GCB Digest Summer 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
Georgia Council of the Blind Office
145 Barrington Drive, Athens, Georgia 30605
GCB Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
GCB Web Site: www.georgiacounciloftheblind.org
GCB President: William Holley
185 Weatherly Woods Drive, Winterville, Georgia 30683
GCB Webmaster: Steven Longmire email@example.com
GCB Digest Editor: Amanda Wilson
45 Rocky Circle, Northeast, White, Georgia 30184
GCB Digest Assistant Editor: Suzanne Jackson
131 Cannongate Circle. Sharpsburg, Georgia 30277
TABLE OF CONTENTS
From Your Editor, Amanda Wilson
GCB Presidential Message, William Holley
GCB Treasurer’s Report, Jerrie Toney
GCB Award Guidelines, Judy Presley
GCB Chapter News
GCB Helpful Hints, Sheila Rousey
GCB Member Profiles: Jason Starr, Jamaica Miller and Martha Craig
GCB Blindness Day at the Capital, Joseph Weaver
GCB Passing’s: Remembering Ivan Weevie and Evelyn Minnick
Georgia Lions Camp for the Blind
Georgia Council of the Blind One Day Event, with registration form
Georgia Guide Dog Users Picnic
Low Vision Technology Open House
State Match Funds Critical for Vocational Rehabilitation in Georgia, Marsha Farrow
From Your Editor, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 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.
We want to thank Chester Thrash for brailing the GCB Digest for us.
GCB Presidential Message, William Holley
President’s Message, William Holley
Greetings GCB Family Members
I pray this presidential message finds you and your family members in good health and spirit. Since our last communication, many events and activities have occurred, involving our membership in the growth and development of Georgia Council of the Blind (GCB). I want to thank each and every one of our participating members for their commitment to the goal of enhancing the growth and development of our organization. However, there still remains some confusion about the committee structure and the objectives to involve our members in the decision making process of our organization.
In order to clarify the objectives of the committees, our members will need to participate in deciding what they want to happen in the GCB committees. The committees were developed so all members can have a voice in the organization’s decision-making process. Also, it is an opportunity to ensure something gets accomplished by the organization leadership. For years, our members have engaged in hours of conversation about real issues that are still unresolved. We can no longer afford the luxury of waiting for someone to do things for us that we should be doing for ourselves. The committee members should be meeting and making recommendations to the GCB Board of Directors for an action plan to resolve the issues. The following committees have met or are scheduled to meet.
The committees of the Georgia Council of the Blind consist of the following: Membership Committee; Public Relations and Technology Committee; Finance Committee; Convention Committee; Awards Committee; Fundraising Committee; Constitution and By-Laws Committee; Sunshine Committee; and the Legislative and Transportation Committee. The Chairpersons of the Committees will schedule all of the committee meetings. If you are interested in participating in a committee meeting, please contact the Chairperson of the committee or the GCB Secretary.
Some of our GCB members may prefer not to participate in a committee. The committee structure is a lot more formal and businesslike in doing things. However, our members can still participate in the growth and development of GCB by attending exciting and fun events. All Chapters have fun events during the year such as picnic, sports, or other events. At these fun events, GCB members can eat and fellowship with members from other chapters. All of our chapter meetings offer an opportunity to meet and greet members or potential members to become a part of the GCB family.
I have heard it said, “GCB is not able to compete with organizations that have a lot of resources to offer its members.” I suggest that GCB has a resource no other organization can offer, which are real down to earth people who know how to have real down to earth clean fun. You cannot buy that with a gadget or even a smart car. Our members must remain open minded, supportive of each other, and support the visually impaired and Blind community. When is your next chapter meeting or community activity? Invite a potential member and send an invitation to other chapter members. Remember each one must reach one to grow and develop GCB.
Contact information for chair persons of committees:
Membership Committee, Keith Morris, 706/595-1465, email@example.com
Technology Committee, Steve Longmire, 404-234-5820, Info@sunbright.biz
Finance Committee, Jerrie Toney 706-461-1013, Jerriemt2@gmail.com
Sunshine Committee, Amanda Wilson, 770-547-4700, firstname.lastname@example.org
Awards Committee, Judy Presley, 706-878-2962, email@example.com
Convention Committee, Christopher Chavous 706-737-4341, firstname.lastname@example.org
Legislative Committee, William Holley, 706-410-4945, email@example.com
GCB Board Meeting Minutes, Robin Oliver
January 19, 2013
Telephone Conference Call
Playback #: (605) 475-4099
Access #: 880828#
President Bill Holley, with a Happy New Year opening, welcomed all and called the meeting to order.
With a special mother note in heart and mind (Marsha Farrow & Daniel Myers lost their mothers over the holidays, Ron Burgess & Jerrie Toney are caring for their mothers), we had a Moment of Silence.
Roll Call – President Bill Holley, 1st Vice President Keith Morris, 2nd Vice President Steve Longmire, Secretary Robin Oliver, Treasurer Jerrie Toney, At-Large Rep Debbie Williams, Athens Daniel Myers, Augusta Chris Chavous, Bainbridge Tonya Wright, Chattooga Marsha Farrow, East Georgia Phil Jones, Greater Columbus Greg McDuffie, representing Metro Atlanta Chester Thrash, Northwest Ron Burgess, representing Rome/Floyd Tonia Clayton, Savannah Kim Harrison, West Georgia Steve Estes and representing GGDU, GCB Digest Editor Amanda Wilson. Other guests: Ronny Aldridge, Columbus; Paddy Dale, Bainbridge; Kara English, Columbus; Joan Estes, West GA; Cliff Jones, Columbus; Jamaica Miller, Athens; and Kathy Morris, Augusta.
Constitution Committee Review:
Swearing in of Officers – The Secretary swore in the officers for 2013.
