FCB OFFICERS, 2010 - 2012
President, Paul Edwards
20330 N.E. 20th Ct., Miami, FL 33179
1st Vice-President, Debbie Drylie
1544 Walnut Creek Dr., Flemming Island, FL 32003
2nd Vice President, Sharon Youngs
237 Maple Avenue, Palm Harbor, FL 34684
Treasurer, Linda Jacobson
2915 Circle Ridge Dr., Orange Park, FL 32065
Membership Secretary, Sally Benjamin
1531 Dempsey Mayo Road, Tallahassee, FL 32308
Recording Secretary, Sila Miller
2201 Limerick Dr., Tallahassee, FL 32309
Immediate Past President, Debbie Grubb
4215 17th Ave. W., Bradenton, FL 34205-1418
Editor of White Cane Bulletin, Patti Land
6933 Alpert Dr., Orlando, FL 32810
Articles for the White Cane Bulletin must be submitted to Patti Land no later than the 20th of the month before it is published. Patti’s email is: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you do not have access to a computer and email please find someone in your chapter to help send it. We would like to hear from anyone who wants to contribute to our newsletter. If you don’t have a way to write an article you can call Patti Land at the number above and she will be glad to write it for you.
Articles published in The White Cane Bulletin are in compliance with Public Law No. 104197, Copyright Law Amendment of 1996. This law allows authorized entities to distribute copies of previously published non-dramatic literary works in specialized formats, including Braille, audio or digital text that are exclusively for use by Blind people or those with disabilities. Any further distributing of such articles in another than a specialized format is an infringement of copyright.
Those much-needed contributions, which are TAX-deductible, can be sent to the Florida Council of the Blind treasurer, Linda Jacobson, at 2915Circle Ridge Drive, Orange Park, FL 32065.
To remember the Florida Council of the Blind in your Last Will and Testament, you may include a special paragraph for that purpose in your Will or Trust. If your wishes are complex, please contact the FCB at 800-267-4448.
The FCB is a 501(c)(3) organization.
For other ways to support the Florida Council of the Blind, visit our web site found at www.fcb.org.
ARE YOU MOVING? – Sally Benjamin
If you are moving please notify me of your new address so you will continue to receive your White Cane Bulletin. Also if you know of anyone interested in joining FCB and who would like to receive the White Cane Bulletin and the Braille Forum please contact me at: (800) 267-4448 or E-mail: email@example.com
FCB Officers 2010-2012
President’s Message: by Paul Edwards
FCB Candidates Corner
WCB Editor: by Sally Benjamin
Tampa Attractions: by Sharon Youngs
Where It’s At in Tampa: by Sharon Youngs
Man of Many Talents: by Sila Miller
Door Prizes: by Sally Benjamin
Excellent Tool gets Better: by Mike Taylor
Friends of Library: Submitted by pat Lipovsky
Greater Orlando Council of the Blind: by Jay Bader
Jacksonville council of the Blind: by Barbara Brown
Venice Council of the Blind: by Fred Duda
Handy Telephone References
In my last message I wrote about some of the issues facing adults who are blind in Florida and tried to make clear that FCB has a role to play in making things better. In this message I want to talk about babies and children with visual impairments and some of the challenges to making sure they grow up to be all that they can be. The future is uncertain not only because of funding issues but because change is the only constant we can be sure will occur. We must peer into a crystal ball and try to imagine some of the challenges that must be overcome.
Let us begin at the beginning with babies. The improvement in medical science is a two-edged sword. Babies who are premature are being saved. However, they often have other disabilities along with blindness. The net result is that a larger and larger proportion of youngsters who are blind may have cerebral palsy or cognitive disabilities. Regardless of what disabilities they have in addition to blindness, there is no question that early intervention is essential. Parents of blind children must be taught how to provide special stimulation for babies who are blind so that they are encouraged to move around. Without this early encouragement both parents and babies will end up significantly behind where they should be by the time the children are old enough for school. The Blind Babies program and the Children’s program are funded entirely with state dollars. We must work to make sure that legislators understand just how crucial these programs are. Given the budgetary constraints faced by Florida, this is no mean task. Florida is fortunate to have the Vision Caucus which is a group of legislators who are interested in making things better for people who are blind. We must work to strengthen it, and must also work to make sure that its members understand all our issues, not just those that are of concern to agencies that serve the blind.
