December 2012 Chronicle

December 2012 Chronicle

PRESIDENT’S REPORT

By Denny Huff

 

Greetings to All! 

 

     Even though I have fulfilled my term as your president at the time these articles are due, I am still in office and need to give you one last report.  At the end of this report I will turn it over to our new president, Patti Schonlau.

 

     Let me first begin by saying that this year’s convention was great!  A lot of work by a lot of people went into organizing the convention and that was very obvious by the experience of the attendees.  The convention ran smoothly and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves throughout the entire convention.  We welcome the addition of two new affiliates to MCB.  The Act Now Council in Kansas City and the Tiger Council in Columbia.  We look forward to working with both of these affiliates.

 

     A new addition to the convention was the MCB auction during the hospitality time on Friday evening.  We were entertained by a humorous auctioneer, Pat Kelly, who knew how to get the most money for the bidding items.  Being our first auction, I thought the results were tremendous; raising over $4,000.00!  My thanks go to Melvin Smith and Wanda Lentz and to all who took part in making this a fun-filled and successful evening.

 

     We were delighted to have David Westbrook of Kansas City speak to us on Saturday morning.  He had an inspiring and motivational presentation and I heard many positive comments.

 

     One of the highlights of the convention was our banquet.  The food was probably the best I have ever had at a banquet of this type and that sentiment was shared by everyone I spoke to.  It was our privilege to have several guests in attendance including Senator Jim Lembke, Charlie Brennan of KMOX radio and Sam Murphey, along with his mother, Ann Murphey.  For those of you that don’t know, Sam is the Communication’s Director for Governor Jay Nixon and Ann is the daughter of Alma Murphey.

 

     Congratulations to all of the members of the month that were recognized at the banquet.  Also, congratulations to Louise Lathrop chosen as the member of the year by a random drawing.  We all appreciate what these people have done for MCB and thanks to Yvonne Schnitzler as Chair of this committee and to her committee members.

 

     Of course the highlight for Sunday was the election of officers.  They are as follows:  President, Patti Schonlau; First Vice President, DeAnna Noriega; Second Vice President, Mike Keller; Secretary, Joe Morgan; and Director, Linda Gerkin.  Congratulations to all!

 

     In October I had the privilege of attending and working with the White Cane Awareness Day, hosted by the St. Charles County Council of the Blind.  This was the first time this affiliate put on this event and it was a great success.  Thanks to Dolores Schmidt and Julie Chinn for helping to organize the day.

 

     In preparation for this event, several of us stood in front of Wal-Mart and the Schnucks food store handing out flyers.  It was somewhat disconcerting to hear from so many people that they weren’t aware of a white cane law in Missouri and many of those people didn’t even know what a white cane was used for.

 

     This has prompted Chris Gray and me to take a look at some solutions for tackling the challenge of making more people aware of the white cane law.  After reviewing the Missouri State Driver’s Manual, we found that the white cane law was mentioned there.  As you may have heard by now, we will be petitioning the state to include a question in the driver’s test about the white cane.  Hopefully this will help to make people aware of this law but this is only the first step in what we can do to promote white cane awareness.  If you have any suggestions on promoting white cane awareness please contact Chris or Patti with your ideas.

 

     As I said in the last edition of the Chronicle, I am going to miss meeting with you as members of MCB.  Recently I attended the affiliates in Joplin and really enjoyed the hospitality of both organizations.  It was really good to see and chat with the members of the Joplin Service Club and the Friendship Council.

 

     I doubt that you will receive this edition of the Chronicle in time, but on December 2 at 7:00 PM we will be having a conference call with the topic “Meeting, Working and Living With A Blind Person.”  This conference call is designed to educate the public on the do’s and don’ts with a blind person.  We are encouraging as many sighted people as possible to be on the conference call with us.  The number to call is 218-237-3840.  When asked for the access code, enter 140149 followed by the # sign.  If you missed this conference call and would like to listen, call 218-237-3850 and when prompted for the access code use 140149#.  You will then be asked for a recording number and you can use 01#.

 

     I certainly have enjoyed being your president over the past four years and I have mixed emotions about stepping down.  I do, however, have full confidence in the officers and board members we have and I don’t have any problem turning over the gavel to your new president.  God bless and Happy Holidays to each one of you and I ask that you show the same support to your new president that you have given me.  Now, here is your new MCB president, Patricia Schonlau!

 

     Thank you, Denny.

 

     My term of Office begins November 1, 2012.  I am looking forward to serving MCB in the capacity of your President.  I sincerely ask for your help and support by actively becoming involved in the business of MCB.  You, the membership of MCB, hold the reigns to help guide me in the position of your President.  I sincerely appreciate your guidance and support.  Please feel free to call me if you have suggestions or concerns you wish to share. 

