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The New Jersey Council of the Blind
October, 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, our webmaster, Dave Casterline and our proofreader, Ed Fedush 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 Bernie Zuckerman, Treasurer of NJCB (address is below).

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 December 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 held at the Joseph Kohn Training Center (JKTC) at 130 Livingston Ave. in New Brunswick, NJ 08901 on Saturday, October 24, 2015. A pizza 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 us to order enough food call (609) 882-2446 by October 15th to let us know that you are coming. One person from each organization can call with a group count. We are looking forward to seeing you there.

Dan Frye, Executive Director of the Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired, has offered to update us on the Commission’s services. We are also going to attempt to have the option of a conference call at this meeting. It was not successful in April but we will try some suggestions made by those who tried it. Details are in the President’s message.


Directions to the Joseph Kohn Training Center (JKTC)

130 Livingston Avenue
New Brunswick, NJ 08901-2421
Cross Street: Seaman Street

From the North
Proceed south on Route 1 to Route 18 toward New Brunswick.
Get off Route 18 at the New Street ramp.
Turn slight right onto New Street/ NJ 26.
Take the 2nd left onto Livingston Avenue/NJ 26.
Turn left onto Seaman Street and left into the JKTC parking lot.

From the South
Proceed north on Route 1 to the Livingston Avenue/NJ 26 exit toward New Brunswick.
Turn right onto Seaman Street and left into the JKTC parking lot.

President’s Message by Ottilie Lucas

At our April meeting, we had tried to include a conference call option to those who could not attend the quarterly meeting. It had several problems. A member asked if she could take advantage of this option in July. She reported that it worked very well. We made some adjustments that made it work much better. Therefore, we are going to try it again.

Here is how you can participate. Please note that this is not a toll free phone number.

  1. Shortly before 1 PM on Saturday, October 24, 2015 dial
    (712) 432-0180
  2. Enter the code: 425373 #
  3. You will be asked to press 1 after the pass code is repeated to you.
  4. While the presentations are being given, we will ask those on the phone to mute with a *6 or the mute button on your phone.
  5. We will tell you when to unmute your phone so that you are able to participate in discussions. Unmute with a *6 or mute button.
  6. If you have any questions prior to the date, call me at (609) 882-2446. Hope you can join us.

Hopefully, this will work better than it did in April. We want those of you who cannot attend our meetings to benefit from the array of information presented at our meetings.

Do you have trouble sleeping? A representative from Vanda Pharmaceutical, the producer of Hetlioz, the Non 24 hour sleep disorder medication, has offered to give a presentation at an NJCB quarterly meeting. We had a presentation from them several years ago. Some of us were interested and others tried the medication.

The executive board members suggested that we go to the membership to find out if we still had an interest. We do not want to have them come if we all have knowledge of or it or do not have the need for it. Let us know by either calling (609) 882-2446 or sending an email to njcounciloftheblind@verizon.net Thank you for your input.

The “How do you do it?” questions at our next meeting will be, “How do you maintain your calendar?” and “How do you identify your freezer items?”

We hope to see you at our meeting on October 24th in New Brunswick. For those of you who cannot attend, please try our conference call option.

Ottilie Lucas, President of NJCB


NJCBVI is currently implementing a host of organizational changes designed to both streamline and improve client services. Dan Frye, Executive Director of NJCBVI, has graciously offered to come to our October 24th meeting to explain both the purpose and scope of the changes that will affect New Jersey’s blind and vision impaired population.

TBBC Notes

Following are excerpts from the Summer Edition of the Talking Book and Braille Center (TBBC) newsletter.