The next stage that blind children pass through involves beginning school. For blind children this is not nearly as simple as it is for kids who are not disabled. Even if vision loss is the only issue, there are all kinds of issues that must be examined that simply don’t exist for students with no vision loss. Should the child be taught Braille? The law says that the answer to that question is yes unless it can be demonstrated that Braille is not a viable option either because the student has too much vision or cannot cognitively handle Braille. Students who are blind will virtually always be provided with what is called an Individualized Education Plan (IEP). This “plan” is intended to spell out the special services that the child should receive and how progress toward goals should be measured. Parents are involved in the IEP process but often do not know enough to object if the plan takes a wrong turn. We, as blind people, can help. We need to reach out to parent groups and need to work closely with school districts so that parents know we are available as a resource to help parents know what might be best for their children. In addition to Braille, children must be taught how to get around by orientation and mobility instructors. They must have access to daily living skills training so that they can learn to be effective at the cooking and cleaning that other kids are learning to do. Perhaps more crucial is the need of children with visual impairments to be given access to technology early so that they can be competitive at school and can do the same things as their peers do in terms of texting, Facebook, Twitter and email. Again, each of us in FCB has a role to play. We are the role models parents need to see. We are the big brothers and sisters blind children need to meet and learn from.
Many of the skills blind children need to learn are not being taught to them in school. We are fortunate in Florida that many of our local agencies are offering after school or weekend programs as well as summer training. Shortages of funding play a role both at the local and the state level for education. The population of blind children is small compared to other disabilities. It is very expensive to serve blind students. We must be prepared to work with school districts and the legislature to be sure they understand how important Braille books, access technology and the hiring of specialized personnel all are if blind children are to be successful. Personnel are becoming more and more of a problem. There are fewer and fewer specialized programs to train teachers of the visually impaired. Teachers who know Braille and access technology and independent living techniques are essential, and yet they are harder and harder to find. Our role is to be watch dogs at the local level. We must try to see that there are not too many out of field appointments, and we must be sure that the state and districts insist that those hired without specialized training must get it soon.
Florida is fortunate to have a school for the blind. In several states over the past few years schools for the blind have been closed. The only option that is available to students in those states is mainstreaming and inclusion. At the heart of both of these concepts is the idea that a child with disabilities can best be served in the same classroom as his or her non-disabled peers. There are times when this approach can work well. For blind students it often does not. Teachers’ aides often work with students who are blind so the teacher does not feel the same commitment. Because the child must do his or her work differently, and is sometimes out of the classroom learning Braille or other blindness-specific skills, he or she is often isolated from other classmates. For many, inclusion just does not happen. The law which provides the rules that govern the education of children with disabilities is called the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). It actually clearly requires that a “continuum of services” be made available to students with disabilities but most districts seem to favor inclusion and mainstreaming. In Florida, a student who wishes to can go to the School for the Blind. We need to work with parents to be sure they understand that there really can be a wide range of options available for their kids. We need to be sure that they know about the School for the Blind and what it has to offer. In addition to being a residential program, it offers outreach to districts, and they need to be encouraged to take advantage of this.
Usually at the age of fourteen, the Division of Blind Services begins to offer the student who is blind access to the rehabilitation program. This is three or four years earlier than it is typically available to students with other disabilities. We should be extremely grateful for this early availability. It makes a huge difference. We should also be grateful for the Florida Instructional Materials Center which is located in Tampa and is responsible for making textbooks available to blind students. Ours is among the strongest centers in the country and it works closely with the state Department of Education to assure that new testing requirements do not unduly disadvantage blind students. The Division and local agencies are doing a lot for young blind students between the ages of fourteen and eighteen. Again, Florida is fortunate that this is so.
There are so many issues involved with education that it is impossible to cover nearly all of them in just one message. I want to make four points before I end this message.
First, the education of blind children in Florida is absolutely and unquestionably our business. More and more young adults are turning their backs on organizations of the blind because they simply do not see us as relevant to them. Technology has made blind kids more competitive if they get access to it. It has meant that not nearly so many go anywhere near a school for the blind as used to do. If we are to persuade kids that we have anything to offer, we had best do it while they are in school. We will, by and large, not find it easy to do after they have left.
Second, the future holds both promise and danger. We are moving to more online education even at the school level. More and more testing will be done using only computers. More and more textbooks will only be available digitally. Eventually, at least in my view, standards that students are expected to meet if they are to graduate will become higher, not lower. We must monitor all of these trends and many others lest blind students be disadvantaged by any of these trends.
