THE VISIONARY (Blind Services Newsletter) Summer 2009 From the Editors Welcome to the summer 2009 issue of The Visionary, the newsletter of the Department of Rehabilitation‟s Blind Services unit. We trust that it continues to be informative and provides what you seek from such a publication. As with past issues, this one will cover a wide variety of topics. We thank all who have helped us to bring this issue to “press”, especially those of you who contributed articles. We encourage you to send us articles, your impressions, and useful resource ideas. If you do not wish to write, send the “raw material” and we‟ll do the work! Your submissions are essential to the continued vitality of The Visionary. We try to publish everything we receive, editing only for clarity, brevity, and to make sure articles are in accordance with our editorial policies. *** EDITORIAL BOARD Editor, Mary Calloway - e-mail email@example.com Tony Candela Catharine Bailes Veronica Graff Janie Kryski *** Deputy Director’s Message I‟ve always been a philosophical fellow, but since coming to California from my native New York almost 10 years ago, I‟ve allowed some of the Asian influences out here to permeate my way of looking at the world. Not that there aren‟t plenty of people of Asian origin in Gotham City, but their world outlook does not seem to have influenced the average New Yorker the same as it has Californians. This brings me to the ying and the yang, two apparently opposing aspects of the same phenomenon. The fact that things often have more than one aspect shouldn‟t surprise anyone, but in everyday practice, we often act as if things are either black or white, good or bad, beneficial or harmful, and so on. Unfortunately, we sometimes adopt a way of life and make decisions on these deep-seeded beliefs. In the 4 years in my current position with DOR, I have never felt more challenged and accelerated, yet more troubled and worried than now. Perhaps we all experience our working lives this way, not to mention personally and financially. As State employees, we are affected by the so- called “Great Recession of 2009 by furlough and a salary reduction, fewer employees due to increasing numbers of people opting to retire and a hiring freeze, shouldering the burden of extra work, and relentless system demands with little respite in sight. On the other hand, we know in our hearts that either things will get better one day or, in order to accommodate to the worsening situation, we will settle for doing less work and at a slower pace. This form of accommodation troubles me for I‟d rather be doing more work at a faster pace. Grim as the situation appears, it provides opportunity to revamp how we do business. What if we adopted a different approach to providing service to our consumers? What if we pare down the number of things we do in order to perform at an optimum if not excellent level in those things onto which we hang? What if we insist on higher performance or at least less poor performance in our work force? Suppose the “average” productivity was “higher” than it is now, despite the limitations we face? What if we figure out a way to live with the privations of the “Great Recession” and still manage to excel? Is this not the ying and yang of which I spoke at the beginning of this essay? Yes it is, but it is also the only way to remain hopeful under trying conditions. *** 2009 Transition Summit – A Successful Collaboration By Richard Rueda, Department of Rehabilitation Editor‟s Note: This article also appeared in the Summer 2009 issue of AerialView, the newsletter of the Northern California chapter of AER, the blindness professional organization. We Thank Richard Rueda, BFS Transition Coordinator, for his steadfast pursuit of excellence in transition services. The third annual Transition Summit took place at Enchanted Hills Camp in Napa from April 24th through April 26th, 2009. The Transition Summit team took 20 blind and visually impaired teens and young adults to the campgrounds. Enchanted Hills is operated by the Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired of San Francisco. The third annual Summit was a direct result of exceptional collaboration among the Department of Rehabilitation‟s Blind Field Services unit and community partners including the Lighthouse, Society for the Blind in Sacramento and the California School for the Blind in Fremont. Participants went through 2-1/2 days of extensive team building activities that included learning how to debate, self-presentation in public speaking venues, and learning the art of resume writing as well as how to “ham up” during interviews. This was the third Blind Field Services sponsored Transition summit; the first was in 2007. Transition