[tabi] "As We See It," Summer 2011 Lighthouse of the Big Bend Newsletter

  • From: Lighthouse of the Big Bend <lighthousebigbend@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: tabi <tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 2 Jun 2011 14:37:17 -0400

Lighthouse of the Big Bend Newsletter
"As We See It," Summer 2011

In this issue:
1. StarMetro's New Bus System
2. June 25: Hands Helping Anglers
3. Save the Date! Dining in the Dark: 10/2
4. My Story: Sam Copeland
5. It's Easy-If I Did It, You Can Too!
6. What is Legal Blindness & Low Vision?
7. Tech Tip: Using the Windows Key
8. Strategies for Vision Loss Class
9. Welcome Summer Transition Students!
10. Top Ten Ways to Relieve Stress
11. Lighthouse Summer 2011 Classes & Events
12. Frequently Called Numbers
13. Helpful Websites
14. About the Lighthouse

 1. StarMetro's New Bus System
As you may already be aware, our Tallahassee city bus system is about to
receive a major 'make-over.' StarMetro has announced that the new system,
Nova2010, will officially be launched on July 11th - just a few short weeks
away! In this article we hope you will gain a general overview of the new
bus system. StarMetro has set up a Nova2010 Hotline for questions at

Nova2010 will decentralize our current single-transfer, downtown-oriented
bus route structure by breaking apart the current routes and re-orienting
them to follow a more grid-like pattern. It will create 41 new transfer
options across the city. The new routes will run north/south or east/west to
transport riders to their desired destinations. With only 3 routes actually
entering the C.K. Steele Plaza downtown, Tallahassee's public transportation
patrons will soon be completing bus transfers at shelters and other
designated transfer points around the city. One of the biggest changes will
be that more walking is required for bus patrons to transfer routes.
However, this should result in faster 'A to B' travel due to a higher
frequency in service, lower travel time and more transfer options.

Per the StarMetro website (http://www.talgov.com/starmetro), the Nova2010
system will utilize 766 bus stops, 473 of which are currently being utilized
in today's system. Come July, there will also be 266 new bus stops added to
the mix, located along strips that are not currently served today. All of
the Nova2010 bus stops currently have double-sided red and blue signs are
that are posted at the designated StarStops with single-sided information
plaques. Routes that are currently in use have and 'Active' sign attached to
the pole. Each StarStop will eventually feature an octagonal pole for riders
who are visually impaired, along with Braille and large print information

Information included on each stop includes StarMetro's phone number and
website, in case travelers have questions during their travels. Shelters
will be provided at many of these locations. StarMetro will offer a 'Next by
Text' service where travelers can text their StarStop ID number (available
on the stop signage or by contacting the StarMetro office) to 27299, in
order to receive a responding text indicating the next bus arrival times for
each bus serving that stop.

Another change coming with the new system is the way the various routes are
identified. All routes under the current system are recognized by their
numerical assignment. Nova2010 will introduce named routes that reflect some
of the city's culture and geography (Tall Timbers, Red Hills, Evergreen, San
Luis, etc.). Transfers will still be free with each one-way fare purchase
and will be valid for 90 minutes from the time of issue. A transfer ticket
may be used for up to 2 transfers within the allotted 90-minute timeframe.

For more information on the new system, public transit users can contact
StarMetro at 891-5200, and press 1 for 'Route and Schedule Information'
during business hours. StarMetro also has a Nova2010 Hotline that can be
accessed at 891-5283. Ride Guides are available online, at the C.K. Steele
Plaza, or at the StarMetro offices on Appleyard Drive.

Electronic information about anticipated route coverage and timing, or stop
and shelter locations can be accessed through StarMetro's website at
http://www.talgov.com/starmetro/routes2.cfm.  Other ways to view information
include liking StarMetro's official facebook page at
http://www.facebook.com/starmetrotransit  and following StarMetro's Twitter
page at http://www.twitter.com/ridestarmetro.

If you need specific mobility training on the use of bus travel, please
contact one of the Lighthouse's Orientation & Mobility Specialists at
942-3658 ext. 203 or email eworley@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Questions about the New Bus System? Call the StarMetro Nova2010 HOTLINE at

2. June 25: Hands Helping Anglers
On Saturday, June 25th, the North Florida Gulf Fishing Club and the Florida
Disabled Outdoors Association (FDOA) will be holding the 18th annual Hands
Helping Anglers event. Much thanks goes to the volunteers from the North
Florida Gulf Fishing Club, Tallahassee Northside and Tallahassee Capital
Rotary Clubs for providing this opportunity.

