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The New Jersey Council of the Blind
October, 2008

The New Jersey Council of the Blind's mission is to strive for the betterment of the blind and visually impaired community. The purpose of this publication is to provide a forum for the free exchange of ideas, opinions and information relative to matters of concern to blind people.

The New Jersey Council of the Blind (NJCB) is a 501 (c) 3 corporation and all gifts are tax deductible. Tax deductible donations should be sent to the Treasurer of NJCB.

Four quarterly newsletters are sent to members free of charge in either large print, audio cassette or E-mail. Non-members may request the NJCB Chronicle by E-mail and for an annual donation of $5.00 may receive copies in large print or cassette. If anyone would like their newsletter by E-mail, please let me know and I will put you on the group list.

In order to make the Chronicle better, we need and appreciate information from our chapters, from individuals and from agencies and other outside groups and organizations which serve the blind and visually impaired. Articles to be included in the NJCB Chronicle, requests for copies of the newsletter or membership information should be sent to NJCB, 520 Ewingville Road, Ewing, NJ 08638. They may also be e-mailed to Ottilie@verizon.net. All information must be received by December 1st to be included in the next issue of the Chronicle.

The NJCB officers are: President Lauren Casey, (609) 912-0657, 153 Franklin Corner Road, Lawrenceville, NJ 08648; First Vice President John Vernon (609) 392-3674; Second Vice President Frank Schack (973) 595-0116; Secretary Ottilie Lucas (609) 882-2446 and Treasurer Bob Lucas (609) 882-2446, 520 Ewingville Road, Ewing, NJ 08638.


Hello everyone!

This issue of the Chronicle is focused on the upcoming state convention in October. Please read all about it and if you need more details please contact anyone on the convention committee or me.

At our July quarterly meeting at Camp Happiness we had James Klinge from ASKCA talk to us about audible pedestrian signals.

Mr. Klinge and his partner, George Rogers, will be meeting with people throughout the state on this very important issue.

Please stay tuned for more about this exciting development.

Enjoy the rest of your summer and I look forward to seeing everyone at our convention.

Lauren Casey, NJCB president

Attention Chapter Officers

All chapter dues and membership lists are due to be given to me, your Treasurer, Bob Lucas at the NJCB Convention on October 24th and 25th. Please include in the membership list: members name, address, phone number (place a u after the number if it is an unlisted number). Please include their E-mail address if they have one. Indicate whether they are legally blind or fully sighted, and the preferred newsletter format (large print, cassette or E-mail)

The dues are $6.50 for each voting member and $1.50 for each non-voting member. The only organization that has non-voting members is Monmouth County Association for the Blind.

Invoices will be sent out near the end of the year for our members at large. Their dues are $10.00 per year.

Thank you,

Bob Lucas, Treasurer, NJCB

Awareness, Advocacy and Access

We have a change in location of this years NJCB annual convention to give our members and friends on the eastern side of the state a more accessible location. The hotel has a restaurant and bar.

The convention will be on October 24 & 25th, 2008 at Doolan's, 700 State Highway #71 in Spring Lake, NJ 07762, (732) 449-3666. Make your room reservations directly with the hotel. The rates are $80 and $90 plus tax a night.

Monmouth County Association for the Blind has graciously invited the conventioneers to their clubhouse on Friday evening for food and fellowship. They have a fun evening planned. BYOB if you would like other than soft drinks. Transportation will be available to get to and from the hotel. Call (732) 280-2326 for transportation or directions. Directions from Doolan's are below. Their clubhouse address is 3401 Belmar Blvd., Wall, NJ 07719.

Saturday will begin with registration and a continental breakfast. At 9:00 AM President Lauren Casey will conduct her last business meeting. Then we will elect new officers for the next two-year term.

At 10:30 AM we will begin the general convention. Below is an agenda for the days events. We will learn about the latest in legislation in both New Jersey and on the national level. We will also learn about the support groups around the state. Of course we will be brought up to date on the latest from the Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired and the NJ Library for the Blind and Handicapped.

Join us and catch up how we can be more aware and to be able to effectively advocate for our areas of concern.

Fill out the registration form at the end of the newsletter and send it to Bob Lucas before October 10th.

2008 NJCB Convention Agenda

Friday, October 24

6:00 9:30 PM: Food and fellowship at the Monmouth Clubhouse

Saturday, October 25

8:30 - 9:00 AM: Registration, Continental Breakfast.

9:00 - 10:30 AM: NJCB business meeting and election of officers

10:30 - 10:45 AM: Welcome by President Lauren Casey and invocation by Al Plevier

10:45 -11:00 AM: Welcome by Don Bray of the Lions.