age blind young adults traveled from as far as Los Angeles, with the majority residing in the San Francisco and Sacramento areas. They came from a variety of backgrounds and ethnic groups, with several students speaking up to three languages. Many will be the first in their families to attend college. Nineteen of the 20 participants are presently consumers of Blind Field Services and their Dept. of Rehabilitation counselor sponsored their registration for this enriching workshop retreat. Each year‟ summit has its own theme. This year‟s focus was not only employment but also Health and Wellness. We decided to tackle the widespread problems of adolescent and young adult obesity and poor physical fitness. We hoped to help ameliorate these problems, due mainly to sedentary lifestyle and poor eating habits, by providing discussions and a keynote presentation on the topic of making healthy choices, participation in sports and recreation activities and forming good nutrition and eating habits. We had a brief demonstration on Yoga and Rowing and some hiking was included among our several sessions. To kick off the weekend, we had a keynote presentation Friday evening at the campfire where we heard from Joseph Hamilton, a former Paralympic athlete, who has played Goal ball around the world and has won several medals and awards. Aerial Gilbert from Guide Dogs for the Blind and a world-class rower, who is blind, was also on hand to talk about Guide Dogs as well as her sport. Finally, Meggie Rempe from the Hatlen Center (formerly the Living Skills Center) in San Pablo joined us on Sunday morning to talk to the youths about the Center‟s post high school program. As you might imagine, the 48-hour experience in Napa was an exhausting one for staff and students. But it was well worth the funds, staff preparation time, and personal commitment from everyone involved. Students took their participation seriously in all of the activities throughout the weekend. Friendships were forged and a great deal of proactive social skills development and future career planning was facilitated. Some of the students even brought their business attire in preparation for the three-hour mock interview session we held Saturday night. It also helped that we were out of reach of cell phone coverage! I bring this brief summary to your desktops so that you know that your student truly invested their time in the Transition Summit and are healthier and enlightened from it. We are already gearing up for the 2010 Transition Summit, which will be held in late April. Again, thanks to the Blind Field Services counselors and community providers for their support. Note: Our gratitude goes to the following staff and volunteer representatives who participated in the 2009 Transition Summit. Tony Fletcher and VI Huynh of the Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired; Michelle Bruns of the Society for the Blind in Sacramento; Ann Linville of the California School for the Blind; Joseph Hamilton of Sacramento; Nancy Yates of San Francisco; Aerial Gilbert of Guide Dogs for the Blind; Meggie Rempe of the Hatlen Center for the Blind. *** Product Evaluation Navigating by Phone: A Review of Wayfinder Access GPS and Mobile Geo, Part 2 Darren Burton and Tara Annis (Excerpted from AFB ACCESSWORLD ®, July 2009 Issue Volume 10 Number 4) Editor‟s Note: The complete article can be found at http://www.afb.org/afbpress/pub.asp?DocID=aw100402 This article is the second in a two-part series evaluating accessible cell phone-based GPS navigation systems that can be used in conjunction with cell phone screen- reading software. The first article, which appeared in the May 2009 issue of AccessWorld, focused on Wayfinder Access, and this one focuses on Mobile Geo. This article also includes a comparison of the two products' features and functions, as well as descriptions of our experiences with Mobile Geo. What Do These GPS Products Do? For readers who did not have a chance to read our initial article, we present some basic information about these products here. These cell phone-based GPS software products do much of the same things as their notetaker-PDA (personal digital assistant) predecessors have done, but in a smaller, more convenient package. To access the many features of these products, you must also have a screen reader installed on your cell phone. The features include providing *Directions and planning routes *Your current location *Pedestrian and automobile directions *A spoken itinerary and Alerts of upcoming turns *An announcement of, and directions to, points of interest, such as restaurants, hotels, banks, gas stations, churches, and dozens of other categories of places *Settings to configure how you want the information