FCB OFFICERS, 2008 - 2010
President, Debbie Grubb
4215 17th Ave. W. Bradenton, FL 34205-1418
1st Vice-President, Robert Miller
2201 Limerick Dr. Tallahassee, FL 32309
2nd Vice President, John Richards
1420 Blackshear Road Cordele, GA 31015
Treasurer, Patti Land
6933 Alpert Drive Orlando, FL 32810
Membership Secretary, Sally Benjamin
1531 Dempsey Mayo Road Tallahassee, FL 32308
Recording Secretary, Sharon Youngs
237 Maple Avenue Palm Harbor, FL 34684
Immediate Past President, Paul Edwards
20330 N. E. 20th Ct. Miami, FL 33179
Editor of White Cane Bulletin,
237 Maple Avenue Palm Harbor, FL 34684
Articles for the White Cane Bulletin must be submitted to Sally Benjamin no later than the 20th of the month before it is published. Sally’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 Sharon Youngs 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.
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 2008-2010
Presidents Message: by Debbie Grubb
2010 FCB Raffle Ticket Roundup: by Bill Freeman
Sharon Kay Youngs (SKY) – Record Keeper
Extraordinaire, In the Spotlight: by Sila Miller
Road Trip to the Vision Summit: By Barbara Grill
Ruth Moore: Submitted by Sally Benjamin
Multi-Sense-Ational Art Contest: by Barbara Ross
As I See It: by Ellen Hillstrom
Tech Tips: by John Richards
Mid Florida Council of the Blind: by Jay Bader
FCB Trading Post
Handy Telephone References
I sit here on this beautiful day in late April when Spring is so obviously giving way to a Florida summer and consider the last four years that I have spent as President of the meaningful and diverse organization that is the Florida Council of the Blind. This is the last message that I will write to you as your President. In my first President's Message, I wrote, "Hello FCB Family,
It is my honor and privilege to serve as your President for the next two years. I am deeply touched by your faith and confidence in me and promise to do my very best. I am looking forward to the challenges and opportunities this new role will bring."
I continue to be deeply honored by your confidence in me and have truly done all that I can to live up to my promise to do my very best. The Executive Committee that has worked beside me deserves your gratitude for their service and certainly has mine. I gladly extend my personal heart felt thanks to Robert Miller, First Vice President, John Richards, Second Vice President, Sharon Youngs, Recording Secretary, Patti Land, Treasurer and Linda Jacobson and then Sally Benjamin, Membership Secretary. Paul Edwards, FCB’s Immediate Past President, has been a true friend and advisor. Dedicated men and women have chaired FCB's standing committees during this administration. I want to take this opportunity to express my Appreciation to them. Access Committee, Doug Hall; Archives Committee, Sharon Youngs; Budget and Finance Committee, Patti Land; Constitution and Bylaws Committee, Jim Kracht; Convention Committee, Sila Miller; Education and Leadership Committee, Barbara Grill; Employment Committee, Mary Ellen Ottman and then Susie Hipple; Fund Raising Committee, William Benjamin; Membership Committee, Linda Jacobson and then Sally Benjamin; Project Insight Committee, Debbie Drylie and Paul Edwards; Public Education Committee, Carl McCoy; Publications Committee, Sally Benjamin; Resolutions Committee, Jesus Garcia; Technology Committee, John Richards. It has been a pleasure to work closely with FCB’s Project Insight Coordinator and Office Manager, Sally Benjamin.
Crucially important initiatives to which FCB has dedicated itself during this administration are: accessible and affordable public transportation, education about and implementation of Florida's White Cane Law, appropriate education for Florida's blind children, access to software for state employees and the guarantee of the civil right of all people with disabilities to have access to the stated mandated process of casting an independent, secret and verifiable ballot. The Governor, his appointees and members of the State Legislature certainly have not been as engaged with assisting in our efforts to fully participate in all of the opportunities available to the citizens of Florida; but we have done an admirable job of bringing our unique issues to their attention and to make them aware of our commitment to their resolution.
During the 2010 legislative session, we have spent a great deal of time and effort opposing the deadline extension from 2012 to 2016 by which people with disabilities will have access to the balloting process used by the general public in Florida. Most of the county supervisors of elections and a few individuals who claim to represent people with disabilities support the deadline extension and support the House and Senate Bills that house the provision that will allow that to happen. Their rationale is that in four more years there will be better technology available to enable people with disabilities to vote. There is talk of telephone and internet voting by then. This may sound very agreeable at first hearing. However, the State of Florida banned the use of the touch screen (DRE) voting systems for everyone except people with disabilities because they believed that there were security issues with that voting system. Experts in the field believe that the same security concerns plague internet and telephone voting options. Besides that, we know that the Florida Legislature will not abandon the paper ballot option that is currently in place throughout the state. As long as voters have to actually mark a piece of paper that is then scanned into a database, our technological options will be based on equipment with the capability of mechanically marking a ballot while still allowing people with disabilities the ability to vote in secret, verify their ballot choices and do so independently. There is currently equipment certified in the State of Florida that enables all people with disabilities to vote in secret, independently and to verify their ballot choices before instructing the machine to mechanically mark their paper ballot. That equipment is the AutoMark.
The four counties in the State of Florida who currently use the AutoMark endorse its efficacy as the access option for people with disabilities to vote using the paper ballot.
