We thank Audiovision, the Radio Reading Service of the New Jersey State Library Talking Book and Braille Center for the use of their recording studio to produce the cassette and digital formats that are aired on Audiovision and our website http://njcounciloftheblind.org. We thank Audiovision's John Hart and our webmaster Dave Casterline for their technical assistance. The Chronicle is read by Bob Lucas. For more information about Audiovision call 1-800-792-8322 or visit their website at http://www.audiovision-nj.org. The NJCB Chronicle is also available on Newsline.
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 that concern blind and visually impaired 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 on 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or phoned to (609) 882-2446. All information must be received by March 1st to be included in the next issue of the Chronicle. You may obtain the current and back issues of the Chronicle and other information from our web site at http://njcounciloftheblind.org. The NJCB officers are: President, John Vernon, 447 Bellevue Ave., Apt 7-I, Trenton, NJ 08618, (609) 392-3674; First Vice President, Frank Schack (973) 595-0116; Second Vice President, Joyce Sowa (732) 596-9675; Secretary, Ottilie Lucas (609) 882-2446 and Treasurer, Bob Lucas (609) 882-2446, 520 Ewingville Road, Ewing, NJ 08638.
The next quarterly meeting of NJCB will be on January 28, 2012 at the Trinity United Methodist Church at 1985 Pennington Road at the corner of Pennington Road and Carlton Avenue in Ewing across the street from The College of New Jersey. Lunch will be served at noon for a cost of $5.00 and the general business meeting will begin at 1 PM. The day's activities will be over at about 4 PM.
Call Bob Rindt at (609) 912-0657 to ensure that Mercer County Association of the Blind, the host chapter, will have sufficient refreshments for all attending.
Get onto Route 95 heading south. (From Route 1 south, from Route 295 heading north or Route 195 heading west to Route 295 north)
Get off at Exit #4 making a left turn onto Pennington Road (Route 31 South heading toward Ewing)
Turn right at the 4th traffic light, Carlton Avenue. It is across the street from The College of New Jersey.
Immediately turn left into the parking lot of Trinity United Methodist Church. Phone: In case of inclement weather or questions, call Lucas' cell phone at (609) 638-4232 to confirm meeting status.
Greetings, fellow NJCB Members. 2012 is now upon us. Wow! Speaking for one in the no longer younger generation, time sure flies when you are now wondering two thousand and what? The truth prevails. I do hope that 2012 is a happy, healthy, and productive year for one and all.
Our 2012 quarterly meetings will be as follows: January 28th at the Trinity United Methodist Church in Ewing, N.J. hosted by the Mercer County Association of the Blind; April 28th at the Hamilton Public Library in Hamilton, N.J. hosted by the Garden State Guide Dog Users; July 28th at Camp Happiness in Leonardo, N.J. hosted by the NJ Blind Citizens Association and the NJCB Convention will be on October 27th at the Clarion Hotel/Palmer Inn in West Windsor, N.J. Please remember that there is a $5.00 fee for lunch at all of our quarterly meetings. This helps to defray the cost to our local chapters who are sponsoring the meetings.
The 2012 convention will be on October 27th at the Clarion Hotel/Palmer Inn in West Windsor, N.J. It will run from approximately 8:00 AM until 5:00 PM. The cost has not yet been finalized. It will include a light breakfast, and lunch. We will have additional information for you at the January quarterly meeting. The Convention Committee is working to have most of the agenda with speakers, panel discussions, and an open forum with questions and answers completed before our April quarterly meeting. Please know that throughout this year long process we look forward to hearing from all of our members on suggestions in every area as to how to make this a productive convention for all of us.
ACB in Washington D.C. has been working with two attorneys on a form of advocacy for the blind called Structured Negotiations. Their projects include:
1. Making prescription information available in large print, braille, and audio formats. They are working with Walgreens, Walmart, CVS, Rite Aid, and Target.
2. Working with more theatres equipped with audio description for more movies.
3. Working with Bank of America to have all of their services and websites available in all three different formats for the blind.
4. Finalizing agreements with Major League Baseball, Charles Schwab Financial Services, several grocery delivery services, the American Cancer Society, and many national and local medical insurance companies to make their websites and other information available in accessible formats for the blind and visually impaired. A subsequent article provides more details and contact information.
More information on the ACB national agenda will be discussed at our January meeting.
Anyone wishing to have a specific item included on the agenda for our next quarterly meeting please feel free to contact me at email@example.com.
I am looking forward to meeting with all of you at our January quarterly meeting in Ewing. All the best! John Vernon, President, NJCB
Structured negotiations is a non-traditional approach to advocacy that has been used by the ACB to accomplish Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessibility goals over the last few years. Attorneys Lainey Feingold and Linda Darderian have represented the interests of the blind and visually impaired citizens of America with an approach geared toward avoiding expensive and often non-productive court litigation. They meet with corporate executives and government officials, using the expertise garnered from informed ACB members, and work out solutions to accessibility problems encountered by the blind that are in everybody's best interests. Following are excerpts from their annual report to the ACB leadership entitled 2011 Structured Negotiations Update that provides some insights into the nature of their work done in our behalf.
