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The New Jersey Council of the Blind
January, 2014

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.

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 http://www.njcounciloftheblind.org For more information about Audiovision call 1-800-792-8322 or visit their website at http://www.audiovision-nj.org. We thank John Hart of Audiovision and our webmaster, Dave Casterline for their contributions to the Chronicle. The NJCB Chronicle is also available on Newsline. The Chronicle is read by Bob Lucas. Four quarterly newsletters are sent to members free of charge in either large print, audio cassette or E-mail. You may obtain the current and back issues of the Chronicle and other information from our web site.

The New Jersey Council of the Blind (NJCB) is a 501 (c) 3 corporation. Tax deductible donations should be sent to the Treasurer of NJCB. 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 March 1st to be included in the next issue of the Chronicle.

The NJCB officers are: President, Larry Morgan, 53 Pollman Ave., Hamilton, NJ 08619, (609) 588-5012; 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, 520 Ewingville Road, Ewing, NJ 08638, (609) 882-2446.

Meeting Notice

The next quarterly meeting of NJCB will be on January 25, 2014 at the Trinity United Methodist Church at 1985 Pennington Road at the corner of Pennington Road and Carlton Avenue in Ewing across the street from The College of New Jersey. Lunch will be served at noon for a cost of $5.00 and the general business meeting will begin at 1 PM. The day’s activities will be over at about 4 PM. Please note that we will not meet in the Fellowship Hall this time. We will meet in a separate lounge and smaller meeting room on the other side of the church. Ask your drivers to drop you off in front of the double doors closest to the road with the NJCB sign on the door.

Call Ottilie Lucas at (609) 882-2446 to ensure that Mercer County Association of the Blind, the host chapter, will have sufficient refreshments for all attending.

  1. Get onto Route 95 heading south. (From Route 1 south, from Route 295 heading north or Route 195 heading west to Route 295 north)
  2. Get off at Exit #4 making a left turn onto Pennington Road (Route 31 South heading toward Ewing)
  3. Turn right at the 4th traffic light, Carlton Avenue. It is across the street from The College of New Jersey.
  4. Immediately turn left into the parking lot of Trinity United Methodist Church. Phone: Lucas’ Cell: (609) 638-4232. In case of inclement weather, call Lucas’ cell phone to confirm meeting status.
President’s Message

Greetings, everyone. I hope everyone had wonderful holidays with their friends and family. For me, once the holidays have passed, I’m anxious for winter to be over. The up side of the new year, however, is that now we are making plans for all the 2014 activities, not the least of which is our biennial convention. Although we’ve already received some interesting convention ideas, we are still open to any and all suggestions. This would include speakers, workshops, activities and whatever else you think would be important to include in the 2014 convention.

Membership will be a top priority for the coming year. Ladies and gentlemen, start thinking about ideas and methods we can employ to attract younger members. We might start by considering the types of activities, outings, services, etc. that would appeal to the next generation of blind and visually impaired people.

In conjunction with our membership goals, we are currently in the process of updating our brochure in order to make others aware of our organization.

The new Executive Director of NJCBVI, Dan Frye, has confirmed that he will be joining us at our January meeting to share some of his ideas with us as well as making himself available to address any questions and concerns that we might have.

I hope to see you at the January meeting. Marcia and I wish all of you a healthy and prosperous new year.

Best regards to all of you,

Larry Morgan, President

2014 SGA

The Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) amount for blind persons for the year 2014 is $1,800 a month per the Social Security Administration’s web site. The monthly SGA for 2013 was $1,760.

American Council of the Blind Commends U.S. House of Representatives for Introducing Legislation to Cover Low Vision Aids under Medicare

ARLINGTON, Va., Dec. 16, 2013 – Representatives Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) and Gus Bilirakis (R-Fla.) have introduced H.R. 3749, the Medicare Demonstration of Coverage for Low Vision Devices Act of 2013. This bill seeks to right a wrong that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have perpetrated for many years through the denial of coverage of low vision devices for Medicare recipients. CMS has elected to very narrowly interpret the regulations so that devices that have one or more lenses are treated the same as eyeglasses.

