Tuesday, August 27, 2013

iPhone apps for Kids Who are Visually Impaired

Photo of iPhone Apps
Here's a rather large list of recommended iPhone/iPad apps for visually impaired or blind children from  Wonder Baby. (LINK)

Bicyling Blind

Logo: BLind Tandem Cycling Connection
There is a club forming around the country to connect the blind with sighted partners for bicycling. Unfortunately, there isn't a club in Tulsa, but maybe someone will get interested! More information can be found here: Bicyling Blind.

Friday, August 16, 2013

2013 OCB Convention

2013 Convention Registration 

"The Blind Spot"

Come Join Us!

Oklahoma Council of the Blind

2013 Annual Conference and Convention

September 20-22, 2013

Wyndham Garden Oklahoma City Airport

2101 S. Meridian Avenue, Oklahoma City, OK 

1 800 622-7666 or (405) 685-4000

Message from the President, Elaine Boykin

Our theme is "Let's Make A Deal" and so come on down and choose a door
leading you to Development, Empowerment, Advocacy and Leadership.  

We are pleased to have Melanie Brunson, CEO of the American Council of the
Blind, who will provide us with a great presentation on the DEAL we need to
be making to ensure our status as individuals with vision loss in this
ever-changing world.

As always, our convention has something special for everyone! You never know
what is going to be behind those doors.  Will it be something entertaining?
Will it be something good to eat?  Maybe it will be words of wisdom. Of
course, it could be that special door of friendship, that chance to visit
with others. 

It has been an honor to be your OCB President for this past year and it
feels like I've just gotten started. I look forward to visiting with many of
you and look to all of you for your advice and wisdom, which helps make our
organization strong. I look forward to your support in making this the best
convention/conference. Let's blow the top off of registration; please bring
yourself and a friend.

Weekend activities include:

.       Friday there will be a dynamic seminar on employment:  what
employers want, what counselors want and need to know, and what we as
consumers need to know to obtain those great jobs with cool benefits. We
will hear from Melanie Brunson, CEO of the American Council of the Blind;
Doug Ross, former VS Contracted Employment Specialist; Bobby Lakey,
successfully employed consumer and former Vocational Rehabilitation
Counselor in Texas; and many others. We will be treated to a great lunch
where we can network with DRS counselors and staff, OCB members and other
interested people. There will also be a panel of successfully employed blind
or visually impaired professionals; 

.       Visual Services Advisory Committee Meeting on Friday afternoon.

.       A wonderful dinner of pizza provided by the Heartland Council of the
Blind which will lead into a short welcome and a chance to add your input to
important OCB resolutions and Constitution and Bylaws changes. 

.       A game night on Friday night, which will give you the tools to build
new friendships and brace up old ones.

.       Exhibits all day Saturday.  Exhibits include:  high-tech computers
and CCTVs, low-tech independent living aids, arts and crafts, home
decorating aids, etc. 

.       It doesn't end on Friday. No, we are just getting started.  On
Saturday you will have special updates by Department of Rehabilitation
Services personnel and other blindness organizations.

.       Ever feel afraid while waiting for that bus or when you are getting
home late in the evening? You won't want to miss the session on self

.       Special Saturday night banquet presentations and entertainment.

.       An oral and silent auction.  Don't miss auctioneer Pat Kelly, who
adds humor and challenge to his auctioneering pizzazz and assists us in
raising funds for OCB.

.       A non-denominational church service on Sunday morning.

.       Our Annual Business Meeting including the privilege to elect your
future leaders who will strengthen our organizational roots. OCB needs your
input and vision. The business meeting is where your voice can be heard
because you might say something that will benefit us all for years to come! 

If you are only attending the Employment Seminar on Friday, registration is
$50. If you are attending the convention on Friday night through Sunday,
registration is $80 which includes five meals, entrance to the exhibit area,
all general sessions, special entertainment, the opportunity to meet new
friends, educational and training seminars, door prizes, etc. If you plan to
attend the Employment Seminar and convention, registration is only
$100--what a deal! 

Please register as soon as possible so the Conference and Convention
Committee has time to prepare your name tags and registration packets in

Please complete the form at the end of this newsletter and mail it with your
payment to Jeanne Meyer, 814 North F Street, Muskogee, OK 74403. Make the
check payable to "The Oklahoma Council of the Blind". You can also find the
registration form on the OCB website,  <http://www.okcb.orgwww.okcb.org .

The Convention registration fee is an excellent deal. Please remember that
the Oklahoma Council of the Blind must cover the expense of meeting rooms,
printing the Convention program, paying for incidentals such as meals and
lodging for speakers, etc. Also, the cost of our meeting rooms is impacted
by how many people reserve sleeping rooms at the hotel. We appreciate your

Make Those Hotel Reservations NOW!!!

