AS WE SEE IT, Winter 2009-10, Lighthouse of the Big Bend Newsletter Articles in this issue: 1. 2010 Florida Vision Summit 2. Braille Challenge in Tally: February 12, 2010 3. New Support Group on First Thursdays, 11am-1pm 4. Mobility Tips: Tips on Tips! 5. Thank You for a Successful Dining in the Dark! 6. Top Ten Ways to Reduce Holiday Stress 7. Lighthouse Winter 2009-10 Classes & Events 8. Frequently Called Numbers 9. How YOU Can Help 10. Two Job Openings 11. About the Lighthouse of the Big Bend 1. 2010 Florida Vision Summit The Florida Legislature’s Vision Caucus Chairman, State Rep. Kurt Kelly, invites you to the 2010 Vision Summit. This statewide event is being held in the State Capitol in Tallahassee on Tues, Feb. 9th. The 4th Annual Florida Vision Summit will begin at 7:30am with a Legislative Breakfast on the top floor of the State Capitol. Then, starting at 9am, a 3 1/2 hour General Session will be held in the Florida House of Representatives Chambers on the fourth floor. The Vision Summit will be a fast-paced, substantive discussion of key vision-related topics. The speakers will include Floridians who are visually impaired and blind, Florida legislators, senior State officials, vision care professions such as ophthalmologists and optometrists, and the leaders of vision-related nonprofit organizations. The State Capitol press corps will be present to provide statewide coverage. The nonprofit Florida Association of Agencies Serving the Blind (FAASB) created the annual Florida Vision Summit. FAASB and the Florida Legislature’s Vision Caucus are the annual Co-Hosts of the Florida Vision Summit. The Vision Caucus is a bi-partisan Caucus of 71 Senators and Representatives, which is by far the largest single issue Caucus in the Florida Legislature. Throughout the morning, vision-related exhibits will be on display in the State Capitol 4th floor rotunda. If you are interested in having a display ($500) or otherwise sponsoring the Summit, please contact Bill Hebrock at BillHebrock@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx or (850)222-1988. Thanks to our sponsors, the Legislative Breakfast, General Session, and all other Florida Vision Summit meetings and activities are free and open to the public. We look forward to seeing you at the Capital on Tuesday, February 9, from 7;30am-12:30pm. 2. Braille Challenge in Tally: February 12, 2010 The Braille Challenge is a national event sponsored by the National Braille Institute and is a competition is for students who are braille readers and students learning to read braille. Three regional events for Florida’s students will be hosted by the Florida Instructional Materials Center for the Visually Impaired (FIMC-VI). The Third Annual Florida Braille Challenges will be held regionally in Tallahassee, Fort Lauderdale, and Tampa. The students compete in braille reading fluency and comprehension, spelling, proofreading, and braille writing skills. At the completion of the Florida regional competitions, the scores will be submitted to National Braille Institute from which the top 60 braille readers in the US and Canada are invited to the international event. FIMC-VI is proud to join with the National Braille Institute to encourage the development of competent braille readers through fun and educationally relevant events such as the Braille Challenge. While the students are involved in their testing events, the parents, teachers, and others will have the opportunity to participate in a workshop to learn more about braille literacy. The Braille Literacy Workshop topics are: • Introductions & discussion of techniques & materials in use • Pre-Braille – Literacy concept development activities • Braille Reading – Efficient Hand Movement and Placement • Scanning and Tracking • Interpreting Tactile Graphics Dates and Locations: January 29, 2010, in Ft. Lauderdale (South Florida) February 12, 2010, in Tallahassee (North Florida) February 19, 2010, in Tampa (Central Florida) To download student permission forms visit the Braille Challenge section of the FIMC-VI website at http://www.fimcvi.org/index_braille.htm. To sign-up as a volunteer or to register for the workshop, please visit the FIMC-VI website (http://www.fimcvi.org/) and click on the link under Registration for Adults. For questions, please call 1-800-BRAILLE (272-4553). 3. New Support Group on First Thursdays, 11am-1pm Lighthouse of the Big Bend is starting up a Support Group for new and current clients who are visually impaired or blind. Talking with others who are also coping with vision loss can be very beneficial, and the group will provide an opportunity for everyone to share about their experiences. The group will be held on the first Thursday of each month, starting January 7th, from 11:00am to 1:00pm at the Lighthouse of the Big Bend. The office is located at 1286 Cedar Center Drive and participants need to bring a brown bag lunch. If you are interested please contact Jeanine Kane at: (850) 942-3658, extension 215. 