Kim Charlson, President of the American Council of the Blind (ACB) said, "These tools are often essential for individuals with low vision who, without the aid of assistive technology, cannot read prescriptions, medicine bottles, and other important materials containing content that is vital to their personal health and safety as well as read their mail, pay bills, etc."

Without the aid of such assistive devices, many more individuals will be forced into assisted living facilities as our population ages. Seniors on fixed incomes often find the cost of such devices burdensome and therefore are unlikely to be able to afford to purchase them on their own.

This legislation seeks to do the following.

Listen to ACB Radio on your phone

ACB Radio Management Team is delighted to announce that it is now possible to enjoy all 6 streams of ACB Radio by phone. No computer needed.

To listen to ACB Radio by phone, dial : 231-460-1047. You will then be presented with a menu of choices. You can jump from stream-to-stream if you decide while listening you want to hear another one of our channels. Pressing the pound key while listening will return you to the main menu from which you can select the stream you want to hear. Keep your ears on this new service; we plan to offer more!

On behalf of the entire ACB Radio team, thank you for your support and for continuing to listen to ACB Radio where your listening is our business.

Read the ACB Braille Forum

A wealth of information is included in every issue of the ACB Braille Forum. We urge all of our members to read it to learn what is happening in the blindness community around the world. It included articles on people, technology, events, articles for sale and much, much more.

Tell Me

If you are not near a computer or don’t have one, try this revised program. “Tell Me” is an information system that you can get weather, the time, sports, directions, where to get cheap gas, stock quotes and much more. It is not a toll Free phone number but many of us do have unlimited long distance calling and therefore there is no additional cost. Try the program by calling: (408) 752-8052.

How do you do it: How do you buy, organize and identify your clothing? Here are some ideas given by the members present at the October NJCB quarterly meeting.
  1. Have someone help you select from catalogs.
  2. Shop with a friend.
  3. Get assistance from a personal shopper in the store.
  4. You can tell the garments by the feel of the material.
  5. You can mark the items with aluminum clothing tags.
  6. You can devise a pin code system for color identification.
  7. You can braille or write in large letters on a card and hang it on the hanger.
  8. Hang matching outfits on one hanger.
  9. Put accessories in a handle-bag and hang it on the hanger with the matching outfit.
  10. Use a shoe bag to keep pairs of shoes together.
  11. Label shoe boxes with large print or braille cards.
  12. Group similar items in closets.
  13. Purchase clothes that always will match.
  14. Get a trusted friend to keep clothing current and matched.
  15. Group by colors.
  16. Put in plastic bags with labels.
  17. Use color identifiers.
  18. Fold matching garments together.
  19. Use sock sorters.
  20. Create drawer dividers and place specific garments in a pile in each section.
  21. Tap, Tap, C on the iPhone.
  22. Multiple Pants and skirt hangers
Chapter Reports

MCAB Chapter Report. Happy New Year! It is hard to believe that 2013 is gone already. Time flies faster and faster every year. Mercer County Association of the Blind has had a very busy 2013. We hosted the NJCB quarterly meeting in January. We had 10 monthly meetings at which we had speakers from within our membership as well as the community. We attended Hunterdon Hills Playhouse, The Grounds for Sculpture, our summer picnic, the TBBC’s Fall Festival as well as many other forums and advisory board meetings. We also had 3 seasonal birthday parties for our members throughout the year. Unfortunately, Our Christmas Party was postponed due to the probability of bad weather. We would rather our members not have the possibility of falls due to slippery footing. We are looking forward to April 5th when we will celebrate Christmas in April. We hope to see many of you at the quarterly NJCB meeting at Trinity United Methodist Church in Ewing. We are looking forward to meeting Daniel Frye, the new director of NJCBVI.

NJBCA Chapter Report. The New Jersey Blind Citizens Association hasn’t published a newsletter since October of last year, so we don’t have anything new to report. The BCA members we’ve been in touch with asked that we convey their wishes for a happy and healthy 2014 to all of you.


January 25, 2014: The NJCB quarterly meeting will be held at The Trinity United Methodist Church in Ewing. Check the meeting notice for details, directions and how to inform MCAB that you are coming.

Saturday, April 26, 2014: This NJCB quarterly meeting is tentatively scheduled to meet at The Grace Lutheran Church in Perth Amboy. More information will be in the April issue of the NJCB Chronicle.


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.