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The New Jersey Council of the Blind
July, 2020

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.

President, Wanda Williford (609) 375-6682.

1st Vice President, Frank Schack – (973) 595-0116

2nd Vice President, Joyce Sowa (732) 596-9675.

Secretary Dan Bausch (201) 874-6728.

Treasurer, Steve Sowa (848) 999-2079 or by mail to PO Box 434, Woodbridge, NJ 07095

President’s Message by Wanda Williford

President’s Message: United We Stand!
By Wanda Williford

Dear Friends,

We are living in unprecedented times. Navigating the Covid-19 pandemic coupled with nationwide civil unrest, is very challenging for us all. These crisis’ have shown a glaring spotlight on the best and worst of American society.

Social distance, stay 6 feet apart, wear a mask and wash your hands while humming “Happy Birthday”. We are chanting these CDC tips in our sleep. This sage advice has become the “new normal” along with elbow bumps and virtual hugs. Showing up for those in need has also become the norm. Delivering groceries to the self- isolating neighbor, crafty teens sewing masks for first responders and the countless doctors and nurses risking their lives caring for critical patients. This health crisis has beautifully illustrated our deep compassion for one another. However, until a vaccine or reliable treatment is developed, we must be vigilant in the fight to stay healthy.

Equally important to conquering Covid-19, is the battle for equal justice for all Americans regardless of race. The death of George Floyd has exposed a wound our nation has yet to heal. We should strive to ensure the fair and humane treatment of all Americans. Healing begins when we unite and stand up against racism and prejudice wherever it appears. Moving forward, we must be committed to embracing our collective humanity while simultaneously celebrating differences.

Our July meeting will be conducted via conference call. We will be presenting the Bernard Zuckerman Scholarship to three deserving students. Please join us in celebrating Alice, Jasmine and Marissa. Let us stand and applaud their achievements, support their goals, and encourage their dreams. Be a part of the excitement and positivity. Saturday, July 25th, 2020 11:00 AM to 12:30 PM. Call 605-468-8005, passcode 425373.

Respectfully submitted,

Wanda Williford
President, NJCB

July Quarterly Meeting Notice

Our July Quarterly meeting will be held by conference call on Saturday, July 25th, 2020 from 11:00 AM to 12:30 PM.

Call 605-468-8005, passcode 425373.

Special Recognition to our President

Presenting the 2020 ACB/JPMorgan Chase Leadership Fellows
Congratulations to the 2020 ACB/JPMorgan Chase Leadership Fellows award winners! The ACB/JPMorgan Chase Leadership Fellows awards program annually recognizes five ACB members who have demonstrated leadership abilities. This year's award recipients are Regina Brink from Sacramento, CA, Sajja Koirala from Honolulu, HI, Meryl Shecter from Windsor Mill, MD, Koni Sims from Sioux Falls, SD, and Wanda Williford from Trenton, NJ. They will be honored this year during the virtual ACB Conference and Convention and be able to participate in special leadership development sessions. Recipients will also get free access to the 2021 ACB Conference and Convention in Phoenix, Arizona. Learn more by visiting www.acb.org/presenting-2020-jpmc-leadership-fellows.

2020-2021 NJCB Bernard Zuckerman Scholarship Winners

NJCB is proud to award three candidates will receive Bernard Zuckerman scholarships, this year. All three will be receiving their awards at our July Quarterly Meeting. Here is a bit about all three:

My name is Marissa Nissley, I recently graduated from Eastern Regional High School, and I am honored to be a recipient of a New Jersey Council of the Blind Scholarship. As a person with albinism and severe visual impairment, seemingly mundane tasks such as reading the whiteboard and finding my classes appeared nearly impossible at the start of my academic career. However, I learned throughout my childhood to be independent and advocate for myself so that I could overcome the multitude of social, navigational, and academic challenges my disability presents. During high school, I served as a captain and student attorney of my school’s Mock Trial Team where, this year, we went the farthest in our history by placing third in the state competition. I also was Vice-President of Eastern’s DECA chapter, which is an organization that seeks to prepare students for the business world through role-play competitions and raise money for charities such as Good Grief or the Alicia Rose Foundation through fundraisers. Next year, I will be attending Georgetown University and plan to receive a Bachelor of Arts in economics. I then hope to attend law school and become a corporate lawyer.