  • Adam Szczepaniak Receives National Award. At the American Library Association Annual Conference in San Francisco on June 27, Adam Szczepaniak, Deputy State Librarian and Director of the NJ State Library Talking Book & Braille Center (TBBC), received the 2015 Francis Joseph Campbell Award from the Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies (ASCLA). Adam was selected for his outstanding contribution to the advancement of library service for blind and physically handicapped people. His creation of The Outspoken Library has benefitted over 30 public libraries in the state of New Jersey.
  • Maria Baratta, Assistant Director of TBBC, Retires. We say a sad farewell to Maria Baratta who is retired after 28 years of service to the State. In her time at TBBC, she has worked tirelessly to keep things humming and has spearheaded several new initiatives, including the BARD Pilot Project. We thank Maria for the time and energy she has devoted to TBBC and to our readers. Maria was also the Liaison to the Friends of the Library for the Blind and Handicapped (Friends). She always made it a point to keep them informed on all aspects of TBBC activity that were of interest to the Friends. Maria was the “go to” person for questions, concerns, Newsline activity and NLS policies. She will be missed by all of us and we wish her the very best of everything.
  • 2015 Fall Festival. All TBBC members are invited to our Fall Festival on Saturday, October 10th. It is located at 18 Fairgrounds Road in Hamilton, NJ. Here are important details, registration information and the agenda for the day.
  • Admission: Free to all TBBC members plus two guests only. Additional guests will be asked to pay admission:
  • Directions: Registration, vendors and the festival are located in one building, the Seward Johnson Center for the Arts. It is located at the main entrance of the Grounds. Take I-295 to Exit 65B/Sloan Avenue West. After exit stay in right traffic lane for 0.2 miles, following signs for Grounds For Sculpture, and take the jug handle to cross Sloan Ave. Go through the traffic light onto Klockner Rd. Take Klockner Rd. to next traffic light and turn right onto East State St. Extension. Go 0.8 miles and make second left turn onto Sculptors Way. Go 0.2 miles and turn left into the main entrance of Grounds For Sculpture.
  • Food: You may purchase lunch and snacks at the Van Gogh Café, the Peacock Café, or at a hamburger & hot dog grill set up for the day.
  • How to register: Registration deadline is October 1, 2015. Registration is required for all attending our Fall Festival. To register, call TBBC at 800-792-8322, extension 816 with the information below:
  • Transportation: Attendees must make their own transportation plans.
  • Vendors: A number of vendors are invited whose products and services will interest you.
  • Festival Web Page: http://www.njstatelib.org/festival
  • Fall Festival Agenda
  • 10:00am – 12:00pm: Continental breakfast with the Vendors. Explore assistive technology products and a wealth of services. Continental breakfast is on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • 12:30 – 1:30pm: Choice of 1 Art Workshop or 1 Book Group
  • ******
    What Happened at the ACB Conference in Dallas?

    Bob Collins and Ottilie Lucas thank NJCB for choosing them to be your delegates. In total five NJCB members went to Dallas in July and thoroughly enjoyed the exhibits, speakers, workshops, etc. These people represented New Jersey at all the general sessions and as many of the plenary sessions as they were able to attend.

    The ACB Braille Forum has complete reviews, the President’s reports and many other detailed articles. We recommend that you read it carefully to get a comprehensive review of many of the events.

    Some of our members benefitted and others can benefit by listening to the general sessions, speakers and some of the workshops on ACB Radio. They broadcast live and have archives of many events.

    We have neither the space nor the expertise to print what is already available to you. Therefore, read your ACB Braille Forum or tune in to ACB Radio for excellent detailed coverage of the Conference.

    Our Members in the News
  • The article "Switching From JAWS To NVDA" has recently been updated, and gives suggestions to make the transition to NVDA easier. NVDA is a popular free screen reading program. For more information go to their website:
  • The New Mexico Commission for the Blind has created Keystroke, a free typing tutorial program, available in both Windows and Mac versions, screen reader independent:
  • You can now reach ACB Radio on the phone by dialing 605-475-8130 and you can reach the ACB Braille Forum, E Forum and ACB Reports by dialing 605-475-8154.
  • ITN, formally called the Independent Transportation Network, is a not for profit organization that operates under a model similar to Uber and Lyft , which are for-profit transportation networks that connect riders with drivers in privately owned cars via smartphone apps. Among other differences, however, ITN holds down costs by recruiting volunteer drivers, often retired or partly retired workers in their 50s or early 60s who live in the neighborhoods they serve. By restricting its market to seniors and the visually impaired, organizers also say the service reduces the isolation and anxiety that afflicts those who no longer can drive. The Independent Transportation Network of North Jersey (ITNNorthJersey™) currently operates in Bergen County, and will expand into Passaic, Hudson, Essex, Union and Morris soon. For more information:
  • ******
    Chapter Reports