Third, we must recognize that many of the young blind people who are being educated have more than one disability. We must decide how best to encourage those folks to become members. We are not doing much of a job of it. At the very least, we must find ways to be sure that they are becoming all that they can be. We must monitor how they are being served by schools, the Division of Blind Services and local agencies. I think we must also work at the national level to make sure that more work is done to see how we can improve options for the blind people with multiple disabilities who are becoming a larger proportion of our number.
Fourth, I want us to teach everybody that we are experts. We live as blind people every day. We have a lot to offer to the state, to school districts, to parents, and, most of all, to young people who are blind. They need us and we need them! Let us recognize that our future and the future of education are inextricably intertwined!
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Candidacy for President
by Paul Edwards
For the past two years, I have had the honor to serve as your President. During those two years, there have been many changes. We have worked hard on a range of issues and have begun the process of examining what FCB is, and how we should be governed. I have asked many of you to think hard about what the purpose of FCB is, and what our priorities ought to be. If I am asked by you, the members of FCB, to served my second of two terms, I would be honored to do so. I can only promise more of the same in the future. I will continue to ask that each of you think hard about FCB and work with me to make life better for people who are blind in Florida. We have a lot to do and few resources in terms of money to do it with. However, we have members with ability, initiative, and will, which are all the resources we need. Thanks for your support in the past! I look forward to giving you more work for the next two years!
Dear Fellow Members of FCB:
As many of you know, FCB will hold its biannual election of officers at our 2012 convention, just around the corner. Thus, the time is now to begin the process of determining who the candidates are, and for whom you will cast your important vote.
I'm writing to let you all know of my decision to once again seek the office of FCB's Recording Secretary. Thanks to my love of the written word and the limitless support of my fellow FCB family, I believe I can continue to do a good job of keeping accurate records for FCB.
I have been a member of FCB since 1992, and currently serve as FCB’s Recording Secretary, Convention Committee Chair, Convention Registrar, and on both the Publicity and Archives committees. I read both braille and large print proficiently and love to write, though I do tend to be a bit flowery with my words sometimes. I have served my local chapter, Tallahassee Council of the Blind, as President, Secretary, and Treasurer. I love FCB and what it stands for, and believe my long-time commitment to our organization will show that dedication and love.
I would appreciate your vote and support in June at our election of officers. Please feel free to email or call me with questions. My contact information is: firstname.lastname@example.org or (850) 251-5556.
Dear Fellow Members of FCB:
Our Convention is almost here, and this year we will elect the leaders who will guide FCB for the next two years.
I have decided to run once again for the position of FCB Membership Secretary. I have done this job for the past two years, and I feel that I have maintained thorough and accurate records which FCB will have and use for years to come. Membership is important because we have to keep good records of people so they can received their newsletters, and so we know how many members we have at any given time.
I have been a member of FCB since the mid 90’s, and in the local Tallahassee Chapter have served as President, Secretary and Treasurer. I now currently am the Project Insight coordinator and manage our FCB office. I also am on the Convention Committee and chair the Membership and Publications Committees.
I would appreciate your vote in June at our convention. If you have any questions please feel free to contact me at: 850-980-0205 or by email at email@example.com.
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The White Cane Bulletin is the newsletter for FCB members, for you and by you. Articles contributed by members and chapters are always welcome, and we hope you enjoy reading the final product. Changes have been made through the years, adding new sections such as FCB Trading Post, Recipe Corner, Poetry Corner, and, of course, Chapter News. The work of putting it all together falls on the editor of the newsletter.
Sharon Youngs has been the editor since I have chaired the Publications committee. She has done an excellent job and I have enjoyed working with her. Sharon is always ready to help me get the articles done; rapidly approaching deadlines and articles submitted at the eleventh hour don’t scare her a bit!
However, we wanted to give others the opportunity to learn how things work with our newsletter. So, the committee decided to give someone else a chance to learn. Our new editor of the White Cane Bulletin is Patti Land. Patti has been around FCB for a while, and has served on the local and state levels in various officer positions and on several committees. When I called to ask her if she would be our new editor, she said yes, that she had been wondering what she could do for FCB at this time.
So, we want to welcome Patti and help her as she starts this position. From now on please send your articles to Patti at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have any questions please feel free to contact Patti.
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Sila asked Jim and me to write an article about the things to see and do in Tampa. With the interesting program that Debbie Grubb has come up with, I don’t think you’ll have much time to explore. But just in case you do, we’ll try to tell you about some of the great attractions.
