GCB board - taken at the 2018 Convention Conference

GCB Digest Online

GCB Digest Winter 2013 (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 2013   GCB Office 850 Gaines School Road Athens, Georgia 30605 706-208-7132 1-888-519-3988 info@georgiacounciloftheblind.org GCB President: William Holley 185 Weatherly Woods Drive Winterville Georgia 30683 706-410-4945 bill850@yahoo.com GCB Webmaster: Steven Longmire info@sunbright.biz GCB Website: WWW.georgiacounciloftheblind.org Digest Editor: Amanda Wilson 45 Rocky Circle, Northeast White Georgia 30184 770-547-4700 moonrocks@bellsouth.net Assistant Editor: Suzanne Jackson 131 Cannongate Circle Sharpsburg Georgia 30277 770-463-1127 susieb@numail.org   TABLE OF CONTENTS From Your Editor, Amanda Wilson GCB Presidential Message, William Holley GCB Board Meeting Minutes, Robin Oliver GCB Treasurer’s Report, Jerrie Toney GCB Chapter News GCB Helpful Hints, Sheila Rousey GCB Passing’s: Remembering Adam Shapiro and Mary Myers GCB Celebrations GCB Member Profile: Dr. Jack Lewis GCB Announcements GCB One-day Event, Chris Chavous FEDORA OUTLIER, LLc, Bronwyn Rumery Georgia State-wide Coalition Meeting, Alice Ritchart Georgia Academy for the Blind Phone Conference, Anita Brown Victorian Christmas Event Promotes Blind Songwriter, Marsha Farrow Al Camp Memorial Bluegrass Benefit Concert, Debbie Williams Georgia Guide Dog Users “Top Dog” Conference, Betsy Grenevitch From Your Editor By Amanda Wilson Hello, GCB Family. We thank each one who has submitted articles in this issue of our magazine. If you have any change of address, telephone number, email address, or desired change of format, please inform our GCB treasurer, Jerrie Toney at 706-208-7132 or via Email at jerriemt2@gmail.com. Thanks to everyone who makes our GCB Digest such a big success. I particularly want to thank Suzanne Jackson, assistant editor, for the many hours she has worked on the magazine, for her editing skills and for her outstanding reading of the cassette tapes. I want to thank our president, William Holley, for his presidential messages with information about important events, legislation, and projects. I also appreciate the contributions from each member who sent articles, who made suggestions to make the magazine better, and have supported me in so many ways. We are now sending the GCB Digest on CD; if you would like to receive your GCB Digest on CD, please let us know.   GCB Presidential Message by Bill Holley Blind Advocates: Developing a strategy “Access to communication in the widest sense is access to knowledge, and that is vitally important for us if we (the blind) are not to go on being despised or patronized by condescending sighted people. We do not need pity, nor do we need to be reminded we are vulnerable. We must be treated as equals--and communication is the way this can be brought about.” Louis Braille Happy New Year I hope this president’s message finds you and your family in the best health and spirit. I am greeting you with a quote from Louis Braille motivating me to write this article. Louis Braille developed a communication system for the Blind. However, Braille was a strong and determined advocate because he understood what it would take to publish a Braille Book in 1829. Braille’s statement about communications being the key to knowledge is very applicable, considering the attitudes of our state of Georgia elected officials. We in the Blind community do not need to stand on a corner shaking a can to get the attention of the sighted politicians. Participating in activities with our elected representatives should not mean we have to beg for their attention. According to information, gleaned from the American Foundation for the Blind (state specific statistical information), in January 2013, Georgia had 241,911 individuals with vision loss. The number of voting age (18-over 75) Blind individuals in Georgia is 220,718. These numbers represent the majority of Blind people in Georgia who are of voting age, and Blind people vote too. Many of our friends in the sighted community share our concerns for the equitable treatment of Blind people in our communities. It is our responsibility to work effectively with the sighted community in the development of a common goal to attain equality. The Georgia Council of the Blind (GCB) call for unity, during our state convention in August 2012, continues to be an open invitation to unite for a common cause. GCB leadership recognizes the lessons we learned from our past experiences. Our leadership remembers attempts to address the needs of the Blind community prior to the establishment of Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) as a standalone agency. Have we forgotten how the disability community splintered over this issue (including the Blind community). How many times will VR leave us standing at the altar before we call off this wedding. Over the past six (6) years, the Blind community has lobbied at the state capitol for a commission for the Blind. For every one of those years, VR, which was supposed to be a partner in the effort, failed to appear in support of the commission. We are happy to hear NFB has joined us in calling for unity in the Blind community. The GCB leadership suggests we employ new strategies to elevate the Blind community into equivalent status with the sighted community.  We must start with recruiting and educating Blind people. A divided Blind community in the state of Georgia is too small to have a real impact on our elected officials.  