ACB, 6300 Shingle Creek Pkwy., Suite 195, Brooklyn Center, MN 55430.  If you wish to remember a relative or friend, the national office has printed cards available for this purpose.  Consider including a gift to ACB in your Last Will and Testament.  If your wishes are complex, call the national office.
 
To make a contribution to ACB by the Combined Federal Campaign, use this number: 11155.
 
Check in with ACB
 
For the latest in legislative and governmental news, call the “Washington Connection” 24/7 at 1-800-424-8666, or read it online.
 
Listen to ACB Reports by downloading the MP3 file from www.acb.org, or call (231) 460-1061 and choose option 3. Tune in to ACB Radio at www.acbradio.org or by calling (231) 460-1047.
 
Learn more about us at www.acb.org. Follow us on Twitter at @acbnational, or like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AmericanCounciloftheBlindOfficial.
 
© 2015 American Council of the Blind
Melanie Brunson, Executive Director
Sharon Lovering, Editor
2200 Wilson Blvd., Suite 650, Arlington, VA 22201
 
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Contact Sharon Lovering in the ACB national office, 1-800-424-8666, or via e-mail, slovering@acb.org. Give her the information, and she'll take care of the changes for you.
 
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The ACB E-Forum, June 2015 downloads

Attention All ACB Leaders and Members!

Due to changes in the District of Columbia statute under which the ACB is incorporated, we are obliged to make some important changes in the way we conduct our business.  These changes will primarily affect who is eligible to vote in ACB elections, or in the event that there is a roll call vote during an ACB business meeting.
 
The D.C. law now requires that membership organizations establish a “record date” for determining the names and addresses of all members who are eligible to vote at an annual membership meeting.  This “record date” must be established by the board of directors and be no more than 70 days prior to the annual meeting.  The ACB board has voted to set our “record date” at 30 days before the opening session of the ACB conference and convention.  In 2015, this date is June 5. Therefore, beginning with the 2015 annual conference and convention, any person wishing to be eligible to vote in our business meetings at the convention must pay their dues to the national office no later than 30 days before the opening of the conference and convention.  This requirement applies to both individuals paying as members at large and to members paying dues through a state or special-interest affiliate. Please note that people can pay dues at any time, but only those members whose ACB dues are received by June 5 can vote at the conference and convention.
 
This change has no impact on affiliate voting.  Individuals who pay dues to an affiliate at convention should ask the affiliate about their eligibility to vote during affiliate business meetings.  Special-interest affiliates that are incorporated in the District of Columbia may have established their own record dates for the same reason that ACB is being required to do so.  In each case, members are welcome to pay dues and join the organization at any time.  They will receive every benefit of membership, except the right to vote at the business meeting this July, because the record date by which eligible voters at that meeting must be identified has already passed.
 
We are aware that this is a significant change in the policies we have followed for many years with regard to voting by individuals who join ACB during our conferences, but it is now the law.  It is also at variance from current provisions of ACB’s constitution and bylaws, so they will require amendment to bring us into compliance with the D.C. statute.  John Huffman, chair of ACB’s constitution and bylaws committee, and his committee will be working on these amendments over the next few weeks for presentation to the membership at the convention in Dallas.
 
— Kim Charlson

President’s Message: WIOA: Laws, Regulations and Why They Should Matter To You by Kim Charlson

From its beginnings, ACB has been all about working together with other organizations to improve the social, educational and employment opportunities for those who are blind or visually impaired. That has frequently meant advocating for laws that either protected our civil rights, or required the creation and funding of agencies that provide services such as special education, health care, and vocational rehabilitation.
 
Laws, however, are only the starting point for this part of advocacy. The regulatory process can, and often does, take more time and effort than passing the original law, but is incredibly important in the final outcome. Governmental agencies must go through a multi-step process that includes research, drafting, checking and double-checking the legality of the proposed regulations before seeking public comments from the impacted constituencies.
 
In July of 2014, Congress passed the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). This legislation requires the U.S. Departments of Education and Labor to coordinate their services that relate to assisting citizens in qualifying for and achieving employment as a successful outcome of the vocational rehabilitation process. Not a small task!
 
On April 16, 2015, the U.S. Departments of Education and Labor announced in the “Federal Register” the publication of five notices of proposed rule-making (NPRMs) related to WIOA, and called on the public to comment on these regulations. ACB, through its national office staff and the rehabilitation issues task force, have submitted comments regarding several aspects of the proposed regulations. I hope that you, our members and friends, will do likewise to make your opinions known.
 
One of the many changes proposed in these new regulations is the elimination of “homemaker” as a recognized, successful closure.  While the “homemaker” category has been abused at times in the past, I believe that the arbitrary classification of the “homemaker” placement as an invalid outcome devalues the institution of the primary caregiver in a family. If someone who is blind is the primary person caring for the children, other family members, and the household, that unpaid vocational outcome should be recognized and respected as worthwhile by the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA). When you think of who played the most important role in your life, wasn’t it the person who kept you fed, safe, warm and loved? Isn’t that the person who made sure you got to school on time, who heard you out when you found the world around you to be more than you could handle? Wasn’t that your “homemaker”? Why should we as people who are blind accept the elimination of this important role that is traditionally unpaid and therefore not a valid rehabilitation outcome? I believe that we in ACB reject the wholesale elimination of this category and will be telling RSA just that.
 
The second area of concern is providing funding to support the pre-vocational training of youth who are blind between the ages of 14 to graduation from high school. Many youth who are blind do not realistically understand what jobs are out there in the real world, and what training is needed to qualify to do those jobs. Unfortunately, setting aside 15% of the total funds provided to state rehabilitation agencies to pay for programs to instruct youth with visual impairments is very disproportionate, in that fewer than 15% of the eligible vocational rehabilitation clients of these agencies are between the ages of 14 to 22 respectively. This means that significantly fewer dollars will be available for rehabilitation services for adults. In addition, the proposed regulations include a list of the services that can be covered for these young people, and that list is entirely too restrictive to allow agencies to effectively meet the 15% spending requirement. It seems to me that there should be some room for “innovation” in service delivery for youth – after all, isn’t that what the letter “I” in WIOA means?
 
Finally, I want to close by addressing an aspect of the proposed regulations that greatly concerns me. In the U.S., the single largest employer of blind and visually impaired people is National Industries for the Blind-affiliated agencies. These blind workers do everything from bookkeeping to running drill presses and computer-assisted design equipment; from pulling products from warehouse shelves to running printing presses. These workers earn a competitive wage with appropriate benefits. In these agencies, someone can be the CEO or director of human resources, and their placement within these NIB-affiliated agencies will not be considered as a successful employment outcome by RSA. Again, doesn’t this devalue the role that a blindness agency can play, and the leadership role that employees who are blind can have in such an agency? We in the ACB believe that the wide variety of positions within NIB-affiliated agencies available to qualified people who are blind should not be categorized as a non-integrated setting. Having WIOA implementing regulations that make such jobs less valued is a further disincentive to employment in a world where unemployment hovers around 70% for people who are blind. We should be looking at every job as a valuable opportunity that pays a meaningful wage and provides workers with good benefits.
 