 

     I hold the firm commitment to the belief that blind persons can live independent, productive lives, if they possess the proper skills and have the confidence to take control of their own destinies.  As your President, I pledge to voice MCB’s roots of ethics and focus on personally possessing hope, self-confidence, the knowledge that it is respectable to be blind, and the basic skills and alternative techniques of daily living skills which reassures the blind/ visually impaired community as well as disabled and non-disabled citizens of Missouri that Missouri Council of the Blind is alive and functioning well in Missouri and effectively active in National issues when appropriate.

 

     Happy Holidays.  Warmest regards.  Patti Schonlau

Toll Free: (855) 832-7172

Home: (314) 481-6722

 

 

FROM THE EXECTUVE DIRECTOR

MCB Reaches Out

By Christopher Gray

 

     It is always important to be both well-known within the community where we provide direct service, and also to reach into the broader communities of Missouri and the United States.  In the past several months, MCB has reached out to the broader community and it is about this I’d like to share with you in this article.

 

     On Tuesday October 9, I had the pleasure of attending a human rights roundtable sponsored by the Missouri Association for Social Welfare.  As the invitation points out, “Missouri has dozens of groups that advocate for one aspect of human rights or another, but we seldom have a chance to compare notes and work out how to help each other.”  In this four hour roundtable, that is exactly what we did. I was very pleased to find a number of represented organizations who are concerned about and dedicated to doing what they can to improve all aspects of Medicaid services in Missouri. I also made contact here with the Governor’s Committee on Disability and discussed how we might work together on contacting and working with legislators during the 2013 legislative session. Over thirty different organizations were represented at the roundtable.  MCB was the only organization representing the blind of Missouri.

 

     On Thursday October 11, MCB First Vice-President DeAnna Noriega and I presented at a workshop on the arts held by VSA Missouri.  VSA Missouri is a statewide organization promoting access to the arts for people with disabilities.  DeAnna spoke about growing up as a blind child and then presented an excellent poem about a particular experience of that time in her life.  Later in the panel presentations, I discussed blind people and the arts, the programs and services of the Missouri Council of the Blind, and the great benefits brought to the blind through audio description of live theater, movies and television.  Other speakers and represented organizations include Shirley Corbett of Deaf Inc., Chris Camene of ParaQuad, Katie Bannister representing Arts-4-All, and Sean Smith from the St. Louis Muny Theater.

 

     After approximately 90 minutes of presentation from these and other panelists, some time was devoted to a question and answer session.  When we adjourned, a number of members from the audience came forward to discuss things we presented.  DeAnna and I both had the opportunity to speak with people very interested in blindness and visual impairment.  Finally in regards to this panel presentation, I want to thank Judy Burch for her participation in some of the planning meetings I was unable to attend because of other commitments.

 

     Let us hope that by forging and strengthening such alliances, MCB can work to create allies through which we can all have a stronger voice in making things better for the blind and the whole disabled community in Missouri.  The time has come and gone when we could “go it alone” on behalf of the blind.  There are too many interests and too many competing organizations working on their own behalf for a single voice to be loud enough to get the attention needed to effect change.  In building alliances with like-minded and friendly organizations with similar goals to MCB, our voice becomes louder, and our programs become far better understood throughout the Missouri community.

 

     In closing, by the time you read this the holiday season will be upon us.  Let me wish you on both my and Marvelena’s behalf a blessed holiday season.  May you have good luck, good food, and good celebrations this festive time of year.

 

AFFILIATES, SHOW US YOUR STUFF!

 

Blind of Central Missouri

 

     The MCB convention was a success, we wish RITE and Tower the very best.  We have three new members in our affiliate: Jennifer York, and Ronnie and Sherri Norton.  All are sighted and willing to do whatever they can to help others in our affiliate.  Congratulations and welcome to our club.

 

     Our affiliate would like to congratulate our oldest charter member, Carl Franklin, for receiving the Jim Henderson Award at our September meeting. His wife Donna, son Mike and daughter Carla were all present to watch him receive the award. George and Karen Newman were also present from the St. Louis Council of the Blind. Karen presented him with a $150 check along with a nice plaque and George read what was printed on the plaque.

 

     Carl gave an acceptance speech.  His son Mike spoke about how dedicated Carl is to his family.  Our affiliate is celebrating 40 years.  Following his speech, Carl signed his check and returned it to our treasurer. Once more demonstrating the kind of man he is.  Our affiliate thanks you Carl for being you.  After this was done, we enjoyed refreshments.

 

     Our elections were held for Public Relations and three Directors. They are as follows: PR, Jeannie Halphin, and Directors Joe Morgan, Kenny Carter, and Brenda Gardner.

 

     Some of our members will be ringing bells again this year on December 1 at K-Mart for the Salvation Army. This is the same day as the Christmas Parade here in Sedalia. This year our Christmas Party will be held on Sunday, December 9.

