[tabi] AS WE SEE IT: Lighthouse of the Big Bend Fall 2010 Newsletter

  • From: Lighthouse of the Big Bend <lighthousebigbend@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: tabi <tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>, fcb-l <fcb-l@xxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 8 Oct 2010 11:40:13 -0400

Lighthouse of the Big Bend
Fall 2010 Newsletter

In this issue:

2. Thank You To Our Silver Sponsors
3. The Paula Bailey "Inspirational Community Member" Award Nominees
4. Mobility Tips: Negotiating Airports with Ease
5. Two Lighthouse Job Openings
6. How YOU Can Help!
7. Lighthouse Fall 2010 Classes & Events
8. Frequently Called Numbers
9. About the Lighthouse

You are invited to Tallahassee's most unique four-course dinner-dining in
pitch black darkness for a great cause on Sunday, Oct. 24 at the University
Center Club. The evening includes:

4:00pm      University Center Club doors open

4:30pm      Reception on the UCC first floor with Honorary Hosts Mike and
Representative Michelle Vasilinda, live music, basket raffle, cash bar, and
training on "How to Walk, Sit & Eat in the Dark" in the 1st floor auditorium

5:30pm      4-course dinner in complete darkness on 3rd floor, served by the
Leon County Sheriff's Office SWAT Team with their night vision goggles

8:00pm      Keynote Speaker Christopher Thomas, raffle drawing and
presentation of the Paula Bailey "Inspirational Community Member Award" by
Mike Vasilinda and Representative Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda

8:30pm      Event Concludes

The 6th Annual Paula Bailey Dining in the Dark benefit raises awareness and
funds to help individuals with vision loss regain their independence. Please
return the reservation form within this newsletter in the envelope enclosed
to donate and/or buy tickets for $55, a table of eight - $600, or a table of
ten - $700. You can also donate and get tickets online at
 <http://www.lighthousebigbend.org> www.lighthousebigbend.org - when you
donate online, just make sure to put
"Dining in the Dark" under the DESIGNATION field. Thank you for your

2. Thank You To Our Silver Sponsors!
Doug & Elizabeth Bailey
Glen & Sharyn Davidson
Leon County Sheriff's Office SWAT Team
Patti Liles
Rose, Sundstrom &
Bentley, LLP
University Center Club

3. The Paula Bailey "Inspirational Community Member" Award Nominees
The Lighthouse is thrilled to announce the 2010 Nominees! Although the award
winner will be announced 10/24, all are deserving of recognition for their
inspiring lives:

< Barbara Riche-Barb is a successful massage therapy business owner,
wonderful and loving mother of 5 children, and cares for her father who has
Alzheimer's disease. She is a leader in the local Business Networking
International chapter. She lives her life as a confident and successful
woman and lets nothing slow her down; to know Barb is to love her.
(Nominated by Kristie Teal)

< Jennifer Chessher-Jennifer is the first person who DBS clients meet; her
smiling face and warm welcome seem to put nervous applicants at ease.  When
families see Jennifer who is totally blind answering the phones, using a
computer & note taker, and being productive, it shows there is hope for
their blind family member to be a productive member of society. (Nominated
by Beth Crain)

< Kevin Davis-A natural leader, Kevin rises to the top of any organization
in which he is involved. He is a DMV Systems Project Analyst, Distinguished
Toastmaster, a deacon in Covenant Presbyterian Church, on his 2 children's
School Advisory Committees, a Cub Scout den leader, and on the Mayor's
Transit Advisory Council. He is an inspiration to those around him because
he is outgoing and willing to help people. (Nominated by Laurie Davis)

< Lynn Evans-Lynn is an active volunteer with the Lighthouse. He
researches, compiles and updates information for the Tallahassee Area
Blindness Issues newsgroup. Lynn has provided valuable input to Star Metro
Nova 2010 on issues of pedestrian safety and accessibility for transit
users. As an independent, involved citizen, Lynn is a positive model to the
community.  (Nominated by David Hand)

< Norine Labitzke-Norine's smile, positive attitude, and willingness to give
to others are contagious. Whether she's knitting as she leads the Lighthouse
board meetings, speaking to the Legislature, teaching an FSU class,
mentoring students, participating in church activities, working out at the
gym, or publishing a book, Norine shows blindness in a positive light. She
inspires others to keep going and to not let a disability get in the way of
living life to its fullest. (Nominated by Lynda Jones, Sharyn Davidson and
Evelyn Worley)

