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The New Jersey Council of the Blind


April, 2010

We thank Audiovision, the Radio Reading Service of the New Jersey State Library Talking Book and Braille Center for the use of their recording studio to produce the cassette and digital formats that are aired on Audiovision and our website www.njcounciloftheblind.org. The Chronicle is read by Bob Lucas. For more information about Audiovision call 1-800-792-8322 or visit their website at www.audiovision-nj.org. The NJCB Chronicle is also available on Newsline.

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 that concern blind and visually impaired 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 on cassette.

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 njcounciloftheblind@verizon.net or phoned to (609) 882-2446. All information must be received by June 1st to be included in the next issue of the Chronicle.

You may obtain the current and back issues of the Chronicle and other information from our web site at www.njcounciloftheblind.org

The NJCB officers are: President, John Vernon, 447 Bellevue Ave., Apt 7-I, Trenton, NJ 08618, (609) 392-3674; First Vice President, Liz Walzer, (732) 280-2326; 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.


Meeting Notice

The NJCB quarterly meeting is being held on April 24th at the Monmouth County Association for the Blind's clubhouse at 3401 Belmar Blvd. Wall Township NJ. The clubhouse will be opened at 11:45 AM. Lunch will be served at Noon and the Business meeting is scheduled to run from 1 to 4 PM. The raffle drawing will be held at 3 PM. Please call Monmouth CAB at (732) 280-2326 and let them know by April 16th how many will be attending. The Monmouth County Association for the Blind board members suggested a $5.00 donation per person to help offset the costs of this day. Their donations are down, and their expenses are up

Directions: From the Garden State Parkway:

Get off at exit 98 onto Rt. 138 East. After first traffic light take jug handle marked Glendola. Cross Rt. 138 onto Allenwood Rd. Clubhouse is on the left corner of Allenwood Rd. and Belmar Blvd. Parking is across the street.

From Rt. 195 East: Route 195 east becomes Rt. 138 East. Follow above directions.

From Rt. 18 South: Get off at exit to Rt. 195 heading to Trenton

Allenwood Road is at second traffic light. Clubhouse is on the corner.

From Rt. 35 South: Turn right onto Belmar Blvd. Clubhouse is 2 miles on left.


President's Message

Hi All, Thank goodness, it is time for the spring edition of The Chronicle. I have had enough of the cold weather and snow. It feels great to be able to get out and walk again with out the fear of getting lost or walking into the middle of the street without knowing it. I did both several times in the past few months. Heavy snow is definitely not a blind person's friend. So, "Three cheers for spring!"

Discounting the snow, it has been an interesting quarter for The NJCB. Bob Lucas and I attended the mid winter President's meeting in Arlington, Virginia this February. We both enjoyed meeting again with old friends and meeting many new ones. Topics discussed included the following: 1 Schools for the Blind Task Force, 2. Twelve Steps to Successful Convention planning, 3. Fund raising events at the 2010 Convention - Raffle and Walkathon, 4.lunch Speaker - Michael Bina, Superintendent of the Maryland School for the Blind, 5. Publicizing your Affiliate through ACB Radio, 6. Updates on the National Convention, 7. The legal Ins and Outs of being an Affiliate leader, 8. The ACB Oral History Project, 9. An update on the ACB Audio Description Project, 10. Q & A session with current officers, 11. The evening programs included observation and in depth discussion of The NCAA Basketball 2009/2010 games and up coming March Madness Tournament. Big Surprise! Bob and I look forward to sharing much of this information with you at the Monmouth County clubhouse in April. I would like to personally thank Bob for his generosity in driving us both to Arlington and back, and also for his generosity in helping me get around at this large meeting.

