THE WHITE CANE BULLETIN



Florida Council of The Blind, Inc.
May - June, 2001

FCB OFFICERS, 2000- 2002

President:
Robert Miller
4128 Kreisch Way
Tallahassee, FL 32310
(850) 942-9821
E-mail:
easytalk@concentric.net

First Vice President:
Jesus Garcia
5955 W. 16th Lane
Hialeah, FL. 33012
(305) 471-0441 EXT (444)
Email:
jesusgar@bellsouth.net

Second Vice President:
Patti Davis
528 Orange Drive Unit 11
Altamonte Springs, FL 32701
(407) 767-8616
E-mail:
PDavis25@concentric.net

Treasurer:
James R. Warth, Jr.
1548 Corydon Avenue
Spring Hill, FL 34609
(352) 686-9300
E-mail:
FcbCFO@tampabay.rr.com

Membership Secretary:
Nancy Folsom
6500 Montrose Trail
Tallahassee, FL 32308
(850) 893-8650
E-mail:
Insight@nettally.com

Recording Secretary:
Sharon Youngs
237 Maple Avenue
Palm Harbor, FL 34684
(727) 937-8631
E-mail:
sky11@tampabay.rr.com

Editors of White Cane Bulletin
Bill and Bobbie Probst
11721 Dunes Way Dr.
N. Jacksonville, FL 32225-1888
(904) 641-0709
FAX (904) 998-9012
E-Mail:
Wantom@aol.com
and
BobbieHP@aol.com

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

President's Message, Robert Miller
President George W. Bush's Transition Speech on Disabilities
Journey to Morrocco, Rosanna M. Lippen
New Talking Book Library Chief, Doug Hall
Coalition for the Concerns of the Totally Blind, (CCTB) Announces PLANS FOR CONVENTION
Notable Quotes
Just for Fun, Elizabeth Fiorite
AmeriCorps serves Florida's Disabled, Paul N. Martell
New Device to Measure Macular Degeneration
Goodies from Member's Kitchens
Chapter News
1. Tallahassee Chapter
2. Venice Chapter
3. Tampa Chapter
Handy Telephone Reference
FCB Chapter Liaisons
*** The Laws *** (Interspersed)


President's Message

This is the time of year for state and national conventions. I have been very busy and have had the opportunity to attend the Mississippi Council of the Blind convention in Jackson, as well as the quarterly meeting of the Division of Blind Services Rehab Council in Tallahassee. I would like to share some of the highlights of these events with you.

The Mississippi Council of the Blind convention was very enjoyable. There was a lot of fellowship and hard work. I had the opportunity to talk with several of the officers and board members with whom we shared convention ideas and the status of the blind community in our respective states. MCB is a relatively financially sound organization that enjoys a good revenue through their Bingo efforts. One amazing fact about this organization is that they have approximately 278 members, statewide and had 140 plus members in attendance at their convention. I was invited to speak on two topics, first about what is happening in Florida and secondly, what it is like to be a visually impaired business owner.
On Sunday, I also participated in a panel discussion about adaptive technology. If you ever have the chance of attending a MCB convention, you should jump at it! They are known for their "southern hospitality room."

The DBS Rehab Council meeting was held on Saturday, April 21. This is the second Rehab Council meeting that I have attended as your president. I was very impressed and encouraged with the climate and outcome of this meeting. I truly feel that we are going in the right direction under the leadership of Craig Kiser, the new director. Here are some of the highlights of that meeting. It is very apparent that DBS understands the importance of providing services to all visually impaired citizens regardless of age or employability. This means the agency understands that blind babies, school children, college students, the working force and the elderly have needs for service from the agency. In a budget report given at the meeting, it appears that the agency's budget will remain intact and there is a good possibility that there will be additional funding for the purpose of purchasing and installing much needed shelf space for the Talking Book Library. Although the legislature has not adjourned and things could certainly change, the prospects are good that the Transportation Disadvantaged Commission will receive additional funding.

There has been some administrative restructuring within DBS. Sam Griffin has replaced Ed Bennett as Deputy Director. Chip Kinney has replaced Marie Beauford as Bureau Chief of Client Services. Sam Atwood, a person who is visually impaired from Washington state has been hired to manage Public Affairs and will work directly under Stephanie Wilson, the Bureau Chief of Business Enterprises and Public Affairs.