< Owen McCaul-Owen has been an Assistant State Attorney for 21 years and is
now Division Chief of their Intake Division. Justice, fairness and
protecting his community are his priorities. He tirelessly advocates for
safe and reliable public transportation and works hard to bring out the
sometimes unpopular truth. He is a family man, leader in the Masons, serves
on the FSDB Board, and truly an inspiration. (Nominated by Sila Miller)

< Sally Benjamin-Sally commits countless time to causes for people with
vision loss, always saying, "People need to know and understand." As the
Coordinator of Project Insight, she provides outreach services and resources
to people with recent vision loss.  She is an active volunteer for the
Lighthouse, the Florida Council of the Blind, American Council of the Blind
and the Lions Club. (Nominated by Wayne Warner and Elizabeth Bowden)

< Sharyn Davidson-Sharyn spends innumerable hours volunteering in various
organizations.  She has served on the Board for Community Christian School,
the Lighthouse and as an active fundraiser the Foundation Fighting
Blindness. Through an annual fundraiser at her home, a self-published
cookbook, and the Tallahassee Vision Walk, Sharyn has raised nearly one
million dollars to help fight blindness. (Nominated by Susan Whaley)

< Sila Miller-Sila has demonstrated her independence by working for the Dept
of Revenue for 23 years, where she is an Operations Review Specialist.
Through her volunteer work with the Lighthouse, Tall. Council of the Blind,
Florida Council of the Blind and FSDB Alumni she helps & inspires many
visually impaired peers. Sila's ability to be a zealous advocate without
being disagreeable is also very inspirational. (Nominated by Owen McCaul)

< Tinetta Cooper-Tinetta is a full-time student at TCC, maintaining a 4.0
GPA and has been honored by the college as an outstanding student and a
"Woman of Excellence" during Women's History Month. She was the focus of a
Braille training, inspiring other instructors. She is an excellent role
model and projects a positive attitude, motivating Lighthouse students, and
as a member of the Lighthouse's Board. (Nominated by Jeanine Kane)

< Wanda Stokley-Wanda is successful and independent in her work at DBS. She
is a positive influence as the Tall. Council of the Blind Secretary, a
member of the FL Independent Living Council, and she advocates for
accessible transportation with the City Transit Authority. She volunteers
giving presentations about visual impairment and how guide dogs assist with
mobility skills.  (Nominated by Sally Benjamin, Ana Saint-Fort and Beth

Congratulations to all the nominees!

4. Mobility Tips: Negotiating Airports with Ease
As the Fall and Winter holiday season approaches, many people make plans to
visit family or enjoy a vacation. While anticipating these trips can be
exciting, negotiating unfamiliar travel situations can add a level of stress
for many visually impaired travelers. Air travel is one of the most
challenging situations.  Hopefully the following tips will help alleviate
some concerns that may crop up while planning your airplane travels.

When making an airline reservation, you may wish to inform the attendant if
you need assistance. This can help avoid unnecessary delays in obtaining
assistance upon arrival. While it is not required that any traveler disclose
the nature or extent of a disability, the more information you share about
what assistance you need, the more prepared the airline can be to assist you
during your trip. Providing at least 48 hours notice before arrival to the
airport is suggested, so that there is time to organize the needed support.
Airlines can arrange for someone to meet you and guide you to check-in,
baggage check and    customs, someone to alert you of when your plane is
boarding if you are in a 'silent airport', or someone to assist you with
stowing any luggage. You can also request the safety demonstration given by
the cabin crew to all passengers at the beginning of a flight in other
formats, such as Braille and audio versions.

Upon arrival to your gate, some visually impaired travelers prefer to
request pre-boarding in order to situate luggage and locate their seat
without feeling rushed by other passengers. There should be an airline
attendant near the gate entrance to assist you with pre-boarding if desired.
Once on board the plane, the cabin crew can provide more information about
the plane, its services and location of the nearest lavatory.

Additional airline travel tips:

* Carry a collapsible cane. Even if you don't use one, it helps notify
others that you are visually impaired. Also, FAA regulations require
airlines to stow all carry-on items during air flights. To comply with this,
airlines must stow rigid canes elsewhere on the plane because they represent
a safety hazard in the event of an emergency. Collapsible canes can be
folded and stowed on your person or in a nearby luggage compartment.

* Consider using brightly colored luggage or high-contrast tape on dark
colored bags to make it easier to identify on the baggage claim carousel (or
for anyone assisting you.)

