Updated on Friday, February 28th, this is the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind Information Network. This information can be accessed on the MCB Voice Information System at 617-626-7660 and 800-392-6450. You can say “tape” or “telephone tape” into the phone. This message 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 MBTA recently announced that beginning March 22, 2014, the Government Center Station will be closed for two years while crews work to reconstruct the station into a fully accessible, safer, modern, more comfortable facility. During the station closure, both Blue and Green Line trains will pass through Government Center Station, but will not stop there. Blue Line access, Green Line access, and shuttle bus access information can be found at www.mbta.com/riding_the_t/default.asp?id=26899
The National Federation of the Blind (NFB) recently commented on President Obama’s executive order requiring a wage floor of $10.00 for individuals employed under all new federal contracts, including workers with disabilities who are currently excluded from minimum wage protections under special certificate programs. NFB commends President Obama for recognizing the value of workers with disabilities and ensuring that these workers can take advantage of the same opportunity for economic mobility as their nondisabled co-workers. More information on the Fair Wages for Workers with Disabilities (H.R. 831) can be found at www.nfb.org/fair-wages.
Interested in participating in a paid research study that is focused on accessibility features of popular mobile phones? If you are Legally Blind, have experience using smartphones (not including the iPhone) or other types of mobile phones, are between the ages of 21 and 49 years of age, and can go to the Mad*Pow office in Downtown Boston in March of 2014 (transportation arrangements is available if needed), you have an opportunity to help improve the effectiveness of various smartphones. Study participants will receive $150.00 for a 1-hour session (non-smart phone users) or $200.00 for a 2-hour (smart phone users). Interested parties should contact Kim Devane at 508-523-5294 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
March 10, 2014
You are cordially invited to attend the 6th Annual Blind Legislative Informational Networking Day (B.L.I.N.D.), scheduled for Monday, March 10th from 11:30 AM to 2:00 PM in the Great Hall, at the Massachusetts State House in Boston. The purpose of B.L.I.N.D. is to advocate for legislative support of the Governor’s proposed budget recommendations for the upcoming fiscal year that acknowledge the importance of specialized blindness services and their critical funding. Your participation is critical! For questions or to register by phone, please contact Debby King, B.L.I.N.D. 2014 Registration Coordinator, at 617-972-7376 or email@example.com.
March 12, 2014
MCB and the Perkins Training Center would like to invite you to join them at the 9th Annual “Focus” on Vision Impairment & Blindness Conference: Meeting the Needs of Individuals with Intellectual Disability & Vision Loss, to be held on Wednesday, March 12th at the Four Points by Sheraton, Norwood, MA. This year’s conference, which is scheduled to run from 8:00 AM to 3:30 PM, features opening remarks from MCB Commissioner Paul Saner, Keynote Speaker Jim Elliott (Founder and President of Diveheart), exhibitors, breakout sessions, lunch, award presentations, a raffle, and a special performance by the Wild Fire Girls. The Registration Brochure and Form can be downloaded from www.perkins.org/professional/ptc and www.mass.gov/dds/visionloss or call Sydnie Jones at 508-384-5679 for questions regarding registration.
March 28-30, 2014
The Bay State Council of the Blind 2014 Spring Convention will be taking place from Friday, March 28th through Sunday, March 30th at the Marriott Hotel in Burlington. The tentative schedule calls for a pre-convention session for those who are iPhone users. Guide Dog Users of Massachusetts will hold a meeting on Friday evening highlighting a writer of a cookbook of delicious foods for guide dogs as well as a discussion on taking your guide dogs with you when you travel overseas. The program Committee is finalizing the agenda and speakers, which will include an update from MCB Commissioner Paul Saner, Pete Guston on doing radio and television voiceovers as a low vision person, and Marla Runyan about her running and teaching experiences. Exhibitors and an auction will again be highlights of the convention. For more information about the convention, please call 781-944-3586 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
April 27, 2014
The Carroll Center for the Blind will be hosting their 2nd Annual Canines for Carroll Dog Walk on Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 9:00 AM. Registration begins at 8:00 AM. The walk is two miles long and winds its way through the beautiful neighborhood streets of Newton, beginning and ending at the Carroll Center. There are also shortcuts for those who do not wish to walk the full two miles. Service dogs belonging to individuals who are blind and visually impaired and friends will lead the walk. You can register and find out more information about the walk at www.firstgiving.com/1564/canines-for-carroll-2014
With the winter upon us, the MBTA would like to inform you of what steps will be taken by the T to remove snow from bus stops. Once the snow has stopped falling, MBTA staff will begin removing snow at subway stations. This includes station platforms, stairs, ramps, and busways. After clearing the snow at rail stations, MBTA staff will begin removing the snow from bus stops that are part of the “Key Bus Routes” program. According to MBTA officials, it takes approximately one to three days to remove snow from “Key Bus Route” stops. The MBTA will remove snow from stops that are not “Key Bus Route” stops. You may call 617-222-3200 or email email@example.com to report a stop that has not been shoveled. When reporting a stop that has not been shoveled, please indicate that you are a person with a disability, state the bus route that serves the bus stop, and include the intersection where the stop is located. More information on snow removal can be found at www.mbta.com/winter/bus_status.
Thanks for reading this message and it will be updated again on Friday, March 7th.
This information is provided by the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind.