GCB board - taken at the 2018 Convention Conference

GCB Digest Online

GCB Digest Spring 2016 (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 and not a hand out Spring 2016 GCB President: Keith Morris, 706-799-5225, mkumoris@yahoo.com GCB Digest Editor: Amanda Wilson, 770-547-4700, moonrocks@bellsouth.net GCB Assistant Editor: Suzanne Jackson, 678-593-5836, bartonsuzanne2@gmail.com Table of Contents: From your Editor, Amanda Wilson GCB Presidential Message, Keith Morris GCB Board Meeting Minutes, Christine O’Brien GCB Member Profile on Thomas Woodyard GCB Awards Guidelines, Judy Presley GCB Chapter News GGDU Georgia Guide Dog Users News, Betsy Grenevitch GCB in Memory GCB Celebrations GCB Dana Tarter, High School Deafblind Teacher Uses Manipulatives to Teach Life Skills GCB Blind Day at the Capital GCB Announcements 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, Marsha Farrow at 706-859-2624, or via email at marshafarrow@windstream.net. 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 GCB Digest. I want to thank our president, Keith Morris, for his presidential message 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. GCB Presidential Message, Keith Morris Spring is in the air and plants are blooming. Things at GCB are also blooming. On Thursday, February 25th, I attended a support group meeting in Douglas, Georgia, sharing with them about GCB. They were receptive to the GCB idea, but have not yet committed to doing anything as yet. Hopefully, they will soon bloom into a new chapter. While I was down that way, I went to the Georgia Lions Camp for the Blind in Waycross, Georgia, and checked on several pianos they had. Unfortunately, two of the pianos were not in good enough shape to be fixed and had to be condemned. I will be talking to several Lions Clubs in an effort to purchase a piano for them. I am looking forward to the convention this year that will be held in Savannah, Georgia. The committee is working hard to give us a great time. Let us all seek avenues that we can bloom in and share the GCB message. Let's continue to work together to be the best organization of the Blind! Georgia Council of the Blind Board Meeting Minutes, Christine O’Brien The Center for the Visually Impaired, CVI 739 West Peachtree Street, Southwest Atlanta Georgia 30308 10:00 Am Call to Order: The Georgia Council of the Blind board meeting was held at the Center for the Visually Impaired, CVI, in Atlanta, Georgia. We thanked the staff at the Center for the Visually Impaired, CVI, for allowing us to meet there. President Keith Morris called the meeting to order at 10:09 A.M. Invocation: Fred McDade, the GCB Chaplin, gave the invocation for the meeting. Roll Call: The following members were present at the meeting. They include President, Keith Morris; First Vice-president, Robin Oliver; Second vice-president, Fred McDade, Secretary, Christine O’Brien; Treasurer, Marsha Farrow; Athens chapter, Jerrie Toney; Augusta chapter, Alicia Morris; East Georgia chapter, Neb Houston; ; representing Greater Hall County chapter, Dianne Roberts; Northwest, Ron Burgess; Rome Floyd County chapter, Amanda Wilson; Savannah chapter, Marj Schneider; South Metro Atlanta chapter, Lisa Jones; Georgia Guide Dog Users, Betsy Grenevitch; Members who were absent were Greater Columbus chapter, Greg McDuffie. We had many other members who attended the board meeting. They include Anisio Correia, Kathy Morris, Chester Thrash, Harvey Roberts, Connie Short, Jesse O’Brien, DJ Grenevitch, Alice Ritchhart, Valerie Hester, John Hester, and Rodrick Parker. Adoption of Rules of Order: Rodrick Parker, our parliamentarian, summarized the Rules of Order. He stated that these rules could assist us in having more productive board meetings. These rules were provided to all in braille, large print, and through email. Keith Morris, president, called for a motion to adopt these rules. Christine O’Brien stated that we should accept these rules; Amanda Wilson seconded the motion, and the motion carried with no opposition. President’s Report: Keith Morris, president, reported that Tim Kelly resigned as the member at large representative. Keith Morris will be making announcements on the GCB calling post. The resolutions from our last convention were sent out. Marsha said a request was made to GCB to assist with the Students with Visual Impairments Career Day, which was on Friday, November 6, 2015, in Gwinnett County. Marsha Farrow and Steve Longmire will be speaking at the Career Day. The GCB executive committee voted to send $58.00 to cover the transportation fee for this event. Swearing in: Neb Houston of the East Georgia chapter and Anisio Correia as the Member at large representative were sworn in as Georgia Council of the Blind officers. Secretary’s Report: Fred McDade moved that the minutes be accepted as written. The minutes were provided to all board members before the meeting. Lisa Jones seconded the motion. Marj Schneider had a question about the $900.00 for an audit, as there was none. It will be discussed in the treasurer's report. Miss Hazel reviewed, not audited the books. Christine asked what became of the $900.00. Marsha Farrow said that Jerrie Toney handled the books at the time of the review. The motion carried with no opposition. Treasurer's Report: Marsha Farrow, the GCB treasurer gave the following bank information. She stated that the balance for the Checking account is $3792.48. She stated that $4,000 was given for scholarships on Saturday, August 1, 2015. We voted to take the scholarship from the investment interest of Way Financial. $525.20 from that account went to scholarships. The $819.93 left after the scholarships were given was added to the $525.20 and a $10 donation. Total amount in the scholarship fund is $1355.13. Money market account: $5,739.96 and $0.22 cents interest. We are still holding $900.51 of the Evan Barnard grant. Long-term Regions Bank investment: $17, 0085.05 includes 2 percent compounded interest. She stated that the Way Financial account has $65,436.90 as of August, 2015. Marsha Farrow was charged $181.26 on her credit card, which she had given to the Clarion as a formality. Marsha Farrow canceled her card and she disputed the charge. The bank told her not to pay it. They said it was an error. The Clarion can dispute that charge. Marsha Farrow asked what the charges were for. The Clarion said that it was for food and drinks. When Marsha Farrow asked where it came from, she got no answer. Then Marsha Farrow said Rodrick Parker is assisting her to find a lawyer who will hopefully be pro bono to audit our books. Betsy Grenevitch gave the budget numbers. GCB is expecting to get $2544 for membership dues of 212 members. Interest income, $150 based on last year Donations, $1,000, based on last year Fund raising, $1,000, including what GCB gets from chapter fundraisers; MMS program $300, next convention, $1,000. We received just under $1000 this year. The total expected $5994. Projected expenses: President's travel and convention expenses, visiting local chapters and other special projects, $1250 Convention, $1,000 $500 for website and state secretary fees, calling post, post office box GCB awards, $200 GCB Digest, $600 Office supplies, $300 Dues to ACB, $1060 for 212 members Special events: $200 GCB parliamentarian: $300 Public relations, $400 Total proposed: 2016 