presented *Compatibility with cell phone screen-reading software Priced at $399, Wayfinder Access is manufactured by Wayfinder Systems AB, a Swedish company. It is compatible with both the TALKS and Mobile Speak screen readers and works on cell phones that run the Symbian operating system. Symbian phones run on the GSM cellular network, so you need to be a customer of a service provider that uses this network, such as AT&T or T-Mobile, to use Wayfinder Access. Priced at $895, Mobile Geo is a Code Factory product powered by Sendero GPS, the GPS software from the Sendero Group that is used on Humanware's BrailleNote line of products, GW Micro's Braille Sense, and soon on Freedom Scientific's PAC Mate. It is compatible with Code Factory's Mobile Speak screen reader and runs on Windows Mobile-based Smartphones, Pocket PC phones, and PDAs. Windows Mobile phones run on both the GSM and CDMA cellular networks, so Mobile Geo users are not limited to specific service providers. The interface for both products uses your screen reader's voice to convey information and your phone's keys for input, but the latest version of Mobile Geo also has a voice-command feature for input. Some of the phones with which Mobile Geo and Wayfinder Access are compatible have their own built-in GPS receivers, but others require that you purchase a wireless Bluetooth receiver. One of the main differences between Wayfinder Access and Mobile Geo is the way they access data from maps. With Mobile Geo, you load maps onto your phone's memory or its memory card and may need to purchase and install new maps if you travel abroad. Wayfinder gets its maps over the air via your cellular connection, so you do not need to install any maps. However, Wayfinder's functions are limited if you are in an area with no cellular service, and you need to have a data plan as part of your cellular service. One of us pays an extra $15 per month for an AT&T data plan, and T-Mobile charges $19.99 per month. You also need to establish an Internet Access Point on your phone. Since we published this information on maps in our initial article, we learned that Wayfinder has a map-downloader tool on its web site, allowing you to download and store maps on your phone and avoid the data plan charges. However, the map- downloader tool is not accessible to users of screen readers. Both products allow for a free trial period to test the products, and you can access user manuals and learn more about the products, including the compatibility of phones and PDA devices, at their web sites. For Mobile Geo, go to www.codefactory.es or www.senderogroup.com. For Wayfinder, go to www.wayfinder.com. Low Vision Access In addition to working with Mobile Speak, Mobile Geo is also compatible with Mobile Magnifier, responding properly to all Mobile Magnifier's screen- manipulation commands. However, using Mobile Magnifier outside in the sunlight can cause significant screen washout on nearly all cell phones, so people with low vision may have to rely on Mobile Speak when using Mobile Geo outside. Also, the button labels on most Smartphones are too small for most people with low vision, so tactile techniques are necessary to use Mobile Geo. *** The White House - Blog Post - "Still Thriving and Excelling Long After Helen Keller" http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/Still-Thriving-and-Excelling-Long-After- Helen-Keller/ MONDAY, JUNE 29TH, 2009 AT 3:32 PM Posted by Kareem Dale Another day at the White House, another chance for President Obama to make history for people with disabilities. And, he did just that. On Friday, June 26, 2009, President Barack Obama became one of the very few sitting American Presidents to personally greet and welcome persons who are deaf-blind to the White House Oval Office. Celebrating Helen Keller Deaf-Blind Awareness Week. The group featured five young adults (Crystal Morales, Kelvin Crosby, Virginia Jordan, Divya Goel, and Jason Corning) affiliated with the Helen Keller National Center ("HKNC") including a musician with two CDs to her credit, a surfer and aspiring field goal kicker, a Cum Laude graduate who wants to start a school, an aspiring restaurant manager, and a winner of the Wisconsin Council for Exceptional children "Yes I Can" award for Advocacy and Independent Living. Two staff members and 3 volunteers from the HKNC also joined the young adults. They were in D.C. to celebrate Helen Keller Deaf-Blind Awareness Week. This year‟s theme for the week was Deaf- blindness Didn‟t Stop with Helen Keller. The focus of the week was to demonstrate that successful deaf-blind persons are still thriving and excelling long after Helen Keller. The week culminated with their visit to the White House. They