GCB Digest Spring 2007 (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!
President: Alice Ritchhart
125 Willow Pond Way
Brunswick, GA 31525
912-261-9833, Toll Free: 877-667-6815
Editor: Ann Sims, 3361 Whitney Avenue
Hapeville, GA 30354, 404-767-1792
Assistant Editor: Jerrie Ricks, 1307 Chester Place
McDonough, GA 30252, 770-898-9036;
GCB Webmaster: Steven Longmire
Sunbright Consulting at firstname.lastname@example.org
TABLE OF CONTENTS
President’s Message: by Alice Ritchhart 3
GCB State Convention Information:
by Linda Cox 6
GCB Awards Guidelines and Committees:
by Judy Presley 8
My Radio Days, Past, Present and Future:
by Adam Shapiro 12
Granny’s Remedies: 21
Articles for the next issue of The GCB Digest should be submitted no later than September 10, 2007. Remember, if you have a change of address, phone number, email or format preference, please send that change to our treasurer, Linda Cox, at 770-972-2231, or email, email@example.com.
Let Us Be People With Vision
By Alice Ritchhart
This past week I have begun making plans to attend the Indiana School for the Blind alumni association meeting. I started to reflect on the time I spent attending a special school rather than being mainstreamed in the public school system. I was one of those people who felt that attending a school for the blind and receiving separate specialized services denied me the opportunity to be like my sighted peers. I strongly advocated to my family and friends and to anyone else who would listen that schools for the blind should be closed and all blind children should be mainstreamed into the public school system. I also felt that we should not have to have specialized services to gain employment. Again, I believed that we should be able to access employment through the same means as our sighted peers. Today I stand before you all and say I was wrong. I still believe we should be treated as equals among our sighted friends, but I am convinced that the attainment of this equality demands separate services for the blind in education and rehabilitation pursuits.
Why the change in my position? I realize that the time I spent at a school for the blind and the services I received from Vocational Rehabilitation (my counselor, himself, was also visually impaired) provided me with adequate training and education for a meaningful life. I was also given the confidence to compete and interact with my sighted peers as an equal. At the school for the blind I was provided the opportunity to take part in sports, theater and other events that many of our young people do not get the chance to enjoy today in a mainstream setting.
I, fortunately, was able to receive the orientation & mobility and braille training on a daily basis. With the shortage of teachers for the visually impaired and the fact that the blind children are so widely dispersed geographically, these basic skills are often hard to get on a regular basis. For these reasons today the young people leave school unsure of what the future holds for them. They want and dream that they will be afforded the same opportunities as their sighted counterparts, but due to being inadequately prepared at school, they are often left behind. They then turn to the Vocational Rehabilitation system hoping to be able to get the support and necessary special training needed to take the next step to independence.
Here again today they are brought up short due to the lack of specialized services and shortage of specialized counselors. Most counselors find it easier to place clients with other disabilities than those of us who are blind. They do not know or believe in our abilities, and they often are unaware themselves of what is out there to help us reach success.
I know things will never be the way they use to be, but we must try to get back to the basic roots of that which works. As members of the Georgia Council of the Blind, it is up to us as an organization to advocate for appropriate changes. We have taken the first steps by helping to develop and support many pieces of legislation that were introduced at the state capitol. Such legislation included braille literacy, deaf-blind specialized services, guide dog concerns, and the attempt to get a Commission for the Blind. As I said, this is a start, but there is more we need to do. First we were successful in getting the legislation introduced, but it has not yet passed. So we need to make sure to contact our legislators after the session is over and help them to realize the importance of specialized services for the blind. Also we must have discussions with family and friends and strongly encourage them to assist us in the next legislative session.
Second, we as members should get involved in our communities and in the coalition. We must take it upon ourselves to mentor young people or anyone who is newly blind. Many of you in the Atlanta area have the right idea. Many Atlanta members actively volunteer to assist with CVI programs that provide young people the opportunities to compete in sports and other extra-curricular activities which help to develop confidence and social skills. The rest of us who are outside the Atlanta area should work with our rehabilitation centers for the blind or school systems to promote similar programs for our blind and visually impaired young people.
The American Council of the Blind are “People with Vision”, and my vision and goal for Georgia is to get us back to the basics of having specialized services so that in the future all blind and visually impaired people will be as successful as all other Georgians.
I am looking forward to returning to the Indiana School for the Blind after 21 years of staying away so that I can thank my former teachers and friends for helping to mold me into the confident, successful person I have become. What time has taught me is that separate services are not a bad thing, but the means to full inclusion.