These three areas I have focused on are components of the proposed WIOA regulations that are of concern to me. I do believe that there are positive elements and improvements to the current rehabilitation system to be found in these new regulations. However, we need to make sure that the rehabilitation system doesn’t take any major steps backward as we are trying to move forward. We cannot afford to lose any of the ground we have gained through the years, and all of you are an important part of that effort.
 
Please talk to your affiliate leaders and ask how you can help send a message to the policy-makers who are crafting regulations that will impact the future of people who are blind or visually impaired seeking employment. Take some time to familiarize yourself with the proposed regulations, and think about how they might have altered your path to independence and tell your story to the decision-makers as well. We need your support!

Audio Description News Flash! by Melanie Brunson

If you are a fan of audio-described television programs or movies, or if you would like to be but have not had many opportunities to experience audio-described programs in the past, please read on.  We’ve got several updates that just might bring audio-described programs to a screen near you!
 
On April 14, the online service Netflix announced plans to begin making select movies and TV programs available with audio description. The first title to be released under this new initiative was Marvel’s “Daredevil.”  Any customer wishing to order this title, or any others as additional titles are added to the library of audio-described programs, can simply select audio description as one of the options for their program, in the same manner that you currently choose the language in which you want to hear the program.  Since the initial announcement by Netflix, approximately 40 additional titles have been added to their collection of audio-described programs, and new titles are being added at a pretty rapid pace.  For more information about audio-described programming available from Netflix, visit: https://www.netflix.com/Login?locale=en-US&nextpage=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.netflix.com%2Fbrowse%2Faudio-description.  You can also find information about audio-described titles from Netflix, as well as instructions for how to access them, on the web site of ACB’s Audio Description Project, www.acb.org/adp/netflix.html. Netflix users will want to visit these sites often to see what’s new.  By the way, there’s also an app for that! Audio-described Netflix titles can be played on smartphones too.  Here’s a link to one source of information about how to access audio description on both iOS and Android devices: www.blindbargains.com/bargains.php?m=12652.
 
For those who like to get their movies and TV programs in a more traditional manner, we’ve got some exciting news for you too.  Beginning in July 2015, the number of television markets required to provide audio-described prime-time programming increases from the top 25 to the top 60 markets.  These markets include:
26     Baltimore, Md.
27     Raleigh-Durham, N.C.
28     San Diego, Calif.
29     Nashville, Tenn.
30     Hartford-New Haven, Conn.
31     Kansas City, Kan. and Mo.
32     Columbus, Ohio
33     Salt Lake City, Utah
34     Cincinnati, Ohio
35     Milwaukee, Wis.
36     Greenville-Spartanburg (S.C.)-Asheville-Anderson (N.C.)
37     San Antonio, Tex.
38     West Palm Beach-Ft. Pierce, Fla.
39     Grand Rapids-Kalamazoo-Battle Creek, Mich.
40     Birmingham, Ala.
41     Harrisburg-Lancaster-Lebanon-York, Pa.
42     Las Vegas, Nev.
43     Norfolk-Portsmouth-Newport News, Va.
44     Albuquerque-Santa Fe, N.M.
45     Oklahoma City, Okla.
46     Greensboro-High Point-Winston-Salem, N.C.
47     Jacksonville, Fla.
48     Memphis, Tenn.
49     Austin, Tex.
50     Louisville, Ky.
51     Buffalo, N.Y.
52     Providence-New Bedford, R.I.
53     New Orleans, La.
54     Wilkes Barre-Scranton, Pa.
55     Fresno-Visalia, Calif.
56     Little Rock-Pine Bluff, Ark.
57     Albany-Schenectady-Troy, N.Y.
58     Richmond-Petersburg, Va.
59     Knoxville, Tenn.
60     Mobile, Ala.-Pensacola, Fla.
 
This will benefit not only those who live in the cities listed above, but those in surrounding communities who get their programming from the stations in those cities that are affiliated with one of the major networks.  The networks are required to pass through the audio descriptions to their affiliated stations in all of these markets.  If you live in one of these areas, and want to know which programs you should be able to watch with audio description, visit the ACB Audio Description Project web page at www.acb.org/adp.  This is a great information resource, and includes a comprehensive list of audio-described television programs.
 
Speaking of ACB’s Audio Description Project, the folks who run this program are currently seeking nominations for several awards that are given each year to individuals or organizations who have made outstanding contributions to the field of audio description.  Three Achievement Awards are presented to individuals and/or organizations for outstanding contributions to the establishment and/or continued development of significant audio description programs in each of three areas: media, performing arts, and museums.  In addition, the Dr. Margaret Pfanstiehl Memorial Achievement Award for Research and Development is made to an individual or organization for outstanding published research that leads to the advance of audio description. The Barry Levine Memorial Award for Career Achievement in Audio Description recognizes an individual for outstanding contributions to the field of audio description over an extended period of time, leading, inspiring or providing significant service to others. We urge readers of this magazine to help us recognize individuals and/or organizations who have advanced this field by submitting nominations for these awards.  Please act quickly, because the deadline for nominations is June 19, 2015.  The nomination process is easy!  It’s a three-step process: 1) Tell us about the nominee; 2) Tell us about yourself; 3) Support your nomination.
 
Nominations can be submitted in several ways. You can send them by e-mail to  chris@moblind.org, or mail them to Christopher Gray, Missouri Council of the Blind, 5453 Chippewa, St. Louis, MO 63109.
 
You can also make your nomination online at http://acbadp.wufoo.com/forms/2015-audio-description-project-awards/. Remember that nominations must be received by June 19. Award winners will be announced during the ACB conference and convention in July.
 
These are exciting times for advocates of audio description.  We will keep you apprized of further developments in this field as we learn about them.

ACB Honors Its 2014 Annual Giving Society Donors

In 2014, to better honor and recognize our generous donors, ACB created four new Annual Giving Societies.  Levels are based on the amount of annual contributions to ACB.
 
The Annual Giving Societies include:

  • Leader’s Society, for those who donate between $250 and $999 annually;
  • Advocate’s Society, for those who donate between $1,000 and $2,499 annually;
  • Champion’s Society, for those who donate between $2,500 and $4,999 annually; and
  • President’s Society, for those who donate $5,000 or more annually.

In 2014, six donors achieved the President’s Society with total contributions of $87,566; seven donors achieved the Champion’s Society with total contributions of $20,001; 22 donors achieved the Advocate’s Society with total contributions of $25,825, and 158 donors achieved the Leader’s Society with total contributions of $68,505.  This totals 193 individuals or couples who gave a total of $201,897.
 
Below are the names of the donors in each level of the Giving Society.  ACB is most grateful for their donations; they will be honored at a reception at the conference and convention in Dallas in July.