visited the White House in the morning, where they received a tour of the public residence. From hanging out in the First Lady‟s East Reception Room, to playing the same piano played by Stevie Wonder, to visiting the China Room, the tour was a major hit with the young adults. They returned in the afternoon for the icing on the already incredibly rich cake to take a photo with the President in the Oval Office. The President congratulated the young adults on their accomplishments and reminded them that we remain committed to improving the lives of people with disabilities. This visit was not and should not be viewed as a sympathetic thing for the President to do. Rather, it reflects this President‟s commitment to, and understanding of, the desire for all people with disabilities to be fully integrated into society. These young adults are proof that if provided with the necessary supports and services, people with disabilities can and will achieve anything they desire. Recognizing Deaf-Blind Awareness Week by inviting these young adults to the White House further solidifies the extraordinary commitment of this entire administration to all people with disabilities. Kareem Dale is Special Assistant to the President for Disability Policy. Editor‟s Note: Kelvin Crosby, one of the consumers mentioned in this article is a consumer of BFS counselor Joy Guerrero-Reyes. *** Visit to Berkeley By Tony Candela Editor‟s Note: This article appeared in the Summer 2009 issue of AERialView, the newsletter of the Northern California chapter of AER, the blindness professional organization. Helen Dornbush, the matriarch of low vision services in Berkeley, and Kathleen Anderson, one of the Lighthouse‟s most experienced O&M instructors run what can be described as an adjustment counseling and self-help group for around a dozen people with low vision. Most of the participants are experienced in life and new to visual impairment. They bring an interesting mix to the table, something I learned directly when I traveled from Sacramento to the U.C. Berkeley campus to spend an hour with them in March, 2009. I sat at a long conference table, two types of cookies passing from member to member, seemingly lingering at each set of hands including mine. A half dozen cookies, a glass of water, and 60 very fast minutes later, I stood to leave wondering how I‟d managed to answer so many quickly rendered and intelligently piercing questions In so short a period of time. The group consisted of Mildred, Jimmi, Pat, Mark, Jerome, Fred, Ruth, Anita, Jim, Dolores, Evelyn, and Katherine. Six had macular degeneration, two had diabetic retinopathy, one had Stargardt's, three had glaucoma, and the newest member‟s condition was unknown to us at the time. Two participants were African American and two were of Asian heritage. The event was billed as a discussion with Tony Candela on the Department of Rehabilitation for which I work as head of the blindness and deafness division. The first question from a former attorney was, “Which legislative committee do you answer to?” Even though I am a deputy director, I didn‟t know the answer for it is usually not the case that field deputies talk to the Assembly or Senate, so the best I could do was answer that those committees concerned with health and human services would most likely be the ones interested in what the DOR does. With an auspicious beginning under my belt, I held my breath as the next question rocketed from the other end of the table. “What is your annual budget?” My fingers and toes sprung into action as I added the sums comprising my 10 or so administrative budgets to the case services dollars allocated my field rehabilitation counselors. “More than $30 million for sure,” I said, but it really makes more sense to talk about the budgets allotted to each of my units, the ones you would be most interested in being the Blind Field Services (BFS) unit and the Older Individuals who are Blind (OIB) unit. They, respectively, have $18 million and $3.25 million allocated to them annually to provide services to vocational rehabilitation and independent living consumers.” “Suffice it to say,” I summarized, “if you have a connection to one of my counselors or to one of the agencies in town that has an OIB grant, you will receive low-vision services if you need them.” Then it was my turn to engage the group. “Do you know what we mean by the term „low vision services?