The UCB Flier
A publication of
Utah Council of the Blind
For the latest news updates call the Utah Connection 801-299-0670 or 1‑800-273-4569. (You may also leave a message at the end of the announcement.)
Mail correspondence to: UCB, PO Box 1415, Bountiful, UT 84011-1415. E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In This Issue
Greetings, UCB Friends,
I want to thank all those who have helped make this year's training conference a success. A big shout out to Ramona Rice our Training Conference chair who, despite any challenges placed in her way, conquered them all and pressed forward with all of us in mind. For those of you who were able to attend, I hope you will be able to take something away with you and move forward with your own personal paths. I love mingling with you all at our conferences. I love listening and learning from each of you. Thank you all for participating and being involved, but don’t stop here, join us as we work as a team to provide, improve and share programs and services with our blind community. We have many committees you can serve on and programs you can help improve.
We have an exciting chance in our organization that is just getting under way. We are in the process of improving our website. This is a great resource for those of you who like to communicate via social media and surf the internet. When everything is up and running, you will be able to find an up-to-date calendar, print off forms for our programs, read inspiring newsletters from the present and past, pay for events and programs and much much more. Aunilie Hathaway has been working so hard on this and we are excited to see it up and going.
"Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.” -- Helen Keller
Until next time,
By Leslie Gertsch
For five years, the UCB has provided in-home training in blindness skills by teams of a blind and sighted individual. These teams are available to you in Logan, Ogden, Davis County, Salt Lake City and surrounding areas, Provo area, Manti area, Price area and Kanab and surrounding towns. These teams visit homes and bring information and help with skills such as cane travel, braille, safety in the kitchen, organization and more. They can connect you with other services, such as the Library for the blind, senior services, Meals on Wheels, Medicaid, and other community services. Many of them can help you find adaptive technology to assist you be more independent. For those with hearing and sight loss, there are special programs which offer support service providers to help you access your community as well as special adaptive technology to assist with both sensory losses. They can also connect you with transportation resources and help people with the UCB programs which provide special services for members.
It was a great pleasure to read accounts these teams provide of individuals in the community to have reached the great age of 100 or more. In the Manti area there is a lovely lady who is now 105, and in the Kanab area there is a great lady celebrating with her community as she turns 102. The UCB offers these individuals and all those members who have or will soon turn 100 or more during the year happy birthday wishes. At least three members are 100 or more and are still part of the UCB. We congratulate you and send our love to all of you. You are marvelous examples to all of us.
If you would like a teacher/trainer team to visit you, please contact the Utah Connection and leave your name and phone number. Someone will call you to discuss your needs and determine if there is a team in your area. Remember, also, there is a great training center in Salt Lake if you wish extensive training in blindness skills.
The UCB is still offering its Subsidized Cab Coupon Program in those cities offering cab transportation. At this time this includes: St. George, Cedar City, Provo area, Park City, Salt Lake City and parts of Davis County, Ogden and Logan. If you are aware of a cab company in your area that would like to join our program, please have them call the Utah Connection and ask to receive a contract. The UCB offers you a huge discount on cab coupons to use as you see fit for your personal travel needs. At present, you can purchase $160 worth of coupons for only $64. If you need these to be shipped to you, add an extra $6 to pay for priority mail. So, for $70 you can have $160 to travel when other resources are not available. You can also purchase coupons at our office in the Center for the Blind in Salt Lake City on Wednesday afternoons thanks to Donni Mitchell, who volunteers to offer this service. These purchases do not require the extra shipping costs. The coupons do not expire, so you can use them as you need them. However, we suggest that you do not stockpile the coupons, because some companies have gone out of business leaving a community without transportation for long periods of time. If you wish to order coupons, send your check made payable to UCB to the PO Box listed in this newsletter. Be sure to say which company you wish to use.
A big thanks to those who sent letters of thanks to the UCB. These letters are so appreciated by the foundations who donate funds to this program. If you use this program or the Driver/Guide Program, please send your letters of thanks for us to share with our generous supporters. Letters can be sent to the address on the front of the newsletter.
