Editor: Ted Harper
- Letter from the President
- ACBT Conference Update
- ACB Conference
- Interest Story 1. Old Attitudes Die Hard
- Interest Story 2. Changes to Texas Independent Living
- What’s cooking
- Chapter Meeting Location
**Letter from the President
Happy August in Texas. I hope everyone is doing what they can to stay cool. I want you all to keep Jenifer Yoder in your prayers. She has hit a rough patch but her condition is well monitored by her healthcare team while she is in hospital. Jenifer, like all of my fellow chapter members, is family. Family means many different things to each of us. A family is a group of individuals who support each other. That’s part of what it means to be a member of ACB and all of its chapters. It’s our similarities and common struggles that bring us all together. Take a moment to celebrate our achievements and our common bond.
**ACBT Conference Update
Greetings From the ACBT Conference Team
By Peggy Garrett
It’s almost time! There are only two months until the 2016 ACBT 38th annual Conference/Convention!
You should have received your registration packets by now. It’s not too soon to start registering and save that additional $10.00! Registrations postmarked after September 9th and on-site registration will be charged an additional $10.00 fee ($65.00).
Here are some answers to some “frequently asked questions” and some tips to expedite on-site registration and reserving rooms:
- We will have volunteers to assist with on-site registration, however, to speed up the process, whenever possible, please have your registration form already completed and checks filled out.
- The deadline for reserving a room is September 2nd. Please remember that there is a block of rooms being held for ACBT until midnight on September 2nd. After that date, the hotel is not obligated to honor the ACBT contracted rate. However, based on availability, they can offer rooms at the regular rate of $139.00 to $169.00 per night plus tax!***Please make every effort to reserve your room before the deadline.Last year several people missed the deadline and encountered issues trying to reserve rooms and get the conference rate after the block was closed. So, go ahead and make that call to the Holiday Inn Austin Midtown today at 512-451-5757, or you may book online at www.acbtexas.org.
- There are only a limited number of accessible rooms at the hotel. If you need to reserve one of them, I encourage you to do so as soon as possible.
- At check-in, you will be charged $20.00 per day for incidentals. The hotel will release any unused funds upon checkout. However, it can take 7 to 10 days for the bank or credit card company to release the funds.
- Check in time is 3:00pm and check out time is 12:00pm. Guests arriving before 3:00pm will be accommodated based on availability. Guest Services can arrange to check baggage for those arriving early when rooms are not available and for guests attending functions on their day of departure.
- The hotel will not guarantee early check in unless prior approval has been granted. Late checkout must also be approved in advance. Rooms that are not vacated by 12:00pm on the day of departure will be subject to a late checkout fee.
- Reservations must be canceled by 4:00 PM, 72 hours before the day of arrival or the first night of the stay will be charged to the card on file. ***Please cancel reservations as soon as you know that you will not be using the room as someone else may need it!
Should you have questions or need additional information or if you encounter any problems making reservations, you may contact me via email email@example.com or telephone at 281-438-9665.
Peggy R. Garrett, Conference/Convention Coordinator
** ACB Conference
Vernon Henley Media Award
By Kenneth Semien, July 2016, ACBT Yahoo Group
The ACB Board of Publications presented the Vernon Henley Media Award on Monday July 4th in Minneapolis, Minnesota during the ACB Conference & Convention.
The Vernon Henley Media Award is presented to an organization, company, or person, either sighted or blind, who has made a positive difference in the press — whether in radio, TV, magazines, newspapers or electronic media — that may change public attitudes to recognize the capabilities of people who are blind, rather than focusing on outdated stereotypes and misconceptions.
Congratulations Larry Johnson! Your excellently written educational and informative articles placed in the San Antonio Express News and beyond promotes positive change and positively impacts the lives of individuals who are blind or visually impaired. Thank you for caring and using your writing ability to make a difference! We are honored to have you as a member of ACB and ACB of Texas.
** Interest Stories
Old Attitudes Die Hard
By Carl Jarvis
[Editor’s Note: This article was previously published in The Braille Forum, August 2011]
Remember the old adage, “Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water.” Which makes me wonder, how many of you have ever given or been given a bath in a free-standing tub, one from which the water could be thrown out?
Think of how many of our expressions come out of the past and are based on a way of life that no longer exists, or is fast disappearing. “A stitch in time saves nine.” How few people now pick up a needle and thread to do more than put a button back on a blouse or shirt? “A quarter past the hour” makes no sense to our grandchildren when clocks no longer have hands. And how many horses are there in a 250-horsepower engine?