We must collaborate with our friends in the sighted community. All individuals with and without disabilities who have a vested interest in Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) services need to be part of a joint dialogue. The loss of VR funds will affect all of us.  We must include everyone in any coordinated activities. People must be invited to participate in the planning and the decision making process for effective results. Many of our state representatives are elected to office with less than 1,000 votes. Can we work together to identify our own candidates? GCB leadership believes if we do the same old things, we can expect the same old results. It is time for a change.   GCB Board Meeting Minutes By Robin Oliver August 5, 2012 Savannah, GA President Bill Holley called the meeting to order. After a hectic weekend we had a moment of silence. There was no formal agenda set for this meeting. Roll Call, members present: President Bill Holley, 1st vice president, Keith Morris, 2nd vice president, Steve Longmire, Secretary, Robin Oliver, Treasurer, Jerrie Toney, At Large representative, Debbie Williams, Athens, Daniel Myers, Augusta, Chris Chavous, representing East Georgia, Anne Wheeler, Greater Columbus, Greg McDuffie, representing Greater Hall, Judy Presley, representing Metro Atlanta, Chester Thrash, representing Northwest, Fred McDade, representing Rome/Floyd, Tonia Clayton, Savannah, Kim Harrison, representing Stephens, Cora Camp, representing GCB-l, Tim Kelly, GGDU Marj Schneider, GCB Digest Editor Amanda Wilson and Webmaster representative, Cliff Jones. We discussed locations for future board meetings. After some discussion the October meeting will be October 27 instead of October 20, due to the vendor’s annual meeting will be held on the 20th. Marj made the motion that the date be changed for this meeting only, the motion was seconded and the vote carried. The location for the October meeting will be Rome. Amanda will try to find a location for the meeting; Rome will take the remaining hospitality snacks with them. The January meeting will be via phone. As a prelude to the 2014 convention in Augusta, we will hold the 1 day event in Augusta. Bill will speak to Mazie to see if we can negotiate a deal with the Marriott. The working date will be August 3, 2013. Bill was thankful that his cabinet was carried forward. He will assign committees again, but will only name the chair. He will leave it up to the chairs to select their own co-chair if needed. GCBL have elected Tim Kelly as president. They will be meeting to discuss if they will remain an affiliate of GCB. The Board voted yes to the return of the Atlanta West chapter. The Stephens Co. chapter looks dim with the loss of Al Camp. There are people in the Macon area showing interest in GCB. We will try to find support for them and future new chapters. Bill would like to have Board Training provided to the chapters; United Way could be a resource for us. Bill would like for us to find ways to support each other more and visit other chapters’ functions, etc. Meeting was adjourned. GCB Board Meeting October 27, 2012 Minutes Hosted by the Rome/Floyd Chapter Goodwill Store, Rome, GA Welcome was given by President Bill Holley as he called the meeting to order. After a Moment of Silence, Roll Call was performed. Members representing the board were: President Bill Holley, Secretary Robin Oliver, and Treasurer Jerrie Toney, representing Athens Jamaica Miller, Augusta Chris Chavous, Chattooga Marsha Farrow, and Greater Columbus Greg McDuffie, representing Northwest Fred McDade, representing Rome/Floyd Tonia Clayton and representing GGDU GCB Digest Editor Amanda Wilson. Also present was James Holland, president of the returning West Georgia (formerly Atlanta West) chapter. Approval of the Minutes - Greg McDuffie motioned, Fred McDade seconded that the minutes be accepted as emailed, and the board voted to accept the minutes. Finance Committee Report • Treasury Report: $33,173.08 Checking - $8,143.64 Scholarship - $2,289.93 Savings: $11,413.14 CD - $11,326.37 The monthly payment to the American Council of the Blind will be discontinued as previously stated by the board. Greg McDuffie motioned, Tonia Clayton seconded that the report be filed to audit, and there was no further discussion needed and the board voted to file the report to audit. Greg Schmieg, Executive Director Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency (GVRA) was our scheduled guest, but he was unable to attend. Bill and Marsha (who is a board member of GVRA) will speak with Mr. Schmieg, and hopefully good things will happen with this standalone agency. Disaffiliation of GCBL – President Holley gave a brief history lesson on the start of the Georgia Council of Blind Lions. In order to open up leadership positions to all of its members, GCBL will change the organization name to Blind Lions of Georgia, and they ask GCB to honor their request of dissolving the affiliation between the two organizations. Greg McDuffie motioned, Jerrie Toney seconded, and board voted to honor their request, and since they are not dissolving the organization, there are no financial ties between GCB and the Blind Lions of Georgia. It was mentioned that people should try to attend the Georgia Lions Camp for the Blind, as it is a very good experience. Public Relation Committee will be a separate committee and Jae Cosby (not present at this meeting) will take a lead role in handling communication to the public. Several suggestions were made about PR and fund raising. Marsha suggested that we purchase small inexpensive items such as signature guides that have our names on them they can be