Approval of the Minutes – Chris Chavous pointed out that the 1 Day Event committed report had been left out of the October minutes, Robin stated she would make the addition to the minutes. Greg McDuffie motioned the minutes with the corrections be accepted, Jerrie Toney seconded, and the board voted to accept the minutes.
As there were no amendments or proposed changes to the Constitution, and this being a phone meeting, the review ended with an encouraging word that members should study and learn the Constitution.
Finance Committee Report started with Tonya Wright, Paddy Dale and Chester Thrash, who did not receive the Board Meeting info. Bainbridge had been mailed the info, and it will be resent. The secretary explained that the board meeting info is sent to the Chapter presidents, and if they have an email address, the secretaries. If the state secretary knows in advance that another member will be representing a chapter, such as in the case of Rome/Floyd where Tonia Clayton represents them, she will send that member the information.
Treasury Report: Jerrie’s report was sent out in the board meeting info. Marsha had made a donation to the Al Camp Award Scholarship through the Rome/Floyd chapter and she did notice it reflected in the report. Jerrie will check her records and Marsha will check with Rome/Floyd to make sure the records are straight. Amendment to Final Convention report is attached to these minutes, as the secretary did not see them until right before the board meeting. Jerrie stated that $70 was credited to the hospitality room, leaving that cost in a positive and not negative state. This is reflected in the amendment. Daniel Myers moved the report be filed to audit, Kim Harrison seconded, and the board voted that the report be filed to audit.
Convention & Public Relations Committee Reports – Convention Chair & our PR Media Contact, Chris Chavous, reported that Jae Cosby was sending out email public announcements every other month about our upcoming 1-Day Event in Augusta. She will also send out info through GaRRS, media release, GCB Digest, and radio public announcements. In March, the winner of the Name Our Theme will be announced. Chris strongly encourages membership participation. Jae wants Bill to do a public service announcement in April, and the committee will try to get Maize (the young lady who handled making the hotel arrangements for the 2012 & 2014 conventions) to see if she can arrange a better price with the Marriott, since we will be visiting them 2 years in a row. At future meetings, we will arrange the registration fees and schedule, which will include an Early Bird rate, since it worked very well.
Technology/GCB Digest Committee Report - Chair 2nd vice Steve excitedly reported that the new face of the website has been unveiled and that he, Jerrie, Amanda and the rest of the technology team have been working very hard and it is still a work in progress. He will be working with Greg McDuffie to put more pictures on the website. Each chapter can add info to their page. We are going for a modern, more appealing look. The 1-Day Event will have its own link and online registration. We are now working on how to handle joining GCB online. Steve encourages strong membership participation; this will aid in keeping the website up to date, as you can help us know what blind resources we need to post. Email your suggestions to anyone on the technology committee. GCB Digest Editor Amanda needs your articles, so please send them to her. Communication is knowledge and the key to our well-being, so please give our hard working Amanda a hand.
Membership Committee Report - 1st Vice Keith reported that at the January 17 meeting they had a good bit of membership participation. Keeping in touch with one another is a good thing. They are working on not only trying to establish new chapters but strengthening existing chapters such as Bainbridge. It was noted that when contacting Bainbridge (who has no email accounts), that their contact person is 1st Vice President Paddy Dale at © 229-416-0806.
Since this is the start of new terms, the Legislative committee will be revamped. Bill will take the lead and we will receive feedback from him, as he feels that this is really important. Leadership needs to be heavily involved in legislative matters at this time, due to all the changes that are occurring in the state.
As the next two years will be a transitioning time, each leader (state & chapter) will have to step up and do their jobs, so that GCB can continue to grow and help the blind community.
Marsha was wondering that due to the fact that the Lions Camp is in some financial trouble, how feasible it would be to hold a board meeting or a 1-Day event there, or how could we (GCB) make it feasible. Bill, wearing his District Governor hat, will talk with the Lions Governor Council to see how they feel; most likely we have to present them with a schedule. Marsha suggested that money we would spend at the hotel could go to the camp. Bill will investigate what seems like a win-win situation. We would get a chance to visit another part of the state and learn what goes on at the camp. Marsha put out a challenge (one she's going to take herself) for adults who have never visited the camp to do so. The Bainbridge chapter sponsors their members to attend. Amanda will contact them for an upcoming article about the camp.
ACB Blind Lions - Marsha will forward Amanda information on how to become a member of the ACB Blind Lions.
Debbie Williams announced The Al Camp Memorial Bluegrass Benefit Concert will be held February 11, 2013, starting at noon to at least 5 PM at Shiloh Fire Department in Toccoa. Al Camp put a lot of hard work into seeing that the Scholarship Fund was well taken care of, and the participants felt that they owed him one more concert in Stephens County in his honor. Marsha asked if the family would be open to GCB continuing with the Festival in Al Camp's honor, starting maybe with her area for 2014, and continuing in different parts of the state. Debbie thought that would be incredible--not only could they offer advice, but they would also attend and help out, as a lot of hard work goes into preparing it. This could be a chance to put the Fund Raising Committee back into play, but we will need the bodies to make it work.
Daniel Myers announced that the Athens Area Council of the Blind will hold its annual Musical Night produced by Jamaica Miller on February 11, 2013 at the Blind Pig, located at 485 Baldwin St. in Athens from 5-10 PM. All are invited to come out and hear the different music groups and the cost is a donation to Athens Council.
The proposed site for the April 20, 2013 Board Meeting is MULTIPLE Choices in Athens. The Megabuck operates from Atlanta to Athens.