11:00 -11:25 AM: Vito DeSantis, Executive Director of NJ Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired, Update on CBVI

11:25 -11:50 AM: Adam Szczepaniak, Director of NJ Library for the Blind and Handicapped, Update on NJLBH

11:50 -12:00 PM: Break

12:00 1:45 PM: Luncheon Banquet with Keynote Speaker, Eric Bridges, Director of Advocacy and Governmental Affairs - American Council of the Blind.

1:45 - 2:00 PM: Break.

2:00 - 2:30 PM: Senator Sean Kean, NJ

2:30 - 3:00 PM: Susan Vanino, Adjustment to Vision Loss- Support Groups

3:00 - 3:30 PM: Eric Bridges, How to be a good advocate

3:30 - 4:00: Wrap up and comments

4:00 PM: Adjournment.

Directions to Doolan's

Doolan's is located at:

700 State Highway #71

Spring Lake Heights, NJ 07762

Phone: (732) 449-3666

It is located between Essex and Sussex Avenues, which are the nearest cross streets.

From the North

Take the NJ Turnpike to Exit 11, Shore Points. Follow the Garden State Parkway South to Exit 98. Exit Parkway and follow signs to Highway 138 east. Exit ramp and continue east approximately two miles and exit at Sea Girt (Spring Lake) ramp onto Highway 35 heading south. At third traffic light (approximately 1.5 miles) turn left at Eckerd Pharmacy onto Warren Avenue. At next light turn right. Highway 71 3 blocks on left.

From the South

Take the Garden State Parkway to Exit 98, which leads to Highway 138 heading east. See directions above to reach Doolan's from Route 138.

From the West

Take Route 195 (James Howard Memorial Highway) and head east. This road passes Great Adventure becomes Route 138, east. See directions above to reach Doolan's from Route 138.

Directions from Doolan's to MCAFB Clubhouse

Head north toward Essex Avenue on 7th Avenue/Route 71 for approximately 1.9 miles. Turn left onto 16th Avenue/CR 18. 16th Avenue becomes Belmar Boulevard after it crosses Route 35. The MCAFB Clubhouse is on the left at the corner of Belmar Boulevard and Allenwood Road approximately 2.7 miles after turning onto 16th Avenue.

Delegates ACB Convention Report
by Bob and Ottilie Lucas

We thank NJCB for electing to send us to represent NJCB at the annual ACB convention in Louisville, Kentucky. It was an informative and packed filled week with exhibits, speakers, awards, workshops, demonstrations, auctions, meetings, focus groups, caucuses, elections, socials, entertainment, networking, exercise and lots of food.

Some of the topics discussed were quiet cars, digital Talking Books, accessible currency, accessible point of sale machines, audio description, accessible exercise equipment, new accessible technology, guide dog issues, and many more.

ACB is making progress with several improvements. They have hired a person to obtain grants. They are planning to move their national office. The thrift stores are going through renovations and revisions and their finances are doing well. The convention went like clock work. The meetings started on time and were conducted in a professional manner. The programs, meetings rooms and general planning of the convention went smoothly. The hotel staff was friendly and helpful. They had volunteers available to help if needed.

Since it would be difficult to review all of the topics discussed, we urge you to read the Braille Forum to learn all about what went on. In fact, The Braille Forum is the best way to stay abreast of the legislative, technological, medical, travel and general issues that concern all of us.

Next years convention will be in Orlando, Florida from July 4th through 11th. Save your dollars and go if you are able. You will find that you will not be spending a week away from home, but rather you will find that you will be investing a week of your time that will pay enormous dividends.


Thanks to the generosity of Dave Casterline, our new web master, NJCB now has a Web Site. Dave is working hard to include pertinent information on the site that will inform others about the New Jersey Council of the Blind.

The address of the web site is njcounciloftheblind.org

Please let us know what you think. We are interested in feedback that will help us improve the web site. If you have additional information about our chapters, legislation, etc., please send it to njcounciloftheblind@verizon.net and it will be forwarded to Dave.

We have wanted to do this for some time and Dave offered to do this for us. We are most grateful.

Pet Port Areas Open at Philadelphia International Airport

Service animals and pets accompanying travelers at Philadelphia International Airport can now use seven specially designed relief areas located on the Departures Road and outside the baggage claim buildings. The Pet Port areas were created to provide appropriate facilities for service animals traveling with special needs passengers as well as pets and Airport security canines.

"The addition of the Pet Port areas was recommended by the Airport's Americans with Disabilities Act Review Committee as a service to our passengers," said Charles Isdell, Director of Aviation.

