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The New Jersey Council of the Blind

CHRONICLE

July, 2008

The New Jersey Council of the Blind's mission is to strive for the betterment of the blind and visually impaired community. The purpose of this publication is to provide a forum for the free exchange of ideas, opinions and information of concern to blind people.

The New Jersey Council of the Blind (NJCB) is a 501 (c) 3 corporation and all gifts are tax deductible. Tax deductible donations should be sent to the Treasurer of NJCB.

Four quarterly newsletters are sent to members free of charge in either large print, audio cassette or E-mail. Non-members may request the NJCB Chronicle by E-mail and for an annual donation of $5.00 may receive copies in large print or cassette.

In order to make the Chronicle better, we need and appreciate information from our chapters, from individuals and from agencies and other outside groups and organizations which serve the blind and visually impaired. Articles to be included in the NJCB Chronicle, requests for copies of the newsletter or membership information should be sent to NJCB, 520 Ewingville Road, Ewing, NJ 08638. They may also be e-mailed to njcounciloftheblind@verizon.net. All information must be received by September 1st to be included in the next issue of the Chronicle.

The NJCB officers are: President Lauren Casey, (609) 912-0657, 153 Franklin Corner Road, Lawrenceville, NJ 08648; First Vice President John Vernon (609) 392-3674; Second Vice President Frank Schack (973) 595-0116; Secretary Ottilie Lucas (609) 882-2446 and Treasurer Bob Lucas (609) 882-2446, 520 Ewingville Road, Ewing, NJ 08638.

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MEETING NOTICE

The next quarterly meeting of NJCB will be hosted by The New Jersey Blind Citizens' Association (BCA) at Camp Happiness on Saturday, July 26, 2008. A picnic lunch will be served at 12 Noon; the meeting will begin at 1 PM and be over at about 4 PM.

In order for them to prepare enough food call the BCA office at (732) 291-0878 by July 18th to let them know that you are coming. One person from each organization can call with a group count. We are looking forward to seeing you there.

Directions:

Take Route 36 to Leonardo, New Jersey in northern Monmouth County.

Turn toward the shore onto Leonard Avenue in Leonardo, NJ. Turn right onto Burlington Avenue. The meeting will be on the right starting at the picnic grounds at Camp Happiness.

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President's Message

Hello Everyone! Our next quarterly meeting will be on Saturday, July 26th, from 12 noon until 4 PM. NJBCA and Camp Happiness will be our hosts at this summer meeting. It will begin with a picnic followed by the business meeting. More details and directions about this meeting are in another article in this issue.

NJCB delegates to the ACB National Convention, Ottilie and Bob Lucas will be able to give us a report on the National Convention at the July 26th meeting. Anyone else who attended the ACB National Convention can certainly share their experiences.

Please come to the meeting to hear all about the NJCB state convention planned for October. I'm looking forward to talking to all of you at Camp Happiness.

Lauren Casey, NJCB president

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CONVENTION PREVIEW

This year's Convention will be on Friday and Saturday October 24 & 25, 2008 at Doolan's at 700 State Highway 71 in Spring Lake. The theme is "Awareness, Advocacy and Access". Monmouth County Association, our host chapter, is planning a social on Friday evening at their clubhouse which is about 3 miles from the Hotel. Transportation will be worked out. . Saturday morning will begin with registration, a continental breakfast, election of officers and a short business meeting. The Convention will begin about 10:30 AM with speakers from the Lion's club, The Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired, NJ Library for the Blind and Handicapped, a banquet luncheon, a representative from ACB National, a State Legislator and the coordinator from Adjustment to Vision Loss. The convention will be over at 4 PM.

Monmouth County Association for the Blind will be running a raffle to help offset convention expenses. Contact Liz Walzer at (732) 280-2326 to discuss any items that can be raffled off. This will be discussed at our July meeting at Camp Happiness.

There are a limited number of rooms reserved for NJCB's special rate of $80.00 and 90.00 plus tax. Contact the Hotel directly at (732) 449-3666 to secure your room reservations. Let them know that you are with NJCB.

Please gather up some door prizes or prizes to be raffled off. Frank and Joyce Schack will be in charge of the door prizes this year. We thank the Chapters in advance for their faithful contribution of cash gifts for door prizes.

The cost is $45.00 for a continental breakfast and sit down luncheon. The registration will stay the same at $15.00. The total cost for continental breakfast, dinner luncheon and registration is only $60.00. .

