Updated on Friday, September 25th, 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.

The Bay State Council of the Blind (BSCB) is soliciting your assistance in obtaining some information pertaining to Uber, Lyft and taxicabs. It has come to the attention of BSCB that Uber drivers have recently denied trips to guide dog users here in Massachusetts. As many of you know, Eric Bridges, Director of External Relations for the American Council of the Blind (ACB), is having long running issues with taxis in the Washington DC area. If you are a guide dog user and have experienced denied trips with either Uber, Lyft, or taxicabs in the last six months, please send an email to Bob Hachey at bhachey@verizon.net or call him at 781-893-6251. BSCB also wants to know if you contacted the operator, did they attempt to make good on your denied trip(s)? Also, approximately how often do you use these services? Please include your name, email address, and phone number in your email or message to Bob. There are currently two pieces of legislation that are being considered by the Massachusetts House of Representatives and the Senate. These bills would increase regulations upon shared ride services such as Uber and Lyft. BSCB thanks you for your valuable input.

​Globalization has significantly affected how employers hire and treat their workers. Would you like to learn more about these effects, and how you can prepare for them? If so, join The Hadley School for the Blind’s Seminars@Hadley on Wednesday, September 30th at 12:00 PM for a seminar titled, “The Nature of Work is Changing. Are you Prepared?” Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor Lauri Dishman will discuss recent shifts in the traditional workplace model and what job seekers will need to face these changes with greater poise and confidence. Larry Muffett, a member of Hadley’s Seminars team, will moderate this 60-minute seminar, which is an audio-only 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=292. You can learn more about this and other seminars at www.Hadley.edu.

The Carroll Center for the Blind is hosting “Computing for Employment”, a four week program to advance the computer skills of individuals seeking employment. Training will include both applications used in work settings and job search techniques with the goal of finding competitive employment. Extensive vocational development classes will assist participants in clarifying and pursuing their vocational needs and goals. Topics will include benefits, disclosure and accommodations, interviewing, on-line job applications, networking, resume and cover letter preparation, and presenting yourself. Students will also learn advanced skills in MS Office 2013 including Word, Excel, Outlook, and internet Explorer as well as file management and Windows 8.1 navigation. Scanning and iOS device use will be covered. The dates are October 5th through 29th for Zoomtext users. Class meets daily Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. For more information or to make a referral, contact Dina Rosenbaum at dina.rosenbaum@carroll.org or 800-852-3131, ext. 238. You can also visit www.carroll.org to learn more.

The Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) would like to invite you to an Open House for visitors who are blind or have low vision. Join MFA on Sunday, October 4th from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM for art, information, socializing, and feedback. There will be coffee, tea, pastries, and a variety of opportunities for visitors to take part in. There will be two different tours: an Introductory Sculpture tour highlighting art from several of the MFA’s collections; and “Strength and Athleticism in Art”, which will explore work related to that theme on both three dimensional and two dimensional art. MFA would also love your feedback. They will be joined by Haptic Art, Ltd, which has created several relief reproductions of artworks in the Museum. Make your opinions known! In addition, MFA will have a prototype for some large print materials related to the Ancient Coins gallery. If those of you utilizing large print would like to try them, MFA would really appreciate feedback on those materials as well. There will be other materials to use and explore, and MFA’s mobile guide as well. MFA has recently made some changes to the mobile audio guide based on feedback many visitors gave them, so those of you who use this device may be interested in checking it out. Finally, MFA invite you to learn about other tours and events at the MFA, the Museum of Science, and other organizations, and share some snacks and conversation. You are invited to share your ideas you have for tours or other events. To sign up, please email Hannah Goodwin at hgoodwin@mfa.org, or call 617-369-3189. Tell Hannah when you plan to be here. We are asking visitors to come to the Huntington entrance.

The Boston Opera House, located at 539 Washington Street in Boston, still has tickets available to see an audio described performance of Cinderella on Sunday, October 4th at 1:00 PM. Description will be done by Laura Willis. Additionally, there will be an Open Captioned performance on Saturday, October 3rd at 2:00 PM and an ASL Performance, by ASL Coach John Pirone, on Saturday, October 10th at 2:00 PM. Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella is the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical from the creators of Oklahoma and The King and I. Cinderella is delighting audiences with its contemporary take on the classic tale. This lush production features an incredible orchestra, jaw-dropping transformations and all the moments you love, the pumpkin, the glass slipper, the masked ball and more, plus some surprising new twists! Be transported back to your childhood as you rediscover some of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s most beloved songs, including “In My Own Little Corner,” “Impossible/It’s Possible” and “Ten Minutes Ago,” in this hilarious and romantic Broadway experience for anyone who’s ever had a wish, a dream... or a really great pair of shoes. Tickets, which start at $44.00, can be purchased at www.broadwayinboston.com/accessibility or by calling 617-880-2419.