Jerry Holland, Supervisor of Elections for Duval County, is very pleased with the AutoMark. He stated that the county has had great success in using the equipment. "We promote the equipment for people with literacy problems and Parkinson's disease, he said."
When asked about advancement in technology over the next several years, Supervisor Holland stated, "This is the technology for the next decade."
Craig Latimer, Chief of Staff of the Hillsborough Office of the Supervisor of Elections, explained that the county is very pleased with the AutoMark. Mr. Latimer said, "with the paddles, sip and puff, ability to adjust print size and volume of the speech option, this equipment meets the needs of all people with disabilities."
Nancy Whitlock, Communications Director in the office of the Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections, wrote, "Our voters and poll workers have provided positive feedback regarding the use of the AutoMark in the polling place. We have also received positive feedback from local organizations that represent voters with disabilities as we provided AutoMark demonstrations at their chapter meetings."
Kathy Dent, Supervisor of Elections in Sarasota County, stated that during early voting, poll workers often suggest that people who are having difficulty marking their ballot by hand use the AutoMark. Ms. Dent explained, "Sarasota County is experiencing great success with the AutoMark. We in Sarasota County believe that the AutoMark provides access to the paper ballot to all people with disabilities."
Sandy Sroka, ADA Coordinator for Hillsborough County, stated that The Advocacy Center for People with Disabilities tested the AutoMark for the county and found that it met accessibility requirements for people with disabilities. Residents of Hillsborough County with disabilities met and independently tested the AutoMark and found it to be accessible.
Barry Shalinsky, Team Manager for the Self Determination Team at The Advocacy Center for People with Disabilities, Inc. said, "extending the deadline from 2012 to 2016 because superior technology will exist in four years will be true in four, eight and ten years. Technology is always improving. The AutoMark is a viable option for access to the paper ballot now. People with disabilities do not want to vote on separate systems because they violate the civil right to cast a secret ballot. This is true because everyone else in the State is currently voting on a paper ballot." "AutoMark meets the needs of people with disabilities. No equipment meets every need.”
Although all people with disabilities can mark the ballot using the AutoMark, not all can cast the paper ballot."
(Note: AutoMark does have an access option to receive the paper ballot for people who cannot physically handle it.)
Mr. Shalinsky explained, "The AutoMark protects the secrecy of the voting process because the ballots are processed like the ballots of the general population. Touch screen equipment is problematic for many, especially the elderly, because the person casting the vote must choose between the audio or print ballot. Many people benefit from both seeing and hearing information. Having people with disabilities voting on touch screen systems violates their right to cast a secret ballot because the ballots can be readily identified as having been cast using that equipment."
On Monday, April 19, Carl McCoy and William Benjamin testified before the Senate Transportation and Economic Development Appropriations Committee in opposition to the deadline extension. Their testimony was compelling. Once again, however, the civil rights of people with disabilities in this state were sacrificed on the altar of fiscal and political expediency. The outcome of this legislative initiative when it reaches the floor of the Senate will, we are certain, mirror that in the House. We will be forced to continue to vote on equipment deemed unfit for the general public for another six years. One of the first issues that will come before the Executive Committee in the new administration will, I'm sure, be how to continue to advocate for the civil rights of people with disabilities to vote like everyone else by the originally agreed upon deadline of 2012 or soon thereafter.
The 2010 FCB Convention will be one of our best ever as you doubtless have seen as you have read the convention announcement letter and convention call. Many thanks to Sila Miller and her excellent Convention Committee. It has been a real privilege for me to be a member of this dynamic and innovative committee. I look forward to seeing many of you at this event in Jacksonville.
As I bid you farewell in my role as President, I want you to know that I remain committed to the continued work of this organization to honor its mission and goals. I look forward to serving in my new role as an active and engaged Immediate Past President. This organization has my respect. It has been an honor and an enriching experience to serve as your President for the past four years.
Debbie Grubb, President
Florida Council of the Blind
It is time for all chapters to wind up their FCB 2010 Raffle Ticket Sales. The completed ticket stubs should be turned in at convention along with cash or your chapter check payable to FCB for the tickets you have sold. Please count the tickets that you have sold and remit thirty-five cents for each ticket up to one thousand. If you sold over 1000 tickets you only pay $350.00.
I am Bill Freeman and I plan to be at the convention registration area for at least a couple of hours Friday and Saturday mornings to accept your tickets. Should you fail to locate me, I will be registered at the hotel. Please call my room before 2:00 PM Saturday to be certain your tickets are included in the drawing. If your chapter would like to donate a gift or cash for the drawing, I will also accept these items. GOOD LUCK TO ONE AND ALL! firstname.lastname@example.org
On November 5, 1943, Sharon Kay Davis Youngs, now SKY to her email buds was born. The baby girl of Jerould and Edwina Davis, Sharon grew up with a brother and sister near the Finger Lakes region in Corning New York. Though geology tells a different story, Native American legend says the Creator looked upon this area with special favor and reached down to bless it, leaving the imprint of His hand, hence, the Finger Lakes. Jerould worked for the Bendix Company, a manufacturer of commercial vehicle air brakes and components and Edwina went to work as a practical nurse after the children were grown. “Yep, after they got perfection, they didn’t have to go any further,” Sharon quips.