‟” Much to my surprise, despite the fact they were at the campus for that very reason, no one answered. Helen Dornbush jumped in. “Of course you do,” she chided. “It is the special optometry services you are receiving here.” While I leaned back and chomped on an oatmeal raisin cookie, deluding myself into thinking I was being healthy, Helen explained the difference between regular and low- vision optometry. I jumped into the conversation to describe some of the more amazing devices I‟d seen including prism lenses for eccentric viewing. “Of course,” I added (and the group agreed), “some of these devices are so hard to learn that most people end up putting them in the drawer.” This is a long-standing problem in specialty areas like low-vision optometry and explains why over the past 20 years the discipline of Low Vision therapist has emerged on the scene. LVTs specialize in training consumers in how to use and flourish with complex low-vision devices. I was glad that I was among a group of amiable people who appreciated the effort I‟d made to be there. Unlike other experiences in different venues, this group did not barrage me with specific case complaints most of which I end up having to refer to the individual‟s counselor or supervisor anyway. When I receive these complaints, I always try to help the consumer understand what it might be about our system that is causing the problem and educate them to be a good self-advocate. Woe unto my staff that faces a consumer whom I‟ve trained thus! Thinking to expand the lesson of self-advocacy, I urged the group, “Remember, most sighted people you will encounter in the world have no clue about blindness and even less about low-vision. They will not perceive you have a visual impairment and, if you tell them you do, they may not believe you.” The group nodded vigorously. “What do you recommend?” asked the attorney, “Should we sue them?” Chuckling, I said, “No. You would spend the rest of your life in a fruitless effort that you could not afford financially or emotionally.” “No,” I continued, “It is better to find the right words to say – words that people can understand, such as “I can‟t see well.‟ And hope they will stop and give you a hand.” “Most people simply ignore me,” one of the women said. Taking a deep breath, I plunged into dangerous territory. “That‟s because, at heart, most non-disabled people would like us to go away.” Kathleen whispered loud enough for all to hear, “They are nodding in agreement and it appears they are breathing a sigh of relief.” Indeed, although sad and disheartening when you first hear it, there is nothing more validating and uplifting than to know that you are not alone in your experience of the world. The fact that someone in a position of authority who also has a disability uncovered the elephant in the room seemed to liberate the group. They became more animated and, to my delight, turned away from me and toward each other. Pats on the back were given, words of recognition spoken, and solidarity in their mission to adjust to the new world in which they find themselves, enhanced. My work was done and I made a graceful if not speedy exit before I accidentally said anything to undo whatever good I‟d accomplished that day! *** It's All About Focus Sam McManis Excerpted from Sep 10, 2009 (The Sacramento Bee) For the complete article, go to http://www.individual.com/story.php? story=106633229 Splashing in the tepid shallows of Lake Natoma, 8-year-old Lindsey Hunter wore her father's race number belt like a family heirloom necklace or some prized medallion. "My dad finished a triathlon!" she squealed to no one in particular and everyone within earshot. Such displays of familial pride drive Richard Hunter. No ordinary triathlete, the 42-year-old Folsom man is legally blind, which presents a host of obstacles that others in this challenging three-pronged sport could barely fathom. Sure, he no longer drives and can no longer work at a job he loved as a school psychologist in Winters. But he can swim, bike and run -- aided by a guide and a tandem bike -- right next to athletes with 20/20 vision. On Sept. 27, he and guide Justin Waller will attempt his most noteworthy feat yet -- the Augusta (Ga.) 70.3 Ironman, consisting of a 1.2-mile swim, a 56-mile cycle and a 13.1-mile run. He will do it in part to benefit the C Different Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to changing people's perceptions of the blind. He also will do it alongside other vision-impaired veterans -- Hunter was a Marine officer when first diagnosed with the genetic eye disease retinitis pigmentosa -- as head of the support group Operation Refocus. But mostly he will do it for his children, Kirsten, 12, Lindsey, 8, and MaKenna, 3. "I'm trying to be a role model to them about setting goals in the face of adversity," Hunter said. Getting started …He started training for the marathon in earnest and, in 2008, ran the California International Marathon in 3 hours 18 minutes, qualifying him for the Boston Marathon. On that April morning when he