The Huntington/Boston University Theater, located at 264 Huntington Avenue in Boston has tickets available for an Audio Described performance of A Little Night Music on Saturday, October 3rd at 2:00 PM. Lovers reunite, passions reignite, and new romances blossom around famous actress Desiree Armfeldt and an unforgettable cast of characters during an eventful weekend in the country. Stephen Sondheim’s most romantic and popular work features a gorgeous, sweeping score infused with humor, warmth, and the flavor of a waltz, including Sondheim’s best known song, “Send in the Clowns.” Directed by Artistic Director Peter DuBois, this exquisite musical celebration of love is the must-see event of the season! Tickets, which are $20.00, can be purchased by contacting Meg O’Brien at 617-273-1558 or MOBrien@huntingtontheatre.bu.edu

The Paciello Group, a digital accessibility research consultancy, is hosting a research study at the Carroll Center for the Blind during the period of Monday, September 28th through Friday, October 2nd. Participants will receive $150.00 in compensation. The purpose of the research is to explore participants’ use of technology in their everyday lives, with a focus on online financial management. More specifically, they are looking for individuals who: have experience with online banking and e-lending; are open to the concept of applying online for a financial product (such as a mortgage or credit card); have conducted some form of online finance management within the past few months; and are willing to discuss how they manage their finances online. If you are interested in participating, please fill complete a short online survey at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/TPGresearchBOS. If you prefer to answer the survey questions by email or phone, please contact Shane Paciello at spaciello@paciellogroup.com or 603-882-4122, extension 111.

The Carroll Center for the Blind Technology Department is pleased to announce the continuation of its series of free adaptive technology training demonstrations, to be held on Saturdays and taught by David Kingsbury, the Carroll Center’s assistive technology trainer. These face to face workshops will take place from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM in the first floor meeting room at the Carroll Center’s Rachel Rosenbaum Technology Center at 770 Centre Street in Newton. Participants should already possess beginner or intermediate JAWS skills. These are demonstration sessions, not hands-on use of technology. The next session is scheduled for Saturday October 3rd and will focus on Microsoft Excel. This session will include spreadsheet navigation, composing and editing simple formulas, cell formatting, inserting and deleting rows and columns, sorting columns alphabetically and by value, automatic reading of column and row titles with the define names command, and adjusting column width. To register for this workshop, please send an email to david.kingsbury@carroll.org. This workshop is free-of-charge. If you have any questions, you can call David at 781-974-2001 or visit www.carroll.org. Space is limited so please respond soon.

The Worcester Talking Book Library recently announced their fall 2015 series of free adaptive technology training workshops. The three remaining workshops will take place in the computer lab at the Worcester Public Library on Saturday mornings from 9:45 AM to 11:45 AM. The next workshop, schedule for Saturday, October 17th, will focus on Excel basics. This session will cover spreadsheet navigation, composing simple formulas, cell formatting, inserting and deleting rows and columns, sorting columns alphabetically and by value, automatic reading of column and row titles with the define names command, and adjusting column width. The final two workshops will be held on Saturday November 7th and December 5th. The topic for the final two workshops will be decided by consensus of participants from the previous sessions. The only prerequisite for participation is a minimum typing skill level of approximately 20 words per minute. Please remember to bring a pair of personal headphones so you can work on one of the computer labs. To register for these workshops, please contact Jim Izatt at jizatt@worcpublib.org or 508-799-1621. Additional information can also be obtained at www.worcpublib.org/talkingbook.

The Hadley School for the Blind Woman’s Board will be, once again, offering Braille holiday cards and gift tags. Each card is embossed on the front and features a greeting in print and braille on the inside. Album cards from Carlson Craft and Shutterfly are also available online, with a percentage of sales supporting Hadley. You can purchase cards online at www.hadley.edu/holidaycard. Phone and on-site sales at Hadley begin on Thursday, October 15th. All proceeds benefit the Hadley School for the Blind.

Thanks for reading this message and it will be updated again on Friday, October 2nd.

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