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The New Jersey Council of the Blind
April, 2018

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 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: Interim President Frank Schack (973) 595-0116; 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 Frank Schack

Our President, Lauren Casey, is still convalescing. The last I spoke to Lauren, she was much stronger and in good spirits. I recently learned that she was hospitalized again. We wish her well in the days ahead.

In her absence I will be presiding as the temporary President.

I am sure that most of us are happy that winter is over, and the snow is gone. By the time you receive this it will already be spring and the clocks have jumped ahead. We are eagerly awaiting nicer weather and I hope that you are eagerly looking forward to attending the next quarterly meeting of the NJCB on April 28th in Mercer County.

We will be having two speakers, Kathy Rawa and Susan Vanino, who will discuss subjects that apply to everyone. Please plan to attend with any questions you might have and any suggestions for speakers for future meetings.

I’m looking forward to seeing everyone on April 28th.

Frank Schack, Interim President

April Quarterly Meeting Notice

The April quarterly meeting will be held on Saturday, April 28th at the Trinity United Methodist Church in Ewing. We held our January quarterly meetings at this location in the past. The meeting will begin promptly at 1:00 pm until 4:00 pm. A Pizza lunch will be from 12:00 pm until 1:00 pm. A cost of $5.00 per person is requested to cover the cost of the food and drinks. The address is 1985 Pennington Road in Ewing. Find directions on page 5. No conference call connection will be available for this meeting, so it is important for you to attend. Please RSVP by April 23rd to Mustafaa Shabazz at 609-789-8173 leave message as to attendance so we know how many to expect for the meeting and lunch.

About our Guest Speakers

Kathy Rawa

I graduated from Fairleigh Dickinson University with a Liberal Arts degree but specializing in dental hygiene. I worked in private practices as well as being a dental health educator speaking at various schools and organizations. I was an EMT and ER tech. I also worked as a substitute teacher. I worked in pain management and ob/gyn and surgery practices. I also had my own medical transcription business as well as typing for Hackensack, Holy Name and UMDNJ.

After losing my eyesight, I volunteered at Bacharach Rehabilitation Hospital and Atlantic Care Regional Medical Center. At these facilities I gave in house presentations about vision loss and service dogs. I gave various presentations on matters concerning medical situations blind and visually impaired people encounter at the hospital. Dorito and I were the first and only guide dog team to volunteer at these facilities. We are the first and only guide dog/low vision team to work as poll workers in Atlantic County and I believe in the state of New Jersey. For my volunteering I was nominated and received the Donald J. Skytes award for outstanding service to people and community while dealing with a disability. You had to be nominated by peers. I received this awarded two times. At Atlantic Care Hospital. Dorito and I are heart heroes raising money for AEDs (external Defibrillators) I constantly lecture at doctors’ offices and hospitals Because of my experience working in the medical and dental fields, I can easily relate to Health professionals.

I have been involved with voting rights for the disabled as well as being on the local transportation committee and attended transportation conventions. I have been on television representing guide dog users during national service dog day.

As a very active member in my community, I am part of a group called CONTACT cape/Atlantic whose members call and check on people and use me to consult when they have clients with vision issues. I am very passionate about education for the blind and visually impaired as well.

I look forward to sharing more about my background and experience with all of you.

Susan Vanino

Susan worked for eight and a half years with the Adjustment to Vision Loss Program founded by the Commission for the Blind and later funded by Merck until 2013. Because of budget cuts this program was eliminated. She decided to go back to school and became a licensed social worker and then received her Master's degree in social work. She continually wrote to the Commission for the Blind to bring back the peer support program. On June 15th, 2015 the A.S.P.I.R.E program was started. This is a much better program because it is state wide and will have a much bigger impact. The former program had to rely on referrals but now she has access to the database at the Commission to reach out to anyone interested in joining a group. She will provide facilitator training and start up new groups as well as rejuvenate old groups.

