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The New Jersey Council of the Blind
January, 2017

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 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 by E-mail. You may obtain the current and back issues of the Chronicle and other information from our web site http://www.njcounciloftheblind.org. Feel free to write us at njcounciloftheblind@gmail.com.

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. The NJCB officers are: President, Lauren Casey (609) 912-0657 ; 1st Vice President Frank Schack (973) 595-0116; 2nd Vice President, Joyce Sowa (732) 596-9675; Secretary Joyce Schack (973) 595-0116; Treasurer, Bernie Zuckerman of 32 Judson Street, Unit 7B, Edison, NJ 08837, and (732) 221-5362

President’s Message by Lauren Casey

Hello everyone. I am writing this on Christmas Eve day.
I hope everyone will have had a wonderful holiday season.
You’ll be receiving this Chronicle in 2017.
I hope 2017 will bring a lot of new opportunities for NJCB.
Our new NJCB Executive Board was elected at out October meeting. I am excited to be back as your president for the 2017-2018 term. I have also asked Leigh Tilden, Pat Kay and Tuan Linsinbigler to join as board members at large. Please join me in welcoming our Executive Board.

The January quarterly meeting will be on January 28th and will be a conference call meeting so all of us only need to pick up our phones and not worry about the weather or transportation.

The details and phone number will be in another apart of the newsletter.

Wishing all of you a Happy New Year and looking forward to talking with all of you in January.

Lauren Casey

January Quarterly Meeting Notice

Our next Quarterly NJCB meeting will be held by conference call on Saturday, January 28, 2017 from 11:00 am until 1:00 pm. Please note this is a different time than our normal in person meetings. The call in number is 712-432-0180 Access code 425373#. We hope all of you will join us!

2017 Membership Dues Payment Request

For members at large if you have not already paid dues for 2017, please do so immediately. To be an active, voting member and continue receiving the benefits of our members which includes our Chronicle and ACB newsletters, please send us your $10.00 dues payment. NJCB is required to submit our membership lists and dues to the ACB national headquarters to remain a valid certified affiliate. Please send your membership dues payment to our Treasurer, Bernie Zuckerman 32 Judson Street, Unit 7B, Edison, NJ 08837.

Thank you to Annette Carter

At our October meeting, our guest speaker was Annette Carter. She is a huge advocate for the Deaf-Blind and she is now a full time care giver for two senior adults communicating strictly in tactile sign language. Annette told us her story which began at birth in New Jersey. Some of the resources Annette discussed are included here. If anyone is interested in reading Annette’s entire presentation, please email us at NJCounciloftheblind@gmail.com and we will forward you a copy.

Annette’s Resource List
  1. Harris Communications is a great resource for equipment, including assistive listening devices, ALDs, including Bluetooth, and hearing aid accessories.


  2. Monthly nationwide resource conference call focusing on those who are blind or have low vision dealing with hearing loss. Everyone is welcome, regardless of hearing or vision. It is a program of the HVI (Hearing and Vision Impaired) committee of the CCB, California Council of the Blind, chaired by Mike Keithley.  I call it a 'resource call' with every participant being a resource as well as professionals that may do presentations.  We all have experiences from which others can benefit. The calls are the 3rd Sunday of the month at 8 pm eastern. (712) 432-3447, ID: 309464.  Sign up for HVI-l email list at http://ccbnet.org/mailman/listinfo/hvi-l_ccbnet.org
  3. ACB has a committee called SASI, Sight and Sound Impaired committee chaired by Karyn Campbell. [(630) 469-0545, karyn1421@gmail.com]. They have an email list you can sign up for at http://www.acblists.org/mailman/listinfo/sasi
  4. NDBEDP; National Deaf Blind Equipment Distribution Program

    If you have significant combined vision and hearing loss and meet federal income guidelines, iCanConnect can provide you with free communication technology and training to stay connected with family and friends.