Many of you may have heard of the huge change in Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired made by the past Legislature. As of October 1, 2016, the Division of Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired (DSBVI) will be located under the Department of Workforce Services. Formerly, the Division was placed under the Board of Education, where it enjoyed the supervision of the Board as well as the less competition for resources. The disabled community fought as hard as it could to avoid this change. It is feared that blind and visually impaired individuals will be swallowed up in this huge department. This small population will possibly sink to the bottom of the funding chain with little hope of ever receiving growth or new program funding. DSBVI will have to compete for funding with such programs as children's services, TANF, food stamps, housing, and more. These programs demand huge amounts of funding, leaving very little for small groups like us. DSBVI will no longer be a division, but will sink to the very low level of a "Program".
A further devastating change occurred at the hands of the new Director of Utah State Office of Rehabilitation of which we have been a Division. This change removed a huge portion of funding from the Division which served Vocational Rehabilitation clients. The Blind will no longer have their separate vocational rehabilitation services. The greater State VR services will now oversee any of these services provided to the blind and visually impaired. The counselors formerly serving only our population will now serve all rehab clients. It is greatly feared that in time there will not be specialists serving people who have sight loss. This is a great tragedy, since the blind have fought for nearly 100 years to maintain this specialized service. Nationally, the blind is the only disabled population to have been promised the ability to maintain their own separate specialized services because of the unique needs of people with sight loss. Utah has now chosen to ignore this promise.
In spite of promises by legislators to not support this huge change in our services by placing us all under the Department of Workforce Services, we were told that all but the Democrats voted to do so. There is a clause in the bill making this change which states that if in a year things are not working out, they will consider making another change, but we really doubt that this will make a difference. One year is not long enough to see the really long-lasting effect on services to the disabled as time passes with services for the blind fading into significance this huge agency.
(From the Editor: I have been an avid Kindle fan for almost ten years. I was so glad when Amazon came out with their white print on black background feature because so many people benefit from high contrast. Now they are adding speech!)
Over the years, feedback from our customers with disabilities has been inspiring and humbling, as they tell us how they are using our products and the impact these products are having on their lives.
While developing VoiceView for Fire tablets, we were also working on bringing VoiceView to our Kindle e-readers. Kindle e-readers are beloved by our customers because they are purpose-built for reading and create a haven so customers can lose themselves in their books. We are excited to say that, today, we have brought VoiceView to our Kindle e-readers, starting with the Kindle Paperwhite, so that visually impaired customers can enjoy reading on our Kindle e-readers, too.
VoiceView for Kindle, which uses Amazon’s natural language text-to-speech voices (formerly known as IVONA) lets visually impaired customers read millions of Kindle books and navigate the Kindle Paperwhite via speech feedback. Like VoiceView on our Fire tablets, VoiceView for Kindle supports linear and touch navigation, and the same broad range of speech feedback rates and earcons. Likewise, we developed a tutorial with multiple lessons that users can return to at any time.
Visually impaired customers will be able to use VoiceView for Kindle with the new Kindle Audio Adapter—an Amazon-designed USB audio dongle—to connect headphones or speakers, which then allows the ability to listen to and navigate the user interface, in addition to listening to books. The Kindle Audio Adapter was designed specifically to be used with VoiceView for Kindle. U.S. customers can purchase a bundle of both the Kindle Audio Adapter with the Kindle Paperwhite, and VoiceView for Kindle will be available in the future with other Kindle e-readers as well. Customers who purchase this bundle will receive a credit back on their account to cover the cost of the Kindle Audio Adapter, so they won’t have to pay extra for accessibility.
