Saturday, January 19, 2013

TCB Update - Change in Officers and New Member-at-Large

Julie Bailey
Julie Bailey was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, but now lives in Broken Arrow with her husband David. She has two children, two stepchildren, a grandson and three step grandchildren. 
Julie has hereditary glaucoma. Her father and son are affected as well. She was able to see fairly well until 23 years of age. At that point, she had to quit driving; and today, she is totally blind.
After graduating from Broken Arrow Senior High School, Julie earned her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Northeastern State University. She received a Master’s degree in Rehabilitation Teaching from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in December, 2012.
Julie has served as secretary, vice president, and now president of the Tulsa Council of the Blind. Besides being a member of the American Council of the Blind (ACB), Julie is a member of the Association for Education and Rehabilitation of Blind and Visually Impaired (AER) and Mid America Council of Rehabilitation Teachers (MACRT). 
Her hobbies include reading, spending time with family and friends, doing things with TCB members, and participating in a Pontiac car club with her husband. 
Vice President:
Allison Fallin
Allison has been blind since birth as a result of retinopathy of prematurity. She attended a school for the blind as a day student until sixth grade and then finished her education in a public school. She graduated from Eastern University with a degree in English.  
Allison has held various jobs, all working with people; a perfect fit since she’s a people person. Her most important job, though, was raising her two daughters.  
After Allison remarried five years ago, she moved from Oneida, New York, to settle in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She’s involved in various capacities at her local church, enjoys reading, and is a big fan of the OKC Thunder.
Jeri Cooper
Jeri Cooper was also born in Tulsa, Oklahoma. As a child, Jeri didn’t respond well to light and sound, so her doctors advised her parents to send her to Hissom, an institution for the mentally handicapped. Instead, her mother raised her at home. Later, it was determined that Jeri was not developmentally delayed; rather, she was legally blind and hearing impaired.  
From fourth grade until graduation in 1976, Jeri attended the Oklahoma School for the Blind. In 2009, Jeri earned her Master’s Degree in Rehabilitation Teaching for the Blind; and, in 2010, she earned her Deaf-Blind Rehabilitation Certification. She is currently the Deaf-Blind Specialist for Visual Services.  
Although Jeri is now totally blind and severely hearing impaired, Jeri is a very active person. Her hobbies are bowling, watching the Tulsa Drillers baseball games, TU football, and of course OU and OSU football. She enjoys visiting with people and giving back to others what she has received: patience, faith, and love.
Jesse Martinez
Jesse Martinez has been a member of Tulsa Council of the Blind for five years. He has served as a member at large and is currently serving as TCB's treasurer, cultural events chairman and fundraising chairman.  
In addition to his service to TCB, Jesse serves as a member-at-large and fundraising chairman for the Oklahoma Council of the Blind. He was OCB convention co-chairman in 2010 and is serving as convention chairman in 2012.   
Jesse has a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Systems and is working on his Master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling through the University of Arkansas-Little Rock. Jesse is married and has a five-year-old son. He and his family live in Broken Arrow.
Member-At-Large: Darla Cook
Darla Cook and "Laddie" 
Darla Cook was born in Tulsa and graduated from the OklahomaSchool for the Blind in Muskogee. She is married and has 2 grown sons and grandchildren.

Darla was born prematurely and has been visually impaired since birth as a result of Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP).

She volunteered at Ability Resources for three years before being hired, and has been employed with them for fifteen years as their receptionist.

Darla enjoys meeting new people and doing what she can to help newly blind people see the positive things in their life. She is an OU football fan, she likes to read and take walks with her guide dog Laddie, and she likes to shop and travel.
Member-At-Large: Bill Downes
Photo: Bill Downes

Bill Downes was born in Newark, Delaware, and is a retired Delaware State Trooper, helicopter pilot, professional photographer, and computer technician. He has a Bachelor's degree from the University of Delaware and a Master's degree from Regent University in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
 Bill began losing his vision in 2006 from causes unknown. By 2011, he was legally blind. Although his symptoms are similar to macular degeneration, doctors have been unable to diagnose the exact cause of his vision loss.
In addition to his membership in Tulsa Council of the Blind, Bill is also active in Broken Arrow Amateur Radio Club, Vietnam Helicopter Pilots, and his local church.
Bill lives in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, with his wife, Cindy. They have two children, Wil and Shelly, who live in the Tulsa area.