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GCB Digest Winter 2008 (Text Version)

The GCB Digest A publication of the Georgia Council of the Blind, An affiliate of the American Council of the Blind An organization promoting a hand up, not a hand out! WINTER, 2008 President: Alice Ritchhart 125 Willow Pond Way Brunswick, GA 31525 912-261-9833, Toll Free: 877-667-6815 E-Mail: alice.ritchhart@comcast.net Editor: Ann Sims, 3361 Whitney Avenue Hapeville, GA 30354, 404-767-1792 E-Mail, teacherann@bellsouth.net Assistant Editor: Jerrie Ricks, 1307 Chester Place McDonough, GA 30252, 770-898-9036; E-Mail, jerrie_ricks@bellsouth.net GCB Webmaster: Steven Longmire Sunbright Consulting at info@sunbright.biz www.georgiacounciloftheblind.org TABLE OF CONTENTS President’s Message: by Alice Ritchhart ------- 3 Chapter News: Submitted by Chapter Presidents ---------------------------------------------- 5 Tech-Able and East Georgia Chapter Join for Computer Project: by Anne Wheeler ----------- ------------------------ 14 LAUS DEO: A little history lesson you may enjoy: Submitted by June Willis ----- 19 “Walk a Mile in My Shoes?” Blind Ask: Submitted by Jimmie Burkes and Clifford Jones ---------------------------------------- 22 The Many Ways to Use Bounce: Submitted by Barbara Graham ----------------- 24 More Helpful Tips: From the Internet -------- 26 Proposed Amendments: Submitted By the Constitution and Bylaws Committee - 29 Announcements: ----------------------------------- 37 PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE A Challenge for Us All in 2008 and Beyond By President Alice Ritchhart At the time this issue of The GCB Digest goes to press we will have begun a new year. I hope you all had a merry and joyous holiday season. As we begin 2008, I find myself reflecting on how far we as blind and disabled people have come, and yet how little things have not changed in the past 18 years since the passing of the Americans With Disabilities Act for blind and disabled individuals. What has made me so painfully aware of this were a couple of incidents that happened near the end of last year. The first incident was a small issue, but it made me acutely aware of how society feels about being around blind people. The second issue was so disgusting that at first it made me ill, and then very angry. In the first case, I had just gotten out of a cab driven by my regular driver, and when I went into my house, the driver called me to tell me that one of my neighbors had an issue about where I was walking my dogs. Now, I am not upset that the neighbor wanted me to walk my dogs elsewhere, but what disturbed me was that instead of confronting me and discussing it with me, he talked to my driver. Do you see a problem with this? It seems that no matter how much we try to educate and bring awareness, people are still afraid to approach us and talk to us just as they would any person who is not blind or disabled. The second issue was an incident that was reported in the Augusta paper in October. A 30-year-old deaf-blind woman, who could not communicate and who was found living in deplorable housing conditions, starved to death. She was under the guardianship of her sister and brother-in-law. It was not bad enough to know that her own family was responsible for her poor living conditions and death, but what made it even worse was that when the first charge for the crime was manslaughter, it was reported that the penalty would only be a five year jail term. If it had been an elderly person or a child, this crime would carry a 20 year prison term; but the current law states for a manslaughter offense against a person with a disability the penalty is a mere five years. I guess it is felt that a person killing a person with a disability is doing society a favor. I am happy to say that because of the community outcry, the paper reported that the charges were changed from manslaughter to murder, but the current manslaughter law remains on the books. Every day we ourselves, or other blind persons we hear about, experience discrimination, or we are treated as children who are not allowed to make decisions or function on our own. I am sure our families and others who are overly protective think they are helping us, but in the end they are only setting us up for failure when we have to live in the real world. By the same token those in society who refuse to speak to us directly are only missing a great opportunity to get to know people who may have some significant contributions to provide to their community. Then I thought about what I have done as an individual to try to make a difference. I have to admit that there have been times in the past when I have taken the easy way out and let others treat me like I was “special”. Many times I have just let it go because I got tired of trying to teach them that I was capable. However, I have come to realize that the only way to make a difference is to get involved and to speak up every time. It is not enough that we all pay our membership dues and come to meetings on a monthly or quarterly basis. We must all continue to speak up for ourselves, do for ourselves, and do what we can for others. We need to take an active part in family life, community life, and continually educate society of our abilities. We also need to take action when we see discrimination taking place. It is up to each and every one of us as blind individuals to change things. So, this is my challenge to us all for the New Year: Let us get involved, and show those in our home and community who are confident and independent thinkers that we, too, are individuals who can bring something unique to our community. CHAPTER NEWS Submitted by Chapter Presidents Athens Council of the Blind Chapter The members of the Athens Council of the Blind are actively involved in services to individuals who are blind and/or low vision in Northeast Georgia. The membership and leadership continue to grow. This year, William K. Holley (Bill), a member of the chapter was elected president of the Georgia Blind Lions, and