March 1, 2006 Contact Info: Robert Gardner, President
email@example.com To join the Blackhawk Chapter or to renew your membership for 2006, bring $2 to a chapter meeting, or mail that amount to: Kathy Kelley, 2107 13th Street, Moline, IL 61265. * * * Another month has slipped by, and spring seems just around the corner. Don’t be a groundhog and huddle in your burrow, get out of the house and join your fellow Federationists at our monthly meeting on Saturday, March 11. The meeting will begin at 1:30 PM at our usual meeting place, the South Moline Township Center located at 637 17th Avenue, East Moline. In the absence of Bob Gardner, Eldon Kaiser will chair the meeting. The program will feature the reading of a Kernel Book story and a discussion of the story afterwards. Need a ride to our chapter meeting? Call Bob or Nancy Gardner at 755-8085 and we will make arrangements. Please call us by Thursday night before the meeting so we can coordinate cars and drivers. LAST MONTH IN REVIEW
We had a good meeting on February 11, with a turnout of 27 people. Our program featured a demonstration by Bob Gardner of a cell phone useable by the blind. The cell phone employed speech recognition technology, and was a standard model obtainable from cell phone service providers. Those with little or no vision can easily use it.
July 1-7: NFB national convention in Dallas, Texas. It’s not too early to plan for this great event. If you’re thinking of going, now is the time to make hotel reservations. July 15: Blackhawk Chapter swim party at the Montgomery’s in Moline. This event will be held instead of our regular July chapter meeting. Note, however, this date is the 3rd Saturday of the month, not the 2nd. August 12: Blackhawk Chapter annual picnic at Millennium Park in East Moline. The picnic will take the place of our regular August chapter meeting, and will be on the 2nd Saturday of the month. November 10-12: NFB of Illinois state convention. The convention this year will take place at the Ramada Inn, 5615 North Cumberland Avenue, Chicago. Believe it or not, it’s not too early to make your room reservations. As usual, the NFBI will be given special room rates. Phone (773) 693-5800 for reservations. NEWS TIDBITS
When you’re at our Blackhawk Chapter meeting on March 11, I will have just completed my first week at Blind, Inc., the NFB training center in Minneapolis. I’m sure my head will be spinning on that Saturday. But still, I’m looking forward to starting the process of increasing my blindness skills, skills that should make me a more independent blind person.
Again, I want to thank the chapter members who have volunteered to chair chapter meetings while I’m gone. A special thanks is due to my wife, Nancy. She does many, many things for the chapter in a behind-the-scenes fashion, and she will be doing even more in my absence. Talking Voting Machine
Rock Island County has finally decided on a specific speech accessible voting machine. This will be available in future elections, giving the blind and visually impaired the ability to vote in a true “secret ballot” fashion. No longer will sighted assistance be required. You can get a demonstration of the machine or try your hand at voting on it right now. That can be done at the County Clerk’s Office in the Rock Island County Courthouse during normal business hours. Let Us Know
If you are aware of someone within our chapter family who is sick or in the hospital, please let Nancy or Bob Gardner know. That way, we can send cards or flowers as appropriate. Call 755-8085. Pre-Registration for the National Convention
For the first time, you can pre-register for the NFB national convention. This not only eliminates the step of registering once you’re at the national convention, but you actually save a few dollars when you pre-register. If you’re thinking of going to the convention in Dallas, pre-registration can be done until May 31 by going to the website, www.nfb.org.
The following chapter members celebrate April birthdays.
1st: George Sowers 19th: Kathy McCabe
5th: Jean Kaskadden 26th: Josh Cornwell
7th: William Black ABOUT YOUR NFB
Are you unable to read a newspaper anymore? The National Federation of the Blind allows you to do that, to listen to a newspaper by using your touchtone telephone. What’s even better, you can subscribe to Newsline for no cost, and you can access a newspaper on your phone by dialing a toll-free 800 number. You can subscribe online at the site mentioned below, or by calling your Talking Book Center. The following was edited from the NFB website, www.nfb.org/newsline1.htm. “Would you like a newspaper with your morning cup of coffee? NFB-NEWSLINE® added its 200th newspaper in 2004 along with its first two magazines, AND it's still growing. The service handles thousands of phone calls each day for individuals across the country who can now access daily newspapers and magazines as never before. This also enables those who cannot read conventional print to have access to all of NEWSLINE® when traveling throughout the United States. “Every day, a subscriber can choose magazine articles, or that day's, the previous day's, or the previous Sunday issue, of any newspaper in the service.
On NFB-NEWSLINE®, the user can easily choose which newspaper, section, and article to read using a standard touch-tone telephone. The menu provided allows the user to change the speed and voice quality, spell out words, or search for a particular word or subject. “Additional newspapers and magazines will be added, and future upgrades will allow more options, such as new "voices" and newspapers in other languages. “NFB-NEWSLINE® now offers more choices than ever, including special local channels to distribute announcements of specific interest to the blind. In addition to the newspapers in their state, readers may choose among the hundreds of local papers from Hawaii to Maine. Some of the nationally prominent newspapers are USA Today, The New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, The Christian Science Monitor, the Wall Street Journal, THE New Yorker, and The Economist.”