President’s Society

Roger Bridges
Cavallino Events
Michael Keithley
The Ross Group, Inc./Ross N. Pangere Foundation
Rhoades Schroeder
Dan Spoone/Leslie Spoone

Champion’s Society

Anonymous
Dan Dillon
Hawaii Association of the Blind
James Kracht/Patricia Kracht
Marlaina Lieberg /Gary Lieberg
Carla Ruschival/Adam Ruschival
Fred Scheigert

Advocate’s Society

Margaret Alvarez
ACB of Minnesota
John Ammeter/Sue Ammeter
Margarine Beaman
Richard Bird
Blind Vendors Ohana, Inc.
Terry Camardelle/Bonnie Camardelle
Berl Colley/Denise Colley
Marcia Dresser/Steve Dresser
Florida Council of the Blind
Tom Frank
John McCann
Carl McCoy
Richard Merakian
Juli Morrissey/Gregory Morrissey
Catherine Schmitt-Whitaker
Obbie Schoeman
Marcy Scott
Smith Family Fund
Patricia Spoone/William Spoone
Filo Tu
Nancy Young

Leader’s Society

Anonymous
Alabama Council of the Blind
Alabama Council of the Blind Talladega Chapter
Michael Alvarez
Dennis Ameden
Arizona Council of the Blind
Gary Austin
Jonathan Avila
James Baker
Elizabeth Barnes
Ardis Bazyn
Sally Benjamin/William Benjamin
William Benninghoff
Elaine Boykin
Ed “Doc” Bradley
Nathan Brannon/Julie Brannon
Ann Brash
Eric Bridges/Rebecca Bridges
Kathleen Brockman
Ron Brooks/Lisa Brooks/Kacie Brooks/Amanda Brooks/Andrew Brooks
Donna Brown/Mildred Brown
Melanie Brunson
Margaret Buchmann-Garcia
Carolyn Burley
Christine Burns-Fazzi
Mark Burns/Pamela Burns
Michael Byington/Ann Byington
Raymond Campbell/Karyn Campbell
Annette Carter
Allen Casey
Brian Charlson/Kim Charlson
Chatlos Foundation, Inc.
Marla Chorney
Delia Clayton
Robert Clayton
Joan Cox
David Cozakos
Ed Crespin/Christy Crespin
Sheila Derrick
Vikram Desai
Janet Dickelman
Lou Diekemper
Jay Doudna
Lisa Drzewucki
Melissa DuBose
Mark Dunning
Suzanne Duryea
Casey Dutmer
R.E. Englebretson III
Mary Ann Eubank
Marsha Farrow
Lainey Feingold
Michael Fulghum
Michael Gallagher
Michael Garman
Ninetta Garner
Michael Garrett/Peggy Garrett
Kathleen Gerhardt
Alfred Gil/Connie Gil
Michael Godino/Lori Scharff
Karen Gourgey
Nona Graves
Carrol Gray
Greater Orlando Council of the Blind, Inc.
Hazel Harmon
Mary Haroyan
Marian Haslerud
Kim Hebert
Donna Hepper
Cynthia Hirakawa
Amanda Holley
George Holliday
Suzanne Howell/Marion Howell
Edythe Huffman/John Huffman
Iowa Council of the United Blind
Ken Jessup
Jim Jirak
Keith Johnson
Richard Johnson/Darlene Johnson
Nina Kagan
Alan Russell Kahn
John Kaltenbrun
Billie Jean Keith
Kentucky Council of the Blind
Donald Koors/Geraldine Koors/Angela Koors
Martin Kuhn
Patricia Land
Evelyn Larson
Sarah Ann Leake
Louisville Downtown Lions Charities, Inc.
Ottilie Lucas
Thomas Lutes
Marilyn Lutter
Julia Lynch
Jean Mann
Marita Mathews
Anne Mauro
Craig McCully
Katrina McCurdy
Barbara McDonald
Brian Messina
Oral Miller
Thomas Miller
Ronald Milliman/Palma Milliman
Israel Milton
Janice Morris
Cheryl Morvillo
Rhonda Nelson
North Dakota Association of the Blind
Richard Nuanes
Susan Nunchuck
Ronald Ocken
Jill O’Connell
Oklahoma Council of the Blind
Norman Ota
Josephine Paolino
Harlow Pease
Nancy Pendegraph
Allan Peterson
Andrea Pitsenbarger
Mitchell Pomerantz/Donna Pomerantz
Lynn Powers
Vicky Prahin
Herbert Reado
Alice Ritchhart
Deb Robinson
Max Robinson
Jack Rubinsohn
Richard Rueda
Stuart Russell
Robert Saffle
Rachel Schroeder
Susan Schulgin
Deanna Scoggins
Robert Seliger/Donna Seliger
Patrick Sheehan
Douglas Slotten
Charles Smalley
Randy Smith
Robert L. Smith Trust
Naomi Soule
Cheryl Sparks
Tennessee Council of the Blind
Jeff Thom/Leslie Thom
Catherleen Thomas/Arthur Thomas
Howard Thomas
James Thompson/Bonnie Thompson
David Trott/Rhonda Trott
Bryan Troxclair
Eddie Turner
Tom Venable/Kim Venable
Frank Ventura
Abigail Vincent
Linda Watgen
Sue Wesley
Sharlene Wills
Sheila Young
Renee Zelickson

Register Early to Get the Extras in Dallas! by Janet Dickelman

As you read this, convention pre-registration will be up and running. You will have all the information regarding affiliate and committee programming.  You can register online at www.acb.org; follow the link for the 2015 convention registration. You may also register via telephone by calling 1-800-866-3242.
 
On the registration form you can register for conference and convention events, tours, the 2015 ACB Brenda Dillon Memorial Walk, and order the 2015 ACB commemorative pin and the 2015 T-shirt.
 
In this article you'll find an overview of some extras the convention has to offer. Convention dates are July 3-11!

Directional Beacons to Guide Your Way

Do you have an Apple iOS device that has Bluetooth 4 capability? If so, thanks to Macular Degeneration Support and their partner, Macular Degeneration Foundation, for their donation of indoor navigation technology to ACB’s 2015 conference and convention. The guidance system works by sending audible instructions and location descriptions to Apple iOS devices with Bluetooth capability. The information is electronically transmitted by beacons that will be placed near meeting rooms, restrooms, elevators and other venues.

Calling All Kids!

Kids’ Explorers Club has two amazing leaders, Jennifer and Bart. They are both teachers and very enthusiastic about our upcoming program. If you plan to bring a child ages 6 to 13 to this year’s convention, we have some really great trips planned. Kids’ Club will be open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Each day includes breakfast, lunch, crafts, swimming and a daily field trip.

  • Visit the Dallas Zoo on Monday;
  • Go ice-skating indoors on Tuesday;
  • See a movie and have lunch at Studio Grill on Wednesday;
  • Visit the Perot Museum of Science and Nature on Thursday; and
  • End the week with arcade games and bowling on Friday.

Kids’ Explorers Club will also be open Sunday evening during opening general session and Friday during the ACB banquet.

Breakfast, Anyone?

On Monday, July 6, join the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) for its annual breakfast meeting. AFB staff, including president Carl Augusto, will share with attendees what’s new at AFB and answer questions.
 
