Illuminations Newsletter, Volume 13, Issue 2: December 2013 Text only version below. If you would prefer to read the full color version with pictures, please open the PDF file at the following link: Illuminations December 2013 PDF File with full color and images.

In this issue:

Summer Camp 2013, Page 1

Highlights from Focus Group, Page 3

Welcome to New Staff Members, Page 4

Book Club Update, Page 5

Palm Beach Bar Association, Page 7

StingRay Outfitters Donation, Page 8

Rotary Club Tandem Bicycle, Page 9

Annual Children's Holiday Party, Page 9

Rehab 101 – Guess Our Teacher's Favorite Gadgets, Page 10

Recycling Ink and Cell phones, Page 12

Delray Class, Page 12

Summer Camp 2013 was a Huge Success Thanks to our Sponsors!

On behalf of the children of the LITE club and from the staff at the Lighthouse, we want to sincerely thank all of our sponsors for their contributions to Summer Camp 2013.  From cooking, computer skills, braille support, art, cleaning,  mobility and a bake sale, to fun field trips to Publix, Big Dog Ranch Rescue, and Bowling, it was a huge success!

Sponsors included: Retina Care Specialists, Cano and Manning Eye Center, Florida Microsurgical Institute, Kretzer Piano Concert Series “Music for the Mind” featuring David Crohan, Belle Glade Lions Club, Lake Worth Lions Club, Sebastian Lions Club, West Palm Beach Lions Club, David & Harriett Schapiro, NCCI, Southern Dames, Dr. Scott Gartner, as well as many others. Thank you! 

Pictured above: Summer camp gardening activities. Pictured on the left: Summer camp participants host a bake sale. On the right, one of our transition students is teaching braille to a younger child.

We would also like to thank David & Harriett Schapiro, who recently celebrated their 60th Anniversary. In lieu of gifts, they asked their friends and family to contribute to the Lighthouse's Transition Program. Happy Anniversary!

Pictured on the left: Summer camp participants learn how to use computing technology. On the right, they are having a Publix shopping experience.

Highlights from Focus Group 2013

Our Focus Group is a social club that meets once a month for adults at the Lighthouse. During 2013, a variety of speakers were invited to offer the Focus Group educational and entertaining activities.  In February, we learned about the services offered through the Elder Helpline and activities at Outlook Club for the Blind. In March, Alzheimer’s Community Care educated the group on dementia. In April, Beyond Blind Institute invited participants to attend their facility. In May, FAU’s Diabetes Education and Research Center spoke about prevention. During the summer, The Red Cross discussed disaster preparedness.  In September we ‘talked like pirates’ and in November we learned about the Real ID. On December 6, Focus Group participants celebrated the holidays with food, music, and fellowship! Braille Club volunteers generously donated their time to prepare and serve a hot lunch and dessert to the group. The Women of Note Chorus brought in the holiday spirit with a variety of Christmas and Hanukkah songs. Smiles, singing, and laughter filled the room. A great big “THANK YOU” to Larry McDowell, Lighthouse and Braille Club volunteers and all who helped make this event a success!  Happy Holidays and best wishes for 2014! Pictured below to the left are participants enjoying their holiday meal. Pictured below to the right: Women of Note singing at the 2013 Focus Group Holiday Party.

Welcome to New Staff Members Jill Brondolo and Anne Hatton!

The Lighthouse for the Blind of the Palm Beaches welcomes staff members Jill Brondolo and Anne Hatton along with their dog guides Lucy and Eddie.

Jill Brondolo recently joined the team at Lighthouse for the Blind of the Palm Beaches as a part-time Technology Training Specialist. At her side will be her dog guide Lucy. Prior to working at the Lighthouse, Jill worked at Florida Atlantic University (FAU) in the Office for Students with Disabilities, where she helped students in their pursuit of equity and excellence in education.

Jill has Retinitis Pigmentosa which has led to her profound vision loss and uses screen readers and other assistive technology.  She demonstrates that despite vision loss, a fulfilling and productive life is possible. 

Jill Brondolo with her guide dog Lucy (Left) and Anne Hatton with her Guide dog Eddie (Right).  Anne Hatton, Assistant Technology Assistant, recently returned from four weeks at Southeastern Dog Guide School with her dog guide Eddie. Eddie will be coming to work with her. Anne joined Lighthouse on April 26, 2013 as an Assistive Technology Assistant. Anne has many years personal experience using assistive technology and is an asset to Lighthouse for the Blind of the Palm Beaches. We warmly welcome both Jill and Anne to our team! If you have the opportunity to meet either Jill or Anne at the Lighthouse, you will note their enthusiasm for empowering others with visual impairments through the use of assistive technology. 

Book Club Update

The Lighthouse Book Club meets the third Friday each month from noon to 1:30.  We read audio books in digital format, supplied by the Talking Book Library or downloaded from BARD.  We then discuss the books; what we like and dislike, and all the characters and plot twists.  There have been plans to expand the Book Club to the northern counties; however there are issues about meeting spaces and transportation.  Another possibility is to have a call in book discussion. If you are interested in forming a book group, or joining our group, Diane Salina would gladly offer assistance or information.  Call the Lighthouse to leave her a message or email dsalina@lighthousepalmbeaches.org. Bring a bag lunch if you like. Come to the meeting even if you didn’t read the book.