Individuals with disabilities are invited to enjoy fishing at NO CHARGE. The
event includes lunch and transportation. Individuals with disabilities can
bring an assistant along for the fishing trip. The first 25 people to
reserve a spot by calling (850) 201-2944 x 4 will enjoy a wonderful time of
fishing. Please call!

3. Save the Date! Dining in the Dark: 10/2
The Lighthouse of the Big Bend is pleased to announce that the 7th Annual
Paula Bailey Dining in the Dark benefit is scheduled for Sunday, October

We are also more than thrilled to share that this year our Honorary Host
will be TCC President, Dr. Jim Murdaugh! Upon learning the date, he said,
"That is my birthday and I can't imagine a better way to spend it." We are
honored and excited to have him aboard.

Our "DID" event committee is already up and running with volunteers meeting
every month. From planning the reception, to deciding the menu, to
organizing the logistics of the pitch-black dining room, and making the
public aware of the benefit-these volunteers are outstanding. It couldn't
happen without them.

In addition to "saving the date" in your calendar, it is never too early to
reserve your table! We have always been fortunate to sell out, so if you
missed the opportunity last year and would like to make sure you get to
experience Dining in the Dark 2011, please contact Lynda at 942-3658 or

4. My Story: Sam Copeland
My name is Sam Copeland and I am totally blind. I lost my vision due to
diabetic retinopathy about four years ago. I've tried many eye surgeries,
including laser surgery, cataract removal, and steroid shots in the eyes.
First I lost sight in my right eye. The eye surgery was not successful so
the doctor did everything he could for my left eye. I had low vision in that
eye but after all the surgeries I lost all of my vision and can't see any

When I first lost all my vision I was very angry. I couldn't see how to turn
on the stove, I couldn't see television and my football games anymore and I
couldn't even go fishing. I was still going to the doctor, taking six to
nine drops a day in both my eyes, day and night. Everything went to complete
darkness and I went into depression.

I first contacted DBS three years ago but did not get signed up. Thankfully,
I tried again this year and I got a response. DBS referred me to the
Lighthouse and two weeks later I met Toni when she came out for a house
visit. I waited two more weeks for Dial-a-Ride to approve my application and
then immediately came to the Lighthouse of the Big Bend. I met Jeanine who
has been my teacher for the Independent Living class and I have also started
Braille class. I met Evelyn who has been teaching me mobility. Neither a
thunderstorm or a hurricane could keep me from coming in to the Lighthouse
for classes.

The Lighthouse of the Big Bend taught me that things I used to do with
sight, I could do without sight. I never thought I'd be cooking and
cleaning. I have learned how to use my sense of touch and smell. I figured
out how to grocery shop by myself and stock my groceries so I know what
everything is. I found out the different feel of coins in order to tell them
apart. The adaptive items from DBS and the Lighthouse make it very easy for
me to be more independent. With Wayne as a guide, I discovered I could
actually go fishing again and have been about every weekend!

I never thought I'd be walking into the mall again myself. Amanda showed me
how to identify the different stores so I wouldn't get lost. She taught me
how to maneuver up and down steps, elevators and escalators too. Through
Braille class, I can now read the numbers on the elevator.

My plan is to finish Braille and take computer classes. After that I want to
prepare for my Hadley GED course. And my dream is possibly, one day, to
become a restaurant chef.

Thanks to the Lighthouse, DBS, and everyone I've met here. I've been
inspired by the many other people I have met who are blind. Many doors have
opened in my new life that I thought were closed forever.

5. It's Easy-If I Did It, You Can Too!
In May, Lynda Breen (Board Treasurer) and I went to a fundraising workshop.
We didn't agree with the presenter; he insulted people who wasted time on
special events. I wanted to stand up and tell him he was wrong because
Dining in the Dark makes such a difference! I knew what he meant, though. He
was trying to teach us that organizations spending all their time holding
special events could be raising money more effectively through planned

Lynda and I agreed that we had always thought to do planned giving we needed
to understand taxes and gifts of property and have a lawyer. I learned we
were wrong. It's easy.