Speaking of the April quarterly meeting sponsored by the Monmouth County Association for the Blind, a bit of information and a reminder. The April quarterly meeting will be held at the Monmouth clubhouse on Saturday, April 24th. The doors should open at approximately 11:45 and the meeting should be over at approximately 4:00. Please note that the Monmouth County Association put in a request for a $100.00 payment from the NJCB to help to cover the cost of their clubhouse operational expenses. As President, I could not solely give permission for such a request. Therefore, the Board of Directors held a conference call to discuss and vote on this request. All Board members were present except for Chris Ward who had a prior commitment. Al Plevier, the Monmouth President, was also present on the call to officially introduce the request. He pointed out that with the bad economy, this was a particularly hard year for their organization. They have been requesting all organizations that utilize their facility to pay this requested $100.00 fee. Each Board member was given an opportunity to speak on this request and ask questions. Each Board member was then given a roll call opportunity to vote on this request. The Board voted 6 to 1 not in favor of the request. It was noted that the NJCB should not begin the practice of paying for quarterly meeting locations. If we did this for one location, we would have to do it for all locations. This would spend much of the minimal profits the NJCB raises each year. It was noted that it would be appropriate for each member attending the meeting make a private donation to help off set the expenses of the Monmouth chapter. This was voted on and passed by the Board. We will therefore "pass the hat" after the lunch and before the meeting begins. If more than $100.00 is raised, the additional funds will be donated to the NJCB.

I would also like to remind you that the raffle will be held during this meeting at 3:00 P.M. All checks should be made out to the Monmouth County Association for the Blind. All tickets and money must be turned in by April 10th. Please note that all unsold tickets must also be turned in by this time. As a reminder, any proceeds gained by this raffle will go to off set the cost of attending our convention. Each member of the NJCB attending the convention will equally be allowed a reduced rate depending on how much money is raised and how many members attend.

Please do not forget that our convention will be held on Saturday, October 23rd, 2010 at the Clarion Hotel/Palmer Inn on Route One in Princeton, N.J. More information on the agenda and final costs will follow as this information is finalized in the months to come. It is now known that a reduced room rate of $79.99 double occupancy has been negotiated. Free transportation from the Princeton Train Station to the hotel for overnight guests has been offered by the hotel. This location is Access Link accessible. I look forward to being with you all in April. All the best!

John Vernon, President


Please Save the Date - 2010 Convention

The New Jersey Council of the Blind will be holding our 2010 convention on Saturday, October 23, 2010 at the Clarion Hotel / Palmer Inn on Route One in West Windsor, New Jersey. The morning activities will begin with a continental breakfast, an opportunity to visit invited exhibitors, and a chance to renew old friendships and meet new friends in the blindness community.

There will be a short business meeting with the election of new officers.

Our convention theme in part will be a celebration of the 100th anniversary of the NJ Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired. We will make a presentation To Vito DeSantis, the director of the Commission, and his staff. This we hope will be followed by presentations from the staff of the Commission and from the staff of The NJ State Library Talking Book and Braille Center.

The afternoon activities will begin with a sit down luncheon and our keynote speaker's presentation. After a brief break, we will have two different workshop sessions where you will learn about new products and be given time for a question and answer period. Our plans are not yet finalized, so additional speakers and activities are still being worked out.

We are excited about this adventure and hope that you are making plans to attend our celebration of awareness, new products, education, progress, and fellowship in our blindness community. More information and the registration form will be in the July, 2010 Chronicle. If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact us at (609) 895-1048, or e-mail us at:


All the best! John Vernon, President, New Jersey Council of the Blind


Lydia Young Hayes - CBVI's First CEO

By Pamela Gaston, CBVI

Lydia Young Hayes, the first Director of the NJ Commission for the Blind, was born on September 11, 1871, in Hutchinson, Minnesota. When Lydia was eight years old, while playing in a field on her parent's farm, she was thrown by a bull. This serious accident resulted in several injuries, including the loss of her eyesight.

Her parents were determined that Lydia should continue to learn and grow, despite her blindness. After a chance meeting with Anne Sullivan, Helen Keller's teacher, her parents sent her to live with her uncle to enable her to attend the Massachusetts School for the Blind, better known as the Perkins Institute, where Anne Sullivan received her education.

After graduating from the Perkins Institute, Lydia studied at the Kindergarten Normal School of Boston University. She opened a private nursery for sighted children but she spent much of her time volunteering as a home teacher for blind adults.

Around that time, a wave of social consciousness was sweeping across the nation, due to the vigorous human rights advocacy efforts of Helen Keller and the subsequent media attention she received. As a result, significant strides were made toward equalizing opportunities for people who were blind.

