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The New Jersey Council of the Blind


July, 2010

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 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.

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. All information must be received by August 15th to be included in the next issue of the Chronicle.

The NJCB officers are: President: John Vernon (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. Board members are Doug Heine, Joyce Sowa and Chris Ward.



The next quarterly meeting of NJCB will be hosted by The New Jersey Blind Citizens' Association (BCA) at Camp Happiness on Saturday, July 17, 2010. A picnic lunch will be served at 12 Noon; the meeting will begin at 1 PM and will be over at about 4 PM. In order for them to prepare enough food call the BCA office at (732) 291-0878 by July 10th to let them know that you are coming. One person from each organization can call with a group count. We are looking forward to seeing you there.


Take Route 36 to Leonardo, New Jersey in northern Monmouth County.

Turn toward the shore onto Leonard Avenue in Leonardo, NJ. Turn right onto Burlington Avenue. The meeting will be on the right starting at the picnic grounds at Camp Happiness.


President's Message

Hi all, by the time that you read this message, the year 2010 will be more than half over. For a warm weather lover like me this is great news. It means more daily walks along the towpath of the Delaware and Raritan Canal. It means just sitting outside on a lawn chair observing the world going by and greeting friends that I haven't heard from since last fall. Unfortunately it also means that the year is half over. Have you accomplished everything that you had on your to do list for this year. I didn't either. With that in mind did you accomplish half of those things that you wanted to accomplish? Neither did I. The good thing about the month of June is that you still have half of the year to get yourself in gear to meet your 2010 goals and wishes. Good Luck!

Our Convention on the 23rd of October is coming along nicely. Most of the agenda has been set up and put in place. I thank everyone for their ideas, wishes, desired speakers, and continued planning. This has truly been a process that has included one and all.

The convention day is scheduled as follows. There will first be a light breakfast and time to greet one another and perhaps meet some new members and friends, as well as visit the vendors' tables and learn of their latest products. At 9:30 AM we will have a short business meeting for the purpose of electing new officers. Our first morning speaker will be Adam Szczepaniak, the Director of the State Library Talking Book and Braille Center. The New Jersey State budget will have passed by then, so Adam will have much to share with us. Our second morning speaker will be Vito DeSantis, the Executive Director of the New Jersey Commission for the Blind. He will also be sharing budgetary news and adjustments for the Commission. He will also share with us a short history of the Commission as we all celebrate one hundred years of service to the blind citizens of our state. This will be followed by a time for visiting vendors and again greeting old friends and new members.

Lunch will begin near noon. Your choice will be Chicken Marsala or Eggplant Parmigiana. Our Keynote Speaker will be Jennifer Velez, Esquire, the Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Human Services.

The first afternoon speaker at approximately 2:00 P.M. will be Dr. Bethany Fishbein. Dr. Fishbein is a low vision specialist with the Somerset Eye Care Center in Somerset, NJ. Dr Fishbein will offer time at the conclusion of her presentation for questions and answers. She will be followed by two concurrent workshops from which you will be able to choose one. Bill Dougherty of the Talking Book and Braille Center will be instructing us in the use of the new players from the National Library Service that we will all be using. Bill will also be giving some instruction setting up the BARD system that is necessary to gain access to the NLS system for down loading books through our computers and then to the cartridges or thumb drives for use in our players. Once learned, this process will put all of the books in the NLS collection at your finger tips. Ottilie Lucas, MS, retired rehab teacher, will be conducting the other workshop. She will be informing and demonstrating for us the latest techniques and products for our Activities of Daily Living. I would like to personally thank both Bill and Ottilie for sharing their valuable knowledge with us all. The final speaker(s) of the day have not yet been confirmed. We plan to have the agenda and all of the necessary incidentals completed by the time of our next quarterly meeting at Camp Happiness on July 17, 2010.

The cost of our convention will be reduced for all NJCB members. The next article will explain the registration procedure.

I would like to personally thank Al Plevier and Liz Walzer from the Monmouth County Association for the Blind and Ottilie and Bob Lucas for all of their assistance in bringing this 50/50 to a successful conclusion. I also thank the NJCB board Members who gave much of their time in the many conference calls that were necessary in this "adventure". I also thank everyone who sold the tickets that made this reduction in fees possible.

Both the ACB and the NJCB have been involved in the national quiet car and the access to visually assisted media legislation that will make life both safer and more productive in our daily activities.

The NJCB and individual members such as Mustafa Shabazz and Ottilie Lucas have both written letters and given testimony in legislative budget hearings this spring. The purpose of their testimony was to persuade our legislators to reauthorize funding for the TBBC. 75% of TBBC comes from the federal government. However, if the in kind state funding is not authorized, then we also lose the federal funding. Thus, the existence of the TBBC is quite literally on the line. Therefore, please keep writing your legislators and state senators and ask them to reauthorize the necessary funding of the New Jersey State Library Talking Book and Braille Center.