left at doctors' offices and other public places. She also suggested that members, individually and/or chapters, could make small financial donations to GCB. Fred and Jamaica are willing to help other blind people, but they noted that sometimes you run into people that are in denial about their blindness. Jamaica is willing to speak with her contact at the Council on Aging to see what can be done. Greg stated that we have to be aggressively active in putting our good name out there, not only putting our name out there, but ourselves. Go to the different forums and be a voice heard, not just a spectator. Bill stated don't be afraid of the tap, but approach the tapper, it may be a blind person you can assist. The hardest working woman in Georgia, Amanda Wilson, gave the following 3 reports: (1)Technology Committee - - Redesign of the GCB Website to make it appealing to a more diverse audience and to update the content on the site to more accurately reflect the organization’s goals, events and objectives. The new prototype of the GCB website will be presented to technology committee for review within a week for review. - GCB now has a twitter page. It is managed by Amanda Wilson. - In the near future, the technology committee and the newly formed public relations committee will meet to discuss how both committees can coordinate effective marketing and media strategies to move GCB forward in its efforts to recruit new membership and retain the existing membership base. (2)GCB Digest - Thanks to Ann Sims for donating an embosser to Amanda; all future Braille copies of the Digest can be directly handled by her. Tonia Clayton believes that her job may be able to contribute Braille paper. Amanda would like to start interviewing GCB members, and Marsha suggested that Fred be interviewed. James Holland wanted it on the record that he applauds Amanda and her staff for doing such a good job with the Digest. (3) Membership Committee - Facebook and twitter are tools being used to contact people. We celebrate the return of West Georgia. We haven't given up on the Macon area. Tim is a little hard to catch. Teresa Brenner is working on her area. Heather and Stanley Lopez have family in Waycross, and depending on Stanley's job, they may also be Waycross residents. Either way we have a Waycross contact. We should update our brochures and go out and meet and greet people. Bill made an appeal that we need to make the Website not only visually appealing to gain the interest of the visual world that supports us, but we have to make it appealing to blind young people who find our current Website boring. Things such as games and music should be added. So if you have any fresh ideas, don't be shy, send them to Steve Longmire. Stephens County Bluegrass Gospel Concert was still slated to happen in 2013. Tonia Clayton got to be the first person to make a GCB donation, by donating the $5 she won in the GCB Reno 50/50 raffle back to GCB. At the end of the reports we had "Open Roundtable Talk with Paul Raymond"; Paul was glad to have a chance to be able to sit down and talk about what's happening and what could be happening. Special thanks to Jan Morris, Charles Stubblefield, Terecia and Alan Standridge, Joe James, and newest GCB member Ronny Aldrige for assisting and attending. The Rome/Floyd Chapter was a wonderful host and the meeting was adjourned.   GCB Treasury Report By Jerrie Toney July 1, through July 31, 2012: Beginning Balance: $12,200.93 Total Amount of Deposits: $679.00 Total Amounts of Checks and Debits: $2,339.35 Ending Balance: $10,540.58 Scholarship Balance: $6,248.20 Savings Account Balance: $11,410.85 Ending Savings Account Balance: $11,411.62 CD Balance: $11,315.02 Ending CD Balance: $11,317.81 Total Combined Amounts: $39,518.21 Portfolio: $69,204.36 August 1, through August 31, 2012: Beginning Balance: $10,540.58 Total Amount of Deposits: $2,858.00 Total Debits: $1,795.54 Total Amounts of Checks and Debits: $5,512.70 Ending Balance: $7,885.88 Scholarship Balance: $1,947.28 Savings Account Balance: $11,411.62 Ending Savings Account Balance: $ 11,412.39 CD Balance: $11,317.81 Ending CD Balance: $ 11,320.70 Total Combined Amounts: $32,566.25 Portfolio: $70,152.19 September 1, through September 30, 2012: Beginning Balance: $7,885.88 Total Amount of Deposits: $612.50 Ending Balance: $8,143.64 Scholarship Balance: $2,289.93 Savings Account Balance: $11,412.39 Ending Savings Account Balance: $11,413.14 CD Balance: $11,320.70 Ending CD Balance: $11,326.37 Total Combined Amounts: $33,173.08 Portfolio: $70,704.14 October 1, through October 31, 2012: Beginning Balance: $8,143.64 Total Amount of Deposits: $924.80 Total Amount of Checks: $361.47 Total Debits: $175.13 Total Amounts of Checks and Debits: $536.60 Ending Balance: $8,531.84 Savings Account Balance: $11,413.14 Ending Savings Account Balance: $ 11,413.66 CD Balance: $11,326.37 Ending CD Balance: $11,326.37 Total Combined Amounts: $33,217.10 Portfolio: $71,589.05 November 1, through November 30, 2012: Beginning Balance: $8,531.84 Total Amount of Deposits: $1,492.00 Ending Balance: $8,599.79 Scholarship Balance: $2,024.23 Savings Account Balance: $11,413.66 Ending Savings Account Balance: $ 11,414.04 CD Balance: $11,326.37 Ending CD Balance: $ 11,329.26 Total Combined Amounts: $33,367.32 Portfolio: $71,678.69 December 1, through December 31, 2012: Beginning Balance: $8,599.79 Total Amount of Deposits: $150.50 Total Amount of Checks: $0.00 Total Debits: $0.00 Total Amounts of Checks and Debits: $0.00 Ending Balance: $8,750.29 Scholarship Balance: $2,291.88 Savings Account Balance: $11,414.04 Ending Savings Account Balance: $11,414.43 CD Balance: $11,329.26 Ending CD Balance: $11,332.05 Total Combined Amounts: $33,788.65 Portfolio: $72,366.50 Anyone interested in acquiring copies of the 2012-2013, treasurer’s reports, budget and/or 2012 convention report? Make your request known by contacting the GCB office: Multiple Choices Center, 850 Gaines School Road, Athens 706-208-7132, or via email at info@georgiacounciloftheblind.org.   