Please make your early reservations by September 10, 2013. You can call
either 1-800-622-7666 or (405) 685-4000. Be sure and say you are with the
Oklahoma Council of the Blind. Room rates are $81 per night plus 13.875%
tax. This is for double or king, one to four people to a room. So you can
double up and save money. Don't forget your bathing suit as the hotel still
has an indoor swimming pool.  

Convention Scholarships

Is this your first time to go to an OCB Convention? Do you need a little
help with the financial burden of attending the convention? If you are blind
and would like to apply for one of 10 scholarships for convention, please
email or write a letter telling us why you would like to attend. The
scholarship will cover the $80 registration fee for Saturday and Sunday or
$100 registration fee if you also plan on attending the Friday Employment
Seminar. Scholarships will be first awarded to individuals who are
first-timers and then to others depending on the date applications are
received. Contact Vicky Golightly, 425 N.W. 27th, Oklahoma City, OK 73103 or
email her at  <mailto:vgolight@yahoo.comvgolight@yahoo.com. You can also
contact her at (405) 740-6227. Applications must be received by September 1.

Convention Sponsorship Opportunity

Sponsorships support the OCB and help us with our convention weekend
expenses. Your name will appear in the program as a sponsor and you will
also be recognized at the convention during one of the general sessions.
Convention sponsorship levels are:  Patron, $5; Silver, $10; Gold, $20; and
Platinum, $30. Send your check to our treasurer, Jeanne Meyer (address
listed above) and be sure to tell us of your wish to become a sponsor and at
what level. The OCB sincerely appreciates your generosity.

Convention Advertising

Do you have a business you'd like to advertise? What about those arts and
crafts you'd like to sell? Do our OCB chapters feel this urgent need to tout
their outstanding programs? Place an advertisement in the Convention program
at the following rates:  quarter page, $25; half page, $50; and full page,
$100. Please make checks payable to the Oklahoma Council of the Blind and
send them to Treasurer Jeanne Meyer, indicating the money is to be used for
an advertisement.

Our Mission

To promote equal opportunities for blind Oklahomans to participate fully in
society and achieve a better quality of life. 

OCB is a statewide organization of blind and visually impaired individuals
and their families and friends. The organization works to encourage,
empower, educate and enhance the lives of Oklahomans who are blind or
visually impaired. OCB strives to empower blind Oklahomans to become full
and independent participants in society through advocacy, leadership and
public education on issues that affect the lives of citizens with visual
impairments. By connecting, sharing ideas and common concerns, and working
together, we build an alliance that, more than individuals working alone,
has the power to "improve tomorrow, today" for all Oklahomans who are blind
or visually impaired. 

Board of Directors

The Oklahoma Council of the Blind Board of Directors is proud to serve you,
our members and prospective members. Your Board members for 2012-2013 are:

Elaine Boykin, President, Oklahoma City

Tommy Robertson, First Vice-President, Muskogee

Joe Fallin, Second Vice President, Tulsa

Vicky Golightly, Secretary, Oklahoma City

Jeanne Meyer, Treasurer, Muskogee

Julie Bailey, Public Relations Director, Tulsa 

Sandi Webster, Board Member At Large, Oklahoma City

Jesse Martinez, Board Member at Large, Broken Arrow

Pam Holloway, Board Member at Large, Bethany


Don't forget to make your nominations for either the Gordon P Stephens or
LeRoy Saunders awards. Let's think about individuals who we can honor for
such awards. Send those nominations to Bob Moore, chair of the Awards
committee. His email address is  <mailto:robertmoore1@me.com>
robertmoore1@me.com or if you have questions you can call (405) 650-8539.   



The Gordon P. Stephens Award was been established by the Oklahoma Federation
of the Blind (now the Oklahoma Council of the Blind) to honor and
memorialize a long-time member of this organization. His kind, generous,
unassuming manner graced the lives of many blind people within and outside
of the organization. The following guidelines have been established for
selection of the recipient of this award:

1) This award shall be conferred only at such time as a fully qualified and
deserving candidate is selected.  (Not on a regular basis).

2) The recipient of the award shall be an individual, or individuals, whose
voluntary services to blind persons and/or organizations of and for the
blind have been  meritorious, unselfish, and without personal remuneration.