    Making a phone call. Sending an email. Accessing the Internet. These are the basics of staying connected in today's world. Established by the Federal Communications Commission in 2012, the NDBEDP, more commonly known by the name of its website, iCanConnect, provides accessible distance communication tools at no cost to low-income individuals who have a significant combined hearing and vision loss.

    Communication tools that are covered include:
    1. Cell phones
    2. Smartphones
    3. Tablets
    4. Computers
    5. Specialized keyboards
    6. Large monitors
    7. Refreshable braille displays
    8. Amplified and/or captioned telephones
    9. Vibrating signalers
    10. Screen readers
    11. Magnification software

      For a complete list, visit http://www.icanconnect.org/equipment
  5. Helen Keller https://www.helenkeller.org
    1. Helen Keller Services for the Blind
    2. Helen Keller National Center (HKNC) for Deaf-Blind Youths and Adults
    3. Mid-Atlantic Region; NJ, NY, PR, VI
      144 Middle Neck Road
      Sands Point, NY 11050
      Voice: 516-944-8900 x407
      VP: 516-570-3246
      (The Region 2 regional representative position is currently vacant. In the meantime, Carrie Benson, Administrative Assistant, is the primary contact for Region 2.)
      Voice: 516-944-8900 ext 407
    4. HKNC PLD is pleased to announce the release of a new course for BOTH professionals and families:
      Confident Living: A Course for People Supporting Older Adults with Combined Vision and Hearing Loss $179.
  6. http://www.icanconnect.org/how-to-participate
    2 qualifications: income and significant combined vision/hearing loss
    1. Within 400% of 2016 Federal Poverty Level; for NJ that is $47,520 household of 1; $64,080 household of 2; $80,640 household of 3;
      if you receive any form of public assistance, including SSI, Medicaid, food stamps, etc., you are automatically income eligible. Otherwise, you must provide proof of household income.
    2. Have significant combined vision and hearing loss, or a condition affecting one of your senses that is likely to result in a combined vision and hearing loss. Have a professional attest to your condition in writing. Can be an educator, healthcare provider, vision or hearing professional, speech pathologist, vocational rehabilitation counselor, and more.
      Submit the completed application to your state iCanConnect office. Once you're accepted, your iCanConnect representative will schedule an assessment to determine what equipment will best suit your communication preferences and distance communication goals. Then your equipment will be installed, and training will begin.
  7. What types of assistive listening devices are available?

