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                                                                                                            spring 2007

Pictured left to right: Emcee for the event, Debi Chard, from WCSC-T V5; Cornelia H. Pelzer, Executive Director
AF TB; Kristin Danko, Marketing/P rog ram Director AF TB; Tom and Patty Sullivan. Tom and his wife Patty are
                            shown far right at the book signing that followed the event.

                To m S u l l i v a n : A n E ve n i n g o f I n s p i r a t i o n
 Tom Sullivan, the well known blind singer,                    Boston where he grew up. Tom related to the
entertainer and motivator, drew a crowd of                     audience some episodes included in the book
500 to his awe inspiring performance on                        including his escape f rom Perkins School by
February 15 in the Sottile Theatre at the                      boat which he and his two blind roommates
College of Charleston. The Association                         commandeered in the night and rowed down
for the Blind and pharmaceutical company                       the Charles River where they were discovered
Allergan sponsored the evening along with                      by the US Coast Guard the following morning.
local eye care professionals and interested                    Following his performance there was a book
parties. Debi Chard, managing editor                           signing. Tom was accompanied to Charleston
of WCSC- TV5, served as emcee for the                          by his lovely wife Patty and guide dog Edison.
evening. This multi media event featured                       They made appearances on a number of local
Tom singing and inspiring the audience not                     television shows. Dr. Bernard Arnold, a
to allow any obstacles to overcome them                        member of the Association board, had heard
in life as well as film footage of him skiing                  Tom Sullivan speak two years ago and was so
and bungee jumping. In January 2007 his                        inspired by his words that he arranged with
ninth book, Adventures in Darkness, was                        Allergan to bring Tom to Charleston. The
                   published describing his                    Association thanks the Charleston Lions Club
                    eleventh summer of life in                 who provided ushers for the event.

                          C o p i e s o f To m’s n e w b o o k A d v e n t u r e s i n D a r k n e s s a r e a v a i l a b l e
                          for purchase. The cost of the books are $25.00 and all proceeds
                          benefit the Association for the Blind. Contact the AF TB for
                          ordering information 843.723.6915. Supplies are limited.
  Spring 2007                              V i s i o n a r y                                                  Page 2

               O ur Mission                                                   On Board
The Association for the blind seeks to improve
the quality of life for the visually impaired
through services, programs, and advocacy by
promoting independence and self-suff iciency,
and helping individuals to participate fully
            in their communities.

   2006-2007 Board of Directors
           Robert M. Prioleau President                      The Association for the Blind has recently added four
           David A. Geer Vice President                     talented new board members who bring additional
           Dorothy B. Kerrison Secretary                    skills and knowledge to the board.
            Susan G. Legare Treasurer                        Marcia Jones alfaro, pictured right, graduated from
Robert P. Aitken, OD                                        Georgetown University and George Washington
                                 William H. Lee, MD
                                                            University National Law Center. She is an adjunct
Marcia Alfaro, Esq.              Marian Mentavlos, EdD      professor at the Charleston School of Law. She
Bernard Arnold, OD               Don R. Tomlin              was Charleston County staff for the re-election
Adelaida U. Bennett              M.P. Wilkerson             campaign of Senator Fritz Hollings, the mother
Mrs. William H. Cogswell                                    of three elementary school children, and wife of
Roy C. Corderman, DDS            Members Emeriti:           ophthalmologist Virgil Alfaro.
Jack Hibbits                     Mrs. James A. Grimsley      adelaida U. Bennett, pictured center, is an active
Robert E. Johnson                Mrs. Harold Pettit         community leader who obtained a BA degree from
                                                            Wellesley College and an MBA from Harvard
                                                            Business School. She serves on the board of the
                          Staff                             Gibbes Museum of Art and the Livability Committee
                      Cornelia H. Pelzer                    of Historic Charleston Foundation. She and her
                      Executive Director
                                                            attorney husband, Edward, are the parents of three
      Kristin Danko                    Ceasar James         children.
Marketing/Program Director         Cane Studio Supervisor
      Yana Draves                     William Hartley
                                                             Don Tomlin is a graduate of NC State University
     Off ice Manager                       Caner            and received an MBA from the Kenan - Flagler
    Mildred Kirkland                 William Rash, Sr.
                                                            Business School at UNC Chapel Hill. He has an
      Receptionist                         Caner            extensive background in securities investments at
                                                            Goldman Sachs & Co. and related businesses in New
      Amy Harris                     William Rash, Jr.
   Computer Instructor                    Caner             York. He is currently president of Southport Capital,
                                                            Inc. Don and his wife Rose met in Charleston and
                                                            moved back here in 1992.
       Occupational Therapists
                Stasi Gormley, MSOTR/L
                                                             M. P. Wilkerson, pictured left, is a retired journalist
                                                            who moved to Charleston in 2003 from Montgomery,
                  Ruth Hyde, OTR/L
                                                            AL. She served as Arts and Travel editor and Features
                Joanne McTavish, OTR/L                      editor of the Montgomery Advertiser, the daily
                                                            newspaper. She is a member of the Community of
Orientation and Mobility Instructors
                                                            I’on Artists board, is enjoying art classes at the College
                  Cindy Percy, COMS
                                                            of Charleston, and lives in Mount Pleasant. She is the
                 Terry Smeltzer, COMS                       mother of three children and the grandmother of six.
 Spring 2007                     V i s i o n a r y                                              Page 