GCB Chapter News The Athens Chapter The chapter reports that on Saturday, Jan. 19th, some of our members will be on the telephone conference call for the GCB State Board Meeting. Our monthly meeting will be at Multiple Choices on Saturday, January 26, 2013, at 10:30 A.M. On February 11, 2013, from 5:00 pm. until 10:00 pm, we will have our annual Music Night Fund Raiser at The Blind Pig Restaurant here in Athens, which is located at 485 Baldwin Street. Our February chapter meeting will be Saturday, February 23, at Multiple Choices at 10 A.M. Our chapter meeting for March will be held on Saturday, March 23, 2013, at Multiple Choices at 10:30 A.M. We are planning a Fish Fry Fund Raiser which will be held in conjunction with Multiple Choices and The Athens Heritage Lions Club. That Fund Raiser is being planned for Saturday, April 13th, at Multiple Choices, time to be announced. Our monthly meeting for April will be on Saturday, April 27, at Multiple Choices at 10:30 A.m. This might change due to the scheduling of the GCB board meeting. The Athens chapter has some new officers. Their officers are Daniel Myers as president; Jerrie Toney as 1st Vice President; Pete Hayek as second Vice President, Robin Oliver as Secretary, William Holley as treasurer. For more information about the Athens chapter please contact Daniel Myers at 706-850-6750 danielhmyers@live.com. The Augusta Chapter The chapter reports that they have some new officers that were elected in November and will be sworn in at the January meeting. Their officers are Chris Chavous as President; Heather Lopez as Vice -President; Alicia Morris as Secretary; and Sheila Chavous as Treasurer. We are in the process of doing a Bakeless Bake Sale Fundraiser right now. We also sold Santa letters back in December as a fundraiser. The group got together for Christmas at T's Seafood Restaurant on December 15th. All members were able to attend and a wonderful time was had by all. Please contact Christopher Chavous at 706-737-4341 cccmayo@yahoo.com The Bainbridge Chapter The chapter still has the same officers. They are Tonya Wright as president; Paddy Dale as first vice-president; Keith Carter as second vice-president; Gloria Hampton as secretary and Janice Tootle as treasurer. Chapter meetings are held the second Saturday of each month at the library. Please contact Tonya Wright at 229-248-0087. The Chattooga County Chapter The chapter has some new officers. They are Marsha Farrow as president; Mary Turnipseed as first vice-president; Ivan Weevie as second vice-president; and Janice Morris as secretary/treasurer. Meetings are at the Chattooga County Library, 360 Farrar Drive, Summerville, GA 30747. Meeting Dates change due to availability of space at the Library and meetings may be held at a local restaurant. Please contact Marsha Farrow at 706-857-2968 marshafarrow@windstream.net. The East Georgia Chapter The chapter is moving right along. In November, our meeting program featured a cook off. Each of us participated in baking peanut butter cookies. We all had different tasks to perform to bring about the final results. It proved to be successful, and the cookies were very good. Our wonderful member, Mary Myers, was at that meeting, and she was giving of herself, which she did so well. Of course none of us had any way of knowing that two weeks later we would suddenly lose her. Mary was a wonderful person to know, a great person to work with, and she was very reliable. Needless to say, we miss her tremendously. At the same time we know that she is with us in spirit. Mary! Thank you for everything. In December we had a super Christmas Party. A friend of Anne Wheeler provided the entertainment, which was enjoyed by everyone. And as usual, the food was great. At our January meeting, Ann Sims came to talk with us about her life as a guide dog user, which we all found to be very interesting and enjoyable. Ann since has been a Braille teacher. We also had a good discussion about Braille. So there's a lot going on in our chapter. We have some new members and already they're getting involved with us. We're planning for a great year. The chapter has the same officers. They are Phil Jones as president; Neb Houston as first vice-president; Patricia Cox as second vice-president; Christina O'Brien as secretary; and Linda Cox and Anne Wheeler as co-treasurers. Meetings are on the second Saturday of each month in Conyers. Please contact Phil Jones at 770-713-3306, or via email at brilman1952@bellsouth.net. The Greater Columbus Chapter The chapter has some new officers. Gregory McDuffie as president; Dirk Jones as first vice-president; Ronnie Aldridge as second vice-president; Kara English as secretary; William Miles as treasurer; Otis Smith as chaplain and Jonathon Barron as assistant chaplain. Meetings are on the third Friday of each month at the Columbus Public Library, 3000 Macon Road, Columbus in the CB&T room, at 10:30AM until 12:00PM. Please contact Gregory McDuffie at 706-330-8185 gregory.mcduffie@yahoo.com. The Greater Hall County Chapter The chapter has some new officers. They are Virginia Doane as president; Judy Presley as Vice President; Sue