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 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 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

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.