Now for the usual housekeeping items. Due to some last minute negotiations with the hotel you need to know the following convention information.
The Awards Dinner price has been reduced from $25.00 to $20.00. If you have already submitted your registration check you will be reimbursed $5.00 when you pick up your registration packet at the convention. If the expense of the dinner prevented you from purchasing a ticket and you would now like to, you may purchase a ticket at the convention. Although the price of the banquet has not changed London Broil has been added as one of the meal choices. As a result, you may either send your change of meal preference to Sila Miller at:
Sila@EasyTalkComputers.com
via email, or make the change at the convention when you pick up your packet.
The hotel will provide breakfast items for $1.00 each Friday through Sunday from 7:30 to 9:30 AM. They will also provide a "quick" lunch stand on Saturday that should be reasonably priced. In addition, you will be provided a 20% discount card which can be used at the hotel restaurant. Don't forget the fabulous cruise scheduled for Thursday evening Hope to see a lot of you there.

Back to table of contents

Editors Note: RECOMMENDED READING. The following transition speech on disability benefits by President George W. Bush is promised to be presented by the Bush Administration and is quite long. There are many benefits with which we should become familiar as they could substantially affect the entire disability community, and it may be necessary for as many of us as possible to be able to discuss these programs with our legislators, federal, state and local. It is suggested that we each absorb as many details as possible and attempt to promote them for our community.

*** Boob's Law: "You always find something in the last place you look." ***


PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH'S TRANSITION SPEECH ON DISABILITIES

My Administration is committed to tearing down the barriers to equality that face many of the 54 million Americans with disabilities.

Eleven years ago the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) made it a violation of federal law to discriminate against a person with a disability. But there is much more to do. Though progress has been made in the last decade, too many Americans with disabilities remain trapped in bureaucracies of dependence, denied the tools they need to fully access their communities. The unemployment rate for Americans with disabilities hovers at 70 percent. Home ownership rates are in the single digits. And Internet access for Americans with disabilities is half that of people without disabilities. I am committed to tearing down the remaining barriers to equality that face Americans with disabilities today. My New Freedom Initiative will help Americans with disabilities by increasing access to assistive technologies, expanding educational opportunities, increasing the ability of Americans with disabilities to integrate into the workforce, and promoting increased access into daily community life. I look forward to working with Congress to see these proposals become law.

Foreword by President George W. Bush

Increasing Access to Assistive and Universally Designed Technologies

Expanding Educational Opportunities

Promoting Home Ownership

Integrating Americans with Disabilities into the Workforce

Expanding Transportation Options

Promoting Full Access to Community Life

Fulfilling American's Promise to Americans with Disabilities

Disability is not the experience of a minority of Americans. Rather, it is an experience that will touch most Americans at some point during their lives.

Today, there are over 54 million Americans with disabilities, a full 20 percent of the U.S. population. Almost half of these individuals have a severe disability, affecting their ability to see, hear, walk, or perform other basic functions of life. In addition, there are over 25 million family caregivers and millions more who provide aid and assistance to people with disabilities.

Eleven years ago, Congress passed and President George Bush signed one of the most significant civil rights laws since the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). In doing so, America opened its door to a new age for people with disabilities. Two and a half years ago, amendments to Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 were enacted ensuring that the Federal Government would purchase electronic and information technology which is open and accessible for people with disabilities.

Although progress has been made over the years to improve access to employment, public accommodations, commercial facilities, information technology, telecommunications services, housing, schools, and polling places, significant challenges remain for Americans with disabilities in realizing the dream of equal access to full participation in American society. Indeed, the Harris surveys by the National Organization on Disability and numerous other studies have highlighted these persistent obstacles.

Americans with disabilities have a lower level of educational attainment than those without disabilities:
One out of five adults with disabilities has not graduated from high school, compared to less than one of ten adults without disabilities.

National graduation rates for students who receive special education and related services have stagnated at 27 percent for the past three years, while rates are 75 percent for students who do not rely on special education.