Susan will share with us all the latest updates.

Chapter News

News from Mercer County Association of the Blind (MCAB)

Greetings of Peace and wellbeing to all the families of New Jersey Council of the Blind and to the extended families of the ACB from the membership of Mercer County Association of the Blind (MCAB).

With the New Year upon us it has plagued our membership with illness but with every challenge comes a blessing. One of our members, Gary Rhodes for the past two years has been visiting our members in the Hospitals and Nursing Homes conferring spiritual uplifting encouragements to each during their health ordeal. Gary has two Master Degrees, one in Arts and Religion. MCAB’s membership voted Gary Rhodes to be the Chaplain for MCAB and he accepted.

Gary brought an interesting concern to the membership that our members were not properly being attended to due to their status of being blind. In light of this concern a new committee was formed with eight volunteering members called the Health Advocates Committee which will be a sub-committee under the Sun-Shine Committee. They will look at and address issues with Hospitals and Nursing Homes’ Management on better care for blind patients.

One of the problems all the Blind Chapters face is appealing to the younger blind community for new members. Cathy Godfrey, MCAB’S Treasurer came up with the idea to make a flyer and have our members distribute them at their Care Centers, churches and other social gatherings. I will get in touch with Susan Vanino, NJCBVI Support Groups Head and see if she can assist on this issue.

Just a reminder, hope to see everyone at the quarterly meeting in April that MCAB is hosting at our place: Trinity United Methodist Church, 1985 Pennington Road, Ewing, NJ 08618. The cross Street is Carlton Ave, come in the side door.

Be Well,

Mustafaa Shabazz, MCAB President
Phone: 609-695-4203

News from Blind Citizen’s Association

The NJBCA would like to welcome everyone to Spring! We hope that this finds you in good health and looking forward to warmer weather as much as we are!

It’s that time of year! The 13th Annual New Jersey Blind Citizens Association Gift Auction will be held Friday, June 1, 2018 at the VFW Post 2179 in Port Monmouth.

The gift auction is our largest event and raises critical funds for our programs and services for those who are blind, visually impaired and those with deteriorating vision.

Admission is $20.00 and includes one sheet of tickets for regular prizes. There is an advance sale on a prize ticket package as well- $40 value being sold for $30 if pre-ordered and paid for by May 23.

With only 300 tickets available, this event sells out quickly, so get your tickets early!

Are you interested in the gift auction? Or simply wish to receive more information? Please email giftauction13@gmail.com or call the NJBCA office at 732-291-0878.

If gift auctions aren’t up your alley, perhaps spaghetti is! Our NJBCA Ladies Auxiliary is holding their semi-annual spaghetti dinner fundraiser on Saturday, April 14, 2018 from 4pm to 7pm. Dinner includes salad, bread, spaghetti, homemade meatballs and or sausage, dessert item, and a beverage (coffee, tea, water, soda) all for only $10.00!

Take out is available for purchase as well. Please contact the office at 732-291-0878 for more information

2018-2019 NJCB Scholarship Information

Our deadline to submit application for our 2018-19 NJCB Scholarship is fast approaching. If you want to be considered for an award, please visit our website at njcounciloftheblind.org and review the questions and answers for the requirements. The deadline is May 1. Winners will receive their award at our July Quarterly Meeting to be held at Camp Happiness.

Have you paid your 2018 Dues?

Please send your annual dues along with the attached membership form to our Treasurer, Bernie Zuckerman. Annual dues for members at large are $10.00.


Get onto Route 95 heading south. (From Route 1 south, from Route 295 heading north or Route 195 heading west to Route 295 north)

Get off at Exit #4 making a left turn onto Pennington Road (Route 31 South toward Ewing)

Turn right at the 4th traffic light, Carlton Avenue. It is across the street from The College of New Jersey.

Save The Date

Saturday July 28th 12 Noon to 4PM at Camp Happiness in Leonardo

Saturday October 27st 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