Little things like dialing the phone. Really? What do we do to a modern phone? Punch it? We can’t dial something that has no dial. And what in the world do we mean when we say, “Just in the nick of time” or “It’s down the road a piece”?
Well, before it sounds like I’m just babbling, my point is that we hang onto old expressions long past the day when we knew why we used them. We say things out of habit because we have established general agreement on what they represent. My grandma used to say, “He’s so poor he doesn’t have a pot to pee in, or a window to toss it out.” Now we understand that this fellow is really poor even though none of us have ever peed in a pot or looked for a window. Have we?
But here is my point. We as a society hold onto outdated ideas just as we hold onto old expressions. Our attitudes about blindness are based on thousands of years of beliefs that have been passed from generation to generation without folks ever giving much thought to them. “Blind as a bat” conveys a particular mental image when applied to a particular situation. “He flew into a blind rage” tells us something about the antics of someone who is out of control. “She groped blindly for the door” gives us a beautiful picture of how lost this poor soul is.
“Down a blind alley.” “He turned a blind eye.” All are expressions that all of us understand. All are based on attitudes about folks who lived and died thousands of years ago and who lived in a very different world. While we blind people live in a much different world today and are very different from those lost souls on whom such expressions were based, we are nonetheless stuck with them because they are broadly understood, and make a general picture of the point being made. They have nothing to do with how blind people function today, and yet they have everything to do with how society sees us.
Try and think of ways the word “blind” is used in expressing a positive point. We say, “He had a keen eye for the task.” We know that this fellow is on top of the situation. But there is no positive way of letting folks know that the blind person has just as keen an eye. The word “blind” trumps all else.
We blind people are up against something much bigger and deeper ingrained than merely proving that we are capable human beings. Even as the waitress says to me, “My, you people do so wonderfully well,” she is responding to our collective understanding of blindness, not to me.
Ten years after I had been totally blind, my dad said, “By golly, I believe that blind people really can do anything they set their minds to!” I was taken aback. “Dad,” I said, “I don’t understand. You have always agreed with me that blind people can live normal lives just as sighted people do.”
“Well,” Dad said, “I understood what you were saying, and intellectually it made sense. But now I really believe it.” Today I understand that at that point Dad had stepped past all of the accumulation of ingrained attitudes about blindness. And this is where rehabilitation must come to: more than just proving that we are as good as our sighted neighbors. Even with us proving that we can do some things better than they can, that will not change that underlying, unspoken accumulation of belief.
It could be said that along with rehabilitating the blind person, we must rehabilitate our entire society.
Changes to Texas Independent Living Services
By Scott Bowman, Texas Star Vol. 24, No. 3
As a result of legislation passed during the Texas 84th Legislative session in spring 2015, significant changes are coming this fall for consumers receiving services from the Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services (DARS). Beginning September 1, 2016, consumer services programs currently provided by DARS will be moved to Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) or to the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC). Centers for Independent Living (CILs) located throughout Texas will be providing the Part B (Title VII, Part B of the Rehabilitation Act) services under contracts with HHSC.
Specifically, DARS is working collaboratively with HHSC and CILs to contract independent living (IL) services to 16 Texas CILs; each Texas county will be served by one of those CILs. The contracted agreement for services will be between HHSC and CILs, and is expected to be in place by the time of this publication.
Services for Independent Living for Older Individuals who are Blind (OIB grant) will be transitioned to TWC. TWC plans to contract with HHSC to provide OIB services through the same CIL contracts.
Draft standards for the contracted services can be located here: Texas CIL Standards. Proposed rules were posted for public comment through July 24. The latest version is available at this site: Texas IL Program Rules.
A limited number of staff currently working in the DARS IL program will transition to HHSC on September 1, 2016, to provide technical assistance and training or contract oversight to the CILs. Those staff as well as CIL staff and directors are being trained by DARS this summer.
To pave the way for a smooth transition, DARS, HHSC and Texas CILs continue to work closely as those caseloads are transferred to the CILs this summer. You may learn more about the current status of the IL transition and the contracted CILs at: Texas IL Outsourcing.
To find more information about the other DARS programs that will transition, please visit: Texas DARS Transition. http://www.dars.state.tx.us/announcements/transformation.shtml
By Art Noden from the Blind Handyman and Blind Like Me Yahoo Group, June 2016
As my guide dog and I stood in line at the checkout of the River City Market at CSUS, I asked the cashier what I considered a simple question. “Where are the napkins please?” Her response was hurried, but sincere, “over there.”