One of my favorite places is Lowrey Park Zoo. Lowrey Park Zoo has recently been named one of the best places to take kids by Parents Magazine. The zoo is open from 9 AM to 5 PM most days. The cost of an adult ticket is $23.95. They are located at 1101 W. Sleigh Avenue – not too close to the hotel. The phone number if you wish further information is: 813.935.8552.
I also enjoy the Florida Aquarium. I guess you’ve figured out that I like animals. The aquarium is open from 9:30 to 5 PM. The cost of an adult admission is $21.95. They are located at 701 Channelside Drive and the phone number for more information is 813.273.4000.
One of Jim’s favorite places is the International Plaza Mall. Jim likes it because they have so many different restaurants. There are also over 200 stores in the Mall. The International Mall is located at 22230N. West Shore Blvd. And, of course they are open regular mall hours.
One other attraction that may be of interest is the Glazer Children’s Museum. It’s a great place for kids with many hands on exhibits. They’re located at 110 W. Gasparilla Plaza. The adult admission price is $15 and kids get in for $9.50. Open from 10 AM to 5 PM, the phone number is 813.443.3861.
Jim and I discussed this at length and felt it necessary to let you know about Ybor City. It is a wonderfully historic part of Tampa in the daytime. But at night it has a reputation of being dangerous. We wouldn’t recommend going there.
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This article is a companion to the one we wrote about the attractions in Tampa.
The city bus system in Tampa is very good. The system is called HART, which is an acronym for Hillsborough Area Rapid Transit. The phone number for Hart is: 813.254.4278.
The paratransit system in Tampa is connected to Hart. If you wish to use this service while visiting in Tampa, please call: 813.623.5835 Ex. 6312. This will connect you with Donna Passley. She will be glad to talk you through the process of getting registered for the program. But wait, you have to get to Tampa first. If you are traveling by Greyhound, you will arrive at their terminal at 610 East Polk Street, which is 4.4 miles from the hotel. The phone number for that terminal is: 813.229.2112.
If you are taking Amtrak, you will arrive at the station at 601 North Nebraska Avenue, which is 4.6 miles from the hotel.
If you are flying in, you will arrive at one of the best airports in the world. When you make your hotel reservation, please ask them about a free shuttle bus to and from the airport.
Jim and I both hope you will enjoy your convention experience in Tampa.
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Jesus, only son of Rolando and Olga Garcia, was born on July 8, 1963 in Güines. Güines is a town in the Mayabeque Province of Cuba. It is located 30 miles southeast of Havana, next to the Mayabeque River. “I’ve always considered myself a country boy,” Jesus proudly states. “Not so much that I was born in the country, because I was born and grew up in town, but my immediate family, both my parents and both sets of grandparents, were farm people, and that’s where my roots are.”
Rolando worked as a baker and Olga worked in a clothing factory until their son was born. Olga then became a full-time mom. At only three months of age, Jesus was diagnosed with Retinoblastoma, a rapidly developing cancer that develops in the cells of the retina, the light-detecting tissue of the eye. It can grow rapidly, therefore must be treated quickly. It is often a genetic disease that usually occurs in young children. In Jesus’ case, the gene comes from his dad’s side of the family. “I have total blindness, no light perception,” explains Jesus.
The Garcia family immigrated to the United States when Jesus was seven. “We arrived here in this country on April 12th, which was a Monday, left for California on the 13th and my dad started working on April 19th, less than a week after we landed here,” Jesus recalls with pride. “He went to work for (ITT) International Telephone and Telegraph, a company that’s long gone now.” The family settled in the San Fernando Valley in Burbank, California, where they remained for three years. In 1973, Rolando accepted a promotion with ITT and moved his family to Florida. He began working in conjunction with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) contract on engines for cruise missiles which were being developed at the time.
Jesus had attended public school in Cuba and California, and Florida was no different. He was well advanced in his knowledge of and grasp of English, basic Braille, and other elementary subjects, and found it easy to hit the ground running here. During high school, he was a wrestler, and involved in band, playing keyboard and accordion. “I was also involved with the Chess Club and a few other “nerd-type” clubs. I liked hanging around with the smart people,” Jesus matter-of-factly says.
