Crossword PuzzleIn today’s #MemberSpotlightMonday we’d like to thank our member American Printing House for the Blind for supporting our #VSAFallConf in Portland, OR. Known as “the world’s largest nonprofit organization creating educational, workplace, and independent living products and services for people who are visually impaired,” check out their new free online crossword game:

https://crossword.aphtech.org/

Colorful Mural in Boward County FloridaIn today’s #MemberSpotlightMonday post, we showcase Lighthouse of Broward County who has created a multi-sensory mural honoring Florida’s state bird, the mockingbird, utilizing boxy sensors installed above the art that produce sounds of the singing mockingbirds, and scents of orange citrus groves and fresh pine trees. The artwork also includes raised textures for touching.

Man walking with a white cane across the street.October 15th is National White Cane Safety Day, so we thought we’d share the White Cane Law: “A totally or partially blind pedestrian who is carrying a predominately white cane (with or without a red tip), or using a guide dog, shall have the right-of-way. The driver of any vehicle approaching this pedestrian, who fails to yield the right-of-way, or to take all responsibility necessary precautions to avoid injury to this blind pedestrian, is guilty of a misdemeanor. Punishable by imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding six months, or by a fine of not less than five hundred dollars ($500) no more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), or both. This section shall not preclude prosecution under any other applicable provision of law.” – Vehicle Code #21963 #NationalWhiteCaneSafetyDay

Orcams MyEye productToday’s #MemberSpotlightMonday features our member Blinded Veterans Association and our corporate partner OrCam who were both spotlighted on today’s episode of Dr. Phil. US Veteran Scotty Smiley, blinded in Iraq in 2005, demonstrates how the OrCam MyEye 2 has changed his life, allowing him to read text, recognize faces, identify products and more. OrCam is offering a discount on their MyEye device through Wednesday. Click to learn more at: http://bit.ly/2IISwNT

LightHosue workers sitting around a table in discussionToday’s #MemberSportlightMonday is about Lighthouse Center for Vision Loss in Duluth, Minnesota. They offer many great programs serving clients across the state, including a Transition Program open to youth 14 to 21 years of age who have visual impairment or blindness and are still in school. The photos below show some of the many activities participants enjoy: free use of a computer and technology training, cooking class, rock climbing and a city-wide scavenger hunt.
https://www.lcfvl.org/transition

Joe Bogart with his sonThis #MemberSpotlightMonday we’d like to spotlight Joe Bogart, Executive Director of the Blinded Veterans Association. Joe retired from the U.S. Army as a Major after serving 28 years as a Combat Engineer. While serving in Iraq in 2006, he was wounded and left legally blind. In 2008, he again deployed to Iraq as the first Blind Service member to return to ground combat since the Civil War. After his retirement in 2018, he took over as the Executive Director for the Blinded Veterans Association. Joe also serves on the Board of Directors for the Missouri based Veteran Support Organization called Camp Hope. [photo below is Joe with his son] Find out more at their website, www.bva.org

Sharon Giovinazzo and her dog Watson
Sharon Giovinazzo and her dog Watson

For today’s #MemberSpotlightMonday, we’re sharing a the inspirational story of the Executive Director of World Services for the Blind, Sharon Giovinazzo, and her guidedog Watson: https://www.thv11.com/…/from-2020-to-00-in-month…/615166549…

Today’s #MemberSpotlightMonday honors Robert Kelly, President/CEO of FL Lions Conklin Center for the Blind. Robert is retiring 10/1/18 and is being honored for his 30 years of commitment to Florida Agencies Serving the Blind, the State Rehab Council on Blindness, and serving as Chair of Florida ASB for several years. Thanks Robert – we wish you well! [photo of Robert and many of our current and future Florida members at a recent visit to the Florida School for the Deaf and Blind]

Current and future Florida members meeting at the Florida School for the Deaf and Blind 2018

We’re starting a new tradition called #MemberSpotlightMonday to showcase some of the great things our members do. Today we share a useful document put together by our member in the far north, the Alaska Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired, which includes advice on interacting with people who are blind and visually impaired and why it’s GREAT to employ them!
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#MembershipSpotlightMonday is a chance for us to say “Thank you” to our local members, St Louis Society for The Blind and Visually Impaired and Lighthouse for the Blind – St. Louis who co-sponsored our Happy Hour reception for our corporate partners, members and their staff attending the American Council of the Blind Convention this week in St. Louis. We ❤️your support!

slsbvi logoLHB Industries logo

George Bush welcomes service dog "Sully" to the family
George Bush welcomes service dog “Sully” to the family

In today’s #MembershipSpotlightMonday we salute Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind and America’s VetDogs who trained the new service dog for former President George HW Bush. Well done!