                      Association Hosts Low V ision Fair

Left to Right: Evelyn Todd and Debbie Anderson with the S.C. Commission for the Blind. Speakers, Stephen
Morse, OD, PhD of MUSC Feldberg Center and Lowrey King, MD of the Retina Center of Charleston. Fred Key
                  with Freedom Scientif ic demonstrates accessibility software to an attendee.

                                                    On Saturday, Februar y 10 the Association
                                                   for the Blind held it ’s first ever L ow V ision
                                                   Fair, with the purpose of increasing awareness
                                                   about programs and ser vices available to
                                                   individuals who are blind or severely vision
                                                   impaired or becoming so. Many individuals
                                                   who are experiencing vision loss and their
                                                   family members are unaware of support
                                                   ser vices and resources that are available
                                                   outside their doctor’s office and how to
  Members of Delta Gamma Alumnae Chapter,          access them.
  left to right: Jami Page, Eileen Neal Bundy,      MUSC Ophthalmolog y Residents, provided
         Ashley Hoben and Diette Courrege          f ree eye screening at the event and there
                                                   were several presentations that focused on
                                                   adjustment and living with low vision. The
                                                   event was well attended and the Association
                                                   plans to make the L ow V ision Fair an annual
                                                    The City of Charleston provided the St.
                                                   Julian DeV ine Community Center for
                                                   the event. Members of the Delta Gamma
                                                   Alumnae Chapter ser ved as guides and
                                                   provided delicious snacks and drinks. Thanks
                                                   to all who participated.

        MUSC Ophthalmology Residents
Page 4           A s s o c i a t i o n                      f o r     t h e         B l i n d

            Computer Graduates

    Eight students have successfully completed

    the computer courses which began at the

    Association in July 2006 through a collaboration

    with the S.C. Commission for the Blind.

    Students learn JAWS and Zoomtext, screen

    reading and magnification software designed                 Ed Bible of the S.C. Commission for the
                                                                 Blind (right) and computer instructor
    for the blind and severely vision impaired.                 Amy Harris (left) present Bill Rash, Jr.
                                                                his JAWS certif icate in February 2007.

                        Tweetie Ford
                      JAWS Graduate
                         March 2007

                                                                                     Sandra Hodges
                                                                                     Zoomtext Graduate
                  Mary Thomas                                                        August 2006
                  Zoomtext Graduate
                  September 2006

                                                                    Congratulations to
                                                                    all our Graduates!

