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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.

Shugoll Research, an opinion research firm, is holding a non-clinical upcoming paid research study (for those with vision issues) for which it is seeking participants.  the study format is an in home interview for 90 minutes scheduled at a mutually agreeable date and time between July 26 and August 31.  Participants: must live locally (MD/DC/VA) ideally within 45 minutes of DC, can be male or female, and must be aged 22-65.  They need to be low-vision, functionally blind or totally blind (a couple may be color blind) and consume online news (using assistive devices/technology), primarily on a smart phone and/or computer.  Payment of of $250 will be made for qualified participation.  For more information, call Carol Blitzer at (301) 215-7248, extension 353.

The DC Developmental Disabilities Council (DDC), which is legally required to create a strategic plan every five years and gather feedback on that plan regularly, will host its 2019 Community Forum on Wednesday, July 31, from 4:00 PM until 6:00 PM at the Cleveland Park Library, Lower Level Meeting Room.  For more information, email alison.whyte@dc.gov  or visit the web site at:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2019-dc-developmental-disabilities-council-community-forum-tickets-65593817875

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

 

The Neuroplasticity and Development Lab at Johns Hopkins University is seeking participants for an MRI research study on cognition and brain plasticity.  The goal of this research is to investigate how the brain adapts to the absence of vision.  For this particular study, they it is seeking research participants who were born with normal vision and lost their sight during adulthood.  Participating in this study involves traveling to Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and doing an MRI scan.  The scan session lasts one to three hours.  During the scans, participants listen to stories and sounds, and then answer questions about what they hear.  Participants are compensated $30 per hour for their time with a pre-paid bank card after the scan session.  All travel and lodging costs to and from Baltimore are covered by the laboratory.  To qualify for the study, you must be a healthy blind adult between 18 and 65 years of age who experienced permanent vision loss at the age of 18 or older.  Before taking part in the study, participants are asked to complete a 30-minute pre-screening interview over the phone to see whether they qualify.  Those who complete the pre-screening interview receive a $15 Amazon gift card.  For more information, call (410) 870-9895 or email plasticity.lab2@gmail.com.

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 has arranged for discount tickets for the Tony Award-winning musical Newsies at Arena Stage on Saturday, November 23 at 2:00 PM.  Please let MWE know if you are interested.  MWE will provide audio description for the September 11 TBA and 18 2:00 PM performances of Cabaret at Olney Theatre Center – Mainstage, the September 28 2:00 PM performance of August Wilson's Jitney at Arena Stage Kreeger at the Mead Center and the September 28 2:00 PM performance of School Girls or the African Mean Girls at Round House Theatre Bethesda.  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