The Pet Port areas vary in size from 250 to 600 square feet. The areas are contained by a four-foot high fence with a latching gate. The interior has a 4-inch deep mulch surface, a bench, faux fire hydrant, biodegradable pet waste bag dispenser with receptacle, and a concrete dog paw print. Some areas contain landscaped beds along the exterior perimeter of the fence and a concrete sidewalk to exit the area. The facilities have been designed to accommodate animals and ensure that the Airport grounds are properly maintained.

The Pet Port areas are located on the Departures Road are between Terminals A-West and A-East; between Terminal B/C ticketing and the Airport Communications Center; and adjacent to Terminal E and Terminal F. On the Arrivals side, the Pet Ports are adjacent to Terminal A-East baggage claim, Terminal B baggage claim and Terminal E baggage claim.

Manuals on the Web

SafeManuals is one of those services that must be bookmarked. This handy site has over eight hundred thousand downloadable user manuals for all kinds of gadgets and appliances. You can search for instruction manuals by manufacturer, by device model number or browse them alphabetically. When you find the manual you need you can instantly download it to your computer (in PDF format). So next time you need to find a user manual for your Blackberry, iPod Nano, Nokia N95, some TFT screen or whatever, simply search for it on SafeManuals.com http://www.safemanuals.com/


The Library of Congress awarded a contract for the manufacture of standard and advanced digital talking book players to Shinano Kenshi Co. Ltd (Japan) and Shinano Kenshi Corporation-Plextor LLC (SKC-North America). It was awarded on behalf of the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS) and some 700,000 of its patrons. The contract's base period is for three years with a unilateral government option of an additional four years. The first delivery order, valued at $35 million has been placed for the initial production of 223,837 players. The first players will be manufactured for the NLS in late 2008.

A similar contract was awarded to LC Industries in Hazlehurst, Mississippi, to produce mailing containers for the USB flash memory cartridges that will have the audio books recorded on them.

Northstar Systems Inc. of Rancho Cucamonga, California, was awarded a contract to manufacture USB flash memory cartridges for use in distributing recorded audiobooks to NLS patrons. The cartridges purchased under this contract will permit all NLS recorded books to be issued on either 512 MB or 1 GB cartridges. This Northstar Systems contract is the final agreement necessary for the conversion of the national talking book program from analog to digital.

Sign up now for NLS Digital Player

We have been informed that the National Library Services new digital Talking Book Player will be coming out early in 2009. The veterans will get them first. The NJ Library for the Blind and Handicapped is compiling a list of people interested in getting these players. They will be given out in order of those who call in. Call your NJLBH Readers Services representative at

(800) 792-8322 to have your name placed on the list.

by Fran Rod

You can participate in a wide variety of classes without leaving home through DOROTs University Without Walls. A teleconference-based program, University Without Walls (UWW) brings learning, laughter, and stimulating conversation into the home, using a regular telephone. All classes are live, interactive, and lead by professional experts in their fields.

Classes meet weekly on topics that range from art, music, literature, history and current events to health and wellness and an array of support and discussion groups, over 100 courses in all.

Joining UWW is easy! There is a one-time registration fee of $10 and each course is just $15. There is no charge for the calls, which are paid for by DOROT, the sponsoring not-for-profit organization. MENTION THIS ARTICLE AND RECEIVE YOUR FIRST COURSE FOR FREE AND WITH NO REGISTRATION FEE! To receive a free Fall/Winter 2008/09 course catalog, call (877) 819-9147 or Fran Rod at (973) 763-1511 or log on to www.dorotusa.org. A new adventure is just a phone call away!

Get connecteD!
BLIND and LOW VISION New Jersey Residents

Did you know that you can learn to use a computer even if you are blind or visually impaired AccessTech classes are fun and free-of-charge. Little or no computer experience is needed!

Learn to Use:

Learn to Use:


The New Jersey Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired


Statewide at public libraries and other community facilities; inquire for current sites and counties served.

Enroll: Contact (877) 447-6500 ext. 227, or info@4dewitt.com

Chapter Reports

ACB of Central New Jersey. No report.

Garden State Guide Dog Users. The next GSGDUI meeting will be held on Saturday, December, 6, at NJLBH from 1 pm until 3pm. Our meeting will follow the Friends of the Library meeting and lunch. Anyone with suggestions for a topic or speaker should contact Lauren Casey, GSGDUI president, by email at lrcasey1@verizon.net or by phone at 1-609-912-0657

Mercer County Association of the Blind. MCAB had a fun summer. Our activities included the quarterly meeting at Camp Happiness, an evening at the baseball park with the Trenton Thunder and a picnic at the Trenton Elks. We are now looking forward to fall activities. Our monthly meetings start on September 18th with a guest speaker, Fran Rod, from University Without Walls. We are also looking forward to hearing from our members Len and Joan Pope in October. They attended an Emergency Preparedness for the Disabled FEMA seminar in New York and have much to share with our members. Many of us are hoping to attend the NJCB annual convention on October 25. It promises to have great speakers with lots of information to share.

