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 www.njcounciloftheblind.org. For more information about Audiovision call 1-800-792-8322 or visit their website at www.audiovision-nj.org. The NJCB Chronicle is also available on Newsline. The Chronicle is read by Bob Lucas. 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 September 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 www.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 hosted by The New Jersey Blind Citizens' Association (BCA) at Camp Happiness on Saturday, July 28, 2012. A picnic lunch will be served at 12 Noon for a cost of $5.00; the meeting will begin at 1 PM and will be over at about 4 PM. In order for them to prepare enough food call Frank Schack at (732) 595-0116 by July 18th to let him know that you are coming. One person from each organization can call with a group count. We are looking forward to seeing you there.
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.
Hello My Fellow NJCB Members. Well, spring is here in full bloom and summer is not far away. Is it really possible that 2012 is already half over? Wow, time really flies whether you are having fun. or not. Speaking of fun, here is a quote worth sharing from Albert Einstein, "Creativity is the residue of perceived wasted time." He should know. Long live this residue for us all. Creativity and action lives on with the NJCB. The officers of the NJCB nominated our website, www.njcounciloftheblind.org for a contest offered by the ACB national office for an accessible and informative website. Dave Casterline was given credit for his creative volunteer work as our webmaster. It was also mentioned that Dave was also the volunteer webmaster for the Friends of the New Jersey Library for the Blind and Handicapped. The Convention Committee, headed by Frank Shack, is continuing their creative measures as well. In grateful appreciation to Ottilie Lucas, Bob Lucas, and Frank Shack, the signed agreement with The Clarion Hotel/Palmer Inn in West Windsor for our convention on October the 27th has been completed. Our keynote speaker will be Ken Stewart from New York. Ken is up for reelection to the ACB Board of Publications and a longtime advocate for blind causes on many fronts. The other confirmed speakers are:
In addition to their speaking time, it is also planned to have them on a panel discussion with Ken Stuart moderating. Frank Shack will give a convention update at our next quarterly meeting.
Our next Quarterly Meeting will be sponsored by The New Jersey Blind Citizens Association. It will be held at Camp Happiness in Leonardo, N.J. on July 28th from noon until approximately 4:00 P.M. Please remember to bring $5.00 to help offset the cost of the lunch.
I would like to thank Ed Fedush as chairman, Jean Cannella, and Bill Dougherty for accepting the responsibility of and carrying out the duties of the Nominating Committee. This is not an easy charge and often takes more time than one would expect. So I again say thank you to these NJCB members for their diligence in handling this important task.
There are two other dates to keep in mind. The first is July 26th, in which 26 people are attending "Covering the Bases". This is a night out with the Trenton Thunder AA Baseball Team at Waterfront Park in Trenton. Profits from these ticket sales go to the NJCB. The second date is August 4th. The Mercer County Association of the Blind's annual picnic will be held at the Elks Lodge in West Trenton.
With this message go my best wishes for a happy and safe summer.
All the Best! John, Vernon, President of the New Jersey Council of the Blind
What is one of our biggest concerns as people who are blind? We often talk of the "Big T" or transportation. One of our first questions is, "How can I get there?" Some of us have achieved travel skills adequate to get to work and other destinations but we experience more stress and anxiety than our sighted friends. Para transit such as Access Link and other transportation services for the disabled have done a big part to help us with travel. Unfortunately, this and other accessible travel services do not cover all locations at all times. Another difficulty that is becoming more problematic is the new electric and hybrid vehicles. Legislation has been passed to require manufacturers to equip these "quiet" vehicles with a sound that simulates the sound of engines of gasoline or diesel powered vehicles.
Come to the 2012 NJCB convention on Saturday, October 27, 2012 at the Clarion Hotel/Palmer Inn at 3499 US #1, Princeton, NJ 08640. We have invited speakers addressing these topics as well as giving us updates on Library and Commission services.
The morning will begin at 8 AM with exhibits and a continental breakfast. We will then have our quarterly business meeting including the election of new officers for 2013-2014. Vito DeSantis and Adam Szczepaniak will give us the latest information regarding our valuable NJ state services. We will then have more time to visit the exhibitors. Our keynote speaker, Ken Stewart, will give us information on pertinent current issues affecting the blindness world. We will have speakers throughout the afternoon followed by a panel discussion.
President John Vernon will wrap up the day with a summary and introduce the newly elected officers by 5:30 PM.
Save the date and send in your registration form which is at the end of this newsletter. More information will be in the October issue of the NJCB Chronicle. See you in October!
