[tabi] Fwd: [LighthouseBigBendGroup] AS WE SEE IT: Spring 2014 Newsletter of the Lighthouse of the Big Bend ~ Guiding People Through Vision Loss

  • From: Lighthouse of the Big Bend <lighthousebigbend@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: tabi <tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>, fcb-l <fcb-l@xxxxxxx>, NFBF-L <nfbf-l@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 19 Apr 2014 11:19:01 -0400

*Lighthouse of the Big Bend ~ Guiding People Through Vision Loss*

*AS WE SEE IT: Spring 2014 Newsletter*


1. Techno Demo! April 25 -26; Expanding Your World With Technology

2. Tech Tips: Free Window-Eyes with Microsoft Office

3. Job Openings at the Lighthouse

4. Mobility 101: So You Want a Guide Dog?

5. Tips on Blindness Etiquette, Part 1

6. Coping with Vision Loss Class

7. Independent Living Class, Tuesdays from 10am – 2:30pm

8. Frequently Called Numbers

9. Helpful Websites

10. Lighthouse Spring Classes 2014

11. About the Lighthouse of the Big Bend

*1. Techno Demo! April 25 – 26: Expanding Your World With Technology* *(NEXT

The Lighthouse of the Big Bend is sponsoring the 4th Annual Techno Demo!
This free event will be at the Lighthouse office at 3071 Highland Oaks
Terrace in Tallahassee:

** Friday, April 25th from 2-6pm *

** Saturday, April 26th from 9am-2pm *

The Techno Demo showcases all of the newest technology and tools on the
market. You can explore what’s new, try it out, and discover tools that
will open possibilities in your life!

Many technology vendors and Lighthouse instructors will explain new
technology that you may not have seen before as most are not carried in
stores. Local agencies including DBS will have displays and information
available on a  variety of helpful services.

Demonstrations will be held to show how most daily tasks can be made
accessible for people who are visually impaired or blind. Many types of
technology will be shown that can help with activities by using large
print, magnification, speech and Braille.  There will be hands-on
demonstrations of adaptive computer programs, desk top & portable digital
magnifiers, several types of iOS devices (such as the iPad) and different
accessibility features, along with updates of other types of technology.
Past technology demonstrations received positive feedback from those who

This event is free and open to anyone who wants to explore the
possibilities that can come with assistive technology and learn about
resources for individuals who are visually impaired or blind.  For more
information, or if you plan to attend, please contact Jeanine Kane, IL
Supervisor at (850) 942-3658 ext 215 or jkane@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.

*2. Tech Tips: Free Window-Eyes with Microsoft Office*

Recently, Microsoft and GW Micro partnered and are providing a free copy of
the Window-Eyes screen reader to anyone who has purchased Microsoft Office
2010 or 2013, as well as Microsoft Office 365.  Microsoft Office 2010
generally costs under $100. The software can be downloaded at
www.WindowEyesForOffice.com <http://www.windoweyesforoffice.com/>. If you
don't own an eligible copy of Microsoft Office, the program will provide
you with a 30 day demonstration version, which can be upgraded to the full
version after your purchase of a Microsoft Office

product.  The free version offered with Microsoft Office includes:

·        Free technical support with an unlimited number of incidents;

·        Braille and large print hot key guides (English only);

·        Installation CD with comprehensive audio tutorial;

·        Eloquence and Vocalizer speech synthesizers;

·        Ad-free experience for GW Micro’s accessible Skype client,

Answers to frequently asked questions about the offer can be found at:

http://www.windoweyesforoffice.com/FAQ/  Interested? Download the software
and give it a try! If you have questions, please contact us at
(850)942-3658or toll-free

*3. Job Openings at the Lighthouse*

We have several openings listed below; detailed job descriptions are on our
website at www.lighthousebigbend.org.

·        Summer Drivers: After school is out, from June 2– July 31, three
drivers are needed to drive rental vans and bring Transition students from
their homes back and forth to their Summer Program, Monday – Thursday, at
both 6 – 9am AND 3 – 6pm; $8 per hour, part-time, temporary Summer position.

·        Development Director: Full-time professional to implement
fundraising program including researching funding sources, approaching
funders, submitting proposals and organizing fundraising events. Full time,
salaried position with benefits.