The menu is as follows:

Salad
Cream of Mushroom Soup
Main courses: Broiled flounder with lemon sauce; roast beef; Vegetarian pasta; Chicken Marsala; green beans; apple pie with ice cream; tea or coffee.

Please fill out the Registration Form at the end of this newsletter. Send it with your check made out to NJCB to Robert Lucas, Treasurer, 520 Ewingville Road, Ewing, NJ 08638.

Registrations and checks must be received by October 15 to reserve your dinner.

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COME TO THE MCAB PICNIC

The Mercer County Association of the Blind's picnic will be at the Trenton ELKS on Saturday, August 9, 2007. There is always lots of homemade food and lots of laughs. Let Bob or Ottilie know if you would like to come. Call: (609) 882-2446 or e-mail Ottilie@verizon.net before July 31.

Date: Saturday, August 9

Time: 12 PM to about 5 PM.

Cost: $5.00 for non MCAB members

Place: Trenton Elks Lodge, 42 Decou Ave. in West Trenton (the cross street is Parkway Ave.) 609-771-0105.

Directions:

From the North:

Take Rt. 31 South; turn right onto Rt. 95 South one mile south of the Pennington Circle. Get off at exit 2 turning right toward West Trenton, Turn left at the second traffic light (West Upper Ferry Road). Turn right onto Decou Ave. where road bends right. If you go under the railroad overpass, you've gone too far. The Elks Lodge is on the left where Decou Avenue bends to the right.

Or:

Take Rt. 1 South and take Rt. 95 South after passing Mercer Mall on the right and Quaker Bridge Mall on the left.

Get off at exit 2 and follow above directions.

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From the East:

Take Rt. 195 West to Rt. 295 North, which becomes Rt. 95 South. Get off at exit 2 and follow the above directions.

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From the South:

Take Rt. 206, Rt. 130, Rt. 295 or Turnpike north to Bordentown. Pick up Rt. 295 North, which becomes Rt. 95 South. Get off at exit 2 and follow the above directions. Have a safe trip and we hope to see you there.

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National Church Conference of the Blind


The National Church Conference of the Blind (NCCB) holds an annual conference in different locations featuring Bible teaching, workshops, tour, talent time, wonderful fellowship and more. This year's 2008 Convention of the National Church Conference of the Blind will be on September 13-18, 2008 in the Hilton St. Louis Frontenac, 1335 S. Lindbergh Boulevard, St. Louis MO 63131. (314) 993-1100. For Conference reservations contact:

National Church Conference of the Blind
P.O. Box 196
Grover, CO 80729
(970) 895-2352

NCCB STATEMENT OF FAITH

We believe:

1. That the Bible is the inspired, infallible, authoritative Word of God.

2. In one God, eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

3. In the Deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, His virgin birth, His sinless life, His vicarious, atoning death through His shed blood, His bodily resurrection, His ascension to the right hand of the Father, and in His personal return in power and glory.

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DOT Increases Protections for Air Travelers with Disabilities

People with disabilities will have additional protections against discrimination when they travel by air, as the result of a new rule issued today by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) that strengthens the existing regulation implementing the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) and extends it to foreign airlines.
The new rule will apply to foreign air carriers operating a flight that begins or ends in the United States. It applies to U.S. air carrier operations worldwide. Passengers flying to Europe, Asia, or other destinations on foreign air carriers now will have similar protections against discriminatory policies and be entitled to the same accommodations as passengers flying on U.S. carriers. DOT will also be better able to take enforcement action against a foreign carrier if it discriminates against an individual because of his or her disability on flights to or from the United States.
The new rule will also make it easier for passengers to use medical oxygen during flights by requiring airlines to allow the use in the passenger cabin of portable oxygen concentrators that meet applicable safety, security and hazardous materials requirements for safe use aboard aircraft. The Department will seek further comment in a Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (SNPRM) about whether airlines should be required to provide medical oxygen to passengers upon request. The SNPRM will also address subjects such as accessibility of airline web sites, automated ticketing kiosks, and in flight entertainment systems.
The new rule will also provide greater accommodations for passengers with hearing impairments. It will require airlines to include easy-to-read captions for the hearing-impaired in its safety and informational videos. Airlines also must promptly provide the same information to hearing- and vision-impaired
passengers that it provides to other passengers in airport terminals or on the aircraft - such as information on boarding, flight delays, schedule changes, weather conditions at the flight's destination, connecting gate assignments, checking and claiming of baggage, and emergencies. The rule does not specify how carriers should make this information available to passengers who are deaf or hard of hearing.
The ACAA, enacted by Congress in 1986, prohibits airlines from discriminating against disabled passengers. The Department issued its first ACAA regulations in 1990 and has amended the rules several times since then. The new rule will be effective in one year to give carriers enough time to begin implementing its provisions. The text of the final rule is available on the Internet at
www.regulations.gov docket number DOT-OST-2004-19482.