Hesketh, as secretary; and Ted Brackett as treasurer. Greater Hall County chapter Meetings are held at the Smokey Springs Retirement Residence which is located at 940 South Enota Drive in Gainesville, Georgia, on the second Saturday of the month. Please contact Virginia Doane at 678-971-4271. Metro Atlanta Chapter The Chapter has some new officers. They are Brent Reynolds as president; Chester Thrash as first Vice-President; Maquattia Dutton as second vice-president; Chris Baldridge as secretary; Steve Longmire as treasurer; John M. Sims as assistant treasurer. Meetings are the second Friday of each month at the Piccadilly Cafeteria, 2226 North Druid Hills Road, 4:30 to 7:00 PM. Please contact Brent Reynolds at 404-814-0768 jbr@samobile.net. The Rome/Floyd County Chapter The Chapter was happy to host the October board meeting at the Goodwill Career Center in Rome, Georgia, on Saturday, October 27, 2012. We had a great time. We had a lot of good round table discussion with Paul Raymond. We had a great Christmas meeting. We all enjoyed a wonderful potluck meal, and then listened to George Barton play Christmas carols, and Suzanne Jackson read The Gift of the Magi, by O. Henry. In January, we traveled to Martha Craig’s house for a lovely luncheon at her new house. The chapter has the same officers. They are Amanda Wilson as president; Tonia Clayton as vice-president; Suzanne Jackson as secretary/treasurer; and Dale Allen as chaplain. The chapter meetings are at the Rome library, on the 3rd Tuesday of each month at 11:00 am. Please contact Amanda Wilson at 770-547-4700 moonrocks@bellsouth.net. The Savannah Chapter The chapter had a celebration in October to present Jack Lewis his certificate of appreciation which he was not able to receive at the GCB state-wide convention in Savannah back in August. The Savannah chapter held their annual holiday party on December 8, 2012 at the Boehner home. We had a pot-luck dinner and did our traditional Yankee Swap. We held our election of officers for 2013. The officers for the Savannah chapter are Kim Harrison as president; Marj Schneider as vice-president; Denise Boehner as secretary and Loretta Thomson as treasurer. The chapter meetings are on the first Thursday of each month at the J.C. Lewis Ford, 9505 Abercorn Street, in Savannah at 6:00-7:00 in the conference room. The Savannah chapter has a social time from 5:30-6:00. Please contact Kim Harrison at 912-228-1190 dkimharrison@gmail.com.   GCB Helpful Hint Sheila Rousey From time to time a good raised diagram or drawing comes in handy. So here is an inexpensive way to create your own raised-line drawing board. Supplies you will need are listed below as well as directions: 1 sheet smooth peel and stick craft foam (any size you desire.) Clip board or any rigid surface that can be used with the foam. 1 Roll Waxed paper Stylus or an old ink pen that has no remaining ink Directions: With the clip board or whatever rigid surface you have selected, peel and place the craft foam onto the surface. Make sure to smooth out the foam. Next, tear off a sheet of waxed paper to any size you desire and place on top of the foam. With a somewhat light pressure, use the stylus or pen to draw your raised drawing. You do not have to draw your design backwards because the waxed paper will expand the lines as you draw them. Note: If you have some good color perception remaining, a darker craft foam will allow you to actually see the raised lines because the waxed paper will turn a white shade as you draw your design.   GCB Passing’s: Remembering Adam Shapiro Adam Shapiro, a progressive activist, was the host of Current Events on WRFG 89.3 FM radio. All of his life, Adam Shapiro fought for or championed something. Born prematurely, weighing barely two pounds, Mr. Shapiro spent his early days in a fight for his life. Rendered blind days after birth from over-exposure to pure oxygen, his sisters said, he never let his lack of sight blur his vision of a better world. “He was incessantly curious,” said his sister, Laura E. Shapiro. “He was not afraid to engage people in conversation about anything.” And those conversations sometimes happened within earshot of the audience of his weekly “Current Events” radio program on WRFG 89.3 FM. It was when he missed his show on Sept. 13 that station management became concerned about him. Mr. Shapiro was found dead in his Atlanta apartment. It is suspected he died in his sleep of natural causes a day or so earlier, his sisters said. He was 59. Mr. Shapiro started working in radio while he attended Adelphi University. Though he didn’t graduate, he loved to learn, said his sister, Janet Model. “He really wanted to teach,” said Ms. Model. “He loved history and I know he would have loved teaching history on a college campus somewhere.” When the Shapiro family moved to Atlanta in 1981, Mr. Shapiro wasn’t thrilled about it. But when his sister Laura was ready to head back to New York in 1997, he decided not to leave. He’d made friends and begun working with several activist groups around town. “We don’t know how he had the time to be involved in all of the things he was involved in,” said Ms. Shapiro. “And in all of these organizations, he somehow ended up on the board or as a co-chair or something.” Among the groups and organizations Mr. Shapiro worked with were the Georgia Green Party, the metro Atlanta chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America and the Open Door Community. Ms. Shapiro said her brother had a habit of wanting to hear a person’s opinion first-hand, not read about or hear someone else’s interpretation of it. Mr. Shapiro had a wide range of interests and was more interested in understanding a person’s point of view than trying to change that point of view, friends and family said. Rabbi Joshua Lesser, of the Congregation Bet Haverim, said Mr. Shapiro, “had a keen awareness of justice in the world. He understood the need to take care of the common good. He wanted to elevate oppression in many forms.” “Social justice was Adam’s faith,” Rabbi Lesser said. “While he definitely identified as Jewish, there was a way that he was also a Universalist.” A memorial service is planned for 2:30 p.m. Thursday at the Congregation Bet Haverim, which meets at the Central Congregational United Church of Christ on Clairmont Road.   