Emerging from the light rail for the first time, I managed to catch the attention of a passer-by. “Please sir, can you tell me where I might catch bus 63?” A kind voice offered a pleasant response before disappearing into the cacophony of the early afternoon, “You can catch it, Over there.”
So many things reside over there — napkins, bus stops, pencils, pens, clothing racks, department stores and even my shoes! A never ending supply of important and indispensable items and locales all reside in this place which is shrouded in mystery and intrigue. I stand in perplexed silence after learning that something is over there. It is a place I have never been
and have no hope of finding on my own.
My guide dog is quite skilled in finding chairs, stairs, elevators,
escalators, helping me cross streets, and can even find me the pepperoni display at Food Town; however, when I tell him to find “over there”, his little bottom hits the floor and a small whimper tells me that he is as confused as I. We will not be going “over there” today.
Over there has caused me a bit of vexation, a lot of confusion and, on occasion, made my heart race. I have discovered that “over there” can be a dangerous place.
One day while crossing a street, I heard a driver’s irritated voice shout out a warning of a truck bearing down on me from over there. My guide dog artfully dodged the oncoming vehicle and pulled me to the safety of the curb. Our hearts were both racing as we took a few moments to compose ourselves.
Close encounters with over there can be frightening experiences. Although many blind people have wondered as to the exact location of, “over there,” few have dared to venture forth in an actual exploration of the mysterious place.
One day, while standing in line at the supermarket, I asked the clerk where I might find the aspirin. With a cheery smile in her voice, she informed me that the aspirin was located, “over there.” With a weary sigh, I decided that I would take the extra step that would unravel the mystery, which had vexed my compatriots since the beginning of time.
Taking a deep breath, and attempting to look nonchalant, I smiled at the clerk, “Where,” I asked, “is over there?” I imagined the girl’s shocked expression. I felt her sharing condescending and concerned looks with her fellows in the store. The silence grew palpable as they mulled the possibility of allowing a blind person access to the forbidden land.
She had no choice; she would have to tell me how to find “over there!” I had won! Exhilaration swept through me as I waited in breathless anticipation. A victorious smile crept to my lips, my hand tightened on the handle of my guide dog’s harness, we would soon be going over there! The clerk’s voice reeked with resignation as the decision was made. “That
way,” she said.
From the Cookbook of Alice Harper
[Editor’s Note: I was wondering what to eat the other night. I had a couple of cans of tuna and turned to my Mom’s cookbook. I hope you enjoy this recipe.]
- 2, 6-ounce cans tuna packed in water
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1/2 cup white bread torn into small pieces
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp water (or liquid from the cans of tuna)
- 2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- 2 Tbsp chopped green onions – use the entire onion
- Salt and ground black pepper
- A couple squirts of hot sauce or tabasco – My mom’s card says it’s the secret ingredient
- 1 raw egg
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon butter
1 Drain tuna: Drain the liquid from the tuna cans. If you are using tuna packed in water, reserve a tablespoon of the tuna water, and add a teaspoon of olive oil to the tuna mixture in the next step.
2 Mix tuna with mustard, bread, zest, lemon juice, water, parsley, chives, hot sauce, salt, pepper, egg: In a medium bowl, mix together the tuna, mustard, torn white bread, lemon zest, lemon juice, water, parsley, chives, and hot sauce. Sprinkle on salt and freshly ground black pepper. Taste the mixture before adding the egg to see if it needs more seasoning to your taste. Mix in the egg.
3 Form into patties, chill: Divide the mixture into 4 parts. With each part, form into a ball and then flatten into a patty. Place onto a wax paper lined tray and chill for an hour. (You can skip the chilling if you want; chilling just helps the patties stay together when you cook them.)
4 Sauté in skillet: Heat the olive oil and a little butter (for taste) in a stick-free skillet on medium high. Gently place the patties in the pan, and cook until nicely browned, 3-4 minutes on each side.
Did you know DACB has a Facebook page? Don’t forget to like us on Facebook. Tell others that they can like us on Facebook for up-to-the-minute news and updates. https://www.facebook.com/dallasacb
**Chapter Meeting Location
The Dallas chapter meets the third Saturday of every month from 1:00 pm until 3:00 PM. Come join the Dallas chapter for food, fellowship and business Come on down at 11:30 am to eat and visit if you like. Come join the Dallas chapter for food, fellowship and business at the Olive Garden located at 9079 Vantage Point Drive in Dallas, TX 75243. The chapter meets in the large party room.