Tuesday, July 7 features the Guide Dogs for the Blind breakfast. GDB alumni connect with friends and staff; GDB alumni and those considering the guide dog lifestyle are welcome.
 
On Wednesday, July 8, National Industries for the blind will host its annual breakfast.

Technology

Google will hold sessions Monday and Tuesday afternoons. Topics include: All about Android Lollipop; Docs & Drive for Power Users; Google Chrome & Chrome OS; and an open house with demos of Google’s latest hardware and software. ACB sends out a very big thank-you to Google, a corporate sponsor for the 2015 conference and convention at the diamond level.
 
HumanWare, a conference and convention ruby sponsor, will host two seminars. On Monday, the topic will be “Why I love my Victor Reader Stream.” Tuesday’s seminar will feature the HumanWare Breeze+ talking GPS system.
 
HIMS will hold a couple of seminars on Sunday: one on HIMS braille products and E-bot, the other on tablets and video magnifiers.
 
Ai Squared will hold the following sessions on Sunday:

  • Window-Eyes Offer for Users of Microsoft Office and the paid-for version of Window-Eyes
  • Spoiler alert!  ZoomText & Window-Eyes are getting married!
  • ZoomText, ZoomText Mac, Image Reader, and CamReader
  • ZoomText University and the Window-Eyes Training Class

New this year is Fedora Outlier, LLC. Fedora will hold hands-on workshops on iOS for the iPhone/iPad and sessions on the Mac on Saturday and Monday.
 
BookShare will host a members-only event on Tuesday.

Stay Connected

Once again this year, the convention announcement list will be filled with information about the convention. Subscribe to the list today by sending a blank e-mail to acbconvention-subscribe@acblists.org. If you’ve been on the list in the past, you don’t need to subscribe again. Don’t have e-mail? No problem! New this year, convention updates will also be featured on ACB Radio and by telephone through Audio Now at (231) 460-1047.

Hotel Details

Room rates at the Sheraton Dallas are $89 for single through quadruple occupancy, plus applicable state and local taxes (currently 13%) and tourism district fees (2%). For reservations by telephone, call 1-888-627-8191, and be sure to mention that you are attending the ACB convention in order to obtain our room rate. To make reservations online, visit www.acb.org and follow the 2015 convention link.

Convention Contacts

2015 exhibit information: Michael Smitherman, (601) 331-7740, amduo@bellsouth.net
2015 advertising and sponsorships: Margarine Beaman, (512) 921-1625, oleo50@hotmail.com
 
For any other convention-related questions, please contact Janet Dickelman, convention chair, at (651) 428-5059 or janet.dickelman@gmail.com.

Information Desk Reminders by Vicky Prahin

Remember to stop by the Information Desk to meet some of the Texas hosts while you sign up for newspaper delivery, make reservations for banquet tables, drop off door prizes and items for the Brenda Dillon Memorial Auction, find hotel orientation information and select menus, and report items you have lost or found. Friendly and knowledgeable volunteers will answer questions in person and by phone about meeting locations, caucuses, and special activities; download files and distribute hard copies of documents; and log in your door prizes and auction items. If you want the newspaper and other materials downloaded, bring us your thumb drive, cartridge, or SD card.
 
The Information Desk will open in the late afternoon of Thursday, July 2, and remain open throughout the convention, until 4 p.m. on the 10th.
 
We look forward to a really good time in Dallas!
 
— Vicky Prahin

A Mini Mall Stampede

It's time to round ‘em up, move ‘em out, and join the Mini Mall Stampede. New designs, new products, and a new bargain bin filled with Texas-sized deals.
 
Be the coolest cowhand on the range with our new ACB Dallas merchandise. Coffee mugs and beer steins, shot glasses and tumblers, bags and totes, T-shirts and pillows and much, much more – all with new official Dallas designs. Available at the Mini Mall booth in the conference and convention exhibit hall.
 
But wait! Have you heard the news? This year, for the first time, EVERYONE out there on the range, all over the country, can get ready for convention by ordering Dallas products in advance, by phone or online. Show up at the hotel in your new Dallas T-shirt, carrying your stuff in your new Dallas tote bag. Not able to make it to convention this year? Listen to conference sessions on ACB Radio as you sip your favorite beverage from your Dallas drinkware; add an ACB Dallas magnet to your fridge; stay hydrated on your paratransit ride with a Dallas water bottle.
 
Place order for most items by June 15 and receive them by July 1.
 
ACB is where the stars shine bright. Keep the stars shining bright in your world with our new ACB logo flash drives; they’re perfect for carrying along all your important files and data. Available in 8-, 16-, and 32-GB storage capacities. You can find them at the online Mini Mall and at the Mini Mall booth in the exhibit hall.
 
Lasso some real deals in the ACB Bargain Bin. Limited quantity and close-out items – snap them up before they’re gone.
 
Don’t be left behind. Join the Mini Mall Stampede by visiting us online; just follow the Mini Mall link from the ACB home page at www.acb.org, or call us at 1-877-630-7190.
 
Thanks for shopping at the ACB Mini Mall.
 
— Carla Ruschival

Audio Description Project Seeks Active Participation from ACB Members in Dallas by Susan Glass

Last summer in Las Vegas, ACB’s Audio Description Project sponsored an international conference at which participating audio describers shared and learned about innovations in the profession. This summer, we are focusing our activities on consumers of audio description, which is to say that we are focusing on blind and visually impaired members of ACB. We want to learn from you regarding your audio description needs, concerns, and experiences, and to share with you the AD resources that are already available. Before you read on, consider whether any of the following scenarios and or statements apply to you:

  • You are traveling to Minneapolis within a week, and while you’re there, you’d like to learn what audio-described performing arts opportunities are available. How can you find this information?
  • You want to learn more about audio-described movies, and how to find theaters in your community that offer them.
  • You’d like to know what efforts are being made to make exhibits in art museums and parks accessible via audio description.
  • You want the lowdown on audio-described television programming.
  • You’d like to find out what happened at last year’s ACB Audio Description conference.
  • You’d like to get involved in promoting audio description in your home community.
  • You’d like to help ACB promote audio description.   

Below are brief summaries of the panel discussions that we are offering on Tuesday afternoon, July 7, 2015. We hope we can entice you to attend.

  • Audio Description Project of ACB
  • Audio Description Project Director: Dr. Joel Snyder
  • Steering Committee Chair: Dan Spoone
  • Program Chairs: Jo Lynn Bailey-Page and Susan Glass

Tuesday, July 7
 
2:45 to 4:15 p.m.  AD: Latest and Greatest
 
Come learn about audio description: Updates in media (TV, film, technology), Telecommunications Act, Department of Justice hearings, arts, and Audio Description Project activities. Panel: Dan Spoone, moderator, Orlando, Fla.; Dr. Joel Snyder, Director of ACB’s Audio Description Project and Audio Description Associates, Inc., Takoma Park, Md.; Carl Richardson, ADA Coordinator for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Boston, Mass.; Eric Bridges, Director of External Relations and Policy, Arlington, Va.
 