Americans with disabilities are poorer and more likely to be unemployed than those without disabilities:
In 1997, over 33% of adults with disabilities lived in a household with an annual income of less than $15,000, compared to only 12 percent of those without disabilities.

Unemployment rates for working?age adults with disabilities have hovered at the 70 percent level for at least the past 12 years, while rates are significantly lower for working?age adults without disabilities.

Too many Americans with disabilities remain outside the economic and social mainstream of American life:
71% of people without disabilities own homes, but fewer than 10% of those with disabilities do.

Computer usage and Internet access for people with disabilities is half that of people without disabilities.

People with disabilities vote at a rate that is 20 percent below voters without disabilities. In local areas, disability issues seldom surface in election campaigns, and inaccessible polling places often discourage citizens with disabilities from voting.

People with disabilities want to be employed, educated, and participating, citizens living in the community. In today's global new economy, America must be able to draw on the talents and creativity of all its citizens.

The Administration will work to ensure that all Americans have the opportunity to learn and develop skills, engage in productive work, choose where to live and participate in community life. The President's New Freedom Initiatives represents an important step in achieving these goals. It will expand research in and access to assistive and universally designed technologies, further integrate Americans with disabilities into the workforce and help remove barriers to participation in community life.

The Policy of the New Freedom Initiatives is composed of the following key components:

Increasing Access to Assistive and Universally Designed Technologies:

Federal Investment in Assistive Technology Research and Development:

The Administration will provide a major increase in the Rehabilitative Engineering Research Centers budget for assistive technologies, create a new fund to help bring assistive technologies to market, and better coordinate the Federal effort in prioritizing immediate assistive and universally designed technology needs in the disability community.

Access to Assistive Technology:
Assistive technology is often prohibitively expensive. In order to increase access, funding for low?interest loan programs to purchase assistive technologies will increase significantly.

Expanding Educational Opportunities for Americans with Disabilities: Increase Funding for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). In return for participating in a new system of flexibility and accountability in the use of Federal education funds. States will receive an increase in IDEA funds for education at the local level and help in meeting the special needs of students with disabilities.

Focus on Reading in Early Grades:
States that establish a comprehensive reading program for students, including those with disabilities, from preschool through second grade will be eligible for grants under President Bush's Reading First and Early Reading First Initiatives.

Integrating Americans with Disabilities into the Workforce:

Expanding Telecommuting:
The Administration will provide Federal matching funds to states to guarantee low?interest loans for individuals with disabilities to purchase computers and other equipment necessary to telework from home. In addition, legislation will be proposed to make a company's contribution of computer and Internet access for home use by employees with disabilities a tax?free benefit.

Swift Implementation of a Ticket to Work:
President Bush has committed to sign an order that directs the federal agency to swiftly implement the law giving Americans with disabilities the ability to choose their own support services and maintain their health benefits when they return to work.

Full Enforcement of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA):
Technical assistance will be provided to promote ADA compliance and to help small businesses hire more people with disabilities. The Administration will also promote the Disabled Access Credit, an incentive program created in 1990 to assist small businesses comply with the Act.

Innovative Transportation Solutions:
Accessible transportation can be a particularly difficult barrier for Americans with disabilities entering the workforce. Funding will be provided for 10 pilot programs that use innovative approaches to developing transportation plans that serve people with disabilities. The Administration will also establish a competitive matching grant program to promote access to alternative methods of transportation.


****Weiler's Law; "Nothing is impossible for the man who doesn't have to do it himself."****

Back to table of contents


JOURNEY TO MOROCCO
A Magical G
By Rosanna m. Lippen

On Saturday evening, October 28, 2000, I traveled to Morocco escorted by FCB's First Vice President, Jesus Garcia. And we didn't even once have to show our passports! The theme of the Third Annual Gala held at Mar-A-Lago, the former home of Marjorie Merriweather Post and, later of Donald Trump, was presented by the Able Trust. Each and every detail was carried out to perfection. From the music to which the belly dancers gyrated, to the exotic food, for three hours we were on a magical mystery tour for a wonderful cause, OURSELVES!

