Updated on Friday, October 6th, 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 Wayne Levy.

In observance of Columbus Day, all Massachusetts Commission for the Blind offices will be closed on Monday, October 9th. MCB is proud to join in the celebration of the anniversary of Christopher Columbus' arrival in the Americas.

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). Held each October, NDEAM is a national campaign that raises awareness about disability employment issues and celebrates the many and varied contributions of America’s workers with disabilities. Hiring employees with diverse abilities strengthens business, increases competition, and drives innovation, which is reflected in this year’s NDEAM theme, “Inclusion Drives Innovation.” You can learn more at: www.dol.gov/odep/topics/ndeam.

National Disability Employment Awareness Month is also an ideal opportunity for businesses to explore the benefits of diversifying their hiring practices. Various companies will be doing just that on Wednesday, October 25th at the 7th Annual Job Fair for Individuals with Visual Impairments. This year’s job fair will run from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM and take place at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, located at 3 James Street, Knafel Center/Gymnasium in Cambridge. This event is free and co-sponsored by MCB, the Carroll Center for the Blind, National Braille Press, Perkins School for the Blind, and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University. The day will start with a continental breakfast, followed by a welcome orientation and information session about employing workers who are visually impaired. You’ll get answers about how to adapt a job site, assistive technology options, services and supports for employers and employees, or other questions regarding working with someone who is blind. There will also be an assistive technology display. If you are interested in attending this event, please contact your vocational rehabilitation counselor at MCB or Joe Buizon at 617-626-7607 or joey.buizon@state.ma.us.

MCB would like to take the opportunity to invite you to their annual White Cane Safety Day, which will be held at the Massachusetts State House on Monday, October 23, 2017, from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM. International White Cane Day, which is on October 15th, celebrates the independence of white canes and raise public awareness of the White Cane Law. In 1931, the Lions Club began promoting the use of white canes as a national identification program. Today, the white cane is a symbol of independence for individuals with blindness. Massachusetts White Cane Law states that all motorists, when they see a pedestrian who is using a white cane or guide dog at a street crossing, must come to a complete stop. The October 23rd event will feature vision professionals, white cane and guide dog users, family members, friends, orientation and mobility specialists, and representatives from the Lions Club and Bay State Council of the Blind. For more information about this event, please call Meg Robertson at 617-626-7581.

The Worcester Talking Book Library recently announced their next session of the 2017 fall series of free adaptive technology training workshops. These workshops will take place in the computer lab at the Worcester Public Library on Saturdays from 9:45 AM to 11:45 AM. As in past years, there will be four sessions this fall. The second session will be on Saturday, October 28th, with the final two sessions on November 18th and December 9th. The topic for the October 28th session will be announced in the coming weeks. Please remember to bring a pair of personal headphones so you can work on one of the lab computers. To register for these workshops, as well as seek any additional information, please contact Jim Izatt at jizatt@mywpl.org or 508-799-1730. Additional information can also be obtained at www.talkingbook.mywpl.org.

MAB Community Services would like to invite you to its 2017 Annual Meeting, scheduled for Wednesday, October 25th at the Linda K. Paresky Conference Center Main College Building, 3rd Floor, at Simmons College, 300 The Fenway in Boston. The number of individuals who are blind and visually impaired is expected to double within the next fifteen years. Last year we held a summit to come up with strategies for dealing with this challenge. With your help, MAB Community Services have made amazing progress in moving forward, implementing promising solutions. Come hear what has been accomplished in just over a year. Registration and a reception starts at 6:00 PM. To register online, please visit www.mabcommunity.org/annualmeeting by October 15th. You can also call 617-972-9100 with questions or for information. Additional details can also be obtained by visiting www.mabcommunity.org.