We’ve also launched other features to enhance a customer’s reading experience. Based on customer feedback, we made a new font available on the latest generation Kindle, Kindle Paperwhite, Kindle Voyage, Kindle Oasis, and the Kindle reading app in iOS—it’s an open source font option called OpenDyslexic. We also offer the ability to increase the font size of book text, adjust line spacing and margins, and change the format of the text. Kindle also includes a feature called Word Wise, which makes it easier to quickly understand more challenging books with short and simple definitions that automatically appear above difficult words so customers can keep reading with fewer interruptions. And Immersion Reading, available on Fire tablets as well as iOS and Android, is a powerful tool for young readers, students and readers with disabilities. It gives customers the option to read and listen to books simultaneously with real-time text highlighting. Customers can access this feature by adding professional Audible narration to over 70,000 Kindle titles.
For the accessibility team, it’s still day one at Amazon. We have so much more planned, and the whole team is looking forward to the journey ahead.
To read more, visit: http://www.amazon.com/b?node=14100715011
By TerriLynne Pomeroy
Hi, everybody. It is time to start planning for events beyond the UCB Conference, events running from June to October. See the updated calendar for dates and times. But in this article, we will be discussing a couple of events which need to be financed a month or two before the actual event date. So, hopefully, reading this article will make things clear for you and help you to plan for those things in which you desire to participate.
First, our games with lunch party on June 25 costs $2.00 for lunch. You must get the money to us in time for us to shop for the food. So, if you want to eat, and I'm sure you do, send your money to UCB, PO Box 1415, Bountiful, UT 84011-1415. Make sure we receive it by Tuesday, June 20. This means to be safe, you should probably mail it by Friday, June 17.
Our next big activity is our trip to Cove Fort and to Utah's Territorial State House. Both locations are historic Utah sites. I have spoken with people at both locations, and they are excited to let us touch and look at many things. There is no cost for either location, but here are the costs associated with this trip:
· First, we have rented three large vans for the trip.
· Second, we will be working out rides for those who need assistance to get to the vans in the morning, and then home from the vans in the evening. This could include cab coupons or mileage for volunteer drivers.
· Third, we will be eating one or two meals.
All of this needs to be planned in advance, so we MUST, that is MUST, know how many people are going a couple of weeks in advance. It is, therefore, necessary for us to receive your reservations WITH MONEY by Saturday, July 16. So plan on paying it when you get your first check in July. Send your $15 per person to the UCB PO Box.
Now, let's talk about the dinner theater. The play will be Charlie's Aunt. This comedy broke all historic records for plays of any kind, with an original London run of 1,466 performances. This special dinner-theater is only held once a year. There are only 100 seats per evening, and the play only runs for five days. Needless to say, if we want to go, we need to be ready to jump on it when the tickets go on sale. They go on sale on August 29. So, again, you MUST send in your reservations with money ahead of time so that we can get everyone tickets to the same night, Friday, October 14. As with the Cove Fort excursion, this activity will take much transportation planning in order to make sure that everyone can get home when the play is over. That makes a second good reason to give us plenty of time for planning. We have set the deadline date as Friday, August 12, 2016 for receipt of reservations and money. You need to send in your reservations as soon as you get your first check in August. The cost for both dinner and the play is a mere $15 per person!
Mail checks or money orders for any activities to UCB, PO Box 1415, Bountiful, UT 84011-1415. They need to reach us by dates given
· Tuesday, June 20, 2016, deadline for $2.00 payment for lunch for games day.
· Saturday, June 25, 2016: 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., Games day with lunch. We’ll be playing BuzzWords, BeanBoozle, and more. Meet at the Division of Services for the Blind, 250 N 1950 W, Suite B, SLC. Cost, $2.00. The money pays for lunch and needs to be received by Tuesday, June 20. If money is not received, lunch may not be available.
· Friday, July 15, 2016: Utah Voices Concert in the Bountiful Park. Includes singers Maurice and Rosanne Bowman as well as Steve Yancey. The concert is free. Transportation is on your own.
· Saturday, July 16, 2016: deadline for receipt of monies for Cove Fort activity.
· Saturday, August 6, 2016: excursion to Cove Fort and also to Utah’s Territorial State House. See article for details.