Jesus graduated from Hialeah Miami Lakes High School in 1981 and continued his education, enrolling at Florida State University (FSU) in Tallahassee. In 1986, he graduated from FSU, armed with a Bachelor’s degree in Finance Business Administration, with a minor in Computer Science. “In fact, Marcus Roberts was one of the first people I met when I went to FSU, and that’s where Jim Warth and I first met too,” Jesus recalls.
Jesus returned to South Florida, and went to work for the Berger King Corporation, programming in their computer department. Following a year and a half period of employment there, he took a job with Southeast Bank, where he worked for the next two years as a Commercial Loan Officer. However, Jesus quickly discovered that working in the banking industry wasn’t his cup of tea. He was bored, and there was overt prejudice against people with disabilities. “They tend to be very poor listeners and very bad at absorbing new ideas,” Jesus reflects. Thus, he began job hunting, and soon found work with the local paratransit provider, then called Automated Dispatch Services, now better known as LogistiCare Solutions. “And, in one way or another, I’ve been connected to transportation since then,” Jesus concludes. “I went to work for a small company owned by a gentleman by the name of John Shermyen, who I think is a great guy. He had never had a blind employee in his life, but he gave me the chance. Shermyen started that company with $10,000 borrowed from his dad, and when he finally sold the company five years ago, I think he sold it for like six hundred million dollars,” Jesus states. LogistiCare has become the largest coordinator of specialized non-emergency transportation services in the country, thanks to Shermyen’s ingenious software development, marketing and acquiring healthcare contracts. FCB has also benefited from his company’s generosity, as LogistiCare underwrote the cost of producing both FCB and Project Insight brochures several years ago. “I began working in LogistiCare’s computer section as well as in customer relations—doing all kinds of stuff, along with a lady who was also wonderful, by the name of Rita Sofi,” says Jesus. “She also gave me a good opportunity. She’s one of those who is no longer with us, unfortunately, but somebody who was very knowledgeable and very understanding and helpful to the entire disabled community, here in South Florida and in Orlando. She’s somebody who pioneered a lot of what we know today as paratransit services,” he reflectively says. Jesus still works for LogistiCare, but now develops and negotiates contracts, acts as a political liaison, keeping the company apprised of both state and national transportation developments, and insures things are going smoothly for their large contractors.
In 1989, Jesus married Marilyn O'Connor, who he’d first met back in Junior High. The couple both enjoyed successful careers, but after a short three years decided to go their separate ways. “One reason was because Marilyn wanted children and I never did,” Jesus explains. So, in 1992, Jesus found himself single again.
“I heard about FCB and ACB when I met Paul Edwards and Gayle Krause. I got involved in 1992-1993. Paul and I had met, riding paratransit together a couple of times, but I really didn’t know him until I met him and Gayle through our local Talking Book Librarian, Barbara Moyer. They were friends, and she introduced me to them and, “the rest is history,” as they say,” reminisces Jesus. Jesus’ first job with FCB was chairing the Resolutions committee. “The first Board meeting I attended was in Orlando at the Crown Plaza hotel where ACB later held a national convention. They told me about it three or four days before—that I was supposed to be there,” he chuckles. “So, I made my airline reservation and ran up there and that was my first meeting. It was wild!” Jesus recollects. “I went to my first national convention in 1994 in Chicago. Oh my! That certainly was a memorable convention!”
“I met Rosanna Lippen while I was helping the Broward Lighthouse transition their computer lab from DOS to Windows95. I was her computer instructor for a couple of months, and that’s where we met and started dating. I invited her to attend her first FCB convention in Miami, back in 1996,” he contemplatively reflects. “And I don’t think she’s missed a convention since.”
Jesus’ service to the national, state and local Councils of the Blind is long and varied. He served as FCB’s First Vice President from 2000 to 2004 and on the Resolutions committees at both the state and national levels for many years. He has served on the Budget and Finance and Technology committees at the state level, as well as President of his local chapter, Greater Miami, begun in 1996. Jesus continues to actively advocate for better transportation throughout our nation. He also chaired the Multicultural Affairs Committee (MCAC) whose mission is to promote and sustain a cohesive and inclusive environment that truly values and embraces diversity, cultures, differences, and perspectives within the framework of ACB. Each year, during the ACB convention, MCAC hosts programs and activities designed to combat bias, bigotry and racism, while promoting intercultural dialogue, awareness and respect for diversity. In addition, Jesus serves on the Florida Independent Living Council, representing working consumers, and in turn also serves on the Division of Blind Services Rehabilitation Council.