Expenses: $5,810. Betsy Grenevitch moved that we accept the proposed GCB budget. Christine O’Brien seconded the motion; the motion carried with no opposition. The treasurer's report will be filed for audit. Grimes Insurance Bonding Insurance and Financial Accountability: Jared Burrell, Insurance Agent, could not attend our board meeting today. Appointing of Secretary Assistant: Christine O’Brien appointed Amanda Wilson to be the GCB assistant secretary. Amanda Wilson accepted the appointment. Committee Reports: Fundraising Committee Report: Valerie Hester, who is the co-chairperson of the fundraising committee, told us that we made $136 selling smoothies during the GCB One-day Event. Valerie Hester told us that the fundraising committee is planning on having many fundraising events next year. The first one she told us about was called “Dining in the Dark”. They are planning to hold this fundraiser immediately after the board meeting in April. The second fundraiser is called a lunchbox social. They are planning to hold it on Friday evening during the convention in 2016. The third fundraiser involves giving your Kroger card points to GCB. The fourth fundraiser is called the “Cow Patty” fundraiser. It is being planned to be held sometime next year as well. The fifth fundraiser is called a “Braille Rally” which they are planning on holding next fall. Marsha Farrow informed us that GCB has been a 501C3 organization since 1977, according to a letter from the IRS. If a chapter uses our tax ID number, most, but not all kinds of fundraisers need the ID number. If you need to use the GCB tax number, please inform GCB. This is in case we have an audit. GCB must get at least 25 percent of the chapter's funds. Membership Committee Report: Amanda Wilson stated that the membership committee has been working on a GCB brochure. The membership committee is still working on posting each chapter's events on the web page and on our Facebook page. Technology Report: Jerrie Toney stated that the technology committee is still working on the website and linking it to the ACB radio. They are updating the chapter pages, the resources page. Legislative Report: Betsy Grenevitch stated that last year not as much was done as we'd have liked. Betsy Grenevitch talked with Representative Coleman by phone. He suggested they contact the Professional Standards Commission. Mr. Kelly, of PSC, agreed to form a task force, concerning the braille bill. Betsy Grenevitch could not get the representative all summer, but she finally talked to him some weeks ago. He said he'd talk to Kelly, but has he has not done so. So Betsy Grenevitch left a message with the representative to give it to Mr. Kelly. Georgia Guide Dog Users, GGDU, and Report: Betsy Grenevitch stated that the Georgia Guide Dog Users group is working on guide-dog laws. This will be discussed on the GDDU phone meeting on Saturday, November 14, 2015. Betsy Grenevitch stated that her Lions club had a meeting discussing the fake service animal problem. Representative Kirby, who wants to help move this legislation along, was there. It was explained to them the need for the law, that if you are caught with a fake service dog, there would be consequences. Because of the meeting and the contacts made, the Georgia Restaurant Association asked Betsy Grenevitch to do some phone training with the staff. There will be a November webinar, in which Betsy Grenevitch will be teaching the GRA the rights and responsibilities of service dog owners and dogs. Constitution Committee Report: Alice Ritchhart had sent out copies of the amended GCB Constitution to every member weeks ago so it could be voted on. This concerns the big changes in how GCB does business. Kathy Morris moved that we vote on these changes and Amanda seconded the motion. We had a roll call vote. The Augusta chapter voted yes; the Athens chapter voted no; the Greater Hall County chapter voted yes; the Savannah chapter voted yes; the East Georgia chapter voted yes; the South Metro chapter voted yes; the Northwest chapter voted yes; the Rome Floyd County chapter voted yes; the Members at Large voted yes; The Greater Columbus chapter was absent. Total was 111 yes votes and 21 no votes. Alice Ritchhart asked for any discussion. Ron Burgess from the Northwest chapter asked about when the chapter dues are due to the GCB treasurer. He asked if they were due either in October or in November. Alice Ritchhart said, “That the dues are supposed to be collected in October and sent to the GCB treasurer in November.” The motion carried with no opposition to amend the constitution. Conference 2016 Site Selection: Alice Ritchhart proposed our 60th convention be in Savannah, Georgia. They have already checked hotels; they found one with a good price and in a great location. It is a Clarion hotel at Gateway and I-95. They are willing to charge $90 per night. All rooms are suites, the bedroom with double or king bed, living room with a pull out bed; refrigerator, microwave and a coffeepot. There is a five dollar occupation tax and 13 percent sales tax, which include a hot breakfast. If we fill 110 beds total for 3 nights, the meeting rooms will be free. There is no restaurant, but we can cater the banquet. There are many restaurants nearby, such as McDonald's, Denny's, Ihop, Ruby Tuesday's, and Hooligans. If we do not fill the rooms, then we would have to pay $500 for the meeting room. We must fill 35 rooms for the rate. We will need one room for the hospitality room. The convention will be on Thursday, August 4, to Sunday, August 7, 2016. Alice Ritchhart made the motion to hold the 2016 convention in Savannah, Georgia. Christine O’Brien seconded the motion, and the motion carried with no opposition. GCB Digest: Alice stated that GCB is part of ACB and that it is a Grassroots organization. Alice Ritchhart stated that the ACB constitution says that part of the dues is for a quarterly newsletter. This is so the members know what is going on in the organization. Alice Ritchhart stated that if the members do not know what is happening, they cannot be involved. Let those with email get the Digest that way, but be sure that those without email receive the GCB Digest in their preferred format. Ron Burgess made a motion that Amanda Wilson be the editor of the Digest, and that it should go out quarterly. Lisa Jones seconded the motion. The motion carried with no opposition. Ron Burgess made a motion that the GCB Digest be sent out to those who want it in their desired format. Chester Thrash seconded the motion. The motion carried with no opposition. Amanda Wilson stated that Suzanne Jackson will still edit, and record the GCB Digest. GCB Announcements: Marj Schneider stated that last week her chapter decided that they would go downtown and talk to people about the White Cane Law on October 15, 2015, which is White Cane Safety Day. Marj Schneider made 300 flyers and invited her chapter and the NFB chapter to go with her. Marj Schneider reports that it was a successful day. Marj Schneider offered to email the flyer to those who would want one for their chapter. Alice Ritchhart stated that people with visual impairments can receive medicine labels in braille, large print, and talking scripts, and other materials in their desired format from Humana. This was announced last week. Humana will send you the machine free for the