Envision's BVI Workforce Innovation CenterToday’s #MembershipSpotlightMonday we bring news of an innovative project from Envision, their BVI Workforce Innovation Center, housed at Envision’s headquarters in Wichita, Kansas. The center will create the workforce of tomorrow and address the lack of accommodation in job settings that has created a gap between the demand for professional jobs and the availability of those positions to people with vision loss. That goal will be met through youth programs, job training programs, collaboration with employers around the country to create accessible workplaces, consumer contact services and testing/evaluation of assistive technology. Read more at https://www.envisionus.com/

Center for Sight and Hearing logoToday’s #MembershipSpotlightMonday features Center for Sight & Hearing‘s beautiful video feature on one of their clients:

Outlook Nebraska logoToday’s #MembershipSpotlightMonday salutes Outlook Nebraska for offering Camp Abilities, a summer sports camp for blind and visually impaired kids. Here’s a news feature about the great work they’re doing for these kids:

https://www.3newsnow.com/…/summer-sports-camp-for-blind-and…

Nu-Visions Center Flag Day Picnic
Nu-Visions Center Flag Day Picnic July 2018

In today’s #MembershipSpotlightMonday we’d like to showcase NuVisions Center in Lewistown, PA. Like many of our members, they provide a variety of services designed to meet various needs of the visually impaired in their community including:

*Transportation and escorts for essential appointments.
*Opportunities to connect and network with others.
*Confidential help with bill paying, reading and correspondence.
*Transitional help and counseling for lifestyle changes and promoting healthy sight.
*Eye glasses, adaptive aids, magnifiers and exams.
*Contact for large print books and Talking Book Program.
*Information and referral service for other agencies.
*Pre‐school to adult vision screenings.
*School‐based vision safety awareness.
*Education programs for business and industry.

The attached photo is from their recent Flag Day picnic where their customers enjoyed a fun picnic, celebrated the flag and made flag-inspired crafts. A good time was had by all!

Ken Fernald with guide dog Winnie
Ken Fernald with guide dog Winnie

Today’s #MembershipSpotlightMonday we say 3 cheers to Ken Fernald, President/CEO of the Association for Vision Rehabilitation and Employment – AVRE shown below prepping to throw the first pitch at the Binghamton Rumble Ponies game last Wednesday! Guiding Eyes for the Blind dog Winnie is ready.

puppy raiser Nina Scribner surrounded by her "smiling" guide dogs
Nina Scribner, puppy raiser for Guiding Eyes

In recognition of National Dog Day August 26, 2018, today’s #MembershipSpotlightMonday salutes our members who raise service dogs for people who are blind and visually impaired, such as Guiding Eyes for the Blind. Read about what it’s like to raise these lovely animals from puppy hood to adult –

https://www.guidingeyes.org/meet-a-puppy-raiser/

17-year old fencer, Cosette Dunkle A teenage client of Lighthouse of SW Florida named Cosette Dunkle has been selected to compete in the National Finals in Fencing in St. Louis. Here is more about this 17-year old’s inspirational story.

Cosette learned at age 6 that she has 4 rare eye conditions: Monofixation syndrome/accommodations spasm/blurred vision/myopia with astigmatism. Despite these obstacles, Cosette is seeking to become a Pediatric Oncologist and with technology taught at Lighthouse of SWFL now knows her goal is certainly attainable.  A quote from this young lady is, “I am doing the things people told me I could never do,” including competing at the highest level the first week of July at the National Finals of Fencing in St. Louis where she will compete with fully sighted competitors for the National Championship!  No accommodations for her visual impairment will be made! 

Cosette Dunkle competing in a fencing match

 

Also, Cosette was awarded to be a delegate at the Florida Association of Centers for Independent Living Youth Leadership Forum in Tallahassee the week of July 18. 

If you’d like to donate to help fund Cosette’s travel expenses to the National Finals of Fencing and the Leadership Forum, please send your donations to: Lighthouse of SW Florida, “Fending Project Fund,” 35 W. Mariana Ave., North Fort Myers, FL 33903-5515 or contact director Doug Fowler at dfowler@lighthouseswfl.org

Lighthouse SW FL logo

STORY UPDATE:

For anyone able to come support Cosette, here is information about the location and time from her Mom:

Cosette is competing at the America Center @ 701 Convention Plaza in St. Louis. She is in 2 different events:

  1. Tuesday, July 3rd, Division 2 Women’s Foil. Check-in ends at 2 pm.
  2. Thursday, July 5th, Division 3 Women’s Foil. Check-in ends at 4pm.

Once check-in has ended the event coordinators will assemble the pool groups. So first she will compete in Pools, then if she makes the ‘cut’ she will compete in Direct Eliminations until she loses. There are 168 fencers competing on Tuesday and 160 on Thursday, so the event will take a couple of hours at least.

Note: if anyone does come to see Cosette look for her back that says DUNKLE, then you will find her!

Hadley Institute logoThe textureless glass screen of an iPhone or iPad can seem formidable to someone who is blind or visually impaired, and learning to code on those devices could be even more daunting. Apple is working to change that. The tech giant is partnering with the Hadley Institute for the Blind and Visually Impaired to bring its coding curriculum to more people with visual disabilities.  READ MORE

Chicago Lighthouse logo

Member Chicago Lighthouse was recently featured on The Visionaries Public Television Series. The episode features key programs offered by The Lighthouse and their life-changing impact. Watch the episode here: http://ow.ly/JNld30jXpsN