Venice Chapter of the Florida Council of the Blind

Mission Statement

Conducting a program of public education which promotes understanding among blind people, employers, state and local officials, and the community at large.

Providing a forum for the views of all blind people in the area of the Venice Chapter of the FCB.

Advocating a forum for social, economic, and cultural opportunities for blind people.

Improving education and rehabilitation facilities, broadening education and vocational opportunities.

Encouraging and assisting blind people, especially the newly blind, to develop their abilities and potentialities and to assume their responsible place in the community.

Cooperating with public and private institutions, agencies of and for the blind.

Providing for free exchange of ideas, opinions, and information relative to matters of concern to blind people through periodic publications.

Membership

The Venice chapter of the FCB was founded in 1982 and currently has 50 members.

Meetings

The Venice chapter meets the first and third Wednesdays of the month at 1:45 PM at the Village on the Isle in Venice, from September through June.

Once a month, we invite leading ophthalmologists, low vision experts, training and rehab specialists, and other professionals to our meetings to keep our members abreast of the latest developments.

Social Events and Outings

Annual social events include luncheons in June and December and spring outings. Recent spring outings were held at Oscar Scherer State Park, where members participated in a nature discussion, and Historic Spanish Point, where we took part in a special tactile plant program and tour.

A number of our members gather to socialize and exchange information over lunch in the main dining room of the Village on the Isle prior to our meetings.

Accomplishments

Since 1998, the Venice chapter has sponsored White Cane Day with the Venice Lions and the Mana-Sota Lighthouse for the Blind to raise public consciousness on the needs and concerns of blind citizens in the community.

We work with local and state representatives of the Department of Transportation to improve the audible traffic signals installed on the north end of Business 41 and are involved in advising on additional audible signals to be installed on the south end of Business 41 and Avenida del Circo, as well as at the intersection of Harbor Drive and West Venice Avenue on the Island of Venice.

We work with regional representatives of the state Transportation for the Disadvantaged Committee on public transportation issues for all members of the blind and handicapped community.

We maintain close liaison with our state Senator and Representative on all issues affecting the blind.

Members of our chapter serve on a committee of the County Board of Elections to insure that all voting precincts are accessible to people with handicaps, as well as on the Citizens' Advisory Committee for SCAT (Sarasota County Area Transit) and the Consumer Advisory Committee of the Suncoast Center for Independent living. In addition, one of our Members was the primary advocate with the City of Venice to improve sidewalk cutouts on West Venice Avenue in downtown Venice.

Officers

President
Ellen Hillstrom
941-497-4262
Ellen91@comcast.net

Vice President
Barbara Hayes
941-681-2190
Mom2pastel@verizon.net

Recording secretary
Sue Hanson 
941-426-2499
Suehanson1948@verizon.net

Treasurer
Brett Chamberlin
239-785-8948
chambermouse@gmail.com

Membership Secretary
Beth LaCombe-Chamberlin
941-468-7526
Blacombe1958@gmail.com

Board Representative
Sheri Moehling
941-429-1225
Sheri722@comcast.net