                                                               Dornetta McConnell
                                                                  JAWS Graduate
                                                                     January 2007
    Left to Right: Josiah Washington, Eddie Wyndham, and
    Barry Jones all graduated from the Zoomtext course in
                          March 2007.
    V I S I O N A R Y                             S p r i n g              2 0 0 7                    Page 5

    Good C heer Fund 2006

                              A record number of Association members were assisted
                             through the 2006 Good Cheer Fund thanks to the continuing
                             generosity and contributions made to the Post and Courier ’s
                             annual fund. T he Association was able to assist over 100
                             individuals and families this Holiday season. In addition 220
                             individuals attended the annual Christmas lunch, pictured
                             above, hosted by the Association and made possible through
                             the Good Cheer Fund.
                              Pastor Richard Bello of F irst Baptist Church, shown on le ft
                             with AF TB member Romona McCants, g raciously provided
                             transpor tation for the event along with Rev. Bobby Gar vin of
                             Lighthouse Baptist Church and Rev. Howard Montgomer y of
                             Ladson Baptist Church.

                                               presents the
T    I    M    E        O    F        Y    O      U    R      L    I   F    E        E    X    P       O
C h a r l e s t o n’s l a r g e s t 5 5 + Ac t i ve Ad u l t Eve n t o f t h e Ye a r !
                                     Thursday, April 19th 5 - 9 pm
                                    Friday April 20th 10 am - 2 pm
                       Gaillard Auditorium • 77 Calhoun Street • Charleston, SC
    Learn about Area Resources & Services for Seniors & Caregivers, provided by over 70 exhibitors!
                  Keynote Speaker: DANNY FORD, Clemson Head Coach 1979-1989
                               Thursday at 6:30 pm & Friday at 11 am
                                  Health Screens Provided on Friday
         For more information contact Lyn Small 843.819.2624 or visit
 Spring 2007                      V i s i o n a r y                                               Page 

Crossing a Major Hurd le signal lets blind cross highway
BY TENISHA WALDO The Post and Courier
The Post and Courier Saturday, March 10, 2007 PHOTOGRAPHS BY MELISSA HANELINE/STAFF The Post and Courier

                                           and the knocking              then listen for the audible
                                           noise doubles its             cues. The button also
                                           pace, Smith steps             vibrates when it ’s OK to
                                           for ward with Luna            go. The state Department
                                           guiding the way.              of Transportation provided
                                           She has about 35              the four signals at the
                                           seconds to cross the          Towne Centre intersection.
                                           six-lane highway.             The equipment costs
                                           “ That ’s a good girl.        about $7,000. “ We
                                           Find the sidewalk.            basically handle it on a
 MOUNT PLEASANT-                           Come on. Show                 per request basis,” said
Nancy Smith, pictured               mom,” she says to her                Mark Nesbit, DOT district
above, taps her left foot           yellow Labrador retriever.           traffic engineer. There
on a tactile ramp leading           As they near the sidewalk,           are two other audible
to the crosswalk on U.S.            the knocks coming f rom a            signals in the area — one
Highway 17 at Belk Drive            corresponding signal slow            on Dorchester Road in
and positions her guidedog,         down to alert Smith that             North Charleston and
Luna. “ This is truly a test        her time is almost up. “Atta         another off of Courtenay
of faith,” the 56-year-             girl, Luna!” she exclaimed           Street in downtown
old woman says, tuning              when they made it across.            Charleston. Smith lives in
out the cars whizzing by            The signals are designed to          the Montclair at Towne
to focus on the rhythmic            help the hearing and visual          Centre condominiums
knocking of the new audible         impaired like Smith, who             and advocated to get the
pedestrian traffic signal.          is legally blind. Pedestrians        traffic signals for about
Af ter an automated voice           push a button that has a             16 months. On Friday, she
announces it is OK to cross,        raised directional arrow and
                                                                                       Continued on Page 7

                                          The Cane studio
                                Employment for the blind since 1936
                                   our caners have over 50 years of
                                   combined experience; their work
                                    is inspiring and the results are
                                 our caners specialize in repairs for:
                                string Cane, Wrap, rush, Press Cane,
                                 Herringbone-split oak, and radio
 Spring 2007                   V i s i o n a r y                                              Page 7

   ITN Char lestonTr ident™ Recr uiting Volunteer Drivers!