 

     Until next time, keep your smile, and a song in your heart, and if you can’t be good, be good at it.

 

     Trudy Avants, Recording Secretary

 

St. Charles County Council of the Blind

 

     The St. Charles County Council of the Blind would like to send our holiday greetings to all our friends across the State. 

 

     Our fall season has been active, and our upcoming winter will be focused on increasing our membership.  What better time to encourage membership growth than when we have so much excitement in our future.

 

     We are pleased to welcome a new member and many of you may recognize her name.  We are so glad to have Brenda Gebhardt back on our membership roll.  We are not going to let Brenda stray again!

 

     SCCCB, along with the Harvester Lions Club, hosted our first White Cane Awareness Walk.  We were motivated by the Springfield Service Club in this endeavor.  We were surprised on the lack of knowledge from the general public on the White Cane Law. If we do not get the information out, who will?  I would encourage other affiliates to do something similar in educating the public on the White Cane law. 

 

     Our affiliate has sponsored a peer group conference call for our members for over a year now, but recently opened it up to anyone who would like to join us.  We have had some interesting discussions. 

     On November 18th, Sunday evening at 7:00 p.m., the topic will be “Breaking Barriers through Employment.”  Oh, I just realized that this will be old news by the time the Chronicle is published.  I can give out the conference call number and the pin number if anyone wants to join us in the future.  We are trying to meet the third Sunday of each month.  The number is 218-237-3840 and the pin number is 140149.  The topics will be posted on the MCB list serve.

 

     Keeping with the season, I guess I have been windy enough…just wait until the March winds arrive!  I do hope everyone will have warm and heart filled holidays.

 

Sincerely, Beverly Kaskadden, 1st Vice president of St. Charles County Council.

 

Missouri Braille Revival League

 

     Hello to all from the Missouri Braille Revival League.  If you think the name looks a little different, it is.  Our affiliate voted at this year’s Alma Murphey BRL Luncheon, at the MCB convention meeting in October, to change our name from the Braille Revival League of Missouri to the Missouri Braille Revival League.  We also have a new set of bylaws and new officers were elected; Sabrina Fowler, President; Nick Whitney, Vice President; Judy Burch, Secretary; Patti Schonlau, Treasurer; and Marilyn Tuso and Sue Tussey, Members-at-Large.

 

     We were honored to have our Executive Director, Chris Gray, speak to us at our luncheon and we are excited to have some new members joining us.  We are looking forward to a productive year in MBRL!

 

Judy Burch

 

Southwest Missouri Friendship Council of the Blind

 

     First, I would like to thank whomever sends the "Words From God's Hill" on the internet.  It is very motivating and has a lot of good meaning to it.  It is needed, motivational and enjoyed.  It was our pleasure last month to have Denny Huff with us to enjoy our social at Cheddars.  There were 18 in attendance at the dinner. We enjoyed each other’s company so much that you almost could not hear yourself think.  There was so much fun and laughter from all of us.  You would think there was not a worry in the world.  We need those times, sometimes.  We are very sad at the passing of our long-time member, Alice Poiry.  Our prayers to her husband, Harold Poiry.  Ed and Margaret Forcum are up and about now after Ed's bad stroke.  We sure did miss them while they were ill.

 

     Several of our group went to the convention. It was enjoyed.  We wish all of you to have a wonderful thanksgiving and a very, very, merry Christmas.

 

Tom E. Smith, P.R.

 

Tower Club

 

     Hello everyone, the Tower Club is busy, busy, busy preparing for the 2013 Convention.  We met on October 20th with 21 people present.  On November 10, we will begin formulating our committee with Rite.  We will keep you informed regarding our plans on the upcoming convention. Until next time.

 

Jesuita Tabor, President

 

Waggin Tails

 

     Greetings to all from the Missouri Guide Dog Users.  We hope that you have all been enjoying a nice autumn.  By the time you read this, we should be experiencing the beginnings of colder weather.  Please remember to keep your four-footed friends in mind, and if need be take out those booties or treat those paws with Musher’s Secret before venturing out in the snow.

 

     The MGDU Breakfast held at this year’s MCB convention in October was very well attended and everyone had a good time.  We are looking forward to next year’s meeting.  In the meantime, we are working on a new MGDU brochure.  We also will be submitting our Guide Dog Bill again to the legislature for the 2013 legislative session.

 

     The new MGDU web site is up and running.  Please take a look at it when you get a chance.  The web address is:  www.mgdu.org.      

 

     Officers have been elected for the next two years and they are as follows:  Nick Whitney, President; Ron Pharris, Vice President; Judy Burch, Secretary; and Donna Bishop, Treasurer.

 

     Until next time, all take care and we’ll see you in the March Chronicle.