Remembering Mary Myers Mrs. Mary S. Myers age 75 of Conyers, died Sunday, November 25, 2012. Mary was born December 9, 1936, in Greenville, SC, to William Arnot Stenhouse, Jr. and Frances Earle Pickens. She graduated from Greenville High School and from Queens College in Charlotte, North Carolina with a Bachelor of Arts in English. Mary earned a Master’s degree in Education from Georgia State University. She is survived by her husband of 51 years, the Rev. Dr. Albert A. Myers Jr., Conyers; son and daughter-in-law, Albert A. Myers III and Dana Myers, and granddaughters Emily and Sarah, Conyers; son, Daniel H. Myers, Athens; son and daughter-in-law, James H. Myers and Lisabeth Myers, and granddaughters Ellen and Jane, Marietta; sister, Louise S. Peabody, Greer, SC; sister, Margaret S. Smith, and brother, Robert M. Stenhouse, Greenville, SC. After graduating from Queens, she worked as a copy editor for the Board of Christian Education of the Presbyterian Church USA, Richmond, VA. Mary taught preschool for four years at Conyers Presbyterian Church prior to teaching sixth grade at Conyers Middle School for twenty years. She was a member of the Conyers Civic League for almost forty years, serving as president for two terms. Also, she served on the board of the Conyers-Rockdale Library and was a member of the Georgia Council of the Blind. Mary was a member of Conyers Presbyterian Church for 43 years and served in many capacities as a minister’s wife and in the area of Christian education and in the women’s work. Mary was honored as a lifetime member by The Presbyterian Women. She loved her family, was devoted to her sons and granddaughters, and spent many happy hours with them. She excelled at cooking and caring for her family and enjoyed a lifelong love of poetry and literature. A Service of Our Witness to the Resurrection of the Dead and of Thanksgiving for the Life of Mary Myers will be held Saturday, December 1st, at 2 o’clock PM, at Conyers Presbyterian Church with Pastor Tom Sparks and the Rev. Louly Hay officiating. Prior to the 2 P.M. funeral service, a private Service of Committal will be held at Green Meadow Memorial Gardens. Family will receive friends from 6 PM to 8:30 PM on Friday, November 30th at Scot Ward’s Green Meadow Chapel. In lieu of flowers, those desiring to do so may make gifts to Conyers Presbyterian Church or The Conyers-Rockdale Library. Scot Ward Funeral Services, 699 American Legion Rd., Conyers, GA 30012, 770-483-7216. VISITATION: Friday November 30, 2012, 6:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. at Scot Ward Funeral Services at Green Meadow Memorial Gardens   GCB Celebrations Happy birthday! Happy anniversary! Judy Epps, November 1; Brent Reynolds, November 3; Anita Thomas, November 10; Jacqueline Burks, November 14; Suzette Wood, November 19; Melvin Turner, November 27; Steve Longmire, November 27; David Everly, November 27; Bronwyn Rumery, December 1; Bill Miller, December 1; Jimmie Burks, December 1; Alicia Morris, December 3; Carolyn Dillard, December 3; Lisa Jones, December19; Christopher and Sheila Chavous’ anniversary, December 24; Dr. Philip Dillard, December 28; Bonita Peeks, December 29; Monica Sherrif, January 1; John Simms, January 2; Christina Holzclaw, January 7; Scott Rumery, January 22; Jason Starr, February 1; Willie Harris, February 1; Patricia Cox, February 4; Jerrie Toney, February 11; Chris Baldridge, February 16; Teresa Brenner, February 16; Annie Harris, February 23; Casey Owens, February 26; John and Ann Sims’ anniversary, February 29.   GCB Member Profile: Dr. Jack Lewis Jack has been a member of GCB since 1958. He has been President of GCB twice. Jack has been President of three different chapters. He also has held several positions on the GCB Board. Jack has also been Editor of the GCB Digest He has also been on the ACB Board. Jack has been a member of the Scholarship Committee as well. “I wouldn’t take anything for all of the friendships I have cultivated all these years.” He further states that being part of GCB has done wonders for his self-concept. After flunking public school three times, Jack was enrolled in the school for the blind. While attending, Jack had opportunities to meet blind legislators, judges and business men. “I’ve got more degrees than a thermometer.” While in high school, Jack was on the debating team, debating students in the same public school district. He was also in the Drama Club and a singer, where he won second place as a bass. “Being a part of GCB gave me direction and acted as a stepping stone in life. Some people have built their identity around programs and activities for the blind. But folks, we live in a sighted world, not a blind world. But this organization can be a stepping stone to help us become college professors, social workers, lawyers, world class piano technicians, physiotherapists and so on.” “If we use this organization as a stepping stone to be a part of the sighted world, there’s no more valuable place in the world.” “If you use this to close off your world it can be self-defeating.” “Thank you very much for this plaque. I’m looking forward very much to putting it up in my computer room where I hang out most of the time.”   