4:30 to 5:45 p.m.  AD: Make It Work For You
 
Learn to navigate the Audio Description Project web site and ADP listserv; get resources to advocate for AD in your community; strengthen the connection between AD consumers and describers through ADP’s mentorship program. Presenters: Dr. Joel Snyder (see biographical entry above); Fred Brack, Triangle Radio Reading Service and Arts Access Foundation describer, Raleigh, N.C.; Susan Glass, freelance writer, associate editor of “The Blind Californian,” and audio description consumer, Saratoga, Calif.; Margie Donovan, ACB Capitol Chapter vice president and advocacy chair, and audio description consumer, Folsom, Calif.; Jo Lynn Bailey-Page, arts management consultant and audio describer, Falls Church, Va.
 
We hope to see you in Dallas.

FIA Showcase: Something Old, Something New by Peter Altschul

Friends-in-Art’s Showcase of the Performing Arts has become one of the high points of annual ACB conferences and conventions. We are humbled by the support of both performers and audience members; without you, we would be, well, performing into a black hole.

Over the years, we have tinkered with the Showcase’s design to make the stars shine more brightly — and we are trying something new this year.

Something Old

Many of you might remember the FIA chorus, which used to perform arrangements by FIA members. We would like to reactivate this chorus, which we hope will open the Showcase singing “Magic To Do” from the musical “Pippin.” Also, the tune “Go Ahead Charley” is being arranged for men’s chorus (don’t worry, women, you’ll get your chance next year). A complete recording of both arrangements and your individual part are available on the FIA Showcase channel on YouTube. Come sing with us, and help bring Dwayne Estes’ arrangements to life! If interested in joining, please contact Dwayne at Fiashowcase2015@gmail.com.

Something New

For the second act of the Showcase, we will feature three visually impaired artists who are successful performing artists. The first half, however, will be structured similarly to prior Showcases; see below for guidelines. While we regret that the number of performing slots will drop from approximately 25 to no more than 15, we want the world to know that blind artists and performers are out there making money presenting their art.

Below are updated “commandments” concerning how to secure a slot in the first half of the Showcase. We especially encourage new talent, as well as those who enjoy performing folk/bluegrass, gospel, classical, and/or music from cultures outside of North America to audition.

  1. Thou shalt bear in mind that while music is the most popular mode of entertainment, all performing arts media are welcome to audition.
     
  2. Thou shalt know that an eight-piece “house band” WILL be available this year. Those interested in performing with the band should provide Dwayne Estes with sheet music in the key in which you want to sing. Also, bear in mind that anyone wanting to perform with the band must first audition and, if accepted, must rehearse with the band sometime between 5 and 6:45 p.m. on the day of the Showcase (Tuesday, July 7). Please contact Dwayne for additional information.
     
  3. Thou shalt alert us that you plan to audition either during the FIA reception or at our booth in the exhibit hall. You don’t, however, need to tell us when you’ll show up; just appear in the FIA Suite on Monday, July 6, between 3 and 5:30 p.m.
     
  4. Thou shalt give serious consideration to upbeat material. We tend to have a shortage of up-tempo acts, as potential performers often bring more meditative selections to the microphone. If your preference is the latter, give some thought to preparing an upbeat backup.
     
  5. Thou shalt understand that variety is key to achieving a successful show. Therefore, we usually judge within genre: that is, voice accompanied by piano performances will be compared to each other, while dramatic readings will be judged against other dramatic readings.
     
  6. Thou shalt keep in mind that language in Showcase presentations should respect the presence of both children and adults. The FIA Showcase is considered family entertainment.
     
  7. Thou shalt come well prepared. Polish and flair will capture the attention of the audience, and go a long way toward ensuring your place in the show.
     
  8. Thou shalt not use pre-recorded tracks.
     
  9. Thou shalt be aware that a sighted accompanist will be available to play from a printed musical score; however, if you don’t have a printed score, at least one of us is able to improvise accompaniments to show tunes, jazz standards, gospel hymns, and a limited repertoire of classical music. Please contact Dwayne with questions.

Audition Procedures

Everyone, including those who have told us previously of their interest to audition, must alert us that you plan to audition either during the FIA reception or at our booth in the exhibit hall. We’ll need your name, where you live, the title and composer of the selection you are planning to perform, and your hotel room number. Then just show up in the FIA Suite on Monday, July 6, between 3 and 5:30 p.m. While getting in touch with one another is always difficult at conventions, we plan to inform all performers of audition outcomes between 10 p.m. and midnight on the day of the auditions. 
 
If you need further information, or have questions not addressed in this article, contact Dwayne Estes at Fiashowcase2015@gmail.com.

Convention Sneak Peek: Passport to Knowledge

ACB’s committee on international relations is back, and has packed lots of surprises into this year’s conference and convention program! We will be co-sponsoring programming with a record number of affiliates and other committees, including ACB Students, the rehabilitation issues task force, and the Braille Revival League.
 
We will begin on Monday with ACB Students. We will be participating in a panel discussion focused on exchange programs — the enriching experiences that are gained when participating in a study-abroad program.
 
On Tuesday, we will be participating in the Braille Revival League breakfast.  Please come join us as we learn how braille is incorporated into the lives of people who are blind or have low vision around the world.
 
On Tuesday, we will also be hosting Voices from Around the World – as a luncheon.  Please join us as we give our international guests an ACB welcome. During our luncheon, Melanie Brunson will be highlighting WIPO.  After lunch, we are co-sponsoring a panel entitled Voices from Around the World with the rehabilitation issues task force.  Come and learn what vocational rehabilitation is like in other countries.  Is it better or worse than what we have in the U.S.? What can be learned from the exchange of ideas?
 
There’s something for everyone in our convention offerings, so come and join us! The international relations committee looks forward to seeing you all in Dallas.

Extra, Extra! Convention Newspaper Now Seeking Volunteers

Are you coming to convention? Do you like helping out where needed? The communication center is now seeking volunteers to help collate and staple papers, take ads and announcements, and staff the room. Sharon Lovering is the operations manager. She is seeking volunteers to fill two-hour shifts throughout the day (8-10 a.m., 10 a.m.-noon, noon-2 p.m., and 2-4 p.m.). The communication center will be open Friday through Wednesday, and be taken down Thursday morning; it will open daily at 8 a.m. and close to the public at 5 p.m. To sign up for a shift, contact Sharon at the ACB national office, 1-800-424-8666, or via e-mail, slovering@acb.org.
 
This year’s convention newspaper will be called “The Lone Star Gazette.” It will run from Saturday through Thursday in braille and large print. Ads and other items intended for publication must be in the center’s hands by 2 p.m. each day. Ads should be 75 words or less. By a directive from the board of publications, ads will be allowed to run for only three days.  If you wish to advertise in the newspaper, please contact Margarine Beaman, advertising and sponsorship coordinator, at (512) 921-1625 or by e-mail, oleo50@hotmail.com. The BOP’s editorial policy manual prohibits us from producing or distributing campaign materials.
 