Sharon was born with Congenital Cataracts. This condition is a clouding of the lens of the eye that is present at birth. The lens of the eye is normally a clear structure, which focuses light received by the eye onto the Retina. In most patients, no specific cause can be found. Some symptoms include: cloudiness of the lens that looks like a white spot in an otherwise normally dark pupil, failure of an infant to show visual awareness of the world around them, and nystagmus or unusual rapid eye movements (if cataracts are present in both eyes.) Sharon’s visual problems weren’t discovered until she began kindergarten. Then, within a short three-year period, she underwent no less than five eye surgeries. “The reason for so many operations was that the doctors didn’t know how to perform cataract surgery on a child that young,” Sharon explains. Surgery to remove the cataract was eventually successful and her vision improved from basic light perception to decent reading vision. Unfortunately, Sharon has continued to require surgery and eventually her right eye had to be removed, due to glaucoma, an eye disease that damages the optic nerve and many times causes elevated painful pressure in the eye. In her offhanded, matter-of-fact way, Sharon says, “it says in the book of Matthew, “if your right eye offends you, pluck it out.” It did, so I had them take it while I was under general anesthesia. I watched. They had this semi-transparent drape and I have enough vision in my left eye that I could see their hands going across with the instruments and things. It was pretty cool.
Sharon attended Hourseheads high school and graduated in 1961. “I was expected to learn just like my sighted peers,” says Sharon. “There weren’t any concessions for my lack of vision. Now there’s an American History lesson for you,” Sharon says. Horseheads is the first and only town/village in the United States dedicated to the service of the American Military Horse. In 1779, during the American Revolutionary War’s western campaign against the Six Nations of Native Americans (Iroquois), Major-General John Sullivan was forced to make the difficult but merciful decision to sacrifice his horses so that his soldiers would have nourishment. A few years later, the skulls of the horses were arrayed along the trail in defiant fashion by a few returning Native Americans, as a gesture that the same fate would be met by any settler, should he attempt to homestead on this location. The first settlers, reading these Native American signs, promptly built their homes on the spot. The Town and Village of Horseheads rose in tribute to glorify the event.
After graduation, Sharon worked in a pathology lab in a hospital, cataloging body parts which had been amputated from patients or cadavers. “They didn’t use all of the tape recorders and so forth at that point, you just took the minutes down. And, I’ve been doing minutes since then,” she chuckles. Sharon wanted to go back to school. She enrolled at Corning Community College where she received her associate of arts degree. “I was going to be an English teacher but Gene had other ideas,” Sharon says. Eventually, Sharon would realize her dream of teaching, when a woman with multiple disabilities was referred to her for help learning to read. “She’d come to my house once a week and we’d work on reading while Phil played,” Sharon explained.
I asked how she and Gene met. Sharon laughed and said, “My sister lived in a mobile home park. Gene’s brother, George and his wife bought a mobile home and moved it into the lot right next door to my sister’s. In those days, people could set up and level their mobile homes on their own; it didn’t have to be done professionally. Gene came to help George set up the home. My sister called up and said, “you better get up here and visit with me, because there’s this real neat looking guy that’s next door. Gene and Sharon married on March 18, 1966, and recently celebrated their 44th wedding anniversary. Their son, Phillip Eugene was born in 1969 and their grandson, Lake Hunter in 2000. Sharon laughs and says, “there’s another interesting story. My son, Phil is an avid fisherman. He’s always looking for another lake, hence Lake Hunter.”
Gene enlisted in the Marine Core only two months after he and his young bride married. He served from 1966 until the time of his medical discharge in 1973, including a 16-month tour in Vietnam. The young couple lived in Guam for a year. They were also stationed in New York, North Carolina and California. “Yeah, we always joke that Phil is a year younger than he really is because he never had his “first birthday.” We crossed the International Date Line going from New York to Guam and totally missed a whole day,” Sharon laughs.
While Gene was in Vietnam, Sharon went to work as a ticket agent for the Greyhound bus company, filling in where she was needed in several different locations in New York. She worked in this position until 1975. While in the military, Gene received automotive mechanic training. After his discharge, he went to work repairing automobiles and later became Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certified.
In 1978, Sharon and Gene’s apartment burned while they were at church so they decided to relocate to Florida. “We lived with my dad for about a month. Gene came down, found a job, rented a house and we moved to Safety Harbor,” Sharon recalls. “Yeah, we were in church and the phone just kept ringing and ringing. Somebody finally slipped out of the pew to go and answer it. Turns out a young kid set fire to the building. We didn’t lose everything but it definitely wasn’t livable,” Sharon recounts
“When we got down to Florida, the landlord whom we rented the house from told me about blindness services. Thus, I became a client of what is now Lighthouse of Pinellas. I took all the different classes they had to offer. I even learned to read Braille though I haven’t used it in so long,” Sharon recants.
Sharon began working for The Lighthouse part-time and worked there for a total of 14 years in different capacities. “I worked as the receptionist, rehab aid, and coordinated their Low Vision Clinic that they housed. It was during my time there that I heard about this organization, Florida Council of Citizens with Low Vision. They were having a mini-convention in Daytona Beach. The Lighthouse powers that be thought it was a good idea to send some staff. So, a bunch of us drove to Daytona. That was in the early 80s and Terry Blessing was President of FCCLV. I was hooked! I joined FCCLV right then. But, you see I didn’t want any thing to do with FCB, cause I thought it was the “other militant organization,” Sharon snickers.