3) The President of the Oklahoma Council of the Blind shall appoint an
Awards Committee consisting of a chairman and two additional members of the
Oklahoma Council of the Blind; and 

4) The Committee shall select a recipient of this award not less than thirty
days prior to the Oklahoma Council of the Blind Annual Convention at which
the award is to be conferred. The committee may use its discretion in
notifying the recipient in advance of the presentation. A plaque or some
other appropriate item shall be selected by the committee as a tangible
recognition of the award.

An award nomination form will be accompanied by a letter enumerating the
qualifications of the candidate. The nomination shall further be supported
by two additional letters of recommendation.




City, State, Zip:


REASON FOR NOMINATION (use more space if necessary):




City, State, Zip:


All nominations must be submitted either by mail or email to the Chair of
the Awards Committee no later than 30 days prior to the OCB State


The Oklahoma Council of the Blind instituted the LeRoy Saunders award in
2002. This award is in honor of Mr. LeRoy Saunders who has contributed a
lifetime of dedicated effort in promoting the abilities of individuals who
are blind and to improve their quality of life. His professional endeavors
expanded employment opportunities for Oklahomans who are blind. His national
advocacy role through active participation in the American Council of the
Blind and the President's Committee For Purchase From People Who are Blind
or Severely Disabled exemplifies his lifelong achievements in the field of

The guidelines for nominations are as follows:

    1)    Nominees for this prestigious award should demonstrate
extraordinary effort in promoting employment and advocacy activities, which
promotes the abilities of Oklahomans who are blind.

    2)    Any person employed and/or residing within the State of Oklahoma
is eligible. The award may be made posthumously provided that death has not
taken place more than twelve months prior to the nomination.

    3)    Persons nominated for the award should be considered carefully.
The person must have made some outstanding contribution to services in the
field of work for the blind. The nominee should be selected solely on merit
and performance. Any member of OCB in the state is eligible to submit the
name of a nominee.

    4)    Nominations shall be submitted on a form provided by the awards
committee (also found on the OCB website) and supporting statements should
adequately justify the person's nomination.

    5)    A person who has retired or resigned from his employment or
volunteer services may be nominated provided that they have left within five
years of nomination.




REASON FOR NOMINATION (use more space if necessary):


All nominations must be submitted either by mail or e-mail to the Chair of
the Awards Committee no later than 30 days prior to the OCB State

2013 Oklahoma Council of the Blind Conference and Convention Registration 

Please complete the form below and mail with your payment to Jeanne Meyer,
814 North F Street, Muskogee, OK 74403. Make the check payable to "The
Oklahoma Council of the Blind"

Name ____________________________________________


City_______________ State__________ Zip____________

Work Phone (      )___________________________________

Home Phone (       )___________________________________

E-Mail ____________________________________________

____ Friday Employment Registration Only            $  50.00

____ OCB Registration Only                                     $  80.00

____ Registration For Both                                      $100.00

____ Extra Lunch Ticket

(applies to people with friends and family 

already registered at the convention.                     $  20.00

____ Extra Banquet Ticket

(applies to people with friends and family 

already registered at the convention)              $  30.00

I need my program in __ Large Print  __ Braille  __ Disk

_____ I would like vegetarian meals

_____ I need an assistive listening device

Other Special Needs________________________________

For more information, contact:  Conference and Convention Chairman  Julie
Brantley, 405 250-9933 or 405 522-3442 or 

Email:   <mailto:jbrantley@okdrs.govjbrantley@okdrs.gov

Oklahoma Council of the Blind                     FREE MATTER FOR  
P.O. Box 1476                                                  BLIND &

Oklahoma City, OK 73101

1 877 578-6212

Tulsa Transit Lift Program

Debbie Ruggles asked me to send this to the list, since she's concerned that
her list is outdated.



Policy Changes Effective September 1, 2013

Change in Parcel/Package Policy

Customers are now able to bring up to three (3) brown grocery bags
(preferably with handles) or eight (8) "Walmart-type" plastic bags on board
the vehicle. Once on board, packages must fit in the passenger's lap or
store under the seat during transport. Collapsible carts are allowed and can
be secured by the driver. Non-collapsible carts will not be allowed under
any circumstances.

Drivers will assist with up to two (2) parcels that individually weigh no
more than 15 lbs. Bags or packages weighing more than the limit will be the
responsibility of the passenger. Customers are allowed to bring on board
only what they, with the assistance of the driver, can carry in one load.
Passengers are not allowed to get on and off the vehicle to load packages.

A customer who violates these limits will be expected to arrange for
alternative transportation (i.e. taxi, friend, or family member) for the
return trip.