In 1904 Massachusetts officially recognized the importance of providing "home education" for blind adults. Lydia Hayes was the first person asked to be one of the program's two official teachers by Helen Keller and the other members of the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind.

It was Keller who personally visited New Jersey and appeared before the state legislature giving testimony on the need for (in her words) "a state Commission for the Blind". In 1909, Governor Franklin Fort, (who had squeezed into office by beating his opponent, Trenton Mayor Frank Katzenbach by a very slim margin of votes) followed up on Keller's recommendation to invite Lydia Hayes to accept the responsibility to lead New Jersey's state agency for the blind.

It was unusual for someone female, blind, and as young to be selected for such an important job. As the Commission's first Director, her initial task was to develop and organize a program of services for NJ residents found to be blind. In April, 1910 with New Jersey ranking third in the nation for population density, the Commission for the Blind began providing education and training for NJ's blind residents. During that first year 750 people were registered for services.

Throughout her career, Lydia Hayes fought vigorously for people who were blind and remained firm in her assertion that their right to a productive and fulfilling life was not something she would ever consider negotiable.

Unfortunately, during that time, not everyone agreed with Lydia's philosophy. As a matter of fact, blind children were often a source of a family's shame, often shut away and segregated from daily interaction with others. Those who were lucky enough to be able to attend school were sent to separate educational institutions, such as the New Jersey Institution for the Feeble Minded in Vineland, where blind students were shut away from their peers and referred to as "inmates".

Mostly due to Lydia's determination, New Jersey, unlike other states, began providing state support and supervision of Braille classes in public schools. Along with her colleague, Janet Gilchrist Patterson, she established the first classes where both blind and sighted children could learn together, side by side at a school located on Washington St. in Newark. The program was nationally recognized as innovative, and people from around the country came to see how Lydia ran her program for blind and sighted children.

After retiring in 1942, Lydia moved back to Minnesota to live with her nephew and his wife, Helen Schultz, a deaf-blind woman who was also her adopted daughter. She died at the age of 72, on February 8, 1943.

"Education concerning the blind should be two-fold: the education of the individual regarding his responsibility to the community and the education of the community to promote understanding of the capabilities of the individual." Lydia Young Hayes, First Director of the NJ Commission for the Blind



Computer Training Classes

Available for 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:

SPONSORED BY: The N J Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired

LOCATIONS: 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.


Regrets from the Elks

I regretfully must inform you that the Elks will not be able to provide the usual May dinner this year, due to lack of funds. Obligations for scholarships to area high school seniors depleted our coffers. Hopefully, the budget will allow us to have the dinner next year. Evelyn Eggert, Committee for the Blind, Elks Lodge 105 of Trenton. Editor's note: The Trenton Elks have faithfully served the blind of New Jersey for several decades. We know these difficult financial times have taken their toll in many ways. We, the blind of New Jersey, wish to express our gratitude for all you have done for us over the years and will pray that you will weather this current financial storm.


Friends of the NJ Library meeting

The Friends of the NJLBH are having their semiannual meeting at the Woodbridge Public Library on June 5, 2010. The directions are below.

Main Library
George Frederick Plaza
Woodbridge, NJ 07095
(732) 634-4450

The Main Library is on Route 35 (St. George's Avenue.) It is located next to Woodbridge Senior High School and across from the A&P Supermarket.

From Route 1 South: Proceed south until you reach the exit for Rt 35 South.*

From Route 1 North: Proceed north on Route 1 (past the Woodbridge Center, Green Street Intersection and Miller Pontiac) until you reach the exit for Rt. 35 South.*

From Garden State Parkway South: Take exit 131 to get onto Route 27 North (you will be bearing to the left when on the exit ramp.) Take Route 27 North approximately 2 miles to its intersection with Route 35. Make a right-hand turn onto Route 35 South. Proceed on Route 35 South under Route 1 and over railroad tracks.*

From Garden State Parkway North: Take exit 127 and follow signs saying "Route 9, Woodbridge." Proceed on Route 9 North to its intersection with Route 1 North. Continue on Route 1 North and take the exit for Route 35 South (less than 1 mile.)*