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Adjustment to Vision Loss Project

The Adjustment to Vision Loss Project ( AVL) was developed to address the issues of those living with the loss of vision. It is a unique, multi-faceted program designed to assist residents of 14 counties in Northern and Central New Jersey in adjusting to the loss of vision, through their involvement in peer support groups, as well as linkage with mental health consultants and other professionals who have been trained to understand their special needs.

AVL has two main components:

•   Peer Support Group component : Peer support groups bring together people who share the same life situation. People with similar experiences meet and talk with one another to get emotional support, exchange helpful information and learn practical solutions. The realization that one is not alone is of great value...someone who has had similar experiences can offer a special kind of understanding, which is not available elsewhere. Information about becoming involved in any of the Adjustment to Vision Loss peer support groups can be obtained by contacting Susan Vanino, the AVL Peer Support Coordinator, at 201-996-9100 ext. 26, or by sending an email to svanino.ber@hipcil.org

•   Mental Health Professionals component: AVL conducts training programs for mental health and other professionals about the emotional issues unique to persons with vision loss. Our experienced Adjustment to Vision Loss training team provides education and training about such topics as the psychological issues of loss and grief, and changes in lifestyle and relationships. The AVL project maintains a Directory of Mental Health Professionals that have received AVL training. This Directory can be accessed by the community for referral and informational purposes. A telephone link line is also available to professionals for free clinical consultations with one of our mental health consultants. If you, as a professional, would like additional information about any of the above, or wish to schedule an in-service training, please contact Nancy Hodgins, the AVL Administrator at 201-996-9100 ext. 16 or by sending an email to nhodgins.ber@hipcil.org. AVL is administered and housed at Heightened Independence and Progress (hip). All AVL services are offered free of charge since they are fully funded by the New Jersey Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired.

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Piano and Keyboard Lessons Available

Hello, my name is Ward Biondi. I teach piano and keyboard to students who are blind and visually impaired throughout New Jersey. No knowledge of print or Braille music is required. I use Bill Brown's "Piano by Ear" tapes and methods. In addition I also provide hands on individual instruction. If you are interested call me at (732) 887-2612, or e-mail me at (wardbiondi@optonline.net). Thank you. I will come to your home, and my prices are reasonable.

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A tribute to a guide dog

Norma

The summer I was just fifteen,
I met my gentle friend.
We both knew from that first bright day
We'd be a perfect blend.
She shared her soft brown eyes with me,
Together we went everywhere-
College, parties, Europe, church,
We were a happy pair.
There was no snow too deep for us,
No storm too threatening.
We wove through busy New York streets,
We hiked grand Canyon's rim.
Perhaps the best times that we shared
Were those that we spent quietly.
I'd play the piano, study, read,
She'd watch me patiently.
We really had no need of speech,
We understood each other well.
A nudge from her, a touch from me
Left nothing more to tell.
Our friendship flowered two short years.
My life was shadowed by her loss;
But I'm convinced that she'll be there
to greet me when I cross
Into that sphere of giving hearts
Whose love lights up the darkest sky.
For now she's just beyond the stars-
My friend, my dog, my Seeing Eye.

Bianca Covelli Stewart

Bianca is a much published author. You may read of her life as well as more about Norma in her book of memoirs.

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Chapter Reports

Garden State Guide Dog Users (GSGDU): We had our semiannual meeting on June 7th at the Library for the Blind. Our new president, Lauren Casey, was sick and Vice President, Jean Cannella, chaired this meeting. Jean recently got her second Seeing Eye guide, Imon, a Long Haired Shepherd. She is a beauty.

Jean shared several new training practices. We had an informative time of sharing our tips and tricks in improving the partnerships. We discussed the possibility of having conference calls if important issues come up between meetings.