was inducted into Northeast Georgia District 18D Hall of Fame. The chapter is very active in Lions with seven members in the Athens Heritage Lions Club and Georgia Blind Lions. Athens Heritage Lions Club and Multiple Choices Center for Independent Living (Multiple Choices) along with the other chapter members helped to manage the concessions at the Georgia Council of the Blind (GCB) Fall Festival. Members are also participating in the Self-Advocacy Network (SAN) in Northeast Georgia which was established to help individuals with disabilities to live independently in the community of their choice. The SAN meets the first Tuesday of the month at 999 Gaines School Road, in Athens. The chapter members assisted the Georgia Coalition of the Blind to help individuals who are blind and low vision in Northeast Georgia to attend the public hearings in Athens. The public hearings are being held to discuss the establishment of the Georgia Commission for the Blind. Members will be sponsoring the Disability Expo for 2008. Further information will be coming soon. Officers for 2008 are president, Jeraldine Toney; past president, Daniel Myers; vice president, Pete Hayek; treasurer, Annie B. Harris; assistant treasurer, Michael Teal; secretary, Robin Oliver; and assistant secretary, Jamaica Miller. Athens chapter has changed its meeting location to 999 Gaines School Road, Athens, and will continue to have chapter meetings on the fourth Saturday of every month. For further information, please contact president Jerrie Toney at jmt2@bellsouth.net. Atlanta Chapter The officers are Kim Carmichael for president, Diane Simms for vice president, Tracey George for secretary, Betsy Grenevitch for treasurer, Adam Shapiro for board director. Meetings are held the first Friday night of the month at the First Presbyterian Church at 1328 Peachtree Street, Atlanta. The church is across the street from the Arts Center MARTA Station on the Southwest corner of Sixteenth Street and Peachtree Street. Enter the church on the Sixteenth Street side. For further information, contact president Kim Carmichael at kjc0202@comcast.net. Augusta Chapter Officers are Keith Morris for president, Stanley Lopez for vice president, Kathy Morris for secretary, Steve Everley for treasurer, and Jack Ekert, Joyce Everley, and Richard Jernigan for board directors. Meetings are held at the Freedman Library, North Leg, on the second Saturday at 1:00. For more information, please contact Keith and Kathy Morris at 706-595-1465, or via email at mkumorris@yahoo.com. Bainbridge Chapter The officers are president, Adeline Escoffery, contact phone: 229-246-3008; vice president, Tonya Wright; secretary, Gloria Hampton; treasurer, Janice Tootle; and three board members, Edward Escoffery, James Harper and Keith Carter. There are 14 active members of the Bainbridge Chapter with one lifetime member, Alva Anchors, affectionately known as Bubba. The meetings are held the second Saturday of each month at the library. Chattooga County Chapter News In November, the Chattooga chapter presented Sandy Austin, case manager of Lookout Mountain Community Services with an Anne Sullivan Award for her work with Mrs. Melody Smith. Skeet Pittman, Ms. Austin's supervisor was also in attendance. Members saw to it that Ms. Jessica Fleming, Summerville news writer, published an article on Ms. Austin and Mrs. Smith in the local paper. Ms. Austin has worked tirelessly to make sure Mrs. Smith, totally blind, has a life of independence and opportunity. There were 38 individuals in attendance including Judy Brewster, teacher of the visually impaired children in the Chattooga school system. Mike and Gayle Brenwald and their granddaughter, Kaitlyn Payton were honored for their volunteer work especially in assisting with a fishing trip this past summer. The December meeting was the annual Christmas for Kids. Educational toys and gifts were provided for three children who have vision loss and for one mentally challenged adult. Barry Vaughn served as Santa's helper and gave out gifts. Barry, his son, and son's friend also presented the Biblical account of the birth of Christ. There were 32 in attendance. Three new members were added to the membership. The Chattooga County Chapter, Chattooga Family Connection, and North Georgia Talking Book Center are sponsoring and coordinating the reading of the local paper, The Summerville News. The volunteers read the paper and the North Georgia Talking Book Center, under the direction of Charles Stubblefield, make cassette copies and send them out to interested patrons. The officers for 2008 are as follows: Marsha Farrow for president, Barry Vaughn for first vice president, Wendi Harkins for second vice president, and Jan Morris for secretary/treasurer. Columbus Chapter The Columbus chapter meetings are held the first Saturday of each month at the Columbus Public Library, 3000 Macon Road, from 1PM-3PM. Members are sponsoring a forum on January 12, 2008, in celebration of Braille Literacy Month and Glaucoma Awareness Month. The forum will deal with coping with visual loss. Topics of discussion will be emergency preparedness for people with disabilities, practical uses of braille, various eye diseases, and diabetes. For details or directions to the meeting, please contact Jimmie Burkes at burkesjrb@mchsi.com, or Clifford Jones at cliffjones@mchsi.com. East Georgia At the November 2007 meeting, the following officers were elected: Phil Jones for president, Neb Houston for first vice president, Elsie Aguilar for second vice president, Christine O’Brien for secretary. For part of 2008 there will be co-tresurers, Linda Cox and Anne Wheeler. In the spring Linda and Patricia Cox will be moving to Rome, Georgia, so this will make a smooth transition for Anne Wheeler. Recently Patricia Cox was accepted at Berry College in Rome which is why she and Linda will be moving sometime next spring. All East Georgia Chapter members extend congratulations and best wishes to Patricia as she begins a new chapter in her life. Chapter meetings are held the second