ran in the prestigious Boston race, Lindsey's first-grade class monitored his progress mile-by-mile via the Internet. When he crossed the finish line, her class gave Lindsey a standing ovation. …Hunter has always been upbeat and positive, a disposition that served him well as a straight-A student and football star at Pendleton (Ore.) High School, an ROTC scholarship student at Oregon State and a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps. Career-killing diagnosis Even after doctors at Bethesda Naval Hospital in Maryland gave him the diagnosis, abruptly ending his military career at age 23, Hunter put the same positive energy into returning to college at California State University, Sacramento, for an education degree. By this time, he and Heidi were married and had started a family, and Richard thrived in his job as a psychologist for the Winters Joint Unified School District. But in late 2004, his eyesight deteriorated rapidly. All the accommodations he used -- talking software, computer magnification devices -- couldn't help him. He needed to see to perform educational assessments for students. In early 2005, he was forced (and that is the operative word) to file for disability. It was a dark time for Hunter, a time when his spirits sagged and hopes diminished. "He was really down for a while," Heidi Hunter said. "When you're filling out all these (disability) forms saying, 'I can't do that, and I can't do it,' he really started to ask himself, 'What can I do?' "That was when he started focusing on his running and now this triathlon thing. I think it's great because a lot of people get job satisfaction from job growth, career accomplishment, and Rich doesn't have that. This gives him a focus to have a goal and achieve it." Training in tandem When the subject changes to triathlon training, he positively beams. People often ask him how, being blind, he competes in the sport. Answer: Just like everybody else, only with certain accommodations. He and Waller, an Ironman triathlete, train one day a week swimming in open water, each man tied to a tether, and one day a week riding on a tandem bike. They run together once a week, as well, but Hunter often runs by himself on what has become a familiar path for him, the American River Parkway. One unusual and unnerving phenomenon is that "things just pop out at me. I can't see them coming into my field of vision, and when they do, they are already in front of me, like bicyclists and pedestrians." For that, Waller helps. Though Waller says he has trouble keeping up with Hunter on the run, he is invaluable in the other two disciplines. Hunter trails about a body length behind Waller via tether. At last month's Folsom race, a competitor inadvertently swam over the line. "I feel a little like a fullback out there just blocking, and that's a little challenging for me," said Waller, aware of the irony. "On the run, I'll be behind him and point things like an oncoming bike or traffic passing or low branches. But he's the cheerleader out there. He's cheering me on to keep going. That's Rich." *** Employment and Career Corner Veronica Graff Even though, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, there are about six unemployed people for every job opening, there are some bright spots. Jobs are being added in some sectors, as companies seek more health care and technology workers. Educational services comprise another growth area. About one-third of both manufacturing and service sector companies report that they hope to add jobs in September. IBM is hiring or retraining up to 4,000 people to work on data analysis projects. The federal government is expected to hire nearly 273,000 new workers over the next three years. The agency posting the largest increase is the Department of Veteran Affairs. Other government hiring will be for security and protection workers, compliance and enforcement officers, legal, and administrative positions. Federal government Civil Engineers, Computer Software Engineers and Electrical Engineers are reportedly three of the most stable jobs according to CareerBuilder.com. BFS Bright Spots According to the information we have to date, Teri Hershberg‟s consumer, Hector E., was the sole DOR consumer, of many referrals, hired as a result of the Social Security Administration Ticket to Work hiring initiative that took place back in April. Hector began work as a Service Representative in a local SSA office on June 22nd. Also, at the end of June, three of Carol Adkison‟s consumers were hired as Customer Service Clerks at the Camp Pendelton Base Store through LC Institute. Kudos to Virginia Griffin who took the phone message from LC Institute and quickly passed it along. And to Sonia Peterson and Carol who jumped right on the job lead. Seven Stable Jobs 1. Civil Engineers (for the federal government) 2. Computer Software Engineers (federal government) 3. Electrical Engineers (federal government) 4. Managers for General Merchandise Stores 5. Marriage and Family Therapists 6. Personal and Home Care Aides 7. Sales Associates for General Merchandise Stores Top 3 Careers to Avoid According to 150 HR executives, these occupations appear to be over- subscribed: 1. Law 2. Marketing/Advertising 3. Human Resources Which degrees did the HR executives select as the best to pursue? 