During the evenings, we will need people to help collate and staple the braille papers. Thanks to Enabling Technologies, we will have three braille printers this year. Are you a night owl?  Are you good at separating braille copies from each other, separating the pages, collating them in order and stapling?  Drop by and see if the communication center needs help.
 
If you have signed up for home delivery of “The Lone Star Gazette,” drop by the information desk and give them your name, room number, and format preference once you arrive. This will ensure that you don’t miss an issue. Hold onto your Saturday issue; it will include all the suite numbers, phone numbers, and room changes.
 
If your committee or affiliate needs something brailled, we will be able to do that. Make certain you label your thumb drive or memory card(s) before bringing them down to the communication center, and tell us how many copies you will need, by what time, as well as how we can reach you (room number, cell phone, etc.); also be sure that your document(s) are on the drive or memory card. Bring your items down in the morning before the general session to help us fit them in.
 
Affiliates, if you know who your delegate, alternate, and nominating committee representative will be, please let Ray Campbell, ray153056@gmail.com, and Sharon Lovering, slovering@acb.org, know as soon as possible.

Affiliate News

AABT Teachers’ Features – What’s Going on in Dallas?

It’s hard to believe that it’s almost convention time again! As I write this, there is approximately a month and a half until we will be boarding buses, planes and trains for Texas! We hope that you will join the American Association of Blind Teachers (AABT) for all or part of our exciting convention line-up.
 
Our annual breakfast, program and business meeting will take place on Sunday, July 5th at 8 a.m.  This year, we are doing something a little different and very entertaining for our breakfast program.  The program title will be, “Eggs In Your Stomach and Egg On Your Face: Unforgettable Tales.” After feasting on scrambled eggs, pork sausage links, green onion hash browns and baked croissants, we invite you to share with the group stories about the times that you have had “egg on your face.” Come and tell your amusing tales about life’s little embarrassing moments that only a visual impairment can bring and be entertained by the stories of others.  I am sure that we will all have a lot of laughs, but the success of this program will depend on you.  This program will be followed by a short break and our annual business meeting and election of officers.
 
On Monday, July 6th, we will turn our attention to cyberspace.  We will begin at 1:30 p.m. with a workshop entitled “Accessible Distance Learning.” Our presenter will be Betsey Doane, professor emeritus of mathematics and computer science at Housatonic Community College in Bridgeport, Conn. Come learn about the latest accessibility features in Blackboard Learn and MyMathLab™.  The “Teachers’ Round Table on Classroom Technology: Pros, Cons and Questions” will follow from 2:45-4 p.m.  The focus of this discussion will be the use of classroom technology by students and educators on all levels and the advantages and challenges that this technology brings to the educational process.  Some of our panelists will include Kate Crohan, a teacher of the visually impaired at the Perkins School for the Blind in Watertown, Mass.; Sue Mangis, a retired teacher of the visually impaired from Carmichael, Calif.; and Carla Hayes, a foreign language teacher of children and adults.
 
We will conclude our convention week offerings on Wednesday, July 8th from 1:30 to 2:45 p.m. by co-sponsoring the Writers’ Workshop with Friends-In-Art.  The title of this year’s Writers’ Workshop is “From Family Lore to Life Story.” Join us in the casual atmosphere of the FIA Suite as we share activities that will help us transform our families’ oral stories into written memoirs.  Our presenter will be AABT’s own Susan Glass, an author and former college professor from Saratoga, Calif.  At the beginning of the week at our breakfast, many of you may share some funny family stories.  On Wednesday, come to the writers’ workshop and learn how you might transform your oral recollections into print and perhaps even get them published.
 
AABT has a lot to offer at this year’s convention.  We hope that you will come and laugh a lot and learn a lot with us!

ACB Diabetics in Action Looks Forward to Dallas

Are you ready for Dallas, Tex.? We hope you are saving time for ACBDA’s activities. We have a great lineup of speakers for the diabetes seminar on Sunday, July 5th. We have three speakers: one will discuss “Do You Know What Your Numbers Mean;” the next speaker will talk about “O and M for Diabetics,” and the third one will tell us about “New Things for Diabetes and New Technology.”
 
Our luncheon will be on Wednesday, July 8th with the general meeting following. The meal is: a farmer’s salad, dukkah chicken breast with a crust of nuts, and broccoli. Dessert is baked apple pie with strawberry drizzled on top, and whipped cream.
 
Our mixer will be on Thursday, July 9th. We will have a few different things for the mixer, including a small auction. If you have something to donate, let Sandy Feldman know at (515) 729-8427, or e-mail her at sandy.feldman3@gmail.com.
 
We will also be at the marketplace a couple of times.
 
I am excited about everything we are planning this year, and I hope you are too! I hope we have the best turnout ever! See you in Dallas!

Git Along, Little Doggie: GDUI in Dallas

The Deep in the Hearts of Guide Dogs convention is coming, so grab your harness handle and join the guide dog round-up. GDUI will have a great convention program. Here are some of the highlights!
 
On Sunday, take part in a hotel orientation or a workshop on how to help you and your dog cope with convention stress.  Visit the GDUI Suite, where handlers and dogs can relax or meet up with other guide dog handlers or browse for dog-related toys and items.  Conventioneers can bid on auction items. There will also be a drawing with wonderful prizes. Maybe you can indulge in a doggie massage to help relieve your dog’s convention stress or participate in the canine massage workshop. 
 
The 2015 GDUI luncheon speaker is Dr. Amanda Florsheim DVM, who practices in the Dallas area and specializes in dog behavior.  Additionally, on July 6th at 7 p.m., the Guide Dog School Appreciation Reception will take place. Don’t forget to look for the GDUI program in the registration packet and come join us for a doggone good time.
 
Get the most up-to-date information by visiting www.guidedogusersinc.org/convention, or like us on Facebook, or follow our Twitter feed at GDUInc.

Join IVIE in Dallas for Convention 2015!

Convention time will be here before you know it! As you make your convention plans, make sure that you allow time for IVIE in your schedule.  The Independent Visually Impaired Entrepreneurs (IVIE) has a variety of fun and informative activities in store for you in Dallas.  Read on to find out more!
 
We begin our convention week Sunday evening, July 5th, immediately following the opening general session as we join our friends from Randolph-Sheppard Vendors for the RSVA/IVIE mixer.  Come share some refreshments and catch up with friends!
 
The annual IVIE breakfast and business meeting will take place on Monday, July 6th from 7:00 to 8:15 a.m.  After enjoying a delicious breakfast of scrambled eggs, herb-roasted red bliss potatoes, applewood smoked bacon strips and blueberry muffins, we will introduce breakfast attendees, elect officers and conduct other IVIE business.  We hope that many of you will come and help us to make very important decisions and plans for our affiliate.
 
Our next convention event is the annual IVIE luncheon and program, which will take place on Wednesday, July 8th from 12:15 to 2:30 p.m.  I am especially excited about this year's program.  The Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) will present a workshop entitled, “Pitching Your Products and Selling Your Services.” No matter what the nature of your business is, you must constantly convince potential customers and clients that your particular product(s) or service(s) will suit their needs.  How do you make an effective sales pitch? What techniques can you use to sell yourself as a potential service provider? Come and learn about sales strategies that work.
 