Change in "Will Call" Fare Structure

The charge for ALL "Will Call" trips, regardless of trip purpose, will be
$6.00. Tulsa Transit has offered $3.00 "Will Call" fares to customers with
medical appointments because of the difficulty involved in estimating how
long a doctor's visit may take. The Federal Transit Administration has
instructed Tulsa Transit to discontinue this practice because charging
different rates for different trip purposes is prohibited by the Americans
with Disabilities Act. As a result, "Will Call" trips from all locations,
including medical facilities, will be $6.00.

Tips for Scheduling Return Trips from Medical Facilities

When scheduling return trips from medical facilities:

·        Schedule your medical appointment first thing in the morning
(before the doctor has an opportunity to run late) or first thing after
lunch, if at all possible.

·        Call the medical facility before you schedule your LIFT trips to
get an estimate of time for the appointment.

·        Add 15-30 minutes to the estimate given by the medical facility
when scheduling the return trip to allow time for unforeseen delays.

·        Tell medical facility personnel when you arrive for your
appointment of the time you have scheduled the return trip. Let them know
you will have to pay a higher fare and wait longer for your ride if you are
not finished when the vehicle arrives.

New No Show/Late Cancellation Policy

How do I cancel my trips?

When customers no longer need trips they have scheduled, whether demand or
subscription service, they must call 582-2100 to cancel. Cancellations must
be received by Call Center staff no later than 4:30 p.m. the day before the
scheduled trip. Depending upon the time cancellations are received by the
Call Center, they are classified in one of three ways:

Advance Cancellations: Trips canceled by 4:30 p.m. the day before the
scheduled trip will be counted as Advance Cancellations.

Same-Day Cancellations: Trips that are canceled between 4:30 p.m. the day
prior to the trip and up to two (2) hours before the scheduled pick-up time.

Late Cancellations: Trips that are not canceled at least two (2) hours
before the scheduled pick-up time.

Cancel at the Door: Trips canceled by the customer when the driver arrives
at the pick-up location. One Cancel at the Door equals one No-Show.

What is a no-show?

A No-Show occurs when a passenger fails to board the LIFT vehicle within
five (5) minutes after it arrives within the pick-up window. Customers who
No-Show their trips going home should call the Call Center at 582-2100 to
reschedule. A "Will Call" trip will be scheduled on the next available
vehicle. The next available vehicle is based upon availability and may take
up to three (3) hours to dispatch. The fare for "Will Call" trips is $6.00
for the passenger and $6.00 each for guests.

When customers No-Show, their return trips are cancelled. However, if the
customers use alternative transportation to go on to their destinations, the
return trip can be reinstated if they phone the Call Center within one hour
of the original pick-up time.

What are the penalties for no-shows and late cancellations?

Penalties will be assessed for Late Cancellations and No-Shows as follows:

Number Violations                Penalty

    2                                        Warning Letter

    4                                         30-Day Suspension

When customers accumulate a total of four (4) No-Shows or Late Cancellations
within a 30-Day period, they will receive a written Notice of Service
Suspension, and a 30-day service suspension will be imposed. Customers will
be given 14 calendar days from the date the suspension letter is mailed to
appeal No-Shows they believe were charged in error. Customers must appeal in
writing and in a timely manner either by completing the form and returning
it via mail or by emailing info@tulsatransit.org. The appeal must include
details regarding why the customer believes the violation was charged in
error. After the 14 days have elapsed without the request for an appeal, the
No-Show(s) and/or Late Cancellation(s) will become part of the customer's
permanent record and cannot be appealed at a later date.

Tulsa Transit will consider the information provided with the appeal, make a
determination, and mail or email a determination within seven (7) calendar
days after the request for appeal has been received. If the appeal all or
part of the appeal is denied, the customer will have a right to request an
in-person hearing to appeal the determination made by Tulsa Transit. That
request for appeal must be received within ten (10) calendar days from the
date the determination letter or email was sent by Tulsa Transit. After the
10 days have elapsed without the request for an appeal, the No-Show(s) or
Late Cancellation(s) will become part of the customer's permanent record and
cannot be appealed at a later date.

Customers making appeals in person will each have up to 15 minutes to
present oral and/or written arguments concerning the No-Show(s) or Late
Cancellations(s) they believe were charged in error and not removed by Tulsa
Transit during the initial appeal. The appeal will be heard by someone who
was not involved in the initial decision. The decision of the hearing
officer will be handed down in writing within five (5) calendar days after
the date set for the hearing. The decision will be final and no further
appeals will be accepted by Tulsa Transit. If the suspension is upheld, the
suspension will begin ten (10) calendar days after the appeal hearing.

Should a customer be temporarily suspended from the LIFT Program, it will be
necessary for the customer to request subscription trips be reinstated at
the end of the suspension period. Subscriptions are suspended when service
is suspended.

