Meeting January 21 at Lucky’s

Our first meeting of 2019 is scheduled for Monday, Jan. 21 at 6:30 p.m. for a meet and greet — and eat. We will be meeting this month at Lucky’s Market located at 2424 S Walnut St, (Bloomington, IN) in the community room due to the library being closed for Martin Luther King Day. We will provide a little sweet snack, but I would encourage you to order a little something from Lucky’s deli if you wish. This will show our appreciation in giving them a little business. If you do wish to order something, please come prepared, right at 6:30 to allow time for assistance if needed.

I recently received an email listing the top eight delivery services and thought this would be a good topic for discussion, as several of us may have the first-hand experience with these services, and may wish to recommend others. This allows us to educate each other about opportunities that allow for greater independence and choice in our individual lives. I expect we might have a couple of visitors that could learn from this discussion.

Also, this meeting will be a good time to pay your annual dues of $10. What an incredible value! $10 includes membership in your local chapter, state affiliate, and national ACB organization! We try to be a place where we can learn of new opportunities, gain support and socialize with each other, and in turn, support our state and national organization in the important work they do in advocacy and convention opportunities. If you are not a member, please join us!

Lastly, we need to look ahead and discuss possible topics for our upcoming meetings for this year. So, come with some ideas, specific and general, whatever you have, bring it to the table!

— Barbara Salisbury, Chapter President

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Seven members attended the join state ACB convention. Barbara and Rhett naturally went up early, but the rest took the Campus Shuttle to the IUPUI student center and UBER to the hotel and back to Bloomington after the conference. It worked well and was a new experience for most.
Chris and Ted joined a large group of people who toured the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. After circling the track on a tour bus, they really enjoyed checking out winning Indy race cars by getting an up-close look and feel, and asking staff questions like: “Why is the tire smooth on one side and rough on the other?” Answer: the first cars were more top-heavy, so having more friction on the part of the tire that made contact on the inside track bank kept them from flipping over.
We all found the hotel to be nicely arranged and easy to navigate. We were all on the first floor facing the atrium area. We enjoyed having breakfast in the atrium and chatting with people from Indiana and Ohio.
There was business to attend to, and we congratulate Heartland ACB member Machell Philippone who we elected for a second term on the board. During the conference on Sunday, Chris Baskins also helped facilitate a workshop with researchers from Indiana University about designing accessible payment systems.
The learning part of the convention was nicely intertwined with business and socializing. We talked with people from Ohio at the great tasting pizza mixer. Beyond the casual interactions, we also enjoyed sitting with new people at the banquet, where there were fascinating talks about what the present and future hold for the Americans With Disabilities Act, innovations in accessible transportation and an inspiring account of a gold medal-winning Paralympian. The weekend was capped by a fun and successful auction fundraiser for our state and local chapters.
With full understanding that it takes many people working hard to pull off a successful convention, we want to thank our own chapter member and President Barbara Salisbury, and her husband and chapter member Rhett, for all their hard work contributing to a great and fresh convention experience.

Learning about audiobook narration from a professional

Our chapter had a dozen turnout for our September 2018 meeting, where we Skyped in Madelyn Buzzard, a graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and winner of the Alexander Scourby Award for fiction.  She shared insights into being a talking book narrator for over 1,500 titles, including how being an actor enhances her narration. People were engaged and asked good questions and hopefully have a greater appreciation for the work that goes into creating the talking books we love. We thank Marilyn for taking the time to share this experience with our chapter, as well as Sherry Wells for scheduling this speaker for us.

Sept. 24: Behind the Scenes of Talking Books

We invite anyone interested to attend our next regular meeting. In September, due to a scheduling conflict, we are meeting on the 4th Monday rather than the 3rd Monday. As a reminder, we have regular meetings every other month.

Our speaker will be Madilyn Buzzard, who is a talking book narrator. Talking book narrators are always very interesting, explaining what it is like to read a book in a way that makes it come alive. A surprising amount of effort goes into the process.

See you Monday, September 24 at 6:30 pm at the Monroe County Public Library in Bloomington!