·        Assistive Technology Vocational Specialist: Full-time professional
needed to teach vocational and independent living skills, particularly in
the area of technology which assists individuals with vision loss in
obtaining and maintaining employment. Degree required, AT endorsement(s)
and certifications preferred. Full time, salaried position with benefits.

To apply, please email a cover letter, job application and resume to
info@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx. An application submitted without a cover letter
may not be considered.  Thank you!

*4. Mobility 101: So You Want a Guide Dog?*

Several tools are available to visually impaired travelers to help them get
around confidently and independently. These include the white cane,
remaining vision and low vision aids, electronic travel aids, and the guide
dog. Some can be used in various combinations. If you’re thinking about
getting a guide dog, the following information might be helpful to you in
making a decision.

Use of a dog as a travel aid for people who are blind has been around for
at least 1,000 years and can been shown in artwork from the 16th Century.
Interest in formally training dogs specifically to guide arose following
World War I and the first guide dog school, the Seeing Eye, was established
in 1929. Since then, other schools have followed and there are many guide
dog schools in the U.S. to choose from.

All of the schools provide specialized training to the dog and then to the
dog and handler team. Most schools require that applicants have little to
no vision (the degree varies between schools). Most schools have a
residential program (training at the school for approximately one month). A
few offer home training. Each school has an application process involving
providing general information, references, and documentation of one’s eye
condition and health considerations. A home interview is often done to gain
information about one’s lifestyle and travel experience and opportunities.
Some schools require a video demonstrating travel.

The pros and cons need to be considered in any decision. Some of the pros
of guide dog ownership are:  shared responsibility for travel, freedom to
move at a steady pace and avoid obstacles, ease in traveling in new
surroundings, increased opportunities for social interaction (a dog can be
a good “ice breaker”), and a perceived crime deterrent. Some of the
challenges presented are: added responsibility (maintaining a feeding
schedule, grooming, obedience training, and picking up dog waste), dealing
with the public, and cost.

If the pros outweigh the cons, if you like dogs, are active, and are ready
for the responsibility involved, a guide dog might be the right choice for
you. Most schools have a waiting list, so here are some things you can do
to prepare, even before applying.

How to Prepare for a Guide Dog:

1. *Get your travel skills in order*.  In general, guide dog schools want
to make sure you already have the O&M skills needed to travel confidently
and independently. While training at the school, there is so much to learn
about traveling with and handling a dog that the other travel skills need
to be second nature. Based on O&M instructor questionnaires from several
schools, it seems to be important that you get out and about on your own,
can cross streets, maintain and regain orientation, and can handle being
disoriented and dealing with people calmly and maturely.

2. *Get out and about – be active*. You will be busy and active while
training at the school. Most schools recommend that after you return home,
you work your dog on a daily basis (for one or more miles). This provides
exercise for both the dog and the handler and keeps the dog in training.
Constant training and reinforcement are needed to keep the team working

3. *Practice traveling with a guide*. Traveling with a guide dog is a
different experience from traveling with a cane. Using a cane provides lots
of tactile and auditory feedback for orientation up close. Travel with a
guide dog is more general. The cane contacts objects but the dog takes you
around / avoids them. Although feedback is received through the guide dog’s
harness, you will no longer follow a shoreline to find specific landmarks
along the edge of the sidewalk. You’ll rely more on movement (slopes,
turns) and time and distance at a faster pace. You, directing a sighted
guide through the environment using simple commands such as forward, right,
and left can be good practice.

More information is available through individual school websites. Check out
the NFB website at https://nfb.org/resource-list-guide-dog-schools . The
book, A Guide to Guide Dog Schools by Edwin Eames is available through the
Talking Book Library and the Hadley School for the Blind (www.hadley.edu)
offers an on-line course called “Guide Dogs.” If you’d like to get more
information about the guide dog lifestyle and experience, feel free to
contact the Lighthouse at (850) 942-3658 or info@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx to
be put in touch with a guide dog team.

*5. Tips on Blindness Etiquette, Part 1*

Below are some guidelines for interacting with someone who is blind, if
this is new to you:

·        First… relax! People who are blind or visually impaired are just

·        Visual impairments vary. Vision loss is unique - it ranges from no
vision at all to limited tunnel vision, to overall blurred vision; don’t
assume how much someone can’t see.

·        It’s ok to use the word ‘look’. Feel free to use words that refer
to vision during a conversation. Words such as ‘see’ or ‘watch’ aren’t
offensive and are ok to use.