Structured Negotiations Started in 2011
Weight Watchers Website and Print Information Access: In August 2011 Weight Watchers agreed to the Structured Negotiations Process regarding the accessibility of its web site, including on-line weight-loss tools, and about alternative formats for print information. Accessibility improvements have already been made and many more are in the works.
Walgreens Accessible Prescription Information: This past summer Walgreens agreed to participate in Structured Negotiations with ACB and the ACB affiliates in California and Illinois on the issue of accessible prescription information. We are working with Walgreens to ensure that prescription information is available in alternative formats including Braille, Large Print and audio for customers who have visual impairments. These issues are also the subject of our Structured Negotiations with Wal-Mart, CVS and Target, and we have also approached Rite Aid. Walgreens has quickly shown a strong commitment to addressing this important safety issue for its customers with visual impairments.
Other Structured Negotiations Work in 2011
Cinemark Audio Description: In 2011 we continued our Structured Negotiations efforts with the Cinemark movie chain to get audio description equipment installed in Cinemark Theaters. In these negotiations, we represent the California Council of the Blind and several California Cinemark customers with visual impairments. Cinemark is committed to making audio description available to its blind customers, and we are making steady progress towards reaching agreement with the company.
Point of Sale Issues: In 2011 we continued efforts to ensure that blind shoppers can privately and confidentially enter their PIN and other confidential information on a tactile keypad. The most recent company to work with us on this important privacy issue is Raley's grocery chain. For a list of all companies who have agreed to install tactile keypads as a result of Structured Negotiations, visit the Point of Sale Press Release category on Lainey's website at http://lflegal.com/category/articles/settlement-agreement-press-releases/press-releases-point-of-sale/. This is just a sample of the work these talented ladies have been doing in behalf of the blind and visually impaired. More information can be obtained from their websites -- http://lflegal.com/ and http://gdblegal.com/.
Those Members at Large who have yet to pay their 2012 dues should send their $10.00 check to our Treasurer, Bob Lucas at 520 Ewingville Road, Ewing, NJ 08638. Make sure to provide your name, address, phone number, e-mail address and large print or cassette preference for the Chronicle if you do not have an e-mail address. Thank you in advance.
NJCBVI's 2012 Night Out with The Trenton Thunder Baseball Team will be held on Thursday, July 26th, 2012 at 6:00 p.m. at Waterfront Park in Trenton. 2012's event will include a very special pre-game awards ceremony so please, put it on your calendar now.
New resource for white canes. B Canes is proud to announce that we have joined forces with the ACB for the purpose of providing white canes for the blind. You can order our canes off the ACB website by going to acb.org and placing your cane order. You can use a credit card when ordering off their website. Orders can also be placed by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and by calling 402 727 5806.
Our canes come with the metal glide tips, but others can be added for an extra fee to cover the cost of the different tips. As we ship all orders FREE MATTER FOR THE BLIND, there are no shipping fees. You can check us out on our website http://www.bcanes.com
Federal Government Disability Website. Disability.gov (http://www.disability.gov) is the federal government website for comprehensive information on disability programs and services in communities nationwide. The site links to more than 14,000 resources from federal, state and local government agencies; academic institutions; and nonprofit organizations. Disability.gov is managed by the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy in collaboration with 21 federal agency partners, including the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The site is organized into 10 main subject areas - Benefits, Civil Rights, Community Life, Education, Emergency Preparedness, Employment, Health, Housing, Technology and Transportation. In the Technology section, you can find information on assistive and accessible technologies (such as communication devices, screen readers and equipment to improve mobility); emergency communications systems; the accessibility features of new technologies like digital books and smart phones; and guidelines and standards related to technology accessibility for people with disabilities. Use the Information by State drop-down menu, located on the left side of any page on Disability.gov, to find local resources that can help you pay for your assistive technology needs. Tell your friends and colleagues about Disability.Gov to receive the latest updates, events and information regarding innovative accessible technologies!
The Braille Forum podcast feed has changed. The Braille Forum podcast feed that was created in 2005 is out of date and no longer available. A new feed that syncs with Twitter, Facebook, and other social media sites has been created. The new feed also works with iTunes.
To access the new Braille Forum podcast feed using iTunes, do the following:
1. From the Advanced menu, choose "Subscribe to Podcast...".
2. Enter the podcast feed URL:
iTunes will subscribe you to the podcast and begin downloading the first episode immediately. Each Braille Forum issue is divided into four podcasts. You will need to download the remaining individual episodes of the first podcast to get the entire issue. Depending on your iTunes podcast settings, your Braille Forum podcasts should download future issues automatically for you.
