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Events

DCCB will schedule upcoming member meetings on Saturdays.  All meetings will start at noon and run until approximately 3:00 PM.  They will be held in the community room at Wilshire Park Condominiums located at 3701 Connecticut Avenue, NW.

The most recent DCCB member meeting took place on May 11.  The speaker was Beth Ziebarth, Director of the Smithsonian Accessibility Program.  The Accessibility Program supports the Smithsonian in making all visitors feel welcome by providing consistent, effortless access to the Institution’s
programs, collections and facilities.

The prior DCCB meeting was held on March 9.  The speaker was Scott Marshall who spoke about Aira.  Using a mobile app and a smart phone or smart glasses, Aira connects clients who are visually impaired with trained sighted agents who can assist them remotely with all sorts of visual tasks.  People who are visually impaired are using Aira for everything from matching clothes to running marathons.

An informal meeting of DCCB members took place on January 12.  Due to inclement weather, a quorum was not obtained.  The members present discussed how to honor Marilyn Lutter, DCCB's President Emeritus, who recently died; donations in her honor should be made to the American Council of the Blind.  Members also considered sources for future speakers and possible charitable gifts.

DCCB held its annual holiday party at the Parthenon, 5510 Connecticut Ave., NW, on December 15 from 12:00 PM until 3:00 PM.  Participants brought small exchange gifts valued at about $10.  Everyone had a jolly good time.

A DCCB member meeting took place on November 10.  The guest speaker was John Scott Marshall, a blind attorney, who spoke about adapting to living with a disability.  Following his speech, various committees were established to address local issues.

The prior member meeting occurred on September 8.  The main focus of the meeting was travel opportunities for visually impaired persons to go to the Caribbean.  The last ACB convention and recruitment were also discussed.

The 2nd annual Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind “Lighting the Way” Gala will take place on October 29 at the Embassy of France.

 

Help prepare for a future with Bionic Vision.  If you have very limited vision - so little that you can just tell if the lights are on or off, where light is coming from, or which way it is moving - then you can help.  You are invited to be a part of a research study on Low Vision, conducted at the Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins and the Chicago Lighthouse.  The research study will evaluate activities that can only be performed with sight, but for which very little sight is all it takes.  These activities involve common activities of daily living such as finding a dark towel on a white towel rack and looking for dishes on a table.  They will form the heart of a new training program for people with retinal implants and severe vision loss.  If you participate, they will ask you to complete these activities that require a small amount of vision, in one or more sessions of 1 – 2 hours.  You will receive a $20 per session completed, for your time.  The study is approved by the Institutional Review Board of Johns Hopkins Medicine.  For more information, call (443) 287-0072 (Kemi Adeyemo, Johns Hopkins) or (312) 447-3233 (Meesa Maeng, Chicago Lighthouse).

The American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) is seeking individuals to participate in a research study titled Project VISITOR: Visually Impaired Seniors’ Independent Travel Opportunities and Resources through a telephone survey.  Your responses to this telephone survey will help to identify best practices, challenges, and solutions for transportation services for seniors with vision loss across the country.  To participate, you must be 55 years of age or older and should be blind or low-vision, or experiencing significant vision loss such that you are no longer able to drive.  Call the research team at (888) 800-7704 or email them at
visitor@afb.org to indicate your interest in the research.  Give your name, the best phone number to reach you and the best days and times for you to participate in a survey.  You can also leave any questions you have about the research.  The survey will take about 30 minutes, depending on how many types of transportation you use.  AFB will provide you with a $25 gift card as thanks for your participation.  After they complete the survey, they will send you a summary report in your preferred format.  You will also be invited to call into a free, national teleconference to hear the research team discuss the findings of the report.  If you are unable to attend the teleconference, a recording can be sent to you via email or CD.

Individuals who are blind or have low vision are invited to serve as volunteer user/experts to interact with, and comment on the accessibility of new or recently updated exhibits at museums and other Smithsonian venues.  In recent months, volunteers have met at various Smithsonian museums on the Mall and at the National Zoo to review and give their feedback on the accessibility of proposed interactive displays, tactile exhibits, and smartphone audio description apps.  Volunteers are called on several times a year for sessions that last 2 to 3 hours.  They are asked to sign a confidentiality form, and are almost always offered a modest monetary honorarium (usually $50).  For more information contact Eugenia Esch, Smithsonian volunteer (on Tuesdays) at Access Smithsonian, SI. She can be reached at (202) 633-2946 or EschE@si.edu

The Metropolitan Washington Ear (MWE) provides audio description for various theatrical performance.  MWE is seeking discount tickets for the Tony Award-winning musical Newsies at Arena Stage on Saturday, November 23 at 2:00 PM; this will be possible if a minimum number of persons choose to attend.  Please let MWE know if you are interested.  MWE will provide audio description for the July 20 2:00 PM performance of Hamlet at Shakespeare:  Sidney Harman Hall, the July 21 2:00 PM performance of Seussical at McLean Community Players, the July 31 7:45 PM performance of Tiger Style! at Olney Theatre Center – Mulitz-Gudelsky Theatre Lab and the August 10 2:00 PM performance of Ann at Arena Stage Kreeger at the Mead Center.  See the link Recreation and Entertainment on this site for more information about MWE and its program offerings.

DCCB held its 2015 annual convention on October 24 from 8:30 AM until 4:00 PM at the National Education Association's conference center.  Chen Guangchengauthor of “The Barefoot Lawyer-A Blind Man’s Fight For Justice and Freedom in China”, was the keynote lunchtime speaker.  Janet LaBreck, commissioner of Rehabilitation Services Administration, informed the attendees about how the Workplace Innovation and Opportunity Act will help educate and train youths about potential career paths.  Paul Schroeder from the American Foundation for the Blind advised on where legislation of interest stands and how to lobby for passage.  Sports activities were also presented, Sarah Presley describing the Out of Sight Dragons dragon boat team, Karla Gilbride describing goalball and other offerings from the Metro Washington Association of Blind Athletes and Ed reeder describing the DC Blind Bowlers league.  Judy Dixon and Mark Reumann demonstrated many useful apps for the IPhone on the technology panel while Joel Snyder detailed the process used in audio describing shows and events.  Jocelyn Hunter, Olivia Norman and Eddie Martinez from the Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind described its new programs.  Exhibitors showed their wares.  Door prizes and a cake raffle were popular items.

The archives for the 100th anniversary of DCCB can be found at:

 http://acbradio.org/DCCB