script labels. Information about the drug that is not on the label can be obtained by dialing a 1-800 number. Amazon's videos will be closed captioned. NetFlix is adding to their number of described videos. Marsha Farrow stated that anyone who wants to share knowledge about a subject of interest to people with visual impairments can let Steve Longmire and Jerrie Toney know and they can post it on our web site. Marsha Farrow stated that Evan Barnard won an award for his work on the Gwinnett County Braille Trail in Buford, Georgia. Some GCB members have been there. He won the Gloria Baron Prize for Young Heroes. Being one of 15 people selected of 400 people. GCB Raffle: We had the raffle ticket drawing. Rodrick Parker picked Kathy Morris's ticket. So, Kathy Morris got the $200 gift card. We also had the fifty/fifty raffle and Christine O’Brien’s ticket was picked. She received eight dollars. Next GCB Board Meeting: The next Georgia Council of the Blind board meeting will be on Saturday, January 16, 2016, at 10:00 am. The Georgia Council of the Blind board meeting will be held at the Atlanta Fulton County Library where the Georgia Library for Accessible Statewide Services, GLASS, is located. The library is located at 1 Margaret Mitchell Square, in Atlanta, Georgia. We will meet on the third floor of the library. Adjourn: The GCB Board meeting ended at 12:30. Respectfully submitted, Christine O'Brien, GCB Secretary GCB Member Profile: Thomas Woodyard, who lives in Cumming, Georgia, is a dedicated student who is visually impaired. He has exceptional aptitude for learning new concepts quickly and working well under pressure. He has excellent communication and coordination skills advocating for educational success. He works well in groups and has superb presentation skills. Thomas has had experiences with many types of assistive technology and school productivity applications including Microsoft Office, screen readers, magnifiers and video magnifiers. He attended South Forsyth High School in Cumming, Georgia. He has received the following awards: August Literature “Top Eagle” Award; “Describer” Award at NFB STEM Camp; Beta Club; APUSH War Eagles of Distinction Student of the Year; Rho Kappa History Honor Society; SFHS Varsity Swim Team Letter; SFHS Academic Letter: Office Aide. He has been on the SFHS Varsity Swim Team; the Swim Atlanta Year Round Swimming team; the Windermere Waves Recreational League Swimming team. Thomas has been in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes; the Anime Club; the FCCLA - Family, Career and Community Leaders group; the Southside Improves group; DECA. He has been on the Student Council during his senior year of high school. Thomas Woodyard has experienced specialized training for students with visual impairments at the NFB Youth Slam which is A STEM camp for students with visual impairments, in July of 2011. He traveled to Towson University in Baltimore, Maryland, and spent one week on his own in the dorms at a National Federation of the Blind STEM camp. Thomas’s focus was on Astrology and Geology. In August, 2013,Thomas attended the American Council of the Blind’s Audio Descriptive Training in Columbus, Ohio, a one week session, to learn how to add audio description to TV shows and movies so that consumers who are blind can enjoy a show by having the action described to them. Thomas attended the Browns Bridge Community Church’s Technical Production Team where he served in his church’s elementary environment, UpStreet, which has allowed him to become adept in the use of ProPresenter, a Computer Graphics program, and Jands Vista 2 Lighting System to assist the 4th/5th grade production seen by 200 students weekly. Thomas has volunteered in UpStreet, which has improved his ability to coordinate and sharpen his interpersonal skills by communicating with all of the various groups that work together to ensure the show runs smoothly. Thomas has been a volunteer for the Special Olympics Race Course. He has been an announcer for the Windermere Waves Swim Team. In addition to strengthening his public speaking skills, this job taught him the importance of staying on schedule. Thomas worked in his school as an Office Aide. He greeted people, gave tours, made deliveries and answered the phone. Thomas likes to watch and scrubbing (editing) Japanese anime, swimming, listening to Japanese music and reading. Thomas has been fortunate to travel extensively, both in and out of the country. He has visited Puerto Rico, Antigua, Saint Thomas, Saint Maarten, Barbados, Jamaica, Spain, France, Monte Carlo, Italy, Honolulu, Hawaii and Kona. Domestically, Thomas has traveled to Florida, California, Washington, New York, Philadelphia and Boston. Thomas will be working as a Team Manager on his recreational swim team league, the Windermere Waves. This is his first paid job and he is very excited. Thomas is a member of the Greater Hall County chapter. Thomas has been attending the University of Georgia, UGA. He is happy to share his UGA activities with us. He has become involved in a number of activities since August. He is going to give us a description of what he has been doing: Thomas ran for the Residence Hall Association, RHA, Representative for my Residence Hall, Cresswell. I won and I attend a Residence Hall meeting every Tuesday, where representatives from all 22 Residence Halls vote to fund programs on campus. I am one of the four RHA representatives on the Cresswell Community Council. We meet every Wednesday, and put on programs for the entirety of Creswell, which is one of the largest RHs with almost 1,000 students. I was recently in charge of our "Cresswell Crunch" cereal night, which Cresswell puts on the first Wednesday of every month. We have had Super Bowl parties, yoga classes, board game nights, all sorts of activities for our Residents, or as I like to call them, Cresidents. I helped with the Residence Hall Production Services Cast Members for the RHA TV show "College Code" about life in a Residence Hall, and I am a regular cast member. We just uploaded our first broadcast to YouTube. I joined the Pre-Law Student Association, where I am the Director of Alumni Relations. I am in charge of finding 3 speakers for their group this spring. I was accepted into the Pre Law Learning Community, a group of 15 students in a subgroup to learn about law school and decide if we want to pursue. So far - so good, I really likes it! We visited the law school, went to a law school job fair and heard speakers about different kinds of law. Thomas passed his fall classes Pre Law Freshman Odyssey, Pre-Law English, Math, American Politics and Elementary Japanese I with a 3.2 GPA. He is taking Elementary Japanese II, Intro to Mathematical Modeling, Religions of China, India and Japan, and Intro to Global Issues this semester. He will be happy when he finishes with math, and never take it again! Thomas is part of Learning Ally Program named "The College Success Program" where Learning Ally matched him up with a mentor. Thomas talks to his mentor every other week. He also has talked with Learning Ally's volunteers and he has participated as their "poster model" to put posters up in their Athens offices. The volunteers who read their books can visualize the students they are helping. They have asked Thomas to make a video and also speak at their end of the