Saturday of each month in Conyers. Please contact president Phil Jones at brlman@bellsouth.net for further information and directions. Greater Hall County The following members were elected to office in the Greater Hall County Chapter: President, Judy Presley; vice president, Barbara McGill; secretary, Sue Hasketh; treasurer, Millie Brackett; board member, Don Linnartz; board member, Genie Rae O'Kelley; board member, Phyllis Jehu; board member, Richard Bagley. The meetings are held at the East Hall Special Needs Library on the first Saturday of each month. Macon Chapter The Macon Chapter contributed $100 to the GCB scholarship fund and $100 to Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic in Athens. Officers are the same: Tim Kelly for president, Rose Gautney for vice president, Kathy Marsh for secretary, and Serena Kelly for treasurer. The meetings are usually held in the basement of the Dempsey Apartments at 7:30, the Second Friday night in September through May. For further information, call president Tim Kelly at 478-923-2714. Northwest Chapter Officers are Tim Barrett, president; Ronald Burgess, vice president; Cindy Wilson, secretary; Charles Stubblefield, treasurer; Robert Sprayberry, chaplain. In the November meeting a special speaker from the NFB of Georgia, Garrick Scott, spoke about the Newsline and all of the changes that were being made to improve it. The Christmas dinner was December 4 with 20 in attendance. Chapter meetings are held on the first Tuesday of every other month at the Walker County Library at 7:00 PM. For further information, please contact president Tim Barrett via email at twb1226@windstream.net. Savannah Chapter The new officers are: Teresa Brenner, president; Marj Schneider, vice president; Dr. Jack Lewis, secretary; Kim Harrison, treasurer; Bob Walls, board member; Valerie (Thomas) Leighton, board member. On November 10, Brian Leighton and Valerie Thomas tied the knot in a beautiful wedding ceremony. Marsha Farrow sang during the ceremony. Alice Richhart, president of GCB was a part of the wedding party. Congratulations to the happy couple! On December 7, a Christmas party was held at the home of Carol and Bob Walls. A great time was had by all. Thanks to Carol and Bob!!!!! During the party, three new members signed up: Mario Badie, Loretta Thomson, and John Paul Berlon. Welcome!!! After an exciting round of Yankee Swap, William Gardner, president of the National Federation of the Blind of Chatham County, walked away with the most coveted gift-a Georgia bulldog Santa hat! The chapter meetings are held the third Tuesday of every month at 6:00 pm in the conference room at Savannah Association for the Blind, Inc., 214 Drayton Street, Savannah, GA 31401. South Metro At the November meeting, the following officers were elected for 2008: Barbara Graham, president; Diane Healy, first vice president; Desta Tesfai, second vice president; Jewell Madison-Bell, secretary; Steve Longmire, treasurer; John M. Sims, assistant treasurer; Kathy Coursey-Boes, Anita Thomas, and Janie Yorker, board directors. In November, South Metro members raised over $700.00 for its chapter and the Georgia Guide Dog Users through the Belk Charity Days. The chapter members will be voting on which special projects to support with this money. The December meeting was the annual Christmas party where a BEGIN child was presented gifts celebrating not only Christmas, but her first birthday as well. Adam Shapiro accompanied the members on his guitar for singing carols which were led by member Maxine Sims, and a game of Name That Christmas Tune was played with prizes to the winners. The program began with Maquatia Dutton singing Away in a Manger, followed by the reading of the Biblical account of the birth of Christ given by John M. Sims. The members concluded the program by singing O Holy Night. Everyone enjoyed the program and meeting the BEGIN child and her mother and grandmother and experiencing a wonderful time of Christmas spirit. Members brought presents to be donated to the Toys for Tots organization, and Diane and Leo Healy made sure these gifts were delivered. Plans are being made for the January program to honor Louis Braille. That meeting will be scheduled for Friday, January 18. Meetings are usually held every third Friday night from 5:30 until 8:00 at Maritza and Frank’s Restaurant in Hapeville, 637 N. Central Avenue. . For details, please contact president Barbara Graham at 678-319-0450, or via email at bobbiegraham511@bellsouth.net. Stephens County Chapter The Stephens County Chapter will hold its annual Bluegrass and Gospel Benefit Concert for the Georgia Council of the Blind scholarship fund and operational fund February 3, 2008, 12 noon until … at the Shiloh Fire Department, Toccoa, GA. Directions: Take Highway 17 or 1-85 to Exit 173 (Toccoa/Lavonia) Hwy. 17 North, go 15 1/2 miles to Toccoa First Baptist Church, turn right on Prather Bridge Road (Hwy. 184). Go 2 miles. Shiloh Fire Dept. on left. Performers are Jerald Lanham and Band, Brandy Rock Mountain Bluegrass Band, Blue Streak John Oliver and Carmel Ridge, Joe Collins and Band, Al Camp and the Night Owls, and others; sound will be managed by Max Buckner, and Emcee will be Liz Moore. There will be a raffle for various items. Tickets are $1 each or $5 for six. Refreshments will be hot dogs and hamburgers and more. For more information, please call Al Camp at 706-886-3894. Free admission, but donations are appreciated. Tech-Able and East Georgia Chapter Join for Computer Project by Anne Wheeler The East Georgia Chapter has had an ongoing project for years now in which the chapter helps individuals with vision loss to acquire a computer and software. In the past, the chapter accessed various resources. At first, a computer committee acquired used computers and refurbished them, adding the necessary software for that individual. It did not take long for these computers to become outdated, so the committee then used “Re-Boot” to access computers. This was a better way of acquiring the hardware and software, but problems