GCB Treasurer’s Report, Jerrie Toney
January 1 through January 31, 2013:
Beginning Balance: $8,750.29
Total Amount of Deposits: $333.00
Savings Account Balance: $11,414.43
Ending Savings Account Balance: $11,414.82
CD Balance: $11,332.05
Ending CD Balance: $11,333.20
Total Combined Amounts: $35,279.29
February 1 through February 28, 2013:
Beginning Balance: $9,023.29
Total Amount of Deposits: $335.00
Total Debits: $0.00
Total Combined Amounts of Checks and Debits: $30.00
Ending Balance: $9,328.29
Al Camp Memorial Scholarship Fund Balance: $4,826.03
Savings Account Balance: $11,414.82
Ending Savings Account Balance: $11,415.17
CD Balance: $11,333.20
Ending CD Balance: $11,334.36
Total Combined Amounts: $36,903.85
March 1 through March 31, 2013:
Beginning Balance: $9,328.29
Total Amount of Deposits: $308.60
Total Amount of Checks: $1,553.74
Total Debits: $0.00
Total Combined Amounts of Checks and Debits: $1,553.74
Ending Balance: $8,083.15
Al Camp Memorial Scholarship Fund Balance: $4,826.03
Savings Account Balance: $11,415.17
Ending Savings Account Balance: $11,415.56
CD Balance: $11,334.36
Ending CD Balance: $11,335.41
Total Combined Amounts: $35,660.15
April 1 through April 30, 2013:
Beginning Balance: $8,083.15
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 at 145 Barrington Drive, Athens, Georgia 30605, or call 706-208-7132, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
GCB Awards Guidelines
GCB Awards Committee Chair:
Judy Presley P. O. BOX 231, Helen, Georgia 30545-0231, 706 878 2962, email@example.com
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.
Rhoda Walker: Chair
Anne Wheeler 2199 Floyd Street, Covington, Georgia 30014, 770 786 5778 cell 678 480 2783, firstname.lastname@example.org
Heather Lopez 3226 Peninsula Drive, Augusta, Georgia 30909-0603, 706-739-1129, email@example.com
Barbara Graham 116 Edinburgh Court, Alpharetta, Georgia 30004, 678 319 0450, firstname.lastname@example.org
The June Willis Guiding Eyes Award
The recipient can be either sighted or legally blind.
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.
June Willis Guiding Eyes: Chair
Keith Morris 3359 White Oak Road, Thomson, Georgia 30824, 706-595-1465, email@example.com
Richard Bagley 8855 Oliver Mill Road, Lula, Georgia 30554, 70-983-1213, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Walter R. McDonald Award
The 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.
Walter R McDonald: Chair
Robin Oliver 90 Fourth Street, Apt. #8201, Athens, Georgia 30601, 706-548-7401, email@example.com
Amanda Wilson 45 Rocky Circle, NE, White, Georgia 30184, 770-547-4700, firstname.lastname@example.org
Christopher Chavous 1616 Winter Street, Augusta, Georgia 30014-3550, 706-737-4341, email@example.com
The Gerald Pye Community Service Award
The recipient must be an active legally blind member of GCB in good standing. 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 firsthand of the candidate's community services and innovation involving blindness or blind people. Examples of this service must be included in the written recommendation.
Gerald Pye Community Service Award- Chair, Don Linnets 3801 Village View Drive, Apt. #1217, Gainesville, Georgia 30506, 770-538-4816, firstname.lastname@example.org
Marion Badie P. O. Box 60395, Savannah, Georgia 31420, 912 247 5345, email@example.com
Clifford Jones 1804 Susan Lane, Columbus, Georgia 31906, 706-569-9881, firstname.lastname@example.org
All GCB awards shall be presented periodically at a GCB state convention.
All awards committees shall be appointed at the January board meeting.
Nominations for all awards shall be submitted to the respective award committee chairpersons in writing (including e-mail) no later than June 15, 2013.
Nominations shall include the name of the candidate, plus the reason the candidate deserves the award.
Each award committee chairperson shall read to his/her committee members all award nominations.
The decision for selecting the award recipient shall be made by all members of that committee.
Scholarship Awards Chair: Debbie Williams 1477 Nebo Road, Dallas, Georgia 30157, 770-595-1007, Debbie_teaches@comcast.net
Tom Ridgeway 1071 South Pine Knoll Drive, Macon, Georgia 31204, 478 474 3577
Dr. Phillip Dillard 116 Wiley Drive, Cedartown, Georgia 30125, 770-748-829, email@example.com
Bill Holley 185 Weatherly Woods Drive, Winterville, Georgia 30683, 706-410-4945, Gcbill850@yahoo.com
The deadline for receipt of scholarship information is June 15, 2013. Scholarship applications may be obtained from the chair, Debbie Williams, at the address above or via the web site at www.georgiacounciloftheblind.org
GCB Chapter News
The Athens Chapter
The Athens chapter reports that their April fish fry was postponed. Several of their members attended the GCB board meeting in Athens, Georgia, on Saturday, April 20, 2013. They had their monthly meeting on Saturday, April 27, 2013. In May they will have a phone conference meeting on Saturday, May 18, 2013 at 10:00 am. In June, they will have a restaurant fundraiser on Monday, June 10, 2013 and Tuesday, June 11, 2013. Their June meeting will be on Saturday, June 22, 2013 at 10:30 am; the meeting place will be announced. On Saturday, July 27, 2013 27, 2013 they are having a picnic at Memorial Park in Athens, Georgia, from 11:00 am until 3:00 pm.