NJCB Chronicle now available on NFB-NEWSLINE®. Call one of the numbers given below if you are not registered with NFB-NEWSLINE®. They will assist you in the registration process. If a local telephone number is not available in your area, you may access NFB-NEWSLINE® via the toll-free line (866) 504-7300. If you have an unlimited long-distance calling plan, you can call them at (646) 600-6969. If you use the phone to access NFB-NEWSLINE®, enter the favorites list by selecting "4" from the main menu and press "7" to add a new favorite; once there, navigate to your state by pressing "9" and, following the prompts, select the keys that correspond to the content you wish to add to your favorites.
Garden State Guide Dog Users. Hello Everyone. Our chapter will have a conference call meeting on Wednesday evening March 6, at 8 p.m. The dial in number is (712) 432 0180 and the access code is 425-373 followed by the pound or number sign to the right of the zero. Please share this information with others who are interested in guide or service dogs since we would enjoy exchanging resources with as many as possible. By the time you all receive this newsletter it will be the middle of winter. I hope all of you will have had a wonderful holiday season and are ready for 2012. Lauren Casey, President.
Mercer County Association of the Blind. Twenty-six of our members thoroughly enjoyed "The Odd Couple" at the Hunterdon Hills Playhouse Dinner Theater. We all enjoyed the dinner and laughed throughout the play. We had a speaker from the Mercer County Sheriff's office at our November meeting alerting us to the gang problems and how to avoid confrontations with gang members. 45 members and friends attended our Christmas Party that was hosted by the Trenton Elks. We had music by Stan Partyka and Santa Harry Eberle added to the festivities with his lighthearted humor. John Conte catered the dinner. All had a wonderful time. We are looking forward to seeing everyone at the January NJCB quarterly meeting at the Trinity United Methodist Church in Ewing. We wish everyone a Happy and Healthy 2012.
New Jersey Blind Citizens Association. Everyone here is in the Holiday spirit enjoying the donated live Christmas tree as well as the decorations which were placed all around by Stacey Stefanski. The Christmas dinner hosted by St. Catherine's Church in Holmdel was thoroughly enjoyed by all who attended. St. Catherine's also generously provided gifts to many of our Day Camp participants through their parish giving tree. A heartfelt thank you goes out to the members of St. Catherine's Parish for the wonderful Christmas party as well as the lovely gifts.
On December 20th all of our Day Camp members and Families attended our sumptuous Christmas party at the camp. On Wednesday, December 21st, the JMJ home school group provided music, dancing and skits as well as cookies for our Day Camp participants. Then, on the 22nd, Barbara Jackson came to the Day Camp and played the piano for the enjoyment of our participants. We certainly have had a busy Holiday Season!
One of the activities that a number of our Day Camp participants on Wednesdays love is our Crochet Club. This club was started when Project Linus (http://www.blankiedepo.org) approached us, provided yarn and a couple of instructors. Since then, other instructors have volunteered to assist our blind and visually impaired members. In exchange, our members crochet blankets to be distributed to ill and needy children. Our organization has donated well over 100 blankets to Project Linus for this purpose. Unfortunately though, we are running out of yarn to be able to participate in this worthwhile project. Do you have any yarn that you would be willing to donate? (Preferably 4 ply which is easier for the blind/visually impaired to work with, but we will be happy with any type). If so, you may drop it off at our office Mon. through Thurs. from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. or at the Thrift Shop on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thank you!
We want to acknowledge all the volunteers who assist at the Day Camp. Without their dedication we would be lost. They bring exuberance, lightheartedness, generosity and caring to our participants. Their kindness is beyond belief. from the bottom of our hearts!
Saturday, January 28, 2012: Quarterly meeting at the Trinity United Methodist Church in Ewing from Noon to 4 PM. Details are in prior articles.
Wednesday, March 6, 2012: Garden State Guide Dog Users will have a conference call at 8 PM. Details are in the GSGDU Chapter Report.
Saturday, April 28, 2012: NJCB quarterly meeting at the Hamilton Township Library. Details will be in the April Chronicle.
Saturday, June 2, 2012: The Friends of the NJ Library for the Blind and Handicapped's spring meeting at Grace Lutheran Church in Perth Amboy. Details will be in the April Chronicle.
Thursday, July 26, 2012: Covering the Bases at the Trenton Thunder at 6 PM. More details will be in the April Chronicle
Saturday, July 28, 2012: NJCB quarterly meeting at Camp Happiness in Leonardo. Details will be in the July Chronicle.
Saturday, August 4, 2012: Mercer County Association of the Blind's picnic will be at the Elks in West Trenton. MCAB members are free. Others are welcome for a cost of $5.00. Details will be in the July Chronicle.
Saturday, October 27, 2012: Biannual NJCB Convention at the Clarion Hotel/Palmer Inn in Princeton. Watch for details in future issues.
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.