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					Foundation Focus A Publication of the NJ Foundation for the Blind Volume 4, Issue 6 Program News: Holidays at the Lodge starts November 27, 2006. Come join old friends and new for a wonderful week of crafting beautiful handmade gifts. Friends and family welcome. For more information Please call Karen at 973-627-0055 ext 340 The mission of the New Jersey Foundation for the Blind is to assist people who have become visually impaired to regain their self-esteem and self-reliance. To that end, we offer a variety of core and elective rehabilitation courses which promote independence. Before students can be registered for classes, a complete functional performance assessment is conducted in the areas of Orientation and Mobility, Activities of Daily Living, Communication, organization and assistive technology skills. After reviewing the results, staff discusses options with the student. Student input is crucial in designing the program. Students may wish to participate in all recommended courses or focus on specific areas of concern. In addition, students may attend classes two days a week, one day a week, or we can design a program to meet individual needs. Our winter session will begin January 9, 2007 and will run to March 15, 2007 for ten weeks on Tuesday and Thursdays. The spring session will run from April 16th, 2007 to June 22nd, 2007 for ten weeks Mondays and Thursday or Tuesdays and Fridays. If you have gone through the assessment process outlined above just call Linda at 973-627-0055 ext. 312 to register for either session. If you have never gone through the assessment process call Heather Dick, our social worker, at 973-627-0055 ext 315, to begin the registration process for either the Winter or Spring session. We know many of you know the Program Department staff and the wonderful work they do. We thought you would enjoy having a little background information on the regular staff. Look in the January Focus for background information on excellent adjunct staff. Heather A. Dick received her Masters Degree of Social Work in 2005 from Marywood University; Scranton, PA. Heather has over 5 years experience working with families, children, 1

adolescents and couples in both inpatient and outpatient settings. Heather is a Licensed Social Worker with the state of New Jersey and is currently working towards her Clinical Social Worker License (LCSW) to be completed in May 2007. Willie Franklin has worked for the New Jersey Foundation for the Blind for approximately four years. He comes to us with a wealth of experience driving individuals with disabilities. He worked for Access Link and several other transportation companies. Chilly Willie, as he is affectionately know by both students and staff, is not only a driver, he is an advisor, confidant and friend to all who know him. Linda Groszew is a resident of Denville and has been with the New Jersey Foundation for the Blind for two years. She started at Diamond Spring Lodge as the receptionist and quickly demonstrated her talents so that she currently is Assistant to the Program Director. Her background includes licensed dental X-ray technician, a B.A. degree in Music from William Paterson University, and owning and operating "Branchville Country Market" family business. Tiffany Jessen has always been interested in learning and teaching all kinds of adaptive methods, techniques, and devices, whether high tech or low tech, to the blind. She has a B.A. degree from the University of Arizona where she studied special education and rehabilitation: with an emphasis in the visual impairments. She has worked for the Foundation since March of 2005. Peggy Kane holds a Masters degree in individual counseling from Montclair State University and a Bachelors degree in rehabilitation teaching for adults who are blind from Cleveland State University. Peggy formally worked at Bohland Rehabilitation Center as a rehabilitation teacher and rehabilitation counselor. She also worked at the New Jersey Commission for the Blind as a home instructor. For the past five years she has worked at the New Jersey Foundation for the Blind as a rehabilitation teacher. Peggy is a certified Vision Rehabilitation Therapist through ACVREP. Robert Lieberman worked 35 years for the New Jersey Commission for the Blind as an orientation & mobility instructor and case manager. His degrees include a BA from Florida State University in Orientation and Mobility and an M.Ed from Seton Hall University. He has three New Jersey state certifications including Teacher of the Handicapped, Teacher of the Visually Impaired and Student Personnel Services (guidance). Additionally he holds an ACVREP certificate as an orientation and mobility specialist

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Sally Ragone received her Master of Arts in teaching degree from The City University of New Jersey. She is certified from the State of New Jersey as a Teacher of the Blind and Visually Impaired and as a Teacher of the Handicapped. She is currently working on ACVREP certification in rehabilitation teaching. White Cane Day kicks off with new tool for Blind BAKERSFIELD - Every seven minutes, someone in America will become blind or visually impaired, according to the American Foundation for the Blind. There are roughly 10 million Americans living with visual impairments, and more than a million are legally blind. Advocates for the blind and visually impaired put on their version of trading places to help people see more clearly the challenges the blind face in life. It is called White Cane Day, an annual event observed nationwide to highlight the needs of people living with blindness or visual impairment. Nicole Powell is a bus driver for Golden Empire Transit in Bakersfield, and was selected to take part in a demonstration designed to let people with good vision experience living without sight. One-in-ten uses the familiar white cane with the red band at the bottom, invented in 1930 by a member of the Lions Club in Peoria, Ill. Over 7,000 blind Americans use guide dogs. The blind and visually impaired deal with unique safety issues each day. Golden Empire Transit unveiled Friday a new tool for the blind. It is a packet of numbered and lettered cards bound together in a spiral notebook which can be held up at the bus stop to let drivers know which bus they need. The books are printed in Braille. FYI. Everything old is new, again. The "New Tool" referenced in the above article, was used in the mid-80's by several Independent Bus Operators in NJ who operated multiple bus routes on the same streets. In the NJ case, the cards were black print on yellow and, carried in a three compartment wallet, all cards had Braille for easy identification. Numbers could be placed in each compartment then, held-up to draw the attention of an oncoming bus. I personally have a set distributed by Morris County Metro (1986), South Orange Avenue Independent Bus Owners Association-IBOA (1987), DeCamp Bus Co (1988) and O-N-E Bus of Elizabeth in 1991. Perhaps, a good idea never dies--it just lies dorment for a period then, is picked-up by the next generation. James J. Elekes, M.Ed, MPA/CPM Presidential Appointee/Public Member Chairman, Transportation Vehicles Committee United States Access board 888.564.8430 (Direct Voice)*