Sharon had found her niche in the Low Vision Clinic, demonstrating low vision equipment and finding the best fit for the person’s particular needs. When Lighthouse of Pinellas closed their clinic, she decided to go to work as a consultant with John Palmer at Magnifying America. From there, Sharon took a job as an Administrative assistant for six case managers with Neighborly Senior Services, a county-wide service for older adults. After only a few years, her entire department was disbanded so she went back to what she loved, the low vision field, working for Chris Gabbord at Magnifying Aids. Sharon worked there until her retirement in December, 2008. “The day which was supposed to be my last day, was the same day they took Gene to the hospital with his Emergency double bypass,” she marvels. Sharon has a strong faith and is of the Nazarene belief. She trusts that her choice of time to retire wasn’t an accident and says, “I just gave my job to somebody who needed it worse than me.”
“I can’t really remember just how I met Kathy Garcia, now Warth,” Sharon reminisces. “Kathy had formed a chapter in Clearwater, The Upper Pinellas Chapter. She’d asked me to be involved, but as I said, I didn’t want anything to do with it. Back then, you had to be invited by somebody to be a member of FCB. So, finally Kathy convinced me to go to one meeting. For Kathy, I would do it because she’s “salt of the earth” and a wonderful person and that’s how I became involved with FCB,” Sharon declares. Thanks are definitely in order to Kathy Warth for recruiting Sharon as a member. Sharon has served both FCB and FCCLV faithfully over a long period of time, (nearly thirty years now.) She’s served in every office of her local chapter, except for Membership Secretary, been involved with many committees at the state level; Archives, Awards, Publicity and Publications, just to name a few and volunteered her time and sight to assist people in completing reimbursement vouchers and many other things. However, by far, the most lasting gift and contribution Sharon has given to FCB is nearly a quarter century of recording the minutes of our meetings. She serves as editor of both The White Cane Bulletin and The Viewpoint, FCCLV’s magazine.
I asked Sharon if she’d ever been able to drive. She laughed and responded, “I don’t have the distance vision to see much past the hood. I got my permit several times and even took professional lessons but when the instructor found out that what I was doing was lining up the hood ornament on the car with the ditch, we were done! Driving scared the stuffin’ outta me cause I knew I was supposed to be in control and I didn’t think I was,” Sharon admits.
Sharon serves on a disability coalition in her local community. Recently the group was successful in getting the application for transportation disadvantaged services reduced from twelve pages down to four. Additionally, any professional in the area of disabilities (not just a physician) may now complete the certification portion of the application. Sharon has been a Palm Harbor Lion for about eight years and serves as their Secretary.
Sharon is a genuine hugger and can make you feel better with one of her therapeutic squeezes. She’s a big fan of chocolate, loves reading large print books and spending time with her grandson, Lake. She loves clocks and her little lap dog Buddy. After she’s done reading her large-print books, Sharon shares them with her family, then takes them to the nearby Veterans hospital and nursing home to share there as well. She and Gene enjoy going out to the VFW and singing karaoke. After forty-four years, they’ve got teamwork down pat. He drives and she grocery shops. She accompanies him to most Doctors appointments and acts as his ears as he has a slight hearing impairment.
“We have to mentor the people who are coming up now. They’re the ones who are going to carry this torch forward. If we care about FCB like we do, we have to hold their hand through the first couple of scary years and conventions and try to get them to understand the real philosophy of FCB. Every organization has its own personality and so often when the main part of that personality goes away as in passing or whatever, the whole infrastructure just collapses on itself because we haven’t built up those who are coming up,” Sharon says. “People need to get involved, listen to what’s going on and ask questions.”
When the talk turned to heroes and influential people, Sharon said, “My dad has been gone for over twenty years now but he was such a down-to-earth person. He told me, “remember, there’s nobody that walks the face of the earth these days that’s any better than you are and you are no better than anybody else.” I took that piece of advice to heart and I try to work with everybody with that thought in mind. Terry Blessing just would not allow you to do less than your absolute best she was a real leader and mentor. And of course, W.A. was so important and special, because he loved FCB so much,” Sharon thoughtfully says.
That Sharon loves FCB is apparent through her long and varied service to the organization and its members. She’s a genuinely caring person with a heart of gold. But, try as she might, she can’t seem to make my articles any shorter, God bless her! What an honor to have known and worked alongside this true FCB cornerstone! Thank you Sharon, for sharing your story with me and FCB!
When Debbie Grubb called to ask if I would represent Seniors at the Fourth Annual Florida Vision Summit, I did not hesitate. The annual event held this year on February 9th is co-hosted by the Vision Caucus - a bipartisan, bicameral caucus of 71 Legislators - of the Florida Legislature and the Florida Association of Agencies Serving the Blind (FAASB). Of course, I would do this. Also, I saw a chance to take a road trip with my daughter to Tallahassee. We love road trips! And, the weather was perfect for the long drive – sunny and cool - as we left Tampa on Monday morning.
With Carey happily settled on the back seat, my brief speech memorized and our road snacks tucked into handy bags, we started on our way. The trip between Tampa and Tallahassee is just about 300 miles. I traveled by Greyhound Bus on Super Bowl Sunday to stay overnight with Laura so we would have an early start the next day. It’s always fun for us to girl talk, eat road food, stop for big milk shakes and while away the hours as we go.