Our final event of the week will be the IVIE Business Expo. This year, it will take place on Thursday, July 9th.  Blind and visually impaired business owners will showcase their products and services and answer your questions.  Since ACB exhibits will be closed, we hope you will come and shop at the Business Expo and support entrepreneurs who are blind or visually impaired.  Browsing is free; no ticket necessary.  However, if you would like to have a booth at the IVIE Business Expo, you must reserve it in advance.  The cost will be $10 for IVIE members and $25 for non-members with the option of joining IVIE and applying $15 of this cost toward annual IVIE dues. Since IVIE’s calendar year runs from July 1st to June 30th, this would be an excellent time to pay your dues. You can reserve your expo booth and/or pay your annual dues online by visiting IVIE’s secure web site, www.ivie-acb.org. If you are not comfortable with paying online, you can make a check payable to IVIE and send it to Ardis Bazyn, 2121 Scott Rd., Apt. 105, Burbank, CA 91504.  Please designate whether your check is for annual dues, an expo booth, or both. If you are submitting your dues, be sure to fill out and include the IVIE membership form, available on the web site mentioned above.
 
This year’s IVIE convention will give you many opportunities to connect with colleagues and friends, learn new skills and promote your products and services.  We hope to see many of you in Dallas.  If you have any questions about IVIE or our convention program, contact Carla Hayes by phone at (724) 941-8184, or by e-mail at lengual@verizon.net. You can also visit IVIE's web site, www.ivie-acb.org.

Georgia Council Conference in Cartersville

Mark your calendars for July 31st and Aug. 1, 2015! The Georgia Council of the Blind will host its 2015 conference in beautiful Cartersville at the Clarion Hotel.  On July 31st, we will have a fun-filled day riding horses, enjoying a picnic, visiting a local museum, and music featuring our own artists with vision loss. If you have a spare moment, you might take a swim in the fabulous outdoor pool!
 
On Aug. 1st, we will have our conference, which will be loaded with valuable information for all ages and interests. The luncheon speaker will be inspiring.  You will have the opportunity to learn and be refreshed to face new opportunities throughout the day. The weekend is sure to bring smiles and encouragement that life can be rich and full, regardless of any obstacles that may enter our path.
 
Room rates are $69 plus tax, which includes complimentary breakfast. You can book your rooms now by calling the Clarion at (770) 386-0830, or by visiting the web site, www.clarionhotel.com. The Clarion is located at 2336 Hwy. 411 NE, White, GA 30184. Be sure to tell the reservation agent that you are with the Georgia Council of the Blind. If you have any questions, contact Marsha Farrow at (706) 859-2624, or via e-mail at marshafarrow@windstream.net.

Membership Focus Call Discusses Essential Elements for an Affiliate Web Site compiled by Ardis Bazyn

Our first quarter membership focus call was on “What are essential elements for an affiliate web site?” The participants on the call had many excellent suggestions. The list below is not written in any particular order.

  • The affiliate logo and Google map of main office
  • A welcome message to visitors (text and recorded versions)
  • Purpose and mission
  • Major advocacy successes
  • A list of affiliate chapters, with contact and meeting information
  • List of officers and committee chairs
  • Description of affiliate or chapter, and its history
  • White cane laws and pedestrian safety PSA
  • Recordings of conventions and meetings
  • Newsletters
  • Resolutions, constitution, minutes summary
  • Upcoming events
  • Members’ dues payment options
  • Annual awards and scholarship info
  • Leadership training manuals
  • Conference information, including registration forms
  • Board of directors meeting schedule
  • Weekly announcements and updates
  • Facebook and Twitter page links
  • LinkedIn page or group link
  • Surveys of interest, such as voting
  • Donation link, including MMS information
  • Banners and pictures
  • Car donation program
  • Press releases
  • Resources in the community including transportation
  • Sponsors and exhibitors (could charge)
  • Planned giving
  • A link to the ACB web site

Seminars at 2015 Convention

This year, there will be only one “Keys to the Convention” seminar for first-timers and those who haven’t attended the convention for some time. It will be held on Sunday, July 5 at 4:30 p.m.
 
The membership seminar will be held on Thursday, July 9 from 2:45 to 4 p.m. The topic will be “How to use your convention as a tool for membership.” There will be two panel discussions, too. One will tackle “Best practices for a convention”; the other will handle “Building attendance through outreach and communication.” Please plan to have at least one person from your affiliate attend.

Here and There edited by Sharon Strzalkowski

The announcement of products and services in this column does not represent an endorsement by the American Council of the Blind, its officers, or staff. Listings are free of charge for the benefit of our readers. “The ACB Braille Forum” cannot be held responsible for the reliability of the products and services mentioned. To submit items for this column, send a message to slovering@acb.org, or phone the national office at 1-800-424-8666, and leave a message in Sharon Lovering’s mailbox. Information must be received at least two months ahead of publication date.

Candle in the Window Retreat

Candle in the Window will hold its annual retreat Aug. 5-9. This year’s topic is “Blindness and Self-Esteem.” The retreat will be held at Wooded Glen Retreat Center in Henryville, Ind., just minutes away from Louisville, Ky.
 
Attendance is limited to 20 participants, so make your reservations early. A $40 deposit (non-refundable) will reserve your spot. If payment is received before July 1, a $15 discount is offered. Registration closes Aug. 1, 2015.
 
This is a great opportunity to connect with friends and enjoy conversations that explore the impact of internal and external factors on our self-worth and how much our blindness has affected how we feel about ourselves.  Participants will reflect on questions such as:

  • How did our parents or those closest to us feel about having a blind child/ adult as part of their lives?  How did they make us feel: inferior, as capable as our sighted peers, etc.?
  • How did the sighted folks with whom we interacted treat us and how did that affect our feelings about our self-esteem?
  • How important is outside validation to our self-esteem?
  • What do you do to enhance your own self-esteem?

Fees, which include round-trip transportation from the Louisville airport to the retreat center, all meals, and your room per person are as follows: double occupancy, $550; triple occupancy, $530. We have scheduled group transportation to Wooded Glen and we would like to arrive there by 3 p.m., so plan to arrive by 1:30 p.m. at the Louisville, Ky. airport. Those who arrive later may need to arrange their own transportation to the retreat center. Please try to arrange your departing flights from Louisville for no earlier than noon on Aug. 9.
 
Payment through PayPal should be sent to candleinthewindow1@gmail.com. Payment by check may be sent to Carlos Taylor, 925 S. Luick Ave., Muncie, IN 47302. Make check payable to Candle In the Window.
 
For more information, contact Kathy Szinnyey at joyfulrenegade@gmail.com, or call her at (502) 759-1288. Or contact Patrick Votta via e-mail, pvotta@verizon.net, or call him at (718) 797-2475.