    Several types of ALDs are available to improve sound transmission for people with hearing loss. Some are designed for large facilities such as classrooms, theaters, places of worship, and airports. Other types are intended for personal use in small settings and for one-on-one conversations. All can be used with or without hearing aids or a cochlear implant. ALD systems for large facilities include hearing loop systems, frequency-modulated (FM) systems, and infrared systems. Then there are personal amplifiers.
    1. Hearing loop (or induction loop) systems use electromagnetic energy to transmit sound. A hearing loop system involves four parts:
      1. A sound source, such as a public address system, microphone, or home TV or telephone
      2. An amplifier
      3. A thin loop of wire that encircles a room or branches out beneath carpeting
      4. A receiver worn in the ears or as a headset
        Amplified sound travels through the loop and creates an electromagnetic field that is picked up directly by a hearing loop receiver or a telecoil (see below), a miniature wireless receiver that is built into many hearing aids and cochlear implants. To pick up the signal, a listener must be wearing the receiver and be within or near the loop. Because the sound is picked up directly by the receiver, the sound is much clearer, without as much of the competing background noise associated with many listening environments. Some loop systems are portable, making it possible for people with hearing loss to improve their listening environments, as needed, as they proceed with their daily activities. A hearing loop can be connected to a public address system, a television, or any other audio source. For those who don't have hearing aids with embedded telecoils, portable loop receivers are also available.
    2. FM systems use radio signals to transmit amplified sounds. They are often used in classrooms, where the instructor wears a small microphone connected to a transmitter and the student wears the receiver, which is tuned to a specific frequency, or channel. People who have a telecoil inside their hearing aid or cochlear implant may also wear a wire around the neck (called a neckloop) or behind their aid or implant (called a silhouette inductor) to convert the signal into magnetic signals that can be picked up directly by the telecoil. FM systems can transmit signals up to 300 feet and are able to be used in many public places. However, because radio signals are able to penetrate walls, listeners in one room may need to listen to a different channel than those in another room to avoid receiving mixed signals. Personal FM systems operate in the same way as larger scale systems and can be used to help people with hearing loss to follow one-on-one conversations.
    3. Infrared systems use infrared light to transmit sound. A transmitter converts sound into a light signal and beams it to a receiver that is worn by a listener. The receiver decodes the infrared signal back to sound. As with FM systems, people whose hearing aids or cochlear implants have a telecoil may also wear a neckloop or silhouette inductor to convert the infrared signal into a magnetic signal, which can be picked up through their telecoil. Unlike induction loop or FM systems, the infrared signal cannot pass through walls, making it particularly useful in courtrooms, where confidential information is often discussed, and in buildings where competing signals can be a problem, such as classrooms or movie theaters. However, infrared systems cannot be used in environments with too many competing light sources, such as outdoors or in strongly lit rooms.
    4. Personal amplifiers are useful in places in which the above systems are unavailable or when watching TV, being outdoors, or traveling in a car. About the size of a cell phone, these devices increase sound levels and reduce background noise for a listener. Some have directional microphones that can be angled toward a speaker or other source of sound. As with other ALDs, the amplified sound can be picked up by a receiver that the listener is wearing, either as a headset or as earbuds
  8. What's a telecoil?

    A telecoil, also called a t-coil, is a coil of wire that is installed inside many hearing aids and cochlear implants to act as a miniature wireless receiver. It was originally designed to make sounds clearer to a listener over the telephone. It also is used with a variety of other assistive listening devices, such as hearing loop (or induction loop) systems, FM systems, infrared systems, and personal amplifiers.

The telecoil works by receiving an electromagnetic signal from the hearing loop and then turning it back into sound within the hearing aid or cochlear implant. This process eliminates much of the distracting background noise and delivers sound customized for one's own need. For people who are hard-of-hearing who do not have a telecoil-equipped hearing aid or cochlear implant, loop receivers with headsets can provide similar benefits but without the customized or “corrected sound” feature that matches one's hearing loss pattern.
Many cochlear implants have a telecoil built into the sound processor, or can use an external telecoil accessory with both hearing aid compatible telephones and public loop systems. A simple switch or programming maneuver performed by the user activates this function.
See the NIDCD fact sheet Hearing Aids for more information.
Resource: https://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/assistive-devices-people-hearing-voice-speech-or-language-disorders

2017 Scholarship Opportunities

NJCB is pleased to announce the 2017 Scholarship program for any legally blind person who will be a full time college student, undergraduate or graduate, in the 2017 – 2018 academic year and be a New Jersey resident is eligible to apply.  The deadline to apply is March 1st and the winner will be awarded at our July Quarterly meeting. Full details, application forms and how to apply can be found on our website at www.njcounciloftheblind.org.  You may also email questions to NJCounciloftheblind@gmail.com.

For Sale

One Braille writer plus case. If you have interest in purchasing this machine, please contact Lauren Casey.

Save The Date

Saturday April 29th - 12 Noon to 4PM at Trinity United Methodist Church in Ewing

Saturday July 29th - 12 Noon to 4PM at Camp Happiness in Leonardo

Saturday October 21st - 12 Noon to 4PM Location TBD

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.

New Jersey Council of the Blind
An affiliate of
American Council of the Blind

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Annual Dues: $10.00 due in January

Make check payable to NJCB and send to:
Treasurer- Bernie Zuckerman
32 Judson St. Unit 7-B
Edison, NJ 08837
(732) 221-5362

President- Lauren Casey