[tabi] AS WE SEE IT, Winter 2009-10, Lighthouse of the Big Bend Newsletter

  • From: Lighthouse of the Big Bend <lighthousebigbend@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: tabi <tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 15 Dec 2009 14:03:11 -0500

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

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

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!

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.

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

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

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
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
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