year Volunteer Dinner. Thomas met the Learning Ally sponsors who connected him with these programs at the Georgia Convention for the Blind last year. They attended the meeting and he ran into them. Thomas is on the Speaker's Bureau for the Disability Resource Center, DRC. This is a group of UGA students who speak to others about access issues. So far, he has participated in a photo blog about some of the crosswalk features that are more accessible than others. He has been filmed in a DRC video about Assistive Technology access to the campus and curriculum. Thomas states that his Pre Law Learning Community is ending this year, as it is a one year program. He has applied to UGA's Franklin Residential College, which is a mix of 160 students studying the humanities, the fine and performing arts, the social sciences and the basic sciences, at UGA. Thomas will be moving to a new Residence Hall, Rutherford, where the Franklin Residential College is housed; if all goes well, and he anticipates this fully, then he will be assured continued access to Rutherford for his remaining years. Thomas states that he went to every home football game. The Athletics department let him have a Companion Ticket and he sat in the disabled section, so he could access the Jumbotron with his monocular to help him see the game. He hopes to go to a swim and track meet to see his high school friends compete, provided that he can make it. Most of all, Thomas has been able to eat free food in the Bolton Dining Commons. He spent time with some of his high school friends and made a lot of new ones. It sounds like Thomas has had fun at college this past semester. I hope that he will continue to be successful at college in the future. For more information about Thomas Woodyard please contact him at 770-733-2412, or via email at tommywoodyard@comcast.net. GCB Awards Guidelines, Judy Presley Awards Committee Chair: Judy Presley P. O. BOX 231, Helen GA 30545-0231, 706 878 2962, hoyal@windstream.net 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 innovations involving blindness or blind people.innovation involving blindness or blind people. Rhoda Walker chair: Anne Wheeler 199 Floyd St., Covington GA 30014, 770 786 5778, 678 480 2783, awheel@bellsouth.net 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 Rd., Thomson GA 30824, 706/595-1465, mkumorris@yahoo.com 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 St., Apt. #8201, Athens GA 30601, 706-548-7401, gcbfyi@yahoo.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; innovation involving blindness or blind people. Examples of this service must be included in the written recommendation. Gerald Pye Community Service Award Chair: Alice Ritchhart 912-996-4213, alice.ritchhart@comcast.net 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, 2016. 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: The deadline for receipt of scholarship information is June 15, 2016. Scholarship applications may be obtained from Debbie Williams or via our web site at http://www.georgiacounciloftheblind.org. Scholarship Award Chair: Debbie Williams, 1477 Nebo Rd., Dallas GA 30157, 770-595-1007, Debbie_teaches@comcast.net GCB Chapter News The Athens chapter officers are Jerrie Toney as president; Jamaica Miller as first vice-president; Donald Rains as second vice-president; Evan Bradford, as secretary; Robin Oliver as treasurer. Their meetings are held at MULTIPLE Choices at 145 Barrington Drive in Athens, Georgia on the fourth Saturday at 10:30 AM. For further information, please contact Jerrie Toney at 706-461-1013, or via email at jerriemt2@gmail.com. The Augusta chapter reported that at their February meeting they discussed several ideas. They want to contact local agencies, schools and Walton Options for independent living to provide information on the Georgia Council of the Blind, GCB. They wish to find new members for their chapter. They want to advocate with the local paper to allow the National Federation of the Blind, NFB, and Newsline to publish the Augusta Chronical on their phone. We also discussed options for community service projects. The Augusta chapter officers are Deborah Lovell as president; Alicia Morris as vice-president; Ann Ron Worley as Secretary; and Kathy Morris as treasurer. Their board member is Ron Worley. Their meetings are held at the Columbia County Main Library on Evans Town Center Blvd. in Evans, Georgia, on the second Saturday at 1:00. For more information, please contact Deborah Lovell at 706-726-4054, or via email lovell.d2000@gmail.com. The East Georgia chapter reported that since last August our chapter has been meeting at Covington United Methodist's church fellowship hall. We had met at the Conyers Presbyterian Church for over 12 years, but a driver for the Covington members, Robb Wade, had died, so we made the change to make it easier for them to get to the meetings. There were about 30 people at our 2015 Christmas party; everyone brought in very good food, then we put sound effects to a Christmas poem read by Anne Wheeler. We now have 22 members; Patty Vohs is moving up north to be closer to family. The East Georgia chapter reports that at their January meeting, their guest speaker showed them her scented candles and gave out brochures and sample candles to everyone. At their February meeting their speaker was Judy Byrd, who's involved with a Georgia beep baseball team. She told us how the game is played. She showed us some baseballs, some kickball, and some basketballs. In March, they will have Elizabeth Isacs. She fixes white canes for free. In April, they will all bring things to swap. In May, American Council of the Blind Eric Bridges will be their speaker on the phone. In June they usually have a picnic or a potluck lunch. The East Georgia chapter wishes to honor Sarah Maddox as our member of the month. We applaud her phenomenal achievements in sports competition. She competes in numerous Special Olympics events at the state level. Earlier this month, Sarah won the Silver medal for Bowling in The Masters Tournament. She has won Silver and Bronze metals over the years in Bowling, Basketball, Track and Field, Equestrian, Softball, Volleyball, and Baseball. Sarah is a member of the Miracle League of Newton County, Georgia. Her legal blindness is caused by Transient Cortical Blindness. This rare disorder is defined as Transient visuospatial disorder from angiographic contrast. She sometimes experiences seizures. Sarah Maddox is active in social and community endeavors. One of the charities she is working with presently is collecting donated formal gowns and suits for disadvantaged disabled individuals for Valentine’s and Christmas Balls. Sarah has donated her formal gowns to this cause. If you wish to assist by giving formal wear, please send an email to Brenda Maddox at maddox.brenda@gmail.com. Sarah Maddox grows her long lovely hair and donates it to locks of love. “What is Locks of Love? Locks of Love is a public non-profit organization that provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children in the United States and Canada under age 21 suffering from long-term medical hair loss from any diagnosis. We meet a unique need for children by using donated hair to create the highest quality hair prosthetics. Most of the children helped by Locks of Love have lost their hair due to a medical condition