The Able Trust, along with sponsors, hosts an annual event where the money raised by attending goes to benefit different charities and endowment programs. The Able Trust believes that people with disabilities want to work. Created in 1990 by the Florida Legislature, it is a 501.c(3) nonprofit public?private partnership whose mission is to provide Floridians with disabilities fair employment opportunities through grant programs and public awareness. Over $8 million has been awarded to individuals and non?profit agencies. Funding is received from a perpetual endowment, grants, charitable gifts, and support from the public and private sector. The endowment program in which the Florida Council of the Blind participates, is professionally managed and offers us significant tax benefits. This year, we received a surprise gift in our endowment from some generous individuals who wished to remain anonymous. And to make it even better, the Able Trust matches this contribution on a sliding scale.

So, the cost to the FCB is nothing and we actually gained, just by my meeting some people along the way! What a spectacular journey and what a wonderful way to grow our own money!


Back to the table of contents


NEW TALKING BOOK LIBRARY CHIEF
By Doug Hall

In September 2000, Michael Gunde was named Chief of Florida's Bureau of Braille and Talking Book Library Services. Mike has been with the Bureau for fifteen years. He previously served as Head of Reader Services and as Library Program Administrator. Mike succeeds Donald John Weber, who died in November, 1999.

Mike oversees the entire operation of the Bureau, which the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped has designated as the regional library for Florida.

Mike has held elective offices and appointed positions within the American Library Association and other professional organizations. He has been a frequent contributor to publications, conferences, and committees addressing accessibility issues and disability law compliance.

New Program Administrator
In December, 2000, Greg Carlson was named as the new Library Program Administrator (Associate Director) at the Bureau of Braille and Talking Book Library Services. Previous to joining the Library's staff Greg worked as outreach coordinator at the St. Petersburg Public Library. From 1992 to 1999, he was the Librarian for the Pinellas Talking Book Library. Greg will coordinate many day?to?day operations at the Bureau and assist the Bureau Chief with projects such as grant writing and developing standards for the Florida Talking Book Network.


Back to the table of contents


COALITION FOR THE CONCERNS OF THE TOTALLY BLIND (CCTB)
Announces PLANS FOR CONVENTION

Bridging The Sense of Directional Divide is the subject for a presentation planned for the CCTB event at this year's convention. The presenter will be Janet Barlow, Manager of Rehabilitation Services, Center for the Visually Impaired, Atlanta, GA.

Why do some people who are totally blind have an almost innate sense of direction while others seem to lack this sense entirely? How can one use and improve this innate sense of direction? How can one compensate for the lack of this innate directional compass? Everyone is invited to attend this fascinating workshop.


Back to the table of contents


NOTABLE QUOTES

"Treat people as if they were what they ought to be and you help them to become what they are capable of being."
?Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

"Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there."
??Will Rogers

"When I do good, I feel good. When I do bad, I feel bad. And that's my religion."
--Abraham Lincoln

"Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear... all of which have the potential to turn a life around."
??Leo Buscaglia


Back to the table of contents


JUST FOR FUN
By: Elizabeth Fiorite

Below is a list of vision-related words to add to our ever-expanding vocabulary. Most of them are made by combining elements of two "bona fide" words to make a new word. Try making up some of your own just for fun!!

Visuabulary - my word!

Astignagnetics - n.. The treatment of vision disorders with magnets. Also see Astignagneticist.

Brailliance - n. The art of reading and writing Braille excellently. Ex. Henrietta read a most difficult passage with brailliance. Also Brailliance - adj. As Eusabio's reading was brailliant. He reads and writes Braille, but can't speak it.

Euopia - (you-oh-pee-ah) n. The nearsighted condition that belongs to you, as opposed to my-opia. See also Myoptic nerve - n. The optic nerve that belongs to me.

Iristocrat - n. A person who believes that his or her eye color is superior to any other.

Optical Security - n. A defense mechanism used by those who prefer to stay home rather than be seen in public with their corrective lenses.

Obstetricmologist - n. A doctor who specializes in the study of the eyes of unborn babies.