GCB Announcements: Georgia Council of the Blind to Host One-Day Event The Georgia Council of the blind, one of Georgia’s largest organizations of people with blindness in the State of Georgia will host the One-Day Event on Saturday, August 3, 2013, from 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM at the Augusta Marriott Convention Center, 2 Tenth Street, Augusta. The Georgia Council of the Blind is a non-profit consumer organization affiliated with the American Council of the Blind whose mission is to elevate the social, economic, and cultural levels of the blind. For almost 60 years, GCB has been working toward providing a forum for views of the blind, improving education and rehabilitation, and broadening vocational opportunities for the visually impaired. The One-Day event offers informative educational programs as well as recreational and social interaction with members and non-members from all over the state of Georgia. For more information visit http://www.georgiacounciloftheblind.org. Please contact Chris Chavous - 706-737-4341 cccmayo@yahoo.com.   FEDORA OUTLIER, LLC, Top Down, Better Than Excellent Apple Consulting, Teaching and Support By Bronwyn Rumery, Junior Partner for Fedora Outlier, LLC Hi, I am Bronwyn Rumery and I am a member of the Rome/Floyd County Chapter of the Georgia Council of the Blind. I am also a Junior Partner for a new, innovative assistive technology company for the blind and visually impaired called Fedora Outlier, LLC. The company first opened its “virtual” doors on June 1, 2012 and we’ve been going nonstop ever since. Fedora Outlier, LLC provides consulting, teaching and support for Apple’s iOS devices such as the very popular iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch and also for Apple’s line of Mac computers. We also provide encouragement and empowerment to the blind and visually impaired through our monthly newsletter and weekly BLOG posts. What makes Fedora Outlier, LLC different from the rest is that first we have a very unique name. As we all know a fedora is a very stylish hat and our President VaShaun Jones, rarely goes anywhere without his fedora. The word outlier is defined as a scientific term to describe things or phenomenon that lie outside of normal experiences. The two words were combined and the rest is history. Even though the business is based in Atlanta, we all work from a virtual office which simply means we work from our homes or from wherever we choose. By having the ability to work from a virtual office means we can accommodate our students, not clients, in regards to their schedule or life style. The most important reason that Fedora Outlier is different from any other business providing technological services to the blind and visually impaired is that everyone on the team is blind or visually impaired and we use Apple’s line of products on a daily basis which means we are quite confident and proficient when it comes to teaching others. The most exciting news at Fedora Outlier, LLC right now is the fact that we are about to publish the first multimedia E-Book entitled The Old Hat Guide To iPhone Accessibility, which will be available to the general public within the next few months. For further information about Fedora Outlier, LLC, please visit us at fedoraoutlier.com or call us at: (local) 678-404-2635; (Toll Free)  888-958-6979. We would also love for you to join our monthly newsletter, Delivering Access, receive our weekly blog posts that are written by me and the other team members follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook. You can do all of this at our website. Oh, there is one last thing I want all of those reading this article to remember, “Just because you have lost your sight does not mean you have lost your vision,” and you are capable of learning and succeeding at whatever you choose to do in life.   Georgia State-wide Coalition Meeting Alice Ritchhart, Chair Plan the date for the next Georgia Statewide Coalition meeting. CVI will be hosting the next meeting on Saturday, May 4th, and the afternoon of Friday, May 3rd is available in case the Employment and Education sub committees wish to do another I phone camp. So mark your calendars. The Big Steering committee will meet soon to plan the agenda, so if you have any thoughts please let me know.   Georgia Academy for the Blind Phone Conference by Anita Brown All graduates of the Georgia Academy for the Blind, campers from Georgia Lions' Camp for the Blind, and blind residents from the state of Georgia are invited to attend a phone conference. This will give individuals opportunity to catch up with old friends and make new friends. If you are interested in coming, it will be held on Friday nights at 7:00 pm. The call in number is 712-432-6499. Once you enter the line you will push 1 for the live rooms, and then you will push 726 for the room. If you are un able to attend the conference, you can find our group on Facebook by looking for: Georgia Academy For The Blind or you can join our e-mail list by sending an e-mail to: Georgia-Academy-For-The-Blind-Alumni -subscribe@yahoogroups.com.   