Alice Sheinman, I grew up in Queens, NY and moved to New Jersey in my early thirties. I am married and have one son. Over the years, I have worked in hospital administration, having my own chocolate truffle manufacturing business, and teaching culinary arts to special education high school students. Due to hearing loss, I have had to again change careers, and am now attending the Rutgers University Master's in Rehabilitation Counseling Program. I would like to work with people with visual impairments upon graduation.

My name is Jasmine Chu and I am a third-year student at Raritan Valley Community College. I began in the Spring 2019 as a RVCC freshman and I am a Business Administration major. I became passionate about Business in the hopes that this major would open more high paying job opportunities and generally intrigued in the material. I most likely plan to graduate in May of 2022 as I extended my graduation for the purpose of fulfilling course credits. I have Glaucoma and Retinal Vasculitis in both eyes. I was diagnosed with Retinal Vasculitis in October 2014 and then diagnosed with Glaucoma January 2019


NJCB Family, we are a talented group of individuals. We need to put those talents and special skills to good use. We all need to participate and contribute to the success of the NJCB organization. This is a call to action! It is our mission to assemble committees which are important to our continued success. Please consider joining or chairing one of the following:

Bernard Zuckerman Scholarship Program

Social Media

Membership Committee

Nominating Committee

Fundraising Committee

Let us know which committee you feel would best utilize your skills or you find interesting.

We also want to hear your ideas and suggestions for guest speakers and topics you want to discuss during the quarterly meetings. We strive to conduct meetings that are informative, thought provoking and enjoyable for all who attend. So, please share your ideas big and small. Contact me at wdw.williford@gmail.com or call 609-375-6682. I look forward to hearing from you.

15 Ways to Maximize Your ACB Membership,

Revised by Kenneth Semien Sr.

Preface: All too often, people join organizations without taking advantage of the opportunity to truly become familiar with intricate details of its mission, purpose, and operating practices. This can very well result in a lack of participation and could ultimately result in a decision to forfeit what could have been the ideal vehicle to enhance your life, build great relationships and effectively share personal skills and abilities that can make an enormous difference.

In an effort to encourage you to explore the rich history and meaningful efforts of ACB, the tips below are listed to assist you in making the best of your ACB membership, while connecting with others whose skills and abilities complement yours.

  1. Be inquisitive and don't hesitate to ask questions.
  2. Become familiar with the history, mission, and purpose of ACB by reviewing it often enough to be able to repeat it to others. In turn someone may realize that this is the organization they have been looking for. One of the best resources to begin your quest is “People of Vision”, a story of the Father of ACB, Durward K. McDaniel and others who joined him in forging ACB ahead. Download it from the NLS BARD site. Access to the BARD web site is restricted to eligible readers. You will need a login ID and password to access it. If you do not have them, review the criteria for participation by reading the BARD application instructions and, if you qualify, request an account. Search for DB56115, People of Vision (A history of the American Council of the Blind)
    Braille and Audio Reading Download (BARD).
    For Support, send email to NLSDownload@loc.gov
  3. Make a personal commitment to identify ways to get involved in service and fundraising efforts.
  4. Find out who the officers are and become acquainted with them and their roles and responsibilities, as well as members you observe actively participating in events and projects associated with our organization.
  5. Make your skills and abilities known to leaders of your chapter, affiliate, and the ACB President. These individuals are likely to be your ticket to greater opportunities of service.
  6. Make every effort to participate in chapter, state affiliate, regional, and national meetings, training sessions, seminars, conferences, and conventions. Learn more about the legislative process, by attending the ACB mid-year meetings in order to meet members from around the nation who enjoy the privilege of participating in the Legislative Seminar held in February or March of each year, which culminates with a visit to our nation’s Capital also known as Capitol Hill. You can make a difference, and this is the key vehicle to promote positive change for all Americans who are blind.
  7. Inquire about available committees you may be able to serve on to assist the organization in achieving its goals and objectives. Seek to join committees that allow you to utilize your skills and abilities in the most effective and efficient manner. Visit the ACB website, www.acb.org to review the list of committees that are available. Simply obtain the name and email address of the current ACB President by reaching out to the ACB national office. Currently, the phone number is (202) 467-5081.
  8. Sign up for up-to-date news and announcements from all levels of our organization. Ask a president or member to tell you how to take advantage of this option. Remember to subscribe to various ACB Group Email List to receive and share announcements, resources, and supportive information.
  9. Listen to or read publications/newsletters distributed by our organization on all levels in various formats. This is one of the best ways to learn about useful resources, access inspirational stories, scholarships, awards, and upcoming projects and events.
  10. Identify and become better acquainted with special-interest affiliates that meet your personal needs and interest. These groups provide you the opportunity to network with others sharing common interests, such as your prior or current occupation, hobbies, health concerns and so much more. Visit the ACB website, www.acb.org to review the entire list of these special groups to take advantage of making mutually beneficial connections.
  11. Obtain your own copy of the constitution and bylaws to learn of the agreed-upon operating practices and procedures of our organization. The most currently adopted governing documents can be accessed by visiting the ACB website, www.acb.org.
  12. Get social by connecting with ACB through its social media networks, such as Facebook and Twitter. This is a great way to introduce others to the work and accomplishments of ACB.
    Follow us on Twitter @acbnational
    Like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AmericanCounciloftheBlindOfficial
  13. Participate in conference calls to build your knowledge, such as membership focus calls, periodic Special Interest Affiliate, Committee, and calls hosted by the ACB Board of Publications.
  14. Explore the web sites of your chapter, state affiliate and our national organization. You may locate information on the web site that you didn't think of inquiring about. Be sure to download the ACB Link App on your smartphone or other mobile device as an alternate method of accessing ACB on the Worldwide Web.
  15. Pay your annual dues faithfully and encourage others to do the same.