· Friday, August 12, 2016: deadline to pay for dinner theater, Charlie's Aunt.
· September, 2016: annual trip to the State Fair.
· Saturday, September 17, 2016: Annual UCB business meeting with elections and bylaws.
· Friday, October 14, 2016: Dinner and theater, the play is Charlie's Aunt, a comedy.
· Saturday, December 3, 2016: Annual UCB Christmas party
Pampered Chef consultant Tina Terry will be holding a fundraiser for the UCB during the month of June. Pampered Chef has many products that are wonderful for increasing efficiency in the kitchen.
To look at the Pampered Chef catalog, go to www.pamperedchef.biz/tinaterry. Then, if you wish to order online, go to "find a party" and look for the link which says UCB fundraiser.
If you would rather ask questions or order by phone, just call Tina at (801) 245-9264.
Orders can be shipped directly to individual homes; therefore, anyone in Utah can participate. The UCB will receive 15% of the profits from all orders received during this time.
If you have any other questions, please call Tina. She loves Pampered Chef and will enjoy helping you.
By Kira Larkin
Title: Out of My Mind
Author: Sharon M. Draper
BARD Number: DB 71173
What if you had the ability to think, but were unable to speak? What if you could remember everything you ever heard, learned from those things, and could answer questions if you had the ability to speak, but couldn't? What if you were stuck in a wheelchair and were unable to move anything at will, except your thumbs?
Melody is an almost eleven-year-old fifth-grader who has cerebral palsy. She can use her thumbs to switch channels on the TV if the remote is placed just right. She watches a lot of documentaries. She is able to remember everything she ever hears. Melody has a neighbor who makes her learn how to roll over, scoot on the floor, and answer questions using a picture board. But there's only so many words and pictures you can put on a board. For Melody, there definitely aren't enough pictures or words to tell people what she's feeling or thinking inside.
Then, Melody has a new aide who helps her get a machine that will talk for her. Melody also starts an inclusion program. Instead of being stuck in the special education room all day, Melody is now going to classes with the "normal" fifth-graders. Both of these experiences give Melody the chance to take part in something that is the opportunity of a lifetime. But, she drools, and screeches at the wrong time, and waves her arms and legs, uncontrollably. Being with "normal" kids, makes Melody wonder, "What is normal? Why are these kids treating me the way they are, when I am just as smart, or smarter than they are?"
Sharon Draper does a marvelous job of telling this story from Melody's point of view. She helps the reader understand what it's like to be tested by a specialist who knows less than the kid he's testing. Through Melody's eyes, the author gives us an idea of how someone who cannot speak or move properly, feels when they are subjected to little kid songs, baby talk, and being treated like an idiot.
In the climax of the story, Sharon Draper illustrates how quick we are, as humans, to judge people on the outward appearance and actions, rather than how they think and what ideas they have.
This was a tremendously awesome book, because it enhanced my belief that most disabled people who are stuck in bodies that do not work, do understand what's being said and done around them. It helped me realize that we should be less ready to see the "beast" and more willing to look for the "prince" when we see people who do not conform to our ideas of "normal." This is a must-read for all who want to know what it's like to live in a world where even your parents can't always understand you, yet knowing that you could communicate if you had the right technology. I guarantee that by the end of the book, all will be cheering for Melody and wondering what happens to her in sixth-grade. I also guarantee that if Melody were a real child, all of us would be up in arms after finding out what happened to her because of the uncontrollable aspects of her condition, instead of what could have happened because of what her mind can do.
We are always looking for articles or interesting tidbits of information from our readers or other interested persons. The deadline for submitting items for publication is the 1st of the month, e.g. the deadline for the March newsletter is February 1st. You may e-mail any articles you wish to submit for our newsletter to our newsletter editor at email@example.com, or send Braille or large print to UCB Newsletter, PO Box 1415, Bountiful, UT 84011-1415; please allow extra time for processing when using this method.