The trip is never long enough for us and by mid afternoon we were leaving I-10 winding our way into Tallahassee. My daughter pointed to familiar sights. Both of us attended Florida State University and lived in Tallahassee years earlier. It was not long before Laura was pointing out the State Capitol and then the Doubletree hotel.
Later that evening, I walked over to Andrew’s Grill with Janice Felski, Director of the Lighthouse of Manasota for the Pre-Summit buffet dinner. I met so many people that I had only spoken with on the telephone or communicated with via email. It is great to be able to meet in person. Everyone was in such a happy, festive and fun loving mood. The food was delicious and the entertainment provided by a group from the Miami Lighthouse was terrific. I sat across from Paul Edwards and, although it was almost impossible to chitchat, we managed to carry on a brief conversation. Paul is always fun and the evening ended all too soon.
The Tuesday morning wake-up call sounded at 5:45 a.m. with only time to dress and a quick cup of coffee and out the door we went. We left the Doubletree in a light rain that I did not expect. The walk in a drizzle to the Capitol took only 5 minutes. Carey, my guide dog was a trooper as he headed up the steps to the big doors. Once inside, we found ourselves in a large crowd of folks going through security.
Laura is expert at navigating the logistics of getting through unfamiliar situations. She soon got us on the elevator to the 22nd floor and although no tables were set up, she found a bench for me while she canvassed the area. Out of the crowd, we found William and Sally Benjamin and Wanda Stokely. Sally is an old hand at Tallahassee events. So, Laura and Sally placed William and me at a table and off they went for our breakfast.
After the Legislative Breakfast, the serious business of the Summit began with the Call to Order, the Invocation and remarks by Representative Kurt Kelly, Chair of the, 2010 Florida Vision Summit. Following were Welcome Remarks by Robert Kelly, President of FAASB. There were awards, singing and music by the wonderful ensemble that entertained for the Pre-Summit Dinner.
We headed down to the Florida House Chambers for the General Session. The gavel came down shortly after 9 a.m. Representative Kurt Kelly again officiated. After opening remarks, the business of the Fourth Annual Vision Summit began. The Summit was divided into four segments: Children, Youth & Education; Workforce; Seniors; and, Key Issues. Many interesting presentations followed. Senior State officials, professionals in the field of education, private sector professionals from medicine, health care and vision care, vision advocates and private citizens spoke.
Influential speakers from Lighthouses, the Division of Blind Services, colleges, the Deaf Blind School, NFB and FCB came forward to make compelling cases why budgets should not be cut.
Many statistics were cited by the speakers - far too many to remember or cite here. The goal of each speaker was to impress upon the Legislature of the need to maintain funding levels and not cut programs for the blind and visually impaired.
Florida State Surgeon General Dr. Ana Viamonte Ros, MD, MPH, Secretary, Florida Department of Health spoke about the ways DOH touches the lives of blind babies. Department of Education Commissioner Dr. Eric J. Smith spoke about the Division of Blind Services and Florida Instructional Material Center Programs that assist over 3,000 visually impaired and blind students in Florida. Dr. Douglas Beach, Secretary, Florida Department of Elder Affairs talked about DOEA focus on the rapidly growing incidence of age-related vision loss among senior Floridians.
The Legislature is responsible for funding these Executive Branch agencies and their services to Floridians who are visually impaired or blind. All three Senior Florida Officials were presented with the FAASB Visionary Leadership Award.
There were many interesting topics but I particularly enjoyed listening to personal stories and experiences. I identified with other blind and visually impaired people and found their speeches most compelling because they came from the heart. Parents, students, a blind business owner and others expressed their gratitude for programs and services, thereby offering the clearest reasons for not cutting budgets for the Division of Blind Services and other programs.
Finally, it was my turn to speak. The previous speakers had uplifted and inspired me so that all trace of nervousness melted away. I felt their passion and emotion. My brief talk recounted my personal story about how the services and support of the Division of Blind Services and the Lighthouses changed my life. My hope is that one person’s story can influence the hearts and minds of our Legislators.
Paul Edwards followed and spoke about Voting Accessibility. Paul is uniquely qualified to speak about accessibility issues, as he is Director of Access Services at the North Campus, Miami-Dade College.
Paul reminded Legislators that, in 2007, the Florida Legislature passed a law F S 101.56075 mandating that all Counties move to an optical scan voting system with a paper trail. Counties were required to acquire accessible optical scan systems by 2012. Paul urged the Legislature not to delay implementation of the law to 2016. Paul asked that the Legislature require the Secretary of State to release HAVA (Help America Vote Act) funds he now holds to Counties so they can purchase devices by 2012.
Truly, it was an honor and privilege to represent Seniors and FCB at this wonderful event. It is my hope and prayer that this Summit raised awareness of the issues and concerns of the blind and visually impaired. I was only one person adding my voice to an effort to convince Legislators of the importance of maintaining funding levels for programs and services. Thank you FAASB for your ongoing and continuing efforts on behalf of Florida’s blind and visually impaired residents.
Perhaps my small part and my story will touch the heart of some of our Legislators. There is so much work to do to improve the lives of blind and visually impaired persons. Each one of us can help educate and raise awareness of the issues by simply telling his or her personal story.
Any person hoping to influence his or her Representative or Senator may do so by contacting them by email or telephone. Contact information is available through your local library or on the Internet. I encourage everyone to take just a few minutes to email or call. Your voice can make a difference.