 

     Judy Burch

 

Ozark Association of the Blind

 

     It is with deep sadness Ozark Association of the Blind informs you that long time member, Linda Stoll, passed away on Oct. 3, 2012.  In earlier years, Linda and her mother, Irene, were always involved in whatever projects OAB was working on at the time.  She helped with many yard sales, bingo parties and candy sales to raise funds for the group.  Linda served in all officer capacities, except treasurer and on many, if not most, of the committees at one time or another.  Linda always made sure that OAB meetings were run according to our bylaws.  She and her mother attended most summer camps where they truly enjoyed meeting new friends.  She will be sadly missed.

 

     On a happier note, Joe Dobbs told us at convention that he was planning to move to our area and will join our group. We are looking forward to having him in our affiliate.  Melvin and Anna Brown, Ida Scotti, and Yvonne Schnitzler attended an informative and enjoyable convention.  We thank Susan Sanderson and those involved for hosting a fun time.  Looking forward to next year. 

 

     Warmest regards, Yvonne Schnitzler, OAB Chronicle Reporter

 

Agape Council of the Blind

 

     February 22, 2013 we will host our Black History event. It is entitled “A 2nd Look Back.”  This year we will be featuring Kings and Queens of Africa.  This will be held at the Welston Authority Banquet Room, 6203 Cote Brillante, Wellston, MO 63133.  Doors open at 5:30 pm.  Full dinner will be served at 6:00 pm. We will also have venders. Tickets are $10 per person.  For more information, contact Wilma Chestnut at 314-873-9022.  You can also contact another Agape member.

 

     March 16, 2013 Agape will host our annual chili supper and karaoke.  It will be held at St. Ann Community Center, #1 Community Center Dr., St. Ann, MO 63074. Doors open at 4:30 pm and we will have attendance and participation prizes.  The cost is $8 for adults and $4 for children 12 and under.  Contact any Agape member for tickets.

 

     April 27, 2013, Agape will host a walk, run or ride-athon at Creve Coeur Park down by the lake at the Taco Bell Shelter.  It will start at 10:00 am and go until approximately 4:00 pm.  You can walk, ride bike, tandom bike, trike, wheelchair or run.  We will have certificates and prizes for the largest team, the team that raises the most money, and first, second and third place to finish.  We will have snacks and plenty of water for all the participants. Come out, have fun, participate and enjoy!  Be sure to bring your team members.  For further information contact Wilma at 314-873-9022 or any Agape member.

 

     September dates to be announced. Agape will host our annual gospel festival. Further information will be released later.

 

 

A FEW STOPS ON THE COMMITTEE TRAIN!

 

Public Relations

 

     Hello from public relations.  Here’s what’s been happening as of late.

 

     In August, the St. Charles County Council of the Blind participated in the Silver and Gold Senior Health Fair.  SCCCB had a booth and handed out MCB literature.  Other giveaways were available for visitors to take with them.  A number of people stopped by the booth and asked questions.  The fair was a big success.

 

     In September, the MCB had a booth at the Foundation Fighting Blindness Vision Walk in St. Louis and there were a number of visitors there as well. 

 

     I will be contacting affiliate presidents soon to inquire as to how many calendars each affiliate will order.  Until next time, take care and we’ll see you in the March Chronicle.

 

Judy Burch

 

News from the 401 Blind Task Force Committee

 

The Children’s Vision Summit will be held on Monday, April 29, 2013 at the Stoney Creek Inn and Conference Center in Columbia, MO from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

 

     The 2013 Summit is focusing on effectively transitioning stages from early childhood-to-school-to on the job, developing a working knowledge of the importance that a blind/visually impaired child must possess self-discipline, be reliable, demonstrate common courtesy, make a good first impression, and have the knowledge of acceptable customs and traditions and practices of society.  Blind/visually impaired children must have talent and must have the appearance of having talent.  It is true that blind/visually impaired children/adults are judged by other blind/visually impaired children/adults.  To ensure success, a blind/visually impaired child/adult must possess hope, self-confidence, the knowledge that it is respectable to be blind, and the basic skills and alternative techniques of daily living skills.  To be successful living in a sighted world, the blind/visually impaired child/adult has to get to the place where he/she can say and truly mean these words, “Yes, I am blind; so what! I like myself, and I am okay.  I can do what I want to do and go where I want to go.”

 

     Our Keynote Speaker is Dr. Karen Blankenship, Assistant Professor of the Practice, Department of Special Education, Peabody College, Vanderbilt University.  Dr. Blankenship is nationally known to be the Expanded Core Curriculum Specialist for blind and visually impaired children.