Next month we will meet January 17.  If you want training and information to use BARD to download digital books, Sarah Smedley from the PBC Talking Book Library will provide training from 10 am to noon. This presentation is open to all who would like to attend. Please RSVP by calling the Lighthouse at 561-586-5600. The Book Club will meet as usual on January 17 following the presentation at noon to discuss THE LAST LECTURE by Randy Pausch. In a few months, we plan to read the selection for the Read Together Palm Beach County - a Literacy Coalition project.  This will be discussed in future meetings. 

Pictured above: Book Club and Boot Up Computer Club Join for a Thanksgiving celebration.

The Palm Beach County Bar Association North County Section presents a check for $11,500 to the Lighthouse for the Blind of the Palm Beaches. The funds raised through the Association’s Annual Holiday Auction benefits local non-profit organizations throughout Palm Beach County.

(Pictured left to right) Todd Stewart, President North County Sector, Marvin Tanck, President & CEO Lighthouse for the Blind of the Palm Beaches, Mary Allen, Director of Vision Services Lighthouse for the Blind of the Palm Beaches, Ken Johnson, Immediate Past President North County Sector

StingRay Fishing Outfitters presents the proceeds from the 3rd annual Lighthouse Ladies Fishing Tournament to Mary Allen, Director of Vision Services and Marvin Tanck, President and CEO Lighthouse for the Blind of the Palm Beaches. The tournament was held on June 8th and was a huge success due to the team work and synergy of Ray and Debbie Lorenzo and the tournament committee. Plans for the 2014 tournament are already in the works.

(Pictured in the front - left to right) Samantha Bauer, Debby Lorenzo, Jacqueline Desrochers, Mary Allen, Marvin Tanck, Barbara Kingston (Pictured in the back row - left to right) Johnny Ringo, Ray Lorenzo

The West Palm Beach Rotary Club tandem bike presentation to LITE Club member Elizabeth (Pictured below: Elizabeth and Mary Allen).

Annual Children's Holiday Party

We had a wonderful turnout for the 2013 Annual Children's Holiday Party and had a packed house! Thank you to our Holiday Party Sponsors: Dailey Janssen Architects, Chris Kritikos, Robert & Joan LeRoy, Lake Worth Lions Club, Donte’ Mickens, Anne & Travis Hatton, Southern Dames, Hedrick Brothers Construction, The Sefftones, Dennis Gerlitz, Bella Hair Designs, and Girl Scout Troop 20442.

Santa poses with a large group from the 2013 Children's Holiday Party.

Rehab 101: By:  Genie Salzverg, Amanda Cary and Diane Salina

What are your favorite aids and appliances?  Can you guess Genie’s, Diane’s or Amanda’s picks? The answer key is listed at the end.

1.)   Touch Dots and  Bump Dots (numerous shapes, sizes and colors). These are used for labeling keyboards, calculators, telephones, microwave ovens, washer/dryers, etc.

2.)   Curve Talking Clock: Volume control, easy to set for time, hourly announcements and alarm functions. 

3.)   Hold n’ Slice (Available from Pampered Chef): Great for holding fruits and vegetables in position for cutting and slicing.  Keeps finger tips away from the blade of the knife to prevent accidents.

4.)   Large Print Overlays or Zoom Caps: These large print labels attach to a keyboard for people with low vision to see when learning to touch type.

5.)   Double Spatula (nylon coated): Helps you get a better grip and turn over foods during cooking.

6.)   Jumbo Print Calendar: This spiral bound calendar has bold black print and enough space to write in appointments with a 20/20 pen or Sharpie marker.

7.)   Touch Memo: Create hundreds of custom labels using the Touch Memo for foods, medicines, files, CD’s, etc. It has 60 washable labels that can be attached to clothing for recording the colors of clothing. (Similar to the Pen Friend)

8.)   Swing Cell Compact: Learn the positions of the dots in a Braille cell and the basics for using a Braille writer keyboard with this handy device in classes.

9.)   Wilson digital voice recorder: This small, portable, easy to use digital recorder has only three buttons, record, play/stop and delete.  Record appointments, shopping list, to do list, telephone numbers, etc. and has a belt clip attachment.

Answers: Amanda (1, 4, 8) Diane (2, 5, 7) Genie (3, 6, 9)

Delray Beach training for Independent Living Skills & counseling

The Lighthouse is now offering center based services in South County. We have collaborated with a community center in Delray Beach and offer center based Independent Living Skills Training and counseling on Mondays. For more information or to register, contact the Lighthouse.

Lighthouse has discontinued the ink & cell phone recycling program.

Thanks to all who collected and donated these items to support the Lighthouse. You can now donate these items to Gulfstream Goodwill Industries’ Good Geeks program. Gulfstream Goodwill Industries assists people with disabilities and other barriers to employment to become self-sufficient, working members of our community. For more information or to donate your ink or cell phones, please contact: Good Geeks, Mark Weinstock, 561-848-7200 ext. 2290, mweinstock@gulfstreamgoodwill.com. A special thank you to the West Palm Beach Lions Club (pictured below) for their assistance in packaging donated ink, cell phones and other items.

Please consider making a donation to the Lighthouse. For information, please contact us at 561-586-5600, info@lighthousepalmbeaches.org, or go to www.lighthousepalmbeaches.org.    

Illuminations is a publication from the Lighthouse for the Blind of the Palm Beaches. It is edited by Rachael Trinkowsky and Mary Allen. Thank you to Anne Hatton for proofreading and checking for accessibility.