Their August meeting will be on Saturday, August 24, 2013, at 10:30 am. The Athens chapter meetings are usually held on the fourth Saturday of the month at 10:30am until 12:00pm at Multiple Choices Center for Independent Living, 850 Gaines School Road, Athens, Georgia 30605. But since Multiple Choices is moving, the location of their next meeting will be announced as soon as possible. For more information about the Athens chapter, please contact Daniel Myers at 706-850-7472, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Augusta Chapter
The Augusta Chapter had a bowling day on April 27th. We had 12 people bowling and a great time was had by all. The Augusta chapter is planning for their Annual Picnic, which it will be held on Saturday, September 28, 2013, from 11:00 AM - 2:00 PM at the Diamond Lakes covered pavilion at Diamond Lakes Park. All GCB members are invited. Please RSVP to Chris Chavous at 706/737-4341 or via email at email@example.com. The Augusta Chapter meetings are held at the Columbia County Main Library, Evans Town Center Blvd, Evans, Georgia, on the second Saturday at 1:00. For more information about the Augusta chapter please contact Christopher Chavous at 706-737-4341 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Bainbridge Chapter
The Bainbridge chapter meetings are held on the second Saturday of each month at the library. For more information about the Bainbridge chapter, please contact Tonya Wright at 229-248-0087.
The Chattooga County Chapter
The Chattooga County chapter reports that Saunya Jones (Editha Jones’s daughter), really enjoyed the "outdoors" short course she took at the Georgia Academy for the Blind in Macon, Georgia.
Saunya went paddle boating and kayaking in the pool. They had water safety training; water games; zumba and yoga exercises in the pool. She had fun playing the game Geo catching and bicycling. She had fun at the campfire and at the Singing Bee. She went Bungee jumping, wall climbing and horseback riding. She did arts and crafts at the cranial facial camp this past weekend. Saunya won second place in the individual category at this year’s Bible Bowl contest in our area in March. The Chattooga County Chapter is very proud of Mary Turnipseed for completing the Hadley Braille Course. We are proud to announce that Marsha has a new grandchild named Gina. The Chattooga County Chapter Meetings are held 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. For more information about the Chattooga County Chapter, please contact Marsha Farrow at 706-859-2624, or via email at email@example.com.
The East Georgia Chapter
The East Georgia chapter reports that at their April meeting, Anisio Correia, the vice-president of programs at the Center for the Visually Impaired, came and talked to us about all of the programs and services at the center for Visual Impairments. He has a black standard poodle guide dog, which is his first guide dog. He also told us a little about his life. It was a great learning experience for all of us. We're planning our annual picnic, which will be held on Saturday, July 13, 2013.
Our chapter has lost a valuable member. Jae Cosby, who was also the executive director of The Georgia Radio Reading Service, has retired and moved to Florida. Many you know how valuable she was not only to our chapter but also to all of GCB. I know I speak for all of you when I say that we'll miss her tremendously and that we wish her well! For more information about the East Georgia Chapter, please contact Phil Jones at 770-713-3306, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Greater Columbus Chapter
The Greater Columbus chapter reports that they are having a DRAGON BOAT RACE AND A COOKOUT ON MAY 25, IN COLUMBUS GEORGIA. THE COLUMBUS MIDNIGHT STARS BEEP BALL TEAM WILL BE GETTING READY FOR THE NBBA WORLD SERIES IN JULY. OUR PRACTICE WILL START ON JUNE 1TH. GLAD TO SEE CLIFF JONES IS BACK IN COLUMBUS, GEORGIA. REMEMBER WE ARE STILL WORKING ON THE BEEP BALL GAME between the GCB AND THE NFB. SO GET ready FOR THE GAME. The Greater Columbus chapter wants to say thanks to the group from the Athens chapter who came out to support the Midnight Stars beep ball game.
The Greater Columbus Chapter meetings are held on the third Friday of each month at the Columbus Public Library, 3000 Macon Road, Columbus, Georgia, in the CB&T room, at 10:30AM until 12:00PM. For more information about the Greater Columbus chapter, please contact Gregory McDuffie at 706-330-8185 or via email at email@example.com.
The Greater Hall County Chapter
The Greater Hall County Chapter sponsored a visually impaired elementary student by paying his traveling expenses to Lions Camp in Waycross last summer. We have agreed to sponsor him again, and two additional students this coming summer. We also bought the first student a computer to be used in his home. We will be having our annual June picnic on June 8 at the First Presbyterian Church on South Enota. At our picnic we will honor a special member of our Chapter. Sheila Rousey will provide the fun and games. With her special talent we can count on loads of fun. The 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. For more information about the Greater Hall County Chapter, please contact Virginia Doane at 678-971-4271.
Metro Atlanta Chapter
The Metro Atlanta chapter reported that they have added two new members and two associate members in the past year. They are planning to participate in the Belk’s fundraiser in November. They are planning to have an Auction at the Center for the Visually Impaired either in September or October. They are sending one young person who is visually impaired to the Georgia Lions Camp for the blind this summer. Brent Reynolds, Barbara Graham and Ann Sims are members of the Atlanta library Consumer advisory Committee. Brent Reynolds and Paul Booth are members on the Marta transportation committee. Chris Baldridge, Lisa Jones, and Chester Thrash are on the Georgia Statewide Coalition on Blindness. The Metro Atlanta chapter meetings are held on the second Friday of each month at the Piccadilly Cafeteria, 2226 North Druid Hills Road, at 4:30 to 7:00 PM. For more information about the Metro Atlanta Chapter, please contact Brent Reynolds at 404-814-0768 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Northwest Chapter
The Northwest Chapter meetings are held on the second Tuesdays of every other month at the Bank of Lafayette Community Room at 7:00 pm. For more information, about the Northwest chapter please contacts Ron Burgess at (706) 638-1132.