Following are excerpts from correspondence sent by Lainey Feingold, Esq. to ACB's president, Mitch Pomerantz. It was posted on ACB's Leadership List.
"We are excited to let you know that today Walmart announced that it is offering the ScripTalk Talking Prescription program on a pilot basis to its mail order customers with visual impairments and to Walmart pharmacy customers in three stores. The press release is available here:
This is the first time in the United States that a national retailer has offered Talking Prescription labels to the blind community on a national basis. Walmart is working with the ACB, AFB and CCB through the Structured Negotiations process on this important health, safety, and privacy initiative. We are also working with the other national pharmacies on these issues.
Inquiries about talking pill bottles or accessible prescription information in connection with Walmart or any other retailer or prescription provider should be directed to Scott Grimes in Linda's office. Scott can be reached through the following email address or toll free telephone number: email@example.com or 1-800-822-5000.
Walmart mail order customers or customers at the three pilot stores (listed in press release) may contact En-Vision America at 800-890-1180 for a free ScripTalk Talking prescription reader."
NJCB received 3 donated Perkins Braille writers. Richard Heigh, a Certified Braille Repairman and NJCB member, has cleaned and repaired them at a much reduced price. We are selling these writers which are now in very good condition for $250.00 each. They cost about $650.00 new.
Contact Robert Lucas, Treasurer of NJCB, with any questions or to order at:
(609) 882-2446 Home
(609) 638-4232 Cell
520 Ewingville Road
Ewing, NJ 08638
This is a great buy. Share this opportunity with your friends who are looking for a dependable Perkins Braille Writer.
Best Buy is going to be selling a new HD Radio--called the Narrator--starting in July. The radio, which was manufactured with the blind in mind, will be selling for $99. If you want the added two year protection plan, you will need to pay an extra $14.99.
"With The Narrator coming to market, people with visual disabilities will have a radio that they can program and tune themselves," said Dave Noble, chairman of government relations for IAAIS.
For years, blind people have had to pay a lot of money for radios with single purpose receivers that provided low audio quality. Now, the Narrator, a table top receiver, speaks commands as soon as a blind or visually impaired person turns it on. However, this feature can be turned off so that a sighted person can use the radio silently as well. This makes the radio have universal appeal for everyone and will also help to keep the price lower. With speech turned on, the radio will announce the artist and song, and will show and announce visual images as well. The radio is also equipped with large buttons with raised lettering.
Another great feature is that the radio comes with a PDF Quick Start Guide, along with a user manual. In addition, you can get the warranty information as a PDF document as well. All of these documents can be downloaded from the Best Buy website and have been verified to be accessible with screen readers. The radio was created with input from the International Association of Audio Information Services, the group that represents Radio Reading Services. The radio manufacturer chose to partner with the IAAIS to help identify and solve issues for the everyday technology needs of people with visual disabilities.
The Narrator will be promoted on air by iBiquity and its alliance member stations. It will be marketed under the Best Buy Insignia brand.
While the visually impaired community has had other radio companies create accessible products (C. Crane comes to mind), it's fantastic to see that a very large electronics company like Best Buy is taking an interest in accessible products and teaming up with organizations that can help them design the radio from the ground up. It's also incredibly beneficial that they created a product that is equally usable for both the sighted and visually impaired--an important element in keeping the cost as low as possible. Hopefully, others will follow the lead of companies like Best Buy and Apple and begin building accessibility into their products that can serve everyone equally.
This is to inform you of our all-audio beginner courses and single song lessons for over a dozen instruments. Our "Intro to" courses are available for piano, guitar, bass, banjo, flute and more.
The National Library Service has been carrying our all-audio teaching materials on tape since 2000 and is currently in the process of making them available on digital cartridge and as downloadable files via their BARD system. They are also available through different VA hospitals around the U.S.
If you could pass this message on to your sight-impaired patrons it would be greatly appreciated. You can find out more about our courses and lessons at www.MusicForTheBlind.com
Thanks for all that you do for those who are visually impaired.
Bill and Debra Brown
Valdosta Music & Publishing
Teaching & Recording Studio
704 Habersham Road
Valdosta, Georgia 31602-1954
The Mercer County Association of the Blind's picnic will be at the Trenton Elks on Saturday, August 4, 2012. There is always lots of homemade food and great fellowship. Let Bob or Ottilie know if you would like to come. Call (609) 882-2446 or e-mail Ottilie@verizon.net before July 15th.
Date: Saturday, August 4, 2012.
Time: 12 PM to about 4 PM.
Cost: Free to MCAB members and $5.00 for all others.
Place: Trenton Elks Lodge, 42 Decou Ave. in West Trenton (the cross street is Parkway Ave.) 609-638-4232 (Bob Lucas' Cell Phone)
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.
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.
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.
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.
GSGDU Chapter Report. Hello everyone. As I am writing this, it is a very hot day at the end of May. I neglected to mention in my last chapter report that GSGDU had sponsored the April NJCB quarterly meeting at the Hamilton Township Library. Due to illness neither Bob nor I was able to attend this meeting, but we heard that the meeting went well and everyone enjoyed the lunch. Our secretary, Susan Yochim, underwent gall bladder surgery recently and I want to wish her a speedy recovery. Currently our previous secretary, Ottilie Lucas, is filling in for her. Thank you, Ottilie. The next GSGDU meeting will take place on Saturday June 30 from 10 a.m. until 12 noon followed by a picnic at the home of Ottilie and Bob Lucas.
Their address and phone number is:
520 Ewingville Road
Ewing, NJ 08638
Call to let us know if you plan to attend. I look forward to being with everybody on June 30th. Lauren Casey, GSGDUI president.
MCAB Chapter Report. Summer is almost here and we are looking forward to get-togethers with family and friends. Mercer County Association of the Blind enjoyed a trip to the Hunterdon Hills Dinner Theater in May to see "A Bench in the Sun." We had speakers at our regular business meetings who educated our members in community participation. Bob Gray from The Mercer County Board of Elections described the Sequoia accessible voting machine. We are looking forward to hearing from Scott Ellis from The Progressive Center for Independent Living about Emergency Preparedness and Bill Santiago to assist us to fill out Survey forms regarding transportation needs in Mercer County. This will fill out our programs for our regular meetings through June. Many of us are planning to go to the annual event at Waterfront Park on July 26th with the Trenton Thunder baseball team at which The Commission for the Blind will be honoring outstanding students. We are also looking forward to the NJCB quarterly meeting at Camp Happiness on July 28th. Our annual fun picnic for MCAB members and many friends will be at the Trenton Elks on Saturday, August 4th. This is always a great time to meet with friends and enjoy homemade picnic foods and the hospitality of the Elks members. We hope that you enjoy a healthy and safe summer and that we will see you at the NJCB convention on October 27th in the fall.
New Jersey Blind Citizens Association. Following is Executive Director Rhoda Yucht's Director's Message which has been excerpted from the NJBCA June, 2012 newsletter. "After a very short spring, it appears we have been propelled full blast into summer with the ensuing heat.
A Boy Scout Eagle project has just been approved and should start shortly. We are still pursuing grants to become totally ADA compliant.
The Gardening Program is in full swing. Many plants are already growing and we hope to have a great harvest of fresh vegetables and herbs this year thanks to the Garden Club RFD at Middletown.
We plan on having some summer outings this year. We will provide more information on any planned outings in future bulletins as soon as we have definitive information.
The music program and art program are both progressing nicely and are being enjoyed by a number of our Day Camp participants. We hope to continue expanding programs as time goes on as well as add other programs of interest.
As you may notice, our "Century Club" is rapidly growing. Why not consider becoming a member of this elite group of caring donors? Every dollar goes to supporting the programs we offer the blind and visually impaired.
In an effort to conserve paper and lessen expense, July will be our last monthly newsletter. Thereafter, newsletters will be published bimonthly."
Thursday, July 26, 2012: Covering the Bases at the Trenton Thunder at 6 PM.
Saturday, July 28, 2012: NJCB quarterly meeting at Camp Happiness in Leonardo. Details are in earlier articles of this issue.
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. See prior article.
Saturday, October 27, 2012: Biannual NJCB Convention at the Clarion Hotel/Palmer Inn in Princeton. See details and registration form in this issue.
Saturday, January 26, 2013: NJCB quarterly meeting at the Trinity United Methodist Church in Ewing. Watch for more details in the January 2013 issue.
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.
Date: Saturday October 27, 2012 from 8:00 AM to 5:30 PM
Place: The Clarion Hotel/Palmer Inn, 3499 Route 1 South, Princeton, NJ.
Phone: (609) 452-2500.
Hotel Rooms: Make reservations directly through the hotel before October 8, 2012 to get a reduced rate of $76.99 plus tax for Friday night only. Call the hotel at (609) 452-2500 and tell them that you are with New Jersey Council of the Blind.
To register for the Convention fill out the form below and send it with your check payable to NJCB to our Treasurer, Bob Lucas, 520 Ewingville Road, Ewing, NJ 08638 by October 15, 2012.