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The New Jersey Council of the Blind
July, 2015

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 www.njcounciloftheblind.org. For more information about Audiovision call (800) 792-8322 or visit their website at www.audiovision-nj.org. We thank John Hart of Audiovision and our webmaster, Dave Casterline for their contributions to the Chronicle. The Chronicle is read by Bob Lucas. The NJCB Chronicle is also available on Newsline. If you do not have a Newsline subscription, contact Reader Services at the New Jersey Talking Book and Braille Center at (800) 792-8322 to get signed up for a Newsline subscription. 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. Much appreciated tax deductible donations may 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 September 1st to be included in the next issue of the Chronicle.

The NJCB officers are: President, Ottilie Lucas (609) 882-2446; First Vice President, Frank Schack (973) 595-0116; Second Vice President, Joyce Sowa (732) 596-9675; Secretary, Bob Lucas (609) 882-2446 and Treasurer, Bernie Zuckerman of 32 Judson Street, Unit 7B, Edison, NJ 08837, (732) 221-5362.

Meeting Notice

The next quarterly meeting of NJCB will be hosted by The New Jersey Blind Citizens' Association (BCA) at Camp Happiness at 18 Burlington Ave., Leonardo, NJ 07737 on Saturday, July 25, 2015. A picnic lunch will be served at 12 Noon for a cost of $5.00; 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 17th 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 by Ottilie Lucas

Winter is finally over and summer is here. We enjoyed Sophia Sobers’ and Jeff Cherry’s presentation at our April quarterly meeting at JKTC. They gave us several financial tips in the areas of insurance, investments and health policies. They offered to visit with members to answer any further questions. Some of our members are planning on attending the ACB Conference and Convention in Dallas, Texas from July 3rd to the 11th. I will be the delegate and attend the Nominating Committee meeting and Bob Collins will be our alternate. We are looking forward to an informative and fun week. 5 offices are up for election. Kim Charlson, President, Jeff Thom, 1st Vice President, Ray Campbell, Secretary and Carla Ruschival, Treasurer are incumbents and are running for their second terms. Marlaina Lieberg, Second Vice President, has decided not to run for a second term. John McCann, Board Member, ACB Liaison to NJCB, is running for this office. All of these are very capable people and if elected, I am sure they will continue to do a great job.

I continue to urge everyone to read the ACB Braille Forum. It has the latest and most complete news in the blindness field. As a result of our visit to the Hawkin Hawk Eyes support group in Manahawkin, phone outreach, our web site and you, our members, inviting others, we have had several new members join in the last few months. This is fantastic! Keep up the friendly outreach. We all benefit from networking with others.

The conference call attempt at the April meeting did not meet our expectations. Please let us know if you would like us to try this again. We did not have many participants and there were some phone problems.

Please give us some ideas for our “How do you do it?” feature for future meetings. The question for the July meeting is “How do you organize paper work, recipes, address book, etc.?”

Hope to see many of you at Camp Happiness in July.

Come to the MCAB Picnic

The Mercer County Association of the Blind's picnic will be at the Trenton Elks on Saturday, August 1, 2015 from noon to about 4 PM. There is always lots of homemade food and great fellowship. Let Bob or Ottilie know if you would like to come. Call (609) 882-2446 or e-mail Ottilie@verizon.net before July 15th.
Cost: Free to MCAB members in good standing and $5.00 for all others.

Place: Trenton Elks Lodge, 42 Decou Ave. in West Trenton, 08628 (the cross street is Central Avenue.)
Bob Lucas’ cell phone: (609) 638-4232.

From the North:

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 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.


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.

How do we ask for help and graciously decline it when not needed?

We had excellent input from our members at our April quarterly meeting on this topic. Below are the suggestions they made.

  1. Ask family members being sure to say “Please and thank you”. Give them a reason why you need the assistance.
  2. Check all possible public or para transit rides.
  3. Have a list of names of people who have offered in the past.
  4. Ask people who go to the same store, dentist, barber, club, if you can get a ride with them. Offer to pay or give some service for their service.
  5. Ask different people for different trips. Don’t ask one person to take you everywhere.
  6. Ask the barber, beautician, dentist, etc. if they had a customer who they thought would be willing to bring you when they had appointments. The “barber” could be the person to ask the other person for you. You could offer to do something in return for this favor.
  7. You may ask a friend if you could go with them the next time they go to a certain store.
  8. You could ask a neighbor to get you milk the next time they go to the grocery store. They may offer to pick up items whenever they go in the future. It is important not to give them a big order unless they offer to do your regular weekly shopping.
  9. If a sales person has been particularly helpful, commend them, tell their manager and call in advance for future shopping trips to see if they are working that day.
  10. Often in conversation, some may offer to help for a ride in the future. You can call them and let them know to be honest and let you know if it is not convenient.
  11. We have to give people gentle suggestions how we can use help.
  12. Say “please and thank you” when people offer. Others may appreciate help in the future even though you may not. Don’t turn off those willing to help.
  13. People don’t know what we are capable of doing. We have to educate them with grace.
  14. If we don’t know who we are talking to, nicely ask them who they are. Our reply differs if we know who is offering the ride, etc.
  15. Sighted people can see faces, the caller ID, and other visual signs. We have to often ask.

In general, be appreciative, be friendly, explain your needs, understand that others cannot see through your eyes to know your limitations, etc.