The Rome/Floyd County Chapter
The Rome Floyd County Chapter has had many good speakers this year. In February, we heard from Dr. Kenneth Williams from the Georgia Council for the Hearing Impaired, who presented information on the new pilot program for citizens with a dual sensory loss. Attendees were updated on this federal program offered through the Georgia Council for the Hearing Impaired for telecommunications equipment. This program called, ICanConnect is a national equipment distribution program for Deaf-Blind consumers. This program offers telecommunications equipment ranging from I pads, Iphones, and Braille devices. This program is income based and free of charge to low income individuals of all ages. This will bring world wide access into the hands of those with a dual sensory loss. Allowing access to phone usage technology will simultaneously enhance face to face communication for those looking to enter into the workforce and every day communications! They must have proof of residency, phone service, and internet access. Application link-
Contact Kwilliams@gachi.org. Georgia Statewide Deaf Blind Needs Assessment
Rebecca Cowan-Story, State Coordinator of Deaf Blind Services: On March 5, 2013, Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency entered into collaboration with the Helen Keller National Center for conducting a statewide needs assessment to evaluate the quality of services being provided to the Deaf- Blind community. Through this partnership, the Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency received a Helmsley Grant of $50,000 that is eligible to be matched federally. This funding will allow both phases of the assessment to be conducted without strain on our current budget. The assessment will occur through two phases, each with approximately fifteen questions.
The first phase will be outreach and survey interviews of key informants involved in the Deaf Blind community throughout the state. Key informants will include professionals working with Deaf Blind consumers, such as vocational rehabilitation counselors and other human service entities across our state.
The second phase will consist of one-on-one interviews and focus groups of Deaf Blind citizens of Georgia. Participants in the phase will be receiving a one hundred dollar stipend. Funding from the grant will be used for the stipends and ensure that all accessibility needs are guaranteed for the interviews such as tactile interpreting.
The focus groups will be centered on commonalities of consumers. The goal is to conduct six focus groups around the state. Focus groups will revolve around commonalities such as Transition Needs, Usher’s Syndrome type I, Usher’s Syndrome types II and III, and Late Deafened Blind. These will take place around the state based on logistics of population.
Clients of vocational rehabilitation that are Deaf Blind or have a dual sensory loss have been historically an underserved, significantly disabled population that our own agency struggles to serve effectively. Many times these cases are not even accurately coded in our own database. Through the results from this needs assessment, more effective education and strategies can be developed to better serve this population. This is done with the hope that the outcomes of this initiative will be able to guide us more specifically in designing resources, improving service delivery, improving preexisting resources, and ultimately to aid our agency in successfully placing members of this population in employment.
For more information concerning this needs assessment or to participate in the key informant’s survey, please contact Rebecca.Cowan-Story@gvra.ga.gov .
In March, we heard from Bronwyn Rumery who told us about Fedora Outlier.
Fedora Outlier, LLC, Top Down Better than Excellent, Apple Consulting Teaching and Support
Fedora Outlier, LLC is an innovative assistive technology firm that offers top quality consulting, teaching and support for Apple’s iOS devices and computer products. Fedora Outlier, LLC is based in Atlanta, Georgia, but has virtual offices throughout the state of Georgia and throughout the nation. We are one of the only companies that offer what is called “remote access” teaching, which means our clients do not have to leave the comfort of their home or environment to learn how to use Apple’s products. Recently, Fedora Outlier, LLC published its first multimedia book entitled The Old Hat Guide To iPhone Accessibility, which tells the story of one of Fedora’s own team members, Brie Rumery, and how she went from being scared to death to pick up an iPhone, to becoming quite proficient in using her phone. It’s packed with her humor, sarcasm and personal stories about her journey with such a powerful gadget. The book also provides 12 Baby Steps on how to use an Apple iPhone and it’s available for just $9.99. The most important aspect of Fedora Outlier, LLC is that everyone who works for this innovative business is blind or visually impaired and they use the devices they are teaching about on a daily basis, which means the clients of Fedora Outlier, LLC are provided with the best and most proficient teaching available. For more information about Fedora Outlier, LLC please visit its web site at fedoraoutlier.com.
You can also follow Fedora Outlier, LLC on Twitter at: @fedora_outlier or you can like them on Face Book at: facebook.com/fedoraoutlierllc. You can find the book, Old Hat Guide To iPhone Accessibility in the iTunes Store or at the Fedora Outlier, LLC web site.
In April, we heard from Ms. Wilma Maynard, who is head of Student Support services at Georgia Highlands College since 1997. She related that she tells students to ask when they need help, encourages them to help themselves, and explains the computer programs that will help them. Money is a huge problem--Braille texts cost 5 to 70 thousand dollars each. Problems with students are unique to each, and have to be handled individually. She told of a student who had a “service animal” which turned out to be a flying squirrel--this student had to be escorted off campus. Ms. Maynard makes sure all videos are captioned, and that labs have special equipment. She told a funny story about students sneaking out of Dr. Dillard’s class. They got caught; even though Dr. Dillard is blind, he knew what his sneaky students were doing in his classroom.
The Rome Floyd County Chapter meetings are held at the Rome Floyd County library, on the 3rd Tuesday of each month at 11:00 am. For more information, please contact Amanda Wilson at 770-547-4700 or via email at email@example.com.
The Savannah Chapter
The Savannah chapter went bowling on Saturday, April 6, 2013, from 4 pm to 5 pm. Jermaine Smart won the bowling games, score 111 overall. We also went to Texas Roadhouse at 6 pm for dinner. We all had a wonderful time.
The Savannah Chapter will be having a cookout on Saturday, June 15, 2013, from 2:00 until 6:00 pm. For more information about this event, please contact Kim Harrison at 912-228-1190 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Savannah chapter meetings are held 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.
For more information about the Savannah chapter please contact Kim Harrison at 912-228-1190 or via email at email@example.com.
