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The New Jersey Council of the Blind


April, 2011

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. We thank Audiovision's John Hart and our webmaster David Casterline for their technical assistance. The Chronicle is read by Bob Lucas. For more information about Audiovision call (800) 792-8322 or visit their website at www.audiovision-nj.org. The NJCB Chronicle is also available on Newsline. For more information about Newsline, call Bill Dougherty at (800) 792-8322, ext. 810.

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, Frank Schack (973) 595-0116; Second Vice President, Joyce Sowa (732) 596-9675; Secretary, Ottilie Lucas (609) 882-2446 and Treasurer, Bob Lucas (609) 882-2446, 520 Ewingville Road, Ewing, NJ 08638.


Meeting Notice

The quarterly meeting of NJCB scheduled for April 16, 2011 at the Hamilton Public Library has been canceled. See the President's Message for more details.


President's Message

Hi All. It is March 7th as I write this message. The weather seems to have broken every other day. One day the high will be in the 50's and the next day the high will be in the low 30's. Such is the month of March in our part of the world. I hope that at least the snow is over for the year. We shall see. Spring Training is well under way and the regular baseball season begins in April. Optimism is thus the sign of our time.

This quarter has indeed been a busy one for the NJCB. Ottilie and Bob Lucas and I attended the Annual Midyear Presidents' Meeting of American Council of the Blind in Arlington Virginia on February 25, 26, and 27. We had a good time renewing acquaintances with old friends and meeting new ones. The weekend agenda was as follows. Friday night we attended the Board of Publications meeting. The first Saturday topic was Convention Based and Leadership Training Initiative. The speaker at our luncheon was Eric Bridges, the ACB Director of Advocacy and Governmental Affairs. Eric chronicled the events and process that led to the passing of 2 important pieces of legislation in 2010. The legislation signed into law was the 21st Century Telecommunications Act and the Pedestrian Safety Act. The remaining Saturday topics were: Implementing ACB's Management Data Based Program, On Line State Convention Registration, ACB's Voting Rights Task Force, The Braille Forum, after Cassettes, recruiting and involvement of New Leadership in Younger Members in your affiliate, Resources and Money Matters - current resources. The Sunday topics were: Comments on the Department of justice advance notice of rule making, Encouraging Leadership: Getting your members to run for office, and finally Dialogue with President Mitch Pomerantz and Executive Director Melanie Brunson.

Obviously I do not have room here to describe each session. Ottilie, Bob, and I will hold a panel discussion of this meeting at our next Quarterly Meeting at Camp Happiness in July. Here you will gain more information and have an opportunity to ask questions.

Did I say, ".our next Quarterly Meeting. in July". Yes, that is correct. The April quarterly meeting of NJCB has been cancelled. We already knew that a number of members would not be able to make this meeting planned for April 16th in Hamilton Township. Then we learned that the Lion's Club Dance was going to be held that same evening. This would reduce the number coming even more. It became questionable whether a quorum would be able to assemble. Therefore, we decided to cancel the April meeting. Our Constitution requires only three quarterly meetings, so we will still be in compliance with our constitution.

I was involved in a conference call with Vito DeSantis, the Executive Director of the Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired, two weeks ago. The subject of this call was the 1.5 million dollar cut in the next fiscal year budget for the Commission which begins in August. This cut will eliminate all 20 positions of contracted teachers of the visually impaired who work 10 months a year. This will leave the 41 teachers who work 12 months a year to serve the needs of all school age blind and visually impaired children in the Garden State. This will obviously have a negative impact on these students. Vito has since called for a meeting at the Talking Book and Braille Center on March 30th with the same individuals involved in the conference call. I will keep you abreast on further developments after this meeting.

I look forward to meeting with everyone at our next quarterly meeting of NJCB at Camp Happiness on July 16th.

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


The Elks Invite You

The Trenton Elks again invite any blind person in New Jersey and a guest to a dinner on Sunday, May 15th from 1 to 4 PM to their hall at 42 Decou Ave. in West Trenton. There is no charge for this event (as in free)! They are gracious hosts and serve a delicious dinner. Music will be provided by Stan Partyka. We will eat, sing and dance and just have an all around good time. It's as much fun as a wedding reception. Don't miss it. It is one of the highlights of the year!

Date: Sunday May 15, 2011

Time: 1:00 to 4:00 PM

Place: Trenton Elks Lodge, 42 Decou Ave. in West Trenton (the cross street is Parkway Ave.) 609-771-0105.

Make your reservations by phoning Bob Rindt at 609-912-0657 by May 5th.


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.


American Council of the Blind Commends the President for Signing Pedestrian Safety Legislation

WASHINGTON, Jan. 5, 2011 - Late yesterday, President Obama signed S. 841, The Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act. This new law will provide blind, visually impaired, and other pedestrians greater security when traveling in close proximity to hybrid or electric vehicles.

