UTAH COUNCIL OF THE BLIND
Welcome to the Utah Council of the Blind (UCB)!
This pamphlet was developed to answer some questions you may have about the Council. Which is one of the oldest organizations of persons with a disability in the United States. UCB offers independent democratic resolutions to social, educational, rehabilitative, transportation, and public safety issues. It is affiliated with the American Council of the Blind (ACB), the largest consumer-driven organization of blind and visually impaired persons and friends in this country. ACB and its affiliates, including UCB, promote social, economic, and educational opportunities for all blind and visually impaired people.
UCB consists of many chapters throughout the state and is far and away the largest consumer organization of blind and visually impaired Utah residents. Its members are of different ages, interests, and ethnicities and represent a wide variety of occupations, political persuasions, and religious affiliations. In numbers, we join together to solve the problems and change the stereotypes that society imposes upon us. It is by working together that the great challenge of blindness can and will be overcome.
Since all members are an integral part of this organization, UCB connects us all together to create a support network; for when a blind or visually impaired person is discriminated against, all of us are affected. We also celebrate each member's individual achievements and the accomplishments of our chapters. Recently, for example, the UCB was instrumental in having talking ATM machines installed at many Utah banks and in establishing a Division for the Blind and Visually Impaired in the Department of Rehabilitation. Throughout the state UCB chapters and individual members have been involved with accessible voting machines, Para transit issues, installation of Accessible pedestrian signals, and many other developments that affect the daily lives of blind and visually impaired persons. When you become a member of UCB, you automatically have a sense of belonging to a group of people who truly understand and welcome you to a wonderful family of caring friends.
If you wish to inquire about other achievements of UCB, contact the main office. Specific information for reaching the office and for all the Websites and Listservs given in this handbook are listed at the end. The Utah Newsletter, the organization's news service for up-to-date information, is readily available after 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and all day on weekends and holidays. UCB offers connections to all aspects of blindness from student life and technological advances on the one hand to the concerns of parents and senior citizens on the other. Members stay informed on state and national developments in all areas of blindness with the "Utah Newsletter"; our monthly newsletter, The Blind Utah residents; and the monthly publication of ACB, The Braille Forum. Members also keep each other aware of daily issues through our online listserv, our students' listserv, and various lists from the American Council of the Blind. The UCB and ACB Websites offer many resources on blindness for our members and for the public. Again, refer to the detailed information at the end of this handbook.
Each member receives help when advocacy is needed and mentors who can give both advice and assistance in problem-solving. Monthly meetings and social activities lead to lasting friendships and lessen the feeling of isolation often experienced by those with vision loss. Semiannual conventions of UCB and the annual ACB conventions also provide valuable learning experiences as well as opportunities to meet vendors of blindness-related products and services.
Any resident of Utah who is 16 years old is eligible to become a voting member of UCB. The five classes of members are: Chapter Members; Members at Large (those not residing near a chapter); Life Members (people who pay Life Membership dues); Sustaining Members (nonvoting groups or individuals who pay $25 annually to support the organization. Chapter Members, Members at Large and Life Members may vote, present motions, speak on the floor of the convention, serve on committees, and hold office. The majority of these members must be legally blind. As a member of UCB, you can participate in making the world a better place for blind and visually impaired people; advocate for change at the local, state, or national level; and serve on one of the committees which address issues from education, rehabilitation, and senior concerns to public relations and fund raising. Through advocacy efforts you can help make accessibility the norm. Total accessibility means being able to read any materials available to the public, walk in a safe environment, work in any setting we choose, and participate in any activities that other people do. You can strengthen our advocacy and service efforts by inviting your friends and colleagues to join us. The areas open to you are many and varied. UCB committees include advocacy, Awards, Access and Transportation, Constitution and Bylaws, Convention, Credentials, Crisis, Devotional Services, Domestic Violence and Hate Crimes, Education, Employment assistance, Finance and Budget, Fund Raising, Governmental Affairs, Membership, Publications, Public Relations, Rehabilitation Services, Resolutions, Scholarships, Senior Blind, Sports and recreation, and Technology.
UCB chapters vary in their focus.
Many are geographically defined by cities or counties while others reflect a
special interest shared by the members.
Utah Council of the Blind
1301 W 500 S
Woods Cross, UT 84087 2224
ph (801) 299-0670
fax (801) 292-6046
American Council of the Blind: (202) 467-5081 or (800) 424-8666 from 11 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. Address: 1155 15th St., NW, Suite 1004, Washington, DC 20005
Washington Connection: (800) 424-8666 from 5:00 p.m. to midnight Monday through Friday and all day on weekends and holidays
© 2015 Utah Council of the Blind. All Rights Reserved.