Back to the table of contents


AMERICORPS SERVES FLORIDA'S DISABLED
By Paul N. Martell, Accessibility Consultant,
Florida Commission on Community Service

When Carmen Torres applied for a position with AmeriCorps Hillsborough Reads to tutor kids at Cleveland Elementary School, she was afraid she wouldn't get the position. She knew she had the skill and ability. Her concern was the reaction of others to a disability that, on some days, causes her to lose most of her residual vision.

Torres' disability, Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP), is part of a group of hereditary disorders whose trait is a gradual deterioration of the light?sensitive cells of the retina that results in a progressive reduction in vision. She was diagnosed with RP at 18, but it was not until age 38 that she began to experience a dramatic decrease in her ability to see.

At first, AmeriCorps Hillsborough Reads Director Debra Gist?Evans was apprehensive about having Torres as a member. "Once I got past the initial fear of having a member with a disability, the idea was very exciting to me," said Gist?Evans, "Carmen's ability to educate people about her disability and the assistance she needs, has contributed to her success here."

With help from Tampa Lighthouse for the Blind and the Division of Blind Services, Torres received equipment that gave her the tools and confidence to get the job done. She was loaned a computer and received training on the use of the Job Access with Speech (JAWS) screen reader program. Torres was also loaned a closed circuit television (CCTV) so that she could read hard copies of documents.

Torres' guide dog, Lena, makes traveling from class to class easier. Before she began tutoring, Torres explained to the children that when Lena's harness is on, she is working and should not be petted or distracted. "Most of the people do not know about guide dogs," said Torres, "I am pretty sure that I am teaching a lot of people here." Torres' daughter, Michele, also serves as an AmeriCorps member with Hillsborough Reads. "I copy Michele's tutoring ideas on occasion, and sometimes she likes what I'm doing and will copy me," said Torres.

In Torres case, the ability to tutor students always was there and, with the assistance from adaptive equipment and her guide dog Lena, she was able to meet the service demands of her program.

Torres is no stranger to national service. As a VISTA volunteer in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, she taught senior citizens with disabilities daily living skills, and provided counseling on a women's crisis line.

Torres has advice for other program directors: People with disabilities are very dedicated and want to do a good job, she said. Program directors don't have to be afraid to include them. As for persons who may be interested in AmeriCorps, Torres simply stated, "Every day you have the opportunity to change your life for the positive or negative. Don't be afraid to ask questions or put in an application."

FCCS continues to increase its efforts to include persons with disabilities in Florida's AmeriCorps programs. By providing outreach to persons in the disability community and encouraging the recruitment of members with disabilities, programs are beginning to capitalize on this untapped resource. FCCS provides programs with technical assistance and training on disability inclusion. Funds are also available to pay for reasonable accommodation for members that may need assistance to complete their service.


Editor's Note: Since the publication of this article, Carmen Torres has successfully completed her service with AmeriCorps Hillsborough Reads. Also, Debra Gist?Evans is no longer program director.

For more information on AmeriCorps opportunities in your area, contact Paul N. Martell, Accessibility Consultant, Florida Commission on Community Service,

444 Appleyard Drive
Tallahassee Florida 32304
(850) 921?5172


*** Conway's Law: "In any company, there is one person who knows what is going on. That person must be fired." ***


Back to the table of contents


NEW DEVICE TO MEASURE MACULAR PIGMENT INTRODUCED

A new device to measure macular pigment in the human eye will improve research opportunities into the correlation between pigment levels and macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in the world for persons over 60, according to its Brown University designer.

The small tabletop device uses light?emitting diodes (LEDs) to measure macular pigment, a yellowish substance in the eye that may protect the eye from the destructive effects of light, according to Bill R. Wooten, professor of psychology, who designed the instrument called the macular densitometer.

Wooten recently found no significant difference between the accuracy of the new device and an existing machine in a study of 30 subjects, ranging in age from 16 to 60. Those results are published in the October issue of Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science.

However, unlike traditional machines that rely on complex optical systems to measure macular pigment, the new device is not difficult to assemble or move and can be operated by someone without any expertise, said Wooten.

A patient looks directly into the machine and adjusts a flickering light until it stops flickering, then repeats the process with a flickering light in peripheral vision. By comparing the two measurements, researchers can determine how much light is absorbed by the macular pigment and therefore how much macular pigment a patient has, said Wooten. The whole process takes about 10 minutes.