We hope to see many of you at Camp Happiness on July 26th

Mercer County Association of the Blind (MCAB): We have enjoyed our informative meetings as well as the NJCB quarterly meeting at the Monmouth County clubhouse. Many of us partied with the ELKS on May 18th at their annual Dinner Dance with Larry Kasar. We are looking forward to hearing from Tom Shaw at our June meeting. He will inform us on emergency evacuation for the disabled. Bob and Ottilie Lucas will be the NJCB delegates to the ACB convention in Louisville, Kentucky. Bob Rindt is handling a fund raiser for NJCB . we will be going to a baseball game at the Trenton Thunder on July 25. This years MCAB picnic will be at the pavilion at the Trenton ELKS. All are welcome. Check out the previous article to get details.

We look forward to seeing many of you at the NJCB meeting at Camp Happiness on July 26th.

Have a wonderful summer.

Monmouth County Association for the Blind (MCAFB): Greetings to all. We hope everyone has enjoyed a healthy and happy spring. On April 14th., 2008, the MCAFB celebrated our 57th anniversary with a dinner at the Barclay in Belmar. It was a great party, good food, good music and good company with fellow members and friends. We hope to see you at our next celebration. On April 16, 2008, our own Al Plevier was awarded Volunteer Citizen of the Year at a luncheon in honor of Monmouth County volunteers. He received a beautiful plaque for which he expressed a very appropriate and well spoken thanks.
Also in April, the MCAFB hosted the conference for the NJCB at which several issues of interest were discussed.
Al Plevier brought up three important and timely articles of concern and offered concrete solutions. Paper currency. Al suggested that paper currency could be made identifiable by punching holes in the corners of the bills. He explained the code which would be easy for the Treasury Department to implement without any adaptive and costly technology.
Restrooms. Another topic was that of the placement of a schematic sign on public restrooms. the tactile design would be always hung at the same place in the restroom, i.e., the back of the door, for easy locating by the blind. The schematic design would indicate the location of various elements of the room. Transportation. The third issue is that of transportation. Liz and Al have met with Sean Kean and some of his officers to attempt to bring this issue to the forefront and to make its importance known. Discussions are on going at present. If there are any suggestions concerning the above endeavors, please feel free to make the MCAFB aware. It is time to unite and move forward for the good of all the visually impaired and blind.
Some members of the Jackson Men's Club made an appearance at our Thursday group and also the Monday evening meeting. Dr. Richard Zajac, a low vision doctor who was forced into retirement by a medical problem eleven years ago remains active in his pursuit of aid to the disabled. He came with small magnifying instruments which he generously gave to the members of the group who could benefit by them. So far he has donated eight and the people who have received them are excited and delighted to be able to read print they could not read before. His generosity is sincerely appreciated.
We have a third Eagle Scout in the nest. Frank Aklus, Troop 21 of Belmar, has contributed his time and talent to the property outside the club. He has made practical improvements by yellow lines indicating position of steps and has added a beautification aspect to the front of the building with stones, shrubs and a flower bed. We thank and congratulate him.
The October convention will be held at Doolan's in Spring Lake Heights., NJ this year.

New Jersey Blind Citizen's Association (NJBCA/Camp Happiness):

The NJBCA Open House will be held on July 20th, starting at noon, at the camp. All are invited for a great day of food and fellowship. The recent NJBCA Gift Auction was a huge success raising money to perpetuate art, computer and fitness programs for the blind. The NJBCA free summer vacation program for blind NJ adults starts its 78th season on July 13th,

and the NJBCA is already planning for a gala 100th anniversary celebration in 2010. We will be hosting the July 26th NJCB quarterly meeting. Call the office to let us know you are coming. Please contact Doug Scott at

732-291-0878 with any questions.

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Mark Your Calendar

Saturday, July 26, 2008: Quarterly meeting of NJCB will be held at Camp Happiness in Leonardo, NJ from 12 Noon to 4 PM. (See Meeting Notice for details)

Saturday, August 9, 2008: Mercer CAB summer picnic at the Trenton Elks on Decou Avenue in West Trenton. (See prior article)

Friday & Saturday, October 24 & 25, 2008: NJCB Annual Convention. Watch October issue of the NJCB Chronicle for more information.

January 24, 2009: NJCB quarterly meeting at the Trinity United Methodist Church in Ewing, New Jersey. (More details will be in the January issue of the NJCB Chronicle)

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NOTE: Disclaimer. The views and opinions expressed in this newsletter are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and views of the New Jersey Council of the Blind officers and/or members. The editor reserves the right to edit articles submitted for both space and content.