 

     Our Luncheon Speaker will be Chip Hailey.  Mr. Chip Hailey will address the importance of "Exploring Horizons Beyond the Imagination" by using communication skills and mobility and orientation to engage the resources and opportunities available in the community; exploring one's ability and come to a higher level of acceptance and understanding of one's strengths and needs; and developing one's personal and social skills to a level that will permit integration and independence. *More details of the Children's Vision Summit will be in the March issue of the Chronicle.

 

     Representative, Patti Schonlau

 

Member of the Month

 

     Congratulations and a big thank you to last year’s Member of the Month winners. Each winner received a $25 Visa gift card which was mailed to them and they were recognized at the MCB banquet with a framed award certificate and a box of candy.  Louise Lathrop’s name was drawn from the monthly winners and she was honored as MCB’s Member of the Year.  She was presented a $100 gift certificate and a plaque. 

 

Last year’s monthly winners:

 

     October 2011--Geraldine (Gerry) Arnold, Blind of Central Missouri

     November--Carolyn Kemper, St. Charles County Council of the Blind

     December--Kim Hallows, United Workers for the Blind

     January 2012--Susan Sanderson, Blind of Central Missouri

     February--Terry Thompson, Blind of Central Missouri

     March--Wanda Lentz, Member-at-Large

     April--Joe and Sue Verhaar, Joplin Service Club of the Blind

     May--Ken Carter, Blind of Central Missouri

     June--Bunny Maginnis, Real Independence Through Employment for the Blind (RITE)

     July--Shirley Brokaw, Allied Workers for the Blind

     August--Louise Lathrop, Queen City Council of the Blind

     September--Loretta Welch, Member-at-Large

 

     The Member of the Month Committee thanks those who took the time to send in nominations.  Without your thoughtfulness and caring we would not be able to recognize and honor many dedicated members of MCB.  Personally, I acknowledge and express sincere gratitude to my committee, Nancy Hodson, Queen City Council of the Blind, and Susan Sanderson, Blind of Central Missouri.  They have made chairing this committee a joy because of their positive attitudes and expertise.  Their input and advice has been invaluable and I thank them from my heart. The program would not be what it is today without them.

 

     The purpose of the Member of the Month program is to serve as a form of recognition and a source of motivation to other members of MCB.  The award program recognizes those who have given of themselves and have made a difference in their community or assisting the blind.  Each month the Member of the Month Committee selects an individual from those nominated by any member of MCB.  It is a very special way to show appreciation to someone who has been an inspiration or has done something special.

 

     Qualifications for the award:

 

     Must be a member of MCB in good standing to nominate or be nominated.

     Nominee may be visually impaired or sighted.

     A blind member may be nominated for service to the blind or for service to their community even if it does not affect the visually impaired.

     A sighted member must make a positive contribution in assisting the blind.

     Monthly nominations will be held over for later consideration.

     Nominations must be postmarked by the last day of each month.

     All nominations should include name, address, phone number, e-mail address, and affiliate name of the person making the nomination and the nominee.

     A short paragraph telling what they have done and why you believe they are deserving of the award.

     Nominations may be in the format of your choice or, for a last minute nomination, you may call the number listed below with the pertinent information.  Please send nominations to Yvonne Schnitzler, Committee Chair, 2107 Hwy. 61, Festus, MO 63028.  Phone: 636-937-3390 or e-mail meshowjys@charter.net

 

     Special thanks to our new President, Patti Schonlau, for asking me to continue to chair the Member of the Month program and to President, Denny Huff, for initiating it. 

 

Warmest regards, The Member of the Month Committee.

 

Building Committee

 

     I want to introduce the Building Committee.  Charles Johnson is the Chairperson; Jack Lenk and Angelo Trapasso are Committee members.  A door has been placed at the entrance of the hall to secure the office and lobby.  Please feel free to contact the office if you need the conference room for upcoming events.

 

Health Benefits

 

     After a very enjoyable and fun convention, we are now into a new fiscal year with health benefits.  As a reminder from your Health Benefits Committee, please read your guidelines carefully before completing your applications.  We need proper dates of beginning illness and when a person can resume normal activity in determining the benefit.  Please note to determine the eligibility to receive benefit, we must deduct 8 days from beginning date of illness/injury shown on application before the Health Benefits Committee can make a determination.  Also, make sure the doctor signs and dates the form.  We are here to serve you.

 

Kenneth Carter

 

Summer Camp

 

     Summer camp at Cobblestone has come and gone for 2012 and 2013 will be here before you know it.  I do have some exciting news!  The camp Committee requested approval from the MCB Board to allow camp attendees to attend a week and the extended September session at Cobblestone and it was approved!  It was hard to choose what session to attend when we were only allowed one week.  Because of this, numbers were down.  In 2013, I am sure our numbers will rise.  We will be sending out the new guidelines with this revision, along with the application forms, for your March meetings.

 

     We have cold weather ahead of us, but during those chilly nights, be dreaming of sitting along the pool at Cobblestone.  See you soon!