Several members gave both sad and funny examples of situations that they have experienced. This topic did stimulate considerable discussion.

New NJCB Chapter in Planning Stage

Hello. My name is Alexander Scott Kaiser. I'm a young blind New Jersey Council of the Blind member living in Brick Township, New Jersey. I am interested in forming a chapter for the New Jersey Council of the Blind that would reach out to people who are blind and/or visually impaired who reside in Burlington County, Ocean County, Monmouth County and Atlantic County.

The Chapter's name will be the Greater Southern New Jersey Metropolitan Chapter of the New Jersey Council of the Blind. This chapter's purpose will be to improve rehabilitation training opportunities, improve rehabilitation training facilities, provide socialization, support, education, fellowship, networking, information, referral, mentoring, mutual support, and legal advocacy. I am looking for people to help me create this Chapter. Meetings will be held by conference call on the first Friday of the month, starting Friday, September 4, 2015, at 09:59 p.m. Eastern time. To access the conference, dial (218) 548-0805 and use access code 999999#. If you are interested in joining me to create this new chapter, contact me by postal mail at:

Alexander Scott Kaiser
52 Meadowbrook Road
Brick Township , NJ 08723-7850
E-mail: Mister.Alexander.Scott.Kaiser@inbox.com
Phones: (732) 202-6795 and (848) 205-0208.


Mercer County Association of the Blind. Greetings, NJCB members and friends. At last summer is here and we are looking forward to several events. We thank Bob Collins, the Bumberas and Mary Damiano for donating refreshments for our final 3 meetings of the spring. We will not have meetings in July and August but we will be enjoying events with our fellow MCAB members. Several continue to enjoy the buffet dinners at the Elks on Tuesday evenings. We are having Trisha from McCarter Theater in Princeton come to our June meeting to announce several audio described performances scheduled during the coming season. She will bring props to let us feel and to tell us about audio description.

We invite all to come to our August picnic at the Trenton Elks. Further information and directions are in a separate article. About 20 of us will be going to the Hunterdon Hills Dinner Theater on September 12th to enjoy a delicious dinner and see a comedy entitled Social Security.

We are looking forward to seeing many of you at Camp Happiness in Leonardo for our summer quarterly NJCB meeting. They always have a delicious picnic. Don’t miss it.

We all wish you a safe and fun summer.

Ottilie Lucas, President

New Jersey Blind Citizens Association. Submitted by Stacy Stefanski, Director. NJBCA would like to report that their 10th annual gift auction was the most successful one yet! Over 300 people attended, winning baskets with items ranging from small household appliances, gift certificates to restaurants and local attractions to our super grand prizes of a three night vacation in the Catskills, a 40” LED Smart TV and 2 Southwest airline tickets to anywhere in the continental USA. We would like to thank all of our donors, attendees and volunteers and look forward to next year’s event.

The participants of our day program have been letting their creative juices flow. Our art program has been well received, and we have found a few budding Picasso’s! Many different types of projects are being or have been created including sculpture with clay, paintings, beaded jewelry, freeform sculpture using wire and burlap and relief paintings.

NJBCA is also proud to announce an awareness event and fundraiser that will be held on Friday, October 16th entitled Dining in the Dark. Each person who purchases a ticket will embark on a unique sensory awareness experience to give an eye-opening glimpse into the lives of those living with vision loss. Upon entering the venue, each person will be given a blindfold and led into the main event room. They will partake in a three course meal, have an opportunity to utilize devices such as signature guides, money readers and color identifiers and learn firsthand what it is like to live with vision loss. Tickets are $55.00 each (includes salad, entrée, dessert, beer, wine and soda) and there will be an opportunity to purchase tickets ($5.00 each) for the super 50/50 (winner will be announced that evening). There will also be dancing after dinner (blindfolds may be removed!) For more information, please contact the NJBCA office (732-291-0878) or email dineindark@aol.com.

Later in the fall of 2015, there will be the opportunity to participate in a self-defense workshop or class, to be held at the NJBCA.

More information will be available soon.

If you or anyone you know is interested in joining our group, or needs more information/help in adjusting to their vision loss, please feel free to contact the New Jersey Blind Citizens Association. We are here to help!


Thursday, July 23, 2015. “Covering the Bases” with the Trenton Thunder will be held at the Arm and Hammer Park at 6 PM. Call Pam Gaston of NJCBVI at (877) 685-8878 or (973) 648-3333 for more information and to purchase tickets.

Saturday, July 25, 2015. The NJCB quarterly meeting will be held at Camp Happiness in Leonardo, NJ hosted by NJ Blind Citizens Association. More details are in the Meeting Notice.

Saturday, August 1, 2015. The Mercer County Association of the Blind summer picnic. Check prior article for more details.

Saturday, October 10, 2015. The Fall Festival of The NJ State Talking Book and Braille Center at the Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton, NJ. Call TBBC at (800) 792-8322 for more details.

Saturday, October 24, 2015. The NJCB quarterly meeting will be held at JKTC in New Brunswick. More details and directions will be in the October issue of the NJCB Chronicle.

Saturday, December 5, 2015. The Friends of the NJ State Library for the Blind and Handicapped meet at JKTC in New Brunswick from 10 AM to 1 PM. More details and directions will be in the October 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.