    Mercer County Association of the Blind. Greetings NJCB members and friends. Fall is here with cool nights and the resumption of meetings, etc. We enjoyed the picnic at BCA in July and the MCAB picnic at the Elks on August 1st. I commend all of those who attended the MCAB picnic at the Elks Lodge for their gracious flexibility. Inadvertently, the picnic grounds were double booked and we were asked to move our picnic indoors. This was done and all had a good time. MCAB took a trip to the Hunterdon Hills Playhouse for a dinner and live show on September 12th. Several of our members offered to drive so we were able to bring a large group. Our first meeting of the season will be a dinner meeting on September 17th. We will celebrate the birthdays of our members who have birthdays between May 1st and October 31st. All of our members are welcome. The birthday people got to choose the meal being served. The dinner will be followed by an abbreviated business meeting. A group of us will be watching an audio described performance of Baby Doll at McCarter Theatre in Princeton on October 7th. Also several of our members will be attending TBBC’s Fall Festival at the Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton Township on October 10th. Susan Vanino, a Support Program Administrator with NJCBVI, will be at our October meeting to explain the brand new ASPIRE program. Several of us go to the buffet dinner at the Trenton Elks lodge on Tuesday evenings. As you can see, we keep busy and make the most of our opportunities to get together. Ottilie Lucas, President.

    Blind Citizens Association of New Jersey (BCA). We have a lot of hidden talent here at BCA. The Monmouth County Fair was held in mid-July and several art and crochet projects were entered into the county fair and the results were fabulous!

    Alyse Simon won second prize for her blue variegated blanket. Angie Dowd won second prize for her crochet teddy bear. Pat Guijarro and Dottie Siano won honorable mentions for their blankets. In the crafts and art categories- Norma Mackie won second place for her princess tribal mask. Mike Weite, with his sketch and color of Star Wars characters; Anna Marie Bender with her painting of a mountain and meadow scene and Charles Blood with his Dunes of Capri painting won honorable mentions.

    David Mayer, Maureen Quinn, Dottie Lee, Mary DiCarlo and Norma Mackie all received participation ribbons for their artwork and sculptures. Next year should be bigger and better. Congratulations to all of our talented participants!

    We recently took a trip to the Monmouth Museum, located on the Brookdale Community College Campus, to visit their exhibit titled “Please Touch”.

    On September 1st, our participants went to the PNC Arts Center for a concert featuring Frankie Avalon and Bobby Rydell. These to crooners were famous for such hits as ‘Venus’ and ‘Dream Lover’. We hope to -receive tickets for the other two concerts; Jay Black and the Tokens and Joe Piscapo and the Cameos. These will also be in September.

    Our Therapy dog visits will be resuming in September. Mark and his Dog Wanda will be frequent visitors to our day program, and we look forward to them joining us once a month.

    The Ladies Auxiliary will be holding their semi-annual spaghetti dinner fundraiser on Saturday, October 17th, 2015. Reservations are preferred, but not required. For $10.00, you will receive salad, spaghetti, meatballs and/or sausage, bread, dessert and a beverage (non-alcoholic). Come join us for a wonderful meal and help support the programs for the blind and visually impaired.

    BCA is 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. For more details or to purchase tickets, please contact the NJBCA office (732-291-0878) or email dineindark@aol.com.

    New Chapter Formation. Alex Kaiser, an NJCB member-at-large, would like to form a new chapter that will include Burlington, Ocean, Monmouth and Atlantic Counties. For more information, call Alex at (732) 202-6795 or (848) 205-0208 or e-mail him. His e-mail address is Mister.Alexander.Scott.Kaiser@inbox.com


    Saturday, October 10, 2015: Fall Festival with the NJ State Library Talking Book and Braille Center at the Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton, NJ. See previous article for more information.

    Saturday, October 24, 2015: Quarterly meeting of NJCB will be held at Joseph Kohn Training Center (JKTC) in New Brunswick. Call (609) 882-2446 to let them know you are coming.

    Saturday, December 5, 2015: Semiannual meeting of the Friends of the NJ Library for the Blind at JKTC in New Brunswick

    Saturday, January 23, 2016: Quarterly meeting of NJCB to be held at JKTC in New Brunswick. See next NJCB Chronicle for more details.

    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.