January 16, 2017 Meeting

Our regular meeting occurs every other month. This month we will not be meeting at the Monroe County Library. Instead, we will be meeting at the Meadowood Retirement Community main building at 6:30 p.m. for a social and 7 – 8:30 p.m. for our regular meeting.


March 28 Guest Topic: Cruises tailored to the blind

Hawaiian Ocean View at TwlightPhotograph taken on deck of the Norwegian Cruise Line Pride of America cruise ship in Hawaii. The sun is out of frame on the left and nearly set, painting the deck with orange. It is reflected on the right side of the photo in a large series of deck windows, which have deck lights above them. The orange wooden deck is in the center, stretching from the foreground to the back as it wraps around the ship, with a railing and ocean on the left side. Photographed by Ted Boardman, Secretary, Heartland ACB.

If you’ve thought about traveling for pleasure and are blind or have low vision, or know someone who does, this talk should interest you.

Mr. Terry Horvath knows about arranging travel for the blind. Terry Horvath and his wife Patricia run Best Cruises travel agency. They have been in the travel business for 17 years. Mr. Horvath has arranged cruises for blind travelers doing his best to keep the cost low. He uses volunteers so that blind travelers do not have to bring a sighted person with them. Mr. Horvath has been a vendor at the last five American Council of the Blind conventions. He will be speaking to us via Skype and there will be plenty of time for your questions.

We will be meeting in room 2A in the Monroe County Public Library at 6:30 p.m. for refreshments and then get started at 7 p.m.

Please share this with anyone who might be interested in learning about this topic.

About the Heartland Chapter of the American Council of the Blind:
Our chapter serves Bloomington Indiana and the surrounding communities, meeting to share information and have fun social activities. Anyone interested in learning about topics of interest to the blind or with low vision are welcome to attend, including family and friends. We normally meet the third Monday of every other month starting from January. Please note that our meeting this time is on the 4th Monday of the month rather than the 3rd.

Date Change for our September Meeting

Our meetings are normally on the 3rd Monday of every other month, but this month the date is the 4th Monday. We will be meeting in room 1C at the Monroe County Public Library in Bloomington, Indiana.

We begin at 6:30 with a time to visit and munch a light refreshment. Our program will begin at 7:00. Our speaker this month is our own Ellie Kolbaum, speaking to us about non24 and other sleep problems that blind people experience, and suggest some possible remedies. Ellie will also present a community outreach project that could provide us with an opportunity for connections and growth.
We’ll have plenty of information to share. Anyone from the general public is more than welcome to join us.

Announcement: July regular meeting cancelled

Our regular meetings are scheduled every other month, starting in January, on the third Monday of the month at Monroe County Public Library in Bloomington, Indiana.

Because a significant portion of our members will be unable to come to our regularly scheduled meeting on Monday, July 20, we are canceling our meeting.

However, we are planning our next social gathering event in August and more details will be posted soon.

Nature Lovers: Join us on July 18 for a Natural Bloomington Ecotour!

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Please join the Heartland Chapter of the American Council of the Blind for a Natural Bloomington Ecotour with guest Steven Higgs, author of the upcoming book A Guide to Natural Areas of Southern Indiana, to be released in June 2016 by IU Press.

Higgs is a veteran environmental writer and photographer and the founder of Natural Bloomington, the first ecotourism business in Indiana. Ecotourism is an ecologically friendly form of nature travel.

Higgs has planned an ecotour to three natural areas around Bloomington for members of the American Council of the Blind on July 18, from 9 a.m. to noon. The tour will include stops at the Sycamore Land Trust’s Beanblossom Bottoms and Powell West Preserve, and the City of Bloomington’s Leonard Springs Nature Park.

The 750-acre-plus Beanblossom Bottoms Nature Preserve, a complex of protected wetlands on the Beanblossom Creek northwest of Bloomington. It features a diverse combination of lowland ecosystems. The creek is a tributary of the West Fork of the White River. We will hike along a wide, easy old roadbed to a deck near an eagle’s nest.

The 190-acre Porter West Preserve just west of Bloomington contains a combination of mature and young forest, early successional areas, small ponds, sandstone outcrops, and karst features, including sinkholes and a spring. We will hike a mowed trail from the parking lot along the edge of woods to the north and an open field to the south.

The 95-acre Leonard Springs Nature Park, named after one of two natural springs that drain into the wetland below, features a landscape formed by the forces of karst and humankind. The water that emerges from the large alcoves at Leonard Spring and Shirley Spring has flowed for miles through underground passages in the soluble limestone that underlies the region. We will hike the road along the preserve’s north boundary.

Other details:

  • We will be meeting at a central location to board an 18 passenger Rural Transit bus.
  • The bus will be departing at 9 am and returning at approximately noon.
  • We plan to have lunch together at Applebee’s Bar & Grill after the tour.
  • Space on the bus is limited, so let us know soon if you want to join the tour!
  • A sighted guide is recommended. If you do not have someone in mind who can come with you, let us know so we can help make that arrangement.
  • If you know someone who might be interested in joining us for this event, please feel free to share this invitation with them. Remember, anyone interested can join our Heartland ACB chapter!
  • Destinations are preliminary and are subject to change, based on weather and the number of participants.
  • Natural Bloomington does not charge for ecotours but does accept contributions at the tours’ ends.

Contact us at info@heartlandacbi.org

More information about Natural Bloomington, including blog posts about previous tours, photos and articles, can be found on the web site www.naturalbloomington.com

Above photograph by Steven Higgs.

May 18 Meeting

Monroe County Public LibraryOur May meeting is fast approaching… It is this coming Monday evening, May 18th, 6:30 p.m., room 2B, Monroe County Public Library in Bloomington. Come and join us at 6:30 for a time to chat and munch a light refreshment.

Our meeting activities will begin at 7:00. Come and join us as we share our hobbies, new or old, and why we enjoy these passtimes. If you use a particular technology, equipment or tool for your hobby, bring it along. If your hobby is, for example, reading or writing, share with us a sample of your writing, or if reading, tell us what type of books you like to read, your fave book and why.. The sky’s the limit; its your hobby!

We will take just a few minutes for each person to share, and then take some time at the end of our meeting for you to, look at or experiment with a particular hobby that interest you. I’m willing to bet we will learn something new about each other, and as a side benefit, may find ourselves interested in a hobby that we’d never considered before!

We will have a couple other quick agenda items, an update on the IN/OH convention planning, New Freedom transportation voucher program update, and explore some ideas for a social activity or two for this summer.

Join us March 16, 2015, to talk about conditions of the retina

Are you or someone you know impacted by retinal disease in Bloomington, Indiana or the surrounding communities? Please join us March 16th, at the Monroe Public Library (Downtown), Room 1B. We begin at 6:30 with a light snack and time to chat, and then begin our program at 7:00.

Dr Ann Elsner, a researcher with the IU School of Optometry, will talk with us regarding retinal disease and answer questions. Retinal diseases include conditions that impact the retina, including macular degeneration, retinitis pigmentosa, Usher’s syndrome, Stargardts, and others.