We know that macular pigment varies a lot from person to person, said Wooten. What is unknown is the cause?and?effect relation between the amount of macular pigment and macular degeneration.

Research by Wooten and his colleagues has shown several correlations between levels of macular pigment and macular degeneration in specific situations. These correlations have been documented with factors such as eye color, gender and smoking. Other studies have found associations between dietary intake or blood concentrations of cartenoids (a nutrient found in spinach, kale and egg yolks) and protection from macular degeneration.

There is no known prevention or cure for the disease, which leads to blindness a situation Wooten attributes to the fact that there are currently no devices in widespread use for research or clinical use. Because the relationship between measures of dietary intake and retinal concentrations of the pigment is weak, using diet and blood values to predict the density in the eye is not optimal.

We are taking advantage of the newly available LEDs in this machine, said Wooten. This system is portable, rugged and accurate and can be used easily in a clinical or research setting.

If the hypothesis about a correlation between macular pigment levels and the disease proves true, ophthalmologists will be interested in measuring the levels in patients without the disease and those with early signs of the disease, said Wooten. The new machine will only be able to measure macular pigment in sighted people. Those in whom the disease has already progressed to blindness will not be able to be measured.

Nine macular densitometers are now in use at the University of Hong Kong Eye Hospital, the University of Pennsylvania Department of Ophthalmology, the University of New Hampshire Department of Nutrition, and the Eye and Ear Infirmary in New York City.

Wooten designed, built and tested the macular densitometer with researchers at the Schepens Eye Research Institute in Boston, Mass., including Billy R. Hammond Jr., Richard I. Land, and D. Max Snodderly. Also providing design input were Robert K. Moore and Ken DeLucia at Brown. Wooten, Snodderly and Land have applied for a patent for the machine.

Editor's Note: The original news release can be found at:
http://www.brown.edu/Administration/News_Bureau/1999?00/99?025.html


*** Heller's Law: "The first myth of management is that it exists." ***


Back to the table of contents


GOODIES FROM MEMBERS' KITCHENS

Macaroni and Beef Saute, By Bobbie Ress, Port Charlotte Chapter



In medium skillet place oil, beef, macaroni and onions.
Cook until beef is browned. Drain off fat. Add the remaining ingredients. Cover and simmer until macaroni is tender, about 20 minutes.
Uncover and cook a little longer to reduce sauce. Makes two generous servings. Romano cheese is good on top.
Serve with green beans, salad, cornbread and a fruit for desert.

`Sam's Favorite Sugar Cookies
By Catherine "Katie" Etz, Englewood Chapter



Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix wet ingredients thoroughly.
Sift dry ingredients together and mix thoroughly into wet ingredients.
Chill dough at least 1 hour. Roll out 1/8" thick. Cut into desired shapes. Place on ungreased baking sheet. Sprinkle with sugar if desired. Bake 6 to 8 minutes or until delicately golden.


Back to the table of contents


CHAPTER NEWS

TALLAHASSEE CHAPTER, By Barbara Lineberry

Delores Wussler is our Chapter's current President. She first joined in 1993 hoping to repay some of the assistance she had received, especially from Carl McCoy. She served as Secretary and Program Chairperson for the Chapter, and then became First Vice President. Three months into her term, the President moved away and Delores automatically assumed the position of President. She states that she "inherited" the job".

Delores was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) during her teen aged years. The RP progressed very slowly, but she lost her remaining vision in a very short period of time in 1991. She had been warned that her vision might deteriorate in this way but refused to believe it, and was frightened and angry when it happened. She was left with only light perception.

Delores was offered an opportunity to attend the Daytona Beach Rehabilitation Center in 1992, She was still having trouble accepting her loss, but the staff at the Rehab Center and the agencies with which she worked helped with this. During this time, her family was supportive, although her children were uncomfortable sometimes, feeling guilty. Today, all four of her children have RP in varying stages. Delores recalls that her father and her uncle were also blind but that was during a time when particulars of blindness were not a part of medical history.