From Route 9 North: Take Route 9 North to its intersection with Route 1 North. Take Route 1 North to the exit for Route 35 South (less than 1 mile.)*

From NJ Turnpike: Get off at Exit 11 and follow signs saying "1 & 9, Woodbridge & The Amboys". Proceed on Route 9 North to its intersection with Route 1 North. Continue on Route 1 North and take the exit for Route 35 South (less than 1 mile.)*

From Route 287: Take the exit for Route 1 North. Proceed north on Route 1 past the Woodbridge Center, Green Street Intersection and Miller Pontiac. Approximately 1 mile past the intersection take the exit for Route 35 South.*

*Once you are on Route 35 South, proceed through the traffic light and over the railroad tracks. Turn left at the first light after the tracks. There is a left turn lane.


Another Date to Save - Thursday, July 29th

Once again NJCB will be selling tickets to a Trenton Thunder baseball game as a fundraiser. The fifth annual "Covering the Bases" is hosted by the NJ Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired, The New Jersey State Library Talking Book and Braille Center and of course the Trenton Thunder. The Trenton Thunder, the world champion New York Yankees Eastern League AA farm team will be hosting the New Hampshire Fisher Cats, the Eastern League farm team of the Toronto Blue Jays on Thursday, July 29th. It promises to be a fun filled evening of entertainment for the entire family. Call Bob Lucas, NJCB Treasurer, for tickets at (609) 882-2446.


FYI-For Your Information

The Talking Bible from Talking Books International. Talking Books International, Inc., the creators of the Talking BibleŽ, have been providing Talking Bibles to blind and print-impaired persons around the world for the last decade. The first Talking Bible was a large cassette player. Now, it is a handheld, high quality, digital audio player that comes pre-loaded with both the Old and New Testaments and is available in many different languages. There are no moving parts, no CDs, and no there is no complex download process required. The Talking Bible is very useful for the physically and/or visually impaired, blind, or learning disabled. A powerful speaker allows for safe and convenient listening when ear buds or headphones are not preferred. Flying Blind is reselling the Talking Bible for $74.95 plus $5.00 shipping and handling. For more information, please visit http://www.flying-blind.com or email talkingbible@flying-blind.com.

APH Introduces Book Port Plus. Book Port Plus is the latest product that will play the NLS digital books. It joins Victor Reader Stream, BookSense, Braille Plus, Icon, the NLS digital player, etc. The introductory price is $299.00. For more details contact APH at (800) 223-1839 or info@aph.org.

Low Vision News. Dr. Siwoff is the editor of a new web journal called lowvisionnews.com. This journal will feature interviews with leading scientists around the world who are doing research to find cures for eye diseases. In addition to feature articles, readers can logon and identify the disease they are interested in. They will be directed to the appropriate article in the archive. An interactive feature exists at the end of each article, which allows the reader to discuss the article with other readers and with the scientists.

Used Cassettes. If you have old used cassettes and want to have them put to good use instead of throwing them away, send them "Free Matter for the Blind" to:

Care Ministries
205 Jefferson Street, Suite B
Starkville, MS 39759

For more information, call them at: (800) 336-2232.


The Visionary Pioneers of Somerset County

After meeting with the officers of the NJCB via a phone conference on February 10, 2010. The membership of The Visionary Pioneers of Somerset County have decided to take the following future actions in becoming a new chapter of the New Jersey Council of the Blind. Draw up a Constitution to be approved and ratified by the membership. This will be done by the end of the June meeting. VPSC will petition NJCB for membership by early September. The earliest possible date of becoming a new member chapter would be by October 2010, around the time of the state convention. The Visionary Pioneers of Somerset County look forward to becoming an integral part of NJCB. Christopher Ward, Facilitator/President.



Garden State Guide Dog Users (GSGDUI). Our chapter meeting will be held this Spring at Ottilie and Bob Lucas' home at 520 Ewingville Road, Ewing, NJ 08638. It will be on Saturday, June 12, starting at 10 a.m. followed by a picnic.
Call the Lucas' for directions to their home. We will have a regular business meeting however, if anyone has any suggestions on a particular topic or speaker please let me know. I can be reached by email at lrcasey1@verizon.net or by phone at 609-912-0657. Elections for GDUI will be held this spring. Members can call in their votes at the end of May for this election. Please check your Paw Tracks for more details. Hope everyone and their pups have made it through this winter and wishing you all a great spring.
Lauren Casey, GSGDUI president.