called alopecia aerate, which has no known cause or cure. The prostheses we provide help to restore their self-esteem and their confidence, enabling them to face the world and their peers. For more information about Locks of Love, go to WWW.locksoflove.org. Brenda Maddox is Sarah’s dedicated mom, and her most supportive advocate, fan, and cheerleader. Brenda is also an outstanding member of The East Georgia Chapter serving on our Public Relations Committee. As Sarah’s life unfolds, we continue to marvel at her resilience to overcome challenges. Her story is one of amazing courage, stamina, resolve, endurance, sacrifice, and achievement. The East Georgia chapter officers are Neb Houston as president; Cecily Nipper as first vice-president; Phil Jones as second vice-president; Linda Williams as secretary; Anne Wheeler and Linda Cox as co-treasurers; Elsie Aguilar, Rosetta Brown, Brenda Maddox, and Christine O’Brien as board members. For more information, please contact Neb Houston at 770-784-0236. The Greater Columbus chapter officers are Gregory McDuffie as president; Dirk Jones as first vice-president; Clifford Jones as second vice-president; Lisa Brooks as secretary; William Miles as treasurer; Otis Smith as Chaplain. Their meetings are held at the Columbus Public Library at 3000 Macon Road in Columbus, Georgia on the third Friday from 10:30 until 12:00. For more information please contact Gregory McDuffie at 706-330-8185, or via email at gregory.mcduffie@yahoo.com. The Greater Hall County Chapter reported that they are discussing commemorating White Cane Safety Day, which will be on Saturday, October 15, 2016. Mike Hall, of the Gainesville Lions Club, was their guest speaker for their February meeting. Mike Hall, who is blind, shared some of his experiences and adventures using a white cane at Gainesville Junior College, now the Gainesville campus of North Georgia College & State University, and at the University of Georgia. Mike Hall shared good suggestions to introduce and educate local elementary school children about white cane use and safety. Many Greater Hall County chapter members made suggestions of activities that can be incorporated into a public demonstration of white cane use. The Greater Hall County Chapter has found out that they will be partnering with the Gainesville Lions Club to have a White Cane Safety Awareness Day. They hope to obtain a permit to have a demonstration in downtown Gainesville. Hopefully this will bring some awareness to the use of the white cane and also to our chapter. Our target date is Saturday, October 15, 2016. This is the official White Cane Safety Day. In June, they will be awarding a $1000 scholarship to a local student that is visually impaired. They will present the scholarship at our luncheon at Luna’s Restaurant. They have invited the student and his vision teacher to be their guest. They will be sponsoring 2 children who are visually impaired to go to the Lions Camp this summer. The Greater Hall County chapter officers are Judy Presley as president; Vance Barnes as vice-president; Sue Heskett as secretary; Ted Brackett as treasurer. Their board members are Don Linnartz, Dianne Roberts, and Evelyn Rudy. Their meetings are held at the Smokey Springs Retirement Residence at 940 South Enota Drive in Gainesville, Georgia, on the second Saturday at 10:00. For more information, please contact Judy Presley at 706-878-2962, or via email at hoyal@windstream.net. The Northwest chapter officers are Ron Burgess as president; Fred McDade as vice-president; Mayella McDonald as secretary; Charles Stubblefield as treasurer; Robert Sprayberry as Chaplain. Chapter meetings are held on the first Tuesday of every other month at the Bank of Lafayette Community room, which is located at 104 North Main Street in Lafayette, Georgia at 7:00 pm. For more information, please contact Ron Burgess at 706-638-1132. The Rome Floyd County chapter reported that at their November meeting, they elected new officers and discussed fundraising projects. At their December meeting, Keith Morris, the Georgia Council of the Blind president, came to their meeting. He told us about his work sites. He has two rest area stops off of I-20, going east toward Augusta. He said that he makes sure that the vending machines at both rest areas are full and working properly. He told us about his daughter, Alicia Morris, who has just moved to Atlanta, where she manages a vending stand in the Sam Nunn building. He told us about his other daughters. Virginia Morris Smeltz and her husband Adam Smeltz have three children and one on the way. He said that his other daughter, Audra Kate Morris is living, working and going to college in Athens at the University of Georgia. Keith Morris invited to us to attend the GCB board meeting which will be on Saturday, January 16, 2016, at 10:00 at the Atlanta Fulton county Library at One Margaret Mitchell Square, in Atlanta, Georgia at 10:00. At their January meeting, Fred McDade from the Northwest Chapter told us his story about how he lost his sight while he was serving in the army in Vietnam. Fred told us about how he went on to get his degree in counseling. He has worked as a school counselor in the Dalton area. He is retired, but he still goes to the school and tells his story to encourage students with or without visual impairments to be independent individuals. At their February meeting, Debbie Hazelton, from the American Council of the Blind (ACB), radio, told us about the different features of ACB radio. Debbie stated that anyone can listen to ACB radio on their home phone. Debbie stated that after you dial 1-605-475-8130, you can choose which stream to listen to. You can listen to ACB radio on your computer by going to www.acbradio.org. The Rome Floyd County chapter officers are Marsha Farrow as president; Chris Ingram as vice-president; Suzanne Jackson as secretary/treasurer; Dale Allen as Chaplain; Casey Owens, Misty Ingram, and Amanda Wilson as board members. Their meetings are held at the Rome Floyd County Library at 205 Riverside Parkway, in Rome, Georgia, on the third Tuesday, at 11:00 am. For further information, please contact Marsha Farrow at 706-859-2624, or via email at marshafarrow@windstream.net. The Savannah chapter reports that they have been meeting at a new location, Living Independence for Everyone, LIFE. Bob McGarry, executive director at LIFE has been hosting us on the first Thursday of the month at 6:00 PM. If you find yourself in Savannah on any first Thursday, the address is 5105 Paulsen Street, Suite 143-b. Use the front door entrance to the building. The Savannah chapter ended 2015 with our always popular Christmas party, this time held at Red Lobster. We had 25 members and guests attend and our traditional gift exchange, Yankee Swap, almost got out of hand this time! We’re rethinking that one for the future and also considering where else we might hold this event, given how many members and friends love to attend. We hope to have several speakers at our meetings this year, including a police officer to talk about home safety. We also anticipate being as active as we can be on the legislation GCB is supporting during the current session of the Georgia assembly, and we want to meet with the new city manager in Savannah once that person is hired for that position. With the GCB conference and convention