1. Computer Science & Information Technology 2. Engineering 3. Health Care *** Opportunities for Change and Growth By Catharine Bailes During this past year, while we have been experiencing the Great Recession, we have also developed new skills in adapting to change. Much of this adapting really relies on our individual attitudes and inner strength. As a result of furlough days and rapidly aging Baby Boomers making financial calculations about their pensions, we have experienced more retirement parties, lunches and gatherings than I‟ve ever seen at DOR. Blind Field Services has recently lost two Supervisors, due to retirement and a job change. Another Supervisor will retire the end of September. Lest I be remiss, I want to sincerely thank Sam Goldberg (Van Nuys), Stephanie Wong (Oakland, moving to EPS‟s Fairfield Office) and Linda Paravagna (Concord, retiring end of September) for their hard work and dedication in serving people who are blind or visually impaired. We also lost four Counselors due to either retirement or career re-direction over the past few months. They are Paul Wesner (San Diego), Sheila Paul (Victorville), Joanne Wolfe (Oxnard) and Kathryn Arceneaux (San Luis Obispo). Again, I want to thank each of these Counselors for their dedication and hard work. These personnel changes and vacancies have provided BFS with opportunities to work smarter and more efficiently. The remaining six BFS Supervisors are now providing guidance, coaching and supervision to Counselors all over the State. I have not heard one word of complaint from any of the Supervisors. They know what needs to be done, and they step up to do it. In the same way, many counselors are covering the “vacated” caseloads. They provide counseling and guidance from a distance and must be quick studies in order to get acquainted with resources in other geographic areas. All of this has required good time management skills along with good communication and teamwork. The exams for Rehabilitation Supervisor and Rehabilitation Specialist have been posted, and the Rehabilitation Administrator Exams will be posted in the near future. Counselors and Supervisors who have demonstrated leadership skills, including but not limited to: flexibility, good communication, teamwork, time management, and the ability to be innovative are the type of professionals who I encourage to take these exams. We need people like you to help energize our Department and the direction we will be going in the future. The Great Recession will be ending someday, but I believe we have all grown in many ways, as a result of it. I‟ve seen resilience in our staff and I‟m very proud to be a part of your team! Thanks for all your hard work and creative ideas. You are making a better world for the people we serve. *** The Visionary on the Web and Telephone You can find The Visionary on the California Department of Rehabilitation‟s web site. Just go to http://www.dor.ca.gov/ssd/blindser.htm and find the links to this newsletter there. While in the site, read about the variety of services the Department‟s Rehabilitation Counselors of the Blind offer to blind Californians who seek vocational rehabilitation services. You also can read the on line version of the Blind Field Services brochure and a brochure on Transition services for blind and visually impaired youths. Don‟t forget to dive into the links on: *Orientation Center for the Blind *Business Enterprises Program *Title VII, Chapter 2 Grants for service to Older Blind Individuals The Visionary can also be found on NFB Newsline in California where its articles are read aloud using synthetic speech. For general information and assistance, call NFB Newsline at (866) 504-7300. When calling Newsline, use a local number if available. To get the local number for your area, call Tim Ford at 916-440-7822. The Newsline system now allows you to read the material on line, and to send any of that material to your e-mail address. To register your e-mail address with Newsline, contact Tim Ford, at 916-440-7822, or send him an e-mail request at firstname.lastname@example.org. The new Newsline web site is at: www.nfbnewslineonline.org.