Mercer County Association of the Blind (MCAB). We enjoyed hosting the January meeting of NJCB. We did not enjoy all of the snow that we have had this winter. Thus far, we have not had to cancel any of our monthly meetings. Mercer CAB members enjoyed Marjory Bernhard's informative presentation at our January meeting. She represented RSVP. They are a volunteer organization of seniors who reach out to serve many community needs. Marjory gave several short introductions to many services available to our members. Included in her presentation was information about veteran's benefits, becoming a pharmacist tech, obtaining a handicapped parking placard, where to get adaptive equipment, transportation information and emergency preparedness facts. We have many new members. We have asked these members as well as some not so new members to give short biographies on nights that we don't have speakers. Four members, Susan Yochim, Angela Carreras, Vienna Ottobre and Mike Swenton shared with us at our February meeting. We learned things about them that we had not known before. Fran Rod of University Without Walls was our March speaker. As a result of her presentation, several of our members will sign up for their spring course offerings. Unfortunately, we will not be going to the Elks for our spring dinner dance this year due to their lack of funds. We truly appreciate their generosity in the past and look forward to their hospitality in the future. Many organizations are experiencing hard times. We hope their donations will increase for them to continue all of their worthwhile projects. We look forward to seeing many of you at the April meeting at the Monmouth clubhouse.

Monmouth County Association for the Blind. No report

NJ Blind Citizens Association/Camp Happiness (NJBCA). The NJBCA, a New Jersey Lions State Project, rolled out a statewide project six months ago donating CCTV assistive reading devices to blind/visually impaired NJ children and adults. The NJBCA has donated approximately two units a month according to Lion Doug Scott, Executive Director, and six CCTV's are on-site waiting for homes. Lion Doug asks for help in publicizing this program and finding individuals who would benefit. For further information, or to contact Camp Happiness, please call 732-291-0878.



Thursday, April 15, 2010: Mercer CAB monthly meeting at the Trinity United Methodist Church at 1985 Pennington Road in Ewing. The meeting runs from 7:00 to 9:00 PM. Call Ottilie Lucas with any questions at (609) 882-2446.

Saturday, April 24, 2010: Quarterly meeting of NJCB at the Monmouth County Association for the Blind's Clubhouse. The raffle drawing will be at 3 PM at this meeting. See Meeting Notice for further details.

Thursday, May 20, 2010: Mercer CAB monthly meeting. See prior notice.

Saturday, June 5, 2010: Friends of the Library meeting at The Woodbridge Main Library at George Frederick Plaza Woodbridge, NJ 07095. Directions are in prior article.
Saturday, June 12, 2010: Garden State Guide Dog Users meeting at 10 AM at the Lucas' followed by a picnic. Call the Lucas' at (609) 882-2446 for directions. Call Lauren Casey at (609) 912-0657 for more details.

Thursday, June 17, 2010: Mercer CAB monthly meeting. See prior notice.

Saturday, July 17, 2010: Quarterly meeting of NJCB will be held at Camp Happiness in Leonardo, NJ from 12 Noon to 4 PM. Check the July issue of the NJCB Chronicle for more details. Note that this is the third, not the fourth Saturday of July.

Thursday, July 29, 2010: "Covering the Bases," Trenton Thunder (world champion New York Yankees AA farm team) baseball game at Waterfront Park in Trenton hosted by NJCBVI, NJSLTBBC and the Trenton Thunder. Contact Bob Lucas at (609) 882-2446 for tickets.

Saturday, August 7, 2010: Mercer CAB picnic at the Trenton Elks. Watch for more details in the July issue of the Chronicle.

Saturday, October 23, 2010: NJCB Convention. Watch for more details in future issues.

Saturday, November 13, 2010: Cape May County's 2010 Disabilities Awareness Day Watch. More details will be in future issues.


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. We reserve the right to edit articles submitted to the Chronicle for length and accuracy.