GCB STATE CONVENTION INFORMATION
By Linda B. Cox
July 26-29, 2007 Marriott at Gwinnett Place, Duluth: 51st ANNIVERSARY OF GCB!
NEW E-MAIL ADDRESS: We have a new e-mail address to be used for the convention this year. If you have any questions or comments please use firstname.lastname@example.org You will also be receiving e-mails from this new address.
LOVING CUPS AND PRESIDENTS’ CERTIFICATES: The cost for each loving cup is $20.00. The cost for each president's certificate is $5.00. You may award as many as you wish. Please be sure to check the spelling of the names of your recipients. Names and payment are due no later than June 15, 2007.
DOOR PRIZES: The contribution from each chapter is $25.00 for door prizes to be given out by Cora Camp during the convention.
HOSPITALITY: The contribution from each chapter for the hospitality room is $20.00. Donations of food or beverage items are greatly appreciated.
PAYMENT OF AWARDS, DOOR PRIZES, AND HOSPITALITY: This year you will need to only write one check! Please total your awards, and then add the $25.00 for door prizes and $20.00 for hospitality. Write one check made payable to GCB and send to:
850 Dogwood Road
Lawrenceville, GA 30044-7218
Please include your list for the loving cup and certificates with your check and it will be forwarded to the awards committee.
AUCTION: Each chapter is asked to provide at least five items for the auction. Try to make at least one of those items a "super item". You may turn in your items when you arrive at the GCB registration desk. Questions regarding the auction can be directed to Carle Cox at 770-490-7629 or email@example.com
AWARDS: There are other awards given by GCB at each convention. Nominations for all awards shall be submitted in writing no later than June 15. Specific requirements and the Chair for each award is listed in the next article of this magazine and is available to review on the website at, georgiacounciloftheblind.org.
HOTEL REGISTRATION: To take advantage of the $89.00 (plus 13%tax) a night rate (valid for up to 4 people per room) make your reservations before July 15th. You may call 1-800-228-9290 to reserve a room. You must tell them the name of the city and state (Duluth, Georgia) and the name of the hotel (Marriott at Gwinnett Place) and that you are with GCB to get the correct room rate.
CONVENTION REGISTRATION: Once again this year we will be offering registration on-line, by phone, or through the mail. We will also be able to accept credit cards. Complete details about registration was sent out in April. Any questions about registration can be directed to Linda Cox at 770-972-2231 or firstname.lastname@example.org
We are looking forward to an educational and extraordinary convention with something for everyone. If you have any questions, suggestions, or concerns please let us know.
GCB AWARDS GUIDELINES AND COMMITTEES
Submitted By Judy Presley
Awards Committee Chair: Judy Presley 706 878 2962
GCB Awards Guidelines
1. All awards committees shall be appointed at the January board meeting.
2. Nominations for all awards shall be submitted to the respective award committee chairpersons in writing (including e-mail) no later than June 15.
3. Nominations shall include the name of the candidate, plus the reason the candidate deserves the award.
4. Each award committee chairperson shall read to his/her committee members all award nominations.
5. The decision for selecting the award recipient shall be made by all members of that committee.
6. Criteria for the Rhoda Walker Award, suggested by Rhoda's sister, Helen Wasileski: The recipient can be a blind or sighted individual. Services rendered must be of non-paying status. Services may be any endeavor in the field of teaching, service, and betterment of life for the blind. The recipient must provide public awareness through speaking, seminars, and/or demonstration. There must be involvement of the educational field/teaching braille. The recipient must push any innovation involving blindness or blind people.
7. The committee for selecting the recipient of the June Willis Guiding Eyes Award shall be legally blind.
8. The sighted recipient of the June Willis Guiding Eyes Award (who must be a GCB member) shall be known to GCB members through attendance at GCB state activities, and through his/her willing assistance and service to the blind and visually impaired.
9. The Walter R. McDonald Award shall be presented to an outstanding visually impaired individual who has, through his/her leadership and service, contributed significantly to the betterment of the blind and visually impaired community, and who has demonstrated by deeds and achievements his/her dedication to the principles incident to blindness espoused and practiced by the late Walter R. McDonald. The recipient may or may not be a member of the Georgia Council of the Blind.
10. The recipient of The Gerald Pye Community Service Award must be an active legally blind member in good standing of GCB. He or she must have demonstrated superior service to his or her community in a number of ways that exemplify the work of Gerald Pye. The candidate must be nominated in writing by a GCB member who knows first hand of the candidate's community services. Examples of this service must be included in the written recommendation.