The West Georgia Chapter
The West Georgia Chapter will be participating in a multi-group event on Friday, May 17, 2013, at the MILL, in Villa Rica. Many of the most popular Blue Grass and Gospel singers in our area will be there. They are planning to have a flea-market either this month or next month. The date will be announced when they finalize their plans. The West Georgia Chapter is working on renewing our chapter after running around like chickens. It’s time to regroup, and build West Georgia to what it was when we hosted the convention, and it WILL happen.
The West Georgia Chapter meetings are held on the third Saturday of each month, at the Carrollton library. For more information about the West Georgia chapter please contact Steve Estes at 770-456-7709, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
GCB Helpful Hints, Sheila Rousey
Spring Cleaning means putting away the winter clothes and getting out the summer clothing. This is a good time to think about donating a few unwanted items of clothing to your local Goodwill store. Think about those clothes that you either want to keep or Store away for the summer. Here are a few suggestions that may make organizing them easier and getting them back out for the first days of autumn.
Purchase "Hefty 2X Jumbo storage bags” and place items into each bag. Use your favorite means of labeling, yes, that's right, even the "Pen Friend" for labeling the bags. Braille works well too. Once your winter wear is nicely packaged into these bags, you can store them away. Since the bags are reusable, you can use them again and again for as long as you like.
For those really large items like blankets and/or winter comforters, there are many sizes of the "Zip Lock Space Bag” to meet your needs. You will want to organize the items you put into the bag in some way to help you know the contents. These bags do not hold Braille well on the outside with labeling. And if you use Braille for items inside the bag, the labeling material should be a durable plastic. When these bags have all of the air removed from them, they do shrink to a nice storage size.
GCB Member Profiles
Jason Starr is an at large member of the Georgia Council of the Blind. He lost some of his eye sight due to a football accident in high school. He states that getting acclimated to being visually impaired was a challenge for him at first. He says, “But like anyone. I adapted to this challenge.” He graduated from Griffin Technical College, now called Southern Crescent College, in 2004 with a Diploma in Computer Programming, and recently he has graduated from Kennesaw State University in August of 2011, with a Bachelor's in Science/Media Studies, which he is very proud of. Jason works at a local radio station in Barnesville, Georgia. He has been at the station since February of 2012. He is a DJ/Sales Representative. Jason feels like he is very lucky, because he is doing what he loves and what he went to school for. He knows many people cannot say that. Jason says, “I have been married for 2 years to my lovely wife Jennifer.” They have a beautiful daughter named Kelli, who will be three years old in October. Jason states that some of his proudest moments in his life are getting his driver’s license, graduating from High School, graduating from Griffin Tech, graduating from Kennesaw State, the birth of Kelli and proving that he is capable of living on his own.
Jamaica Miller is a member of the Athens chapter of the Georgia Council of the Blind. She helps the Athens Chapter with their annual fundraiser.
This year it was held on Monday, February 11, 2013, at the Blind Pig in Athens, Georgia. People in Athens could come and eat and listen to live music. Jamaica sang many bluegrass and folk songs. They raised over 700 dollars. The Athens Chapter will hold this event again next year. The time and date is to be announced when it is all planned out.
Martha Craig is a member of the Rome/Floyd County Chapter of the Georgia Council of the Blind. She would like to share with you her experience of trying to learn Braille at the age of 80.
I have RP with Usher’s Syndrome, with the prognosis that I will go both blind and deaf. I met Marsha Farrow five years ago and she started me with Hadley School for the Blind. I received the lessons with instructions on cassette tapes. With the loss of hearing, I could not understand the voiced instructions. They sent me a book with instructions. I could only read for short periods at a time with my magnifier. Peter Leffel made it possible for me to obtain the first three books for learning Braille. Marsha Farrow also made it possible for me to obtain a Braille writer. My studies really began in earnest. I could write the signs and that helped me retain them to memory. I met Dr. Philip Dillard and his wife Carolyn at the GCB meetings at the Rome library. When he learned of my work with Braille, he said he would help me as much as he could. I began sending written Braille to him. He and Carolyn would read it and then, he would call to tell me how to correct the mistakes I had made. I do not have an instructor, and with the advice and encouragement from Dr. Dillard, I am in Braille #2, and working on my dots 4, 5, and 6 contractions. As I said, Braille is hard to learn, but the hardest part of all is learning to read by touch. Dr. Dillard sent me the song “Silent Night”, and if I don’t accomplish anything else, I plan to do this one, no matter how long it takes. I cannot let him down. I hope to accomplish my goal, as it will give me more hope for the future.
My special thanks to:
Marsha Farrow, Certified Vision Rehab Therapist
Peter Leffel, Braille transcriber
Dr. Philip Dillard, Retired Professor and an accomplished Braille reader
Carolyn Dillard, Retired Braille teacher
Last but not least, my children, who have given me a lot of encouragement.
GCB Blindness Day at the Capital
By Joseph Weaver
Walking the Plank
On January 23, the Georgia Coalition on Blindness sponsored Blindness Day at the capital. The morning started at the Paul Coverdale Legislative office building, where participants had breakfast and heard from various guest speakers, including but not limited to the chair of the Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities. The hot topics of the day were Braille Literacy, jobs, and the State 1/4 matching funds for VR Services. After working on Elevator Speeches, participants donned their eye patches and proceeded as a group to the Georgia Capital across the street, where they gave out cards with their key talking points and rolls of Life Savers, with the slogan ‘Help Georgia’s Blind Work Not Beg`. Despite the workers at the capital playing games with participants and giving out wrong information to them to make it harder to get their points to Senate and House appropriations committee members, Group Members picked themselves up and regrouped, they went to senators’ offices personally and made calls, so the day was not a total loss. Despite being treated like no-class citizens by law makers, some of them were willing to listen. Accounts of the event will vary from person to person, but overall my synopses are that it was a pretty productive day. Groups represented were GARRS reporting on the event, CVI, GCB, NFB, and the Georgia Coalition on Blindness. I personally am looking forward to next year’s event, but if we are to be successful, we need each and every one of you to join us next year. Winston Churchill once said ‘Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm” so even though the funds were still cut, we were successful because we showed up and made our voices heard, even if they didn’t want to hear them, and I heard some enthusiasm in the voices of event participants--even with a little discouragement, you’re all winners in my book.