still cropped up that made the computer project one that had much potential but only with a modicum of true success. For instance, there was no computer training for those receiving the computers, and many recipients found that having a computer and software did not ensure that he or she would become a true computer user. The chapter had very little ability to provide any kind of training, resulting in the fact that several of our donated computers have been sitting idle. With that in mind, the chapter has teamed up with Tech-Able in Conyers to provide an introductory trial period with some brief training for those who apply for the program. Here is how it will work. With money from a grant to Tech-Able from Snapping Shoals EMC, Tech-Able has purchased 10 lap top computers that will be loaned to applicants. Software such as JAWS or ZoomText will be on that lap top computer, and the computer will be outfitted with a “Qwerty” keyboard. The recipient will first come to Tech-Able for an evaluation of skills. He or she will receive an introductory training session and the computer and keyboard will then go home with the recipient. That person will use the computer and software for self-training and practice for three months. After that time, if the person wants to renew for another three months for more practice, he or she will be able to do so. In fact, the computer can be renewed for up to a year if there is no one else in need of it. After that time, the computer and software come back to Tech-Able, and the individual must then purchase his or her own computer and software. At that time, if the person does not have the financial resources to purchase the computer and software, Tech-Able and the East Georgia Chapter will work with him or her to give information and help in seeking out resources available. These resources could include Credit-Able for a low interest loan for the equipment. It could include seeing that the person gets training from a source such as CVI or Blind and Low Vision Services or Good Will. The computers could be purchased for as low as $200.00 or less from Re-Boot and other charitable sources such as Lions clubs who may be involved in acquiring the software needed. The East Georgia Chapter will spend much of its funds raised for its project in paying for the training, but on an individual basis, some funds may be used to help purchase computers and software. Questions that may arise concerning this project may be as follows. I will try to answer these as best I can. Question: If I apply for this program, am I guaranteed a computer and software? Answer: No, this is not a give away program. The person is still responsible for acquiring his or her own computer and software. Question: If this is not a give away program, why would I want to apply? Answer: Many times we spend a lot of money on technology that we later find is not really what we need or can use. This program gives an individual plenty of time to find out whether he or she really wants or needs the computer and software. It may be that the software turns out to be inappropriate for that person and he or she can make the adjustments before spending money on the wrong software. It may be that the computer, in general, turns out to be more than the person wants to take on. If so, there is nothing lost in trying. Question: If this is not a give away program, how does Tech-Able fit into the picture and how has Tech-Able spent the money given them for the grant? Answer: Tech-Able received $8,000.00 in grant money. That sounds like a lot of money and could be used to help pay for a computer and software for someone. The money, however, will be spent as follows: First the purchase of 10 lap top computers and then the purchase of software for each will take the entire grant money. If a person uses one of these computers for a year and then returns it, the computer will then go to another person. That way, Tech-Able is able to use a License agreement with the software companies and more than 10 people will ultimately derive benefits from the project. Question: Why will lap top computers be used and why will there be a “Qwerty” keyboard attached? Answer: The lap tops are more portable than a standard CPU and can be taken to a person’s home much more easily and, of course, can be returned more easily as well. A “Qwerty” keyboard is the standard keyboard that will be used on a regular computer, and we feel that training on that keyboard will be more in line with what the person will be using after he or she gets his or her own computer. This will cut down on having to re-learn a new keyboard when the person completes the project. Question: Is the East Georgia Chapter financially off the hook for this project? Answer: No, absolutely not. The chapter will spend money helping individuals get the evaluation and training sessions. These sessions will cost $30.00 an hour per person. Training may be done individually or in groups of two or three, but the price is still $30.00 a person. If that person cannot afford this, the chapter will raise funds to help, or the cost may be shared by the individual and the chapter. At the end of the loan period, the person may apply to the chapter for assistance and the chapter may be able to help based on the success of fund raising efforts. That will all be worked out as the needs arise and the funds are available. The chapter and Tech-Able can, as stated above, help that person utilize other resources for financing. The East Georgia Chapter and Tech-Able are looking forward to working with the first 10 applicants. To receive an application, please call Tech-Able at 770-922-6768. An application will be mailed to you, and applications will be processed as they are received. (EDITOR’S NOTE: If other chapters want to join East Georgia Chapter in this effort, please contact Tech-Able at the number above.) LAUS DEO: A little history lesson you may enjoy: Submitted by June Willis (EDITOR’S NOTE: Bob and June Willis, former members of the Atlanta Chapter and June, former treasurer of GCB, now