Ruth A Moore, 85, of Port Charlotte, FL, passed away on Tuesday, April 20, 2010, and was a resident of Port Charlotte for 23 years. Born Ruth A. Danker on September 12, 1924 in Jamaica, New York. She graduated from the New York Institute for the Education of the Blind in the Bronx, New York City. She retired from the State of New York after 20 years service. Ruth served as a Girl Scout leader. She was a member of the Order of the Eastern Star, the Visually Impaired Persons of Charlotte County, a Cootie in V.F.W. Post 5690, the Florida Council of the Blind, the German American Club and the Sons of Norway. Ruth was also a member of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church.
Ruth was preceded in death by her husband, Clinton, after over 60 years of marriage. She is survived by sons Donald (Susan) and Kenneth (Barbara) of Port Charlotte, three granddaughters Christine, Heather and Kimberly and six great grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to The Florida Council of the Blind Scholarship Fund, 6933 Alpert Dr., Orlando, FL 32810.
Arrangements are by Charlotte Memorial Funeral Home.
Good Morning FCB,
I received a call from Don Moore this morning. His mom passed away. Please keep Don, his mom and family in your prayers.
Don, please know that all of us in FCB share your grief. Your mother was a fine person and it was an honor for me to have known and very much liked both your parents. Take care, my friend. If there are things we can do, let me know.
Your mom was one of a kind and will be missed by us all.
Don, I am sorry to hear this. I send prayers and peace for you.
your mom was very special to all of us. Peace be with you and your family.
What a lovely lady and a sweet and considerate last gift of memorial offerings to FCB Scholarships. Don, my heart goes out to you and your family. If there's anything I can do for you, please just let me know.
I pray that good friends, time and warm memories will bring you comfort.
I am so sorry for the loss of your mother. I lost mine 10 years ago and have many fond memories of her. May you find comfort and peace!
Don, I am very sorry to hear you lost your mother. May God comfort you in the coming weeks and months, and may He number the days of you and your family's grief.
Nancy and I were sorry to hear about your mother's passing. For many years, she was a vital leader in FCB. Your participation is a tribute to her and what she was trying to do.
Doug and Nancy
Calling all creative multi-media artists! Now that the Lighthouse of the Big Bend is in a new building, our spacious walls are bare. Therefore we are sponsoring a contest for accessible art that can be "seen" through touch, to be enjoyed visually AND tactually. A panel, composed of three blind and two sighted experts, will select a total of three winners and five honorable mentions.
Tactual artwork can by created with a variety of mediums. The Lighthouse challenges all artists to create a piece of art that really "stands out". A wide variety of mediums can be used to give a 3-dimensional effect, including fabric, paint, clay, wood, feathers, glass, wire – your creativity is the limit! The goal is to create a piece that can be appreciated by both the Lighthouse clients who have lost their vision and persons who are sighted.
GUIDELINES: Please ensure that...
- your art will not be damaged by repeated touch;
- nothing in your art is so sharp it might injure someone;
- your art is colorful and has both visual and tactile appeal (2-D or 3-D);
- your art must be able to be hung on a wall to avoid tripping hazards in the Lighthouse building where clients are learning mobility skills; it must have a sawtooth hanger or wire secured to the back;
- your artwork does not exceed 50 pounds, and does not exceed 4 feet in any one direction (including frame) to be able to fit through a standard doorway;
- you provide the artist’s name, the title of the art piece, contact information, sale price if any, and the date of completion of the piece.
DEADLINE: Thurs, July 15 by 5pm, please bring or ship artwork to the Lighthouse at 3071 Highland Oaks Terrace, Tallahassee, FL 32301.
Judging: Week of July 19-23, 2010
WINNERS: Announced without prior notification at the Lighthouse’s Grand Opening on Tuesday, July 27, at 6pm
DISPLAY: The art will be displayed at the Lighthouse from July 27 until December 23, 2010 and may be for sale with the title of the artwork, artists name, contact info and price displayed. Sales inquiries will be referred to the artist. The Lighthouse does not act as an agent and no sales commission will be charged. Artwork can be picked up after December 23, 2010 or if unclaimed one month after the pick-up date will become the property of the Lighthouse of the Big Bend. The Lighthouse reserves the right to reject artwork that do not meet standards of quality and public safety, or are inappropriate for this venue, as deemed so by the Executive Director.
PRIZES: All winning and honorable mention artwork will be displayed in the Lighthouse building, and will receive publicity at our Grand Opening, on our website, and in our newsletter.
1st Prize: The first prize winner will receive 2 tickets to our popular “Dining in the Dark” dinner event ($110 value), scheduled for October 24, 5:30-8:30pm at the University Center Club and a first place ribbon displayed on the artwork, in the Lighthouse reception area.
2nd & 3rd Prize: Second or third place ribbon will be displayed on the artwork in the Lighthouse building.
Honorable Mentions: The art will be displayed in the Lighthouse.
QUESTIONS? Call Jeanine Kane at 942-3658 x 215 or email email@example.com
The Library of Congress has provided a special provision that created the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. The NLS selects and produces full-length books and magazines in Braille and recorded formats. Reading materials are distributed to a cooperating network of regional and local libraries. In Venice, our libraries can assist the blind and low vision borrowers like myself in selecting books and magazines on tape as well as show them different magnifying devices that are available for use.