“I always said that I’m a frustrated military historian,” Jesus chuckles. “So, here’s a little history lesson for you. The thirty-mile stretch between Havana and Güines marked the first railroad built outside the United States, in the Western hemisphere. The Havana-Güines Railroad was built in 1837 by the British, and was used primarily to transport sugar and other agricultural items from the inland mills to the port of Havana to be exported,” he enlightens.
“I was very lucky to have always had good school teachers—from elementary through high school, including the first teachers that I had both in Cuba, and here in the states. My junior high teacher had a lot of influence on a lot of blind people here in South Florida because he himself was blind. He passed away last year in Ocala, a gentleman by the name of Joe Wilkatis, of the old school with all the good, old values. “A Roosevelt, New Deal, Liberal democrat,” as he was proud to call himself! He taught me probably ninety percent of what I know about football, and through him, I also got to meet most, if not all, the players from the 1972, perfect super bowl, champion Dolphin team,” Jesus proudly states. “He was good friends with Joe Robbie, the Dolphins’ owner at the time. And that was the early days. In the later years, of course, I would have to say that Paul Edwards and Gayle Krause were probably my two main mentors for the first several years in FCB. And, I still learn a lotta lessons from Paul to this day.”
Jesus enjoys reading, listening to many different types of music and being with his girlfriend, Betty. He is a cat person and misses having those furry companions in his life. “Right now, I’m catless though because I’m traveling so much and I don’t want to leave an animal home alone for days on end,” he qualifies. “If I lived in one of the Northeastern cities like New York or Washington D.C. and was using a lot of public transit, I’d consider getting a guide dog, but not here where I live now,” he concludes.
Jesus is currently working towards completing graduate school. Once done, he will possess a Masters degree in International Relations and hopes to obtain a position with a global corporation or perhaps a Think Tank, an organization that conducts research and engages in advocacy in areas such as social policy, political strategy, economics, military or technology issues.
“I think Jesus has lots of good ideas and has been prepared to find some exciting new directions to work in,” says Paul Edwards, FCB President. “He’s part of the Florida Rehab Council and on the Independent Living Council where he represents the interests of blind people extremely well. He’s also now a member of the Commission on Disabilities Issues, here in Miami Dade County and is chair of its Transportation committee. He brings lots of expertise and lots of enthusiasm to anything that he tries to do. And, he has pretty good taste in music, I trained him!,” chuckles Paul. “I think he’s the kind of leader that FCB really needs to have around because he’s widely-read, he’s in school—about to finish a Masters, in general, he’s just a pretty cool guy!”
Jesus’ words of wisdom, meant primarily for blind people from other cultures, can be helpful to all of us. “Try to get involved, to understand that this society gives you an enormous advantage and an enormous amount of help, an enormous amount of possibilities that you can exercise. But, you owe it something in return. You owe it at least a little bit of your time to try to leave the world a better place than what you found it.”
Diverse, intelligent, widely-read and traveled is our Jesus with that sexy Latin accent and wicked laugh—not to mention that warped sense of humor. Jesus, Friend, thank you for sharing your life with FCB and for working for the betterment of all of us! Here’s to dark beer, strong coffee, good memories and to many more in the making!
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Our 2012 convention is almost here. So, there are some things we need to be looking at doing to prepare for it. One of the fun parts of our convention is our door prizes. You never know when your name will be called.
I would like to ask that each of our chapters donate at least one door prize. It can be anything, just remember somebody has to get it home, so something small and portable please! Possibilities include, but are not limited to, audio books, talking clocks, gift cards to Wal mart or any store found throughout the state, or, everybody’s favorite, cash. Individuals certainly may donate prizes as well!
Please bring these items to the convention and turn them in to registration. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me. My number is: 850-422-7752 and my email is: email@example.com.
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The long white cane for the blind becomes even a better tool for mobility when a ceramic tip is attached. Ceramic is clay that is hardened by heat. While this process has been around for a long time, modern ceramics are hard enough to withstand conditions in a jet engine. Tips for canes for the blind are currently being made available and this cane user of over forty years has found them quite amazing. Ceramic tips are very hard! The incredible hardness of ceramic tips causes them to last longer, and stick less than any other tip of my experience. The long white cane is a wonderful tool for mobility: if properly employed. However, like any other tool, their usefulness goes hand and hand with the user’s skill. Long canes have been favored by the blind in this country since after World War II. Such canes extend ones sense of feeling two steps ahead. Sensing changing conditions in the walking path’s condition gives a blind person time to react accordingly. Obstacles in one’s path, changes in the surface, or level, can be felt, and with training and practice, individuals learn to recognize signals and react.