4. Mobility Tips: Tips on Tips! Tips for long travel canes are available in a variety of shapes, sizes, materials, and colors. In addition to the traditional white or red tip, they are now available in the fashionable colors of black, orange, or green. While the choice of a tip can be a way of accessorizing for some, there are also considerations regarding function. Tips are made of different materials with different qualities. According to the Ambutech cane catalog, tips that are made of molded nylon are long lasting. Metal tips are hard to wear down, and offer great tactile feedback. Ceramic tips are also long lasting and are touted to offer “excellent audio feedback.” The shape of the tip and the cane technique to be used are also things to consider. Here is a summary of five tip shapes and recommendations for the techniques to be used: Pencil – This tip is straight, thin (similar to the shaft of the cane), and lightweight. It can be used alone or as a base for a slip-on tip. This tip is good for those who use the cane mostly for ID, for indoor travel, or for those who use a very light touch technique. Marshmallow – Yes, it is the same shape as a large marshmallow! The increased surface area provided by this tip helps it maneuver over cracks and ground irregularities with less likelihood of getting stuck or “jammed.” This tip adds weight to the cane and is helpful for use with the constant contact (sliding) cane technique. Roller – This is pretty much a marshmallow tip with ball bearings inside which allow it to rotate on the axis of the cane. It maneuvers over cracks and ground irregularities with ease. It is a favorite among clients. Combined with the constant contact technique, it offers excellent tactile feedback. If one chooses to use it with the touch technique, it helps reduce the tapping sound. Rolling ball – This is a 2” ball tip that, like the roller tip, rotates on the axis of the cane. It has a larger surface area and slides over irregularities easily while using the constant contact technique. It is advertised as being lightweight. This is a favorite of some students who walk across campus on varying terrain. “Cross County” types – These tips are good for detecting major obstacles while navigating in rural environments such as trails, fields, or traveling on dirt roads. Two name brands are the Rover Free Wheeling tip and the Bundu Basher. In general, prices for cane tips range between $2.00 and $12.00. When ordering, be specific about the brand and type of cane to be used. Different styles of tips attach to the cane differently. For example, the hook or string loop type fits inside the shaft of the cane and attach to the elastic cord. The “thread” type screws into the inside of the shaft. Other tips slip over the shaft of the cane. So, when choosing a cane tip, think about price, materials, cane brands, and the different options for attaching the tip. Remember to consider your travel needs and your technique/style when choosing a cane tip. Being a little fashionable is an added bonus! Resources: Ambutech 1-800-561-3340 www.ambutech.com American Council of the Blind 800-424-8666 www.acb.org National Federation of the Blind 410-659-9314 www.nfb.org LS&S 800-468-4789 www.lssproducts.com Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind www.rnzfb.org.nz 5. Thank You for a Successful Dining in the Dark! The 2009 Paula Bailey "Dining in the Dark" benefit sold out with 372 guests! Plans are already underway to hold to the event again next year. The evening opened with a reception, live music from a Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra Trio and a raffle of fifteen amazingly beautiful baskets. We are very excited to share that the raffle itself raised and additional $1,400! After a training on how to dine in the dark, guests made their way up to the ballroom. Diners were guided through the dark to their table, led by volunteers who could not see, using a cane and their skills in orientation and mobility to make their way through the pitch black ballroom. The Leon County Sheriff's Office SWAT Team again volunteered their time to serve dinner utilizing their night vision goggles. Guests do not know what they are eating in order to enhance the experience of utilizing their sense of smell and taste (and sometimes touch!) Therefore, to reveal the mystery menu, the dinner began with a clubhouse salad, fresh bread, and an appetizer platter of cheeses, nuts and fresh vegetables. The SWAT Team then served the main course of filet mignon and salmon with potatoes au gratin and sautéed string beans. For dessert, diners were treated to chocolate mousse. After dinner, the lights came up and the "Paula Bailey Inspirational Community Member" award was presented to Michael Elliott, the Bureau Chief of Client Services for the Division of Blind Services. Michael received a plaque in Braille, stating "2009 Paula Bailey Inspirational Community Member Award Presented to Michael Elliott for Outstanding Contributions to the Community. Congratulations Michael! Thank you again to all of our donors and volunteers for their contributions of time and money. With your help over $32,000 in funds were raised to support the Lighthouse of the Big Bend's services for individuals who are visually impaired or blind. 6. Top Ten Ways to Reduce Holiday Stress 10. When stressed, stop everything for a minute & breath deeply. 9. Make a truly unappealing dish for the holidays and listen to the interesting responses & reactions from your guests. 8. Treat yourself to the pampering of your choice for no reason, i.e. indulge in a favorite food or drink, listen to music, dance, take a nap, watch a funny movie, soak in a long bath, etc. 7. Decline to participate in all scheduled events that stress you out. 6. Open a discussion that makes those you have to tolerate squirm. 5. Imagine your most dreaded guest hiding inside the turkey. 4. Get food delivered & have all guests wear PJ’s to the festivities. 