In conclusion, the more you know and the more you become involved, the more you will be prompted to share your personal story of how you have joined a phenomenal organization that is continuing to advance.

Have a great ACB adventure!

Support NJCB Scholarship Fund

Wear NJCB Proud

We are excited to launch our 2020 fundraiser. All proceeds benefit the Bernard Zuckerman Scholarship Fund.

Wear your NJCB proudly on a stylish, super soft, T-shirt displaying the NJCB acronym with the Braille letter beneath. It also boasts the organization name and web address with the NJ state outline hovering in the background.

Shirts can be purchased until July 31, 2020 via this link provided here https://www.customink.com/fundraising/support-the-njcb-scholarship-fund or you can call (609) 201-1923 to place an order.

The NJCB recognizes the importance of higher education. In support of the blind and visually impaired community, we award scholarships to deserving students every year. Our goal is to continue this treasured tradition. Your purchase and/or donation will help us support talented students pursue their dreams.

Chapter News
News from Blind Citizen’s Association

Hello and Greeting from NJBCA! We hope this newsletter finds everyone healthy and hanging in there. “Life has many ways of testing a person’s will- either by having nothing happen or by having everything happen all at once”- Paulo Coelho

Well, it certainly seems that 2020 has been and will be quite a year for the record books. (It is almost like the world is saying- but wait, there is more!). Just like the rest of you, NJBCA is waiting. And waiting. And waiting…you get the idea. We are waiting for word that we too, may reopen and start enjoying the company of others again. There will be a lot of changes to implement become accustomed to. But one thing is for certain, we will be back. We are not going to let our 110 years of service become a thing of the past because of a little virus, that is for sure. It will be a bit of an uphill climb- our organization has existed solely on the generosity of others to exist. And how do you ask for support or donations from those who are unemployed or who have lost their business? This is new territory for everyone.

We will miss seeing everyone in July for the cancelled picnic. Hopefully soon, we will all be gathering (even if it is a distant gathering) and enjoying life to its fullest.

Remember- Nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to learn- Pena Chodron

Mercer County Association of the Blind (MCAB)

Mercer County Association of The Blind (MCAB) Chapter’s Quarterly News of NJCB CHRONICLE 06-2020.

Peace and wellbeing to everyone, near and far from members of MCAB.

Because of the Pandemic MCAB has been having virtual meetings through phone conference which has been successful.

The Business Cards for Officers and Board Members along with the Invite Cards for the membership have not been handed out yet due to the Coronavirus.

Vice President Wanda Williford and member Sebastian Warren have researched a T-Shirt outlet and have designed an MCAB Logo T-Shirt for the membership. The cost of the T-Shirts will be $15.00.

I would like to take the opportunity to lists some resources in Mercer County that may be beneficial to the residents.