Please continue to enjoy the first half of your summer months. I look forward to seeing everyone at Camp Happiness on July 17th.

All the best. John Vernon, President, NJCB


NJCB Raffle Winners

The 50/50 raffle sponsored by Monmouth County Association for the Blind was drawn at 3:00 PM on April 24, 2010 at our NJCB quarterly meeting. The ticket sales generated total proceeds of $2,660.00. $1,330.00 will be given to NJCB. After deducting costs associated with the running of the 50/50 raffle, $946.39 will be available to reduce the cost of the tickets to our members attending the NJCB convention at the Clarion Hotel/Palmer Inn on October 23, 2010.

The first prize of $665.00 was won by Jean Cannella, a member of Mercer County Association of the Blind and Garden State Guide Dog Users. The second prize of $399.00 was won by Margaret Adams of NJ Blind Citizens Association and Monmouth County Association for the Blind. The third prize of $266.00 was won by Norma Wiggins. This ticket was sold by Joyce Sowa, a board member and a member at large.

Congratulations to our winners. We thank all who purchased and/or sold tickets for this worthwhile cause.


Take Advantage of Big Savings for 2010 Convention

The NJCB 2010 Convention was described in our President's message. There will be lots of interesting speakers, workshops and exhibits to interest everyone. The details should be finalized and be put into the October issue. Registration has been changed this year due to the NJCB's portion of the proceeds of the raffle. We are encouraging everyone to pay close attention to the registration process. The registration form is at the end of this issue. NJCB members fill out the second page only of the registration form. October's Chronicle will give more details but it will arrive too late for members to take advantage of the discounted ticket prices.

The cost for the convention will be $50.00 for non-members and those members who register after October 7th. The process for all of you NJCB members to reduce your Convention cost is as follows:

  1. Send your completed registration form and a deposit check of $20.00 to Treasurer Bob Lucas before September 18th. On September 19th the individual Convention cost discount amount will be calculated.
  2. On September 19th, the reduced final payment amount will be posted on a recording of the answering machine at the Monmouth County clubhouse at (732) 280-2326. A group E-mail will also be sent to all who give an E-mail address on their registration form.
  3. Immediately send in your reduced final payment to the same address stated on your registration form by October 7th.
  4. If your final payment is received after October 7th, the full $30.00 will be your final cost.

Register early and follow up to save.

If you have any questions, call Bob Lucas at (609) 882-2446 or e-mail zcpabob@verizon.net.



Wednesday, October 27, 2010

"A Celebration of Partnership and Progress"

The Fund for the NJ Blind, Inc. will sponsor a day-long event to commemorate The 100th Anniversary of the NJ Commission for the Blind & Visually Impaired on Wednesday, October 27th, 2010 at the Woodbridge Hilton, Iselin, NJ.

This event will include: Information on CBVI as well as other state, federal and community-based services and programs; the display and demonstration of state-of-the-art assistive technology; resources pertinent to achieving educational, independent living and employment goals and The CBVI 100th Anniversary Awards Luncheon!

To receive further information, including an exhibitor's package, please send an e-mail to pamela.gaston@dhs.state.nj.us with "Oct. 27th" in the subject line.


New Pedestrian Safety Law

Following are excerpts from a Philadelphia Inquirer article written by staff writer James Osborne. Drivers in New Jersey will be required to come to a complete stop when approaching a pedestrian in a crosswalk under a law that went into effect recently. The statute, taking effect four years into a statewide campaign to cut down on accidents, represents the first pedestrian-related change in New Jersey traffic law in five decades.
New Jersey has one of the highest rates of pedestrian fatalities in the country, with 27 percent of auto fatalities in 2008 involving pedestrians, almost twice the national rate, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The law applies to both marked and unmarked crosswalks, which the state traffic code designates as existing at the intersection of any two roadways. It calls for violators to be assessed up to $200.00 in fines and two points on their driver's licenses, as well as 15 days of community service.
But even with the new law - which revised a requirement that motorists yield to pedestrians in crosswalks - getting drivers to comply could be difficult, said Sgt. Mike Rann of the Cherry Hill Police Department.
Last year, Cherry Hill police set up crosswalk stings, in which officers, in some cases pushing baby strollers, would step out into a crosswalk as cars approached. Over six days, officers handed out 249 tickets and arrested one man who became irate when cited by police, Rann said.
New Jersey follows federal regulations on signs alerting motorists to crosswalks. But some communities have taken further steps, including Princeton, where running lights have been installed along crosswalks to improve their visibility.