 

Beverly Kaskadden, Summer Camp Chair, along with Sam and Celita White, and Jim Schonlau

 

Convention Coordinator

 

     The MCB Convention is over for 2012.  I hope we made great memories at this year’s convention.  This was the year we had some new items to offer.  This was our first MCB Auction and many had a wonderful time bidding and raising money for our organization.  Tours were offered to many local attractions, including the Governor’s Mansion, State Capitol & Museum, Old Missouri Penitentiary and the Wolfner Library.  Local restaurants offered discounts for members attending the convention.  I hope you had a good time; I sure did.

 

     Next year it will be St. Louis taking center stage for our annual convention. Mark your calendar for October 11, 12 & 13, 2013.  We will be at the Sheraton Westport Chalet.  This hotel is one of the best in the St. Louis area.  RITE and Tower Club are making plans for an outstanding convention.  They will be our host affiliates and they plan to please.  Meet me in St. Louie, Louie!

 

Susan Sanderson

 

NEW POLICIES APPROVED BY THE MCB BOARD AT OCTOBER MEETING

 

MCB Policy Committee

 

The MCB Board phone conference call on November 15, 2010 established the Policy Committee. There shall be a Chair appointed by the President with the approval of the Board.  The committee shall consist of a Chair and three other MCB members approved by the President.

 

The Policy committee shall review current Board policies and committee guidelines for updates that might be needed.  If there are updates needed for committee guidelines, the Policy committee will invite the committee Chair to help write the update.

 

The Policy committee will formulate new Board policies and committee guidelines when called upon to do so by the President or any member of MCB.

 

The Board must approve all work by the Policy committee.

 

Approved by the MCB Board October 4, 2012

 

MCB Board Members and Committee Chairpersons Responsibilities

 

Board President Job Description

 

Is a member of the Board

 

Serves as the chief volunteer of the organization

 

Is a partner with the Executive Director in achieving the organization's mission

 

Provides leadership to the Board of Directors, who sets policy and to whom the Executive Director is accountable

 

Chairs meetings of the Board after developing the agenda with the Executive Director and Board members

 

Encourages Board's role in strategic planning

 

Appoints the chairpersons of committees, unless otherwise specified in the bylaws, with approval of the Board

 

Appoints additional members of some committees with or without Board approval as prescribed in the bylaws or authorized by the Board

 

Serves ex officio as a member of committees and attends their meetings

 

Discusses issues confronting the organization with the Executive Director

 

Helps guide and mediate Board actions with respect to organizational priorities and governance concerns

 

Reviews with the Executive Director any issues of concern to the Board

 

Monitors expenses to remain within budget

 

Monitors financial planning and financial reports

 

Plays a leading role in fundraising activities

 

Formally evaluates the performance of the Executive Director and informally evaluates the effectiveness of the Board members

 

Evaluates annually the performance of the organization in achieving its mission

 

Is sufficiently familiar with legal documents (articles, by-laws, IRS letters, etc.) to note applicability during meetings

 

Visits each affiliate once during each term

 

Performs other responsibilities assigned by the Board

 

First Vice President Job Description

 

This position is successor to the President’s position.

 

Is a member of the Board

 

Performs President’s responsibilities when the President cannot be available

 

Reports to the President

 

Works closely with the President and staff

 

Participates closely with the President to develop and implement officer transition plans

 

Performs other responsibilities as assigned by the Board

 

Second Vice President Job Description

 

Is a member of the Board

 

Performs President’s responsibilities when the President or First Vice President cannot be available

 

Reports to the President

Works closely with the President

 

Secretary Job Description

 

Is a member of the Board

 

Maintains records of the Board and ensures effective management of those records through the end of the Secretary's term

 

Manages minutes of Board meetings

 

Ensures minutes are distributed to Board members within 30 days after each meeting

 

Has available as needed legal documents (articles, by-laws, IRS letters, etc.) to note applicability during meetings

 

 

Treasurer Job Description

 

Is a member of the Board

 

Manages finances of the organization

 

Administers fiscal matters of the organization

 

Provides annual budget to the Board for members' approval

 

Monitors expenses to remain within budget

 

Ensures development and Board review of financial policies and procedures

 

Committee Chair Job Description

 

Sets tone for the committee work

 

Ensures that members have the information needed to do their jobs

 

Oversees the logistics of committee's operations

 

Monitors expenses to remain within budget

 

Reports to the President

 

Reports to the full Board on committee's decisions/recommendations as appropriate and to the membership at the annual convention

 

Works closely with the Executive Director and other staff as agreed to by the Executive Director

 

Assigns work to the committee members, sets the agenda and runs the meetings, and ensures distribution of meeting reports

 

Board Member Job Description

 

Regularly attends Board meetings and important related meetings

 

Makes serious commitment to participate actively in committee work

 

Volunteers for and willingly accepts assignments and completes them thoroughly and on time

 

Stays informed about committee matters, prepares themselves well for meetings, and reviews and comments on minutes and reports

 

Gets to know other Board members and builds a collegial working relationship that contributes to consensus

 

Promotes fundraising for the organization

 

Approved by the MCB Board October 4, 2012

 

SRC, ARE YOU BUSY?