Governor Morehead Reunion

The Governor Morehead School Alumni Association will hold its 8th annual reunion Aug. 7-9, 2015.  You do not have to be a graduate of the Governor Morehead School to attend; all blind and visually impaired people, friends of, family of, and interested people are invited.
 
The hotel this year will be the Embassy Suites Crabtree located at 4700 Creedmoor Rd. in Raleigh, N.C. Room rates are $85 plus tax per night; this price includes a hot buffet breakfast.  To reserve a room, call the hotel at (919) 881-0000 or 1-800-EMBASSY (1-800-362-2779) and ask for a room with the Governor Morehead School Alumni Association group rate.  This rate will be available until July 18 or until the block is sold out.  The hotel offers complimentary shuttle service to/from the airport.  They are also providing our group with complimentary shuttle service to/from the bus and train stations from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. on the hour.
 
The registration rate for members of GMSAAI is $50 plus your yearly membership dues of $15; for non-members the rate is $70.  Please be sure to register by July 18, 2015; after July 18 there will be an additional $10 fee.  There will be no refunds after July 18th. 
 
Checks should be made payable to GMSAAI and mailed to GMSAAI, PO Box 46808, Raleigh, NC 27620.  If you have any questions or need more information, contact Lawrence Carter via phone at (919) 856-0034 or via e-mail at yallowdogg@bellsouth.net.
 
Come and join us in August!

Award Winners

Robert Cabrera is the winner of National Industries for the Blind’s Peter J. Salmon Employee of the Year Award. Paul Fearns received the Milton J. Samuelson Career Achievement Award. Both men work at the Central Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired in Utica, N.Y.

6dot Braille Label Maker

The 6dot Braille Label Maker has everything braille users need to create braille labels in any language. Powerful but simple, 6dot is ergonomically designed to make it easy for people of all ages to label practically anything at home, school, the office, or on the go.  The label maker is portable; has a built-in braille keyboard that supports all grades of braille; offers optional QWERTY connectivity; has an automatic cutter – no need for scissors; and has dual power options (AC/DC adapter or battery).  Want to learn more? Visit www.6dot.com.

Seeking Computer Teacher

Bob Groff Jr. is seeking someone to teach him Windows XP, how to download software, create a backup disk, how to recover from crashes, file management, and how to keep a computer running smoothly, among other things. Contact him at (501) 589-7577 or e-mail bobgroff64@gmail.com.

Brailling Service Available

If you are looking for ways to braille anything that is not copyright-protected, contact Adrijana Prokopenko via e-mail, adrijana.prokopenko@gmail.com. She can braille songs, cards, letters and anything else that is needed. She can transcribe from a Word document or from a Skype call.

New Facebook Group

The Blind Dating Community is a new Facebook group hosted by blind moderators, enabling visually impaired singles to communicate and get to know others. Want to join? Visit https://www.facebook.com/groups/732925866827394/.

High Tech Swap Shop

For Sale:

HIMS Braille Edge 40-cell braille display and HumanWare BrailleNote QT 32-cell Apex with compatible Sendero GPS.  Both come with AC adapters, have been used sparingly, have excellent braille cells and batteries, can work independently as notetakers, have latest firmware, and work very well with VoiceOver and most Windows screen-reading software.  Asking $1,700 for each, including shipping.  E-mail dvm975@gmail.com if interested.

For Sale:

Desktop computer with 20” monitor, Windows 7, Office, JAWS 15, and Nero. Asking $200. Sony laptop with 14” wide screen, 4 GB RAM, 1 TB hard drive, Windows 7, Office, Nero and JAWS 15. Asking $650. Call Jose at (562) 341-0139.

For Sale:

AM/FM large-number radio/alarm clock. Corded white slimline Princess telephone. Three jumbo universal remote controls. Two large-number watches. Six rolls of staples. Thermal fax paper. Three pads of 8 ½” x 11” writing paper with large-spaced lines. Four business envelope-size check and deposit registers. Child’s book, “Introduction to Sign Language.” Large-print Scrabble game. Large-print deck of playing cards. Two games with pegs. Twelve soft eyeglass cases and one hard eyeglass case. Four domed magnifiers. Three shirt-pocket-sized lighted magnifiers. Three round handheld lighted magnifiers. Four handheld magnifiers. Three monocle magnifiers. One magnifying mirror. One black signature card.  If interested in any of these, contact Alice Crespo at (917) 696-8115.

Wanted: 

Mountain State Council of the Blind is looking for a reasonably priced used but in good condition bowling rail for one of its chapters.  Please contact Carol M. at (304) 381-4233.

ACB Officers, ACB Board and Board of Publications

ACB Officers

President
Kim Charlson (1st term, 2015)
57 Grandview Ave.
Watertown, MA 02472
 
First Vice President
Jeff Thom (1st term, 2015)
7414 Mooncrest Way
Sacramento, CA 95831-4046
 
Second Vice President
Marlaina Lieberg (1st term, 2015)
15100 6th Ave. SW, Unit 728
Burien, WA 98166
 
Secretary
Ray Campbell (1st term, 2015)
460 Raintree Ct. #3K
Glen Ellyn, IL 60137
 
Treasurer
Carla Ruschival (2nd term, 2015)
148 Vernon Ave.
Louisville, KY 40206
 
Immediate Past President
Mitch Pomerantz
1115 Cordova St. #402
Pasadena, CA 91106

ACB Board of Directors

Berl Colley, Lacey, WA (final term, 2016)
Sara Conrad, Stevensville, MI (1st term, 2016)
Katie Frederick, Columbus, OH (1st term, 2018)
Michael Garrett, Missouri City, TX (final term, 2016)
George Holliday, Philadelphia, PA (final term, 2018)
John McCann, Falls Church, VA (1st term, 2016)
Allan Peterson, Horace, ND (final term, 2018)
Patrick Sheehan, Silver Spring, MD (1st term, 2018)
Dan Spoone, Orlando, FL (1st term, 2016)
David Trott, Talladega, AL (1st term, 2018)
Ex Officio: Denise Colley, Lacey, WA

ACB Board of Publications

Denise Colley, Chairman, Lacey, WA (1st term, 2015)
Ron Brooks, Phoenix, AZ (1st term, 2015)
Tom Mitchell, Salt Lake City, UT (1st term, 2016)
Doug Powell, Falls Church, VA (1st term, 2016)
Judy Wilkinson, San Leandro, CA (1st term, 2016)
Ex Officios: Nolan Crabb, Hilliard, OH
Bob Hachey, Waltham, MA
Berl Colley, Lacey, WA

Accessing Your ACB Braille and E-Forums

The ACB E-Forum may be accessed by e-mail, on the ACB web site, via download from the web page (in Word, plain text, or braille-ready file), or by phone at (231) 460-1061. To subscribe to the e-mail version, visit the ACB e-mail lists page at www.acb.org.
 
The ACB Braille Forum is available by mail in braille, large print, half-speed four-track cassette tape, data CD, and via e-mail. It is also available to read or download from ACB’s web page, and by phone, (231) 460-1061.
 
Subscribe to the podcast versions from your 2nd generation Victor Reader Stream or from http://www.acb.org/bf/.