2 New Resources from WGBH

WGBH's Media Access Group, home to the Descriptive Video Service (DVSŪ) has debuted two new online resources for fans of described movies. Both can be reached via a new, easy-to-remember Web site address:

1. DVS on DVD.
This page of their site has been updated to enable description fans to learn about mainstream DVD and Blu-ray discs that are available with audio description, and provides an Amazon click through option which takes you directly to the page of amazon.com to order the disc. The DVD and Blu-ray discs listed on the page are available wherever discs are sold (online and in stores), however clicking through their site to purchase your movies will provide the Media Access Group with a small percentage of the sales revenue, and helps support their efforts.

2. Full List of DVS Movies.
This page lists every movie they have described for television, cable, DVS Home Video and DVS Theatrical (for movie theaters) since DVS debuted as a service in 1990. They're at nearly 800 films! The list is sortable by movie title or distributor. Ask for described versions of movies from your television, cable or satellite provider, from movies by mail services and from Web sites which offer streaming or downloadable movies.

www.mopix.org takes you to information about movies offered with description in theaters equipped with Motion Picture Access systems. If you go to
www.captionfish.com you can type in your zip code, set the search filter for DVS and find the equipped theaters, described movies and accessible showtimes near you.

They are always looking for feedback to improve their services. Their contact information follows.

The Media Access Group at WGBH
(617) 300-3700


Morris Frank in Blindness Hall of Fame

The Seeing Eye is extremely proud to announce that its co-founder, Morris Frank, has been named to the Hall of Fame for Leaders and Legends of the Blindness Field.
The Hall of Fame, founded in 2001, is housed at the American Printing House for the Blind (APH) in Louisville, Ky. The Hall is dedicated to preserving the tradition of excellence manifested by specific individuals through the history of outstanding services provided to people who are blind or visually impaired in North America. The Hall is guided by a nine-member Governing Board.
Morris Frank, along with the founder of the American Foundation for the Blind, M.C. Migel, represent the Class of 2010 and will be inducted during ceremonies on Oct. 15, 2010, in conjunction with APH's Annual Meeting in Louisville.
To date, 44 outstanding professionals have been inducted into the Hall of Fame.
The announcement from the Hall of Fame provided this description of Mr. Frank: "As the first person in North America to use a guide dog, Morris Frank promised to spread the word about the independence and enhanced mobility that could be experienced. Together with Dorothy Harrison Eustis, Frank founded The Seeing Eye in 1929, basing the organization on the philosophy that limitless possibilities exist within the lives of people who are blind. He was almost single-handedly responsible for the passage of initial legislation relevant to dog guide access in every state and province."
"It was his leadership and role modeling behavior that founded not only the first dog guide school but the entire industry -- an industry that today has over 80 accredited schools around the world," said President and CEO Jim Kutsch.
We thank the Directors of the Hall of Fame on behalf of Morris Frank, and congratulate our friends at the American Foundation for the Blind.

Free Mystic Seaport Passes Available

The National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS) has renewed its membership with Mystic Seaport: The Museum of America and the Sea and is once again offering NLS patrons use of a free one-day seaport pass. The seaport is a world-renowned, not for profit historical and educational institution occupying thirty-seven acres on the Mystic River, near New London, Connecticut. Highlights of the site include restored tall ships, tours by shipwrights and craftsmen, and a variety of exhibit galleries. The pass entitles two adults and three children or grandchildren under eighteen to free admission to Mystic Seaport on the day of the week specified on the pass. The opportunity is available year-round. The pass will be sent by express delivery and will include a prepaid return envelope.

If interested, e-mail jcau@loc.gov or fax (202) 707-0712, attention Mystic Pass Coordinator, Publications and Media Section. Include your name, street address, telephone number, and the date and day of the week you wish to visit Mystic Seaport. For visitor information, including accessibility details, membership opportunities, directions, lodging, and more, go to www.mysticseaport.org.


Come to the MCAB Picnic

The Mercer County Association of the Blind's picnic will be at the Trenton Elks on Saturday, August 7, 2010. There is always lots of homemade food and lots of laughs. Let Bob or Ottilie know if you would like to come. Call: (609) 882-2446 or e-mail Ottilie@verizon.net before July 15th.

Date: Saturday, August 7, 2010

Time: 12 PM to about 4 PM.

Cost: $5.00 for non MCAB members

Place: Trenton Elks Lodge, 42 Decou Ave. in West Trenton (the cross street is Parkway Ave.) 609-638-4232 (Bob Lucas' Cell Phone)


From the North:

Take Rt. 31 South; turn right onto Rt. 95 South one mile south of the Pennington Circle. Get off at exit 2 turning right toward West Trenton, Turn left at the second traffic light (West Upper Ferry Road). Turn right onto Decou Ave. where road bends right. If you go under the railroad overpass, you've gone too far. The Elks Lodge is on the left where Decou Avenue bends to the right.