11. All GCB awards shall be presented periodically at a GCB state convention.
GCB Awards Committees
June Willis Guiding Eyes Award Committee:
Chair: Al Camp, 706-886-3894
6972 Alfred Camp Road
Toccoa, GA 30506
Committee members: Jerry Orr and Ann Sims
Rhoda Walker Award Committee:
Chair: Anne Wheeler, 770-786-5778
2199 Floyd Street
Covington, GA 30014
Committee Members: Barbara Graham and Heather Lopez
Walter R. McDonald Award Committee:
Chair: Valorie Thomas, 770-561-6218
1030 Shawnee Road, Apt. G-4,
Savannah, GA 31419
Committee Members: Kim Harrison and
Gerald Pye Community Service Award Committee:
Chair: Kaye Hall, 478-788-5277
5475 Bloomfield Road, Macon, GA 31206
Committee Members: Milton Brown and Crawford Pike
Please see the GCB Website for full information and for a scholarship application. All scholarship information must be in no later than June 15, 2006. Website: www.georgiacounciloftheblind.org
Scholarship Awards Committee:
Chair: Debbie Williams, 770-443-8249
1477 Nebo Road, Dallas, GA 30157
Committee Members: Dr. Phillip Dillard, Granger Ricks, Tom Ridgeway
GGDU sponsors an award in the memory of Julie Aichroth. Although not a GCB award, it is given during the GCB state convention. The recipient of this award does not have to be visually impaired; nor use a dog guide; nor be a member of GGDU, GDUI, GCB, or ACB; but must be someone that has made an outstanding achievement or contribution to the visually impaired community, especially dog guide users.
The Julie Aichroth Award Committee
Chair: Ann Sims, 404-767-1792
3361 N. Whitney Avenue, Hapeville, GA 30354
Committee Members: Alice Ritchhart
and Darla Rogers
MY RADIO DAYS:
PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE
By Adam Shapiro
Every Thursday morning at approximately 11:00, I arrive at the Little Five Points Community Center. After walking into the building, I enter my security code which opens up a set of double doors. Now I am in the sitting area of WRFG—89.3 FM in Atlanta, Georgia.
Founded during the early 70’s, WRFG is a listener- supported community radio station run almost entirely by volunteers. The station has only two paid staff employees.
I am here to do a weekly program that begins in one hour. I have been on the air at WRFG since 1983. From 1993 until 2006, I served on the board of directors. In 1999, I began hosting a program called “CURRENT EVENTS.”
The first item on my to-do list is to take a guided tour with the help of Betty, my engineer, through my station mailbox. Usually my mail consists of station memos, promotional copies of books, an occasional press release and community announcements. After the mail I make sure that Betty knows everything that she needs to know so that the program runs smoothly.
We walk into the studio shortly before the host of the morning rhythm and blues program ends his show. I plug in my headphones and sit down in a chair. On the table in front of me stands a microphone. I make sure that the microphone is pointed at my mouth. It is now 12:00 noon, and the D.J. says his farewell. Betty presses a button that plays our pre-recorded station identification. When I know that my mike is on, I say, “Good afternoon, and welcome to CURRENT EVENTS.” For the next hour the airways belong to me, my guests and the listening audience. Betty is sitting across from me making sure that the sound levels are good and that recorded announcements are reaching my audience. She also answers the telephones.
At 1:00PM it is all over. Betty turns on the disc player which plays the next pre-recorded program. I unplug my headphones, and Betty hands me a recording of the program we have just completed. We leave the studio so that Betty’s replacement engineer is alone at the controls. He will host his own program at 2:00.
The path that led me to this little radio station in the heart of Atlanta can be traced back to my childhood. In 1958, I was a noisy creative five-year-old who had been bitten by the broadcasting bug. There were several radio stations in the New York area that broadcasted in Spanish. The fact that I could not speak a word of Spanish did not stop me from trying to imitate the announcers. My studio was the family kitchen, my microphone a piece of tinfoil that I thought would produce an echo effect. Sometimes I would sit at the piano and compose jingles in my made-up Spanish tongue.
When my parents purchased a reel-to-reel tape recorder, my father said “Adam will get a big kick out of this.” This was a top-of-the-line piece of equipment, and I made sure that it was well used. I did my own talk shows complete with commercials. I would even sign the “station” on and off. I did not take phone calls. Sometimes I would drag in an unhappy but patient family member to interview, but mostly it was me and my non-existent audience.
I did not see my first radio station until I was sixteen. It was a small station in a little town in up-state New York. I remember sitting down at the board and actually touching the equipment. I felt as though I belonged there.
I was college bound. Although my plan was to become a social studies teacher, I wanted to be where there was a good college radio station. I selected Adelfi University. Their station was WBAU located in Garden City Long Island. On a good night you could pick up WBAU as far away as New Jersey.