3. Reduce financial stress by making or baking a home-made gift. 2. Literally get away from your stress by taking a cruise or camping out far away from civilization. 1. Spend time with people you genuinely like who make you laugh! 7. Lighthouse Winter 2009-10 Classes & Events Assistive Technology Seminar: As of January, every 4th Thurs, 3-7pm Braille Class: Every Wednesday, 10:30am-3pm Dog Guide Group: 3rd Thursday of each month, 5:30-7pm Independent Living Class: Introductory session 1/19, 10am-1pm; Class starts 2/2, every Tuesday, 9:30am-3pm Jefferson Transition Group 4 Teens: Wednesdays, 3-5pm Leon Transition Group 4 Teens: Thursdays, 3-6pm Next Newsletter Mailout: Thurs, March 4, 3-7pm &/or Fri, March 5, 9:30-11:30am Spring Cleaning Day: Saturday, March 13, 8am-3pm Support Group: First Thursday of each month, 11am-1pm Wakulla Transition Group 4 Teens: Mondays, 12-2pm 8. Frequently Called Numbers 211 Big Bend (24 hours) 211 Big Bend Transit 574-6064 DBS 245-0370 or 1 (800) 672-7038 Dial-A-Ride 891-5199 Elder Care 921-5554 Insight Support Group 878-1923 Lighthouse of the Big Bend 942-3658 Magnifiers & More 671-3936 Medicaid 921-8474 Project Insight 24-hr Helpline 1-800-267-4448 Senior Center 891-4000 StarMetro 891-5200 Talking Book Library 1-800-226-6075 VA Low Vision Clinic 878-0191 ext. 2086 Yellow Cab 580-8080 9. How YOU Can Help Gift Idea: Gift Certificates! Get your loved one a gift certificate for our specialty license plate & $25 of the fees will go directly to the Lighthouse. To purchase a tag or a gift certificate, just visit your tag agency and ask for “A State of Vision” plate. It is a great cause, a beautiful lighthouse tag and generates important awareness. DONATE Make a difference in the life of someone who has lost their vision by donating to the Lighthouse of the Big Bend. Simply send a check to Lighthouse, 1286 Cedar Center Drive, Tallahassee, FL 32301. Now you can also donate online by credit card or paypal at www.lighthousebigbend.org . 10. Two Job Openings Lighthouse of the Big Bend ~ Guiding People Through Vision Loss ~ is hiring for two positions. If you have received any degree in Visual Disabilities, we want you to join our team! While we prefer a degree in Visual Disabilities, we can also accept applicants from a related field such as Special Education, Education, Occupational Therapy, etc. JOB #1: Early Intervention and Orientation & Mobility Specialist This position works with children ages 0-5 who are visually impaired or blind, as well as providing Orientation & Mobility services to teenagers & adults who are visually impaired or blind. The position, currently held by Amanda Bernath, will be open at the beginning of the year when she moves into her new Lighthouse position of Orientation & Mobility Specialist and also assisting with the Lighthouse Summer Transition Program. The EI/O&M position requires a degree in visual disabilities or related field & MUST be eligible for certification as Orientation & Mobility Specialist. JOB #2: Transition Specialist This position works with teenagers (13+) who are visually impaired or blind, assisting them with the transition from living with their parents to living independently. Provide instruction in adaptive travel skills, personal and home management, communications, social services, recreation/leisure, and vocational skills. The primary goal of this position is to provide the highest quality instructional services possible to transition-age students who are blind or visually impaired. The curriculum includes but is not limited to the following: Independent Living Services, Vocational Services, Braille, Keyboarding and Computer Technology Training, and Orientation and Mobility Services. SALARY: Both positions are salaried ($30,000 - $35,000) with excellent benefits. INFO: For more information, please see the job descriptions on our website at http://www.lighthousebigbend.org/ TO APPLY: Please send a REQUIRED cover letter & resume to info@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx 11. About the Lighthouse Lighthouse of the Big Bend provides free services to individuals who are visually impaired or blind in Franklin, Gadsden, Hamilton, Jefferson, Lafayette, Leon, Liberty, Madison, Suwannee, Taylor & Wakulla Counties. Lighthouse Board President: Norine Labitzke Vice President: Evelyn Sewell Treasurer: Lynda Breen Secretary: Jamie Ito Members: Tinnetta Cooper Norris Coster Sharyn Davidson Caroline Mathews Sila Miller Kim Peaden Fred Sanguiliano Susan Whaley, OD Lighthouse Staff Executive Director: Barbara Ross, ext 201 Assistant Director: Evelyn Worley, ext 203 Assistive Technology: Liz Bowden, ext 214 Data Entry Specialist: Joyce Warner, ext 213 Early Intervention: Jennifer Crowder, ext 202 EI / O&M Specialist: Amanda Bernath, ext 216 Independent Living: Jeanine Kane, ext 215 Eva McElvy, ext 205 Toni King, ext 211 Cindy Snowden, ext 209 Transition Specialists: Amanda Kan, ext 208 Vocational Services: Wayne Warner, ext 210 Contact Us: Lighthouse of the Big Bend Guiding People Through Vision Loss 1286 Cedar Center Drive Tallahassee, FL 32301 Phone: (850) 942-3658 Toll-free: 1 (888) 827-6033 Fax: (850) 943-4518 www.lighthousebigbend.org info@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Check out the TABI resource web page at http://acorange.home.comcast.net/TABI and please make suggestions for new material. if you'd like to unsubscribe you can do so through the freelists.org web interface, or by sending an email to the address tabi-request@xxxxxxxxxxxxx with the word "unsubscribe" in the subject.