Remembering Ivan Bruce Weevie
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Ivan Bruce Weevie, 80, of Summerville, Georgia, died on Tuesday, February 12, 2013, at Floyd Medical Center.
Mr. Weevie was born Oct. 4, 1932, in Rushville, In., the son of the late Raymond Jack and Nellie Fox Weevie. Mr. Weevie was a graduate of Indiana School for the Blind. He was a member of the Seventh Day Adventist Church. Mr. Weevie was a past member of Chattooga County Civil Defense, the C B Club, where his handle was Bicycle Red, and the Odd Fellows of Indianapolis, Indiana. He was a member of the Chattooga Council of the Blind, North Georgia Talking Book Club, and the Chattooga County Historical Society. He was retired from Harriett and Henderson Cotton Mill, where he had worked for 47 years. He loved to fish; cane chairs, and listen to his short wave radio.
Other than his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife of 52 years, Patsy Posey Weevie; son, Joseph Weevie; brother, Russell Weevie; and a sister, Nellie Fox.
Survivors include his son, Randy Weevie and Lynn Lewis; and a brother, Charlie Weevie, Lynn, Indiana.
Funeral services were held at 11 a. m. on Thursday, Feb. 14, at Mason Funeral Home Chapel with Reverend Ed Skirts officiating. Burial followed in Greenhills Memory Gardens. Active pallbearers were Alex Covrig, Chuck Helton, Jerry Miller, and Robert Kinney.
Remembering Mrs. Evelyn Minnick
Mrs. Minnick was born in Chattanooga, TN, on February 21, 1918, the daughter of Grady McLeod and Lurley Wood McLeod. She graduated from Seminole County High School in 1934 at the age of 16. She graduated from Georgia Southern University, previously Georgia Teacher's College, in 1936 at the age of 18. She also attended advanced education studies at Middle Tennessee State University. She taught first grade in several schools in South Georgia: FDR School in Seminole County, Bickley School in Ware County and Nichols School in Coffey County. In addition, she was employed by the Davenport, IA school system as a substitute teacher. Mrs. Minnick was a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Rome since 1978 and enjoyed participating in many Bible study groups and the Saints Alive. She was a member of New Romans, the Rome Chapter of the Georgia Council for the Blind and past president of the Rome Chapter of the National Association of Retired Federal Employees. Mrs. Minnick served as the Vice President and Secretary of the East Iowa Presbyterian and was also the President of the Midwest Presbyterian. As chairman of the Midwest Task Force on World Hunger, she was active in the development of many food banks and programs in the Midwest. She taught Sunday school for 18 years at West Park Presbyterian Church in Davenport, IA and was a trained Grief Counselor with St. Luke's Hospital in Davenport.
Her many interests included reading, gardening, flower arranging, sewing, painting, traveling and cake decorating. She married Cole Wesley Minnick on June 20, 1942, in Dothan, AL; he preceded her in death in June, 1980. She was also preceded in death by brothers Grady Wood McLeod, Wendell McLeod and William McLeod and by sisters Frances Williams and Virginia McDonald. Survivors include three sons: Cole Wesley Minnick, Jr. and his wife Barbara of Tucson, AZ, Michael Minnick and his wife Pat of Marlton, NJ, and Alan Minnick of Chicago, IL; a daughter, Vivian Johnson and her husband Alec of Rome, GA; granddaughters: Casey Burke and her husband Van of Anchorage, AK, Angelia Gambale and her husband Nick of Marlton, NJ, and Courtney Mole and her husband Kevin of Marlton; four great grandchildren: Mason Burke of Anchorage, and Alexis, Ava and Nick Gambale of Marlton; one brother, David McLeod of Calhoun, GA and beloved nieces and nephews. Funeral services were held Monday, April 22, 2013 at 2 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church of Rome with the Rev. Jeff Chadwick and the Rev. Bill Pardue officiating. Interment was in the Chandler Cemetery in Calhoun.
The family received friends at Daniel's Funeral Home on Sunday, April 21, 2013 from 3 until 5 p.m. The family would like to express a heartfelt thank you to Heyman HospiceCare of Rome, especially Patricia Smith and nurse Amanda Broyles and to Dr. Katharine Ammons of Harbin Clinic for the love and care shown to Mrs. Minnick.