The legislation will require the U.S. Department of Transportation to begin writing standards that would set requirements for an alert sound that allows blind and other pedestrians to reasonably detect a nearby electric or hybrid vehicle. It also requires that those rules be finalized within three years.



Check to see if your local library has an Outspoken Kiosk. The New Jersey State Library Talking Book & Braille Center (TBBC) recently announced the fall 2010 roll out of the Outspoken Library. Over forty free standing Outspoken Library computer kiosks are being delivered to participating public libraries across New Jersey. The goal is to give every New Jersey public library patron an opportunity to learn about and explore the Talking Book & Braille Center's free library programs that are available to anyone who cannot read a standard print book.

Each Outspoken Library kiosk has live links to services administered through TBBC such as TBBC's very own Audiovision Newspaper Reading Service and the National Federation of the Blind's Newsline with over 300 newspapers, magazines and wire services. Access to the Braille and Audio Reading Download (BARD) site is also available. BARD currently provides over 18,000 digital books for download which can be played on a TBBC issued digital talking book player. A sample collection of digital talking books for copying by registered TBBC customers is also available. Video demonstrations and instructions on how to do a BARD download are also found on each Outspoken Library kiosk.

The kiosks are not equipped with accessible software. The kiosks are designed primarily to be used by librarians promoting the service to people who don't know about TBBC's free service, and by caregivers of TBBC customers who may have difficulty getting to the library. However, if you are a TBBC customer without home Internet access, the local librarian can assist you in setting up a BARD account and downloading TBBC's digital talking books at your local library. To learn if your local library has this program, check the TBBC web site at http://njsltbbc.org/outspoken_library or call 1-800-792-8322.


Cooking & Shopping Made Easier & Healthier for Blind Americans

Posted by Kareem Dale, Special Assistant to the President in the White House Office of Public Engagement on February 16, 2011.

For millions of blind or visually impaired Americans, reading the nutrition information and cooking directions printed on the boxes, cans, jars, bottles and bags at the grocery store has been all but impossible-at least it was before the launch of directionsforme last month. Directionsforme is an accessible and user friendly website that contains nutritional and product information for over 350,000 foods and appliances. Created by Horizons for the Blind, directionsforme is helping millions of Americans like me to plan healthy menus, cook at home and to pay attention to the foods we consume. Thanks to directionsforme, blind grocery shoppers can now plan their trips by carefully selecting foods and brands whose nutrition information they have read and compared.


Clinical Research Study Recruitment

Blind individuals with no light perception needed.

A local doctor is conducting research to evaluate a new investigational treatment for insomnia and daytime sleepiness in individuals who are totally blind. Individuals may qualify who:

. are between 18 and 75 years of age

. are blind with no light perception

. have trouble sleeping at night or experience daytime sleepiness

Participants will be compensated for their time and effort and will receive study medication and study-related medical evaluation at no cost.

For more information

Call 1-888-389-7033

M-F 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM ET


Cobra Screen Reader Now Available through Bay Area Digital

Bay Area Digital is pleased to announce the availability of the acclaimed Cobra Screen Reader as a new product offering from the company. Written by Baum Retec AG of Germany, this is a full function screen reader product. Baum has over 25 years of experience in writing screen reading software for Windows operating systems. COBRA simplifies working with Windows 7, Vista or Windows XP for blind and visually impaired computer users. COBRA incorporates all standard functions of a modern screen reader in an environment also guaranteed for the future. For more information, contact Bay Area Digital: (888) 881-1998 or (415) 217-6667. Also, you can purchase the product from their website at http://www.bayareadigital.us

Bay Area Digital
870 Market Street, #653
San Francisco, CA 94102


Shopping at Meijer just got easier

The Grand Rapids, Michigan based retailer, with 12 local superstores, has launched a grocery delivery service available in all 50 states and internationally. You may place orders for any one of 5,000 items at www.meijerdoorstepgrocer.com. Tack on shipping fees of $7.95 and up, and items will typically hit doorsteps within two to four days. Their website offers non-perishable national and Meijer brand items as well as baby supplies, pet food, cleaning supplies, laundry products and healthy and beauty items. About 3,000 items are individual-sized and the rest are multi-pack or bulk. The grocer will offer a 10 percent discount on orders of $100.00 or more for a limited time. Customers can enter the promo code "grocery" at checkout to get the discount.


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.


Audio Description at NJPAC

New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) offers audio description services for Saturday matinee performance of each NJPAC Broadway Series production for the benefit of our patrons who are blind or visually impaired. Trained audio describers provides a live, objective and succinct description of the action and visual elements of the play heard by participating patrons through an ear piece attached to a pocket-sized FM radio. Upcoming performances include:

Monty Python's Spamalot

Saturday, April 2 at 2:00 p.m. Prudential Hall

Winner of the 2005 Tony Award for Best Musical Monty Python's Spamalot is the outrageous musical comedy lovingly ripped off from the big-screen comedy classic, Monty Python and The Holy Grail.