So we each went back to our office and called up our life insurance agent.
Now, when Lynda and I eventually pass away, 95% of our life insurance will
go to a loved one, and 5% will go to the Lighthouse.

It was so easy. It took 5 minutes. And if we can do it-so can you. Will you
join us in donating a portion of your life insurance or retirement plan to
the Lighthouse? All it takes is changing your beneficiary. It's easy!

Thanks for considering it. ~ Barbara L. Ross, Executive Director

6. What is Legal Blindness & Low Vision?
All people who are totally blind are legally blind, but all people who are
legally blind are not totally blind. Confusing? Legal blindness is defined
in two ways: 1) 20/200 best correction in better eye. Simply put this means
the individual who is legally blind must be within 20 feet to see an object
someone with normal vision sees at 200 feet. 2) A person whose peripheral
vision is blocked except for a 20 degree angle in the center is legally
blind. His or her vision may be 20/20 in the center, but the area is no
wider than the view through a drinking straw. This is commonly called tunnel

More than 75% of people who are legally blind have some usable vision,
commonly called "low vision." This vision may be blurry like looking through
an extremely dirty windshield. Others may have no central vision at all,
making it difficult to read without magnification, but they may be able to
see to get around quite well using their peripheral vision. Still others may
have splotchy vision as if something is constantly obstructing parts of
their view. Some people recognize faces at a close distance and use various
types of magnifiers to read and do other tasks. People with tunnel vision
may recognize a friend across the room but without mobility training may
stumble over a chair trying to get to the friend.

Individuals with low vision can do many tasks using their vision, but find
many activities easier by following three simple tips:

1. Magnification: Some individuals find increasing the size of the print,
picture, sewing machine needle, etc. through magnification increases

2. Contrast: Other tasks can be made easier by adding background contrast,
i.e. slicing a red tomato on a white cutting board or white onion on a dark
surface or playing with black dominoes on a light table cloth.

3. Lighting: For people with low vision, lighting is very important Some
people need strong concentrated light while others prefer very little light
depending upon their visual impairment.

For more information on low vision, please feel free to contact the
Lighthouse at 942-3658 or info@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

7. Tech Tip: Using the Windows Key
Did you know there is a key on your keyboard that you may not have used? The
Windows or Microsoft key is usually located beside the "Alt" key on either
side of the keyboard.

One command you may find useful is to press the Windows key by itself. Using
the windows key alone activates the start menu without having to use your
mouse click the icon at the bottom of the computer screen. You can then use
the up and down arrows to go through the items in the start menu quickly.

Another shortcut is to press the Windows key and "E" together, which
activates the Exploration of "My Computer." This is an easy way to get to
the same display as the "My Computer" icon on your desktop, and allows you
to access your hard drive or a pin drive plugged in to your computer, or any
network to which you may be connected. This is often faster than using your

These commands can be activated at any time; you do not need to be in any
particular area of the computer to initiate these Window key commands.

For more information or technology training, please contact Elizabeth Bowden
at 942-3658 extension 214 or ebowden@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx  Happy

8. Strategies for Vision Loss Class
Talking with others who are also dealing with vision loss can be very
beneficial. If this might assist you, we'd like to invite you to the monthly
"Strategies for Vision Loss" class held the first Wednesday of each month,
from 1pm until 3pm at the Lighthouse of the Big Bend. The focus of each
class will be to exchange ideas and strategies for coping with various
issues and tasks with limited or no vision. The group will provide an
opportunity for everyone to share about their experiences, as well as
learning a variety of techniques from Lighthouse instructors. If you are
interested in attending, please contact Jeanine Kane, CVRT at 942-3658 or
jkane@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx  We look forward to see you!

9. Welcome Summer Transition Students!
We are excited to welcome the Transition Students to the eight week
Lighthouse Summer Transition Program starting June 13th. This summer, teens
who are visually impaired will be have the opportunity to gain new abilities
that will help them "transition" from high school to college or a job after
they graduate.

