South Sarasota County Council of the Blind (SSCCB)

(formerly the Venice Chapter)

Mission Statement

To enhance the lives and improve the independence of those with vision loss through a program of public education and information; improving education and rehabilitation; advancing social, economic and cultural opportunities; providing interest-free loans to purchase adaptive equipment; encouraging and assisting blind and visually impaired persons to develop their abilities to assume their responsible place in the community; and reminding those with vision loss that life is still good after vision fails.

Membership

The South Sarasota County Council of the Blind was founded in 1982 and currently has 28 members from the “South County” area of Sarasota County, including Englewood, Nokomis, North Port, Osprey and Venice, and unincorporated areas of Sarasota County.

Meetings

The SSCCB meets the second Tuesday of each month except July, August and December at 1:00 p.m. in the Lions Community Room in the Venice Health Park, 1289 Jacaranda Blvd., Venice. An informal sandwich or pizza lunch is available for $5.00 for those who come early at 12:30 p.m. and want to socialize before the meeting. Most meetings will feature a speaker who will address topics of interest such as transportation, adaptive equipment or medical issues.

Social Events and Outings

Social lunches are held at different restaurants in the area on the fourth Tuesday of each month year round at 12:00 noon. The location is announced each month at the previous meeting, and a call is also made to each member the week before to remind everyone. Everyone orders off the menu and is responsible for his or her own meal.

Each April a picnic serves as the social lunch of the month. Shamrock Park in Venice has been the site of the picnic for the past several years, with members and guests enjoying a barbeque buffet and a talk by a Sarasota County Parks. In December, the social lunch becomes a Christmas Party.

Accomplishments

Instituted the Equipment Loan Fund (ELF), an interest-free revolving loan program designed to help blind and visually impaired persons purchase adaptive equipment, devices and technology which would enable them to retain their independence. Priority is given to applicants residing within the south Sarasota County area.

Since 1998, the chapter has sponsored White Cane Day in conjunction with the Venice Lions to raise public consciousness on the needs and concerns of blind citizens in the community.

We worked with local and state representatives of the Department of Transportation to improve the audible traffic signals installed on areas of Business Route 41 and other areas of Venice.

We maintain close liaison with our state legislators on all issues affecting the blind and visually impaired.

Officers

President

Tom Hanson
(941) 218-9090
Badgertom1@verizon.net

Vice President

Barbara Hayes

Recording Secretary and ELF Coordinator

Sue Hanson
ssccb.information@gmail.com

Treasurer

Gary Casterlin

Membership Secretary

Mary Casterlin

Board Representative

Tom Hanson