Take Rt. 1 South and take Rt. 95 South after passing Mercer Mall on the right and Quaker Bridge Mall on the left.

Get off at exit 2 and follow above directions.


From the East:

Take Rt. 195 West to Rt. 295 North, which becomes Rt. 95 South. Get off at exit 2 and follow the above directions.


From the South:

Take Rt. 206, Rt. 130, Rt. 295 or Turnpike north to Bordentown. Pick up Rt. 295 North, which becomes Rt. 95 South. Get off at exit 2 and follow the above directions. Have a safe trip and we hope to see you there.


Chapter Reports

Garden State Guide Dog Users. The GSGDUI had a meeting on Saturday, June 12th, at the home of Ottilie and Bob Lucas. We had a business meeting and a puppy raising presentation by the Curley family. They do puppy raising for the Seeing Eye. The meeting was followed by a picnic and all the food was delicious. Our chapter will be sending a donation to Guiding Eyes in the memory of Judy Gardiner. She was one of our members who recently passed away. Our next meeting is scheduled for Saturday, December 11, 2010 at a location yet to be determined. Lauren Casey, President.

Mercer County Association of the Blind. MCAB has had several of our members give talks on topics of interest to them. The New Jersey State Rehabilitation Council update was brought to us by Lauren Casey. Mustafaa Shabazz reported on the Legislative public forums regarding The NJ State Library Talking Book and Braille Center's proposed budget cuts. Several of our members testified at these hearings. Lenny Pope gave suggestions how we can support the Elks. The Elks generously support MCAB.

Wayne Driscoll was our guest speaker in May. He represented a medical house call group known as Revolution Care. They utilize Nurse Practitioners in collaboration with Dr. Steven Goldfine to provide primary care services in the Home.

Some of our members will be attending the ACB convention in Phoenix. We are looking forward to our picnic at the Elks on August 7th. We hope to see many of you at Camp Happiness on July 17th for the NJCB quarterly meeting.

Have a fun and enjoyable summer.

Monmouth County Association for the Blind. No report.

New Jersey Blind Citizens Association. No report.



Saturday, July 17, 2010: Quarterly meeting of NJCB will be held at Camp Happiness in Leonardo, NJ from 12 Noon to 4 PM. (See details in prior article)

Thursday, July 29, 2010: "Covering the Bases" at the Trenton Thunder's Waterfront Park.

Saturday, August 7, 2010: Mercer CAB Summer Picnic at the Trenton Elks on Decou Avenue in West Trenton. See details and directions in prior article.

Saturday, October 23, 2010: NJCB Convention at the Clarion Hotel/Palmer Inn, see prior article.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010: Celebration of CBVI's 100th Anniversary, see prior article.


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: Saturday October 23, 2010 from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Place: The Clarion Hotel/Palmer Inn, 3499 Route 1 South, Princeton, NJ.

Phone: (609) 452-2500.

Cost: $50.00 for non members and a reduced amount in two payments for members. Members registration form on next page.

Hotel Rooms: Make reservations directly through the hotel before October 8, 2010 to get a reduced rate of $79.99 plus tax for Friday night only. Call the hotel at (609) 452-2500 and tell Diane that you are with New Jersey Council of the Blind.

Registration Form for non NJCB Members

To register for the Convention fill out the form below and send check payable to NJCB and registration form to our Treasurer, Bob Lucas, 520 Ewingville Road, Ewing, NJ 08638 by October 12, 2010.





E-mail address:

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

Meal Choice: Chicken Piccata ___ or Eggplant Parmesan ___

Workshop choice:

1. Getting familiar with digital players and downloading. ___

2. Hints and tips on how to become more independent in the home. ___

Total cost: $50.00

Any questions? Call (609) 882-2446.

Registration Form for NJCB Members

To register for the Convention fill out the form below and send checks payable to NJCB and registration form to our Treasurer, Bob Lucas, 520 Ewingville Road, Ewing, NJ 08638

Your non-refundable deposit of $20.00 is due by September 18, 2010 to gain a significantly reduced ticket price. The amount of the final payment will be e-mailed to you on September 19th. If you do not have e-mail, call (732) 280-2326 on or after September 19th to get the amount of your final payment. It must be received before October 7th to qualify for the discount. Convention cost is $50.00 to anyone not paying the $20.00 deposit by September 18th or not paying the final payment by October 7th. All reservations must be in by October 12th.





E-mail address:

Voting member ___ Non-voting member:________

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

Deposit of $20.00 due by September 18, 2010. Final payment amount will be announced on September 19, 2010 and must be received by NJCB on or before October 7, 2010.

Meal Choice: Chicken Piccata ___ or Eggplant Parmesan ___

Workshop choice:

1. Getting familiar with digital players and downloading. ___

2. Hints and tips on how to become more independent in the home. ___

Any questions? Call (609) 882-2446.