 ITN Char lestonTrident (ITNCT ) has
already provided over 500 rides to seniors
and visually impaired individuals since
November 2006.
 Currently ITNCT transports member
riders in Char leston, North Charleston,
Mount P leasant, James Island, Isle of Palms,
Daniel Island, West Ashley, and some parts
of Ladson.
 ITNCT would like to expand its range of
ser vice to inc lude those persons who need
assistance in Summer ville, Goose Creek,
Monks Corner, Hanahan, and beyond.
                                                    Cornelia Pelzer is a member of ITNCT
However to achieve this ITNCT needs to
                                                    Board of Directors and a volunteer driver.
continue to build its volunteer base.
                                                    Amy Harris, an ITN member rider, uses the
 Volunteering with ITNCT is ver y flexible,         service to and from work at the Association.
shif ts are available for as little as fours
hours a month. Volunteers use their own           are located at St. Francis Hospital in
car and get reimbursed for mileage or earn        West Ashley f rom 11 am - 12:30 pm.
ITN transportation credits for themselves         Reser vations are required and lunch
or others.                                        vouchers will be provided.
Upcoming Volunteer Trainings Tuesday,              P lease call 225.2715 for additional
April 24 and Tuesday, May 22. Trainings           information about the volunteer trainings.

                                                Crossing Major Hurdle Continued from page 6
                                                tried them out for the first time. But she
                                                was leer y that oncoming traffic would not
                                                take heed, so Mount P leasant police officer
                                                Nick L ebby looked after her. “ They (drivers)
                                                run this light many times, and I don’t want
                                                to be a target,” Smith said. She almost was.
                                                A driver attempting to run the red light
                                                slammed on the brakes after spotting Smith
                                                in the intersection. It backed up about a
                                                foot away f rom the crosswalk to let her
                                                pass. Smith said she’ ll probably call on a
 “If I want to go to the bank or the grocer y   police officer to escort her until she becomes
 store I ’m not afraid to cross the st reet.”   more comfortable crossing by herself. Still,
            -Nancy Smith.                       “this is such a great benefit and a blessing,”
      Shown with guide dog Luna.                she said. Reach Tenisha Waldo at twaldo@
                                       or 937-5744.
   Spring 2007                                       V i s i o n a r y                                 Page 

  Music Lessons for the Visually impaired
                                                              Low V ision aids are available at
                            When Johnny Greene,
                                                               The association for the Blind
                           pictured on left, isn’t
                           selling real estate,
                           he is providing a                     • Talking Watches and Clocks
                           wonderful opportunity
                           for students of all ages              • Large TV remote Controls
                           to learn music skills.
                           At his music school,                  • Talking Thermometers
                           T. S. C., he teaches
                           guitar, bass, drums                   • Low Vision Playing Cards
                           and key board skills by
  ear as well as harmonizing in song. The goal                   • Talking Calculators
  is to develop the talent which each student
  possesses and in turn have the student reach                   • Low Vision Wallets
  out to others. Through guidance, preparation,
  good coaching and teaching the student can
                                                                 • 20/20 Writing Pens
  blossom as a person. T. S. C. is located at 1350
  Ashley River Road. For more information call
  906-4733 or 529-4543.                                          • Check Writing Guides

                                                                                         Non-Profit Org.
                                                                                         U.S. Postage Paid
                                                                                           Permit # 601
1071 Morrison Drive • Suite A • Charleston • SC • 29403                                      Chas. SC
Phone: 843.723.6915 Fax: 843.577.4312

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