One of Delores' goals was to get a support group started in Tallahassee. In 1993, Insight was started for those dealing with vision loss. At first, membership was sparse and unstable, but over the years, it has grown to vary from ten to twenty people. Guest speakers are frequently invited to meetings and FSU has had student groups visit. Delores' advice for starting a support group is, "Don't give up!"

This year's other chapter officers are:


The chapter held its Christmas party at the Pyramid and included a wonderful potluck meal, followed by an auction of gift certificates which were donated by local businesses. Our gift exchange was jazzed up by a"numbers game" which involved choosing a gift from the ones each participant had brought and either keeping it or losing it to the net participant until all the gifts were distributed. Several members whom we had not seen for a while attended. Everyone had a great time.


Back to the table of contents


Venice Chapter, By Lillian Reilly

The meetings of the Venice Chapter have been very busy lately since we have been very active in contacting legislators requesting increases to Transportation Disadvantaged funding.

Our Board Representative Lillian Reilly and our Vice President Joel Bauer have been interviewed for a continuing series in the local newspaper about transportation problems and paratransit. In addition, we have been contacting our local legislators in regard to obtaining training programs for computer usage for the elderly in the local community. Our president, who had been a participant in the ACB Legislative Seminar in Washington, DC, on February 24?26, returned with volumes of information for our members. The four primary legislative issues stressed at the seminar and taken to Capitol Hill were presented to our members and thoroughly discussed at our last meeting. An initiative has begun whereby members will be following up on these issues, contacting legislators on a regular basis to pursue them.

While our group is unable to do much physically, they are beginning to become a major force in advocating for needs of the blind and visually impaired. We are very proud of their enthusiasm and full participation in these endeavors.

On the lighter side, we have had a most interesting speaker. Bob Foster presented a talk about his recent experience on an African safari where he assisted medical researchers with lions. He is one of our very few sighted members and one our most dedicated helpers.

We will be having our next meeting at the Spanish Point Park in Osprey. We will be having a picnic lunch and then a presentation on the archeological aspects of the on the "midden" on which the park is located.

The "Venice bunch" may be up in years and visually disabled, but they are participating in important issues.

Back to the table of contents


Tampa Chapter, James R. Warth, Jr.

This is just a note to let you all know that the Tampa Chapter is moving along great and has contributed $1,000 to its Able Trust Endowment in the name of Ellis White, our immediate past President, who has been a lifelong member of our chapter. Ellis passed away recently and the chapter decided to remember him in a way that will live on forever.

We will be sending at least six members, or 20% of our small chapter, to the state convention in Ft. Lauderdale and are looking forward to seeing all our friends.


Back to the table of contents


HANDY TELEPHONE NUMBER REFERENCES

Project Insight 1-800-267-4448

Bureau of Braille and Talking Book Library 1-800-226-6075

Division of Blind Services (Tallahassee) 1-800-342-1828

American Council of The Blind 1-800-424-8666
(available only 3:00 to 5:30 PM EST Monday-Friday )

ACB Legislative Hotline 1-800-424-8666
(Evenings 8:00 PM - 12:00 Midnight EST Weekends 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM only)

AT&T Disability Services 1-800-872-3883 Press 00 and speak with your long distance carrier

Bellsouth Disability Services 780-2273 from anywhere

Social Security 1-800-772-1213 24-hour voice and touch tone accessible

Back to the table of contents


FCB CHAPTER LIAISONS Official Chapters

Patti Davis: Mid?Florida, Tampa, RSVF (407) 767?8616

Carl McCoy: Brevard, Palm Beach County, Polk (850) 553?9490

Bobbie Probst: Clay, Alachua, Halifax, PSLCB (904) 641?0709

Robert Miller: Tallahassee, Pinellas County (904) 942?9821

Lee Stallworth: Pensacola, Port Charlotte, FABS
(904) 433?5663

Nancy Folsom: Ocala, Greater Tampa, FCCLV (850) 893?8650

Sharon Youngs: Plant City, Sarasota, Venice, Englewood (727) 937?8631

Jesus Garcia: Miami Metro, Broward (305) 654?8329

Jim Warth: Greater Miami, Jacksonville (727) 443?1040


Back to the table of contents


-THE END-


White Cane Bulletin main page

FCB home page