We meet at The Trinity United Methodist Church at 1895 Pennington Road in Ewing, NJ 08618 on the third Thursday evening of the month from 7:30 to 9:30 PM. Please contact Ottilie Lucas, (609) 882-2446 or Bob Rindt, (609) 912-0657 for more information. All are welcome.

Monmouth County Association for the Blind. The officers and members of MCAFB hope you all have had a wonderful summer. The following people were elected as Our officers after our June elections are:

Elizabeth Walzer-President

Charlotte Poole-First Vice President

Albert Plevier-Second Vice President

Kelly Grasso-Treasurer

Bianca Stewart-Recording Secretary

Mary Ann Hoffman- Corresponding Secretary

Richard Grasso- Sergeant at Arms

September 8th will start our monthly business meetings. They are held on the second Monday of the month from 6 to 8 PM. Our social meetings are every Thursday from 11 AM to 2 PM. All are invited to join us in our activities.

Please contact us at our Clubhouse number (732) 280-2326.

We have recently had 12 people come forward to volunteer their services to our guests and members in and around the Monmouth county area.

Our hearts were saddened this past summer by the loss of two of our members. Willie May Williams was a long time friend and associate member of 45 years. She passed on two months shy of her 100th birthday. Whenever a job had to be done Willie May was the first to be there to lend a helping hand. She will be missed by all. Edith Rushmire also passed away. She was a member for 25 years and will also be missed by all of us.

We continually strive to improve our Clubhouse facility.

Plans still in the works are to redo the driveway and outside areas along with the renovation of the second floor. We also have acquired several new pieces of equipment for the visually impaired. We have also improved the air and heating system throughout the building. We hope that blind citizens that are looking for social outings will come and enjoy our new facility with us.

The MCAFB will be having their holiday dinner on December 10th it is open to all. For further info on our upcoming activities please call:732-280-2326.

We plan on expanding our Thursday social program. We welcome all for an enjoyable and enriching time. We are planning more day trips to places like The Garden for the visually impaired, the theatre, concerts, shopping trips and the racetrack at Monmouth Park.

For more information call (732) 280-2326

Hope to see you all in October at the NJCB convention.

New Jersey Blind Citizens Association. No report.

Mark Your Calendar

Friday & Saturday, October 24 & 25, 2008: NJCB Annual Convention in Spring Lake Heights, New Jersey. See prior articles for more information.

January 24, 2009: NJCB quarterly meeting at the Trinity United Methodist Church in Ewing, New Jersey. More meeting details will be in the January issue of the NJCB Chronicle.

Saturday, April 25, 2009: NJCB Quarterly Meeting at the Monmouth County Association for the Blind Clubhouse in Wall, New Jersey.

Sunday, May 17, 2009: Elks Dinner Dance for the blind and visually impaired of New Jersey at 42 Decou Avenue, West Trenton, NJ.

Saturday, July 18, 2009: NJCB Quarterly Meeting at Camp Happiness in Leonardo, New Jersey.*

Friday & Saturday, October 23 & 24, 2009: NJCB Annual Convention. Location still to be determined. *

* = These are tentative dates that may be subject to change.


NOTE: Disclaimer. The views and opinions expressed in this newsletter are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and views of the New Jersey Council of the Blind officers and/or members. The editor reserves the right to edit articles submitted for both space and content.



Date: October 24 & 25, 2008 Friday evening and Saturday from 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM.

Place: Doolan's at 700 State Highway 71, Spring Lake, NJ 07762

Phone: (732) 449-3666

Cost: $45.00 for Continental Breakfast and Luncheon Banquet and $15.00 for registration

Rooms: Make reservations directly through the hotel. The rates are $80.00 or $90.00 plus tax per night. Let them know that you are with NJCB.

Fill out the bottom part of this form and send it before October 10th to Bob Lucas, 520 Ewingville Road, Ewing, NJ 08638 (609) 882-2446 with your check payable to The New Jersey Council of the Blind, Inc.






Voting Member___, Non-voting Member ___ or Non-member ___

I would like my program in Braille ___ Large Print ___ or Cassette___

Registration: $15.00

Continental Breakfast and Luncheon Banquet: $45.00

Flounder__ Chicken Marsala __ Vegetarian__ Beef__

Total: $______.