reside in Athens. June sent me this article some months ago. She found it on the Internet and does not know who wrote it, but I wanted to share it with you.) I thought that you might like to see this. One detail that is not mentioned, in DC, is that there can never be a building of greater height than the Washington Monument. With all the uproar about removing the ten commandments, etc., … this is worth a moment or two of your time. I was not aware of this historical information. On the aluminum cap, atop the Washington Monument in Washington, DC, are displayed two words: Laus Deo. No one can see these words. In fact, most visitors to the monument are totally unaware they are even there and for that matter, probably couldn't care less. Once you know Laus Deo's history, you will want to share this with everyone you know. But these words have been there for many years; they are 555 feet, 5.125 inches high, perched top the monument, facing skyward to the Father of our nation, overlooking the 69 square miles which comprise the District of Columbia, capital of the United States of America. Laus Deo! Two seemingly insignificant, un-noticed words. Out of sight and, one might think, out of mind, but very meaningfully placed at the highest point over what is the most powerful city in the most successful nation in the world. So, what do those two words, in Latin, composed of just four syllables and only seven letters, possibly mean? Very simply, they say "Praise be to God!" Though construction of this giant obelisk began in 1848, when James Polk was President of the United States, it was not until 1888 that the monument was inaugurated and opened to the public. It took twenty five years to finally cap the memorial with a tribute to the Father of our nation, Laus Deo. Praise be to God!" From atop this magnificent granite and marble structure, visitors may take in the beautiful panoramic view of the city with its division into four major segments. From that vantage point, one can also easily see the original plan of the designer, Pierre Charles l'Enfant...a perfect cross imposed upon the landscape, with the White House to the north. The Jefferson Memorial is to the south, the Capitol to the east and the Lincoln Memorial to the west. A cross you ask? Why a cross? What about separation of church and state? Yes, a cross; separation of church and state was not, is not, in the Constitution. So, read on. How interesting and, no doubt, intended to carry a profound meaning for those who bother to notice. Praise be to God! Within the monument itself are 898 steps and 50 landings. As one climbs the steps and pauses at the landings the memorial stones share a message. On the 12th Landing is a prayer offered by the City of Baltimore; on the 20th is a memorial presented by some Chinese Christians; on the 24th a presentation made by Sunday School children from New York and Philadelphia quoting Proverbs 10:7, Luke 18:16 and Proverbs 22:6. Praise be to God! When the cornerstone of the Washington Monument was laid on July 4th, 1848 deposited within it were many items including the Holy Bible presented by the Bible Society. Praise be to God! Such was the discipline, the moral direction, and the spiritual mood given by the founder and first President of our unique democracy .."One Nation, Under God." I am awed by Washington's prayer for America. Have you never read it? Well, now is your unique opportunity, so read on! "Almighty God; We make our earnest prayer that Thou wilt keep the United States in Thy holy protection; that Thou wilt incline the hearts of the citizens to cultivate a spirit of subordination and obedience to government; and entertain a brotherly affection and love for one another and for their fellow citizens of the United States at large. And finally that Thou wilt most graciously be pleased to dispose us all to do justice, to love mercy, and to demean ourselves with that charity, humility, and pacific temper of mind which were the characteristics of the Divine Author of our blessed religion, and without a humble imitation of whose example in these things we can never hope to be a happy nation. Grant our supplication, we beseech Thee, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen." Laus Deo! When one stops to observe the inscriptions found in public places all over our nation's capitol, he or she will easily find the signature of God, as it is unmistakably inscribed everywhere you look. You may forget the width and height of "Laus Deo", it's location, or the architects but no one who reads this will be able to forget it's meaning, or these words: "Unless the Lord builds the house it's builders labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain." (Psalm 127: 1) “Walk A Mile In My Shoes?” Blind Ask By William A. Andrews, Contributing Writer Columbus Times What would happen if one day you woke up blind? Would you be able to function in a world that is based on seeing what is around you? Don’t think that losing your eyesight in one day is impossible. That is what happened to Mrs. Annie Flournoy, better known to her friends as the indomitable “Mother Love.” She helped this reporter to understand some of the problems associated with being blind during The Greater Columbus Chapter of The Georgia Council of The Blind and The Blind Veterans Association’s, Georgia Regional Broup, Columbus Chapter joint venture Tuesday, October 16, at the plaza level of the Government Center. It was called “Walk A Mile In My Shoes” because it was designed to demonstrate to the sighted community the problems involved in losing one’s sight. The sponsors had blindfolds to put over the sighted individual’s eyes and then allow them to do everyday tasks like walking and make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Mayor Jim Wetherington came down and tried to walk down an aisle between chirs blindfolded and with the white cane with the aid of Mr. William Miles, of the Blinded Veteran’s Association. Mayor Wetherington found out that, with all of its problems, mayoring for him was much easier to