I did not give any thought about what would happen after I made my presence known to those whom I hoped would be my colleagues. It did not occur to me that there would be a stumbling block in the way of this blind man. It would not be the last one. Everyone was required to do an audition tape. The rules were simple; at least they were for the average fledgling sighted broadcaster. The audition requirements were to read a piece of copy from the United Press International wire service. I will always be grateful for the braille skills that I acquired and how well I was able to use them. As the copy was read to me, I transcribed it into braille using the old reliable Perkins brailler. I passed the audition!
Almost everyone at WBAU did two five minute news casts back-to-back on the hour. It took me a while before I figured out how to do this but my method proved to be a simple one. Most of my colleagues did what they called “rip and read.” This meant that they would take wire copy and read it as it was written. Officially this approach was frowned upon largely because wire copy was meant to be edited or rewritten to achieve the desired broadcasting effect. For obvious reasons, I couldn’t read the wire copy. I would record news casts from the radio stations in the New York area and rewrite what they said. When I had enough for two news casts, I would walk from my dorm and arrive in time to do my two hourly news casts.
I did talk shows as well as election night coverage. I was behind the mike when Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan were elected. During my early days, I was a fill-in disc jockey.
I spent seven years at WBAU. When I learned that my family was planning to move to Atlanta and that I would be accompanying them, I said a sad good-bye to WBAU. Later, when I heard that the University had relinquished that station to another University my sadness returned.
I thought my radio days were over. Little did I know what the future held for me. Through a family friend who worked at WRFG I learned that they were looking for someone to do a program for the disabled. She knew of my background in broadcasting and advocacy work and felt that this qualified me for the position. She recommended this to me. I was very excited about this; therefore I submitted a proposal to do the show, and, much to my delight, the proposal was accepted. My predecessor called the original program “CAPPED BUT OPEN” which I changed to “CAPPED BUT ABLE.”
I have been very fortunate. WRFG allows me creative control so long as I adhere to my format. Very few stations nowadays, whether commercial or non-commercial allow this degree of creativity. I have an audience that is constantly growing.
Once there was a time when I would sit by my radio, building an imaginary connection with an imaginary voice coming out of the speaker. At present the reality is that now I am one of those voices, and I hope to be one of them for a long time to come.
Georgia Blind Coalition
Date: Saturday, May 19, 2007Time: 8:30-4:30
Place: Southside Library 527 Griffin Ave., Valdosta, GA, 229-253-8313
The recommended lodging is:
Guest House Inn
1828 West Hill Ave. Valdosta, GA
There is a restaurant next to the hotel. The cost for lunch on Saturday is $10.00 which will be your choice of BBQ Chicken Plate or BBQ Rib Plate. You must have cash. Stan Tootle will be our moderator for the meeting. For more information please contact Alice Ritchhart at 912-996-4213.
9:00-9:30, Welcome & Introductions
9:30-10:00, Update on Kay’s position & discussion on blind services: Bobby Pack & Peggy Rosser
10:00-10:15, BEP Update: Rajaunnda Gandy
10:30-10:45, Transition Program: Annie Maxwell
10:45-11:15, DOE Blind Services in Education: Marlene Bryar, Director Special Ed.
11:15-11:30, Meet Agency Directors Louis Heyward & Joan Stuart
11:30-12:00, Legislative Update
1:00-2:00, Break Outs (pick one)
2:00-3:00, Break Outs (pick one)
3:15-4:00, Report Outs
4:00-4:30, Wrap Up & Next Meeting
It's simpler than MapQuest, and it works.
Text-Only Link to Google Maps
Using online sources to find driving directions from one location to another has been made easier for people who are blind who use screen readers or braille displays and for sighted people who use PDAs (personal digital assistants) or cell phones to get mapping information. Although services such as Google Maps and MapQuest are usable by people who are blind, Google's Textual Maps UI makes accessing the actual directions considerably quicker and more efficient.
To get accurate text-only step-by-step directions to a business or residence in just seconds, copy the following link into your browser
In the edit box, type the starting point to the destination of your trip (such as 1234 Main Street, Smallville 12345 to 5678 Elm Street, Smallville 12345).
The text directions will be delivered in seconds-without the tedium of finding your way around graphical clutter.