Training begins with learning how to hold and position the cane. The blind person extends their index finger along the grip, and uses the other three fingers and thumb to hold the cane. The cane is carried with the carrying arm extended, and centered on the body. The tip of the cane is moved to the opposite side of your leading foot, when walking. That is, when you put your left foot forward, you move the cane tip to the right, and when the right foot comes forward, the cane tip is moved across to your left.
One of the first things I was shown when being instructed in the proper use of a long white cane was to lift up the grip when the cane tip stuck. Many years ago, cane tips got stuck frequently. It is not recommended for blind cane travelers to attempt to continue on their path with a stuck tip. Failing to lift up the grip with a stuck tip can result in the traveler being impaled. There have been many attempts to find designs and materials for tips that don’t stick, but the ceramic tip is the best I’ve experienced.
When one is lax in executing the proper techniques of cane travel, you can find yourself running into obstacles that are best avoided. Generally speaking, one is rewarded when using proper cane techniques by arriving at your destination without a lot of drama, or mishap. Conversely, there are tragic stories of blind travelers that missed, or ignored signals of hazardous conditions ahead.
The long white cane has provided the least expensive solution for blind people to protect themselves when traveling independently since World War II. The ceramic tip makes an excellent tool even better. Long canes can be made from a variety of materials and are available in different configurations including rigid, collapsible with a stretchable cable inside, or telescopic. . One might choose to forego the sturdiness of a rigid cane for the convenience of a folding cane for some, or all, applications. The type of cane you choose will be made better by the addition of a ceramic tip.
Resolving one’s mobility problems is important to a blind person’s success. Becoming proficient in using the tools available to be able to move about safely is one of the first steps one must master to obtain, or regain their independence. Independence lets you do things for yourself: in your time; and in your way.
If you are not as proficient in independent travel as you would like to be, I encourage you to seek out help. Resources listed at the end of this Newsletter can help you get started. But, you need to seek them out for yourself. The rewards of greater independence are available for those who master proper cane skills.
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Once again, our poem is an original work. This one comes from Tricia Kiser. Thank you, Tricia for sharing your poem with all of us. Please keep writing them, and please feel free to submit one any time you feel moved to do so.
From Sky To Ground
Lost in the mist, drowned by swirling memories
Struggling to surface from a cloud of misery Disco
vering the truth and confronting the pain
Standing unprotected against torrential rain
Can I ever find the sun or has its flame burned out?
Face the night and watch it fall from the sky to ground
Lofty visions fill my dreams, things that may never be
Should I try to reach for them or will they come to me? Realit
y can be so harsh, compelling me to run
Crouching in a cavern far away from everyone
It feels safer to drift away but it's a long way down
When dreams die, you risk a fall from the sky to ground
I crave something permanent which can't be washed away
I've decided to reach out and grasp my dreams today
I'll funnel all those fantasies into concrete forms
Let the fire in me flare and watch it brightly burn
I'll create such wonders, nowhere else to be found
Here it is, Heaven on Earth, built from sky to ground.
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Greetings Fcb Members
From the FLA Membership and Outreach Committee We hope your holidays were relaxing and that you are ready for a new year.
This is a reminder that the Friends of Library Access 2012 Annual Membership dues are now due. They are in effect until December 31, 2012. During 2011, we have suffered losses in membership renewals and investment values. Your dues will help us fund Volunteer Appreciation activities, such as our annual Luncheon, and the purchase of equipment that will enable the Library to duplicate the digital books and magazines that we all enjoy so much.
Please contact me if you would like more information, or if you would like to become a member. . We particularly need to know whether you are eligible for Free Matter for the Blind, and whether you would like to receive materials in e-mail format. Answering "yes" to these questions will help us reduce expenses and send out newsletters and other notices in a more timely manner.
We thank you for your support, and look forward to hearing from you soon.
Patricia A. Lipovsky,
Membership and Outreach Chair
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GOCB is beginning its fundraising efforts for 2012, as well as donating to organizations of interest to its Members. Along with fundraising, we are reaching out in further ways to make more people aware of what we do.
