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Lighthouse of the Big Bend Grand Opening

by Lighthouse of the Big Bend

You're invited to the Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony of the Lighthouse of the Big Bend's new facility to serve individuals who are learning to live independently with vision loss on Tuesday, July 27, from 5:00-8:00pm!  Celebrate with us and tour the facility and playground.  We will also be celebrating our 27th anniversary.  Enjoy live music, good food, cool drinks, & find out who the winners of our tactile art contest are.  Stop by for a few minutes or stay awhile to meet old and new friends.  Please invite friends who would be interested in coming - the more, the merrier! 

Our new address:  3071 Highland Oaks Terrace, off SE Capital Circle between Park Avenue and Apalachee Parkway. 

For more information contact Barbara L. Ross (850) 942-3658, extension 201 or

Blind Musician Gets Scholarship and Minute of Fame

Natalia Sulca of Hialeah is a recent graduate of Dr. Michael M. Krop High School.  An accomplished singer and songwriter, she has won a full scholarship to attend the Berklee College of Music in Boston.

Natalia is blind, and has been a part of Miami Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired for many years.  At the Lighthouse she received vocational rehabilitation, which included instruction in songwriting, music performance, and production.  Her compositions and performances have been featured on Miami Lighthouse CDs.

Natalia will take the stage to sing on the reality TV show "Minuto de fama" throughout July.  Minuto de fama airs 6:00pm to 7:00pm Monday through Friday on Channel 41 América TeVe in Miami; CV-34 in New York City; and CV-24 in Puerto Rico. 

"Natalia has a great, huge talent," said Mariela Larino, executive producer of Minuto de fama.  "Not only is she beautiful, but she is smart, fun, and has a great spirit.  I know all the audience really will love her."

Natalia was recognized as one of the top 10 outstanding seniors at Krop High School, where she earned a 4.0 GPA.  Natalia is a voracious Braille reader. 

"I'm a great believer in Braille because without it you just don't have access to a full range of knowledge," she said.  For a blind person, Braille means literacy.

For more information, contact Virginia A. Jacko at the Miami Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired, (305) 856-4176.  You may also email Virginia at:

What's Happening at Hadley

by Randy Morgan

Thanks to a grant from the Florida Division of Blind Services, Hadley has hired me to represent them through September, 2011 as the Florida Coordinator.  I was hired to teach people in Florida about Hadley, as well as to teach the courses of Finding Employment, and Business Fundamentals.  As a result of the grant, all courses, including professional development courses are free of charge through September, 2011!

The Hadley School for the Blind is physically located in Winnetka, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago.  It is the largest worldwide distance educator of blind and visually impaired people, their families, and blindness service professionals.  The school serves more than 10,000 students annually in all 50 states and 100 countries.  492 students were enrolled in Florida in 2009.  In addition, Hadley-China has an annual enrollment of 1,022 students. 

The Hadley School began in 1920 when a 55 year old high school teacher, William Hadley, lost his sight.  After teaching himself to read and write Braille, he began corresponding with a Kansas housewife who was blind.  With the help of his neighbor and Ophthalmologist E.V.L. Brown, The Hadley School for the Blind was born.  Now we are celebrating our 90th anniversary!

Hadley has four categories of courses:  Adult Continuing Education, High School, Family Education, and the Hadley School for Professional Studies.  With over 100 courses, there is something for everyone who can understand the English language - whether you are a person with a visual impairment aged 14 or older, a relative of a blind child, a family member of a blind adult, or a volunteer or professional who works directly with visually impaired people.  Courses are fully accessible, and are offered in braille, large print, audio, and one third of the 100 plus courses are online.  Hadley is also fully accredited by the Accrediting Commission of the Distance Education and Training Council and the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement.

One of the exciting things about my role with Hadley is discussing with visually impaired people who do not have a high school education how they have the ability to receive an accredited high school diploma through Hadley.  Courses are taught by instructors who are knowledgeable about teaching people with a visual impairment, and up to 12 hours of the 16 Carnegie Units can be transferred from another high school.  In addition, many high schools allow students to take some Hadley courses and transfer them to their school.  This provides some options for transition- aged students to take some courses written specifically for people with a visual impairment that are not offered at their school.  As an example, I highly recommend any high school student who is eligible to take Hadley classes to sign up for the Finding Employment class I teach.  In that class, which is appropriate for all ages (and professionals in this field as well), students learn how to begin to identify their career path, dress appropriately for the job, identify which type of resume is right for them,  how to write a resume, finding job leads, including the hidden job market, and it also addresses interviewing skills.  This course is written specifically for people who are visually impaired. 

Enrollment is easily accomplished by phone or online at  To communicate in writing with the school, use the following address:

The Hadley School for the Blind
700 Elm Street,
Winnetka, IL 60093-2554

Always include your full name and return address on the envelope, or call toll-free:  800-323-4238.

Joint Meeting Announcement

The Florida Rehabilitation Council for the Blind (FRCB), the Division of Blind Services (DBS) and the Florida Association of Agencies Serving the Blind (FAASB) announces the following joint meeting:  July 28, 2010 from 4:00pm to 5:00pm at the Ocala Hilton, 3600 Southwest 36th Avenue, Ocala, FL 34474.

Rehabilitation Council Quarterly Meeting and Public Forum

The Florida Rehabilitation Council for the Blind announces the following quarterly meeting:  July 29, 2010 from 8:30am to 1:30pm and July 30, 2010 from 8:30am to 1:00pm at the Ocala Hilton, 3600 Southwest 36th Ave., Ocala, FL 34474.

The Florida Rehabilitation Council for the Blind announces the following Public Forum to which all interested individuals are invited:  July 29, 2010 from 3:30pm to 5:00pm at the Ocala Hilton, 3600 Southwest 36th Ave., Ocala, FL 34474.  The purpose of this forum will be to gather consumer input on the effectiveness of services provided by the Florida Division of Blind Services in assisting individuals with visual impairments to achieve employment and independence under title I of the Rehab Act. This is an open meeting with no agenda.

In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, persons needing a special accommodation to participate in these meetings should contact the local DBS office no later than five (5) working days prior to the meeting. Phone (352) 955-2075, toll free (800) 443-0908, or through the Florida Telephone Relay system 711.

End Zone

We hope you found this month’s newsletter interesting and enlightening.  Remember, we need your submissions each month.  Let us know what’s going on in your district or facility.  The publication date for the Inside DBS newsletter should be the tenth of each month.  The deadline for submissions is the fifth of each month.  Comments, suggestions, and submissions should be directed to:

Ashley Evans
Phone:  (850) 245-0310

Additional useful links and telephone numbers:

MIS Help Desk:
Phone:  (850) 245-0360

AWARE Help Desk:
Phone:  (850) 245-0395 or 1-866-841-0912

Division of Blind Services Website:

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