All members are invited and encouraged to attend meetings of the Board of Directors. The meetings are at 3:45 p.m. at DSBVI, 250 N 1950 W, Ste B, Conference Room R, Salt Lake City, UT. Upcoming meetings are:
· Friday, June 24, 2016
· Friday, July 29, 2016
· Friday, August 26, 2016
· Friday, September 23, 2016
· Friday, October 28, 2016
· Friday, November 18, 2016
· Friday, December 16, 2016
· Friday, January 27, 2017
· Friday, February 24, 2017
· Friday, March 24, 2017
Also, note that the Annual Business Meeting is scheduled for Saturday, September 17, 2016.
If you have questions or concerns for any board member or to be placed on the agenda of a board meeting, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, and you will receive a timely reply.
A volunteer mans the UCB Office at DSBVI, 250 N 1950 W, Salt Lake City, UT, from 12:00 to 3:30 p.m. on Wednesdays. You can give her a call at 801-520-3766 or visit to purchase cab coupons, t-shirts, screwdriver/hammers, 20/20 pens, signature guides, or measuring cups and spoons.
The UCB maintains a listserv to keep our computer users up-to-date on interesting information as it comes along and to help facilitate an open dialogue between our members. To join the UCB Listserv, send a blank email message to email@example.com. You will receive a request to verify your wish to subscribe. Just reply without changing or adding to the message.
Disclaimer: Articles and announcements included in this publication are presented for your information and interest. They reflect the opinions of the respective authors and are not necessarily endorsed by the UCB.
The UCB Flier is available in large print, Braille (please note the transition to UEB format), audio cassette tape, audio CD, as a Microsoft Word and a plain text file on CD, and by e-mail. If you would prefer to receive your newsletter in a different format, please call the Utah Connection or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know.
Make a bequest to the Utah Council of the Blind in your will or trust. The executor will need to know that we are a non-profit charitable institution under IRS 501(c)(3) and that checks should be sent to:
Utah Council of the Blind
PO Box 1415
Bountiful, UT 84011-1415
If you shop at amazon.com, just use the smile.amazon.com web address, where you have the opportunity to select a charity to support with your purchases. Amazon then contributes a small percentage of most of your purchase to the charity of your choice. The easiest way to set the UCB as your charity of choice is as follows:
· Go to www.smile.amazon.com and login as you normally would.
Activate the “Your Account” link
· Arrow down or use a links list to find “Change Your Charity”
· Go down to the form field (just before the search button) and type in “Utah Council of the Blind”
· Tab to the “Search” button and press the spacebar
· In the Results you will see “Utah Council of the Blind”, tab to the “Select” button immediately following it and press the spacebar.
· A pop-up window opens telling you that your purchases will now support “Utah Council of the Blind”
· Whenever you shop at Amazon, use the smile.amazon.com site, and it will remember your selected charity.
First, you must have a Smith’s rewards card. If you do not have this card, ask for one at a checkout or service desk when you are at Smith’s. For those of you who use your rewards cards to earn gasoline discounts, be aware that the Community Rewards do not affect those discounts at all. You will still be able to accumulate fuel points as before.
Second, you must have registered the card online. To do this, go to www.smithsfoodanddrug.com, follow the link to register and fill out the form with your email address, a password you create, your home store, etc.
To assign the UCB as your charitable organization:
· Sign in to your Smith’s account
· Open the “My Account” page if it does not take you there automatically
· Look for “Community Rewards” near the end of the page, find “Edit” below it, and activate that
· On the search page that opens, below “Find your Organization” you can type either our number, which is “32989”, or “Utah Council of the Blind”
· Tab to “Search” and activate that
· Go down to the results, find the checkbox in front of “Utah Council of the Blind”, and press the spacebar
· Tab to “Enroll” and activate that
Utah Council of the Blind FREE MATTER
1301 W 500 S FOR THE BLIND
Woods Cross UT 84087-2224 AND DISABLED