First, 2nd Vice President Leslie Spoone and the GOCB Fundraising Committee are preparing for a Bake Sale at an upcoming General Meeting. Other fundraisers include Dine and Donate events later in the Spring and Fall, where a portion of the sales go to our chapter, and GOCB merchandise, featuring the new GOCB T-shirt, which was unveiled at the Annual Holiday Luncheon in December 2011. The GOCB T-shirt will be available soon, and is green (for “GO,” which is noted on the back design of the shirt) with white lettering. We are also giving to organizations, such as Southeastern Guide Dogs, (as Membership Secretary Jay Bader is participating in his 15th Walk-A-Thon for the school), Lighthouse Central Florida, Carter Family Blind Bowlers League and the Blinded Veterans Association (BVA).
As GOCB makes efforts to increase our presence locally, the Membership approved the purchase of a banner that can be draped in front of our table at various events. This new banner was presented at the February General Meeting, and is white with green lettering. It is a heavy-duty item that should last for quite some time, and we are proud to display it.
Our organization is also increasing efforts with outreach. One of the ways is that GOCB has an information line. The number is 1-877-663-6211, and it will be updated with information about upcoming meetings and events, as well as any information important to the chapter membership. Thanks to 1st Vice President Larry Turnbull for his work on setting up this method of communicating with Members, Friends and more.
In addition to the Facebook page, GOCB now is on Twitter. You can follow us @GOCB_FL. GOCB President Sheila Young is especially proud of this, as she was the first to actually send a tweet, and with the assistance of Jay Bader, any postings on Twitter will also post to our Facebook page. We feel that social networking is becoming more important to maintaining and growing our chapter for the future, and with the mainstream use of Facebook and Twitter, our chapter is looking forward to its success.
Finally, GOCB is in the early stages of creating its own website, as approved by the Membership. Thanks to the research of Larry Turnbull, we are preparing to branch out from what we have used our chapter page on the FCB website for. There will be more about the work for our site in near future.
The Telephone Committee will be notifying Members in a timely manner about the upcoming General Meetings, and information will also be available through our other ways of communication. More to come in the next Chapter News.
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JACKSONVILLE COUNCIL OF THE BLIND
HOST ANNUAL WHITE CANE DINNER AND DANCE
An evening of fun, great food, music for dancing.
Silent auction, (checks or cash accepted)
WHEN: April 28, 2012, at 7 PM.
WHERE: Crowne Plaza Hotel at Jacksonville Riverfront
1201 Riverplace Boulevard
Tickets at $40 per person. Cash Bar
For ticket information, call: Barbara Brown, (904) 703-6321 or Gloria Simmons, (904) 751-5341 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Mail inquiries to: JCB, P.O. Box 18274, Jacksonville, FL 32218
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Janet Evison, President of the Venice Chapter, and Joel Bauer, Past President of the Chapter, were presented with the Dr. James Morrish Award by the Mana-Sota Lighthouse for the Blind in December. The award is given in recognition of volunteer services and acts that reflect the highest level of commitment to the mission of the Lighthouse in support of blind and visually handicapped members of the community.
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This hearty dish can be prepared the night before, and baked the next morning while everybody is having their coffee. makes a good Easter morning breakfast. Serve fruit along side.
One-pound mild bulk sausage
6 slices bread, cubed
2 cups milk
1 cup grated Cheddar cheese
1 tsp. Prepared mustard
1 tsp. Salt
Fry and drain sausage, let stand to cool. Arrange cubed bread in bottom of greased 9 by 13 inch baking pan or casserole dish. Mix eggs, milk, grated cheese, mustard and salt. Crumble cooled sausage and add to mixture. Pour over bread cubes, gently smoothing to distribute evenly. Refrigerate over night. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.
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Project Insight: 800-267-4448
Bureau of Braille and Talking Book Library: 800-226-6075
Division of Blind Services: (Tallahassee) 800-342-1828
American Council of The Blind: 800-424-8666 (available only 3:00 to 5:30 PM EST Monday-Friday)
ACB Legislative Hotline: 800-424-8666 (Evenings 8:00 PM - 12:00 Midnight EST Weekends 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM only)
AT&T Disability Services: 800-872-3883 Press 00 and speak with your long distance carrier or, Florida only 800-982-2891
BellSouth Disability Services: 800-982-2891 from anywhere
Social Security: 800-772-1213 24-hour voice and touch-tone accessible
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- THE END -
FLORIDA COUNCIL OF THE BLIND
1531 Dempsey Mayo Road
Tallahassee, FL 32308
WCB Main Page
FCB Home Page