·        Describe things. It is great to be thorough when you describe
people, places, or things to someone who is blind. Don't leave out things
because you think it is unimportant or unpleasant. Describing colors,
patterns, designs, and shapes is perfectly acceptable.

·        Use “people first” language. Refer to the person and then to the
disability, such as "a person who is blind" rather than “the blind.”

·        Ignore the Guide Dog. Do not pet a guide dog, don’t talk to the
dog, don’t offer it food, or distract it in any way while it is working.
Any kind of distraction when a guide dog is under harness is dangerous to
the safety of the owner.

·        Ask if you can help. Ask first before taking care of a task for
someone, such as changing television channels, cutting meat, or salting
food. Most people with a visual impairment will ask you if they want or
need assistance.

We hope this was useful!
Source: http://www.afb.org

*6. Coping with Vision Loss Class*

Are you interested in meeting other adults who are dealing with similar
issues and problems as a result of recent vision loss? Please join us for
“Strategies for Coping with Vision Loss“ at our office on Wednesday, May 7,
from 1:00 to 3:00pm — free snacks  provided. You’ll have the chance to meet
and share with others your fears and hopes and stories and concerns and
jokes and conquests. The class will meet monthly on the first Wednesday of
each month (5/7, 6/4, 7/2, 8/6, 9/3, 10/1, 11/5, 12/3). Questions? Please
contact Jeanine Kane, (850)942-3658 or jkane@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.

*7. Lighthouse INDEPENDENT LIVING Class, Tuesdays from 10am – 2:30pm*

A new Independent Living Techniques class will be help each Tuesday from
10am – 2:30pm at the Lighthouse of the Big Bend, 4/8 though 6/24. During
each class student learn techniques and receive a free adaptive aid during
each class to assist in doing everyday tasks independently. Interested?
Please contact Jeanine Kane, CVRT at (850) 942-3658 or email
jkane@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx to sign up!

*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. 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/

*10. Lighthouse Spring Classes 2014*

Coping With Vision Loss: April 2 and every first Wednesday, 1-3pm

i-devices Technology Class: 2nd & 4th Tuesday, 2-4:30pm

Independent Living Class: April 8 and every Tuesday 10am-2:30pm

Suwannee Co. Advent IL Class: Every first Monday, 1:30-3pm

TECHNO DEMO: Fri, April 25, 2-6pm and Sat, April 26, 9am-2pm

Summer Transition Program:  June 9 — July 31, Monday through Thursday,

Way to Work, Strategies for Employment: 2nd & 4th Wednesdays, 10am-12pm

Save the Date: DINING IN THE DARK, Sunday, October 26!

*11. About the Lighthouse of the Big Bend*

Address: 3071 Highland Oaks Terrace, Tallahassee, FL  32301

Phone: 850-942-3658

Toll-free: 1-888-827-6063

Fax: 850-942-4518

Email: info@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Web: www.LighthouseBigBend.org <http://www.lighthousebigbend.org/>

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.

*Board of Directors*

President: Fred Sanguiliano

Vice President: Jada Michael

Treasurer: Lynda Breen

Secretary: Jon Peck


Fred F Flink, OD
Vera Jones
Ted Judd

Evelyn Sewell

Nick Swaine

*Lighthouse Staff*

Executive Director: Barbara Ross

Assistant Director:  Evelyn Worley

Assistive Technology: Elizabeth Bowden

Client Information Specialist: Tinetta Cooper

Development Director (OPEN!)
Early Intervention: Jennifer Crowder, Audrey Robbins

Independent Living: Jeanine Kane, Toni King, Lauren Switzer

Office Manager: Simone Cunningham

Specialist Assistant: Mike Worley

Transition: Amanda Kan, Stacie Davis, Ben Ivey

Vocational Services: Wayne Warner, Eva McElvy

 *FREE SERVICES:* Do you know someone in your life who might benefit from
our services? We would love to help. It’s easy! Just call 942-3658 or email
us info@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.  Thanks!

*Lighthouse of the Big Bend “Guiding People Through Vision Loss”*
*3071 Highland Oaks Terrace, Tallahassee, FL 32301*
*(850) 942-3658 - info@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx -
http://www.lighthousebigbend.org <http://www.lighthousebigbend.org/>*

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