  1. Mount Carmel Guild of Trenton Food Pantry
    M-F 9:30 – 11:30 AM
    73 N. Clinton Ave.
    Trenton, NJ 08609
    Phone: 609-392-5159
  2. Jewish Family &Children’s Service of Greater Mercer County
    Food Pantry Services – scheduled & emergency pick-up- Beth Engiezos
    707 Alexander Rd. #102
    Princeton, NJ 08540
    Phone: 609-987-8100 x 126
  3. Community Health Law Project (Trenton Office) Legal Services for people with disabilities and low Income.
    225 E. State St. Unit 5
    Trenton, NJ 08608
    Phone: 609-392-5553
  4. Soldier On: Housing search assistance Veterans and their families.
    Hotline: 866-406-8449
  5. Trenton Area Soup Kitchen (TASK)
    Prepared meals to-go
    M-F 10:30 AM – 2PM
    72 ½ Escher St.
    Trenton, NJ
    Phone: 609:960-5117

I would like to include in MCAB’s Chapter News for 6-20 A letter from Mercer County Executive, Brian M. Hughes that he sent to all Mercer County Organizations on COVID-19 and how it affects our community and comments

On the callousness of that killing of an unarmed Black Man, George Floyd in Minneapolis.

June 5, 2020

A letter from County Executive Brian M. Hughes

Dear Mercer County Community,

Image of Mercer County Executive, Brian M. Hughes

I take this opportunity at the end of each week to discuss an issue related to COVID-19 and how it affects our community. It was difficult to imagine that something could divert our attention from the virus, but the civic unrest that has swept across America, New Jersey and our local communities in the wake of the despicable deadly arrest of an African American man, George Floyd, in Minneapolis, has done so.

The callousness of that killing of an unarmed man in police custody has distressed everyone who has a heart and a soul. It has been on all our minds this week and should remain so until we achieve the racial equality that this nation talks about but has not sought with enough urgency and resolve. We must do better.

Demonstrations over George Floyd’s death and racial injustice have sometimes turned destructive, including here in our capital city last Sunday night. But every so often the worst of times brings out the best in people, and I’m encouraged by the spirit that the vast majority of residents in our community and many others have displayed this week in the midst of overlapping crises. Protests have been mostly peaceful, which is a credit to people who, despite their rightful anger and frustration, have stayed focused: speaking out against all forms of racism and trying to effect change. Protests need to remain peaceful so those voices can be heard. And we all need to listen and learn and try to understand the obstacles that people of color in this nation face every day.

We also need to stay focused on combating the virus that has contributed to the deaths of more than 100,000 Americans including almost 500 Mercer County residents. As more segments of our economy reopen and more activities resume, people are spending more time in public settings. But we cannot afford to take fewer precautions and risk undoing the significant gains we have made fighting COVID-19.

Whether you are peacefully protesting, going to work, or heading out for any other reason, please prioritize safety. Practice social distancing wear a face covering and wash your hands. By doing so you not only are protecting yourself, you are protecting others. And let us support each other and treat each other with the dignity and respect all people deserve.

Brian M. Hughes
Mercer County Executive

Submitted by Mustafaa Shabazz, MCAB President

Check out the NJCB Facebook Page

NJCB is on Facebook. Anyone interested in contributing to the success of this page please send your ideas and posts to our email address at njcounciloftheblind@gmail.com. Please note all posts must be related to activities relating to your membership with NJCB or its affiliates. The page is https://www.facebook.com/groups/2255314534793147/. Just search for New Jersey Council of the Blind in Facebook.

Have you paid your 2020 Dues?

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

Save The Date

Saturday October 24th 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

Name: ______________________________________________________

Street: ______________________________________________________

City: ________________________________________________________

State: ______________________Zip: _____________________________

Phone Number: _______________________________________________

E-Mail Address: ______________________________________________

Meeting reminder notification format: Email: ___Text: ___

Legally Blind: ____ Visually Impaired: ____ Fully Sighted: ____

Format for Braille Forum (ACB National's Newsletter): LP __ Digital Cartridge __ Braille __ E-mail __ None __

Format for NJCB Chronicle: E-Mail _____Online _____

Annual Dues: $10.00 due in July

Make check payable to NJCB and send to:
Treasurer- Steven Sowa
PO Box 434
Woodbridge, NJ 07095