Friends-In-Art Scholarship

High school seniors and college students are invited to apply for the Friends-In-Art scholarship for the school year 2006-2007. This $1,000 scholarship is offered annually for achievement, talent, and excellence in the arts. If you are planning to major, or are currently majoring in, the fields of music, art, drama, or creative writing, and are a blind or visually impaired student, you may apply for this scholarship. You may obtain an application form by writing to Harvey Miller, 402 E. French Broad St., Brevard, NC 28712-3410. Include a self-addressed, stamped envelope when requesting the application. Applications are due by April 15, 2006.

Nebraska State Convention

The American Council of the Blind of Nebraska will hold its state convention April 21-23, 2006 at the Days Inn, 1811 Hillcrest Drive, Bellevue, NE. Room reservations may be made by calling the hotel at (402) 292-3800. Call before April 2 and mention ACBN to receive the discounted room rate of $59.99 plus tax per night. For more information, call (888) 218-8061.

ACBGE Preparing for Convention

The American Council of the Blind Government Employees (ACBGE) will hold its annual meeting at the ACB convention in Jacksonville on July 13, beginning at noon. The luncheon will be at 12:30 p.m., followed by a business meeting. Before hearing from guest speakers, members will discuss some things that are happening to blind and visually impaired employees of federal, state and local governments.

For decades, IRS and Social Security have provided job opportunities for many of our members. It has come to our attention that the Taxpayer Service office in Boston has already closed and that Chicago and Houston offices are scheduled to close on March 1, 2006. Many employees are experiencing difficulty because of outsourcing of some jobs and the failure of some agencies to provide the correct type of technology needed by some to perform their duties. Many feel that their jobs are in jeopardy. These are just a few of the factors that I feel make it imperative that people who are currently working for the government, or have retired from such jobs, join ACBGE. The board of directors is hopeful that you will come to the meeting and help ACBGE determine how best to deal with these and other circumstances.

Several blind and visually impaired employees of the Social Security Administration are getting ready to retire after 30 years of service. Employment for these people and many of us who have worked and are working for the government has made it possible to have productive and successful lives. We want to ensure that others have these same opportunities.

Dues to ACBGE are $15, due each January. If you have any questions, please call Cathy Skivers at (510) 357-1986. You can also contact any of our board members -- Billie Jean Keith, Albert Anderson, Peter Pardini, Ann Brash, or McKinley Young.

ACBGE is putting together a cookbook with recipes that include names of government agencies. A $25 prize will be given to the person with the winning recipe. You can send your entry to [email protected].

Chapter Forming in Spartanburg

Barbara Mattson is organizing an ACB chapter in Spartanburg, SC. If you would like to be a member and work for the needs of the visually impaired in Spartanburg, contact Barbara Mattson at 519 E. Main St. #8, Spartanburg, SC 29302; phone (864) 585-7323; e-mail [email protected].

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