 

     The Missouri State Rehabilitation Council for the Blind met on July 26 and 27 at The Joplin Service Club for the open meeting at 6:00 pm on Thursday.  The guest speaker was Jasen Jones, Director of the Workforce Investment Board.  The SRC Board met Friday at The Holiday Inn for their business meeting.  The focus of the SRC is to create jobs for the blind and visually impaired community.

 

August 2, 2012, members of the Missouri State Rehabilitation Council for the Blind were invited to a Training session for Gubenatorial Appointees held at the Govenor's Office Building.  After the session, the appointees attended a light supper at the Governor's Mansion.

 

Rita S. Galbraith

 

“DIFFICULT ACRONYM IS STILL A GREAT PROGRAM”

By Brenda Whitlock

 

     What is NDBEDP?  It is a mouthful and tongue twister, but also a positive result of the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010.  It stands for the National Deaf Blind Equipment Distribution Program that is a two year pilot project funded by the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) to ensure people who are Deaf-Blind have access to different kinds of communication.  MoAT (Missouri Assistive Technology) was certified by the FCC in July to administer the project in the state of Missouri.  Our descriptive term for the program, no acronyms thank you, is Missouri Deaf-Blind Equipment Program. 

 

     Anyone is eligible to apply who is recognized as deaf-blind by an approved professional, meets HKNC (Helen Keller National Center) Act definition of deaf-blind and has low income at 400% of the poverty level or below.  Equipment will be decided on an individual case by case basis depending on a client’s communication goals, needs and abilities.  An example would be the iPad with a Braille display.  Equipment is to help an individual meet their distance communication needs, through technology such as a telephone, cell phone or computer device, rather than equipment specifically for face-to-face communication.  The program does not cover monthly service costs associated with internet, telephone or wireless services.

 

     To request an application and for more information about Missouri’s program, contact Brenda at MoAT, 816-655-6706, or 800-647-8557 toll free in Missouri, or brenda.whitlock@att.net.  Because it is a difficult acronym listed at the beginning of this article, the national project is being referred to as ‘I Can Connect.’  To find national information or contact info for another state, go to www.icanconnect.org

 

AN OLD FAMILY CHRISTMAS RECIPE:

HOT BUTTERED RUM

By Christopher Gray

 

It's a good thing that Christmas comes only once a year.  If we drank this every day, we'd probably all be in a sugar-induced coma for the rest of our lives.

 

This is a wonderful holiday recipe and can be served to family and friends with or without alcohol.  Adding either rum or bourbon can kickstart a holiday party, too. This recipe came to my mother during her 30-years of work in the restaurant industry. It has been a family favorite for decades. Make this once and you’ll never by the store mixes again!

 

For some fun, get your company to guess the ingredients.  They never get them all right.

 

Ingredients

1 box dark brown sugar

1/2 box confectioners sugar

1 pound butter

1 quart Vanilla ice cream (the cheaper the better)

1 tablespoon ground cloves

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1 tablespoon ground nutmeg

 

Preparation Instructions

  1. Let the butter and ice cream warm up to room temperature and combine. Sometimes, I microwave them to hasten the process.
  2. Stir in the brown sugar and then the powdered sugar.  Use a beater if you like.
  3. Add the spices and blend them thoroughly into the mix.
  4. Refrigerate and allow to sit for at least 24 hours.  It takes that long for everything to blend together.

 

To serve

Place a heaping tablespoon of the mix into a hot buttered rum or Irish coffee mug.  Add 1.5 ounces of rum or bourbon if desired.  Pour in boiling water, stir together, and serve.

 

Notes

  1. Be sure to use an inexpensive grocery store ice cream.  They use binders in this variety that thickens the drink and helps the spices blend together.
  2. If you try this drink right after mixing the ingredients, you'll be disappointed.  Let it blend together for at least one day.
  3. The mix will keep very well for up to a month.  Sometimes, it's a good idea to stir it up in order to keep the spices from sinking to the bottom of the container.

 

Makes 8 cups

 

FROM THE LOWER LEFT-HAND DRAWER

By John Weidlich

 

     It’s time for another look into the famous Lower Left-Hand Drawer where we will find a new version of JAWS, a new fully accessible MP3 Player, a new talking microwave oven, and much more. These announcements are offered strictly for your information; they are not endorsed by MCB or by me.