The NLS program is funded annually by Congress to state, federal and local sources. Through the U.S. Postal Service, books and materials are mailed as “Free matter for the Blind or Handicapped.” The overall annual appropriation is estimated at $125 million. The program is available to not only the blind or low vision American citizens but also to those with physical conditions such as paralysis, missing arms or legs, lack of muscle coordination or prolonged weakness.
I am an American citizen who is visually impaired to an extent that qualifies me for the NLS services. When I first learned of my disability over two years ago, I emotionally freaked out. Thanks to the rehabilitation services from the Lighthouse of Manasota (359-1404), and many understanding finds, I have adjusted quite well. And thanks to the Library of Congress, I can now enjoy listening to books and magazine on tape (now digital) recorders.
The Talking Books Library maintains thousands of titles. I merely read through the latest catalog (large print, of course), or make a telephone call and as many titles I request will be mailed to me at my home free of charge. Returns are also by mail free of charge. Ordering through the internet is a great service, too, but I do get confused visually at times and find that a friendly voice on the telephone makes it much easier to communicate.
Last month I received my new free digital recorder that is clearer and of better quality than the tapes. The transition to digital takes time so the selection is fewer, but as I read in the latest catalog, they are making excellent progress in adding the number of books available on digital. I just ordered four new titles. Another great service, I can also order descriptive videos as well. I haven’t tried them out but called in to deliver three, “Amistad,” “A Beautiful Mind” and “Cold Mountain.” Thanks to your tax dollars at work!”
Tip of the month: Many elderly people have low vision and don’t tell others. It is much better to tell your friends, the store clerks, the waiters, that you are visually impaired. If they offer to assist, don’t resist – make light of it, smile, and thank them. Both of you will be more at ease.
Portions of this Article were obtained from Microsoft's Knowledge Base
Facts Concerning 32-Bit and 64-Bit Versions of Windows Plus Additional Related Information
When purchasing a new computer, you will have the option of purchasing a system that is running a 32-bit or a 64-bit windows operating system. To use a 64-bit version of Windows Vista or Windows 7, you must have a computer that has a 64-bit processor. Also, you must have 64-bit device drivers for the devices that are in the computer.
The main differences between the 32-bit versions of Windows Vista and Windows 7, are that the 64-bit versions of Windows Vista and Windows 7 relate to memory accessibility, memory management, and enhanced security features. The security features that are available in the 64-bit versions of Windows Vista and Windows 7 include the following: Kernel Patch Protection Support for hardware-backed Data Execution Protection (DEP) Mandatory driver signing Removal of support for 32-bit drivers Removal of the 16-bit subsystem One of the greatest advantages of using a 64-bit version of Windows Vista and Windows 7 is the ability to access physical memory (RAM) that is above the 4-gigabyte (GB) range. This physical memory is not addressable by 32-bit versions of Windows Vista and Windows 7. This memory management feature helps improve the overall performance of the 64-bit versions of Windows Vista and Windows 7.
Support for Windows Vista without any service packs installed ended on April 13, 2010. To continue receiving security updates for Windows, make sure you're running Windows Vista with Service Pack 2 (SP2).
Find Free WiFi Hotspots (city, state, or zip) Follow the link below and type your zip code in to the edit field. Make sure the edit field is empty before you type. http://v4.jiwire.com/search-hotspot-locations.htm
The Technology Committee urges everyone to use the FCB chat rooms that are linked to: http://www.fcb.org
Click on the "Voice Chat for FCB" link. When the page loads, you can either click on the "Florida Council of the Blind General Chat Room" link or the "Florida Council of the Blind Board & Committee Chat Room" link. When the page loads, First time users should click the "download here button" to install the plugin called tcConference. tcConference is a little piece of software that lets you talk with others, anywhere in the world. When you click the "Download Here" button you will be prompted to download or run the tcConference software. Select "Run" and tcConference will be installed to your system. When tcConference has been installed, click on the "Finish" button to complete the installation process. At that point, you should return to the web page you were at before you performed the software installation. Now, click on the link that says "Click here to enter in the room." A page will load with two edit fields, prompting you for a username and password. Type your name in the first edit field and leave the second edit field blank. Press "Enter" and you should be launched in to the room. You should hear a sound when you enter the room. If others are present, you may hear them talking. Press your Control key to talk and release it to listen. If you are unable to perform any of the above tasks, feel free to contact a member of the Technology committee for assistance. If you know when you have a meeting scheduled in either of the rooms, ask for assistance a day or two in advance so someone can assist you in a timely manner. Please feel free to contact me if you are having difficulty with either of the chat rooms. My contact information is located in the "FCB OFFICERS, 2008 - 2010" section of this publication.
MFCB is preparing for what should be a great 2010 FCB Convention in Jacksonville. The chapter is planning on having a table in the Exhibit Hall with a fundraiser or two we hope everyone will enjoy. Please make plans to visit our table during Convention.
Also, MFCB was very proud to have Dusty Voorhees and Bill Hopton from Freedom Scientific speak during our April General Meeting. They gave a fun demonstration of some of the newer software and hardware available from the Florida-based company and even gave Members a chance to have a hands-on experience after their presentation.
And the chapter took part in the Annual Carter Family Blind Bowlers’ Association Bowl-a-Thon on April 3rd. It was stiff competition between the MFCB team and a team of bowlers representing the National Federation of the Blind-Greater Orlando Chapter, but in the end, there was lots of fun had by all and plenty of money was raised at the event.