You can contact us at info@heartlandacb.org and by calling (812) 269-6531.

Report on our May Social and Plans for July

We had an enjoyable social meeting in May at Avers Pizza. Over 14 people attended. We selected this venue in part because a private room allowed us to isolate our meeting from the sounds of other patrons, which was helpful for our members with hearing impairments. We also liked the pizza!

We discussed ideas for future meetings. One idea was to explore and share technologies, including potentially having workshops and demonstrations.

For our July meeting, chapter member Mary Stores will be presenting AIRA. Have you ever wanted to have a trusted and adept personal assistant? The creators of AIRA made a service that allows individuals who are blind to instantly connect with a sighted agent and receive that personalized assistance. It is like having your very own personal concierge.

The AIRA subscription service enables clients to press a button and immediately connect with trained visual assistants through audio and video. The service provides a pair of glasses that, instead of lenses, has a tiny camera mounted on the frame. Subscribers can also connect via a cell phone camera. The service also includes a cellular hotspot so there are no additional data charges. Mary will talk about the myriad of ways that AIRA helps her with her daily activities at home, work and while traveling.

Those that attend will also have the chance to interact with the AIRA agent to get a real sense of how they would use the service.

We think allowing those who are interested or curious to see and try new tools like AIRA is one way our chapter can help expand and enhance individual independence!

Please consider joining us on July 16 at 6:30 pm at the Monroe County Public Library.  We will have refreshments and would like to hear of your interest. Also, please contact us at info@heartlandacb.org or (812)  269-6531 if you have any questions or ideas!

Next Meeting May 21 at Avers Pizza (East)

Do you like pizza? How about a pizza buffet? Just for fun, we will be meeting to have dinner and socialize. If you prefer, you can order from the menu. We have reserved a group room on the left side as you enter the establishment. If you have never come to an event, this would be a great time to come introduce yourself and meet our resourceful members! Also, the variety of pizzas and salad bar are really good! Join us between 6 to 8 pm on May 21, 2018 at Avers Pizza on College Mall Road in Bloomington, Indiana.

Next Meeting March 19 at Bell Trace

Our March meeting will be held at Bell Trace.
We will meet, as usual, at 6:30 for a chat and snack with our agenda beginning at 7:00.  Topics and potential speaker as follows:
1.  Cycling event, May 19. We’ll have an update on the plans with ideas how you can be involved. We are talking with the recreation department about adaptive equipment and programs. There are other exciting possibilities concerning the event, and you could help!
2.  Upcoming disability roundtable meeting,  United States Department of Justice in Indianapolis. Our chapter president has been invited, and we would like your feedback as to what you see are the issues for our community of people who are blind and visually impaired.
3. Review of possible speakers for upcoming meetings and meeting space arrangements, and social activities. Bring your ideas!
This will be a good opportunity for residents at Bell Trace to come learn about what the local community of blind and visually impaired are doing and learning.  Please come out for this meeting and support your ACB chapter.  Your voice is important, as is your participation!

ACB to Participate in 27th Anniversary of the ADA

Heartland ACB will NOT be meeting in July. Instead, on Saturday, July 22, 2017, our ACB chapter will have a table at a celebration of the 27th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  This celebration will be part of the Bloomington Farmers Market.  Representatives from our chapter will be at our table.

We will have some sort of “challenge” and giveaway, most likely involving something in Braille. We will be there from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. 

Please stop by to say hello if you see us!

 

Heartland Association American Council of the Blind March Meeting

The Heartland Association of ACB meets bimonthly on the 3rd Monday of the month for a casual meet and greet at 6:30 pm, and with the program beginning at 7:00 pm.

The March 20th meeting will be held in the Community Room of Bell Trace Community Living Center on the lower level, 800 North Bell Trace Circle. The special presenter will be Dr. Michael DeWit with the IU School of Optometry who will speak on macular degeneration and ocular health.

To learn more about local chapter meetings and the American Council of the Blind, contact the Heartland Association of ACB via Google voicemail: 812-269-6531 or email Barbara Salisbury at barbara.salisbury@att.net.