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843.215.4321 (Fax) (jelekes@sc.rr.com (E-Mail) www.Access-Board.gov (Web Site) Talking Pill Bottles! By Karl Sonkin They often put groups of rubber bands around their medicine bottles, to tell them apart. Or they "feel" the pills to determine which is which. Now Kaiser Permanente is coming to the aid of those with visual impairments who often are unable to distinguish between their many pill bottles. Meet "Rex", the talking prescription bottle, now being offered in all Kaiser Permanente Santa Clara pharmacies, and being rolled out to all140 KP pharmacies in Northern California, thanks to Area Pharmacy Director Judy B. Thomas and a lucky KP member. "A lot of people out there don't have someone to help them with their medications”, says Barbara Rhodes, a visuallyimpaired member who helped Kaiser Permanente find the talking pill bottle. Looking like a normal pill bottle with an enlarged white plastic bottom, "Rex" talks to Barbara when she depresses a button on the side of the base. The voice gives her name, prescription number, medication, and instructions for use. It also describes side-effects. The voice on Barbara's bottles is that of Dr. Gregory A. Smith, Kaiser Permanente Santa Clara Pharmacy Service Manager. "Members with visual impairments often have multiple medications" says Dr. Smith. "They can inadvertently take the wrong medication at the wrong time or in the wrong quantities, and that's dangerous." That's exactly how Rex came into being. A visually impaired man in New York State would mark his different pill bottles with groups of rubber bands, to tell them apart. But one day, one of the rubber bands broke, and he was hospitalized after taking too many of the wrong pills. He and his pharmacist devised "Rex", the talking pill bottle and an Illinois technology company refined the concept. Kaiser Permanente's bottle "talks" through a voice playback device built into the bottom of the container. The playback mechanism and the bottle can't be separated, so there's no way that pills and their "voices" can be mixed up. The pharmacist uses a "docking station" to record the label information, as well as the potential side-effects of the drug, into "Rex". To "read" the label, a member pushes down and holds the button. Dr. Smith says the recorded voice will last longer than the prescription does: the builtin battery is guaranteed for at least 300 plays if the member listens to all of the information every time. There is also an option to have a computer "read" the label information and record a high-quality synthesized voice recording into Rex. Visually impaired members will get the talking pill bottle at no extra charge.

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“The talking pill bottle is a great benefit to members who have reading impairments," says Judy B. Thomas, Area Pharmacy Director and leader of the talking pill bottle project. "It was great working with Barbara Rhodes to find and test "Rex". Barbara Rhodes used to "feel" her different medicines to figure out which to take, but that got confusing as she started taking more pills, or when the shapes changed, and dosages got altered. "Greg has a really nice voice", she says, now knowing that thanks to Rex, she and other visuallyimpaired Kaiser Permanente members are taking the right pills at the right time. Kaiser Permanente Pharmacies also provide: prescription product information in Braille or on CD's, which can be "read" by home computers, as well as large-font labels for the visuallyimpaired. A Holiday Gift that continues to give long after the Holidays are over!! Our totally dedicated neighbor to the South, Camp Happiness, is having a fund raiser to celebrate their 100 year Anniversary of serving the Blind and Visually Impaired! They are offering a beautiful, Hard-bound Cookbook with tabs to easily find the soup, entree, dessert, or cooking tip sections. What a thoughtful Chanukah or Christmas gift for a sighted family member or friend who does us that little extra favor all the time. All the recipes have been donated from visually impaired persons own or family members often made concoctions. At the very low cost of $10 each, with no tax or shipping charges to add, these cookbooks are the perfect way to say "Happy Holidays" and "I love you for all you do for me each day!" You may order these very attractive Cookbooks by sending your check to Mr. Doug Scott, c/o NJBCA Camp Happiness-Cookbook, 18 Burlington Ave., Leonardo, NJ 07737 Make check payable to: NJBCA Camp Happiness, and put "Cookbook" on the memo line . Remember to send your name and address along with your check for the total number of books you would like to purchase. The Book or books will be mailed to you at no additional charge. If you are a student attending the Foundation or a friend who lives close by, you may purchase these Camp Happiness Cookbooks right in our Gift Shop at Diamond Spring Lodge in Denville. Please call before you drop in to shop at: 973-627-0055. The Members and friends of Camp Happiness in Leonardo, wish to thank you for your thoughts and support at this most blessed time of the year. A very Happy Holidays to all!! A GREAT DOG STORY! Anyone who has pets will really like this. You'll like it even if you don't and you may even decide you need one! Mary and her husband Jim had a dog named 'Lucky.' Lucky was a real character. Whenever Mary and Jim had company come for a weekend visit they would warn their friends to