coming to Savannah in August, we know we will be busy helping with planning and hosting the event. Late last fall both Marj Schneider and Valerie Hester collected donations for the GCB scholarship fund, Valerie through smoothie sales and Marj through running in Savannah’s 5K River Bridge Run. The Savannah Council added to those funds as well, helping to increase the size of the GCB scholarship fund by over $250. Our chapter meetings are always lively, so it’s a good thing newly appointed secretary Teresa Brenner records what goes on. Teresa has been providing us with excellent meeting minutes since she took over that role, which certainly is important for reminding us of what we said we’d do. It looks like 2016 will be a busy year for the Savannah Council of the Blind. The Savannah Chapter officers are Marj Schneider as president; Bob Walls as vice-president; Teresa Brenner as secretary; Jon Bairnsfather as treasurer. Their board members are Jan Elders and John McMillon. Their meetings are held at LIFE, Living Independence for Everyone, which is located at 5105 Paulsen Street, Suite 143-b, in Savannah, Georgia, at 6:00 until 7:15 pm. For more information, please contact Marj Schneider at 912-352-1415, or via email at marjshneider@bellsouth.net. The South Metro Chapter reports that their next business meeting will be on Friday, March 11, from 4:00 PM until 7:00 PM, at the Greenbriar Pickadili Cafeteria, located at 2841 Greenbriar Parkway, SW, in Atlanta, Georgia, 30331. This is a new meeting place as the other Pickadili closed. The Officers for this year are: Lisa Jones as President; Chester Thrash as Vice President; Chris Baldridge as Secretary; Steve Longmire as Treasurer; John Sims as assistant treasurer; Maquatia Dutton and Sam Howard as board members. The South Metro Atlanta chapter wants to welcome a new member, Adrian Ramsey. The South Metro Atlanta chapter would like to wish the following members a happy birthday. John M. Sims’ birthday was on January 2; Chris Baldridge’s birthday was on February 16; Chester Thrash’s birthday was on March 4; Sam Howard’s birthday is on April 19; Barbara Graham’s birthday is on May 11. The members usually meet somewhere in a restaurant on or around each person's birthday to celebrate. This is an extra social time and enjoyed by all. The South Metro Atlanta chapter would like to wish John M. and Ann Sims a very happy 32nd wedding anniversary this year on the correct date, February 29, 2016. The South Metro Atlanta chapter wants you to know that Judy Epps has a new address. She has moved to 950 Solomon Road in Broxton, Georgia 31519. For more information, please contact Lisa Jones at 404-556-8987. Georgia Guide Dog Users, GGDU, by Betsy Grenevitch The Georgia Guide Dog Users, GDDU will meet sometime this spring. I put together a webinar last month for the Georgia Restaurant Association. Many people phoned in to the webinar and stayed for the whole thing. The webinar explained about the law in restaurants; their rights and responsibilities; and our rights. The webinar is on their website. A veteran was on the call. He said that no restaurants accept him and his post-traumatic stress syndrome service dog. We also heard from the police academy, where we have been trying to get to for years to say when we're denied access to restaurants. Some of the GGDU members will be going to the police academy to do some training there. We were not able to get a house bill that we were working on concerning fake service animals over to the Senate side before cross-over day. As far as I know, it did not make it over to the Senate side. I actually tried to contact the chair of the committee to whom it had been assigned but never heard back from him. I want to thank Alice Ritchhart for taking the time to go to the capitol to speak to the committee in my absence. For more information about the Georgia Guide Dog Users, GGDU, please contact Betsy Grenevitch at 770-464-0450, or via email at blindangel@joimail.com. You can visit their web site by going to www.georgiaguidedogusers.org. GCB In Memory of: JoAnne Ezell Stewart, 84, of Fort Oglethorpe died on Friday, December 18, 2015. She was a lifelong resident of the Chattanooga and North Georgia area where she was a 1949 graduate of Rossville High School. She was an active member of the Fort Oglethorpe First Baptist Church for over 25 years and the Lydia Sunday School Class. JoAnne served on the Fort Oglethorpe planning commission until her death, she volunteered at Hutcheson Medical Center for over 30 years, was a member of the Rossville BPW, a member of the Northwest chapter of the Georgia Council of the Blind, a member of the Fort Oglethorpe Preservation Society, she sang with the Sweet Adeline’s, and she served on several boards throughout the community. She worked as the circulation desk manager for the Chattanooga Times Post was executive secretary for the Hamilton County Air Pollution Control Bureau, and she had worked at Provident. Her passions in life were God, family, church, serving people, and donating to various charities. She will be dearly missed by her family and friends. She was preceded in death by her husband, Jim Ezell; parents, Carl and Ruby Walker; sister and brother-in-law, Kathleen and Kenneth Smith. Survivors include her husband, Lem Stewart; daughter, Cindy (Mike) Wilson; step-children, Cynthia O’Neal, Howard Stewart, Melinda and Lebron Eller, and Felisa (Melvin) Parris; “adopted children”, Wayne and Diane Thomas; 11 grandchildren; 28 great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews. Orrie Goodwin Duhart was born on September 5, 1937, and died on December 31, 2015, in Macon, Georgia. Services for Mrs. Orrie Goodwin Duhart were held at 11:00 at the Greater Turner Tabernacle AME with burial at Rose Hill Cemetery. Survivors include two children plus their spouses: Joseph and Valerie Duhart; Jr. and Dr. Kimberly and Shedrick Ford; four grandchildren: Daniel, Jasmin, Brooklynn and Shedrick, Jr.; brother: Walter and Gail Goodwin; sister: Mattie Bryant; and a host of nieces, nephews, and other relatives and friends. THE ADDRESS OF THE CHURCH IS 1104 3rd ST. MACON GA. 31201. SHE WORKED AT THE GAB FOR 34 YEARS. She taught at GAB from 1963 until 1996 when she received the Leon Watson Teaching Award just before retiring. Alice Duhart recalls having many pleasant lunches with Barbara Stevenson. They enjoyed doing ceramics together while talking about their children and students. GCB Celebrations s We want to wish the following people a happy birthday and a happy anniversary. Monica Sheriff, January 1; John Sims, January 2; Christina Holtzclaw, January17; Patricia Cox, February 4; William Holley, February 10; Alice Ritchhart ,February 11; Jerrie Toney, February 11; Dale and Becky Allen’s anniversary, February 14; Jonathan Perry, February 15; Chris Baldrige, February 16; Teresa Brenner, February 16; Misty Ingram, February 19; Katy Cox, February 21; Casey Owens, February26; John and Ann Sims’ Anniversary, February 29; Chester Thrash, March 4; David and Christine Holtzclaw’s anniversary, March 10; Anne Wheeler, March 14; Jeff and Debbie Williams’ anniversary, March 18; Tracey Estill, March 20; Debbie Williams, March 23; Sean Hogue, March 23 GCB Dana Tarter, High School Deafblind Teacher Uses Manipulatives to Teach Life Skills As a special education teacher from Rome, Georgia, I