Blind/Sight: Conversations With the Visually Inspired - a unique photographic exhibition - tells the story of 12 people with vision loss through images and sound. Photographer Billy Howard has created a series of 12 portrait photographs showing a diversity of ages, ethnic backgrounds and types of vision loss from low vision to total blindness. Illustrator Laurie Shock created illustrations based on interviews with the subjects that emulate the actual vision of each person. Each portrait is accompanied by an audio description and interview with the portrait subject. An audio described slide show of the exhibition is available at
. The exhibition will be on display at VSA Arts of Georgia's Arts for All Gallery from May 1 to June 22, 2007. Turner First Thursday Receptions are May 3 and June 7 from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. Arts for All Gallery is located in the Healey Building in downtown Atlanta at 57 Forsyth Street. For more information, call 404-221-1270 or visit
May is Healthy Vision Month (HVM), a national eye health observance devoted to promoting the vision objectives in Healthy People 2010. "Keep Vision in Your Future" is the theme for Healthy Vision Month 2007, which will focus on reducing visual impairment from glaucoma. The goal is to reach people at higher risk for glaucoma and encourage them to have their eyes examined and "keep vision in their future." Early detection and treatment are key elements in preventing vision loss. For more information, visit
(Since we have no supply of jokes for this issue of the Digest, perhaps you can enjoy hearing about some of Granny’s methods of simplifying our complicated lives. You may even wish to join me in trying some of these tips whether you really trust “granny” or not.(
Keep this on the fridge.
Did You Know That:
Drinking two glasses of Gatorade can relieve headache pain almost immediately without the unpleasant side effects caused by traditional pain relievers.
Colgate toothpaste makes an excellent salve for burns.
Before you head to the drugstore for a high-priced inhaler filled with mysterious chemicals, try chewing on a couple of curiously strong Altoids peppermints. They'll clear up your stuffed nose.
Achy muscles from a bout of the flu? Mix 1 Tablespoon of horseradish in 1 cup of olive oil. Let the mixture sit for 30 minutes, then apply it as a massage oil, for instant relief for aching muscles.
Sore throat? Just mix 1/4 cup of vinegar with ¼ cup of honey and take 1 tablespoon six times a day. The vinegar kills the bacteria.
Cure urinary tract infections with Alka-Seltzer: Just dissolve two tablets! in a glass of water and drink it at the onset of the symptoms. Alka-Seltzer begins eliminating urinary tract infections almost instantly even though the product has never been advertised for this use.
Honey remedy for skin blemishes: Cover the blemish with a dab of honey and place a Band-Aid over it. Honey kills the bacteria, keeps the skin sterile, and speeds healing. Works overnight.
Listerine therapy for toenail fungus: Get rid of unsightly toenail fungus by soaking your toes in Listerine mouthwash. The powerful antiseptic leaves your toenails looking healthy again.
Easy eyeglass protection: To prevent the screws in eyeglasses from loosening, apply a small drop of Maybelline Crystal Clear nail polish to the threads of the screws before tightening them.
Coca-Cola cure for rust: Forget those expensive rust removers. Just ! saturate an abrasive sponge with Coca Cola and scrub the rust stain. The phosphoric acid in the coke is what gets the job done.
Cleaning liquid that doubles as bug killer: If menacing bees, wasps, hornets, or yellow jackets get in your home and you can't find the insecticide, try a spray of Formula 409. Insects drop to the ground instantly.
Smart splinter remover: Just pour a drop of Elmer's Glue all over the splinter, let dry, and peel the dried glue off the skin. The splinter sticks to the dried glue.
Hunt's tomato paste boil cure: Cover the boil with Hunt's tomato paste as a compress. The acids from the tomatoes soothe the pain and bring the boil to a head.
Balm for broken blisters: To disinfect a broken blister, dab on a few drops of Listerine, a powerful antiseptic.
Heinz vinegar to heal bruises: Soak a cotton ball in white vinegar and apply it to the bruise for 1 hour. The vinegar reduces the blueness and speeds up the healing process.
Kills fleas instantly: Dawn dish washing liquid does the trick. Add a few drops to your dog's bath and shampoo the animal thoroughly. Rinse well to avoid skin irritations. Goodbye fleas.
Rainy day cure for dog odor: Next time your dog comes in from the rain, simply wipe down the animal with Bounce or any dryer sheet, instantly making your dog smell springtime fresh.
Eliminate ear mites: All it takes is a few drops of Wesson corn oil in your cat's ear. Massage it in, then clean with a cotton ball. Repeat daily for 3 days. The oil soothes the cat's skin, smothers the mites, and accelerates healing.
Quaker Oats for fast pain relief: It's not for breakfast anymore! Mix 2 cups of Quaker Oats and 1 cup of water in a bowl and warm in the microwave for 1 minute, cool slightly, and apply the mixture to your hands for soo thing relief from arthritis pain.