Tickets range from $24-$100

A Chorus Line

Saturday, April 30 at 2:00 p.m. Prudential Hall

The original, singular sensation is back in this new production of Michael Bennett's musical theater masterpiece.

Tickets range from $24-$100

NETworks Presents

Disney's Beauty and the Beast

Saturday, June 25 at 2:00 p.m. Prudential Hall

Disney's magical Beauty and the Beast was a phenomenal success on Broadway, and now it makes its NJPAC debut.

Tickets range from $24-$100

Tickets are available by telephone at 1-888-GO-NJPAC (1-888-466-5722). Please note that you are requesting audio description services when you purchase your tickets.

Paula Saha
Manager, Public & Media Relations
New Jersey Performing Arts Center
One Center Street
Newark, NJ 07102
(973) 297-5834



Chapter Reports

Garden State Guide Dog Users. I am writing this the same day our chapter had a teleconference call meeting. Most members were in attendance. We had a lively discussion about options for a new dues structure for our chapter. Bob Lucas and Bob Rindt will review different options and get back with recommendations to the membership. Thank you to both gentlemen treasurers. Jean Canella reported on information she received from Ginger Kutch on the current bills regarding dog attacks in New Jersey. We will continue to follow these bills. We thank Jean for her report. Vicki Curley has agreed to be the GSGDUI delegate at the ACB conference/convention in Reno this July. The dog massage therapist was not available to be on the call this morning and Vicki will check about her availability for our meeting in June. Vicki and her husband will be hosting the GSGDUI meeting on Saturday June 11. More details regarding this meeting is in the Mark Your Calendar column in this issue of the Chronicle. Our secretary, Susan Yochim is at Seeing Eye this month and we are all anxious to hear from her and wish her much happiness and success with her new puppy. We thank Ottilie for graciously accepting the job of doing the minutes for the teleconference call meeting. Wishing all of you a very warm and happy spring. Lauren Casey, GSGDUI President

Mercer County Association of the Blind. Even though this has been a snowy winter, several of us have been enjoying trips to theaters. We traveled to Newark on January 29th to thoroughly enjoy the audio described musical, South Pacific, at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center. An article in this issue gives dates for 3 additional audio described shows. On February 12th, we also attended a dinner theater at the Hunterdon Hills Playhouse with great music and food. Pat Kay gave an informative presentation of the Native American Flute at our February meeting. We are looking forward to attending the Elks dinner Dance on May 15th. We have welcomed some new members and welcome any others who wish to join.

New Jersey Blind Citizens Association (NJBCA). As we all know, there are hundreds of thousands of visually impaired residents in NJ seeking referrals, specific equipment, transportation services, and much more. Finding this information can be time consuming and lead to dead ends as one calls organizations and government agencies, researches individual companies, or asks friends and family for guidance. To streamline this process so that assistance can be found faster and easier, we are proud to announce the 2010-2011 NJBCA Resource Directory for the Blind and Visually Impaired! We are now accepting company listings and ad submissions for the Directory, which will be distributed throughout the state free of charge for the blind and visually impaired beginning in July. The Directory will also be available on our website as an accessible PDF.

To list your company's products or services, or show your support through an ad, please contact Marisa Medina, Director of Development. Her contact information is marisa@njbca.org or 732-291-0878, or you may download the appropriate forms from www.njbca.org. All proceeds benefit our educational and social support programs, and will make this free publication possible.

We are also proud to announce the expansion of our Fitness Program thanks to our new partnership with Studio V Health in Colts Neck. Thanks to Studio V's generous support, our clients have been invited to the gym twice per month for free yoga and spin classes! For questions about our Fitness Program, or other programs, please contact Doug at 732-291-0878 or newjerseyblind@aol.com.


Mark Your Calendar

**Saturday, April 16, 2011. The Quarterly meeting of the New Jersey Council of the Blind has been canceled. For more details, see the President's Message.

Sunday, May 15, 2011: Elks Dinner Dance in Ewing from 1 to 4 PM. Call Bob Rindt at (609) 912-0657 by May 5th for reservations. (See prior article for details and directions)

Saturday, June 4, 2011: Spring meeting of the Friends of the NJ Library for the Blind and Handicapped at Grace Lutheran Church, 600 New Brunswick Ave., Perth Amboy 08861. The cross street is Convery Blvd. The meeting is from 10 AM and is over at noon. Lunch is available at Noon for $5.00.

Saturday, June 11, 2011: GSGDU meeting from 10 AM to Noon. At the Curley's, 16 Green Farm Lane, Stockton, NJ 08559. A picnic will follow. Call (609) 397-3150 for directions and reservations.

Saturday, July 16, 2011: NJCB quarterly meeting at Camp Happiness in Leonardo. See future issue for more information)

Saturday, October 22, 2011: NJCB quarterly meeting at Grace Lutheran Church in Perth Amboy. Watch for details 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. The editor reserves the right to edit articles submitted for both space and content.