accomplish successfully than navigating while blindfolded. “Mother Love,” who has many years of practice, talked this reporter through making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. She and some of the others helped me to find the bread, jars, knife, and spoon by telling me “12 o’clock,“ “2 o’clock” or “10 o’clock.” This is a benefit most blind individuals don’t have. They just have to remember where they put their food and hope that nobody has moved it. It is amazingly difficult to find the bread to spread your peanut butter, much less figure out how much you have managed to put on it. It is worse with the jelly because it slides off the knife. This reporter ended up eating a sandwich heavy on “peanut butter” but very light on “jelly.” “Mother Love” consoled me by telling me that most first-timers end up eating bread with hardly anything on it. They will miss the bread entirely and it will end up on the plate, the table, or the floor. It is a terrible mess to clean up because they can’t see where it landed. If you missed coming down to share “walking a mile in their shoes,” try it at home with your family. Blindfold them, one at a time, give them a stick that reaches the floor, and let them try to navigate the living room, a room everybody thinks they know until they try to walk through it blindfolded. Then ask them to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with all of the necessities right in front of them. They may stop complaining about what they don’t have because, at least, they have their sight. It will also remind them that the blindest people are those who are blind to the sufferings of others. The Many Ways to Use Bounce Submitted by Barbara Graham The US Postal service sent out a message to all letter carriers to put a sheet of Bounce in their uniform pockets to keep yellow-jackets away. Use them all the time when playing baseball and soccer. Use them when working outside. It really works. The yellow jackets just veer around you. 1. All this time you've just been putting Bounce in the dryer! It will chase ants away when you lay a sheet near them. It also repels mice. 2. Spread sheets around foundation areas, or in trailers, or cars that are sitting and it keeps mice from entering your vehicle. 3. It takes the odor out of books and photo albums that don't get opened too often. 4. It repels mosquitoes. Tie a sheet of Bounce through a belt loop when outdoors during mosquito season. 5. Eliminate static electricity from your television (or computer) Screen. 6. Since Bounce is designed to help eliminate static cling, wipe your television screen with a used sheet of Bounce to keep dust from resettling. 7. Dissolve soap scum from shower doors. Clean with a sheet of Bounce. 8. To freshen the air in your home - Place an individual sheet of Bounce in a drawer or hang in the closet. 9. Put Bounce sheet in vacuum cleaner. 10. Prevent thread from tangling. Run a threaded needle through a Sheet of Bounce before beginning to sew. 11. Prevent musty suitcases. Place an individual sheet of Bounce inside empty luggage before storing. 12. To freshen the air in your car - Place a sheet of Bounce under the front seat. 13. Clean baked-on foods from a cooking pan. Put a sheet in a pan, fill with water, let sit overnight, and sponge clean. The anti-static agent apparently weakens the bond between the food and the pan. 14. Eliminate odors in wastebaskets. Place a sheet of Bounce at the bottom of the wastebasket. 15. Collect cat hair. Rubbing the area with a sheet of Bounce will magnetically attract all the loose hairs. 16. Eliminate static electricity from Venetian blinds. Wipe the blinds with a sheet of Bounce to prevent dust from resettling. 17. Wipe up sawdust from drilling or sand papering. A used sheet of Bounce will collect sawdust like a tack cloth. 18. Eliminate odors in dirty laundry. Place an individual sheet of Bounce at the bottom of a laundry bag or hamper. 19. Deodorize shoes or sneakers. Place a sheet of Bounce in your shoes or sneakers overnight. 20. Golfers put a Bounce sheet in their back pocket to keep the bees away. 21. Put a Bounce sheet in your sleeping bag and tent before folding and storing them. It will keep them smelling fresh. More Helpful Tips From the Internet PIZZA: Heat up leftover pizza in a non-stick skillet on top of the stove, set heat to med-low and heat till warm. This keeps the crust crispy; no soggy micro pizza. This was seen on the cooking channel and it really works. EASY DEVILED EGGS: Put cooked egg yolks in a zip lock bag. Seal, mash till they are all broken up. Add remainder of ingredients, reseal, keep mashing it up mixing thoroughly, cut the tip of the baggy, squeeze mixture into egg. Just throw bag away when done. Easy clean up. EXPANDING FROSTING: When you buy a container of cake frosting from the store, whip it with your mixer for a few minutes. You can double it in size. You get to frost more cake/cupcakes with the same amount. You also have less sugar/calories per serving. REHEATING REFRIGERATED BREAD: To warm biscuits, pancakes, or muffins that were refrigerated, place them in a microwave with a cup of water. The increased moisture will keep the food moist and help it reheat faster. NEWSPAPER WEEDS AWAY: Start putting in your plants, work the nutrients in your soil. Wet newspapers, put layers around the plants overlapping as you go cover with mulch and forget about weeds. Weeds will get through some gardening plastic they will not get through wet newspapers. BROKEN GLASS: Use a dry cotton ball to pick up little broken pieces of glass- the fibers catch ones you can't see! NO MORE MOSQUITOES: Place a dryer sheet in your pocket. It will keep the mosquitoes away. SQUIRREL AWAY: To keep squirrels from eating your plants sprinkle your plants with cayenne pepper. The cayenne pepper doesn't hurt the plant and the squirrels won't come near it. PROOF OF OWNERSHIP: If you purchase a new bike for your child or grandchild, place their picture inside the handle bar before placing the grips on. If the bike is stolen and later recovered, remove