Updated on Friday, August 28th, this is the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind (MCB) Information Network. This information can be accessed on the MCB Voice Information System by calling 617-626-7660. You may also call 800-392-6450 and say either “tape” or “telephone tape” into the speech recognition menu. Lastly, this weekly update is also available on "Newsline," the accessible newspaper service by pressing number 2, the local Channel, and in the "Massachusetts Commission for the Blind" section of “Newsline”. This update is produced by Laurie Korajczyk.

The MBTA announced that there will be weekend suspension of the Red Line service between JFK/UMass and North Quincy for the Winter Resiliency Program. Beginning Saturday, August 22nd, and continuing on selected weekends through the remainder of the summer, Red Line service between JFK/UMass and North Quincy stations will be temporarily suspended to allow workers to make the subway more resilient to harsh winter weather conditions. On weekends when workers will be replacing third rail and switch heaters, Red Line service between JFK/UMass and North Quincy will be suspended in both directions from start to end of service. Shuttle bus service will be provided, serving JFK/UMass and North Quincy stations. Service will be impacted during the weekends of August 29-30; and September 12-13 and 19-20. Information about weekend service suspensions during the fall will be made available in the near future. Please visit www.mbta.com to learn more about these service interruptions.

The Bay State Council of the Blind (BSCB) and the American Council of the Blind (ACB) continue to work with CVS on its accessible prescription program. Both Caremark and cvs.com are providing ScripTalk talking labels through mail order. ACB continues to talk with CVS about a talking label that could be offered in stores. Lainey Feingold is interested in hearing from CVS customers who have recent experiences where they could not get talking labels through mail order and were not able to get them in the stores. If you get prescriptions through CVS and have had this problem, please email Lainey Feingold at LF@LFLegal.com with answers to the questions below. If you cannot send an email, you have the option of leaving a message for Lainey at 510-548-5062. Here is the information they need. Please only answer these questions if you have needed to fill a prescription in a CVS store in the last six months that you could not obtain through cvs.com or Caremark.

  • Does your insurance allow you to get prescriptions through CVS or Caremark?
  • Do you get talking labels through cvs.com mail order or Caremark mail order?
  • What is the address of the store you got your prescription filled in (city, state and street - if you don’t have exact address that is OK)?
  • Why couldn’t you order the medication through cvs.com or Caremark mail order?
  • Did you ask the in-store pharmacy for talking labels? What response did you get?
  • Approximately how quickly did you need to pick up the prescription in a store (for instance, did you need the medication the same day)?

Thank you so much for helping ACB advocate for accessible prescription information.

The American Council of the Blind Students (ACBS) has created a membership survey and is soliciting your assistance to help spread the word. The purpose of this survey is to obtain more information about ACBS’ membership, and give members an opportunity to become more involved with the affiliate as they begin the 2015- 2016 school year. By taking this brief survey, you will have the opportunity to tell ACBS what initiatives you feel are important to the organization. ACBS is asking you to please share this survey to whatever networks you feel are appropriate. The survey can be accessed at www.surveymonkey.com/r/ACBSMembershipSurvey.

Just in time for National Grandparents Day, join Seminars@Hadley on Thursday, September 10th at 3:00 PM as three Hadley instructors share suggestions and resources for putting the “grand” back in grandparenting after vision loss. Grandparents facing the challenges of age-related vision loss often feel their joy diminished by fear and worry about things like: How will I be able to care for and play with my grandchild? What should I tell my grandchildren about my vision? How can I bond with and remain connected to my grandchild? Instructors Grandma Sharon Howerton, blind and grandmother of 5; Debbie Worman, Family Education instructor; and Jennifer Ottowitz, Certified Vision Rehabilitation Therapist all have had extensive experience working with grandparents in a variety of settings. Ed Haines, a member of Hadley’s Seminars team, will moderate this 60-minute seminar, which is an audio presentation. A question and answer session will be included. Space in this seminar is limited. To register, go to www.hadley.edu/SeminarDetails.asp?sid=289. You can learn more about this and other seminars at www.Hadley.edu.

The Onkyo Braille essay contest is being administered by the National Federation of the Blind on behalf of the North America-Caribbean Region of the World Blind Union. Essays must be written by contest participants, in English or their native language, in Braille, and must be completely original in nature. Entries should be no fewer than 800 words and no more than 1,000 words in length. There will be two groups of competitors—one junior group, aged 25 and under; and one senior group, aged 26 and up and prizes range from $500-$2,000. Essay topics are: How do you acquire knowledge and information through Braille or audio devices? Please illustrate with some interesting personal stories/episodes. How can blind persons become independent by learning Braille or music? Individual concept about world peace from the viewpoint of persons with disabilities. The contest period is from August 20, 2015 to September 13, 2015.
All essays must be received by September 13, 2015. For contest rules and application forms, please go to https://nfb.org/onkyo-braille-essay-contest.

Project New Hope would like to invite you to the 1st Annual Blind and Visually Impaired Veterans Family Retreat, scheduled for September 18th to September 20th. The retreat is free and will take place at the Grotonwood Camp and Conference Center, 167 Prescott Street in Groton. Check-in is at 2:00 PM on Friday, September 18th, and check-out is at 2:00 PM on Sunday, September 20th. The goal of this retreat is to help veterans who are blind or visually impaired regain their independence and enhance their quality of life. Success means enabling these veterans to be more actively involved in their families and communities. To learn more about this retreat and to register, please visit www.projectnewhopema.org.

In order to provide answers to many of the questions people frequently ask about their programs and other visual impairment services, the Carroll Center for the Blind is holding monthly information days on the first Wednesday of every month. Information Day serves to provide consumers, families, professionals, and students an opportunity to learn about the process of rehabilitation, specifically as it relates to their different programs. See the campus, learn from rehabilitation instructors, and talk to graduates about their experience in the adult and senior rehabilitation and technology programs. Special dates are offered for those seeking tours and information about summer offerings for youth. The staff loves this chance to help participants become informed, relaxed, and motivated! The program starts promptly at 10:00 a.m. and conclude at 2:00 p.m. Lunch will be provided, free of charge. To make a reservation, email Maureen Foley at maureen.foley@carroll.org, or call 800-852-3131 extension 225 with the name of each guest attending-family and friends are welcome.

Thanks for reading this message and it will be updated again on Friday, August 28th.

This information is provided by the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind.