. . . . . . Happy New Year in 2013 . . . . . .

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Daytona Campus Fun

By Taquilla Thomas

Photo for Daytona Golf Cart Competition Food DriveIn the November Edition of "The Visionary" we shared with you that the Division of Blind Services (DBS) Daytona Campus hosted a golf cart decorating contest judged by DBS students. The "haunted recording studio" cart decorated by production services was crowned the overall winner and their charity of choice, the Full Gospel Christian Center in Oak Hill, was the beneficiary of the campus-wide food drive. The church routinely provides food to 30-40 families each week. In a thank you letter from the church they reported that staff donated 277 pounds of food collected during the food drive which enabled the church to then provide 100 Thanksgiving baskets!

Some people may not realize that charities have to buy some of the food they give to others. With the help of the Daytona staff this holiday season, some of that financial burden was taken from the church and in turn, they were able to help more families. Thank you everyone for your encouragement and participation. We look forward to our second annual holiday food drive in 2013!

Personnel Actions

Congratulations to Carla Carver who received a promotion to District 9 administrator in Ft. Myers.

We would like to welcome our newest employees to the DBS Family:

District 11 - "The Apprentice"

By Judy Pennyfeather and Staff

The Division of Blind Services, Fort Lauderdale Office, held a White Cane/Vision Awareness Event in October 2012. District Administrator Ivy Romero's staff formed two teams to interact with the public and bring about community awareness. The two teams held a mock game similar to the "Apprentice" to showcase services rendered by the division. The activity was based on creativity, cost effectiveness, turn-out result and participant's teamwork.

The team members were:

Team One

Picture of District 11 Team 1 - Judy Pennyfeather, Monica Vasquez, Yaquelin Rodriguez, Mauva McKenzie, and Keren Geffrard

Leader: Judy Pennyfeather

Team Members: Monica Vasquez, Yaquelin Rodriguez, Mauva McKenzie, and Keren Geffrard

Team Two

Picture of District 11 Team 2 – Ian Campbell, Nilda Lavandier, and Millicent Howell, [Not pictured: Patrick Regalado and Linda Clark]

Leader: Ian Campbell

Team Members: Patrick Regalado, Nilda Lavandier, Linda Clark, and Millicent Howell

Council Honors Daytona State College

By Jim Woolyhand

The Florida Rehabilitation Council for the Blind presented the Employer Award to Daytona State College (DSC) during their quarterly business meeting on October 25 and 26. DSC has continued in its tradition of excellence by developing college programs and service to meet the needs of students and the community. Working cooperatively with college departments, DBS has successfully assisted clients with meeting their individual employment goals. The college has employed individuals in various areas such as, the Continuing Education Department, Security, Computer Support, and the Counseling Department. On-going assistance to maintain successful employment continues to be a focus of interest.

Perez Hadley Ambassador

By Charles E. Young, President

The Hadley School for the Blind

Picture of Sylvia PerezSylvia Perez is a certified vision rehabilitation specialist and the executive director of the Lighthouse for the Visually Impaired and Blind in Port Richey. She was devastated when she was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa. Sylvia has taken several Hadley courses and seminars to help cope with vision loss, enhance her skills, and maintain her certification.

She introduces her clients to the school and requires her staff to take Hadley courses. "Hadley provides a resource for lifelong learning, which can help individuals and their families adapt to vision loss, develop skills for independence, and motivate them to live a more fulfilling life," she said.

Sylvia recently participated in Hadley's Ambassador training, which educates those who work in the blindness field in "all things Hadley" so that they may better enable their clients to utilize Hadley's distance education courses. Hadley Ambassadors represent the school in their various communities, spreading the word about the school, and helping recruit new students. Sylvia enjoys time with her family, reading, and traveling.

Past United States Paralympics Athlete, Donte Mickens

By Joe Strechay

Donte Mickens at the 2004 Games in Greece, where the U.S. goalball team won a bronze medalDonte Mickens has been a United States (U.S.) Paralympics athlete in the sport goalball for a number of years. The Men's U.S. Paralympics Team finished just shy of qualifying for the 2012 Games. Mickens is a former client, employee, and is currently appointed by the Governor as a member of the Florida Rehabilitation Council for the Blind.

Mickens is not just an international athlete. He has been successful in his career in financial analysis. As the commercials for the Olympics state, "…they are not just athletes." Many go on to careers besides professional sports.

Goalball is most often played on a basketball or volleyball court. Participants are usually visually impaired, and must wear blacked out goggles or sleep shades (but more like ski goggles). Currently there is no professional goalball league.

Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind's Fall Gathering with the Gainesville and West Palm Regions

By Kim Carr

Photo of a counselor and child making a scrap book with hand prints, ornaments, yarn, and starsThe Parent Infant Program at the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind, Parent Advisors, and ten families from the North Central Florida area attended a Fall Gathering at Morningside Nature Center. This annual event offers families a chance to meet and share their stories while their children pet the farm animals, feed the chickens, and play games with beeping balls. The farm offered a full sensory experience for the children. They also enjoyed comparing their canes, sharing a snack together and meeting a successful 17-year-old blind exchange student from the Republic of Georgia. The professionals who work with the children and their families also attended. A great time was enjoyed by all who came to reconnect with old friends and make some new friends on a beautiful fall morning in Gainesville.

Every year the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind's West Palm Parent Advisors coordinate a few "Meet and Greets" to provide families an opportunity to socialize, network, and gain information in the field of vision, deaf/hard of hearing or other related services. This year we were fortunate to have guest speaker Jessica Stepp, Certified Orientation & Mobility Specialist, from Miami-Dade County Public Schools. Stepp spoke to families about the importance of early intervention in orientation & mobility. We thank the families, the Division of Blind Services, and the Florida Outreach Center for the Blind for helping us make this event such a success!?

Easy Holiday Recipe

By Phyllis Dill

Santa would love a plate of these sweet morsels. Take your time the night before and enjoy them the next day with coffee or cocoa while you open your presents.

Picture of Overnight Cinnamon Rolls

Easy Overnight Cinnamon Rolls

  1. Before going to bed, (by 10:00 p.m. if you want to bake at 6:00 a.m. in morning)
    spray or grease loaf pan.
  2. Place frozen rolls in loaf pan.
  3. Sprinkle brown sugar, pudding, and cinnamon over rolls.
  4. You may sprinkle nuts on if you wish.
  5. Pour butter all over top.
  6. Cover loosely with saran wrap sprayed with oil and leave out on the counter top overnight.
  7. In the morning, heat oven to 350°. Place pan in oven and bake for 20 - 25 minutes.
  8. When done, remove from pan and place on a plate. (I use a long piece of tin foil and place over rolls, turn the rolls over, and put on plate.)
  9. Drizzle with glaze, if desired.

Just Glaze:

  1. Add milk 1 tablespoon at a time until mixed smooth and drizzly.
  2. You can make glaze ahead of time and stir until smooth when ready to use.

Accessible Prescriptions are ready for a Pharmacy near You

By Amanda Tolson, ScripTalk

What a difference a year makes. Since the Department of Veterans Affairs mandated audible prescriptions nearly ten years ago, it has been a real struggle getting retail pharmacies to take note. The attitude that many pharmacies took was "That's a great idea, but who wants it? Who really needs accessible prescriptions?" In many ways, they were right. The requests and complaints about accessibility inside pharmacies were hushed at best. But the snowball has been growing and the critical mass of requests has been mounting.

It's becoming clear that accidents happen and drug-related adverse reactions need to stop! The recent push from groups including the American Council for the Blind and state and local chapters throughout the U.S. have led to a real wake-up call. The need for safety and accessibility for prescriptions is beginning to be heard loud and clear by pharmacies. Products like ScripTalk are finally making their way into pharmacies in Florida.

ScripTalk gives audible prescription information by simply pressing a button and placing the prescription over the reader. A voice speaks all the information printed on the label. But the pharmacy needs to put a special electronic label programmed with all the printed information. Because the data is stored in the label itself, it can go on any size bottle, box, vial, tube, or other prescription container.

In addition to the visually impaired, ScripTalk is just as valuable to those who are otherwise print-impaired. Mildly dyslexic and illiterate customers would benefit immensely.

The development of ScripTalk has now made it possible for pharmacies to communicate pertinent information to their customers with minimal difficulty. ScripTalk is compatible with all types of pharmacy systems and third-party software.

Here are a few cities in Florida where ScripTalk is available: Winter Park, Sarasota, Tampa, Clearwater, St. Petersburg, Tallahassee, Daytona Beach, Pompano Beach, Naples, Miami, North Miami Beach, and St. Augustine. If your city is not listed, call ScripTalk to get your pharmacy started.

For more information about ScripTalk, please contact En-Vision America at: 1-855-773-2579.

Hadley Courses and Braille Code

By The Hadley School for the Blind

On November 2, 2012, the Braille Authority of North America voted to adopt the Unified English Braille Code (UEB) thus joining all other English-speaking countries in the adoption of this code. UEB will eventually replace the current uncontracted and contracted Braille code (English Braille American Edition or EBAE). The U.S. will continue to use the Nemeth Code for Mathematics and Science Notation. UEB is based on the current uncontracted and contracted Braille code. Letters and numbers will stay the same as they are in the current literary code. UEB eliminates only 9 of the 189 contractions and adds no new contractions. UEB simplifies some rules, changes a few punctuation marks, and introduces a few new signs like the bullet symbol for making lists.

If you are a Hadley student enrolled in one of our many Braille classes, you may wonder whether you should continue learning uncontracted or contracted Braille. The answer is clearly "yes." First, transition plans will have to be developed and then an orderly transition to UEB will take place. This will take several years. Until the U.S. has a transition plan, teachers and rehabilitation personnel will continue to teach the current code. Braille reading children and adults will continue to learn and read the current code, and Braille books, magazines, and other materials will continue to be produced in EBAE.

Even after the plan is adopted, all the Braille books already produced will still be in circulation for many years to come. Rest assured that Hadley already has plans in the works to teach UEB to Braille readers, as well as sighted professionals and family members. If you have not yet signed up at www.hadley.edu for eConnect, you may wish to do so. You will receive emailed announcements of our seminars and new courses.

End Zone

We hope you found this month’s newsletter interesting.  Remember, we need your submissions each month.  Let us know what’s going on in your district or facility.  The publication date for the Visionary newsletter is the first week of each month.  The deadline for submissions is the 24th of each month.  Comments, suggestions, and submissions should be directed to:

DBS Communications
Email:  Communications@dbs.fldoe.org

Additional useful links and telephone numbers:

To request a Braille version of this edition of the Visionary contact the Braille and Talking Book Library: al.peterson@dbs.fldoe.org or call 800-226-6075.

MIS Help Desk:
Phone:  850-245-0360
Email:  DBS.HelpDesk@dbs.fldoe.org

AWARE Help Desk:
Phone:  850-245-0395 or 1-866-841-0912
Email:  Aware.support@dbs.fldoe.org

DBS Division of Blind Services website (external):  dbs.myflorida.com.

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