This summer's theme is "Get Fit, Get Smart & Get a Job!" The students will
be taking swimming & self defense lessons. Each will gain experience in how
to budget, shop for groceries and cook meals. They will learn how to use a
computer with assistive technology, practice job interviewing, explore
different career options, and tour college campuses. Students will discover
how to use the new bus system and Dial-A-Ride. They will get to participate
in team building, problem solving and self confidence exercises. A
combination of practical knowledge and fun will assist these teens in
learning the skills they need to become independent adults.

Questions about the Transition Program? Please contact Amanda or Leslie at
942-3658 or email akan@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

10. Top Ten Ways to Relieve Stress

10. Take a deeeeeeep breath. Let the tension go as you exhale.

9. Put on music & dance wildly (maybe with the door/blinds shut!)

8. Vent about it to a friend, spouse, co-worker, or random stranger.

7. Hide-in the bathroom for 5 minutes or play hooky for the day.

6. Take a walk outside to get away from the source of your stress.

5. Do something fun or silly to make yourself (and others) laugh: wear your
clothes backwards, tell a joke, or re-arrange the furniture.

4. Buy something for yourself or for someone else.

3. Stop watching the news. Watch a funny movie instead.

2. Do something relaxing: nap, meditate, bath, massage, garden, etc

1. Take another deeeeeeep breath and know this too shall pass!

11. Lighthouse Summer 2011 Classes & Events
- Assistive Technology Seminar: Fourth Thursdays, 3-7pm

- Braille Class: Every Thursday, 10:30am-2:30pm

- Quarterly O&M with Dog Guides: Saturdays-July 16, October 15, January 21,
and April 21

- Strategies for Vision Loss Class: First Wednesdays, 1-3pm

- Transition Summer Program: June 13 through July 28, Monday-Thursday, 9am
to 3pm

- Transition End-of-the-Summer Trip: August 1-3

12. 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

13. Helpful Websites

American Foundation for the Blind - http://www.afb.org/

American Printing House for the Blind - http://www.aph.org

Blind Bargains - http://www.blindbargains.com/

Family Connect - http://www.familyconnect.org/parentsitehome.asp

Florida Braille and Talking Book Library -

Hadley School for the Blind -  http://www.hadley.edu/

Lighthouse of the Big Bend - http://www.lighthousebigbend.org

National Federation of the Blind - http://www.nfb.org/nfb/Resources.asp

Self-help Resources for Vision Loss - http://www.visionaware.org/

14. 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

Email: info@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Website: http://www.lighthousebigbend.org

Lighthouse Board of Directors

President: Norine Labitzke

Vice President: Evelyn Sewell

Treasurer: Lynda Breen

Secretary: Jamie Ito


Norris Coster

Caroline Mathews

Sila Miller

Fred Sanguiliano

Christopher Thomas

Susan Whaley, OD

Lighthouse Staff

Assistant Director: Evelyn Worley, ext 203

Assistive Technology: Liz Bowden, ext 214

Data Entry Specialist: Joyce Warner, ext 213

Driver: George Harper

Early Intervention: Jennifer Crowder, ext 202

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

Executive Director: Barbara Ross, ext 201

Independent Living: Jeanine Kane, ext 215

Toni King, ext 211

Public Awareness: Lynda Jones, ext 212

Receptionist: Lauren Moore ext 213

Specialist Assistant: Mike Worley, ext 204

Transition Specialists: Amanda Kan, ext 208

Leslie Jorgenson, ext 206

Transition / O&M Specialist: Amanda Bernath ext 216

Vocational Services Director: Wayne Warner, ext 210
Vocational Specialist: Eva McElvy, ext 205

FREE SERVICES: Do you know someone in your life who might benefit from
services? We'd love to help. It's easy-just call 942-3658 or email
info@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx  Thanks!

Lighthouse of the Big Bend
"Guiding People Through Vision Loss"

3071 Highland Oaks Terrace
Tallahassee, FL 32301
(850) 942-3658
Fax: (850) 943-4518 <mailto:bross@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
 <http://www.lighthousebigbend.org/> www.lighthousebigbend.org

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and $25 will help the Lighthouse!

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Questions? Call the Lighthouse at (850) 942-3658. Thanks for your support!

Lighthouse of the Big Bend
“Guiding People Through Vision Loss”
3071 Highland Oaks Terrace
Tallahassee, FL 32301
Phone: (850) 942-3658
Toll-free: 1 (888) 827-6033
Web: http://www.lighthousebigbend.org
Email: info@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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

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