* Use a "luggage locator" that includes a receiver unit (attached to your
luggage) and a transmitter for the traveler. When the button on the
transmitter in pushed, the luggage beeps as long as it is within a five-foot
range of the transmitter.

* Carry a signature guide for signing credit card receipts.

* Carry all medications in your carry-on bag. Include a copy of the
prescription for any medication that may be red-flagged (insulin needles,
narcotics, etc.)

* Try to bring only carry-on luggage to save time by avoiding a trip to the
baggage claim terminal, and save money as most airlines charge a per bag fee
for checked baggage.

There are, of course, many different modes of transportation that travelers
may encounter during trips and vacations, including Greyhound buses, trains,
subways, rapid transit or unfamiliar city bus systems.  For specific
instruction on airline travel or utilizing other transportation, please
contact the Lighthouse to speak with one of our Certified Orientation &
Mobility Specialists at (850)942-3658.

5. Two Lighthouse Job Openings
The Lighthouse of the Big Bend has two job openings if you or anyone you
know are interested-and please spread the word. Located in Tallahassee,
services are provided in the home, community, and after school in the eleven
counties of the Big Bend.

Transition Specialist: Provides instruction to high school students who are
blind and visually impaired 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 assist teens who are
blind or visually impaired with "transitioning" to independence, living on
their own and getting a job or attending college.

Teacher of the Visually Impaired/Certified Orientation & Mobility
Specialist: Provides approximately 25 hours/week early intervention
services, working with families of children from newborn to age 5 who are
blind or visually impaired; provides approximately 15 hours/week orientation
and mobility services to adults.

Both positions are full time with a Bachelor degree required.  TVI, COMS
required for Early Intervention, preferred for Transition. Each position
pays $30-35K with excellent benefits. To apply, please submit a REQUIRED
cover letter & your resume by email to info@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

6. How YOU Can Help!
Get a loved one a gift certificate for our specialty license plate and $25
of the fees will go 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's a great cause and generates important awareness!

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, 3071 Highland Oaks Terrace, Tallahassee, FL 32301. And now you
can donate online by credit card or paypal at

7. Lighthouse Fall 2010 Classes & Events
Assistive Technology Seminar: Every 4th Thursday, 3-7pm

Beginning Braille: Every Tuesday, 1:30-4pm

Braille Class: Every Thursday, 10am-3pm

Dog Guide Group: 3rd Thursday of each month, 5:30-7pm

Independent Living Class: Wednesdays until Dec 15, 9:30am-3pm

Support Group: Starting January 5, first Wednesday, 11am-1pm

Toddler/Pre-school Playgroup: Sat. 10/16, 2-3:30pm

Transition Group for Teens (Gadsden): 4-5:30pm Every Thursday

Transition Group for Teens (Gadsden/Leon): 4-6pm Every Tuesday

Transition Group (Leon): 3-4:30pm Every Tues. & 2:15-4pm Wed.

Transition Group for Teens (Suwannee): 3-5pm Every Monday

Transition Group for Teens (Wakulla): 3-4:30pm Every Wednesday

8. Frequently Called Numbers

211 Big Bend (24 hours) 211

Big Bend Transit 574-6064

DBS 245-0370; 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. 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.
NEW Address: 3071 Highland Oaks Terrace
Phone: 850-942-3658
Toll-free: 1-888-827-6063
Fax: 850-942-4518
igbend.org> info@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Website:  <http://www.lighthousebigbend.org>

Lighthouse Board of Directors

President: Norine Labitzke

Vice President: Evelyn Sewell

Treasurer: Lynda Breen

Secretary: Jamie Ito


Tinnetta Cooper

Norris Coster

Sharyn Davidson

Caroline Mathews

Sila Miller

Kim Peaden

Fred Sanguiliano

Christopher Thomas

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

Driver: Mike Worley, ext 204

Early Intervention: Jennifer Crowder, ext 202

EI / O&M Specialist: Sharon Scherbarth, ext 220

Independent Living: Jeanine Kane, ext 215

Eva McElvy, ext 205

Toni King, ext 211

Public Awareness: Lynda Jones, ext 212

Receptionist: Gary Rogers ext 213

Transition Specialists: Amanda Kan, ext 208

Billy Badeau, ext 206

Transition / O&M Specialist: Amanda Bernath ext 216

Vocational Services: Wayne Warner, ext 210

Lighthouse of the Big Bend
Guiding People Through Vision Loss
3071 Highland Oaks Terrace
Tallahassee, FL 32301
(850) 942-3658
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