Victorian Christmas Event Promotes Blind Songwriter by Marsha Farrow, Chattooga Chapter the Chapter participated again in the Victorian Christmas Event held on December 9, 2012, in Summerville. In past years, Helen Keller has been featured in the scene to promote blindness awareness, but this past year, another famous woman who was blinded early in life was highlighted. This year’s outstanding scene depicted the beloved Frances Jane Crosby. The life size figure of Fannie was created by Linda Espy and the Members of the Victorian Art Guild. Mrs. Espy molded the face of Fannie by looking at a photograph. Mrs. Espy is a very gifted Doll Artist and resident of Summerville. The Fannie Crosby Scene was given a prominent place and was set-up inside the Chattooga County Courthouse to allow hands-on exploration of braille and the amazing life size figure of Fannie. Ms. Saunya Jones, adorned in her Victorian hat and outfit, served as one of the Guides. Saunya is a middle school student who was born almost totally blind, and she and her mom Editha shared the story of Fannie with the visitors who came by to learn about Fannie and her wonderful contributions. Marsha Farrow also dressed in Victorian attire and served as a Guide for the Fannie Crosby Scene. Many opportunities were given to share stories about vision loss and braille. Braille Christmas Cards were given to the visitors. Frances Jane Crosby was born on March 24, 1820 and died on February 12, 1915. Widely known as Fanny Crosby, she was an American lyricist best known for her Protestant Christian hymns. A lifelong Methodist, Fannie was one of the most prolific Hymnists in history. Fannie is credited with writing over 8,000 songs, despite becoming blind as an infant. At age 15, Crosby enrolled at the New York School for the Blind (now the New York Institute for Special Education). She remained there for seven years. During that time she learned to play the piano and guitar and to sing. In 1843, she joined a group of lobbyists in Washington, D.C. Fannie joined in the effort for support of education for the blind. From 1847 to 1858, Crosby joined the faculty at the New York school, teaching English and history. Fannie married Alexander Van Alstyne, a blind musician and fellow teacher, in 1858. At his insistence, she kept her maiden name. They had one daughter, Francis, who died while a baby. Alexander died on July 19, 1902. Crosby was never bitter about her disability. At the age of eight she wrote these verses about her condition: Oh what a happy soul I am, Although I cannot see; I am resolved that in this world Contented I will be. How many blessings I enjoy, That other people don't; To weep and sigh because I'm blind, I cannot, and I won't. She later remarked: “It seemed intended by the blessed providence of God that I should be blind all my life, and I thank him for the dispensation. If perfect earthly sight were offered me tomorrow, I would not accept it. I might not have sung hymns to the praise of God if I had been distracted by the beautiful and interesting things about me.” She also once said, "When I get to heaven, the first face that shall ever gladden my sight will be that of My Savior!" When Fannie died, her Tombstone carried the words, "Aunt Fanny" and "Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine. Oh, what a foretaste of glory divine." Eliza Hewitt memorialized Fanny’s passing in a poem: Away to the country of sunshine and song, Our songbird has taken her flight, And she who has sung in the darkness so long Now sings in the beautiful light. Crosby is buried in Mountain Grove Cemetery, Bridgeport, Connecticut. She was inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 1975. The National Library Services for the Blind has several publications on the life of Fannie Jane Crosby.   The Al Camp Memorial Bluegrass Benefit Concert by Debbie Williams The Al Camp Memorial Bluegrass Benefit Concert will be held on Sunday, February 3, 2013, beginning at 12:00 pm until at least 5:00 pm at Shiloh Fire Department in Toccoa. Several bands will be performing. Cake walks, raffle items, and an auction are planned. Hot dogs, hamburgers, vegetable soup, pintos, cornbread, desserts, drinks will be for sale. Please call: Jerry Black - 1-706-540-8508 or Jim Wilcox - 1-706-743-8879.   GGDU “Top Dog” Conference January 11-13, Savannah By Betsy Grenevitch We had attendees from several states in the South, and other states throughout the US. On Friday evening, there was a reception which included a meal. Saturday was full of sessions and two meals. The sessions on Saturday were:  Visiting Savannah’s past with General James Edward Oglethorpe Peak Experiences with our Dogs Self-Advocacy: How and Why It Works Paws 4 a Healthy Guide Our speaker for the banquet was Sue Martin. Sue told about her experience of being so depressed that she tried to commit suicide. After the attempt, she discovered that she was blind. She talked about how she became independent as a blind adult, and now is a successful speaker about her experiences. On Sunday morning, there was a time for “Blessing of the Guide Dogs”. There was also a session where the attendees shared experiences--both funny and sad--about our guide dogs. This was a very special time for those of us who came to this session. I spent a lot of time in the hospitality room, which was a lot of fun. It was great to meet many of the people who were attending the conference. Different ones from the BEP in Savannah, and some attendees provided the refreshments for the room. A great Thank You goes to them. We missed most of the members of Georgia Guide Dog Users--they truly missed a great conference. Marj Schneider did a fantastic job putting this conference together. Thank you, Marj!