Chester Thrash 3-4; David and Christina Holtzclaw anniversary 3-10; Jeff and Debbie Williams anniversary 3-18; Steve Estes 3-19; Kristin Whitfield 3-22; Debbie Williams 3-23; Editha Jones 4-1; Janet Hardin 4-11; Linda Cox 4-16; Daniel Myers 4-19; Sam Howard 4-19; Jan Elders 4-25; Saunya Jones (Editha Jones daughter) 4-27; Danny Payne 4-28; Terecia Standridge 4-30; Sarah Maddox 5-2; Willie and Annie Harris anniversary 4-8; Brenda Maddox 5-10; Barbara Graham 5-11; Roger and Editha Jones anniversary 5-15; Peter Leffel 5-25; Judy Presley 6-2; Tom and Alice Ridgeway anniversary 6-4; Barbara Brooks 5-10; Amanda Wilson 6-16; Al Jones 6-20; Frances Sweet 6-22; Dr. Philip and Carolyn Dillard anniversary 6-24; Ellis Maxwell 6-27; Dale Allen 6-28; Joan Estes 7-10; Leo Healy 7-15; Roy & Brenda Wooten anniversary 7-20; Kathy Coursey-Boes 7-27; Kim Harrison 7-28; jamaica miller 7-31; Jose and Maia Santamaria anniversary 8-1; Jeffery Toney 8-6; Joshua Taylor 8-7; Ronnie Alridge 8-8; Joyce Everly 8-9; Keith Morris 8-9; Hoyal and Judy Presley anniversary 8-9; Debbie Moon 8-12; Jamie Teal 8-17; Virginia Smeltz 8-20; Lila Scott 8-22; Granger and Jerrie Ricks anniversary 8-23; Neal and Janet Hardin anniversary 8-24; Jermaine smart 8-28; Ann Sims 8-31; Melissa Crawley 9-1; Lisa Jones 9-3; Michael and Jamie Teal anniversary 9-6; Granger Ricks 9-13; Jae Cosby 9-13; Janice Reid 9-13; Pete Hayek 9-14; Clifford Jones 9-16; Tonia Clayton 9-20; Maia Santamaria 9-22; Suzanne Jackson 9-25: Jackie Woods 9-26; June Willis 9-29; Jerrie Ricks 9-31.
GCB Georgia Lion’s Camp for the Blind
Tonya Wright, Paddi Dale, and Keith Carter have attended the summer adult session at the Georgia Lions Camp for the Blind. They went to the one week session for adults.
They participated in activities such as horseback riding, making art and craft projects, swimming, games, adaptive sports, dances and talent shows, karaoke, scavenger hunts, fishing, archery, and campfire activities. They have an awards ceremony on the last night where they receive different awards such as the best dressed, most helpful, and caring, and other character traits.
People with visual impairments who are eighteen to one hundred years old can attend this summer session at the Georgia Lion’s Camp for the Blind. The Georgia Lions Camp for the Blind also has a Christmas camp the first weekend in December.
It is the mission of the Georgia Lions' Camp for the Blind, Inc. to provide personal growth experiences for children, teens and adults with visual impairments through the use of recreation, education, socialization and rehabilitation in an outdoor setting.
For more information please contact the Georgia Lions Camp for the Blind at the following address.
Georgia Lions Camp for the Blind
5626 Laura Walker Road
Waycross, Georgia 31503
www.georgialionscampfor the blind.org
Georgia Council of the Blind One Day Event, with registration form
“GCB Community – Together Reaching Beyond Ourselves”
REGISTRATION FORM 2013 ONE-DAY EVENT
The registration fee includes your registration and meal. Check the appropriate fee and note how many people will be attending. From March 15, 2013 until May 15, 2013, the registration fee is $45. 00. From May 16, 2013 until July 15, 2013, the registration fee is $50.00. From July 16, 2013, until August 2, 2013, the registration fee is $55.00. On, Saturday, August 3, 2013, at the event site no cash, Money order, cashier check only the registration fee is $60.00. Continuing Education credits CEU registration fee is $75.00. Please make your check payable to GCB. You may also register on line at w.
“The GCB Community – Together Reaching Beyond ourselves” 2013 One-Day Event agenda will be forthcoming.
If you have any additional questions or need any further information, feel free to contact the One-Day Event chairperson, Chris Chavous at 706-737-4341, or via email at email@example.com.
Georgia Guide Dog Users Picnic
The Georgia Guide Dog Users will have a picnic on Saturday, June 8, 2013, at the Home of Mel Mosier. It will start at 11:00 am, with a picnic lunch; a ride on a pontoon boat; and a short business meeting. Please bring sunscreen and prepare to have a blast!
For more information about the Georgia Guide Dog user’s picnic, please contact Betsy Grenevitch at 770-464-0450 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Low Vision Technology Open House
If you have macular degeneration or other low vision conditions, here's an event you don't want to miss
You are cordially invited to the Low Vision Technology Open House at the Cave Spring Vocational Rehabilitation Center. It is going to be on Friday, June 21, 2013, from 2:00 pm. Until 4:30 pm. The Open house is going to be at the Cave Spring Vocational Rehabilitation Center which is located at 7 Georgia Avenue, Cave Spring, Georgia 30124. Join us for a FREE event featuring hands-on demonstrations of the latest technology available for people with low vision.
Low vision technology by Enhanced Vision can help you read, write, see loved ones and enjoy hobbies again.
A local Enhanced Vision representative, Albert Meruelo, will be on hand to demonstrate and answer questions.
A FREE Pebble Mini will be offered as a door prize. Value $295. For more information or to reserve a table please contact Rebecca Cowan-Story at 706-777-2341, or via email at email@example.com.
State Match Funds Critical for Vocational Rehabilitation in Georgia, Marsha Farrow
Have you told your personal story to your Senator and your Member of the House of Representatives? If you have not told your story of how your vision loss has impacted your life and that of your family, then now is the perfect time. We must join together in a common voice and inform our Georgia Legislators of the serious crisis that we are facing. We must have State Dollars to Match Federal Dollars to serve our disabled population in Georgia. Our State Match Funds have been cut drastically over the past several years. Millions of dollars have been utilized by other states because our Georgia Legislators failed to provide support to enable the federal dollars to be available to Georgia’s citizens with severe disabilities including teenagers, adults, and seniors. If we continue to sit quietly and believe others will take up our fight, then we will continue to lose funds and resources. We must be an army and we must fight if we want to provide services for others in need. If you care and you want to be a part of this battle, please contact your Representatives now! Make phone calls; have personal meetings; send e-mails and letters; attend special events held at the Georgia State Capitol.
Find your Georgia Legislators at www.legis.ga.gov or phone your Legislator by calling the Georgia State Capitol at 404.656.2846
You may also contact your local library. Also Amanda Wilson and Marsha Farrow are very willing to assist you with contact information.