MFCB Members should take special note as to the next 2 Meetings. The tentative dates are Saturday, May 1st, and the Annual June Awards Luncheon on Saturday, June 5th. The General Meeting times are from 12 NOON to 2 PM at William Booth Towers in downtown Orlando, and the June Awards Luncheon is scheduled to begin at 11 AM. In May, a Tupperware fundraiser is scheduled during the Meeting. For the Luncheon, please be aware that the MFCB Telephone Committee will be contacting Members prior to the event so a proper reservation can be made.
In the meantime, we hope everyone will prepare to stay cool during the upcoming summer. More from MFCB will be upcoming in future Chapter News.
For Sale. 8X monocular Not really used at all. I accidentally bought what I already had. Purchased for $35 sell for $25 or best offer. Contact Linda Faust at 727.559. 470 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last summer as I was browsing through London's Borough Market, an epicurean emporium, I came across a stall offering flax products. "Flax?" I thought to myself. "Isn't that for old people and health nuts?" I started to walk away, then spied a treat I look for whenever I travel to England: flapjacks.
The chewy, slightly crumbly baked snacks are similar to American granola bars -- a mixture of oats, dried fruit and nuts or seeds. This version contained ground flaxseeds, which gave the bars a toasty flavor. After one bite, my negative opinion began to change.
I talked to Clare Skelton, of Flax Farm Linseed in West Sussex, who was running the stand. She spoke to the wonders of flax -- both its health benefits and its intriguing taste. She told me how to use the ground seeds (often labeled "flax meal") in baking and the oil as a dressing for vegetables, or even as a condiment for soft, fresh cheeses, accented with herbs and black pepper.
Back stateside, I mentioned my flax discovery to my aunt, Ann Hauck, an inventive cook who is mindful of the nutrition in the food she prepares. She was surprised to hear I hadn't already jumped on the flax bandwagon.
"I use the oil all the time," she explained, describing how she splashes it onto potatoes as a substitute for butter. A few hours later, she mixed flax oil with Japanese umeboshi paste, made from preserved plums, and brushed it onto grilled corn on the cob as a seasoning that had much more complexity than butter, salt and pepper.
Mark Askegaard, a farmer who grows 70 acres of organic flaxseed near Moorhead, Minn., likes to sprinkle a spoonful of the seeds into his morning bowl of oatmeal, or blend a few tablespoons into a breakfast smoothie.
Across the border in North Dakota, Askegaard is joined by producers who harvest the nation's largest crop of flax, all of whom are conscious of its beneficial properties. The seeds are rich in fiber, and the oil is high in omega-3 fatty acids.
Thinking back on the creative ways people incorporate flax into a variety of dishes, I realized that a seed had indeed been planted in my culinary repertoire and has grown into a collection of delicious, nutritious recipes.
FLAXSEED AND DRIED CRANBERRY FLAPJACKS Makes 16 flapjacks.
Notes: Adapted from a recipe by Flax Farm Linseed in West Sussex, England. Lyle's Golden Syrup, a British product available at Lunds and Byerly's, is a cane sugar syrup. Flaxseeds can be ground at home or bought already ground (sometimes called "flax meal"). Dried cranberries are sometimes sold under the name Craisins.
12 tbsp. (6 oz.) unsalted butter
1/4 c. Lyle's Golden Syrup or honey (see Note)
3/4 c. sugar
4 c. rolled oats
1 c. ground flaxseeds (see Note)
1/2 c. sweetened dried cranberries (see Note)
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
In a large pan, combine butter, golden syrup and sugar. Stir over medium heat until butter and sugar are melted. Add oats, flaxseeds and cranberries. Pour mixture into a buttered 9-inch square baking dish and pack down firmly with a spatula.
Bake until light brown at edges, about 50 minutes. Cut into 16 pieces. Flapjacks will be too soft to remove, but will firm as they cool in pan. Remake the cuts and lift from pan with a spatula. Cover airtight to store up to four days, or freeze to store longer.
Nutrition information per serving:
Calories 248 Fat 13 g Sodium 6 mg
Carbohydrates 31 g Saturated fat 6 g Calcium 32 mg
Protein 4 g Cholesterol 23 mg Dietary fiber 4 g
Diabetic exchanges per serving: 1 bread/starch, 1 other carb, 2
STEAMED POTATOES WITH FLAXSEED OIL AND CHIVES Serves 4.
1 1/2 lb. red thin-skinned potatoes (about 1 1/2 in. wide)
2 to 3 tbsp. flaxseed oil
4 tsp. minced fresh chives
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Place potatoes on a steaming rack set above water in a large pan. Bring water to a boil, cover pan, reduce heat and steam until potatoes are tender when pierced, 20 to 25 minutes.
Let potatoes cool for a few minutes before cutting them in halves. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with chives. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Nutrition information per serving:
Calories 189 Fat 7 g Sodium 10 mg
Carbohydrates 30 g Saturated fat 1 g Calcium 36 mg
Protein 3 g Cholesterol 0 mg Dietary fiber 4 g
Diabetic exchanges per serving: 2 bread/starch, 1 1/2 fat.
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
- THE END -
FLORIDA COUNCIL OF THE BLIND
1531 Dempsey Mayo Road
Tallahassee, FL 32308
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