have had the opportunity to work with students who have had one or many disabilities that impede their learning. At the beginning of the 2012-13 school years, my assistant special education director asked to bring a coordinator from a local college to observe my 4th grade math inclusion classroom. I welcomed the upcoming visit but wondered if any new strategies or interventions had been successfully implemented by other teachers with the concept of rounding whole numbers. I asked other math teachers in my school and searched for ideas on the Internet. Honestly, there were not a whole lot of options. Over the years, I have attended numerous math workshops. I only saw methods that involve number lines, dry erase boards, and blocks. Other than those options, paper and pencil were the last resort. The last thing I wanted my visitors, especially my supervisor, to observe were towers being built of blocks or off-task drawings on dry- erase boards by my students. I could not use the number line in my classroom because it only went to 100; we were working with numbers greater than 100. Although all four options have been used for years and have had some success, I wanted math manipulatives for ALL students that could make an immediate impact on educational performance and not be considered a “toy” by my students. Then, I had an idea… Incorporating movable and interchangeable slides, I created a number line system that can round numbers up to 10,000,000. It can round numbers to the nearest 10,100, 1,000, 10,000, 100,000 and 1,000,000. When I began to show this concept to my colleagues, the response was overwhelmingly positive! Teachers began to ask me to create manipulatives that address other math standards. Therefore, I created manipulatives that involve weight, decimals, fractions, elapsed time, and money. During the developmental process, I consulted with math teachers and specialists, administrators, parents and students from different schools and school systems. I also consulted with an occupational therapist, a hearing specialist, and a vision specialist. Of all the stakeholders with whom I worked during the process, I most valued the student input. After all, they are the ones who will use the manipulatives as a vital part of their classroom instruction. In June 2013, I was demonstrating my low vision and braille manipulatives at the 2012 Georgia Sensory Assistance Project Conference in Cave Spring, Georgia. At the beginning of the conference, two women approached my exhibit booth; one woman led the other by the elbow. I greeted them and began to ask where they lived. I immediately recognized that one of the individuals was deaf blind because of her communication techniques. During our conversation, I received some intriguing information. The verbal deafblind women, Dana Tarter, were a high school resource teacher who taught life skills in Floyd County Schools in Rome, Georgia, which is the school system next to mine. Dana informed me that she was at the conference to find assistive technology to help her address and teach academic standards, such as elapsed time and money. With the help of Dana’s translator, I demonstrated my braille manipulatives to her hoping that I could help at least one of her students. At first I was unsure about HOW to explain my manipulative functions because I have never worked with a teacher or student who is deafblind. The first manipulative Dana was interested in acquiring information about was my Elapsed Time manipulative. I began to explain the general shape and size of my elapsed time manipulative, stressing how the slides move up and down for each hour and the tactile dots represented minutes. I also mentioned that all of the numeric intervals of 5 were Brailed as well as the hours on the slides. Students are encouraged to set the hourly increments first and then count the dots to find the minutes. I noted that more advanced blind students can read the brailed hour and minute increments of five first and then count the dots, such as for the time 4:38 (4:00 in the left window and 5:00 in the right window and then read the braille to: 35 + 3 tactile dots to equal 4:38.) We agreed that the ability to tell time is one skill and that demonstrating the ability to calculate elapsed time is a more complex skill because it involves addition and subtraction, especially in the math problems and real-life situations that require regrouping. During the instructional process to achieve mastery, teachers often use the manipulative during the initial part of instruction and then gradually fade the manipulative as the student becomes more proficient. Eventually, the students use the manipulative to assess their own understanding. Dana stated, “In other words, students can be held accountable for their own work because they have to check their own answers themselves. That will allow more me more time to help my struggling students.” The other manipulative Dana requested for me to demonstrate was my braille Money manipulative. I restated that the Money manipulative is the same size and shape as my Elapsed Time. Whole dollars are on the slides and increments of $0.05 and $0.10 on the main part are brailed. Tactile dots are placed on each cent for counting. When rounding money, several skills are needed to add and subtract money as well as round to the nearest dollar. Dana instinctively established the dollar increments by reading the braille. Then she read the brailed increments of $0.05 and $0.10 and $0.01 tactile dots. While she was reading the braille, she noticed a raised line in the middle. She kept running her fingers across the line and mentioned, “This raised line in the middle…. is here for students when they need to round to the nearest dollar. If the amount is on the right side of the line, students round up to the closest dollar. If the amount is on the left side of the line, students will round down to the closest dollar. ”I told her that idea was from one of my inclusion students, Haley, during the design process when I gave her my Money prototype to use in class. She quietly asked, “Can I draw a line in the middle (on the label) so that I know which way to go?” Dana, like Haley and other students and teachers who used my manipulatives quickly notice that the proximity of their fingers to the windows on the left or right of the line in the middle determines which way to round numbers. After I demonstrated my math manipulatives to her, Dana expressed interest in using my manipulatives in her classroom because they would provide new strategies to teach difficult academic standards to her students. I collected her contact information and made arrangements to visit her classroom. Dana and I exchanged emails and coordinated our schedules for me to observe a lesson. I arrived during her planning, and we discussed the Money and Elapsed Time manipulatives in greater detail than at the conference. The classroom arrangement included several tables for small group instruction for some lessons, but they were mainly used for individual instruction because many of her students are at different academic levels, especially in math. During the money lesson, even though Dana is blind, she could visualize how the manipulative would be used by her student. She knew that there was an important line in the middle and semi circles with $0.10 