Can I avoid being suspended?

Customers can void a pending suspension by exercising a "buy-back" option.
For all proposed suspensions, the customer will receive a list of the
specific trips when a policy violation(s) occurred. Customers may remove
violations by paying the cost of an average LIFT trip. The cost to buy back
one violation is $25.00. Customers can buy back only six violations (No
Shows or Late Cancellations) in a rolling year.

Customers choosing to exercise the buy-back option should send a cashier's
check or money order (personal checks will not be accepted) to Tulsa
Transit, Attn: LIFT Buy Back, P.O. Box 52488, Tulsa, OK 74152, or hand
deliver to the Denver Avenue Station, 319 S. Denver, Monday through Friday
from 8 a.m.-1:00 p.m. and 2:00-5:00 p.m.

What happens if I have a pattern of excessive same day cancellations?

Customers who schedule trips and then cancel them after 4:30 p.m. the day
before travel may become ineligible for premium services as shown below.

     Consecutive Months Exceeding 10 Same-Day Cancellations

                        Penalty                                                           Duration (Days)

     1          Reminder Letter

     2          Warning Letter

     3          Next Day Scheduling Only*                                      30 days

                        No Subscription Service

                        No Phone Ahead Service  

     4     Next Day Scheduling Only                                            90 days

            No Subscription Service

            No Phone Ahead Service

     5     Next Day Scheduling Only                                           365 days

            No Subscription Service

            No Phone Ahead Service

     6     Next Day Scheduling Only*                                    Permanent

            No Subscription Service

            No Phone Ahead Service

*  Next Day Scheduling Only means the customer will be able to schedule
trips only for the next day of service.
Take a Buddy and Share the Cost

The Buddy System allows up to three LIFT customers (the customer booking the
trip and two other certified customers) to ride for the price of one. The
booking customer and the Buddy must be picked up at the same location and
time, and must have the same return trip for them to be considered Buddies.
The names of all Buddies and their LIFT ID numbers must be provided when the
trip is scheduled.

Allison Fallin

Saturday, August 10, 2013

TCB Meetings, August 9, 2013

August 9, 2013
TCB Minutes

Meeting was called to order shortly after 6 pm and there were 13 present. Vice President Fallin asked for everyone to introduce themselves and we were pleased to see Julie Bailey doing so well after her surgery. The church provided spaghetti, salad, corn, bread, brownies and peach cobbler. We also want to thank Darla for bringing cookies. 

We thanked Jesse for arranging our great outing at the Jenks aquarium August 3. There were 32 in attendance and all stated they had a wonderful time.

The secretary and treasurer's report were accepted as distributed. Final balance in the treasury is $2736.

David and Jeri gave an update on our bowlathon which only raised a little over $550.  We had 17 in attendance but those who came had a good time.

An update was given on the upcoming OCB convention which will be held September 20-22 in OKC at the Wyndham Garden. Hotel rates are $81plus tax.  Registration for the Friday seminar is $50 if you plan to only attend this event. The cost to attend the Friday seminar and the rest of the convention is $100. If you plan to attend the convention after the seminar, the registration is $80. Six meals are included during the three days. The theme is D.E.A.L which stands for Development, Empowerment, Advocacy, and Leadership. Melanie Brunson who is our Executive Director of ACB will be our main keynote speaker. You can read more details about the convention on the OCB website

Jesse gave some ideas about promoting awareness for White Cane Awareness day and more information will be forthcoming. He spoke of us walking around the area of the Oneoaks ballpark and the new location of KOTV. We did agree to use Spaghetti Warehouse as a fundraiser. Individuals eating there can donate 10% of their cost towards TCB. Jesse will obtain more specificdetails since the members were in agreement to do this.

We discussed other ideas of fundraising and Allison explained about the 10% of all proceeds being donated to TCB at the 83rd and Memorial location of a pizza place called Top That Pizza. More details will need to be finalized but Julie will check into what day we could utilize this opportunity for TCB. Certain day and times will be designated.

Vice President Fallin stated there will be a speaker in September from a company called You Buy We Fly, which provides delivery services. 

It was discussed and voted on to pay out for 10 TCB scholarships for one person per family to attend the OCB convention. This is $80 each to cover the cost of registration.

Vice President Fallin asked for volunteers for the nominating committee ad new officers will need to be elected in November. Julie, Darla and Jeri volunteered so if anyone is wanting to run for any of the officers positions to please notify one of these people. 

David and Julie stated they would bring a sandwich tray from Reasors (or somewhere) along with various ones bringing cookies for our September meeting.

Meeting was adjourned at 7 pm.

Jeri Cooper