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not leave their luggage open because Lucky would help himself to whatever struck his fancy. Inevitably, someone would forget and something would come up missing. Mary or Jim would go to Lucky's toy box in the basement and there the treasure would be, amid all of Lucky's other favorite toys. Lucky always stashed his finds in his toy box and he was very particular that his toys stay in the box. It happened that Mary found out she had breast cancer. Something told her she was going to die of this disease....in fact, she was just sure it was fatal. She scheduled the double mastectomy, fear riding her shoulders. The night before she was to go to the hospital she cuddled with Lucky. A thought struck her... what would happen to Lucky? Although the three-year-old dog liked Jim, he was Mary's dog through and through. If I die, Lucky will be abandoned, Mary thought. He won't understand that I didn't want to leave him. The thought made her sadder than thinking of her own death. The double mastectomy was harder on Mary than her doctors had anticipated and Mary was hospitalized for over two weeks. Jim took Lucky for his evening walk faithfully, but the little dog just drooped, whining and miserable. Finally the day came for Mary to leave the hospital. When she arrived home, Mary was so exhausted she couldn't even make it up the steps to her bedroom. Jim made his wife comfortable on the couch and left her to nap. Lucky stood watching Mary but he didn't come to her when she called. It made Mary sad but sleep soon overcame her and she dozed. When Mary woke for a second she couldn't understand what was wrong. She couldn't move her head and her body felt heavy and hot. But panic soon gave way to laughter when Mary realized the problem. She was covered, literally blanketed, with every treasure Lucky owned! While she had slept, the sorrowing dog had made trip after trip to the basement bringing his beloved mistress all his favorite things in life. He had covered her with his love. Mary forgot about dying. Instead she and Lucky began living again, walking further and further together every day. It's been 12 years now and Mary is still cancer-free. Lucky? He still steals treasures and stashes them in his toy box but Mary remains his greatest treasure. Remember....live every day to the fullest. Each minute is a blessing from God. And never forget.... the people who make a difference in our lives are not the ones that have the most credentials, the most money, or the most awards. They are the ones that care for us the most .

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Cruises for the Blind and Visually Impaired!! Southern Caribbean, February 4 - 11, 2007 We will depart from San Juan Puerto Rico and travel to St. Thomas, Dominica, Barbados and Aruba. Prices starting at: Inside Cabin - $790.00, Ocean View Cabin - $940.00 and Balcony Cabin - $1090.00. All rates include 7 – day cruise, port charges, government fees, and gratuities. Alaska, August 29 - September 5, 2007 We will depart from Whittier, Alaska and travel to Prince William Sound, View College Fjord, Sitka, Juneau, Skagway, Cruise Lynn Canal, and Ketchikan. Sail the inside passage and then onto Vancouver. Prices starting at: Inside Cabin - $1,075.00, Ocean View Cabin - $1,375.00 and Balcony Cabin - $1,475.00. All rates include 7 - day cruise, port charges, government fees and gratuities. For reservations call Dave Kronk at Damar Travel and Cruise at 800-999-6101 or email him at Dave.Kronk@damartravel.com Damar Travel and Cruise 11988 Dorsett Rd. St. Louis, MO 63043 Remember A Loved One In Joy As Well As Sorrow! The New Jersey Foundation for the Blind has a special fund called Evergreen. By directing a donation to the Foundation in the name of a loved one or friend, you can have a birthday, wedding, anniversary, or graduation, etc. card sent to this person or persons in your name. It's a lovely way to acknowledge a special occasion of joy, as well as the passing of someone who is dear to you. The donation also enables you to help a Blind or Visually Impaired person to improve their lives. If you would like to make an Evergreen donation by credit card, you can pay with your Visa, MasterCard, or Discover card over the phone. For further information, call the lodge at (973) 627-0055, extension 335. Our Executive Director, Donna Meade, will be happy to assist you.

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In Closing… As always, we hope you have enjoyed this issue of our Foundation Focus. Remember that you may call our receptionist at 973-627-0055 to receive future issues in any of the formats that we offer including: regular print, large print, Braille, cassette, and E mail. And don’t forget to look us up on the web, at http://www.njffb.org . If you would like to directly send me feedback or suggestions about the Foundation Focus, you can email me at maryann231@aol.com The New Jersey Foundation For the Blind, Board and Staff members, would like to wish you a Happy and Healthy Holiday Season and the Joy of a bright New Year to come! Thank you for reading, Mary Ann Speenburgh

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