increments. With the braille manipulative and assistance from her translator, Dana provided individualized instruction for one of her students who used a regular student version. Even though her student had cognitive deficits, he quickly understood the three simple steps in finding the correct answer for rounding to the nearest dollar: establish the dollar increments in the windows, count the lines, and determine if his finger is on the right or left side of the line in the middle after he was finished counting. My observation lasted about 20 minutes due to the need for instruction of other important academic standards. I sincerely enjoyed visiting Dana’s well-structured classroom. Not only did Dana purchase my manipulatives with her own money and take her own personal time during the summer to improve individualized instruction by attending a conference, she clearly demonstrated that she is in the classroom for all of the right reasons. I could hear the positive tone in her voice during her lesson and the quality questions she asked regarding how to use her math manipulatives most effectively. This observation was not about a teacher using math manipulatives in a lesson; it involved a dedicated teacher overcoming adversity to help cognitively challenged students learn essential life skills. GCB Blind Day at the Capital Georgia Council of the Blind holds its Day at the Capitol on the day of the State of the State Address. Many members of the Georgia Council of the Blind attended the Blind Day at the capital on Wednesday, January 13, 2016, in person or by phone conference which was the beginning of the legislative session when the Governor gave his State of the State address. The event was attended as well by the seniors from the Georgia Academy for the Blind, along with the transitional coordinator and the superintendent. We were also lucky to have several students from Michelle Grenevitch’s school to assist us with our visits. The day was filled with lots of valuable information about the legislative process as well as the voting process, and all the students and members got the chance to actually work an accessible voting machine, thanks to the Fulton County Voter’s Registration office. A representative from the Secretary of State’s office spoke on how to get registered to vote, and all the ways we can make sure to cast our votes at election time. We also heard from several legislators, and had three primary legislators who spoke to our group about specific topics. Representative Brooks Coleman, who is chair of the Education Committee, is working with us to improve braille literacy for our students. He shared with the group that we do not need another law, but that we need to just get the school system to develop policy from what we have put forward in the past, legislation we have tried to pass. He said once a policy is developed, they then need to enforce it. He has committed to help us work with the Department of Education to make this happen. The Georgia Council of the Blind presented him with a Louis Braille coin to remind him of his commitment. We hope after the session that he will help to get the task force formed so it can make braille a reality for our students. We then heard from Representative Kirby who has crafted legislation on fake service animals, and also language to strengthen the attack law on our service dogs. The bill does not yet have a number. The Georgia Guide Dog group has been asked by Representative Kirby to be at the capitol when the bill is dropped for the media coverage to show support. Georgia Council presented Rep. Kirby with a stuffed guide dog to show our appreciation for his efforts to resolve the fake service dog issue. Our final speaker of the day was Senator James, who spoke to the group about how to best work with your legislators during the legislative session and year round when trying to advocate for legislation to improve the lives of the blind and low vision in Georgia. She also stated she would be willing to work with Rep. Coleman on the braille literacy task force, as she serves on the Senate Education Committee. She also is willing to help us to work on the bill to get the Governor to form a task force to look at services for the blind and deaf/blind in Georgia. The Georgia Council of the Blind presented her with an American Council of the Blind Derwood K. McDaniel coin with braille and large print on it to thank her for what she has done to help the blind and low vision in Georgia, and to remind her not to stop helping us to get better quality services. After the morning presentations, some of us went and met with our representatives, and gave them a one page document with our 3 issues. However, a big thanks to the students from Michelle Grenevitch’s class as they went to every office to deliver documents to all the legislators. The day was a success, and our thanks go out to all who made it possible: The chair of our legislative committee, Betsy Grenevitch, Marsha Farrow, GARR’s Radio, Sam McClain, Michelle and D.J. Grenevitch, and all of our speakers. Once the day at the capitol is over, the work is not done, it is just beginning. So be alert, and be sure to talk to your representatives to help advocate for our important issues. GCB Announcements: The Georgia Council of the Blind invites everyone to attend the Georgia Council of the Blind 60th annual conference in Savannah on the first weekend in August. The dates are Thursday, August 4, through Sunday, August 7, 2016. The GCB Statewide conference will be held at the Clarion Hotel which is located at 17 Gateway Blvd East, in Savannah Georgia, 31419. The phone number is 1-912-925-2700. The fax number is 912-927-1027. The room rate is ninety dollars plus Tax. This room rate includes a Hot Breakfast for overnight guests. In order to receive the ninety dollars plus Tax Rate, you must make your Reservations by July 4, 2016. The Georgia Council of the Blind invites you to attend its next board meeting on Saturday, April 16, 2016, at 10:00. The GCB board meeting will be held at the Center for the Visually Impaired, CVI, which is located at 739 West Peachtree Street in Atlanta, Georgia. If you have any questions please contact Keith Morris at 706-799-5225, or via email at keithmorris53@icloud.com. The American Council of the Blind invites everyone to attend their annual Convention, which is being held from Friday, July 1, until Saturday, July 9, 2016, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Make your reservations today! Room rates at the Hyatt Regency in Minneapolis, Minnesota, are $89 single or double; there is an additional $10.00 per night charge per person for up to four people per room. Applicable state and local taxes are currently 13.4%. When you make your reservation, one night's stay will be charged to your credit card. For reservations by telephone, call Central Reservations at 1-888-421-1442; make sure to mention you are attending the ACB convention in order to obtain our room rate. To make reservations online go to https://resweb.passkey.com/go/2016ACBMeeting. For more information, please contact Janet Dickelman, convention coordinator, at 1-651-428-5059, or via email at janet.dickelman@gmail.com. The ACB national office has moved to 1703 North Beauregard Street, Suite 420, in Alexandria, Virginia, 22311. Our phone and fax numbers remain the same.