 

     The Blind Post Classified News contains classified ads from blind people wishing to sell, buy or trade items, along with announcements of new businesses, training opportunities, and technology news.  It also contains tips from the food lady.  Ads are accepted for a fee.  To subscribe, send an email to foodlady@theblindpost.com with subscribe in the subject line.

 

     The Blind Super Store is selling Tiny Tunes, a combination talking MP3 player, FM radio, voice recorder and ebookreader, made by Future Aids.  All this in a device about the size of a cigarette lighter for a price of $75.  All of the menu options and functions are spoken, including song titles.  The internal battery runs for about fifteen hours and can be recharged through a computer USB port.  It has four gigabytes of internal memory, which can store about two thousand songs.  It plays all standard music files and you can organize your music any way you want.  It does not play NLS books or books on SD cards or other external sources.  For more information or to order, call the Braille Super Store at 800 987-1231 or visit www.braillesuperstore.com

 

     Freedom Scientific has released new versions of Magic and JAWS, Magic 12 and JAWS 14.  JAWS 14 has a new feature called Flexible Web that gives users more control when reading web site pages by identifying and blocking extraneous content such as ads and social media links.  It can be used with the new Windows 8 Operating System.  To obtain more information about the features of these software updates visit www.freedomscientific.com or call 800 444-4443.

 

     Magic Chef has introduced a new talking Microwave oven.  All functions are spoken with a male voice.  There are four power levels and the cooking times range from one second to 99 minutes.  The price is $369.  It is available from the Blind Mice Megamall.  Phone: (713) 893-7277, web Site: www.blindmicemegamall.com.

 

     The Carroll Center for the Blind is offering an online course called Diabetes and Visual Impairment: a New View for Patients and Families.  It deals with self-managing diabetes for people who are blind and their family members.  The course is free but registration is required.  Visit www.carroll.org.

 

     Horizons for the Blind has many new cooking and craft items that include knitting needles, crochet hooks, a bar code scanner for reading package directions, cake pans, Braille and large print knitting and crochet patterns, and cookbooks.  Here is the contact information: Horizons for the Blind (815) 444-8800, www.horizons-blind.org.

 

     HIMS Inc. sells a variety of products, including the Braille Sense note taker, video magnifiers, Daisy players and Braille displays.  Their phone number is (888) 520-4467 and the web site is www.hims-inc.com.

 

     Disability Answers is a new app for iPhones and Android cell phones that helps people know whether they are eligible to apply for SSDI or Medicare benefits.  You enter some basic information about your work history and disability diagnosis and the app can determine your likelihood of being approved.  For more information go to www.mydisabilityanswers.com.

 

     Message of Hope is a ministry of the Unity School of Christianity providing a number of services to people who are blind. It provides the Daily Word Magazine in Braille, on CD or via daily email messages.  There is also an audio lending library of spiritual books and pamphlets as well as prayer support.  The phone number is (866) 421-3066.

 

     We have talked often here about the Hadley School for the Blind, which provides correspondence courses on many subjects in accessible formats for blind people.  The Hadley School has now opened the Forsythe Center for Entrepreneurship (FCE) which offers online courses for people wanting to start their own businesses.  There is also an email discussion group and a business directory.  The web site for this new service is www.hadley.edu/fce.

 

     The 2013 catalog from Seedlings, listing new Braille books for children of all ages is now available.  To get a copy, call Seedlings at (800) 777-8552 or go to www. Seedlings.org.

 

     WinZoom is a new plug-and-play screen magnifier and screen reader from Clarity.  It has eight viewing modes, and it works with Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7.  To find out more, call (800) 575-1456 or go to www.getwinzoom.com.

 

     Here is another solution for labeling clothing.  The Touch Memo with washable labels from Vision Cue.  You record information about an item of clothing such as color, pattern or washing instructions on a label and then sew it onto the garment or attach it with a safety pin.  I presume you would then play back what has been recorded on the label.  The phone number for the company is (888) 318-2582.

 

     Enhanced Vision has a couple of new HD CCTVs, the Da Vinci and the Merlin.  Both have text to speech capability for reading documents.  To find out more about the features of these new magnifiers, call (888) 811-3161.

 

     Anyone who is blind or visually impaired has experienced them; those sometimes embarrassing but often amusing moments involving blindness or limited vision.  We all have stories we can tell about those humorous situations and experiences brought about by not being able to see, either encounters with other people or perhaps using things for purposes for which they were not intended.  Well, a lady named Rita Kersh is looking for stories about how humor can be used to deal with these situations.  She hopes to show newly blind people that we can laugh when these crazy things happen to us.  If you have a story to tell that you think she can use, you can email it to her at hoosierrita@gmail.com or send it to Rita Kersh, PO Box 2216, Bedford, IN 47421.

 

     That’s it for this time! Have a wonderful Holiday season and join me again in 2013!