The next Perkins School for the Blind’s Library Without Walls presentation will be taking place over the telephone on Tuesday, October 17th from 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM. Library Without Walls is a program at the Perkins Library where patrons can join in a presentation or book club by telephone. You are invited to join this special Halloween program! Take a glimpse into the mind of the original ‘Master of the Macabre’: Edgar Allan Poe, as portrayed by historic reenactor Campbell Harmon. Journey back with us as Campbell speaks in-character as Poe about the author's life, his death, and his profound influence on American literature; dispelling the myths that have surrounded his legacy to show how his works continue to affect us today. To register for this presentation or get the upcoming schedule, please call the Library Without Walls voice mailbox at 617-972-7852.

National Braille Press is inviting you to join them at their 2017 Fundraising Gala, “Celebrating 90 Years”, scheduled to take place on Friday, October 20th at the Boston Marriott Copley Place Hotel in Boston. There will be a cocktail reception and silent auction from 6:00 to 7:00 PM, followed by dinner, program and performance from 7:00 to 9:30 PM. The gala will be hosted by comedian Roy Wood, Jr., currently a correspondent on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah! The evening will also feature a presentation to Governor Baker as the recipient of the “Hands On” Award for his innovation in creating the On-Demand Paratransit Pilot Program and fostering the partnership between the MBTA Ride program and car services Uber and Lyft. For more information, contact Anna Kaczmarek at 617-425-2437 or akaczmarek@nbp.org. You can also learn more by visiting www.nbp.org.

As part of the company’s commitment to inclusive learning, Microsoft has recently launched a video that focuses on technology for the visually impaired. The video shows students from the Adaptive Technology for Rehabilitation, Integration and Empowerment of the Visually Impaired (Atriev), and shows how visually impaired learners can gain important computer-science skills that will help increase their employability opportunities. Accessibility tools and assistive technology tools were used in order for the students to use basic office-productivity tools and even computer programing and coding. In addition, the video shows how visually impaired trainers teach other students. This shows how fundamental concepts can be better explained in the context of the students’ special-learning needs and how assistive technology can truly transform a classroom to be 100-percent inclusive. Atriev is a non-governmental organization, that has been partnering with Microsoft Youthspark’s Coding for Accessibility since 2008. Atriev and Microsoft have strengthened that partnership in 2016 and continue to help the blind and low vision be employable. You can learn more about this announcement by visiting www.businessmirror.com.ph/microsoft-launches-video-for-the-blind.

The American Repertory Theater (A.R.T.), located at 64 Brattle Street in Cambridge, has announced two special Audio Described dates for Warholcapote. Performance dates will be on Friday, October 6th at 7:30 PM and then again on Saturday, October 7th at 2:00 PM. In the late 1970s, Truman Capote and Andy Warhol decided that they were destined to create a Broadway play together. Over the course of the next several months, they would sit down to record a series of intimate, wide-ranging conversations. The play never came to be, and the hours and hours of tape were lost to the ages. Until now. With the support of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and the Truman Capote Literary Trust, award-winning director Rob Roth adapted Warholcapote from never-before-heard conversations between these two icons of American art and literature. Tickets can be purchased by calling 617-547-8300, emailing boxoffice@amrep.org, or by visiting www.americanrepertorytheater.org

The Museum of Fine Arts Boston (MFA) invites you to their Annual Fall Open House, scheduled for Monday, October 9th. Several activities will be planned from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM. MetaMovements and Silent Rhythms, will be performing if you would like to come and dance. There will also be a variety of tours and talks throughout the day, as well as musical performances. For the full schedule go to www.mfa.org/programs/special-event/fall-open-house. For more information, to RSVP, or to request a tour, please contact Hannah Goodwin at 617-369-3189 or hgoodwin@mfa.org.

Hello Basketball Fans! If you’re a Boston Celtics fan, and you just have to know when every game starts, you’re in luck. The Perkins Library, in collaboration with the National Braille Press and the Boston Celtics, have partnered to create schedules in both braille and large print. If you want a copy of your own, feel free to send an email to library@perkins.org or call 617-972-7240 and specify your format choice.

Thanks for reading this message and it will be updated again on Friday, October 13th.


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