the grip, and there is your proof who owns the bike. FLEXIBLE VACUUM: To get something out of a heat register or under the fridge, add an empty paper towel roll or empty gift wrap roll to your vacuum. It can be bent or flattened to get in narrow openings. REDUCING STATIC CLING: Pin a small safety pin to the seam of your slip and you will not have a clingy skirt or dress. Same thing works with slacks that cling when wearing panty hose. Place pin in seam of slacks and--voila - static is gone. (But be careful where you put the pin!) MEASURING CUPS: Before you pour sticky substances into a measuring cup, fill it with hot water. Dump out the hot water, but don't dry the cup. Next, add your ingredient, such as peanut butter, and watch how easily it comes right out. FOGGY WINDSHIELDS: Hate foggy windshields? Buy a chalkboard eraser and keep it in the glove box of your car. When the windows fog, rub with the eraser! Works better than a cloth! REOPENING ENVELOPES: If you seal an envelope and then realize you forgot to include something inside, just place your sealed envelope in the freezer for an hour or two. Voila! It unseals easily. CONDITIONER: Use your hair conditioner to shave your legs. It's a lot cheaper than shaving cream and leaves your legs really smooth. It's also a great way to use up the conditioner you bought but didn't like when you tried it in your hair. GOODBYE FRUIT FLIES: To get rid of pesky fruit flies, take a small glass fill it 1/2" with Apple Cider Vinegar and 2 drops of dishwashing liquid, mix well. You will find those flies drawn to the cup and gone forever! GET RID OF ANTS: Put small piles of cornmeal where you see ants. They eat it, take it "home," & can't digest it so it kills them. It may take a week or so, especially if it rains, but it works & you don't have the worry about pets or small children being harmed! TAKE BABY POWDER TO THE BEACH: Keep a small bottle of baby powder in your beach bag. When you're ready to leave for the beach sprinkle yourself and kids with the powder and the sand will slide right off your skin. Proposed Constitutional and Bylaws Amendments Submitted by the Constitution Committee Ann Sims, Chair The Constitution and bylaws committee met and proposed the following amendments to be voted on at the January, 2008, board of directors meeting. These were distributed to each chapter, special interest affiliate and at large members. The original amendment is given first, followed by the proposed change, followed by an explanation: Georgia Council of the Blind BYLAWS Proposed Amendments: Article VI: Duties of the Constitutional Officers D. Treasurer: Original (1) The treasurer shall be bonded in the same manner as the president. At each board meeting, special business meeting, and annual business meeting at convention, the treasurer shall present a full financial report to the membership and provide copies to members, upon request. Proposed: (1) The treasurer shall be bonded in the same manner as the president. At each board meeting, special business meeting, and annual business meeting at convention, the treasurer shall present a full financial report to the membership and, prior to such meetings, shall provide copies to each board member in each board member’s preferred format. Other members shall be furnished copies upon request. (Explanation: It is believed that every board member needs a copy of the full treasurer’s report, and should not have to request it. Without an advanced copy of the report, board members are not informed and cannot ask proper questions. Other members should receive copies, if requested.) NEXT: Original: (5) With the approval of the board of directors, the treasurer shall provide for the method of signing checks, drafts, notes, or other bills of exchange for the payment of money, for the transfer and sale of property of GCB, for the selection of depository, for the forms of GCB, and for the endorsement and registration of all securities. Proposed: (5) With the approval of the board of directors, the treasurer shall provide for the method of signing checks, drafts, notes, or other bills of exchange for the payment of money, for the transfer and sale of property of GCB, for the selection of depository, for the forms of GCB, and for the endorsement and registration of all securities. Two (2) signatures shall be necessary on each check of $300.00 or more. There shall be three (3) persons designated to sign such checks. The three designated persons shall be the treasurer, the president and the chairperson of the finance committee. (Explanation: The bank officer informed us that we need to have two signatures on checks. At the October 2007 board meeting, the motion was made, seconded and passed to have two signatures on every check of $300.00 or more.) NEXT: Original: (6) The treasurer shall, with the approval of the board of directors, designate an auditor to examine and certify as to the financial records of GCB, and report the findings of such auditor at each annual convention and provide copies of such report, upon request. Proposed: (6) With the approval of the board of directors, the president or not fewer than three (3) board members shall be authorized to designate an auditor to examine and certify as to the financial records of GCB. The president or treasurer shall report such findings to the next board meeting, special meeting, or annual business meeting of the convention, whichever comes first. Copies of the report shall be provided, in advance, to each board of director in each director’s preferred format, and other members shall receive copies upon request. (Explanation: It is believed that, with the approval of the board, the president or board members should have the power to request an audit.) NEXT: Original: (7) With the approval of the board of directors, the treasurer may appoint assistants to help with registration at conventions, current membership information, and any other tasks deemed necessary by the treasurer. Proposed: (7) With the approval of the board of directors, the president may appoint assistants to help the treasurer with registration at conventions, current membership information, and any other tasks deemed necessary by the president and/or the board of directors. (Explanation: It is believed that the president should have the power to appoint assistants for the treasurer as the president and/or the board may deem necessary.). NEXT: ARTICLE VII: Amendments Proposed amendments shall be presented in writing, and shall be signed by not fewer than three (3) members. The membership of GCB may amend or repeal any or all of these bylaws in two ways: Original: B. At any board of directors meeting by an affirmative vote of a majority of the membership voting, provided that all chapter members, special interest affiliate members, and members at large have received proposed amendments one (1) month prior to the board meeting in which final action is to be taken. It shall be the responsibility of the representatives of each chapter, special affiliate, and members at large to secure a tally, in writing, of the absentee votes of their members to be submitted to the GCB president and secretary and counted at that board meeting. Proposed: B. At any board of directors meeting or special meeting of the body by an affirmative vote of a majority of the membership voting. It shall be the responsibility of the constitution and bylaws committee to provide the proposed amendments to the presidents of each chapter, special interest affiliate, and the representative of the members at large to be shared with the membership within two (2) weeks prior to the meeting in which final action is to be taken. It shall be the responsibility of the secretary or his/her assistant to secure a tally of the absentee votes of the membership prior to such meeting and to submit the tally to the GCB president to be counted at time of voting. (Explanation: It is believed that this proposed amendment provides an easier and more effective way for this tally to be done, and all meetings are covered.) NEXT GEORGIA COUNCIL OF THE BLIND fCONSTITUTION Proposed Amendment is like that in the Bylaws except for the two-thirds vote. Article XIII: Amendments Proposed amendments shall be presented in writing, and shall be signed by not fewer than three (3) members. This constitution may be amended in two ways: Original: B. At any board of directors meeting by a two-thirds (2/3) affirmative vote of the membership, provided that all chapter members, special interest affiliate members, and members at large have received proposed amendments one (1) month prior to the board meeting in which final action is to be taken. It will be the responsibility of the chapter representative, special interest affiliate representative, and member at large representative to secure a tally, in writing, of the absentee votes of their members to be submitted to the GCB president and secretary at the meeting and counted at time of voting. Proposed: B. At any board of directors meeting or special meeting of the body, by a two-thirds (2/3) affirmative vote of the membership voting. It shall be the responsibility of the constitution and bylaws committee to provide the proposed amendments to the presidents of each chapter, special interest affiliate, and representative of the members at large to be shared with all members at least two (2) weeks prior to the meeting in which final action is to be taken. It shall be the responsibility of the secretary or his/her assistant to secure a tally of the absentee votes of the membership prior to such meeting and to submit the tally to the GCB president to be counted at time of voting. (Explanation: It is believed that this proposed amendment covers not only a board meeting, but any special called meeting and covers an easier and more effective way to handle the tally.) Signatures: Robin Oliver John M. Sims Adam Shapiro Granger Ricks Ann Sims ANNOUNCEMENTS D Day at the Capitol Disability Day at the Capitol is February 21, 2008. You can register at http://www.gcdd.org. Unlock the Waiting List Legislative Day at the Capitol is February 13. The purpose of this event will be targeted, one-on-one meetings with legislators at the Capitol to discuss specific disability issues. This event is purposely held on a different day than Disability Day in order to better support advocates. Advocates will be asked to make individual appointments with legislators for the 13th and will be given materials before their meeting in order to be best prepared. Trainings will be held by conference call on January 23 and February 6 at both 11:00am and 7:00pm. Participants are strongly encouraged to participate on calls on both days but may choose the time that is best for them. The calls will last approximately 30 minutes. The contact person is Rita Young. We piloted this event last year and now are ready to offer it to a larger group of participants. We will take the first 50 participants to respond. Don’t miss out on this unique opportunity to have an impact with others at our state capitol. GCB Vehicle Program Do not forget to donate used vehicles including automobiles, trucks, boats, etc., to help our GCB scholarship program. The number to call to donate is 1-800-831-5597. Next GCB Board Meeting The next GCB board meeting will be held on Saturday, January 19, from 10:00 until 4:00, at the Center for the Visually Impaired, 739 West Peachtree Street, Atlanta, Georgia. For more information, please contact president Alice Ritchhart, telephone: 912-261-9833, or Toll Free: 877-667-6815; E-Mail: alice.ritchhart@comcast.net Changes in your Contact Information If you have a change of address, email, format, or any other pertinent information, please contact Ann Sims at 404-767-1792, or via email at teacherann@bellsouth.net. We deeply appreciate everyone who assisted with The GCB Digest and hope you all enjoyed this issue. If you have suggestions, articles, or anything you would like to contribute, please contact us. The deadline for the next issue of this magazine is April 10, 2008.

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