VIPS Newsletter for April 2006
We had 24 people at our March 11, 2006 meeting! We had a very informative lecture with our guest speaker Dr. Michael Ford. His presentation was wonderful with information about new technology help for macular degeneration of the eyes.
Dr. Michael Ford works with Dr. Harold Everett in offices in Sequim and Port Angeles. His phone number is: 360-452-9708
Charlie Barnes wanted to let anyone who is interested in the �Talking Checkbook� computer software program, that he uses it and will be happy to demonstrate it to you. Let us know and we will hook you up with his phone number.
The applications were very popular at this meeting of March 11, 2006. Available were applications for:
ParaTransit - Clallam county transportation services
Qwest 411 waver - telephone directory assistance for free
NFB News-line - a telephone accessed newspaper service for free NFB Braille Monitor print or cassette tapes - information about blindness and visual impairments
NFB Voice of the Diabetic - news print or free cassette tapes
EARS Enrichment Audio Resource Services Inc.- free cassette tapes on daily living skills for visual impairment for seniors
Readers Digest- on cassette tapes
Washington Talking Book and Braille Library- books in large print or cassette tapes are free - mailed to your home for free [these tapes require a special half speed player, provided by the library for free]
All these services are free [except the ParaTransit] or ask for a voluntary donation.
If you are interested in any of these services, call our number and leave your name and phone number and I will get back to you with the applications. All cassettes are normal speed and can be played on any cassette tape player [except the library books].
Dues for the VIPS are $24.00 per year.
Catalogues: Maxi aids and other blind and low vision products will be available at our meetings.
See you at the meeting Saturday April 8, 2006 at the Sequim Library!
NFB of WA Spring Mini Convention
The spring mini convention of the National Federation of the Blind of Washington was held April 1-2 at the Red Lion Inn at the Quay in Vancouver, Washington. [The annual fall convention of the National Federation of the Blind of Washington will take place November 3-5, 2006; it will also be held at the Red Lion Inn at the Quay in Vancouver, Washington.]
For future reference, the address is: 100 Columbia Street; the main telephone number is [360]694-8341.
Ella May Parrish drove us, Kyle Parrish and I [Sherron Smith], on Friday, March 31- at noon to Vancouver. Jed, Kyle�s guide dog, had his seat all set and comfy next to Kyle in the van. We arrived at 3:00 pm and got our rooms. We had dinner at the restaurant in the hotel. Then we went to our rooms and had a good rest. Saturday, April 1, the morning session ran from nine am to noon. We went to a great Mexican Restaurant a few blocks away for our lunch. The afternoon session ran from two o'clock to five o'clock. There was a no-host bar from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. The banquet began at seven. A very good entr�e of Chicken breast was served. The entertainment following the banquet was the group �Three Together� featuring music from the �60s and �70�s.
On Sunday, April 2, we had a nice breakfast followed by a meeting of the NFB of WA Board of Directors. We all were a bit sleepy as we lost an hour of sleep. The Board meeting ended long before noon and we all said our goodbye�s to our new and other �Federationists�. Our featured speaker was National Representative Cathy Jackson, member of the NFB Board of Directors and President, NFB of Kentucky. This is the first time she had attended one of our conventions. During the convention, discussions were about NFB philosophy, policies and methods. They also discussed the differences between NFB and ACB.
To make room reservations for the fall convention, please contact Mike Freeman, President National Federation of the Blind of Washington by email [email protected] or by calling him at (360) 576-5965.
We won one; we lost one. On Friday, March 24, Governor Gregoire signed into law SHB-2479; this bill makes it easier to certify accessible voting equipment and also provides a mechanism to assist counties which have chosen to switch completely to vote-by-mail to set up polling places with voting equipment accessible to the blind and visually impaired. However, despite the strenuous objections of both the National Federation of the Blind of Washington and the Washington Council of the Blind, the legislature passed ESSB-6287, a bill allowing persons who are legally blind to obtain special parking permits for the disabled. To my knowledge, Governor Gregoire has not signed this bill. We hope that she has the courage to exercise common sense and veto it.
The Federal House of Representatives has passed legislation to mint a commemorative coin for Louis Braille in 2009, thereby providing funds to the National Federation of the Blind to promote Braille literacy. The Senate has yet to pass a similar bill. We should continue to urge Senators Murray and Cantwell to sign onto S-2321, the Louis Braille Coin bill in the Senate.
Don't forget to make your reservations to attend the NFB national convention in Dallas, TX July 1-7 (see the March Braille Monitor for details). It promises to be a great convention!
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